December 1, 2012

Thee Donald Taking a Toll on Women Buyers at Macy*s

What's taking its toll on Macy's?

Macy’s Recommend score among US women has declined significantly since mid-November. What is causing the drop? One potential source is the brand’s affiliation with Donald Trump. Trump appears frequently in Macy’s advertising and the retailer carries Trump’s clothing line.
An online petition, reported to have attracted several hundred thousand signatures since mid-November, followed by a protest outside the flagship store in Herald Square has been cited frequently in the media over the last two weeks. During that time, Macy’s has declined to its lowest brand loyalty levels since the first week of November in 2011.
Macy’s loyalty score with women is now behind many of its major competitors, including Target, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Sears, Kmart and TJ Maxx.
Macy’s, J.C. Penney and the department and discount store sector were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Recommend score, which asks respondents "Would you recommend the brand to a friend?" Results were filtered for women.
On November 19th, shortly after the media began reporting that the online petition had acquired more than 500,000 signatures, Macy’s recommend score was 31 compared to an average score of 19 for the department and discount store sector. Beleaguered retailer J.C. Penney, for comparison purposes, had a 34 score.
While the actual number of petitioners may be debatable, and the Black Friday protest was relatively modest with perhaps a few dozen consumers taking part, they have certainly attracted a lot of attention. Since that day, Macy’s has shed 14 points to its current 17 score, the same as the average of the department and discount score sector. J.C Penney’s recommend score has actually risen during this same time period, from 34 to 38.
Recommend Scores: Women age 18+

The Castrating Lover Found Guilty! Not Crazy Just Violent!

Guilty: Renato Seabra has been convicted of murder over the killing of his gay lover Carlos Castro
A male model could face life in prison after being found guilty of murder for killing and castrating his gay lover, a prominent Portuguese journalist, using a corkscrew.
Renato Seabra, 23, had argued that he was insane when he killed 65-year-old Carlos Castro in New York in January 2011, and pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder.
Seabra bludgeoned Castro with a computer monitor and wine bottle, and used a corkscrew to sever his lover's testicles in a Times Square hotel room.
He then wore the testicles as a bracelet and even told doctors he had been drinking Castro's blood following the frenzied attack.
Sentencing for Seabra, also a native of Portugal, was set for December 21.
Touger had argued that his client was not responsible for the killing because he did not know what he was doing was wrong, believing instead he was on a God-ordained mission to slay the 'demon' of homosexuality that he saw in Castro.
Seabra was found by police at a Manhattan hospital where he had checked in under his real name after arriving by taxi.
Maxine Rosenthal, the lead prosecutor, told jurors that driving to the hospital was a ruse to feign insanity, as Seabra knew the body would soon be discovered.
She described Seabra as an opportunist who was 'playing the role of the loving boyfriend' to exploit Castro's wealth and connections. He was apparently angry that Castro had ended their relationship
Castro, who met Seabra through Facebook, was a gay-rights activist and journalist, writing about fashion and society for Diario de Noticias, 24 Horas and Correio de Manha.
As their relationship dissolved into fierce arguments during their stay in New York, Seabra became enraged, Rosenthal told the jury.
Weapon: NYPD detectives showed jurors the corkscrew, pictured, that they found covered in blood in the hotel room
Luxury: Castro and Seabra were staying at the high-end InterContinental Hotel in Manhattan'It is no coincidence Castro's life ended at the same time he ended his relationship with the defendant,' she said. 'The motive is as clear as if it were written in lights on a Times Square marquee.'
After killing Castro, Seabra disconnected the room phone, dismantled Castro's cellphone, and put the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door as he left to buy him more time, she said.
He took with him about $1,600 from Castro's wallet and their flight itinerary, fully intending to flee, she added.
'That shows presence of mind, it is deliberate action and is inconsistent with delusion,' Rosenthal said.

Justin Bieber After Hitting Gym Goes Shirtless

It's coming off! Justin Bieber delighted the crowd at his Madison Square Garden gig when he took off his jacket to reveal his toned abs 

Hitting the gym? The 18-year-old showed off his muscles to the screams of the thousands delighted BeliebersSold-out concert: Justin was praised for his energetic performance as he took to the arena for three sold-out gigs

He's adored by millions of teenage girls and when it comes to his Beliebers, Justin Bieber knows exactly how to please them.
Performing in front of a crowd of thousands of screaming teens at Madison Square Garden in New York, the pop sensation turned up the volume even more by removing an essential item of clothing.
 Though Justin has clearly been hitting the gym in an effort to buff up his look, there was no denying his youthfulness when he stripped down.
The 18-year-old star had hearts flutter in the arena as he removed his beige shirt mid-performance to reveal his tiny teen abs.
Showing off the top of his white Polo Ralph Lauren boxers under his low-slung jeans, the star clearly looked at ease as he flaunted his young man muscles in front the crowd.
 And with his usual backwards baseball cap and several tattoos, it seems the teen sensation was ready to sport a more mature image.
It wasn't the first time the heartthrob has showed his fans his toned body, having posted shirtless pictures on his several social media accounts in the past.
 Justin is currently hitting up the massive New York arena for three sold-out gigs. 
Several newspaper reports have praised the pop star for his high energy performance, which included multiple sexy dance routines.
And the star himself took to his Twitter account to thank his fans for their support after the concert.
Lucky lady: The pop star dragged one special fan on stage to serenade her
Lucky lady: The pop star dragged one special fan on stage to serenade her

Supremes Take No Action Today on Gay Marriage

Associated Press
The Supreme Court took no action on any of the 10 gay-marriage petitions before it Friday, despite expectations that the justices would finally announce their plans regarding challenges to three separate laws denying recognition to same-sex couples.
The court could add any of those cases to its docket as soon as Monday, but more likely the justices will continue discussing the matter at their next private conference, scheduled for Dec. 7.
Most attention has focused on challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 statute denying federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex spouses. Federal appeals courts in Boston and New York have found the measure unconstitutional, finding that the government had insufficient justification to penalize gays and lesbians.
Separately, the Supreme Court has been weighing whether to review California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 voter initiative limiting marriage to a man and a woman. A federal appeals court in San Francisco found the measure unconstitutionally withdrew marriage rights from gays after the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2008 that those rights were protected by the state constitution.
Additionally, the court has before it an Arizona measure known as Section O that withdrew state employee benefits from domestic partners. Heterosexual couples could maintain such benefits by getting married, an option unavailable to gay couples who may not wed in Arizona.
A federal appeals court in Phoenix found Section O violated the Constitution’s equal-protection guarantee.
The Supreme Court justices held their regular private conference on Friday, and they were scheduled to discuss whether to take up the gay-marriage cases. The court said Friday afternoon that it would accept two cases unrelated to gay marriage that were also on the conference calendar, but that announcement didn’t say anything about the gay-marriage cases.

Do you Feel Like Being Exorcist Lately? } New Catholic Hot Line

The Catholic Church has established an exorcist hotline in Milan, its biggest diocese, to cope with demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, the diocese’s chief exorcist since 1995, said the curia had also appointed twice as many exorcists to cope with a doubling in the number of requests for help over 15 years.
“We get many requests for names, addresses and phone numbers; that’s why we’ve set up a switchboard in the curia from Monday to Friday from 2.30pm to 5pm,” he told the chiesadimilano website.
“People in need can call and will be able to find a priest in the same area who doesn’t have to travel too far.” And to that end, the number of demon-busting priests on call has increased from six to 12.
The Monsignor said he knew of one exorcist who had been seeing up to 120 people a day. “But with so little time per client he was only able to offer a quick blessing. That’s not enough,” he said. ”There should be two to four appointments a day, no more, otherwise it’s too much.”
It’s not clear why the number of suspected possessions has risen so sharply. But Monsignor Mascheroni said that part of the increase might be explained by the rising numbers of parents having difficulty controlling disobedient teenagers.
“Usually the parents call [because they are] concerned about a child who won’t go to school or who’s taking drugs or rebelling. In reality it’s not a demon, but when they’re 18 years old young people don’t want to be told what to do.”
He warned that many worried and vulnerable people were at risk from charlatans. “Magicians demand money; we … give our time, give benediction … all for free. It couldn’t be any other way.”
The Monsignor said that all those who sought help were welcomed. But he added: “The real diabolical phenomena, at least in my experience, are very rare.” He said that “mental phenomena, mental and psychiatric disorders” were often to blame for unusual behaviour.
Not all Catholic exorcists take such a pragmatic approach, however. Father Gabriele Amorth, who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years, claims to have dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession.
Father Amorth said that sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church were proof that  “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”. He also claimed that satanic behaviour lay behind Vatican attempts to “cover up” the deaths of Alois Estermann, then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and another Swiss Guard, Corporal Cedric Tornay, in 1998.
Father Amorth also took a dim view of fantasy novels and yoga. Practising the latter, he once warned, was “satanic; it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter”.
[The act of exorcism: Catholic practice]
Defined by the Catholic Encyclopaedia as “the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice,” exorcism has been practised by the Church for centuries, but its use has increased dramatically over the last half century.

Obama Care Will Include HIV Testing Saving Millions of Lives and Treasure


 The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are currently infected with HIV, with almost 1 in 5 unaware of their infection. If HIV is not caught early by regular testing (at least once a year, and more if one takes part in unsafe sexual practices), it can progress much more quickly to AIDS, and HIV+ people could be infecting others unknowingly. While there is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, starting treatment early can slow the progress of the disease and allow people to live healthier and longer lives.
Some states already require HIV testing in primary and hospital settings, but Obamacare will require HIV testing to be included in the preventative screenings that take place during primary care provider visits when testing for breast, testicular, and colon cancer, cervical cancer by pap smears, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
This is will be an automatic screening, along with all the other blood testing included in your annual check-up, rather than an optional test, as it was before. Some might view this as an invasion of their privacy, but as a health care provider, I strongly believe that this form of HIV testing will curb HIV transmission. In turn, this policy should decrease the number of new infections (currently nearing 50,000/year) and promote a healthier U.S. population.
The problem remains that 16.3% of the U.S. population remains uninsured, which means a possible 16.3% of people with unknown HIV status (unless they proactively seek to be tested).
For more information on sexually transmitted diseases, see: What Do I Do If I Have An STD? Symptoms and Treatment Options.

Jude Law Happy to Loose His Middle Age Virginity

jude law aging
It’s been my experience that as much as I hate it, the older I got the easier it was to score while I was single. Meaning I understand what Jude is trying to say about his getting older.  On the other hand one knows that when we hit middle age no matter how successful we are or not in meeting guys, the clock is running and 40-80 is only a few numbers away. At the same time that we might attract people, hopefully we have become more  discerning and cautious, which will for against us been paired after certain age. 

If you have a different point of view, you have plenty of space down below to have your feelings known.  adamfoxie*
  wrote yesterday about  Jude Law satisfaction with his getting older:

Jude Law is happy that he was cast as Keira Knightley‘s unattractive husband in Anna Karenina, at least according to a New York Timesprofile that’s making the rounds today for his quote about no longer being a “pretty young thing.” In some ways, his reflections on aging in Hollywood sound like things we’ve heard from actresses like Jennifer Aniston and Julianne Moore–for whom aging has brought confidence and new perspective–except for the parts about all of his opportunities.
Law discussed his age in relation to his role in Anna Karenina–for which the Times thinks he would have been cast as the lover, not the pious husband, just a few years ago:
“In a weird way, it’s kind of a relief to think, ‘Oh, I know I’m not that young sort of pretty thing anymore,’ ” he said. “It’s quite nice talking about what it was like to be the young pretty thing, rather than being it.”
“I feel kind of more confident, more settled as a human being, more settled in my own skin.” When he was younger, he said, he longed to be taken seriously but found that some of his roles did not allow him to do that. Being older, “you are allowed to be an actor, and the parts you get are more interesting.”
The profile also paints a nasty picture of Law’s tabloid-ridden past, something that no doubt reinforces his happiness with this “new phase in his life,” as T Magazine calls it:
“They had kind of stripped me and my relationships bare — there was nothing left to write,” Law said. “And there is only so much laundry one has, in the end, to be washed in public.”
How liberating, too, he said, to be that much older and not have to maintain an impossible image of perfection. Confronted with a rack of clothes at the photo shoot for this article, he told me his reaction had been, “Look, tell me what I’m wearing — I really don’t care.”
He added: “I don’t have a lot of time anymore for standing around choosing outfits. I’m too long in the tooth for that now.”
It’s hard to buy that Law has lost his cache as an attractive actor, and while he’s far from “long in the tooth” by most peoples’ standards–he turns 40 next month–in Hollywood, it’s true that he’s getting up in his years.
And while it’s nice to see graceful, happy examples of aging–especially in Hollywood, where it’s rarely the case–it’s hard not to notice the contract between his situation and many actresses’.
Take Ashley Judd: For her, the “new phase of life” that was her forties involved speculation about her “puffy face,” cosmetic surgery, and weight.
“When my 2012 face looks different than it did when I filmed Double Jeopardy in 1998,” shewrote in the Daily Beast, “I am accused of having ‘messed up’ my face (polite language here, the F word is being used more often), with a passionate lament that ‘Ashley has lost her familiar beauty audiences loved her for.’” And that’s one of the kinder examples of tabloid coverage she’s gotten since losing her status as “pretty young thing.”
For Jude Law, aging has also come with professional opportunities and a softer light in the media. For women, the trade-off of gaining all that wisdom tends to be losing out on their careers, and often getting mauled by the media–regardless of how they look. We’re happy for him; we just wish that women got a fair shot at having the same.

November 30, 2012

HIV Partner Transmission is Cut by Extremely HIGH Numbers

Treating people with HIV who have uninfected partners significantly reduces transmission rates researchers in China have found.  We Have known that for a couple of years.  I have posted on it for at least 18 months, yet is like a secret that is not supposed to get out because is going to cause a disaster. A disaster happened in the early 80’s and perhaps earlier than that. So new information that is accurate is a good thing. and yes….being on therapy keeps your sex partner from getting HIV. 100%? Tell me what is 100%. But if you are un-dectabled and in active retroviral therapy suppression is very close! 97-98% conservative.  Is this going to make people go out and do what? Have more sex? Impossible!   Put a man in the ocean without water, encircled by a salty deadly ocean and let’s see if he drinks the salty water which will kill him…or not. 
 I am just pro information. I think that when we humans don’t get clear accurate information it means that we will make decisions based on misinformation and how can that be good? 
 Also what doesn’t seems to get through is that making this virus visible, meaning that people are tested like we get tested for a venereal disease or high blood pressure and without all the fanfare we will bring into therapy those that don’t want to know but still have sex, like if that was their decision. It is not if they are [sexually active]. What we have to ensure is that health privacy and discrimination laws that are federal and also in most states now, are enforced. 
Now to the Lancet report:
A clinical trial had shown benefits of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment before.
But this trial, reported in the Lancet, is the first "real-life" public health programme of its kind.
A UK HIV expert said there was a growing consensus that getting ARV drugs to as many people as need them would cut transmission rates.
Treatment goal
To mark World Aids Day, the World Health Organization has issued a statement on global progress on cutting new infections and Aids-related deaths.
In 2011, there were 2.5 million new infections - down 700,000 from the 2001 figure - and an estimated 1.7 million people died from Aids-related illnesses in 2011 - 600,000 fewer than in 2005.
The WHO says improving access to ARV drugs is key to cutting rates further.

Man analysing blood samples

The drugs reduce the amount of virus in the blood, and cut the risk of an infected person passing HIV on.
Last year, at the UN General Assembly, governments agreed to set the goal of getting 15 million HIV-infected people worldwide on the life-saving antiretroviral medicines by 2015.
The WHO says this target could be within reach - provided countries can sustain current rates.
And it says about eight million people in low and middle-income countries are getting the treatment they need, up from just 0.4 million in 2003.
Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, director of the WHO's HIV department, said: "The challenge now is to ensure that global progress is mirrored at all levels and in all places so that people, whoever they are and wherever they live, can obtain antiretroviral therapy when they need it."
This year, the WHO issued new guidelines for treating people with HIV who have uninfected partners with antiretrovirals.
'Real-world impact'
The research from China, which followed couples for up to nine years, was the first programme to really test this out in the real world.
In 24,000 couples, the HIV-infected partner had received treatment at the start of the study period - to test out the preventative benefits - while 14,800 had not.
This was because they had not met the national guidelines HIV positive people normally have to meet to receive treatment.
  In the treated group, there were 1.3 cases of transmission per 100 person years, compared with 2.6 per 100 person years in the untreated group. 
The researchers say this equates to a 26% reduction in the risk of HIV transmission. This is a lot lower than the 89% difference seen in the clinical trial.
And the authors say the protective effects of ARV therapy only appeared to last a year, with transmission rates becoming more similar between the treated and untreated couples in later years.
Keith Alcorn, of the HIV/Aids expert group NAM Aidsmap, said it was an interesting study.
"It shows the real-world impact of using ARV treatment in this way.
"The results are not as big a reduction in transmission as in the clinical trial, but there is still an effect."
He said the difference could be explained by people not adhering to their drug regime as well as they did in the study, or stopping their treatment after experiencing side effects.
Mr Alcorn added: "There is a growing international consensus that treating everyone who needs it is going to have an impact on transmission."

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