Happy Monday to you all. It’s time to test your English language skills once again. Here’s today’s challenge:
By email@example.com (Darcy Schild) of Insider©
- The “Hamilton” movie is now available to stream on Disney Plus.
- Fans who loved the highly acclaimed show can stream plenty of other theatrical works at home, including “Jersey Boys” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
- “Hamilton” enthusiasts may particularly enjoy other musicals set in New York City, like “West Side Story,” or performances that star Lin-Manuel Miranda, such as “Mary Poppins Returns.”
- Here’s what musicals to enjoy at home after watching “Hamilton.”
“West Side Story” is a must-see American musical.
The tragic and romantic story adapts “Romeo and Juliet” into a modern love story. Similar to the Shakespeare classic, it follows two rival families — or in the case of the musical, gangs — and the conflict comes to a head with a forbidden love interest. The dramatic production intertwines drama and iconic musical numbers and earned the 1961 movie 10 Academy Awards.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is a family friendly musical that also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The lovable and magical character that is Mary Poppins returns to the Banks family in this 2018 spin on the classic musical. Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda will be thrilled to know that the “Hamilton” mastermind also plays a central role in the “Mary Poppins” revival, which includes incredible dancing and singing that people of all ages will enjoy.
“Newsies: The Broadway Musical” is set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century.
“Newsies” is a Disney musical based on the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 that follows character Jack Kelly, a newsboy who has aspirations to escape the city and become an artist. When publishing leaders raise costs at the expense of the newsies, Kelly and the newsies band together to push for labor rights.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a lively musical-comedy.
Inspired by the biblical story of Joseph, the Andrew Lloyd Weber production — which was made into a movie starring Donny Osmond in 2000 — is full of life and color, and there’s no shortage of catchy songs. The musical not only intertwines biblical themes with humor, but it encourages audiences to believe in the beauty of their dreams.
The Broadway rendition of “Peter Pan” combines fairytale and musical.
The story about the boy who never wanted to grow up has been recreated in many forms over the years, from cartoon versions to live-action productions. But there’s something magical about the Broadway version of “Peter Pan,” a nostalgic show that all audiences can enjoy.
The film adaptation of “Jersey Boys” tells the story of Franki Vallie and the Four Seasons.
The musical biography gives audiences a look at the evolution of the Four Seasons, especially focusing on lead singer Frankie Valli. The story starts in early 1950s New Jersey and takes readers through the off-stage moments that defined the band, from their music to their personal lives.
The 1999 version of “Annie” is a classic that’s great for all ages.
The beloved musical follows young Annie from her New York City orphanage to the welcoming arms of Oliver Warbucks. Featuring iconic musical numbers like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” the 1999 movie version of the award-winning show is a delightful way to bring the theater home.
“The Sound of Music” is a timeless feel-good musical.
The movie that was inspired by the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is an award-winning classic and feel-good hit that embodies that idea that humor and music and make everything better. As a bonus, the movie includes an intermission, so the three-hour musical is a bit more digestible.
“Kinky Boots” is an entertaining and uplifting story with music by Cyndi Lauper.
The vibrant musical follows Charlie Price, who inherited his father’s shoe factory and needs to find new business opportunities to avoid bankruptcy. Price meets Lola, an entertainer who needs a pair of high-quality, fabulous heeled boots, and the two form an unlikely but meaningful friendship that makes for a memorable story.
“Rock of Ages” is a fun watch for fans of ’80s music.
The modern musical “Rock of Ages” was adapted for the big screen in 2012 and is essentially a 1980s time capsule. Featuring songs from rock icons like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, and plenty of other one-hit wonders of the ’80s, the musical follows aspiring rockstars who move to Hollywood in hopes of making it big.
There you have it. Your streaming begins now!
Baby, it’s hot outside. At least in my corner of the U.S. Maybe yours too! So, how do we stay safe in this summer’s heat? Here are some tips from The Old Farmer’s Almanac©.
If you work outside or play outside in excess, watch for sunburn and dehydration.
Have a perfect summer!
Patriotic Starburst Bouquet
By: Annabelle Keller, CPD for STYROFOAM Brand Foam
Celebrate your patriotism with this red, white and blue craft project. This festive bouquet makes a great quick and easy Fourth of July decoration or the perfect outdoor picnic table decoration.
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam:
- Sheet, 1″ x 12″ x 36″
- Stars: 9″ x 1/2″, one; 6″ x 1/2″, one; 4 x 1/2″, three
- Clay pot, 5″
- Wood dowels, 36″ x 1/8″, two
- Multipurpose acrylic sealer
- Acrylic paints: white; bright red; denim blue
- White dimensional paint
- Satin varnish
- Metallic red shredded Mylar
- Paintbrushes, 3/4″ and 1/2″ flat wash
- Serrated knife
- Five wood skewers
- Disposable palette
- Paper towels
- White, thick craft glue
- Transparent tape, 1/2″ width
- Craft knife
- Sea wool sponge
- Paraffin or candle stub
- Apply sealer to clay pot and let dry. Paint clay pot, excluding rim, and wood dowels white. Paint pot rim blue, extending color 1″ to inside top. Let dry. Sponge paint white portion of clay pot with blue, let dry, and then repeat with red (refer to photo).
- Insert a wood skewer into edge of each foam star at center bottom to use as a handle while painting. Insert opposite end of skewer into foam sheet while paint dries. Paint stars as follows: one 4″ and one 6″, red; one 4″, white; one 4″, blue.
- For flag pattern on 9″ star, paint two left points blue and three remaining points white (refer to photo). Use tape to mask off eight white stripes on star, continuing pattern onto edges and back. Paint unmasked white portion of star red, creating nine red stripes. Let dry and remove tape. With white dimensional paint, paint seven 5-point stars on blue field. Squeeze paint in center of each star and pull out to points with bottle tip. Let dry thoroughly.
- Apply varnish to clay pot, stars, and wood dowels. Let dry.
- Using a utility knife, cut one each of following lengths from white wood dowels: 12″ dowel (flag star); 8″ dowel (large red star); 11 1/2″ dowel (blue star); 8 1/2″ dowel (white star); 6 1/2″ dowel (small red star). Replace skewers in stars with wood dowels as indicated and glue.
- Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut pieces of sheet foam to snugly fit clay pot. Layer and glue foam inside pot. Arrange stars in pot, gluing wood dowels into foam (refer to photo). Glue shredded Mylar, covering top of foam.
®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.
This range is perfect for the young and young at heart. In addition to swimwear, a selection of activewear is also available, but best of all a large percentage of this range is now made from an incredible new fabric developed from 100% recycled materials including old fishing nets retreived from the bottom of the ocean!
The discerning woman loves OPERA®! Luxurious on all levels, if you want to stand out from the crowd and feel amazing then this is the range you must try.
This brand has always been renowned for quality, comfort and fit. From little bikini’s to tankini’s, there is always something for everyone. Beautiful mastectomy swimsuits in the latest designs are always popular for women who want to swim with confidence.
Thanks to Doris of FASH’N SPLASH for this post.
Put on a show with a display of these patriotic cookies.
- 2 Eggs, large
Baking & Spices
- 4 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 Royal icing, Red White, and Blue
- 1 Salt, Coarse
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract, pure
- 2 sticks Butter, unsalted
- Step 1Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.
- Step 2Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.
- Step 3Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Step 4Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
- Step 5Decorate the cookies: Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then “flood” with more white icing to cover.
- Step 6Immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of colors around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).
- Step 7Immediately drag a toothpick through the colors to create bursts, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie. (Or drag around the cookie in 1 direction or curve the lines for a pinwheel effect.) Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.
No matter how hard we try to slow or stop its movement, time marches inevitably on. As it does, our bodies and their abilities change, too. For some people that means certain changes that can alter how we interact with and perceive the world around us.
Use It or Lose It
No matter what your current brain health situation looks like, there are a few things you can do now to help slow or stall the loss of cognitive function over time and keep your brain sharp. All involve using the brain, which functions better when it’s being challenged regularly. “To keep a brain healthy as we age, I firmly believe that we must ‘use it or lose it,'” Scharre says.
Play games and complete puzzles. In addition to the daily crossword puzzle, challenge yourself to doing a new problem-solving exercise every day or a few times a week. “Puzzles and games, especially those involving novelty, can stimulate and challenge key parts of the brain, including reasoning, language, logic, visual perception, attention and flexibility,” Scharre says. Brain teasers such as crossword puzzles and sudoku are fun and easy ways to keep your brain stimulated. Completing a jigsaw puzzle or playing a computer game may also support brain health.
Engage in continuous learning. Have you always wanted to learn French or how to play an instrument? There’s no time like the present, especially when it comes to preserving cognitive ability. Taking a class or otherwise establishing a routine of continuous learning can pay dividends in helping you learn the skill you want to acquire but will also help support brain health over the long term, Scharre says. “The Alzheimer’s Association reports that continuous learning likely protects against some forms of dementia, possibly because brain cells and their connections with one another become stronger over time.”
Read and write. Snyder says that some research has suggested that flexing your literacy skills could be protective against dementia. A 2019 study found that illiterate older adults were almost three times as likely to have dementia compared to their literate counterparts. It seems reading, whether for pleasure or for work, gives your brain a workout that might help prevent the development of cognitive deficits.
Pick up a new hobby or engage in new experiences. Traveling to a new place and finding your way around and learning about a different culture or people is a fabulous way to keep your brain sharp as you age. It’s not always possible, but if you have the resources and ability to travel, those experiences will help protect your brain’s ability to think, plan and enjoy life to the fullest in the future. Closer to home, consider picking up a new hobby. Learn to paint, take up stamp collecting or get into gardening. Any new pursuit that gets you thinking can help.
The key to all of these activities, Snyder says, is that whatever you’re doing should be “new to you” to provide the biggest brain boost. The novelty of learning something new or going to a new place is what forces the brain to work harder and stay sharper.
Other Ways to Support Brain Health
The brain is part of the body as a whole, and it’s also home to our emotions. As such, tending to mental health can support physical heath.
Be heart-healthy. There’s a saying in medicine that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain, so adopting heart-healthy behaviors, including plenty of aerobic exercise and eating right can support a healthy brain along with a healthy heart over the long run. “Your heart is pumping blood throughout the body and if it’s not working it’s best, it might not be getting enough blood and oxygen to the brain,” Snyder says.
Exercise. “Physical exercise is one of the best ways to provide brain stimulation,” Scharre says. “Your brain is working hard when you exercise, controlling your muscles and coordination, knowing when to slow down or continue on.” Snyder recommends ballroom dancing as a great option because not only is it physical, but you’ll also have to think about your next steps and the sequence of moves that add up to a dance. Plus, there’s some evidence that music can be good for the brain and learning to dance can be a lot of fun that has you interacting with others in a social setting. If you don’t like the idea of dancing, consider doing yoga, swimming, biking or walking. Whatever activity you prefer most that you’ll stick with over the long term is the right one for getting you moving more.
Stay socially engaged. “Research shows that human interaction keeps your brain sharp by reducing the destructive stress hormone cortisol,” Scharre says. And social outings, such as having lunch with friends, “provide mental stimulation, which can build and sustain cognitive power,” he says.
Quit smoking. “Among the many health reasons smoking is bad for your body is that it can hinder brain function,” Scharre says. In fact, “one study proved that smoking just one cigarette a day for an extended period can reduce cognitive ability, and smoking 15 cigarettes daily hinders critical thinking and memory by almost 2%. When you stop smoking, your brain benefits from increased circulation almost instantly.”
Get enough sleep. While we’re sleeping our brains are working hard to tidy up from the previous day and get ready for the next. But if we don’t get good sleep, that can disrupt that process and lead to trouble. “Sleep disturbances such as sleep apnea disrupt the brain’s ability to go through certain biological changes and essentially take out its trash,” Snyder says. The longer you deal with chronic sleep disturbances, the more trouble that can spell for your brain, so be sure to go to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning and establish other patterns of good sleep hygiene. If you have insomnia, sleep apnea or snore, talk with your doctor about managing those conditions so you can get a better night’s rest.
Control other conditions. Particularly if you have diabetes, heart disease, depression or high blood pressure, seek help in managing these issues as they can impact brain health. People with these conditions have a higher likelihood of developing dementia later in life.
Eat right. A heart-healthy diet such as the Ornish diet, the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet can support good brain health. Eating right can also help keep your weight in check, which may also reduce the risk of developing cognitive issues over time. And, Snyder notes, new research into the gut microbiome has indicated there’s a connection between good bacteria that live in the gut and brain health. Eating to support your gut health might end up also supporting brain health.
A Holistic Approach
The key to all of this, Snyder says, is to take a combination of approaches, rather than focusing on just one aspect of supporting brain health. It seems that brain-protective activities such as those above work best when applied in combating, but there are still lots of outstanding questions about what works best and how much you need to get real benefits.
To help answer such questions, Snyder says numerous studies are ongoing. On large one is the Alzheimer’s Association’s U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk. That two-year clinical trial seeks to evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target many risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline, and it’s the first such study to be conducted in a large group of Americans across the United States. “The only way we can get those answers is by doing the studies, and for that we need participants to volunteer,” Snyder says.
Copyright 2020 U.S. News & World Report
For my many Indian readers who love Bollywood movies, this one is for you.
© STR/AFP/Getty Images Khan in 2012.
Khan choreographed hundreds of musical numbers during a career that spanned four decades, with some of India’s biggest stars dancing to her direction.
She died from a cardiac arrest at Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai on Friday, Narendra Sharma, one of her doctors, told CNN. Khan had been suffering from diabetes and was undergoing dialysis, Sharma said. He said she was battling an infection, which eventually led to cardiac arrest.
Khan had twice been tested for Covid-19 but both tests were negative, Sharma added.
Hit songs including “Dola Re Dola” from the movie “Devdas,” and “Yeh Ishq Haye” from the 2007 comedy “Jab We Met (When We Met)” were crafted under Khan’s choreography.
She also became known as a mentor to some of Bollywood’s most famous faces. Khan worked alongside late performer Sridevi in several titles, including “Mr. India,” ” Chandni” and “Lamhe,” and choreographed Bollywood veteran Madhuri Dixit in dozens more.
Dixit was among the stars to pay tribute to Khan on Friday, writing: “I’m devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan. Will always be grateful for her work in helping me reach my full potential in dance. The world has lost an amazingly talented person. I will miss you.”
“Woke up to the sad news that legendary choreographer #SarojKhan is no more,” added actor Akshay Kumar, who worked alongside her on several productions. “She made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. May her soul rest in peace.”
“Every time I got to know you would be choreographing the song I stepped up an extra notch,” said singer Shreya Ghoshal. “You brought nuances, expressions, grace on screen with your heroines. The end of an era.”
Article by Rob Picheta and Manveena Suri, CNN
Whether your on a budget or not, plan out what party food you’ll need in advance to make sure you’ll have enough to feed everyone. If you’re sharing the role of caterer, planning things out in advance will help you organize who’s bringing what.
To that end, here’s a handy planner that take’s some of the guesswork figuring out how much food, drinks and deserts you’ll need to feed a crowd.
Have a wonderful party!
Article for Readers Digest© by Charlotte Hilton Andersen
© 5 second Studio/Shutterstock
Do you have your mom’s button nose? Did your dad pass on the curse of sneezing in bright sunlight? And where did your baby’s red, curly hair come from when there hasn’t been a redhead in your family for generations? These questions may sound simple but the answers get complicated fast. Why? Because the science of genetic inheritance is complicated, says Dawn Allain, licensed genetic counselor and director of the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It’s nearly impossible to tease out exactly where each of your traits came from,” she explains. “Most traits are influenced by many different genes and you inherit some from each parent.” Plus, there’s the influence your environment plays; just because you have a gene for a certain trait doesn’t always mean you’ll end up with it, she adds. Then there are traits people often assume are inherited but actually aren’t.
Still, it’s fun to ask those questions and while there aren’t many detailed answers, there are a few basic things genetics can tell you about traits you inherit from your mom and those you got from our dad, Allain says
Your ability to lose weight
There are two types of fat in your body: “Good” brown fat, which increases your metabolism and helps you maintain a healthy weight, and “bad” white fat, which can cause obesity and disease if you have too much of it. Everyone has some of each type but how much brown fat you have—and therefore how high your metabolism is—may be inherited from your mom, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Another trait that you get from your mom is your intelligence.
How easily you gain weight
However, while mom may be helping you out with the brown fat, you can blame your dad for your white fat, the Nature Communications study found. How much fat you store, particularly around your organs may be partly determined by genes passed down from your father, the researchers said. Genetics aren’t destiny when it comes to your weight, your lifestyle choices play an even bigger part.
© NANTAWAN PATAMAROT/Shutterstock
Your ability to focus
If your mother has lower levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood, then you’re more likely to develop attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder later in life, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The genes, passed down from mom to kid, that impact serotonin production also seem to influence your ability to focus. Sound like you? Check out these common reasons you have trouble focusing and how to fix it.
If you hit puberty early
Puberty, and all the fun milestones that come along with it, like acne, cracking voices, or getting your period while wearing white shorts, is a rite of passage many children go through on their way to becoming an adult. Both parents’ genetics play a part in when exactly you start the big change but if you started puberty early—before age eight in girls and nine in boys—that may be due to a gene you inherit from your father, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Specifically, they identified that a genetic mutation leads to a type of premature puberty, meaning that if you have it, you’ll have to deal with all that stuff before any of your friends.
Your laugh lines
How well you age and how much you show it is determined on a cellular level by the accumulation of damage over your lifetime to your mitochondrial DNA—genes you only get from your mom. Environmental factors like sun exposure, smoking, and an unhealthy diet can cause mtDNA damage but some of the damage can be inherited from your mother, according to a study published in Nature. The more mtDNA with mutations you inherit from your mother, the faster you age and the more it will show in traits like wrinkles and gray hair.
Mothers can influence your mood in many ways and it’s not just by grounding you or serving broccoli three times a week. The structure of the part of the brain known as the corticolimbic system, which controls emotional regulation and plays a role in mood disorders like depression, is more likely to be passed down from mothers to daughters than from mothers to sons or from fathers to children of either gender, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. This may mean that daughters at least partly inherit their mood from their mothers.
The genders of your children
Obviously the genes from you and your spouse determine the gender of your children. But did you know that which gender genes you pass on may be inherited from your father? This is how it works: A man with many brothers is more likely to have sons, while a man with many sisters is more likely to have daughters, according to a study published in Evolutionary Biology.
It’s been known for some time that a family history of Alzheimer’s disease significantly increases the risk for developing the illness, but a new study, published in Biological Psychiatry, found that the genetic risk primarily comes from your mother. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia later in life, affecting nearly six million people in America alone, so it’s important to know what factors increase your risk—including your mother’s medical history—so you can start taking steps to protect your brain health now, the researchers noted. Medical history is only one of the questions you should ask your parents before it’s too late.
A woman’s fertility may be impacted by a gene she inherited from her father, according to a study published in Science. In a normal egg cell, a part of the cell called the centrioles is eliminated as part of the natural development process. However, if the centrioles aren’t eliminated—often due to a genetic dysfunction, passed on by her dad—then the woman is sterile, researchers explained.
You may have heard that how and when a man loses his hair is due to an inherited trait from his mom’s side. However, a study, published in PLoS Genetics, of over 55,000 men has proved this to be a myth. Researchers found 287 independent genetic signals that were linked to male-patterned hair loss and while 40 were only found on the X chromosome, meaning they were inherited on the maternal side, the rest were scattered throughout DNA inherited from both patterns. Interestingly, some genes associated with hair loss also seem to be associated with an increased risk for heart disease in men. While some traits are inherited, others are learned.