Beautiful and delicious Macaroons

Are you coming down to the wire with your holiday shopping?

One thing to always keep in mind, particularly for last minute gifts or gifts you can bring when visiting someone or going to a party, is gifts of food. Thing of stuff that’s unique and interesting that people will love but won’t necessarily buy for themselves.

As pointed out in our “For Her” gift guide, Macaroons are hot this year:

Move over, Cupcake! Make room for Macaroons!

Trendy and delicious, fancy and French macaroons are one of those little luxuries which are so hot right now. They also look like little works of art. Making them can be fun but receiving a beautiful box from Paris – even better! Fauchon macaroons are just one special way to give this diabolical treat! Saveurdujour, Danny Macaroons and Macaroncafe are also great places from which to order.

It’s obviously too late to order online, so you’ll have to rely on Google and find some in your area. But as you can see from the beautiful photo above, Macaroons look great, and most women appreciate beauty. They taste great as well, so this gift can compliment the other stuff you have in mind.

  

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Jessica Hall gets in holiday spirit with Santa outfit

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Ever since we first introduced Jessica Hall as a Featured Model on Bullz-Eye.com back in 2007, this blonde beauty has been one of our favorite models. She has an incredible smile and a great personality to match. You can also catch her on Playboy Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio on "The Morning After" show and see what we mean. The show is on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1 pm ET and it's rebroadcast at 9 pm ET. She's also appeared as herself on "Kendra" and had a cameo on "Dancing with the Stars."

We followed up our first shoot with Jessica with an equally amazing shoot that we published in the Blast from the Past channel earlier this year. We saved one of the "looks" from that shoot to publish now as Jessica had some sexy Santa-themed lingerie. Check out the entire slideshow above as Jessica gets in the holiday spirit, and then loses most of the Santa stuff by the end of the set. You'll love it!

Hopefully you're all set for the holidays, but if you have last-minute shopping to do, check out our Holiday Gift Guide for ideas. Who knows - maybe this photo set will motivate you to buy some lingerie gifts for your girlfriend! Have a happy and safe holiday!

  

Microsoft dropping CES – part of Steve Jobs’ legacy?

Steve Ballmer.

Earlier this morning, Microsoft made waves by announcing that it would be pulling out of the Consumer Electronics Show. The announcement was made by Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s head of communications, on the company blog. CEA, the organization that runs CES, claims the opposite, that they chose to give Microsoft the boot. In any case, this is a pretty serious blow to the trade show, and it points to the growing sentiment that trade shows have lost their relevance. As I’m sure some of you remember, Apple did essentially the same thing when it backed out of MacWorld in 2008.

Really, it doesn’t much matter who dropped whom; the end result is the same. CES just took a huge hit, and it’s a hit the CEA should have seen coming. For my part, I’m willing to bet Microsoft backed out. As the company stated, their product releases haven’t lined up with CES keynotes, which is certainly true. There was this other company that held its own keynotes for major product releases, where it would show off finalized versions of products that were ready to ship the same day. You know, that company with the second largest market cap in the world. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about.

Also, as the CEA, why kick Microsoft off the keynote? Who will take their place? Remember, this is the CES. This isn’t a developer’s conference. There won’t be major web properties making keynotes for CES. So who fills Microsoft’s space? More importantly, who forks over the cash to do so knowing the CEA may give them the boot next year? No one. That’s who.

If anything, Microsoft is trying to take control of its hype cycle, in exactly the same way Steve Jobs took control of Apple’s. There is one key difference – the products. Microsoft hasn’t gotten into the hardware game, which makes a product keynote much duller than the Apple counterpart. So much of Apple’s product launch success is tied into showing off a complete product. Microsoft can’t do that, at least not without the help of manufacturers, and manufacturer issues remain a huge source of complaint against Microsoft products. Still, I think moving to Microsoft-sponsored events gives the company a chance to more closely connect with its own fanbase, which Microsoft could really use.

The idea that the CEA would kick Microsoft just makes no sense. Trade shows have been losing traction for years. The last thing the CES needs is a disappearing act from one of the biggest draws for the show.

  

The Light from the TV Shows: 11 Series (give or take) That Should’ve Survived 2011

As 2011 rapidly winds to a close, it’s easy to fall back on lists as a way to fill columns – indeed, as a TV critic, it’s my God-given right – but HBO’s announcement this week that it was cleaning house and cancelling “Hung,” “Bored to Death,” and “How to Make It in America” served to convince me that I needed to discuss a number of now-defunct series that lost their bid for continued existence during the course of this year. I’m not talking about shows like “Friday Night Lights,” which had an end-game in sight and wrapped on their own terms. I’m talking about series that effectively had the rug ripped out from under their feet. Believe me, there were a bunch…and I’m still kind of pissed about quite a few of them.

11. Medium (CBS)


After seven seasons on the air and surviving a switch between networks (from NBC to CBS), it’s hard to say that “Medium” didn’t live a good, long life. With that said, however, the show had continued to find new ways to keep things interesting, and with the trio of DuBois daughters growing up and getting their own storylines almost as often as their mom. As such, Allison, Joe, and the gang could’ve easily kept going for another few seasons without any complaints from me.

10. Outsourced (NBC)


Am I going to try to defend my enjoyment of this show? No, I am not, because there’s no point in wasting your time or mine. You may not have thought it was very funny, and if you didn’t, that would be your right. I, however, did. And I still miss it.

9. Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)


There’s nothing I dislike more than a series that doesn’t know when to leave good enough alone, and for my part, I don’t know why they felt the need to change the formula and kick Skeet Ulrich‘s character to the curb. Sorry, did I say “curb”? I meant “grave,” of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with giving an actor of Alfred Molina’s caliber a more substantial role, but to do so in midseason can’t have pleased the existing viewership very much. Truth be told, I’d rather they’d just kept the original “Law & Order” around, but in its absence, this was a nice substitute, and it sucks that it never had a chance to really spread its wings.

8. The Event (NBC) / V (ABC)


When it comes to casualties in the alien-invasion field, I can accept the cancellation of “V” a bit more than that of “The Event,” if only because it was a minor surprise that it made it to a second season in the first place. And if I’m to be honest, I’m not really surprised that NBC couldn’t be bothered to give “The Event” a shot at a sophomore year, since they probably figured it’d only let them down the way “Heroes” did. But whereas “Heroes” really dropped the ball in its second year, I felt like “The Event” had a better chance of upping the ante. Guess I’ll never know for sure.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

DVD Review: The Love We Make

Although described on its cover as “a chronicle of Paul McCartney’s cathartic journey through New York City in the aftermath of 9/11,” one doesn’t necessarily see a great deal of catharsis going on in “The Love We Make,” which originally aired on Showtime earlier this year. Granted, it’s easily arguable that the effects are internal, but the truth of the matter is that the majority of what we see can best be classified in two ways: the bits where McCartney hangs out with famous people, and the bits where average Americans are beside themselves about the fact that they’ve just had a close encounter with an actual, honest to God Beatle.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with either of these things: it’s kind of amusing to see someone walking down the street and suddenly realize that they’re looking at Paul McCartney, and, truth be told, it’s also entertaining to be a fly on the wall when celebrities are in conversation with each other, particularly if – as is the case here – they slip into a casual familiarity that’s rarely on display when they’re being interviewed. But the film’s co-director, Albert Maysles, suggests that McCartney’s intent with “The Love You Make” was to use music to bring relief to those who were impacted by the 9/11 attacks and honor those who lost their lives in their efforts to save lives, and while that’s fair enough, the end result would be a lot more entertaining if it wasn’t presented in such a pretentious fashion. I mean, a photo of the State of Liberty on the cover? Really, Paul…? No one’s trying to suggest that you didn’t have good intentions by sticking around NYC in the wake of the attacks and trying to raise people’s spirits, but c’mon…

Although “The Love We Make” isn’t nearly as profound as its presentation tries to make you think it is, McCartney fans will still enjoy the film if they take it simply as – Beatles reference utterly intentional – a day in the life of their hero. We see him practice with his band and watch him do a few interviews, including an appearance on Howard Stern’s show. (Pre-interview, he encounters fellow Stern guest Ozzy Osbourne for what is, amazingly enough, the first meeting between the two rock icons; post-interview, McCartney seems shocked that Stern asked him if he’d ever had sex with a black woman, confirming conclusively that, although he may have been aware of Stern, he clearly hadn’t listened to him very much.) Later, we see Sir Paul dismiss a passerby who tries to get plane fare out of him and watch him get annoyed by autograph seekers who refuse to stop following his limo. There’s also a great moment when McCartney is clearly in no way as excited to hear about the Beatles cover band The Fab Faux as one of its members, Will Lee, is to tell him about it.

Is “The Love We Make” worth seeing? It is if you’re a fan of Paul McCartney. Even then, though, keep your expectations realistic. Just because the man has good intentions doesn’t mean that the end result is always going to be a career highlight…and if you don’t believe me, you need only listen to his song “Freedom,” which he offers up as the grand finale of his performance at the Concert for New York. God bless him for trying to raise everyone’s spirits, but the song’s pretty terrible.

Don’t worry, though: “The Love We Make” is better. At least a bit, anyway.

  

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