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T (1648 posts)
Finally I discovered the locus of these zany strollers: the no-kill animal shelter nearby, which uses volunteer dog walkers to exercise animals awaiting adoption. Of course! No wonder the people were so psyched. There was the whiff of infatuation about them; the pure satisfaction of doing a good thing. The volunteers, in the simplest way, were being a blessing to those dogs, and it was lending them a glow that transcended the orneriness of their assigned mutts.
Today, another one: a 20-something guy with a rowdy lab mix. The dog spotted something -- a squirrel, or a rabbit, or a Ghost of Milkbone Past -- and took off sprinting. The guy struggled to hold the dog back and I thought, "I hear that, brother, I know what you're going through." I've had dog walks like that, but I've also had life moments like that -- when it's all zooming away and you're trying desperately to hold it back. Then the guy gave the dog a big, goofy grin, and did what we should probably all do more more often: he took off running. Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed like the man and the dog shared a knowing look, and then, barking and laughing, they raced down the street.
Insanely Nice Things You Can Say to Anybody
Making Joy a Goal
In 2010, eight years after Carson sold his trash company, an artist friend in the billboard industry mentioned that the massive ads, removed from their boards, made great drop cloths for painting. The wheels in Carson's head began to turn. He found a few billboards for sale, and put out feelers to friends in the agriculture and construction industries to see if they had any use for them. Thanks to his intervention, the billboards were reborn as tarps to cover hay and building materials. "We quickly ran out," says Carson, who was so encouraged that he started reaching out to more industries—from bowling pin manufacturers to poultry farmers—to inquire about purchasing hard-to-recycle items.
Soon he'd founded Repurposed Materials, a company that turns would-be trash into valuable commodities. Torn-down billboards become pond liners, projection screens, even makeshift Slip 'N Slides. Synthetic turf from football fields is refashioned into cushioning for egg-laying chickens. And when one customer intuited that street-sweepers' brushes, stood on end, could be back scratchers for livestock, Carson sold two to the Bronx Zoo for its rhinoceros pen. "We're helping industries pool their knowledge," he says. "And our customers spend far less than they would buying similar products new."
Carson now spends his days devouring trade magazines and visiting businesses to examine what they're throwing away. "This is my second foray into the waste stream of America," he says with a laugh. "Round one, I was burying things in the landfill. Round two, I'm trying to keep them out."
In an approximately one-by-two-foot box, Elly MacKay constructs tiny, delicately detailed scenes—mermaids frolicking, a child's hand shadow puppets coming to life, a skulk of foxes traversing the woods—out of little more than paper and imagination. Once these soft-focus flights of fancy are arranged to her liking, MacKay carefully lights them and experiments with various camera filters and lenses to produce an effect of dreamy immediacy in the resulting photograph. "I try to make the work feel intimate, like you're inside it," she says.
MacKay begins each diorama by layering parchment paper, dollhouse wallpaper, Yupo paper (a synthetic, semitranslucent material), or Mylar against the backdrop of the box; she might use several sheets for an opaque nightscape, but only a few for a glowing daylight scene. Then MacKay sketches images—a cherub, a sailboat, an endless sea—with a vintage calligraphy pen, colors them with ink, cuts them out, and carefully hooks these shapes into the diorama using wires and adhesives. Once the stage is set, "I usually take about 50 pictures," she says, "each only subtly different, and then choose the one I like best."
As a teenager, MacKay was fascinated by Victorian paper toys—tunnel books, zoetropes, acrobats that tumble down a slope—and by the age of 15 had begun creating dioramas that adopted the same colorful, playful aesthetic. By 16 she was preparing for a degree in art studies. "In university the attitude was like, You have to stop doing this stuff! It's silly, childish." But giving birth to her daughter, Lily, in 2008 and son, Koen, three years later, only solidified MacKay's love of the nostalgic world of childhood. "Sharing their new experiences is so inspiring," she says, "and capturing that feels like real magic."
Okay, so maybe that's not always the case. And even being acclaimed as a genius (by your artistic community, by your mother, whoever) doesn't usually come with mundane perks like health insurance. Enter the brilliance that is upstate New York's O+ Festival.
Now in its third year, the O+ festival is, in the words of co-founder Alexandra Marvar, "a super-fun, weekend-long party, and one small community's band-aid solution to inaccessible healthcare for artists and musicians." Musicians and artists barter their services for free dental work, physical therapy, eye exams, and other medical services they would otherwise not have access to. It's a lovely way to connect different sectors of a small town, and it's also a creative, DIY solution to the country's current health care crisis. Even non-performing participants of the festival glean healthful benefits, with workshops on yoga and nutrition. It's not exactly drunken head-banging, but okay, it sounds like a pretty fun way to spend a weekend -- and actually feel better afterwards.
Visit the O+ Festival official site to learn more, and, just possibly, to start thinking creatively about sources of healthcare in your own life...
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Dr Oz. Starts a Record-Breaking Free Clinic
Its new Botanicals collection comes in three scents—Fig & Bamboo, Vetiver & Cardamom, and Coriander & Mandarin—and consists of seven body-pampering treats (from a rich sugar butter scrub to a moisturizing soufflé) the likes of which you might expect to find in a thoroughly modern spa rather than an old-timey apothecary.
I especially like the delicate fragrance of the hydrating Coriander & Mandarin Hand Crème and Body Lotion ($16 and $26; caswellmassey.com).
BuzzFeed, how did you manage to crystallize this beautiful, kleenex-box-obliterating love story in just the right way? For anyone doubting the power of love, or the strength of the human spirit, or just looking to add some heart-swelling into the day...here is the love story of Taylor Morris and his girlfriend Danielle Kelly in 22 pictures.
This story has been all over the Internet, but in case you've missed it: Taylor Morris is a 23-year-old Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal Tech from Iowa, who was injured in Afghanistan last May. He is now one of the few surviving quadruple amputees in the world. In the 5 months since his horrific accident, Morris has already learned to walk on prosthetic legs and use prosthetic arms and hands. Now, I don't think anyone would call this guy lucky, but he does have a really, super-amazingly-devoted girlfriend who has been at his side throughout his astounding, doctor-shocking recovery and readjustment to life. You know the lady who is carrying him on her back in some of those pictures? Yeah, that's her. (Just think about how young these people are. 23!) So anyway, you can learn more about this amazing duo (and donate money to help them out) here and here.
Then you can watch this video of them dancing together. Don't forget to scrape your heart up off the floor when you're done.Read More:
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Francine Prose has a thoughtful take on the subject in the New York Review of Books. She writes about the recent Marina Abramović show, The Artist is Present, at New York's Museum of Modern Art, in which the artist sat at a table and invited viewers to sit with her and look into her eyes. I know, I know: it sounds like a joke of contemporary art, a loopy concept designed to make you say, "Huh? That's art?" Prose thought so too when she saw the performance in person. But upon reflection, she writes, "Somehow it had escaped my notice that sitting across from Abramović in the museum atrium was, for some, a quasi-religious occasion. As the film carefully records, people wept, and responsive tears welled up in Abramović’s eyes." The moving aspect of the art, in this case, was not a show of technical skill, nor a representation of a beautiful sight. It was the moment of connection, the nexus of the personal feeling with the public event.
But if you've never been moved to tears by a work of visual art (I have to confess, I don't think I have),you are not alone: Prose is sympathetic to the difficulties of connecting to a painting in a museum room full of fellow tourists. Still, she reminds us that visual art, even if it seems strange, like Abramović's work, or impenetrably abstract, like the colorful paintings of Mark Rothko, is often about communicating emotion. In the end, Prose asks why so many viewers found Abramović's work so moving, and answers herself: "This is the moment in which we live. Alienated, unmoored, we seek our salvation, one by one, from the artist who brings us the comforting news: I see you. I weep when you weep. The mystery, and the miracle, is that you exist."
An Artist's Journey into Self-Discovery
Why We Love Songs That Make Us Cry
When Mack opened her suitcase 10 hours later, in Florida, there was Bob-bob, "a little shaken but still purring," according to The Orlando Sentinel. You have to love a happy ending like that. But you also have to love the video on the Sentinel's site, where Ethel and her daughter discuss Bob-bob's adventure, adding that he was never the smartest cat. Well, who needs common sense when you have such good luck? After all, Bob-bob made it through the airline's security checks, X-rays and all. Think about that the next time you get stopped by security for having a slightly-not-teensy-enough bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag.
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