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What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #4: Rehabbing your virtual reputation.
Ah, Friday: A chance to look back on all the things kept us going all week long. So thank goodness for...
1. "From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: a social security number, a gender, a race, a profession or an I.Q...Would we still be able to exist if we were authentically 'un-contained'?"—Paige Bradley, the artist behind the astonishing sculpture Expansion (right) which says the same thing without words.
2. Up, up, and away! The adorable house from the movie Up! comes to life.
3. Photographer James Mollison's book "Where Children Sleep" gives an extraordinary view of the planet's cultural divide through children's bedrooms across the world.
4. Forget superheroes, this 12-year-old girl took matters into her own hands to save a boy from drowning.
5. Hugh Herr, the double amputee who designs better artificial limbs, which help people like himself (without their biological legs) to climb mountains—scaling ice walls and toeing into tiny fissures in the rock.
Everybody knows that cooking vegetarian is the healthy way to go (one example: the American Diabetic Association says vegetarians are less prone to heart disease). But it can be a little intimating, especially when you're confronted with that first jiggly block of tofu or bag of hard-to-pronounce quinoa. Luckily, Dr. Oz and family can lead the way, with a delectable vegetarian dinner smorgasbord in this September's issue of O, complete with recipes. One of the sides, Lisa Oz's Lemony Kale Salad, prominently features hemp seed, a versatile little food source that, yes, is cultivated from the Cannabis plant (but no, it won't get you loopy) and is rich in protein and essential fatty acids. If you're wondering how else you'll finish the 8-ounce bag you bought for that lemon-kale salad, try this go-all-day breakfast dish from dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler, co-authors of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. It's a fruity-cereal bowl of goodness, made with pre-measured smoothie packets, milk, honey, your favorite cereal (we like Nature's Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise) and the rest of those hemp seeds. In fact, it's so easy, after taking one look at the recipe, you'll know it by heart.
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.
* John Stamos, "one of the most handsome men you can think of off the top of your head," presents his guide to cuddling. (CollegeHumor.com)
*Famed dissident artist Ai Weiwei pledges to never stop fighting injustice—and the diminishment of happiness—in his first interview since being detained for over 2 months by the Chinese government. We love: the orange cat. (Global Times)
*"His music was meant to uplift. I can't imagine summer without it."—Ziggy Marley on his father's influence, and the other songs that constitute his warm-weather playlist. (O Magazine)
* "I should say my boy's a really happy boy. I've in my life been around some children who are sick or suffering, and to be honest, my boy's doing really good."—Colin Farrell exhibits inspirational optimism and hopefulness while discussing his son, who has Angelman Syndrome, a rare developmental disease often diagnosed by excessively happy, smiley behavior. (Aol)
Other writers are contributing essays on specific topics, such as Bono and Nicholas Kristof on social action; Ellen DeGeneres, Stanley Crouch and Henry Louis Gates Jr. on equality; Elie Wiesel and Toni Morrison on writing books; Julia Roberts and Diane von Furstenberg on culture; as well as Maria Shriver and Gloria Steinem on women's issues. Dr. Phil, Mark Nepo and Marianne Williamson will discuss personal growth, while Dr. Oz and Bob Greene will weigh in on health and wellness. Plus, an added surprise: a tribute to Oprah by John Travolta and Phil Donahue.
Consider it a readable, shareable, can't-put-down hope chest from the last two-and-a-half decades. (Inside hint: Preorders are available today.)
Yesterday, the New York Times profiled a project being run by the Scholar's Lab at the University of Virginia. Kelly Johnston, a geographic information systems specialist, created a series of maps that used Census Data to calculate the Jeffersonian ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The "life" map was made by color-coding areas of the country according to their life expectancy at birth statistics (the south, unfortunately, faired poorly in this area). The "liberty" map was made by color-coding areas according to their incarceration rates (not so free: Nevada, Texas, the panhandle of Florida and Colorado) The "pursuit of happiness" map, however, was based on "the ratio of arts, entertainment, and recreation establishments to the total population."
The Times suggested that low population numbers of Wyoming and Montana skewed their high happiness levels. But speaking without any authority whatsoever, I find the whole criteria a bit fishy. Arts, recreation and entertainment (ie: paintings, skiing, and a matinee showing of Planet of the Apes)? Yes, these things make us happy, but what about people who don't like those activities? Surely, these folks pursue happiness too.
After doing zero research and obtaining not a single Phd, I deeply believe that the only truly accurate measure of national happiness is...drumroll...ice cream. Have you ever met a person who didn't smile at a double-dip in a waffle cone with sprinkles? Even raw food people like it. And vegans, if it's sorbet. And people who slam the door on children shaking little boxes of change for UNICEF.
A map of the country's ice-cream parlors, ice-cream trucks, and restaurants serving the frozen dairy delicacy might give us a much clearer view of just how assiduously the nation is pursuing happiness. Then again, if people are eating ice cream, they may not have to pursue anything—they're already happy.
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #3: Getting photos onto your wall (your real one) in a snap.
Click, Click, Print
We take 28 billion digital photos each year, most of which languish on our hard drives. To get those third-grade plays and surprise birthday parties off your computer and onto the fridge, consider the digital-photo collage. Photovisi.com offers customized tools that can be downloaded free of charge, smilebox.com provides more than 1,000 collage templates for home printing, and shutterfly.com and snapfish.com will deliver printed collages to your home or office.
Make getting over today's hump a little easier with these fun finds:
Bracedlets, $5 each. Created by the founder of Lulu Frost jewelry and two New York City orthodontists, these stretchy bangles made of power chains and metal brackets give a whole new (and stylish) meaning to the term "metal mouth".
Tili Reusable Zip and Seal Bags, $7.50 for 12. Why use a boring Ziploc when you can upgrade to one of these colorful versions instead? Tuck spill-able items inside one for your next weekend escape.
Uncommon Customized iPhone Case, $40. Personalize your cell phone with your favorite photo. Bonus: The unique printing process embeds the photo into the case so it will never chip, fade or peel from bouncing around in your bag.
Sandwich Coasters, $7.50. Before you plop your lemonade down on the table, pull out one of these playful coasters—which resemble slices of salami, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion or bread—to keep watermarks at bay.