For most of US history, our relationship with death was more intimate than it is today. Americans often died at home and remained there until burial, where they were washed, wrapped in shrouds, and laid out on boards while the family made preparations for a funeral feast and an at-home funeral. In addition to family, women known as “Layers Out of the Dead,” helped take care of the immediate tasks following a death. This homespun approach to death largely persisted until the Civil War, when embalming, hospitals and eventually funeral directors changed the way we dealt with our deceased. But now, with home funerals and even green burials slowly regaining acceptance, a new generation of “Layers Out of the Dead,” are emerging.
StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" Project features short videos of people from all walks of life slowly stripping down to their underwear, while giving revealing interviews intended to show that 'style is not the clothes one wears, but spirit, and comfort in one's skin.' Topics covered are as diverse as their subjects, and include beauty, fashion, disability, diseases and chronic conditions including albinism and cancer, career, gender, identity, body image/dysmorphia, abuse, miscarriage, etc. The majority of the subjects are women. Some videos may be NSFW. (Via)
The New Normal: Pieces of Grief, by Stephanie Wittels Wachs, sister of Parks and Recreation's co-executive producer Harris Wittels, who passed away in February.
The Last Day of Her Life. When Cornell psychology professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when? [more inside]
I’m here, at the home of seven adults not related by blood and two children, to find out why one would choose to live somewhere that requires such an extreme shoe-storage situation. What does it look like, in an age of post-recession scarcity, for a group of people to successfully weather their late twenties and early thirties together, to embark on the great child-rearing mission in a shared home?
In what is being heralded as a "neo liberalist capitalist dystopic future present nightmare", a "UK version of American Psycho" or simply the "end of days", an upmarket property agency in England releases a (serious) video advert for luxury London apartments. Social media is abuzz with analysis, wondering about his day job / cover, and photoshopping, while the Independent newspaper gapes with incredulity. Comments on the video have been disabled. [more inside]
[Trigger warning] 10 Things No One Ever Told You About Life After Sexual Abuse by Dr Nina Burrowes (Buzzfeed). Illustrations by Nina Burrowes, Katie Green, and Jade Sarson.
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
A day before her 32nd birthday, Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. She's now 35, and her cancer has metastasized to terminal, stage-4. Sue Bryce won Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, and last year's prize was a one-person trip to Paris. After hearing her story, Bryce took Brzezinski-Conley with her to the City of Light for a photo shoot and brought along a videographer. The resulting short film: "The Light That Shines." (Also on Vimeo.) Photos. (click the open magazine at the top of the page). The video and photos both show a topless Ms. Brzezinski-Conley, and may be nsfw. [more inside]
A Confederacy of Bachelors [NYT] Meet the brotherhood of Fortress Astoria: Danaher Dempsey, Luke Crane, Rick Brown and Shyaporn Theerakulstit, best friends and artists. They have no children, no linear career histories, no readily disposable savings. The four men, all heterosexual, approaching 40 and never married, have lived together for 18 years, give or take a revolving guest roommate, cohabitating in spaces like an East Village walk-up, a Chelsea loft and, now, a converted office space in Queens. [more inside]
I used to be a lifehacking addict [...] But sometime over the last couple years (around the time I turned 30, not coincidentally), it has begun to dawn on me: Maybe all the time I spend looking for better ways to do things is keeping me from, well, doing things.Confessions of a recovering lifehacker
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye.
Back in October, NYT columnist David Brooks asked his older readers (aged 70+) to send him "life reports." He wanted them to appraise their lives, in an effort to glean some life lessons for all of us to learn by. After receiving thousands of replies, he published his assessment of them a couple weeks ago, in two columns (Part 1: Nov 24, 2011; Part 2: Nov 28, 2011). He's also selected specific ones and published them on his blog. [more inside]
Subterra is a 34 acre estate surrounded by pastoral Kansas hills located 25 miles west of Topeka. The site holds a powerful and ominous past now transformed to an uplifting vision of our potential future. Once, an Atlas E intercontinental ballistic missile with a 4 megaton warhead was housed in the protective underground cavern. Now the missile is gone and the launch control structure is converted into spacious living space with an eclectic spirit of peace.
It's rare to find a blog where you want to grab every picture, and click every link, but that's how it is at wonderful little mwebi, and just a few clicks there leads to these other just as tantalizing micro blogs, such as The Year in Pictures, Kitschy Living, Poculum, Cool Pictures, Colorfullthings, Design Squish and Fade Away (which has a bit of a squishy design). It leaves one wondering out loud, when did blogging get cool again?
For their 43rd anniversary issue, New York Magazine chose "to explore, across time, one of the things that has most defined New York life for centuries and has become a unit of measurement for our successes and failures: The Apartment: A History of Vertical Living" / Sardine Life: What a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about us. [more inside]
Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner and 2011 TED Senior Fellow based in New Orleans. Her Civic Center creates projects that try to "make cities more comfortable", and encourage residents to envision alternate urban realities: "I Wish This Was...." (site) / The NYC Street Vendor Guide / "Before I Die... In NOLA" / The Restroom Map Notepad / The Sexy Trees of the Marigny 2011 Calendar / The Neighbor Doorknob-Hanger / A Nice Place for a Tree and Post-It Notes for Neighbors. (Via). [more inside]
For their January 2011 "Meaning of Life" issue, Esquire has relaunched their "What I've Learned" online archive featuring "wisdom and damn good advice from more than a dozen years" of 300+ celebrity interviews. Plus a video starring Daniella Ruah, of the show NCIS: Los Angeles, lip-synching advice from the archive: The Greatest Things Ever Said. (Video) [more inside]
A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future. A Yahoo Research tool mines news archives for meaning—illuminating past, present, and even future events. Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created as a venture of Yahoo's Research Lab and the Living Knowledge Project, generates timelines that will stretch into the future as well as the past. Here is what a search for MetaFilter produces. [more inside]
Debuting 20 years ago, In Living Color launched the Hollywood careers of Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, David Allen Grier, most of the Wayans family, Jennifer Lopez and Rosie Perez. The comedy might not have aged all that well, but the musical performances and parodies are still a lot of fun. [more inside]
One of the best parts of watching Mad Men is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York. Who doesn’t wish they could simply step into their tvs for a moment and experience the romance of sipping a cocktail in an elegant 60s bar? Guest of a Guest put together a list of Mad Men inspired locales, consisting of places that have been around since the 1960s as well as their modern counterparts. Here’s everything you need to know to dress, drink, eat, and live like a character out of Mad Men.
Innovation, Ideas and the Global Standard of Living by Charles Kenny: "The Success of Development acts like a sword through many of the Gordian knots plaguing the development community, especially those surrounding the rate of economic growth in many developing countries. Put that question to one side, says Kenny, and suddenly a lot of much more interesting questions, about issues like education and healthcare and clean water and human rights, come into a lot more focus. And if you use those metrics, rather than GDP growth, to judge the success or failure of developing countries, then things look rather more optimistic than you might think." (pdf) Glenn Hubbard's review, cf. Technological Creativity and Economic Progress [more inside]
Tree of Bees? Hills that move? A reflective humorous post about living in Southern California via mockable.org
Eartheasy is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside]
Humble abode: Loftcube // Rucksack House // Micro-Compact Home // Superadobe // Zigzag Cabin // Tree Sphere // Mirador // La Petite Maison du Weekend _ all via.
This whole "money" thing got you down? Two artists in their late twenties moved to NYC for a few years and freaked out by the cost of living, so they decide creating an American kibbutz, minus the dining hall wiener schnitzels, up state is the way to go.
Moving houses but don't want to buy bulky furniture? Get a Casulo.
If piss were oil, 10 Midwood would be Saudi Arabia. It is a poorly managed, under-maintained, out of date, dirty, smelly bunker which makes the worst college dorm seem like the Governor's Mansion. [language and images may be nsfw]
Urban Scout. Sincere crusader for sustainable living or poseur hipster douchebag? [last link is google video]
Ingmar Bergman once said that Roy Andersson "makes the best commercials in the world." The 64 year old Swedish director has also made a couple of striking feature films, including the 2000 Cannes Jury Prize winner Songs from the Second Floor (excerpt / reviews) and this year's still unreleased You, the Living (excerpt / review).
I don't know what "independent film" means. At a time when the Weinsteins are trying to extricate themselves from Disney, it seems an appropriate question to ask. There are Indie films (non-industry money) that are supposed to imitate fancy hollywood films, there are new studios being opened outside of LA by Wealthy Christians in Denver hoping to convert through CS Lewis movies and there are Garden State, Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine etc. which are like other Hollywood films: have stars, and studio money but are marketed as "Independent Films." What makes these independent? Finally, and seemingly too infrequently, there are privately financed and self-distributed unusual films like Assisted Living which despite their obvious merits and the critic's adoration are presumably ignored by the studios, blasted by the brain-numbing EW and distributed instead by the two young first-time filmmakers Why can't we see more non-hollywood and non-hollywood espousing independent ART on the screen? Why do we let every other multi-million dollar romantic comedy be sold to us as "indy" just because it has a quirky soundtrack or aesthetic sensibility. What can we do about it? I'm going to the movies. You?
The vertical nature of New York City has long helped define its image, with families stacked on top of each other and penthouse apartments reaching the clouds. But for generations, tens of thousands of people have made do with another New York reality - the basement apartment - and they literally climb out of the ground to enter the city that is always on top of them. As mentioned in literature, personal ads--and soon to be the penthouse of urban worker housing everywhere.
The Harvard Living Wage Campaign has been sitting in blocking the administration building for 8 days, 8 hours, and 58 minutes. They've been nytimesed and you'd think the college would have to listen to Ben Affleck (and Ted Kennedey and 200 faculty and...).