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Archive for June 13th, 2011

SELF features JJ Virgin

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011

To Heck With Outdoor Workouts: 4 Cool Alternatives

Monday, June 13, 2011 at 3:21 PM

  |  posted by Amy Paturel

A hot summer day makes us want to lie down and fan ourselves, not go outside and sweat in the sun. Who does that anyway? Not us! 


While we fully appreciate the need to get — and stay — bikini-ready this summer, we’re not about to subject ourselves to potential heat stroke and bad hair.

Fortunately, there are plenty of high-intensity activities that will help you stay cool — indoors and out! Here are our top four picks:


Bonus: Lose 10 pounds … the healthy way!


–    Get wet. Swimming develops strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Spend an hour swimming laps and you’ll burn nearly 600 calories compared to just 384 calories for general aerobics. Better yet, if you live near the ocean, try surfing, boogie boarding or just jumping the waves. All three not only burn fat, they build brawn, too.

–    Go for a ride. “Biking is a great warm weather activity because once you pick up speed, the wind will help you stay cool,” says Jenna Bell-Wilson, Ph.D., registered dietitian in New York City and co-author of Energy to Burn. “You can also seek routes that are shaded.” Better yet, wet your hair before you hit the road; the wind in the air coupled with your cool, wet hair will keep you feeling refreshed. 

–    Hit the ice rink. While skating every day might get a little pricey, it’s a great way to cool down on a sweaty summer day. Plus, you’ll burn far more calories than you might during your standard 2-mile run. 

–    Transform your home. Turn on your AC, get a big glass of water and turn your house into an indoor obstacle course with a few simple items. All you need is a bench (or 24″ high coffee table, as long as it’s sturdy and not made of glass!) for dips and push-ups, free weights (use the heaviest weight you can handle in good form) and a mat, says JJ Virgin, nutrition and fitness expert and author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless & Sexy. Want to get fancy? Pull out an exercise stability bar, install a pull up bar on your doorjamb and get a jump rope.

Don’t forget about that unused stairwell at work, too. “Spend your break bursting up a flight of stairs and then walking back down to recover,” suggests Virgin. Don’t want to get sweaty during at work? We don’t either! Just break up your stair stepping throughout the day. Keep in mind, too, that you often get the most exercise when you aren’t actively working out, so slap on a pedometer and make it a point to take every opportunity to move more daily.

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I Love PR!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011

Interns at LCO really love PR

LCO Account Executive Alex Hogestyn shows some PR love

Michael Levine's Executive Assistant Nichole Brandt loves LCO!

Intern Brittany Sykes and Account Executive Alex Hogestyn love PR

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whatsyourprice.com featured in the New York Post

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011











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“You are Not Your Brain” is not the only brain book.

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011

Rebecca Gladding recommends 10 books that will change your brain. Read more at



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The Power of an Internship

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011

The individual stories are familiar. The chemistry major tending bar. The classics major answering phones. The Italian studies major sweeping aisles at Wal-Mart.

Evidence is emerging that the damage wrought by the sour economy is more widespread than just a few careers led astray or postponed. Even for college graduates, the people who are most protected from the slings and arrows of recession, the outlook is rather bleak.

Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. What’s more, only half of the jobs landed by these new graduates even require a degree, reviving the debates about whether higher education is “worth it” after all.

What is NOT in debate is the power of an internship in helping get a job.

The internship program has been one of Hollywood’s most successful and demanding internship programs over the last 28 years.

Approximately 40% of our current staff began as interns.

If you are interested in additional information on the LCO Internship program, please contact Nick Dane at ndane@LCOonline.com or by phone at  310.300.0950 Ext 233

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Wanted: Ghostwriter/ Researcher Intern

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011

Needed to assist best-selling author on the next book project and blog.

Must be excellent writer with great spelling and grammar skills, resourceful researcher and computer savvy.

Must be extremely reliable, hungry to learn and grow and available to meet in Beverly Hills area (no out of towners).

Must be willing to write on spec.

Great knowledge and opportunity for the right person. A chance in a lifetime in a lifetime of chance.

Send contact details (no attachments). E-mail:  aurora411@timewire.net

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Globe and Mail features Shawn Achor

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 13, 2011



June 12, 2011

It turns out intelligence, not ignorance, is bliss

From Monday’s Globe and Mail

We often equate happiness with a lack of intellectual vigour, but that’s only true for irrational optimists, says human-potential expert Shawn Achor

Take Woody Allen.

You don’t think of him as being happy, do you?

I didn’t think so.

“I like to work,” the filmmaker, writer and actor recently told The Globe’s Johanna Schneller. “It distracts me from brooding or anxiety.”

But it’s not just because he’s famous for his fretting mind that we think of him as generally unhappy. It’s because we think of him as intelligent; as a deep thinker who dwells on the treacheries and complexities of the world, not to mention the human heart. Same would be true for Canada’s filmic deep thinker, David Cronenberg.

Now consider Dubya.

He’s bound to be a happy dude most of the time, right?

You can easily picture him grillin’ ribs on his Texas ranch, wearing a Stetson, hanging out with his cronies in short sleeves, not a care in the world. And I would venture that many people think of George W. Bush as disposed to happiness because they don’t consider him very smart – erring precariously on the side of doofus. Ditto Mr. Bunga Bunga, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi. Which makes them capable of unfettered joy.

I know, I have done it too: fallen into that happiness trap. You equate happiness with a lack of intellectual vigour. It’s only for uneducated, unaware people, those who ascribe to that Caribbean holiday mantra: “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Those people aren’t worrying about global warming, the crime rate, the economy, the state of health care, a majority Conservative government, this month’s Visa bill, five new grey hairs they noticed this morning, their children’s education, or their retirement plans (or lack of them) – have I missed anything? Because if they were, how could they possibly be happy?

They’re drinking psychological pina coladas.

Let me be the one to say, “Not so fast.” The anti-intellectual take on happiness is a myth, one that’s been around for a long time when you consider Biblical notions of knowledge causing a fall from grace; ignorance as bliss. Then there are all those quotes floating about, such as that of the man who told the 18th century’s Samuel Johnson: “You are a philosopher, Dr. Johnson. I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but I don’t know how. Cheerfulness was always breaking in.”

But it turns out happiness can be seen as an intellectual exercise that necessitates the use of our evolved cognitive functions. (The engine of it ain’t in your capricious heart, it seems, but in your noggin.)

“The truth is, unhappiness and fear take less thought than happiness does,” says Shawn Achor, a leading expert on human potential, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, and the educator who taught and designed the famed happiness course at Harvard.

It’s true that happiness and intelligence are not directly related. Not every happy person is the smartest in the room. And we all know brilliant people who are discontented.

We also know some very happy people who seem stupid. As Mr. Achor points out, “There are some people who appear happy who give happiness a bad name.” They’re what he calls “irrational optimists.”

“That would be an author who writes things saying that if you wish something would happen, it will happen,” he says. “What that indicates is that there’s no external world in the formula. It’s all about what your mind is. But we know that’s not true. We know that 10 per cent of your long-term happiness is predicted based on the external world. … We know there are challenges; there are economic downturns; there’s discrimination. What positive psychology talks about is how you deal with those situations in the most adaptive way, which is what I call rational optimism.”

The breakthrough news is on the documented relationship between the intellectual capacity of the brain and happiness.

“Everyone has a band of potential in terms of intelligence and success rates,” Mr. Achor says in a phone interview from his home in Texas. “When the brain is positive and happier, you are at the upper end of your potential. Which means if you prime a student or an employee to be positive before taking an intelligence test, their score rises dramatically. Your brain is actually smarter when it’s positive than when it’s negative, neutral or stressed.”

He goes on to explain that “only 25 per cent of job success is predicted by intelligence. Seventy-five per cent is predicted by three characteristics related to happiness: optimism, a positive social support network and a positive response to stress.”

In The Happiness Advantage, he writes about seven principles that show how the brain can develop greater happiness and productivity. An interesting one is called Post Traumatic Growth. “Without thinking about things, we assume that bad things in the world, that suffering, will create negative effects upon us. That’s the position of someone who thinks less, not more,” he explains. “Someone who thinks more is actually scanning for how that’s not necessarily true in reality.

“When something bad happens, someone can be debilitated. They can remain unaffected by it – which is how we define resiliency. But if you think things through clearly and more deeply, you start to find that some people grow not despite the trauma, but because of it. The research we have on everything from combat, refugee displacement, to breast cancer – every trauma that you could use to justify being unhappy in the world – we’ve found that some people have grown because of it.”

As a “perfect example” of Post Traumatic Growth, he cites Viktor Frankl’s 1946 book, Man’s Search for Meaning, about his imprisonment in a concentration camp and his way of finding a reason to live.

“It takes a lot of intelligence and complexity to take a situation like a concentration camp – the worst possible external world – and write about how you create meaning and nobility in the midst of that,” Mr. Achor points out.

Happiness may not be considered cool. Many think it’s more edgy and realistic to be disaffected; ironically bleak about the world.

But happiness is not a holiday from the head, it’s an engagement of it.

Coin a new mantra, I say: “Worry, Think and Create Happiness.”

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