Beauty in Age & Street Signs

2017 Pirelli Calendar: The calendar, a collector’s item that is produced annually and delivered free to a select group of high-powered clients and members of the fashion elite, is the second in the company’s history to subvert its decades-long tradition of displaying scantily clad models in campily suggestive poses.

  • For 2017, the calendar stepped up the game by concentrating more pointedly on age, and in the process flouting fashion’s last taboo. Evidently the bias against age, long endemic to Hollywood and the fashion runways, no longer applies to style marketing campaigns.
  • Helen Mirren peers imperiously from inside a high collar that lends her an aura of majesty. Nicole Kidman confronts the camera, her features slightly furrowed, her muscular arms hugging the back of a chair. Charlotte Rampling does each of those A-list stars one better, her pale skin and famously hooded eyes devoid of discernible makeup.

Julianne Moore. Credit: Peter Lindbergh

I LOVE NEW YORK: The bright placards were dreamed up and placed there by the state to promote tourism, each brandishing New York’s cheerful and familiar credo: “I Love N.Y.” But there is one problem: The federal government says the signs are illegal. The signs are out of compliance with signage rules because they are so big and crammed with words and information that they are dangerous distractions to drivers.

New York State Thruway sign. Credit: Mike Groll, AP

Curated by CLAI


New York City in 17 Syllables

Curated by NYTIMES

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge (Christine Lai)

On the 6 to Spring
two cops help a tourist whose
map is upside down
— Frances Richey, 63, Manhattan

The New Yorker is
Not kind, they say. I say, he
Just left it at home
— Flor Arley Hodge, 15, Bronx

Our eyes avoid but
If we looked we would see that
We might just be friends.
— Sarah Lenaghan, 13, Brooklyn

The World This Week in 10 Photos

Curated by CLAI

The World This Week in 10 Photos (Washington Post)

Emily Herren takes a picture with her phone as she visits the Flower Fields, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Carlsbad, Calif. A longtime Southern California attraction, the April blooms of colorful Ranunculus flowers at this roadside farm are a springtime tradition. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

4/2/2014: Flower fields in CA (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Luci Hamlin and her husband Specialist Timothy Hamlin wait to get back to their home on base at  Fort Hood, Texas, April 2, 2014. Several people were killed and at least 14 injured on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a U.S. Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another rampage in 2009, U.S. officials said. REUTERS/Austin American-Statesman/Deborah Cannon  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT

4/2/2014: Shooting at Ford Hood, TX (REUTERS/Austin American-Statesman/Deborah Cannon)

Residents walk to higher ground after a 7.6 magnitude quake, following Tuesday's earthquake and tsunami, in the northern port of Iquique April 2, 2014. There were no reports of casualties or damage to infrastructure after the powerful 7.6 magnitude quake that triggered a tsunami alert, Chile's Onemi emergency office told Reuters on Thursday. The quake struck off northern Chile late on Wednesday, prompting tsunami alerts and evacuations along the coast and in neighboring Peru.  Picture taken April 2, 2014. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (CHILE - Tags: DISASTER)

4/2/2014: Earthquake in Chile (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)

A worker attaches the name tag of a Buddhist who made donation to a lantern for upcoming celebration of Buddha's birthday on May 6 at the Jogye temple in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

4/3/2014: Buddha’s Birthday in Korea (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Residents walk on a street during a sandstorm in Hami, northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region on April 3, 2014. Hami issued an "orange alert" for a sandstorm on April 3, warning residents to reduce outdoor activities and avoid dangerous jobs.   CHINA OUT     AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

4/3/2014: Sandstorm in China (AFP/Getty Images)

New Rush Hour of Life, Food in Exile, and a Movie Painter

Curated by CLAI

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” — Frank A. Clark

NEW RUSH HOUR OF LIFE: The modern 40s are so busy it’s hard to assess them. Researchers describe the new “rush hour of life,” when career and child-rearing peaks collide. Today’s 40ish professionals are the DITT generation: double income, toddler twins. The “old age of youth” is coined by Victor Hugo. You’re still reasonably young, but that everything is declining: health, fertility. We still have time for a second act, but we’d better get moving on it.


  • It turns out that I wasn’t supposed to spend my 20s frantically looking for a husband; I should have been building my career and enjoying my last gasp of freedom. I then spent my 30s ruminating on grievances accumulated in my 20s.
  • There are no soul mates. In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title. They’re made over time.
  • More about you is universal than not universal. My unscientific assessment is that we are 95% cohort, 5% unique. Knowing this is a bit of a disappointment, and a bit of a relief.
  • When you’re wondering whether she’s his daughter or his girlfriend, she’s his girlfriend.
  • •When you’re unsure if it’s a woman or a man, it’s a woman.


Man Dining with Radish

Man Dining with Radish (Nigel Buchanan)

EXILED FOOD: Are there really foods that we don’t like, or just foods that we haven’t liked yet? And are we cheating ourselves as we ceaselessly expand our culinary horizons with new tastes by not circling back to old ones? I increasingly suspect that the greatest pleasures-in-waiting aren’t in some foreign land or fringe neighborhood. They’re right in front of us, if only we’d be adventurous enough to give the ingredients we’ve exiled a chance to return to our plates.
Appetite isn’t just or even mainly physiological. It’s psychological. Emotional. It’s a function of expectation, emulation, adaptation.

MOVIE PAINTER: Vasilis Dimitriou, 78, is the last movie billboard painter in Greece. Each poster takes three to four days to complete, and Mr. Dimitriou paints one to two a week.

America and Russia, the Beautiful

Curated by CLAI

BEYOND SOCHI: Stunningly beautiful, yet real photographs of Russia by Russians. A boy named Zahar sits on an old car in a village called Rossiyka near Krasnoyarsk.

Boy sits on car in Russia

Boy sits on car in Russia (Alexander Kustov)

AMERICA’S FAVORITE FOREIGN COUNTRIES: Canada, followed by Great Britain, Germany, Japan, France, India, Israel.

  • LEAST FAVORITE: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya.
  • TOP ENEMY: China.
America's Favorite Countries List

America’s Favorite Countries 2014 (Gallup)

FLAGS MADE IN USA: American flags purchased by the U.S. military must be completely made in America. As of Friday, 2/22/14. “American flags are something we can all agree on should be made in America. I don’t think it’s right that our military service men and women should be fighting under flags made in foreign countries.”