Archive for the ‘Hand Me My Zennis’ Category

Mother’s Day


May 12 is Mother’s Day in the United States, one day a year that all of us are encouraged to honor our mothers, as well as those women who have cared for us over the years. For many, the holiday is a time to get together with mom over brunch or dinner, while those who live far away may honor mom with a call, card or flowers.  No matter how you celebrate, the history of Mother’s Day is a bit more complex than you might think.
 

The Origins of Mother’s Day in the United States

Despite it’s current popularity, it wasn’t easy to get Mother’s Day established as a holiday in the U.S.. Social activist Julia Ward Howe attempted to begin a celebration of “A Mother’s Day for Peace” in 1872, though it wasnt until 1914 that President Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in may as the country’s official Mother’s Day. Wilson’s support for the holiday came about through the efforts of Anna Jarvis, the daughter of a social activist who had during her lifetime hoped for the establishment of an official holiday to honor mothers.

Unfortunately, Jarvis’s campaign may have been too successful: While the American public embraced a day to honor mothers, Jarvis, who never became a mother herself, felt that the holiday had become too commercialized. Jarvis spent her later years protesting this commercialization, particularly abhorring the tradition of sending one’s mother a greeting card, instead of writing an actual letter.
 
Mother’s Day Around the World
Many countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day, although the date itself varies. In Norway, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of February, Indonesia celebrates on December 22nd.

Curiously, “Mothering Day” had been celebrated in the United Kingdom for centuries before the establishment of Mother’s Day in the United States. While participation in that holiday had dwindled somewhat by the early 20th century, efforts were made to reintroduce it to UK society. The celebration of Mother’s Day in the UK particularly increased after World War II, likely the result of the holiday’s celebration by American soldiers.
 
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
If you haven’t gone shopping yet, don’t worry: Send her a gift card from Zenni Optical. Even if she doesn’t wear prescription glasses, she’ll be able to choose from Zenni’s non-prescription sunglasses or sports goggles. If Mom does wear glasses, she’ll be able to update her look by choosing from our massive selection of fashionable frames and up-to-date lens treatments. She can even add some accessories, such as cases, cords or cleaning cloths, to her order.

 

Friday, May, 10 2013 by

The Incomparable Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris is a likeable, handsome guy many of us get a kick out of as the womanizing Barney Stinson on the hit CBS sit-com, How I Met Your Mother. Harris is one of the few actors who is openly gay in real life and also plays one of the most woman-chasing “playa” types of straight guys ever seen on our screens (with the possible exception of the 1970s Three’s Company’s used car salesman, Larry Dallas). Recently, NPH attended the Super Bowl and also the Celebrity Beach Bowl.

Here’s Neil at the Celebrity Beach Bowl 2013 held on the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday. We love the large, square sunnies on his handsome, oval face. Lookin’ good NPH!
 

 
Harris played for DirectTV with football-diving teammate, Snoop Dogg. Of course, NPH was at the Super Bowl the next day. During the infamous power outage at the game, the How I Met Your Mother star tweeted comments to his fans and he also shared photos of his first time in New Orleans. The pics included a sunrise Mississippi River shot and his shrimp and grits dinner at Restaurant R’Evolution. No wonder the guy has 5 million Twitter followers — he always keeps his fans posted.

By the way, Harris’ ‘Super Bowl date information written on his face’ photo, done much like Tim Tebow’s Bible verses, caused a little controversy, but it was all in good fun since, well, the Super Bowl is about sports after all and not religion — although some seem to take football as seriously.
 
 
Also in February, on the 10th, NPH attended the 2013 Grammy Awards with partner, David Burtka. Neil's a big Kelly Clarkson fan, so he must have been glad that she won Best Pop Vocal Album for Stronger.

Neil’s Personal Style

We really like Neil’s easy going style. He always seem to fit in wherever he goes in a fine line between looking too casual and too pretentious. He usually nails things just right. Apparently, this extends to his family as the fab four, Neil, David and their twins, Harper and Gideon, always seem to look coordinated, yet still unpretentious. The shirt and tie with casual pants look really suits Neil — no pun intended and no suit required.
 

 
Really, can there be anything cuter than babies wearing sunglasses? Neil and David are sure to protect little Gideon and Harper with sunnies, hats and life jackets. The twins were 8 months old on the family’s St. Tropez vacation with Elton John, his hubby, David, and their son, Zachary.

Celebrity Survivor?

Recent rumors about a Celebrity Survivor have been drifting about. Wouldn’t Neil Patrick Harris make a completely adorable castaway? NPH recently told a thrilled Jeff Probst that he wants to do the show, so we’ll have to wait and see on that. We think Harris would do pretty well, so hopefully Celebrity Survivor will actually happen. We have Celebrity Apprentice, but it’s all New York pampering. Will other celebs have the guts to rough it in some tropical non-paradise? At least we know NPH will.
 

Wednesday, March, 27 2013 by

Would 3D Tech Benefit Surgical Doctors?

Moviegoers may not be the only ones wearing 3D glasses. According to a recent study, surgeons may stand to benefit from the technology too.

Traditionally, doctors have been skeptical of 3D imagery, preferring real experience, but the study—covering a range of 4 different screen systems (2D, 3D with glasses, 3D without glasses, and a mirror-based 3D system) with 50 surgeons—saw astonishing results. According to Hubertus Feussner, a surgeon at Klinikum rechts der Isar University Hospital in Munich, Germany, who was involved in the study, “With the glasses-based 3D system, the procedure was more than 15% shorter, and precision increased considerably.”

The study involved a simulation of a minimally invasive surgical procedure, in which the surgeons sewed up a wound in a model’s abdominal cavity using a needle and thread. Images were delivered by endoscopic cameras. As is the case with most invasive surgical procedures, the surgeons’ hands were obscured from view, so the doctors had to depend on the screen to complete the procedure.

“While the technology still requires some fine-tuning,” Feussner added, “technology without the need to wear special glasses will increase the popularity of 3D systems in operating rooms.” Regarding the results of the highest-ranked glasses-based 3D system? “Hand movements were more targeted than with the 2D model. As far as I know, we have not observed this effect among our experienced surgeons in the past.”

Following the 3D with glasses system, the surgeons involved in the study compared the glasses-free system to the 2D one. Presented at the Association of German Surgeons in April, the involved parties have no doubt that 3D will become a surgical commodity in the future.

The next step? Improving the glasses-free model.

Ulrich Leiner, from the study’s Heinrich Hertz Institute, stated, “The first ‘hard’ practical medical test showed great promise, as we were able to work on the fundamental eye-tracking technology.” Through eye tracking, separate cameras follow both eyes. The result? Each eye sees a separate image, and this creates the 3D effect without the use of glasses.

While many physicians are still skeptical of the technology, even with the benefits shown, this study is only the beginning for the team. As Leiner’s colleague Michael Witte added, “The next step is ultrahigh definition with 8K. This will mark a sixteen-fold improvement on the resolution of currently available full-HD images.”

Tell us, readers: should surgeons use 3D technology or just stick to the real experience?

Monday, March, 25 2013 by

Red Carpet Style For Men 2013

With all of the focus on the women’s gowns for awards such as the 2013 Oscars recently, along with the Grammys, SAG awards and others, we thought we’d given some attention to the men for a change. It used to be that men getting dressed up meant no creativity at all and just the penguin tuxedo look was all they could muster. Sure, maybe they’d wear some favorite cufflinks, but who really notices those? Thankfully, nowadays, men can, and do, add their own style flavor to their red carpet looks such as by mixing in color and/or by wearing awesome eyewear, of course! Here’s a few of our recent favorite red carpet looks for men:

Oscar Opposites Attract
 

 
For men’s glasses at the 2013 Academy Awards on February 24, two opposing looks really stood out — dark and heavy vs. light and lightweight. Robert Downey Junior, Jack Nicholson and Christoph Waltz went for the darker look, with Waltz sticking to classic rectangular frames and the other two going for the oversize look. If the truth be told, Nicholson’s glasses were a little too large for him on the sides, but hey, when your image is that intense you can get away with a lot. Alan Arkin, Richard Gere and Robert De Niro all looked awesome in rimless eyeglasses that blended in with their handsome faces. The clean geometric shapes — square for De Niro, oval for Gere and round for Arkin — looked really elegant with their classic suits. As far as thinking outside of the box for men’s Oscar dressing went though, the award goes to Samuel L. Jackson. He creatively mixed  tortoiseshell glasses, a silver satin shirt and a dark red, velvet blazer for an overall unique look that somehow worked for him.

Really Rockin’ the Grammys

At the 2013 Grammy Awards held on February 10, there were plenty of creative looks to be found as this award ceremony tends to be less buttoned-up than the Oscars. You’ve got your country stars with their cowboy hats and of course, a lot of rappers and rockers in the house. Skrillex, with his very long, straight black hair, decided to wear the color head to foot, but not toe. He wore awesome, large sunglasses, a long-sleeved zip-front jacket, trousers and clunky footwear all in black, but skipped wearing socks. Ne-Yo, who thankfully didn’t look like an oven-baked potato wearing a sparkly silver blazer, had every detail down pat, from just the right size of neck jewelry over his dress shirt to a jaunty fedora hat. We really liked the way he pushed his trousers up at the bottoms towards his knees like many people do with long-sleeved shirts to their elbows.  A pair of dark sunnies finished Ne-Yo’s stylish look. Sean Paul really rocked Grammy Awards dressing with a neatly-combed Mowhawk, large aviators and a large necklace over classic separates in black and soft white.

Always Classy in Classics

Showing that any guy, young or old, of any body type can look amazing in a classic, black suit, matching tie and white dress shirt, Mad Men‘s John Slattery amd Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez looked stunning at the 2013 Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) Awards. At the January 27 event, child actor Rodriguez showcased his great brown eyes in thick, dark rectangular frames, while sexy senior Slattery was all elegance in his classic black rectangular eyewear. Both actors looked so well dressed and handsome.

Monday, March, 18 2013 by

A Brief History of Saint Patrick’s Day

Unless you happen to be color blind, you’ve likely noticed some changes in the decor of local bars, restaurants and shops: Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up and green is everywhere! In fact, my own city of Chicago is famous for dyeing our Chicago River green in honor of the holiday.

Saint Patrick’s day is unique holiday: Like Valentine’s Day, it is technically named after a saint, though many of its customs and traditions are not religious. Both holidays have also firmly established themselves as a significant part of American culture, celebrated even by people of many different faiths (or those who do not identify with any faith tradition). Saint Patrick’s day, however, is also unique in that it is specifically associated with Ireland and the Irish people, though this has never stopped those of other ethnicities from thoroughly enjoying the celebrations.

Who Was Saint Patrick?

The official story on Saint Patrick is that he wasn’t actually Irish. Instead, he grew up in Roman Britain and was kidnapped by the Irish and spent several years a slave in Ireland. After escaping slavery, he entered the priesthood and eventually became a bishop. He returned to the land where he was previously a slave and evangelized the country. While he is generally acknowledged as “Saint Patrick,” no pope has ever formally canonized him and several branches of the Christian church, including Eastern Orthodoxy and Lutheranism, acknowledge Saint Patrick’s Day as a feast day.

(Saint Patrick is also credited with the miracle of driving all the snakes out of Ireland, though many contemporary experts believe that the Emerald Isle never had any snakes to begin with.)

It is said that Saint Patrick used a three leaf clover (shamrock) to teach the concept of the Trinity to converts. The shamrock remains a popular symbol of both Ireland and Patrick’s holiday.

Saint Patrick’s Day Traditions

In the United States, Saint Patrick’s day traditions typically include wearing green, drinking beer (sometimes beer that has been dyed green) and attending/participating in Saint Patrick’s Day parades. These celebrations are not limited to those of Irish ancestry, and Many other countries, including Russia, Argentina, and even South Korea celebrate the holiday in similar ways, including wearing green and enjoying liquid libations.

In addition to the enjoyment of beer and Irish whiskey, other traditional foods served on Saint Patrick’s day in the United States include Irish soda bread, cabbage, and corned beef (in the United States). In Ireland, the foods served vary, but may include some type of cured or smoked pork. Incidentally, while Saint Patrick’s Day often occurs during the season of Lent, when the consumption of certain foods, including red meat, is restricted, local bishops typically lift dietary restrictions so as not to put a damper on holiday celebrations.

Saturday, March, 16 2013 by