Sally on Splendid Table: Gifts, Table Decorations + Recipes

Check out Public Radio’s The Splendid Table interview with Sally about her favorite gift ideas for cooks and eaters. Most are inexpensive but give a big bang for the buck. To find more about the gifts on Improvised Life, click here for a roundup. You can also hear her favorite holiday tabletop decorations (some of which made great…

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Song for Monday: Hallelujah (K.D. Lang + Leonard Cohen)

(Video link Here.) Suzanne Shaker sent us this wondrous video of K.D. Lang singing Hallelujah. We love many things about it: beyond the astonishing rich and forthright voice, and a song of pure joy is Lang singing barefoot before thousands. And when they regale her with praise, she bows long, deeply-moved, expressing the Hallelujah she just sang. According to…

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Mesmerizing Guerilla Action: Balls on Escalator

(Video link HERE.) We have a soft spot in our heart for slightly subversive guerilla actions that shifts people’s views in public spaces, or provide a bit of art or science to illuminate. Colored balls set loose on an escalator make for a wonderful, anonymous “static loop of kinetic energy, redefining location“. No other info given.…

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Your History of Distruptive Ideas

One of the best end-of-the-year “lists” we’ve come across is Businessweek’s The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History. We’ve loaded it onto our phone to read in spare moments about the influence of the Polaroid, whiteboards, contact lenses, smartphones, the sharing economy, bottled water, Power Point, Parkinson’s Law, Open Source, and Motown, to name a few.…

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Meredith Monk’s “Inner Necessity to Create”

Last weekend, we read the New York Times’ tribute to Meredith Monk, 72, who celebrates 50 years as an avant garde performance artist, vocalist composer, vocalist, dancer, choreographer, director and filmmaker. Fifty years!!! “I’ve been in fashion, out of fashion. I just keep trucking along. It’s an inner necessity to work, and that’s not going to change. I need to…

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Calvino: ‘Each Life is a Library’

In light of our recent posts on decluttering of houses and work spaces, and the consideration of THINGS, and what, exactly we need to live well and freely, we found Italo Calvino’s thoughts incredibly clarifying. The possibility that … everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable… is at the heart of…

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The Cuban Table’s Fab “El Pecado” (Layered Coffee)

In our new favorite cookbook, The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ellen Silverman and Ana Sofia Peláez, Peláez writes evocatively about ventanitas, the street-front windows out of which Cuban bakeries and cafe’s often operate “like beehives scattered across the Miami landscape”. The recipe for el pecado (below), which layers three kinds of milk…

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Delicious Read + Perfect Gift: The Cuban Table

At a crossroads in her life, Ellen Silverman traveled to Cuba where she fell in love with its unique culture. That trip catalyzed many returns and ultimately a rich and many-layered cookbook that would truly showcase the Cuban spirit and culture as expressed through its food: The Cuban Table. Here’s a start of our ongoing series on our favorite new cookbook.

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Mummenschanz’s Clever Improvs w Ordinary Things

(Video link HERE.)  Swiss theater troupe Mummenschanz have been performing their surreal mask-and-prop-oriented style for over forty years. Its subtle choreography mixes the clever use of light and shadow with everyday items like paper towels, toilet paper, giant bags, balloons and fabric to create charming and mind-shifting visions.

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