The Top Yogi-Approved Mats For Getting Your Flow On

Laveta Brigham

We all have our methods of coping with stressful times: confiding in our closest friends and family members, going on a five-mile run, wine. For lots of folks, yoga might also rank high on the list of first-line defenses. As we continue to spend more time at home, taking time to do some yoga is a two-birds-one-stone solution to getting some exercise while also working wonders for calming our mile-a-minute minds.

Not all of us may be able to shell out for a full home gym setup — but, odds are, a yoga mat to go with those free-to-cheap online videos is a worthy investment that we can justify. And, as anyone who’s mindlessly scrolled Amazon’s yoga mats selection, the internet has a seemingly endless selection of options. At first glance, you may think that they’re all more or less exactly the same. However, there are a few that stand

Read More

All the best movies we saw at Toronto Film Festival, ranked (including ‘The Water Man’)

Laveta Brigham

It’s definitely a different Toronto International Film Festival than usual, with a couch and a Keurig taking the place of theater seats and a coffeehouse stop.

In a year when everything in the movie industry has had to scramble amid COVID-19, Toronto (running through Sept. 19) is the biggest of the A-list film festivals to go virtual, with a reduced slate of movies for an event that’s considered one of the biggest kickoffs for Oscar season. Still, you can’t ignore its cache, even in a very strange 2020: The last five best-picture winners all played Toronto, so it might be the place that (at least virtually) launches, say, Chloe Zhao’s road drama “Nomadland” (starring Frances McDormand) or Francis Lee’s lesbian romance “Ammonite” (with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan) into Academy Awards consideration. 

Save a seat for Frances McDormand: New drama ‘Nomadland’ is Oscar-ready

‘Penguin Bloom’: Naomi Watts was ‘the most

Read More

Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta Falcons owner’s best advice for New York Mets owner Steve Cohen

Laveta Brigham

Here’s a big tip on how to run a successful sports franchise from one born and bred New Yorker to another.

“It’s not very complicated to be a team owner,” Home Depot co-founder and long-time Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. When asked what advice he would give new New York Mets owner and financier Steve Cohen, the Queens-born Blank and author of new book “Good Company” said a tremendous amount of listening needs to be done to make the Mets a winning organization again. Cohen’s listening tour should run from fans’ gripes about the team (and there are many with the Mets) and issues inside the organization.

That approach is the only way the long under-achieving Mets may find success, well, that and Cohen (worth a reported $14 billion) opening up the payroll pocketbook that outgoing owners the Wilpons have mostly kept closed in

Read More

5 things to know Tuesday

Laveta Brigham

Hurricane Sally weakens slightly, will re-strengthen later Tuesday

The Gulf Coast is looking down the barrel of another major storm Tuesday as Hurricane Sally churned north, threatening to bring heavy rain, howling winds and a dangerous storm surge from Louisiana to Florida. The hurricane comes less than three weeks after Hurricane Laura carved a wide path of destruction that left more than a third of Louisiana as a disaster zone. Sally has weakened slightly, as maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 90 mph, with higher gusts, according to an update from the Hurricane Center early Tuesday morning. But, the storm is expected to re-strengthen later Tuesday and become a dangerous hurricane when it moves onshore along the north-central Gulf coast. Sally’s center will move near the coast of southeastern Louisiana later today, and make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning, the Hurricane Center said.

Prefer to listen? Check

Read More

The Education Gap Was Shrinking Before Covid-19

Laveta Brigham

(Bloomberg Opinion) — As students head back to school — virtually or in-person — parents are legitimately concerned about the effects on children of distance learning. Evidence on how children fall behind over summer breaks suggests that the harm from missing in-person instruction will be larger for low-income children, exacerbating educational gaps across socioeconomic status. A bit of good news comes from an important new analysis suggesting that, prior to the pandemic and contrary to popular perception, those gaps had been narrowing in the U.S.

From kindergarten to college, schools are balancing pandemic risk against educational need with wildly varying approaches to in-person classes, virtual instruction, mask-wearing, and keeping students in bubbles. For schools with extensive online learning, the question is how much it might weaken educational performance.

The best guide is probably what happens over summers: Researchers have documented a substantial “summer slide” while students are out of school.

Read More

Black women again turn to midwives, some fearing coronavirus in hospitals

Laveta Brigham

Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. <span class="copyright">(Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)</span>
Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. (Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)

From the moment she learned she was pregnant late last year, TaNefer Camara knew she didn’t want to have her baby in a hospital bed.

A mother of three and part-time lactation consultant at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Camara already knew a bit about childbirth. She wanted to deliver at home, surrounded by her family, into the hands of an experienced female birth worker, as her female ancestors once did. And she wanted a Black midwife.

It took the COVID-19 pandemic to get her husband onboard.

“Up until then, he was like, ‘You’re crazy. We’re going to the hospital,’” she said.

As the pandemic has laid

Read More

Church & Dwight (CHD) Gains on High Demand & Online Strength

Laveta Brigham

Bloomberg

Big Oil Goes Looking for a Career Change

(Bloomberg) — For most of the past century, Big Oil executives found it pretty easy to explain to investors how their businesses worked. Just locate more of the commodities that everyone needed, extract and process them as cheaply as possible, and watch the profits flow.That’s all over now. The change has been so profound that the chief executive officer of BP Plc recently found himself hyping the profit potential of another commodity. “People may not know—BP sells coffee. We sold 150 million cups of coffee last year,” Bernard Looney said in an interview in August, referring to beverage kiosks attached to the company’s fuel stations. “This is a very strong business. It’s a growth business.”Perhaps it was tongue-in-cheek, or a way for the leader of the world’s fifth-largest international oil company to emphasize a relationship with consumers. But it’s clear Looney

Read More

Demand for ‘certified used’ bikes is so strong, some sell above new sticker price

Laveta Brigham

Like so many other industries the coronavirus pandemic has transformed, the bike business is undergoing big changes. The pandemic disrupted the bike industry’s supply chains, and at the same time, it pushed demand to never-before-seen heights, as people seek alternatives to public transportation.

New bikes have been in extremely short supply – but the used-bike market is on fire. One big player in the used market is The Pro’s Closet, located in Boulder, Colo. It has a slightly different tactic common in the car industry, but rare in the bike world: certified pre-owned bicycles.

The company does do local business, but its main presence is online, selling enthusiast (generally $1,000+) bikes nationally via eBay. Unlike bike shops that mostly sell new stock, The Pro’s Closet’s business model is tailor-made for the current coronavirus moment, able to take advantage of the demand thanks to its unique and relatively untapped supply chain

Read More

The jobs thunderstorm storm is breaking

Laveta Brigham

Sunak
Sunak

Ever since the prime minister sent the economy into an unprecedented lockdown in March, storm clouds have been gathering over the jobs market. Now that storm is beginning to break.

As ever, those looking for signs of the Covid crisis in the headline figures from the Office for National Statistics will be disappointed, even though the official unemployment rate crept higher to 4.1pc in the quarter to July.

The ONS data are a lagging indicator showing the last three months of the full furlough. Its narrow definition of unemployment – to be out of work and actively seeking it – has moreover been artificially dampened by the schemes to support both employees and the self-employment.

The bad news is getting closer to the surface, however. Even while Chancellor Rishi Sunak was paying a full 80pc of the wages of millions of workers, the 48,000 jump in redundancies was the

Read More

Getting Wise to Fake News

Laveta Brigham

Lindsay Dina, who takes an online course that helps older people spot online misinformation, at home in Easton, Conn., Sept. 9, 2020. (Desiree Rios/The New York Times)
Lindsay Dina, who takes an online course that helps older people spot online misinformation, at home in Easton, Conn., Sept. 9, 2020. (Desiree Rios/The New York Times)

Lindsay Dina wasn’t fooled by a photo on Facebook that supposedly showed masses of dolphins frolicking in the canals of Venice.

Dina, 75, ventured onto the social media platform roughly a decade ago, and has developed some savvy. She mostly shares information from established news organizations. She has deleted posts making bizarre claims about Hillary Clinton. She knows how to use Snopes.com, the fact-checking site.

Still, she said, “I’ve seen things and thought, ‘Well, that’s not true.’ ” But I wasn’t sure how to verify that it wasn’t.”

To Dina, a retiree in Easton, Connecticut, the internet can still feel like a hazardous place. Twice, online scammers have relieved her of small sums of money. She sometimes clicks on an apparent news story,

Read More