I just learned there’s a World Naked Gardening Day on Saturday, May 6.
Which is great because at least once a year you should shed your inhibitions and tend to your garden. It’s awkward enough for your plants to be naked while you water them fully clothed. So show a little solidarity with your annuals, perennials, biennials and all things green by going skyclad, and enjoy a moment of full-body acceptance while doing some work in the sun. You’re sure to have a good time as long as you remember to wear sunblock.
Equally as exciting is Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to have a mom who showed you what it looks like to be loved, please let her know it. Share stories of how much she means to you, how much you’ve learned from her and how much her love has made a difference in your life. Take the time to remember the moms who have passed and to honor the moms who are with us.
Motherhood is a labor of love. So to all the moms, thank you for accepting us, raising us, wiping our runny noses and, above everything else, loving us!
A teen feels she might be experiencing schizophrenia symptoms. I am 13 years old, and I have been noticing some things that have been going on lately with me are related to schizophrenia. Do I have it? Some of my symptoms are hearing noises and people I know talking about me in my head, getting nervous about talking or being with people or my close friends, and believing things that I know can’t possibly be real. —Looking for Answers iStock Dear Looking for Answers, I am glad you felt comfortable asking this question, as I imagine many others have similar symptoms and are curious as to why they are happening. Schizophrenia is a well-researched and frequently discussed mental illness. The first thing you need to know is that a diagnosis of schizophrenia needs to be made in person by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist and cannot be made via written messages, so …read more
You’ll find the Norman Rockwell Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and more in these 9 art districts. If you want to have an artsy vacation, the usual suspects have probably popped onto your travel list: New York City and, if you love jazz, New Orleans. But plenty of other towns and neighborhoods throughout the United States are brimming with quirky art museums, music festivals, art districts and more. These nine made our list of the best artsy places in the U.S. that you might not have known existed. 1. Brevard, North Carolina Keith Lockhart conducts during the Brevard Music Festival. This tiny Southern town (yes, you will be treated to “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” as you exit the local ice cream shop) hosts a major music festival every summer that’s been around for more than 80 years. This isn’t just a small gathering of amateur musicians. Keith Lockhart …read more
Dave Chappelle faces backlash for offensive humor in his Netflix specials, but are comedians required to be inoffensive? In Deep in the Heart of Texas, one of two new Dave Chappelle Netflix specials, Chappelle starts his show with offensive humor, commenting on how it’s nice to see plaid is back in style. “Most dudes I see around these parts are dressed like a dyke in New York, so I’m glad to see that.” He goes on to claim that during a performance in Santa Fe, an audience member hurled a banana peel at him. Chappelle said the perpetrator, a white man, was arrested and he expected he would be sexually assaulted in his holding cell. None of this offensive humor is new to Dave Chappelle’s repertoire. He has always made a habit of commenting on hot-button issues. Throughout Chappelle’s pair of new specials, he touches on LGBT+ and race issues, ISIS …read more
From Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley to Eihi Shiina’s Asami Yamazaki, the horror genre is loaded with strong female characters. The horror genre ignites various reactions: excitement, fear, indifference. Horror aims to portray the unthinkable and push boundaries. From the classic monster tale of Frankenstein to the ’90s slasher hit I Know What You Did Last Summer to Andrzej Żuławski’s cult psychological thriller Possession, horror movies come in a variety of styles. Despite horror’s gory image and violent reputation, most movies in the genre center on female protagonists. But do horror movies have strong female characters? Let’s investigate. Janet Leigh as Marion in Psycho (1960) / Paramount Pictures The modern horror genre as we know it emerged in the 1950s and ’60s and provided social commentary while playing with viewers’ deepest fears: think demonic possession, alien invasion, mutations. Unfortunately, in the ’60s women often played victims on the silver screen. The two most famous examples are …read more
An artist placed a hand on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and developed modern 3D painting. Meet 3 artists making 3D street art, and dive into the epic scenes they create. If you’ve never walked through a plaza and suddenly found yourself standing over a waterfall, on a rickety bridge or atop a flying rat, you need to get out more — to 3D painting events! These anamorphic illusions, or trick art, are incredibly fun and provide an immersive art experience. You’re not just looking at the 3D painting; you get to become a part of it. Festivals take place around the world for 3D painting, there are museums dedicated to its craft, and companies even commission this art form for events. It changes a viewer’s reality and inevitably leads one to question how artists pull it off. A Little History on 3D Painting Every art form has its beginnings. 3D painting was …read more
See Joaquin Phoenix, Nicole Kidman and more talented artists in these 5 standout movies from the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Cannes Film Festival 2017 has arrived, and with it, all the biggest and the brightest stars this side of Mars. This invitation-only event draws the world’s celebrities and filmmakers down its red carpet, under the lights of the paparazzi, to partake in the glitziest of the film festivals on the circuit. It’s not all just champagne and Lars von Trier making Hitler jokes, mind you. As Kristin Scott Thomas once said, “The Cannes Film Festival is about big-budget films but also remarkable films made in different political regimes by filmmakers with little resources.” Cannes is known for hosting some of the most anticipated blockbusters while also playing midwife to some of the most esoteric, challenging and downright controversial movies to grace theaters in the proceeding months. And now, even our Netflix …read more
Hulu’s stunning adaptation of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ takes us further into the complex lives of characters from Margaret Atwood’s timeless story. “Does he know what the Commander and I did last night — our illicit journey into the world of triple-word scores? “Does he care? “I think he does.” Elizabeth Moss’s voice turns daring, teasing — it lends a boldness to Offred, Margaret Atwood’s main character in the novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Never before has Scrabble sounded so provocative. Elisabeth Moss as Offred, Joseph Fiennes as the Commander / Hulu MAJOR BOOK AND SHOW SPOILERS AHEAD! Four episodes into the much-anticipated Hulu adaptation of Atwood’s acclaimed novel, already some of the most important events of the book have been played out on-screen. Interspersed with the familiar plot points from the novel are a few imagined by screenwriters — a risky endeavor to take with such a beloved book, but one that so …read more
With a Jordan Peele voice-altering teaser, Adobe MAX introduced Adobe VoCo last fall. Could this experimental ‘Photoshop for audio’ lead to a less trustworthy world? Digital media editing has become so sophisticated that photographs are now questionable forms of evidence. The phrase “it’s just Photoshopped” makes every physical depiction of a real event questionable. Now it’s someone’s words that can’t be trusted. Introducing Adobe VoCo, an experimental voice manipulation feature that can alter a speaker’s words in the sound of their very own voice. In an Adobe MAX 2016 Sneak Peek event, comedian Jordan Peele jokingly calls VoCo developer Zeyu Jin a witch for creating an incriminating soundbite of him saying who he kissed after winning a prestigious award. While the software does sound like a fun way to create prank calls, it doesn’t go without serious implications. To clarify, with a mere 20 minutes of audio of one person’s voice, …read more
Top any dessert with this decadent chocolate cinnamon sauce. Welcome back to my lab, where I’m creating simple, delicious recipes for singles. With each entry, I give you the basic recipe followed by Mad Science tips for conducting your own experiments. With only a few ingredients, you can enjoy a gourmet recipe from your own kitchen. No matter your skill level, let your inner mad scientist out and let’s get cooking. Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, this month I’ve concocted just the thing for you: chocolate cinnamon sauce with bourbon. Cinnamon and bourbon enhance the delicious chocolate flavor, and you’ll be looking for excuses to pour this boozy chocolate cinnamon sauce on everything. That’s a promise. You’ll be looking for excuses to pour this boozy chocolate cinnamon sauce on everything. That’s a promise. Looking for the perfect finishing touch for dessert for a special occasion — a date, a …read more
This hot dog joint is changing lives by creating jobs for felons. When she was younger, the girl experienced serious abuse. She ran away from home at the age of 12 and met a boy who gave her drugs. They broke into a home, and the owner happened to be there. He killed the homeowner; she was tried as an adult and sent to jail at the age of 13 as an accessory to murder. She was in prison for 20 years. When she got out of prison, she realized quickly that no one would hire her. No matter how hard she tried, she could find no jobs for felons. “She looked for work for 8 months, and couldn’t find anything,” says Deno Andrews, who owns Felony Franks, an unassuming hot dog joint situated in a strip mall in Illinois’ upper middle class neighborhood of Oak Park, just 20 minutes outside of …read more
Bram Stoker’s Dracula may have been inspired by a 15th-century monstrous and heroic ruler. We all know the clichés. The pale-moonlit night. The deep fog drifting over graveyard monuments. From out of the thick, foreboding darkness, a tall foreigner strides forth wearing a tuxedo. A high-collared cape encircles his neck. Slicked-back hair accentuates a widow’s-peak hairline. Alabaster skin glistens in the gloom. Iconic, accented words fall from red lips: “Good evening... I am Count Dracula.” Cue the flashing studio lights and Foley thunder orchestrated by a stagehand shaking a tin sheet. Nowadays just about everyone who’s anyone knows who Dracula is. From the introduction of the King Vampire at the hand of Abraham “Bram” Stoker in 1863, to the CGI-laced epic films of our modern age, to any number of books, graphic novels, poems, songs, radio plays, dances, spoofs and paraphernalia that have flooded our lives over the years, Dracula is …read more
Remembering the humor and wisdom of Nora Ephron, writer/director of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and Amy Adams and Meryl Streep’s ‘Julie & Julia.’ “She pulled a fast one on us... I guess sometimes you have to wait for someone to leave the room to say how great they are,” Meryl Streep said at Nora Ephron’s memorial service in New York City in 2012. The beloved renaissance woman passed away at the age of 71 after a battle with leukemia that she’d kept hidden from everyone except a few close friends and family members. Ephron left us far too soon, but her legacy lives on through her films, her writing and her words of wisdom that are just as relevant today as they were when she bestowed them upon us decades ago. As we approach her birthday on May 19, we still miss Nora Ephron as much as …read more
Is the internet privacy controversy what it seems? In late March 2017, the U.S. Congress voted to dismantle internet privacy rules voted upon by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October 2016. The original FCC ruling would have stopped Internet Service Providers from collecting and selling browsing logs to advertisers without first obtaining permission from users. Instead, Congress overturned the rule, and the order was signed in early April 2017. The decision has created what can only be described as mass commotion across social media and many news outlets. Much of the outrage is unwarranted, though. The internet is useful, and even vital, in today’s world, but one of its pitfalls is the precarious dissemination of misinformation. At first glance, you’d think it would be preferable to have a system where ISPs needed your go-ahead before sharing your data with advertisers. Yet in the grand scheme of things, the original …read more
Join me in my nerdy obsession with Sir David Attenborough. To open the new Planet Earth II series for BBC One, Sir David Attenborough flew over the Alps in a hot air balloon. The footage is breathtaking. It is every bit the quality and beauty viewers have come to expect from the Planet Earth name. The mountains are mesmerizingly blue-white; the sky is somehow the same color and also completely different. And it features an elderly man, in a puffy blue coat, his hair almost entirely white. That man, of course, is Sir David Attenborough, who celebrates his birthday May 8. He is among the best-known names in nature and wildlife documentaries. The work of Sir David Attenborough looms large in the public imagination and has managed to affect many of us, myself included, very personally. Throughout my life, I continually find myself returning to his documentaries. Why does my relationship with Sir …read more
The ancient tradition of Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art still to be discovered in the Western world. Jin Shin Jyutsu® may not be a household name yet, but if we take a look back to 1979 when Jon Kabat-Zinn first brought mindfulness practices into the American mainstream, it wouldn’t be surprising if it started to increase in popularity. Kabat-Zinn brought new ideas like awareness of breathing and yoga poses to a part of the world where conventional, pharmaceutical medicine was established as the norm. At the time, it was unheard of to use an active set of self-guided practices to assist in the healing process or simply improve mental well-being. Since that time when Kabat-Zinn held weekly mindfulness sessions as a clinic at the University of Massachusetts, a lot has changed. As of 2016, 36.7 million people practice yoga in the United States. Since 2007, 750,000 students in the United …read more
Have a complicated relationship with your mom? Put it into perspective with this Mother’s Day movie lineup of horror flicks. Mother’s Day is almost upon us, and while many of us are out buying Hallmark cards and bouquets of roses, others are thinking about that time our mom lured a group of young camp counselors to their murder at a summer camp to avenge our own watery death… Or maybe not quite that bad. Unless you’re Jason Vorhees. Then sorry, buddy. But the fact is lots of us have complicated relationships with our moms. Maybe exploring the most terrifying mother-child relationships is how you want to spend your Mother’s Day. Here’s a short list of great horror films to get you in the right state of mind on that special day. 1. The Babadook (2014, Jennifer Kent) Six-year-old Sam is increasingly obsessed with destroying a monster he believes lives in the home …read more
The legacy of America’s Mermaid Esther Williams lives on with the Aqualillies. Statuesque and graceful are words used to describe many stars of the silver screen, but only one had an uncanny ease in water: Esther Williams. Known as America’s Mermaid, she popularized synchronized swimming through film in the 1940s and ’50s with aqua-musicals at MGM, such as Bathing Beauty, Dangerous When Wet, Neptune’s Daughter and Million Dollar Mermaid. They were full of gorgeous spectacles and surreal performances, and Esther Williams was revered for her synchronized swimming that captivated audiences. She stopped acting in the 1960s to become a businesswoman, but her magnificent talent has not been forgotten. The Aqualillies, a group of synchronized swimmers, are keeping Esther Williams’ legacy alive. Puttin’ on a Show Just as Esther Williams hailed from California, the Aqualillies began in Hollywood in 2008. Since then, the group has grown internationally with teams of Lillies …read more
Searching for Mother’s Day gift ideas? Here are 7 quality products your mom can cherish for a lifetime. Finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift can be difficult. You want to get her something she’ll like but also something that conveys the right message. Well, consider your Mother’s Day dilemma solved. Here’s a list of Mother’s Day gift ideas that your mom will appreciate for their quality and durability. Because if you’re going to spend money on it, it should do what it’s supposed to do. And nothing says, “I appreciate you giving me life and putting up with all the stuff I’ve put you through,” better than a gift that’s made to last a lifetime. Chic Mom Joy Everly Bee Necklace via Buy Me Once. For the chic mom who likes her jewelry fun, prefers her clothing updated but not trendy, and keeps the whole family on schedule, well fed, …read more
At the Macy’s Flower Show, I learned how Victorians professed love and hate through beautiful blooms. Recently I sat in a café with a soon-to-be-married friend discussing how to create a wedding experience that would be as impressive as the elegant ceremonies she’d seen on Pinterest. All day we looked over napkin designs, party favors, program books and what seemed like a never-ending to-do list. When we began to plan the floral arrangements, I suggested adorning the pews and altar with orange lilies to keep with the orange-and-blue theme of her wedding reception. “They would really brighten the place. Plus they smell nice,” I offered. iStock My friend immediately shot down the idea. “Are you trying to ruin my marriage?” She clutched her coffee. “Everyone knows orange lilies mean hate. You might as well jinx the whole thing before it even starts.” Granted, she was a little stressed, but my …read more
Instagram and Facebook aim to create positive effects of social media on users’ mental health. Countless think pieces have been written about social media’s negative impact on mental health, but are there positive effects of social media on our psyches? It’s often still a cultural taboo to openly discuss one’s struggles with mental health, but many celebrities have used social media as a platform to be honest about their experiences. Justin Bieber mentioned on Instagram that he became overwhelmed with his workload and the pressure of his overzealous fans. Cara Delevingne tweeted about her depression. Kesha spoke about her abuse. Celebrities who open up on social media about pressure or mental struggles are sometimes still met with online ridicule. But their bravery also creates space for conversations about mental health. NAMI reports that an estimated one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year. But for …read more
May 3 is World Press Day. What have great thinkers like George Orwell and Hunter S. Thompson said about the role of the press? We hear a great deal about the importance of freedom of the press. Undoubtedly, when May 3 rolls around, bringing with it World Press Freedom Day, or simply World Press Day, there will be plenty of voices screaming from the rooftops about how vital the press is to democracy, and about how important their role is in our lives. There will be cries of censorship, suspensions, attacks and even murder. Of course, these are very real issues. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, over 1200 journalists have been killed since 1992, more than 450 have been forced into exile since 2010, and nearly 300 are being imprisoned worldwide. But what I take issue with is that many who will scream out these numbers, and insist …read more
Mixed expectations for summer movies coming out in May. May 2017 brings three major summer movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For the past few decades, studios have increasingly pinned their blockbuster hopes on known, low-risk properties with huge licensing potential: hence the ongoing parade of sequels, prequels and remakes. “The blockbuster business model, in which studios focus on a handful of big-budget films, necessitates tried-and-true formulas; if one film fails, the entire studio goes down with it,” wrote Hanaa J. Maselmeh. “For this reason, Hollywood tends to rely on the safety and cultural capital of memory.” This spring is no exception, stuffed as it is with familiar titles, celebrity faces and potential hits, while new stories, original characters and provocative ideas may be in shorter supply. How are audiences feeling about these opportunities to revisit beloved (and …read more
How one Emily McDowell card led to a whole lot of empathy around the world. You might be a new mom still figuring out breast pumping at the grocery store, or a sort-of girlfriend who doesn’t really have a definition for your budding relationship. Maybe you’re just really tired after a long day. In any case, there’s an Emily McDowell card just for you. Emily McDowell is best known for her series of Empathy Cards, which are often described as “what sick people really want to hear when they’re sick.” Her greeting cards contain the right words for all the impossible sentiments everyone wishes they could articulate and could hear during the most difficult or even celebratory times. Everyone has tried to escape cliché when they want another person to know how much they care, but that luxury seemed unattainable for many of us until Emily McDowell cards were available. …read more