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May 2012 (135 posts)
Have you heard about the most epic film of the summer? No, it isn't Snow White and the Huntsman or Prometheus. It's ... Slinky on a Treadmill. Early reviews have called it "dramatic," "affecting" and "weirdly suspenseful:)". While we're not giving up our multiplex tickets, we did take something else away from this charming little video, with its low-fi technique and orchestral soundtrack: workout motivation. Watch how the Slinky puts one coil in front of the other, over and over again, in the rhythm of determination. Note its single-minded pursuit of a goal. Pay attention to how the Slinky trips, stumbles and then regains its balance and poise, falling right back into step. The next time we find ourselves slowing to a demoralized slog mid-workout, we're going to cue up this mental video and push ourselves to...slink up the pace.
More motivation to work out:
Think of it as play!
Scrap the excuses, with Bob Greene's help
Try one of these addictively fun workouts
You can click through the images and note what expression you think they express, and then view the results of the larger experiment here. One result? People today have different words for emotions than Darwin's Victorian crowd did -- reminding us that what we think of as being innate emotions may well be social constructs. I know, it's deep. What strikes me most, though, is how uncanny, unsettling the photographs are, proving, if nothing else, the intangible qualities that go into these nonverbal human communications. In other words, a smile is not just some muscles contracting.
via It's Okay To Be Smart
The Smile That Can't Be Stolen
Smile -- it's Contagious!
With the First Lady's vegetable garden practically a subject of national envy, more and more of us are rolling up our sleeves and following suit. If you're put off by the idea of actually rolling up your sleeves, though, this helpful article explains that raising your own sun-ripened fruits and vegetables isn't the backbreaking, budget-busting hassle you'd think. The piece lays out four easy rules-- such as "pick a spot, any sunny spot. It doesn't have to be large"--and reminds us that a few rows of tomatoes and lettuce don't have to be managed with the same precision as a graded college chemistry lab, despite what all those gardening books say. The White House's garden may be 1,100 square feet, but you can get just as much pleasure from one a fraction of the size.
3 kale recipes you'll actually love to eat
An easy plan for a food-centric summer
8 things to do before summer ends
Or so says software developer Ed Weissman in his blog post about how working at McDonald's as a teenager prepared him for building software. I know, it sounds crazy. But Weissman lays out the lessons he learned as a burger-slinger in a way that proves their usefulness for any career. Among them: "In order to do heavy volume, you have to be set up for heavy volume." "When you're operating on the razor's edge, every detail is critical." "Ideally, managers can do and doers can manage." Read the whole post for his advice on being prepared for anything, and for what he sees as the single most important lesson he learned from working at McDonald's, which applies to anyone trying to do anything at all. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with french fries.
The Best Response to Getting Fired
How to Be a Star at Work
They're like...peanut brittle.
Except...they're more buttery (i.e., you won't risk cracking a tooth on them).
We love...Cinnamon Walnut Oat, Habanero Beer and Cashew Coconut
Kitchen Table Bakers Crisps
They're like...cheese and crackers
Except...there's no cracker; it's just a disc of toasted cheese that's just as crispy.
We love...Aged Parmesan, Rosemary and Everything
Rhythm Kale Chips
They're like...potato chips.
Except...instead of potatoes, you get a bunch of fresh kale mixed with dressings and "air crisped" at a low temperature.
We love...Bombay Curry, Kool Ranch and Mango Habanero
It's like...classic bar popcorn.
Except...Three ingredients--popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt--in perfect proportion to each other make it taste just salty enough.
3 new treats to put in your handbag right now
The best things to eat before working out
Oprah's snack secrets
In this month's "Adventures in Beauty", the O beauty team—director Valerie Monroe, executive editor Jenny Bailly, and associate editor Alessandra Foresto—test-drive nine products and treatments (like skin-plumping fillers, threading, and "comfortable" waxing) to determine whether they make the O grade. It had been two years since the editors' last big beauty road test—Monroe decided the time for a sequel was now. "This is an important story for us," she says. "The only way we can be confident we're making good recommendations is to try things ourselves."
Since the beauty team is constantly on the lookout for groundbreaking techniques, each editor had already picked a few favorites by the time they sat down to plan the story. "I heard about a new spray tan for darker-skinned women and was immediately interested," says Monroe. "Our Latina and African-American readers might not know this product is out there." Foresto, whose skin is a natural bronze, gave it a try. "I thought my clothes would get stained, my skin would be smelly and orange—but nope. I loved it!" Foresto had only one reservation about her new tan: She'd have to pose in a bikini in the magazine to show it off. "I did some extra workouts the week before," she says with a laugh.
How's this for some cool, essentially useless information: sometimes a blow to the head can make you, like, a genius. I'm tempted to write something like, "Great news for the toddlers of the world!" but this is about more than a bump to the noggin while chasing a bubble into a tree trunk. We are talking major head trauma here, injuries that often strip people of certain cognitive abilities but leave in their wake savant syndrome. According to Brian Fung at the Atlantic, Orlando Serrell acquired an acute ability to remember the weather for every day; Alonzo Clemens developed the strange skill of assembling incredibly detailed sculptures of animals; Derek Amato (see the video below) suddenly became a master pianist, despite lacking any training.
Read the whole essay at The Atlantic Monthly for some of this finding's implications for the field of neurology.
The Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
4 People With Remarkable Brains
Apparently every one besides me already knew about the weird, wonderful world of sidewalk chalk illusions, but I just discovered them and have the same feeling as when I first learned about the existence of those enormous sand sculptures -- kind of mystified and vaguely excited and happy that such things happen in the world. At first blush, I think, how wonderful that this art form usually relegated to children has such gorgeous, grand applications. And then the more I study these images of Edgar Müller's chalk art from the addictive site Mighty Optical Illusions, the more I have this visceral urge to walk across this icy abyss. Don't you just want to do a jig on that ominous crevasse? Perhaps it is this that makes the chalk illusions so delightful -- the way the darkness tricks your brain into feeling scared, releases in your body the shaky feeling of a near-miss, allows you to do the daring and impossible... all from your completely safe vantage point on solid ground.
For more amazing chalk-art, take a behind-the-scenes look at the O Magazine chalk art cover.
Chalk Murals For Releasing Fear
Imagining MC Escher's Workplace
Latte Art Contests