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August 2011 (146 posts)
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.
Celebrate Women's Equality Day this Friday by going completely housework-free. How to encourage your spouse—using scientific proof—to do more than his share of chores at home (for 24 hours).
Show your pet you really love him (or her). How to check your pet's August horoscope and be attuned to her (or his) astrological needs.
Take a guitar lesson with James Taylor? Why, yes, you can. How to play "Little Wheel" in e minor.
In honor of More Herbs, Less Salt Day next Monday, take a first step towards cutting down on sodium. How to live salt-free with tips from O's creative director Adam Glassman (hint: squeeze fresh lemon on sushi instead of soy sauce).
Eating dinner alone
A new book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, is a tribute to the ideas and people that have shaped the restaurant, and, in turn, American food. Yes, it's also about the importance of eating locally grown foods (dandelion greens and heritage pork, anyone?), but what really thrills our hearts is the way this book commemorates a shared meal's ability to make us feel loved. As, Waters writes, "Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality: we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way."
Two more lines from the Chez Panisse book that will make you want to share dinner with someone tonight.
Alexander McQueen has been on everyone's mind since the wedding dress of the year (designed by his successor, Sarah Burton) made its way down the aisle on Catherine Middleton. In addition to the dress, however, McQueen has long been known for his theatrical runway shows and signature, teetering armadillo shoes that made an appearance in Lady Gaga's music video—all of which are celebrated in the recent exhibit (Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty) dedicated to the late designer's work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Met even stayed open until midnight for the first time in its history during the exhibition's last weekend so that the overwhelming number of visitors could get a last look.
While I waited in the two-hour long line that snaked around the museum to see his extraordinary creations up close and personal, you can take a private virtual tour—led by none other than the Costume Institute's curator, Andrew Bolton. You won't even have to weave around other patrons to see McQueen's dress made of razor clam shells or headpiece comprised of butterflies—this video makes you feel as if you're spending the night in the museum alone. (Although seeing as the designer dubbed himself the Edgar Allen Poe of fashion, it may feel more as if you're having a sleepover in a haunted house—complete with a ghost-like hologram of Kate Moss).
Go ahead, skip to the head of the line—then let us know what you think.
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. #11: Sip on a new kind of cocktail.
Get the recipes for these cocktails here
While some poor souls may think cachaça is limited to the caipirinha—Brazil's national cocktail—mixologists are finding increasingly creative combinations for the Latin spirit, made from fresh-pressed sugarcane juice. We asked three to craft new cocktails starring this lesser-known liquor.
30 days of makeovers
Throw a Mad Men cocktail party
6 wine pairing tips
Basic tools for your home bar
But then, years later, came that epic night that started with flirtatious banter with the hotel bartender and ended with us playing "We Are the World" from memory on the Steinway grand while the entire lobby sang along. Then there was the "LOST" viewing party where we impressed fellow fans by plinking out the show's "sad theme" on the host's keyboard.
Now science is providing yet another reason for us to appreciate our early education in the musical arts: it may help us fend off age-related hearing loss. An interesting NPR story yesterday explained that hearing difficulty as we get older is usually due to our inability to tune out background noise (listen to the story for more info about the physiological reasons behind this). Musicians, studies have found, are not only better at deciphering different notes and tones, but also at remembering sentences they heard earlier, making it easier for them to follow a line of conversation.
There's still no conclusive evidence that picking up an instrument for the first time later in life can stop hearing loss. However, it's not a bad idea for us lapsed pianists and marching band alumni to refresh our skills...and thank our parents for helping us to develop--and hopefully maintain--an ear for music and other sounds.
Do you play any musical instruments? What unexpected benefits has that brought to your life?
Every Monday, we're rounding up things—small and big—that made us stop and think. Today, we were inspired by a photographer who spoke out against teen bullying, a trio of actresses vowing not to "give in" to plastic surgery, and more...
"I will never give in. [Plastic surgery] goes against my morals, the way that my parents brought me up and what I consider to be natural beauty."
Kate Winslet, who with Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz founded the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League, an informal alliance against the pressure to get plastic surgery (via Jezebel)
"50 percent of happiness comes from your genes. Only 10 percent comes from life conditions like income, race and physical attractiveness; and 40 percent from your activities and relationships."
Graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who is making a movie about what makes people happy
"If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside!"
Pennsylvania photographer Jennifer McKendrick, who refused to take photos of teen bullies (via Huffington Post)
"I never admitted that the country [my husband] loved existed only in his imagination, or that I could not find a moment of peace in Qaddafi's shadow, or that his family's desperate generosity filled me with sadness. I never told Ismail that under Qaddafi his homeland had become a prison, and that as long as he was in power, I never wanted to return."
Krista Bremer writing in the July issue of O about visiting her Libyan in-laws in pre-revolutionary Tripoli
"Seven races in 11 weeks.....I wasn’t running for medals or gift certificates or free shoes. I ran because the courses were there, friends were there, the finish line was there."
Jen A. Miller, on learning to appreciate the run as much as the race
And soon, you won't find sunscreens labeled "sunblock," "waterproof," or "sweatproof"—terms the FDA says overstate effectiveness—and a "water-resistant" claim will have to specify how long the sunscreen can stand up to swimming or sweating (either 40 or 80 minutes, based on testing).
Until these rules take effect next summer, look for sunscreens that contain some combination of avobenzone, oxybenzone, and zinc oxide, wear at least an SPF 30, and reapply every two hours.
O's summer beauty survival handbook
8 new skin-saving sunscreens
10 tips on staying healthy all summer long
It's hard enough to keep a sense of humor on regular Monday, when say, you're late for work, your computer freezes, your dog needs some kind of inner ear surgery which isn't covered by pet insurance (does pet insurance cover anything?), and..drumroll...you reach over in the bathroom to wash your hands and get soaked by the puddle that someone left on the counter, making it appear as if you had an accident in your already rumpled pants.
But imagine you're in Afghanistan—now at month 106, the longest war in U.S. history. The members of 7 Commando battery, 29 Commando found a way to laugh at their day by creating their own version of Glee's Don't Stop Believing, which includes singing into radio microphones, singing while doing chin-ups, and singing while in the shower Not only is the show lovable, but it comes with added bonus that almost every one of these young, goofy yet incredibly buff guys has failed to put on a shirt.
Today's rule for life: If people thousands of miles from home, fighting a war, can laugh about their conditions (note the outhouse in the video), so can we.
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The Happiness Test