Would you buy slavery-themed action figures like these?We tend to think of action figures as props for kids' imaginary play or collectibles for adults to hoard. But the new line of "Django Unchained" action figures seems out of place by both definitions. Do kids really need to play vengeful slave vs. violent slave-owner? And do teens or adults really need glorify this particular part of American history by buying, trading, and displaying things like this?
Related: Gap Pulls 'Manifest Destiny' T-Shirt, Gets History Lesson from Outraged Consumers
"Django Unchained" is about a slave-turned-bounty hunter (played by Jamie Foxx), who pairs up with his mentor (Christoph Waltz) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). It's directed by Quentin Tarantino of "Kill Bill" and "Pump Fiction" fame and, in classic Tarantino style, it's drenched in blood and disturbing imagery.
"The movie is absurdly violent," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Wesley Morris at The Boston Globe. "When a slave owner
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Mon, Jan 7, 2013 5:24 PM EST
Would you buy slavery-themed action figures like these?We tend to think of action figures as props for kids' imaginary play or collectibles for adults to hoard. But the new line of "Django Unchained" action figures seems out of place by both definitions. Do kids really need to play vengeful slave vs. violent slave-owner? And do teens or adults really need glorify this particular part of American history by buying, trading, and displaying things like this?Read More »from Django Unchained Action Figures: Who Wants to Play Slave and Owner?
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | At Home – Mon, Jan 7, 2013 1:31 PM EST
Finally! Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew get married."Downton Abbey" returned to television on Sunday (in America, at any rate) and fans who hadn't cheated by downloading the British version in advance are buzzing about Season 3's debut. We've been hooked since the beginning, but there are plenty of new plot-points to discuss. Here's a rundown on the two-hour season premier; spoilers ahead, of course.Read More »from Downton Abbey Season 3 Premiere: The Swoon-Worthy, the Awkward, and the Awesome (Spoilers!)
SLIDESHOW: 'Downton Abbey' characters in real life
The wedding: Surprisingly, the producers opted to show Mary and Matthew's wedding in the first episode of Season 3. Also surprisingly, they didn't actually show the wedding—they showed the bride walking down the aisle and then cut to the newlyweds returning from their honeymoon. The 1920s Lanvin-inspired dress was gorgeous, and it was cool to see how the fictitious British aristocracy hewed to the wedding traditions we learned about from real-life royals Will and Kate, but what about the vows? The mothers with tears in their eyes? The jealous looks from Lady Edith? Sometimes, it's possible
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Jan 4, 2013 5:15 PM EST
Think you'll be basically the same 10 years from now? A new study says probably not. (Photo: Thinkstock)What do you think you'll be like 10 years from now?Read More »from What Will You Be like 10 Years from Now? You're Probably Guessing Wrong
Maybe you'll have a different job or live in a different town, but you'll still be the same old you, right? With the same basic personality, political views, values, best friends, and favorite activities?
Probably not. According to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, people of all ages are terrible at predicting how much they'll change over the course of a decade -- and that affects how well they make big decisions about their futures.
"I have to tell you that never in my wildest dreams when I had a long ponytail and was hitchhiking around the country and playing my guitar did it occur to me that my greatest joy would be sitting next to the love of my life, eating dinner on a TV tray, and watching 'Jeopardy!' " Daniel Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard University and a co-author of the study, told The Boston Globe. "But now I'm the guy who does that."
Gilbert and his team surveyed thousands of people and
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, Jan 4, 2013 1:54 PM EST
The poster for the Broadway musical All Shook Up. Does this seem too sexy to you? The kids at Herriman High School in Utah had already spent months rehearsing for their 2013 production of the Elvis-inspired musical "All Shook Up" when the complaint came in: An anonymous parent was upset about the show, saying that it was too sexy for high schoolers to perform. Even though it had been approved nearly a year earlier, Jordan School District officials cancelled it on Wednesday, saying that it didn't conform to revised community standards.Read More »from Elvis is Too Sexy for Some Utah Parents -- in 2013?
Related: RI School District Bans Father-Daughter Dances After Single Mom Complains
"What was communicated to us, they were upset with sexually explicit language and some other aspects of the play," Jordan School District spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf told the Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday. "What they deemed cross-dressing."
Related: Utah Girls Banned from Dance, Principal Apologizes
But another district spokesperson, Steven Dunham, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview on Friday that cross-dressing wasn't the issue.
"The concerns about
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Secrets to Your Success – Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:45 PM EST
Journalist Susan Spencer-Wendel wrote her life-affirming memoir in three months, typing on her iPhone with one thumb. (Photo: AP)As her body succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, journalist Susan Spencer-Wendel wrote her life story. It took her three months to type it, letter by letter on her iPhone, using just her right thumb-all of her other fingers had stopped working by then.Read More »from Paralyzed by ALS, Susan Spencer-Wendel Writes Memoir About the Beauty of Living
Related: What's On Your Life's Must-Do List?
"I cannot lift my arms to feed myself or hug my children," the 45-year-old mother of three wrote in "Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy," which will be published in March. By then, she says, she will probably no longer be able to speak clearly.
"My muscles are dying, and they cannot return. I will never again be able to move my tongue enough to clearly say, 'I love you'," she wrote. "Swiftly, surely, I am dying. But I am alive today."
Related: More Inspirational Stories on Yahoo! Shine
A former courts reporter for the Palm Beach Post newspaper in south Florida, Spencer-Wendel lives in Florida with her husband, John, and their
What if these were your text books? (Photo: Amazon.com)Pretty much everyone has read E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" by now, but even those who enjoyed the book probably didn't share the more graphic passages in public. Still, students at American University in Washington, D.C., will be doing just that this month, when they study all three of the "Fifty Shades" books -- terrible prose, awkward "apex" references, and all.Read More »from Would You Take a Class on Fifty Shades of Grey?
Related: Meet the Man Who's Married to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Author E.L. James
The course is being taught by sex educator and adjunct professor Stef Woods, who came up with the idea after a summer spent talking about "mommy porn."
"As I began talking and writing more about the trilogy, I started thinking about how to frame the books in an academic light," Woods wrote on her blog, City Girl. "Could the issues that the trilogy raises be examined in a critical and intellectual way?"
Related: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' baby clothes? Now It's Gone Way Too Far
American University agreed that they could, and "Contemporary
Do babies born during a recession have more problems as they grow up? (Photo: Thinkstock)Kids born during the economic recessions of the 1980s had a higher chance of substance abuse and arrest as teenagers, a new study has found, leading researchers to wonder if babies born in recent years could face a similar fate.Read More »from Do Recession Babies Grow Up to Be Troubled Teens?
"The mechanisms involved may be different in intensity and severity, (but) based on the study it seems like there would be some effects," Dr. Seethalakshmi Ramanathan, a researcher at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and the lead author of the study told Reuters.
Related: Things You Need to Do While You're Unemployed
The study, which was published online this week in JAMA Psychiatry, used data from 8,984 people born between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1984, who had participated in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, when they were 12 to 17 years old. There were two recessions in the 1980s, from 1980 to 1981 and then another in 1982.
Related: Are We Regulating Ourselves Back Into
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Wed, Dec 26, 2012 3:18 PM EST
Dr. Travis Stork offers tips for a healthier new year. (Photo courtesy of The Doctors)Losing weight and getting in shape are two of the most popular New Years resolutions we make—and two of the ones we're most likely to break as well. Dr. Travis Stork, the Emmy Award-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," tells Yahoo! Shine about his 10 best health tips for the new year, and we have to admit, these sound like things a real-life human being can actually handle.
Related: Why New Years Resolutions Are So Hard to Keep
"I definitely try to practice what I preach," he told Yahoo! Shine in an interview." So all these tips? I do them. And I can say that with all sincerity."
Related: New Years Resolutions Men Wish Women Would Make
It's easy for celebrities to talk about staying in shape and looking good when they have a personal trainer, nutritionist, and stylist at their beck and call. For the rest of us, though, Stork offers these ideas:
- Find an activity you enjoy, and exercise with a friend. Finding an activity you really enjoy is the key, Stork says. And it's OK if that
Once called "The World's Ugliest Woman," Lizzie Velasquez was born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it: She weighs just 60 pounds and has no adipose tissue, and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She inspired women the world over earlier this year when, during an interview with CNN, she said that people "should stop staring and start learning." Since then, she told Yahoo! Shine, she's been flooded with speaking requests and supportive emails. In 2013 she's hoping write her third book (her second, "Be Beautiful, Be You" came out in September), continue her work as a motivational speaker, and meet as many people as possible in 2013.
"There are so many different people out there with so many different stories," she told Yahoo! Shine. "Hearing their stories is what inspires me. That's what keeps me going."
Read More »from The Most Inspirational Stories of 2012
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, Dec 21, 2012 12:36 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama reached out to the residents of Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday in the aftermath of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school, expressing her grief and offering her support in an open letter published in the Hartford Currant. The White House shared her letter with Yahoo! Shine.
Like every American, Barack and I are absolutely heartbroken about the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, Connecticut. And like so many of you, our first reactions were not as a President and First Lady, but as a Mom and Dad. We were asking ourselves, what if this had been our town, or our school, or our girls?
And we know that all across the country, it's not just adults who are asking questions right now - our children are looking for answers as well. Like us, they want to know, why did this happen? Could it happen again? And as parents, all of us can take the time to hold our kids close and talk with them about the things that trulyRead More »from Michelle Obama's Letter to the Parents and Residents of Newtown