“BEAUTY ALWAYS promises, but never gives anything,” said the French philosopher, mystic and social activist Simone Weil.
Well, that’s just not so. But often beauty expects a lot in return for the gift of its fleeting season.
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DOWN IN Rio, in spite of three Samba schools catching fire and burning down with special Carnival costumes, the people rallied, dug out more beads, feathers, and spangles, and “made do.” Seven hundred thousand foreign visitors are pouring into the city to celebrate the free open-to-all street carnival.
Floats this year seem to have been dreamed up by the revolution in Egypt, the election of Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and WikiLeaks. But the piece de resistance would have to be Gisele Bundchen, born in Brazil, and due to appear as the Venus de Milo.
Such personalities as Jude Law, Pamela Anderson and actor Leonardo DiCaprio are set to attend. Say, weren’t Leonardo and Gisele once like this? Hmmm.
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There was great rejoicing when Great Britain, particularly London, won the chance to host the Summer Olympics in 2012. But now, some people are beginning to wonder just how lucky they were! Here are a few glitch-making “must dos” that have leaked from the International Olympic Committee:
- The London Olympics will be officially conducted in French with English as its second language.
- As the first tongue of the IOC, French must take precedence at medal-giving and all other ceremonies. Billboards and pageantry will be in French. This is a condition of London’s hosting the games.
- The flag of Great Britain will be flown 5th behind the Olympic flag, the London 2012 symbol flag, the United Nations flag, the flag of Greece at the stadium.
- London must provide at least 40,000 hotel rooms for IOC members and other guests, and the Queen herself must appear for the IOC just before the games begin. And Her Highness is expected to greet and meet all members.
- There are to be 700 IOC persons who will require cars and drivers. And 400 more will be in a car pool for cars and drivers.
- No one may wear clothes or accessories with commercial messages.
- Draconian measures will be taken to protect Coca-Cola, McDonalds and other sponsors from “ambush marketing” by rivals.
All this disturbing news has been under wraps for quite some time, and was only obtained by the Spectator magazine and the Games Monitor website under the Freedom of Information laws.
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HERE’S WHY USA Today remains my favorite newspaper, still extant. Recently, they had a “Your Life” feature that exploded five famous myths about how to live longer.
Among the myths: Thinking happy thoughts reduces stress and leads to a longer life … Gardening and walking aren’t enough to keep you healthy … Being serious is bad for you … Take it easy and don’t work so hard. You’ll live longer…
A new book by researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin is titled The Longevity Project. But the researchers did not find the patterns advised above to exist in people who thrived. Stanford University started this study in 1921. Many researchers carried it on:
Myth #1: THINKING HAPPY THOUGHTS REDUCES STRESS AND LEADS TO A LONGER LIFE. Wrong! This is one of “the biggest bombshells of the project.”
Myth #2: GARDENING AND WALKING AREN’T ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU HEALTHY! Being active in middle age was most important to health and longevity in the study. But rather than violent jogging or going to the gym, find something you like to do and just stay active. Keep your patterns, do the gardening, walk the dog, go to museums.
Myth #3: BEING SERIOUS IS BAD FOR YOU. Actually, conscientiousness, prudence, persistence, good organization are more important. People with these qualities are not always carefree. Conscientious obsessive people do things to protect their health and don’t engage in risky pursuits. Persistence, dependability, responsibility are qualities that help one live longer.
Myth #4: TAKE IT EASY AND DON’T WORK SO HARD. YOU’LL LIVE LONGER. Again, people with the most career success are less likely to die young. People who are continually productive, perhaps still working at 70, who are still engaged in pursuing their goals, live longer.
Myth #5: GET MARRIED AND YOU WILL LIVE LONGER. Here’s the reality. “We’re able to say that a sexually satisfying and happy marriage is a very good indicator of future health and long life.” But being single for a woman can be just as healthy. Married men in the study did live the longest. But single men outlived remarried men, but didn’t live as long. Divorced women who stayed single lived nearly as long as steadily married women. Being divorced is less harmful to a woman’s health.