FLARE Five: June 5, 2014

A daily round-up of the news, views and trends we're talking about today.


Gwyneth Paltrow

Pop Culture
Gwyneth Paltrow can’t win. The Academy Award winner is being taken to task for expressing a fascination with the idea that “words have power” on her lifestyle site Goop.com. How much power? Enough that you may not want to bitch by the water cooler anymore, as negative language “changes the structure of water.” Hopefully for Gwyneth, who can’t seem to escape the negative talk no matter what she does, words aren’t as powerful as she thinks.

Why are all the best-looking guys (generally speaking) unredeemable egotists? “The Great Square of Men” is a mathematical equation that purports to explain. The short, non-math (read, comprehensible) answer: good looks aren’t the deciding factor in being a jerk, but there is an association.

Surviving the “pollen vortex” this spring and summer won’t be easy. But even if you feel like you’re wearing a beehive on your head, there’s some hope for looking good: InStyle serves up its beauty staples for allergy season.

It may be time to renew your lapsed affection for Zara. The cheap-chic retailer is the preferred hunting grounds for an increasingly large number of fashion insiders, including stylists and fashion bloggers who seek “credible approximations of their favourite high-end labels” at cheap-as-chips prices.

Remember when you signed up for Spanish lessons and then quit after the first class? It may be wise to give it another shot, because a new study suggests that bilingualism not only makes you smarter, it also acts as a kind of youth tonic for our brains.

More FLARE Five:

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