British Monarch To Miss Commonwealth Summit

British Monarch To Miss Commonwealth Summit

queen elizabethQueen Elizabeth II will skip the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka this November. This is the first she’ll miss the biennial gathering since 1971.

The 87-year-old monarch has long been a major supporter of the 54-nation Commonwealth. It brings together presidents and prime ministers from the British Empire’s former colonies. But for the meeting this fall, Prince Charles will go in her place.

This is in parts effort to reduce the queen’s long distance journeys and in parts to avoid attending the controversial summit.

The assembly has been under fire from rights activists concerned about Sri Lanka’s wartime record of alleged abuses.

Learn more about Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to miss the summit in this AP story.

The Myth Of The Perfect Mother And The Number 3: The Biggest Stressors For Moms

stressed-out-momJill Smokler, mother of three and author of Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies) feels so stressed out these days. “You always hear about the mommy wars, but I feel like we’re judging ourselves more harshly than anyone else,” she says.

What she also finds taxing, strangely enough, is the number of her children. “Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition. Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands!”

Smokler’s assertion is also shared by 7,164 U.S. mothers who answered an online survey by TODAY.com and Insight Express. Dr. Janet Taylor, a New York psychiatrist, explains that moms become aware that they do not have enough time to take of their own needs. “Before you’re a mom, you take that for granted. When you are a mom, you just don’t have the time,” Taylor adds.

Want to know more about the Mom Stress Survey? Click the link for more details!

ESPN Reporter Broussard Attacks Jason Collins

broussard to collinsThe first hater of 12-year NBA center Jason Collins’ announcement of his homosexuality broadcasted his disgust. ESPN reporter Chris Broussard said downright that Collins is a sinner and all NBA players who share his sexual orientation are in rebellion to God.

Broussard’s fiery commentary was aired in last Monday’s edition of Outside the Lines. This reaction towards Collin’s recent revelation to the world that he’s gay was expected from moralists and conservative Christians.

Collins became the first active pro athlete in four major sports to come out of the closet as featured in this month’s Sports Illustrated. So far, the celebrities admiring the NBA veteran’s bold decision to come out of the shadows and life of fear are outnumbering his haters.

What is ESPN’s take on Broussard’s opinion? Read it first in David Bauder’s report in Yahoo! Sports.

Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 87th Birthday, Duchess Of Cambridge Shows Off Baby Bump

queen elizabethHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 87th birthday with little fanfare last Sunday, April 21, 2013, where she spent the day in private while Prince William’s wife, Catherine, was proudly showing off her baby bump.

This year’s birthday celebrations is a special and eventful one for the monarch as she will mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation, which happened on June 2, 1953 at Westminster Abbey.

Celebrations include traditional gun salutes to be fired across the country, with military tributes on Monday. Other events were carried out throughout England, the Commonwealth realms, and territories. The Queen’s official birthday, though, is in June, when grander celebrations are expected.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s third great grandchild-who will be directly in line to inherit the throne-is expected to be born in July to William and Kate.

The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge proudly showed off her growing tummy underneath a pastel Mulberry coat as she stepped in for the queen at a function in celebrating Britain’s scout movement at Windsor Castle.

Read the rest of the report by AFP here.

Amsterdam’s Rijks Museum Reopens After 10 Years

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the national museum of arts and history founded in 1800, reopened to the public after undergoing a 10-year refurbishment worth €375 million ($489 million).

amsterdam museum

Spanish architect Cruz y Ortiz lead the renovation of the museum. He brought back the original design of architect Pierre Cuypers who completed the project in 1885.

Rijksmuseum is founded in 1800 and is Amsterdam’s national museum of arts and history. Its 17th century gallery is home to an impressive selection of masterpieces such as Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” and Rembrandt van Rijn’s “The Night Watch.”

The museum’s airy atrium is back, where visitors can plan their route around eight centuries. They can check 80 rooms and can see over 8,000 artworks. The museum’s new gallery also brings together paintings with a range of objects from the same era, with items arranged chronologically.

CNN’s Dan Hayes narrates this story further.

McDonald’s Apologizes For Ad Mocking Mental Illness PSAs

McDonald’s is under fire for a PR failure that is sure for an unapproved ad that went public that is sure to keep customers from saying “I’m lovin’ it.”

mcdonalds-depression-adThe print ad, found as a poster on the Boston metro, is a spin on mental health and depression PSAs. The ad reads, “You’re not alone. Millions of people love the Big Mac.” The text is positioned next to a photo of a crying woman and an 800-number that connects to the McDonald’s corporate office.

McDonald’s was quick to issue a statement saying they’re not happy about the ad:

“A local print ad displayed on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) was recently brought to our attention. We can confirm this ad was not approved by McDonald’s. And, as soon as we learned about it, we asked that it be taken down immediately. We have an approval process in place, with our marketing and advertising agencies, to ensure that all advertising content is consistent with our brand values. Regrettably, in this incident, that process was not followed. We sincerely apologize for this error.”

Read the rest of the news on here Yahoo!.

Experiment Your Way To Cooking With Feast

cookCooking can be hard to learn, but finding out how to do it is easier if you have the right tool. That’s the goal of Feast, David Spinks’ brainchild which aims to help clueless cooks learn how to whip up their own food in their own kitchen.

With Feast, Spinks cuts down the quizzes and the technicalities associated with other online culinary schools. He shows video tutorials and pictures to break down each step to help students understand the basics of cooking. Jerry Umansky, a real-life chef at Brooklyn Fish Camp handles the each lesson. He shows how processes like making stock and braising is done with photos of what each step should look like.

With this method, you can learn on your own without having to pay costly fees. Taking the course also allows you to interact with other students and show pictures of your cooking efforts. Share tips with each other, while receiving feedback from your teacher. The lack of structure of this course and the light social atmosphere makes this online course ‘friendlier’ for many users.

Read on to learn how to cook through Feast in this article.

LL Cool J Says He Feels Good About ‘Accidental Racist’

Rapper LL Cool J told Jay Leno in the Tonight Show that the song Accidental Racist was not perfect but he felt good about starting a national conversation.

Cool JThe rapper admitted the he was not surprised that the song got such reaction. He explained that he cannot defend the song but he can clarify his intentions. “I in no way would ever compare the history of the Confederate flag with a do-rag. However, when you think about a kid like Trayvon Martin and you think about some of the things that happen in a society based on clothing, when you put it in this proper context, it makes sense.”

‘Accidental Racist’ is the rap superstar’s collaboration with country singer Brad Paisley. It is a styled conversation between a white Southerner and a black New Yorker. Lyrics include:

Paisley: I’m just a white man
LL COOL J: (If you don’t judge my do-rag)
Paisley: Comin’ to you from the southland
LL COOL J: (I won’t judge your red flag)

What are your thoughts about this song? The Hollywood Reporter shares more about LL Cool J’s explanation regarding the song.

UN Aims To Prevent Child Deaths From Pneumonia And Severe Diarrhea

UNUnited Nations aims to eliminate deaths from pneumonia and severe diarrhea, usually among the poor in Africa and South Africa by 2025. This is through the integrated strategy that includes better sanitation and newer vaccines.

The new 10-year plan, which will cost $6 billion, intends to stop 2 million children under five from dying from those diseases each year.

According to Elizabeth Mason, director of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organization, they believe the targets set within the plan are achievable over the next decade.

The UN aspires to reduce combined deaths from pneumonia and severe diarrhea to fewer than four deaths per 1000 live births by 2025, against 20 currently. They hope to eliminate such deaths by 2035.

Stephanie Nebehay of Reuters gives more details about UN’s plan.