Hot Topics: Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Tips
It's crunch time. If you're still shopping, here are some helpful last-minute suggestions from SecondAct's 2011 holiday gift guides:
1. Smart Gifts for Techies. Once again, the iPad is dominating holiday lists, but unlike last year, there are some worthy, lower-cost alternatives, including the Kindle Fire. Other hot gadgets include the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, big-screen TVs and web-based music services such as Spotify.
2. 10 Hot Fitness Gifts. A wide array of new gadgets, games, tools and DVDs make it easy to find gifts that motivate people at every fitness level. Melinda Fulmer's list includes Striiv, a pedometer that you can set up to make donations to charity when you reach certain fitness milestones; Deepak Chopra's Leela meditation video game for the Wii and Microsoft Kinect for Xbox, and contour kettlebells from Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper.
3. 10 Tasty Gifts for Foodies. Author Jeanette Hurt offers something for every food lover on your list. Her ideas include cool kitchen essentials, using LocalHarvest.org to buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm, and, of course, chocolate.
4. The Gift of Experience. Some of the best gifts aren't things, as Second Act contributors share in a recent post. Possibilities: Put on a family talent show for older relatives, take cooking classes together, make food for someone who's been sick, or sign up a family member for an online dating service (but ask them first).
5. 5 Holiday Money-Savings Apps. When you're shopping, stay within your holiday budget with smartphone apps such as Toshl, an expense manager; Shop Savvy, which helps find low prices for things you want to buy; and Gsalr, for tracking down garage sales.
6. 10 Ways to Be a Micro-Philanthropist. My recent post explains how you can make a big difference this holiday season -- for as little as $5.
In other (non-shopping) news around the web:
In the War for Eyeballs, Online Eclipses Print: U.S. adults now spend more time with mobile devices than print media, according to a new report from eMarketer. It's the first time since eMarketer began studying Americans' media consumption four years ago that the researcher found people spending more time with mobile devices than reading newspapers or magazines. Adults spend 65 minutes a day on their smartphones and tablets and only 44 minutes reading print media, the report notes. TV and video still command the most attention, though. People watch an average of four hours and 34 minutes a day, according to the report.
Steve Jobs Most Fascinating Person of 2011: TV commentator Barbara Walters bestowed her annual honor on the Apple visionary, who died Oct. 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Walters says she went against her rule to pick someone who is still alive, adding that the choice was appropriate because "rules were made to be broken, and that's certainly how Steve Jobs lived his life." Many other people are finding Jobs fascinating. Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs, holds the No. 1 spot on Amazon's list of 10 top-selling books of the year, even though it's only been out for two months. Print and electronic sales of the book have been "phenomenal," Amazon senior editor of books Chris Schluep tells the Los Angeles Times.
Meryl Streep, Cover Girl: The 62-year-old actress graces the cover of Vogue for the first time in the January issue. The magazine notes that Streep is its oldest "cover girl" featured by editor Anna Wintour, and possibly the oldest ever (records for the 110-year-old magazine don't go back far enough to know for sure). The milestone comes six years after Streep played a thinly veiled version of the magazine's real-life editor-in-chief in The Devil Wears Prada, and two decades after the actress thought her Hollywood career was finished. Streep tells Vogue that after turning 40 she was offered three roles to play a witch and told her husband, "It's over."
She Can Still Fly! Cathy Rigby is reprising her role as Peter Pan in a revival of the popular musical running in New York City through December as part of a two-year national tour. The 58-year-old Olympic gymnast-turned-actress portrayed the boy who never grew up for the first time in 1990. She's played the role numerous times since, including six years ago in what was billed as a farewell tour. The actress "remains an impressive performer and able singer, cheerful both on the stage and suspended above it," writes The New York Times.
Project Accessory Update: Jewelry designer Rich Sandomeno survived another elimination round on Thursday's episode of the reality show Project Accessory, making him one of three contestants in the Dec. 22 finale. The 40-year-old designer, profiled this week at SecondAct.com, spent 15 years as a truck mechanic before attending art school and following his passion into jewelry making. Sandomeno won the week's challenge to design pieces inspired by bugs with a jewel-encrusted pendant, brooch and ring featuring dissected parts from a giant beetle.
Last Word: "My formative years were less about Vietnam and Watergate and more about Iran Contra and the death of John Lennon. More about pop culture than counterculture. I was shaked and baked in the Reagan era, with disco, The Brady Bunch, and The Beginning of The End of Everything." HuffPost/50 contributor Debra Ollivier, on being part of Generation Jones
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