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April 2012 (116 posts)
A very sage man I know (just kidding, it's my husband!) said something to me the other day that kind of blew my mind. Without compromising his online security, I will share that he changes his passwords all the time, like everyone says to, much to the detriment of the memory-impaired like myself. Only instead of endless combinations of names and addresses and all that other stuff you're not supposed to use but do anyway, he uses affirming phrases. This way, he has to type something like "Y0UcanD0it!" twenty million times a day as he logs in to various things.
Good idea, right? Reading an affirming phrase is helpful, but actually having to type it over and over ingrains the message into your muscle memory. Since you need numerous passwords in today's world, and since everyone can always use an extra dose of positivity, why not affirmize (ok, I made that word up) your own? Just remember to include numbers and special characters, and not to write down your passwords anywhere, and all of that good safety stuff. G0on!Y0UcanD0it!
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Proof that the obsession with adorable cat photographs is as old as time. Or at least, photography.
"The experience of feeling precious"-- why the essence of friendship is what we all desire.
In honor of National Letter-Writing Month, Frank Lloyd Wright's stripe-a-rific personal stationery.
The celebrities who turned to (the fictional) Dr. Frasier Crane for psychiatric help.
Forget ink cartridges, this 3D printer prints chocolate.
The Life-Lifter: Three cheers for the bus driver, even if he's only 13! When the bus driver passed out, this quick-thinking teen took the wheel and drove the bus to safety.
How is it that the iced version can cost anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar more than the hot stuff? As this recent post on Delish points out, it isn't just the straw that drives the price up (though that does add a few cents). The biggest contributors to the hike are ice (most shops have to rent an ice machine during the season to keep up with demand), cups (those clear plastic ones cost more than paper, which would disintegrate in hot and humid weather), and the coffee itself (the cold-brewing process--which ensures that your icy beverage won't taste watered-down--requires more beans in every cup). And as the post explains with anecdotes from indie coffee shop owners who dread iced coffee season, some businesses don't even make that much money, even though you're paying significantly more.
There are ways to prevent your habit from eating into your summer vacation fund, though.
1. Bring a reusable travel mug. Caribou Coffee takes 50 cents off if you bring your own cup, Starbucks discounts 10 cents, and Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Hortons also offer deals if you BYO.
We all tell stories with our skin. Scars tell about the things we've survived; tattoos tell tales of who we want to be. Notes scribbled on hands suggest an absent-minded bent; dirty fingernails reveal hard work; paint residue announces an artist (or a preschool teacher). Then there are the messages we want to share with the world, the words we live by. "You're stronger than you think." "We are all one." "Be the change." How powerful would it be if you wore your letter to the world on your skin, in bold black letters?
I can't stop looking at the striking images on Dear World, all the messages markered onto hands, arms, the occasional face or chest. This photographic project, started in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, encourages people to write a message to the world on their skin. Visit the Dear World site for more on how the project started and what the founder's favorite messages have been. Some of the photographs suggest an untold story that gives you a spine shiver: "Cancer-free." "I'm going to college." But to me the best part of Dear World is the after-effect. After clicking through the photos I found myself staring at people out on the street, silently asking each, So what's your story?
Given the power you have, what with all this skin, what story do you want to tell the world? Tell us in the comments! Go on, get it off your chest...(on your chest?). Er, you get the idea.
A Love Letter to the World
Send A Note To Future-You
Donut Mini Wallet, $20. We’ve found the perfect going-out wallet, whether you’re meeting friends for drinks or headed around the corner for a baker’s dozen. Two interior pockets (one of them clear) and an outside pocket hold just the necessities.
Leather Earrings, $16. These handmade, gold and gunmetal leather, leaf-shaped designs are lightweight (so they won't drag down your ears), and the proceeds help fund literacy programs for Muslim women artisans and their children in Northern India.
Wall Prints, $25. Photographer Jen Gotch's high-quality scans of her happy Polaroid shots--flags, grapefruit, flowers, palm trees, shoes--are vivid, archival-looking ways to add some fun to your walls.
Fused Glass Garden Art Stakes, $10. Fade-resistant, handmade garden markers will help identify all the plants in your yard or window box. They’re customizable, too (our picks: fire-engine red for tomatoes and hot pink for French lavender).
I once worked for a few weeks in a balloon factory, I'm not kidding at all, located on the outskirts of an Iowa cornfield. Everything about the experience was a little surreal. Even though I was just answering phones and taking orders, it was all done to the background music of machines filling balloons with air and stamping images on them. Every now and then a balloon would detach itself and go whizzing through the air, unintentionally playful. Sometimes we would all break into a musical number. Okay, not the last part. But there is definitely something a touch otherworldly about balloons, those undeniable signs of childlike dreaminess. Even more so when they become the raw materials of art.
I'm sure this is no news to Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, masters of a special brand of balloon twisting they call "airigami." These people make balloon-animal-making clowns look like, well, clowns. (Visit their site for some images of the mind-boggling things they've made from balloons.) And filmmaker Catherine Stratton made a lovely short film showing the process the artists use to make their balloon creations. The balloons floating in the air as the film opens...the poignant pop of one that doesn't make it...it's no exaggeration to say this video will have you looking at balloons as never before. Who knew they could be so beautiful...so expressive...so grown-up?
(via The Kid Should See This)
I happened upon this blog post by Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons called "The Scary Ordinary Man That Was Mike Wallace," in which Gibbons writes, "Wallace was considered a lightweight for years...in 1962, he had a game change moment." His game change moment? The accidental death of his young son Peter while on a hiking trip in Greece. "Stunned, he...reassessed his life. He didn't want to be what he considered a lightweight anymore. He wanted to do serious news. He wasn't sure what that meant, but he knew he couldn't continue what he was doing. "
Who knew that this thing no one should ever have to experience, the death of a child, was what inspired Wallace to get serious? Who knew he was ever not serious? It seems that the skilled seeker of secrets was harboring one of his own. As is, we are reminded (again), almost everyone.
A Guide to Confessing Your Deep Dark Secrets
The Accident That Was Anjelica Huston's Aha! Moment
But it's really not a good year for allergy sufferers who happen to live in Knoxville, Tennessee—recently ranked as the most challenging place to live with hay fever by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). These rankings of the 100 largest US metro areas are based on pollen scores, number of allergy meds used per patient, and number of allergy specialists per patient. You can see the full list, and find out where your city ranked, by checking out the AAFA's web site. You may also want to head over to Weather.com, which has some interesting explanations of how cities broke into the top ten--for example, Louisville, Kentucky (#3 on the list) is plagued by poor air quality, and air pollution tends to exacerbate allergy symptoms.
Are you already sick of sneezing (and the season has just begun!)? Maybe you're taking your antihistamines at the wrong time, or maybe you just need a little more practice with the neti pot. Read more about these and other doctor-recommended allergy busters: 6 Reasons You're Still Suffering from Allergies
You wouldn't be able to pick Naomi Kutin out of a line-up at the yogurt place at the mall. Sure, she's trim, with strong little legs...but you'd still never suspect that this wide-eyed 10-year-old is a weight-lifting champion who just broke the women's world record for squatting (that's women's record, not girls). Naomi, who's been training for years, recently lifted 215 pounds (over double her weight of 93!)--watch the NBC sports video to see how the pint-sized powerhouse was able to do this. On her Facebook page, Naomi says she's now focused on a bench press and deadlift contest the end of April. We hope it's only a matter of time before she starts training to lift cars off of trapped elderly people in order to hurl them at villains.
Dr. Oz explains why you should give strength training a chance
5 muscle-toning exercises you can do anywhere
3 myths about strength training