samedi 26 juillet 2014

18 Dreamy Accessories for Every Sleepover

08:57 By



Pillow fights and hair-braiding doesn’t have to be just for kids.

Every sleepover needs the basics, like junk food, ouija boards and scrunchies. But not every sleepover has the essentials — those rare items that turn a good slumber party into a legendary one.

With these quirky accessories, no one will be getting any sleep. Read more…

10 Homemade Hair Masks to Treat Your Tresses

07:49 By

Everyone needs a bit of pampering from time to time, including you and your luscious locks.

Summertime is anything but friendly to your hair. Salt water from the beach, pools loaded with chemicals, the unforgiving sun and an influx of showers due to the heat can really take a toll on your hair, but luckily, a few household objects can bring your mangy mane back to its pristine state.

Before you drop your hard-earned cash on an overpriced treatment filled with chemicals from your local pharmacy, raid your pantry to create some of these DIY hair masks instead.

Image: George Marks/Retrofile

10 Homemade Hair Masks to Treat Your Tresses

Sunni Official Taken by Gunmen in Baghdad

06:46 By

BAGHDAD — Gunmen traveling in 10 black SUVs seized a senior Sunni politician who had previously been jailed on terrorism charges from his home in Baghdad, police officers said Saturday.

It was not immediately clear if Riyadh al-Adhdah, the head of the Baghdad Provincial Council, was arrested by security forces or abducted late Friday, the two police officers said. Four of his bodyguards were also taken, according to a statement from the provincial council. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The incident comes at a time of mounting sectarian tensions, with Sunni militants having seized vast swaths of northern and western Iraq, and Shiite militias mobilized to help the beleaguered armed forces fight back. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, is looking to secure a third four-year term despite widespread calls to step aside over the crisis. Iraq has reportedly been censoring websites critical of the central government, according to researchers.

Al-Maliki discussed al-Adhdah’s disappearance with Salim al-Jabouri, the Sunni speaker of parliament, at a meeting Saturday. The speaker called the disappearance a « problem » without saying whether al-Adhdah had been arrested or kidnapped. Sunnis have long complained of being unfairly targeted by security forces, and their discontent with al-Maliki’s rule is seen as a central cause of the country’s unrest.

Al-Maliki’s security forces have targeted prominent Sunni politicians in the past, alleging links to terrorism. Shortly after the last U.S. troops withdrew in 2011, the security forces tried to arrest Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on terrorism charges, forcing him to eventually flee to exile in Turkey. Al-Hashemi, who was later convicted in absentia and sentenced to death, has denied the allegations.

Sunni government officials have also been targeted by Islamic extremists and other Sunni militants, who view them as traitors.

At a press conference Saturday, provincial council member Falah al-Qaisi called upon the government to « shoulder its security responsibility, » and open an investigation « in order to reveal the circumstances of the incident and ensure (al-Adhdah’s) personal safety. » Al-Qaisi did not provide details on who might have seized al-Adhdah.

In 2012 al-Adhdah, a medical doctor and member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was imprisoned for eight months on terrorism charges. He has maintained his innocence.

The provincial councils are the highest of the four tiers of local government in Iraq established following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled former President Saddam Hussein.

Additional reporting by Mashable

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Sunni Official Taken by Gunmen in Baghdad

'Arrow' Producers Tease 'Flash' Crossover and Oracle

05:45 By

SAN DIEGO – Get ready for a super crossover.

Arrow producers at Comic-Con on Friday unveiled plans for a two-hour crossover event with freshman action series Flash, which is set to air this fall.

« We’ll be seeing people from both shows crossing over, » said Andrew Kreisberg, an executive producer on both shows. « Everyone will get a taste of each other — that sounds wrong. »

The crossover will take place in episode 8 of both shows. And prior to that, episode 4 of Flash will see Felicity (played by Emily Bett Rickards) visit Central City.

Season 3 of Arrow, debuting Oct. 8, will start off with Team Arrow enjoying their respective victories at the end last season. But that will change, producers said, thanks in part to several new characters, including Brandon Routh, who will play Ray Palmer, a.k.a. The Atom.

« One of the things we talked about a lot is that Season 3 is when a lot of shows bring on game-changing characters, » Kreisberg said. « We were very conscious of making those additions this year. »

Speaking of which, Kreisberg teased a Felicity flashback episode that will be titled « Oracle. » In comic mythology, Oracle is the alter ego of Barbara Gordon, formerly known as Batman’s sidekick Batgirl.

Check out the trailer for the new season, below, which debuted during the panel.

Are you excited about the new season of Arrow? Sound off in the comments, below.

'Arrow' Producers Tease 'Flash' Crossover and Oracle

7 Pieces of Connected Sports Gear to Give Your Game a Virtual Edge

04:39 By

Before technology, only hard work and harder coaching could help you tighten up your baseball swing or quicken your crossover. But now, sports equipment companies are giving athletes of all ages the tools to track and improve their performance in unprecedented ways.

There are a slew of sensors and connected equipment that will let you match your experience on the field with the metric and measurements you need to figure out what went right or wrong. When you can figure out why your free kicks are failing, or why your right hook isn’t hitting hard enough, these tools will come in clutch.

Here are seven items that will give you stats and guidance you need to kick your game up a notch.

Whether you’re a budding NBA all-star or a devoted pick-up player, the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball will help you break ankles and bury threes. The ball measures your shot speed, shot arc, dribble force, dribble speed and backspin. Then, it sends the information to your phone, where you can analyze what’s working and what you need to improve.

The app also gives you drills to work on your problem areas, so you can one day make your hoop dreams come true — even if it’s just to not get picked last.

Price: $249


Fine-tuning your swing is a never-ending process for a baseball player. But with this sensor from Zepp Labs, you can track several different speed and angular metrics to pinpoint what you need to fix before your next at-bat.

The app also lets you compare data with other users and friends, set goals, look over past performances, and find trends so you can get hot at the plate without burning yourself out.

Price: $149.99


Image: Mashable, Nina Frazier-Hansen

Have a backhand or serve that needs a little work? The Play Pure racket measures your power, endurance, technique and impact on the court with a sensor built into the handle.

You can review all of that information on an app, which connects you to other users around the world. That way, you can bounce ideas off each other and figure out how you stack up against the competition.

Price: $399

Adidas X-Cell

As the saying goes, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. While anyone who’s actually competed for anything knows that its a crock of garbage, the X_Cell looks into how you played and gives you feedback through an app.

When you clip the X_Cell onto the waistband of your shorts, it’ll measure how fast you moved, how hard you hustled and how high your vertical was. If you wear a special chest strap with it, it’ll measure your heart rate, too.

The app also gives you different training regimens focused on improving target areas that’ll help the way you play the game correspond with winning it.

Price: $70

Slide this sensor onto the end of your hockey stick, and you’ll be able to measure speed, acceleration and angle of every shot you take. The sensor has enough battery life to record data for 1,000 shots, which it will send to an app for you to review.

Price: $150

Shockbox Football Sensor

The danger and long-lasting implications of concussions have plagued football at all levels, but the Shockbox helmet sensor is one of several similar products working to make sure the damage is mitigated as much as possible.

The sensor is placed inside of a helmet, and measures the impact of each hit the player takes to the hit. The coach has access to data from each hit, and is alerted if a player receives a blow strong enough to give him a concussion.

Price: $150


If ESPN broadcasts poker tournaments, then we can call Nerf basketball a sport. This hoop hooks up to your smart phone or tablet and allows you to play head-to-head games, dunk contests and a few other contests with friends. The hoop will even film you and save your best moves, because everyone is entitled to a highlight reel in 2014.

Price: $15 – $30

It might be hard for you to get your hands on this, but Gatorade developed an innovative way of tracking hydration on the soccer field for the Brazilian National Team for the recently finished World Cup.

Each player on the squad had a special hydration formula, and each of their Gatorade bottles came equipped with a special sensor to measure how much each player was drinking. The data was then sent to the coaches and trainers so they could make sure the players were staying hydrated.

The technology isn’t on the market yet, but if it does get released, you’ll be able to go with more than your gut to see when you need a little extra boost.

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7 Pieces of Connected Sports Gear to Give Your Game a Virtual Edge

Woman's 'Cards Against Harassment' Campaign Fights Everyday Chauvinism

03:32 By

When an ordinary Minneapolis woman started filming herself confronting the men who hassled her in the streets, she never thought her videos would garner 1.5 million YouTube views. Now, she’s helping women fight back against harassment worldwide.

Lindsey, who prefers to keep her last name private, first decided to take action against street harassment when a man stood behind her on an escalator and started to flick her hair, asking « Hey blondie, where are you going? » When she asked why he didn’t just say hello, he began screaming that she was ugly and not cute enough for him anyway. « That’s when I realized it’s clearly a kind of gender abuse, » she says, which is part of why she prefers to protect her identity.

So she began giving her harassers little cards printed with tongue-in-cheek reprimands and a website. “I designed these cards more to make sure I didn’t leave a harassment scenario feeling like I was voiceless, » she explains. Now, anyone can download the cards from her website to print off and hand out.

When Lindsey discussed the harassment with her friends, however, she says her male friends were skeptical that she experienced it every day. So she started recording her confrontations with her harassers to prove them wrong, using her iPhone’s side button to turn the camera on and off, capturing short bursts of video that she later stitches together. Now, the videos on her YouTube channel have a combined 1.5 million views.

In the videos, among other things, she’s called a « bitch » because she’s « sexy, » and told that « women are put on this earth to satisfy a man, so if she feel offended, she should never a been born. »

Lindsay says her campaign helps change many women’s thinking, too. “Based on my inbox, it has made a lot of women sit back and say ‘oh, right, that thing that happened to me was harassment,’” she says. Many women compartmentalize the sexism they experience on a daily basis, and Lindsey says she hopes her videos will spur women to talk about harassment with their friends.

She’s quick to explain that its easy to ignore any one incident, but that continued, sustained harassment makes city streets unsafe and unwelcoming for women. Data backs her up. This year, Stop Street Harassment commissioned a nationwide survey of 2000 men and women about their experiences with street harassment.

It found that most women change their behavior in some way because of street harassment, from wearing sunglasses to not walking alone and even quitting a job or exercise routine. Harassment also leads to greater self-objectification, which can cause depression and lower academic achievement in women, it found.

Some of Linsdey’s harassers are black men, and they have complained she’s only insulted that a black man would talk to white woman. While she says that’s not the case, she is troubled to think her videos might perpetuate stereotypes. And she recognizes that she has advantages that allow her to have it out with all kinds of men in the street.

“I would be remiss if I did not very explicitly claim my privilege. I’m white, I’m wealthy, I’m educated. I’m enshrouded in a great deal of privilege that makes it safer for me to mouth off,” says Lindsey.

And although she’s of average build and height, she says she generally feels safe confronting her harassers in well-lit public spaces. The cards also take a little while to read and process, which gives her time to make an exit.

Lindsay is also expanding the reach of her project. On Wednesday, she published a series of ‘fatcalling’ cards, for plus-size men and women to hand out to strangers who comment on their weight. She’s also planning on making cards in different languages, and welcomes tweets suggesting what they should say.

Lindsey doesn’t believe she’ll reform her catcallers, but she hopes she will make them think twice before they heckle another woman. « Even if they only see me as being obnoxious, or a brat, it creates a slight risk that they’re going to get [a talking to]. »

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Woman's 'Cards Against Harassment' Campaign Fights Everyday Chauvinism

Threat of War With Russia Darkens Ukraine

02:22 By

Russia is intensifying its military action near the border with Ukraine, slowly but steadily amassing troops along boundary lines.

Powerful rocket systems from Russia are being moved closer to the Ukrainian border and the Pentagon says the arrival of those heavy artillery systems in the country is now « imminent. »

The weapons systems could be in separatists’ hands as early as Friday, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren.

« It’s that close, » Warren said.

Though Warren didn’t have an exact timeline, he said the U.S. has new evidence that Russia intends to deliver more — and more powerful — rocket launchers to the rebel militias, who Western intelligence officials say are responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Although eastern Ukraine for months has been a bloody battleground between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, the tension has radically increased since MH17 was shot down.


A woman stands next to her bicycle as she watches a convoy of Ukrainian armored personnel carriers (APC) riding through the eastern Ukrainian city of Konstantinovka, in the Donetsk region, on July 21, 2014.

Image: GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

Over the past few days, both Ukraine and Russia have reported increased cross-border attacks, though Warren said on Friday that the U.S. has seen no indications of Ukraine firing back into Russia.

« For the last several days Russian forces using Russian artillery from Russian soil have conducted attacks against Ukrainian military positions in Ukraine, » said Warren. « This is unquestionably an escalation from a military perspective. »

The separatists are now behaving as if backed into a corner. They are extremely jittery and testy, especially with journalists, said Mashable‘s Christopher Miller, who is currently in Donetsk.

Fighting is escalating and, unlike earlier clashes, it’s no longer contained to the rural outskirts of the eastern regions but spreading into the cities and residential areas. And consequently, civilian deaths are rising.

The movements of rebels within the city is more visible than ever. Convoys of armored vehicles have been cruising through the streets multiple times a day in the rebel-controlled eastern city of Donetsk, which is just 40 miles from the MH17 crash site.

The rebels in Donetsk have also taken over after local police quit en masse. Their patrol cars are now painted the red, black and blue separatist colors.

Even as reporters were just arriving at the crash site of Flight 17, another battle ignited near the train station in Donetsk, and at least three civilians were killed in the crossfire.

The residents, who have lived among warfare for months, finally fled the city. Donetsk is now a ghost town.

Earlier this week, pro-Russian rebels, who have shot down a dozen military aircraft over the past few months, downed two Ukrainian military jets near the Malaysia plane crash site.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said this week they have no evidence that directly linked Russia to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. But they believe Russian-backed separatists likely shot it down. Officials also said they are certain that Russia is responsible for « creating the conditions » that led to the tragedy, referring to Russia’s support of the separatists.

Though Russian troops have assembled along the border with Ukraine several times this year, Warren said there are now close to 12,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s border.

As a result, the White House is now discussing more economic sanctions against Russia, specifically aimed at President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, according to press secretary Josh Earnest.

« It only underscores the concerns that the U.S. and the international community has about Russian behavior and the need for the Putin regime to change their strategy, » Earnest said.

The U.S., however, has been hitting Russia with several rounds of sanctions ever since masked Russian gunmen began popping up in Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine. Despite the threat of an economic toll on Russia’s economy, Putin still pressed on with annexing Crimea.

Christopher Miller contributed to this report from Donetsk, Ukraine. Some information was provided by the Associated Press.

Threat of War With Russia Darkens Ukraine