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July 2012 (97 posts)
Münter, 36, grew up lecturing her friends on recycling and dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. But she was also"an adrenaline junkie," she admits—so at 23, she started taking driving lessons at a California racing school. A local team owner soon spotted her and encouraged her to go pro. She has now racked up nine top-five finishes in NASCAR and Indy Pro races, among other series.
But despite driving fossil fuel–burning vehicles for a living, Münter remained passionate about the environment. In 2006, when she blogged about the film An Inconvenient Truth, "I got people on a NASCAR board to argue about global warming!" she says. These days she adopts an acre of rainforest for each race she enters, to offset her car's emissions. She's also discussed the need for NASCAR to switch to biofuels. And while some racing fans write her off as "that tree-hugging vegetarian hippie girl," they're also curious, especially when she approaches issues in an unexpected way—like helping the veterans group Operation Free publicize national security reasons to support clean energy.
In February, Münter dedicated a race at Daytona to The Cove, the Oscar-winning documentary about the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. When her tire blew out, she was "heartbroken." But her accident gave the TV commentator a chance to discuss her mission to save the dolphins. Afterward she could only bring herself to watch the race once. But when she did, she says, "I had to smile."
Why we need more female leaders
Borscht for Blistering Hot Days
You won't find a more eye-catching bowl of soup than this deep red puree, which includes baby beets, orange juice, marjoram and fennel. A spin on cold borscht, it also contains buttermilk and a blend of toasted coriander, caraway and fennel seeds.
Get the recipe: Beet Soup with Buttermilk and Marjoram
A New Use for an Old Southern Favorite
Pickled watermelon rind is a classic Southern condiment that's delicious on its own or added to chicken, shrimp or tuna salad. Making your own isn't difficult, but it takes a few days; otherwise, you can buy it on Amazon. In this recipe, the rind makes a tangy salsa that adds texture and flavor to a smooth watermelon-cucumber-chili soup.
Get the recipe: Cucumber-Watermelon Soup
In honor of the London Olympics Opening Ceremony tonight, here are a few things about the games we're grateful.
Above: The Olympic cauldron at the Torch Relay Finale Concert in London's Hyde Park
From the Phelps-Lochte showdown in the pool to the stunning precision of archers, all the Olympic games will be online this year [via NBC]
Team USA tumbles back into the rhythmic gymnastic arena for the first time since 2004 [via Time]
50 stunning Olympic moments [via The Guardian]
A case for daily reminders—when it's the race of your life (or, in our case, plain old life) [via Daily Mail]
But Dietrich had had enough. She did what most teenagers do these days when they have anything pressing on their minds: she took to the Internet. She outed her assailants, sharing their names on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, tweeting, "There you go, lock me up. I'm not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell.” By making her story public, Dietrich has also started to rally thousands to her cause, inspiring Change.org and other petitions to drop the charges against her. After all, her rapists are the guilty parties, and they made their attack on her public. By that reasoning, she's just completing what they started.
Slate has a thoughtful analysis of the story: "But here [on the Internet] Dietrich is the editor of her own story. She has the power to delete the comments she doesn’t like and promote the ones she does. Thanks to a few brave tweets, a 17-year-old rape victim is now curating an international conversation about sexual assault in America...And she’s speaking out not only about the details of her own assault, but the ways that the justice system is failing others like her."
It's incredibly upsetting to think that these things happen, but how resourceful of this wronged teenager to turn the story around, and in a situation that was always about taking control away from her, to take it back.
How to Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse
Brave Women Who Risk Their Lives For Poetry
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.
* A pair of cargo pants inspired Steve Carell's aha! moment—and his aha! moment is sure to inspire you to laugh out loud. (O Magazine)
* Ever wonder what it's like to sing the national anthem at a sporting event? Drew Magary tells the terrifying story of his own (successful) attempt. (Deadspin)
* At 62, Bruce Springsteen continues to be one of the world's best entertainers. Here's part of why he does it: "For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself. Routine, responsiblity, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it's really great, pries that sh*t back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that and sends me back to the hotel with it." For the rest, read David Remnick's outstanding profile of the singer. (The New Yorker)
In the case of Sean Keown, a Vermont man who shipped off a message in a bottle some 35 years ago, the recipient of his letter ended up being, well, himself. A teenager found his ancient bottle with its hidden note intact, and, being a teenager, googled the name and located Keown. He then put the note in an envelope and mailed it to Keown, who then called him to say "he'd been waiting 35 years for someone to find it." Keown also told his local news station that he'd promised a reward to the bottle's finder: "I was thinking maybe a candy bar or a soda, at the time I was in elementary school. Yeah, it's going to be a cash reward now."
More Good News:
Girl Scouts Get Badges For Happiness
Six-Year-Old Finds Rare Fossil
Now, I'm no hydrologist (it's a thing; I looked it up), so to me rivers basically count as lakes. They are connected, right? The key component of this species of beach-going experience is the inclusion of some degree of shade. True, the lake shore and the river swimming hole may count a mass of dead fish and the occasional plague of mosquitoes among of their charms, but they also offer a bounty of sea glass, grassy sands, fairy-rafts of driftwood, the respite of shade. This is summer swimming on the human scale: best of all is a lake you can see the other side of (no offense, Great Lakes), ringed by a lush fringe of pine trees. It's a diorama of an experience, a swimmy microcosm. Even better if the waters are tepid and still. Summery, Americana-infused, relaxing perfection. I suppose it's clear by now which side of the beach debate I spread my towel on.
My husband, on the other hand, stakes his beach umbrella firmly on the side of the ocean. He loves the epic horizon, the eyeball-busting sunlight, the drama of the ocean in all its crashy, splashy glory: knee-scrape-searing salt water, seashells, the glistening carcasses of jellyfish. The thing about the ocean is that you can't gaze out into those vast waters without contemplating eternity. The ocean is spectacular. A lake is pleasant. The ocean will carry off your children and burp up a whale. A lake maybe swallows your toe into some sludge. The more I think about it, the more our watery preferences seem to say about us.
So which beach are you? Here's a quick diagnostic question: when you think "summertime" do you picture a picnic basket or a clam shack? A canoe or a surfboard? Here's another way to truly know your summer vacation inner self: take a dip in this refreshing Flickr pool, Water...Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and see which images make your heart flutter. Bonus: you don't have to take any of your vacation days to do it.
The Luxury of Sand in Your Sheets
Why Does Beach Food Taste So Delicious?
When she noticed her resident's talent for cooking, Carson decided to open Boujhetto's, which employs and benefits others in need. As she told her local news station, at first she was just looking to make enough money to stay open, but the restaurant has been so successful, they are now expanding their hours and menu offerings. According to Carson, "we are here to help" anyone who comes in and might need a fresh start. And perhaps best of all, according to the official website, "Rahab's Hideaway can now hire who they help." Sounds pretty, well, delicious.
Learn More About OWN's Soul Food Family