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June 2011 (136 posts)
In a world where you have opportunities to check yourself out at every turn—in a store window, a rearview mirror or a particularly shiny piece of cutlery—it's hard to imagine not seeing your reflection for a day, let alone a month. But that's exactly what Marianne Power did—she describes her experiment in the Daily Mail as "mirror detox."
[Read more about why it's worth it to take a vacation from your face]
If having the wind in your hair and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" cranked up on the radio is more appealing than baggage fees and stripping down to your socks for airport security, then an all-American road trip might be your best bet this summer.
But before you take off, you might want to know that hitting the highway might put at least half of you at risk—researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, discovered that 52 percent of melanoma cases and 53 percent of Merkel cell carcinoma cases occurred on the left side of the body, or your driving side (as reported by Time.com).
Rolling the windows up doesn't necessarily keep you protected, says Heidi A. Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "UVB rays are blocked by the glass, but UVA rays still get through unless your windows have a special UVA coating." Bottom line: Even if you're not a truck driver on the road 365 days a year, before you buckle up, slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 during the spring and summer months (SPF 15 is adequate for the rest of the year), says Waldorf. Look for UVA protective ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone or mexoryl.
[Next, how choices you make can affect the acne you get]
Sing-alongs. Color wars. A crush on the dreamy, older counselor. Just a few of the many things you might remember about summer camp. And then there was the inevitable end, when the bonfire smell would be washed out of your clothes, but the one thing that remained to remind you of the close bonds you made with your bunkmates was a friendship bracelet. Revive the tradition and gift your current circle with the grown-up versions we found on Ettika.com (they range in price from $26 to $36 per bracelet)—some of the designs even incorporate crystals and charms that you'd be hard-pressed to find in the arts-and-crafts cabin. While tradition states that you're supposed to wear a friendship bracelet until it falls apart, these come with a bead that allows you to slip them on and off minus the scissors. We won't tell anyone if you temporarily break the bonds of friendship for a Monday meeting with your boss.
While good friends will forever be the best accessories, what do you think about these? Would you wear them?
[After the jump, the explanation behind the study, plus five things that are comforting to touch that are not George Clooney]
Imagine grocery shopping at your local megastore, reaching down into the assortment of dented, limp red onions and pulling out an envelope with the words "This letter is for you" written on it in loopy blue ink. Would you leave it there because you might not be the real "you?" Would you open it on the spot? Or would you look both ways, then scurry off with it hidden in your purse to read later?
This spring, Brooklyn artist Liz Medina has been dropping off these anonymous missives around as part of her Eternally Yours project. She tucks them into bushes and weaves them into the spokes of bikes. She hides them in old antique cannons and on the shelves of toy stores and—just yesterday—in the bill of her restaurant check.
Each envelope contains three things: (1) a love letter that asks how you have been and tells you how wonderful you are, which you are invited to respond to, (2) a drawing that you are invited to add to artistically by drawing or painting or writing on it, (3) a prepaid envelope to send your contributions back.
"I'm trying to address the breakdown in traditional communication, such as with letters and writing," says Medina. "I want to ignite a small spark in people's lives, for them to feel a flash of joy as they go back and forth from work—if not some mystery."
Eternally Yours volunteers now hide letters in states as far flung as California, Texas and Iowa. Medina herself has tucked over 500 on her home turf of Brooklyn. Her favorite response back from a reader was a tiny scrap of torn white paper with the words "try harder" written by manual typewriter. But over 20 other examples are posted on her site.
"I went to art school to paint and draw," she says, "I thought I would spend my life simply perfecting those skills. But when I moved to New York, I decided to act on all the crazy ideas that I think about but never do. I mean, why not, if it makes people happy?"
Her next project is a 20-foot-tall inflatable gumball machine.
Our response: Why not, if makes people happy?
Tell about your love letters—the sweetest, the strangest, the one you wish you'd written...
State and county fairs seem to serve as laboratories for fried foods. Remember Oprah and Gayle's trip to the State Fair of Texas? Take a trip down a crispy, powdered sugar–dusted memory lane with this slide show of some of the fair's most bizarre fried foods.
Imagine my dismay when I
read in this month's O magazine that jet dryers actually increase the amount of bacteria on users' hands—it's because the air inside isn't exactly sterile. Even worse, the dryers blast bacteria all over the restroom (and presumably, those inside), "spewing germs more than six feet." After reading this, the jet dryer morphed in my mind from a
futuristic time saver to a potential weapon of germ warfare. O writer Ramona Emerson explains that the superiority of jet dryers is actually a myth. The hand-drying
researcher whose work she cites says that paper towels are more sanitary, but this still doesn't solve my eco-dilemma.
Here's an idea: We could take a cue from the Japanese, who have taken hand drying (among many other things) to a new level. Many public washrooms in Japan lack towels or dryers, and it is common for Japanese people to carry small, personal hand towels or handkerchiefs (okay for drying your hands, but not for blowing your nose). The towels are so ubiquitous that there's even a museum dedicated to them. By tucking my own little reusable towel in my purse, I'll at least be able to keep my germs to myself. But I admit: I'll miss the roar of the jets.
When it comes to fashion trends, we all make mistakes. Some uh-oh moment flashbacks: harem pants, retro tube tops, the head-to-toe designer logo trend. This summer’s jumpers might not be the easiest thing to wear, what with the bra problem (to wear or not to wear?) and shorts that are just a tad too short. But jumper are fun and flirty, and ideal for summer bike riding or...a tennis match?
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed the jumper that Venus Williams wore at Wimbledon describing it as “open in the back and generally unwieldy” and remarking that “it brought to mind togas, or hospital gowns.” Then and only then did the paper mention her 6-3, 6-1 victory over Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan.
Not to be picky, because Williams clearly dresses to get attention, but does the message for women so often have to be: clothes first, achievement second? This woman has won 43 major tennis singles titles, 18 doubles titles, and earned over 27 million in prize money. She can wear a naked-looking bloomers if she wants. Oh wait....she already did that.
The jumper looked pretty elegant to us, except from the back where things got a little low cut (note to self: remember to look behind you in the dressing room). But at the end of the day, women who know how to risk are usually women who know how to win.
Besides, a certain other woman close to our heart has risked a little fashion ire—and lived to laugh about it.