From Scooby Doo to Stranger Things: Making Halloween an Optical Treat

By Staff
Friday, October 11, 2019 1:42 PM NEW YORK—Halloween is, as far as I’m concerned, the perfect holiday. There’s no pressure, no big family events, no gifts to buy—nothing to do except wear a fun wig and eat free candy, no matter how old you are. Halloween as we know it today is about pure, unadulterated fun for all. And the best part? You can have that fun at work and at home. I’m not alone in my love for Halloween—according to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending in 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion, with shoppers saying they plan to spend an average of $86.27 this year. 

Talking Baseball, Eyewear and the World Series: Five Stories for October

By Mark Tosh
Friday, October 4, 2019 8:00 AM Spoiler alert: at the end of this story, we pick the likely winner of this year’s World Series. Hint, it won’t be the Red Sox. (Or the New York Mets.) But that’s getting ahead of the point here in this Today’s Read feature. Since it is October and World Series season, baseball seems like an appropriate topic to address. Also, it’s a perfect topic because almost everyone loves baseball and its lore, or at least a large group of us over the age of 40 still do.

Me and Roger Maris Hit 61

By Andy Karp
Friday, September 27, 2019 10:18 AM Having just returned from last week’s Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, I feel a kinship with legendary New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris. Like Maris, I hit 61 this year. That’s 61 Vision Expos, including both East and West. Granted, there are differences between Roger and me. It took me 32 years to hit my mark and he needed only one season to hit his record-breaking 61 home runs and surpass Babe Ruth ( it took Maris 162 games and Ruth did it in 154, hence the famous asterisk in the record books).

Some Easy Reading for a Saturday Morning

By Mary Kane
Friday, September 20, 2019 8:00 AM Every week, the VMail Weekend editors step beyond their usual roles as news reporters and bring you the Today’s Read, a mix of interesting and sometimes off-beat features that span the far corners of the vision world. Our aim is to inform and entertain by giving our readers a light, sometimes fun, sometimes unusual read to go with your Saturday morning Joe. So today, we present a compilation of some of our most favorite Today’s Reads.

ECPs, Educators, Influencers and Brands Get Excited for Vision Expo West

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 13, 2019 10:00 AM Twice a year, Vision Expo takes over our Instagram feeds. During and after the show, attendees and exhibitors alike take to social media to share their experiences—and this year, many attendees are sharing their excitement for the show beforehand. There’s a lot to share in anticipation of Expo—Vision Monday will host VM LIVE: Smart Solutions at the Speed of Sight on September 18, and The Modern Lab on September 19, an event in collaboration with LabTalk. So, as we start packing our suitcases and figure out how many pairs of glasses it’s socially acceptable to wear over the course of three days, here's a look at how some in the optical community are gearing up for Expo West.

Looking to the Future of Contact Lens Development With BCLA Medal Winner Lyndon Jones

By Mark Tosh
Friday, September 6, 2019 8:00 AM It’s been a busy 2019 for the contact lens sector of eyecare. Alcon once again became an independent company (following its spinoff from Novartis) and Johnson and Johnson debuted Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses, a first-of-its-kind contact lens that can sense lighting conditions. 

Just in Time for Labor Day: The Outlook for Optical’s Union Workers

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 30, 2019 8:00 AM Like many of you, I’m kicking back and enjoying some downtime on this Labor Day weekend. We can thank labor unions for creating this annual three-day holiday, which pays tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of American workers and has been a federal holiday since 1894. Organized labor in the U.S. has suffered major setbacks over the past few decades, but unions still remain a powerful force in many industries, as well as in the public sector. Yet among the millions of people employed in the optical industry, relatively few are union members. 

How to Dispose of Your Contacts and Still Stay Friendly to the Environment

By Mary Kane
Friday, August 23, 2019 2:49 PM I’ve been a contact lens wearer for over 40 years. I started out wearing contacts that lasted several months and eventually graduated to daily disposable lenses. I cringe to think of how many lenses and blister packs I’ve thrown away over the years. So I have to ask myself—is there something more I could be doing when it comes to disposing of those used CLs. In a word, the answer is yes.

Back to School Lessons on Children's Eye Health

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 4:01 PM NEW YORK—Remember the feeling of starting a new school year? Kissing summer goodbye was always a bit of a drag, but there’s something about the crisp, fresh start of a brand new school year that still makes me excited. There’s so much potential in a new year—so many classes to enroll in, friends to make, lockers to decorate, stuff to learn—that it feels impossible not to associate the start of the semester with a bright, lively future. As parents, kids and teachersgear up for school, the optical community is getting involved as well.

Read Any Good Books Lately? Asking for a Friend

By Mark Tosh
Friday, August 9, 2019 8:00 AM What are you reading this summer? Well, in some circumstances, this can be a loaded question. If a work colleague or even your boss asks you about your beach reading list, it’s probably best to avoid talking up anything from the science fiction, romance or sports categories on Amazon. Better to choose one of The New York Times’ bestsellers in the business category, something like “Dare to Lead” or even Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers.”

Thinking of Dive Masks… and Diver Dan

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 6:00 AM I went scuba diving once. It was a free lesson. In a pool. I guess that doesn’t really count. But it was fun strapping on the air tank and diving mask and submerging myself for five minutes without having to come up for air. I wished I could have seen a bit better, though. Anyone who has ever gone scuba diving or snorkeling knows that being able to see clearly underwater is essential, especially in the ocean.

The Open Office Experiment—Driven to Distraction or Creating Collaboration?

By Mary Kane
Friday, July 26, 2019 5:00 AM If you were to Google "open office spaces" you’d be bombarded by articles declaring the concept is basically the worst thing ever to happen to corporate America. The biggest knock on open office designs is distracted workers. Apparently, employees are so worked up about open office settings their stress levels go up, their productivity goes down and collaboration with co-workers (the one thing the open design promised to foster) goes out the window. And apparently, the top workplace distractions involve not just where you work, but who you work with, according to a recent feature from

When Optical Went to the Moon

By Ted Gioia
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:00 AM Fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 mission brought the first astronauts to the Moon—and it’s surprising how many optical innovations were involved in that historic expedition. In fact, the whole space race relied on ongoing support from some of the leading eyewear companies in the world. This anniversary is now being celebrated by the Optical Heritage Museum in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The Museum draws on the archives of American Optical, now part of Carl Zeiss Vision.

Social Media Helps #NationalSunglassesDay Become Worldwide Sensation

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, July 12, 2019 10:00 AM NEW YORK—Every year, at the tail end of June, sunglasses take over social media. In 2018, The Vision Council’s National Sunglasses Day was a social media sensation, amassing over 1 billion online, social media, and broadcast media impressions across the board. According to The Vision Council, #NationalSunglassesDay was a trending topic on Twitter throughout the day on June 27, 2019.

With Women’s Soccer in the Spotlight, It’s a Good Time to Consider Eye Safety in All Sports

By Mark Tosh
Friday, July 5, 2019 1:08 PM NEW YORK—With a second straight World Cup soccer championship in plain sight, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) will be the center of attention for many tomorrow as they take on The Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup final. The game is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (EDT). The U.S. advanced to the final with a 2-1 victory over England on Tuesday, while the Dutch defeated Sweden, 1-0, in extra time the following day. The Netherlands, seen as a team on the rise and playing well in this World Cup, are playing in the women’s final for the first time in the team’s history.