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January 2012 (141 posts)
The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly (the organization that keeps time for the world) has also been paying attention to that particular unit of measure, as I found out yesterday on NPR. Apparently, every now and then, it's necessary to stop the clocks and add an extra second, in order to keep the world's clocks in time with the "the Earth's imprecise orbit." This second is known as the leap second, and many countries (including ours) want to get rid of it because it forces companies, airports and cell phone networks to, as the AP phrased it, "worry about stopping their systems for the length of a heartbeat every year or two."
The downside of its elimination, of course, is that time on earth would not longer reflect the turning off the earth. I am small, loud woman in a big, much louder civilization. But I would like to advocate for the leap second. Not because I want more time and will do anything to get it (though that is probably true) but because I have to believe that it's okay to stop all our rushing and earning and doing for a tiny, random ritual that connects us to the physical—and literal—world, otherwise known as the big ball of water and dirt that supports our existence. Further, I have what would happen if we introduced a leap second into our own lives. If we stopped for "that length of a heartbeat"and recalibrated our minds to our bodies, our hearts to our lives. Perhaps we could put an end to all kind of crises, midlife and otherwise.
Living in the moment
The case for doing nothing (even with kids)
I told myself I was going to gift a scrumptious Snickers to the next downtrodden-looking stranger I saw, but as I walked down the street I started to lose my nerve. Who would accept candy from a stranger? Haven't we all been warned enough not to do that? Then I spotted her -- my perfect target. A tired, 60-something woman got off the bus in front of me and started shuffling along, hunched against the cold wind. I took a deep breath and handed her the candy bar. A look of classic-New Yorker-refusal flickered across her face, but then she looked up and realized I wasn't trying to sell her something or grab her purse or worse of all ask for money for Greenpeace. "Here," I said, feeling like an idiot. "It's, ah, a random act of chocolate." (Somewhere at the Mars Candy Company marketing headquarters, copy writers were giving each other high fives.) She looked confused and then smiled very slightly and said, "Okay." I watched her walk away with the candy, triumphant. She had smiled very slightly! She was going to go enjoy a sweet treat, and wonder all night about the stranger who brightened her whole day! Or else she was going to throw it away in the next trash bin (no, wait, maybe she isn't as neurotic as I am.)
Whatever it Takes
By Paul Tough
"This is a life-changing book," Wentworth says of Tough's look at the work of social activist and educator Geoffrey Canada, who created the Harlem Children's Zone, a cradle-to-college, community-based organization. "My mantra is 'The art is in the doing.' A lot of people talk about polls and research, but I have a hard time with all the red tape. I just go, I get it, but can we rush a can of soup to the family right now?" Canada's example inspired Wentworth to create Baby Love DC, a Washington, D.C. charity that recycles children's clothing and equipment. "We're partnering with companies to distribute diapers and other supplies to people who can't afford them."
Keep Reading: 3 more books she couldn't put down
There are many ways to make this decidedly un-fancy food. And if you're getting ready to watch a big game this weekend (Ravens, Patriots, Giants and 49ers fans, we're looking at you), here are a few of the most interesting ones we've seen, from some of the most best-known food blogs on the web. Just be sure you eat it straight from the bag. Putting Frito Pie in the spotlight is one thing, but putting it in a bowl is quite another.
The Pioneer Woman
This version is robust and classic, with beef, beans, spices and masa.
In keeping with Texan chili tradition, there are no beans in this hearty mix.
The site actually shares four ways to make the chili, from one with butternut squash, to Cincinnati-style, which has a touch of chocolate.
When Cheetos show up on the menu
Try tossing Fritos into cookie dough
Dr. Oz's favorite healthy junk foods
What do you think of this DIY idea? Will you try it?
12 daring beauty products to try in 2012
5 easy party updos
Children are the future...and here's how they see it. (Hint: lots of lots of awesome robots.)
First, define what you are better at than anyone. Five steps towards turning your dream job into your actual job.
"How could love be this big?" Getting good at love without getting obliterated by it.
The Life-Lifter: The woman who inspired The Blind Side has used her resulting fame to do good—"I'm amazed by when you help people, how they turn around and help someone else."
When I manage to drag myself to the gym, I usually have about the charisma of a mole. I start to sweat before I even get on the treadmill, I spend a long time finding some trashy tv show to watch on the screen, I pant and moan, then I start the treadmill, then I look around anxiously to see if anyone is disapproving of how out of shape I am. It's very inspirational.
But all that is about to change, for I have seen the light. And the light looks like this:
This woman is having FUN. At the GYM. Not only does she make a jog on the treadmill look totally enjoyable and graceful, she does it with completely unselfconscious panache. I loved her after I saw this video, and then I loved her a little more when I saw this interview with her, in which she explains how the video came to be (not as creepy as it seems), and says that she was happy with it going viral because she hoped it would help people get inspired "to start living a healthier life," to get out there and work out, even if they struggle to lose weight as she has.
It's an inspiration just to see a non-Beyonce-body mastering Beyonce-moves, and a reminder that yes, working out can be fun—for any of us.
7 Exercises That Are Really Fun
How to Defuse Your Exercise Excuses
If this bleary week has you feeling a little blah, you're not alone. In fact, this past Monday (and the third Monday of every January) was the officially designated "Blue Monday," so-called for its unique blend of crummy weather and Christmas hangover, which cause a melancholy possibly felt more acutely over in the UK, what with their lack of MLK day and all. Still, all of us can relate to the midwinter blues, that sinking sense that the fun part of winter is already over when so much still lies ahead, and there's not much to look forward to unless you're really exceptionally into shoveling snow and carb-loading on the couch.
Well, residents of Kingston, England, have come up with a way to remind themselves and each other that messages of happiness and hope can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Like a bowl of "Alphabetti Spaghetti."
Just watching this video makes me a little happier. Who can bummer out when there are grown people playing with their food, crafting uplifting words to cheer us all? The winning message: There is more to life than beans. Truer words have never been, ah, assembled out of noodles.
More Ways Carbs Can Make You Happy:
The Healthiest Pasta Dinners
Good Carbs...That Taste Great
An insidious new Twitter virus (don't worry, that link won't give it to you) targets this sore spot in people's psyches. Let me explain how an annoying hacker urged me to take a good look at myself: So, the other night, I was shuttling around my kitchen, very tired and distracted, and I saw a tweet light up on my iPad which was charging at a nearby outlet. I had literally just been wondering whether anyone ever read my blog posts and what they thought of them. So I peered at the iPad and saw the message: "Seen what this person is saying about you? Terrible things." With a link.
I know. I know. I know. What am I, a space alien new to this whole Internet thing? Obviously this is spammy, hackery, virus crap. How can I explain? The temptation was just too great! And also, I would like to add in my defense that I was really tired and out of it and not thinking at all. Also, covered in macaroni bits. I did it. I clicked.