A new wave of tech startups is promising women detailed insights into their ability to conceive. But experts are sceptical
A new wave of tech startups is promising women detailed insights into their ability to conceive. But experts are sceptical
The trumpeter talks about growing up in a musical family, why his first marriage went wrong, and being a grandfather
I grew up in central Los Angeles . My father was born in Russia. He was a survivor. He had come to the US in 1915, when he was 16 , not speaking a word of English, on his own, at the insistence of his family. He landed in Ellis Island and made a life for himself. My mother was from the Lower East Side of New York. She was a secretary, she was good with numbers and played the violin, but not professionally. One of my earliest memories is from when I was eight . In school, in a music appreciation class, there was a table filled with instruments and I happened to pick up a trumpet. It had a profound effect on my life. At home, Id be playing it, and the neighbours would scream, Shut the window! while my mother screamed back at them. My brother played drums; “were in” a musical household. My parent could play the mandolin, although he didnt read music. As my fathers fortunes improved , he brought the rest of his family from Russia to live near us. My grandpa stayed there. I recollect my paternal grandmother, but she only spoke Yiddish so communication is a point. My mother wasnt close to her own parents so we didnt insure much of them. I had an elder brother, David, who was five years my senior. We used to play outside or in the street, but I was super-shy and followed him around, but he wasnt so interested in hanging out with me. I guess “were in” middle class . My dad earned a reasonable living manufacturing womens suits and garment as a business; we didnt struggle and had a vacation now and then.
I didnt have a strong notion about what career I wanted. I knew I liked playing the trumpet. My friend and I played together at parties and events. At high school, I was in a little group, with piano, bass, drums and cornet. We entered a TV talent competition that pitted groups from local high schools against one another. Even though few people had TV sets in the 1950 s, we won the indicate for eight consecutive weeks and that built us a name, so we got gigs around the city on the back of that.
I got married when I was 21. At the time, Id been drafted and was playing with the Sixth Army band in San Franciscos Presidio. I was also working part-time in a gym, and tried my hand at acting for a while, but that didnt work out. I was too young to get married, as evidenced by my getting divorced. I likely didnt understand what was expected of me at that age. Then I get famous and started touring the world, so I wasnt around much.
When I got married the second time, I felt so lucky. Lani is my dream girl. We have been married for 42 years now and had a child together.
Im not sure what my parents taught me . My father didnt articulate much, but led by example. He was generous to his family and very open-hearted. If person needed his help, he was always right there for them, and I saw how people responded to his generosity. Im now a grandfather several times over . My youngest is two-and-a-half years old. I love the experience and we find household as much as we can. They are scattered across the nation, but we have Skype so that helps us remain connected. Family is the part of my life that gives me comfort . I am very aware of, and sensitive to, my familys needs and Ill always be there for them, but household is not something I entirely live for. You get one chance to do your thing in this life and I am doing my thing. My ingenuity drives me I dont have any control over it. I know I have made a lot of people happy with my music, and that gives me an enormous energy and pleasure.
Herb Alperts new album, Human nature, is out now, along with 24 of his albums remastered: herbalpert.com
Read more: www.theguardian.com
There are few things as, er, peachy as a ripe peach( and even unripe ones have their utilizes)
I went to a party earlier the summer months and took a tray of ripe peaches instead of a bottle of wine. I would never have dreamed of taking a tray of, say, avocados or a bunch of bananas. Its not that those fruit are any less special; its only that they dont have quite the same wow factor, that tempting, feed me now look of a perfectly ripe peach.
The difference between peaches and avocados is all to do with the way the fruit ripen. Bananas and avocados( along with pears and tomatoes) are climacteric and often store their sugar in the form of starch. Once picked, a simple hydrocarbon gas called ethylene triggers the process that converts that starch back to sweetness. This constructs such fruit a logistical dreaming for those who grow and sell them: they can be picked unripe and shipped hard( so theyre not prone to bruising ), and ripened once the travel is done.( On a smaller scale, you can achieve a similar impact at home by putting an unripe fruit in a paper bag with a ripe one. The ripe fruit will emit ethylene, which helps ripen the unripe fruit .)
Peaches, on the other hand, are not such a peachy logistical dream. Along with other non-climacteric fruit such as pineapple, citrus, most berries and melons, they dont store starch, so they dont go across the same process of converting it into sugar. Theyll continue to soften once picked, sure, and also develop an odor, but their sweetness wont develop any more post-picking.( The cold temperature at which the objective is stored when shipped and stocked, to prolong shelf life, also means the flesh often turns very mealy .)
Thats why I regard a tray of ripe peaches as something of a gift: feeing them right there and then, and hitting that sweet spot, really is worthy of a festivity. Its also why I reserve firmer fruit for cakes and tarts; overripe ones go into jams, compotes or todays shrub. Hard peaches may absence some natural sweetness, true, but you can draw that out depending on how you cook them. They also have the advantage of being robust enough to hold their shape: chargrill wedges and pair with slices of salty corpuscle or pork belly, spoonfuls of creamy cheese or a hard herb such as rosemary.
This makes good utilize of firm , not-so-ripe peaches. By macerating them in sugar and lime juice, you not only soften the fruit, but you also make a beautiful syrup to pour over the dish at the end. Rosemary, which Ive utilized both in this dish and in the shrub, is a fantastic match for peach. Its a combining I detected only recently, and now I cant get enough of it. Serves four generously.
2 limes 1 peeled in 7 long strips, the other grated, to get 1 tsp, then both juiced, to get 1 tbsp
80 g caster sugar
2 large firm peaches, stoned and cut into 0.5 cm-thick slice( 300 g net weight)
2 large sprigs rosemary, plus tbsp picked leaves
150 g creme fraiche
Plain flour, for dusting
200 g all-butter puff pastry
10 g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas mark 4.
Mix the lime juice with 60 g sugar in a large bowl, add the peaches, strips of lime scalp and rosemary sprigs. Stir and set aside to macerate for at the least 40 minutes, and up to a couple of hours. Strain the peaches through a sieve set over a small saucepan, and discard the rosemary and lime peel: you should end up with about 60 ml peach syrup.
Mix the grated zest and a teaspoon of sugar into the creme fraiche and refrigerate until ready to serve.
On a lightly floured run surface, roll out the pastry into a 26 cm-wide circle just under 0.5 cm thick, then transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Arrange the strained peaches haphazardly in the middle of the pastry, leaving a clear 6cm perimeter all around the edge, then fold this outer 6cm rim up and over the peaches. Dot the butter over the exposed peaches, then brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar evenly over the pastry and bake for 20 minutes, until its golden and the fill is beginning to bubble.
While the galette is baking, whisk the cornflour into the reserved peach syrup. Simmer over a medium-high heat until it thickens to the consistency of honey( about two minutes ), then pour over the peaches. Sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top and return the galette to the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the fill bubbling.
Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a bowl of the lime creme fraiche on the side.
Shrubs( basically, sharp, sweet syrups) are traditionally used to flavour soft drink and cocktails. Theyre also great drizzled over desserts. In making this shrub, youre left with the bonus of 400g cooked peach pulp, which is delicious over yoghurt and granola( find next recipe) or ice-cream. Makes 600 ml.
1kg very ripe yellow peaches, stoned and approximately chopped
3 sprigs rosemary
120 ml apple cider vinegar
150 g caster sugar
Put everything into a large saucepan on a medium-high hot, and cook at a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has broken down and is the consistency of a thick compote.
Line a large sieve with muslin, then set it over a large bowl or container( make sure the sieve does not touch the bottom of the container, so the liquid can drain through ). Tip the peach mix into the lined sieves and leave to drain for one to two hours, until all the liquid has strained through. Discard the rosemary.
Store the shrub and the strained fruit in separate airtight receptacles in the fridge: the shrub will maintain for up to a month, the fruit for a week.
This is a great breakfast, but by all means convert it into a pudding by swapping the yoghurt for whipped cream or ice-cream. Serves four.
600 g Greek-style yoghurt
350 g-4 00 g strained peaches from attaining the shrub( assure previous recipe )
100 g granola
60 ml peach and rosemary shrub( ensure previous recipe )
4 tsp honey
tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tsp roughly chopped rosemary foliages
Divide the yoghurt, strained peaches and granola between four serving bowl, dishing it up so that you can see each element. Pour the shrub over the strained peaches, then drizzle honey evenly over everything. Finish with a sprinkling each of five-spice and rosemary.
My ideal summer drink. Makes four.
120 ml peach and rosemary shrub( insure previous recipe )
Finely shaved scalp of 1 lemon (8 strips )
4 small rosemary sprigs
About 400 ml prosecco
Pour the shrub into the bottom of four champagne glasses. Add two strips of lemon peel and a rosemary sprig to each glass, top with prosecco and enjoy.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, acknowledging changes and being supportive are not mutually exclusive
Should you be struggling with a gift idea for that special person in your life, heres a suggestion: how about a home DNA kit? These are all the rage in America, I recently read in the New York Times, with 3m sold by ancestry.com alone in the past five years. At last, Americans can find out how Irish they actually are.
On the one hand, this builds sense: identity is the hot issue of our age. On the other, it constructs no sense at all, because your identity is, we maintain being told, whatever you want it to be. And, indeed, the New York Times writer stoutly concluded, Whatever research results, Ill still come from a large Irish family. Top o the morning to you, sir: why let a blood test ruin your St Patricks Day?
Nowhere is the discussion about identity more passionately felt than within the transgender motion. If you feel you are a woman, you are a woman is the rule, although some females are querying this. Last week, the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was asked by Channel 4s Cathy Newman whether trans girls are real females. My feeling is trans females are trans females, Adichie replied, a reply not so much tautological as nearly palindromic. I dont think its a good thing to conflate everything into one.
This was a clearer way of saying what Jenni Murray had written in an article that clumsily argued trans girls are not real women. And as with Murray, the online opprobrium quickly rained down on Adichies head. The next day she posted a clarification on Facebook, but stood her ground: Acknowledging differences and being supportive are not mutually exclusive, she wrote.
The fear of being on the wrong side of history is a strong persuader, and it was clearly behind much of the reaction to the news that the BBC had slapped down Murray. Instead of exclaiming foul at the broadcasters palpably nervy excuse that their presenters must remain impartial on controversial topics( while having no problem with Gary Lineker sharing his political views ), female commentators dedicated Murray a kicking. Let all women be women, was the verdict.
This kumbaya approach is an increasingly popular one. Why cant we ladies all just get along? Hakuna matata! Yet no one is asking why more females than humen are raising objections here. Perhaps people think this is just what females are like: uniquely catty. Lifelong feminists, especially older ones, who convey any reservations about eliding the experiences of trans and cis girls are dismissed as bigoted ol bitches and maybe some are. But there are real ethical issues here, and they overwhelmingly affect women.
Sport is one obvious example. Male-born bodies have had different testosterone levels and muscle distribution from female ones. No one knows what the solution is but feigning there isnt a difference is ridiculous. Then there are prisons. Its easy to cheer on Chelsea Manning, but Ian Huntley who now reportedly wishes to be known as Lian Huntley and be transferred to a women prison is a tougher sell. Should a man with a history of crimes against women and girls actually be in a female prison?
In January, it was reported that the British Medical Association advised that instead of referring to expectant mothers, health providers should talk about the less exclusionary pregnant people. Some young feminists are even asking if its OK to use the words female and girl yet men are not being urged to avoid mentioning their gender. Is it any wonder some girls are calling bullshit?
Just as the fringe elements of the “politicians ” have taken centre stage, so the most extreme aim of the trans movement which insists there are no differences between trans and cis women has moved to the frontline. Some will call this progress; to me, it seems more a suit of throw away the commonsensical newborn with the transphobic bath water. Trans activists say the idea that biology should determine who is and isnt a woman is misogynistic. Yet far more simplistic gender debates are advanced by the trans motion. On Radio 4s PM last autumn from the impartial BBC a mom ran unchallenged when she claimed she realised her three-year-old daughter was a trans boy when she asked for volumes about pirates instead of princess. In another BBC interview last year, Eddie Izzard said he love manicures because hes trans.
That trans people have long suffered from hideous prejudice and violence, and continue to do so, is without question. But as Adichie told, acknowledging changes and being supportive are not mutually exclusive. If anything, they go hand in hand, because they allow females, trans and non-trans, to talk honestly and ensure each other as people, instead of reducing themselves to manicures and menstruation.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
A stunning indicate at the Design Museum presents the master couturiers own vision although sadly he wont see it. By Kate Finnigan
When Azzedine Alaia, the Tunisian master couturier, succumbed of a heart attack in Paris last November, aged 82, the Design Museum in London was seven months into preparing a big depict dedicated to his run. It was to be the first style exhibition in the museum’s new building in Kensington and the choice of Alaia had been carefully attained.” The museum has very special architecture ,” says Alice Black, co-director.” What Azzedine Alaia created over his career is also striking statue. We felt that his work against the backdrop of the museum would be amazing .”
Black had come to know the tiny and charismatic decorator over the previous few months. The team had been working closely with Alaia himself, a man known for his perfectionism and hands-on approach.” Azzedine was the heart and soul of his label. For a while I wondered if the exhibition could still go ahead ,” tells Black.” But because he had really wanted it, everyone took it on themselves to make it happen. It was his concept, his idea, so we hadn’t been left to second guess .”
Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier, curated by Alaia’s long-term collaborator and friend, Mark Wilson of the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, opens this Thursday. The museum has defied the temptation to turn it into a retrospective and has stayed with the designer’s original vision for it to be a study of technique and craft, with more than 60 examples of couture pieces. It is the first-ever UK show dedicated to Alaia, who is less well known here than in his adopted France. But those who know style revere Alaia almost like no other. The industry loves a secret and there has been a cult surrounding Alaia for five decades, inspired not only by his unique- although much-imitated- style but by his passion for perfectionism( a dress could take five weeks or five years ), his refusal to be dictated to by commercialism and his personal style of business, largely conducted in his atelier-cum-apartment in the Marais around a kitchen table, where Alaia served guests with his own cuisine.
Diversity takes centre stage as Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyongo, Whoopi Goldberg and Sean Diddy Combs feature in Tim Walker and Edward Enninfuls twisted version of Alice in Wonderland
I chop off people heads and I like it. Naomi Campbell appears up from her telephone to tell a group of journalists about her role in the most recent Pirelli calendar. It is inspired by John Tenniels original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, and Campbell is on set in a photographic studio in north London, surrounded by a twisted fairytale scene of mouldy jam tarts and scorched doll houses.
She plays the Royal Beheader of course she does and is joined by Lupita Nyongo as a dormouse, Sean Diddy Combs as Campbells fellow beheader, South Sudanese-Australian model Duckie Thot as Alice, Whoopi Goldberg as the Royal Duchess and Sasha Lane as the March Hare. Fashions woke poster-woman and feminist activist Adwoa Aboah has been shot as Tweedledee. And RuPaul will also appear, as the Queen of Hearts.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Silent retreats, silent eateries and even silent dating events are on the rise. Now a new film aims to quietly spread the word
Once the preserve of monastic retreats and hardcore meditators, simply being quiet is growing in appeal. Whole businesses have sprung up to meet a rising demand for quiet hour, from silent weekend getaways to silent dining, silent read parties and even silent dating. This month watches the release of documentary In Pursuit of Silence, a meditative film about our relationship with noise, promoted with a delicate two-minute trailer in which not a word is uttered.
Silence can, as the movie attests, mean different things to different people. It can be a space for quiet reflection or a nation fraught with discomfort. There is a certain intimacy inherent in being silent with other people we usually do so merely with those closest to us. So there is something almost radical about the recent trend for enjoying stillnes with strangers.
Mariel Symeonidou started a regular silent reading party in Dundee simply under a year ago, in a moment of uncharacteristic extroversion. Readers bring their books and meet in a bar, where they read together in silence for an hour or sometimes two, then put the books away to chat and have a drink.
Its easy to make your own ricotta from scratch. Its ideal for a gentle herb and citrus dip, as the main attraction on a tray of honey-baked figs, or stirred through a plate of spicy spaghetti with chard, garlic and herbs
There is so much to love about ricotta. First up, its clean, fresh cloud-like milkiness many of us think of it as a spring-time thing, but in fact, it works brilliantly as a much needed partner for the roots and roasts and punchier flavors well be feeing for the next few months. Next, its versatility in baking and desserts; to fill ravioli or spoon over warm veggies. Best of all, though, is that its made from something that would otherwise be wasted. The ricotta that you buy in the shops is a byproduct of the cheesemaking process. Whey that has been drained off the cheese curds is reheated to stimulate ricotta hence its Italian name, which entails recooked.
My recipe involves gently heating whole milk, then adding vinegar to promote little curds to form, which are then gathered and strained to form the softest and most gentle of the cheeses. Ive tried lemon juice, but vinegar somehow renders more ricotta. The quantity of vinegar is key, too little and the curds wont form properly; too much and the end result will taste like a chip store. Because this recipe is so simple there is nowhere to hide, so use the best milk that you can afford( the best ricotta Ive savor was induced in Italy use raw, unpasteurised milk, but thats not as widely available in the UK ).
Some recipes require a certain type of ricotta. The type you can buy in most supermarkets can be very soft, more mascarpone-like in texture than the firmer, strained ricotta I got used to working with when I cooked in Italy. Thats why I started constructing my own and Id urge you to try too its not as difficult as you might gues. If thats a step too far though, you can induce the recipes below with supermarket ricotta. If you do, then leave it in a sieve to drain excess liquid for a few hours, or ideally overnight, so its a little firmer. If youre luck enough to live near an Italian deli, most sell a good strained ricotta.
As well as a recipe for homemade ricotta, I have included three of my favourite simple ways to eat it. Aside from these almost any pasta would benefit from a little ricotta stirred through it, any flapjack or waffle will sit merrily next to a spoonful, and most fruits will team up well with a clean white helping drizzled with a little honey.
The vocalists fitness label rebrands bodycon by merging style and functionality. But can a gym-friendly version reclaim this unforgiving trend?
The hype surrounding Beyoncs new sportswear line, Ivy Park, is already off the scale. Its not even launched yet, and it has already violated the internet, or at least photo-sharing sites such as Instagram. No surprise, you might tell, she is very famous, and very zeitgeist. But that Ivy Park is, to an extent, a niche fashion genre fitnesswear as opposed to, say, shoes, suggests something is brewing in fashion. Why would the worlds most famous pop star( not to mention bellwether of style and fourth-wave feminist) undertake sportswear if it wasnt a trend sleeper, mass or otherwise? The brands manifesto has a go at answering this My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear to subsistence and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance but equally, this feels at odds with what youre looking at: here is Beyonc, in the rain, outdoors rather than in the gym, appearing purposeful in a leotard, and wet. Could it be any sexier?( And: how am I meant to crosstrain in this ?)
This looks like sportswear, but sportswear that you would also wear to a gig. Its not really on the catwalk at the least not overarchingly so and while sportswear and athleisure have always included tight-fitting pieces for various ergonomic and aesthetic reasons , none of it has really been in fashion. Athleisure, a very close way has come to accepting sportswear, tends to be loose-fitting, minimal and sometimes comes in cashmere. Its also lucrative athleisure is worth 6.4 bn and looks set to increase over the next three years. Ivy Park is, arguably, more than sportswear. Its a sideways take on bodycon or bodycon 3.0 as were calling it, given that its not new sitting somewhere between sportswear and fashion-tight. And, like bodycon, its sexy as hell, even if retailers arent selling it as such.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
If you find yourself procrastinating, or stifled by anxiety, or writers block, I can reveal that the solution to your difficulties is
I first encountered Robert Boices name about three years ago, somewhere online; after that, it started popping up every other month. Boice, I learned, was a US psychologist whod cracked the secret of how to write painlessly and productively. Years ago, hed recorded this wisdom in a book , now out of publish, which a handful of fans discussed in reverent tones, but with a title that seemed like a deliberate bid for oblivion: How Writers Journey To Comfort And Fluency. Also, it was absurdly expensive: employed transcripts sold for APS1 30. Still, Im a sucker for writing advice, especially when so closely guarded. So this month, I succumbed: I determined a transcript at the saner( if still eye-watering) cost of APS6 8, and a plain green print-on-demand hardback arrived in the post. So if you hunger to write more, but instead find yourself procrastinating, or stifled by panic, or writers block, I can reveal that the solution to your difficulties is
Look, you knew this would be anticlimactic, didnt you? The kernel of Boices advice, based on writing workshops conducted with struggling academics, isnt merely old. Its the oldest in the world: write, every weekday, in brief scheduled conferences, as short as 10 minutes at first, then get longer. Reading that, I nearly flung my APS6 8 volume across the room in impatience. But that wouldnt surprise Boice. Because impatience, for him, is aA huge part of why writing causes so much grief.
His students, he explains, tell him they cant afford to restriction their writing to short conferences, or try his other workouts: theyve got deadlines to meet! But that proves the phase. They want to have already written and its precisely that manic importance that triggers panic and procrastination. As I kept reading, a realisation dawned: the non-excitingness of Boices volume from its title to his step-by-step advice, which youre meant to implement gradually, over months is itself training exercises in cultivating patience. Its slow running because slow is the only style forward.
This gets clearer when it comes to one of Boices favourite tips: when your daily writing hour is up, stop dead, even if youve get momentum and could write more. Maybe you could. But youd be reinforcing the notion of writing as a mysterious force, to be harnessed when it was shows up, rather than a monotony activity you choose, undramatically, to do. The exhort to continue, Boice writes, includes a big component of impatience about not being finished, about not being productive enough, about never again determining such an ideal period for writing. Stop when the timer goes off, and youll build self-discipline. Keep going longer, and youre just indulging your insecurity.
Boice would have helped nobody, then, had he offered a quick fix because wanting a quick fix is the essence of impatience. Instead, decelerate. Make writing only a middling priority in their own lives. Dont binge-write. Aim for mild happiness as you work , not blizzards of passion. And if all this ten-strikes you as a waste of time, ask yourself: could that very reaction are some of the problem? Gazing paralysed at the screen is an all the more important waste, after all.
Read more: www.theguardian.com