— Jessica Winter
Print your cell phone photos using a Polaroid PoGo, the pocket-size device that connects to Bluetooth-enabled phones to make inkless (and therefore smear-proof) copies of your pictures (TheNewInstant.com).
Wine lovers, unite! You can browse countless reviews, get personalized recommendations, or connect with fellow imbibers at Snooth.com, a social networking site for wine connoisseurs.
Sitting at the cosmetics counter for a makeover can leave even an extrovert feeling sheepish. But you can revamp your looks in private at Taaz.com—just upload a digital photo of yourself to start playing with the site's broad palette of hairstyles and makeup shades (O's editor-at-large, Gayle King, recently gave it a whirl). And the most fun? Tweaking photos of your favorite celebrity, your kid, or your husband. Go on, a little eyeliner never hurt anyone.
Swim into The Opposite Side of the Sea (Quarter Past Wonderful), Oren Lavie's seductive new CD. "Her Morning Elegance" was featured on a Chevy Malibu commercial, but there's nothing assembly-line about Lavie's sensuous cello and whispery voice.
Hardball tactics, broken promises, teary confrontations...it's all in a day's work for the brave Chinese third-graders running for class monitor in the documentary Please Vote for Me, excerpted on Wholphin No. 6. The latest DVD collection from Dave Eggers' publishing house, McSweeney's, also features a look at tropical reptiles (Safari), an adaptation of a Roddy Doyle story (New Boy), and Juno's Michael Cera as a sweetly flummoxed gentleman caller in the surreal Darling Darling ($20, Store.McSweeneys.net).
Go out for a (local!) night at the opera.
In 1910, the Metropolitan Opera hosted the world's first-ever public radio broadcast, featuring the great tenor Enrico Caruso. Nearly 100 years later, the New York institution continues to evolve with the latest technology: Returning for its third season is the series The Met: Live in HD, which will beam simulcasts of 11 productions in some 800 movie theaters worldwide MetOperaFamily.org).
Hi-def opera is the closest thing to a live front-row seat. Imagine yourself onstage and inches away from Renée Fleming, who will sing three famous roles—in as many languages—during the Met's opening night gala, screening on September 22: the doomed courtesan Violetta Valéry in Verdi's La Traviata; the fickle, tragic title character of Jules Massenet's Manon; and the love-seeking countess in Richard Strauss' Capriccio. The season also includes five new productions and a Met premiere, John Adams' Doctor Atomic (about the race to develop the A-bomb). Did we mention no formal wear required? — Richard Gehr
12 Years or So
Consider adopting a pet. October kicks off a three-month-long campaign headed by Felicity Huffman and Iams to find homes for some of the million rescued animals currently in shelters (IamsHome4theHolidays.com).