All Articles Tagged "focus"

Get Loose! Dancing Helps Your Kids Concentrate

September 29th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Like the “15 seconds can save you 15 percent” commercial, there is nothing new about the benefits of exercise. But is all exercise equal? It turns out that dancing is the only form of exercise that also enhances memory.

Should you sign up your kids for dance lessons? Or better yet, teach them those dance steps you perfected many years ago? I am going to guess that most children rarely see their parents dance.

In most cultures, parties are for the entire family. In the United States, however, we separate age groups. Dinner parties for the adults, birthday parties for younger kids, teenagers, etc. The consequence is that our kids are not exposed and learn from the older members of the family.

The other reality for many is families are so spread out, we may only see them at a family reunion. But when we get together, we dance. I always look forward to learning the new dance! Some of us grew up doing the electric slide, now-a-days the wobble and Cupid shuffle. In addition to showing off, having fun and bringing the family together, there are health benefits to bringing back the boogie. Dancing keeps us fit, increases our stamina, reduces stress, improves our sense of well being and improves memory for all age groups.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested swimming, walking, running and bicycling all help the body. But these activities do nothing for the mind, while frequent dancing improved both. According to the authors, dancing combines physical and mental activity and was associated with a 76 percent reduction in dementia. You can dance your way out of mental fuzziness.

It’s important to learn something new every day, especially a new dance step. Challenge your children’s minds with dance lessons, which integrates several brain functions and combines music, feelings and emotional expressions all in one activity. At the end of the day, all dancing is good, even when you are alone. But connecting with others, changing partners in a socially acceptable way and showing off add to the experience.

Black Health Matters

Trailer Alert: Will Smith Plays A Con-Artist Who Falls In Love With Margot Robbie In Romantic Thriller, “Focus”

October 10th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Last time we saw Will Smith do his thing on the big screen, he was starring alongside his son Jaden Smith in the movie After Earth, which did…eh…so-so at the box office. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Smith is known for delivering blockbusters and entertaining the crap out of his audience. So he’s back again with a new romantic thriller called Focus. 

We told you a little something about this film last year because there were a number of people who were supposed to be in it before Smith or his love interest, Margot Robbie. After Ryan Gosling and Ben Affleck pulled out, Smith was cast alongside Kristen Stewart, but she pulled out of the movie because of their substantial age difference (she was 23 at the time, he was 44…). Robbie was cast instead, and well, the show went on.

After all that time, the first trailer is finally here! According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film’s plot goes a little something like this:

Focus is a two-hander about a con man who becomes romantically involved with a novice. He is then thrown off his game when the former flame shows up just as he’s staging an elaborate con in Buenos Aires.

The trailer was definitely entertaining to me, as I’m always up for a good caper–and who doesn’t love Will Smith?

Check it out for yourself below and let us know if you’re feeling it.

Kristen Stewart Pulls Out Of Movie When Will Smith’s Cast As Love Interest; Thinks He’s A Bit Too Old

July 18th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Caroline Torem Craig/

Caroline Torem Craig/

I smell a racist…

Kidding! I kid, I kid. That baby isn’t a racist. But seriously, when you think of on-screen chemistry, you probably wouldn’t think that Kristen Stewart and Will Smith could create the spark necessary to carry a movie together. And that seems to be what popped in Stewart’s head recently when she decided to pull out of the new movie Focus starring Will Smith, not because of scheduling conflicts, but because her would-be co-star is too old for her to make love work on-screen. Here’s the skinny:

According to the Huffington Post, the movie is a “con-artist caper.” Here’s the plot according to the Hollywood Reporter:

“Focus is a two-hander about a con man who becomes romantically involved with a novice. He is then thrown off his game when the former flame shows up just as he’s staging an elaborate con in Buenos Aires.”

The movie was originally set to star Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. However, when both actors had to pull out of the project because of other commitments, they were replaced with Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck and Twilight star Kristen Stewart. At one point, Stewart was pretty geeked up about the movie, telling the HuffPo “It’s a comedy. I’m really excited about it.”

Well, she was excited about it until Affleck had to dip out of the movie as well to star in a different picture last December. When the role was finally given to Will Smith, who signed on early this year, it was reported by the Hollywood Reporter in April that she had decided to part ways from the movie. Why? According to Variety, she felt “the age difference between [her and Smith] would be too large a gap.” To clarify, Stewart is 23 while Smith is 44. When Affleck was attached to the movie, she was excited, even though the age difference between them was still substantial–he’s 40.

All of this is interesting considering that just a year ago, Stewart was receiving all kinds of hell from folks for cheating on Robert Pattinson, 27, with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, who is 42. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number Kristen! Especially for her. But honestly, all I want to know is how can you call yourself an actor or actress and pass on a movie because you can’t feign attraction? But then again, the only emotion Stewart is a pro at showing is straight melancholy. Oh well…

How To Save Time And Be More Productive

May 13th, 2013 - By Candace Smith
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There are 24 hours in one day, yet time passes so quickly. Sure, there will be days where one or two items may still remain on your daily your to-do list. But for the most part, you have to get through most of what you have scheduled in order to call the day a success.

Monday is the perfect day to jump start a new regimen for making your days more productive. Save time in order to accomplish the important things in life by following these basic rules.

9 Steps To Get Focused For 2013

December 28th, 2012 - By C. Cleveland
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Don’t you love that quiet lull the office falls into between Christmas and New Year’s Day? With clients and coworkers traveling for the holidays, the workplace can feel like an adult version of Home Alone. But, there are better things to do with your downtime than playing Facebook games or building towers out of office supplies with your cubicle mates. This is the perfect time of year to gain perspective on 2012, and get focused for the New Year. Follow these steps to make sure your mind is right for 2013.

39% of Americans Say Goverment Should Focus More on Minorities

January 19th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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At least somebody gets it. A new poll by CBS and the New York Times shows that a decent portion of Americans think the government should focus more on minority issues. Specifically, 39% say the government isn’t paying enough attention to problems concerning people of color, while 35% think the right amount attention is being paid; another 16% say the government is already paying too much attention to minority issues.

White and black Americans see things drastically differently. One in five white Americans think the government is paying too much attention to minority issues, while another 31% think it’s not paying enough. Black people overwhelmingly say the federal government isn’t paying enough attention, 77%, and 17% say the government is paying the right amount.

There’s also a difference among political parties. Democrats mostly think the government isn’t paying enough attention to the needs of minorities, 55%, but most Republicans think either the right amount of attention is being paid, 43%, or too much 29%. That’s not surprising for a party that values limited government involvement.

Attention on minorities can be a bit of a catch 22 though, as we already know. More than just the right amount of attention, the government needs to have the appropriate focus on minority issues and not go the route of our dear frenemies Newt Gingrich, Jesee Peterson, and countless others who have a skewed view of race relations and concerns African Americans and other minorities are facing.

Where do you stand on the government’s focus on minority issues? Should they be doing more, less, or is their involvement just right?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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