Monthly Archives: September 2019

Sarah Jane Adams: Expanding The Concept Of Fashion Beyond The Expected

She is not Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent, or Chanel, but she is a bold fashion influencer and Instagram sensation. Welcome to the world of Sarah Jane Adams aka Saramai Jewels, where anti-aging is taboo and wrinkles are worn as proud stripes. Little did British-born Adams know posting a photo online would spark the beginning of a social media phenomena. Was it an image of a famous celebrity or soccer star? No, it was simply a photo of her sporting a red Adidas varsity jacket, a gift from her daughter. The Beginning of Something Big The photo was uploaded and tagged with Adidas and Advanced Style, a popular blog about older women with a sense of style. Surprised at how well it was received, she began posting photos and selfies on Instagram daily. Things took off like wildfire and four years later, she has an enviable following of over 182,000. How did she cultivate such as following? Turns out her non-conformist eclectic fashion sense appeals to a broad demographic of women, mainly aged 15 to 40. Her mashup of vintage, hippy,

Tharanga: Hitting the High Notes

For this world-class opera diva and visual artist with a yen for science, reaching for the stars is only the beginning. Listening to a recording of famed opera star Kiri Te Kanawa for the first time roused a desire to sing opera within a 12-year-old Sri-Lankan girl. Little did Tharanga Goonetilleke know that she would one day become an international star in western classical music. She would rise to fame and grace world stages singing operatic works ranging from classical to modern by Mozart, Puccini, Ravel, Joplin, Offenbach, Handel, and others. Tharanga has a full lyric soprano voice described as “magical” by The Washington Times and “appealingly rich” by The New York Times. Singing in character is a specialty of hers, by fully immersing herself into a character and giving it soul. Favorites include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Genevra in Ariodante, and Mimi in La Bohème. Her lyric soprano voice has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world including her home country and has built a large following. Tharanga has performed at some of the world’s top

Nancy Schiesari: Esteemed Filmmaker

A compelling storyteller, she brings the untold stories of wartime to film. For some, TV is something to pass the time, but for others like Nancy Schiesari, TV is her passion. There are documentaries which make you change your worldview —movies which alter your perception of “ordinary” things. It is interesting to think about who is behind these movies and how they come up with creative ideas. Schiesari, an Italian-American director, creates documentaries that mostly deal with the themes of war. They encourage the viewer to rethink the facts and small details that they never thought deeply about. Echoes of the Past World War II left a huge imprint on her family. Schiesari’s parents picked up roots and moved from Italy to Mississippi, where she grew up. Her father was a doctor during the war. Her aunt was a member of a partisan anti-fascist movement which organized resistance activities. Schiesari applies her craft mainly on war-related films as a tribute to her parents and her heritage. In adolescence, her dream was to become a painter, which is why she decided

Taylor Hagood: “Football” Season

September has arrived and I cannot help myself. I must write about the sports that both begin their seasons at this time of the year and that go by the same name: football. Both are part of my life, or, in a sense, lives, for mine seems to spread into so many different kinds of places and situations. To begin at the beginning . . . Archie and Ole Miss My earliest memory of anything football-related is a game played on a television in my grandparents’ house in Mississippi. It was either a bowl game or “The Egg Bowl,” which is the name for the annual clash between Ole Miss and Mississippi State (traditionally played on Thanksgiving) for a golden trophy shaped like an egg. It must have been one of those games because extended family was there—my Arkansas cousins. Those cousins were University of Arkansas Razorback fans, but they were pulling for Ole Miss that day. I can remember my father and Uncle Bert watching, and I suspect my grandfather was watching from his great golden velvet chair (which

Nadine Strossen: A Frequent Flier for Free Speech

Nadine Strossen was not only the first female President of the American Civil Liberties Union—but also its youngest, leading the organization from 1991 to 2008. Currently the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School, she continues to use her platform to forward the cause of civil liberties/human rights all over  the U.S. and also abroad — from criminal justice and drug law reform,  to gender and reproductive rights, to free speech for even the most despised  expression.  Strossen looks forward to assuming emeritus professor status next year after having taught constitutional law for 35 years; the ACLU Presidency is an unpaid, volunteer position, so even though she was an extremely active President, she also worked full-time as a law professor throughout her tenure. When she steps out of her law professor role, Strossen will miss the regular interaction with her NYLS students, but she looks forward to maintaining – and even increasing — her intense pace of public speaking and media interviews, which have averaged about 200 per year, and have brought her to about

Myka Meier: Tech Manners & Etiquette

Should mobile devices be allowed at the dinner table at home or at a restaurant? I advise people put their phones on silent or vibrate and put them away during a meal. Unless it’s a working lunch over business, it can be seen as rude to be taking calls or checking your phone while someone else is dining across from you. If you are expecting an important call that may come through during the meal, I advise telling the person you are dining with at the beginning of the meal that it may come during your time together, and if it does, that you will only be a minute. Then, if the call comes through, you would excuse yourself and take the call away from the table. Is it proper for someone to answer their cell phone and engage in conversation in front of other people? Etiquette is simply about showing respect to those around you. I think it can be dependent on the situation, but in a social setting I think it’s best to put phones away or on

Dr. Aubrey de Grey: On the Brink of Immorbidity

His research is leading to regenerative and anti-aging breakthroughs that could end human aging. Fountain of Youth In the 16th century, Spanish explorer and conquistador, Ponce de Leon traveled thousands of miles across the ocean in search of the fountain of youth. The elusive fountain was never found, but people haven’t lost hope in staying forever young. Today, people all over the world try to fight aging the best way they know how – some spend hours in the gym, some try bean-burgers and tofu, and others use Botox and chemical peels to turn back the hands of time. While these changes may add a few years to one’s life or patch one’s aging ego, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biological researcher, author, and anti-aging evangelist, has another option – one that puts your 1,000th birthday within reach. Growing Up Raised in London by his mother, de Grey holds onto the child-like curiosity she instilled in him to this day, leading him to question death. She was an artist and encouraged him to pursue more technical subjects like math and science. He

James & Lisa Crowe: Impacting The Universe

Jim and Lisa – they dreamed, they dared, they’re helping to solve some of humanity’s most difficult challenges. It was meant to be. They met at a Halloween party, he dressed as a punk rocker and she as Tarzan’s Jane. Each was in their first year of medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Initially friends, their companionship grew into love over the years. A week before graduation in 1987, they married and flew off to Europe for their honeymoon, skipping their commencement ceremony. Dr. James Crowe, Jr. and his wife, Lisa, have been inseparable ever since, each excelling in their own careers and always in loving support of each another. Love for family is the bedrock of Dr. Crowe’s life and its preciousness is what drives him to do his work. Seared into his memory is a pivotal moment in his life while on a medical mission in Africa. He recalls the desperate cries of a poor family seeking help for their child. He offered to help but the child died in his arms. The

Alkaline Water: 
Healthy or Just Hype?

Some say alkaline water is superior to plain water. There just might be something to this new hydration trend. As we gracefully age, we tend to drink less water than we should and can end up dehydrated. Making a conscious decision to drink more water will surely help us get back to better health, but with so many types of water to choose from, which will be the most beneficial for you? After all, our bodies are two-thirds water so if you’re going to drink up it might as well be the best choice.  What is all the hoopla about? Lately we’ve seen store shelves stocked with various brands of bottled alkaline water showing the water’s pH level. Does it really have health benefits or is it just another passing fad? Even celebrities like vocalist Beyoncé, actor Mark Wahlberg, model Miranda Kerr, NBA player Jason Terry, and actress Shay Mitchell are devoted fans.  Alkaline water is said to promote anti-aging, clear skin, balancing blood pH, and detoxification. There are studies that indicate a slightly higher alkaline level may even help

Sarah Begum: Journalist & Explorer

Exploring the world, her reporting sheds light on important issues and raises awareness on the plight of those who have no voice. Count on Begum As an explorer and journalist, Sarah Begum is on a mission to uncover the mysteries of life. Whether the task is to discover new places or unearth interesting stories, count on Begum to lead the investigation. Sarah is an explorer, TV Presenter, journalist and activist. Her stories appear in various publications and cover her experiences on topics such as travel, adventure, history, anthropology, conservation, the environment, and humanitarian causes. In her spare time, she practices martial arts. Other times she’s in the rainforest documenting the effects of environmental degradation on an ancient civilization, helping typhoon victims in the Philippines, or reporting on issues important to the Muslim LBGQT community in London. She chooses to work on projects where the need for awareness is great and to help us understand the perspective of those affected. While her work takes her to faraway places, the underlying themes in her works remain the same — culture and people.