SAG Awards Fashion Police Special: Girls of Glee

Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley, Dianna Agron, Lea MicheleGregg DeGuire/PictureGroup via AP Images; Jason Merritt/Getty Images; AP Photo/Vince Bucci; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Chinese New Year

Spring Festival
The most important Chinese holiday is Chinese New Year, which is known in China as Spring Festival. The festival ushers in the lunar New Year and is the West’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve rolled into one. From sun up to sun down, this is a time when the whole country throws itself into celebrating and eating.

Legend of Chinese New Year:
No one is quite sure exactly when or where the festival originated. Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a monster called Nian that attacked Chinese villages every spring, eating anything that came its way – people, animals, plants and the odd building. One spring, villagers hung red paper on their doors and threw bamboo on a fire when arrived. The monster was so startled by the bright colors and loud crackling noise of the burning bamboo that it turned and fled. Today the word“ nian” is the Chinese word for year.

Since that day, Chinese people hang red paper signs and lanterns outside their homes and enjoy making loud noises on New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers replaced bamboo after gunpowder was invented and the main idea today is the louder and bigger, the better.

Activities of the Spring Festival:
In the days leading up to the Spring Festival, every household gets a thorough clean since sweeping on New Year’s Day itself might sweep away the year’s good fortune. Breaking dishes or using sharp objects is also seen as potentially unlucky.

The holiday is a time for family celebration and nearly every university student or migrant worker heads home. It’ll seem like the whole country is going somewhere at this time, whether on their way home or taking advantage of the long holiday to do some traveling.

On New Year’s Eve, once the family has been gathered, food becomes a central consideration. Large numbers of delicacies are prepared and fish is often eaten as the Chinese word for fish is a homophone for surplus.

Children particularly enjoy the custom of receiving red envelopes. The envelopes contain gifts of money and are distributed by family elders to young unmarried relatives.

The 2011 Chinese New Year falls on February 3, 2011 Spring Festival.

2010 Date2011 Date2012 Date2013 Date2014 Date2015 Date
Chinese New YearFeb 14, 2010Feb 3, 2011Jan 23, 2012Feb 10, 2013Jan 31, 2014Feb 19, 2015

The Chinese calendar is made up of a cycle of twelve years, each of them named after an animal. According to Chinese astrology, every person is born in a year represented by an animal and his behavior and traits are tremendously influenced by the animal sign ruling the year. Here we bring you a list of the animal signs under which the years past, present and future fall. Read on to find out your chinese zodiac sign with the help of your birth year. Know which animal year sign you were born under. If you like this article, please click here and pass on this page to your friends and dear ones. May everything be to your wish in the coming year.


Men suits: Modern 2011

Men's fashion trends are greatly different to women's. They exist, yes. But their cycle moves much slower. Nowhere is that truer then of men's suit trends. While there are distinct styles of suits that feature amongst 2011's fashion trends I should note from the get-go that they're not unique to the year - in fact, many of the key looks you'll find in this guide will still be in-fashion come 2012 and beyond. Which is a great thing - it means you can afford to spend more on a suit thus buying a quality piece of workmanship that you'll still be able to wear for many a year to come. The same can't be said of most fashion trends.
But what styles, cuts and cloths should you be looking for? Read on to find out.
2011 suit

Read more on men's suit trends
While suiting and formal-wear trends for men aren't seasonal (unless, of course, you're talking about the weight of the cloth) and play out over several years, 2011 and 2012 continue the dominance of two qualities that any modern suit you invest in should aspire to have:
  1. classicism
  2. masculinity
Let's deal with them both.
The classic part is the easy part. A good suit for this decade will take the best elements from the peak eras of men's suiting (think the formality of the Victorian era, the savoir faire of the 1930s and, for some cuts, the skinny detailing of the 1960s) and apply them to a modern silhouette.
The masculinity of a suit is less easy to define; one can't simply enter a tailors and say you want a suit infused with masculinity. Sadly, it doesn't work that way. Instead, suits for 2011 and 2012 are all about a cut that compliments the male physique, a suit that broadens the shoulders and trims the waist highlighting (or at least implying) an exercised body. In short, it's about a cut of a suit that makes you, the wearer, feel more masculine and more confident. And feeling really is key. To some the masculine element will be a suit that is clean cut, with few flourishes, to others it's means a suit full of extra details that it takes a certain attitude to pull off well (I'd say that Tom Ford's suits fall into the latter camp - they're highly masculine, but are made for a gent with a certain kind of attitude to life).
So knowing the fact that you're looking for something both masculine and classic, what are the technical elements you're looking for?

Suit cuts: on-trend styles and designs

You'll find terms such as skinny and slim peppered throughout this tailoring trends guide, but fear not: I'm not referring to the 'skinny boy' suit popular into 2008 / 2009; with proponents of that style having themselves moved on to other styles, the skinny boy suit has had it's day. But, despite this, the terms of skinny and slim remain simply because unstructured, boxy suit cuts are out of fashion. So there, from the get go, as we describe the suit cuts you should be looking for in 2011 and beyond we have to say it: you're looking for a slim cut; and I use slim as opposed to skinny to describe the on-trend cut as your investment in a good suit should be in something that is neither overly-skinny nor overly boxy, but instead a suit cut that would appeal to a military officer, one that accents a sense of the masculine through three key silhouette elements:
  1. broad shoulders
  2. a slim waist
  3. slim trousers
With those three attributes in mind, let's look at the actual cuts that are in fashion:

Single breasted suits

It seems superfluous to include single breasted suits in a trend article given they are never out of fashion. But despite being the default style, they're also the dominant, on-trend suit cut for 2011 and 2012. This sits in contrast to the double breasted suit being the on-trend cut during 2009 and 2010.
The cut of the single breasted suit has evolved for 2011 / 2012 to have two dominant styles:

The sleek cut

The first of the two dominant single-breasted suit styles for 2011 is what I term a sleek cut. This is the suit for the slick chap who wears his suits in something of a toned down way. They're still impeccably made and they're never casual, but when it comes time to tick the masculinity box I referred to earlier, this suit is for the chap who does so with restraint.
To give you an instant mental picture of the sleek cut suit in 2011 and 2012, think of it as inspired by the continuing popularity of all things 1960s, a suit very akin to what the likes of Mad Men's Don Draper wears into the office though one cut with a trimmer waist.
don draper suit
If a sleek cut, single breasted suit is what you want to add to your wardrobe then you're after the following details:
  • slim to medium sized notched lapels or a shawl
  • the upper button should be positioned around your navel
  • a breast pocket that accommodates nothing more than a pocket square (as opposed to a elegantly folded pocket handkerchief) - contrast Don Draper's pocket square to the pocket handkerchief's featured in the Tom Ford pictures below if the difference is not immediately obvious to you

The confidence cut

I'm still looking for the perfect term to describe this cut of suit. At first I'd termed it the flair cut, but it took only a moment to realise that that would imply that I was advocating a return to flared trousers and suits. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead flair was meant to describe the extra, potentially overt, details it has; this is a cut of suit for a gent who can comfortably wear those extra little details that Joe Average generally lacks the confidence to wear out of fear of derision.
So for those of you who are looking for that extra something, both in their clothing and in their life, I proffer up the (potentially temporarily named) confidence cut. As with all fashionable men's suits for 2011 and 2012 it's cut that's about the male physique and the revival of classic suiting elements. Unlike the previous 'sleek cut' single breasted suit described, however, it features one additional key attribute: instead of a slim to medium notched lapel, 2011's confidence suit cut is all about peaked lapels. In this regard, the suit cut sits as something of a 1930s and 1970s revival - back then peaked lapels were the only kind worth having.
peaked single breasted suit
A single breasted suit with dual buttons and pointed lapels.
With its obvious appeal, the confidence cut can be more than just a single breasted suit cut, however. When it comes to on-trend double breasted suits, it's also the dominant cut.

Double breasted suits and sportscoats

If there's one cut that I'm glad I've been able to return to my wardrobe it's the modern, double-breasted suit. Those of you who recall the last time that double breasted suits and sports coats were in fashion may remember the boxy cut it inevitably came with. Fear not, that cut has gone. In its place is one that defies what double breasted suits were originally designed to do: hide a plump figure. Instead they're now designed to accent and to heighten the perfect masculine shape: the V-shaped, well worked body.
Incidentally, if you're still in possession of a double breasted suit from an earlier era, take it off to your tailor to refresh its life.
tom ford suit
Double breasted Tom Ford suits with pointed / peak lapels
If you're purchasing off-the-rack you'll note that there are a good number of double breasted suits available to you, each cut to a slightly different variation. What then should you look for? duke of windsor suitSuits for 2011 and 2012 are all about the same attributes that I keep reiterating: a cut that broadens the shoulders and slims the waist. With double breasted suits you also want to figure in to the overall affect what I earlier dubbed the confidence cut. And that means two additional things for a double breasted suit:
  1. that it has peaked lapels
  2. that its breast pocket is cut to accommodate a pocket handkerchief
As you can see from the picture to the right, the latter mention of a pocket handkerchief is less a requirement and more of a desirable flourish - the added attention to detail of a pocket handkerchief can not only make a look (and would make this one), it can be that one point that sets you apart in a crowded room, particularly when that room is full of chaps wearing their suit with disdain or if they spend their days stuck behind a desk. But the vintage photograph you see also leads to one other additional styling tip: when purchasing a double-breasted suit the "Kent" cut is the in-fashion cut. Named after a style popularised by the The Prince George, Duke of Kent, it's a cut of double breasted suits where a longer lapel line extends into the waist. That is to say: the part of the double breasted suit that sits on the front buttons on the waist line (as pictured on the Duke of Windsor, right). This small detail will help convey you as being taller than you may actually be and, if cut correctly, also imply that you have a trim waist. You'll find the Kent suit cut is offered by a number of designers, including D&G (pictured below), and all good tailors.

Memory Tips

  • Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yes, and you can train your brain to improve your memory. How to improve your memory demonstrates how your mind remembers things, as well as some simple steps to increase its memory capacity.

    Memory Tips
    1.      Pay attention.
    2.      Get moving.
    3.      Challenge your brain.
    4.      Eat right.
    5.      Get your Zzz's.
    6.      Take a deep breath.
    7.      Keep a calendar. 

    Whether you're studying for a test, trying to remember the name of a new acquaintance or just conjuring up details of that fun vacation you took five years ago, memory is an integral part of our everyday lives. So it's all the more frustrating not to remember even the simplest bits of information when it counts. No matter what your age, the simple steps listed below can help improve your memory.

    Step 1: Understand Your Memory
    The human mind is infinitely complex, which is why thousands of doctors and researchers devoted to its study have only scratched the surface of how it works. But thanks to decades of that research, and modern technology, scientists have begun to unlock the secret of how our brains store and retrieve information.

    The Making of Memory

    1.     The information your brain takes in at any given time is encoded (or registered) then stored for future retrieval. But just how long it stays put depends on what type of memory the information becomes in one's brain.
    2.     If a memory is categorized as "long-term," it is either declarative or procedural.
    §  Declarative is the type of memory that you learn, store and retrieve with conscious effort.
    §  Procedural refers to the things you unconsciously learn, usually motor skills, through automatic repetition (such as locking your front door or turning off the stove)

    Types of Memory

    1.      Sensory: Remembering what an object looks like after only seeing it briefly is an example of sensory memory. Because one's exposure to the visual or audio object is momentary, you cannot prolong sensory memory with rehearsal.
    2.      Short-term: Recalling information after brief exposure (up to a minute) is an example of short-term memory, and can include some sensory memories. In studying short-term memory capacity, scientists have concluded that humans remember a string of information better when they use "chunking." For example, a phone number with a distinct area code, prefix and suffix is easier to recall than a continuous line of numbers such as 5125557640.
    3.      Long-term: Calling to mind your high-school locker combination or childhood phone number are examples of long-term memory. Long-term memories are stored in a different part of the brain using repetition and can be retained over a lifetime. This information travels from short-term to long-term with the help of the hippocampus.

    Retrieving Facts
    Once all those nuggets of information are consciously or unconsciously stored, retrieving them is another issue altogether. The following steps explain the connection between storage and retrieval as well as how to improve your methods for both.

    Step 2: Focus First

    Focusing your attention as you encounter information you're going to want to retrieve later can help you remember it.

    Paying Attention

    Have you ever attended a social function and been introduced to seven people, but at the end of the night you barely remember one of the new names you learned? This is a function of short-term memory, and its capacity can be increased.

    1.      Many of the facts we forget simply fall through the cracks because we aren't paying enough attention when we learn them. Focused attention is the key to burning things into memory because without it, information can't be transferred from short-term to long-term memory.
    2.      A good memory is often the product of good habits, so the next time you're introduced to someone new, pay attention to his or her name and try repeating it during the conversation.
    3.      The same method can apply to recalling where your car keys are: Make a mental note of where you're setting them down.
    4.      Expert also say you should limit multitasking if you're having trouble recalling what it is you just did, read, typed, etc. If you focus on one task at a time, your retention rate will be much higher.

    File Data Properly

    Equally as important as paying attention to the instructions your teacher just gave you or the name of your uncle's brother's friend who introduced himself is deciding what to do with that information. Proper data storage is crucial to retrieving that memory later on.

    1.      Facts and figures can become a haze of information that runs together if not organized correctly. Experts say that putting memories into categories is essential to retrieving them later.6
    2.      Think of your brain as a file cabinet—if you're studying for a test, divide up your facts before you start to memorize them. If you're meeting a group of people for the first time, try organizing them and their names by association, age, hobbies, etc.

    Be Deliberate
    Not far removed from the goal of paying attention is that of being deliberate and purposeful in your actions. Below are a few expert tricks of the trade for making sure you don't forget where you set your car keys.

    1.      Talk Yourself Through It: If you're worried about whether you remembered to turn the iron off or can't locate the keys to your car, next time say out loud what you're doing: "I am putting my keys on the computer desk," etc.
    2.      Picture This: Before you go down to the basement to find the waffle maker, visualize yourself doing itso don't forget why you're there the second you walk in the door.
    3.      Spread the Word: If you learned about a concept in class or in a book that you don't want to forget,try relaying (or "teaching") it to someone else. Repetition aids in memorization.

    Step 3: Work Out Your Mind and Body

    We all know the numerous benefits of exercise for our bodies, but the payoff doesn't stop there. Working out your mind and body can reap great rewards for your memory.

    Mental Games
    Just like regular exercise keeps your body in shape, regular workouts will boost your brain.

    1.      Learn new skills: Study a language or start a new hobby.
    2.      For more mental challenges, check out these games for the brain.

    Physical Exercise
    Here's how getting off your couch and into your sneakers can boost your brain's memory capacity.

    1.      People with fairly sedentary lifestyles who undertake active workout routines have been shown toimprove their performance on memory tests. Researchers pinpointed greater blood flow to the brain as the catalyst.
    2.      Exercise also increases the amount of blood and oxygen flowing to your brain, which also boosts your memory capacity.

    Step 4: Treat Yourself Right

    Staff meetings, play dates, study sessions, commuting—it's no wonder our memories often get lost in the shuffle. Taking time out to tend to your needs is an ideal way to keep your brain working at its highest capacity.

    Stress is one of memory's greatest foes. Research suggests that simple, daily meditation strengthens the brain's cerebral cortex, the part of your mind that remembers. Meditating doesn't have to be complicated or "weird." Learn more about how to meditate from Mahalo's guide to meditation.

    Food for Thought
    Even the things you eat can play an important part in strengthening your memory. Scientists have found that a chemical found in blueberries, cocoa, tea and grapes may boost your brain's memory-making capacity.WebMD: Tea, Chocolate Chem 
    Researchers have also discovered that supplements such as Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Phosphatidyl Serine and Ginkgo Biloba can help increase the mind's might.AOL Body: Easy Memory Boosters .

    Step 5: Sleep On It

    Believe it or not, one of the most powerful ways to improve memory can be done in your sleep! Sleep is an essential component of your brain's ability to sort and store information you take in while awake.

    Auto-pilot Maintenance
    Consolidation of information is one of sleep's most important jobs. When you sleep, your brain works overtime to divide the information from the day into two categories: keep and discard. Getting a healthy amount of rest is vital to keeping your mind sharp and jumble-free.

    Every Little Bit Helps
    New research suggests that even short stretches of sleep, or "cat naps," can boost your brain's memorization capacity.MSNBC: 6-minute catnap sharpens memory In a study published by the ''Journal of Sleep Research''

    Step 6: Give It a Rest
    Nothing could be easier than sleeping to improve your memory, but there are a few other seemingly effortless ways to do the trick.
    1.      Set frequently used items in the same place every time.Keys are a hard-to-find common culprit. Try setting them, along with your wallet or purse and cell phone or cordless phone, in the same place every time you walk in the door. This way you can save yourself the energy of remembering trivial, everyday details.
    2.      Buy a day planner or pocket-sized calendar. Save your brain the strain of having to recall all your plans for the coming month. Otherwise you could end up getting burned out or forgetting your engagements altogether! Why use up valuable memory space for clutter such as next week's dentist appointment when you can save yourself the trouble? Instead, jot appointments down so you can use your memory for more important things.
    3.      Involve all your senses. Have you ever noticed how potently a memory from years past will come to mind when you smell a certain scent? Because your olfactory sense is such an effective vehicle for memory, some experts suggest utilizing aromatherapy to boost your brain. For instance, try inhaling rosemary when learning important facts, then later smell it again if you have any trouble recalling them.

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to improve your memory-making and memory-keeping capacity. It can be as simple as taking a deep breath, forming a few new habits, getting a good night's sleep and breaking a sweat now and then.

    Disclaimer: This page is not a professional medical advice. Please see your doctor for verification of the instruction posted in this page. 

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