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Archive for June 22nd, 2011

SELF features JJ Virgin (again!)

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011

Where Butt Meets Thigh: The Bikini Problem Area We Can’t Seem to Fix

Some of us are blessed with the perfect bubble butt (J-Lo comes to mind). But for those of us who have a little more difficulty pinpointing where butt ends and thigh begins, slipping into a bikini bottom can be downright distressing. After all, without a defined line, how do you know what the material is supposed to cover?

While we can’t change our genes, we can change how our jeans (and bikini briefs) fit — at least a little bit. Here are a few ideas for giving your booty a lift:


Step Up – “Nothing tones your glutes quite like step ups do,” says nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless & Sexy. “Just be sure you are using a step bench that is high enough so that your knee and hip joints are at a 90 degree angle when you step up to ensure the greatest muscle activation.”

Take a Lunge – It’s no surprise lunges are on this list. They’re great for toning up our legs and backsides and you can feel the burn in no time. Just make sure you step out far enough so your bent knee (at a 90 degree angle) is right over your toe — but not past it. Too easy? Pick up a pair of weights and shoot for three sets of 15-20 reps using the heaviest weight to handle in good form. And make sure to take a 60-second break between reps, advises Virgin.

Mix things up – There are no hard-and-fast rules for performing strength-training exercises. “You can do all three sets of one exercise before moving on to the next, or do a circuit where you perform one set of each exercise and then repeat the circuit three times,” says Virgin. The only non-negotiable rule: Take a rest day in between butt-busting workouts.

Don’t ditch the cardio – While toning up is critical, you still have to get your heart rate pumping. After all, if there’s a layer of flab over your glutes, it doesn’t matter how many lunges you do.

According to Virgin, if you follow these steps, you should see some serious firming within a few weeks. Heading to the beach tomorrow? That’s what boy shorts and sarongs are for!

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Dr. Gladding / YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN on WKYT 27 News First Kentucky

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011


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Jack Gill featured in the New York Post

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011

Will stunt performers ever get their own Oscar category?


Last week, the Academy met to decide whether to add a category for Best Stunt Coordinator, but ultimately decided against it. Why have other behind-the-scenes categories for make-up and costumes, as well as a slew of technical categories that mainstream viewers don’t really care about, but then not throw a bone to the stunt coordinators, whose work viewers can easily understand and appreciate?

There is an award given outside of the Oscars called the Taurus World Stunt Awards. Last year’s winner was Tom Struthers for coordinating the rotating hotel hallway fight with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Inception.” But so far, the Academy has turned up its nose.

Jack Gill is a stuntman who’s been working for some 30 years to get the category officially added to the Oscar ballot. MyDVDInsider has an interesting interview with him, where he dishes on “Fast Five,” explains why Tom Cruise is the best stuntman-friendly actor and details his lobbying of the Academy.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/movies/will_stunt_performers_ever_get_their_wJ4lY707I3ja8qT8PwmSIP#ixzz1Q31rc3H7

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ABC News features Phil Liberatore

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011

Cat Lady’s Big Win Against IRS Could Help Volunteers

Jan Van Dusen beats the IRS after rescuing dozens of feral cats. (Courtesy Jan Van Dusen)

When the Internal Revenue Service didn’t purr over her tax deductions for her volunteer work as a cat rescuer Jan Van Dusen fought back and won.

Her victory is a case that could inspire more Americans to volunteer — and increase charitable tax deductions by millions.

The “ruling sets a precedent for this type of deduction,” says Philip L. Liberatore a CPA at IRS Problem Solvers, Inc. based in Southern California. “It’s possible to not necessarily have a tax contribution letter but still have tax deductible expenses that are charitable in nature. This ruling will encourage other taxpayers to volunteer as a result it has the potential to add up to millions of dollars in deductions.”

The Wall Street Journal originally reported the victory.

Which is what Van Dusen did for years as a foster parent to cats. However, it wasn’t until her 2004 tax return that Van Dusen decided to claim the expenses she incurred while caring for as many as 70 cats in her house.

As a part of the nonprofit organization Fix Our Ferals Van Dusen participated in the Trap-Neuter-Return program to capture feral or semi-feral cats to be spayed and neutered. At times, this resulted in “foster cat” situations, which means cats staying at Dusen’s residence.

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Liberatore compares it to the foster child system. “The foster parent takes in the foster child and are able to deduct expenses” that exceed what they’re getting paid, says Liberatore.

“I had a little more than I intended to have because I thought cats would continue to go up for adoption and they didn’t,” says Van Dusen.

But, when the family law attorney claimed expenses of $12,068 to care for the cats housed in her residence she found herself in US Tax Court battling the IRS.

The sheer number of cats earned her the nickname “the cat lady” in the media. In court, Van Dusen says she was painted as the “crazy” cat lady.

“Those of us who do animal rescue think of it as an avocation. It is not a hobby; it is more of a calling. It is definitely community service,” says Van Dusen. “We go places where it is scary to be, and talk to people who are scary to talk to, to try to turn things around so that the animals are safe. If you are crazy, you cannot be effective. You need all of your faculties for this work.”

At her home, she ran a well-oiled machine, shelling out about $1,000 a month for food, liter and flea control for the feral and semi-feral cats.

When the IRS denied her deductions, Van Dusen took them to court and the judge sided with the cat lover. In the ruling, Van Dusen was able to use copies or other documentation for expenses below $250. For expenses that exceeded $250, the court denied a deduction because Van Dusen didn’t have a letter from the charity at the time aknowledging her gift.

The ruling has implications for volunteers and many animal rights organizations are celebrating the win.

“The ASPCA supports this ruling because it will enable animal lovers to do more for animals without having to worry about how it will impact their personal finances,” Gail Buchwald, the ASPCA’s Senior Vice President of Adoptions, wrote in a statement. “How much one spends in a single rescue can vary greatly from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the capacities of the shelters in the local community and the condition of the animal, among other factors.”

It’s a mission that Van Dusen wanted to define when she decided to take the IRS to court. “I wanted to establish the taxability of these expenses,” says Van Dusen. “It seems to me they should be deductible but they were hung up on the idea that the volunteer work had to be done in humane society building and not in a home.”

The ruling “is kind of narrow in a sense there’s not that many situations where people are volunteers for charity and incur charities from their pockets,” says Bruce R. Hopkins, a senior partner at Polsinelli and Shughart.

“If I had the facts of this case only and looked at it I would have thought the court would have denied the deduction,” he says.

But, others consider it a victory. “It’s good news for the taxpayer. We have victory where there wasn’t a deduction contribution letter sent to the taxpayer but the taxpayer was still able to take the deduction, ” Liberatore said. “It’s also a victory for nonprofits because now there’s more leniency and more people will be willing to give in a different way. It will encourage volunteers to increase their service to nonprofits.”

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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also lauded the court ruling.

“This precedent-setting ruling appears to be good news for the thousands of nonprofit volunteers who spend money out of pocket to further the goals of the local animal shelters and rescue organizations they volunteer for,” PETA’s Associate Director of the Cruelty Investigations DepartmentStephanie Bell said in a statement to ABCNews.

“These volunteers can now deduct their documented expenses at the end of the year, which puts them in a better position to keep volunteering their time as well as properly meeting the needs of the animals they are fostering.”

“PETA would have concerns about any rescue organization or shelter that is allowing as many as 70 cats to be housed in the custody of a single person because of the potential for animal hoarding and substandard living conditions, but that is a matter separate from tax law and this particular ruling,” said Bell.

For taxpayers volunteering at 501(c)3 organizations, Liberatore says, “keep track of any and all expenses in volunteering or paying out of their own funds to sustain a mission of a nonprofit organization

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Huffington Post picks up Achor’s AOL Healthy Living video

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011

Happiness And Weight Loss: The Surprising Connection (VIDEO)




For so many of us, happiness seems to be on the other side of weight loss — I’ll be happy once I look a certain way in a bathing suit, or hit a certain number on the scale or achieve a perfectly flat stomach.

But you may be putting the proverbial cart before the horse — achieving happiness first can actually help you to lose the weight.

“Happiness is actually an advantage. If you can increase your chance of being happy right now, it will increase your chance of being successful in the future,” Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” told PopSugarLivingTV in this interview.

And Achor and health and fitness host Dr. Zelana Montminy, Psy.D. have some concrete and simple ways to boost your happiness — and maybe your weight loss power– right now.


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WhatsYourPrice.com on the front page of the Philly Inquirer

Posted by Levine Communications Office on June 22, 2011


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