|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
July 2012 (97 posts)
It's not exactly the news everyone's talking about, but I have no idea why not: Three astronauts have just landed safely on Earth, after living on the International Space Station for the past year and a half. That's right. While we go about our terrestrial business -- following celebrity gossip, doing the dishes, grumbling about our commutes which totally do not involve spacesuits and plummeting through the atmosphere --these people have been living in outer space.
You must see the whole article on Discovery News, which includes a photo of the Soyuz capsule landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan, buouyed by a parachute, looking exactly like a child's toy. I find it mind-blowing that this goes on and that we aren't all running around in the streets, giving each other high fives. They lived in outer space! And then they came back! In a little floaty capsule thingy that someone engineered, that someone else built! It worked! It works over and over! I mean, I'm sorry, but space is really far away. Space.com has some amazing images of the landing, and the astronauts exiting the space capsule, which can't really be a bathysphere made from trash bags, the way in looks in these photos.
NASA astronaut Don Pettit wrote of his experience living on the space capsule,
"On Earth, the frontiers opened slowly. The technology of sailing was known and advanced for over a thousand years before the Earth was circumnavigated. Such bold acts require the technology, the will, and the audacity to explore. Sometimes you have one, but not the others. I only hope that my small efforts here, perhaps adding one grain of sand to the beach of knowledge, will help enable a generation of people in the future to call space 'home.'"
He kept a must-read blog of his time on the International Space Station, which includes poetry, photographs of Earth from space, and hilarious guide to space-dinner-party-etiquette.
Isn't it thrilling to remember that in these know-it-all times, there are still Big Adventures to be had? Frontiers to explore? People doing completely crazy things like, well, this:
A Message From Outer Space
So You Want to be an Astronaut
Teenager Shoots Her MIT Acceptance Letter Into Space
NASA Astronauts Having Fun on the Moon
A: I'm happy to tell you there is a needle-free way to soften the look of those "elevens" (that's what dermatologists call them). Because celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff works wonders with makeup (and eschews needles herself), I asked her about the techniques she might use. She starts with a topical wrinkle filler on the lines. (Dubroff recommends Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing Wrinkle Treatment, $24; drugstores. Or try the new Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimizer, $45; algenist.com) After the filler, she adds a light sweep of foundation. For the deepest lines, she brushes a brightening concealer right into the wrinkle. (She likes YSL Touche Éclat, $40; yslbeautyus.com. Or try Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector, $30; us.clarins.com.) "Oh, and I wear bangs," she says.
Keep in mind: Regular use of a prescription retinoid can help generate collagen and elastin, preventing more wrinkles; a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will temporarily plump up the skin; and wearing sunglasses will prevent the scowling that can deepen lines.
Why we're thinking of these two things: Salt's BFF goes into everything we cook, and lately we've been combining strawberries with balsamic vinegar.
Putting them together: Instead of giving the berries a sharp bite, pepper lends a subtle warmth.
Add one more element: A drizzle of orange juice over pepper-dusted strawberries creates a luscious sauce for ice cream.
Why we're thinking of these two things: It's common to match the salty Greek cheese with olives, tomatoes or cucumbers, and eat the melon on its own or in a salad with other fruit.
Putting them together: The sweet, juicy watermelon takes on an almost savory edge with sharp feta.
Add one more element: Mint brightens both foods' flavors.
Q: I have an idea, and even some talent or training, but every time I sit down to do something about it, all I can hear is a sniveling, critical, who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are voice in my head. How can I get past that?
A: Freezing when you sit down to work by yourself is the same thing as freezing in front of an audience. In both cases, you're stymied by the fear of what people will think of you. The only difference is that here, the audience is in your head--a hypothetical group of people who will judge your output in the future. How can an imaginary audience have such a paralyzing effect? The answer is that deep down you feel you have to be perfect to win their validation. That's impossible. In fact, there's a strange truth about human creativity: The most creative part of you is also the most imperfect. This imperfect part of you is what we call the Shadow; and you shouldn't freeze it out of the creative process, you should invite it back in. This requires you to accept the worst--in whatever form it comes out: Write the worst sentence, paint the worst portrait, play as off-key as you can. Once you do this, the Shadow feels accepted--and creativity will then take over. For most people, this is pretty counterintuitive, but here's the truth: A real creative process isn't immediately gratifying. It's frustrating, mysterious, and uncertain.
Each week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors of O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're in love with the memoir:
The Boxer's Heart
Kate Sekules is not your average female boxer. Although a self-admitted tomboy, the British-born former magazine editor (she’s written for Vogue, The New Yorker and O) found her way to the sport circuitously—starting with an aerobic boxing class at a New York City gym in 1992. Sekules wasn’t a violent person by nature, but “the first time I ever threw a punch,” she says, "I was hooked." In her memoir The Boxer’s Heart: A Woman Fighting, Sekules not only takes the reader through her journey from curious bystander to pro fighter, she delves deeply into the history of women’s boxing, which was virtually unheard of in the early nineties as Sekules was starting out. For her, the women who went before her, with nicknames like "The Lady Tyger" and "The Female Ali," served as pioneers, chipping away slowly to achieve some sense of equality in the sport. This summer, 20 years after Sekules stepped into the ring for the first time, women’s boxing will debut at the Olympics in London. In The Boxer's Heart, Sekules examines how her insecurities at the gym and her perception of herself as a fat girl were actually advantageous when it came to boxing—her fighting weight was considered strategic and fear of acting weak or getting hurt were motivators when sparring. She tracks her own progress in the ring—her work with trainers, her first bloody nose and pair of black eyes and her earned respect from the male boxers at Brooklyn’s famed Gleason’s Gym—alongside the evolution of the sport as it went from being sensationalized and sexualized to acknowledged displays of female athleticism. What is most captivating about Sekules’ love letter to boxing is how she reconciles the feminine proclivity for tenderness and nurturing with their simultaneous ability to knock one another out, to unleash fury in a controlled and respectful way. One female boxer at the first ever Women's Nationals in 1997 said, "women are up against a lot more in life in general. I feel like I’ve been fighting a lot before." For Sekules, who admits an addiction to the thrill of boxing, it was a chance not only to believe that she herself was capable of succeeding in the ring, but it was an opportunity to kick "against a prescribed female role that restricts us," she says, adding, "I am fighting stereotypes."
Join Oprah's Book Club 2.0
Ask Oprah or Cheryl Strayed a question about Wild