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Life Lifters (282 posts)
Get a letter in the mail from a famous writer.
It's like Twilight for aspiring scientists! A pro-math, pro-science, pro-girl book series that everyone can get behind.
"She didn't seem like a wackadoo..." Guardian angels in every day life.
The secret of so-called overnight successes. (Hint: It has to do with crushing defeat.)
Dogs in bunny ears...Cats in bunny ears...Bunnies in...oh wait. The cutest Easter celebrations you've ever seen.
The Life-Lifter: A 108-year-old Holocaust survivor on how to deal with anything: "I look where it is good."
That's according to the classically trained, professional musician Adrian Anantawan, who happens to lack a right hand, when he and his parents decided that he should learn the violin it worked because “we came from the premise of ‘why not?’” And Anantawan thinks this is precisely what gave him the confidence to go on to become a skilled violinist who studied at Yale and has performed at the White House, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and Carnegie Hall.
Playing violin this well is an accomplishment for anyone, but in this case it's particularly amazing. Because Anantawan was born without his right hand, he plays the instrument with a special device designed just for him that he calls a "spatula." (You must see this video of Anantawan in action to see how this amazing device works -- and how effortless the music sounds.) The talented fellow told the Harvard Gazette that growing up different from those around him, finding the violin “was one of the first times I was accepted within a peer group, mainly because it’s how you sound; it’s not how you look. It’s how you express and communicate.” And so Anantawan has decided to pay it forward, using his talents to teach music to kids with disabilities.
I don't know what's most inspirational about this. The working with disabled kids? The persevering despite a profound disability? The cheery attitude Anantawan exudes? Or is it simply the idea that by forging ahead, powered by optimistic ignorance, anything is possible?
Legally Blind Kid Pitches a No-Hitter
The 60-Person Kidney Donation Chain
A Love Letter to the World
A lovely short film about the oldest piano shop in Paris -- and the dying art of craftsmanship.
Change the world with $20: How women are funding other women to start small businesses.
Yes, all your dreams are coming true...these pajamas are totally acceptable to wear in public.
Squirrel-kisses and shark-high-fives: 25 amazing (and incredibly timed) animal photographs.
Ryan Gosling, just stop being so perfect already! The "Hey Girl" hero saves a woman from being hit by a taxi.
The Life-Lifter: "I was in the food lines ... Now I have an opportunity to go back and give back." Post-detox, a Vancouver student creates art-therapy for people in need, like he once was.
From the department of "Oh, Wow": a woman with no flying experience lands a plane after the pilot (her husband) fatally collapsed.
"If you want to see into the hearts of other beings, your first task is to hear their stories." Exercises in empathy.
The most entertaining explanation of color theory ever.
Barbie does good: the new version of the doll, designed to help girls undergoing cancer treatments, will be donated to pediatric hospital wards.
"I don’t do anything to bring on dying. I live day by day." Wisdom from Alabama's oldest lawyer (and Harper Lee's sister).
The Life-Lifter: After feeling each others' absence for a lifetime, these twins finally found each other. Right around the corner.
Some photographs are almost too cute to even look at it. For example, this one.
Don't be the office-loud-sneezer: How to achoo with less volume.
A poet's take on getting good at love by looking outward.
It's official: everyone loves Pinterest. Even the president.
Who needs drawing paper? Amazing portraits drawn on vintage envelopes.
The Life-Lifter: "I am a good citizen, and I am very real." One famous writer's moving response to censorship.
18 questions that everyone's too afraid to ask
Salma Hayek's aha! moment: Discovering my true motivation
How 4 career changers found their calling
Singapore has one of the longest life expectancy rates in the world (84.96 for women and 79.53 for men), and this video from the Singapore Sports Council shows how some of the country's older citizens are spending their twilight years (keep watching: this tea tête-a-tête is just the beginning).
We love these guys--we're calling them the Singapore Globeshufflers--for reminding us that's it's not about how many miles you can travel throughout your life, but how many three-point shots you can sink along the way.
Find out Singapore's other secret to staying in shape...as well as fitness advice you can steal from four other countries.
With all the talk of technology's downsides (identity theft, bank accounts drained, airline reservations messed up...), good news from Watson: It's helping cure cancer (seriously).
One man, one pink tutu, a series of photographs. It sounds funny (and it is) but wait until you hear the bittersweet reason this man turned to the tutu.
18 instant vacations—breathtaking beaches, crashing waves, and serene vistas galore.
Everyday moments, caught in time: Billy Collins on the poetry in every day.
The Life-Lifter: A never-ending tribute to a soldier, and yet another reason to love our country.
out, being less of a control freak can make you happier. Let's all pledge to
let someone else do the laundry (even if they do it all wrong).
The Life-Lifter: Explore
the moon's surface on your lunch break.
The car, I realized, was from a local driving school. And then I saw the woman driving. She was probably 60 at the youngest, her hair covered with a headscarf, and she had a look on her face of sheer determination. She didn’t look scared, or embarrassed, or frantic, the way I would have surely felt were I driving not just the wrong way but the wrong, like, dimension. And something about her made me want to just jump for joy.
My irritation immediately melted away. This woman! She was doing it! She was learning to drive! It’s something most of us did without thinking twice (and without any sense of fear or danger) at age 15, a skill that now seems as ordinary as walking. And here was this woman, the world’s worst driver, inching her car towards an ill-fated parallel parking spot, concentrating so hard she didn’t even flinch when a taxi cab swerved around her. In that moment I loved that woman, and that she was learning to drive, and that all sorts of (very slow-paced) driving adventures lay ahead of her. We should all be so open to new ideas, new projects, new skills. Even if, at first, we really, really suck at them.
Here are some places to start:
7 Ways to Learn a New Skill
Learning for Fun