__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ 52 __ __ __ __
__ __ 35 __ __ __ 39 __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ 05 __ __ __ 17 __ __
__ __ __ __ 64 __ __ __ __
01 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
While the Average Joe may be able to compost or recycle to try to help save the earth, celebrities have a few advantages when it comes to trying to make a difference. Here are how some stars are using their power for good and making a change:
Architecture is one of Brad Pitt’s passions. His Make It Right organization (makeitright.org), which built 150 sustainable homes in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana, is now partnering with Native American tribes to build 20 green homes for low-income residents in Montana.
The Rizzoli & Isles actress teamed up with ethical lifestyle accessories brand Red Earth (redearthshop.com) to debut her collection of African-made, hand-cast, recycled aluminum and brass jewelry, debuting in time for Earth Day on April 22. Click here to read an interview with Harmon.
In 1998, the five-time Academy Award nominee created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (leonardodicaprio.com) dedicated to protecting Earth’s remaining wild places and wildlife, with a focus on renewable energy sources, rainforests, oceans and access to clean water.
The veteran actor has devoted a large portion of his life to the environment, including founding the Sundance Preserve to protect the North Fork Canyon in Utah, serving as a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org) since 1974 and producing The Green, a block of Sundance Channel programming that tackles issues such as solar energy and wilderness preservation.
The former James Bond star, who was inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame (environmentalhalloffame.net) for his work against illegal whale hunting and for wetlands protection, has served on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org), California Coastal Protection Network (coastaladvocates.com) and Sea Shepherd (seashepherd.org).
The Brazilian supermodel makes fashion eco-friendly. Her Ipanema Gisele Bundchen line of sandals and flip flops, produced in Brazil, is manufactured without the use of rubber from the Amazon rainforest—and made using at least 30 percent recycled materials, with 99 percent of all factory waste recycled or reused.
View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Earth Day is the perfect time to try to turn over a new leaf and try to preserve the world we live in. Try our Earth Day splurges—from chocolate that supports conservation to eco-friendly gadget covers.
Read and Seed (From $2 • bloomin.com)
Don’t toss it, plant it! After Bloomin seed paper—100 percent biodegradable and embedded with seeds—serves its purpose as stationery, invitations or your grocery list, plant it and watch your garden grow.
Keep it Clean (From $10 • waterbobble.com)
The carbon filter in this BPA-free, customizable Bobble water bottle turns water from public fountains or spigots into clean drinking water—and each one keeps 300 single-serve plastic bottles out of the landfill.
Golf Green ($40 • dixongolf.com)
Turn your green time even greener with the Dixon Earth golf ball, a high-performance, organic golf ball made of rock salt rather than earth-unfriendly heavy metals like lead, tungsten and titanium. Plus, the company will plant a tree for each Dixon Earth product sold online.
Power Up ($79 • us.waka-waka.com)
Share the sun this Earth Day with a WakaWaka Power+ compact solar charger that can power up phones or small electronic devices in just a few hours to provide up to 150 hours of safe, sustainable energy. Major feel-good bonus: For every purchase, the company gives a charger to one of the 1.2 billion people worldwide with no access to electricity.
Get the Goods (Free • itunes.apple.com)
The free GoodGuide app (for both iOS and Android) makes it easy to find out whether products are safe, healthy, green and socially responsible.
Rare Treat (From $10 • chocolatebar.com)
Endangered Species Chocolate donates 10 percent of profits to organizations that support species conservation, habitat preservation and humanitarian efforts.
Smooth Move (From $7 • lushusa.com)
Smell good while doing good with Lush’s Charity Pot body lotion. All proceeds (minus taxes) are donated to grassroots environmental, animal welfare and human rights organizations.
Soften Up ($17 • nelliesallnatural.com)
Replace dryer sheets and fabric softeners with this natural alternative. Nellie’s PVC-free eco dryer balls are toxic-free, eco-friendly and guaranteed to last up to two years.
Under Cover ($15 • amazon.com)
The exclusive FELTtech Sleeve material is made completely from recycled bottles. From laptop to Kindle, the cases are made to fit all your gadgets.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
This land is your land, this land is my land: In honor of Earth Day this Wednesday, check out 50 cool eco-friendly things Americans are doing, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters.
At Munford Elementary School (a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School), it’s easy being green: Kids enter the school through a “cave,” complete with stalactites, trees “grow” from the walls and one wing is dubbed “Where the Wild Things Are” while another is “The Main Stream.” The cafeteria walls are painted with murals of the surrounding Talladega National Forest, and students can look at local fish inside a 250-gallon aquarium.
Art students at Kodiak High School have created a massive octopus sculpture, dubbed “Ophelia,” out of marine debris (from plastic bottles and grocery bags to fishing nets and cigarette lighters). The goal: to generate public awareness of the hazardous debris, which collects on beaches and in huge floating whirlpools in the middle of oceans.
Talk about taking one for the team: The National League’s Arizona Diamondbacks have a 17,000-square-foot solar canopy at Phoenix’s Chase Field that generates enough electricity to power the lights for 11 games. The team also has a “Break a Bat, Plant a Tree” initiative providing desert-adapted shade trees in area parks, uses recyclable and compostable cutlery and plates and team members and concessions staff wear shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. The team also closes its retractable roof during the day to keep its electric costs down and distributes its media guides on digital thumb drives.
In response to the devastating April 2013 tornadoes, the towns of Vilonia and Mayflower each distributed 5,000 new trees—redbud, white oak, pecan, hickory, white oak, crabapple, red mulberry, pin oak, cherry-bark oak and willow oak— under a multi-year campaign sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Bea Johnson of Mill Valley, Calif, and her family live a no-waste life. Follow how they only produce a quart of waste a year at zerowastehome.blogspot.com. And read more here.
Fort Collins has ratified the most ambitious eco-plan of any city in the country. Under the city’s Climate Action Plan, approved in March, this Front Range city, home to Colorado State University, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent in 15 years and would be totally carbon neutral by 2050.
The USDA estimates that 70 percent of food products sold in supermarkets contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Connecticut’s legislature made food history when it signed the nation’s first GMO labeling bill in 2013; the only catch: It won’t take effect until a combination of Northeastern states adding up to 20 million residents pass similar legislation.
When Washington’s troops crossed the Delaware, little could they have imagined that 240 years later, 94 percent of Delaware’s waterways would be too polluted to support fish and wildlife, and 86 percent of the state’s rivers would be unswimmable. But now, through the Delaware Nature Society’s Stream Watch program, everyday citizens of the First State are fighting back by helping test water samples throughout the state.
This puts a whole new spin on NASCAR: Not only does the Daytona Beach-based sport work out of two LEED-certified office buildings, its cars also use a renewable fuel (blended with 15 percent ethanol made from American-grown corn) that emits 20 percent less greenhouse gases than unleaded gas, plants 10 trees for each green flag that drops during races and recycles about 121,000 tires each year.
As a farmer, Eric Wagoner questioned how to get locally grown food to customers. His solution: because he was also a web developer, in 2002 he whipped up a website for Atlanta-area customers. Called Locally Grown (locallygrown.net), it became the world’s first online farmers’ market, and has since spread to more than 100 communities throughout the country.
Jim B. in Palm Desert, California, writes:
You once answered a question about why the events of our youth are so vividly remembered. I have a high school reunion coming up, and I’d like to quote your words on the subject. Can you repeat them?
A reader asked, “Why is it that our high school experiences occupy such a prominent place in our memories?”
I replied, “During high school, we develop the most vigorous adult bodies we will ever have. At the same time, we possess the least amount of sense we will ever have. This combination produces many memorable moments!”
Don’t toss it—eat it! The best way to minimize food waste—and stretch your budget—is to use everything. Next time you have beets, don’t toss those pretty stems. Put them to use in this simple recipe from chef Clayton Chapman of the Grey Plume in Omaha, Neb. It demonstrates root-to-leaf cooking at its best.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
The former Gossip Girl TV star, 27, shares Earth Day plans for her chic website, preserve.us, which celebrates American artisans and their products. Her next film is Lionsgate’s romantic drama The Age of Adaline, opening April 24.
What was the inspiration behind Preserve?
“Mainly my mom. She’s someone who could create a magical moment out of anything.”
How do you keep the site eco- friendly?
“It’s very important to us to be conscious in our selections. We’re doing an exclusive collection for Earth Day with Amour Vert. For every shirt you buy from them, they plant a tree. They are doing everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint.”
What do you do in your personal life to protect the planet?
“My husband [Ryan Reynolds] turned a car that wasn’t supposed to be electric into an electric car by putting a thousand-pound battery in the trunk. He’s dangerously eco. Our homes are solar, we have the compost in the garden and we do all the smaller things, like turning off lights in the house—things I didn’t do growing up that I have learned to be aware of.”
The Age of Adaline is a love story but more than that. How would you describe it?
“It’s about the relationship between love and time—and the beauty and tragedy in that.”
What does it take these days to make you want to take a role?
“It sure takes a lot, especially now that I’ve got a baby [born in December]. It has to be a film that creatively inspires me.”
Star Wars fans rejoiced at the familiar sound of Mark Hamill’s voice. Hamill’s monologue introduces the trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens (set to release on December 18), which gives a second glimpse into the film’s action-packed adventures.
Seamlessly blending the old with the new, Hamill’s monologue acts as a nod to his iconic Return of the Jedi speech about the intense power of the force in his family. As Darth Vader’s destroyed helmet glides across the screen as a reminder of the past, the symbolic passing of the lightsaber shows a new era has begun.
New faces such as John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are introduced while original cast members deliver a nostalgic message. Revered Han Solo and Chewbacca appear, and Han recites a sentiment felt by fans across the world: “Chewie, we’re home.”
The continuation of the Star Wars series (Episode VII, if you’re counting) assures the return of the original cast, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and many others.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Last season on Broadway, actor Bryce Pinkham dazzled audiences in the musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The murderous role earned him a Tony nomination (along with a Tony award for the show.) This year he’s in an altogether different role and earning more praise in the critically lauded Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles. In Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Heidi (Elisabeth Moss) and her friends Scoop (Jason Biggs) and Peter Patrone (Pinkham’s character) struggle to make the right choices as they navigate entry into adulthood and beyond. As Pinkham explains, “Peter is there so we can watch Heidi discover what it means to have it all.” Pinkham, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama shared 11 cool things that we might not know about him. From a unique impersonation to a wacky back stage ritual to the phenomenal not-for-profit for Malagasy kids that he co-founded, click through the next pages to learn all 11. To learn more about the Heidi Chronicles visit, www.theheidichroniclesonbroadway.com.
After the season finale of Downton Abbey, I thought I’d have some free time on my hands. But then I took a peek at acclaimed Australian series A Place To Call Home and I couldn’t stop watching. Basically, I spent an entire weekend in Australia–or at least it felt that way. “Is that show still on?” asked my husband who returned home from work to find me hanging out with the same characters I’d introduced him to the night before. Of course the show was still on. There were two seasons to get through and I had become so invested in the players that I needed to learn their fate as quickly as possible.
Set in 1950’s Australia, A Place To Call Home (available on Acorn TV, RLJ Entertainment’s British TV streaming service) feels like a cross between Dynasty and Downton Abbey with a twist of Mad Men. Filmed in the beautiful Australian countryside, the series explores the lives of the wealthy Bligh family once their worlds collide with intriguing, multitalented, and ever-so-ethical nurse Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp). From class clashes and forbidden love to meddling in-laws and damaging secrets, the beautifully crafted series, which has been commissioned for a third and fourth seasons, offers viewers a uniquely addictive romantic drama. Just beware: If you’re like me, once you start watching, it’s hard to stop.
Watch the Season One trailer of A Place To Call Home.
Season 1 can be watched anytime on Acorn TV and is also available on DVD.
Season 2 premieres this month with the finale available on Monday, April 27th.
Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, comic and entertainment analyst. The host of the showbiz podcast Whine At 9, Nancy digs a little deeper as she chats with fascinating celebrities and industry insiders. Her book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
“I didn’t ever feel like we were going to stop talking,” says Caitlin Alifirenka, 30, expressing her certainty in her friendship with Martin Ganda, 32, who when they first began corresponding in 1997, lived thousands of miles away in Zimbabwe. And Caitlin was right.
A series of letters prompted by a pen pal assignment for school developed into a genuine friendship withstanding all cultural and socioeconomic standards. And now, in their new book, I Will Always Write Back (Little, Brown, April 2015), Caitlin and Martin, along with journalist Liz Welch, recount how their unlikely bond blossomed in a dual-memoir.
Parade spoke with Caitlin and Martin to find out more about their incredible journey and their view of handwritten letters amidst today’s rapidly growing technology.
What was your favorite letter?
Caitlin: That’s a difficult one because there are so many. I would have to say a letter I received from him when he just kind of got real with me about how his father had lost his job and what was happening in Zimbabwe at the time. It was a hard letter, but I feel like that’s the letter that really made me see my friend and see the world.
Martin: I loved all of them. With each letter we became closer and closer even though we were on different continents. The first letter was exciting because I was trying to picture Caitlin in my mind as I had no clue what America was about besides what we read at school or what we saw on TV. I was curious to learn more and having a friend from another part of the world was cool.
At what point did you realize you had formed a lifelong friendship?
Caitlin: I don’t know if there was a specific moment when I realized that. I just knew he was my best friend. I knew that from the first couple of letters. It was so easy to “talk” to him. It just felt like I was talking to one of my friends in class. I didn’t ever feel like we were going to stop talking.
Martin: We hit it off from the first letter, and the more we wrote back and forth, the stronger our friendship became.
Were there certain qualities you saw in each other that you didn’t see in your friends at home?
Caitlin: I felt like he was really positive. He was really interested in what was happening in my life, and we were so similar. I didn’t feel like I had all that “realness” with other students I was in school with.
Martin: Apart from the different economic backgrounds, we remained kids. We were both fascinated by our differences and learned a lot from each other. We had a lot in common – enjoying spending time with our friends and family, pop music and most importantly valuing our blossoming international friendship.
What sparked the idea to write a book about your experiences?
Caitlin: My mom (well our mom, because I call Martin my brother now) had always said that this story needs to be told. She said, “Well maybe I would like to write the story someday.” But Martin was approached by someone and later hooked up with our agent, and it just all fell into place. We got hooked up with co-author Liz Welch, and it’s been fantastic ever since.
Martin: Each time we told people how Caitlin had helped me from my days growing up in Africa to the day I came to America, everyone thought it was so unique that two people from different parts of the world spent years writing back and forth with the culmination of meeting in person. We decided to write a book about our friendship to tell the world how, as kids, we had grown in different parts of the world but due [to] tenacity, dedication and [the] support of Caitlin, I managed to come to America. We wanted to show the world the power of friendship, the power of helping one another. No matter how old one is, we can all make a difference.
What did you hope to portray by sharing your story?
Caitlin: Basically we just want people to know that just one act of kindness or doing something that feels right can really make a huge difference in somebody else’s life. We just want people to do something kind for somebody else. Do what feels right in your heart.
Martin: Even though there are challenges in the world today, there are still beautiful stories to be told. We want to share the notion that no matter how small you think your effort is or how much your impact can have, you still can make a difference. Whether it is a small gesture to a friend or a stranger, the impact can be huge to the recipient. We all have power to make a difference.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Our feathered friends can be just as adorable as our furry friends. Launch the gallery for proof and let your heart take flight with these winged wonders.
Click here to see “Wednesday Friends Day” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute!View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ __ 04 __ __ __ __
__ __ 13 __ __ __ 31 __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ __ 70 __ 34 __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
__ __ 57 __ __ __ 47 __ __
__ __ __ __ __ 61 __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
N.K. in Lincoln, Nebraska, writes:
One of the supervisors at work often steals my ideas, and I’m wondering whether I should speak up to his manager. I’m hesitant because the things he takes credit for are small, such as ideas for events and little morale-boosting activities. My co-worker says I should feel proud that my ideas are good enough to steal, but I don’t. I don’t want to come off as a tattle, but I don’t want to lose out on a raise, which relies in part on us coordinating at least one center-wide event. What are the risks and rewards?
Look at this from the viewpoint of the manager. How would you feel about an employee who came to you with such a complaint about a supervisor? I think I’d view the employee as a bit petty, but I’d also view the supervisor as a bit piggish. So now you’ve damaged two people slightly. I don’t think this will help you get a raise. And if the supervisor discovers what you did, the atmosphere at your workplace may change. He may not steal any more of your ideas, but he–and any supervisors he shares his knowledge with–will regard you less well. That will certainly be a hurdle to a raise. If I were you, I wouldn’t go down that road.
Solve online (thanks to J. Eric Ivancich)
How to play
The next Nexus4 will be posted 4/12.
No, not in that way. Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis and her Dancing With the Stars partner Maks Chmerkovskiy, who won the mirrorball trophy during season 18 of the hit show, are dancing together in the upcoming dance extravaganza, SWAY: A Dance Trilogy, on June 5 and 6 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, People magazine reported. “I can’t stay away,” Chmerkovskiy, told People about dancing with Davis. “We love working together. Any opportunity I get to dance with her is welcome.” As you may recall, Davis dashed hopes everywhere when she confirmed that the pair was not romantically involved last May, though that didn’t keep fans from hoping life might imitate art. And despite their reunion, the 35-year-old professional dancer maintains that things are platonic. “We became close, dear friends on the show,” he said. “There were romance rumors all over the place, but there always are. It’s the nature of the show. When you have single people on there, there are assumptions, assumptions and assumptions.
“But what I like is how we came out of it and how our friendship blossomed after that. We didn’t let anybody or any of this positive or negative publicity undermine what we think of one another. She is part of the family.” Davis isn’t the only DWTS vet joining Chmerkovskiy in the upcoming performances. Other pros, including Chmerkovskiy’s brother Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Artem Chigvintsev, Henry Byalikov, Emma Slater and Peta Murgatroyd will be on stage. Even fan favorite Amy Purdy will be lacing up her dance shoes for the show.
Did you ever run into someone you knew and wish you handled things better?
In David Ives’ play, Sure Thing, a woman and a man have a chance meeting in a cafe. Each time someone says something off and the conversation goes south, a bell rings and the scene begins again. They get another chance to make everything right.
Imagine if our accidental encounters came with a reset bell! But since they don’t, how do you stay cool, interesting and engaging when you see someone unexpectedly, especially out of context? “I’m always the guy who prefers to let the other person talk more or just ask questions,” says veteran comedian Nick Griffin, who is fresh off one of many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. “People think entertainers have exciting lives. And I figure let them go on believing that instead of telling them I’m sitting in the lobby at the Holiday Inn drinking bad coffee.”
I asked Griffin to offer guidance on some specific chance encounter situations.
You run into someone who just unfriended you on Facebook.
Nick Griffin: I’m like everyone else. I have a little bit of that want-to-please-everybody in me. So I’d be really, really pleasant. But in the back of my mind I’d want to ask about the unfriend. I would behave until the last second and then say, “For the love of God, why did you unfriend me?” Either that or I’d just kill them with kindness and pray that they went back home and re-friended me.
You run into someone you really like and want to show how charming, adorable and funny you can be.
NG: It’s like when I’m meeting a woman on a first date. I tend to over smile and raise my volume. I’ve got two or three really good stories. And I probably break those out early on in the conversation. I might tell an innocent and sweet story from my youth — about growing up with six brothers and sisters. And then I let them know I’m mildly successful from having done a few television appearances. I’d very suddenly drop in that I’ve been on Letterman a few times. Something like, “Can we wrap this up? I have to be on Letterman in 20 minutes.”
You run into someone you dated but have no interest in dating that person again (but don’t want to be rude).
NG: You always think you’re really together. And then you get two or three years past that and think, God, I was such a jackass. But I would say, “Look, I’m really sorry about that guy I was back then. I’ve gotten better. Unfortunately I’m dating other people now.”
You run into a person you went out with who hasn’t called. But you’re still holding out hope and don’t want to mess it up.
NG: There’s something really intriguing about a person who doesn’t like you. And I’ve certainly been through that. I’ve dated women for just a few dates and then they don’t want to date me again. And I end up seeing them and I’ll do a tap dance trying to impress even though they have no interest. I think, what am I doing? Why am I so intrigued by someone who has no interest in me?
I don’t know what that is. But I would like to believe if I wanted to keep my self-esteem intact I would say something pleasant like, “I hope all is going well for you and good luck in the future.” But I would probably say, “I hope all is well. Good luck in the future and if you ever want to go out again I’m certainly available.”
You run into a friend but are a bit embarrassed because you’ve been out of touch for months and want to reconnect.
NG: It’s hard for comics to have a legitimate excuse. I mean even on a good day we’re only working an hour and a half or so. We have nothing but free time. I have a tendency to spend a lot of time by myself just because I get into that habit from being on the road a lot. So I’ll just come clean and say, “I’ve kind of been out of commission for a while. I apologize. If you want to get together and have a cup of coffee I’d be happy to pick up that big check.”
You’re with a friend and accidentally run into someone you really like. So you want to convey that the friend is not a romantic interest.
NG: You just have to play it as straight as you can. With Facebook, you can send a note later saying “I just wanted you to know I’m not dating that person. If you like me, let’s get this started.” You don’t want to make your friend who is hanging out with you feel like a jackass, like, “Yeah, this is my friend Susie and obviously we’re not dating.”
We worry so much about what we say when we run into people. I spend a lot of time after thinking, “Oh, why did I say that?” I’ve certainly kicked myself for days after feeling like I said the wrong thing. We get so weighed down by our own importance or what we think is important. It keeps us from enjoying our day. But people are very busy and so wrapped up in their own lives. Most everything we say goes in one ear and out the other. They’re not paying attention. It’s all going to be okay. You’ve just got to let stuff go. We’re all just doing the best we can.
Click to the next page to see Nick’s latest appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
You can’t control the weather (aside from through carbon emissions), but friends brighten any day, rainy or otherwise, so launch the gallery and check out these pairs of friends. There’s kittens, and sheep, and chicks, and babies asleep, and many more, including some Easter leftovers.
Click here to see “April Flowers” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute!View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+