|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Henry James was wrong. The two most beautiful words in the English language are "Friday afternoon, Friday afternoon...." The things we're thankful for this week:
A marriage proposal to warm the hearts of hopeless romantics everywhere
Seeing that all 3 of the winners of Google's science fair were girls. Between these young brainiacs and the U.S. women at the World Cup, we're feeling all-around dazzled.
Artist Larry Ross recreates famous works of art (Mona Lisa, American Gothic)...out of balloons!
You know what would be nice? If someone would interrupt our workday with a magic trick. Until then, we're happy to see others who were surprised.
Before the weekend arrives, before you hit a restaurant with friends or sit down at barbecue with your family and forget the last five days, you might want to give a check up...on your feelings. How good--or bad--did you really feel this week?
It's a more crucial question than you might think. Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher at the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has found that for people to really flourish in life, they need to experience three positive emotions for every negative one.
Fredrickson has developed an online quiz that takes about five minutes to complete which calculates your positive-to- negative ratio. Mine was 1:1.7, placing me solidly with the 80% of the population that live below the ideal 3:1 score.
Wait, I take that back. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Wait, I take that back too. Fredrickson points out that phony positive emotions don't count and, in fact, may be detrimental to your spirits. My last and final feeling: Drat (!) about the quiz Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! about Friday nights and the tropical sorbet martinis that I will be soon be drinking in the backyard.
How to unhook yourself from negativity.
Optimism Works. Smart ways to try it (even if you're a pessimist)!
Some stories need no introduction. This 2:25-minute-long trip to dreamland (filmed entirely on a Nokia phone) had us at the double brrrring....an alarm going off simultaneously in Paris and New York. You might suspect the ending, but as with any good to romance, that's part of the delicious squeal that utters from your lips during the few final seconds.Watch--and sigh.
Tales of real-life romance.
The way to avoid having those less-than-helpful doctor-patient interactions, says Cynda Ann Johnson, MD, MBA, dean of the medical school at Virginia Tech Carilion, is to recruit nice people and train them to be "the kind of doctor you want to go see." Yes, most medical schools offer communications and etiquette courses (sometimes with actors playing patients), and U.S. licensing requirements involve a clinical skills test that assesses communication. But a new entrance exam used by VTC and at least seven other medical schools around the country involves a "multiple mini interview" test that screens for courtesy, diplomacy, flexibility, decision-making and tact. (Gardiner Harris, the public health reporter for the New York Times, recently visited VTC on the day the multiple mini interviews took place, and called them the "equivalent of speed-dating.")
Johnson says that students can witness some pretty appalling behavior during their clinical training, and the school's goal is to give them a strong ethical foundation "so the won't succumb" to that--in other words, so they'll know better than their Dr. House-like instructors.
Until the new generation of docs takes over, use this advice to get the best possible treatment from yours:
Picnics are underappreciated: less hassle and heat than grilling, but endlessly more fun than eating indoors. Yet if you're gluten-free, the classic menu--a potential danger zone of sandwiches, crackers, pasta salad, and cookies--can scream off limits. A picnic can be gluten-free, of course, if you find tasty alternatives to the old standbys. Here's what you'll find in my wicker basket this weekend:
Udi's Sandwich Bread: Whether I'm craving cucumber-cream cheese or mounds of roast beef, I reach for Udi's, a durable rice-and-tapioca bread available in white or whole wheat. Unlike other options, it doesn't require toasting to hold up to messy fillings; you can eat it soft, straight from the loaf.
Tinkyada Pasta: Tinkyada's pasta-salad-perfect noodles (penne, shells, spirals) are made with brown rice and rice bran (fiber boost!), and stay incredibly chewy. One tip: The directions significantly overestimate cooking time. If you like your pasta al dente, start taste-testing at the halfway point.
The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas: You can opt for gluten-free croutons, but this new snack has become my new favorite salad topper. All-natural roasted chickpeas, dusted with sea salt, cracked pepper, or smoky chili and lime, are crunchy and flavorful, without overpowering a salad. And the chickpeas are naturally high in fiber and protein.
[After the jump, something crunchy and something sweet]
This week, Rosie O'Donnell came to Harpo studios to start work on her new show. It looks like she had a great day with our colleagues in Chicago, and we can't wait to see it premier in October on OWN!
Korea's Got Talent has a new star in the semifinals--a 22-year old opera singer named Sung-bong Choi who specializes in Italian love songs. But what makes Choi so heartbreakingly wonderful is his past as a homeless boy who used sleep in doors and sell gum to survive....from the age of 5. Watch the video below (now viewed by over 9 million people) and see how the whole story of his past came to light on national television--with such restraint and grace, you'd think he was a head of state.
"I want to be a person who gives hope and happiness with a song," he says in the video. He does that. But with so much more than just music.
Read more inspiring stories:
The surprise only an older brother could give
A girl who triumphs over her abusive past.
The kindness of strangers: A nurse who changed the way we say goodbye.
We're going to try that trick the next time we eat or drink something cold. Even if it doesn't work, these icy treats are definitely worth the brain freeze risk: