Monthly Archives: November 2009

Fashion of the Future: The Galaxy Dress

Cutecircuit, a London-based company has been fusing science and fashion to create unbelievable clothing.

The Hug Shirt was one of the first products the company designed. Doesn’t it look a bit strange?

The Hug Shirt uses Bluetooth technology to transmit “hugs” all across the globe. The orange circles on the shirt are sensors. The sensors record body temperature and pressure sensations. Hug yourself and the sensors will activate. You can text message a friend who has the Hug Technology downloaded on their phone. When you send the text message, your friend wherever he or she may be, opens the text and feels the same sensation of a hug.

It all sounds strange and a bit complex. Here’s a YouTube video showing and explaining the process.

Another project CuteCircuit has been working on is called the Galaxy Dress. It is a stunning dress made of 24,000 rainbow LED lights. It’s currently being featured at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago at an exhibit called “Fast Forward: Inventing the Future.”

Try getting through airport security with that dress!


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Doctor Who previews (Spoilers for Waters of Mars and Children in Need)


So, they’re sending off Ten with a big old bang of crazy, huh? Because the thing you do after messing with time and getting a lady to off herself is set automatic locks to your TARDIS and have sex with Queen Elizabeth. The virgin queen no longer, huh? The Doctor is clearly on the fast train to crazy town, and this preview, while it made me laugh, seems like a bit of a lame follow-up to Waters of Mars, one of the darkest and most intense episodes of the new series.

I’m waiting to see how they get from Tropical Vacation!Doctor to his regeneration into 11/Matt Smith.

Trailer for The End of Time (David Tennant’s last episode):



What do you think about Ten’s descent into madness? Was it inevitable given all he’s lost, or would it have not happened if he was still traveling with Rose, Martha or Donna?
What about Ten’s “death”? Are you ready for Matt Smith’s Doctor, or do you wish Tennant had stayed on for another season?

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The Top 10 UK Singles for November 22, 2009

1. You Are Not Alone – X Factor Finalists 2009

2. Meet Me  Halfway – The Black Eyed Peas

3. Whatcha Say – Jason Derulo

4. Happy – Leona Lewis

5. Fight for this Love – Cheryl Cole

6. Everybody in Love – JLS

7. Tik Tok – Ke$ha

8. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

9. I Need You – N-Dubz

10. 3 – Britney Spears

All information is compiled from the BBC Singles Chart.

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5 Best places to shop in Chicago

1. Akira

Multiple Locations, Original is at

1837 W North Ave # 1, Chicago, IL.  (773) 772-5414‎

Akira is a large, trendy Chicago-based chain that opened seven years ago in the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood. They have a wide range of clothing for men and women, and a fun shoe section. The salespeople are knowledgeable and helpful without being pushy, and helped me find a perfect color and fit summer dress for me earlier this year. Akira is all about this season’s trends and the hottest items for now, so this isn’t the place to find those classic pieces that’ll stay in your closet forever, but it’s a great place to find something trendy that you’ll love at a reasonable price.

2. State Street Marshall Fields (Macy’s now)

111 N. State Street | Chicago, IL 60602 312/781-1000

The picture is of the Tiffany Ceiling in the store, it’s the largest unbroken Tiffany glass in the world. The store itself is the second largest department store in the world. The store is now a Macy’s chain, ad while you might not find the most unique items here, the shopping experience and looking at the gorgeous architecture is in itself worth a visit. My personal favorite section of is the 26,000 square foot beauty department. I have a hard time not buying something at Fresh or the Chanel counter whenever I make a visit here.
I remember going down to State Street every year as a kid to see the Christmas decorations lit up at Marshall Fields, and the store felt magic to me, and in a way, it still kind of does.

3. Una Mae’s Freak Boutique
1528 North Milwaukee Avenue. (773) 276-7002

This store is located in Wicker Park, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. The store’s layout is warm and inviting, with wood floors and earth tones, and the prices are generally pretty reasonable. Una Mae’s has a nice mix of unique new and vintage clothes. My favorite section in the store is the accessories, they have a beautiful assortment of trendy and classic jewelery. If you want something unique that you can’t find at a department store, this is the place to go.

4. Silver Moon
1755 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 235-5410

Silver Moon is a curated vintage store, with an amazing 1920’s collection. Most of the wonderful gently worn clothes are out of my college student budget, but it is so fun to walk through Silver Moon and take a trip back through time. If you want a party or wedding dress that no one else is going to have, this is the place to look. The best vintage store in the city, in this Chicagoan’s opinion.

5. Stellar 26

4164 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 388-2626

This store has a laid-back atmosphere and has some amazing clothes for lazy days. The owner told Time-Out Chicago that Stellar 26 has a surfer-lite look influenced by her adolescence on the shores of Lake Michigan. The California cool vibe is felt in this midwestern store. Most everything is under 100 dollars, so the shopper can keep their cool even after looking at their receipt.


(At an out-of-state university, but a life-long Chicagoan)

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Don’t Stare too hard at ‘Goats’

Director and producer Grant Heslov brings a psychedelic, drug-induced comedic outlook at life with “Men Who Stare at Goats.”

The film is about reporter Bob Wilton(Ewan McGregor) at a ho-hum newspaper and who is fed up with the dullness of his life. After interviewing a local man claiming to be a former “psychic soldier” and his wife leaving him for an one-armed man, Wilton jets off to the Middle East in search of his next big story. Wilton is convinced he should produce stories as a war correspondent, but is often left behind. One evening at a hotel restaurant he encounters Lyn Cassady(George Clooney), a strange figure who says he’s part of a secret U.S. military wing called the New Earth Army. This unit is described as “warrior monks” who fight war with their minds by using psychic abilities, can pass through solid walls and stop goats heartbeats by staring at them. Are you lost yet?

Wilton is intrigued and follows Cassady into the desert on a mission that Cassady isn’t even sure of. It is slowly revealed to the audience the two are tracking Cassady’s former psychic teacher Bill Django(Jeff Bridges). They must also battle the psychic warrior who made the entire unit fall apart, Larry Hooper(Kevin Spacey).

Viewing the trailer at another film, I thought this film looked really intriguing. It has a great assortment of cast (McGregor, Clooney and Spacey). After watching it, it seemed like two hours of torture. The storyline started out normal enough until Wilton met Cassady. The events of the duo seem too strange to believe, or even comprehend at times. In one scene, Wilton and Cassady are driving through the desert when Cassady says he is “cloud bursting” to keep himself in shape. He stares at a large, puffy cloud and it disburses before his eyes. A few second later, Cassady hits a large rock along the highway when there was nothing else to hit. Another instance is when Django promotes the use of LSD and marijuana so the New Army can “free themselves” from the world. A lot of people have used LSD, but really?

I had trouble engaging with the story and keeping my attention focused on the film. The plot was very jerky and disconnected.

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Avast Ye ‘Pirate Radio’!

Director and writer Richard Curtis(“Notting Hill” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) brings to life the story of outlaw DJs who defied the British government for all that is worthy: drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll.

The government banished modern pop and rock ‘n roll from the mainland radio stations. Rock DJs took to the high seas to broadcast from ships docked in the North Sea. The film follows the fate of one pirate radio station called Radio Rock. They would play the most popular artists of the day: The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds.

The story begins with Carl(Tom Sturridge) arriving on the Radio Rock ship because he had been expelled from his school for smoking cigarettes and marijuana. He claims his mother sent him there to try a different way of life with his Uncle Quentin(Bill Nighy). He meets a ragtag crew who DJs twenty-four hours a day from the ship, including the ship’s cook, Felicity(Katherine Parkinson), who plays a lesbian. Carl bunks with a man called Kevin, who is nicknamed Thick Kevin(Tom Brooke) because he doesn’t process information that quickly (Kevin wore an Easter bunny costume to Christmas dinner). This is a coming of age story for Carl who learns about rock ‘n roll and loses his virginity(while it was being broadcast live).

The station becomes threatened when the prudes at the BBC ban advertising on pirate radio stations become illegal. In response a legendary, sexy and feisty DJ named Gavin(Rhys Ifans) returns from the United States to draw in millions to listen to Radio Rock (It’s appropriate “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones is used to introduce Gavin).

Eventually, the government deems it illegal for any ship to broadcast rock ‘n roll. Of course, Radio Rock defies the orders and continues to rock out. They try to make a getaway when the prime minister’s minion goes after them, but their engine blows up. The ship begins to sink into the North Sea.

The arrangement of cast members and intertwining of comedic episodes made this film very enduring. January Jones plays Elenore, a woman who pretends to love another DJ(Chris O’Dowd) so she can sleep with Gavin. And, another DJ named Midnight Mark claims his secret with the ladies is silence and one-liner “So, shall we get to it?”

The soundtrack which features major rock ‘n roll hits help the film’s appeal where it lacks fluidity.

I really enjoyed “Pirate Radio” and have seen it twice. Overall though, “Pirate Radio” has  some truthful kernels about pirate radio off the coast of Great Britain, but in reality most of it is fictional.

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‘Precious’, a Harlem Gothic Tale

Director Lee Daniels’ “Precious” based on the novel Push by Sapphire has been generating a lot of buzz since it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film follows the journey of Claireece “Precious” Jones(Gabourey Sidibe), an overweight sixteen-year-old African-American living in Harlem in 1987. She lives in a life no one would desire. She’s pregnant with the second time by her absentee father. Her home life is very turbulent because she has to wait on her mother(Mo’Nique) who smokes like a chimney and watches television all day. Precious is abused emotionally and physically by her mother, who at one point makes Precious eat macaroni and fried pig’s feet because she is unsatisfied with the meal.

Precious does well in math at her school, but is expelled because she is pregnant. Her principal provides an answer to Precious’ huge secret: she cannot read or write. Precious begins to attend an alternative school to take classes to earn her GED. Along the way, Precious meets a teacher, Ms. Rain, who helps the extraordinary teenager find her inner voice and strength.

I first saw previews for this film while seeing “Bright Star“, a film about John Keats’ life. The trailer struck me and stuck with me after the opening monologue by Precious. She says, “My name is Claireece Precious Jones. I want to be on the cover of a magazine. I wish I had a light-skinned boyfriend with nice hair. But first I want to be in one of those BET videos.” Two seconds after her voice, her mother enters the frame with a frying pan in hand slamming it into the wall. I knew I had to see the film.

 The plot line seems to be like thousands of other movies – a girl has a problem and overcomes the problem, whatever it is. In the film, Precious doesn’t just have one problem. She has many that accumulates into the travesty that is her life. “Precious” is an emotionally draining movie that has a one-two punch in the gut one after the other. By emotionally, I don’t mean a few tears. It’s several emotions running through your head: pity, guilt, sadness, anger and euphoria. The film is very difficult to watch, but it is very eye-opening.

During one intense scene, I felt sick to my stomach. Precious looked to be a little girl, may three or four. It shows her father taking off his belt and raping Precious. Even though this scene was particularly brutal, it was relieved by Precious fading into one of her fantasies of being famous with her light-skinned boyfriend. The director provided comedic relief in several difficult scenes. In one scene, one of Precious’ classmates taunt her for a crush on Nurse John, the first male nurse any of them have seen.

What really makes the film come alive is the brilliant actors and their attention to detail. No’Nique plays her role frightening well between being an abusive mother and putting on airs to receive welfare checks. Gabourey Sidibe brings raw honesty and an emotional connection to Precious that you can’t help but root for her. Mariah Carey is barely recognizable as she plays a rundown social worker.

This film is amazing and is more “precious” than any nomination or Oscar buzz.

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