Happy Martini Day! Shaken, or stirred? James Bond took vodka martinis mainstream in the 1960s. "Sex and the City" made them fruity and flirty. Thanks to "Mad Men," the iconic cocktail came back, all retro-chic. However you like them best -- shaken, stirred, dry, dirty, or spiked with juice or flavored vodkas -- stock up on supplies and get ready to celebrate, because June 19th is National Martini Day.
Personally, we prefer the classic: Dry gin and white vermouth, with a twist of lemon. At least, it's what we think of as the classic; it actually showed up on the bar scene sometime in the 1940s.
The martini's roots go back to the 1600s, when both gin and vermouth were invented. Gin was created by Francois de Boe Sylvius, a Dutch medical professor who mixed grain alcohol with juniper berry oil, called it "genever," and used it to purify the blood and treat kidney disorders, stomach aches, gout, and gallstones. Vermouth was born in Italy; it also contains juniper, but back then it was a sweet, concoction of white wine
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
Happy Martini Day! Shaken, or stirred? James Bond took vodka martinis mainstream in the 1960s. "Sex and the City" made them fruity and flirty. Thanks to "Mad Men," the iconic cocktail came back, all retro-chic. However you like them best -- shaken, stirred, dry, dirty, or spiked with juice or flavored vodkas -- stock up on supplies and get ready to celebrate, because June 19th is National Martini Day.Read More »from Happy Martini Day! 5 Great Martini Recipes to Try
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Mon, Jun 18, 2012 8:07 PM EDT
Apples are one fruit you should buy organic whenever possible, according to an environmental group.Worried about pesticides and produce? Wondering if it's worth it to go organic? The Environmental Working Group has released its 2012 guide to the most- and least-contaminated crops out there -- its "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15" lists -- and this year there are a few new items to watch out for, including certain types of baby food.Read More »from The 2012 Dirty Dozen Plus and the Clean 15: When Buying Organic Does (and Doesn't) Make Sense
Related: Arsenic found in brown rice syrup, organic foods, baby formulas
Apples, celery, and sweet bell peppers top this year's "Dirty Dozen," which has been expanded to the "Dirty Dozen Plus" in order to include green beans and leafy greens like collards and kale. (You can read the entire report here.) Though they don't meet traditional criteria for the Dirty Dozen, green beans and leafy greens are often contaminated with organophosphate insecticides. "These insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade," the EWG said in its report. "But they are not banned and still show up on some food
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, Jun 18, 2012 4:02 PM EDT
"American Tapestry," New York Times reporter Rachel L. Swarns explores the family history of Michelle Obama and discovers that the first lady's roots are entwined with those of white slave-owners in 19th-century Georgia. The revelation has sparked a discussion about people and power and shows that while some want to celebrate the distant connections between blacks and whites, plenty more are still uncomfortable and angry about racial issues in America.In Read More »from Michelle Obama's White Heritage: New Book Explores Her Roots, Race
Related: When it comes to politics, are we more racist than we think?
"My family, well, they were just your most basic people who never had a lot. I never imagined they owned slaves," Joan Tribble, 69, told Swarns. Her great-great grandfather, Henry Wells Shield, owned a 200-acre farm near Rex, Georgia. He also owned Obama's great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, who came to his farm as an 8-year-old slave -- torn from her parents, valued at $475 after her owner died -- in 1852.
Swarns' book, an excerpt of which ran
Yankee Candle's new Man Candle line.Welcome to "Shine Tries It," a new feature where we try things so you don't have to. Every Friday our editors will road-test unusual products and unbelievable promises to find out what lives up to the hype and what doesn't. Warning: don't try any of this at home until we do.Read More »from Shine Tries It: Yankee Candles New Man Candles
I love candles as much as the next girl (maybe more), but my guy was getting tired of the constant parade of florals and pastels. I had a couple of subtle sandlewood-scented pillars that we had used up, so when I saw that Yankee Candles was coming out with a set of candles made especially for guys -- Man Candles -- the time seemed right to restock.
I sent my husband out to buy some -- it seemed fitting -- and he came home with three gigantic jars: "First Down", "Riding Mower", and "2 x 4". (The fourth in the series, a silver-gray "masculine" blend of musk and spices called "Man Town," was out of stock at our local store.)
We set them up on the counter, picked one, and opened it.
"This just smells like spruce,"
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Jun 15, 2012 4:32 PM EDT
Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, talks with staffer Katie Carey, left, after telling reporters that she was banned from speaking Thursday, June 14, 2012.. (AP Photo: The Detroit News, Dale G. Young)This week, Michigan approved one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country -- and House Republicans banned two female Democratic representatives from speaking on the House floor after they opposed the bill.Read More »from Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown Banned from Speaking After Opposing Abortion Law
State Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum, both Democrats, were not officially told why the ban was put in place or how long it will be enforced, Brown said in a statement on Thursday.
"Both Representative Byrum and I were gaveled down without cause yesterday while voicing our opposition to the Republican's war on women here in Michigan," Brown said. "Regardless of their reasoning, this is a violation of my First Amendment rights and directly impedes my ability to serve the people who elected me into office."
The bill (HB5711), which passed 70 to 39 with one representative abstaining, would severely restrict women's access to non-abortion health care services by imposing difficult-to-meet regulations that could ultimately force most clinics in the state to close.
Is your favorite restaurant mistreating its workers?According to a guide released earlier this year by a group dedicated to workplace justice, some of the most popular fast-food, fine-dining, and family-friendly restaurants in the United States -- including McDonald's, The Capital Grille, and The Olive Garden -- are also the worst ones at which to work.
"We all enjoy eating out," Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) writes on the website for its National Diners' Guide 2012. "Unfortunately, the workers who cook, prepare, and serve our food suffer from poverty wages, no benefits like paid sick days, and little or no chance to move up to better positions. When the people who serve us food can't afford to pay the rent or take a day off when they're sick, our dining experience suffers."
Related: The 10 best and worst restaurants
Ninety percent of the more than 4,300 restaurant workers surveyed by ROC reported their employers did not offer employees paid sick leave. Two-thirds of those surveyed reported that their employeesRead More »from The Worst Restaurants to Work For
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, Jun 15, 2012 12:49 PM EDT
ganized an awareness campaign that came under fire for featuring two airmen breastfeeding while in uniform has been fired from her civilian job as an X-ray technician, her lawyer tells Yahoo! Shine.The woman who orRead More »from Woman Behind Controversial Military Breastfeeding Photo is Fired from Her Civilian Job
Crystal Scott, an Army veteran, military spouse, and the program director of the Mom2Mom breastfeeding awareness group at Fairchild Air Force Base, was terminated by Schryver Medical, a provider of X-rays, EKGs, ultrasounds, and other medical digital imaging services, on June 1.
Related: Will the GOP regret blocking equal pay for women?
"She was fired due to her passion about the Mom2Mom breastfeeding campaign and speaking out on gender equality and women's rights," her lawyer, Patricia (Pat) K. Buchanan, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview on Friday.
"This kind of took us by surprise," Schryver Medical's president, Jay Schryver, told Yahoo! Shine on the phone on Friday. He issued a formal statement soon after.
"Crystal Scott was terminated by the company on June 1st for
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, Jun 15, 2012 11:43 AM EDT
If having a child makes us moms, then every time a new little one comes into our lives -- by birth, by marriage, by adoption -- a new dad is born, too. Last month, we asked the Shine community to share their first photos as a mom, and the results were simply wonderful. This month, readers offered up snapshots of the men they love with the children they adore. Here are 15 of the photos that brought tears to our eyes (in a good way, of course!) -- Lylah M. Alphonse, Shine Staff.
Read More »from Happy Father's Day! Photos of Men Welcoming Fatherhood
How would you react if a stranger tried to hold your hand? (Image from LAHWF/YouTube)What would you do if a total stranger came up to you in public and tried to hold your hand? A couple of pranksters decided to find out, and posted the results on YouTube. Call it an in-depth study of PDA -- Public Displays of Awkwardness.
WATCH: Teachers dance behind students in prank video set to Whitney Houston song
"Today we're going to walk close to people and hold their hand -- or try to hold their hand," says host and hand-holder Andrew Hales of Losing All Hope Was Freedom. (The name was inspired by Edward Norton's character in "Fight Club"; the Utah-based group uploads new videos every Monday.) He looks like a totally normal guy -- blond hair cut close, khaki shorts, dark blue striped polo shirt, black-rimmed glasses. When people notice that he's the one slipping his hand into theirs, they look like they don't quite know what to think. More than 1.4 million have watched the weird, funny, sweet clip on YouTube - and counting.
Most people pulled their hands away, startled. A few Read More »from WATCH: Would You Hold Hands with a Stranger?
Which five healthy fast food kids meals aren't really that healthy?Calling them contributors to the childhood obesity epidemic, a non-profit advocacy group made up of nutritionists and physicians has named the five worst "healthy" fast-food meals for kids -- and some longtime favorites are on the list.Read More »from The Five Worst Healthy Fast Food Meals for Kids
For the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) study, dietitians took a look at the calories, fat, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol content using data from the fast-food restaurants' websites. They focused on many of the 53 large and small chain restaurants that participate in Kids Live Well, a program aimed at increasing the "healthful" options on their menus. (McDonald's ubiquitous Happy Meal was also included in the study, even though the chain isn't part of the Live Well campaign.)
Related: McDonald's top chef says he "doesn't see anything unhealthy" on his menu
"Frankly, passing off these meals as 'healthy' ought to be a crime at a time when 16.9 million American children and adolescents are obese," PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard