Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • Kate and Will's Christmas: A Facebook Photo Album

    If you're not part of their inner-circle, the private moments of Kate Middlton and Prince William's marriage are best left to imagination--or photographer Alison Jackson. For the past two years, Jackson has been staging royal scenarios, with the help of a camera and some very convincing lookalikes. There's the photo shoot of faux Will proposing ('marry me' is scrawled on his chest), and another of fake Kate taking a pregnancy test in a bathroom. Jackson's work, which hangs in galleries from London to Los Angeles, satirizes the public's insatiable hunger for royal insight, and meditates on "voyeurism, on the power and seductive nature of imagery, and on our need to believe," according to her website.

    Even if you know her royal images are fake (her debauched Harry shots are pretty spot on), it's hard not to imagine 'what if'? What if we had access to more princely private moments? What if we really knew how Kate and Will reacted to the baby news, how they spent their holidays, how

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  • Fashion that Makes Us Sad: Ugg's Holiday Boots

    Uggs just got uggier. I thought we had this thing under control. Kate Hudson wasn't wearing them with jean shorts anymore, and most had accepted that the foot couches were best suited for red-eye flights and winter dog-walking. Then I landed on Ugg's homepage and was almost blinded by the new holiday shoe arrivals. Sparkles! Zebra prints! 40% more sheep fur! The Ugg elves have been hard at work creating party-time nightclub boots guaranteed to triple the width of your feet for the Christmas season. Ugh.

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  • 35 Bans of 2012: From Cheetos to Chanel

    Before the New Year has even begun, proposals to ban everything from assault weapons to vaccines are in the works for 2013. But as 2012 has proven, no ban goes down without a fight. This past year, everything from baby bottles and baggy pants, to buffet binges and bare bums have been subject to controversy. Online, in schools, and in courtrooms, new rules gave way to both progress and setback, both praise and outrage. If nothing else, a few bans just made us laugh. --Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

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  • Newtown School Shooting's Child Witnesses

    Much of what we know about Friday's massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, comes from the first-hand accounts of children. The survivors, who saw and heard an armed gunman shoot down their teachers and classmates, have provided chillingly detailed reports for major news outlets and law enforcement. Despite the shamefully exhaustive history of school shootings in our country, it's hard to remember another time when so many children under the age of ten were quoted as witnesses.       

    As the victim count rose by Friday afternoon, the President held back tears in addressing the families of both the victims and the survivors, whose "innocence has been torn away from them too early." Throughout the day, images of children in shock outside the school were projected on television, at the same time as ethical questions were raised about the process of interviewing young witnesses. Here is a collection of accounts, published in major news outlets, gathered from children who saw

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  • Furby to the Rescue? Transplant Patient Hopes Holiday's Hot Toy Will Pay Her Debt

    An eBay seller is asking $2,500 in exchange for a Furby and a little help. With Christmas just days away, it's not surprising that the sticker price for this holiday's hottest toy is skyrocketing. Still, $2,500...for a Furby?

    This year's hottest holiday toy

    The priciest individual listing for the doll on eBay costs $2,450 more than the original retail price. What makes this particular cross-eyed robot so special: the seller.

    Beneath Cheri Cisneros' headline—"FURBY BLACK INTERACTIVE ELECTRONIC TOY 2012 NEW GREAT FOR CHRISTMAS!!!"—there is an explanation for the staggering four digits.

    "I am in the end stage of lung disease, and waiting for the call saying they have a donor transplant ready for me," reads the description. "As I wait I cannot work and am in bed as my function is 12% at this point. Insurance has the surgery covered but in the meantime I am drowning in debt. If you are blessed and can help me out, please make an offer on my Furby."

    The dangers of holiday toys

    In 2004, Cisneros was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary

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  • Meet Daytime Talk Show's Warm-up Mom: Dena Blizzard Rules

    Dena Blizzard is one funny mother. Before you meet Anderson Cooper, you have to meet Dena Blizzard. She's what is known in the talk show circuit as "the warm-up coach." Blizzard is "Anderson Live's" pre-host: she entertains the studio audience before the show starts. She reminds us not to chew gum, or pick our nose when the camera pans over our seats. She makes it okay for audience members to break out into 'running man' during commercial breaks. And that's just scratching the surface of her job. I spent the day at the "Anderson Live" studio and fell totally in love with Blizzard, a mom of three, who proudly wears an apron over her jeans with the words "one funny mother" emblazoned on the pocket. So when she got a break today, I pulled her aside for a little post-show interview.

    How did you land this sweet gig?
    I love when people ask me what they'd have to do to get my job. What I usually tell them is you only have to work in crappy bars in Philly as a waitress getting beer splashed on you for about six years.


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  • The Women Behind Your Favorite TV Shows

    If it seemed like this year's TV slate was particularly entertaining, there's a reason: women. They're not just in front of the camera, they're literally running the show. The Hollywood Reporter's List of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment pulls the curtain back on the CEO's, presidents and creative executives steering the pop culture mothership in 2012. Most of the women in their round-up are TV executives holding down key roles in what used-to-be a boys-only club. You can thank these women for convincing networks to spend millions on a show about storage spaces, convincing a movie star to do a TV movie, and convincing you to watch one more episode of "Kardashians"--even nothing really happened in the last three episodes. Yeah, they get us.

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  • Hudson Kroenig: 4-year-old Male Model and Chanel Muse

    Hudson and Brad in their most recent trip down the runway together. (via twitter @CC_Linlithgow) Hudson Kroenig: remember that name. He's fashion's rising runway star. He's also four.

    On Tuesday night, Hudson walked his third Chanel runway show, at the annual Chanel Metiers d'Art collection in Scotland. Dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a bowed blouse, knickers, kilt, and a velvet beret, it was the kind of outfit that would prompt most kids his age to throw a tantrum. But Hudson is a professional.

    Christy Turlington's 8-year-old models

    At age one, he was photographed for German Vogue. By two he was taking Paris' fashion week by storm, walking for Chanel hand in hand with his father Brad. By four he had two campaigns (Fendi, Dolce&Gabbana), and several glossy photo shoots (W, Harper's Bazaar, Pirelli Calendar) under his belt.

    Hudson was born into the industry. The 32-year-old Brad Kroenig is one of the leading male supermodels in the industry. After rising the ranks from Abercrombie poster-boy to the face Chanel, Brad became close with Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic brand's

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  • Kate Middleton's Pregnancy Whistleblower: Who is She?

    Jessica Hay giving an interview with the Today Show. (NBC/ Kate Middleton confirmed she was pregnant, Kate's friend spilled the beans. Uh-oh. On Monday, the royal couple's reps made an official announcement, putting to rest the seemingly endless speculation dating back to their honeymoon. The pregnancy is in its "very early stages," read a statement from St. James palace. "The entire royal family is delighted with the news."

    The timing was suspicious. Only two weeks earlier, Kate's high school friend Jessica Hay broke the news to New Idea magazine, an Australian gossip rag.

    "They're planning to make an announcement in December," Hay told the magazine. "They've discussed it endlessly and don't want to be older parents." She went on to predict William to be a "hands-on dad" and even dished about the amount of kids they plan to have. "It seems very traditional, but of course they'll be happy with boys or two girls, they don't want more," she revealed.

    What will the royal spawn look like?

    Not long after her quote was picked up

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  • CB2 Pulls Lucky Beggar Wallet, Apologizes for Making Fun of Homeless People

    On Tuesday night, a major retailer ended the day with an apology to customers.

    "We made a bad decision when we purchased this product," Marta Calle, CB2's President and Chief Merchant wrote in a statement to Yahoo! Shine. "We apologize for the product and the insensitive language used in its description. We have pulled the product from our stores and our website. Please accept our apologies for this lapse in judgment."

    Retailers capitalize on Hurricane Sandy

    The insensitive product is no longer available at CB2, Crate and Barrel's younger, edgier spin-off: A coffee cup wallet.

    It may seem innocuous at first glance, but several news outlets took offense when the wallet appeared in CB2's latest catalog.

    First of all, there was the product's name: "The Lucky Beggar Wallet," a reference to the coffee cup's use as a method of gathering spare change.

    Then there was the description: "Street Fare. Inspired by the iconic blue and white coffee cup often seen in the hands of

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