Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
. . . the man in me wants to know why her pants are coming undone and she's making the same face he is.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Louis Vuitton got together with Parsons for a student design project called, appropriately, "Reconstruction."
Ten teams of two students each were given pieces from the Vuitton archive, as well as signature looks from Marc Jacobs. Judges for the contest, held last week, included Harold Koda of the Met’s Costume Institute and Nick Sullivan of Esquire magazine.
And the winners? They were Min Sun Kim and Lydia (Yeo Chung) Kim, for a design that remixed men’s wear and a trench coat, with a hand-painted hem.
The other contestants' designs:
Check out the winning designer's heels!:
Thursday, September 24, 2009
by Stephanie Stiavetti
Making freezer jam is easy, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when you make your first few batches. Follow these tips to keep from repeating my mistakes.
Pectin is the fruit-derived gel that holds jam together and creates a thick consistency. It's important to buy a brand of pectin that is compatible with no-cook freezer jam. Read the instructions carefully, as recipes can (and will) vary from brand to brand. Different kinds of pectin call for different amounts of sugar, so read the directions or your jam won't set correctly. Freezer jams always run a touch thinner than heat-processed preserves, but they should still set to a nice, spreadable consistency. If you prefer a thicker jam, you can heat your fruit to a boil for two minutes before freezing.
When making the recipes below, I used Ball No-Cook Freezer Jam Pectin, with which I've always had good experiences. You can also use any number of other brands, and these days many kinds of pectin allow you to use alternative sweeteners such as honey or Splenda, which is good news for those avoiding refined sugar.
If you do decide to use granulated sugar, it's a good idea to use a superfine variety so that it will dissolve more easily into your fruit. Instead of spending extra money on a specialized product, make it yourself by pulsing regular sugar in a food processor five or six times. Be sure to measure your sugar before grinding it, as it will yield a greater amount once the granules are broken down, and adding extra sweetener may cause your jam to be too sweet.
While you can purchase special plastic containers made for storing jam in the freezer, it's not necessary. You can use whatever sealable plastic containers you have hiding in your cupboards, or you can use good, old-fashioned Mason jars. I usually go with the jars because the whole point of this exercise (for me, anyway) was to act as a precursor to heat canning, and nothing invokes the memory of my grandmother's summer jam more than cute, 8-ounce glass jars with a ribbon tied around the top.
If you decide to use Mason jars, a word of caution: Do not use glassware with "shoulders," or a curvature in the jar just beneath the lid. Instead, use straight-sided jars with a wide mouth. When you freeze liquids, they expand inside the container and push against any curves or shape differences. In the case of glass jars, this can cause breakage and a sticky, razor-sharp mess in your freezer.
[Full article and recipes.]
For the fruit, try your local farmer's market. If you are in the District, check out the White House's brand new FRESHFARM Market:
Season: Sept. 17 - Oct. 29, 2009
Day and time: Thursdays, 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 810 Vermont Avenue, NW (between H St, NW and I St, NW). Click here for map.
Nearest Metro stop: McPherson Square (Blue and Orange Lines). MetroBus stops: S2, S4, S9, 42, X2, L2, G8 and 11Y. For more public transportation options, see www.wmata.com.
Other locations: http://freshfarmmarkets.org/markets.html
You just might see a certain someone there(!):
The 9th Annual National Book Festival will take place on the mall in D.C. this Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10:00am-5:30pm.
List of Authors
Book Signing Schedule
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A new health policy report published by the New England Journal of Medicine proposes "an excise tax of 1 cent per ounce for beverages that have any added caloric sweetener."
A tax of 1 cent per ounce of beverage would increase the cost of a 20-oz soft drink by 15 to 20%.
The revenue generated from a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would be considerable and could be used to help support childhood nutrition programs, obesity-prevention programs, or health care for the uninsured or to help meet general revenue needs.
A national tax of 1 cent per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages would raise $14.9 billion in the first year alone.
What say you, America? Yea or Nay?
The color was not dyed.
It took 4 years, more than 1 million spiders, and 80+ humans to create, and it is 5 to 6 times stronger than steel (by weight).
It is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History.
According to the General Social Survey, which has tracked Americans’ mood since 1972, and five other major studies around the world, women are getting gloomier and men are getting happier.
As Arianna Huffington points out in a blog post headlined “The Sad, Shocking Truth About How Women Are Feeling”: “It doesn’t matter what their marital status is, how much money they make, whether or not they have children, their ethnic background, or the country they live in. Women around the world are in a funk.”(The one exception is black women in America, who are a bit happier than they were in 1972, but still not as happy as black men.)
“Though women begin their lives more fulfilled than men, as they age, they gradually become less happy,” Buckingham writes in his new blog on The Huffington Post, pointing out that this darker view covers feelings about marriage, money and material goods. “Men, in contrast, get happier as they get older.”
Buckingham and other experts dispute the idea that the variance in happiness is caused by women carrying a bigger burden of work at home, the “second shift.” They say that while women still do more cooking, cleaning and child-caring, the trend lines are moving toward more parity, which should make them less stressed.
When women stepped into male- dominated realms, they put more demands — and stress — on themselves. If they once judged themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens and dinner parties, now they judge themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens, dinner parties — and grad school, work, office deadlines and meshing a two-career marriage.
“Choice is inherently stressful,” Buckingham said in an interview. “And women are being driven to distraction.”
One area of extreme distraction is kids. “Across the happiness data, the one thing in life that will make you less happy is having children,” said Betsey Stevenson, an assistant professor at Wharton who co-wrote a paper called “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.” “It’s true whether you’re wealthy or poor, if you have kids late or kids early. Yet I know very few people who would tell me they wish they hadn’t had kids or who would tell me they feel their kids were the destroyer of their happiness.”
The more important things that are crowded into their lives, the less attention women are able to give to each thing.
Add this to the fact that women are hormonally more complicated and biologically more vulnerable. Women are much harder on themselves than men.
They tend to attach to other people more strongly, beat themselves up more when they lose attachments, take things more personally at work and pop far more antidepressants.
“Women have lives that become increasingly empty,” Buckingham said. “They’re doing more and feeling less.”
Another daunting thing: America is more youth and looks obsessed than ever, with an array of expensive cosmetic procedures that allow women to be their own Frankenstein Barbies.
Men can age in an attractive way while women are expected to replicate — and Restylane — their 20s into their 60s.
Buckingham says that greater prosperity has made men happier. And they are also relieved of bearing sole responsibility for their family finances, and no longer have the pressure of having women totally dependent on them.
Men also tend to fare better romantically as time wears on. There are more widows than widowers, and men have an easier time getting younger mates.
Stevenson looks on the bright side of the dark trend, suggesting that happiness is beside the point. We’re happy to have our newfound abundance of choices, she said, even if those choices end up making us unhappier.A paradox, indeed.
Special Bonus: Ann Curry to Al Roker, "I'm gonna strike you."
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Variant(s): or pes·ce·tar·i·an \ˌpe-skə-ˈter-ē-ən\
Etymology: probably from Italian pesce fish (from Latin piscis) + English vegetarian
: one whose diet includes fish but no meat
Monday, September 21, 2009
The introductions that recalled the presenter's first acting gig (often times an after-school special) were amusing, the stage was cool, and the acceptances were short (and limited to one speaker each).
But it all would have fallen short, if not for the host, Mr. Doogie Howser, M.D. himself:
Neil Patrick Harris did not disappoint, and neither did some of the stars (and their stylists).
January Jones in Atelier Versace
Debra Messing in Michael Kors
Christina Applegate in Basil Soda
Winner (too-tan) Toni
The Price is Right.
The OG J.Lo Glo
Short and sweet
Pretty, pretty princess(es)
Heidi is always chic (and pregnant)
Work it, girl.
As for effort
Have you ever seen Ricky Gervais so stylish?
Duckie looks cute as a bee
Black (Done Right)
A little washed out and boring, but not bad
Loves her (can't help it)
Mmm, not sure
Mila is so gorgeous, I can (almost) disregard the awkward hemline
All classy (and age-appropriate)
. . . nice try, lady.
A special congratulations to Mad Men for winning best drama series!