Friday, November 8, 2013

Tanning salon’s Thanksgiving special: ‘Sexy color’ like Native Americans

And you thought Thanksgiving was just about the turkey, huh? Well, one Alabama-based chain of tanning salons is offering “sexy color” like Native Americans. 745TDBanty 131108
Club Sun Color Studios, which has salons in Alabama and Florida, ran a Thanksgiving special that quickly raised eyebrows this week.
The ad shows a well-tanned brunette in a Native American costume – check out the feathers in her hair – standing next to a fair-skinned blonde in a Pilgrim dress.
Says the ad: “The Indians brought more than just ‘corn’ to the first Thanksgiving, they brought Sexy 'Color'!"
And look at that – instant, flawless, sunless spray tans start at $7.99!
“As you can see, Sexy Indian is also wearing authentic fringed stilettos, which historians agree is part of the traditional dress of Sexy Indians when they taught Sexy Pilgrims how to tan back in History Days,” wrote Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel, apparently the first to call a turkey a turkey.
Wednesday night, the ad had seemingly disappeared from both the company’s website and Facebook page.
Club Sun’s marketing director David Arnett posted an apology.
“In response to the recent post from, the ad I created showing a Native American and Pilgrim in costume was in no way intended to be offensive or racist,” he wrote. “I sincerely apologize if it offended anyone.
“I myself am Native American and I am very proud of my heritage and skin tone. The thought process behind the ad was simply a play on my own sexy 'color'. Again, I apologize for any offense and misunderstanding.”
Can’t wait to see what they do with those Christmas elves.
Thanksgiving Day Activity at Eachmall Facebook

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The origin of Thanksgiving day

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times. The Thanksgiving holiday's history in North America is rooted in English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation. It also has aspects of a harvest festival, even though the harvest in New England occurs well before the late-November date on which the modern Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated.  745TDBanty 131105

The custom of marking good fortune with a day of gratitude quickly caught on throughout New England. In the early days of the United States, the new nation's leaders began proclaiming country-wide thanksgiving celebrations. In the American Revolution, for example, the Continental Congress called for a day of thanksgiving to mark the U.S. victory at the Battle of Saratoga. Then in 1789, President George Washington called for a day of thanksgiving in recognition of the U.S. Constitution's ratification.

Modern Thanksgiving has its direct origins in American history. It's unclear whether the Pilgrims themselves called that first feast a thanksgiving celebration, but they were certainly celebrating the abundance of food and the peace with their American Indian neighbors. When the first  group of Puritans left from England and arrived in the New World, and then settled in a town called Plymouth in what is now Massachusetts. The Pilgrims' first winter was so harsh that fewer than 50 of the group survived the season. One day an Abnaki Indian named Samoset entered the Plymouth settlement. He welcomed the Pilgrims in English, and the next day returned with another American Indian named Squanto. With Squanto's help, the Pilgrims were able to survive in the New World. He taught them how to get sap out of the maple trees, how to avoid plants that were poisonous and how to plant corn and other crops.

The harvest was very successful, due in large part to help from the American Indians. The Pilgrims had enough food for the winter and had learned how to survive in the New World. Plymouth Colony's Governor, William Bradford, decided to throw a celebratory feast and invited the colony's American Indian neighbors to take part. The American Indians brought food as well, and the celebration lasted for three days.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More Precious Than Gold!

More late-night/early morning banter around the water-cooler at Monochrome-Cheap HQ saw us kicking around makes and models of upcoming purchases. When the subject of Rolex Day-Date came up folks immediately gasped at the thought a lump of solid gold or platinum. That’s when one of the rarest of the rare Rolies came to my aid to provide a top-trumps answer; the 1959 ‘6611 – the stainless steel Day-Date!  745TDBanty 131029
The Rolex family tree is littered with so many branches that stopped baring fruit or lead off to nowhere that it makes the process of researching the brand a seemingly hopeless process! The fact that there is no official history means that what we know about the brand and it’s many, many, many variants is the consensus of independent researchers like Mondani family, the likes of James Dowling and Jeffrey Hess and the back offices of the world’s auction houses.
Rolex Day-Date ref.16xxx
Sure, we all know the 18xxx models (see photo above), seen so often on the wrists of captains of industry, heads of state and television mobsters. The Rolex Day-Date was first seen by the public in 1956 as the 6511 and immediately took up the mantle of Top of the Line. The 6511 was followed by the 6611. The 6611 physically resembled the 6511 and the Day-Date of today with it’s famous ‘Day’ window at 12 o’clock and date at 3 o’clock. Where it differed from the 6511 was in the gearing of the movement – boring stuff – gears and things. But that’s not really the point I want to make here.
The real jewel of the 6611’s run appears so briefly that if you ‘BLINK’ you’ll miss it. People who have read some of the great books on the histories of the Rolex models may have seen footnotes or parenthetical references to an ‘entry level’ spec version of the Day-Date made in stainless steel! According to Antiquorum, only SIX, (that’s right six as in: If Frank Geelen buys a dozen donuts and leaves them where I can get to them, by the time he puts down his car keys and hat there are only 1,2,3,4,5,6 left!) were produced. Rare!
Rolex Day-Date overview
The image above shows the chronology of the Day-Date, from left to right, ref. 6511, ref. 6611, ref. 18xx and ref. 18xxx.
At auction in October 2002, one of the six stainless examples of the Day-Date, fitted to a plain-Jane Oyster bracelet sold for 50,600 CHF!
Quote from Antiquorum auction: Engraved on the case back: “Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève – 1963″ and the Rolex logo. Small series of these watches were givens as prizes to the best students of the Geneva school of Horologery. This watch was produced in only six examples in stainless steel because a marketing test with different metals showed that there was a considerable potential demand for pieces in gold. Rolex therefore stopped production of the steel watches, producing this reference only in precious metals.
The outright rarity the stainless 6611 allowed it to outstrip prices achieved by more commonly recognizable gold and platinum versions. See – more precious than gold!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Swiss Luxury Watches For Men and For Women

Each watch a paragon of precision engineering, quality, and sporting heritage. This is the TAG Heuer DNA. This is what ensures TAG Heuer position as a world leader of luxury sports watches and chronographs.
Swiss watches are renowned for their quality and precision. And within the world of Swiss cheap watches, TAG Heuer watches are known not just for quality and precision, but for avant-garde design and advanced technology too. For a sports heritage that inspires excellence. And for quality materials that create luxury watches for men and women.
Since 1860, when Edouard Heuer opened his first workshop in the Swiss mountains, TAG Heuer has been consistently first to master chronograph precision in its smallest increments. Stunning consumers and the watchmaking industry with the likes of the 1916 Mikrograph - the world’s first sports stopwatch with 1/100th of a second precision. Or more recently with the Mikrotimer Flying 1000, the only mechanical chronograph to measure and display 1/1,000th of a second. And in 2012, it’s the turn of the Mikrogirder Concept Watch to dazzle with its unprecedented precision – 5/10,000th of a second accuracy. Today, TAG Heuer is the only Swiss watch brand producing mechanical and automatic chronographs with this phenomenal fractional second accuracy.
Throughout its history, TAG Heuer has been at the cutting edge of time on sea, land and in the air. From date displays to fly-back hands – TAG Heuer innovations have been adopted by leading makers of luxury sports watches worldwide. It was Edouard Heuer who invented the oscillating pinion for the Microtimer in 1886 – now central to almost every contemporary mechanical chronograph. In 2004 the Monaco V4 concept watch reinvented time with drive-belts and ball-bearings – and received a rapturous welcome in Geneva.
This tradition of award-winning innovation continues with the 2010 TAG Heuer Pendulum. A concept so revolutionary it overturned a 300 year-old fundamental of watch making – the balance wheel and hairspring mechanism. For the first time in watchmaking history, the oscillations of the balance wheel are driven not by the hairspring, but by magnetic field. An incredible achievement. Where does the inspiration come from?
A rich heritage and active engagement in the sporting arena. TAG Heuer’s long relationship with motorsports is legendary. Team Ferrari in the 1970s. The last 25 glorious years with McLaren F1. Emerging from this love of speed and performance, the impeccable performance of the TAG Heuer Formula 1, Monaco, Carrera and Grand Carrera Chronograph. Each watch a masterpiece of design and manufacturing, performance and precision.
And from the aquatic world – yachting, ocean-racing and scuba diving – comes Aquaracer, the indispensable sports watch. Aquaracer is proudly worn by the ORACLE Racing team in their aim to capture the America’s Cup. Their values - high performance and split-second precision - find support in their partnership with TAG Heuer.
This passion for professional sports also led to the development of the ultra-light Professional Sports Watch and the iconic LINK series. And TAG Heuer, in a constant quest for innovation, performance and prestige, continues to aim ever higher. A drive for excellence reflected in its partnerships with sporting champions, powerful ambassadors like tennis player Maria Sharapova, and F1 winner Jenson Button. Glamorous Cameron Diaz, Leondardo DiCaprio, iconic Steve McQueen, China’s Chen Dao Ming and India’s Shah Rukh Khan are charismatic TAG Heuer ambassadors too – each of them sharing TAG Heuer’s integrity, passion and excellence.
TAG Heuer watches for men are innovative timepieces that combine TAG Heuer’s mastery of precision with its racing heritage and prestige materials. Women too appreciate the TAG Heuer values of performance and reliability: TAG Heuer has designed watches for women since its earliest days. In luxury materials like diamonds, ceramic and mother-of-pearl, TAG Heuer watches for women speak to her femininity with ultra glamorous, elegant designs.  745TDBanty 131025

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple announces the iPad Air, its thinnest and lightest full-size iPad yet

Apple has officially announced the latest version of its iPad tablet. The newly named iPad Air features a design that's reminiscent of the iPad mini released last year. It's thinner and lighter than prior versions, and features a smaller bezel, which shrinks the footprint of the tablet down without compromising on screen size. Apple says it's 20 percent thinner at only 7.5mm thick, and weighs just 1.0 pound (28 percent less than the previous iPad). The screen remains the same; it's a 9.7-inch Retina Display with 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. This is the first major redesign of Apple's flagship tablet since the iPad 2 was released in March 2011.
Apple iPad Air
The iPad Air features the 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor found in the iPhone 5S, which Apple says is 8 times faster and has 72 times better graphics performance than the old processor. It also has a 5-megapixel iSight camera and FaceTime HD front-facing camera and 10 hour battery life. Apple says the iPad Air has twice the data transfer rate on Wi-Fi thanks to new MIMO  802.11n support, but it doesn't support 802.11ac. 745TDBanty 131023

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Ups And Downs Of Buying Vintage Watches

Buying vintage cheap watches in not for the faint of heart.  My friend Paul Boutros often says that no matter who you're dealing with, you (as the buyer) are "at war" with the seller.  It's a battle of who knows more about the particular desirability of the watch, who can suss out the over all condition relative to others, and who can play the game better.  Even when you're buying a watch from a known and trusted entity, it's all a struggle.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  In this personal post, I will tell you about the very last watch I purchased, and how it might be the perfect example of how even when you win, you never win as much as you think. 745TDBanty 131022
I had been looking for an old Longines chronograph for years. Probably four years.  I remember the first time I ever came across a great, stainless steel 13ZN at an Antiquorum preview and I fell in love.  Since then, I've come close to buying several gold 13ZN's on many occasions.  But, I have a few inexpensive gold vintage chronographs from the likes of Universal Geneve and Zenith, so I really wanted to hold out for steel.  Obviously, steel is much more wearable for me as a guy who wears a suit exactly one week per year (SIHH in January).
So, in my nightly browsing for vintage watches, I stumbled across what a dealer described as a 1950s Longines 13ZN.  I looked closer, and to me, it didn't look like it was from the 50's at all. I would've guessed the early 40s.  And then, I looked further still, I saw that there was a singular pusher on this case at 2 o'clock, and nothing at 4 o'clock.  This was a mono-pusher 13ZN.   I sent an email to the dealer, who was a large European seller of both old and new watches, though one I've never dealt with either personally or professionally.  I didn't hear anything back for one week.  I sent a note via the contact form on his website, still nothing.  I was about to give up.
I sent one last email to this dealer from my personal email account and the next morning, I heard back from someone at the shop.  They answered my questions about movement and case numbers, condition, etc to my satisfaction.  I then took the information they had provided me and did quite a bit of research.  I first looked at John Goldberger's book on classic Longines watches (you can see a pictorial display of it here) and saw that 13ZN mono-pushers did not account for many of arguably the largest collection of rare Longines in the world.  That confirmed my suspicion that this watch was rare, and very likely, early.  Then, I reached out to Longines to ask what information they might have on the watch.  Longines has one of the most active heritage departments around, and if you send them a note with your movement and case numbers, they usually get back to you within 24 hours.  It's an amazing service available to all.