Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • Breakup Website Goes Viral. Does it Help to Know What Went Wrong?

    On Monday night, booted Bachelor contestant Kacie B. traveled to Switzerland to find out why she was dumped. When she got her answer, she was glad to have the closure, she said. Then she lay on the floor of a hotel hallway and dry heaved.

    If only she'd gone to, a new website that lets you find out why you were rejected without looking your ex in the eye. The site launched in the U.S. just before Valentine's day and has become an international sensation in a matter of weeks.

    How it works: you log in, enter the name and email of an ex you want answers from and let the site help you craft a request. It's all very dispassionate, which can be helpful if you're prone to dissertation-sized rants. First you choose a template (philosophical, sincere, flippant or cool-apparently it's not too late for that option). Say you choose, philosophical, an automatic quote from Ben Franklin will begin your transaction. The rest of the email is pre-filled in: "I'd really like to know what

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  • Bachelor Recap: Episode 9 is Bath Time for Baby Ben!

    "Why does this limo smell like tears?"
    The first ten minutes of this week's episode we join Ben on a 10 hour journey to Interlaken, Switzerland. It feels like 20 hours.
    "...and then Courtney kissed the fish..."
    As we're dealing with airport stress, Ben's going off about the three women he's dating. He ends up recounting in detail each date he went on with each girl as if we weren't there the first time around.
    Oh hey Ben. You're in 17a? I thought they couldn't get us seats together? No that's fine I was just going to get some shut-eye but...
    What's that? I had my headphones in so I couldn't hear you.
    "...Nikki has all the qualities I respect..."
    You go save us some seats. I need to find the bar car.
    I'm going to stop you right there. You know that's not the problem people have with her, right?
    Hey look! Swans!
    Um Ben? We're here. In Interlaken. Can we please go check in to our hotel now?
    "Wait, jacket open or zipped halfway?"

    Not the way it is.

    DATE 1: Nikki

     Ben surprised Nikki with her very first helicopter ride and picnic since the other day.

    "I brought the rest of our lunch from two weeks ago!"
    The ride is smooth at first, but then the pilot gets frisky.
    "Ben, this is your captain speaking. Prepare to s--- your pants. Over and out."
    Suddenly the helicopter starts Read More »from Bachelor Recap: Episode 9 is Bath Time for Baby Ben!
  • Do Women Vote Smarter Than Men?

    Bill Maher thinks so. Education, healthcare and environmental issues hold more weight with moms, he says, because they're voting with their kids' future in mind. Men not so much. It's the kind of commentary that can draw battle lines between the sexes, if those lines weren't already drawn. Women's reproductive rights are at forefront of female voters' minds as candidates rally for support. But so is the economy. When it comes to big issues what's most important to you? Do you think being a woman makes you a more measured, thoughtful voter?

    Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

    Shine's political roundup
    Women's reproductive rights, state by state
    5 things politicians should remember about women voters

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  • Three New “types” of Women: Are You One of Them?

    (Thinkstock Photos)(Thinkstock Photos)The happy homemaker has hung up her apron. After years marveling over moisture-rich hand-soap and test-washing her kids' dirt-stained soccer jerseys, the stay at home mom has all but disappeared from commercials.

    The new breed of female consumers are financially independent, tech-reliant and more interested in shopping for clothes, cosmetics and cars than cleaning supplies. They also span the decades from their mid-20s to their mid-60s. As a result, advertisers are rethinking the average women as anything but average.

    A feature in the latest issue of AdWeek, gathers marketing trends, statistics and feedback from advertising specialists to break our three new "types" of women targeted in commercials. They've been around for a few years now, but their numbers are growing in direct relation to women's financial success.

    Instead of a mom doing laundry, the latest Tide commercial features a 20-something woman discussing the merits of yoga pants over brunch with a friend. The standard

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  • Secret "swingers" Sex Club: Key to Universe?

    Does the smartest man on earth know the secrets to good sex? (Getty)Does the smartest man on earth know the secrets to good sex? (Getty)Has Stephen Hawking, the godfather of modern physics, who recently declared his disbelief in an afterlife, found heaven on earth?

    Radar Online reports Hawking has been seen at Freedom Acres, the country's largest full-blown swinger's club. A source tells the site he's a "regular" at the Orange County, California club, and that he brings an "entourage of nurses"as his dates. It's hard to imagine the twice-married Hawking in Orange County, let alone a sex club. It's also worth noting that Freedom Acres hosts a "nurse and doctor" themed costume night so this piece of gossip is very, very suspect. But Freedom Acres is very, very real. And if there's a slight chance the guy who explained the space time continuum frequents it, he's probably onto something.

    The entrance to Club FA. You want to turn around already, don't you? (via entrance to Club FA. You want to turn around already, don't you? (via a winding journey through Freedom Acres' website, I've been enlightened.

    A throwback to the group orgy clubs of the 70s, Freedom Acres is decorated like the first half of Boogie Nights. Couples pay a $40 membership fee, take a

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  • Child Prodigy Chefs: Restaurants' Secret Weapon

    Luke Thomas, England's top teen chef. (Aero Media)Luke Thomas, England's top teen chef. (Aero Media)Luke Thomas is the Lebron James of chefs. The 18-year-old culinary prodigy, who started working in restaurants at age 13, has just been recruited to play head chef at one of the top restaurants in England.

    Check out: more child prodigies changing the world

    It's the kind of career move that's 20 years in the making. Good thing Thomas started cooking at 4-years-old.

    At the Michelin-starred Sanctum on the Green in Berkshire, England, Thomas is responsible for running every detail of the restaurant from staff management to menu design. With the pressure on to prove he's more than just a child prodigy, he's moved into a room 10 feet from his workplace so he can devote 16 hours a day to his new job.

    First order business: re-imagining the menu. His revised 18 dish offering isn't for kids. Cauliflower soup with pork scratchings, slow-cooked sirloin steak with duck fat chips. It's a culmination of the work he began as a young kid, "playing with pots and pans", according to London's Evening

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  • How waiters judge you (and how to use it to your advantage)

    Every time you sit down at a restaurant you’re being sized up. It’s called “reading a table” and wait staff at fine dining and chain restaurants alike are trained in the technique, according to the The Wall Street Journal.

    Beyond flair, and memorizing specials, a good waiter can anticipate the needs of a customer at a glance. At chain restaurants around the country that's what they're being trained to do. Servers at Denny's, T.G.I Fridays, and Romano's Macaroni Grill are now taught to pay closer attention to the subtle  gestures and understated remarks of their customers. The goal for servers is twofold: give the customer a better dining experience by predicting their needs, and ultimately get a bigger tip.

    More: 15 secrets your waiter won't tell you

    Some obvious signals servers are trained to look out for: Chatty, friendly parties who make eye contact with each other and their server. They’re more likely to be receptive to cocktail and dessert menus. They also might want a little Read More »from How waiters judge you (and how to use it to your advantage)
  • How to Cook for Oscar Winners: Wolfgang Puck's Awards Menu and Recipes

    Puck shows off dessert at a preview for this year's Governor's Ball dinner. Puck shows off dessert at a preview for this year's Governor's Ball dinner.
    Hollywood's biggest power players are also some of the world's pickiest eaters. After 16 years cooking for the biggest post-Oscar dinner in town, Wolfgang Puck has figured out a way to please everyone. His secret? 55 different dishes.

    This year, the head chef of the Governor's Ball is serving big numbers of small plates--a change from the usual sit-down four or five course meal with minimal options.

    "It's going to be more of a party this year," Puck told Shine a few days before the main event. This year there's tray passed apps, small plate mains, sushi and seafood buffets, a table full of nothing but chocolate. That's in addition to the 15 or so other desserts.

    With over 300 chefs in his kitchen, including Puck's teenage son, special requests from celebrities are welcome. "We'll make anything they want," he says. That is if they can think of something not already on the table.

    There's beat tortelloni for vegetarians, Puck's famous Kobe beef sliders for carnivores, three day

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  • Jeans Ad Sparks Controversy. Do Levis Models Come in Any Other Sizes?

    Levis jeans ad sends a mixed message, say critics. (via Copyranter)Levis jeans ad sends a mixed message, say critics. (via Copyranter)When it comes to selling clothes, size matters. A campaign for Levis Curve ID Jeans was banking on it, until it backfired.

    The line of customized shape-fitting denims boasts in a print ad, "hotness comes in all shapes and sizes." But underneath that message of empowerment, are three models with very similar, slender body types. Aside from slight differences in backside protrusions, none of the models reflect the size 14 shape of the average American woman.

    Check out another ad campaign sparking outrage.

    Copyranter, an advertising watchdog blog that posted the magazine ad Wednesday, called it an insult to women size six and over.

    "The company doesn't seem to understand what 'different' means," added Jezebel's Anna North. "See, 'hotness comes in all shapes and sizes,' as long as those shapes are minute variations on the same thin, ponytailed woman."

    In a call to Levis, a spokesperson told Shine that particular ad is actually from last year. Their latest campaign takes into account

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  • Would You Eat That: The Stem-cell Burger

    Science cooks a mean burger.Science cooks a mean burger.
    For $1 you can get a fast food burger that looks like it was grown in a petrie dish. Or for about $400,00 you can get one that was.

    Dr. Mark Post, a professor of physiology based in the Netherlands, is developing lab-grown meat, made entirely from the stem cells of a cow. His cost to produce the first ever burger of its kind has reached six figures, but the pay-off could be huge.

    This isn't some Top Chef nuclear gastronomy stunt. Post hopes his discovery will be a solution looming ecological and agricultural crises.

    "Meat demand is going to double in the next 40 years and right now we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock," Post told The Guardian. "You can easily calculate that we need alternatives. If you don't do anything meat will become a luxury food and be very, very expensive."

    Post's process involves growing sheets of cow muscle extracted from stem cells harvested in fetal calf serum. Still with me? The muscle sheets, once

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