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February 2012 (120 posts)
Stay with me here. In the 1960s, luncheoning at one of New York City's exquisite restaurants or clubs was a high-society ritual, complete with its own unspoken textbook of rules and regulations—read the entire article for a complete, compulsively readable portrait. No one ate much (everyone was on a diet) but social fixtures like Babe Paley and Gloria Guinness and Jackie O. would slip on their kidskin gloves and meet their friends and talk for hours and hours. (Just the idea of having hours and hours of leisure time gives me a vicarious shiver.) The main criteria of these lunches seem to be fancy hats for the ladies and a beautiful setting; Colacello notes that "La Grenouille was a bower of dogwood, forsythia, or cherry-blossom branches, depending on the season. Charles Masson Jr., who runs the restaurant today, told me his father had an obsession with flattering lighting, and when General Electric discontinued the lightbulb he preferred, he had Westinghouse reproduce it, despite the fact that the minimum quantity for a custom order was 25,000 bulbs. 'My father understood one thing, that if he made an environment as beautiful as possible, where women would feel beautiful, the women would come and, guess what, the men would come after them.'"
Should you use moisturizing oil instead of lotion on your face?
What you didn't know that you don't know about Groundhog Day.
From the Cleavers to the Pritchetts, the evolution of the American family (as seen on television, of course).
"We’ve given in to the urgent human desire to live more, but also to live more inwardly, turned away from the night sky." A fascinating history of our relationship with darkness and light.
The story of how one bookworm fell in love with reading.
The Life-Lifter: True love lasts forever--or at least 78 years--for the U.S.'s longest married couple. Their secret to happiness over nearly 8 decades...
The other day Kari Byron tweeted this image of her morning coffee cup, on which someone had written, "If you are who I think you are, thanks for making science cool!" Byron wrote, "Humbled by the sweetness." By the way she is who you think she is, coffee-writer-person—the awesome host of Discovery Channel shows "Mythbusters" and "Head Rush"—and she does make science cool.
What an endearing way to send someone message, right? And it got me thinking -- what if we all expressed our gratitude in such heartfelt but sneaky ways? A thank-you to a thoughtful waiter scribbled on a napkin, or an anonymous note of appreciation to a coworker sticky-noted to a computer keyboard. An unsigned "thanks" slipped in the pocket of a friendly acquaintance. A chance encounter can lift someone's whole day up, and you can be the writer on the paper cup, as it were.
How to Say Thank You
Write a Love Letter to your Latte-Maker
What do you do with all your snapshots? These astounding photo collages present familiar places in a whimsical new light.
Hands down, the most fabulous Tupperware party lady ever.
Channel your inner Top Chef for dinner tonight, and cook—gasp!—without a cookbook.
For when the world gets too real: history gets recast with almost-practically-totally believable moments.
The Life-Lifter: After trying to save the rest of his family, this brave individual got stuck in icy waters. See his dramatic rescue. (Oh, and he's a deer.)
One evening my family was returning from a dinner out, just as the sky got dark. When my two-year-old asked why the sun was setting, I opened my mouth to deliver my standard response ("Because it's bedtime") when my husband said, "Well actually it's because the Earth is a sphere, you see," and went on to rather cogently explain the rotation of the Earth and its interactions with the Sun. She finally cut him off, frustrated: "No, Daddy! It's just a regular day!"
I know what she means. Even I (so old and so wise) find it difficult to reconcile the extraordinary world we live in, full of mysterious phenomena like magnetic poles and solar flares and wireless internet, with the ordinary version of it that I inhabit. I mean, not to be a total philistine or anything but... gets dark because it's bedtime. Right?
Thank goodness for astronauts like Clayton Anderson, who tweeted this astounding time lapse video of the Aurora Borealis as seen from the International Space Station.
The uncomprehending child in me watches this video again and again and thinks, Wow! Gee! The world is so pretty and magical! And then the adult version of me takes a moment to check out the excellent video created by Norwegian filmmaker Per Byhring and the Physics Department at the University of Oslo, which actually explains how the Aurora Borealis works.
And so as it turns out, even on just a normal day, unthinkable, complex, and fascinating things are happening all around us.
(For even more celestial beauty, spend the next 12 hours or so gazing at the Aurora Sky Station's live cam. Seriously, it's hard to stop.)
More Amazing Videos:
Stills of the Heart
Lego Man in Space
A Moment of Pure Wonder
Cristina's Pulled Pork Carnitas
How to throw the ultimate Super Bowl party
Klipo Cutlery Set, $5. This travel set consists of two handles with interchangeable utensils, so you can choose from a set of chopsticks, a knife, fork or spoon. Everything fits into a case that’s handy for work, a dorm room, a picnic or even those moments when everything in the dishwasher is dirty.
"In a Year" Poster, $15. Put an aesthetically pleasing stop to your procrastination with this “In a year, you may wish you had started now” poster.
Yogini Eau de Parfum Spray, $26. If you can’t get to yoga class today, spritzing this serene fragrance on your wrist is the next best thing. Made with sandalwood, Egyptian myrrh, pink grapefruit, blackcurrant buds, lily of the valley and madagascar vanilla, it’s soothing and energizing--just like a headstand.
Urban Accents Indigo Blue Premium Popcorn, $6. Midnight blue in color, this hybrid popcorn makes kernels of fluffy white popcorn and tastes a little sweeter than usual. The best part: it doesn’t contain many hulls—which means less popcorn stuck in your teeth.