Just Launched: Blue Ribbon Boys HIV Viral Suppression Campaign

MSMGF and Hornet Use App-based Technology to Modernize Global HIV Prevention Messaging

MSMGF (The Global Forum on MSM & HIV), the largest global, advocacy network focused on HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), has partnered with popular gay dating app, Hornet, to launch the largest targeted, global HIV viral suppression campaign to date. The campaign that will directly reach over 7 million MSM around the world is called Blue Ribbon Boys (BlueRibbonBoys.org).

***In order to encourage global participation in Blue Ribbon Boys, Hornet is giving away free premium memberships to new users that sign up using this link: http://hrnt.it/blueribbonboys during November and December.

Launched within the app on November 24th, one week before World AIDS Day, the Blue Ribbon Boys campaign will prompt all Hornet users to answer a short series of yes or no questions about their sexual health. Questions will pertain to HIV and STI testing, ARV (anti-retroviral) treatment, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), viral load, disclosure, stigma, condom and lubricant use, and other prevention methods.

Find out more at BlueRibbonBoys.org (PRNewsFoto/MSMGF)

Find out more at BlueRibbonBoys.org (PRNewsFoto/MSMGF)

Based on their answers, those who qualify will receive a blue ribbon icon on their profile photo signifying their personal commitment to sexual health, irrespective of their HIV status. Men who do not meet the standard will be offered recommendations for ways to protect and improve their sexual health so they can become a Blue Ribbon Boy. The campaign will grow and evolve over the coming months and adapt as treatment and prevention methods improve and become available in different regions.

Blue Ribbon Boys modernizes sexual health messaging by asking Hornet users to be more mindful about their sex play given the effective prevention options at their disposal. It also invites men to take action in response to the unavailability of prevention and treatment tools they want and need,” said MSMGF Executive Director, Dr. George Ayala.

MSMGF and Hornet are tenacious advocates for unfettered access to and early initiation of antiretroviral medications for all MSM living with HIV. Both organizations are also campaigning for widespread availability and proper use of PrEP among HIV-negative men at significant risk for HIV, aligned with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization guidelines. The goal of the BRB campaign is HIV viral suppression across all global communities.

Leveraging social technology on such a massive scale is one of the ways we will be able to make a big difference in global health,” says Hornet founder Sean Howell. “As a large social media platform, we can be a megaphone to the good work that MSMGF is doing.”

Blue Ribbon Boys is breaking new ground in reaching MSM in many low- and middle-income countries where basic services may not be available but the prevalence of smart phones is widespread. It also directly targets young MSM who are early adopters of technology. Young people (under 25) are at increased risk for HIV, comprising over 40% of new HIV infections worldwide.

In cases where Hornet users hit a roadblock, where they are unable to access treatment or prevention services, they will be directed to two global petitions: one is for HIV-negative men who want access to PrEP and the other is for HIV-positive men who demand access to ARV treatment.

Although MSM represent only about 4% of the male population, they are disproportionately affected by HIV. In low- and middle-income countries they are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV compared with the general population. HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men across North, South and Central America, South and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa ranges from 14% to 18%. Even as HIV incidence is in decline worldwide, the rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men remains unchanged and is increasing in some high-income countries like the United States.

MSMGF is an expanding global network focused on full sexual health and human rights for all men who have sex with men.

Learn more about MSMGF at MSMGF.org

Learn more about Hornet at hornetapp.com

Now Taking Reservations: A New Island Experience Awaits You At Four Seasons Resort Lanai In Hawaii

Luxuriously re-imagined following a multi-million dollar transformation, Four Seasons Resort Lanai will offer guests a sophisticated yet relaxed escape on their own 90,000-acre (36,000 hectare) secluded Hawaiian island just nine miles (14.5 kilometres) from Maui. Four Seasons Resort Lanai is located on a pristine island a few miles west of Maui reflecting a simpler pace of life – Hawaii as it was intended to be. Anticipating a February opening and perfectly timed to plan a winter escape from cooler temperatures, the Resort is now confirming reservations starting March 1, 2016. Travelers who wish to be among the first to experience Lanai by Four Seasons in February can contact the reservations team directly.MAN_849_aspect16x9

MAN_854_aspect16x9In celebration of its unveiling, the Resort is offering a Stay Longer – Fourth Night Free to discover how Hawaii was meant to be enjoyed.

The comprehensive lobby-to-roof renovation features 217 redesigned guest rooms including 51 suites; newly refurbished lobbies and seating areas for contemplation; additional dining experiences such as the award-winning NOBU LANAI and ONE FORTY, American Steak, Hawaiian Seafood; a renovated Spa; luxury retail boutiques featuring Missoni, Jimmy Choo and the Lanai Collection; a newly outfitted Pro Shop at the 18-hole Jack NicklausSignature Manele Golf Course; and the addition of a luxury transfer fleet.MAN_856_aspect16x9


Inspired by Hawaii’s diverse and storied influences, the interiors are comprised of an extraordinary material and details palette, such as walls of teak and zebra wood edging artisan-produced Nepalese lokta paper, and floors of mahogany laid with wool hand-woven area rugs.MAN_844_aspect16x9

Fully integrated and intuitive lighting, temperature, service and privacy controls offer a highly responsive in-room technology experience that presents a 75-inch, platinum bezel LED television panel for unparalleled in-room entertainment along with wearable key wristbands to allow maximum flexibility during activities on island; BluRay players; in-room iPad Airs; and a mobile app connecting guests to a variety of information and services including complimentary access to more than 3,000 newspapers.


Verdant botanical gardens and waterways reveal both intimate enclaves as well as spectacular vistas to the Pacific Ocean, featuring an array of native Hawaiian plants and species. By day, the landscape is a journey through a paradise of color and fragrance serving as a backdrop for commissioned works of outdoor art and sculpture. At night, tree-tops and slate paths lit by the glow of tiki torches lead the way to entirely new rooms that reveal special qualities even before entering. Continue reading

World AIDS Day 2015 Will Introduce A Holiday Shopping Extravaganza To Fight AIDS, Co-Produced By (RED) & VICE Media

The First Ever (SHOPATHON)RED Launches On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! On World AIDS Day, December 1

Enter To Win Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences Through Omaze With Bono, Snoop Dogg, Game Of Thrones, The Weeknd, Kim Kardashian, Meryl Streep & Shaquille O’neal, Among Many Others

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Double Impact By Matching Every Dollar Raised Up To $20 Million

Tomorrow, on December 1World AIDS Day and Giving Tuesday – the first ever (SHOPATHON)(RED) to fight AIDS officially kicks off. A (RED) shopping extravaganza featuring the likes of Bono, Scarlett Johansson, Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, Meryl Streep and co-produced by VICE Media, (SHOPATHON)(RED) will live on-air and online through the holidays, selling iconic (RED) products, limited edition pieces, and the chance for fans to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences with celebrities in partnership with the online giving platform, Omaze. Raising money for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, every dollar will be matched by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, up to $20 million, meaning there have never been more reasons to SHOP (RED) and SAVE LIVES.

“The progress we have made in the fight against AIDS is immense, but so is the jeopardy if we grow complacent and think we’ve conquered this vicious little virus… Because we haven’t! We have to keep pushing until everyone who needs treatment can get it and until we can prevent the millions of unnecessary new infections we are still seeing every year,” said Bono, co-founder of (RED) and ONE. “Justice often calls for the power of strange bedfellows, which is why (SHOPATHON)(RED )is where you’ll see everyone from Bill Gates to Snoop Dogg, VICE and Game of Thrones campaigning to get closer to finishing AIDS once and for all.

Enter to win once-in-a-lifetime celebrity experiences on Omaze.com/RED (PRNewsFoto/(RED))

Enter to win once-in-a-lifetime celebrity experiences on Omaze.com/RED (PRNewsFoto/(RED))

Jimmy Kimmel Hosts Star-Studded Shopping Special On December 1, World AIDS Day

On December 1, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! will kick off (SHOPATHON)(RED ) with a tongue-in-cheek take on the world of home shopping. Joined by Olivia Wilde, the show will feature (RED) products and guest stars launching once-in-a-lifetime experiences to help the fight to end AIDS. Appearances include Bono, Matt Damon, a live performance by The Killers and special segments with Tom Brady and Shaquille O’Neal, among other surprises. Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35|10:35 CT on ABC.

We’re doing a very special show on December 1 with many stars in support of (RED) to raise money to fight AIDS on World AIDS Day. It will be a great show for an important issue,” said Jimmy Kimmel.

Sell-ebrity sells on www.Omaze.com/RED; $10 can get you the experience of a lifetime.

Want to visit the Game of Thrones set, or hit the saddle for a bike ride with Bono? These are just some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can be won on Omaze, the online giving platform. Other experiences include:

Going on a wellness retreat with Snoop Dogg in Colorado

A ‘K’ONTOUR’ makeover with Kim Kardashian and her glam squad

Having your portrait painted by James Franco

Jimmy Kimmel giving your kid ‘the talk’!

Getting a passing lesson from Tom Brady

Walking the red carpet with Meryl Streep

Getting snapped with Shaquille O’Neal for your 2016 holiday card

Hanging backstage with The Weeknd

Going to a UT game with Matthew McConaughey

Announcing the No.1 track with Ryan Seacrest on the American Top 40

Assisting Steph Curry with his pre-game tunnel shot!

These stars, and many others, are offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences in support of World AIDS Day. For as little as $10, fans can enter now for their chance to win on www.Omaze.com/RED, with proceeds going to fight AIDS with (RED). Entries close on January 21, 2016.554487

Gilt Free Shopping For The Holidays; Stylish ‘Gifts That Give Back’

(RED) has teamed up with Gilt, the innovative online shopping destination, to be the official e-commerce partner for the campaign. From December 1st thru 16th, www.Gilt.com will offer more than 100 stylish (RED) and limited edition products that ‘give back’ with every purchase, raising money to fight AIDS. Gilt will offer something for everyone’s holiday list, featuring products from brands including Alessi, Alex and Ani, Warby Parker, Jennifer Meyer, Converse, Le Creuset, Fatboy, Fresh, Jonathan Adler, Moleskine, Mophie and more.

The store will also offer special limited edition items including a ‘Love Me’ canvas tote bag by artist Curtis Kulig, a printed motif t-shirt designed by EJ Johnson and a very special (RED) flower bouquet from Farmgirl Flowers. To shop this exclusive sale, visit www.gilt.com/RED.

(RED)’s founding apparel partner, Gap, is announcing a $1 million commitment to the fight to end AIDS and is debuting a range of new (RED) styles that will support this promise. Gap denim jackets and t-shirts for men, women and children and a onesie for baby will all be available on www.Gilt.com/RED, and will also be available in the U.S. on www.Gap.com, and at the 680 5th Avenue (at 54th Street) New York City store. Continue reading

Contessa Gallery to Showcase Groundbreaking New Work by David Datuna, Mr. Brainwash, David Drebin and Gilles Cenazandotti at Art Miami 2015

Contessa Gallery will be participating in the 26th annual Art Miami Fair. Over these past 26 years, Art Miami has established a well-known reputation for providing fine art collectors with the latest in high quality Contemporary and Modern Art. The fair will begin on December 1 and run through December 6, 2015. Contessa Gallery will showcase the most recent works by David Datuna, Mr. Brainwash, David Drebin and Gilles Cenazandotti at Art Miami.

David Datuna (B. 1974 – ) experienced a landmark year in 2014, and 2015 was nothing short of a major success as well. His unique piece, Portrait of America, was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to record attendance at the institution in February of 2014. It is a part of his series titled Viewpoint of Billions. Datuna’s groundbreaking work incorporated the use of Google Glass. The wearable technology allowed the viewers to interact with images embedded within the artwork. The viewers’ reactions were recorded as they explored Portrait of America. Their exchanges streamed globally via the web. Marked by the documentary debut of Datuna: Portrait of America, this year has already been another milestone year for the artist. The film was accepted and shown at many prestigious film festivals throughout the world, including: the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival and most recently Raindance Film Festival in London, where the documentary won Best Film amongst 90 other feature length films and 200 shorts.

David Datuna (B. 1974 - ); Viewpoints of Millions: Freedom, 2015; Mixed Media Wall Sculpture with Swarovski Crystals; 55 x 88 x 5.5 inches (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

David Datuna (B. 1974 – ); Viewpoints of Millions: Freedom, 2015; Mixed Media Wall Sculpture with Swarovski Crystals; 55 x 88 x 5.5 inches (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

Further highlighting Datuna’s great success, the artist world premiered exclusively with Contessa Gallery his latest experimentation: mixed media wall sculptures that include Swarovski crystals into the complex web of framed lenses, which are layered over his portraits, flags and luxury logos. “Only free people can dream and only dreamers can make a new world,” David Datuna states with the aim of breaking barriers and building bridges in their stead. Datuna’s Viewpoint of Millions series focuses on the importance of freedom for all of humanity. Freedom, the artist’s latest installation in the series, utilizes a universal symbol for the LGBTQ community, the rainbow flag, as the backdrop for 800 portraits of both historical and contemporary figures. The contributions of these people depicted have won them a notable place in history. The flag intends to promote inquiry, reflection, education, and dialogue that will launch the viewer into a realm where, by example, a new understanding of a marginalized community and its struggle for equality brings the world a step closer to freedom for all humanity. Contessa Gallery is thrilled to introduce this special exhibition at Art Miami, of which they will be exhibiting the piece for the first time globally.

Mr. Brainwash (B. 1966 - ); Life is Beautiful Mural, 2015; Mixed Media on Canvas; 72 x 144 inches (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

Mr. Brainwash (B. 1966 – ); Life is Beautiful Mural, 2015; Mixed Media on Canvas; 72 x 144 inches (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

Contessa Gallery looks forward to hosting a separate booth entirely dedicated to Mr. Brainwash‘s works. The artist himself will design the booth, and it is sure to be a blockbuster attraction at Art Miami. Mr. Brainwash (born Thierry Guetta in 1966) began his artistic career over 16 years ago documenting the underground world of street artists. Eventually this endeavor introduced him to Banksy, who is arguably the most anonymous and famous street artist living today. With the encouragement of Banksy, Guetta began creating his own street art. In 2008, Mr. Brainwash produced an explosive first solo show, Life is Beautiful. The epic display of hundreds of breakthrough works revolutionized the art scene not only in Los Angeles, where the show was held, but worldwide. This phenomenal exhibition skyrocketed Mr. Brainwash’s popularity. His artistic evolution is chronicled in the Academy Award nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, coincidently directed by Banksy. Known for his stylistic combination of pop and street art, Guetta creates his works by brilliantly fusing together historical pop imagery with contemporary cultural iconography. This year the gallery is excited to showcase the artist’s continual experimentation with new media and materials. The special exhibition will include new original works on Wood, Cement, Metal, Canvas, Paper and Unique Sculpture. Contessa Gallery is looking forward to debuting the latest energetic works by Mr. Brainwash at Art Miami.

David Drebin (B. 1970 - ); Falling in Love, 2015; Photo Sculpture; 76 x 40 x 24 inches; Also available in 3/4 size (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

David Drebin (B. 1970 – ); Falling in Love, 2015; Photo Sculpture; 76 x 40 x 24 inches; Also available in 3/4 size (PRNewsFoto/Contessa Gallery)

Continue reading

The 2016 Movie Awards Season Begins: The Annual (25th Annual) IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards To Crown Winners Tonight

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s premier member organization of independent storytellers, will announce the winners of the 25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards tonight at Cipriani Wall Street. The Gotham Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film and signals the kick-off to the film awards season. For 2015, the eight competitive film awards include Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress (presenting sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein), Breakthrough Actor, Best Screenplay, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award, and the Gotham Audience Award. In addition to the competitive awards, Gotham Award Tributes will be given to actors Helen Mirren and Robert Redford, director Todd Haynes, and Industry Tribute recipient producer Steve Golin.

As the first major awards ceremony of the film season, the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention. This year the Gotham Awards will also be presenting two new awards for serialized television and web content.Gotham_Awards_featured

Twenty-five films received nominations this year. In addition, the nominating committee for the Best Actor and Best Actress categories category voted to award a Special Jury Award jointly to cast members Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian d’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. Beyond these individual actors, the committee cited the Spotlight cast as “an outstanding ensemble in which every performance, in every role, of every size, is beautifully realized.” In recognition of the strong work by female actors this year, the jury also chose to include six nominees for Best Actress.

We congratulate this year’s nominated independent storytellers, who represent a richly diverse range of cinematic achievements that are bold, risk-taking, and beautifully crafted, ” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center.

Nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final Gotham Award recipients.

The Gotham Audience Award nominees are comprised of the 14 films nominated for Best Feature, Best Documentary, and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. The winner will be selected by online voting of IFP members. Voting for that award began November 18th at 12:01 AM EST.


Best Feature

Carol – Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows What – Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)

Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

Tangerine – Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Documentary

Approaching the Elephant – Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land – Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms)

Heart of a Dog – Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me Marlon – Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)

Jonas Carpignano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)

Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)

Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay

Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)

Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)

While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24) Continue reading

World’s Largest Menorah to Be Erected on New York City’s Fifth Avenue

The World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah will be proudly standing at New York’s most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels. The lighting of the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah is always the central event of Chanukah for the millions of residents of New York and visitors to the Big Apple. It is also a favorite with international media who put the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah in the center of their “Chanukah story,” bringing the World’s Largest Menorah into the homes of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.

World's Largest Chanukah Menorah on Fifth Avenue by Central Park. (PRNewsFoto/Jewish News Agency)

World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah on Fifth Avenue by Central Park. (PRNewsFoto/Jewish News Agency)

The first candle will be lighted on Sunday evening December 6, and the full Menorah will be lighted on Sunday evening December 13. All weekday lightings are at 5:30 PM.

The Menorah stands as a symbol of freedom and democracy, strength and inspiration, delivering a timely and poignant message to each person on an individual basis,” said Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, Director Lubavitch Youth Organization.

The 32-foot high, gold colored, 4,000 pound steel structure will be lighted nightly with genuine oil lamps. Specially designed glass chimneys will protect the Chanukah lights from Central Park winds. Due to the height of the Menorah, it will be lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison “cherry-picker” crane as well as two lifts that lift the lighters to “Menorah Heights.”


Sunday, December 6 – 5:30 PM

Monday, December 7 – 5:30 PM

Tuesday, December 8 – 5:30 PM

Wednesday, December 9 – 5:30 PM

Thursday, December 10 – 5:30 PM

Friday, December 11 – 3:51 PM

Shabbos,Saturday, December 12- 8:30 PM

Sunday, December 13 – 5:30 PM

Over the years the World’s Largest Menorah was lighted by New York City Mayors, Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Governors Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and David Paterson, United States Senators Jacob Javits and Charles Schumer, as well as many other dignitaries.

Designed By World Renowned Artist Yaacov Agam And Certified By Guinness World Records

The Menorah was certified by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest and inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam (Maimonides) of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. It was specially designed by world renowned artist Yaacov Agam who lighted the Menorah many times.

The Menorah stood in miniature on the desk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who personally approved its form. The Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the world’s largest and when there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe asked for that city’s Menorah to be smaller.

The Rebbe liked this Menorah,” said Yaacov Agam. “The Rebbe sent me a special letter thanking me, emphasizing that ‘where ever there is light there is shadow.‘”

On Shabbos (Saturday) evening, December 12th, the Grand Menorah Parade of over 300 Menorah vehicles will take place. The Parade will leave Lubavitch World Headquarters at 7:00 PM and will pass by the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah at 8:30 PM.


Sunday evening, December 13th, a special Chanukah celebration will take place at the World’s Largest Chanukah Menorah. The celebration will include live music, singing and dancing, “Chanukah Gelt” for children and hot “Latkes” (potato pancakes), the traditional food of Chanukah, will be distributed to everyone. “We want people to ‘taste’ the tradition,” said Rabbi Butman.


New York’s most popular radio stations, WCBS and WINS, will carry a steady Chanukah call to millions of people to “Come light the Menorah.” The message by Rabbi Butman is for everyone to light the Menorah in their own home, “It’s exciting, it’s triumphant. It’s many voices as one cheering light over darkness, joy over sorrow, freedom over oppression.

The prominence of the Menorah carries an additional message,” adds Rabbi Butman. “The Rebbe teaches that soon there will be another light, an eternal light, the eternal light of Moshiach, the eternal light of the Great Redemption.”

Announcing the Winners of the First Annual FASHION NET Awards

FASHION.NET, which in 1995 introduced the world of fashion to the Internet – and the Internet to fashion, connects premium fashion and luxury brands with millions of influential trendsetters and fashionistas. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, FASHION.NET has announced the winners of the first annual FASHION NET Awards for their extraordinary accomplishments this year. FASHION.NET was the first online publisher to be officially granted permission to cover the fashion shows in Paris, and has been named one of the top 100 .net websites in the world by Verisign and Entrepreneur Magazine.



Presented by Quintessentially and supported by Academy of Art University, BLCK INK, Gen Art and Alice Bow, the FASHION.NET Awards is a celebration of excellence and vision in the fashion industry worldwide. The winners are:

“Designer of the Year” – John Galliano at Maison Margiela

“Breakthrough Designer of the Year” – John Elliott

“Womenswear Designer of the Year” – Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen

“Menswear Designer of the Year” – Tom Ford

“Brand of the Year” – Saint Laurent

“Vegan Brand of the Year” – Good Guys

“Breakthrough Brand of the Year” – Our Legacy

“Streetwear Brand of the Year” – Hood by Air

“Denim Brand of the Year” – Frame

“Magazine of the Year” – Love

“Website of the Year” – Net-a-Porter

“Blogger of the Year” – Chiara Ferragni

“Editor of the Year” – Robbie Myers

“Publisher of the Year” – Susan Plagemann

“Photographer of the Year” – Inez and Vinoodh

“Campaign of the Year” – Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2015

“Stylist of the Year” – Micaela Erlanger

“Fashion Show of the Year” – Maison Margiela

“Female Model of the Year” – Kendall Jenner

“Department Store of the Year” – Selfridges

“Indie Retailer of the Year” – Opening Ceremony

“Accessories Brand of the Year” – Warby Parker

“Shoe Designer of the Year” – Sophia Webster

“Lifetime Achievement” – Vivienne Westwood

“Female Style Icon” – Kate Moss

“Male Style Icon” – Johnny Depp

“Contribution to Fashion” – Renzo Rosso

“Inspiration Award” – Diane von Furstenberg

As we enter an era where nothing is offline” said Stig Harder, founder, “we’re thrilled to announce the winners of the first annual FASHION NET Awards, recognizing those who are at the cutting edge of change.

Since its inception in London in 2000, Quintessentially Lifestyle has been providing members with its award-winning lifestyle management services. From giving specialist advice and exclusive benefits, through to unparalleled access to the world’s most exclusive, and elusive, items and locations, Quintessentially Lifestyle facilitates its members’ every request and desire – solving both pressing practical problems as well as aiding all-important life decisions and key moments.

With more than 60 offices around the world and over 25 languages spoken by the team, Quintessentially Lifestyle provides a global yet localized service, assisting with requests from the everyday to the near-impossible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Giving Members the gift of both time and access, Quintessentially Lifestyle is on hand to help no matter what time it is or where they are in the world, and however extraordinary or ordinary the request may be. From finding a suitable car service, a favorite restaurant at the last minute, or accessing tickets for sold-out shows and events, to helping children gain access to the school of their dreams and helping creating the ultimate proposal or once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon – Quintessentially Lifestyle’s experts provide a unique, world-class service across the widest variety of needs.

Introducing The New Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre

Now Accepting Reservations: Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre Is City’s Most Stylish Choice For Business Travelers And Weekend Getaways

Dubai’s Second Four Seasons Is Now Confirming Arrivals Beginning April 15, 2016

  • Intimate boutique-style hotel in the heart of Dubai’s business district
  • 106 rooms and suites designed explicitly for global business travellers and sophisticated leisure guests
  • A variety of dining and drinking options within the hotel and steps away
  • A private rooftop spa, fitness and leisure oasis
  • Full access to Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, just 15 minutes away

Just a year after opening its first hotel in the city, Four Seasons unveils a second and completely distinct choice for today’s sophisticated global travelers: the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre.

 View of modern skyline and The Gate at DIFC Dubai International Financial Center in Dubai United Arab Emirates

View of modern skyline and The Gate at DIFC Dubai International Financial Center in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Photo Credit: Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo

Located in the 110 acre DIFC, the new Four Seasons puts business travelers within steps of the region’s most important commercial destinations, while also placing leisure guests at the heart of a vibrant community of shops, galleries, restaurants and clubs.

Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre will the brand’s second location in the city, following the opening of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach in 2014. Later in 2016, the waterfront Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island is scheduled to open in the UAE capital’s new Central Business District.

Artist rendering of the Lobby t the Four seasons DIFC.

Artist rendering of the Lobby t the Four seasons DIFC.

Dubai is one of the world’s most important business capitals, with a growing global leisure market, so it’s important that we are very focused on the unique needs of each individual guest,” says General Manager Carlo Stragiotto, who arrives in Dubai most recently from the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel Milano.Improvisation and flexibility – anywhere in the Hotel, at any hour – will characterise a truly personalised style of service at the new Four Seasons Hotel DIFC, along with a sophisticated, international style that reflects this city and the Four Seasons brand today.

Many art galleries at The Gate Village district in the DIFC Dubai International Financial Centre in United Arab Emirates

Many art galleries at The Gate Village district in the DIFC Dubai International Financial Centre in United Arab Emirates Photo Credit: iDubai / Alamy Stock Photo

In the heart of one of the world’s most important global business centers, with interiors by Adam Tihany of Tihany Design, Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre is an intimate sanctuary, striking a perfect balance between comfort, professional efficiency and sophisticated style.

Here, innovations abound. Two lobbies welcome guests by car from Al Sa’adah Street, or above by foot from the DIFC’s myriad shops, galleries, restaurants, clubs and office towers. A unique “living room” affords guests flexible space in which to work, socialize, relax or meet. An American-style diner provides a fun dining environment, while a sky bar with walk-up cigar mezzanine with outdoor terraces and panoramic views puts guests on top of the world. A private spa, fitness and relaxation sanctuary includes a quiet rooftop pool for a break from business, or weekends at leisure.

Photo Credit: Gerry O'Leary

Photo Credit: Gerry O’Leary

Throughout, Four Seasons adapts to the individual needs of its guests – with numerous options for work, rest and play, and a highly trained staff to facilitate every need and whim.

Under the leadership of general manager Carlo Stragiotto, Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre, scheduled to open in spring 2016, is the sister property of the recently opened Four Seasons Resort Dubai Jumeirah Beach, just 15 minutes away by car. Guests of both hotels enjoy seamless access to the facilities at both. Continue reading

Feeding America Launches New Online Platform That Allows People to Help Fight Hunger This Holiday Season

Feeding America Launches Set The Table(TM) To Turn Celebrations And Events Into Fundraising Opportunities For A Hunger-Free America

Today Feeding America® announced the launch of Set the Table(TM), a new online fundraising platform to empower their supporters to start their own fundraising campaigns for the charity by turning special events like birthdays, holiday dinners, or marathon races into opportunities to raise money for families facing hunger.

Feeding America Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Feeding America)

Feeding America Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Feeding America)

Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, is giving its supporters the ability to create a personal fundraising platform. Providing tools to set up their own personal page on the Feeding America web site, the donation platform accepts online contributions, distributes email to friends and family, connects supporters through social media and tracks their fundraising progress. Also participants can encourage their peers to establish pages of their own to reach an even larger personal network of donors or even compete with their friends to raise the most funds.

This new online platform mobilizes Feeding America supporters to invite their entire network of friends, family and colleagues to join them in the fight to end hunger in America,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “Our dedicated supporters have the power to truly set the table for individuals and families in need this holiday season and beyond.”

More than 48 million Americans, including 15 million children, struggle with hunger. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks responds to the hunger crisis by providing food and groceries to people in need. Through this platform, Feeding America will reach more people and increase fundraising for people facing hunger.

Even though the economy is showing signs of improvement, many Americans do not always know where they will find their next meal,” said Aviv. “Each dollar raised through Set the Table will help provide 11 meals to people in need.

One Woman For All. All Women For One.

United Colors Of Benetton Celebrates International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women With A Brand New Campaign Focusing On Equal Opportunities And Non-Discrimination

And Featuring A Limited Edition Orange Dress, Whose Proceeds Will Be Entirely Donated To UN Women

One woman for all. All women for one.” This is the message of the new United Colors of Benetton campaign, launched November 25th, on the occasion of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is an important statement that fits with the Italian brand’s new sustainability strategy, focused on the empowerment of women worldwide.

Photo Credits:  Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

Photo Credits:
Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

The campaign shows three young women, each ready to perform a wide range of occupations – from doctor to artist, from student to athlete, from soldier to mother– that all women should be able to pursue and master during their lifetimes, according to the principle of equal opportunities for all women and men in the world.

A woman wearing an orange dress stands out at the center of each campaign image – a call both for unity in the fight for gender equality and a reference to Orange the World, a 16-days campaign by the United Nations – starting November 25th – that will act as a call to action against gender-based violence.

Photo Credits:  Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

Photo Credits:
Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

THIS CAMPAIGN IS NOT JUST KIND. IT IS NECESSARY. Today one in three women experience some form of physical or sexual violence, often perpetrated by their intimate partners. Some 700 million women were married when they were under 18, almost one third of them before turning 15. Just over 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of genital mutilation.

Photo Credits:  Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

Photo Credits:
Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

THESE ARE NOT JUST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. They are the most visible outcomes of a silent form of gender discrimination that interferes with the progress of our societies: in fact, violence against women makes it more difficult to eradicate poverty, combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and attain peace and security. Non-discrimination is, therefore, a key goal on the way to end gender-based violence.

The orange dress featured in the campaign, a garment that is also part of A Collection Of Us by Benetton, will be on sale only on www.benetton.com, starting November 25th. The proceeds will be entirely donated to UN Women, the UN agency for gender equality and women empowerment and a partner of United Colors of Benetton, which in 2014 already developed a powerful campaign to raise awareness about gender-based violence.

Photo Credits:  Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

Photo Credits:
Executive Creative Director & Concept: Erik Ravelo. Photographer: Shek Po Kwan. Post-production & composition: Erik Ravelo. Art Director: Karen Oetling. Photography assistant: Federica Sasso, Federica Simoni. Lighting: Marco Pavan. Producer: Chiara Codognotto Capuzzo. Producer assistant: Venus Chung Wai Yee. Hair Stylist: Astor Hoxha. Make up artist: Arianna Campa . Stylist: Lorenzo Posocco. Stylist assistant: Giuseppe Sileo

This year, Benetton Group decided to reinforce its commitment to improve women’s lives by starting its own Women Empowerment Program. This is a long-term sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide by funding initiatives that can help them attain the five priorities identified by the UN’s recently launched Sustainable Development Goals: sustainable livelihood, non-discrimination and equal opportunities, quality education, healthcare and the end to all forms of violence.

The Women Empowerment Program is implemented by UNHATE Foundation, Benetton’s foundation that fights all forms of hate and discrimination – especially among the youngest generations – through art projects aimed at generating positive social change.

The 2015 Orange Days campaign was created by Erik Ravelo, Director of Social Campaigns at Fabrica, Benetton’s communications and design research center.

Toysrus.com To Launch Eight Days Of Cyber Week Savings

Offer Early Access To Cyber Monday Deals Beginning Sunday Morning

With Thousands of Deals throughout the Week, a $19 Free Shipping Minimum and More, Gift-Givers Can Check Off Their Holiday Shopping Lists with Ease at www.Toysrus.com

Toysrus.com to offer eight days of super Cyber Week savings (PRNewsFoto/Toys"R"Us)

Toysrus.com to offer eight days of super Cyber Week savings (PRNewsFoto/Toys”R”Us)

Toys”R”Us® today announced it will kick off Cyber Week with eight days of incredible savings at Toysrus.com, including weeklong offers and hot daily deals on the season’s most sought-after brands starting Saturday, November 28 through Saturday, December 5. In addition, the company will launch its earliest ever start to Cyber Monday with the first round of deals available online at 8 am ET on Sunday, November 29.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Cyber Week offers as they happen, be sure to bookmark or favorite the Toys”R”Us Today’s Deals store found at www.Toysrus.com/Deals.

When Black Friday ends, Cyber Week begins with eight days of significant savings on www.Toysrus.com.” said Paul Winslow, Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, e-Commerce Merchandising, Toys”R”Us, U.S.Online shoppers seeking the best values will find a broad assortment of the hottest toys in-stock, as well as the flexibility to pick up their purchases in a local store or take advantage of one of the lowest free shipping offers on the market.”

Cyber Monday Kicks Off Sunday Morning

Below are featured deals available online only at Toysrus.com from Sunday, November 29 through Monday, November 30, while supplies last (no rain checks):

  • 50% OFF EXCLUSIVE Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Gold Mine Mountain Set – Was $159.99; Now $79.99
  • BOGO FREE WWE Battle Pack Series 2-packs
  • 40% OFF each on FurReal Friends® Pom Panda™ or Get Up and GoGo My Walkin’ Pup™

Following are select offers available online only at Toysrus.com on Cyber Monday, November 30, while supplies last (no rain checks):

  • SAVE $150 ON EXCLUSIVE Tonka® 12-volt Dump Truck Ride-On – Was $349.99; Now $199.99
  • SAVE UP TO $150 on select Meccanoid robotics items
  • HOT PRICE on Star Wars™ Legendary Jedi Master Yoda, plus SAVE $30 on select Star Wars Interactive figures
  • SAVE $50 on ALL Xbox One™ game systems – Was $349.99; Now $299.99
  • ONLY $95 EXCLUSIVE Barbie® Malibu Dream House ­– Was $134.99
  • 50% OFF ALL Playmation Starter Packs – Was $119.99; Now $59.99
  • 50% OFF EXCLUSIVE You & Me So Many Babies – Was $19.99; Now $9.99

Super Cyber Week Sale Online – and in Stores, Too!

Www.Toysrus.com will launch its Cyber Week sale on Saturday, November 28, providing online access to weekly savings one day earlier than in-store.

The cyber sales continue with new online-only deals offered daily, including a “big gifts” sale on Wednesday, December 2, featuring deep discounts on 16 product categories, including play kitchens, powered ride-ons, bikes, swing sets, dollhouses and more (while supplies last, no rain checks). Keep checking the Toys”R”Us Today’s Deal store at www.Toysrus.com/Deals for more Cyber Week savings.

Following are highlights of deals available online starting Saturday, November 28 and in-store on Sunday, November 29, and continuing through Saturday, December 5, while supplies last (no rain checks):

  • SAVE $50 on Wii U™ Mario Kart 8™ Deluxe Set – Was $299.99; Now $249.99
  • SAVE $30 each on Fisher-Price® Grow-With-Me Cook & Care Kitchen or Hello Kitty Kitchen Cafe – Was $79.99; Now $49.99
  • SAVE $20 on The Good Dinosaur Interactive Ultimate Arlo & Spot – Was $59.99; Now $39.99, plus 20% OFF ALL other The Good Dinosaur items
  • SAVE $10 on ANY Skylanders, LEGO Dimensions, amiibo & Disney Infinity figures and video game accessories purchase of $35 or more (excludes starter packs; can combine brands to reach requirement)
  • 40% OFF select LEGO Duplo construction sets
  • 40% OFF Barbie Rainbow Hair Dolls – Was $19.99; Now $11.99
  • 25% OFF ALL Schwinn bikes
  • 20% OFF ALL NERF® Zombie Strike blasters and accessories and ALL NERF Rebelle
  • ONLY $10 each for Shopkins™ Shoppin’ Cart or Vending Machine Storage Tin

Convenient Services and Expertise from THE Toy Authority Online

With enhanced omnichannel and mobile offerings, one of the lowest free shipping offers available and expert advice easily accessible with the touch of a screen or a click of a mouse, gift-givers can shop confidently on www.Toysrus.com while checking off everything on their loved ones’ wish lists.

FREE SHIPPING: It’s easy to get shipping free with an online purchase of just $19 or more every day. Visit www.Toysrus.com/FreeShipping to learn more.

GIFT FINDER: Online shoppers can use the company’s Gift Finder to help pick out the perfect plaything for their little one by narrowing their search by a child’s age and interests, among other options. Check out www.Toysrus.com/GiftFinder to get started.

FREE STORE PICKUP: Customers can avoid shipping costs by choosing “Free Store Pickup” on eligible items and collecting their purchases at a local store in an hour or less. Find out more at www.Toysrus.com/Pickup.

MOBILE SHOPPING: While on-the-go, gift-givers can use their smartphones to shop the recently upgraded Toys”R”Us mobile-optimized website – now faster and easier to use, just in time to score holiday savings.

Health: World AIDS Day is December 1st 2015

Although we are gathering this week with our family and friends to give thanks for all the good things we have in our lives, we cannot ever forget that HIV/AIDS is still among us. December 1 is World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people to work actively and collaboratively with partners around the world to raise awareness about HIV and help us move closer to the goal of an AIDS-free generation. This year’s theme, “The Time to Act Is Now,” calls us to act with urgency to implement the latest high-impact, evidence-based HIV prevention strategies.wad-2015-profile-post-img

An estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. As a science-based public health and disease prevention agency, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides support that helps more than 60 countries strengthen their national HIV/AIDS programs and build sustainable public health systems. The CDC conducts these activities through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) , the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease.

Recent scientific breakthroughs now point the way to achieving an AIDS-free generation, a goal championed by President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address. CDC, through PEPFAR, is working to achieve that inspiring goal through proven science, smart investments, and shared responsibility with partner countries. Global efforts have resulted in approximately 13.5 million persons in low-income and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in 2014, an increase from 2013. Globally, more than 15 million people are on ART.

New HIV infections have fallen 35 percent since 2000, with 66 percent of the 2 million new HIV infections occurring in sub-Saharan African countries, where women account for more than half the total number of those living with HIV.

The CDC’s global HIV/AIDS activities are grounded in science and are critical to saving lives and preventing new infections. Core activities focus on:

  • Providing proven combination prevention interventions, including prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, antiretroviral treatment, and voluntary medical male circumcision.
  • Reaching orphans and vulnerable children, as well as other neglected and hard-to-reach populations.
  • Building and enhancing health systems, including sustainable human resources for health (e.g., health care workers) and accurate, reliable laboratory systems.
  • CDC’s innovative programs are helping countries collect and use more detailed data to target HIV treatment services to where they are needed most and to reduce the cost of delivering services. These activities also support greater accountability and transparency in the use of U.S. government funds. CDC works with key partners such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria —to which the United States is the largest contributor—to ensure complementary programming for maximum impact of investments.LetsStopHIV-Together-Poster4

THE CDC HAS CONTRIBUTED TO SAVING MILLIONS OF LIVES THROUGH PEPFAR. Across the globe, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. The increased life expectancies of people in their most productive years have helped build more secure families and bolstered fragile nations devastated by the HIV epidemic. New pediatric HIV infections have dropped by 58 percent since 2000. Worldwide, 220,000 children became newly infected with HIV in 2014, down from 520,000 in 2000. This significant achievement is due largely to evidence-based programming to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Still, millions of people around the globe are waiting for access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.

The United States has made an unwavering commitment to work with partner governments and other stakeholders to turn the tide on HIV/AIDS. The goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation worldwide is a shared responsibility, with partner countries in the central role.

HIV in the United States

  • More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware of their infection.
  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly young black/African American MSM, are most seriously affected by HIV.
  • By race, blacks/African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV.lsht_banner_745x200

This year, the White House updated the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to 2020. On World AIDS Day, it will release a federal action plan to implement the strategy. The CDC supports the strategy’s vision of a nation where new HIV infections are rare. CDC’s HIV prevention efforts in the United States target the populations most at risk and include:

  • Providing funding and technical assistance for health departments.
  • Conducting surveillance and behavioral research.
  • Developing guidelines for HIV treatment, surveillance, and laboratory procedures.
  • Evaluating programs.
  • Conducting outreach and communication campaigns through the Act Against AIDS initiative, including the campaign Let’s Stop HIV Together, which fights stigma and seeks to ensure that all Americans know the facts about HIV. Let’s Stop HIV Together includes many personal stories about living with HIV.
  • Providing training in HIV prevention and treatment.hiv-diagnoses-2013

Also, The CDC, along with other agencies and organizations, will convene the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, December 6-9, 2015. This conference will facilitate collaboration among scientists, health care providers, community workers, and others who are working to stop the spread of HIV in the United States.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1,218,400 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 156,300 (12.8%) who are unaware of their infection. Over the past decade, the number of people living with HIV has increased, while the annual number of new HIV infections has remained relatively stable. Still, the pace of new infections continues at far too high a level—particularly among certain groups.

HIV INCIDENCE (NEW INFECTIONS): The estimated incidence of HIV has remained stable overall in recent years, at about 50,000 new HIV infections per year. Within the overall estimates, however, some groups are affected more than others. MSM continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV infection, and among races/ethnicities, African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected.

HIV DIAGNOSES (NEW DIAGNOSES, REGARDLESS OF WHEN INFECTION OCCURRED OR STAGE OF DISEASE AT DIAGNOSIS): In 2013, an estimated 47,352 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States. In that same year, an estimated 26,688 people were diagnosed with AIDS. Overall, an estimated 1,194,039 people in the United States have been diagnosed with AIDS.

DEATHS: An estimated 13,712 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2012, and approximately 658,507 people in the United States with an AIDS diagnosis have died overall. The deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis can be due to any cause—that is, the death may or may not be related to AIDS.

THE NUMBERS BY RISK GROUPhiv-infections-graph-700x302

Source: CDC. Estimated HIV incidence among adults and adolescents in the United States, 2007–2010. HIV. Surveillance Supplemental Report 2012;17(4). Subpopulations representing 2% or less are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user. *Subpopulations representing 2% or less are not reflected in this chart. Abbreviations: MSM, men who have sex with men; IDU, injection drug user.

GAY, BISEXUAL, AND OTHER MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN (MSM)**** OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES REMAIN THE POPULATION MOST PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED BY HIV. In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008. Although MSM represent about 4% of the male population in the United States, in 2010, MSM accounted for 78% of new HIV infections among males and 63% of all new infections. MSM accounted for 54% of all people living with HIV infection in 2011, the most recent year these data are available.

In 2010, white MSM continued to account for the largest number of new HIV infections (11,200), by transmission category, followed closely by black MSM (10,600).

The estimated number of new HIV infections was greatest among MSM in the youngest age group. In 2010, the greatest number of new HIV infections (4,800) among MSM occurred in young black/African American MSM aged 13–24. Young black MSM accounted for 45% of new HIV infections among black MSM and 55% of new HIV infections among young MSM overall. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 311,087 MSM with an AIDS diagnosis have died, including an estimated 5,380 in 2012.LetsStopHIV-Together-Poster1

HETEROSEXUALS AND INJECTION DRUG USERS ALSO CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED BY HIV. Since the epidemic began, almost 92,613 persons with AIDS that were infected through heterosexual sex, have died, including an estimated 4,550 in 2012.

New HIV infections among women are primarily attributed to heterosexual contact (84% in 2010) or injection drug use (16% in 2010). Women accounted for 20% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010 and 23% of those living with HIV infection in 2011. The 9,500 new infections among women in 2010 reflect a significant 21% decrease from the 12,000 new infections that occurred among this group in 2008. Continue reading

Holiday Travel: Get Away With A Longer Holiday Stay And Hit The Savings Jackpot With New Deal From Las Vegas Marriott

Hotel Near Las Vegas Convention Center Offers Discounts Up To 30% Based On The Number Of Room Nights Booked

Lady Luck has struck again at Las Vegas Marriott. With near-perfect weather year round, it’s easy to want to stay in Las Vegas for an extended period of time — especially around the holidays. Travelers visiting Sin City during this holiday season can hit the jackpot even before stepping into any casino on the Strip with a new package from the Marriott International‘s most central outpost in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Marriott

Las Vegas Marriott

The Las Vegas Marriott at 325 Convention Center Drive in Las Vegas, NV is near the Monorail Station, Las Vegas Strip, Cirque du Soleil and Pole Position Raceway. The hotel is 17 floors with 278 rooms, 6 meeting rooms with 3,426 square feet of total event space, a cafe, fitness center and outdoor pool.

The longer guests stay, the more they will save on deluxe accommodations when taking advantage of the Stay Longer in Vegas & Reno Package. Double down and save 20 percent when booking two nights, or up the ante and save 30 percent for three or more nights. Room rates are $97 to $295 per night with these exclusive savings, valid through Dec. 28, 2015 when using promotional code SPU upon making a reservation.

What to Expect at The Las Vegas Marriott

Step inside the elegant lobby and get ready for some fun. The hotel offers spacious rooms with living and sitting areas to give guests ample space to spread out in style. Pillow-top mattresses, featherbeds and custom duvets afford the jetlagged traveler an ideal place to get a restful night’s sleep, while marble bathrooms with Bath and Body Works bath amenities offer a luxurious space to prepare for a busy day in the city. Room service is readily available for guests who have had “a little too much fun the night before.” Lucky guests can rest easy knowing their casino winnings are safe inside complimentary safes provided in each room.

Before hitting the Strip, step inside the cheerful atmosphere of Cafe 325, offering a wide array of foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sure to satisfy even the most distinct of appetites. Enjoy fresh salads and sandwiches for lunch, plus burgers, pasta dishes and much more for dinner without ever leaving the hotel. The casual dress code and vast drink menu offers a relaxing place to gather with friends and family before exploring all Las Vegas has to offer.

At the end of a day, take a dip in the outdoor resort-style pool, or melt away stress in the whirlpool. Guests can maintain their physique at the fitness center with cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

Las Vegas Marriott also features 3,426 square feet of total event space in six rooms for holiday parties and end-of-the-year business meetings. Floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the city, a dedicated staff and custom event menus will all ensure a successful event.

To save big on accommodations and spend more on the fun, use promotional code SPU when booking online or calling 1-800-834-7236. For information, visit www.lasvegasmarriott.com or call 1-702-650-2000.

Celebrate The 2015 Festive Season With Four Seasons Hotel New York

Four Seasons Brings Magic To Manhattan With A Holiday Tree Lighting, New Year’s Eve Soiree, And More

This holiday season, join in the festivities at Four Seasons Hotel New York for an unforgettable New York experience. From an indulgent Christmas Day Brunch to the New Year’s soiree of the year, guests can be certain that 2015 will end on a high note.FSH_1232_aspect16x9

ANNUAL HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015, 5:45 PM: Toast to the start of the holiday season at annual Four Seasons Hotel New York tree lighting ceremony. Guests will be welcomed with a complimentary glass of champagne (non-alcoholic beverages are also available), and festive holiday favorites performed by carolers will help set the mood. Following the tree lighting, guests will have ample time to make it to Rockefeller Center to experience the tree lighting firsthand or alternatively, can catch a live broadcast in TY Bar. The Garden restaurant will also feature an impressive six-foot (1.8 metre) gingerbread house, hand-crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Jasmina Bojic, which is not to be missed.

All guests attending are encouraged to bring a toy in support of Toys for Tots. Ty Warner will also be contributing to this year’s donation by giving 2,016 toys to the cause. US Marine Corps will be present that evening to accept donations from Four Seasons on behalf of Toys for Tots.

WEEKEND HOLIDAY BRUNCH – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2016, 12:00 NOON TO 2:30 PM: Get into the holiday spirit by indulging in an extravagant holiday brunch menu, offered every Saturday and Sunday. The Festivus Market selection include seasonal fare such as tartare of exotic winter fruits with pomegranate and lime yogurt veil, while classic brunch dishes have been given a holiday twist, such as gingerbread waffles with eggnog crème anglaise. Brunch includes a choice of Blood Orange Mimosa or a glass of prosecco, but guests can also indulge in special holiday cocktails including the TY Bar Toddy, made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, pressed apple cider, and cinnamon syrup; the Pomegranate Margarita, composed of Herradrura tequila, pomegranate cordial, and Peychaud’s bitters; or the Apricot and Honey Gimlet, featuring Brooklyn gin, apricot honey, syrup and lime.

CHRISTMAS DAY LUNCH – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2015, 12:30-2:00 PM: Celebrate Christmas Day at Four Seasons Hotel New York with an elegant three-course prix-fixe lunch, complete with live entertainment from a string trio hailing from The Juilliard School of Music. Appetisers include a warm chestnut bisque with vin jaune and black truffles for a lavish touch, or crisp maya prawns served with omelette crepe and piperade. For the main course, enjoy organic lamb rack with a toasted mushroom orzo and herb jus, or stuffed Vermont quails served with quinoa pilaf, swiss chard, and foie gras sauce. Finally, end brunch on a sweet note with luxurious holiday desserts, such as the individual Yule with chestnut cream and green apple gelee, or the sticky date pudding with caramel crunch ice cream. Pricing is USD 139 per person.

NEW YEAR’S EVE BOTTOMLESS BUBBLY SOIREE – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2015: Celebrate the last day of 2015, and ring in the start of the New Year at the annual New Year’s Eve soiree in TY Bar, with festivities beginning at 9:00 pm. Tickets cost USD 2,016 per couple and include one bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne; along with a decadent assortment of delicious canapés, petit fours and mignardises, such as peeky toe crab profiteroles with wasabi aioli, or foie gras sushi with fig mostarda. Guests can also imbibe on bottomless champagne at the ice bar installed at the mezzanine. Complete with live music, dancing, festive party favors and a live broadcast of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, the evening will culminate in a champagne toast at midnight to ring in the start of the New Year. A separate high-end caviar offering and elegant champagne and drink list will be available to order. With room pricing starting from USD 1,295, guests can end their night at Four Seasons Hotel New York, or can arrange round-trip chauffeur rides for the evening with their partnering car service.

NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH – FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2016, 12:00 NOON TO 2:30 PM: After a long night of celebrating, start the day right by indulging in The Garden’s New Year’s Day “Recovery” brunch menu. Star dishes such as rich brie stuffed french toast with holiday berry compote and holiday hanger steak with eggs any style, along with a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar, will give guests the energy needed for the day ahead. Try out the housemade tomatillo cilantro juice for a green twist or sample the house cucumber-infused vodka for an alternative take on the classic Bloody Mary. If not a fan of Bloody Marys, no need to worry — all brunch entrees come with a choice of a Blood Orange Mimosa or a glass of Prosecco.

For reservation inquiries, call +1 844 760 6347, or book online.

Regal Entertainment Group Announces Cyber Monday Gift Card Offer

Regal Entertainment Group, one of the leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, today announces a special Cyber Monday offer will be available on Monday, November 30. For every $50 a Regal guest spends on eGift Cards, the purchaser will receive a $15 Concessions eGift Card for free. With a raft of (potential) blockbuster movies opening soon (Star Wars, anyone?), this is the ideal gift for all the movie fans in the family.

Regal Entertainment Group announces Cyber Monday eGift Card offer: Buy $50 in eGift Cards and receive a $15 ePromotional Concessions Card for free. Source: Regal Entertainment Group. (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal Entertainment Group announces Cyber Monday eGift Card offer: Buy $50 in eGift Cards and receive a $15 ePromotional Concessions Card for free. Source: Regal Entertainment Group. (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

This buy $50 and get $15 free deal is for one day only. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, November 30, Regal fans can purchase eGift Cards online at https://corporateboxoffice.cashstar.com. Regal eGift Cards are a great holiday gift for anyone and are easily sent via email. The eGift Card can arrive instantly or be scheduled for a specific delivery date via email, so there are no shipping charges. Each eGift Card can be customized for your recipients by adding a custom email message, choosing your favorite design, or uploading your own photograph for a unique gift. Regal eGift Cards can be used at any Edwards, United Artists or Regal Cinemas across the country and they have no expiration date.

Regal Entertainment Group (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal Entertainment Group (PRNewsFoto/Regal Entertainment Group)

Regal also offers discount movie ticket programs for organizations, companies, groups and individuals who may benefit from buying movie tickets in large quantities.

Black Friday Steal from Josie Maran, Available Exclusively at Sephora and Sephora.com

With all the Black Friday Deals already available to you, I would like to also add Josie Maran’s Black Friday Deal launching this Friday for just $10. Josie Maran’s new Argan Pure Cleansing Collection consists of a duo of her best cleansing essentials. Suitable for even sensitive skin, the products are completely free from harmful ingredients, insuring they never irritate skin. Made with Josie’s 100% Pure Argan Oil, each one is specially formulated to hydrate while they cleanse, leaving your skin luxuriously soft and moisturized.BlackFriday2015

The Argan Pure Cleansing Collection includes:

Argan Cleansing Oil: This unique formula self-heats to deliver the best possible cleaning power. Rich and never greasy, the oil melts away makeup and impurities while providing intense hydration that leaves skin soft and velvety. To use, simply apply the oil even across your dry face, and then add water and massage into a rich milk. Rinse away for clean, purified skin.

Bear Naked Wipes: Remove makeup even when you’re on the go with these gentle yet powerful wipes. Made from a soothing blend of aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber, the formula is enriched with Vitamin E to fortify skin with every use. Each wipe is biodegradable and completely free from synthetic fragrances or parabens, making it safe for even the most sensitive skin.

Clean skin doesn’t have to be dry. I designed these two purifiers to moisturize skin as they clean, leaving your skin soft, supple, and flawlessly hydrated.” – Josie Maran

The Argan Pure Cleansing Collection gift set, which premieres on Friday ay Sephora and online at www.Sephora.com, will be on sale for $10 (for one day only!) while supplies last. Happy Shopping!

The 2016 Awards Season Has Begun!: 31st Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

$75,000 In Grants To Be Awarded To Filmmakers

Carol” Leads With Six Nominations, Followed by “Spotlight” with Five and “Tangerine” with FourFi_Primary_Logo_RGB_POS

Spirit Awards To Be Broadcast Live Exclusively On IFC, Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:00 Pm Pt / 5:00 Pm ET

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight and Tangerine.Fi_SpiritAwards_Primary_Logo_RGB_POS

This year’s nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,” said Welsh. “It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards.”

Now in its 31st year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the Truer Than Fiction Award.

Spotlight was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.

Spotlight is a remarkable film that excels on every level, but the Nominating Committee thought it was especially deserving of the Robert Altman Award,” said Welsh. “The film is beautifully cast with every member of the ensemble working together to tell the story of the Boston Globe investigating allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church.FI_SA16_NomineeLaurel


Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Rooney Mara, Carol

Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine


Christopher Abbott, James White

Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation

Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind

Jason Segel, The End of the Tour

Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea


Robin Bartlett, H.

Marin Ireland, Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon, James White

Mya Taylor, Tangerine


Kevin Corrigan, Results

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Anomalisa: Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation: Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol: Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight: Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine: Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

BEST FIRST FEATURE – Award given to the director and producer.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Director: Marielle Heller. Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White, Director: Josh Mond. Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias, Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka. Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea, Director: Jonas Carpignano. Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao. Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded. Continue reading

National Geographic Travel Announces 2016 World Legacy Awards Finalists

Finalists Comprises of Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Driving Positive Transformation Of The Global Tourism Industry

The 15 finalists of the 2016 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled this past week. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to geoparks — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet.NG-World-Legacy-Awards-634x358

Costas Christ, chairman of National Geographic World Legacy Awards, said, “Sustainable tourism is the foundation for the future of the travel industry, and those destinations and companies that understand this today will be the global leaders of tomorrow. Tourism is based on selling culture and nature — the very things sustainable tourism practices work to protect. Have you ever heard someone come back from a vacation and say, ‘I just had a great holiday hiking in a dead rain forest and then staying on a beach filled with trash?’ The World Legacy Awards finalists are all about protecting the places travelers love to visit and benefiting the local people who live there. Together, these 15 finalists are working towards a future when all tourism will be sustainable.

More than 150 World Legacy Awards entries were received, representing 51 countries and six continents. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of judges. The judging process also included on-site inspections of all finalists. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html.

The National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:

CONSERVING THE NATURAL WORLD — Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.arkaba-walk-on-white_new

Arkaba by Wild Bush Luxury, Australia — Located on the outskirts of Flinders Ranges National Park, Wild Bush has systematically restored a 60,000-acre former sheep ranch into a thriving wildlife conservancy. Sharing its scientific monitoring of the area’s biodiversity with its guests, conservation groups and community members, Wild Bush is demonstrating that eco-tourism can be a vehicle for nature conservation and rural economic growth.The Elephant Camp

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

A Unique Elephant Experience at Elephant Hill, Thailand

Elephant Hills, Thailand — With two tented camps bordering remote Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills focuses on the protection of the endangered wild Asian elephant. Through guest and community education, including caring for rescued elephants, Elephant Hills is demonstrating that local livelihoods can be improved through conservation-based tourism, while supporting an alternative to captive elephant riding as a tourism attraction.

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, Mexico — This nonprofit grassroots community organization has been instrumental in the creation and maintenance of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, an area of rich biodiversity in central Mexico. Working with local communities, Sierra Gorda has provided new opportunities for employment, encouraging and supporting the development of small eco-tourism businesses, while monitoring and tracking benefits to biodiversity conservation and economic development.

EARTH CHANGERS — Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon emissions reduction.

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China

Mission Hills, China —Demonstrating that environmental responsibility can be adopted across the Chinese tourism industry, Mission Hills published a sustainability manual and was one of the first resorts in mainland China to engage in green operations. They launched an educational campaign against the sale of ivory and shark fin. Incorporating solar-powered golf carts and solar “pest control,” Mission Hills Haikou earned the UK based Golf Environment Organization’s certification in 2014.

Laguna Lodge, Guatemala — A luxury eco-lodge focused on green operations and environmental responsibility, Laguna Lodge uses solar power and carefully tracks and monitors energy, water, waste and purchasing. It grows most of its own food, sources locally, and offers a vegetarian and vegan menu to all guests. It also offers cooking classes and highlights the environmentally responsible benefits of food choices.

Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Portugal — Located in Lisbon, this hotel works to minimize negative impacts on the environment, implement environmentally friendly operations and serve as a role model for Portugal’s tourism industry. In addition to careful tracking of energy and water, the hotel’s “Green Squad” provides leadership in implementing innovative sustainable tourism ideas both in the hotel and the community.

SENSE OF PLACE — Recognizing excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archaeological sites, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

CGH Earth, India — CGH Earth operates 16 properties in southern India emphasizing local cultural heritage, including lodge design, community relations and helping guests experience authentic local culture. All of its properties emulate the traditional design of the region’s villages and are built using local, recycled and reclaimed materials, while the introduction of organic farming and local markets contributes to the conservation of local biodiversity.

Tierra Patagonia, Chile — Built to blend harmoniously with the dramatic landscape of Torres Del Paine National Park, the goal of the lodge construction was to create a place that not only used local materials but also took care to ensure the least amount of disruption possible to the surrounding environment, taking wind patterns, animal trails and native vegetation into account in the lodge design.

TIME Unlimited Tours, New Zealand — TIME (To Integrate Maori Experiences) Unlimited Tours is an Auckland-based eco-tourism company offering environmentally friendly tours across New Zealand. A Maori-owned company, TIME Unlimited introduces guests to both the natural and cultural heritage of New Zealand, providing a “living cultural” experience that immerses guests in the local Maori way of life, benefiting local communities while promoting sustainable tourism. Continue reading

Just in Time for the Holidays, “This Season’s Guide to Educational Toys” Helps Parents Choose the Best Products to Nurture Their Kids’ Interests

Noodle and Parents’ Choice Holiday Gift List — The Best Educational Toys to Inspire Future Artists, Scientists, Filmmakers, and More

It’s a question as old as time: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And the answers are as vast as a child’s imagination, running the gamut from rock star to teacher to doctor to mermaid. Many may dismiss these aspirations as childhood fancy, but studies have shown that the interests we have as kids influence our future occupations, with as many as one-third of people eventually choosing a related field. As the holiday season approaches, the experts at Noodle, the most comprehensive website for education information and resources, have teamed up with the Parents’ Choice Foundation to create This Season’s Guide to Educational Toys for Kids, a gift list to help parents choose educational products that entertain, teach, stimulate the imagination, and spark creativity — and that just may help their future filmmaker, chef, or novelist realize his or her dream.

Choose Better. Learn Better. (PRNewsFoto/Noodle)

Choose Better. Learn Better. (PRNewsFoto/Noodle)

Noodle is an education website helping parents and students make better decisions about learning. Using interactive search tools, families can find the right preschool, college, tutor, or any other learning resource. In addition, they can read expertly authored articles, ask questions and get answers from some of the leading minds in education, and connect with others in their communities.

Childhood interests can drive our passions and talents as adults,” said Suzanne Podhurst, Editor-in-Chief of Noodle. “And parents can help foster these interests with age-appropriate educational toys and games, like the ones found on our Guide to Educational Toys for Kids. Play is so important in helping kids develop skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving — which will serve them well as adults in any occupation.”Future Architect — Toys for Kids Who Love Building

Working with the Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys — best known for the Parents’ Choice AwardsⓇ —, the experts at Noodle have curated lists for nine occupations, with a total of 59 toys, games, books, and more for children ages 2–16. Parents and friends can find recommendations for products to nurture and inspire kids in a variety of areas, from art and architecture to cooking and science — and beyond: There are also toy lists for aspiring filmmakers, veterinarians, and even stunt doubles. (Descriptions, pricing information, and age ranges are also included.)Future Artist — Toys for Kids Who Love Art

Below is a list of the nine categories included in This Season’s Guide to Education Toys for Kids. The full list and links to all of the recommended products can be found on the Noodle website – links to individual lists are:

Future Architect — Toys for Kids Who Love Building
Future Artist — Toys for Kids Who Love Art
Future Chef — Toys for Kids Who Love Cooking
Future Engineer — Toys for Kids Who Love Engineering
Future Filmmaker Toys for Kids Who Love Movies
Future Novelist — Toys for Kids Who Love Reading and Writing
Future Scientist— Toys for Kids Who Love Science
Future Stunt Double — Toys for Kids Who Love Action and Adventure
Future Veterinarian — Toys for Kids Who Love Animals Continue reading

Highly Anticipated Opening of Milwaukee Art Museum’s Renovated Permanent Collection Galleries Set for November 24

Restored, Reinstalled, and Reimagined Museum Delivers a New Future for the Iconic Milwaukee Institution and a Visitor Experience to Match the New Space

The Milwaukee Art Museum, the largest visual art institution in Wisconsin and one of the oldest art museums in the nation, will reopen its Permanent Collection Galleries to the public on Tuesday, November 24. The reopening is the culmination of a 6-year, $34 million project to transform the visitor experience through dramatically enhanced exhibition and public spaces and bright, flowing galleries.

The renovated Milwaukee Art Museum on the shore of Lake Michigan is captured at sunrise. (PRNewsFoto/The Milwaukee Art Museum)

The renovated Milwaukee Art Museum on the shore of Lake Michigan is captured at sunrise. (PRNewsFoto/The Milwaukee Art Museum)

The Milwaukee Art Museum is located on the shore of Lake Michigan. Its campus includes the Santiago Calatrava–designed Quadracci Pavilion, annually showcasing three feature exhibitions, and the Eero Saarinen–designed Milwaukee County War Memorial Center.

With a history dating back to 1888, The Museum’s Collection includes nearly 30,000 works from antiquity to the present, encompassing painting, drawing, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, video art and installations, and textiles. The Museum’s collections of American decorative arts, German Expressionist prints and paintings, 19th-century German painting and decorative arts, folk and Haitian art, and American art after 1960 are among the nation’s finest. It also holds one of the nation’s largest collections of paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. Among its most famous works are Pablo Picasso’s The Cock of the Liberation and Gustave Caillebotte’s Boating on the Yerres.

The new Milwaukee Art Museum is poised to set the standard for a twenty-first-century museum at the heart of a great city,” said Museum Director Daniel Keegan. “What began as a desire to preserve the space and Collection grew into a significant expansion that rejuvenates and sets the future course for the entire institution.”

The project is part of a historic public-private partnership with Milwaukee County, which owns the buildings and provided $10 million toward the renovation, with the remaining $24 million raised through the Museum’s Plan for the Future campaign. It’s the first major re-imagining of the Museum’s extensive Collection areas, including the Museum’s 1957 Eero Saarinen-designed War Memorial Center and 1975 David Kahler-designed addition.

While addressing critical infrastructure upgrades, the renovation creates an intuitive and welcoming visitor experience to showcase the Museum’s world-class Collection. The renovated Collection Galleries and new east entrance now span 150,000 square feet. Within this space, the Museum is installing 2,500 works of art—almost 1,000 more than have been on view at one time in the past—from its rich Collection of works. Continue reading

Auctionata Presents “The Art Journey: Eleven Days, 16 Auctions, 20 Countries, 2000 Artworks”

Starting on November 27th, the leading online auction house Auctionata will take art lovers on an exciting journey to discover art from a broad range of nations, styles and artists: Over the course of eleven days, around 2,000 artworks will be offered for sale in 15 SPECIAL-THEMED LIVESTREAM AUCTIONS, with the crowning highlight auction ‘100 Masterworks‘ on December 7th. With this comprehensive series of art auctions, Auctionata is the first auction house to invite its international bidders on an excursion through the multi-faceted history of art, which can be followed from anywhere in the world. All auctions will be broadcasted via livestream and are accessible on www.auctionata.com or via the Auctionata Live iPhone App. The complete auction catalogue is available here: https://auctionata.com/intl/auction-calendar?tab=journeyAuctionata_The Art Journey_Nov 27 - Dec 7 2015

Auctionata brings the world of unique works of art, antiques and luxury collectibles to the internet. As the inventor of the livestream auction, Auctionata broadcasts auctions in real-time and provides an online auction room that is accessible to bidders worldwide via desktop and mobile devices. The house also offers all of the typical services of a traditional auction house via its website: Valuation, authentication, curation, auction and all related services, including a full authenticity guarantee. Sellers benefit from the free and non-binding online valuation, which gives a first quick perspective on potential auction results. Auctionata professionals and its global network of over 300 experts from more than 40 countries ensure a proper assessment and authentication of each object that goes to auction. The spectrum ranges from paintings, prints, sculptures and antiques to furniture, design objects and porcelain, to watches, jewelry, wine and even classic cars.

Auctionata 363 Lot 54- Jan X. Kaniewski, Miniature, Alexander Nikolaevich, 1839

Auctionata 363 Lot 54- Jan X. Kaniewski, Miniature, Alexander Nikolaevich, 1839

The journey starts on November 27th with Eastern European and Russian art. In two consecutive auctions, bidders will find paintings of renowned artists such as Franz Roubaud and Nikolai Bogdanov-Belsky, as well as decorative arts, porcelain, bronze, and silver objects and a particularly noteworthy collection of miniature paintings.

Auctionata 363 Lot 27, Plate from the Military Service of Tsar Nicholas I, 1836

Auctionata 363 Lot 27, Plate from the Military Service of Tsar Nicholas I, 1836

On November 28th, the journey will take bidders to the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia, with an auction focusing on Old Master paintings, as well as 19th century artworks and expressive paintings from the 20th century. In the subsequent auction, works of the German masters of the 19th century, such as Christian Eduard Boettcher and Carl Spitzweg will be offered.

The next destination is Austria on November 30th, when a comprehensive range of paintings of Austrian artists of the 19th century, such as Johann N. Rauch, Albin Egger-Lienz, Herbert Gurschner and Carl Probst will go under the hammer. The following auction ‘German Art of the 20th Century‘ will present works by important representatives of both Impressionism and Expressionism, such as Otto Modersohn, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Max Ernst.

Auctionata, 363 Lot 44 - Konstantin F

Auctionata, 363 Lot 44 – Konstantin F. Juon (1875-1958), Lubyanka Square, Oil, 1920s

The auctions on December 1st continue with modern and contemporary art from Austria, featuring a particularly noteworthy collection of Hundertwasser prints. Moreover, the auction ‘German Zeitgeist: Post-War Art‘ will present several highlights, including works by Horst Antes, Martin Kippenberger and Herbert Zangs. Continue reading

Cyber Monday: Great Diamond Deals from Israel Direct to Consumers

Cyber Monday is coming up again and the Israeli Diamond Industry is once more offering consumers very attractive deals on loose diamonds and diamond jewelry on its popular e-commerce platform which goes live today. Developed by the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), the dedicated website Israel Diamond Deals is offering fancy color and white diamonds, as well as diamond jewelry from some of Israel’s leading companies at discounts of up to 50%. Since IDI is providing the sales platform at no cost to sellers, consumers can enjoy greater discounts than can be expected elsewhere.

Cyber Monday Diamond Deals from Israel offer specially picked diamonds and diamond jewelry at great prices. These unique earrings by Aradama, with diamonds and rubies in 18 k gold, sell on the site for $7,840 instead of $9,800 (PRNewsFoto/Israel Diamond Institute Group)

Cyber Monday Diamond Deals from Israel offer specially picked diamonds and diamond jewelry at great prices. These unique earrings by Aradama, with diamonds and rubies in 18 k gold, sell on the site for $7,840 instead of $9,800 (PRNewsFoto/Israel Diamond Institute Group)

Israel Diamond Deals enjoyed unprecedented success when it was first launched last year on Cyber Monday. Giving consumers direct access to one of the world’s leading diamond centers, the site is again offering hand-picked diamonds and diamond jewelry in the following categories: polished white and natural fancy color stones, engagement rings, right hand rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets. Discounts on the items range from 6% to 50% and list prices start at $700 and go up to over $450,000.

The most expensive item is a 6.82 carat fancy vivid yellow radiant diamond of VS2 clarity and GIA certified, selling for $366,000 after a 20% discount. A 0.63 carat fancy intense yellow radiant diamond of VS1 clarity and certified by the GIA sells for $1,260, after a 50% discount. A black diamond and pearl bracelet listing at $700 is being offered at $560.The least expensive item is a 7 diamond engagement ring set in gold for $500 at a discount of 27%.

The Cyber Monday Israel Diamond Deals sales platform will be live from November 23 – December 4.

The Israeli Diamond Industry, while still largely B2B, has expanded in recent years into retail sales, with many companies offering loose stones and jewelry online. Each of the Israeli companies featured on the site is experienced at fulfilling B2C sales, either through their own sites or through eBay or Etsy. IDI has provided active support and training to enable more Israeli diamond companies to sell online to businesses and consumers.

IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar said, “Israeli companies are interested in expanding their reach into consumer markets, especially via digital marketing channels. IDI provides them with the tools to take advantage of these technologies, easily and inexpensively.”

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Work To Be Featured In Outdoor Art Series

The Whitney Museum of American Art will unveil the latest work in a series of public art installations by key American artists across from the Museum’s new building and the southern entrance to the High Line, on the facade of 95 Horatio Street (the work is located on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets). Before Now After (Mama, Mummy and Mamma) (2015) by Njideka Akunyili Crosby is the third work to be featured as part of the series, which was initiated by the Whitney in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art. The first installation, in 2014, presented a work by Alex Katz and the second displayed a Michele Abeles work. The installation is organized by Whitney associate curator Jane Panetta.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983; Enugu, Nigeria) is a Los Angeles–based artist who makes large-scale, representational work that combines collage, drawing, painting, and printmaking. Her work routinely fuses both Nigerian and American influences and source material, reflecting on contemporary African life (often her family) along with her transcultural experience as an expatriate living in the United States, and the inherent difficulty of navigating these two realms. The works simultaneously become intimate while more broadly exploring the cultural complications of the dual worlds that she inhabits.

Akunyili Crosby’s new work for the billboard continues her ongoing exploration of her relationship to her family, specifically her sister, mother, and grandmother. The image is based on her painting, Mama, Mummy and Mamma (2014), now expanded for this site. Like much of her work, the composition fuses both a portrait (in this case of her sister), photographs of both her mother and grandmother, and an elaborate array of objects arranged carefully on a table, suggesting a still life composition. Additionally, the work’s placement at the foot of the High Line allows the viewer to peer into Akunyili Crosby’s carefully composed and invented world, reflective of her complex personal history. This is the artist’s first solo display presented by an institution in New York.

In late October of this year, The Studio Museum in Harlem announced that it was bestowing its Wein Prize – a $50,000 award won in the past by esteemed artists like Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon and Trenton Doyle Hancock – to Akunyili Crosby. The prize – established by George Wein, a founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, in honor of his wife, Joyce Alexander Wein, a trustee of the museum who died in 2005 – has been given every year since 2006 to established or emerging African-American artists.

She received her BA from Swarthmore College, a post baccalaureate certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and an MFA from Yale University. Akunyili Crosby was the 2014 recipient of the Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize and her artwork has been exhibited at venues including the Hammer Museum, Art + Practice, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the New Museum, the Bronx Museum, the Museum of African Diaspora in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria Miro, London.

Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects on and around the High Line. Founded in 2009, High Line Art presents a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of High Line Art, and produced by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, history, and design of the High Line and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

TF Cornerstone was an early pioneer in the residential development of Greenwich Village’s Meat Market and converted the Manhattan Refrigerating Company building, now 95 Horatio Street, to apartments in 1986. The High Line originally ran through the building at the point where the Whitney installations will hang. TF Cornerstone has been a major presence in the Village for more than forty years and today is one of the largest apartment owners and managers in New York City. In addition, the company pioneered the transformation of Long Island City’s waterfront into an amenity-rich thoroughfare, played a major role in residential development on the West Side of Manhattan, and has developed other notable properties in the Financial District and Upper East Side, among others. The company is owned and directed by K. Thomas and Frederick Elghanayan.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875−1942), houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Mrs. Whitney, an early and ardent supporter of modern American art, nurtured groundbreaking artists at a time when audiences were still largely preoccupied with the Old Masters. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for more than eighty years.

Holiday Gift Guide: Hickory Farms Holiday Markets Grand Opening Ushers in Holiday Season

America’s Most Famous Holiday Food Gift Brand Opens for the Holiday Season, Introduces New Gifts and Celebrates Traditional Favorites

Hickory Farms, America’s most famous holiday food gift brand, announced the official opening of 650 Holiday Market locations in shopping malls across the country for the 2015 holiday Season. 287318LOGO

Inaugural Season for Simply Hickory Farms(TM)
This year, Hickory Farms is introducing Simply Hickory Farms, a line of wholesome sausage, cheeses and condiments made from all-natural, simple ingredients containing no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. Simply Hickory Farms Beef Sausage features 100% all-natural North American Beef raised with no hormones or antibiotics and has all the great flavor you would expect from Hickory Farms. Simply Hickory Farms Medium Cheddar and Gouda cheeses are naturally aged, handcrafted and gluten free.287317

Also new this year is their decadent White & Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark made with rich chocolates, pure mint and topped with crushed candy cane pieces, and their collection of Holiday Cookie Gifts made from scratch with only the finest ingredients.

Hickory Farms White & Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Hickory Farms White & Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Hickory Farms  - Simply Hickory Farms  Beef Sausage 2-Pack

Hickory Farms – Simply Hickory Farms Beef Sausage 2-Pack

We are proud of the Traditions and the connections we have built with so many families,” said Mark S. Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer. “As America’s most well-known holiday food gift brand, we are excited to be introducing new and great tasting gifts we know families will enjoy each and every year.”287319

No Kid Hungry® Commitment Continues
Hickory Farms is also a proud supporter of No Kid Hungry®, the leading non-profit group working to end childhood hunger in America. Since 2008, the company has contributed over $4 million to the organization. This holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to No Kid Hungry for every Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner Gift Box sold. Continue reading

The Laundress Announces the Opening of First U.S. Flagship Store

The Laundress has opened their first U.S. Flagship Store in New York City’s SoHo district at 199 Prince Street. The new expansion allows the decade-old business to engage in direct dialogue with their clients while providing a tangible experience. The space will be a one-stop-shop for The Laundress’ curated selection of eco-friendly products.The Laundress Store Opening Photo 3

The Laundress’ new store serves as a platform to showcase their coveted Detergent, Fabric Care and Home Cleaning Collections, build a deeper, more personalized connection/experience with their customers and share their cleaning discoveries. Upon walking into the store’s picturesque laundry room, one will discover clothing and utility closets thoughtfully filled with must-have collaborative goods as well as new Laundress exclusives such as their customized hanger collection.

Gwen Whiting and Lindsey J. Boyd, Co-founders of The Laundress, created this eco-friendly line of detergent, fabric care, and home cleaning (based on their personal frustrations of caring for their wardrobes) to turn domestic chores into a luxurious experience and thus making them well suited for their role as cleaning innovators, educators and domestic tastemakers.

Educated in Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design at Cornell University; and with their extensive professional experience at Ralph Lauren and Chanel, they have created a market backed by their unique knowledge and passion for fine fabrics, garment and home care. The Laundress products combine the highest concentration of active, biodegradable ingredients such as enzymes and plant-derived surfactants to be nontoxic and more efficacious. Each formula is custom designed for the specific fabric or surface, combining the most effective ingredients with unique and complex scents.The Laundress Opening Photo 2

Our focus was to make a never-before-seen domestic experience that people would find inviting while transporting them into the science, education, and efficacy of our brand. Visitors can feel confident their solutions are here, and speak directly to our expert team about their most intimate or complex clothing care questions. We want to have a one-on-one dialogue that is absolutely missing from the laundry category – and after engaging with customers over email and phone for more than ten years, we are ecstatic to interact with them on such a personal level. This open forum for customers to ask and for us to educate and demonstrate in real time is a pinnacle part of the brand experience,” says Whiting.

The Laundress store timing is in sync with our aggressive global growth strategy. In addition to retail expansion, we are developing a more cohesive design and brand communication experience, ranging from digital to wholesale and now to brick and mortar. The goal is to give each user a consistent Laundress experience regardless of the channel in which they engage us. We believe the new store fits perfectly into that initiative, as it’s a great opportunity to showcase how we have transformed what was once a mundane domestic chore into a true luxury experience. The opportunities for us are limitless – after all, everyone has dirty laundry, “says Boyd.

The Laundress Flagship will provide a 1:1 interface between customer and brand, playing into the company’s core strength and market differentiation. The “Ask The Laundress” Counter (their version of the Apple Store Genius Bar), is the epicenter for information and serves as an all-inclusive question and demo station for all things laundry and cleaning related. A second area of engagement invites shoppers to indulge in the ultimate sensory experience by allowing them to explore the brand’s seven key fragrances. Planned in-store activities include: washing workshops and pop-up collaborations with fashion brands, authors and New York notables.

The store design and layout was conceptualized by Whiting and Boyd, who have spent the last twelve years dreaming of the perfect showcase for their cleaning discoveries. The 400 square foot retail store has a fresh yet traditional look with all-white display pieces, a functioning laundry room, and dream clothing and utility closets full of storage solutions, innovative supplies and artisan brushes.

In the same way that The Laundress has returned the lost art of laundry care to the laundry room, our store represents a return to the principles of retail: one-on-one interaction, exceptional customer service and an elevated sensory experience. We are excited to merge expertise in solving age-old laundry problems with a new physical brand experience,” adds Whiting and Boyd.

The Laundress recently celebrated a decade in business and is available in 38 countries and over 1,500 fine retailers/boutiques worldwide including J. Crew, Barneys, Net-a-Porter, Bloomingdales, Lane Crawford, Conran Shop-Tokyo, Istetan and online at http://www.thelaundress.com.

The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay to Host Inaugural “Nothing Ordinary” Food & Wine Festival

Eight Chefs from Eight Countries will present a Three-Day Culinary Extravaganza, Showcasing Exceptional Creativity, Drama and Entertainment for Discerning Diners and Guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay will host the “Nothing Ordinary” Food & Wine Festival, an exceptional epicurean showcase to be held from December 10 to 13, 2015. The premier gourmet event will feature experts from world-famous wineries and distilleries, as well as eight globally renowned professional chefs, including The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Executive Chef Xavier Salomon, only the second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef). The chefs will converge in Sanya to create an exquisite contemporary dining extravaganza, delivering a perfect fusion of culinary craftsmanship, creative concepts, drama, and entertainment, to forge truly unique and unforgettable memories for discerning diners and guests.

Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay (Hainan). Pristine beaches, rainforests and the clear South China Sea.

Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay (Hainan, China). Pristine beaches, rainforests and the clear South China Sea.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Executive Chef Xavier Salomon, and only the second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef).

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Executive Chef Xavier Salomon, and only the second in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to earn the title Maître Cuisinier de France (French Master Chef).

The “Nothing Ordinary” Food & Wine Festival is set to bring an extraordinary experience, while adhering to the essence of a traditional food and wine festival. The event encompasses master events that should not be missed: Sand Castle Wine Tasting, Guest Chefs in Command, Sweet Meets Sweet – Champagne Pairing with Dessert Samplings, Tropical Paradise Picnic, Master Class Brews & BBQ, Be A Chef – Local Fresh Market Tour with Guest Chefs and Nothing Ordinary Grand Dinner Tasting.

In addition to indulging your taste buds, the event will be infused with an emotional touch – to leave guests with lasting memories. The hotel will first create a sand castle for the wine tasting component, to be located alongside the pristine shores of Yalong Bay facing the grandeur of the South China Sea. Dressed in tailor-made classic and local fusion costumes, experts from world class wineries and top sommeliers will showcase their superb wine tasting skills. They will also share their comprehensive understanding of wine tasting through intimate interactions with guests.

Lagoon room deck

Lagoon room deck

Long corridor in the lobby

Long corridor in the lobby

Luxury Villas in Sanya - The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay

Luxury Villas in Sanya – The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay

In the evening, each guest chef will take the helm at one of the hotel’s restaurants and inspire guests with innovative menus amidst luxurious and refined settings. Other highlights, which are unique to the hotel’s tropical paradise, include Be a Kung Fu Master – Taichi in Tang Style, Sweet Meets Sweet – Champagne Pairing with Dessert Samplings under the starry night, and a Tropical Paradise Picnic on this ever-romantic island. Continue reading

Jim Murray Awards 2016 “World Whisky of the Year” to Canada’s Crown Royal

This Marks The First Time A Canadian Whisky Has Won The Top Prize In The Whiskey Bible.

Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2016 has awarded the coveted title of “World Whisky of the Year” to one of the world’s most remote distilleries, Diageo’s Gimli Distillery, for its special Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. The new 2016 (13th annual) edition of Murray’s book debuts November 24, 2015, for distribution in North America, contains detailed taste notes for around 4,600 whiskies, including more than 1,000 new labels, all marked for nose, taste, finish, and balance; and is available from booksellers worldwide for US$19.95. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has sold more than 500,000 copies in the English language.

The Gimli Distillery sits on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in central Canada. This marks the first time a Canadian Whisky has won the top prize in the Whiskey BibleCrown Royal Northern Harvest Rye was first released in the U.S. in early 2015. The variant showcases the distinctly Canadian rye whiskey featured in the traditional Crown Royal Deluxe Blend that consumers have grown to love throughout the last 75-plus years. Northern Harvest Rye (90 proof, 45% ABV) is the brand’s first ever blended, 90% rye whisky and embodies a smooth and spicy flavor profile that can be mixed into traditional rye cocktails or enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has awarded the coveted title of “World Whisky of the Year”by Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2016.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has awarded the coveted title of “World Whisky of the Year”by Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2016.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye showcases the rye whisky that has been such an integral component of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend since 1939. This is a testament to the unbelievable blending and distilling that’s been taking place in Gimli for over 75 years,” said Yvonne Briese, Vice President of Crown Royal. “We are thrilled that Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye has been named World Whisky of the Year!”

The recognition comes on the heels of the launch of Crown Royal’s new campaign titled “The One Made for a King.” The creative, which will run across TV, print, out of home, digital and social, was developed to share the 75-year-old brand’s royal origin story and liquid credentials with consumers. (To view the TV spots, please visit the Crown Royal YouTube channel.)

In addition to being named 2016 World Whisky of the Year, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye received a double gold medal at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye is part of Crown Royal’s vast portfolio of variants for whisky lovers to enjoy, including Crown Royal Regal Apple, the #1 innovation launch across U.S. Spirits over the past 12 month period, according to Nielsen and NABCA (Source: Nielsen xAOC 52 weeks through 10/10/15, NABCA 52wk ending 9/30/15), and Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, a double gold recipient and winner of “Best Canadian Whisky” in the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2016

Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2016

In 2014 the whisky world was shaken when the award unexpectedly went to a Japanese single malt. Whisky authority Jim Murray, who tasted more than 1,000 new whiskies before making his 2015 announcement, said, “Last year people were shocked when I gave Yamazaki the award—until they tasted it. Then they saw it was not the affront to Scotch they first thought and something truly extraordinary. This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it come to the world’s top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky’s uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye. Continue reading

Fashion Startup Launches Limited Edition Frida Kahlo Scarf To Raise Money For Los Angeles Famed Nonprofit Inner-City Arts

Eco-Friendly Charity Scarf To Bring Awareness And Funding For Homeless And Inner-City Youth In Los Angeles

Los Angeles fashion house Jemae announced the launch of its second humanitarian campaign, a stunningly beautiful Frida Kahlo scarf available at Jemae.org and on Etsy. Jemae is a“fashion for humanity platform” whose mission is “to love, heal, and empower people throughout the earth.” Every few weeks, it teams up with a top designer to create limited edition designer products that benefit humanitarian projects. Proceeds from the sale of the limited edition Frida Kahlo scarf will benefit Inner-City Arts, long considered one of the nation’s top providers of arts education for children that has taught more than 250,000 at-risk youth over the last 25 years.

Limited Edition Kahlo Scarf  Charity Scarf

Limited Edition Kahlo Scarf Charity Scarf

Founded in 1989 as a learning oasis in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Inner-City Arts cultivates a sense of agency and possibility within Los Angeles’ youth through the transformational power of creativity. Professional teaching artists engage students in the visual, media and performing arts in an authentic studio setting. Services include instructional day classes for K-8 students, afterschool and weekend workshops for middle and high school students, diverse and innovative performances in The Rosenthal Theater for community audiences, and creativity-based professional development for teachers and other educators.Inner City Arts logo

We’re excited to launch the Frida campaign in partnership with Inner-City Arts,” said Rob Carpenter, Jemae Founder. “Not only is the scarf a piece of visual ecstasy, but it is also the most environmentally friendly scarf ever produced. The scarf is made with no water and no chemicals, and that’s huge. It’s safe for people of all ages to wear and is machine washable.”

Proceeds from the sales are meant to raise substantial funds to help educate homeless and at-risk kids in visual art, theater, and dance on Inner-City Arts’s famed Skid Row campus.

In Celebration of World AIDS Day and #GivingTuesday, RONROBINSON Boutique Host Fundraiser to Raise Funds for mothers2mothers in Their Efforts to Eliminate Pediatric AIDS in Africa

The RONROBINSON flagship boutique will host a celebrity-driven fundraiser to help support mothers2mothers in their efforts to provide mothers living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa essential health education and peer support to help them protect their babies from HIV infection and stay healthy

Interior shot of the RONROBINSON Flagship Boutique in Santa Monica CA

Interior shot of the RONROBINSON Flagship Boutique in Santa Monica CA

In 1978, RONROBINSON, Inc. opened its doors at Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue. With the store’s reputation for a curated selection of high-quality merchandise and outstanding service, RONROBINSON captured a quintessentially California aesthetic and quickly became a Los Angeles retail icon and destination for musicians, artists, designers and celebrities. In November of 2014, the company opened a 5,500 square foot, free-standing and open concept storefront in Santa Monica. The self-titled store, features a unique shopping experience, with the same expertly selected collections of home design, men, women’s and kids apparel, books, jewelry, accessories and beauty products. RONROBINSON continues to reinvent the concept of a retail environment and regularly host diverse collaborations with Southern California based artists, musicians, and designers.

St Paul Client Home (MM lesotho)

St Paul Client Home (mothers2mothers in lesotho): m2m trains, employs, and empowers women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers to work alongside doctors and nurses at understaffed health centers, educating and supporting other women.

The RONROBINSON Flagship Boutique (in Santa Monica, CA) will allow customers a special opportunity to do some holiday shopping for loved ones, while also helping to save the lives of HIV-positive mothers and their babies in sub-Saharan Africa. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, the world will celebrate #GivingTuesday and World AIDS Day, showing support by giving back to help pregnant women and new mothers struggling with HIV. 20% of all proceeds made at the RONROBINSON store and online that day will be donated to benefit mothers2mothers’ (m2m) efforts in eliminating pediatric AIDS.

RONROBINSON, located at 1327 Fifth Street in Santa Monica, California, will be hosting multiple designers and brand ambassadors showcasing their products, including Apothia LA, Calvin Rucker, Cotton Citizen, Gladys Tamez Millinery, Lilah Beauty, Lysa Nalin Scarves, Modern Queen Kids, Nixon Watches, Peppina Jewelry, Retrouve Skincare, Say the Sun, Shaffer LA, and Zemi Speakers. The event will also feature a book signing by fashion icon and supermodel Cindy Crawford for her new book Becoming, as well as Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer for his new book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life.

As an added incentive, BabyCenter, the #1 pregnancy and parenting digital resource, will match all donations to m2m from December 1 through December 15, up to $50,000, including money raised by RONROBINSON.

Although significant progress has been made over the last decade towards eliminating pediatric AIDs, each day 600 children are still infected with HIV globally. Almost 90% of these cases happen within sub-Saharan Africa, and most are acquired from mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. m2m began its efforts in 2001, as medical interventions were available to protect babies from HIV infection, but the critical shortage of medical professionals in the region made it difficult for women to get the information and support they needed to access lifesaving medical care.12068718_10153751896839367_4639473201173646804_o

m2m trains, employs, and empowers women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers to work alongside doctors and nurses at understaffed health centers, educating and supporting other women. By sharing their own experiences with HIV, Mentor Mothers have a unique ability to form trusted relationships with women to help them access medical care early in their pregnancies and stay on treatment for the best possible health outcomes for themselves and their families. Formerly marginalized by their HIV status, Mentor Mothers are professionalized, employed, and economically independent, fighting stigma and discrimination through example and becoming role models and leaders in their communities. Knowledge is power, and mothers2mothers is giving women in countries most impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic back the power they deserve to maintain health for both themselves and their families. Since its founding in 2001, mothers2mothers (m2m) has reached more than 1.3 million HIV-positive mothers in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa with its scalable, high-impact peer approach.O_ceaab539d7bb914a459a62ff17285dfbbaby_h_rgb_5c[1] Continue reading