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August 2012 (129 posts)
What about you? How many useful life skills do you have? Do you know how to build a fire? How about without matches? Do you know CPR? Can you change a flat tire? Sew on a button? Give a speech? Even Cool has assembled a very helpful/shame-making list of 50 things everyone should know how to do. From jump-starting a car to cleaning your house to effectively flirting (it's very comprehensive), this list compiles skills every adult should have -- and of course, links to helpful articles from all across the Internet explaining how to do these very things. It's a list that should be bookmarked on every computer (don't know how to use a computer? It's on the list!), and emailed to everyone you know who's about to head off to college. Or grad school. Or, you know, another day at work.
A Father's Financial Tips for His Daughter
20 Questions That Could Change Your Life
Whether you're wondering what to wear this fall or trying to figure out the best pieces for your shape, now's your chance to get personalized style advice straight from O's creative director Adam Glassman! During the month of August, he'll be answering some of your burning fashion questions.
Lisa asked: Are black tights or hose still in?
See Adam's video response:
Do you have a question for O's beauty director Val Monroe or O's creative director Adam Glassman? Ask away here!
Instead of scrolling through endless on-demand movie listings on your TV, download this free app to receive film recommendations on your phone. Select from among two dozen genres and Jybe will provide customized suggestions, complete with movie trailers. Pick your flick on Netflix or Amazon, then share your choice with friends via text, Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.
2. 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
With a new version due out next month, this classic coffee-table book, compiled by critic Steven Jay Schneider, features screen gems dating back to the silent era, all listed chronologically. Also included: reviews by writers and film professors from across the globe, helpful plot summaries, cast listings, and amusing behind-the-scenes factoids.
Don't let the name fool you. The three female bloggers (Mainstream Chick, Adventurous Chick, and Arty Chick) behind this popular site offer a fun, fresh perspective on blockbusters, indie fare, and more. Search their archived reviews to find DVD-worthy titles.
Top of the Pops: Your Best Viewing Snack Options
Put an ordinary bag of pre-popped corn in the microwave and it may ignite. Put in a bag of Popcorn Indiana's Warm Your Corn and 60 seconds later you'll have a heap of toasty, buttery heaven. (PopcornIndiana.com)
We can't decide which we like better: Quinn Popcorn's inventive flavors (Parmesan & Rosemary, Lemon & Sea Salt, Vermont Maple & Sea Salt) or the fact that its organic popcorn comes in a compostable bag. (QuinnPopcorn.com)
An addictive blend of brown sugar, garlic, onion, pepper, and sea salt from the mineral-rich waters off the coast of Mendocino, the Seasoning "Sand" made by Mendocino Sea Salt and Seasoning Company adds a pop of sweet savoriness. (MendoSeasoning.com)
If you're the type who feels more beautiful when you're philanthropic, the new Kahina Giving Beauty Spa Set ($145; Kahina-GivingBeauty.com) will have you feeling extra gorgeous. Kahina Giving Beauty donates 25 percent of all profits to the Moroccan women who extract the argan oil the company uses in its products. This set includes skin-softening 100 percent pure Moroccan argan oil, a rich eye cream, and an antioxidant clay mask in a cute fabric pouch sewn by workers at Destiny Reflection, a nonprofit that provides employment and support for Indian women at high risk of being sex-trafficked.
I was reminded of the power of cuteness recently when my husband extracted our daughter from a weepy fit by showing her a photo of a baby sloth. She stopped mid-whine, transfixed. "Why are its eyes so BIG?" she asked, her eyes getting really big as she forgot all about her angst. Thank you, baby sloth!
We all have those moments, those afternoons that seem to stretch on forever, those bad moods that won't burst. The world is a beautiful place, right, whatever, yadda yadda, but sometimes you just need an instant happiness-dose, an injection of adorability shot right into your heart. In short, a flying baby.
Sure, most baby photos are pretty cute, but Rachel Hulin's otherwordly shots of her son flying in midair bring the cuteness to a new level of whimsy. This is surely the sign of advancing cuteness technology. And that's not all -- Hulin has a children's book, Flying Henry, coming out in the spring. You baby sloths out there better get your game up. (via Shine)
Is Your Baby As Cute As You Think?
The Cutest Animal Videos
Unlikely (and Adorable) Friendships
Set that fear aside. Right. Maybe that's why I teared up when I saw this image of Annaleise Carr's parents embracing her after her historic swim. This bad-a** Canadian teenager just became the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario. In case you're unfamiliar with the great lakes, that is a very serious lake. Carr's swim took her 27 hours, and spanned 52.5 kilometers (or, in American, 32.6 miles), taking her from Niagara-on-the-lake in Southern Ontario to Toronto's Marilyn Bell park. (The park is named, by the way, for the first person to make that historic swim across Lake Ontario; Marilyn Bell completed her swim in 1954 at the advanced age of 16.)
And did I mention the swim took 27 hours? 27 hours of swimming. TWENTY-SEVEN. I can hardly stay awake for twelve in a row, but then again, I am a crusty old woman compared to this energetic creature, who reportedly was smiling, giving thumbs up, and playfully splashing the pacers throughout her epic swim.
In a CTV News video, Carr's beaming parents explained their reaction when she first brought up the idea: "No way. No chance." But, as kids tend to, she won them over, proving over months and months of training that she was serious about becoming the youngest person to ever make the long-distance swim. (For more on the swim and how she prepared for it, read the whole story at CTV.) Lucky for all of us that her parents were able to set aside their fear and let their baby dive into the wild waters: not only is Carr's swim inspirational as all get-out, but she did it to raise money for Camp Trillium, a camp for kids with cancer. As someone in the group cheering her arrival at Marilyn Bell park cried out, "Annaleise, you're a super hero!"
Diana Nyad's 33-Year-Old Dream of Swimming to Cuba
The World's Smallest Swimming Champ
Your guide to decoding the latest skincare ingredients:
You may include these "friendly" bacteria in your diet to regulate your GI tract; some beauty companies now suggest you also put them on your face to improve your skin. Most dermatologists, however, find the idea hard to digest. Some studies have shown that probiotics can soothe inflamed skin in children—but only when taken orally.
Proteins that promote cell growth, these molecules could theoretically grow you fresh, smooth skin. In reality, no independent studies have shown that a skin cream with growth factors can improve your complexion, says molecular biologist Yann Echelard, PhD: "These are large, fragile molecules unlikely to penetrate your skin in the concentrations included in cosmetics."
Human stem cells have awesome regenerative potential. But you won't find them in a face cream. What you may find: stem cells derived from anything from apples to rice. "Those stem cells have no relevance to human skin," says Ron Moy, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA.
Four years ago, marketing director Allyson Morehead offered to throw a bridal shower for a friend. Eager to find the perfect invitation, she went to a local card store and began scanning the racks. But Morehead was disappointed by what she found—or rather, what she didn't find. Most of the smiling women depicted on the cards were white. A few were black. But none of them resembled the bride, who was biracial. Worse, the so-called multicultural stationery she found often featured stereotypes. ("The cards would say things like 'Hey, sista girl!'" Morehead recalls.)
Certain she could do better, Morehead began toying with her own line of stationery—some of which, she envisioned, would be fully customizable to match any skin tone or hair color. In May 2011 she launched Sweet Potato Paper, a stationery company that allows customers to personalize select invitations and announcements by choosing from eight flesh tones, eight hair colors, and six hairstyles. The originality of the concept quickly struck a chord: "I thought sales would start slow," she says, "but I got a lot of orders right out of the gate." Morehead says the company's mission is to celebrate uniqueness in a way that's open and welcoming—not exclusive. "I keep things modern, clean, and contemporary," she says, "so anyone can feel comfortable purchasing my products."
Phyllis Diller passed away on August 20th, at the age of 95, and has been widely remembered for her eccentric persona -- the wild wigs, the claims of terrible housekeeping, the rapid fire one-liners. But besides being one of the first female comedians to make it big with her brash style of self-deprecating humor, Diller was also a relatively late bloomer. In fact, she didn't become a comedian until she was 37, and already a mother of 5. (I'm sure any mother of 5 is either a comedian or too tired to speak, or possibly both.) As Diller once told NPR, "The thing is, I had been doing [comedy] all my life without realizing it because I'm a born comic." So when her family was struggling financially, her husband convinced her to try her hand at comedy. And what do you know, it worked.
Besides a willingness to do anything for a laugh, and the creation of an outlandish persona, what set Diller apart? As she wrote in her 2005 memoir Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse, her impulse as a performer was never to copy, never to mediate, never to even pay homage; it was always to be purely herself: "I purposely never watched other comedians perform because I didn't want to copy anyone. I wanted to become me, totally me. The more me, the better. I instinctively knew this and I was right. My attitude, my material, and me—those were the components that distinguished me from the rest of the field right from the start."
Becoming "totally me" -- what a good goal, performer or not. And a useful mantra, it turns out, as it launched the 30-something star of PTA-skits into the annals of great comedy. Starting with her first television performance, seen in the clip below, in all its sweet awkward glory:
Remembering Maurice Sendak
Tiny Fey Talks to Oprah