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Posts from November 2013

Insiders Guide To 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on Thursday (November 28th), featuring the iconic giant helium character balloons -- weather permitting -- floats, marching bands, dancers, clowns, celebrities, Broadway show performances, the Radio City Rockettes, and much more before ending with the traditional arrival of Santa Claus to usher in the holiday season. The nationally-televised parade will wind its way on a route through the streets of Manhattan before ending at Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.

There is a question about whether the parade's signature giant balloons will be able to fly this year because of weather conditions. City rules say that if there are sustained winds over 23 miles per hour and gusts over 34 mph, the balloons can't be used. The current forecast is close, calling for sustained winds of 20 mph and gusts of 36 mph. Macy's says the determination will be made on Thanksgiving morning based on real-time weather conditions. The balloons were grounded only once in the parade's history, in 1971, because of bad weather.

BALLOONS: If the giant helium balloons do get off the ground, there will be 15 of them this year, including four new additions:

  • Adventure Time with Finn and Jake -- Featuring Finn and Jake from the hit Cartoon Network series.
  • Toothless -- The midnight-black, green-eyed dragon star of the How to Train Your Dragon movies and TV series is positioned with his giant wings folded in a landing pose, as it about to land among the parade-goers.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants -- SpongeBob returns to the parade in a new incarnation, wearing a Santa hat and a big smile for his trip down the parade route.
  • Snoopy and Woodstock -- This is the 37th time Snoopy's been in the parade and his 7th balloon look, this time flying high with his buddy Woodstock.

There will also be a special giant hot air balloon celebrating the 75th anniversary of the The Wizard of Oz, featuring images of the characters from the classic film and carrying the wizard himself. Accompanying it will be Dorothy and balloonhead characters of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West.

To celebrate the first time in the parade's history that Thanksgiving falls on the first night of Hanukkah, there'll also be a special spinning dreidel balloonicle.

FLOATS: There are five new floats among the 30 in the line-up:

  • Despicably Delicious -- Universal Studio's float features the Minions from Despicable Me 2 whipping up some goodies in a bake shop that features larger-than-life cupcakes.
  • Dreamseeker -- This float from Cirque du Soleil is in the form of a flying ship, and comes with trampolines and Chinese poles that allow the troupe's acrobats and characters to put on a parade performance.
  • The Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate -- A giant master chocolatier oversees the pouring and casting of Lindt bear and other chocolate figures for the holidays in a spectacular chocolate shop. Live puppets and giant spoons get in on the act.
  • A Sea of Surprises -- This float celebrates SeaWorld's 50 years, featuring an ocean scene of rolling waves and sea creatures, with the image of Shamu the killer whale at the center of it all.
  • A World at Sea -- Cruise line Royal Caribbean's float features 3-D postcards in a revolving panorama the show scenes of all the fun to be had on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

CELEBRITIES: Among the celebrities who'll be appearing are: singers Kristin Chenoweth; Gavin DeGraw; Brett Eldredge; Fall Out Boy; The Roots, joined by Jimmy Fallon; Florida Georgia Line; Goo Goo Dolls; Ariana Grande; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings; Austin Mahone; Kellie Pickler; and Mannheim Steamroller; The Robertson family from Duck Dynasty; TV personalities Sandra Lee and Richard Simmons; Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri; NFL legends Joe Namath, Bart Oates, Amani Toomer and Hines Ward, and NHL legends Cam Neely and Mike Richter.

PEFORMANCES: The first hour of the broadcast will include performances from the Broadway musicals Matilda and Motown, and a special appearance by Carrie Underwood and other cast members from NBC's upcoming, The Sound of Music Live!

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10 Plants Perfect For Your Office Cubical

Wanting to add a little personality to your work space cubical?  Check out these 10 plants that thrive in small, indoor places.

Click here.

-Chris Malone
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1 In 10 Chance Your Mailed Package Will be Received Damaged

At one point this holiday season most of us will be anxiously checking the tracking number for a package delivery status.  A new study found that 1 in 10 packages are received damaged.  But it's not all bad as most often package contents are unharmed even if the box looks like it went two rounds with Joe Frazier.  So out of the USPS, Fedex and UPS, which is noted for the most damage?  Click here to find out!
-Chris Malone
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Don't Be Duped By Some Black Friday Deals

With so much pomp and circumstance over black Friday deals it's easy to get caught up in the hoopla.  Be careful as many of these deals are not anywhere close to qualifying as one.  Click here and find out which deals are bogus and worth avoiding.  Happy shopping!
-Chris Malone
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U.S. Workers Least Satisfied With Job

A recent study conducted by GfK for Monster.com found that Americans disliked their jobs the most out of seven countries surveyed. Just over half, 53 percent, of American workers said they liked or loved their jobs, with 15 percent saying they disliked or hated them. At the other end of the spectrum, Canadians were the happiest with their work, with 64 percent liking or loving their jobs and just seven percent saying they were dissatisfied, with the Netherlands and Indian close behind. Yahoo's The Exchange suggests the results may reflect the longer average workweek and less vacation time that U.S. workers have, as well as growing income inequality, and shrinking health care and retirement benefits.
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How Much Will We Eat At Thanksgiving?

It's well-known that Thanksgiving is day reserved primarily for eating, but just how much do we eat on average? A new survey from BASIS Science and printed in Women's Health reveals the average person consumers 4,500 calories at their Thanksgiving meal. The researchers found that most people believe they're eating less than half of that amount, and as a result wildly underestimate how much activity they'd need to do to burn it off. Twenty-five-percent of those surveyed said they thought they could burn off their turkey feast by working out for two hours, when in reality it would take a 130-pound woman more than 15-and-a-half hours of brisk walking to burn that off. Sixty-percent of those surveyed said they go for a walk after their meal, while others said they'd get busy in the bedroom later to burn it off.
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Selfie Is The Word Of The year

Drum roll please...the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year award goes to: Selfie!  Yes, the social media word used to describe taking a self portrait edged out other buzz words like "twerk" with a 17,000% increase in usage over a year ago.

Read the rest of the story and how selfie was selected by clicking here and reading the rest of the story published in The Chicago Tribune.
-Chris Malone
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Doctors Warn Kids To Stay Away From Spicy SNacks

Pediatricians are warning parents that very spicy snacks, like Flamin' Hot Cheetos and other chips, are sending many children to emergency rooms every year, according to Medical Daily. Eating too much of the snacks can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, which can lead to severe pain. Dr. Martha Rivera of White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles told the local ABC-TV station, "We have a population who loves to eat the hot, spicy, not-real foods, and they come in [to the emergency room] with these real complaints. [The kids are being] set up for ulcerations, erosions and . . . peptic ulcer disease."
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First Microdermabrasion Ever

Today's Perks deal is for a microdermabrasion session with Dr.John W. Tyrone.  If you are like me you've wondered what can you expect from this procedure, does it hurt and what are the results.  To answer these questions I volunteered to have the deal performed yesterday morning.  The results are quite wonderful!  To be honest I didn't know what to expect but since I am approaching a milestone birthday in the next few weeks I thought it would be worth a try.  So I arrived for my appointment I was immediately taken into the procedure room with Brigitte Javaheri, a Registered Nurse with plenty of experience with a career at Shands and her own private practice.  I think this is why I was so comfortable, Brigitte is a wealth of knowledge and fully explained every step of the procedure in easy to understand terms.  She always gave me the option to stop if I felt uncomfortable, which was comforting!  But there was no need to stop. All the time I was laying on my back in a heated chair, snuggled in a soft blanket I was more than relaxed and eager to get started.  First she cleaned my face and explained the several layers of skin and that the microdermabrasion would remove a small amount and make the skin brighter and smoother .  Then she began the procedure with a few sweeps on my face with an instrument that was not painful at all.  Next came the actual microdermabrasion which again was pleasant.  At this point I was beginning to fall asleep in the warm, cozy chair but I knew my job was to report to you about this experience, so I focused on staying awake. Apparently I was more than occupied in my mind about staying awake when Brigitte began explaining the different levels of the pumpkin cream that was about to be put on my face.  She told me that pumpkin and pineapple actually are very good for skin exfoliating and I was more than happy to try the pumpkin out (as it is the season!).  She tried a small part of my face to make sure I didn't have a negative reaction (again very impressed about the care) and we began the process. The pumpkin exfoliating paste was applied to my face and to be honest, it tingled a bit but not to the point where I wanted to stop even through Bridgette said to let her know if it was too much and she'd immediately remove it.  Needless to say it was fine and after 3 minutes it was removed.  Then she cleaned my face and it was done.

The result?  It's kinda hard to explain other than my face is less shiny, more youthful in appearance and a smooth as a baby's bottom!  It was hard to believe that years of sun damage and age wear and tear were reduced in 30 minutes. 

In conclusion I can honestly say the procedure was pleasant and the results incredible. No it isn't as dramatic as a facelift or turning back the hands of time but it is noticeable and worth doing at least once.  Brigitte told me customers generally do this once or twice  a year.  The procedure is normally $150 but half off with our Perks deal today.
-Chris Malone

 
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7 Reasons Why You Are Waking Up Tired

So you had 8 hours of sleep last night (ok, 6 if we're being completely honest) yet you are still tired and unable to shake the sleepiness.  What is going on?  Here are 7 reasons as to why you may be waking up  tired.  Click here for the reasons and remedies.
-Chris Malone

 
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