Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Web Zen

In blog, healthy, inspiration, list, website, website wednesday on March 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Spring has sprung! Pastel color schemes invade every SoHo storefront. The food trucks burst from hibernation, trailing cupcakes and gay ice cream in their wake. Children fete tortuous tales of chocolate bunnies laying eggs and raising a zombie Jesus from the grave. Now is the season of new beginnings and spring cleaning, both physical and mental. Here are three sites that will help you realign and rejuvenate your fabulous self.

Zen Habits

Blogger Leo Babauta can be infuriating at first. He’s so calm and happy! Keep calm and carry on reading, though; Leo has some great insights to share. Will you rise at 4:30 am like him to experience the calm of the morning, or spiritually connect with centuries of tea drinkers as you sip your morning cup of oolong? Maybe not, but his simplicity and minimalism are great reminders to slow down and rethink how you go about your day.

The Daily Love

Mastin Kipp wants you to love yourself! Really, really love yourself! His Twitter feeds, @TheDailyLove and @MastinKipp, are chock full of positive energy and incorrigible enthusiasm. Have them delivered to your phone only if you accept that your cheek muscles will ache by day’s end from smiling so much. His site often features guest bloggers who carry the same joyous message.

holistic fitness for the real girl

Leanne Shear, a personal trainer in New York, focuses her writing on physical fitness, but her message extends to mental well-being as well. She uses her personal slip-ups (we’re on vacation! margaritas all round!) as teachable moments, in a voice that’s equal parts girlfriend and guru. With her self-challenging, can-do attitude, her blog is a gym bunny’s inspiration.

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Quixotic Bloggers

In blog, list, treasure trove, website, website wednesday on November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am

Among the innumerable mediocre bloggers out there, a rare few stand out. The questioning. The quirky. The quixotic. The progeny of The Julie/Julia Project, these cats blog on uber-specific topics, never straying from their stated paths and yet holding our attention the whole way. Add them to your blogroll ASAP.

Condom Science

Two crazy-in-love MIT students rate condoms with a frank, enthusiastic tone and an eye for the scientific. You wish your sex life was as educational as this. “Making love in the name of science?” I’m all for it.

The Daily Nail

A different nail polish every day for a year… and much, much more. This well-manicured blogger crafts innovative nail designs from holidays, wallpaper and fabric swatches, TV shows and more. Get inspired for your next girls’ night in.

The Confined Nomad

Three Brooklyn natives set out to eat the cuisine of every nation in the UN, all within the confines of New York City. They’re up to Colombia. Check out where they’ve chowed down and comment on where they should explore next.

Smitten Kitchen

In blog, dessert, food, photography, website, website wednesday on September 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Too often, food blogging descends into the excesses of self-gratification and food porn, slobbering over the decadence or high-end appeal of its dishes. One blog that steers mercifully clear of this self-congratulatory style while still maintaining simple beauty and charm, is The Smitten Kitchen.

Besides having the cutest name ever, the Smitten Kitchen is a neat, no-nonsense answer to Baroque bloggery. Each post features a new recipe, with a prose description punctuated with snapshots, showcasing delicate ingredients coming together in each dish. The authors, Deb and Alex Perelman, operate out of New York City, and focus their highly lauded blog on “accessible” food, steering clear of high-end ingredients and fancy equipment.

The site contains a lot of things below its well-photographed surface: a well-organized database of all recipes featured on the site, several conversion tables, and extensive blogrolls. You can browse the site by most recent posts, season, ingredients, occasions, and even by random posts. Browse during your free time, or use this great go-to when you’re scouting for your next new recipe.

Jak & Jil Blog

In art, blog, fashion, nyc, website, website wednesday on July 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

The Jak & Jil Blog, a standout in the blogosphere of couture photography, showcases bright, crisp, behind-the-scenes photos of the fashion world. Pretty young things dominate the shots, their skin clear and their eyes shaded. The best shots highlight oft-overlooked details: the buckle of a shoulder bag, the fall of a hemline, the arch of a foot. Ignore the all-uppercase paragraphs and lose yourself in this world of impossible beauty.

Comedic Comestibles

In blog, candy, food, funny, website, website wednesday on June 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

So Good

An absurd look at the world of food.

Read if: you follow national food politics, you care about the future of American cuisine, or you love fast food.

My Food Looks Funny

Lolcats meets food porn.

Read if: you’re bored at work and you want a good laugh that doesn’t involve kittens with grammar problems.

EpiCute

The cute food blog.

Read if: you like the idea of melting into a puddle at something’s cuteness before chomping its head off.

1000 Awesome Things

In blog, funny, smile-inducing, website, website wednesday on June 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

If you’re suffering from a case of middle-of-the-week blues, have I got a website for you.

1000 Awesome Things is a wonderfully optimistic blog by Neil Pasricha, dedicated to making you smile through very little effort. The site’s concept is simple: each day, you can read about a new awesome thing. The posts are all about simple, everyday occurrences, most of which you yourself have probably experienced but have never stopped to appreciate before.

Peeling an orange in one shot?

Being the first table to get called up for the dinner buffet at a wedding?

The final seconds of untangling a really big knot?

AWESOME!

Even if you don’t read the text of the posts, simply scrolling through recent titles is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. The site just hit the halfway point in its countdown (to 1,000 posts, of course), so you’ve still got lots of time to read about the awesomeness in your life!

For the non-internet-junkies, 1000 Awesome Things has even spawned a book! Grab a copy today and enjoy warm fuzzies at your leisure.

You Got A Right: A Gospel Tribute to the Supreme Court

In blog, dc, funny, geek, politics on May 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I have had the honor of guest writing for the blog of my dear friend Scott Austin. Blog! The Musical takes that age-old truism to heart: everything is better as a musical. I drew inspiration for my new musical comedy from the battle over Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, heating up now in Washington. Here’s a first look at my submission!

You Got A Right: A Gospel Tribute to the Supreme Court

Act I

It is 2009, and Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired only one clerk for the Court’s term. The clerk is studious and ambitious, and dreams of becoming a Supreme Court Justice herself one day. On the clerk’s first day of work, she approaches Stevens at his desk and asks him why he has chosen so little help this year. He confides that he will leave the Court this term. He laments his departure after many years of service, but reaffirms that he’s made the correct decision (“Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”). The clerk protests that the liberal wing of the Court will have no leader without Stevens, but he will not be moved.

That night, the clerk tosses and turns in bed. Unable to understand Stevens’ decision, she questions her own ambitions to join the Court. The spirit of Justice Sonia Sotomayor visits her, to warn her of the challenges to come for liberals on the Court, but also to remind her not to give up on her dream of becoming a Justice just yet. Sotomayor offers to show the clerk the real Supreme Court, to remind her to follow her passion. Together, they sing “Rock-A My Court,” as they fly into the air and travel to the Supreme Court’s inner chamber. The spirits of Chief Justice John Roberts and the other seven justices greet them at the bench and introduce themselves (“This Little Court of Mine”). Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg steps forward and, together with Sotomayor, appeal to the clerk to become the third woman on the bench (“Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child”). While the idea of female camaraderie is certainly appealing, the whole Court agrees that the powerful, fence-sitting Justice Anthony Kennedy controls tough split decisions on the Court (“He’s Got The Whole Court In His Hands”). The clerk is lured away from Sotomayor by the soulful descant solos of Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito, and by Kennedy’s promises of influence and fame. Sotomayor protests, but is powerless to stop her. The curtain closes as the clerk walks into the open arms of Kennedy, who hurries her away.

Act II

The second act opens with Justice Clarence Thomas’s silent interpretive dance in the empty court room (“I Shall Not Be Moved”). The clerk enters with Kennedy and Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative leader on the Court. She listens as Scalia counsels her that there “Ain’t No Statute High Enough” to stop the Court’s conservative wing. To drive his point home, Scalia conjures sad scenes of justices past, first of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at her husband’s deathbed, and then of Justice David Souter sitting alone in a cottage in the backwoods of New Hampshire, singing to his woodland friends (“Run, O’Connor, Run / Go Tell It On The Mountain”). Horrified at the way former justices have fallen, the clerk is about to give up her dream when Sotomayor reappears. She is furious at the seductive reasoning of the court’s right wing and tears the clerk away, reminding her that “There Is A Balm In Washington,” and that she must not give up hope. With the conservatives gone, the liberal justices join together in a candlelight vigil to appeal, quietly but forcefully, to the power of the White House in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings for Stevens’s replacement (“Obama, Row The Court Ashore”).

Suddenly, the conservative justices reenter, sporting gang colors. They are incensed, and challenge the liberal justices to a dance-off. An all-out battle begins (“Roe v. Wade In The Water”), with the justices showing off their break dancing and beat boxing skills in a hip-hop remix of the classic gospel number. The liberals’ skills are strong, but without the street-savvy stylings of Stevens, they aren’t strong enough, and the conservatives gain the upper hand. The clerk is knocked to the ground by Scalia’s airchair pose, and wakes in her own bed. It was all a dream! Imbued with the drive to aid the fight for justice and the will to serve her country, she marches out to face a new day (“How Great Thou Art (Ode to the Supreme Court)”).

For more parodies like this one, check out The Capitol Steps.