Rules to Live By

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Happy New Year!

Cheers to 2013!


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Big Data, Big Dead End

Very interesting persepective on the data economy from CTRL-SHIFT NEWS:

‘Big Data’ seems well on its way to becoming the next big bandwagon. However, in the scheme of things I think it’s more like a Big Dead End.

Before saying why, let me first recognise where and how ‘Big Data’ is important.

Our society is transitioning from an ‘old normal’ of information scarcity to a ‘new normal’ where massive new data sets continue to come on stream. Just think of the volumes of data now being created in payments (the shift from cash to plastic to contactless and mobile payments systems), mobile (location data), online (search, click streams and the like), and even travel: just think how much data Oyster is collecting about Londoners’ travel activities.

Clearly, there’s tremendous value in mining these vast new data sets to identify trends and patterns, and in crunching different data sets together to find even more trends and patterns. All great stuff. No question.

So why claim that Big Data is actually a Big Dead End?

First, we need to beware the hype. To take just one example, Big Data does not mean that now “anything can be predicted”. Yet that’s what one breathless book – Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres – claimed a few years ago. That sort of hype really isn’t helpful.

More important, Big Data is actually just a case of ‘more of the same’. It fails to address the really big information challenges (and opportunities) that we now face. Let’s unpick this a little. Read more…

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Glamourous Goodies for Giving & Getting

Celebrate the diva within you this holiday season! Here is the Reddsmitty 2011 Holiday Glamour Gift Guide with 7 of my favorite things. Share these fabulous finds with your friends or simply splurge on yourself to ensure looking lovely all year long!

1) Revlon Fantasy Lengths Self-Adhesive Eyelashes: no mess and all glamour! These can last up to a week! I am officially addicted. $5-$7 and available at Walgreens

2) Victoria’s Secret “Bombshell” Bra. Nothing on Earth lifts and supports like this miracle. The added curves are a bonus.  $49.50-$59.50









3) The most comfortable thong in the universe is the Hanky Panky lace thong. Both original and low-rise styles rock. No bulges or panty-lines! Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and online in 47 colors for $18 each. 

4) bareMinerals Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish from Bare Escentuals in Princess. I’m a proud lip gloss addict and this is my go-to gloss. Many great shades but hands-down Princess is my favorite.  $18 at Ulta.

5) Molton Brown Body Wash in Heavenly Gingerlily will add luxury to your shower and bath. Available at Saks, Nordstrom, and online for $28.

6) My new favorite ring is on sale for the holidays! The Luna Ring from Lia Sophia is bursting with urban chic and bling. Available for a limited time for $44 (regular price is $84).

7) No holiday wish list would be complete without a hot pair of heels.  My pick for this season is the Jasper mary jane platform pump by Vince Camuto in black and fuschia suede. $118.95 at Nordstrom. 

This concludes my 2011 Favorite Things Glamour Gift Guide. What would you add to this list? Happy Shopping!

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Before P90X

Before P90X

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Eating Seaweed FTW!

Saying I love sushi is an understatement.  Now there are even more reasons to savor each bite of maki! Enjoy!

Deep Sea Deliciousness: A Guide to Edible Seaweed

By Jeanine Natale

As another sultry summer shimmies into full swing, why don’t we take a look at a refreshing, versatile, and wonderfully low-calorie/fat-free food that’s sure to add an interesting new dimension to light and healthy eating? Yes, seaweed! You’ve probably seen drifts of this common sea algae floating in the ocean waves, or in tangled clumps along the beach, but did you know it’s actually a delicious, nutritious, and surprisingly popular food? If you’ve had sushi or miso soup—even salad dressing, pudding, or ice cream—odds are, you’ve eaten seaweed. Heck, you’ve probably even brushed your teeth with it.

Sushi Rolls

Naturally high in essential nutrients like iodine, potassium, and magnesium, seaweed is becoming more and more available not only in health food or international stores, but also at your local market, and there are different kinds of seaweed used in all kinds of yummy dishes. It’s been a staple in the diets of many coastal cultures from Japan to Scotland for centuries, and now the rest of the world is learning how good it really is for you. Five of the varieties you’re most likely to encounter are nori, wakame, kombu, hijiki, and carrageenan, also known as Irish moss.

Contrary to many beliefs, seaweed is not fishy or even overly salty in taste or odor. Some varieties, like carrageenan, are nearly flavorless, and can be a versatile ingredient in many kinds of sweet and savory recipes. Each type of seaweed, whether crunchy, salty, chewy, sweet, crispy, or slippery, has its own nutritional fingerprint, but all varieties of this remarkable sea algae offer the health-conscious eater a fat-free, low-to-no-calorie superbundle of essential vitamins and minerals—most notably iodine.

IodineIodine is perhaps best known as an ingredient added to table salt (ironically, sea salt does not contain iodine naturally). But because many of us would do well to lower our salt intake, seaweed offers an excellent low-sodium delivery system for iodine. Numerous international studies have shown that iodine plays an important role in regulating the thyroid, which helps keep your metabolism on an even keel. More importantly, according to a 2007 study by the World Health Organization, iodine deficiency is one of the world’s most preventable causes of mental retardation, with seaweed being one of the most accessible and easily digested sources of this essential mineral. Indeed, seaweed is vegan and gluten-free, and it poses much less danger of causing an allergic reaction than fish or shellfish—two other good sources of iodine—(although you should keep in mind that seaweed is often processed in the same facility as both fish and shellfish). Also gaining much worldwide attention is evidence that a diet supplemented with iodine, as well as vitamins B and E, may help in preventing or lessening the effects of fibrocystic breast disease.

Generally, you’ll find your different types of seaweeds available as dried sheets, flakes, or leaves, in prepared packages that usually weigh a couple of ounces each. (Single-serving sizes are typically between 1 and 3 grams, depending on the recipe.) After you moisten, steep, or soak your seaweed in water according to package or recipe directions, it’s easy to use, and it retains its nutritional value even when cooked. Here’s a quick look at how the various seaweeds add up.

  • NoriNori. The most recognizable of the seaweeds, nori comes in crunchy, paper-thin black sheets most familiarly used to wrap sushi. Nori can also be sprinkled in flake form as a yummy topping for soups and salads. A 2.5-gram serving of nori supplies 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)* of iodine, 10 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, 8 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, and 1 gram each of protein and dietary fiber, along with trace amounts (6 percent of the RDA or less) of potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, and omegas 3, 6, and 9. Plus, each serving has just 10 calories and only 5 milligrams of sodium. Read more…
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