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August 2011 (146 posts)
The TopChips chips maker is pretty much as low-tech as gadgets come. It's just a silicone tray with holes in it and a wavy bottom that keeps it elevated above the bottom of your microwave. It comes with a little mandoline that's so simple to operate, I can see myself abandoning my much fancier version, which I rarely use because it's such a production, with all its parts and blades. The slicer makes thin discs out of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, pears or mangoes (the company that makes TopChips, Mastrad, doesn't recommend any other fruits or vegetables, though thrillseekers might try parsnips or turnips). Then you place them in a single layer on the tray and microwave it for three to six minutes, depending on the food and your microwave.
O's executive beauty editor, Jenny Bailly, was recently on the hunt for a knapsack after her one-year-old son Henri's daily supplies had outgrown her regular purse. She wanted something sophisticated that would evenly distribute the weight (i.e. no cartoon characters splashed across her back), but not so bulky it looked like she was planning to climb Mount Everest. This bright red satchel by Baggu ($32)—made of recycled cotton—is sleek, light, and there isn't a doodle or kiddy design in site. Meaning Jenny can keep both hands free and schlep her son's stuff in style without looking like she swiped his backpack or regressed back to middle school.
Taking a night class? Need something to carry legal briefs to and from the office? See 11 more grown-up options.
After watching the terrifying path of the hurricane up the East coast for the past four days, some of our all too human creations on television now seem a touch overwrought in comparison—for example, last night's MTV Awards.
Which is why this unexpectedly simply performance by Adele singing Someone Like You profiled on PopCrush—executed without gender-bending disguises, smoke bombs, sequins, flying trapeze wires, four french hens, three turtle doves, or even any mis-timed lip synching—seemed so poignant and moving. Even for those of us who no longer watch the MTV Awards or, okay, let's admit it, date back to an ancient time when MTV actually showed music videos....
Army boys put on their own musical
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Val answers your top skincare questions
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Every Monday, we're rounding up things—small and big—that made us stop and think. Today's inspiration...
The quest for justice and equality continues. The Dream lives on, and the legacy of the man who was determined to speak to, and call forth, the moral voice within us now occupies a hallowed place among our heroes and our history.
-Janet Langhart Cohen, writing about the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Monument
When you get older you know what you can let go of, and you become lighter.
-Jane Fonda, in conversation with Charlie Rose, talking about how people over 50 are happier than younger people
At last check my four turkeys were still out in the rain, not looking up into the rain like idiots, but simply waiting out the storm with a Patton-like stoicism, their usual somber dignity a little soaked and muddy, but intact. I’m in awe.
Susan Orlean, on her fowls' reactions to Hurricane Irene
You can’t order creativity. You can only create the conditions for it to blossom--mainly by setting certain prescribed boundaries and then giving your creative people a great deal of autonomy to execute as they see fit.
-E.B. Boyd, on what we can learn from the music festival Burning Man, which starts today
I feel that a sense of compassion is the most precious thing there is.
-the Dalai Lama, via Twitter
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we’ve got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #15: An easy DIY to keep your jewelry knot-free.
30 days of makeovers
How Peter Walsh stays organized
5 DIY project ideas
Conquer clutter room by room
Entertainer extraordinaire Jennifer Lopez helps the O team create some major glamour.
When hairstylist Ken Paves (third from left) arrived at the Meatpacking District warehouse turned studio where we shot "Jennifer Lopez Is in the House!", he found our eight makeover candidates relaxing and grazing on fruit and yogurt. But at noon, when Lopez showed up for her stint as surprise stylist, the set suddenly buzzed with excitement.
Lopez's engaging personality helped calm nerves all around. "The ladies never had a chance to be starstruck because Jennifer was warm and laughing," says Paves. "They were like old friends." Her rousing call to the group: "You ready? Come on, baby—let's do this!"
Finally, Luisa Weiss, who writes the food blog The Wednesday Chef, decoded anchovies for me. "I used to think anchovies were hairy little fish bombs," she says. "They would crop up on the thick-crusted pizza that my Sicilian uncle would make sometimes, filling me with dread. Or I'd see them draped over a perfectly nice salade nicoise at a cafe in Paris, contaminating all the lovely green beans and boiled potatoes beneath." Weiss eventually figured out that raw anchovies were one thing, but that if you used them in your cooking, as a seasoning, they were like a secret weapon.
It’s Friday again, and despite East Coast earthquakes and hurricanes, boy, are we grateful. These are just a few things that cheered our week.
1. "Perfect isn't my type." The trailer for Patricia Marx's Starting from Happy gets us excited for the written word.
2. Meet the 98-year-old female Judo Master (Not only is she 98, she’s the only woman in the world to receive a 10th-degree black belt.)
3. As part of the Guggenheim Museum exhibition “Stillspotting NYC,” Improv Everywhere gave people a platform, and instructed them to "say something nice." See what happened.
4. IBM is still at it: Now they're one step closer to making a computer that thinks like a human.
5. If only summer could just keep going on like this forever...
Wishing you a happy weekend!