Vogue's August 2005 issue puts a teaser on the cover of "The Secret to Tight, Toned Arms." Secret no more. It's plastic surgery, of course. (It is Vogue after all.)
There is a New York City plastic surgeon who is mastering a method for perfect arms. In the past, cosmetic upper-arm surgeries have involved liposuction followed by the cutting away of loose skin (but there was a long, ugly scar from elbow to armpit).
Lawrence S. Reed, MD, assistant professor of surgery at New York Presbyterian, is one of a cluster of plastic surgeons working to develop a new technique: reducing the arm's diameter while leaving the resulting scar dramatically less obvious. He discovered the trick during procedures to remove sweat glands in the armpit after debilitating infections - he inadvertently noticed the patients' skin around the area looked smoother and leaner than before. (But there is still some scarring.)
When the author, Julia Jones, asks Dr. Reed if she needs his arm surgery, he replies, "Need? Absolutely not. It's an aesthetic problem, not a health issue. Does anyone ever need cosmetic surgery?"
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, armlifts are more popular than ever, with 17,052 performed in 2004, up 61 percent from 2003. Added bonus: the surgery removes your sweat glands - no need for deodorant.
Richard Alleman writes an article in the August 2005 Vogue about a new travel offering - discreet American travelers can now rent the ultimate in luxury villas. The ultra-exclusive British villa-rental firm, Carpe Diem Luxury Travel Ltd. and its companion company, Five Star Greece, provide access to a collection of properties so discreet that most have no brochures, in order to protect the privacy of their owners. Clients view offerings on private Web links accessible only via secret passwords, which change frequently.
Among their loveliest properties are a dramatic six-bedroom cliffhanger created from nine traditional cave dwellings on the Greek island of Santorini; a chic, super-secluded four-bedroom villa on the trendy Spanish island of Ibiza; an 18th-century castle in the Luberon area of Provence; and an eight-bedroom estate on an isolated hilltop in the Val D'Orcia in Tuscany (where much of The English Patient was filmed).
Rates start at $8,000 a week for a staffed three-bedroom villa.
Kudzu is a Southern icon. It swallows houses, smothers forests, occupies junk cars, climbs up telephone poles - but kudzu also has a kinder side, according to an article by Steve Bender in the August 2005 Southern Living.
According to sources, researchers at the Harvard Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences and Medicines looking for a drug to treat alcoholism discovered that Syrian golden hamsters given a kudzu extract showed a stunning reduction in their craving for alcohol. Unfortunately, human trials proved less successful.
But humans can eat the vine - every part of it is edible. you can cook the enormous tubers just like potatoes or grind them into a powder to thicken sauces and gravies. You can add the blooms to salads or use them to make jelly, syrup or tea.
Kudzu first arrived on our shores from Japan in 1876 as an ornamental plant. Then in the early 1900s, Charles Pleas of Chipley, Florida, discovered farm animals loved eating it and started selling the plants through the mail. Then in the 1930 and 1940s, the Soil Conservation Service planted millions of the vines to control erosion. And it covered erosion rapidly - and anything else in its path (eroding or not).
Poet James Dickey expressed a common Southern concern when he wrote, "In Georgia, the legend says that you must close your windows at night to keep it out of the house." But why keep it out? Don't get mad, get even. Eat the vine that ate the South.
First it was telemarketing. Then tech support. Now parenting.
Outsourcing is a new trend in parenting, according to an article by Nancy Jeffrey in the August 1, 2005, People magazine. In Edgemont, NJ, Aresh Mohit, a professional bicycling coach hired out at $60 an hour teaches local kids how to ride a bike (for over 1,800 kids since he started).
Other areas where outsourcing is popular? Toilet training, baking cupcakes for school functions, sewing on Scout badges, etiquette training, wardrobe consulting, thumb-busters, private bus service.
Heather and Bill Bardeleben of Hanover Park, Ill., enrolled their three-year-old daughter Ashleigh in Booty Camp after unsuccessfully trying to toilet train her. Wendy Sweeney, a 35-year-old pediatric nurse known to her students as Miss Wendy, uses a candy-fueled, behavioral-training approach to get kids potty-trained in her Booty Camp. The five-hour session (with some follow-up, at-home practice) costs $200
Overall, one in three wish they were somewhere between 21 and 30. Those between 18 and 29 were the most satisfied with their current age. Men are more likely than women to wish they were an age under 30, surprisingly.
The findings were from a national telephone survey.
Forbes.com scoured the globe for robot competitions and came up with a list of five of the most interesting and most bizarre. They excluded "battlebot" derbies (buzz saws are so 1999!) and any competition that allowed the use of remote controls. The competitors in these gentler battles are expected to run mazes, put out flames and even play soccer entirely on their own.
The book has travel information - such as who's buried where. But it also touches on the history of All Saints' Day, burial processes, architectural styles, cemetery preservation, jazz funerals and voodoo. Featured tombs include those of Jefferson Davis, Benjamin Latrobe, Marie Laveau, John Kennedy Toole, Louis Prima, and many ordinary citizens and families.
Channel your inner artist and create a Tupperware-inspired work of art that could send you – and your masterpiece – to New York City. The first-ever Translations in Tupperware global design contest invites consumers and designers from around the world to create a piece of art or unique functional product using Tupperware as inspiration. Whether that inspiration comes in the form of a painting, a sculpture, an evening gown or a bread box, entrants are encouraged to produce one-of-a-kind pieces that take Tupperware out of the kitchen and into the art gallery.
Applicants will compete for the chance to win a trip to New York City, a $5,000 cash prize, a Tupperware kitchen makeover valued at up to $1,500, and see their work included in a worldwide traveling exhibit, set to launch December 2005.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, September 16. Enter online here.