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October 2011 (174 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.
Honor National Chocolate Cupcake Day this afternoon. How to make decadent mini versions—with scooped-out centers filled with liquid butterscotch.
Virgin Galactic opens its doors—the new space complex built by Richard Branson, which is soon to offer shuttles to ordinary folk for a mere $200,000. How to celebrate by making a paper space shuttle (for free).
Turn a new corner this Wednesday, Evaluate Your Life Day. How to figure out who you were meant to be.
A lost Leonardo Da Vinci painting may—or may not—have been sold for $21,000. How to understand the other mystery of this artist's past—the secret behind Mona Lisa's smile (hint: clowns?)
The appealing concept of being able to communicate with your 16-year-old self has been bundled into book form with the forthcoming Dear Me, which collects celebrities' letters to themselves. Facsimiles of the letters are up at the Guardian (check out Hugh Jackman's high school yearbook photo and John Water's scrawly handwriting!). Scrolling through reveals bits of wisdom, both funny and sage. Jim Belushi tells himself, "You really don't know the difference between positive and negative attention, do you?" Stephen King warns himself, "Stay away from recreational drugs." Kathleen Turner cautions herself, "Do not let your sense of humor, of the absurd, slip. Try to remember that what is happening at the moment is only that—a moment." Gillian Anderson writes, awesomely, "Follow your dreams not your boyfriends!" Amen!
There are a couple "Back to the Future" moments, too—Hugh Jackman writes "PS Buy shares in Google when they are invented!" and Alice Cooper notes, "I think coffee might really catch on, maybe call it Star something..." Oh, you guys.
What do you wish you could tell your teenaged self? Tell us in the comments...
Write a letter...
to see yourself more clearly
to the editor
to a US military hero
Join the fight against breast cancer while treating yourself (or your mother, aunt, or a friend) to something special.
Infinity Sun's non-greasy, moisturizing serum contains a small percentage of DHA (a skin darkening ingredient) to extend the life of your self-tan by at least two days. Plus, it leaves behind a light, vanilla scent and a subtle dose of shimmer.
$40, DermStore.com; 20 percent of proceeds goes to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation
Shop for a cure with 19 more pink buys
Fight cancer with food
Cysts: What are they anyway?
1. "Your purpose is really the thread that connects all the dots and experiences of your life. Your real job is to figure out what that thread is and to honor it, to celebrate it, to revere it, to fine tune it, and to master it. That is your real job."
2. "This I know for sure: Your life matters. Your being here matters. Your ability to waken to the greater possibility God gave you really matters. What really matters, is your knowing how important your contribution to humanity is."
3. "Wherever you are in your relationships—if you’re not growing, you’re not living, because living is growth."
4. "The single biggest aha! moment that I’ve ever had comes from recognizing that I always was worthy...you are worthy because you were born."
5. “Identify what it is you’re really afraid of. Then say to yourself, ‘What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? Would I take this opportunity? Am I not going to take this opportunity based on what other people are going to say?’”
6. “Stop living out of the story of your past. Get the courage to know that forgiveness for yourself is the way to move forward. The world needs you to step up—to honor that, to celebrate it and to love it.”
Philadelphia says goodbye to the greatest basketball player you never heard of.
Crazy, sexy, cool (really!): parents before they were parents.
"Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you." -your bill at the Karma Kitchen.
Don't have time to sleep? Actually, you don't have time not to sleep.
For your daily dose of "awwww": these pets don't let their disabilities get them down.
The Life-Lifter: If only all 13 year olds were like this one, who performed a Herculean feat to support homeless kids.
Her breakthrough: Brazilian Gabeira, 24, holds the current record for biggest wave ever ridden by a woman: a 45-footer at a notoriously sharky break called Dungeons off the coast of South Africa.
Her biggest hurdle: Handling the psychological and physical aftermath of wipeouts so violent they're like underwater explosions. "I've been doing a lot of physiotherapy and trying to find my rhythm again," Gabeira says, of wrestling with a chronic back injury.
Lesson she's learned: Be less anxious and more strategic. In the past, Gabeira says, "I wanted to be everywhere at all times. Now I realize that I just have to be ready for the biggest swells, as healthy and strong as possible for when the conditions are right."
What's next: Spending time at Jaws, a fearsome, wind-whipped, highly technical wave a half-mile off Maui's north shore that occasionally tops 70 feet.
Breakthrough advice: Don't be afraid of fear. "When you're scared and uncomfortable, you can allow yourself not to do anything but sit there and feel that sensation. And you will go past it. The fear kind of mellows out, and what you're left with is more confidence."
Meet 14 more people whose ideas wowed us this year.
How surfer Bethany Hamilton lives her best life
Deep-sea videographer Christine Shepard on swimming with sharks
A new wave of surfer philanthropists
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale tomorrow, the riveting short story collection:
Scenes from Village Life
by Amos Oz
In fiction, there are usually two kinds of mysteries. The first is when we, the readers, don't understand what is happening because it defies the logical course of reality (example: a woman flies over the town) but eventually we get some kind of a explanation by the author (oh! she's an angel). The second is when we don't understand what is happening (example: a woman is flying over town) and we don't get an explanation, which can be very frustrating, enough so to put the book down—except in the case of a master storyteller such as Amos Oz who knows how to leave the mystery in the mysterious, while still breaking your heart.
Take his first story, Heirs, in which a greasy, wheedling cousin shows up at a man's door and tries to get him to sell his elderly mother's house. We're never sure if this cousin is real or just some kind of psychological ghost who represents all the less-than-admirable daydreams of the son. The same goes for a digging sound that a schoolteacher hears under her house at night: Is she going crazy? Or is she being haunted by the past? Either explanation works—due mostly to dreamlike prose which slides you right into these seven tales as if you'd spend your whole life in a country village in Israel, dotted with fig trees, dusty sunlight and roaming cats.
The same characters turn up again and again—each dressed in the kind of details that make you remember them as flawed but lovable friends, like Danny Franco "who looked like wardrobe set on stick legs" or Adel the young Arab student who "walked around the yard wearing a Van Gogh straw hat and an expression of wonderment." One of the most moving is Gili Steiner, the town doctor, who wanders through one foggy night, searching for her nephew who was supposed to arrive on a bus from the city but who did not, or who was perhaps never supposed to arrive—yet another case of the unexplained. The point, luckily, is not what actually happened to her nephew. The point is: The nephew is not there. And Gili Steiner's disposal of the baked fish dinner which she had cooked for him, her few rough minutes sitting at the kitchen table with his childhood stuffed kangaroo, crying until the moment she abruptly "stopped, took the laundry out the dryer, and...ironed and folded everything and put it way," is one of the most realistic portraits of the mystery of love and loneliness ever written.
This fall's freshest new books.
The newest, don't miss non-fiction.
Now, for the first time in 25 years, the Girl Scouts of America have updated their badge system. Alisha Niehaus of the Girl Scouts told USA Today that in focus groups, "girls asked for more challenge and more creativity. They asked for fun with purpose."
Yes, times are changing. New badges include public policy, website design, locavore, and digital movie making. This story in USA Today features images of the new badges. The totally-80s-sounding Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge has been replaced with a Science of Style badge, which encourages girls to learn about the chemistry of sunscreen and nanotechnology that's used to make fabrics.
Then there is the new “Science of Happiness” section in the Scout's handbook. Created with input from developmental psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, this badge helps girls develop the skills they'll need to survive in a crazy, stressful world. According to Niehaus, the badge is meant to "teach girls how to find happiness in their own lives."
Earn your own happiness badge (so to speak):
5 things happy people do
Find the authentic joy within
Choose a good mood
Created by radiation oncologist Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, this duffle is packed with all the necessities a woman needs after surgery or during chemotherapy visits. The designer bag has metal feet to keep it off hospital floors and is filled with everything from playing cards (for stress relief and waiting room entertainment) to a heart-shaped microbead pillow (for placing under the arm and taking pressure off the area where lymph nodes are frequently sampled during treatment).
$99, BFFLCO.com; 15 percent of net profits will go to The Cancer Resource Foundation
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