Noise-punk “supergroup” Brandy kills it on The Gift of Repetition | Music Review

A few years ago Matthew Hord, who fronts Chicago-based noise-punk mainstays Running (and played alongside yours truly in a handful of local bands over the years), moved to New York City and linked up with guitarist Jordan Lovelace and drummer Peter Buxton, both of whom had played a similar style of jumpy, blown-out garage rock in their band Pampers. The new trio gave themselves the confusing-on-all-streaming-platforms name “Brandy,” which makes them nearly impossible to Google and (according to at least one Instagram story) has resulted in disappointing showgoers anticipating a performance by the 90s R&B icon. They forged ahead with more overdriven noise rock, but staying on-brand didn’t mean stagnating—they stepped up their collective game by leaps and bounds. Brandy’s second full-length, the brand-new The Gift of Repetition (Total Punk), is an economical, abrasive eight-song blast that piles new sounds on top of the the glorious scuzz of the members’ past bands: the bonehead punk of the Spits, the minimal stomp of Coachwhips, even the catchy vocal interplay of the B-52s. Within Brandy’s relentless madness lie gems of pure pop genius: opening track “(Wish You Was) Madball Baby” cleverly ping-pongs its earworm vocals between Buxton and Hord (and even includes some wild harmonies), while the end of album single “UFO’s 2 Heaven” sounds like a twisted beach-party sing-along. The Gift of Repetition is easily the best thing anyone in this crew of dudes has put out, and its raw, cathartic fun beats the hell out of doomscrolling.   v

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Here For The Burn Candle Review: ‘Social Distancing From My Family’

When I don’t know what to get someone during the holidays, a candle is always my go-to gift. Rather than play it safe with a Yankee or Bath & Body Works pick—beloved faves of mine, don’t get me wrong!—I like to seek out fun, kitschy brands that add a little something ~extra~ to my fairly basic gift. Chances, are, I’m not the only one bringing a candle to my holiday hostess, so can you blame me for wanting mine to stand out? That said, this Here For The Burn candle review is for any of you who feel the same, because their Social Distancing From My Family Candle is officially the number one gift of the 2020 holiday season.

Yup, that’s right. I said what I said! Here For The Burn’s luxury statement candles are all great, but the Social Distancing From My Family Candle is downright hysterical. Will every single member of my family unwrap one of these babies on Christmas morning? Yes ma’am, they will! At $35 a pop, this candle sits in that perfect happy medium of “I dropped more than $20, so this counts as a legitimate gift” and “I didn’t have to spend my whole paycheck on something you’d like.” We love to see it!

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

STYLECASTER | here for the burn candle review

Courtesy of Here For The Burn.

My favorite part about this candle is the now-and-later factor, something I always think about when buying great gifts. You want a wow-factor for the now—AKA, when they open it—and practicality for later. When your family opens their candles, they’ll crack up at the relatable AF social distancing message. But it’s so much more than a gag gift, because they’ll actually enjoy lighting the candle over the next few weeks. Now-and-later factor, nailed.

All Here For The Burn candles have the same notes of mango and guava, and they’re available now for pre-order, shipping November 2 just in time for the holidays. At $35 a pop, you might as well order at least two, since you can get free shipping on orders over $50. You can even contact them about making your own custom candles, so if there’s a specific quote you want candle-ized, you can totally make it happen.

Personally, I’d argue that the Social Distancing From My Family Candle is the absolute perfect gift for this holiday season, and I can’t wait to light it up while I social distance from my own family. If you’re looking for a fun gift and want to support a small business this holiday season, I highly recommend placing an order—and if your fam won’t appreciate the subtle dig, read on for a few other fun candle options below.

 

For Your Boo

STYLECASTER | here for the burn candle review

Courtesy of Here For The

‘White Tears/Brown Scars,’ by Ruby Hamad book review

From colonialism to the election of Donald Trump, Hamad takes a closer look at how White women’s performance of victimhood keeps White male patriarchy in place. “It is true to say white women were subordinated in settler-colonial society,” Hamad writes. “It is not true to say they were bystanders to the colonial enterprise, and it is certainly not accurate to imply they were victims of comparable standing to the colonized populations.” The so-called “protection” of White women has been the selling point for atrocities perpetrated by White men, from lynchings to refusing asylum seekers. As the literal bearers of white society, White women were tasked with ideal womanhood. Therefore, their protection, and the subsequent continuation of white supremacy, are part of the same equation. Hamad asserts that by “keeping this false image of impeccable white Womanhood alive, white masculinity was absolved of its terrible crimes and black sexuality could be demonized and mythologized.”

Hamad, who lives in Australia, offers a global perspective as she deftly renders the reach of this “maternal colonialism.” White women’s “care” and commitment to Western notions of civility helmed the mass removal of Indigenous children from their communities in Australia and North America from 1880 to 1940. They lobbied for school segregation, eugenics and the creation of a women’s KKK chapter as active warriors for the continued institutionalization of white supremacy.

Hamad is concerned with how this imbalance of power affects feminism. She argues that the feminist movement can never be equal if the complexity of women of colors’ experiences are not acknowledged. She points out that Aboriginal women, who are 2 percent of the total Australian population, make up 34 percent of the female prison population. Native women in Canada have alleged forced sterilization up until 2019. Hamad calls upon “feminists who prioritize the concerns of white, middle-class women as though they are representative of all women” to recognize their myopic view of womanhood. She claims that beyond clueless, this fallacy of a universal feminism is also toxic, citing writer Audre Lorde’s definition of tokenization: “an empty gesture designed to placate and even silence our demands for more equitable treatment.”

In both public and personal life, Hamad follows the progression from the White damsel in distress trope – a strategically wielded innocence — to the damsel in defense: that quick escalation of defensiveness when white domination is threatened. Obvious recent examples include Amy Cooper, who hysterically called the police on Black birdwatcher Christian Cooper, and “BBQ Becky,” a White woman in Oakland who feigned tears after alerting authorities about a Black family allegedly grilling in an undesignated area.

The referential nature of the collection is a testament to Hamad’s commitment to community. In some instances the book reads more like an oral history. Hamad’s conversations with scholars, journalists, humanitarian employees and other professional women of color about their experiences with white women’s defensiveness and gaslighting in personal and professional settings punctuate the text. These accounts are weighted by data on the effects of racism on

‘Belly of the Beast’ Review: Fighting for Incarcerated Women

When Kelli Dillon was 24 years old, a doctor at the California facility where she was incarcerated sterilized her without consent. That experience, and the way it galvanized Dillon to bring attention to this human rights violation, anchors Erika Cohn’s timely and bracing new documentary “Belly of the Beast.”

To tell the story of the unconscionable treatment faced by women (a majority of them Black and Latino) in California’s correctional facilities, Cohn (“The Judge”) impressively weaves Dillon’s harrowing narrative with those of Cynthia Chandler, a founder of the prison abolition organization Justice Now, and Corey G. Johnson, a reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Their accounts make up the film’s first half, which investigates modern-day coercive sterilization in California and the history of eugenics in the United States.

In the film’s second half, Cohn focuses on the multipronged fight for justice, following Chandler and Dillon as they try to get an anti-sterilization bill passed and reparations for those who have already been sterilized.

“Belly of the Beast” does not reach for happy endings and is most absorbing in its thesis, which makes the stakes of this battle against human rights violations loud and clear. Whistleblower testimonies, expert commentary and powerful archival footage are well-paced throughout the film and reveal a darker truth when it comes to advocating for the rights of incarcerated people: Those on the frontline are not only fighting bad actors who abuse their power, they are also battling a public that at best does not care and at worst condones it.

Belly of the Beast
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 22 minutes. Watch in theaters or through virtual cinemas. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.

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Review of the ‘Gift Basket Connectory’ by Rita Wilhelm

Rita Wilhelm runs one of the top gift basket businesses in the US. In the Gift Basket Connectory she has compiled a large variety of resources to assist newcomers in starting their own successful businesses.

Membership at Wilhelm’s Gift Basket Connectory gives those interested in learning about the business access to the most comprehensive range of relevant resources and information available online. In the resources that she has put together she shares her secrets and has compiled her years of experience and knowledge so that you can get started right without making the mistakes that so many newcomers to the industry have made.

The knowledge base that she has created is both strong on the practical side of product creation as well as the business side resulting in well rounded information that can fast-track any amateur or hobbyist straight to the mindset of a gift basket professional.

The kit includes videos that teach you how to make professional gift baskets right from scratch and offers insights into which baskets sell better than others and how you should go about pricing and advertising your creations. She outlines some of the start-up considerations that new players should be aware of and sets out an action plan to guide beginners through everything step by step.

Wilhelm is an expert at winning corporate clients and she outlines a complete approach about how to go about establishing and maintaining these lucrative relationships. She also includes detailed information about how to market your gift baskets on the Internet.

The Gift Basket Connectory includes brochure templates, website templates, business forms and a list of wholesale suppliers.

The package also includes access to an industry marketplace as well as one of the largest gift basket business forums on the Internet with over 58,000 posts.

Currently priced at $129 as an annual membership fee, it comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee.

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Book Review – RESOLVE: A New Model Of Therapy by Richard Bolstad

Copyright: 2002

Publisher: Crown House Publishing

Richard Bolstad’s book RESOLVE: A New Model of Therapy is excellent on several levels and is highly recommended for anyone interested in advancing the science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) or the use of NLP is psychotherapeutic practice. It is extensively referenced, citing research, other NLP developer’s ideas, and non-NLP models of change. This is not a book focused on NLP “pyrotechnics” (his term), rather it is integrative and practical. Bolstad makes connections between NLP and other models of psychotherapy. He presents a perspective on the utility of NLP as an explanatory model, as NLP concepts are useful for explaining what therapist from many orientations do. His RESOLVE model is essentially a well articulated synthesis of the use of the NLP in the context of an NLP informed psychotherapy model.

The book provides a historical perspective on NLP and psychotherapy. Bolstad makes the point that NLP’s roots and assumptions have connections with other forms of psychotherapy. He devotes a chapter providing a clear, science based, linkage between NLP and how the brain functions. Bolstad discusses several aspects of the model (representational systems, submodalities, emotional states, etc.) and relates these to what has been learned in recent years about neurological functioning. For instance, his discussion of the state-dependent qualities of neural encoding and the implications of this for intervention was fascinating.

Bolstad makes the point that research into NLP is still needed to make it more useful for psychotherapists. He notes that since the earliest NLP writings this need has been recognized, “but it was 20 years before the field of NLP itself began to respond effectively to this need.” He goes on to describe several studies published over the last ten years that examined the use of NLP in psychotherapy that found positive results. But research supporting that NLP is successful “in a general sense” has not been enough to draw a great deal of attention to it among psychotherapists. He also notes that few attempts to link NLP techniques and those used in other models of psychotherapy have been made since NLP’s inception, with a notable exception being Practical Magic: A Translation of Basic Neuro-Linguistic Programming into Clinical Psychotherapy by Stephen Lankton, published in 1980. Bolstad notes that it has been more than 20 years since Lankton’s book and “both NLP and psychotherapy have evolved.” Clearly Bolstad feels that more attention to the use of NLP in psychotherapy is warranted. A major accomplishment of this book is to systematically address how NLP fits into psychotherapy as it is practiced today. Among other things, he advocates the incorporation of NLP interventions into the context of the therapist preferred modality to speed the achievement of many specific results.

In my estimation one of the critical points Bolstad makes relates to what type of information constitutes data supporting the validity of NLP as a change technology. While advocating more clinical research, he also contends that “Because much of NLP is a metadiscipline (a way of …

Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty Skin Care Review

One of the newest skin care lines that was created over ten years ago by Jean-Louis Sebagh, a skin care expert in France; is the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty skin care line. This non comedogenic makeup line was of course inspired by the beloved Cindy Crawford and was put onto the market as a combination of both of their work. Due to the testing regulations this skin line had not been launched until several years after the end product was fully developed.

It should be brought to the attention of people that if a product like a wrinkle cream or an anti aging product is endorsed or even used by a celebrity, it does not mean that it is the most effective product in its class. When they use a celebrity they'd be trying to lead people to believe that their product is good based on the fact that a good looking celebrity is endorsing the product. Most celebrities that do this were usually gorgeous before they took up the endorsement. With all this is mind how does one know the quality of a product based actually upon the product and not the celebrity endorsement?

The only real answer to a products effectiveness is for somebody to actually try the product out and to observe what the product does to that individual. Many individuals however will want to find some real evidence that the product is effective and that they will not be spending any excess money on a product that will not work. Research can be done by looking at customer reviews and also by looking at the effective ingredients in the product as well. There are certain ingredients in skin care products that have been proven to be effective while other ingredients have no proof to back up any claims made for them.

What is in Cindy Crawfords Meaningful Beauty?

As mentioned before Doctor Jean-Louis Sebagh has developed the Meaningful Beauty non comedogenic formula and has the personal belief that one certain type of melons have inherent properties in them that will help to protect the skin from collagen breakdown as an individual gets older. The melon used in Cindy Crawfords Meaningful Beauty claims to stay fresh and even firm longer than other different type of melon. This melon contains an antioxidant that is known as superoxide dismutase as well as the coenzyme Q10 which is said to help prevent the formation of some wrinkles as well as the collagen breakdown due to a persons age.

Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty Reviews In Magazines And On The Internet

Even though there is a large number of Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty reviews that have been submitted by customers to magazines and even on the internet, that are concerned with the effectiveness of the non comedogenic meaningful beauty makeup, only a few stated in their review that it worked like it was supposed to. Every individual had both positive and negative items to say in their reviews on different aspects such …

A Review of the Schleich Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

Pentaceratops from Schleich Reviewed

One of the lesser known horned dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous of North America Pentaceratops ( P. sternbergi) was discovered by the famous 20th Century fossil collector and scientist CM Sternberg. The trivial name honors, Charles Mortram Sternberg, in recognition of his work on fossil vertebrates both in his native United States and in Canada, specifically the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta. The honor was bestowed upon him, by a fellow American palaeontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, who was given the responsibility of naming and describing this member of the Chasmosaurinae. It is always a pleasure to see a new type of horned dinosaur turned into a prehistoric animal replica and the Schleich Pentaceratops is an excellent figure.

Herbivore of New Mexico 70 Million Years Ago

Known from a number of skeletons including several complete or partial skulls, Pentaceratops was a spectacular looking dinosaur. It had two huge horns over its eyes and a small, stubby nose horn. Extending over the back of the neck was a high but disproportionately narrow, bony head and neck shield. The name means "five horn face", but this is misleading as Pentaceratops did not have five horns, it had three, in the same configuration as its more famous relative Triceratops. The name comes from the additional pair of large jugal processes that stick out over the dinosaur's cheeks. These are not horns as such but these bony processes would have been very prominent when the dinosaur was viewed from the front. The Schleich model reproduces the head and neck shield very accurate. The design team at the German manufacturer have obviously taken care to reproduce their model based on the known fossil material.

Striking Coloring – Scarlet Member of the Dinosauria

The paint work on the dinosaur is superb. The Pentaceratops has been painted a mottled red, almost scarlet color with patches on the back and the flanks painted a bronze hue. It is certainly a vivid and eye-catching model, one that will appeal to dinosaur fans and model collectors alike. A scarlet horned dinosaur such as this may not have been very well camouflaged but with those meter long brow horns, only a brave or very hungry tyrannosaur would have dared to have tackled it.

An Accurate Dinosaur Model

The correct number of digits can be seen on the front and hind feet, and the skin texture has been rendered extremely well. The replica is posed with one front leg raised off the ground, an interesting pose, one that distinguishes this replica from most other Ornithischian dinosaur models.

Six Meter Long Giant

Reaching lengths in excess of twenty feet (six meters), Pentaceratops was a large herbivore. A fully grown adult could have weighed as much as three tonnes. With a three meter plus skull, it rivalled the likes of Torosaurus latus and Triceratops horridus for the title of the biggest-headed terrestrial vertebrate. It is always a pleasure to see a new type of dinosaur reproduced as a dinosaur model, this …

Book Review of "Kabul Beauty School"

If you thought you knew everything there is to know about beauty schools, you haven’t seen anything like this. In “Kabul Beauty School”, author Deborah Rodriguez-Turner with Kristin Ohlson shares one journey you wouldn’t even imagine. It’s not an adventure I would want because I am too afraid to ever leave the United States but a fascinating one to read about from a woman who has guts.

At the age of twenty-six, Deborah divorced her first husband. She had two kids and couldn’t quite put her finger on it but she always seemed to be restless. She tried college. She tried being a correctional officer. She tried partying. She tried religion. Without a religious background, she jumped right in to a Pentecostal church and married a traveling preacher who turned out to be abusive.

Her second marriage tuned out to be a bad situation. Deborah sent her boys to live with her mother and started trying to find the safest way to escape this relationship. She began going on mission trips, convincing her husband that she would be a good helper to him when he traveled. Then, she also got involved with relief efforts of humanitarian agencies and really enjoyed it.

On her first trip by herself to Afghanistan, she felt a little awkward because all the other volunteers were educated medical professionals. To her pleasant surprise, when she was introduced as a hair dresser, everyone was ecstatic because she could help them feel refreshed in the ditsy desert.

When she returned home, she began brainstorming about how she could make a difference in the lives of Middle Eastern Women by opening a beauty school and teaching them to become hairdressers.

Deborah collected product donations, found someone to ship the product and made contacts to actually make the dream happen. Someone put her in contact with a lady who already had started a school and suggested they join forces so she agreed. She just wanted to help.

Deborah’s husband was very controlling and began making threats in attempt to stop her from leaving him. She had her mind made up and left.

Once she opened her school, friends convinced her that if she planned on staying permanently, she would need a husband. She agreed to enter an arranged marriage as the second wife.

Much of the book introduces the reader to the lives of the women at the school. Sadly, she discovered that she couldn’t help everyone because there were so many sad stories and cultural differences beyond her control. She learned to be grateful those the differences she could make. As of the publishing if the book in 2007, she was still married to her Afghan husband and remains living there. The school had many obstacles to overcome but she did make a difference.

I think the main point of the book is that you have something to offer wherever you live.

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Aurastella Product Review – Does Aurastella Jewelry Live Up To The Hype?

Aurastella Product Review – The Good…

Aurastella is a jewelry company that launched in 2007 and specializes in selling unique Sterling Silver jewelry through its network of Consultants. The company uses sales parties to allow its Consultants to sell the jewelry directly to interested customers in their homes.

The products all contain 92.5% Sterling Silver, and 7.5% other metals. This is a very high percentage of Silver and makes the jewelry quite valuable. The products do not contain Nickel, because some people are allergic to it.

Most of the products are designed for women, and in fact the company actually says as part of its mission statement that it was founded with a unique dedication to the development of the real woman, and it likes to create a casual environment for women to shop and buy jewelry. Despite this, some men’s products are still available in the Aurastella catalogue.

The Aurastella jewelry is sourced from all over the world, and is usually made by hand by local artisans.

If you like the products and think that you could share them with others then you have the opportunity to sign up as a Consultant. This means that you can start your own business selling Aurastella jewelry, and earn commissions on the sales you make, and also on the sales that people in your downline make.

The key to financial success selling the Aurastella products, therefore, is having a large and active downline. In order to do this, however, it may be necessary to break away from the norm and start thinking outside of the box.

The Bad News…

Aurastella sell their products purely from sales parties, where women can try them on, get free samples, ask questions, and basically have a fun night, while also spending a bit of money on your business. This business model might work if you just want to earn a small allowance or make enough to take your family out for dinner once a week, but it is unlikely to work if you want to grow a successful business.

The Ugly…

Sales parties are time consuming and costly – you might spend several hours in somebody’s house pitching to 5 or 6 people, giving away free samples, handing out business cards etc. only to make a few small sales at the end of it. In the same amount of time, and for a fraction of the cost, you could have written an article all about the benefits of Silver jewelry and posted it online, where thousands of people could have seen it and got in touch with you asking for more information.

With only a couple of hours work you will have generated potentially hundreds of leads, compare to the 5 or 6 people you met at the sales party. What’s more, some people at the party might just have gone along as a fun way to spend the evening, but not really had any ambition to buy that much or enrol in your business. When …