Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • Models and their amazing, inspired, brave causes*

    *Causes may or may not be real issues but refer instead to things that you can say seriously while looking into a camera. Any similarity to actual causes is purely coincidence.

    The cause: Fashion's Night Out. It's to benefit fashion. Yeah, just fashion in general. Why? It just needs more money from you. Just a blank check made out to Fashion c/o Anna Wintour will do.

    The models:
    Miranda Kerr, Chanel Iman and others

    Why you should care
    : "You're making a choice to help a whole industry that touches us all," says someone with a thick, smoldering accent and some kind of throw blanket on her shoulders. That should be enough information for you. But here's more: Imagine a world without Campari sponsored after-parties, hyperbolic tantrums, or long walkways on which people walk back and forth for eight minutes. That could be in our future if we don't get regular people to spend more money they don't have. The biggest victim in the economic crisis has been the fashion industry, as we all

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  • The 6 most random couples honored on YouTube

    My day started off totally normal. Clicked on Saw Macaulay Culkin was the top search of the morning. Wondered why. Clicked on his name. Discovered it's his 30th birthday. Clicked on his Wikipedia page. Was reminded that he dates actress Mila Kunis. Was happy for him. Googled both of their names for a picture and up comes this video:

    "Mac and Mila" is a tribute montage, set to "Live a Life Less Ordinary" by a band called Carbon Leaf. User IluvJamestjames posted the clip with the explanation: "I can't believe no one's posted a video of them. They've been a couple forever." The clip shows various pictures of the two actors at sporting events, walking around L.A., attending Michael Jackson's funeral. I watched it twice. The first time round I thought: You know what? They're not just lovers, they're best friends. The second time I thought: Who the hell is making a tribute video to Macauley Culkin and Mila Kunis? Youtube is flooded with couples tributes. They are pretty much

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  • This monkey is a better cat owner than me

    My cat doesn't let me do that (Anne Young/Solent News)My cat doesn't let me do that (Anne Young/Solent News)
    This long-tailed Macaque monkey lives with his adoptive kitten in a forest in Bali. I live with mine in Brooklyn. He provides hearty meals for his pet by foraging for small bugs, plant-life and berries, avoiding potential poisons in the process. My cats have empty bowls. I should go downstairs to the bodega on the corner and get some more cat food but I'm sort of sleepy. And it's. so. far. Also I can't decide if I should get tiny expensive cans or bigger cheap cans. Should I give them smaller portions of organic food, or larger portions of stomach-cancer inducing food? Either way, they're going to hate me. I grapple with this dilemma every week.

    I also get the sense this monkey's cat is better socialized than mine. Look how it's not hissing and swatting at the other monkey. And there doesn't appear to be a speckled trail of blood on that leaf. Huh. Interesting.

    His cat also looks a bit cleaner. Mine are 90 percent black so I can't tell, but based on their smell they're in worse shape

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  • Mary Tillman: A mother's marathon

    On the football field, Pat Tillman was famous for staying in the game no matter what.

    It's a trait he must have learned from his mother, Mary Tillman. In an early interview, Pat, the former NFL star killed by friendly-fire in Afghanistan in 2004, tells the story of his mother running a marathon.
    "She came in last. I mean dead last. They were breaking down the race when she crossed the finish line... That's the kind of woman she is."

    She may not have had the physical ability of her son, but her sheer will was the stuff of great athletes--and mothers.

    The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev's comprehensive and extremely well-executed new documentary about the life, death and white-washing of the fallen Army Ranger, is as much about Pat, as it is about his mom.

    Mary never wanted her son to join the army, and when he did she blamed herself for speaking highly of her veteran relatives. But the film paints Pat as a rebel, a free-spirit and a troop leader of a clan of Tillman brothers. It was

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  • Breaking: Men are from Earth, women are from Earth

    These people are happy because they're both from earth and can balance on it like a gender neutral Little Prince. (Thinkstock Images) These people are happy because they're both from earth and can balance on it like a gender neutral Little Prince. (Thinkstock Images)
    Settle down. This is just a theory. But one that's been deduced by a woman with a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience. Cordelia Fine debunks the hypothesis that women and men are hard-wired differently from birth in her new book "Delusions of Gender".

    The author runs through the various studies on innate gender differences, from the testosterone level theory to the delicate brain tissue suggestion. One famous study, isolated in the New York Times article on Fine's book, compared male and female reactions in newborns. With findings that showed girl babies looked at faces, while boy babies looked at mobiles, the study implied that females are more empathetic while males are more systematic.

    B.S. says Fine. She pokes holes in the research and declares "neuro-sexism" on theories of brain differences between the sexes. The nature vs. nurture argument, to her, is a moot point. It's all nurture.

    Another book on gender theory? Yeah. And it's kind of a big deal. If we stop blaming chromosomes

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  • 5 household items to use as yoga props

    Things have gotten a little out of hand. Today I got a press release for Dream Yoga Mats. Described as a "calming and serene way to get ones-self prepared for yoga," the email goes on say "these mats are designed with adventure and fun in mind...and a great way to make the yoga lover feel comfortable and stylish at the same time." Intrigued I click on the link to find that they're just regular yoga mats with embroidered peace signs and om symbols. The brand's tag line reads: "Why practice on a blank mat?"

    Because yours cost $60.

    People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years. Many, on nothing but a slab of stone and dirt. Do we really need to spend a fortune on customized, brightly colored materials to stretch out bodies? Obvious answer alert: NO.

    In fact, your own home is equipped with a bunch of items that are just as useful in your "practice" as a Gaiam-certified block. You may have to overlook a sports team logo or a little cat hair, but it's a small price to pay for

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  • 5 foods people fear and how to get over it

    The egg recall isn't the only reason many people avoid the breakfast food. (Thinkstock Images)The egg recall isn't the only reason many people avoid the breakfast food. (Thinkstock Images)
    Like certain foods, some questions really strike a nerve. A few weeks ago, I asked Shine readers to share their biggest food phobias. Responses poured in by the minute. One person wrote: "eggs = dry heaves" another commented: "Onions -- they are slimy & crunchy...........need I say more? They are my food in hell."

    The specific items that may have earned us the label of picky eater as a kid are now certifiably "gross" as adults. There's a freedom to not having to like or eat the things we hated as kids. But why don't we like them? And why are some foods so remarkably unpopular?

    In the 200-plus comments, these five foods were singled out the most:

    • Mushrooms
    • Raisins/dried fruits
    • Cheese
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    As a member of Team I-Hate-Raisins, I wasn't surprised it made the list. But it was a revelation that the four other items imposed the same kind of gagging and cringing. In particular mushrooms; how could one of my favorite foods inspire such collective nausea? "People Read More »from 5 foods people fear and how to get over it
  • Mesbian: The Lesbian Man

    Metrosexual is a term that describes a man who is physically attracted to women and mentally attracted to musicals, mousse and manicures. Offensive to both homosexual and heterosexuals alike, it implies all gay men are like Jack from "Will and Grace" and all straight men are like Archie Bunker. We're all way over this term right? (Today, The Frisky's Jessica Wakemen actually found a woman who just discovered the trend, possibly because she was living in a deprivation chamber in 2000). But aside from her, we're through with the metro movement. Straight men use hair products and gay men use power tools--big deal.

    But wait. I recently stumbled on a breed of man that combines another gay/straight stereotype. A friend was describing her ex-boyfriend in these terms: "He had a vast collection of tea, his playlist was all Ani Difranco, he worked at a food co-op. He was like a hetero male lesbian."

    Disclaimer: The "lesbian" she was referring to actually refers to every single

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  • How long before Tiger's back in a relationship?

    Tiger Woods with Teri Hatcher at an even in 2006. Just sayin'. (Lester Cohen/Wire Image)Tiger Woods with Teri Hatcher at an even in 2006. Just sayin'. (Lester Cohen/Wire Image)
    I give him one month. Look: I made this handy clock to count it down. Anyone want to start a pool? Already he's fielding offers from his coterie of calendar girls. Rachel Uchitel told a friend she'd "give up everything" for a romance with Woods, according to Granted she's hungry for the spotlight but now that Tiger's divorce is final, expect more women to come out of the woodwork. And expect the newly single golfer to single out one of them to settle down with. Stat.

    This isn't just the case for the rich and famous. Cheaters don't stay single for long. They rely on relationships for stability, especially when their career is flailing. (Tiger's got his work cut out for him.)
    And despite their very best intentions, they need someone to cheat on. It's an addiction with a high that can only be attained when the sex isn't sanctioned. Then there's the theory that they feels so guilty about their cheating impulses, they wants a redo with a new person. Maybe this time, they'll do it

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  • Checking in with: Wilmer Valderrama

    Wilmer with club promoter Noah Tepperberg at NYC's Avenue nightclub (Johnny Nunez/Wire Image)Wilmer with club promoter Noah Tepperberg at NYC's Avenue nightclub (Johnny Nunez/Wire Image)
    Still seems to be pretty much the same. A little less famous, a little less au courrant, but still the same playa of 2003. Based on this photo from last week, he's still attending nightclub events with average men, hot models and fancy pizza. Still wearing silly hats and expensively worn in t-shirts. But something is different. Is it a flicker of maturity? No, wait, it's NECK TATTOO. Nice work bro.


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