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Amy Shearn (558 posts)
The findings, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggest that people who consume sweet foods are more likely to help someone afterward, and are more likely to be agreeable and friendly than people who prefer bitter or spicy foods. And, interestingly, one study revealed that people believed strangers who liked sweets were also nicer. Huffington Post has more on the story and how the metaphor of sweetness affects our perceptions.
I plan to celebrate this great news by very nicely gorging myself on Halloween candy in a very friendly manner. And to make sure the whole process stays very sweet, I'll stick to the ethical treats Good suggests in its fair trade Halloween candy list.
Go ahead, be sweet:
Grownup versions of childhood treats
Cristina Ferrare's delicious desserts
Vanilla that's anything but, well, vanilla
An Oscar-winning actress gets a new modeling job. At age 64.
"If it brings a moment of happiness or restores health, then for the small amount of time that image is out there, it serves its purpose": Navajo artist fights climate change with graffiti.
The "Change-Back-Attack": How to deal when the people in your life can't accept the new you.
The Life-Lifter: This young man is living with a fatal wasting disease. And he's really funny.
I used to have the perfect coffee cup. Just looking at it could make me relax, as if ingesting a cappuccino by osmosis. Then one morning my toddler hurled a sippy cup into the sink where the lovely mug was serving up a soapy brew and the thing shattered. My response was not mature. My toddler examined my face and said, "I'm a little sad that you're sad."
The appealing concept of being able to communicate with your 16-year-old self has been bundled into book form with the forthcoming Dear Me, which collects celebrities' letters to themselves. Facsimiles of the letters are up at the Guardian (check out Hugh Jackman's high school yearbook photo and John Water's scrawly handwriting!). Scrolling through reveals bits of wisdom, both funny and sage. Jim Belushi tells himself, "You really don't know the difference between positive and negative attention, do you?" Stephen King warns himself, "Stay away from recreational drugs." Kathleen Turner cautions herself, "Do not let your sense of humor, of the absurd, slip. Try to remember that what is happening at the moment is only that—a moment." Gillian Anderson writes, awesomely, "Follow your dreams not your boyfriends!" Amen!
There are a couple "Back to the Future" moments, too—Hugh Jackman writes "PS Buy shares in Google when they are invented!" and Alice Cooper notes, "I think coffee might really catch on, maybe call it Star something..." Oh, you guys.
What do you wish you could tell your teenaged self? Tell us in the comments...
Write a letter...
to see yourself more clearly
to the editor
to a US military hero
Philadelphia says goodbye to the greatest basketball player you never heard of.
Crazy, sexy, cool (really!): parents before they were parents.
"Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you." -your bill at the Karma Kitchen.
Don't have time to sleep? Actually, you don't have time not to sleep.
For your daily dose of "awwww": these pets don't let their disabilities get them down.
The Life-Lifter: If only all 13 year olds were like this one, who performed a Herculean feat to support homeless kids.
Now, for the first time in 25 years, the Girl Scouts of America have updated their badge system. Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts told USA Today that in focus groups, "girls asked for more challenge and more creativity. They asked for fun with purpose."
Yes, times are changing. New badges include public policy, website design, locavore, and digital movie making. This story in USA Today features images of the new badges. The totally-80s-sounding Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge has been replaced with a Science of Style badge, which encourages girls to learn about the chemistry of sunscreen and nanotechnology that's used to make fabrics.
Then there is the new “Science of Happiness” section in the Scout's handbook. Created with input from developmental psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, this badge helps girls develop the skills they'll need to survive in a crazy, stressful world. According to Niehaus, the badge is meant to "teach girls how to find happiness in their own lives."
Earn your own happiness badge (so to speak):
5 things happy people do
Find the authentic joy within
Choose a good mood
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by...“He had faith in us, and that is why he belongs on this Mall: Because he saw what we might become."
–President Obama, at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial.
“My grandmother gave me a bird book, and I got to like their colors. I said, ‘Jesus, a little blackbird with red wings’...In a way, that little bird seems to be responsible for all of my paintings.”
–Painter Ellsworth Kelly, in conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Then, just a few years ago, I realized that everyone feels secretly fraudulent. It’s the feeling of being an adult.”
–Miranda July, in the New Yorker.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
am not ashamed to admit that I recently rewatched (for the 90th time) the 1998 time-capsule that is “You’ve
Got Mail." It may have originally been a sweet
love story, but nowadays this film is basically an hour-and-a-half-long deja
vu. Remember your computer telling you “You’ve Got Mail”? Remember dial-up? Remember
when phones were for making phone calls? Remember when big-box bookstores
seemed like the corporate enemy and not themselves a dying breed, a last bastion of print media? And on this
most recent viewing, I noticed Meg Ryan continually making a funny motion not much seen
these days: checking her wristwatch.
A wristwatch! I had to have one, and now thanks to a recent birthday and a nice husband, I do. I specifically wanted one with numbers, since years of digital faces have rendered my time-telling skills shaky. Apparently a good ladies’ watch with numbers is a hard thing to find. But find one he did, and over the past few days, I don’t think I’m exaggerating that much when I say my life has changed.
Now when I want to know what time it is, I look at my watch. Its face stares back at me, guilelessly reporting the hour, minute, nothing more. I find that I look at my iPhone much less frequently, and when I do, it’s with a particular purpose. I hadn’t even realized how often I pulled out my phone to check the time and then got distracted by a text, or if there wasn’t a text, then wondering why and perhaps sending a text, and then while I was there checking email, and having a look at Facebook (He's getting married! Crazy!), and then fending off my kid's grab at the phone to play "gamies"... by the end of this 15-minute time check, of course, I was no closer to knowing what time it was.
watch is a revelation, a reminder to do one thing at a time, an easy way to be more mindful every day, every hour. It is such a
foreign pleasure to have moments of not multitasking. If a watch evokes this much low-fi joy, I can only imagine how zen I'd be if I went back to waiting for a dial-up internet connection. (I kid, Time Warner! Don't do that to me!)
ways to slow down and stop multitasking:
He tapped his finger to his temple and then prescribed, with the confidence of a doctor diagnosing a common ailment, "Ninotchka!" and hopped off his perch to find the DVD.
Sure, I could always stream something instantly on my iThing of choice. But while advancing technology can save time in this way, it still can't cure a condition that was generated in the hey dey of the video rental store experience and has followed us into the Internet age: Movie Rental Paralysis.
You know the feeling. You step into the stacks and immediately your list of whatever movies you wanted to see evaporates and you can't remember a single movie you ever wanted to watch in your life. 20 minutes later, you're sweaty and going cross-eyed and whoever you're renting a movie with wants to kill you. Eventually you escape with a copy of some dopey new release you never wanted to see but that they have a million copies of, and you return home feeling slightly defeated, and like the evening's sense of possibilities has been squelched. Having limitless movies on demand only exacerbates Movie Rental Paralysis, transporting the psychotic episode to the privacy of your own home. This is one condition only a professional can help with.
This same know-it-all (I'm kidding, Joe) video store owner informed me that October 15th is
International Independent Video Store Day. So this October 15th, join the fight against Movie Rental Paralysis. Go to your local video rental shop, and ask the oracle (I mean clerk) what movie will cure what ails you. You'll support a small business owner, and you might just find the movie that changes your life. Or ....perks up your evening.
Further reading for film buffs:
Memorable movie quotes
Plan the perfect movie night
This may be an unoriginal thought, but it's true: being a parent is hard. You worry. You worry that something will happen to your kid. You worry that the world will make your kid sad. Then today I read a story that made me think: True, but also, maybe your kid will someday make the world happy.
Doug Wells is a 15-year-old Little League pitcher who recently achieved an athletic accomplishments many professional baseball players can only dream of: he pitched a no-hitter. Pretty cool.
Oh, and also: Doug is legally blind.
As an infant, the New Jersey boy was diagnosed with glaucoma, and he has undergone surgeries his whole life to restore his sight, none of which was worked. According to Today, "When he pitches, Doug says his vision is blurry but he can vaguely see the catcher's mitt. When he bats, he only sees the ball a moment before it reaches him." Disability? Doug doesn't seem hampered in the least. (Did I mention he also plays football?)
Reading about Doug, I thought of his parents, of how they must have felt upon learning their baby had a vision problem, of all the worry they have undergone. How lucky (or is it luck?) that their child has seemingly adapted to what the world has given him. And what a good reminder for the rest of us to make the best of the bodies we live in, the circumstances that have chosen us. Now, no more excuses: play ball!
(Read the whole story for Doug's little brother's endearing reaction to the news.)
8 people who made their dreams realities
14 inspiring stories of overcoming the odds