9 of the best skipping ropes from speed to weighted to beginners

Laveta Brigham

Following three months of lockdown (read: three months of home workouts), it’s no wonder we’re turning our attentions to the best at-home fitness equipment. Top of our list? The humble skipping rope. Ropes can be the backbone of a solid workout, provide a cardio hit and are a super versatile tool – perfect for when your usual yoga or HIIT class is off the table.

“The first thing to consider when buying a skipping rope is what results you’re after – if it’s increased endurance, go for a speed rope. If you want to build strength, pick a weighted one,” advises Tom Jenane, a nutrition and fitness expert for Natures Health Box, adding that weighted ropes tend to be the bigger calorie burner. “Then you need to consider your ability level, there are both beginner and advanced ropes.”

“Cheap flimsy ropes are incredibly hard to improve your form on,” notes

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Hotels Prep To Reopen In Connecticut

Laveta Brigham

CONNECTICUT — If your favorite Connecticut hotel seems a little less accommodating on your next overnight stay, blame the coronavirus, and the state regulations that are being enforced in its wake.

On June 17, hotels, motels and B&Bs will be joining gyms, indoor recreation and personal services such as tattoo parlors among the business sectors allowed to come back online in Connecticut. Gov. Ned Lamont shuttered them all as part of his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” lockdown begun in March, intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Or almost all. The Ethan Allen on Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury was able to keep its doors open catering to essential workers.

“We mostly did essential workers from Danbury Hospital such as doctors and nurses who lived further away, maybe more than an hour, and they were working 12-hour shifts,” said Kimberly Olson, director of sales and marketing at Ethan Allen.

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We Ask & We Tell, But It’s Still Hard To Be Queer In The Military

Laveta Brigham


Kyle and I patrolled the Quantico woods, our faces smeared with camouflage grease paint, uniforms soaked with mud. It was 2013, day three of a week-long training exercise in which our company learned infantry tactics by stalking our peers through dense, tangled underbrush. Kyle and I were the recon element, scouting the defenses of “the enemy.” 

It was hot and wet; Virginia in spring. We wore ill-fitting Kevlar helmets and heavy armored vests over our canvas uniforms. I carried an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, a belt-fed light machine gun that weighs more than 20 pounds fully loaded. We followed our compasses to an established gridpoint by hacking our way through thorny bushes over miles of hilly terrain — there was no path. To distract ourselves from the misery, we passed the time talking about something more pleasant: our girlfriends. I had just moved in with mine, and Kyle was

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Are we all OCD now, with obsessive hand-washing and technology addiction?

Laveta Brigham

<span class="caption">What once looked like obsessive-compulsive disorder has become normal when faced with a deadly pandemic. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/double-exposure-portrait-of-face-of-young-man-royalty-free-image/1219500833" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Busà Photography via Getty Images">Busà Photography via Getty Images</a></span>
What once looked like obsessive-compulsive disorder has become normal when faced with a deadly pandemic. Busà Photography via Getty Images

One of the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder is contamination fears and excessive hand-washing. Years ago, a patient with severe OCD came to my office wearing gloves and a mask and refused to sit on any of the “contaminated” chairs. Now, these same behaviors are accepted and even encouraged to keep everyone healthy.

This new normal in the face of a deadly pandemic has permeated our culture and will continue to influence it. Many stores now prominently post rules mandating face masks and hand sanitizer use and limit the number of customers allowed inside at one time. Walkers and joggers politely cross the street to avoid proximity to each other.

Only a few months ago, this type of behavior would have been considered excessive, irrational, even pathological, and certainly not healthy.

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the Black youth leading the George Floyd protests

Laveta Brigham

Shayla Avery texted a friend after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, nearly 2,000 miles away in Berkeley, California.

“We should do something,” wrote the 16-year-old high school student, frustrated that her teachers were not talking about it. So they started planning and a few days later, Avery, together with two school friends, had organised her first protest.

Related: These protests feel different. There’s cause for hope – but also a very long road ahead | Sandra Susan Smith

She thought their march, Stand with Black Youth, would attract about 100 people, but they turned up in their thousands. “If you’re determined and you’re really about what you say, then all you need is a strong voice,” Avery said.

In the three weeks since Floyd’s death, stories like this of young people taking it upon themselves to mobilise and make their voices heard, in many cases for the

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Former Celebrities Who Have Normal Jobs Now

Laveta Brigham

Many people give fame a try for 15 minutes or so and decide to take a hard pass. After realizing life in the spotlight isn’t their destiny, some go on to pursue surprisingly normal careers.

It’s possible you’ll even cross paths with some of them — who are now your peers — because these 28 celebrities found their niche in normalcy.

Last updated: Feb. 11, 2020

Geoffrey Owens

In 2018, a Trader Joe’s customer snapped a series of photos of former “The Cosby Show” star Geoffrey Owens bagging groceries at a Clifton, New Jersey, location of the grocery chain. Owens — who had continued to land small parts since his time on the show ended in 1992 — told “Good Morning America” that he was not ashamed of his side job. “There’s no job better than another…every job is worthwhile,” he said.

His resurgence in the press ended up being

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Journalist Maria Ressa convicted of “cyber libel” in Philippines

Laveta Brigham

Internationally acclaimed Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr., a former staffer at Rappler, the online news service founded by Ressa, where she serves as CEO and executive editor, were found guilty of cyber libel by a Manila trial court in the Philippines on Monday. Ressa and Santos were hit with prison sentences of six months and one day to up to six years and ordered to pay around $8,000 in moral and exemplary damages.

Ted Te, one of Ressa’s attorneys in the Philippines, said they will appeal the cyber libel ruling. Ressa and Santos posted bail and can remain free while they appeal the verdict.

“It is a blow, but it is also not unexpected,” said a defiant Ressa as she emerged from the courtroom.  

Ressa founded the online news site Rappler in 2012 and has received international acclaim for her reporting in the face of personal and

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Experts Advise on the Work Still to Be Done

Laveta Brigham

Click here to read the full article.

Since the police killing of George Floyd, companies across all industries have made statements to express support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Though all contained some semblance of support and were written to ensure audiences of righteous beliefs, many lacked accompanying actions to illustrate genuine intent for change.

In response, Tara Donaldson, editor in chief of Sourcing Journal, wrote: “When the statements supporting the movement and disavowing racism are, more often than not, crafted by brands’ white ceo’s, reviewed by their white colleagues and blessed by a white h.r. or p.r. department, you will not get the message right.”

“Overnight activism,” Donaldson pointed out, is not enough and it has become pivotal for companies to deliver more than a promise. So, what should you do? Experts say, more is more. Here, WWD asks leading experts how they have been advising companies to

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Journalist Maria Ressa found guilty of “cyber libel”

Laveta Brigham

Journalists Maria Ressa and Rey Santos Jr. on Monday were found guilty of cyber libel by the Manila Trial Court in the Philippines, according to Rappler, the news site founded by Ressa, where she served as CEO and executive editor. Ressa and Santos were hit with prison sentences of six months and one day to up to six years and ordered to pay 200,000 pesos in moral damages and another 200,000 pesos in exemplary damages.

Ressa and Santos posted bail and can remain free while they appeal the verdict.

Ressa founded the online news site Rappler in 2012 and has received international acclaim for her reporting in the face of personal and legal threats. Rappler the company was found to not be liable in the lawsuit.

Ressa and human rights groups believe the government of Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial president of the Philippines, has targeted Rappler and Ressa in

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Online scams due to COVID, protests, unemployment in 2020

Laveta Brigham

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Online scams can come in many forms and via any kind of device. (Photo: Getty)

A worldwide pandemic, mass unemployment and nationwide protests over racial injustice — there are many important issues occupying our collective attention. Sadly, this kind of large-scale distraction is fertile ground for hackers.

“We have the COVID disaster combined with the economic disaster combined with the protests,” said Adam Levin, cyber security expert and founder of CyberScout, to Yahoo Life. ”We are now in the middle of what can be considered a perfect storm for scammers.”

Levin says that the current climate of our nation has set the stage for an online scam trifecta: motive, means, and opportunity.

“The motive for

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