Feeling blue, pal? Dejected? Feeling like you have to look up to look down? Feeling lower than a snake’s belly, or whale poop—and that’s at the bottom of sea? Feeling like the whole darn world is going to Hell in a hand basket? Well, it is, so at least you’re not also crazy.
If you want to feel better right NOW, may I suggest you watch the video below. Hellzapoppin’ Swing Dance Scene, from the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’, will make you smile! That little bit of pure joy on toast, might be just what it takes to extricate your gaze from your navel. Or, if 5:03 minutes aren’t enough to shake you out of your doldrums, rent 42nd Street, or the original Japanese version of Shall We Dance? or Singin’ in the Rain or The Wizard of Oz—all guaranteed to help you tap your troubles away. Well—how about that? I feel better already.
It’s easy to get lost on the Internet in the web of virtual information, bloggers, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and the like. The one place I don’t mind spending hours on the Web is with Ted: Ted.com, to be precise. Ted signifies Technology, Entertainment and Design: Ideas Worth Spreading. As an idea junkie myself I’ve set aside an hour or so a week to listen to a couple of talks from the Ted Talks archive where according to Ted’s website, “The world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes.” It would be possible, easy in fact, to debate the concept of who are the most fascinating thinkers and doers but to my mind that would be a waste. The talks for me are about expansion, expanding thought, challenging attitudes, inspiring action and nurturing hope.
I first got hooked when someone sent me one of the most widely-viewed Ted Talks, Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight in which Jill, a brain scientist, describes having a massive stroke and the observations she made as it happened. Learn what Jill discovered about the nature of consciousness and then keep going. When video talks have the power of a peak experience I’d say it’s worth getting lost with Ted.
If you have ever found the dishwasher running and wondered who turned it on—even though you’re the only one home—then this song is for you!
I was lucky enough to see folksinger Tom Rush at the fabulous and vintage Colonial Theater in Keene, New Hampshire, last month. He makes mis-remembering acceptably cool.
During our holiday hodgepodge at Fifty is the New, we share a recent blog about Caroline Kennedy’s bid for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat, written by Suzanne Braun Levine, first editor of Ms Magazine, for The Huffington Post.
Whether or not she becomes the junior senator from New York, Caroline Kennedy has already become the poster-woman for those of us thriving, changing, and taking chances at an age when our mothers were encouraged to retire modestly to sitting by the phone, awaiting a call to baby-sit for their grandkids. Women in their fifties and sixties—what I call our Second Adulthood—are a new breed, liberated by better health, greater longevity, experience in the larger world, and self-confidence that is increasing every day. Many are, as Caroline appears to have been, galvanized by reduced emotional demands as their children move out into the world; they find that they can, as one woman told me, “go out of the emotional management business.” And start taking care of their own business.
In my forthcoming book, Fifty Is the New Fifty, I describe what makes this new stage of life for women so exhilarating for us — and often so confusing to those who have known us up until now. No one expected the “intensely private” Caroline Kennedy to start calling attention to herself and her accomplishments. But the first lesson of the experience she embodies is: You are not who you were, only older. At this point in life, we are stepping across a new frontier.
Back in June, I posted a photo I had taken on State Street in Santa Barbara. I had to document it: a dog, cat and rat, piled atop one another, sleeping in peaceful harmony? Who would believe it, I thought.
This video shows how people react to this wonderful anomaly, and the motivation behind the man and his “yes we can!” animals. World peace has to start somewhere, maybe State Street is the place.
I received this link from my friend, Asandra, whose email subject line simply said “exquisite images.” She was not wrong. These magical, lyrical and totally surprising photos of an Ethiopian tribe adorning themselves with natural pigments and flora, literally made me quiver with wonder and delight. Something about the thrill of nature and of people living lives that hark back to simpler times—before technology, modernity and banks! My first intake of breath started around the sixth photo and never stopped. One of these has to become my Christmas card. I just can’t decide which one!
The French text preceding the photos describes in somewhat poetic language how these people, with their hands, fingernails and sticks create masterpieces that the Miros, Picassos and Pollocks of the world sought to channel onto their canvases. If there is a ceremonial context or specific tradition behind this powerful and harmonious melding of humanity with nature, there is no mention of it here. I did some investigating and photographer Hans Silvester has a book of these images and more coming out in April 2009, which may shed more light on this phenomenon. I’m so glad!
Maybe things will start to look up here on earth if we each could spend a little time looking up. Professor Andrea Ghez of UCLA Galactic Center Group has been looking up for a long time. She is developing high spatial resolution imaging techniques to see things in our galaxy and far out into space previously not visible with traditional imaging technology. Her work in observing space at infrared wavelengths may well prove the hypothesis that there is a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Don’t panic, we still have a few billion years in which to come up with a Plan B. Read morekeep looking »