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May 2012 (135 posts)
It's not often that my husband rides the Super Sweet Viral Video train, but the other morning he beckoned me to the computer, his eyes welling up, to watch this: The World's First Live Lip Dub Proposal. Watch the reactions of the (spoiler!) bride-to-be, and remember what you forgot you'd forgotten about the ecstasy of new love, the excitement of new marriage, and the awesomeness of the lip dub meme.
"Even a smile is charity."
--2012 Manitoba Humanitarian of the Year winner, Albert El Tassi, philanthropist and businessman, on how anyone can contribute to helping others.
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.
* NHL fans: Prepare to get a little bit tearful watching this roundup of the best hockey ads. (Co.Create)
* Raise the stakes on your day by watching Alan Rickman drink tea dramatically. (Kottke.org)
* Confessions from Chris Rock: "For years I didn't miss an episode of Sex and the City. That's probably not something a guy should brag about." (O Magazine)
I think NeverSeconds can inspire some change not just for the school system but for each of us. Lunch should be something delicious, a potentially-photogenic pause in the middle of the day, a chance to refresh and nourish and reboot. Lunch should be, in other words, something that would make Martha Payne proud.
Some Inspirations for Non-Depressing Lunches:
The Ultimate Guide to Non-Boring Brown Bags
Our Favorite Sandwich Recipes
Take Back Your Lunch, Take Back Your Life
Photos of School Lunches from Around the World
Today marks the end of National Short Story Month (NaShoStoMo for short—and yes, this exists, in addition to May being National Bike Month, National Hamburger Month, and National Moving Month. Who knew?) Some of our favorite works of fiction this past year were story collections (plus: remember Oprah’s 2009 Book Club pick, the short story collection about children in Africa, “Say You’re One of Them”?), and while looking for a way to celebrate them, we stumbled on Storyville, an app that lets you keep up with the newest ones out there without purchasing a library's worth of different collections. Every Tuesday, you receive a single fresh story right to your phone or ipad—ranging from tales by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors like Jennifer Egan to those by up-and-comers like Emma Straub and Tania James.
“Every year, hundreds of wonderful short stories are published, but readers have no idea they exist,” says Paul Vidich, one of Storyville's co-founders. “We’re trying to engage fiction fans in a new conversation. And with the stories on your phone or iPad, they’re always with you—on the bus, at the airport, in your bed. (Paul is right about that: I got so caught up reading writer Ana Menendez’s Traveling Fools, a whimsical yarn about a man who flies away on a weather balloon while waiting in line at Starbucks that I didn’t even hear the cashier call my name three times!)
Here’s a few more fast, easy ways to delve into short stories that should hold you over until NaShoStoMo 2013:
Unrequited love stories
John Irving's new smash novel
As I watched the movie, I wondered if there were any possible way I could be an eensy bit more like Martha Gellhorn. Leggy, blonde, and effortlessly glamorous? I effortlessly choose to put on pajama pants around 5:00 pm every day, if that counts. Courageous and restless? Eh, not really, though I do restlessly peruse the internet, sometimes for many hours at a time. Prone to torrid affairs with wild men? Gosh, no! A world-traveler? Well, maybe not so far, but hey, life is long, and Colleen Kinder has conveniently provided a cheatsheet over at National Geographic: Martha Gellhorn's Top 5 Getaways.
Here are the 5 places, from Cuba to Wales, where this intrepid traveler went when she wanted to get away from it all. We may not all be recovering from, say, reporting on D-Day, or recuperating after divorcing a Nobel laureate, but everyone needs to recharge sometimes. And these off-the-beaten-path travel destinations -- snorkeling in Kenya, anyone? -- seem like they would be just the place to get reacquainted with that eminent personage, yourself.
What Every World-Traveler Needs
Books for the Armchair Traveler
But how, oh how, do people do it? I'm still furious about a prank that was pulled on me in seventh grade. People like me would do well to study Fatemah Golmakani. This woman is a beacon of goodwill and forgiveness. Her 22-year-old son was murdered last year in an act of gang violence so brutal that Golmakani suffered a heart attack while hearing the details in court. Since the four killers were sentenced to prison, Golmakani has summoned up vast forces of compassion, and now plans to start a charity to help the teens who killed her son.
According to the Huffington Post, Golmakani said, "What these men didn’t realize was that when they murdered my son, all their hopes and dreams were buried in Milad’s grave with him." She wants to start a charity that will include a safe space for troubled teens -- and you'll never guess how she plans to raise the money to get her charity off the ground. This woman is the definition of large-hearted, and it occurs to me, this is what it truly means to be a mother. The care-and-feeding-of-the-young is one part of it, but also there is this, the consciousness that every troubled person, even a criminal, is somebody's baby, has a damaged child inside of them. That everyone, even a murderer, wants to be forgiven and loved. If only we could all go through our daily lives remembering this, what Fatemah knows: "that forgiveness is the greatest remedy for grief."
Forgiveness in Action
Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness
4 Steps to Forgiveness
Vacation inspiration, part one: The Atlas Obscura: a compilation of curious and wondrous travel destinations.
"The internet tastes like a cup of peanut butter pudding and it looks like a star chart." A journey to the center of the internet.
Don't even think about eating a bagel. 23 energy boosters for getting through the day.
Vacation inspiration, part two: Quirk up your travel by visiting the World's Largest Things.
The Life-Lifter: Now that's a shopping spree. A Kentucky man spends $200,000 to buy out entire K-Mart store and donates everything to charity.