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July 2011 (137 posts)
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale today...
by Alethea Black
The story that won our hearts: A woman who suspects her partner is having a long-distance affair pins her hopes on a birthday gift that demonstrates that she knows him better than anybody. (And boy, does she succeed!)
The title we'll never forget: "The Only Way Out Is Through"
The character we'd like to run away with: The divorced gentleman who falls in love with a woman with laryngitis, and woos her by writing notes.
The quote that changed our lives: "Only then, as she stared at the rows of book covers, at the pictures of people laughing or embracing or crying, all caught in the heroic struggles of their lives, did a small thought occur to her with such simplicity she almost said it out loud: 'I am afraid to try.'"
Looking for a good book? Discover all 27 new summer must-reads on our list. Or, take one of these nine paperbacks to the beach.
Monday is too stressful. Wednesday is already hump day. But Tuesday is "you" day: a day when you have the energy to do—or plan—something fresh and unexpected that might just turn your whole week around.
So the Fourth and the firecrackers are over. Let's keep the national love going:
Take the time to teach your kids about the branches of the U.S. government. Play some civics games—everything from mock Supreme Court battles to president for the day—with your kids.
In America, there are only six women governors and 17 women senators. You can take a more active role in getting women into political office with these suggestions on how to become involved at Off the Sidelines.
Get savvy about your finances. Find out how much you're really spending on—or saving for—your child's or your grandchild's college. Check out the Department of Education's new College Affordability and Transparency Center site.
The royals hit the USA! Feel the Kate Mania with shots of Kate and kids.
Get ready for the next HUGE holiday to come. Celebrate July 7, Chocolate Day...without adding post-celebration curves: Whip up Bob Greene's decadent Healthy Chocolate Pudding.
National Bikini Day has arrived. In celebration (really, we found a reason to celebrate), we bring you the future of the classic two-piece: The first 3-D printed bikini.
The founders of Continuum Fashion, Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang, refer to their company as part fashion label, part experimental design lab. Together (with the help of a computer and a 3-D laser printer) they "reinterpret textile design through a computational lens," says Fizel. What does that entail exactly in nontech terms? Inspired by how a beaded necklace coils in a compact but organized way, Fizel wrote a computer code that takes into consideration 3-D geometry and edge conditions to create a pattern of interlocking circles. Using a material called nylon 12 (for which their bathing suit, the N12, is named), the printer uses lasers that melt the nylon into the shape of a bikini. Since this material is also used in the making of fighter jets, we assumed it wouldn't be comfortable on the beach. However, Fizel says that the nylon becomes softer and more flexible as it gets wet. The best part: This suit will never sag in the wrong places (like around your bum). The material is printed in the exact shape of your body, and unlike regular fabric, the interlocking circles and system of coils respond to areas that need more support and flexibility (i.e., your breasts and derriere).
Each of their ready-to-wear bikinis (ranging from $250 to $300 for the top and $200 to $350 for the belted bottom) is composed of four pieces that lock together. The only part that's sewn on by the design team is the lining of the bottoms. They also have a bespoke option that creates a 3-D model of your body and a bikini created to your dimensions ($1,500).
We think this fashion concept paves the way for what's to come in 20 years (or less)—you'll be able to order, print out and wear clothes that are guaranteed to fit your body. The best part: You don't even have to try them on first. Which means you won't have to face a dimly lit dressing room with an armful of questionable ensembles ever again (and bathing suit shopping, in particular, will be especially less painful). We can't wait.
More Great Bathing Suit Ideas
Find the most flattering swimsuit for your body
Accessorize your look with a waterproof watch
Shop these ultraflattering and affordable styles
This weekend, so many of us will be craning our faces towards the sky, to watch fireworks. The truth is, though, we should probably all be looking up a lot more.
About a week ago, I stumbled on the website nyskyc.com, which updates "the average color of the new york sky" every five minutes via digital photographs taken by a rooftop camera. For New Yorkers, these graduated blue squares must serve as a gentle reminder to take their eyes off the pavement every once in a while and feel the blue--or the black--depending on the hour. What every skyscraper scrapes up against is, after all, what astronomers more reverently call the celestial sphere.
But I had to wonder what life would be like if all of us--in New York and everywhere else in the world--measured time as it's pictured here: not in numbers, but in colors linked to the natural world. What would life be like, say, if it were azure o'clock? Or deep navy pm? Or aquamarine in the morning? Sure, it's a little hokey. But maybe taking the numbers away--and all the counting, and adding and subtracting--that goes along with them would help relieve that sense that time is always moving too fast or too slow, that there is too much time or never, ever enough.
A clock based on colors would more emphatically remind us, too, where time comes from--the turning of the earth, the slim scrap of heaven that we are currently floating by in this much, much larger universe.
(Interested? Mike Bodge, the creator is in search of other people who want to set up roof-top cameras in other cities to collaborate with.)
It's Friday! Before a holiday weekend! There's almost too much to be thankful for. So let's get thanking.... Hooray for:
The turtles! They crawled onto the runway at JFK, and summer travelers didn't go ballistic. Team JFK moved them along, while someone else set up one very witty Twitter feed (@JFKTurtles)
Jill Scott's video for "Shame." Just try not to walk around singing "I'm magnificent" after watching that
8,000 paper lanterns, floating in the sky
An 18-year-old German girl, Sabine Lisicki, coming off two ankle surgeries (two!) delivers the fastest serve in women’s tennis history (Faster than Venus. Faster than Andre Agassi in his prime.) and surprises everyone by making it to the semifinals at Wimbeldon
10 rules to reverse the email spiral. Um? Yes, please
And with that in mind, we're logging off to go celebrate one big thing to be thankful for: freedom! Have a wonderful happy Fourth, everyone. Life Lift will resume regular posting on Tuesday.
Can you guess where the nation's top four cleanest, most pristine beaches are located? (Nope, not in Kauai or the Outer Banks).