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January 2012 (141 posts)
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.
* Read the amazing story of Amit Gupta, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September of last year and has used the power of the Internet to find a potentially life-saving bone marrow donor. (Amit Gupta Likes You)
* Elvis Presley wore blue suede shoes to his prom, but he also apologized to his date for being unable to dance (really!). His teenage sweetheart tells all. (Mental Floss)
* What does war do to a man? These striking photos of soldiers before, during and after serving in Afghanistan help illuminate the toll fighting takes. (The Telegraph)
"Maybe it'll be like James Bond—and it's just a question of, twenty years from now, which other dude gets to wear the hat?"—Timothy Olyphant on the endless appeal of his Justified character, Raylan Givens. (Vulture)
For some reason, this little girl's enthusiastic greetings are just irresistible.
Proof that inspiration is everywhere: you'll never guess what these unreleased Michael Jackson songs are based on.
The most exciting new reality show features a tempestuous couple and their attempts to mate. (Yes, they're eagles.)
"Reaching your potential as a human being is more than an ideal. It's the ultimate goal." The truth about transformation.
The Life-Lifter: This Hollywood legend (and recent Golden Globe winner) donated her entire paycheck from her last film to charity.
We haven't quite been able to figure that out, but there's some solace in knowing we aren't the only ones: as Daniel Smith writes in the New York Times Opinionator Blog, we are living in the Age of Anxiety. Smith, author of the memoir The Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, writes, "it is undeniable that ours is an age in which an enormous and growing number of people suffer from anxiety...anxiety [is] the most common psychiatric complaint by a wide margin, and one for which we are increasingly well-medicated. Just because our anxiety is heavily diagnosed and medicated, however, doesn’t mean that we are more anxious than our forebears. It might simply mean that we are better treated."
Even without medication, the anxious among us can control our feelings, or at least our reactions to them. As Smith writes, "Anxiety begins with a single worry, and the more you concentrate on that worry, the more powerful it gets, and the more you worry. One of the best things you can do is learn to let go: to disempower the worry altogether." Public pre-K spots be damned! In the words of my favorite (underrated!) reality TV star, "Everything is going to allllllll right."
Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety
A long, stressful day at work or canceled dinner plans is all it takes for me to toss my eat-healthier resolution out the window and dive, frazzled and hungry, for the nearest take-out menu. And a household of specific dietary needs (vegetarian for me, gluten-free for my spouse) only adds another hurdle to getting a quick, no-guilt dinner on the table. Luckily, the freezer aisle has expanded way beyond salisbury steaks and limp lasagna, to flavorful meals that also cater to special diets. Whether you're gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian, you have more healthy options than ever before. Here are six brand new ones worth considering:
Evol Bean & Cheese Enchilada Bowl (vegetarian, gluten-free)
Mourning the loss of burritos on your gluten-free diet? Dry your eyes and open wide: Evol layers pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, cheddar cheese, and roasted corn between layers of corn tortillas.
Healthy Choice Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables and Rice (vegetarian)
We love the uptick in non-pasta options for vegetarians in the frozen aisle. This entrée, part of a new line inspired by Top Chef, spotlights grilled eggplant, broccoli, and tomato over barley and rice.
Amy’s Teriyaki Wrap (vegan, gluten-free)
Take a break from Amy’s much-beloved mac-and-cheese and try this tasty mix of organic tofu, brown rice, and broccoli. The wheat-free wrap, made from rice and garbanzo flours, has a rich flavor and slightly spongy texture, which keeps the filling moist.
The good news is that the study authors stressed the brain is "plastic" and can snap back from the small changes. The goal should be controlling stress in the present to keep the brain supple and prepared for the future. Here are 7 simple suggestions of how to do this from Dr. Oz (and surprisingly, none involve yoga).
More advice on managing stress:
The Benefits of Friendship
Is the Way You Breathe Bad for Your Health?
Passing down the beauty
Val asks you: worst (or best) beauty advice
Coffee and tea: DIY beauty masks?
Metallic Twine, $20. A paper bag makes fine wrapping paper for a birthday gift...especially if you tie it up with this blend of natural cotton fibers and gold or silver metallic filament.
Mittens/Drink Holders, $30. These Scandinavian "koozies" would come in handy while ice fishing, watching an outdoor hockey game, or just taking your dog for a walk on a cold winter night.
Cuppow, $8. We love drinking from canning jars: they're easy to clean, made of heat-resistant glass, cheap and durable. These lids fit on almost any jar so you can enjoy spill-free sipping away from home.
RumbaTime Watch, $20. A slap bracelet that’s a watch--and it comes in 11 colors, from cotton candy to grapesicle.
In this fascinating segment, musicologist David Huron explains why so many of us (50% of the population!) love to listen to sad music. As Huron mentions, usually people try to avoid negative emotions like sadness. So why do we turn to dramatic string adagios and mournful Chris Isaak ballads when we could be listening to Cee Lo Green in a constant, bouncy loop? Part of it, says Huron, is the contrast. When you feel sad for a few moments, particularly what he calls "pseudo-sadness," where there's no real reason for the emotion (crucially differentiated from grief or depression), it feels even better when you stop. Writer Amanda Stern weighs in too, describing the difference between the music that makes her sad and the music that makes her cry. The way I see it, a tale of woe like George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," is brutally, wonderfully sad, but it's the soaring melancholy of the music that makes the Reciitar! aria from the opera Pagliacci a tear-jerker.
So just why is it so delicious to cry to a song? It's that same residue-free release one gets from crying to a book or movie. I love to read Edith Wharton novels and weep. That doesn't mean I like to be sad in my life—as Stern says, we are always trying to avoid unpleasant emotions in real life. But when you can experience the catharsis without the personal pain, live through powerful emotions without having to actually, you know, live through them, it's a powerful moment, perhaps the very reason we seek to create and experience art in the first place. So in answer to the question, am I listening to sad music because I am depressed—No, I'm listening to it because I'm not depressed, and because in 3 minutes or so the exquisite sadness will end, and go back to being someone else's pain.
Listen to the entire Soundcheck clip to learn how sadness is like an allergy, the scientific explanation for why some music elicits tears, and to hear the saddest song of all time.
Movies to Bawl To
It's Okay to Cry