50 Things That Will Make You Say "Wow!"

Welcome to our rousing roundup of awe-inspiring people, places and things that bowled us over, choked us up and lifted our spirits high.

43. A Simple, Gorgeous Bouquet That Lasts Longer

The Bouqs offers 40 elegant, minimalist arrangements, with nary a sprig of baby's breath in sight, for a flat rate of $40, including shipping to anywhere in the United States. Because they're sent straight from sustainable Equadorian farms, where they're grown in sun-drenched, mineral-rich volcanic soil, the flowers arrive just four days after being cut (versus six to 14 for many florist-bought arrangements). (thebouqs.com)
—Abbe Wright

44. This colorful, retractable dog leash features a pop-out water bowl, a storage bin for treats, a baggie receptacle, an LED flashlight, and an LCD clock. ($26; fredflare.com)

College, Take Two

With 300-plus free online courses—Moralities of Everyday Life, Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets, Women and the Civil Rights Movement—all taught by professors at 62 of the world's top schools, including Yale and Stanford, the Web site Coursera reads like the course catalog you wish you'd taken advantage of in college. The company's goal is to allow every person in the world access to an Ivy League–caliber education—without the frat parties and calculus requirement. (coursera.org)
—Abbe Wright

46. Mail-Order Molten Chocolate Cakes in Mason Jars

These adorable Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cakes, from Seattle's beloved Hot Cakes Cakery, might more accurately be described as Stop-n-Moan. They need just 15 to 20 minutes in the oven to achieve a perfectly moist outer shell and an ultrarich, gooey center. Each supposedly serves two, but trust us, you won't be sharing. ($8 each; getyourhotcakes.com)
—Lindsay Funston

47. Into the Woods

One morning last April at Campowerment, a women-only sleepaway camp in Malibu, a 44-year-old "camper" named Ivy Lasky was watching with teary eyes as her bunkmate stood on a 35-foot-high platform and listened to a Kashmiri energy healer tell her to jump into her dead mother's arms. Lasky, a talent executive and mother of two, had come to these idyllic woods with 87 other women—but no men, or kids, or cell service—for "a little me time," she says.

What she found was that camp had grown up. Started by 53-year-old Extra senior producer Tammi Leader Fuller, Campowerment is an adult take on the bug juice (now spiked with vodka), arts and crafts (now with vision boards), and evening sing-alongs (now no longer mandatory) many of us remember from childhood, stuffed into one long weekend. Fuller's own camp experience affected her so deeply—"There was something about the camaraderie of girlfriendship I never forgot"—that she's packed Campowerment with life coaching, journaling, and cooking demonstrations designed to help women realize that "you're not alone in your struggle to juggle what life has thrown at you," she says. Besides: "Sweatpants are the great equalizer." (In four locations across the country; campowerment.com)
—Doree Shafrir

Shakespeare's Star-Crossed Lovers—More Modern Than Ever

Explains David Leveaux, director of Broadway's first Romeo & Juliet in 36 years—which happens to feature a white Romeo and black Juliet: "I didn't set out to make a comment on race. I just followed my nose. Orlando [Bloom] has this wonderful boyish charisma—you don't want your Romeo to be a wimp—and Condola [Rashad, daughter of Phylicia] can channel Juliet's heart and wit. She's electrifying. They both inhabit the language in a way that makes the audience hear it as contemporary."

49. Gulp!

Once upon a time, while visiting Ohio, deputy editor Deborah Way had a beer. Back at O, she regaled colleagues with the tale: Warm, woodsy, deep, and dark, this pint was redolent of the oak barrels in which it was aged. The only problem: It wasn't yet sold in New York. Undeterred, deputy managing editor Amy Grippo took to the Internet and announced, "Guys, we can order it online." Huzzah! (Alltech's Lexington Brewing Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, $11 for four-pack; the partysource.com)
—Katie Arnold-Ratcliff

50. This Comet Is 1.1 Times the Width of Australia and Barreling Our Way at 55,000 MPH

A mass of ice, gas, and dust, Comet ISON—scheduled to blaze brilliantly across our sky in late November (don't worry, it's not going to hit us)—"could be the comet of the century," says Michael A'Hearn, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. Scientists caution that it may burn up before we have a chance to see it, but A'Hearn, for his part, "would bet at least a beer"—a Bourbon Barrel Ale, perhaps?—"that it won't."
—Emma Haak
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