Monday, March 31, 2014

Univ. of MI Develops New Nigh Vision CLs

“It may seem like the stuff from spy and superhero movies but scientists have created "the first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum" which, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, can be made so thin that it can be easily stacked on night vision contact lenses,” reports Gizmodo. “Back in 2011 some speculated that Seal Team Six used night vision contact lenses in the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. Those rumors were never substantiated, but this invention is very real—the research has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology by a team at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering led by Zhaohui Zhong and Ted Norris.” Read more.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

OAA Goes All Hollywood

The 2014 Opticians Association Video Contest begins April 17 and will end on June 30. "Directors" should aim their videos at the America public, showing them an optician. The OAA hopes that it will have one or several videos promoting opticianry to the general public. You can pick up information about entering and the rules for the contest at this website. The OAA will award $3500 for first place, $2000 for second, and $1000 for third. Read more.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

British Retailer’s Marketing Campaign Increases Sales

Marketing Week reports that the British retailer Vision Express “launched its ‘Vision. Taken Seriously’ campaign, created by agency Dare, last month and James White, Vision Express’s head of brand marketing, told Marketing Week that it has already helped push sales up by double-digit figures. He said the campaign is the first stage in plans to cement Vision Express as the authority in the industry.” Read more.

New Eyewear from L’Amy

“Nina Ricci has just launched four new combination ophthalmic styles geared towards the classical woman looking for femininity with French flair,” notes Midwest Lens. One is La Mysterieuse. “Nina Ricci’s new La Mysterieuse style NR2401CF is distinguished by the iconic Nina Ricci bow on the temple with a “grosgrain” effect as seen on Nina Ricci’s leather accessories. The classical full-rim metal front transitions to the contrasting colored acetate temples which feature flex hinges for comfort. Available in size 52-16-135 and three colors: black/beige, dark brown/khaki, and gold/light tortoise.” Read more.

Friday, March 28, 2014

AAO Creates Repository of Disease Info on National Database

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has launched the IRIS Registry, or Intelligent Research in Sight, a repository that aggregates patient data from electronic health records (EHRs) and statistically analyzes the data, according to Medical News Today. “Already, 2,300 physicians in 47 states nationwide are participating in the IRIS Registry, having signed up during a limited rollout, which began in 2013. The ophthalmology registry currently holds more than 5 million patient records and is expected to ultimately house more than 20 million in two years.” Read more.

International Optical Retail News

In Sweden: Reuters reports that “private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has bought eyewear chain Synsam Nordic from Alipes, the investment firm controlled by Sweden's Kamprad family which also controls the world's largest furniture retailer IKEA, CVC said on Tuesday. CVC did not say how much it paid for Synsam, which had sales of around 3 billion Swedish crowns ($467 million) in 2013 and employs some 2,600.” Read more.

In India: “Retail eyewear chain Titan Eye Plus has sewn up plans for major expansion of its retail network of stores, adding 50-60 stores across the country in 2014-15 as its strengthens its presence with more brands, including Fastrack, Hipster and Glares,” according to Hindu Businessline. “Part of Titan Company Ltd of the Tata Group, the company opened its 96th store in South India and expects to hit the 100 stores mark shortly. It has a pan-India network of 278 stores operating across 106 cities.” Read more.

New Eyewear and Sunglasses from Converse

“Converse is releasing five new sunglass styles for the brand’s popular All-Star sun collection for Spring/Summer 2014,” reports Midwest Lens. “The All-Star eyewear line was created to capture the energy and enthusiasm of the independent, cool crowd. Known for its spontaneous high-quality designs, this collection offers all access affordability for those with a flair for funky, cool sunwear. The new models feature high in demand elements such as mirrored lenses, and bold gradient coloring on selected styles. These optical quality sunglasses house equal quality polycarbonate lenses that filter 100% of potentially harmful UV rays.” Read more.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

J&J Launches Acuvue Promotion for World Cup

“Contact lens giant Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has launched its largest Acuvue branded promotional campaign to date, as sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” So starts the Optometry Today post. “As one of eight official sponsors of the global football tournament which takes place in Brazil this summer, Johnson & Johnson’s campaign has been designed to demonstrate how contact lenses can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives and aid them in reaching their true sporting potential.” Read more.

The “Meruru” Inserts/Removes CLs

“The Meruru, from Yokohama-based Meditrek, uses silicone instead of rubber to create an inserter that suctions up the lenses instead of picking them up,” according to a post on ITWorld. “The remover, in the form of tweezers, allow for easier and non-finger-using removal of the lenses. Apart from the repeating video footage of this guy inserting and removing lenses into his eye, this looks like a very cool product.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Lacoste

“The spring/summer Lacoste Eyewear collection continues to take inspiration from the key codes of the brand, such as pique, stripes, piping, and color block,” says Midwest Lens. “These key codes are carried throughout all their product categories, unifying and creating a story that pays homage to the brand. Each code is an expression of the Lacoste heritage, and allows everyone with a quick glance to unmistakably identify a Lacoste item.” Read more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Luxottica Takes Another Plunge into e-Commerce

Less than two months after Luxottica purchased and a day after it hooked up with Google Glass, the large Luxottica created an Industry Consultancy Panel to evaluate and recommend digital e-commerce platforms, according to a post on Vision Monday. The story notes that the manufacturer/distributor/retailer of eyewear says it’s helping doctors “compete effectively in the digital age.” In other words, Luxottica would create an open e-commerce platform that an independent eyecare professional or his/her website developer could use when creating a website for a practice or shop. The story does not note if Luxottica is considering an industry-wide e-commerce digital platform or a single-“shop” platform. The company could be testing the platform by the end of this year. Traditionally in the digital world, an open platform, such as Linux and Android, is available for free to any individual or developer. Read more.

In Developing Countries, Blindness Down, AMD Up

“Rates of blindness and impaired eyesight have plummeted over the past 20 years in the developed world,” reports Science Daily. “But macular degeneration has replaced cataract as the leading cause of blindness in rich countries, reveals an analysis of the available.” Read more.

New Eyewear from A&A Optical

“A&A Optical announces the release of two new styles from the Alexander Collection™: Marsha and Sharon. Reveal your inner grace and sophistication in eyewear inspired by the woman who adorns herself with rich color and style, whether understated or dramatic,” according to a post on Midwest Lens. “Alexander Collection offers fine hand crafted details, such as Swarovski crystal accents, metal inlays and delicate laser etching in acetate, metal, semi-rimless and combination frame styles. Alexander Collection™ is designed to complement women of all face shapes. Petite, average and perfect fit (extended fit) styles are available in eye sizes 47mm to 57mm.” Read more.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Registration Deadline for OpticalCEU’s Spring Seminar Is Friday

Time has about run out if you want to register for the OpticalCEUs 2014 spring continuing education seminar for opticians on April 6 at  Foxwoods Resort and Casino. The seminar will provide you with seven ABO/NCLE accredited courses. Register today.

New Eyewear from Karl Lagerfeld

“The Karl Lagerfeld Spring 2014 Eyewear Collection is comprised of sleek, runway inspired styles. High end and high quality, subtle metal accents and temple details are fresh on classic silhouettes and cool, neutral color ways. Fashion meets function in trendy and architectural styles.” That’s the word from Midwest Lens. Read more.

Google Glass Teams Up with Luxottica

“Google Inc. is partnering with Luxottica Group SpA…to help the Web company’s Glass eyewear go mainstream,” says Bloomberg news. “Luxottica is setting up teams focused on design, development, tooling and engineering of products, the world’s largest maker of eyeglasses said in a statement yesterday. Google’s Glass technology combines a tiny screen, camera and audio on a small device that’s worn at eye level. Google, seeking new ways to get consumers to use their services on mobile devices, has been stepping up efforts to show how Glass can appeal to a wide audience. While the gadget has received a lot of media attention, it’s also faced challenges, including criticism for its ability to record images or distract users. The Mountain View, California-based company said it plans to release mainstream versions ’down the road.’” Read more.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nip or Two, A Run or Two, All Good for the Eyes

“A physically active lifestyle and occasional drinking is associated with a reduced risk of developing visual impairment, according to a study.” That’s the abstract for a Science Daily post. “While the study provides risk estimates of associations of lifestyle factors with the incidence of visual impairment, the researchers caution that a limitation to their study -- which is present in all epidemiologic research -- is that the findings may be due, in part, to unmeasured factors related to both lifestyle behaviors and development of visual impairment.” Read more.

Red Sox’s Middlebrooks Trying Contact Lens

“Will Middlebrooks [Boston Red Sox] is experimenting with new contact lenses this week to correct some slight vision problems, according to Middlebrooks reportedly wore the contacts Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and didn’t see much improvement. He didn’t wear them Friday, and — after dealing with the discomfort of wearing the lenses for the first time — is unsure if he’ll resume wearing them.” That’s the post on NESN. Read more.
Want to learn more about contact lenses and sports? Join ABO/NCLE certified speaker Linda Conlin on April 6 for OpticalCEUs Annual Spring Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians at  Foxwoods Resort and Casino.
Linda breaks down the benefits of contact lenses over spectacles for the casual and serious athlete, fitting considerations based on various types of sports, safety in the work place, and patient management for athletes.
The event features five other courses giving opticians the opportunity to earn three ABO and four NCLE continuing education credits.
Reserve your seat for the best value in continuing education. Register now!

New AR Contact Lenses from Google Go to Patent Office

“Yesterday, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that reveals a new multi-sensor contact lens computer system that may work with many future devices including Google Glass and/or other future wearable devices, an Android smartphone, a television, a gaming system, navigation and/or car stereo and beyond. If you're a die-hard Google fan, then this is a must read; because if you blink, you just might miss something great,” according to Patent Bolt. “According to a study that was published in February, 90% of vehicles by 2019 will Interface with wearable computers in one way or another. Beyond Google Glass, Google is working on an in-air gesturing system for vehicles and Google's latest invention will be able to work within such a system in connection with Glass.  Google is also working on their personal assistant Google-Now to work with Google TV. Integrating a blink-command system, as described in their latest patent about specialized contact lenses, would be able to issue commands such as change the channel or raise the audio for instance.” Read more.

Mom Takes Anti-Sunglass Campaign Viral

“A Vista [near San Diego, CA] mother's social media crusade to change the name of a pair of sunglasses and raise awareness about eating disorders went viral,” reports CBS’s San Diego affiliate. “Jennifer Ouellette from Vista says she's social media savvy so when she saw an article about a pair of Thierry Lasry sunglasses named ‘Anorexxxy’ she was outraged.” See video and read more.

New Wood Sunglasses from Arc-Iris

Arc-Iris, American Falls, ID, designs and manufactures wood sunglasses with more than 100 styles and color variations. “I saw a new industry emerging, and from our artistic, engineering, and technology background, I knew that we could make the ultimate product,” says Arc-Iris founder Clayton Fehringer. After over two years of extensive research and development, the concept and hard work is becoming a reality. “My father was always really into woodworking, building things, and art. My talents were invested in technology, and I was looking to form an awesome company. It was a perfect match, and now a family affair.” Arc-Iris launched in November of 2013, and now has over 10,000 Facebook fans. Read more.

Roundup of the Canadian Frame Market

“Optician Bob Karir is always his own best billboard – I’ve seldom seen him in the same pair of glasses twice. With his new private label eyewear collection, gets to indulge in the colours and styles he’s often been asked for over the years. “It’s not only that I can’t find, it’s what customers can’t find a lot of the time. Any colour, any size, any shape,” he says, walking the perimeter of his downtown emporium,” says the National Post in a roundup of what’s happening in the Canadian frame design and production marketpalce. “With the new Karir collection, he can customize different arm lengths, wider bridges, or stylistic tics like combinations of colours, or a matte finish up front with glossy temples – all with a three-week turnaround. Asking for intel on the seasonal trends is futile – it’s not classified, there simply aren’t any – except that anything goes. If there’s anything in the air, he says, it’s the confidence of your own personal taste and personalization.” Read more.

Observer Captures Ukraine Events with AR Eyewear from Epiphany

“Events in Ukraine have captivated the world recently. In the wake of unrest, a stroll through Kiev's Independence Square with a camera would draw attention. Aleksey Bondarenko was able to capture amazing high definition video without being noticed,” reports USAToday. “’The guard over there won't let me in because I'm a youth, so I can't get up close and personal to the police. I don't know if you can see them over there in the distance,’ said Bondarenko on a video he recently posted online. He narrated his walk through Kiev wearing a pair of Epiphany Eyewear.” See video and read more.

New Eyewear from Ogi

“Ogi Eyewear introduces the 4302, a breathtaking new addition to its unique collection of combination frames. Available in 4 designer color schemes, specifically chosen to compliment the skin tone of the wearer, including Salmon/Brown, Purple Silk/Midnight, Seafoam Silk/Gunmetal and Tan Silk/Brown. Paneled texture paired with the finest Japanese titanium give this frame a captivating style that is all its own,” according to Midwest Lens. “Classic cat eye form accompanies luxurious texture in the 4302 by Ogi Eyewear. Unlike anything else on the market, this frame is the ultimate in elaborate detail including circular embellishments and dynamic angles. The stainless steel combination design grabs attention with an inlaid texture of colorful, rich patterns on the face and temples. Its unique pinched bridge forms symmetrical cut outs, giving this frame an unanticipated edge.” Read more.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Line Drive Almost Takes Out Chapman's Eye

Chapman riding off the field
after being hit by a line drive.
"Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone above his left eye but has no other serious injuries after being hit in the face by a line drive in a spring training game," according to a Washington Times post. "Team doctor Timothy Kremchek said Chapman could be playing again in six to eight weeks. The left-hander with a fastball that has reached 105 mph hopefully will start exercising and throwing in a couple of weeks, Kremchek said. The doctor called Chapman “a very lucky guy.” Kremchek said a metal plate will be inserted in the bone above his left eyebrow, with perhaps a bone graft as well, and will remain there permanently. Chapman has a very mild concussion but no other brain injury and no injury to his eye, Kremchek said." Read more.

Want to learn more about eye safety, contact lenses, and sports? Join ABO/NCLE certified speaker Linda Conlin on April 6 for OpticalCEUs Annual Spring Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians at  Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

Linda breaks down the benefits of contact lenses over spectacles for the casual and serious athlete, fitting considerations based on various types of sports, safety in the work place, and patient management for athletes.

The event features five other courses giving opticians the opportunity to earn three ABO and four NCLE continuing education credits.

Reserve your seat for the best value in continuing education. Register now!

New Eyewear by Pamela Love for Selima Optique

Pamela Love
Selima Salaun
"Pamela Love is bringing her rock n’roll aesthetic to a new market: eyewear. The jewelry designer has partnered with Selima Salaun, founder of Selima Optique, to produce the collection. 'I wanted to work with Selima because I’ve always been a fan of her brand,' Love said of the French optician," reports Women's Wear Daily. "The initial launch will include two styles:  Sophie, a rounded way-farer, and Allison, a retro-inspired cat-eye....The glasses will retail for just under $400 and be sold at Selima stores, as well as other retailers." Read more.

Marilyn Monroe Sun and Optical Collections from Allure Eyewear

"Depending on the situation, Marilyn Monroe appeared to use sunglasses and eyeglasses to her utmost advantage. Now 51 years after her death Marilyn Monroe Sun and Optical collections are being introduced by Allure Eyewear and Authentic Brands Group," reports Women's Wear Daily. "Inspired by the iconic actress, the eyewear includes animal-printed frames and upswept cat eye
silhouettes. Each style is adorned with subtle Swarovski crystals for an extra note of glam. Marilyn Monroe eyewear brand will consist of “The Marilyn” Limited Edition Sunglass which will retail for $495, the Silver Screen Sun collection that will retail from $98 to $168 and the Optical collection that will retail between $150 and $180." Read more.

New Eyewear from L'Amy

"The Nicole Miller eyewear collection reflects the brand’s codes with a strong identity, in keeping with the Nicole Miller style," according to Midwest Lens. "The collection offers a wide range of rich colors with exquisite detail and on-trend shapes that appeal to the Nicole Miller customer of today. The five themes in the Nicole Miller eyewear collection- celtic, bicycles and bicycle parts, nstar, grafik, material effects- features elements from each inspiration combined with masterful artistry and gorgeous color combinations to create inspired looks that are singular and adventurous. In the image of Nicole Miller’s sense of beauty, the Nicole Miller logo is discrete, in tune with todays toned down aesthetics." Read more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Eyewear from Modern Optical

"Modern Optical expands its Giovani di Venezia Collection with three new styles. This diverse assortment of men’s frames offers affordable, fashionable options for day and evening," according to Midwest Lens. "While primarily featuring classic, minimalist designs, Giovani di Venezia also offers trendier styles for the more urbane. The Bennett is a sleek angular silhouette available in neutral hues of black, brown and gunmetal for the understated fellow. Louis, on the other hand is a statement maker, with chunky acetate temples and metal trim accents. The color choices of black/grey fade, black/blue fade and brown add to the more fashion-forward feel. Olsen, the third new style, is another discreet choice with a rounded rectangular shape and slender temples. A semi-rimless style, Olsen is available in classic antique silver, brown and gold. All three new styles come with spring hinges for added comfort and durability." Read more.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Evolution of Treating Patients With Irregular Corneas

Sixty years before Adolf Fick and Edouard Kalt developed the first actual contact lenses in 1887, Sir John Herschel postulated that a primitive contact lens could treat irregular corneas if it was ground to the surface shape of the cornea.

“Should any very bad cases of irregular cornea be found, it is worthy of consideration whether at least a temporary distinct vision could not be procured by applying in contact with the surface of the eye some transparent animal jelly contained in a spherical capsule of glass, or whether an actual mold of the cornea might not be taken and impressed on some transparent medium,” he wrote in an 1827 publication of Journal Light.

Sir John Herschel got the idea for treating patients with irregular corneas right, but the execution evolved significantly in the following two centuries, much to patients’ delight. Now instead of spherical glass with animal jelly or even rigid lenses, soft contact lenses are often available for patients with certain irregular corneal conditions.

Some mystery still surrounds irregular corneas, though, mainly how they develop. It’s known that disease (such as keratoconus) and injury (including mistakes during LASIK surgery) cause irregular corneas, but certain irregular corneal conditions don’t have a known cause. There is good news: “Almost any condition that causes an irregular corneal surface in the absence of any active infectious process can be helped optically and in many instances therapeutically by the application of some type of contact lens,” writes Barry Weiner, O.D.

Considering that corneas account for two-thirds of the refractive power of the eye, patients might be understandably nervous when diagnosed with an irregular cornea. Fortunately, modern medicine can provide comfortable, effective treatments, but it all starts with a proper fit.

On Sunday, April 6 at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino, contact lens expert Joe Forte will help opticians fit patients who have irregular corneas with contact lenses at OpticalCEUs continuing education seminar for opticians. He will also discuss different causes of irregular corneas and the type of contact lens best suited for each condition. At the conference, you’ll learn:
  • About corneal topography for each type of irregularity,
  • How to fit the latest soft and rigid contact lens designs for irregular corneas, and
  • Troubleshooting techniques for contact lenses fit to irregular cornea.

Want the best value for ABO/NCLE credits? Sign up to here Joe and other great speakers today!

Eyewear Marketplace to Grow Globally at an Annual Rate of 3.2%

The global eyewear market should  reach $142.18 billion by 2020, according to a study by Grand View Research, Inc. Expanding wearer base coupled with increasing penetration of eyewear for vision correction will fuel the growth, according to Eyewear Market Analysis And Segment Forecasts To 2020.  Here are some of the key findings:
  • Demand will increased with the early entry of children into the corrective eyewear as well as aging population. 
  • Growing urbanization and disposable income, along with awareness regarding the need for protecting the eyes against UV rays has led to high demand for plano sunglasses. 
  • Acceptance of alternative methods of vision correction including refractive surgeries may restrain growth. 
  • Worldwide, the industry sold 2,750.3 million units in 2012. It will rise to 3,507.7 million units by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% from 2014 to 2020. 
  • Spectacle frames and lenses accounted for over 50% of the total eyewear shipments in 2012, primarily resulting from perscription changes. Demand for high-index lenses should increase. 
  • Plano sunglasses could grow at 8.1% CAGR, driven primarily by a high demand for premium-priced units. Polarized sunglasses contributed over 20% of overall shipments in 2012, with CR-39 expected to remain the largest lens material segment. 
  • North America dominated global demand in 2012; while Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing regional market, at an estimated CAGR of 3.7% from 2014 to 2020. In terms of revenue, Europe accounted for over 40% of the total market in 2012, because of significantly high selling prices. 
The report is available at Inquiry Before Buying at

New Eyewear from Seraphin

"Seraphin introduces an instantly flattering favorite, the Yvonne," says Midwest Lens. "A colorful twist on a classic angular shape, the trio of hues in the layered Italian acetate gives the Yvonne its signature look. Neutral tortoise and black shades are given a fresh slice of color in the triple laminate acetate. For a woman who wants a versatile, classic frame that shows a little wink of personality, this is the perfect choice. Fabulous finesse meets classic chic with the Yvonne." Read more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Night-Vision Contacts Are Seen in the Distance

"If you love the freedom that contacts provide but wish the lenses could do more to enhance your night-hunting, a breakthrough at the University of Michigan may make thermal-seeking contacts a reality. I’ll never miss prey in my peripheral again," notes GeekoSystem. "In news that is sure to rock the vampiric community, is reporting today that in a recent Nature Nanotechnology paper, professors Zhaohui Zhong and Gerard A. Mourou announced the first room-temperature light detector that can be 'stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone.' Prior to the duo’s discovery, heat-seeking vision required a combination of cumbersome technologies in order to detect near, mid and far infrared radiation all at once. Graphene--a single layer of carbon atoms--catches the entire spectrum, but is too small to capture more than 2.3% of all light." Read more.

Diabetic Minorities Not Getting Eye Care

"When it comes to eye health, minorities continue to experience disparities, particularly in the realm of diabetic retinopathy, and researchers suggest health insurance--or lack thereof--is to blame," reports the Huffington Post. "According to recent data published in the journal Diabetes Care, over the last decade there has been little to no change in how frequently minority patients with diabetes are seeking annual eye care screenings. Since 2002 non-Hispanic whites with diabetes have consistently sought eye care more frequently than minority patients; the largest disparity was noted in 2008, with a 15 percent difference between non-Hispanic whites and minorities.What’s more, at the end of the study period, minority patients with diabetes were actually found to seek eye care less often (7 percent) than they did at the start of the study in 2002. This finding was not true of non-Hispanic whites who saw a 3 percent increase in care frequency." Read more.

New Capsule Collection from Safilo

The 80-year-old Safilo will unveil a capsule collection created in collaboration with Marc Newson next month during the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The collection stems from revisiting a historical model personally chosen by Newson and resulting in five variations, through five specific materials and technologies, based on the original shape from the Safilo’s archive. The assortment will consist of five optical frames and two sunglasses. Read more.

New Eyewear and Sunglasses from Gotti Switzerland

Gotti Switzerland's new optical and sunglass collection reportedly blends retro designs with a modern twist. It features acetate, titanium, and stainless steel models using minimalist construction with contemporary textures and patterns. They will retail from $300 to $500.

The men's acetate optical frames feature vintage-inspired shapes with fresh colors and blends such as pattern violett, pattern blue, pattern grey, and olive translucent. The women's include ultrafine and thin finishing, making them as light as a feather. The temples highlight a diagonal white color gradient. Statement colors including olive translucent, blue, turquoise, and Purple make these glasses a statement accessory. Gotti's men's and women's titanium optical glasses are updates of 1970s frame designs, featuring a top bar with an extremely thin semi-rimless lens.

The sunglass collection uses bold colors in eight new models for women and men contain mirrored lenses and the brand's innovative "Spin & Stow" temple, enabling the earpieces to rotate completely, so the glasses fold flat and can be tucked away anywhere. Read more.

New Sunglasses from G-Star

"Following G-Star’s denim philosophy, heritage and innovation melt together in G-Star’s new eyewear collection. G-Star sunglasses are characterized by ‘straight cut lenses’, an authentic design element that creates a unique statement in the world of eyewear of today," according to Midwest Lens. "The straight cut concept is inspired by authentic aviator goggles, created over a century ago. By reinterpreting these goggles both technically and aesthetically, G-Star transformed authentic functionality into contemporary and distinctive designs." Read more.

OpticalCEUs Continuing Education Conference Deadline Approaches

The registration deadline for OpticalCEUs 15th Spring 2014 Continuing Education Conference at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino is less than two weeks away. There are a limited number of available seats, and they are being taken quickly. If you are planning to attend, you can register quickly at You can also find out information about the presentations and the speakers. Earn continuing education credits for your ABO, NCLE, and your state license.

Blog Tops More than a Quarter Million Views

Just before Thanksgiving 2010, we launched this blog to help opticians stay atop news in the field of eye care. Each day we scan the web for news stories relating to seeing the world better--from the latest in frame design to the latest science regarding eye health to the latest eyewear celeb trends. And in those three plus years we have delivered more than 4400 posts, and there are more to come.

Eye-Safe Lasers Damage DNA

"That energetic particles damage DNA is not surprising. It is now appears that very low-energy OH radicals also damage DNA, with a propensity that depends on how vigorously OH rotates: rotationally 'hot' OH induce irreparable double breaks," notes Science Daily. "These findings utilize OH formed in plasma created when intense IR femtosecond laser pulses propagate in water containing DNA. Industry characterizes as 'eye-safe' IR lasers. With such wavelengths being proficient at inducing DNA damage, how safe is 'eye-safe'?" Read more.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oasys for Astigmatism to Come in New Parameters

Optometry Times reports that “Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. announced that effective April 15, 2014, Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism will be available in more parameters. Parameters are being expanded to include -6.00 D to +6.00 D in 0.25 D steps and from -6.50 D to -9.00 D in 0.50 D steps. With the introduction of these new parameters, the company also announced that effective March 31, 2014, diagnostic lenses for Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism will no longer be available from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.” Read more.

Hemianopics Sometimes Don’t Recognize Traffic Patterns

“A diagnosis of hemianopia, or blindness in one-half of the visual field in both eyes as the result of strokes, tumors or trauma often means the end of driving,” summarizes Science Daily. “Researchers set out to determine the extent to which people with hemianopia can compensate for the lost vision when driving, with a long term goal of developing and evaluating devices and training that will assist them to drive more safely. The findings suggest that the scanning patterns employed by some drivers with hemianopia may be insufficient for safe driving.” Read more.

Alcon Launches Toric, Multifocal, Disposable Contact Lenses

“Alcon Laboratories expanded its Dailies AquaComfort Plus portfolio with the launch of toric and multifocal designs,” notes Optometry Times. “Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal uses the Precision Profile Design of Air Optix Aqua Multifocal. Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric incorporates the dual thin zone Precision Curve Lens Design of Focus Dailies Toric. Both new lenses are made from nelfilcon A, the same material used in Dailies AquaComfort Plus. Powers for Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal range from +6.00 D to -10.00 D in 0.25 D steps with low, medium, and high adds. Diameter is 14.0 mm, and base curve is 8.7 mm.” Read more.

Sunglasses Paul Walker Wore on Crash Day Is On Auction

“An unnamed man has put the sunglasses Walker was supposedly wearing at the time of his death up for auction on the site The consigner is also auctioning off a fire extinguisher and an item he simply calls ‘debris,’ all presumably from the Santa Clarita crash site,” “according to Us Weekly. “The auction items come with a detailed description of the bystander's recollection from the night of Nov. 30, when he was allegedly located near where the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT collided with a lamp post.” Read more.

New Sunglasses from Trussardi

“The new spring summer 2014 sunwear collection [from Trussardi] is a parade of lavish metals, natural materials and striking lens treatments,” writes Midwest Lens. “Super chic Trussardi frames are finely tailored and richly colored. Dazzling hues are interpreted in extravagant mosaic-inspired statements, trendy transparent renditions, and sophisticated solid constructions.” Read more.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Optometry Students Adopt Patients and Fit Them with Contacts

:Program logo from AOSA website.
CooperVision, Inc., along with the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA), are promoting the company’s Adopt-a-Patient SM program. The initiative gives optometry students an opportunity to provide eye care in communities near participating universities.

AOSA will create an Adopt-a-Patient page on its website as well as presence on its Facebook page, will publish an article about the program in AOSA's Foresight, and will provide administrative support.

The seven-year-old program allows third- and fourth-year optometry students to examine and fit eligible patients in CooperVision's contact lenses. The students also provide follow-up care. Patients receive a complimentary year’s supply of their prescribed lenses from CooperVision. Vision Service Plan (VSP) subsidizes the cost of the exam.

Optometry school students and faculty who want to take part can email Mark Andre ( for more information.

The Dangers of Optical Illusions

"Audi's luxury vehicles include a neat night-vision system that will automatically warn drivers about hazards on the road," notes Gizmo. "And to drive home just how life-saving it can be, the company's ad agency created a brilliant billboard in an airport with a secret hazard that was only revealed to passengers when they got closer and closer. Using a physical phenomenon called accommodation, the ad cleverly manipulated how the human eye focuses." Read more and see the ad.

Eye-Hand More or Less Hardwired

"Your brain's ability to instantly link what you see with what you do is down to a dedicated information 'highway,' suggests new research," writes Science Daily. "For the first time, researchers have found evidence of a specialized mechanism for spatial self-awareness that combines visual cues with body motion. The newly-discovered system could explain why some schizophrenia patients feel like their actions are controlled by someone else." Read more.

New Eyewear from MaxStudio

"Looking for fashion-forward, cutting edge, trendy eyewear to wow your customers? This Spring Leon Max is here to set trends not follow them," reports Midwest Lens. "This leading wave eyewear collection features impressive metals and full zyls in dramatic colors and bold, edgy shapes. Presented in a rich fashion, the signature globe logo treatment is displayed on every style of this collection in a memorable way. Leon Max is the designer of The new Leon Max Collection is ahead of the fashion curve, setting trends with unique designs including rich materials and constructions creating more limited and exclusive styles. Leon Max Eyewear will launch this spring with 8 styles and 26 skus." Read more.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pearle Converts 27 Stores from Company-Owned to Licensee-Owned

Pearle Vision has converted 27 stores from company-owned to licensee-owned last year. The will continue what it calls re-licensing in 2014. Of the 27 licensing agreements, Pearle Vision announced 10 new licensees in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois and Iowa. In addition, 17 existing Pearle Vision licensees chose to expand by licensing additional centers in Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, New York, Wisconsin, Nevada, Illinois and Puerto Rico. Read more.

New Look Posts $25.6 Million in Fourth Quarter

Fourth quarter revenue for 140-store Canadian retailer New Look Eyewear Inc. reached $25.6 million, a 22.5% increase over the same quarter in 2013. The increase comes with the opening of six new stores over the past two years and the acquisition of Vogue Optical Inc. Read more.

New Theo Eyewear from VingTage

"Nine retro-inspired designs together make up Mille, the latest VinGtage collection from theo. Although these models are perfectly in line with the previous VinGtage series, they’re also different," notes Midwest Lens. "The shapes are simple, the acetate is monochrome and they don’t come with any ‘gimmicks’. It’s the feeling that matters. Beautiful glasses without frills designed for Generation Y, but with a typical theo twist." Read more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Keeping a Tinted Eye on the Ball: Contact Lenses and Sports

Image by Keith Allison
Many athletes’ most important piece of equipment is practically invisible. Without contact lenses, a hall-of-fame talent likely would amount to no more than a scrub.

Take for example Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The top draft pick in 2010 began his professional career with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns struggling to hit, managing a measly .231 batting average.

Instead of tinkering with his swing, the Nationals sent Harper to an optometrist. In his first 20 games with contact lenses, he hit .480 with seven home runs and 10 doubles.

Considering that contact lenses can produce such amazing results, it may seem hard to believe that at one point contact lenses had a hidden place in sports.

''For a lot of professional athletes, wearing contact lenses is a well-guarded secret,'' said Dr. A. I. Garner, an optometrist and the executive director of the National Academy of Sports Vision in Harrisburg, Pa. to The New York Times in 1990. ''Most players don't want to identify themselves as having eye problems.''

That stigma has faded, and the technology has evolved. Harper made headlines in 2012 when he wore red contact lenses, which many players say helps them better see the spin of the ball by reducing glare and blocking blue light.

Red isn’t always best, the sport dictates the color. Football players tend to wear blue while golfers where gray-green, for example.

Image: Carine06
Harper is only one of dozens of athletes who have turned to everyday or high tech contacts in an effort to boost performance or gain a competitive edge. Among the tinted contact lens converts are New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes, tennis great Roger Federer and golfer Justin Leonard.

Despite all the hype, the jury is still out on whether or not colored lenses can actually make a difference in performance. Several studies have shown that tinted contact lenses do not significantly improve athletic performance. Athletes, though, seem content to hold onto them for the perceived edge it provides.

Want to learn more about contact lenses and sports? Join ABO/NCLE certified speaker Linda Conlin on April 6 for OpticalCEUs Annual Spring Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians at  Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

Linda breaks down the benefits of contact lenses over spectacles for the casual and serious athlete, fitting considerations based on various types of sports and patient management for athletes.

The event features five other courses giving opticians the opportunity to earn three ABO and four NCLE continuing education credits.

Reserve your seat for the best value in continuing education. Register now!

Does Diabetes Cause Glaucoma? Research Indicates Yes.

"Researchers at All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research India have proposed a new mechanism of glaucoma which suggests that diabetes can occur in the brain and may be the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders including glaucoma," reports Medical News Today. "Glaucoma is the leading cause irreversibly blinding disorders and affects millions worldwide. There is no known cure to glaucoma. The disease is considered as one of the most complex human diseases. Muneeb Faiq and his coworkers have attempted to explain this disorder which may open door for a new era of research on this disease." Read more.

Soldiers Will Wear AR Eyewear Soon

"The American military may soon be filled with soldiers sporting Google Glass-like headgear that can measure distances, display 3D building layouts, transmit video from a drone and more, all on a glass display right in front of their eyes," reports Mashable. "Battlefields are full of data soldiers can use: enemy positions, the location of fellow soldiers, maps of a city or a house, video of what they'll encounter over a hill. But until recently, there's been no way to live-stream that data to soldiers on the ground. That's what Q-Warrior, high-tech headgear built by United Kingdom-based BAE Systems, provides" Read more.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Luxottica Expects $100 Million in Next Eyewear Licences in 2015

"Ray Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica expects to sign a new eyewear licence worth at least $100 million in sales starting next year, its chief executive said on Friday," notes a Reuters report posted on MSN Money. "'We will strengthen the licence portfolio in the next weeks or months...the new licence that probably will come on board will start in January 2015,' Andrea Guerra said. 'The licence is at least 100 million dollars,' Guerra said at an investor day in Milan broadcast on the group's website. He did not say with whom the licence agreement would be. Luxottica generates most of its sales from its own brands including Ray Ban and Oakley, and also makes and distributes eyewear under licence for fashion labels Chanel and Armani. Guerra told Reuters on Thursday the group expects to make at least 160 million euros from the Armani licence in 2014." Read more.

Nicole Kidman Inspires Jimmy Choo

"Nature Unleashed served as the inspiration for the Jimmy Choo Spring Summer 2014 collection and this theme is reinterpreted in the Spring Summer advertising campaign," according to Midwest Lens. "With Cubist inspired perspectives Nicole Kidman is pictured in a modern jungle where neon and foliage are juxtaposed to create an energetic and vibrant atmosphere." Read more.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Importance of Wearing Eye Protection

March is National Save Your Vision Month, and the Defense Department wants service members to take care of their eyes by wearing eye protection when performing dangerous work, reducing eye strain and routinely undergoing eye examinations. That's the word from the DOD.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
In this Feb. 6, 2006, file photo, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Anthony Aguilar wears the ballistic protective eyewear that prevented a bomb fragment from possibly damaging his eyes when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker vehicle while on patrol in Mosul, Iraq. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Dr. Robert Mazzoli, an ophthalmologist at the Vision Center of Excellence at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., noted the Iraq and Afghanistan wars of more than a decade produced a historic high in the percentage of eye injuries.
“When we were first going into Iraq, eye injuries accounted for 25 percent of all combat casualties,” he said. “That's because people weren't wearing their eye protection.”

On April 6 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, OpticalCEUs founder Linda Conlin discusses in greater depth the role of contact lenses and eyewear protection in the workplace.

Her course “Contact Lenses on the Job” will address the advantages and disadvantages of contact lens wear in a variety of work environments, show when contact lenses are appropriate and provide instruction on how to respond to contact lens wear-related problems in the workplace.

Want to learn more? Get your ABO/NCLE credits by reserving your spot at our spring conference. Register now!

Eye Drops Rather Than Injections to Treat Eye Disease

"Drug treatments for diseases that cause blindness could be delivered by eye drops instead of uncomfortable and costly eye injections, say UK researchers. The team reports how it tested this innovation on animals in the nanotechnology journal Small," reports Medical News Today. Read more.

New Adapters Turn SmartPhones into Retinal Cameras

"Researchers have developed two inexpensive adapters that enable a smartphone to capture high-quality images of the front and back of the eye," says Science Daily. "The adapters make it easy for anyone with minimal training to take a picture of the eye and share it securely with other health practitioners or store it in the patient's electronic record." Read more.

No Implants for Infants after Cataract Surgery

"It is standard for adults and children who undergo cataract surgery to be implanted with an artificial lens in their eye. But a clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute suggests that the ideal treatment for infants should be surgery followed by the use of contact lenses for several years, and then an eventual lens implant." That's the world from Medical News Today. Read more.

Most People to Wear Sunglasses at Night: Grand Rapids

"There appears to be another arcane world record in Grand Rapids, this time for the most people wearing sunglasses at night," notes the Denver Post. "Gilda's LaughFest organizers in the past three years have overseen record-setting attempts for donning false mustaches, wearing chicken beaks and tossing rubber chickens. The fourth annual festival of laughter kicked off Thursday with an effort to break the sunglasses record. Participants received official bright yellow LaughFest sunglasses." Read more.

Essilor to Close PA Gentex Plant in October

The Scranton Times-Tribune is reporting that Essilor will coses its Gentex Optics plant in Fell Twonship, PA, this October. It quoted a spokesperson as saying that the plant was no longer competitive. "She said workers at the factory, which makes lenses for eyewear, were notified Wednesday and Thursday, and officials are working to help them find other jobs. Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said he was told that Essilor will transfer the work to a plant in Massachusetts." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Adidas

According to a Midwest Lens post, "[Adidas's] Tycane is designed for the most extreme instances where peripheral vision, fit, and hydrophobic lens technology are all a necessity. With a 14% greater field of vision than other high profile competitor sunglasses, tycane offers the feeling of 360° vision with no frame in sight, and has 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection. Its adidas patented LST Polarized lenses are standard to handle the most intense glare from snow or water. Some other features of this new product are the Tri-Fit™ temples, Double-Snap Nose Bridge™, and that it is offered in two sizes for the perfect fit." Read more.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Sunglasses from Puma

"Puma Eyewear expresses the energy and style of this world-famous sports’ brand. An extensive collection of new Puma lifestyle and performance sunglasses have all the great features that you come to expect in a Puma frame and much more. Every Puma sun frame is designed to ensure a comfortable, ergonomic fit," goes the post on Midwest Lens. "The new collection features both Lifestyle and Performance sunglasses. Fashion-forward wearers, willing to embrace casual gear with a stylish urban accent, will love the new Puma Lifestyle sunwear looks. Hip frames are inspired by trendy pilot and vintage forms." Read more.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Retina Has Direction-Sensing Cells, Says Study

"How do we 'know' from the movements of speeding car in our field of view if it's coming straight toward us or more likely to move to the right or left?" asks Medical News Today. "Scientists have long known that our perceptions of the outside world are processed in our cortex, the six-layered structure in the outer part of our brains. But how much of that processing actually happens in cortex? Do the eyes tell the brain a lot or a little about the content of the outside world and the objects moving within it? In a detailed study of the neurons linking the eyes and brains of mice, biologists at UC San Diego discovered that the ability of our brains and those of other mammals to figure out and process in our brains directional movements is a result of the activation in the cortex of signals that originate from the direction-sensing cells in the retina of our eyes." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Elle

"Elle, the much-loved international lifestyle brand, fuses its French heritage and style to express fashionable looks for smart, elegant and contemporary women," goes the Midwest Lens post. "The Elle sunwear collection is a fashionable array of chic feminine sunglasses that are high-quality and comfortable, and reasonably priced. New-season women’s styles are inspired by nature and the alluring contours of the female form. A romantic approach influences organic frame structures with feline fronts, polished surfaces and elegant metallic details." Read more.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

14 Eye-Popping Disease Stats Opticians Need to Know

Eye care professionals work on the front lines protecting patients’ most valued sense and that involves prevention, diagnoses, treatment and education.

Education is particularly important for patient care. Only 11 percent of respondents to a 2005 survey knew glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy had no warning signs. (Yes, the data is old, but eye care education among the general population seems to have remained stagnant…excluding trips to WebMD.)

Perhaps exacerbated by ill-informed patients, the figures related to common eye diseases in the United States are staggering. Here are 14 of the most eye-popping stats:

From the Centers for Disease Control and the Research to Prevent Blindness:

  1. Sixty-one million U.S. adults are high-risk for serious vision loss, but only half have visited an eye doctor in the past year.
  2. In 2004, 3.3 million Americans aged 40 and older suffer from blindness or low vision. That number is projected to double by 2030 due to an aging population and increasing rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
  3. Refractive correction could improve the vision of 11 million Americans over the age of 12.
  4. Nearly 2 million people over 40 years old suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The number of people with AMD will reach 2.95 million by 2020.
  5. The number of people with cataract in at least one eye will increase by nearly 50 percent from 20.5 million to 30.1 million by 2020.
  6. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness, and retinopathy and vision-threatening retinopathy affect 5 million Americans.
  7. Amblyopia, the number one cause of vision loss in one eye for children to middle-aged adults, affects 2 to 3 percent of the population.
  8. Ten thousand Americans will turn 65 years old every day for the next 10 years. Estimates show that more than 50 million Americans will be blind, have low vision or have an age-related eye disease.
  9. Every seven minutes an American goes blind or becomes visually impaired.
  10. Legally blind patients said they would trade more than a third of their remaining years to regain perfect vision. People without light perception would be willing to trade 74 percent of their remaining years.
  11. Between 40 and 45 percent of diabetics have diabetic retinopathy.
  12. Each year, 200,000 Americans develop advanced age-related macular degeneration.
  13. The rate of age-related macular degeneration jumps from 2 percent among 50-somethings to about 30 percent for people over 75.
  14. Roughly 50 percent of the 2.3 million Americans aged 40 and older with glaucoma don’t know they have the disease.

Want to know more than statistics about common eye diseases? Join eye care expert Joe Forte at Foxwoods Resort and Casino on April 6 for an opportunity to earn three ABO and four NCLE continuing education credits.

He’ll show you common eye conditions and diagnostic instruments, the anatomy of the eye and external structures, conditions of the anterior and posterior segments and more! Register now!

New Sunglasses from Costa

Midwest Lens reports that "Costa Sunglasses introduces three of its new styles for women: Isla, Blenny and Goby. Each one beautifully blends durable performance features with bright, colorful frames and an on-trend look." Read more.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Eyewear from Lightec

"Lightec expands the Alpha 23 family with the introduction of Alpha 23B, consisting of eight uber-slim models which are in line with the image of the brand," reports Midwest Lens. "This new release includes four models with TR90 fronts and four models with stainless steel fronts. All models are full-rimmed with a focus on extreme slimness. Temples measure just 2.8 mm at the widest, are fitted with a thermo formed sleeve, and finished with a nylon micro-endtip for heightened comfort." Read more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Safety First! How Eye Care Pros Can Prevent Workplace Injuries

The workplace isn’t a safe place for eyes. Every day, 2,000 Americans suffer a job-related eye injury that requires treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Flying particles and contact with chemicals are responsible for nine in 10 of those injuries mainly because people wear the wrong eye protection or none at all.

The solution may seem simple - wear protective goggles - but contact lenses also can play a big role in workplace eye safety. They're not a suit of armor for eye, but they can improve worker safety (and increase productivity).

Wearing contact lenses provides a wider field of vision and reduces distortion. They also allow workers to work more comfortably while wearing the proper protective eyewear.

As eye care professionals, taking the time to ask patients about their jobs, advising them on the benefits and limitations of contact lenses, and teaching them eye irrigation techniques can go a long way in saving their vision.

you’re at it, asking about their hobbies and home chores can significantly reduce injuries. Home repairs, cleaning, cooking, yard work, and other domestic activities result in more than 40 percent of all eye injuries. Another 40 percent is the result of sports and recreation.

Because of new designs and materials, contact lenses have an expanding demographic. On April 6 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, OpticalCEUs founder Linda Conlin discusses in greater depth the role of contact lenses in the workplace.

Her course “Contact Lenses on the Job” will address the advantages and disadvantages of contact lens wear in a variety of work environments, show when contact lenses are appropriate and provide instruction on how to respond to contact lens wear-related problems in the workplace.

Want to learn more? Get your ABO/NCLE credits by reserving your spot at our spring conference. Register now!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

VSP Talks about Its Google Glass Deal

"Recently, Google Glass has been a controversial topic in the news, from driving bans to a bizarre attack on a woman who wore the device into a bar. Nevertheless, the product's impending launch is generating plenty of buzz about innovation and potential breakthrough technology. CBS MoneyWatch recently spoke to someone who'll be part of it," according to a CBS MoneyWatch post. "Jim McGrann is president of VSP Vision Care, a vision insurance provider with 60 million-plus members (and a network of 30,000 eye doctors) that has partnered with Google Glass. Among other things, the relationship will focus on providing prescriptions to the 40 percent of Google Glass users who will need corrective lenses." Click to find out what he said.

Luxottica Re-Licenses Brands and Shops for New Ones

"Ray Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica expects to sign a new eyewear licence worth at least $100 million in sales starting next year, its chief executive said on Friday." That's the word from a Reuter's post. "[Andrea] Guerra [Luxottica's CEO] told Reuters on Thursday the group expects to make at least 160 million euros from the Armani licence in 2014. Asked about possible acquisitions by an attendee at the investor day, Guerra said: 'We are pretty confident that our combination of organic growth and acquisitions will continue.' The company bought U.S. online optical showroom earlier this year. An analyst suggested it might now be looking to acquire Hawaii-based sunglasses maker Maui Jim or Danish eyewear manufacturer Lindberg." Read more.

New Eyewear from Charmant

"Charmant wearers hold high standards of excellence. Their fashion choices are contemporary, casual, and comfortable. For these modern urbanites, only the best optical frames will do," notes Midwest Lens. "Created from superior titanium materials, each Charmant Titanium frame is designed to enable a light and extremely comfortable fit. The end result is a perfect combination of style and substance." Read more.