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February 2012 (120 posts)
We've all had email mishaps. Who hasn't forwarded a screed on annoying coworkers to those same annoying coworkers? (Uh, right?) And to the other Amy Shearn out there, your tiny new relative is really cute, but her daddy seems to have to wrong email address for you. But I've never heard a story of misdirected email as heartwarming as this one, brought to you by the always-wonderful Story Corps:
Story Corps Tips on Telling Stories With Pictures
The Real-Life Love Story Behind "Love Story"
What Grown-Up Love is All About
This Canadian cyclist manages to shower, shave, fry eggs and type on his laptop--all while riding his bicycle through Montreal (and with just the tiniest bit of help from a film editing app, perhaps). In addition to making us laugh (we love how he woos the lady cyclist), this charming short film made us think about how we could also get fit while taking care of other tasks. Here are some ideas:
Squat as you sift through emails. You can do this at the office or in front of your laptop at home. Stand about one inch in front of your chair, holding in your abdominals. Squat as if you're going to sit, but just as your backside touches the chair, stand back up and squeeze the glutes. Doing this for one minute each day for five days will burn approximately 50 calories, and you'll finish geting through your inbox.
Do push-ups while you wait for the shower to warm up. Most of us use this time to yawn enthusiastically and rub our eyes. Doing 10 to 20 push-ups against the bathroom sink is a much better way to wake up and go into the day with toned-feeling arms.
Get dancer's legs while cooking. While you're heating something on the stove, grab the counter and tone your backside. Stand straight with one leg slightly in back of you, two to three inches off the ground, foot flexed. Hold for 15 to 20 breaths, then do 20 to 30 tiny lifts, pausing at the top of each lift for a couple of seconds. Stir the pot, add salt to taste, and repeat on the other side.
10 invisible fitness moves you can do (just about) anywhere
Don't just sit there: get fit at your desk
An old-fashioned girdle cinches you in at the waist, but only slims so far. A smoothing tank eliminates back flab, but doesn't do much for your muffin top. This Soma bodysuit—made of compression fabric and strategically placed, ultra-thin panels—does wonders for both problem spots by extending up to your shoulder blades and holding all of you in like a corset. But unlike that ancient shapewear torture device, the addition of spandex and stay-put silicone edges around the leg openings (which prevent it from riding up and creating lines under a form-fitting dress) make this "torset" more comfortable—without sacrificing any tummy-taming power. Plus, a convenient hook-and-eye gusset at the crotch means you don't have to peel everything off when you need to use the restroom and the open bust design allows you to pair it with your favorite push-em-up bra.
More answers to your biggest dressing dilemmas
A quick way to conceal cankles
Turns out, the same is true of our just-slightly-less-smart relatives, the great apes. In a story very unsettling to those of us who have seen The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the BBC reports that captive primates get bored, and show signs of frustration and stress as a result. Fay Clark from the Royal Veterinary College's Center for Animal Welfare told the BBC, "If an ape does not receive enough cognitive challenge in life, this can lead to abnormal behaviours or a lack of interest in the environment." Just like me and my coworkers!
One thing that keeps the primates entertained is—wait for it—video games. The BBC story is full of great anecdotes: The orangutans at Zoo Atlanta get small pellets of food for performing matching tasks on a screen hidden in a tree (incidentally, I want one of those), but they will keep playing for fun even after their pellet rewards run out. And the lucky orangutans at Toronto Zoo get to play with iPads. Super-smart chimp Ai loves playing memory games on a screen. (Visit the BBC site for an amazing picture of an orangutan with his iPad, and other fascinating photos of these clever creatures.) While these tasks are certainly artificial, at least one researcher suggests that computer games enrich the primates' lives: "In a sense, I think, the tasks are their 'Sudoku',"says Professor John David Smith, who teaches macaque monkeys to play joystick games.
It makes me think about the relationship all of us have with our many screen-y amusements, from iPads to laptops, Kindles to smart phones. In a way, we're all providing ourselves with little moments of fun throughout the day—a round of Words With Friends during an afternoon coffee break; some blood-pressure-lowering imagery after a stressful meeting. All things in moderation, of course, but if a screen can help you relieve some of the stress of, ah, living in captivity as it were, then by all means, scroll on!
Finding fun as an adult.
Do you need more fun in your life?
This Valentine’s Day, ditch the predictable box of chocolate-covered chocolates and try some of these fresh flavors instead.
PEPPERY PASSION: You’ve never tasted anything quite like the tongue-tingling Szechuan buttons that sit atop Sensation Truffles. (4 pieces for $12.50)
WINE AND DINE: From Port wine-drenched strawberries to rosemary-infused salt butter caramels, the chocolates in Chuao's Sweetheart Box will satisfy both your sweet and savory cravings. (Originally $59, now $47.20 with discount code OPRAH12, good for 20% off all Chuao chocolates)
GOOD FOR YOU--REALLY!: In flavors like Cupuaçu (the tangy fruit from a tree in the Brazilian rainforest), Gnosis Passion Truffles are rich, creamy and surprisingly healthy—all are vegan, raw, and free of refined sugar, but no less delicious. (Originally 3 pieces for $10.49, now $8.91 with coupon code OPRAH-15, good for 15% off all Gnosis Chocolate products)
26 romantic desserts
4 ways to shake up Valentine's Day this year
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.
* From Isaac Newton to Pablo Picasso to Frank Capra, peek inside the pocket notebooks of 20 famous men. (The Art of Manliness)
* Will Ferrell introduces the players before last night's Bull-Hornets game, and hilarity ensues. (Game On!)
* The Nextness gathered some inspiring lessons for creatives from British artist David Hockney, including this gem: "I think I'm greedy, but I'm not greedy for money—I think that can be a burden—I'm greedy for an exciting life." (The Nextness)
Forgiveness is not a topic I think about often (and maybe that is telling). So many of us walk around weighed down by ancient grudges, chewing over some festering ache from long ago. Letting go of anger is good for your health, not to mention your relationships--if only forgiving junior high tormentors/philandering lovers/overly enthusiastic meter maids were as easy as plucking a slip of paper from a tear-off sheet, right?
Behold, the sheet of instant forgiveness:
I came across this graphic on Pinterest recently and found it strangely moving. What a handy way to deliver a moment of absolution, to yourself or to someone else. Tear off a tab and deliver it to the douchebag whose dog just peed on your doorstep, or just keep it tucked in your purse as a reminder. After all, one of the best ways we can let go of what's in the past and move on towards whatever bright and shining future awaits is by forgiving ourselves, too.
A: Yes. For example, your skin can build up a tolerance for retinoids, the vitamin-A derivatives (and gold-standard wrinkle reducers), like Retin-A, Avage, and Differin; using a greater concentration will improve effectiveness, says Debra Jaliman, MD, author of the forthcoming book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist.
Keep in mind: Increasing exfoliation—by adding an alpha hydroxy acid or a cleansing brush to your regimen—can improve the performance of treatment products.
The other evening, Tony came home with a beautiful bouquet of fresh herbs and edible flowers wrapped in a lovely ribbon. As I looked at the bouquet, I realized everything in there was suitable for eating, and that gave me an idea. I decided to experiment and make a bouquet using fresh lettuce leaves, watercress, wild arugula, cucumbers, frisee, herbs and edible flowers; wrap them with a ribbon so they'd would look like a bouquet; and serve it as a first course for dinner on Valentine's Day. You expect a bouquet on Valentine's Day, but not one you can eat!