I’m going to be honest: nowadays it takes A LOT for me to stop scrolling through my mind numbing FB newsfeed to read an article, let alone, watch a video in. its. entirety! But the video below not only did just that but completely had me mesmerized and inspired by the sheer talent of this artist.
Meet Turkish Ebru artist, Garip Ay. In this video he recreates Van Gough’s famous Starry Night painting on dark water. Ebru is the traditional Turkish art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments onto a pan of oily water and then transferring the patterns to paper. Also known as “marbling,” this art form is commonly used for decoration in the traditional art of bookbinding.
I could literally watch this and Garip’s other videos on repeat. I also find this art technique oddly quite calming! To learn more about Garip and to see more videos, click here. You’ll be glad you did!
Losing a loved one is never easy; grieving the physical finality of a life and coming to grips with the fact that you will not see that person again is a tough road to travel. Most people keep the memories alive with pictures, burial sites and/or holding on to their loved one’s personal belongings. But, Rinaldo Willy, founder of Algordanza diamonds, has taken an unexpected approach to memorializing those who have passed.
After he lost his father, he came up with the idea of turning the ashes into precious diamonds. The process begins with the chemical extraction of carbon from the cremated ashes. This carbon is then heated and converted into graphite. That graphite is then subjected to intense sustained pressure that results in the creation of a diamond, which is then cut and polished according to the client’s request.
There’s not much better to come home to after a long day at work than a comfy couch, a TV, and big glass of vino (sorry, boyfriend). But, as I get older and my taste in wine matures, the morning-after headaches just seem to get worse. According to a company called PureWine, my wine headaches are thanks to “sulfite preservatives and histamines,” something very scientific sounding that I don’t care to google.
PureWine has created a product, “The Wand,” that when stirred into a glass of wine (red or white) for three minutes, is said to remove those pesky sulfite preservatives and histamines that cause side effects like headaches, congestion and skin rashes. Plus, it is supposed to aerate the wine in the process and not compromise any of the wine’s delicious flavor (and alcohol content).
Magic wands do, of course, come with a price: a pack of eight for $17.99 and a pack of 24 for $47.99 – which could turn into an expensive habit if you drink wine like I do. However, I AM curious to try these puppies out! PureWine, if you are reading this, there’s a group of gals (and a few guys) at 38 Chauncy that would be happy to serve as product testers!
I’ve grown up in a generation where women go to the restroom in pairs and ‘dinner for one’ might as well be a sad Lifetime movie rather than a reservation. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when I impulsively booked a six-day trip to SoCal earlier this year with no plan whatsoever, people looked at me like I was crazy, a loner or both.
Last fall I visited friends in Denver for a weekend, then took a couple days during the week to “solo travel” as the cool kids say these days. I honestly didn’t know it was a thing, I just knew that I wanted to check Red Rocks off of my bucket list and I was in Denver anyways, so why not explore?
My friend let me borrow her car and as I drove deeper and deeper into the mountains, my anxiety slowly released into the clean mountain air and I breathed in a new perspective of life.
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I hiked a bit to a small crevice where a girl was singing quietly with an acoustic guitar. Her voice bounced throughout the vast clay walls and echoed the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. At that moment I was overcome by it all, the site of mountains, larger than any obstacle I was facing in life, the raw acoustic rhythms echoing on the walls, the sun beaming down on my face…and at that moment I realized I was alone.
I had never been more grateful to be alone than at this moment. Being alone doesn’t need to mean being lonely. Why are we so scared of going to the restroom alone? Is the toilet going to eat us?! Being alone is an empowering state. Had I not been alone at this moment, I would not have been able to appreciate all of its beauty. It was this very moment that got me hooked on “solo traveling.”
Want to try solo traveling for yourself? Here are a few pointers.
Screw it, Let’s Do it
As anyone who has read my m.blog on Sir Richard Branson knows, sometimes you just have to do it and not think it through (many, many disclaimers here, like making sure you don’t hurt anyone, it’s not going to make you lose your job, the basics…). I have a few apps that give me alerts when flights to places I want to explore are cheap. If you have a flexible work schedule or are #blessed to have unlimited vaca like we do at marlo, you can find cheap flights a few weeks out, leaving you less time to second guess yourself. While there are great apps like Hopper and Skyscanner, I personally recommend alerts from Kayak, which is how I got my flight to CA for around $200. #steal.
Yes, I’m contradicting myself – be impulsive, but do your research. As someone who plans every minute of my day, week, month, etc. not having a solid plan for an entire week scares the sh%t out of me, which is exactly why I didn’t plan anything. I searched locations of places near LAX that I wanted to explore as a backup if I got restless, but did not allow myself to make an itinerary. If you’re anything like me, not crossing off everything on your to do list gives you anxiety, buttttt if you don’t have a list, then you can’t cross anything off!
Know at least one person in the area (safety first). I have a cousin in Hermosa Beach and knew that she had a futon if plans fell through. I was lucky enough to be able to reconnect with a former coworker in West Hollywood and a friend I met when living in Barcelona in Playa Vista and stay with them each too. A true “solo traveling” experience would yield staying at a hotel or Airbnb, but I need to save money so I can keep up this new hobby of mine.
Also ask people if they have friends in the area. My cousin sent me numbers of some of her friends in LA and I met up with them at a local’s bar. While I felt like I was going on a Tinder date when walking in, I walked out with ten new friends, and some old guy who is a regular at the town’s dive bar… They were able to give me a local’s perspective and recommend new places to explore, which I did the next day when I took a day trip to Santa Monica.
Traveling alone can be scary. Sitting alone at a bar alone can feel weird. Hell, eating lunch alone can make you feel like a loser. But once you shush the voice inside of you and replace “you’re a loser” with “you’re an independent woman” you open yourself to a world that you’ve closed out for 26 years. If eating alone isn’t your thing, grab a sandwich and take it to a park or beach and enjoy the view.
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I never want to look back on my life and say “I should have done that when I was younger” #noregrets. Mid-twenties are a weird time in one’s life. Half of you are getting married and having kids and half of you are stressing over not being married and having kids. Then there’s the few of us who don’t want to be in either of those categories (sorry, mom).
Whether you’re single, married or in between, try solo traveling, truly uncover who you are as a person and walk back into the real world as your best self. If you can find someone who compliments your best version of yourself, then you’ve found a keeper, but if not, the least you can do is be happy with yourself. The stigma that being single over 25 means that something is wrong with you needs to go back to the 1950’s. I encourage everyone to join me in being alone, because solo traveling has taught me that being alone means having the opportunity to do whatever the f&*^ you want, when you want and experiencing the world for everything that it has to offer…and that makes me proud to be alone.
Though New York City is said to have the best public transportation system in the country, I do believe Boston has a leg up in one area. In Boston, we allow our favorite, fuzzy, four-legged creatures to ride with us wherever we need to go on the T. In October 2016, a new NYC transit law was introduced that banned dogs from riding the subway unless they fit inside a “container.”
What the NYC Transit Authority failed to take into account when making this law was the specifications of the word “container” and the ingenuity of people determined to travel with their pets. Just look at these pictures below — the creativity of these people just warms my heart!
Remember all those awesome YouTube videos you used to binge watch a few years ago? No? Me neither. YouTube is not a medium I generally follow closely. But on my page the other day, one of my old subscriptions popped up and led me back to my old favorite channel.
The Slow Mo Guys is a channel run by friends Gav and Dan. They record a variety of things and put them into slow motion, like waxing their legs and wiggling irises. Because you know, being idiots for the sake of being idiots. While some of the antics do look stupid, some of them end up being quite scientific and downright fascinating to watch at such a slow speed. In February 2017, they blew up a much of airbags filled with colored powder and the result are just something you have to see for yourself. Have fun going down this black hole of the internet!
Earlier this year, I blogged about a company in Sweden that is micro-chipping employees (so basically, we will all be robots pretty soon). Well, the one thing I didn’t consider is that robots would actually be taking over our jobs altogether.
It’s not news that many tasks that once required skilled humans can now be done by computers. A new site titled “Will Robots Take My Job?” can tell you how likely it is that that will happen to YOUR job. The site uses data taken from a 2013 study out of Oxford titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?” Along with the likelihood of your job being taken by a robot, the site includes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, like projected growth, median annual wage and number of people employed.
So, which jobs are most at-risk, according to the site? Through a quick search of random job titles, Accountants; Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks; Motion Picture Projectionists and Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators came up with the highest percent risk, at 94-98% (“You are Doomed,” the site says). Dentists, teachers, and clergymen all come in under 1%.
While “Public Relations Specialist” wasn’t available at the time of this post (not sure if I should consider this a good or bad sign), a Marketing Manager is only at 1.4% risk and Graphic Designer at 8.4%, both deemed “Totally Safe” by the site. Looks like marlo marketing will be sticking around for a while (phew).
I took French in high school for not one, not two, not three, not four, but five years straight. The rest of my family is fluent. I’m also Canadian, which I feel like should automatically make me bilingual. Yeah, no. You’d think with that background that I’d be a French language pro, or at least be able to order une croissant. I, however, am not. I have, on multiple occasions, confidently said “je voudrais un café au lait, s’il vous plait” (I’d like a café au lait please) only to be curtly asked “what kind of milk?” by the barista in response. Yes. In English.
I’m not really sure what went wrong in my years of trying, and apparently failing, to learn French, but I recently decided it was time to fix it, especially since I’m planning a trip to France next year. So, like any good millennial, I headed to the app store to save the day and retrieve my MIA language skills. Typing in “learn French” yields hundreds of results of programs claiming to teach users a new language. After some scrolling, installing, and deleting of apps that gave me flashcards for “boy” and “girl” (I’m pretty bad, but not quite that bad), I came across DuoLingo.
If you’re an aspiring polyglot like me, DuoLingo is a must-have to learn or refresh vocab and grammar in over twenty languages, ranging from Welsh to Norwegian. They recently even added Japanese! DuoLingo’s interface is a bit like a computer game; after taking an optional fluency test to skip earlier units, users have to pass levels in order to proceed in the program. Make a mistake, and you’ll lose a health bar. The only way to recover health and keep on learning? Review, review, review old topics. There’s a competitive element too; upon signing up, I was prompted to choose a goal for how much time I wanted to dedicate to the app each day. It sends me reminders if I fail to meet this goal which is really annoying but makes me really productive. I decided I was “insane” (their words, not mine I promise) and would aim to spend roughly 20 minutes per day learning languages. For all you social papillons, you can also join user communities to share your progress, chat with the LingoBot for some digitized conversation (if you’re lonely), or enroll in bonus lessons, like international flirting (if you’re really lonely). It even alerts you of your progress with the language in braggable terms that you can automatically share on LinkedIn; I’m currently 42% fluent (this feat isn’t on my resume just yet; I’m not quite sure “hey look, I’m slightly below mediocre in a foreign language” screams “you should employ me”). I’ve been using the app for a few weeks and am absolutely a fan. While it doesn’t include speaking, which is arguably the most important part of learning a language, I’ve found it keeps phrases circulating in my head even when I’m not practicing. And I’m hoping that the flawless accent of the audio-exercises will somehow permeate into mine. I’m almost confiant that after a summer of DuoLingo-ing away my commutes, I’ll finally be able to order that coffee, maybe even in a third language. Off I go, just got another alert. Au revioir!
It’s no secret that we here at Marlo love animals. We have our very own Lulu Fogelman prancing around the office daily, and become overwhelmed with excitement when her lovely dog walker, Joy, brings a few special guests with her for pick up. Anything with a tail and a soft coat receives a lot of attention from not just us, but from many other animal lovers as well.
Instagram’s always been overflowing with animal accounts, racking up just as many followers as an A-List celeb. Some of these accounts feature unusual household pets, and make a killing in terms of likes. You may ask, who cares about someone else’s pet?! But these pets are not just pets. They are the most photogenic pets I have ever seen, and whoever is running their accounts are also posting giggle-inducing captions that align with each of the pictures. These animals are adorably “instagramable,” and are causing A LOT of media attention –take a look for yourself.
Lionel, a hedgehog, has around 1k followers, and enjoys celebrating “Tongue Out Tuesday.” He even has his own e-mail address for booking purposes.
Meanwhile, Pumpkin, a raccoon, is sitting pretty at 1.2 million followers while posting anything from chilling by the pool, to playing with his two best friends, Toffee and Oreo.
I know what you’re thinking…these owners need a hobby! But some of these cuties are actually getting paid for their posts. Rumor has it that Jiff, a Pomeranian who takes the cake with 5.3 million followers, rakes in close to $18,000 per post. That’s one way to make some extra cash! Excuse me…gotta go find Lulu 😉
As fall and the accompanying apple eating approaches, I’ve found myself pondering odd things of late. Like, I’m sure I’m not the only one that finds the small stickers on my apples annoying. Always in a rush to sink my teeth into my juicy Honeycrisp, I never thought twice about the meaning behind them. So I did a little digging to soothe my soul, and figured I’d share the wealth.
The stickers – which would pass through your digestive system if you happen to accidentally eat one – each contain a PLU (price lookup code). The 4 (or 5) digit code tells consumers/grocery stores what the product is, where it came from and how it was grown.
According to Healthy and Natural World, a five-digit code that starts with the number 9 tells consumers that the product is organic. A four-digit code that starts with either a 3 or a 4 means the fruit was grown conventionally. A five-digit code that starts with the number 8 means that the apple was genetically modified (GMO) – stay away!
So the next time you’re about to chomp down on an apple, take a closer look and see where it came from, and more importantly, how it was grown. Ever since I learned the info, I can’t help but take a peek!