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December 2011 (104 posts)
So I could really relate to the wonderful piece that Lev Grossman wrote
for Conde Nast Traveler about his childhood hero, who inspired in him a lust
for travel–not his parents, or even anyone he actually knew, but the
moon-faced comic book teenager Tintin.
Grossman loved Tintin for his sense of adventure go-getter attitude, and choice of exotic conveyances (seaplanes!). But also, “Like me, and so many other children of the American
suburbs, Tintin was nobody, and he lived nowhere, and he did nothing. In order
to do anything or be anybody, he had to travel.” Like Annie, Tintin was
fearless and unfettered by the rules binding most kids–bummers like school
and parents. Even better, Tintin is "about as close to a cipher as
a hero can get.” On this relatively blank canvas, Grossman suggests, anyone can
project his or her own self.
After all, there are the usual heroes— firefighters, astronauts, legendary
presidents, famous do-gooders, reality show stars – those brave wonders who do
what most of us can only dream of—and then there are those heroes (sometimes 2-dimensional
and blank-eyed) who inspire us because they allow us to imagine that we too
have within us such potential.
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by...
“She was genuine, humble, strong and true.”
-Paula Radcliffe remembering distance running champ Grete Waitz.
"I was just thinking, alright, I should just think of what ifs."
-How a Michigan teenager stayed calm, hiding under her bed while her house was robbed.
"There will definitely be change, good and positive change."
-China Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu, reacting to the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
"...she is basically the kind of woman who loses her mind if a traffic jam keeps her from getting to yoga class and doesn't see the contradiction in that. There are a lot of us women out there, but she is the first to get her own show."
-Mary McNamara, writing about personal transformation narratives and Laura Dern's character on the television series "Enlightened."
Happy Friday! What a perfect time to look count all the things that made our week:
What a wonderful, wonderful world.
Now you can play Watson: Listen to Alexander Graham Bell's voice, preserved for over a century.
Spectacular homes for spectacular books.
You can't see music, but this gives you a whole new way to look at Bach.
At last: A (very) girly Lego set.
What never occurred to me was that babysitters are a relatively recent phenomenon. Ruth Graham writes about the cultural history of the American babysitter in a smart, funny piece for Slate, explaining how the Depression created the babysitter, and dissecting the ways babysitters have been portrayed in the media, from the perfect (the aforementioned Baby-Sitters Club) to the bumbling (Jonah Hill in the new movie “The Sitter”) to the deranged (Marilyn Monroe in the 1952 thriller “Don’t Bother to Knock”).This piece is a must-read for anyone who ever was a babysitter, hires one now, or just enjoys smart analysis of American family life.
If the recent auction of Elizabeth Taylor's legendary jewelry collection left you or a sparkle-loving friend longing for something special to call your own (and wear this New Year's Eve) then O's senior accessories editor, Tamara Rappa has a solution for you. One of her favorite websites to shop for the people on your list who have everything is Vintage and Modern (VandM.com)—where each bracelet, necklace, ring, pair of earrings has its own unique story. "It's like giving a friend a little piece of history," she says. Check out her top 3 must-have's (at left):
Stunning black holiday jewelry
Drugstore gifts for everyone on your list
In my current life, when I arrive at a museum and see a school bus lurking outside, I groan inwardly. And outwardly. The rowdy kids zooming through the exhibits, the teachers' futile attempts to control the herds. But if I try, I can still remember the unique thrill of being on a field trip myself. The magic of a day away from school, the dislocating experience of seeing your teachers out in the world as if they were normal people, the buzz of traveling in a huge group of peers. And maybe it is slightly possible that I was sort of a nerd (just kidding, impossible!), but I recall loving museums – the creepy, old–school taxidermy dioramas at the Field Museum in Chicago were my favorite – and the idea that the world was just brimming with exciting things to learn about. Dinosaurs! Space ships! Plus, a mini-McDonald’s in the museum basement!
So if you too are suffering from a bit of field trip
nostalgia, you’ll want to fill out your permission slip, grab a buddy, and take
Scholastic’s virtual field trip of New York City’s
Museum of Natural
History. The videos are hosted by Brian Selznick, the author of Wonderstruck
and The Invention of Hugo Cabret (the inspiration for the new Martin Scorsese
film Hugo). The very engaging Selznick narrates this series of short videos, offering behind-the-scenes looks at a few
of the museum’s most interesting exhibits. It's a little brain-break in the middle of a mind-numbing day.
Okay, so it’s meant to be for kids, but it works just as well for curious adults. And you don’t even have to ride a bus that kind of smells like feet to get there. Watch the videos on the Scholastic site.
1. Cranberry Lemongrass Martini
2. Pineapple-Cucumber Mojitos
3. Pear Champagne Cocktail
4. Raspberry Champagne Cocktail
5. Peach Bellini
6. Hope Floats Cocktail
7. Pink Halo
The retro drink that everyone loves
5 simple rules for enjoying sparkling cider
Rum at book club?