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Amy Shearn (558 posts)
The candy, the costumes, the pumpkin goop: who needs it? This year, outsource Halloween prep.
Why the brain is divided? In this adorable cartoon, neuroscience gets animated,
The ingredients of a life-long friendship: good conversation and luscious desserts.
The Life Lifter: How screenwriter Miranda July got inspired by the Penny Saver. (You may start seeing Craig's List in a whole new light.)
Let me see if I have this right: You start thinking about dinner every morning at 8 am. You decide upon a healthful, tasty meal your whole family loves. After work, you sashay into your local grocers' for fresh ingredients, chatting with the butcher about the right cut of meat, exchanging quips with the green grocer about the kale. Or wait, no—you bike home with a perfect baguette jutting out of your basket. Then follow happy hours of graceful food preparation, glass of wine in hand, and some relaxed dining. Bon appetit!
No? You say that it's more like microwaving chicken nuggets for the kids and then eating their cold leftovers? I can't even imagine. But if I too were a time-crunched cooker who saw food preparation as just another in a long line of household chores, I think I would take heart in Saveur's psyche-saving Recipe Comix.
Every week an artist draws a recipe for the site, and the results are funny, sad, beautiful, and delicious. Cartoonist Laura Park contributes a hilarious comic entitled "Let's Slap in a Pan;" Malaka Gharib's Egyptian breakfast looks bright, cheery, and way better than cereal. There's some great cooking advice here, from the right way to hard-boil an egg to dinner party tips (from woodland creatures, but still). Most of all, though, I appreciated the surge of joy that came from reading through the comics. Oh, right! Cooking can be fun and creative! I'd almost forgotten! This might be just what I needed to escape the chicken nugget rut and get cooking.
Click through all the Recipe Comix at Saveur.
More foodie inspirations:
O's top ten recipes
How to host a poetry dinner party
Eat like an orange-clog-wearing Italian chef
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by..
"All I want is for her to live, I don't care if she injured or not. It doesn't matter, I just want her alive."
-Turkish air force Lieutenant Onur Eryasar, who saved his fiancee from Sunday's deadly earthquake.
"The mind is like a flower: it needs constant nurturing."
-Gary M., New York Public Library patron.
"I think each person has to find their own sort of way and journey."
-Keris Myrick, on learning how to live with schizophrenia.
"Isn't that what mothers do? They are supposed to protect their children from the pains of their lives."
-Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee on her family's surprise at the events detailed in her book.
I’m having a hard time with Halloween decorations this year, because I keep getting quizzed about them by an inquisitive 2-year-old. “Oh,” I found myself explaining the other day, “That’s a, um, spooky kind of witch-scarecrow-thing, with a jack-o-lantern head.” In response to queries about these creatures, where they live, what they say, what they consume, I can only shrug and offer, “They’re not real. Just pretend.” But then my toddler asks, "How does everyone know about the same pretend creatures?" To this, I have no satisfying response.
In part, because I want to minimize the scariness of the holiday, and in part because there’s something appealing about the idea that weird magical creatures might exist. When faced with the specter of werewolves and the Loch Ness Monster and yetis, I channel Fox Mulder: I want to believe. So I was excited to read that Bigfoot, aka the Yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman,has been proven to exist in Siberia. That's from the NEWS, people! According to the Guardian, “a team of scientists say they are "95%" sure that Russia's wintry expanse is home to the mythical yeti, otherwise known as the abominable snowman.” The researchers say they have discovered a cave with a cozy Yeti nest inside, as well as footprints, hairs, and twisted branches which they claim are Yeti territorial markings. Animal Planet has more on the story, including a great gloss of Bigfoot sightings throughout history.
I love that these Russian scientists are completely serious. I love the idea that Earth contains within it mythical beasts, eluding our reach. I love a news story with a dose of magic in it. It's such a welcome escape from the mundane grown-up world of bad economies and wars and laundry piles. Unfortunately — wouldn’t you know it — there are no pictures or videos of the Yeti, but Discovery has a fun video about the creature here. No word yet on the Wolfman.
But lately the unlikeliest people keep going and achieving athletic highs, I'm pretty sure with the intent of making me feel like a lazy bum. First there was the pregnant woman who gave birth hours after running the Chicago marathon. Then there was the blind kid who pitched a no-hitter, and the deaf motocross champion. But! People! My knees!
Now there's this: the 100-year-old-man who ran the Toronto Marathon. Are you kidding me? Finishing at 8 hours, 11 minutes, he wasn't even the last to finish. According to NPR, the Indian-born British citizen Fauja Singh took up running at age 80 and trains by running about 10 miles a day. The Guinness World Record holder runs to raise money for local charities, including one benefiting poor children. According to his trainer, his secret is a diet that consists mostly of tea, toast, and curry. Um, what's in the tea?
NPR has more, including a smile-inducing video of Singh crossing the finish line. GO FAUJA!!
Decode your exercise excuses
The excuse-busting workout plan
Seriously, grab a hanky. Here is the story of a woman who sacrificed herself so that her child could live. Stacie Crimm, of Ryan, Oklahoma, reportedly " laughed and cried all at once" when she discovered she was going to have a baby at age 41—she'd been told she couldn't become pregnant. A few months later Crimm started complaining to her brother of strange aches and pains. Scans revealed that she had neck and head cancer, but she worried that chemotherapy would damage her unborn child and refused treatment. Soon the tumor reached her brain; Crimm collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, where they delivered her tiny, 2-pound, 1-oz baby girl. Although Crimm was in and out of consciousness, and little Dottie May needed intensive care, a sympathetic nurse at the hospital worked to get the baby to her mother, moving her in a capsule-like ICU, so that Crimm could hold her baby in her arms. She did, just that once. A few days later she died.
In accordance to her mother's wishes, the baby is being raised by Crimm's brother and his wife, who were able to take her home last week. NewsOK has the whole story, including photos of the irresistable Dottie May.
How about that nurse, right? Agi Beo, for making a mother's dying wish come true, here's to you. The word "heroine" doesn't even begin to cut it.
More stories of everyday heros:
The untold story of the 9/11 boatlifts
Small acts of kindness to try today
People who make a difference
Well, it’s certainly a touchy subject for a certain Texas actress, who is suing Amazon for (cue Dr. Evil voice) $1 million dollars – for listing her age on the popular site IMDb. According to the suit, this “Jane Doe” is concerned about “revealing to the public that the plaintiff is many years older than she looks...In the entertainment industry, youth is king. If one is perceived to be 'over-the-hill,' i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work."
The way this story is being presented around the Internet (I’ve seen it posted several times) is much in line with my initial reaction. There’s an air of “Silly actress! Why is she being so vain?” But the more I think about, the more I wonder who’s really being silly here.
The inimitable Lisa Kogan on how to handle a bad (very bad) day: 3 ways to stop kvetching and start enjoying life.
The joy of pen on paper. When was
the last time you actually wrote something down?
New research suggest I might have been on to something (had I been able to work up the nerve to go near an actual canine).
According to the journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science, 10-year-olds have a natural talent for understand what dogs are trying to say. A study revealed that children (aged 6, 8, and 10) and adults listened to different kinds of recorded dog barks. The 10-year-olds could best categorize the barks as fearful/lonely, angry, or playful.
Discovery News has an interesting run-down of the long relationship between dogs and people--and the way animals "eavesdrop." It does not, alas, include how you can communicate to your 10-year-old who's begging for a dog why she cannot have a pet.
More reasons to love your pets:
What we learn from our dogs
How having a kitten helps kids
Life lessons from a hungry beagle
"I make tart from blackberries, not calls": Living the unplugged life.
This eleven-year-old has a million dollar idea. You can help make it a reality.
Commute times. Green space. Friends. A new report reveals what really makes people happy.
A GPS for career paths: 4 steps to getting your life on track.
The Life-Lifter: After losing one of their company to a roadside bomb, marines work with a New Hampshire shop to pay it forward, sending care packages to others in combat zones.