5 Fall Trends You’ll Want to Wear

Fall 2016 is just around the corner and all the fashion enthusiasts are ready to welcome the season – fashionably. Fall brings with it amazing hues and shades, and this is also true for the fashion trends of the season. Burgundy, shades of rust and brown, purples and lavender, navy blues, maroon etc. are all favourites in the colour palette for fall.  These colours complement the vibes of the season perfectly and are perfect for any body type and skin tone. From makeup to hair dyes to clothing, these shades are a perfect pick for fall 2016. Let’s look at a five trends that you will want to wear this fall.

Sparks and glitters:

Tinsel is a major fashion statement this fall and will continue to make it big throughout the season and even in winters. From glittery overcoats to jackets, shirts and pants, tinsel is a trend you can’t get enough of. Seen at major fashion runways including Gucci, Escada, and Chanel, glittery clothing items are a must this fall. Sparks and glitter add a shine to your personality and help you stand out in the crowd. You can carry this latest fall trend to casual as well as formal events.

sparks and glitter


Bringing back the trend from the past, velvet is all set to make an appearance again this fall. Velvet dresses, crop tops, coats, jackets, suits and even boots will be a major style statement. Velvet is fancy and glamorous to look at and adds the necessary oomph factor to one’s personality. Velvet is easily a self-sufficient garment and does not really rely on other accessories to support it.


Statement chokers:

Chokers have been around in the fashion game for quite some time now and they don’t plan to make an exit anytime soon. This fall, chokers will be going through a transformation as well and we will see a shift from thin choker bands to more thick ones with embellishments. Already sported by celebs like Kendall Jenner, this trend is going to be a rage. You will find a perfect statement for every casual as well as formal event; you just have to keep a lookout.

statement chokers

Bomber jackets:

Who doesn’t want to look effortlessly chic, even on a bad day? Bomber jackets have been around for some time too now and are the best way to look chic and effortless. Customized bomber jackets are going to be a major thing this fall and as seen on Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik, they are bound to look absolutely amazing. Bomber jackets give you a very sharp and edgy look so do not forget to carry this trend this fall.

bomber jackets

Denim, denim and more denim:

Seriously, did you even think denim will ever get out of fashion? Denim is here to stay for good. From denim on denim look to denim dungaree, flared denim jeans, ripped denim jeans, boyfriend denim pants etc. are all fall trends that you will want to wear. Denim is one of the chichest fashion trends right now and you must try it on.


Where can Lying on your Insurance Policy Get You

insuranceTD insurance offers different forms of insurances to people who want to make sure that they will not have any problems in case they experience any unfortunate event at home, abroad, or anytime in their entire lifetime. Recently, TD insurance discovered through a poll that 19% of Canadians have actually not been entirely honest on putting the right and truthful information on their respective travel insurance applications. This just goes to show how some Canadians are willing to save cash by withholding crucial information from their insurance applications. From one perspective, this can imply that the said Canadians are not at all well-informed about the consequences of such act. On the other hand, this may also mean that there are people out there who are very much willing to take the risk and lie on their applications just to gain various benefits.

Canadian travel insurance companies are not the only institutions that deal with fraud. This front-end fraud is an issue that has been bothering countless travel agencies over the course of the past few years.

Lying on your travel insurance policy can only lead to a downward spiral. At the very onset, it may lead to a travel insurance company refusing to pay out your claim. To add, once you have not shared a crucial information like, say for example, the fact that you have diabetes, you may be denied coverage once you have encountered a medical problem on the sole purpose that your present medical condition has not been disclosed before. Also, if you happen to get hit by a car, there will surely be some conflicts with your travel insurance if you did not share your current medical condition. The reason why this could be a potential cause of conflict in your travel insurance plan is because the failure to disclose crucial information can prevent travel insurance company administrators from determining whether you are fit to travel or not. If you have lied about your medical condition, or if you are not disclosing all there are to be disclosed that can potentially impact your trips in and out of the country, there will be mishaps with your travel insurance for sure. In addition, if a person who applies for a travel insurance does not mention all of the extreme sports he plans to do like skiing, for example, his travel insurance company may not deal with the damages of his equipment and his medical bills if ever he got into an accident.

Mr. Clay Gillespie of Rogers Group Financial believes that lying on travel insurance policies will almost certainly always land a person in trouble. While it is true that there are people who manage to get away with their lies and untruthful health records, numerous travel insurance administrators have already adopted a more efficient way of dealing with applications.

In Denmark a survey showed that a very large part of the population did not condone insurance fraud. Blogs like Bilforsikring and Forsikringer informs people about how to save money on insurances. But they tell about tips and tricks that are all within the limits of the law.

At the end of it all, lying on travel insurance applications can be tragic. Honesty is the only policy that usually matters in travel insurance companies. Unfortunately, most people still resort to lying to travel insurance providers just so that they can get cheaper quotes; but, of course, this front-end fraud has a high possibility of resulting to serious consequences. Association of British Insurer’s director of general insurance and health, Mr. Nick Starling, had made it clear in interviews that cheating to get cheaper travel insurance can put a person in jeopardy, potentially with terrible consequences.


Aleppo: The Story of Syria’s “Circle of Hell”

aleppo-syriaSyria was a country of fertile plains, large deserts and high mountains, a hospitable home to minorities and miscellaneous ethnic and religious groups, from Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Druze to Shia and Sunnis. It was one of the luxuriant destinations of tourists and the focus of investors. Till one day, a civil war, which begun with protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, took place in March 2011 and divided the country into government-supporters and opposition. Ever since then, wars crimes and bloody fights have never come to an end. The conflict heated-up in the past few weeks.

The media has been focusing on the recent Amnesty International report accusing the Bashar regime of crimes against humanity and opposition groups of war crimes. These crimes has led Amnesty reporters into calling Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, the “Circle of Hell”.

Recent Attacks

Since September 2014, the American-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes in Syria, trying to take down militants of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
On May 1st, 2015, around 52 civilians were killed in the village of Bir Mahli, in Aleppo, Northern Syria, following airstrikes shepherded by the United States and allies against the militants of ISIS. The reports were provided by a Syrian monitoring group and local activists. Nine of the 52 civilians were children.
On May 3rd, 2015, activists opposing to the government posted videos showing corpuses of children being pulled out by their parents from a nursery school in the Saif al-Dawla district, a school that was struck by a bomb dropped from a government helicopter. Four children, one teacher and five civilians were killed.
On May 4th, 2015, al-Sakhour hospital, one of the largest cities of Syria, was hit repetitively in airstrikes led by the government.

Amnesty Accuses President Bashar of Crimes Against Humanity

Not only have activists and monitoring groups confirmed the attacks which were targeting civilians and were led by the government, a report published by Amnesty International has also validated the claims saying that government forces have been committing a number of war crimes.
The international organization declared that from January 2014 to March 2015, the government initiated incessant strikes using barrel bombs on areas that were held by rebels.
Amnesty report stated that the government “deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects”, describing their actions as “hostile”.
“Such a systematic attack on the civilian population, when carried out as part of government policy as appears to have been the case in the besieged city, would also constitute a crime against humanity,” the report added.
So far, their airstrikes targeted 14 public markets, 12 transportation hubs, 23 mosques, 17 hospitals and medical centers and three schools.

President Bashar Pleaded not Guilty

In an interview with the BBC, President Bashar al-Assad denied the accusation of using barrel bombs.
However, in a report released two weeks later by the Human Rights Watch, the accusations were confirmed, saying that “hundreds of new indiscriminate attacks over the past year with air-delivered munitions, including improvised weapons such as barrel bombs.”
One month ago, media reports released by the CNN declared that eye witnesses from Yarmouk, the largest Palestinian refugee camp located on the borders of Damascus, said that government forces had targeted the camp with barrel bombs as a response to the breaking in conducted by ISIS militants.
“This is Yarmouk camp, and we are not leaving our homes,” one eye witness told CNN. “Whatever happens, if they keep hitting us with barrel bombs, we will die.”
Attacks using barrel bombs killed more than 3,000 civilians in Aleppo governorate last year and have contributed in creating a climate of fear, as it has been revealed in the report.

Armed opposition groups Accused of War Crimes

In their latest report, Amnesty International declared that the armed opposition groups in Aleppo have also contributed to these war crimes in their own way. Their random attacks have caused the death of around 600 civilians in 2014 as they used mortars and improvised rockets fitted with gas canisters which they have called “hell cannons”.
The report concluded: “Both sides are violating international humanitarian law and must be held to account. However, throughout the more than four years since the crisis began, government forces have been responsible for the large majority of violations and crimes.”
The report was based on analysis of images and videos shot during the attacks along with more than 100 interviews with current and former residents and activists from Aleppo. It contained 74 pages and delivered documents containing “unthinkable atrocities”.

Local and foreign journalists have also been targeted by the warring parties. Some have been kidnapped while others have been killed covering the fighting in Syria. This has led to a smaller number of foreign journalists going to Syria. But more and more journalists are taking precautions like doing hostile environment awareness training before deploying to conflict zones.

Surf Fashion for the Everyday Gentleman

We all love the sandy beaches of LA and the warm sun of Miami, but living the Surf bum lifestyle doesn’t exactly go over well during your Monday morning meeting. That doesn’t mean you can’t surf up your life with a beach inspired wardrobe.

Around the Office

Feel free to throw on a Pilgrim Surf + Supply crew neck sweater over your day-to-day button up. The extra layer will not only keep you warm, but it’ll give you the casual relaxed feel of a night on the beach. Okay, not exactly. But the relaxed fit and clean look will bring the drab of office attire to a more casual level that screams chilled out.

If the casual sweater doesn’t tickle your fancy, at least rock a “I surf to get tan” tee under your daily digs. That way, when 5 o’clock seems all to distant, you can kick back and smile about the sandy beach on your mind.

Check out Pilgrim Surf + Supply for a stock list and more awesome surf gear.

If work dress codes reserve Friday afternoons for summer fun, the florescent overhead and conversations about the weather can leave you feeling down. Why not wear this subtle Surf Evolution Tie to brighten your day and distract your co-workers from today’s forecast.

Don’t worry your surf tie will go perfectly with your rad socks hiding just below your pant hem. Just because you’re in the office doesn’t mean you have to hide your sunshine loving nature.

Weekend Surf Code

Unless you live in Coastal California, southern Florida or some ridiculously beautiful place elsewhere in the world, dressing to surf will be cumbersome or downright isolating. However, adding a touch of your inner-surfer to accent your list of weekend casuals will show off your passion and add the style differential that makes you, well, you.

Try finding some checkered patterns or a cool denim jacket to stay stylish without throwing people off by your laid-back clothes. In fact, just check out what Levi’s and Supreme have done. Any denim jacket will give off an air of adventure while keeping your style relevant.

If you want something more subtle, just throw on a pair of the always casual Sanuk’s footwear. The miix between espadrille and sandal shows off your eco-friendly side while staying comfortable for your weekend outing. Sanuk’s are tough and comfortable, the perfect choice for weekend warriors.

Surfing Accessories

Don’t forget, sporting surf friendly accessories will catch the eye of the style conscious and surfer friendly crowd. The perfect people to kick back with while you dream of sunnier times at the shore.

Some favorites:

Never Stop Surfing For Your Dreams

No matter your destination, representing surf culture lets people know you’re always chasing your dreams even when locked away from the sunny shores and killer surf. Don’t be afraid to wear some sunshine attire as a center-piece in your outfit. After all, who doesn’t love surfers?

A 2015 Wardrobe Update for the Modern Man

It’s a new year, a new world and a new set of resolutions. Time to get your style in check and update your wardrobe to show off the new you in 2015.

Last year, we saw new leather trends, detailed quilt work, scruffy beards and brimmed hats (to name a few) hit the streets in 2014. As with every passing fashion trend, last years neck turners got a refined update and should be added to your arsenal, immediately.

Throw in a Little Leather

Leather is back, and it’s not the cow hide armor from decades past. No, the new leather comes in small strips and patches as an update to everyday basics; transforming casual wear into a remarkable center piece.


The accentuated class of a leather patch, or an arm length leather sleeve screams minimal style and shows off your fashion mojo. In 2015, leather accents will get an air of class we haven’t seen since Happy Days.


Needless to say, if you like the look, quality and durability of leather, bomber jackets bring out the best in every outfit and can be the staple of your 2015 outerwear. Put one of these in your closet and relish in your new manliness

Synchronize Your Color Block

Leather won’t work for every man. So why not try color blocking?

Color blocking your outfit isn’t really a revolutionary breakthrough in fashion. However, the recent application of mixed materials and the draw toward minimal palettes with accentuated design (think very refined black & white) makes color blocking all the more significant in 2015.


If the new trends in leather intrigue you, check out these color-blocked outfits using leather to break up the otherwise identical tones. The look is refined, yet complex. It moves the eye across the entire outfit while letting you keep the simple look you love.


Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color in places typically left bare or hidden. These Études Studio glasses look awesome and add some wonderfully subtle color to your face. Mix in bright colored accessories to add the unique twist that suits you.


Grow Out Your Beard

If you haven’t already, grow some facial hair in 2015. Aside from the psychological benefits of doing things out of the ordinary, facial hair is in style more than ever. The recent growth in Men’s grooming has not even begun to hit the peak, and 2015 is going to bring in some truly new facial hair styles.


Pick up a stylish Shaving Kit with some beard oil to brighten your luscious locks or pick up a beard trimmer to keep your look clean. Feel free to experiment and find your beard zen.


Stop Being Afraid of Hats

Pharrell got a lot of press about his Wide Brimmed Hat debut in 2014, but at the end of the day it looks great… and not just on Pharrell. The re-emergence of the menswear hat is a wonderful trend in 2015. Not only do hats come in a ton of different styles, they instantly show class for the debonaire man.


You will never go wrong with any Goorin hat. This American hat maker has been making some of the best hats since 1895. Their story rocks, their hat shops are fun and they make them in store. Not only is the selection huge, their style will drive you mad (pun intended).


Keep it Simple, but Reach Outside Your Comfort Zone

That is the number 1 rule for 2015. Keep it Simple, but Reach Outside Your Comfort Zone. Whether you’re rocking leather, sporting some colorful accessories, growing out your man locks or supporting the hat movement. 2015 is going to be another huge year in the evolution of menswear; we have a lot to look forward to as menswear becomes mainstream. So, saddle up and update your wardrobe for the 2015 you.

What happened to king Tut Ankh Amon’s mask?

640px-Tutanchamon_(js)_1Among the most important of ancient artefacts is the death or funeral mask belonging to King Tutankhamen. The mask was excavated in 1922 from The Valley of Kings and the boy king ruled, 1332BC to 1323BC. He has always been held in regard as a historical figure of mystery and the mask found by British archaeologists Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon would become as synonymous with ancient Egyptian culture as the pyramids.

The rumoured curse of his funeral mask has struck The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, who are facing a plague of potential legal battles, accusations and tarnished reputations. Photos are circling the internet, in which, it appears the beard has been glued on to the golden face mask with a transparent adhesive.

There are different accounts as to what transpired and the Associated Press found. “All of the museum’s conservators reached by telephone gave differing accounts.”

According to The Guardian, one museum official said, “What happened is that one night they wanted to fix the lighting in the showcase, and when they did that they held the mask in the wrong way and broke the beard,”

Conservators at the museum also claim it was knocked during cleaning and the beard fell off then. Some versions of this sequence of events border on the scandalous claiming the gluing job is unprofessional as a result of the cleaners trying to remedy the situation themselves under the cover of night.

The Egyptian Museum general director, Mahmoud El Halwagi claims the adhesive was administered at his say so and it is to prevent the beard being dislodging in the future. He dismissed the claims it was damaged and in an interview with Ahram online says the beard is undamaged, still in its original position and that nothing has happened to the mask since he took up position in October. ”

Regardless of how it happened all accounts agree that the use of epoxy, a common household adhesive was a poor choice. The decision to use a glue intended for metallic and stone surfaces on a 3,300 year old artefact has been criticised by experts.

“Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material – epoxy has a very high property for attaching and is used on metal or stone but I think it wasn’t suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamun’s golden mask,” one curator said.

A curator who was present at the time of the repair said that when excess glue dried on the mask a colleague used a spatula to remove it, leaving scratches. This poor workmanship not befitting a museum has outraged many.

“The mask should have been taken to the conservation lab but they were in a rush to get it displayed quickly again and used this quick drying, irreversible material,” the same curator told The Telegraph.

According to the AP, “Tut’s mask is a huge draw for tourists, so the museum wanted it back out there on the floor.” It is little wonder why in a country struggling to attract tourist after the 2011 uprising which ousted Hosni Mubarak, Egypt needs all it tourist attractions on display.

The museum could very well have a law suit on their hands. Monica Hanna, an Egyptologist who inspected the mask, said she was so shocked by what she saw that her group is taking the matter to the public prosecutor.


“We are presenting a complaint on mismanagement to the prosecutor tomorrow,” said Ms Hanna, from Egypt’s Heritage Task Force, which has long battled mismanagement and looting of Egypt’s legendary ancient artefacts.

The international media is using this opportunity to portray the Egyptian Museum unfit to handle relics of such immense value. While it’s unclear exactly what happened the papers are happy to speculate and the museums inability to set the story straight, is making it far too easy for these international papers to bring the competence of the whole country into question. The BBC had this to say “As Orla Guerin reports from Cairo, the incident has raised concerns about how Egypt’s ancient treasures are being treated.” The Egyptian Museum is being described as underfunded and gloomy.

Read more about this story:








Grocery Employee Hailed As Hero by the French during The Terrorist Attack

During the deadly terrorist hostage situation in French, a Muslim man hid hostages in a supermarket hence hailed as a young hero on social media and French newspapers for his kind actions. The young man, Lassana Bathily, an employee of a local supermarket, Hyper Cacher kosher in Vincennes, helped hid hostages into a freezer downstairs as gunmen was preparing to shoot them. This is according to French TV station, BFMTV.

The young man, a religious Muslim follower, says when he guided the people to the freezer, he switched off the light in the freezer and told them to stay quiet. ‘’ I will go out when they come, ‘’ he allegedly told them. ‘’I went upstairs by the elevator.’’ ‘’The young man asked us all to follow him upstairs otherwise we would all be killed where we were hiding, Bathily, 24, reported to BFMTV. According to BFMTV, he exited the freight elevator quickly and ran outside and was arrested by the police later, and he helped show where the hostages were hiding,

The hostages came out and congratulated the young man. The French newspaper L’Express could not determine how many people had hid in the freezer. The gunman was killed as he tried to shoot the police but he managed to kill four Jewish captives. Rudi Hadad, among those hidden in the freezer, said that some few people were confused and ran back and for the upstairs during the incident. The social media was hype with praise for the young man Bathily, particularly on Facebook. A Facebook follower said, ‘’ Friend, I have great pride in your efforts. You risked your life to save your colleagues. God surely saw your efforts and will reward your accordingly. You will be blessed because you have shown humanity and kindness.’’

Another man who claims to be a relative to Bathily posted on Facebook, ‘’Bravo to my cousin, you showed great courage yesterday where the world could not have done what you did. In other news, an estimated 4 million people and world leaders have held peaceful marches across France to honor the people killed in Paris attacks. In Paris alone, 2 million were part of the Sunday rally and among them were the family members of the victims. The assailants also besieged the police and Kosher supermarket, killing five innocent people. The families of the victims wore a white bandana written “Charlie’’ across.

About 2500 security personnel were on the guard on the 3km stretch from Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation, according to France interior minister. Snipers were also positioned on rooftops for maximum security. According to the interior ministry, the large number of the crowd that took place in the march where more that the marchers who roamed the streets when the allied side liberated France from the dreaded Nazis during the World War II. The foreign dignitaries present included German Chancellor, British prime minister, and Spain prime minister. Other dignitaries present include Israel prime minister and Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Palestinian president, and Ukraine’s president.

Queen Rania and Jordan’s King Abdullah also attended the march

Netanyahu blamed al-Qaeda as he addressed the masses. He also singled out Boko Haram, Syria’s al-Nusra Front, and Alshabab, saying all these groups are interlinked. French Muslims had difficulty participating in the march where Israeli leaders were participants as they viewed them as war criminals. This is a direct reference to the offensive Palestinian militant group Hamas, that killed 72 Israelis and 2500 Palestinians.

The attacks in Paris started on Wednesday when gunmen attacked Charlie Hebdo, a publication office that publishes cartoons of religious figures such as prophet Mohamad. In the attach, 12 people were killed in cold blood including France’s best cartoonist.

According to a French media newspaper, the attack was carried out by an al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch that has launched previous attempts to kill westerners. In the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a senior leader of al-Qaeda says the attack was to avenge Prophet Mohammad’s honor. This has not been confirmed by the security officials yet. This has been a sad day for France as they struggle to come to terms with the tragic shooting of their citizens by gunmen last week.



Nigerian Military Repels Boko Haram Attack

As Boko Haram prepared to attack the northeastern section – a place called Biu, Nigerian military stopped the attack. This is according to a tweet from the military. According to the Nigerian Defense Team, they managed to capture two anti-aircraft guns and two terrorists. No casualty numbers have been provided by the officials but resident reported to CNN that more than 40 Boko Haram terrorists were killed after being surprised the military, and they proceeded to fight a lengthy battle using firearms. Boko Haram terrorist in two motorcycles and 10 pickups attempted to enter the town, about 200 kilometers, south of the state capital, Borno Maiduguri around 7.30am. However, they were readily intercepted by the Nigeria military who came from the nearby barracks, which led to a two and half hour gunfight, said the residents.

Hundreds of soldiers lay secretly to wait for the terrorist and opened gunfire on a team of three pickups that were carrying gunmen near the airstrip two kilometers outside Biu, the residents said. ‘’The Nigerian military managed to gun down 40 Boko Haram militants and thwarted their attempt to hijack the barracks. This ultimately stopped their plans to attack the town as well, ‘’ said Biu resident Mahmud Bukar,’’. According to Bukar, all the gunmen in the 30 pickups that were leading the militants were gunned downs by the hail of gunfire.

The remaining militants that camped at a nearby gas station near Kigir village mobilized fast and faced the Nigerian military in a battle so fierce that it lasted more than two hours, said another resident, Bashir Babagoni. According to witnesses, the militants were overwhelmed and were forced to run away in disarray. Supported by local arms men, soldiers follower their trail in the bushes while armed youths set up closely guarded barricades in different parts to prevent the gunmen from infiltrating the town.

The town’s first siege

Residents flocked the fighting scene after the militants withdrew and saw the gunmen’s dead bodies and their vans riddled with bullets, said Babagoni. This town is religiously mixed and is the largest religious mixed town in Southern Borno. It serves as a commercial center and also has a military base. Although the militants has attacked villages in the nearby areas recently in the past year, the town of Biu has remained untouched by the militants.

The militants have attacked northern Nigeria often since 2009, raiding churches, civilians, schools and government buildings, and bombing police stations. The militants have openly aid that it only aims to impose Sharia law, a stric law across Nigeria. This will split the majority the Christian south from the majority northern Muslim.

Last week, the militants attacked some small villages near the Chad border, killing thousands of civilians, perhaps hundreds. Human rights watch acquired satellite imagery showing the fires set up by the militants. According to the satellite report, Doro Gowan and Baga were destroyed by flames. Bodies of civilians still litter the bushes and this remains the militant’s deadliest massacre.

Tactics horrified world

The militant’s brutal warfare has stunned the world. They have kidnapped over 200 school girls and they remain missing since April. They have also strapped bombs to school girls and then ordered them to blow up market. One teenager reported to the CNN that she refused the instructions and fled hurriedly from the scene. According to critics, President Goodluck Jonathan is not doing what needs to be done to quell the insurgencies that mostly affect opposition strongholds. Jonathan has not said anything about the killings as he re – launched his re-election bid. They are holding elections earlier this February.

In other news, as millions of civilians marched the streets of Paris to commemorate the people that were killed by insurgents, two girls carrying explosives exploded and tore a mobile phone market in North eastern Nigeria. The blasts killed the bombers and three other innocent civilians and injured 50 more. This attack day came after another girl stripped by a bomb, a ten year old girl, exploded in Maiduguri, killing more than 20 people. While in divergent settings, hundreds of thousands of miles apart, these attacks in both Nigeria and France have been motivated by extremist ideology. This ideology rejects the modern world shaped by economic, social and political liberalism.

How to Sell Your Home without Using an Estate Agent in the UK

Back in 2007 something drastic began to happen in the United States that was to have a profound effect around the globe. The collapse of the Lehmann Brothers Banking Corporation didn’t just take financers, economists and bankers by surprise, it took all of us a moment to swallow the information: how on earth could a banking establishment as big and secure as the Lehmann Brothers collapse? And moreover, how did we all miss it, especially when AIG was going under and nobody seemed to be noticing it.

The next few months panned out to 2008 and then in the U.S. there was all that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issue and suddenly we were watching homeowners being evicted from their townhouses and homes following foreclosure, and the poor folk suddenly found themselves living inside their cars!

The situation soon spread to the United Kingdom; in the wake of what was the credit crunch or the “economic downturn” house prices suddenly froze. To many that were in the middle of a mortgage term, it was like we had just had a major jolt in our car whilst driving on our way to work.

But still the prospect and fear of negative equity, falling house prices and economic housing crisis didn’t really sink in at first. In fact in the U.S. and the U.K. interest rates began to fall sharply. At first most homeowners were actually chuffed. It meant the banks and lenders who had gave you and I the cash (so readily in many cases) to buy our homes were being forced to reduce the repayment mortgage monthly fees they charged.

Interest rates came right down in time to about 0.25 per cent in the U.S. and dropped to 0.5 per cent in the U.K. The result was lower repayments (unless you were unlucky enough to have bought into a long term fixed rate plan which was at around 5 per cent or more with many mortgage companies before the credit crunch) and with lower repayments, the value of your home to the outside market began to freeze and even start to fall.

The housing market was all but grounding to a halt, on both sides of the pond and the way everyday people controlled their finances reshaped a spending revolution. In the U.K., as with most of the European Economic Market, austerity ruled the day. If you asked your boss for a rise at work, he more than likely tell you to save your jokes until Friday afternoon, if you didn’t notice the price of every item you picked up in the supermarket, you started to then and all of us were tightening the belts at every angle.

Selling your home became a bit of a crisis and as we searched around for an answer to save money, we became constantly embroiled in money saving supermarket websites, finance advice, forums hinting at the cheapest places to buy stuff online and tips on how to sell your home in a buyers’ market.

Yes, those decades when it was a sellers’ market in the housing industry had come to a big crash and the roles had suddenly been reversed. Selling your home without the use of a real estate agent (or an estate agent as they are called in the United Kingdom) seemed unthinkable before the housing market collapse which started in earnest by 2008, so why is it of such interest for us today?

Money Saving a Real Priority for Home Sellers

Real-Estate1Saving money during times of austerity suddenly became a real issue for millions of Americans and Brits desperate to actually get off the housing ladder, rather than get on it with the gravy train rush that started just a decade earlier.

One of the biggest fees that a homeowner has to fork out when selling their home is the estate agent fee. Just how much this fee actually is can vary depending on the level of service your estate agent offers and whether it has many local competitors in the housing market game.

The housing market game of selling and buying had changed dramatically, and few saw it coming. Hardly anybody wanted to buy and sellers could only wince at the prices they would get for their property on the housing market. The result was they pretty much stayed where they were. But what about those that were forced to sell – those who faced foreclosure or eviction from their lenders, unless they sold up quick.

If you continue to fail to meet your monthly mortgage repayments, foreclosure and repossession of your home would be the sad but inevitable case. A home that forecloses will in time get sold off by the lender or bank that gave you the mortgage in the first place, so that it can get its cash back quickly.

It sounds a cruel and disheartening situation to be in but it is a hard fact of life. So in order to lessen the impact on a short sale, a homeowner would look at other ways of saving cash. And one of the first tips which spring to mind is: getting rid of that middle man – the estate agent.

Most of us will be pleased that times are beginning to change – in the economy that is – good times are back and we are starting to see house prices rising once again and the market looking brighter for many involved in the housing selling and buying business. Only, this time a new breed of potential homeowners and sellers are beginning to question the role of the estate agent. Sellers are beginning to hold estate agents to account and ask the question: what the hell do you do exactly that I cannot do for myself?

In some cases, more often than not in fact, the fees an estate agent charges are extortionate and much too high. Moreover, many will offer you the full Monty service which includes a solicitor (a required body when selling a home) as well as a Home Inspection Certificate. Only most will use their own in-house solicitors and offer you the certificate ticket for home efficiency at a price double what you could have got it for had you sourced it independently.

Other estate agents will just say they will charge a 3 per cent fee of the final sale, whatever it goes for. Now, that sounds all well and good but what if you happen to be selling a one-bedroom apartment, which would normally go for around £100,000 if sold in the south eastern region of England (much less if further up north or in Scotland), the 3 per cent hit would mean you only got £97,000 of your flat value back. Furthermore, some estate agents are charging a standard fee of £3,000 plus VAT – regardless of the fee the flat eventually sells for – which hits the seller for a whopping £3,600 once VAT (Value Added Tax) is added; now that’s a poor return for a business which may sell your studio apartment in Manchester or Liverpool for just £50,000.

Can an estate agent justify these costs and can you as a seller get them cheaper elsewhere? After all, many of us plan all of our own holidays over the internet these days and travel agents will not have welcomed the internet as it means they will have had to reassess how they do business nowadays.

What Exactly Does an Estate Agent Do?

real-estate-fearsMany wrongly think that estate agents are there to sell your property, and that’s it. You’d be wrong of course; its aim is to get you to list your property with them. The pre-sale bit – when they come round to give you your quotes and estimates – is the real important bit, to them!

But hold on, isn’t the most important bit to me the actual sale of my home? Not really, not to them it isn’t. You might be surprised to learn that the commission the estate agent gets is made on getting a new property listed under its banner, rather than on the sale or the securing of that sale.

You may have noticed how most estate agents offer a free valuation of your home. This is a tried and tested method used by estate agents to get their foot in the door. They already know the value of your home. Anybody can look up (for free) on the internet how much say a three-bed semi-detached in Croydon would normally fetch and a one-bed flat in Welwyn Garden City is as easy is finding out what the postcode is and the general state of the property.

Then there is another trick the estate agents play against us; the valuation it gives us is usually about 10 to 12 per cent higher than its true valuation and is used as a trick to get us to sign up and list our properties with them.

Can you imagine if an estate agent looked at similar properties sold recently near you and picked the top five or six sellers and told you this was “average” or the “going rate?” Therefore, anyone with a one-bed apartment worth £100,000, don’t be surprised if the estate agent tells you a few of them have sold at £112,000 or £109,000 in your area and are a similar property type.

It’s more likely these properties have had vast sums of cash spent on them and are decorated to a high standard. The ones that did sell at £98,000 or slightly under your TRUE valuation are not going to get a mention from your estate agent. However, their research will have discovered these.

If you don’t believe me, try this simple trick. Get the value of your home from a website like the BBC House Price Tracker to see if your home is actually worth what you (or your estate agent) thought it was. Then check on recent sales in the biggest online home selling directories and look at the Land Registry for public records.

The next task for your estate agent is to take some photos of the home – both inside and out – and post them onto a site like Zoopla or Right Move UK. These are both huge directories and are unrivalled in Britain for sheer volume of homes up for sale. The websites are also the biggest places for potential buyers to head when looking to purchase property.

As with all property searches, you will need only your postcode, area or region and the type of property you want to sell (or buy) such as studio flat, one-bed flat, two-bed flat, three-bed house and so on. Once you get to see the results you’ll quickly begin to realize your one-bedroom flat in the south east of England you thought was worth around £100,000 and your estate agent promised you can “expect” to get around £106,000 minimum but up to £112,000 – is in fact correctly priced as you will have discovered and your estate agent has basically tried to oversell the idea in order to get you on board.

Where Do I Start Then?

So, just where do I start with selling my home without going within an office shoe of an estate agent’s shop? First, you must make your home sellable. If it needs decorating, then you will have to get down and dirty and start painting and making it modern looking.

Even if you are not the sort of person who likes hanging wallpaper, painting walls, hanging dado rails and putting down new carpets, get someone in who does do it – a professional or a keen friend. A decorated home can sell for up to £6,000 more than a home that has not been recently given a lick of paint. And I can tell you now, a decorator will not charge as much as half that to knock out just a couple of the main rooms in your home.

Decorating your home will pay itself back; and moreover, it could do so many times over. One recent apartment in Surrey, near south London was placed on the market for a £120,000. The one-bedroom flat received no interested parties as clients were not satisfied with the walls that needed plastering, the carpets replacing and the entire flat begging for modernization. One potential buyer offered £98,000 which was rejected out of hand, as was a later offer of £105,000.

The flat was redecorated professionally over a period of three months and cost the owner at least £5,000 but new doors were fitted along with a new bath set, kitchen units and modernization took place throughout this tiny apartment in Croydon.

It went back on the market at £122,000 and was sold within six days on it being relisted. In fact it actually received £124,500 as there were three potential buyers battling against one another. If you do the maths, you will discover the decoration may have taken time and money, but it nailed the sale and every penny paid out to the decorator was reimbursed through the flat sale.

In reality, it is the kitchen and the bathroom that need to be tidied up and cleaned (preferably professionally) as these are the rooms that sell homes. You don’t need to buy an entire new kitchen and bathroom unit, just make sure you repair any broken bits (plugs, drawers and counter tops) and paint over that 1960s wood panel!

Set the Price

Once you have made up your home and cleaned it as much as possible, it’s time to set the price. You will not have to ask a professional for a house valuation. This has already been mentioned, and finding out the true value of your home is easier than you might have imagined.

It is good to know that it has not always been like this; estate agents will hate us for saying it but selling your home or flat yourself with no help from the estate agent is easier today than it has ever been. Much of the ease in selling your home is down to the internet, so anyone not online in any way or without access to a network should think about getting on line before you can progress.

We have already learned that some estate agents are guilty of inflating valuations, if only to get you to sign up and come on board with them. The keen temperament of the estate agent is overwhelming once you have signed up with them, but you just watch them cool once you are on the books and your home is up for sale.

Doing Your Own Research

Getting online and going in to get your hands dirty is surprisingly easy and rewarding. Within less than 10 minutes you can log into Rightmove.co.uk and nethouseprices.com and wonder how you never managed to stumble across these sites in the past. They both provide dynamic tools to evaluate nearby houses similar to your own.

But remember to look at the houses and properties that have sold and not so much the ones that have been grossly overpriced and sat around on the market for several months without a buyer.

A Description of Your House or Flat

In actual fact, writing a description of your home is ten times easier than it is to produce your resume (CV). The estate agent will simply knock this up in a matter of minutes and you don’t need to be a genius to do this.

There is no need to write a glowing report or description about your home, and it does not have to be lengthy either. A potential buyer will not want to read through endless amount of glorified drivel. A few short lines like, “This much-sought after region presents a recently modernized maisonette with fitted kitchen and bathroom. The apartment is located in the quiet Pin Green district of the town.” And that’s about it.

You may want to tell potential buyers about garages and sheds (outhouses) that come with the tenancy and you will need to disclose any service charges and ground rents that the local council pass on to leaseholders (these charges are not paid by freeholders).

Get The Photos Right – A Great Image Means Everything!

commercial_3This one is important; an estate agent often takes a great deal of time and care with photos and the angle is vital too. It’s actually difficult to get a good picture of a small kitchen but estate agents are used to it and it won’t take you long to collect a sample of decent photos of inside and outside your property.

If you live out in the countryside then get a shot or two of those rolling landscapes, farm views and country lanes right outside your home. The immediate area where you live means a great deal to a potential buyer.

If you have a studio flat in a small block of flats then don’t waste images on your bathroom sink and toilet, just take some of the modern fixtures and fittings in the living room to make it look homely and warm. If the kitchen is fairly large or very small always take the image from the top corner.

In all cases the communal living areas should be shown at their best time. This means AFTER the refuse collection team have cleaned the gardens up and swept around the outhouses and sheds. You should never include personal belongings in your images such as a clothes horse with washing drying and someone’s knee sat down in an armchair. No pets should be in the shots and you can refrain from using an image of yourself pointing to any fixtures or features that you want the viewer to specifically look at.

Once you have got all your images uploaded to your PC or tablet and the description sorted out and checked with proof reading, you can now go ahead and list the property. As a private seller, you are classed in the business as a “for sale by owner” seller. The big guns such as Right Move, Zoopla and Prime Location are not going to welcome you here, I’m afraid. These portals are the exclusive areas where estate agents can advertise and they will have paid handsomely to do so.

However, there are two websites we can direct you to right away:



In a country like Denmark the “For Sale by Owner” concept is very used and you will find many sites in Denmark that service home owners who want to market their home. The best is probably Selvsalg. The site is free and delivers you real estate listing to other sites too.

On these two sites private sellers are flogging their own homes and bypassing the estate agents. What’s more many potential buyers and serial buyers or investors have got to know all about these sites, and often land a bargain. That’s because you the seller saves money by not using an estate agent, and those savings can in part be passed on (to some extent) to the buyer. So with some good deals out there for the buyers, there happens to be a big audience of visitors.

There is a small fee to be paid to the website owners however. But the savings you will have made over and above what you would have paid for an estate agent are dramatic, to say the least. The cost of the services start at under £50 and a deluxe package is around £150.

Listed? Now What?

Now is the time to get those people out there to come and scour around your property and buy it! Doing your own promotion should not just be limited to the websites you placed the home earlier, but think about social media. Put a link to your listing on Twitter, create a Facebook status and include all the photos you took, put the house on YouTube (you can include a real nice video here), put it on Google Plus and then do it all over again the next day.

Soon you will have several people emailing you asking if they can come and have a browse. You may be busy in this part, showing folk around your home and answering questions like, “When was the boiler last replaced”,” What is the local neighbourhood like?” and “Is there easy access to the outside using a wheelchair?”

You will be bombarded with questions, receive curious potential clients and you must expect a few timewasters. As any estate agent will tell you, it is part and parcel of the job; you’ll not be able to weed them out or tell them to buzz off, you must go through the motions, show them round and wait for the next batch of visitors.

Some of the timewasters will have similar properties for sale themselves and will just be curious as to what this flat looks like on the inside, it’s no skin off their nose if they don’t commit to buy. It’s a free market and anybody can shop, we can all pick up goods on the supermarket shelves and then replace them having had no intent to buy – so you can expect the same in the house selling game.

A small bit of advice about letting strangers into your home: you should have a partner or friend with you as it can be a little daunting if three or four potential house buyers are bombarding you with questions and gripes every two or three seconds.

Viewings can take place at weekends or evenings should you be at work during the daytime. It is worth giving your email address to potential buyers rather than your mobile phone number, if only for security purposes.

Price Negotiation

If you have ever held a car boot sale (garage sale in the U.S.) then you will be more than painfully aware of those who insist of haggling. Haggling is a form of trading that has been around since the days of Jesus Christ when it would take place in the bazaars and market places around the Middle East. It happens at a boot sale, when some nauseating gentleman will offer you 20p for the lovely yellow vase you have out on the table which you have labelled up for 50p.

Often a haggler will not miss that 30 pence in money but just loves the barter and trade of haggling and feels a sense of victory if he manages to bag that small bargain and save, what he considers a paltry 30 pence! Don’t you just hate those folk? Now, suffice to say the same thing will happen in the estate agent selling industry.

Only here, the room for negotiation must see you get tough! You are acting as the estate agent remember? There is no room here for you to be a shrinking violet and get bullied by someone who wants to knock five per cent of the value of your home.

Unfortunately, it is possible you’ll get those who will say things like, “Well come on, the boiler is on the way out and I will have to re-bleed all the radiators – plus the garden is in a bit of a state? Surely you are not going to get any more than £95,000 for this place, good luck to you if you do, but I doubt it’s going to happen. Now please consider my final offer, it will still be valid for another 24 hours, and you will be a fool to overlook it!”

Oh dear, selling your home sounds like a daunting prospect all of a sudden. But you will be pleased to know these bullying prospective buyers are a rare breed and they are not likely to negotiate discounts on flats or small apartments. Just stick to your guns and drum up a reserve price in your head. Let’s say you will not go any lower than £99,000 on your £105,000 listed property; any offer than goes below the 99k mark is to be rejected out of hand.

However, under no circumstances must you reveal to any of your bidders what the reserve price is. Reserve prices are secret to all – even failed bidders! And most of all – good luck! One quick alternative I want you to consider if you are still apprehensive is online estate agents; these agents are a fraction of the cost of the high street realtors because of low overheads.











Ebola successfully treated?

The Malian government announced Friday, November 28, 2014 that a person with Ebola was successfully treated on its soil. This is the first case of healing in a country where another confirmed case is still being processed. “This person was treated effectively. It has been tested twice, it is negative”, said the Minister of Health at a press conference.

In addition to this, health officials denied the contamination of a suspected case. A total of 285 people who have had contact with the virus carriers were under medical supervision.

Slowing the spread

Mali, the last country affected by the epidemic spreading mainly in West Africa, reported seven deaths on its territory due to Ebola: a two-year-old girl came from neighboring Guinea, which resulted in no spread, and an Imam who also arrived from Guinea, which contaminated directly or indirectly seven people, five of whom died.

Having started in December 2013 in southern Guinea, the virus has killed nearly 1,300 people in this country, according to the recorded deaths, more than 3,000 in Liberia and about 1,400 in Sierra Leone. According to a comprehensive review of the World Health Organization in November 23, 2014, hemorrhagic fever caused 5689 of a total of 15,935 cases in eight countries. But the fight progresses, resulting into slowing the spread, particularly in Guinea and Liberia.

Ebola in the Middle East

A Saudi returning from Sierra Leone with symptoms similar to those of Ebola died of a heart attack in August 8, 2014, as announced by the Saudi Ministry of Health. The Saudi, who was quarantined in a hospital in Jeddah, will be buried according to Muslim rites, but with precautionary requirements of health authorities worldwide, said the same source. The tests were performed by a laboratory abroad to determine whether the Ebola virus was involved but the department did not report the results.

Saudi authorities had reported the suspected case a day before, noting that Saudi Arabia no longer grants visas to citizens of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since April 2014 due to Ebola cases identified in these countries.

The essentials of Ebola

Ebola virus disease is a type of hemorrhagic fever. It is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, Ebola. Five species of this virus have been identified, four of which can cause human disease, while the fifth does not cause symptoms in primates.

The case fatality rate (number of deaths among people infected) varies between 25% and 90%, depending on the strain. In the current outbreak, it is on average 36%, with a much more serious situation in Guinea (60%), Liberia (42%) and Sierra Leone (22%).

Ebola appeared for the first time in 1976 in Yambuku, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), in a village near the Ebola River, hence the name of the disease.

For thirty-eight years, 25 Ebola fever epidemics have affected the African continent. The virus was first developed in remote villages of Central Africa (DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Gabon), before spreading more recently to the west, in March 2014, first in Guinea and then Sierra Leone and Liberia. The current outbreak is more deadly than the set of all other outbreaks of Ebola combined (1,590 victims).

The first cause of the current outbreaks is still unknown, and the natural hosts of the virus remain unknown, although researchers specifically target fruit bats. The virus was probably introduced into the human population after close contact with infected animals, such as bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, forest antelope and porcupines.

The virus then spreads from person to person by direct contact (skin injuries or mucous membranes) or through body fluids (blood, saliva, sweat, semen, vomit, feces) of infected people. In Africa, the funeral rites, during which relatives and friends of the deceased are in direct contact with the body and perform the mortuary toilet, often play a role in the transmission of the virus. The virus can also be spread through indirect contact with objects such as contaminated needles.

After an incubation period of two to twenty-one days (eight days on average), the disease is often characterized by a sudden onset of fever (greater than or equal to 100°F), intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and irritation of the throat. These symptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, kidney and liver failure and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding.

Both WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) published on their websites the measures and precautions we need to follow to protect ourselves from Ebola. The instructions are based on rigorous preventive measures (regular hand washing, disinfection with alcohol-based gels or solutions, etc.), as well as monitoring the onset of symptoms, including fever. It is recommended not to approach sick or dead bodies within several meters, and for caregivers to wear protective clothing. Contaminated premises and medical equipment must be sterilized and disinfected regularly.








twitterTwitter is one of the biggest social networking sites today, and it has recently become one of the major contributors to an upgraded method of online banking. Groupe BPCE, the second largest banking company in France, serves approximately 40 million customers worldwide, and it has recently teamed up with Twitter Inc. in order to design a useful alternative form of payment service which involves the use of the banking company’s S-money app.

S-money is a newly launched application which gives French bank account holders the opportunity to make payments to individuals and even organizations by simply subscribing to the app’s service. To use the app, account holders first need to have an account in Twitter. Once they are registered, they can conveniently make fast online payments to their friends, to the charities they support, and several organizations they desire to pay.

The steps of using twitter to transmit payments is quite easy. First, the sender and the recipient of the payment should connect their usernames in twitter to their accounts on the S-money app installed in their gadgets. Through this, standard security measures can be observed by both service users. After doing this, the sender can transfer payment online through a tweet by sending a tweet to @SmoneyFR. The tweet has to include #envoyer which means send in English, the amount to be sent to the recipient, and the username of the person who is expecting the payment.

Having said this, one question remains: How can a user confirm the transfer’s success? The S-money app is designed to send an SMS to whoever is sending the money to another party about the confirmation of the payment made online.

The main difference of using the application and making use of tweets to send money online is that payments made through Twitter are visible to the public. The chief advantage of having this high rate of visibility of financial transactions is that charities and several organizations can have a bigger chance of getting more sponsors, supporters, and donors through the increased publicity they will get via twitter, one of the world’s top social media sites. Aside from this, individuals who loan each other money can easily make repayments public. This way, it is much easier to recall whether a close friend had already paid her debts or not.

One of the two major criticisms that have surfaced in Twitter recently about the newly developed online money transfer is the automatic declaration of payment details online. Many users claim that the financial transactions an individual makes online should not be published in the social media. In response to this criticism, the developers of the online banking service explained that those who criticises the use of twitter for online money transfers miss an important detail, and that is the fact that those who make the payments via twitter are those who have chosen on their own to do so. No user of S-money is forced to make payments through twitter. Anyone can either choose to use the S-money or they can make the decision to publicize their transactions by using twitter.

The other criticism being faced by this newly launched online service is the fact that this can potentially trigger the launch of several phishing attempts towards S-money’s users.

It is expected that since there are far more French twitter users than those who have downloaded the S-money app, more opportunities for growth in the realm of social media can be maximized by Groupe BPCE on the months to come.


Boxers VS Briefs: A Dramatic Schism

For decades, men have contemplated boxers or briefs while women curiously wondered the answer. In modern days, boxers and briefs have found a common ground among men of all ages and backgrounds giving men unprecedented options in the underwear department.

These seemingly opposites have found a way to coexist. Does their stormy past have something to say about the modern homogeny in undergarments? Probably not, but it’s an age old battle with a surprisingly interesting history.

The Early Days of Briefs

Jockey introduced the early sibling of today’s briefs in the 1930s when textile manufacturing and access to rubber allowed for the creation of the Y-shaped brief. The innovation was only briefly enjoyed by American consumers because World War II created a massive shortage in civilian underwear. Which in turn, let to the creation of the G.I. Boxer Short, the first descendent of today’s boxers.

Once WWII ended, the undergarment industry returned stronger than ever with Jockey and Hanes leading the revolution by adding new colors and designs to the GI Boxer and the classic Y-shaped brief. While the underwear industry changed the patterns, styles and cuts throughout the next several decades (1950-1970), briefs still reigned king until the 80s.

The Emergence of the Boxer

Prior to the 1980’s briefs were the best option. Boys, teens and old men ran around sporting the hip hugging briefs for all the world to see. However, after the emergence of the American-made GI Boxer shorts, hip companies like Levi’s started appealing to the massive draw of sex appeal in America.

The result? A stunningly handsome and All-American Advertisement that changed the face of the industry. Levi introduced a crisp boxer short sported by a 1985’s Nick Kamen (a stud at the time) in an amazingly sexy laundromat commercial.

Seriously all-american, read more about it here.

After Levi’s new take of the boxer short, the trend spread aggressively throughout America and the UK becoming the new staple in underwear for the young and sexy man.

The Modern Day Truce

The battle was seemingly won, and boxer shorts almost became the underwear of tomorrow’s generation. But, in the 90s some mad scientists decided to settle the heated dispute by creating the abominable boxer-brief. Access to synthetic fibers and breathable nylons provided the perfect ingredients for the hybrid creation that has brought comfort, support and style to the modern man, while simultaneously settling the fiery dispute between boxers and briefs.

Now, it’s a matter of preference, comfort and style whether you rock the classic brief, the hip boxer or the modern mash-up. Needless to say, the underwear industry is booming as we continue to look at underwear as a style statement in mens fashion.

Just don’t forget, everyone puts their underwear on on one-leg at a time.

Kate Spade and the Celebrities that Wear It

Kate Spade New York has reigned queen of luxury handbags since its creation in 1993 when it began paving the way for the now global brand. Kate Spade wants its fashionistas to Live Colorfully. A powerful slogan embodied by the fashion powerhouse as Kate Spade bags grace the red carpet on the arms of Hollywood’s hottest. The bags looks great with a Stine Goya top or similar style.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry has been a pop icon for over 2 decades. She brought a new face to fashion and stardom from her very early years that has grown into an iconic image completely her own. With an oscar under her belt, a filmography pages long and a decade long contract with Revlon it is no surprise that Halle knows luxury. And to no one’s surprise, Halle can be found toting around a Kate Spade luxury bag.

In particular, internet paparazzi have spotted Halle rocking the Kate Spade Drawstring handbag in a gun metal grey. Of course, she looks gorgeous as always with her pairing of the Kate Spade with a casual sun dress that screams elegance.

Emily Rossum

When it comes to Kate Spade, few celebrities rep it as well as Emmy Rossum. As a singer/songwriter and actress, Emmy frequents the high end events notorious in the fashion world. Among there parties, Kate Spade tends to be a frequent guest at Emmy’s side. In fact, at the Kate Spade Summer Solstice, Emmy is seen in a periwinkle Kate Spade Saturday dress showing off her Kate Spade Saturday Pink Clutch.

Again, Emmy was seen wearing a Kate Spade bag with style as the official Kate Spade blog reports that Emmy “looked like a work of art” while going on a coffee run, and it’s hard not to agree.

Emma Roberts

Actress Emma Roberts hosted the private launch of Kate Spade’s westward collection in West Hollywood while wearing a gorgeously classy black and white outfit accented by her westward ingénue clutch. Emma Roberts loveliness could only be matched by such a fitting accessory.

 Sarah Jessica Parker

Fashion Icon, celebrity superstar and queen of fashion Sarah Jessica Parker loves Kate Spade. (There’s even a Facebook page for it). Apparently, Sarah Jessica Parker likes to stroll NYC sporting the Kate Spade “London Quinn” which looks fabulously pink alongside her casually cool outfit.

Not to mention, there are several pictures of her sporting the Storm King Willa around NYC over the course of several days with baby in hand. The grey lizard print purse works with every NYC outfit. I think the union is clear, and everyone should take a style tip for SJP.

Jessica Alba

Bag connoisseur and actress, Jessica Alba, is noted to have been seen carrying more than 50 bags over the course of 17 months. purseblog.com tells us that’s a new bag every 10 days. With that said, it is no surprise that Alba has been seen looking gorgeous in a Kate Spade. In particular, Alba has been seen with the delicately floral Kate Spade Grove Court Thea tote, a wonderful blast of color to any casual sunny day outfit.

Whichever style Kate Spade fits your brand of luxury, you can be sure there is a celebrity out there holding tightly to one of Kate Spade’s iconic bags that have defined 21st century handbags.


new-zealander-isis-jihadistTwitter is an online networking service which has over two hundred million registered users from different countries worldwide. It is a social networking platform which constantly challenges its users to limit their word usage to 140 characters but ironically allows them to tweet hundreds of random statements every day. Apparently, this is something which the world deeply loves and cannot seem to let go of as of today.

Suffice it to say, Twitter had already managed to take over a huge fraction of the World Wide Web and pique the interest of people from all walks of life, especially teenagers, celebrities, and professionals who are using social media to expand their respective networks.

As it had turned out, teenagers, celebrities, single moms, professionals, and internet junkies are not the only ones who love to tweet. It has been recently proven by a militant that even an ISIS fighter can also find the fun in tweeting in-between his terror group’s action-packed commitments.

Mark Taylor, a New Zealand native, is an ISIS fighter who had tweeted his followers several times without turning off his geo-location. Because of this careless rookie mistake, Mark was able to generously broadcast his military group’s whereabouts to netizens and a number of intelligent government agencies. He even updated his profile picture in Twitter and accidentally captured one of his fellow ISIS militants in the shot.

After realizing that he had made a grave mistake, Mark deleted all of his forty five tweets from his Twitter. Unfortunately, he was too late since he had already given sets of vital information and clues that can no longer be retrieved to officials. The most disappointing thing about this happening is not really the foolishness shown by Mark; rather it is the idea of fame which had seemingly taken over his mind. It can be easily inferred from his actions that Mark believes that being a violent militant is something which he could be proud of. In addition to this, he believes that being a terrorist could grant him fame and give him the abundant amount of attention he ultimately craves for. Although his aim to get the public’s attention for his set of exploits ultimately backfired, it seems that he and his comrades are still taking a lot of pride in killing thousands of innocent civilians and destroying schools in the Middle East as they continue to harm many people and take over many different lands. This just goes to show how rooted the ISIS militants are in their cause and in their plan of becoming the most powerful group of militants in history. They are so caught up with their self-serving agendas that they cannot even distinguish anymore which things are the right things to share in a public venue and whatnot.

Mark Taylor is not the first Jihadist to answer the silent prayers of intelligence agencies that are looking for the most convenient way to locate criminals. Various ISIS fighters from France and Canada have also accidentally made the same mistakes of broadcasting their location in social media. Based from Taylor’s failure in keeping his location a secret via Twitter, it is to be expected that he will soon surprise the public once again with his next revelations about his activities.

Experts claim that the main advantage of having a ground like this is that the ISIS’ foreign members can be analysed in a much more comprehensive way. For example, it is through materials like this how investigators are able to effectively discern the extent up to which a particular person is connected to a terrorist group like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.