Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff

  • Do you know where your face is? It could be anywhere...

    When Peter logged onto Facebook, he instantly saw a picture of his wife. Fine. Her photo was on a pop-up add for a dating site. Not fine. Turns out one of Facebook's advertisers had borrowed the photo from Peter's wife's profile without asking. It's just another casualty of the no-privacy zone we call the internet.

    This week, another 250,000 Facebook users had their profile pictures repurposed on dating site. reports:

    "The site,, launched this week with data scraped from public Facebook profiles, including names, locations, and photos. The service used facial recognition technology to sort the Facebook photos into categories like easy going, smug, or sly."

    Facebook claims these kinds of organizations violate their privacy terms and are looking into the latest offense. The dating site is temporarily down in the meantime. But it still makes you wonder, where else will you turn up? If you're tagged making a duckface, your photo could end up here. If you're

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  • Info-anxiety: the biggest cause of stress may be your laptop

    (ThinkStock Photos)(ThinkStock Photos)If college kids are showing record levels of high anxiety, as a recent report suggests, the rest of Americans-balancing jobs, kids and mortgages-can't be too mellow either. Before you blame the financial crisis or the job market for your panic attack, take aim at the internet.

    "The amount of data we take in each day has jumped dramatically...and some neuroscientists believe that our brains simply weren't designed to handle this kind of volume," writes Taylor Clark on

    That's true not just for co-eds, but for anyone juggling the use of a laptop, a cell phone and television. Being viral citizens of the internet is like a second job. First we're required to keep up with constant streams of personal and international news online, through blogs, email, and social networking. Then we're required to filter and disseminate that information ourselves. The constant input-output creates a frenzy of distraction that makes it harder to focus on our other job, you know, the one we're

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  • 5 ways technology changed the sex trade

    (ThinkStock Photos)(ThinkStock Photos)The world's oldest profession has gotten a digital facelift. Just ask Charlie Sheen, whose trail of six-figure sex romps is only a google search away. All it took was a bunch of ones and zeros-that's binary code, not dollars-to retire the old pimp and street walker model. A new survey on by Columbia University Sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh adds fuel to this theory. Venkatesh spent years studying the evolving culture of New York City sex workers and found a very different model of prostitution in the digital age. Here's a rundown of his findings:

    1. Blackberries are now status symbols: Venkatesh found that this particular brand of mobile service was the choice for sex workers. 70 percent of those who owned a PDA chose a Blackberry model, compared to 19 percent who owned an iPhone and 11 percent who chose another type of smart phone. The reason, says Venkatesh, is the underground message the device sends. "To clients, [the Blackberry's] symbol of professional suggests
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  • Parentisms: passive-aggressive lines every parents says

    (ThinkStock Photos)(ThinkStock Photos)There's no handbook for being a parent, but I'm starting to think there is a glossary of terms. While every mom and dad is different, there are some turns of phrase that seem universal to everyone who's ever raised a kid. When parents wants to assert their authority on their progeny regardless of age, they reach into the archive of phrases designed to trigger eye-rolls. The formula is classically passive-aggressive: part-threat, part reassurance. It's hard to understand why these lines are employed, since I'm not a parent, but I'm sure there's a totally rational reason. Here are a few classic examples:

    • "You're lucky you're cute."
    • "If I didn't love you, I'd kill you."
    • "When you're a parent you'll understand."
    • "Are you sure you're not doing it wrong?"
    • "Well, your father thinks you're very pretty."
    • "I'm just worried how people will treat you."
    • "If you think you're going to just ___, you've got another thing coming."
    • And of course...."Look at you, you
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  • Shine Style Icon: Maria Schneider, the '70s screen star remembered

  • Moob Jobs: the next big thing in plastic surgery

    (ThinkStock Photos)(ThinkStock Photos)More men than ever are turning to cosmetic surgery for the perfect chest, the BBC reports. In the past year, male breast reduction surgery operations increased by 28 percent, according to a study by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

    Doctors are thanking increased media coverage of a shirtless Jack Nicholson for rise in patients. No kidding. "Images in the media - coverage of high profile men like Simon Cowell and Jack Nicholson - make men think about this more," Dr. Rajiv Grover of the BAAPS told the BBC.

    While some men have excess breast tissue, more often it's excess cheeseburger that's the problem. According to the report, 30 percent of guys are turned away by docs who suggest they try diet and exercise first. Vanity doesn't hurt if it gets men to hit the treadmill, but is it worth going under the knife? And what about the oft-uttered dude quote: "If I had breasts, I'd play with them all day." Shouldn't they be living the dream right now? It's heartbreaking to

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  • Kate and Wills: The Lifetime Movie

    Doesn't this photo already look like the first five minutes of a Lifetime Movie? You know, before the deranged stalker tries to destroy her life...Doesn't this photo already look like the first five minutes of a Lifetime Movie? You know, before the deranged stalker tries to destroy her life... From the network that brought you "The Craigslist Killer" and every Tia and Tamara Mowry movie ever made, comes the true story of a prince and his future princess. The Lifetime movie machine is churning the royal romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton into made-for-tv butter. Unknown British actress Camilla Luddington has been cast as Kate and New Zealander Nico Evers Swindell will play Will o' Wales.

    Here's a synopsis of the movie, set to air around the April 29th royal wedding date: "The film chronicles the history of William and Kate - from the moment the two students met at Scotland's prestigious University of St Andrews, through the ups and downs of their nine-year courtship complicated by social and Royal Family pressures, and intense global media attention surrounding their storybook nuptials."

    That sounds way too accurate and paranoia-free for the Lifetime movies we know and love. Where are the deadly home invasions? The ex-boyfriend stalkers? The courageous battles

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  • Finally! A bridal chick flick that's actually funny

    The trailer for the upcoming comedy "Bridesmaids," co-written and starring SNL vet Kristen Wiig, was just released and couldn't come soon enough. The movie, out in spring, about a woman's bridal party indoctrination, could end up being the funniest wedding movie ever written. Let's be honest: the bar is set low.

    For years, women have known that wedding culture is hilarious. But somehow Hollywood's attempt to tackle the subject has fallen flat in the past. Let me direct your attention to "27 Dresses," a movie based on the open mic comedy joke that bridesmaids dresses are ugly. Then there's every Jennifer Lopez flick ever made that runs on the loose premise that "weddings are crazy!" By the time "Bride Wars" came around, writers had figured the only way to get a laugh out of nuptials is to make two pretty girls in wedding dresses wrestle.

    Thankfully, "Bridemaids," which also features Maya Rudolph and John "freaking" Hamm, is bringing an end to the obvious crap-slapstick, instead

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  • Why the Super Bowl is really bad for women

    The lingerie bowl is standard half-time Super Bowl entertainment. ((Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Lingerie Bowl VIII)The lingerie bowl is standard half-time Super Bowl entertainment. ((Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Lingerie Bowl VIII)Now that women openly like football, should they? In the last two years, female viewership of Sunday Night Football has increased by 23 percent and the NFL launched a line of products to accommodate their growing femme fan-base. Thanks, NFL!
    Now if only they could limit the amount of sexual assault allegations a player can accrue on game day. Ever notice how all those laws and social pacts we agreed on make a defiant in-you-face comeback during Super Bowl Sunday? In case you didn't, here's a point-by-point argument of why the big game is bad news for females.

    Argument #1 : It's the one night of the year when our chests fight for attention. No matter how well lady judges, detectives and anchorwomen rate on primetime, the Super Bowl still thinks a 19-year-old in a bikini is the only way to keep an audience attentive. Interspersed with homo-erotic tackling are hours of boobs, boobs, boobs. Remember the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction"? Of course you do, it's gotten more airtime than

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  • The rise of the trans-supermodel: a look back


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