|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
March 2012 (121 posts)
Still in beta (for all you early adapters out there), this wonderful site is an encyclopedia of famous and historically significant paintings. Each artwork is accompanied by some information about the work and the artist, and the paintings are grouped by artist, period, style, and what's most popular on the site. Each click leads to another, like a self-directed (and surprisingly uplifting) stroll through the world's best museum. A bit of Basquiat before breakfast! A hit of Chagall for the mid-afternoon blahs! A spot of Renoir at tea time! I'm leaving this site up on my screen and all day hitting, refresh, refresh, refresh.
An Art Exhibit With a Purpose
How to Start Collecting Art
It's Friday! We're grateful for so many things this week, starting with...
Welcome to Spring: The flowers are back...
There's a better way to play hang man? Nephews of the world, watch out. Your aunt now has a strategy.
Go back 60 years: "Her score, they told her, was too good to be true. It was simply impossible for a young black woman to come in the 99th percentile on a test designed to measure computer programming." Except, of course, it wasn't. The story is here....
At last: Harry Potter e-books
Further proof that playing is good for the world
Singapore has one of the longest life expectancy rates in the world (84.96 for women and 79.53 for men), and this video from the Singapore Sports Council shows how some of the country's older citizens are spending their twilight years (keep watching: this tea tête-a-tête is just the beginning).
We love these guys--we're calling them the Singapore Globeshufflers--for reminding us that's it's not about how many miles you can travel throughout your life, but how many three-point shots you can sink along the way.
Find out Singapore's other secret to staying in shape...as well as fitness advice you can steal from four other countries.
The Flowery, Springy Lamb Dish
Dan Barber, of the Westchester County, N.Y., farm and restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, braises lamb shank and serves it with haricots verts mixed with hazelnuts, balsamic vinegar, and whole grain mustard. Marigold petals are a fun last-minute addition.
Get the recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks
A Spiced and Slowly Roasted Lamb
Slow-roasting leg of lamb scented with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and mint, and stuffed with onion and garlic turns the meat meltingly tender. A plum-ginger chutney is the perfect accompaniment.
Get the recipe: Grilled Leg of Lamb with Pearl Onion and Plum Chutney
Ham That's Simple, Sweet and Salted Just Right
Ina Garten starts with a 14- to 16-pound ham, and bastes it with a glaze made from garlic, mango chutney, Dijon mustard, light brown sugar, and orange juice and zest. She bakes it for an hour and serves the succulent finished dish hot or at room temperature.
Get the recipe: Baked Country Ham
I know some people with dark senses of humor, so taken out of context I didn't know what to make of this -- a Louis CK-ish one-liner? A cry for help? What was my responsibility toward this person? Could I just close my browser window and pretend it never happened? What if this person actually did kill herself and it was my fault because she'd just been waiting for someone somewhere to respond? On one hand, it was none of my business. On the other, she did post it in a public place. So a few minutes later I messaged her. "Um, are you making a joke? Or, if not, uh, are you okay?"
She wrote back that she was not in fact joking, and her distress was very real. Soon her Facebook page started to populate with affirming messages from friends, urging her to be strong, reminding her of reasons to live. There was a long, wrenching pause in her responses, and then the post disappeared and an "I'm really okay, sorry to scare you" kind of message appeared. And the whole internet went, "Phew."
Anyway, it was this lonely woman I thought of when I heard about Jeff, One Lonely Guy, who posted the flyer, "If anyone wants to talk about anything, call me (347) 469-3173. Jeff, one lonely guy" and, to his surprise, received thousands and thousands of calls. He's now written a book about his experiences and recently spoke to NPR about it. Ragsdale explains that he had just moved to New York and had broken up with his girlfriend and was in a really dark, lonely place. As soon as he posted the flyer, he says he became a kind of confession booth, with tons of people phoning in to help, offer advice, or just tell him their own lonely troubles. He also says that just reaching out, having people reach back, and in particular hearing all their voices (and not just seeing them online) helped him. He started to step back from the dark thoughts. As did, I hope, my Facebook friend. We all have our lonely moments, and it's helpful to remember that there are ways to find people with which to -- in the totally-taken-out-of-context words of EM Forster -- "Only connect."
Here's the whole interview -- listen for Oprah's cameo!
How to Deal With Loneliness
Helping an Isolated Friend
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.
* How a dad writing software manuals in Iowa became a Hollywood screenwriter with one response to a query on Reddit. (Wired)
* Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Several, actually. (MetaFilter; Time)
* RIP Earl Scruggs. The bluegrass pioneer passed away this week at the age of 88. Here he is playing banjo with Steve Martin. (YouTube; Seattle P-I)
* "Above all, art is a conversation conducted down through the generations."—Novelist Ian McEwan in a thoughtful lecture on art, science, creativity and originality. (The Guardian)
Well, even though I just missed it, I'd like to belatedly celebrate TDYFRTBYKTOYAMTR Day. That's right, the big readers behind the On Our Mind blog over at Scholastic have invented the very catchy TDYFRTBYKTOYAMTR Day, a holiday in late March also known as “The Day You Finally Read That Book, You Know, The One You’ve Always Meant to Read” Day. We all have weird gaps in our reading, so why not make a point of picking up that book you've always meant to get to?
Some of their picks include The Secret Garden, Moby Dick, and The Help. I'm going to go ahead and order my copy of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. What about you? What's your Book You've Always Meant to Read? Let us know in the comments!
You'd think so, considering sea salt, which is harvested from evaporated seawater, is more natural and less processed than table salt, which comes from underground mines and is refined and fortified with iodine and anti-caking agents before it reaches us. But we found out that when it comes to sodium, which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and strokes, the two are identical. The maximum recommended daily sodium allowance is 2,300 milligrams (1,500 milligrams if you're over 50, if you're black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease), and it sounds like the only way to cut back on sodium is to cut back on salt, period. The good news? In our un-scientific experience, we've noticed that when sprinkling on salt at home, the intense flavor of sea salt does cause us to use less of it.
More surprising health facts
With all the talk of technology's downsides (identity theft, bank accounts drained, airline reservations messed up...), good news from Watson: It's helping cure cancer (seriously).
One man, one pink tutu, a series of photographs. It sounds funny (and it is) but wait until you hear the bittersweet reason this man turned to the tutu.
18 instant vacations—breathtaking beaches, crashing waves, and serene vistas galore.
Everyday moments, caught in time: Billy Collins on the poetry in every day.
The Life-Lifter: A never-ending tribute to a soldier, and yet another reason to love our country.