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September 2011 (131 posts)
As children in school, we all were taught about the Holocaust. At night, in bed, I used to wonder what I would do in a situation like that: would I have the courage to stand up and do something? The question stays with me, especially as I age and realize how complicated moral lines can be when it comes to one's own survival.
One of the most astonishing and uplifting things to come out of the coverage of the 9/11 anniversary is the stories of the people who risked everything to save others—not just the fireman, police, and hospital workers, but ordinary people like the gentleman who carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 flights to safety or the man in the red bandana.
The story I've never heard before is about the private boat captains who responded to the call by the Coast Guard for help with the stranded victims on the southern tip of Lower Manhattan. In this moving new video by The Road to Resilience organization, we watch as nearly 500,000 people are saved and carried across the waters of the Hudson—an act of bravery that turned out to be the largest sea evacuation in world history.
I keep thinking about what I want to take away from this Sunday—and what I want to remember long after the day is over. Perhaps Robin Jones, the hardboiled engineer of the Mary Gellatly, best described what we should always keep in mind, in terms of all of our lives. "I believe everybody has a little hero in 'em," he says in the video. "You gotta look in there. It'll come out, if need be."
I spent eight months picking out the wallpaper for my kitchen. I taped samples on the wall. I grilled my family, my neighbors and poor, innocent, befuddled dinner guests. I sat for hours, staring at the different options, trying to pick the one square of printed, decorative paper that said "me!"
Trying to express ourselves through chosen objects—be they wallpaper, raincoats, or living room couches—can be exhausting, and yet we all seem to love ultimately finding things that let both the world and us know who we are.
Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the silly yet oddly satisfying quiz/game/10-minute time suck that Firefox has developed called Webify Me. In a nutshell, you answer a series of questions about yourself and your use of new technology, and—presto!—the gizmo comes up with a desk filled with items that represent you, from compasses and magazines to seashells, crayons and action figures.
The bonus? As you scroll over each item, pop-ups appear explaining why and how it relates to you, usually with a flattering comment, such as "You use many different tools to communicate your vision, Traveler, " or "You're a class act, even when you let loose." A little senseless yet very specific flattery from an algorithm can do wonders for your morning.
John and Joe: one father's animated, moving tribute to his sons, one a firefighter, the other a police detective.
Remembering the towers—not as they fell—but as they stood.
When this collector bought 150 letters written by a WWII soldier to his mother, he never believed he'd get to return them to the sender.
Tonight's once in a generation event: the supernova you can see here on Earth, right from your backyard (plus: hints on how to do it).
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. #23: Yes, your iPad can be in the kitchen while you're cooking your messiest recipes.
Tired of gunking up your iPad screen with tomato sauce while trying to follow a recipe for spaghetti Bolognese? The Chef Sleeve is the splatterproof, smearproof, and smudgeproof answer: The thin, food-safe film encases your tablet but doesn't interfere with touchscreen functions. Reusable (but also recyclable when they get too gross), the sleeves are sold in packaging that doubles as a convenient countertop iPad stand. (chefsleeve.com)
30 days of makeovers
Bolognese sauce recipe
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A: I had broken capillaries, too, and several years ago had them treated with a pulsed dye (V-beam) laser. It left dark purple squiggles on the treated areas (basically, both cheeks) for ten days. I looked, my concerned husband said, as if a glass had exploded on my face. Fortunately, today there are lasers that won't cause "purpura" (meaning they don't leave you temporarily looking like a Jackson Pollock painting). Of these, the newer V-beam and the KTP (Gemini) are the best choices, says Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. They heat the blood vessels, which then collapse and disappear. Two to four treatments may be needed (at about $400 each).
Keep in mind: Broken capillaries can be a sign of rosacea; if your dermatologist determines that this is part of your problem, prescription anti-inflammatories such as MetroGel or Finacea (in addition to laser treatment) will help resolve it, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Keep Reading: Val answers your top skincare questions
More taco nights!
Interactive meals add fireworks to a ho-hum weekday dinner. Grill pizzas, roll up stir fried pork and vegetables in lettuce wraps, assemble fajitas just the way you like them. Even fondue can be a filling supper if you dip cubed ham and vegetables along with bread. This post on how to be a dinner hacker has even more non-boring meal ideas.
One Equals Three
Stop putting pressure on yourself to serve the classic—and outdated!—meat and two full sides every night. At the same time, serving one meat (say, a roasted chicken) with a time-saving salad and baguette gets old fast. Our idea? Skip the meat altogether. Try this delicious pasta with roasted butternut squash and sage.
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* Did young Ernest Hemingway give a porcupine a "wack with an ax?" Vanity Fair shares a treasure trove of the writer’s delightful early correspondence with his parents and childhood friends. (Vanity Fair)
* Watch this: Louis C.K.'s affectionate remembrance of George Carlin, the man who inspired him to become a comedian. (The Daily What/NYPL.org, language NSFW)
* For boys who like bikes, the Barbour Steve McQueen collection. (Barbour)
* Need a place to stay in L.A.? Rent Conan O’Brian’s studio for a night (and it’s cheap, too). (Airbnb)
* "Studies have shown that men who can easily lift heavy objects make better listeners." Over at McSweeney's, "Jenna, Take Me Back, I'm Newly Muscular" is good for a laugh. (McSweeney's)
* "But the power people take from others is nothing next to the power that comes with simple self-acceptance, with being comfortable in your (changing) skin. It’s not just Survival of the Fit-ins. There’s room for something new."—Joss Whedon's advice to teenagers starting high school. (Rookie)
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. #22: Some follow-up suggestions for couldn't-put-it-down books you've already read.
6 more terrific reading suggestions
30 days of makeovers
18 books to pick up this month
What's on Christina Ricci's bookshelf?