Saturday, August 15, 2009

Orton flops in Denver debut

Orton threw interceptions in his first three series during a disastrous Denver debut, while San Francisco’s two quarterback candidates were steady in the 49ers’ 17-16 victory over the Broncos on Friday night.

New Denver coach Josh McDaniels offered his unwavering support of the struggling QB.

“That’s great. That’s certainly what you need in this league is the support of your coach,” Orton said. “I’m not worried about it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself. I think my team has a lot of confidence in me. … I don’t want to make those decisions and throw three interceptions.”

Alex Smith threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Brit Miller following Orton’s third first-half pick in the exhibition opener for both teams, a night featuring the return of former 49ers coach Mike Nolan to Candlestick Park as Denver’s defensive coordinator.

San Francisco starter Shaun Hill(notes) completed two crisp passes to tight end Vernon Davis(notes) for 41 yards while leading the Niners on a 58-yard scoring drive to start the game, capped by Alex Romero’s 38-yard field goal.

It was Orton’s backup, Chris Simms(notes), who nearly led Denver to victory with a big second half. After Miller’s second TD of the night on a 40-yard reception from Damon Huard(notes) put the 49ers up 17-10, Simms hit Kenny McKinley(notes) on a 52-yard TD pass with 2:01 left, but the Broncos failed on the 2-point conversion.

McDaniels is stressing accuracy this training camp, and Orton was way off all night against the Niners’ first- and second-team defenses. Even with ample time in the pocket, he misfired.

Orton got the No. 1 job in June but has done little to impress after the Broncos traded away Pro Bowl passer Jay Cutler(notes) to Chicago in the NFL’s biggest swap of the spring. Orton was even booed by fans during a scrimmage at Invesco Field when he threw two interceptions and several other poor passes.

He completed six of his first seven passes for 54 yards Friday but couldn’t capitalize.

“I feel very confident in where we’re at,” McDaniels said. “There’s no reason to start tailspinning into this and that when we’ve only had one preseason game.”

Everybody’s curious to see how Orton handles the pressure and responsibility for an organization that’s won just one playoff game since Hall of Famer John Elway retired with two Super Bowl titles a decade ago.

San Francisco cornerback Nate Clements(notes) was constantly in the middle of the action. He had four solo tackles and an interception on Denver’s first drive, picking off a pass from Orton in the end zone intended for Daniel Graham(notes) on third-and-goal from the 3.

“I saw the route and played my responsibility and he threw it,” Clements said. “I like seeing all of our (defensive backs) get interceptions and just making plays because we’re game breakers.”

Neither Hill nor Smith did anything flashy to stand out—not that coach Mike Singletary expected to have a good gauge of who might be his top QB after just one preseason game. He hasn’t decided on a starter for the second preseason game, next Saturday against the Oakland Raiders.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws in the first half against the Denver Broncos during their NFL preseason football game in San Francisco, Calif., Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.

Hill went 2 for 2 with the two completions to Davis and was sacked twice, while Smith was 5 of 7 for 33 yards with a sack.

“We were able to move the ball and we had a big conversion on third down,” Hill said. “That last sack kind of hurt us. That was completely on me. The offensive line did a great job out there. So I’d like to have that play back and I feel like we could have gotten seven out of that.”

With Orton long gone, Jeb Putzier(notes) caught a 6-yard TD pass from Simms midway through the third quarter. Simms later hit Brandon Lloyd(notes) for a 25-yard completion that set up Matt Prater’s(notes) go-ahead 26-yard field goal.

McDaniels certainly had hoped for more from Orton. He came to the Broncos after Cutler decided he didn’t want to play for McDaniels, the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in New England.

Hill went 5-3 over the final eight games last season, when Singletary took over Oct. 20 and later had the interim tag stripped from his title following the team’s strong finish.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, left, shakes hands with Denver Broncos assistant Mike Nolan at the end of their NFL preseason football game in San Francisco, Calif., Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.

Smith missed all of 2008 after re-injuring his surgically repaired right shoulder in practice two days before the season opener.

“Obviously, I was raring to go when I got out there,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time for me, so I was pretty amped up.”

Singletary is eager to name a starter who can turn around a team that’s endured a franchise-worst six straight losing seasons, yet he’s said he might wait until after the third preseason game.

NOTES: 49ers RB Thomas Clayton(notes) sprained his right knee early in the fourth quarter. … San Francisco FB Zak Keasey(notes) left with a broken arm and Denver RB Knowshon Moreno(notes) sustained a leg injury. … Neither RB Frank Gore(notes) nor WR Isaac Bruce(notes) were active for the 49ers because the coaches want to keep them fresh. … New 49ers play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson was not in the booth for what would have been his debut in order to be in Florida following the death of his father. He was replaced by Joe Fonzi, who filled in on some broadcasts last season.

Great fight ends as first round horn sounds, Cyborg punches too much

What an atmosphere and what a one-round fight. Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos slugged it out all over the cage for what seemed like the longest five-minute round in MMA history. Cyborg was slightly ahead in the round when she got the fight to the ground with less than 20 seconds left. Carano covered up and took 15 unanswered shots on her arms and to the face through her guard. When Carano wasn't moving or defending herself, referee Josh Rosenthal felt compelled to stop the fight. The crowd seemed to think he could've held off since there was just one second left in the round. Cyborg (8-1) wins the Strikeforce women's featherweight title at the 4:59 mark of the first.

Carano (7-1) was emotional in the cage as they announced the winner and handed the belt to Cyborg. It was the first loss of her career. She was more than competitive throughout withstanding multiple flurries and attacks from Cyborg. She actually powered out of a kimura attempt with less than 45 seconds left in the round. And at times she looked like the crisper striker. But the volume coming from Cyborg was eventually too much to deal with. Cyborg delivered as a minus-170 favorite on Las Vegas betting boards.

The HP Pavilion rocked before and during the fight. There wasn't a three second break in the action during the fight and much of the crowd was on it feet for the entire fight. It easily matched the atmosphere of any UFC or Strikeforce card featuring all male fighters.

Now the question is, can Strikeforce and women's fighting build the sport around someone who isn't a beauty queen. Whether that statement offends you or not, reality is there was a reason Carano was part of American Gladiators and did so many appearances on shows like Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel. That said, Carano is also far from finished. She proved even in a loss that she's a legitimate fighter. Maybe we see a rematch after both fighters get to test their skills against some of the other women as the sport grows.

10 Ways to Ace Your First Online Date

So, it happened. He winked. You IMed. After enough flirty conversations over the phone, you both realized it was time to see if the chemistry held up in person.

That. Is. Scary.

Your first real date with an online mate can be so intimidating. Will he look like his picture? Will you look like your picture? Will you have things to talk about? Will you find him as funny over coffee as you do over G-chat?

It’s not easy to ace a first date, but here are some tips:

  1. DO let him take the lead and make plans. If he’s not trying to impress you and show initiative on the first date, when is he going to?
  2. DON’T be afraid to speak up when it comes to planning. If you’re a vegetarian or hate sports, don’t let yourself end up in a situation that might make you both feel awkward.
  3. DO casually let your date know what you'll be wearing. "I'm at the table by the window in a blue dress!" It makes it less nerve-wracking when you're walking in to the date.
  4. DO try something interesting and active! Beer or coffee are fine, and that's probably what you'll do, but how about getting breakfast at a Buddhist temple? Going to a flea market? Or taking the bus two cities over for a tour? DO be open and DON’T freak out if it doesn’t go perfectly. Getting lost together can be more fun than you’d expect.
  5. Even if hiking is one of your favorite things to do and is in your profile and his profile, DON’T go hiking on a first online date. It seems like common sense, but it's often proposed.
  6. DO wear something classy and keep makeup simple. Aim to impress, not intimidate. Jeans and heels and simple dresses with appropriate hemlines (he can see your amazing legs on the next date) are always safe bets. And guys like simple makeup, so save the smoky eyes and red lips for another time. It should compliment you, not be a distraction.
  7. DON’T dress unsuitably for the activity. If he doesn’t give you many details, it’s OK to ask! If he says, “I know a great place to grab a drink,” press on and say, “Great! Am I OK to wear my heels straight from work or are we playing darts?” Err on the side of ease; you can still be sexy in flats at a nice sushi place, but it’s hard to be comfortable when tottering on too-high heels at a burger joint.
  8. DO avoid bringing up topics you’ve already covered in your initial chats.
  9. DON’T have a list of rehearsed questions (“What was your best…? What is your favorite…? What is your dream…?”). Still, if your date briefly mentions something they’ve done, responding with, “Oh? Did you like it?” and then, “Why?” can lead to really good conversation.
  10. DO hold your liquor. Sure, a glass of wine is going to take the edge off your nerves, but getting sloppy can lead you to overshare. Pace yourself, no matter how anxious you feel. Make it a rule to always reject an offer for a third drink, any shots, and smoking pot (which will happen).

10 MORE Ways to Ace Your First Online Date...

Top 3 Conversations Dads Dread

I'm not so freaked out about the sex talk. The talk I'm really afraid of having with my daughter is the drug talk. She's just 3 now but I can imagine her as a moody teenager, asking me pointedly, "Dad, have you ever done drugs?"
photo credit: getty images

I've already made up my mind not to lie to her, so I wince a little when a future, older me nods and whispers, "Yes."

But do I stop there? Should I tell her how often I did drugs? Or how many?

Because the answer is scary: All of them.

When it comes to having Big Talks with my daughter, the drug talk tops the list. But there are others that have kept me up at night, pondering what to say.

3. The Sex Talk.

This? I can handle. Think about it. When you have a toddler, you talk about sex all the time. "Why do boys have penises? Why do girls have vaginas? Why does that lady in the check-out line have enormous boobs?" The questions never stop, especially when we're out in public. Fortunately, they start off simply enough and so can the answers. If our current level of openness keeps up, we'll be hosting our own call-in show by the time she reaches puberty. But in all seriousness, I don't want the Sex Talk I have with my kids to be the same uncomfortable one I had with my mom the day before Sex Ed started in elementary school. I do hope we have a home where no question is too awkward. (Have you had the Sex Talk yet? How'd it go?)

2. The Rock and Roll Talk

OK, so maybe this isn't a real talk. Certainly it's not as important as sex and drugs, but for some reason it seems to fit. The rock and roll talk is that awkward little moment when you break out the vinyl records and try to show your child that long, long ago, there existed a delightful brand of music that didn't come with the Disney stamp of approval. My kid is too young for Hannah Montana and the Jonas Borings -- I'm sorry, I meant Brothers -- but I fear that one day soon she'll want to play whatever music is popular with the after school special set, and I'll end up plugging my ears with headphones. How do you expose your child to real music, while at the same time not crushing her own developing taste ... no matter how horrible it is?

1. The Drug Talk

Growing up, I did so many drugs so often that I'm frequently amazed I'm still around. I started drinking at a very young age and progressed to harder substances soon thereafter. It's an area where I feel tremendous conflict when it comes to talking about it with my daughter. On the one hand, I never did anything remarkably stupid and managed, somehow, to survive. On the other hand, I became addicted to alcohol and ended up stopping as an adult. I don't want my daughter to develop the same problems I did, but I don't want to be the over-bearing parent who puts his foot down and ends up sending her running. Teenagers are going to try all sorts of stupid things. I just hope I find a good way to talk about it when the time comes. How will you handle the drug talk?

-- Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out: Memoirs of a stay-at-home dad, National Public Radio, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dravid primed for ODI return

Rahul Dravid was in an aggressive mood during his stay at the crease , England v India, 2nd ODI, Bristol, August 24, 2007
Rahul Dravid, after nearly two years, is expected back to help India sort out their short-pitched woes © Getty Images

Expect Rahul Dravid, who last played an ODI in October 2007, to return. That is the likeliest solution for the recent woes against short-pitched bowling that the selection committee will arrive at, when it sits to select the team for the tri-series in Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy. This should work in the short term as immediate solidarity in the middle order, and also in the long term if Dravid can hang on for so long as the youngsters find their feet firmly.

Dravid's success in this year's IPL makes the decision easier for the selectors, who were prompted to bring him back to the one-day fold after Virender Sehwag's injury and the younger batsmens' troubles with short-pitched bowling, highlighted most starkly in the ICC World Twenty20.

It doesn't seem likely that Sehwag will meet the fitness deadline for the Sri Lanka tri-series, but the selectors should name him in the Champions Trophy squad. He is expected to be back in action in mid-September, which makes it too tight to pick him for Sri Lanka, but gives him enough time before the Champions Trophy. How much ever the selectors might want to choose the same 15 for both events, Sehwag will be too big a temptation. A word of caution, though: replacement rules at ICC events are tough, and India might not want to push them too much. In Sehwag's absence in Sri Lanka, though, India need not find a replacement, because Sachin Tendulkar is expected back and should open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.

Also returning will be Suresh Raina, who has recovered from a hairline fracture on his thumb. Zaheer Khan, as previously reported, has been ruled out of both events and Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra and RP Singh should be given the fast-bowling duties. Munaf Patel and Sudeep Tyagi stand an outside chance in this discussion. What should make the decision easier is that three of them did well during the IPL in South Africa, where the Champions Trophy will be played. That being the fast-bowling scenario, 12 players select themselves, leaving three places open for debate.

While it is believed that left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha is under pressure from Amit Mishra, he should retain his place owing to his success in this year's IPL. Moreover, Ojha has had an impressive run in ODIs, taking 12 wickets at 28.00 in nine games. Rohit Sharma's place is a little less certain owing to a lean run of late (15 runs in three innings in the West Indies and 43 runs in three innings against major opposition in the World Twenty20), but he should hold on to his place, unless the selectors have made their mind up to send a strong message to the talented batsman who has just four half-centuries and no century in 41 ODIs.

The last place will be a toss-up between Dinesh Karthik, who did himself no harm by doing well both in the IPL and in the West Indies, Ravindra Jadeja and Abhishek Nayar. There is also a possibility that Karthik might play as a pure batsman ahead of Rohit. In Irfan Pathan's absence, Yusuf Pathan remains the only allrounder in the team, so they might want to pick either Nayar or Jadeja. If Sehwag is picked for the Champions Trophy one of the extras might have to make way.

Squad: (probable) Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha/Amit Mishra and two out of Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, and Ravindra Jadeja

(Sehwag is likely to replace one of the last three in the Champions Trophy squad.)

A Breastfeeding Baby Doll?

Would you want your child to play with this new toy?
-Stephanie Elliot,

Baby dolls
are fun and educational. We use them to teach our little girls how to behave like mommies, right? When I was growing up and in the doll phase, I remember peeking into the diaper of my friend's anatomically correct little baby boy doll and being fascinated. I owned all the babies - Baby That A Way, Baby Tender Love, and even a Baby Alive doll that pooped and peed. I was into playing dolls, pretending to be a mommy, feeding, bathing and tucking in my babies at night. But there's a new doll on the market that has been the spark of conversation in the mommy circles lately.

Created by the Spanish toymaker Berjuan, the Bebe Gloton (which means "gluttonous baby"), is a breastfeeding baby doll. For your little girl. To use on her boobies. I'll let that sink in. The baby cries when it wants milk, and makes sucking noises as it "drinks" from a halter top that your daughter puts on over her shirt.

I'll admit, whenever I've seen a little girl lift her shirt and put her baby doll to her boobs to emulate her mother breastfeeding, I've thought it kind of cute. For a minute or two. And in my experience, whenever I've seen that happen, the mother will usually tell her child to put her shirt down after a couple of minutes of cute pretend breastfeeding. And it is usually a toddler experimenting with this, having seen her own mother breastfeed a sibling. I don't think 6- or 7-years olds would whip up their shirt to pretend breastfeed.

Apparently, this doll was created as a teaching tool, but I'm not buying it (literally or figuratively!). I think it was created to get a rise out of parents, and to create controversy, which we all know, controversy sells. Personally, I think the doll sexualizes the act of breastfeeding. With strategically placed daisies on the halter top, it's hard not to think of this as a sexual toy. Like pasties for your daughter. And who wants to bring attention to a little girl's budding nipples?

I think after the age of 6 or so, most girls become hyper-aware of their bodies, they know about privacy and are modest when it comes to displaying their chest area. At the age of 10, my daughter still plays with her baby dolls occasionally, but I don't think she would get any fulfillment out of sticking a doll to her boobies and having it make sucking noises.

One breastfeeding mom weighed in saying the doll was funny and odd at the same time. "If a little girl is fascinated with breastfeeding she'll pretend to do it with any doll," this mom said. "Creating a doll whose main purpose is to breastfeed seems a little weird to me and I'm definitely not anti-breastfeeding after having done it for a year my own daughter!"

Mother of three and blogger Dawn Mooney thinks there isn't a need for a breastfeeding specific doll: "If a child is growing up around women who breastfeed their babies, she (or he!) isn't going to need a doll marketed to promote breastfeeding." Mooney said her 18-month-old daughter pretended to breastfeed her doll when she watched her nurse her sibling. "So much of children's play is imitative," said Mooney.

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media 2008), thinks Bebe Gluton might be "minimally useful" for a child who has questions about breastfeeding. "But just showing a video or letting the child see a nursing mother and child would answer the questions just as well," says Tessina. She doesn't think this would appeal to most responsible mothers but it might become a fad and sell well. "But, little girls are going to lose interest fast."

It's definitely important for a child to be comfortable with the theory that moms do breastfeed, and that it's a natural, beautiful thing, but does a child really need to know all the basics? Does your daughter really need a doll to pretend to breastfeed? What's next, a breast pump accessory kit complete with nursing pads?

Stephanie Elliot is an associate editor at Betty, and she also answers your parenting questions at Just Another Manic Mommy. Visit her at or

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Read more about parenting from New Mom's Mishaps and Baby Stuff You Don't Need

Trott likely to replace Bopara

Jonathan Trott celebrates his century, Warwickshire v Sussex, County Championship, Edgbaston, 2nd day, July 8, 2009
Jonathan Trott made a case for selection with a century for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire © Getty Images

England's selectors are ready to put faith in the men they put forward for the fateful fourth Test at Headingley, and are believed to have overlooked the claims of Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key in favour of Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott, who just missed out on his Test debut in Leeds last week. Trott is expected to slot into the middle order, with his county team-mate, Ian Bell, promoted to No. 3 in place of Ravi Bopara, the only anticipated batting casualty after a humiliating innings-and-80-run debacle.

England's four-man selection panel - Geoff Miller, James Whitaker, Ashley Giles and Andy Flower, plus the captain, Andrew Strauss - met for five hours at Trent Bridge on Friday, where they witnessed Bell comprise a timely 126 to secure a draw for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire. Coming off the back of Trott's 121 in the same innings on the previous day, it was enough to convince them that wholesale changes will not be required ahead of Thursday's Oval showdown, where England will seek the comeback victory they need to reclaim the Ashes.

If the reports are confirmed at 9.30am on Sunday, when the squad is officially announced, then the selectors will have shown an admirable determination not to be hustled into "panic" measures after a week of intense media speculation. Strauss and Flower were understood to be particularly keen not to jettison their entire Ashes strategy after one poor game. Nevertheless, the decision to pitch a Test debutant into England's most eagerly anticipated fixture for four years, alongside Bell, who bagged a pair in the corresponding match in 2005 and whose temperament in pressure situations has often been shown to be suspect, will undoubtedly leave them open to further scrutiny.

Bell's average at No. 3 is a lowly 31.00, set against an overall figure of 39.84, suggesting he is a player who prefers to react to events on the pitch rather than set the agenda. Trott, meanwhile, has been withdrawn from the England Lions team to face the Australians in a two-day match at Canterbury starting today, a sign that the selectors don't want to give the tourists an early look at him. Either way, both men undoubtedly benefited from the presence on the selection panel of Giles, who serves a duel role as Warwickshire's director of cricket.

The Headingley fall guy is expected to be Bopara, who has managed 105 runs in seven innings so far this series, having recorded three Test centuries in succession against West Indies earlier in the year. The selectors took soundings from within the Essex dressing-room to assess Bopara's frame of mind, and a morale-boosting 52 not out for Essex at Lord's on Friday is unlikely to earn him a reprieve.

"Every batsman has been through a run of low scores and he hasn't managed to really get in and show what he is made of in this series," said Flower, Bopara's former Essex team-mate, after the Headingley defeat. "It's a tough situation for him but he is a pretty calm bloke, so he's keeping it in perspective." There is no question that he will be an integral part of the Test and ODI parties to South Africa this winter, which were also discussed at Trent Bridge.

England's other change for The Oval will be the welcome return of Andrew Flintoff, whose damaged right knee was given a positive verdict by his specialist, Andy Williams, last week, and who can be guaranteed to bowl until he drops in what will be his final Test before retirement. He is likely to come in for Graham Onions, who has performed impressively since joining the side in the second Test, but who lacks the outright swinging skills of James Anderson, or the presence that Flintoff and an in-form Steve Harmison bring to the line-up.

Monty Panesar is likely to rejoin a 14-man squad as back-up for Graeme Swann, although he is not expected to play as part of a two-spin attack. Surrey's former captain, Mark Butcher, who knows the conditions well, told Cricinfo that while the surface was likely to be responsive to spin, it made more sense for England to stick to what they know best. "If you've got two world-class spinners, you play them both," he said. "But we don't really have them, and the England are much more comfortable with a four-pace and one-spin attack."

The Oval wicket has been the subject of much scrutiny this week, in the wake of comments from the Surrey CEO, Paul Sheldon, saying that they would not be "cooking the books" to create a surface to suit England's requirements. Butcher, however, came to his club's defence. "The pitch will be as they always are at The Oval," he said. "It'll have decent bounce, decent carry and it'll turn as the game goes on. That's what they are like, and that's what they are always like.

"They can't change the character of the pitch, it's not that they won't or they refuse to, it's because they can't," he added. "They are what they are. The Test match pitch always goes through quicker than the county pitches, and England have bowled there well in the past. Harmison and Flintoff bowled South Africa out twice last year."

Probable squad: 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Jonathan Trott, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Andrew Flintoff, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steve Harmison, 12 Monty Panesar, 13 Graeme Onions, 14 Ryan Sidebottom.

People who french kiss their dogs...research that might surprise you!

My conversation with Sally was interrupted when the host of the party’s little dog ran by. Sally kneeled down and picked up the dog.

Let’s just say Sally really loves dogs. I don’t mean “get down, tickle their ears, and scratch their belly” loves dogs. I mean “rub their ears, scratch their belly, tickle their loins, open their mouth, and get your tongue in there” loves dogs.

Not since the first time I saw two kids french kiss on the playground of Coleman School in San Rafael, California during 2nd Grade have I been so dumbfounded by a kiss. I sipped on my red wine while watching Sally and dog swapping spit. After what must have been 95 seconds, she put the dog down and turned to me, “So where can I get a copy of your book? Wait…before you tell me, come with me out to the living room. I wanna find the lab.”

A few minutes later, I sat across from Sally on the couch with the lab. The dog was lying on its back, strewn across Sally, who honest to God was again french kissing the dog. I’m embarrassed to say I went and sat on the couch with my red wine and watched. My inner dialogue went something like this, “What’s wrong with her? What’s wrong with me? I miss my old dog. Sookie is mine!”

As the lab scampered off, Sally turned to me and asked, “Do I have anything in my teeth? Chocolate? Bacon? Alpo?”


It goes without saying that some people are extreme dog lovers. They’d rather the tongue of a dog than a human. The truth be told, according to veterinarian Marty Becker, you run more of a risk when french kissing a human than you do when kissing a dog. Becker says many bacteria in the mouth of a dog are species-specific so they won’t harm a human.

I know you what you must be thinking and I agree. Why bother with the Latin masseuse when it’s safer with a Chihuahua? Why hassle with the frisky spin teacher when you can get a cleaner brand of spunk from the Labradoodle? Next time you see someone french kissing a dog, think twice before you judge them. Love comes in many forms whether a furry creature or a horny devil. You just never know.

Right when you think you’ve got life figured out, the bank account filled, the kids gleeful, and the spouse satisfied, you may be Tested. As author Barbara de Angelis said, “Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.” So do yourself a favor.

Choose the dog.

By David Romanelli (

For more, check out my book Yeah Dave's Guide to Livin' the Moment

5 Fall Must-Haves For Under $100

Last night I had a minor panic attack when I realized NY Fashion Week is less than a month away--what's a girl to wear!? So I got out my notepad and pen a made of list of a few key pieces I need to buy to update my wardrobe for fall and I used my market editor's nose to find them at prices that won't make you cringe!
Over The Knee Boots: Seen on the runways of Gucci, Hermes and Stella McCartney. Wear them with a dress (looks like leggings) or tucked into jeans for the weekend.

Pleaser Boots, $99,

Little Leather Jacket:
See on the runways of Tommy Hilifiger, Balmain and Nina Ricci. Add a little rockstar edge to femimine dresses and skirts.

Silence & Noise Leather Jacket, $98,

See our tip: What to wear in the heat!

Chain-Strap Bag:
Seen on the runways on Marc Jacobs, Pucci and Lanvin. Carry this statement-making bag both day and night, for the perfect touch of class.

Paradox bag, $70,

Legging Jeans: Seen on the runways of Hermes, Alexander Wang and Gucci. Try this skinny pant with cozy, over-size sweaters or strong-shouldered blazers.

Juicy Couture Denim Leggings, $98,

Chunky Knit: Seen on the runways of Missoni, Chanel and Diane von Furstenberg. Wear these shawl-like knits over dresses and boots or with skinny jeans on the weekend.

Old Navy sweater, $45,

Anything on this list you don't agree with?

6 Smart Outlook Add-ons

Good Outlook add-ons can save a significant amount of time and typing for office workers who live and breathe by the inbox. Here are six companion programs we can recommend for daily e-mail use.
Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // Xiant Filer beta (© CNET

Xiant Filer beta
Created by Paul G. Allen (Microsoft's co-founder) and team, Xiant Filer (pronounced ZI-ant) is a beta add-on for Microsoft Office Outlook that helps you quickly move individual e-mail messages and entire threads from the inbox to the appropriate folder, with just a click. Organizing messages by topic is another option. It adds a toolbar to the Outlook's main interface, and other buttons to the message view. When an e-mail comes in, rather than drag it to a folder, you can click to file it away. Xiant will also begin suggesting appropriate folders once it starts learning your filing habits. Note that because it is a beta program, you may encounter some bugs and instability.

Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // MailStore Home (© CNET
MailStore Home
The free MailStore Home does two things: archives a variety of inboxes for up to three separate e-mail accounts and quickly searches through the contents, including the meat of e-mail attachments. Burning the lot of the messages to a CD is another storage option. It has some limitations, however. MailStore Home is missing some important and useful filtering, and search could be stronger. Plus, with a cap of three archive profiles and no scheduling, archiving is manual, time consuming and restricted to your top three inboxes. Still, it will be an immensely practical tool for some. Read more in the hands-on review.
Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // Xobni (© CNET
Searching for a contact or message in Microsoft Outlook used to require generous patience with the program's leisurely pace. Xobni is its Olympic sprinter. Now, when you type a name or subject into Xobni's cheery modern interface, the add-on, which manifests as a separate slide-out pane in Outlook, will produce a list of correspondences lickety-split. You can open an e-mail or reply, forward or open a document right from Xobni. It also throws in public information scraped from Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn and Hoovers to add extra personal context. Dataheads get the additional gift of e-mail stats.
Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // Anagram (© CNET
If you puzzle over the best way to save keystrokes, check out Anagram. The free-to-try companion app works with Outlook,, Gmail, Palm Desktop and NetSuite (there's also a version for BlackBerry). On a desktop, hit the hot-key combo to copy text. Anagram works out if the text belongs in an address book, calendar or new e-mail message.

Follow Gmail integration instructions from Anagram's Web site.
Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // Gwabbit (© CNET
Similar to Anagram, the free-to-try Gwabbit focuses only on contact creation, but takes it one step further. Rather than have you highlight key data points, Gwabbit scans the signature block and automatically fills in a new contact record. It's far more in-depth than Outlook's attempt when you right-click a contact's name. Business users who volley e-mail back and forth with unknown recipients will find Gwabbit to be a savvy way to fill in the digital Rolodex.
Six Smart Outlook Add-ons // Google Calendar Sync beta (© CNET
Google Calendar Sync beta
The fastest way to fill in your Google or Outlook calendars is to let them feed each other. Google Calendar Sync beta is a freebie that shuttles events unidirectionally or bidirectionally between the two services. You'll pick your time interval, and leave the rest up to Google. Be forewarned that you do gain the calendar icon in your task tray. The good news is, you'll be able to access the settings from here.

Katie Holmes to design clothes!

The time has come. Katie Holmes has been very hush-hush about the “premium designer” line she’s been working on with her stylist, Jeanne Yang, but reports today confirm that Holmes & Yang will be available this fall. Holmes has been snapped in two of her co-creations—a jumpsuit with lace sleeves and a dress with a leather bustier—and even sparked rumors of a New York fashion week runway show. The line features looks for women and children (sans leather bustiers, we hope) and will be available at Maxfield in Los Angeles. Clothes do not come with paparazzi. [WWD]

By Alison Baenen


14 Fashion Insiders That Put the “Hip” in Hippie

Hohm Is Where the Savings Are

Free App Lets You Track Your Home's Energy Costs and Savings

You see the bills coming in every month for electricity, gas and other forms of energy required to make your home comfortable and enjoyable -- and the money going out to pay for it all. But wouldn't it be great if you could better track your energy usage and find ways to save some of the money you spend on it?

That's the idea behind Microsoft Hohm, which recently launched in a beta version. It's a free Web-based application that helps you get the big picture on your home's overall energy consumption, while at the same time breaking it down into the small, incremental elements that suck up power in your home so that the task of managing energy usage doesn't seem so overwhelming. Best of all, Hohm gives you easy, step-by-step recommendations on how to begin immediately saving money on your utility bills.

The application does this by using advanced analytics licensed from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy to give homeowners recommendations specifically tailored to their situation. It takes into account factors ranging from the number, size and type of a home's windows to the type of appliances and heating and cooling systems and how they're used. It even gets down to details such as whether your computer goes into "sleep" mode when not being used.

All that's required to sign up is a Windows Live ID and a zip code. Then you simply answer questions about your home -- the number of occupants, the appliances and systems, size and type of house, etc. -- in a easy-use-format that takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Although the survey consist of about 200 questions, you can choose to skip ones you may not know the answers to and Hohm will base its recommendations on local and national averages. Of course, the more accurate your answers are, the more detailed and relevant Hohm's energy-saving recommendations will be.

Hohm has also partnered with major utilities so that, in the near future, customers will be able to have their energy-usage data automatically uploaded to the application if they choose. And there's a community section where Hohm users can share energy-saving tips.

So how much can Hohm save you on energy costs? When I loaded the data on my drafty, poorly insulated home built in 1915, the Hohm Energy Report (below) calculated that I could potentially save around $2,500 on the approximate $3,500 I spend on energy every year(!). It included recommendation for quick-fixes such as lowering the temperature of my water heater (for a $58 annual savings) to big-ticket solutions such as replacing my gas furnace with a more energy-efficient one ($1,001 annual savings).

In addition to the potential annual savings for each item in an audit, the Hohm Energy Report also gives detailed descriptions on the impact of each one, the cost to correct it from both a professional and do-it-yourself basis, the break-even cost and the annual carbon-emissions savings. And if you do go the DIY route, which makes sense for simple things like insulating your water heater or hot-water pipes, the Hohm Energy Report provides step-by-step instructions, a list of the tools needed and the degree of difficulty.

As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. And Microsoft Hohm now gives homeowners the knowledge to better manage their power consumption.

And see where money spent on utilities goes every month.

-- posted by Doug Newcomb, special to MSN Tech & Gadgets

7 ways to a perfect garden

wowOwow asked the most respected gardening bloggers on the Internet seven questions that are on the minds of all green thumbs. From their No. 1 gardening tip to organic growing, click on each question to see what our green experts said …

1. Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
Mulch, mulch, mulch! It keeps weeds down, keeps the soil cool, helps conserve water and amends the soil as it decomposes. For a few bucks a bag, mulch is the best gardening buy out there, and the difference it makes as far as plant health and vigor are concerned is really remarkable. —Patricia Blais, creator and author of

2. Don’t Give Up!
I think a lot of beginning gardeners make the mistake of feeling like a failure if they kill a few plants. I think the best gardeners are willing to make a lot of mistakes and learn from them. —Jessica, author of The Garden Blog of a girl growin’ Southern

3. Stop Purchasing Unnecessary Products
You can stop applying all products to your lawn. Just aerate, overseed in the fall and leave the grass clippings on the lawn. For a little money, the next smart thing to do is add a layer of compost in the fall or spring. —Susan Harris, GardenRant and Sustainable-Gardening

Keep Your Garden Green

4. Prepare for Each Season Beforehand
Generally, people don’t take the time to up-start their garden in the spring or winterize it in the fall by turning the soil, amending the soil, cutting back plants, pruning, weeding, fertilizing, etc. It’s WORK, but it’s essential in order to keep your garden healthy throughout all seasons. The more time you put into your garden in the spring and fall, the less work you will have to do in the winter and summer. My biggest tip for all seasons? Deadheading. (That doesn’t mean the Grateful Dead—ha)! Deadheading means the removal of spent or fading flowers in order to spur new blossoms and keep a plant looking tidy and neat. —Jennifer L. Scott, aka "Miss Daisy," executive assistant for Fusion-io and founder of Gardening With Miss Daisy

5. Go Back to the ‘Roots’ of Gardening
In the old days, gardens weren’t a recreational pastime like they are today. People grew plants and trees for food, medicine, fragrance and dyes, often in very small spaces. And they didn’t use any pesticides. Having a healthy "green" garden simply involves grouping plants according to their needs (sun, water, spacing, etc.), using mulch to keep roots cool and competing weeds down, fertilizing appropriately and doing routine maintenance. —Patricia Blais, creator and author of

What is your number 1 Gardening Tip?

6. ‘Weed, Feed and Deadhead’
Nothing is foolproof, but there are some hardy flowers out there for the average gardener — plants such as petunias, marigolds, geraniums, zinnias, alyssum, daylilies, black-eyed Susans, hostas, shasta daisies, yarrow and roses are just a few. They are hardy and easy to grow, making them more bullet-proof. Some bullet-proof veggies are tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, strawberries, basil, dill, parsley and cucumbers. My simple recipe for all flowers is "weed, feed and deadhead." Weed it out, feed the flowers with nutrients and water and deadhead to spur new blossoms. —Jennifer L. Scott, aka "Miss Daisy," executive assistant for Fusion-io and founder of Gardening With Miss Daisy

7. Organic Is the Least Expensive Way to Go
Organic gardening is definitely the least expensive way to go. It’s not a matter of switching to organic products; the goal is no products at all. That’s possible when you choose the right plants and have healthy soil (or focus on improving the soil you have). —Susan Harris, GardenRant and Sustainable-Gardening

wOw Scenes: Our Gardens

"Mad Men" frenzy: Gearing up for season three of Don Draper & Co.

By Meredith O'Brien/Mommy Track'd

It's hard not to notice that Mad Men madness seems to be everywhere. In a big spread in Vanity Fair Magazine. In New York Magazine. As early 1960s-styled Mad Men avatars pop up on Twitter and Facebook. With the Aug. 16 season three premiere of the Emmy-winning drama quickly approaching, what was once a show followed by a cultish, ferociously dedicated couple million people, has become such a staple of American pop culture that Banana Republic is using the show to launch a clothing line, both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons have satirized it and Sesame Street is planning a Mad Men-ish parody for its new season.

AMC: The women of "Mad Men," Peggy, Joan and Betty

AMC: The women of "Mad Men," Peggy, Joan and Betty

I've adored this little AMC-show-that-could -- which follows the lives of Manhattan ad men and their families -- from the very first episode, which I caught while vacationing two years ago after seeing ads for it during the 470th showing of The Godfather on the cable station. Its no-holes-barred portrayal of hard drinking and hard smoking white collar New York City professionals, as well as their naked racism, anti-Semitism and sexism is brutally honest, its characters multi-dimentional. No series regular is a flat cardboard cut-out. And while its most notable feature is the deliciously handsome main character -- Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who is so ashamed of his background that he stole a dead man's identity and continues to lie and cheat as if his life depended on it -- it's the female Mad Men characters who make this show whole.

While preparing to write this column, I spent some quality time marinating in the second season DVDs, in particular, the audio commentaries by show-runner Matt Weiner and other members of the crew. After listening to what folks had to say, it confirmed for me this: Don may be the star, but the women (to complete a celestial analogy of which lyrical advertising guru Don might be proud) are the moon, providing the show its gravitational pull, which shouldn't be surprising given that seven out of the nine Mad Men writers are women. "The writers, led by the show's creator Matthew Weiner, are drawing on their experiences and perspectives to create the show's heady mix: a world where men are in control and the women are more complex than they seem, or than the male characters realize," a Wall Street Journal writer said.

"These women are finding their place and finding their power," said Hamm, during the audio commentary for the season two episode, "The New Girl," which featured Don's former-secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) asserting herself as Don's equal after his mistress du jour advised her, "You can't be a man. Don't even try. Be a woman. It's powerful business when done correctly."

Throughout the first two seasons -- which predated the feminist movement, in 1960 and 1962 respectively -- the female characters were struggling to be as confident as Peggy within their own domains, to prove to themselves and to the world that they had value. Peggy served as the poster child for the nascent 1960s professional woman. But it hasn't been easy for her, and her success as her company's only female copywriter hasn't stopped her male colleagues from asking her to make the coffee. After secretly giving birth to a colleague's baby and then putting him up for adoption in season one, Peggy was able to put her personal tragedy behind her and become a workplace creative force, with the support and guidance of her mentor Don, who was always trying to keep three steps ahead of his own personal tragedies. When Peggy benefitted from the firing of a male colleague who'd gotten falling down drunk one too many times while at work, and she took his office and account, she felt guilty about the way it happened. Don told her to man-up, "Don't feel bad about being good at your job."

All this from a guy whose college-educated, Grace Kelly-look-alike wife in season two finally threw him out . . . read the rest of this post at the Pop Culture & Politics column on Mommy Track'd.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Why do Women Cheat?

Feeling Lonely in a Relationship

Feelings of loneliness are one of the most common reasons which lead women to cheat on their partner. Though it may seem a contradiction to say that a woman feels lonely within a relationship, she may feel that the relationship is not emotionally fulfilling. This can be particularly problematic if her partner is deeply involved with his work or his friends and leaves her to spend a lot of time alone. Balancing time between work and friends outside the relationship will help her feel wanted and stop her from feeling inclined to seek attention outside of the relationship.

Feeling Taken for Granted

While you may discuss the important day to day issues of your relationship such as work, household chores and family life, women often need to talk about more personal issues like life goals, dreams for the future and what you love about each other. This type of intimacy helps to build reassurance and stability in a relationship and will stop women from wanting to seek these important intimacies with another man.

You Are Leading Separate Lives

Though you started out on the same path together, your lives may have diverged so much that your partner feels you no longer have anything in common. If its come down to the point where she spends more time with her girlfriends than with you, it might be time to consider making an effort to spend time doing things together that you both enjoy. This will encourage her to be more attentive to you than her friends or another man who she may feel has more in common with her.

Revenge Can Be Bittersweet

If your partner has caught you cheating, then she is obviously feeling rejected, hurt and angry. If this is the case, then she may cheat as an act of revenge to try and compensate for these feelings. She may feel that she deserves to indulge herself to pay you back for your infidelities.

The Ego Needs Stroking

Sometimes women can feel insecure abut themselves and will cheat in an attempt to boost their confidence and stroke their ego. Sometimes they may feel that their partner is not giving them enough attention or attention in the way that they would like; this can lead them to seek the attention and flattery of other men which may develop into cheating.

Explore more relationship topics here. LIVESTRONG.COM is designed to inspire people to change their lives, help themselves and help others. For more on this topic, visit

About this Author

Corinna Underwood is a writer based in Atlanta. Her articles regularly appear in Alive Magazine, after Dark and She has also published several fiction and non-fiction books.

Do Your Co-Workers Commit Beauty Crimes?

It's a jungle out there in this crummy economy, and we've already told you about the women who think they need Botox to compete in the job market. To that we will add that your hair better not be too big, your self-tan better not be too extreme, and you shouldn't commit the fashion faux pas of bells on your shoes, just in case you were tempted.

Does Botox lead to more successful careers?

These and other sins, many of them appearance-oriented, were cited in a new survey of thousands of hiring managers across the country as being among complaints voiced by co-workers against each other. Thanks to the survey, we can authoritatively warn you, for instance, not commit the offense of reminding someone at work of Bambi (yes, this was an actual complaint.) We personally have never had a run-in at the office with anyone offensively doe-eyed, but now we're curious about this whole phenomenon: What bugs you about the people you work with, and how many of their annoying tics have to do with beauty or fashion?

Why are we not surprised? Madoff swindle victim says she and con man had an affair

When all your life's savings as well as your family's investments are wiped out with the exposure of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, you have to get creative to earn some cash quickly. That could be the thinking behind Sheryl Weinstein's upcoming book, “Madoff’s Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me,” which will be published Aug. 25 by St. Martin’s Press.
ABC News/ Sheryl Weinstein

ABC News/ Sheryl Weinstein

Weinstein told Madoff's sentencing judge that she met Madoff 21 years ago when she was chief financial office at Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America Inc. At Madoff's June 29 sentencing hearing, the one that landed him a 150-year sentence for executing the largest Ponzi scheme in history, the certified public accountant called him a beast who “has fed upon us to satisfy his own needs. No matter how much he takes and from whom he takes, he is never satisfied. He is an equal opportunity destroyer.”

She also told the judge that she considers the day she met Madoff "the unluckiest day of my life because of the many events set into motion that would eventually have the most profound and devastating effect on me, my husband, my child, my parents, my in-laws and all of those who depended on us."

One of nine victims to testify at the hearing, Weinstein said she and her husband of 37 years, Ronald, were forced to sell their Upper East Side home and had "lost everything." Madoff, 71, was arrested in December and pleaded guilty in March to running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme, which paid new victims with funds "invested" by new clients. No funds were ever invested in anything but the Madoffs' luxurious lifestyle.

Weinstein spoke with the media on a few occasions about Madoff but never mentioned the affair. What other incentive to go public with an alleged affair could there be but to stir up enough interest in her ghost-written book (224 pages, $24) in the hopes it will be a Madoff tell-all many will want to read? It's hard to blame her, and it's difficult to know how we'd respond if someone we knew intimately had swindled us out of our families' present and future. So, is this a good kind of revenge?

The Thread Makes A Hairstyle House Call

All summer we've been telling you about our new favorite hairstyle— the beachy, messy tousled look. So when we got an email from Lauren, a loyal Thread viewer, who couldn't make it work, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Check out our first ever Thread house call!

Lauren is the kind of girl who wears her hair in a pony-tail 99% of the time. She was hoping to try something new for summer but her waves fell and frizzed miserably. She told us that she was hoping to show off the new look for a family reunion and instead of simply trying to give her advice over email, we paid a visit to her apartment (thank God she was home!). We came armed with some some Tousle Me Softly products and some sexy summer dresses to go with her new look. She told us she wears jeans 99% of the time as well.
Lauren was, needless to say, a little surprised. In a good way. We talked about the fact that having the right products is the key to getting the soft waves to last and to feel touchable instead of "crunchy". She agreed to try again and to come by the studio to show us the results of our DIY tutorial.
Well, the results are pretty amazing, we have to admit. Lauren is now a tousling pro! And the new do + new dress will certainly make a statement at her reunion.

Hopefully, Lauren's transformation will inspire you to shake things up a bit, too. And if you need a little more motivation, here it is: Be one of the first 50 viewers to email us at and we'll send you the entire collection of Tousle Me Softly from Herbal Essences for free.

Follow The Thread on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook.

Thanks for watching the Thread. We'll be back soon from our Planet Hollywood studio in Times Square with a brand new episode.

Do you fake orgasms? Heidi Montag says she has 30 a day

Newlyweds Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of MTV's "The Hills" have been having lots of sex and blabbing about it. Montag posed for the Steptember cover of Playboy, and was interviewed by her hubby for the accompanying story.

“You know, I was never very sexual before I met you, Spencer," says Montag. "I knew what sex was, but when I met you I entered into a whole new realm of understanding, from fantasy to love. Or to experience a day with 20 or 30 orgasms. Before you, sex was just something that happened. Now it's something I look forward to every minute of the day."
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Um, excuse us, but did she say 20 to 30 orgasms a day? Hahahahaha. Ha. Sorry, but that's so ridiculous. Sure, maybe on her honeymoon it happened once, but on a regular basis? No way. Not buying it one bit.

Heidi goes on to talk about this past New Year's Eve when her and Spencer joined the mile high club on a private plane. She says it was "the best experience I’ve ever had in my entire life." She then adds, "I feel sorry for couples who aren’t as sexually satisfied as we are."

Way to try and make everyone feel inadequate over such ludicrous stories. Did we really need another reason to dislike these two?

Clearly Montag is lying about or faking some of these alleged orgasms. Which leads us to ask, in all honesty, how often do you fake it? [US]

Injured Messi eyes Brazil showdown

MADRID (AFP) – Argentina striker Lionel Messi, who has pleaded to be left out of Barcelona's opening league game to concentrate on his country's crucial World Cup clash with Brazil, could miss Sunday's Spanish Super Cup clash with Athletic Bilbao.

The Spanish champions said Thursday that Messi has a groin injury picked up in training for the midweek international friendly win in Russia, a match which he sat out.

Injured Messi eyes Brazil showdown AFP/Getty Images/File – Argentina striker Lionel Messi, pictured on August 8, 2009, who has pleaded to be left out of Barcelona's …

"I want to play all Barcelona's matches up to the game against Shakhtar Donetsk (European Super Cup on August 28), but then rest until the match against Brazil (Sept 5)."

Barcelona are due to open the defence of their La Liga title on Monday, August 31.

Argentina are currently in fourth place in South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals with 22 points, just two ahead of Ecuador but five behind leaders Brazil.

Only the top four sides qualify automatically for the finals in South Africa.

Best Drugstore Shampoos and Conditioners

Real Simple readers pick their favorite budget-friendly hair-care products.

Shampoo for Dry Hair

Marc Anthony Ultimate Moisture Shampoo, $8
"This gave me ‘hair-commercial hair'-so shiny and so healthy-looking," said one brittle-haired user.

Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

Charles Worthington Results Balancing Act Shampoo, $5
The woodsy scent got mixed reviews, but the verdict was unanimous: Hair was "glossy without looking greasy."

Best Dandruff Shampoo

Selsun Salon Shampoo, $6
Testers declared they would use this shampoo even if they didn't have flaky scalps. "My hair was so soft, I couldn't stop playing with it," said one.

More from

The Best Budget Makeup

Gorgeously Simple Hairstyles

How to Get Great Highlights at Home

A Month's Worth of Money-Saving Ideas

Best Shampoo for Curly or Wavy Hair

Garnier Fructis Curl & Shine Fortifying Shampoo, $4
With a "luxurious texture" and "wonderful lather," this left unruly curls looking smooth and well defined.

Best Shampoo for Fine Hair

Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Shampoo, $4
This scored points for fluffing up hair after a single wash. "I didn't have to goop it up with mousse," said a tester.

Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair

L'Oréal Vive Pro. Color Vive Shampoo, $5
Ho-hum highlights need a boost? This delivered "vibrant color" and "fantastically shiny" hair.

Best Shampoo for Chemically Processed Hair

Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Time Renewal Shampoo, $6
Testers ranked this moisture-rich, "creamy" shampoo as the ultimate hair therapy. "Like a salon treatment."

Best Conditioner for Normal Hair

Pantene Pro-V Ice Shine Conditioner, $5
This thick (but not weighty) conditioner left testers' hair looking "vibrant" with "a great soft texture."

Best Conditioner for Dry Hair

Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control Conditioner, $6
This conditioner, tested in the rain, got "an A plus" for keeping hair "smooth and shiny, even in frizzy-hair weather."

Best Conditioner for Oily Hair

Charles Worthington Results Balancing Conditioner, $5
Oily-haired testers who once shunned conditioners were converts. "No after-work oily scalp-finally," said one.

Best Conditioner for Dandruff

Head & Shoulders Conditioner, $5
The favorite by far, this conditioner left hair so softly scented and smooth that "treating dandruff was like a bonus."

Best Conditioner for Curly or Wavy Hair

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Around Daily Conditioner, $6
"An amazing detangler," this thick, silicone-based formula tamed curls and created frizz-free waves.

Best Conditioner for Fine Hair

Tresemmé Silk Protein Healthy Volume Conditioner, $4
With a soft citrus scent, this formula in a 32-ounce bottle scored for delivering great volume and "great value."

Best Conditioner for Color-Treated Hair

Infusium 23 (Colour)ologie Conditioner, $6
This gentle, vitamin-packed formula "extended the brightness of my color for almost two weeks," said one tester.

Heat acquire Richardson for Blount

MIAMI – Quentin Richardson and Dwyane Wade are regular workout partners during the offseason. They're about to get a chance to play together all year long.

Richardson's wild summer tour of the NBA continued Thursday night, when he was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Miami Heat for center Mark Blount.

FILE - In this March 21, 2009, file photo, New York Knicks guard guard Quentin AP – FILE - In this March 21, 2009, file photo, New York Knicks guard guard Quentin Richardson, right, drives …

Richardson spent the last four seasons with the New York Knicks and now has been traded four times in less than two months: to Memphis on draft night, then to the Los Angeles Clippers, then to Minnesota and now to Miami.

"We are very excited to add Quentin Richardson," Heat president Pat Riley said. "Over the course of his career, he has proven to be a fierce competitor, a great locker room presence and a very prolific 3-point shooter who may be one of the strongest perimeter players in the NBA. We feel that he will be able to match-up well against the top scorers in the league."

Richardson is due to earn about $9 million this season. Blount was to make around $7.9 million.

"Who would of ever thought we would play 2gether. Let's get it," Wade wrote on his Twitter feed, welcoming Richardson to the Heat family.

Getting Richardson could help the Heat in a number of ways.

Miami had four centers on the roster, and Blount was easily the most disposable of that group. Wade, the reigning NBA scoring champion, hasn't been shy about clamoring for roster upgrades in recent months — and he almost certainly wouldn't have any objections about the acquisition of one of his good friends. And Richardson figures to give the Heat extra depth at small forward, meaning the plan to have Michael Beasley play more minutes at that spot in 2009 instead of power forward now may be closer to being on hold.

Blount spent 1 1/2 seasons in Minnesota before coming to the Heat, starting 81 games for the Timberwolves in the 2006-07 season and averaging 12.3 points. A change of scenery could do him some good; Blount only played in 20 games for Miami last season, missing much of the year tending to personal and family matters following the death of a close relative in Haiti.

Riley said he thanked Blount for his contributions.

"He provided a solid veteran presence to our team the past two years," Riley said.

Minnesota now has only one true shooting guard on the roster — rookie Wayne Ellington.

Given the Wolves' current youth movement and the fact that they already have Al Jefferson and Ryan Hollins at the center position, it seems feasible that Blount may be moved again before the team opens training camp.

Timberwolves president David Kahn has spent much of his first summer on the job making a series of calculated trades, not so much for the value they bring on the court, but for the financial flexibility it brings to the team.

Like Richardson, Blount also is in the final year of his deal. Kahn could to move him elsewhere for a cheaper player, or combination of players, that will save the Timberwolves some money this season and keep them in a position to be a major buyer on the 2010 free-agent market.