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January 2012 (141 posts)
Aston told USA Today that she hopes to share what she learned with others about perseverance. "Keeping going is the important thing, persevering, no matter how messy that gets," she said. That's what we'd expect to hear from a record-breaking athlete (especially one who competes in frigid, punishing conditions), and honestly, we already know that when things get tough, we need to put our head down and charge against the wind. The more surprising and meaningful message that I'm going to take from Aston's Twitter reports is that when we slog through the messiness, we also need to remember to pick up our heads, to look for the sun, and to let ourselves gasp at beauty even as we're panting from exhaustion. (And also maybe to sum up the experience in 140 characters and snap a stunning photo to inspire others).
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.
* Two Toronto teenagers sent a Lego Man into space, and the resulting video is nothing short of awe inspiring. (MetaFilter)
* Do you love Maurice Sendak? How about Steven Colbert? If you answered yes to either of those questions, watch this video. (Colbert Nation)
* Because there's no such thing as too much (Jon) Hamm, send someone you love a Hamm-O-Gram this Valentine's Day. (Hamm-O-Gram)
* An insightful—and sad—profile of NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, who is out of work, out of money, and out of friends to go bowling with. (GQ)
* "There's this perception that plant-based diets are for privileged white people, but that hasn't been my experience."—Inspired Vegan Bryant Terry has some thoughtful ideas about food. (O Magazine)
I was reminded of this when I read the fascinating blog post, "Are Your Eyes Also a Window to Your Brain?" Smithsonian Innovations blogger Randy Rieland writes of a recent study which "suggests that who a person is relates to how they move their eyes. In this case, the scientists found that people they identified as more 'curious'–based on their answers to survey questions–also were more likely to be the ones whose eyes moved freely around photos they were asked to view. Their eyes, it seemed, were true to their curious nature."
Doesn't it make you wonder how your eyes move? And whether or not it works the other way around? If I want to be a more curious, thoughtful person, do I just make an effort to move my eyes around more? It can't hurt to try, I suppose. Tonight, instead of turning into Facebook-zombies, perhaps I should try studying some pictures, perhaps even, you know, reading a book. I may just be surprised at how much I start to see.
Rieland's comprehensive post offers a wealth of interesting facts and findings about eyes–including how our eye movements reveal our personalities and skills.
How Brain Science Can Change Our Lives
The Neuroscience of Gratitude
After all, as Lisa Chase writes in this great essay for Elle, "Mothers become the no-sayers in the house, the keepers of the schedules, the tight ones, while the fathers get to swoop in after dinner and break the rules." In Chase's experience, her mother was forced to fill this role in extremis, as her father was a wild one—creative, fun, thrilling, "because of the brew of wild and blue inside him (which, in hindsight, was almost certainly a manic-depressive disorder)."
If you have a question, send it to us!
Q: I've started to worry about old-lady bones. What can I do to keep mine strong?
You know Bob Greene loves this question, right? It not only shows that you're proactive (bone density, like height, fertility, and, Jane Fonda reassures us, self-consciousness, decreases with age), but it also gives him a chance to praise the virtues of something he's been passionate about for over 30 years: vigorous exercise. "When you're working out hard the body doesn't say, 'This person is already 50; time to throw in the towel,'" says Bob. "It says, 'Whoa! This is still an active individual whose muscles and bones aren't meeting the challenges that are being imposed on it. Let me make those physiological changes.'" But when it comes to bone-building, not all exercises are created equal. The moves must force you to work different parts of your body against gravity, and muscle pulling on bone will trigger specialized cells to begin building more bone. Bob's favorites include jogging for at least 30 minutes ("Amazing for building more bone in the legs," he says), a weight routine with overhead presses, squats and lunges (you can do these strength-training moves at home) and hiking uphill with a pack ("This strengthens the muscles around the spine," he says). Are none of these working for you? Perhaps you're injured, or you don't live near the mountains, or you're just looking for something you haven't heard before. Well, Bob's got more ideas:
So that explains it: women actually do feel more pain than men.
Get your brood on by streaming this beloved crooner's moody new album for free.
Feeling a little...blah? 3 ways to inspire creativity right now.
And now for some refreshing celebrity news: good clean starlets who live by the Girl Scout Law.
The Life-Lifter: “Her gift will keep on giving for years to come”: This "poor," thrifty woman, who grew her own food in her backyard until she was 90, left $2 million to the Salvation Army.
Get going on those New Year's resolutions to get back in shape or have more fun and let these discounts inspire you to finally take a surf lesson or put down that hot toddy, get out of the lodge, and hit the slopes.
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Weird and wacky winter activities
Workout tops that make you look instantly slimmer
Power Shot: Nothing dampens a day like realizing your phone is completely out of juice. The Innergie PocketCell is a sleek rechargeable battery that can quickly power up your portables, giving you another 15 hours on your cell phone or 4.5 hours on your iPad. Toss it in your purse and you can finally stop hunting for outlets while you’re out and about. ($80)
Health Boost: In this month’s O mag, Dr. Oz discusses the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day, and mentions that the Fitbit pedometer is particularly good for people who like to dig into their data. The company’s new Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale takes tracking even further, letting users record their weight, body mass index, and fat percentage over a period of time. It even syncs wirelessly with users’ online accounts, so comparing steps taken with pounds lost is super-easy. ($130)
Sneaky Peek: Have I ever wasted time at work daydreaming about what kind of frolicking antics my cats must be up to, at home alone all day? No comment. But let’s just say that the DropCam is all kinds of intriguing for people who want to spy on their own homes: The tiny camera is a snap to set up, it has night vision and recording capabilities, and you can watch the video in real time on your iPhone, Android, or Kindle Fire. Watch out for the two-way audio, though—my cooing scared the cats. ($150)
Game On: My five-year-old niece adores the iPad, but watching that pricey piece of machinery dangle from her diminutive hands is enough to make my own palms sweat. Enter the GameChanger. This clever docking station turns the iPad into a stationary board game, with two fold-out sides that are touch sensitive. Different “game skins” make it easy to switch between the two available games, Scholastic’s Magic School Bus and Animal Mania, with more skins in the works. ($60)