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September 2012 (98 posts)
It's finally Friday, which means...it's gratitude journal time! Thank you, thank you, thank you for...
A celebration of life's ordinary and not-so-ordinary moments filmed to convey how our minds perceive memories (via Thrash Lab)
Judy Blume's wonderfully good natured and optimistic account of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
Catroulette = Chatroulette for kittens who need homes (and yes, it’s SFW)
A history of New York in 50 items (via The New York Times)
Iyanla Vanzant has spent years of her life helping others get through tough times, but this Sunday she sits down with Oprah to talk about the hardships she had to overcome to reach inner peace. "The life I was living," she says, "was not the truth of who I was," she says Tune in to their inspiring conversation on "Super Soul Sunday" at 11 am ET/PT on OWN or on Oprah.com, Facebook.com/owntv or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.
What do a widow, a relief worker in Haiti, a homeless shelter director, and a grieving girlfriend have in common? In the case of singer/songwriter Alex Woodard's multimedia project "For the Sender," all four wrote letters that inspired him to write songs. In his new book he writes about how he was feeling adrift, trying to pursue his artistic dreams, feeling discouraged, and then on top of it all, mourning his dog/best friend, when a letter from a stranger changed everything. Along with a group of musician friends, Woodard set about turning this letter, and three others, into a series of songs. (Check out the official site for facsimiles of the letters and more about each letter-writer's story -- each heartbreaking in its own way.) Then he traveled to meet each letter-writer and perform their songs for them, in private concerts that were culminations of each woman's original act of reaching out.
The project is, in a way, the crystallization of the artistic process: the wordless pain Woodard felt when his dog died and he felt his life had stalled; how connecting with others helped to find both his musical voice and the stories he wanted to tell; then the final closing of the circuit, when he reconnected with his unlikely muses. It calls to mind the advice of the late, great Kurt Vonnegut: "Write to please just one person." When Alex Woodard found someone -- in this case, his letter-writers -- to create for, he found his reason to create.
I found the Haitian relief worker's story especially compelling -- learn more about her, and see some priceless footage of Haitian school kids enjoying an impromptu concert, in the video below:
Sharing the Work of Haiti's Artisans
How Creativity Can Be Applied to Anything
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.
* Recently, never-before-published photographs of Al Capone were discovered in the deepest of basement storage rooms of Chicago's Tribune Tower. The paper has assembled a few of them online, and they are spectacular. (Chicago Tribune)
* Curious drinkers have filed Freedom of Information Requests for the White House's beer recipe, but if you're really thirsty for presidential beer, try this one brewed for George Washington. (Lapham's Quarterly)
* "Some bromances are meant to last a lifetime. But for others, one night is enough." GQ tackles the thorny issue of 24-hour friendships between men. (GQ)
Answer: Dark circles are to complexion problems as frizz is to hair problems. Which is to say almost everyone is plagued by them. Circles can be caused by puffiness (often from allergies), hyperpigmentation, and blood vessels showing through the skin, says Elizabeth F. Callahan, MD, a dermatologist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida. Puffiness can be treated by taking an antihistamine and reducing your salt intake. Intense pulsed light treatment works well on hyperpigmentation; the Vbeam laser very effectively zaps blood vessels.But if you've really tried everything and nothing has worked as well as you'd like, then concealer is your best friend. Choose a concealer one or two shades lighter than your skin, says makeup artist Carmindy. Pat it directly on the discoloration and set it with a translucent powder.
Keep in mind: An eye cream can help reduce puffiness and shadows; try one containing niacin, caffeine, or green tea.
Here's a few reasons to love your day today. Don't be surprised if they cause spontaneous smiles at strangers
The loveliest painting of an antique cake stands you've ever seen.
A tiff. A green gown. A convivial society. And 14 other ways people described making love in the 1800s.
What one woman can do underwater....strapped to a wheelchair.
Your personal reading style: diagnosed by the professionals.
How a handkerchief (and bravery) can help cure a broken heart.
The list is fascinating, in the way that it's always irresistible to peek inside a romantic relationship, to hope for a glimpse of that mysterious something that is invisible to outsiders. Peeking at the letters of lovers offers a hit of vicarious romance, and sometimes even a moment of shock (Mozart, please!). So read on. You just might get inspired to write to your own darling dear little lambie.
Love Letters to the World
The President You Least Expected To Be Romantic
Write a Letter to Your Latte-Maker
The Internet can be a dangerous place, particularly for wallets, particularly when you find yourself wandering down the virtual aisles of Etsy and other purveyors of lovelier-than-lovely t-shirts you are sure will express everything you mean to express about your appreciation for good design AND your philosophy on life, and before you know it, you've spent a bunch of money and have your budgetary tail between your legs. But how about if said extremely cute garment also contributed to providing safe shelter for sex trafficking victims, or bringing clean water to developing countries, or providing therapy for children with autism? Why, it might start to feel like a truly crucial addition to your wardrobe after all!
Sevenly is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs, Dale Partridge and Aaron Chavez, who wanted to find a way of battling apathy in the face of widespread suffering. Sevenly's Ryan Wood told me, "Sevenly was developed around the belief that people matter. We figured that if we could just start getting people to give, then we could get them to care." So every week, they choose a cause they'd like to support, from battling poverty among Thai children to helping people suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. They assess the appropriate charities, find one they think is most effective, and then work with their team of designers to create the t-shirts. Each time someone buys a shirt, $7 (Get it? Sevenly?) goes to the charity of the week.
It's a clever concept, and one that's proving to be effective: check out the page of past campaigns and the amounts they've helped to raise. What an appealing way to do your good deed today, am I right?
Help For Kids Aging Out of Foster Care
A Social Network for Good Deeds
Boom Boom Cards Make Acts of Kindness Easy