5 DAYS OF SILENCE | REBRANDING BEAUTY | GET SOME SLEEP!
THE HUFFINGTON POST MAGAZINE
FEBRUARY 9, 2014
FIGHT NATIVE AMERICANS GO TO BATTLE OVER THE COMPLICATED FUTURE OF COAL BY LYNNE PEEPLES
02.09.14 #87 CONTENTS
Enter POINTERS: The Games Begin... Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead JASON LINKINS: Looking Forward in Angst DATA: Dirty Surfaces Q&A: Jackie Collins HEADLINES MOVING IMAGE
Voices SASHA BRONNER: What I Learned Spending 5 Days in Silence ADAM GRANT: The No. 1 Feature of a Meaningless Job
COAL-HUNGRY WORLD “Mother Earth doesn’t have a voice. So we must speak for her.” BY LYNNE PEEPLES
Exit STYLE: ‘Aren’t We Curious to See How We’d Grow Up?’ THE THIRD METRIC: This Is What Sleep Loss Will Do to You
FROM TOP: PAUL ANDERSON; DOVE
EAT THIS: The Only Chicken Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Need MUSIC: Dog Ears TFU
DOVE’S ‘REAL WOMEN’ How did a soap company start a dialogue on narrow views of beauty? BY NINA BAHADUR
FROM THE EDITOR: Left in the Dust ON THE COVER: Illustration for
Huffington by Julien Pacaud
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Left in the Dust N THIS WEEK’S ISSUE, Lynne Peeples travels to the Celilo Indian Village in Oregon, where the push for a coalexport superhighway is a growing concern for the local Native American community. The proposed expansion of coal exports is part of a much larger international narrative: While coal use has dropped domestically as natural gas and renewable energy have become more commonplace, fast-growing economies in China and India share a demand for coal that the U.S. can supply. “If government agencies grant
approval to three export terminals proposed for Oregon and Washington, up to 100 million metric tons of coal per year could soon be shuttled in open rail cars from mines in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, along the shores of the Columbia River and the Puget Sound, and through ranches and reservations like this one,” Lynne writes. “The coal would then be loaded onto ships destined for Asia’s proliferating fleet of coal-fired power plants.” The affected tribes are worried about toxic coal dust rising off passing trains, which could
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
potentially poison local waterways and contaminate a crucial resource — salmon. But the debate isn’t just about environmental effects. What these tribes see as a major problem, others view as a necessity for survival. “We rely on coal just as they rely on salmon,” CJ Stewart, senator of the Crow Nation tribe, tells Lynne. “All tribes share one common enemy, and that enemy is poverty.” Elsewhere in the issue, Rebecca Adams speaks to skincare guru Linda Rodin, who at 65 is beginning to book gigs as a model, including a recent ad campaign for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s high-end fashion line, The Row. “It’s funny to think that people want to take my photograph — why didn’t they want to take it when I had no wrinkles?” Roden jokes. Roden has a refreshing attitude toward aging — she’s embraced her
full head of stunning white hair (which went gray in her mid-30s), and has never considered plastic surgery. “Aren’t we curious to see how we’d grow up?” she says. In our Voices section, HuffPost
All tribes share one common enemy, and that enemy is poverty.” Los Angeles editor Sasha Bronner writes a moving essay about her experience at a five-day silent meditation retreat in Big Sur, Calif. “The act of exaggerated silence filled me with the purest sense of calm I have ever felt,” Sasha writes. “Talking and laughing and reading and music still make me feel alive. But so does silence.” Finally, as part of our continued focus on the Third Metric, we look at the many health risks you’re taking when you deprive your body of sleep.
Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook
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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games began this week in Sochi, Russia, with the opening ceremonies held on Friday. There are several new events this year, including team figure skating, women’s ski jumping and ski halfpipe. The Jamaican Bobsled team is also back, after failing to qualify in 2006 and 2010. A crowdfunding campaign raised almost $130,000 to get the team to Russia. U.S. officials have expressed concern about security, including reported threats from terrorist groups, and Russia has deployed more than 50,000 police and soldiers for the games. This year’s games aren’t without controversy, as they’re taking place in the wake of Russia’s passage of stringent antigay laws that ban “propaganda” discussing homosexual relationships. While openly gay athletes will participate in the games, some have said they don’t plan to speak out against the laws while in the country. The games run until Sunday, Feb. 23.
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Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday. He was 46. Hoffman had long struggled with addiction, and his death was due to an apparent heroin overdose. He acted in more than 50 films during his career, and won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the 2005 film Capote. Hoffman had also appeared on Broadway and directed and acted in Off Broadway shows. Police made four drug-related arrests this week in connection with the investigation into his death. CVS Caremark Corp announced Wednesday that its stores would stop selling tobacco products by October. While other retailers like Target and Wegmans stopped selling cigarettes several years ago, CVS is the first drugstore chain to make such a move. In a statement, the company’s chief medical officer said the decision will help strengthen the brand’s identity as a health care provider. The company expects it will lose $2 billion a year due to the decision, the Wall Street Journal reported, but it hopes the strategy will give it a competitive edge over rival pharmacies like Walgreens.
CVS GOES COLD TURKEY
A GOOD OLDFASHIONED DEBATE
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” defended evolution Tuesday in a debate with the head of a Kentucky museum that promotes creationism. Before an audience of about 800 people, Creation Museum founder Ken Ham explained his belief that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that tests saying otherwise are fallible. For his side, Nye brought up evidence from carbon dating and the impossibility that all animal species could have possibly fit on Noah’s Ark, as creationists believe. More than 500,000 people were watching the debate online towards its end, NPR reported, and #creationdebate trended on Twitter.
IDOL FOR CONGRESS
Former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken announced Wednesday that he officially plans to run for U.S. Congress, setting aside a singing career he launched on the second season of the famous television show. Aiken, 35, will run as a Democrat in North Carolina. He is expected to face at least two others in the primary. Rep. Renee Ellmers, the Republican Aiken aims to replace, responded to his candidacy by saying, “As we know, he doesn’t always fare that well. He was runner-up.”
DYLAN FARROW SPEAKS
6 FROM TOP: COREY LOWENSTEIN/RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER/MCT; ANDREW H. WALKER/GETTY IMAGES
Reactions rippled across the Internet this week in the wake of an open letter from Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, 28, who accused the director and screenwriter of sexually abusing her as a 7-year-old child. Farrow published the letter in The New York Times after Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes last month. Accusations were first made against the director more than 20 years ago, but Allen was never charged. “Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse,” Farrow wrote.
THAT’S VIRAL 19 MIXED-BREED DOGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER RIGHT NOW
A selection of the week’s most talked-about stories. HEADLINES TO VIEW FULL STORIES
JUST STOP BEING SO HORRIBLE
TAKE THAT HOMOPHOBES!
THERE’S NOW A 50/50 SHOT JUSTIN BIEBER IS A REPTILE
BREASTFEEDING IS NOW A LAW IN THIS MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES
POLITICO DOESN’T WANT TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE CBO’S OBAMACARE ANALYSIS EADING FOR comprehension can be hard for some people who work in the media. And we all know that the typical Congressional Budget Office report isn’t written in pictures and re-
buses, but actual words and lots of data. So, Tuesday, when everyone cracked the first few pages of the CBO report, got bored and saw the GOP signaling that the report was a “job-killing” nightmare from hell, it presented a predictable challenge to everyone who could and did read the CBO report to go herd all the sputtering clucks back to the hen-
Certified Enrollment Specialist Marlene Nesmith helps Florida resident Johanna Diaz, right, sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
Enter house to sleep off their freak-out. But a new day has dawned, so why is Politico’s “Huddle” newsletter acting like it was born yesterday? The Republicans just got a big gift from the Congressional Budget Office: It’s going to be a lot easier for them to call Obamacare a ‘job killer.’ That’s because the budget office’s new economic report, released Tuesday, says the health care law will cause Americans to work fewer hours - enough to be the equivalent of 2 million fewer jobs in 2017. The latest number is nearly three times as high as the budget office’s previous prediction, and it’s supposed to rise in later years to the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs in 2024. Oh, honey. The Affordable Care Act won’t “cause Americans to work fewer hours.” It will enable workers to make choices they previously weren’t able to make — choices the CBO projects will lead to workers withholding labor supply, not employers reducing labor demand. The latter would be “job killing.” But the former is, “Hey, I don’t particularly feel like
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
doing this job anymore, and now that I don’t need it to provide (or help pay for) my health care, I’m gonna do something else.” And that could mean many things: reducing one’s hours, quitting one job to take a better one, leaving full-time work to start a new business, or actually retiring. That mostly sounds like a list of pretty good choices. It comes down to what kind of
The Affordable Care Act won’t ‘cause Americans to work fewer hours.’ It will enable workers to make choices they previously weren’t able to make.” society we want, and what we consider to be the good life. Are we here to work as much as we can until the day we die, or is there more to life? (The freedom to say, “I’m gonna do something else” is what we refer to as the “American Dream.”) But what’s going on here? Was the CBO report not worth reading before this newsletter was assembled? Well, as this “Huddle” newsletter goes on to say:
Enter There’s a lot more fine print about what those numbers really mean, and whether the jobs were ‘lost.’ In fact, CBO said it’s in large part about the number of hours people choose to work, not actual job losses. But what matters politically is how the numbers look in attack ads. And in this election year, ‘2 million lost jobs’ is a Republican ad-maker’s dream. Ha, well, in the first place, this isn’t a situation where the CBO hid its findings in “fine print.” They’re right there, beginning on page 117, in print the same size as all the rest of it. And there’s no need to put the word “lost” in those questioning scare quotes, as if one can’t be sure what’s happening, or there’s some disputed contention. There isn’t one. Per the CBO: “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor — given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.” But what about those Republi-
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
can attack ads? In truth, there are downsides to what the CBO had to say about the law and its economic effects — but any ad that contends that 2 million jobs had been killed by Obamacare, according to the CBO, is just telling a lie. So what is the CBO projecting, good and bad? Well, as workers, empowered by these new options, make the choice to reduce hours or quit working, it will have effects on the overall economy. Not all of the effects will be positive. As Sam Stein and Jeff Young reported Tuesday, while the CBO projects the ACA could have virtuous effects on labor productivity (by dint of more workers having the freedom to “take jobs that better match their skills”), it could also lead to employers making less of an investment in their workforce, because employee turnover makes training investments less appealing. And over at Business Insider, Josh Barro expands on the upsides and downsides of the CBO report as well. He notes, for example, that workers who choose to reduce hours in order to maintain an income low enough to qualify for ACA subsidies are clearly following a perverse incentive. At the same time, Barro lauds the way the
Enter law will make it “easier for people to retire before age 65, quit a fulltime job to start a business, or shift to part-time work and spend more time raising children or attending school.” (In a separate post, Barro points out that the “buried lede” of this report is that the law will “drive wages up,” “strengthening workers’ hands in negotiation,” and “reduce income inequality.”) Politico contends that the CBO report “will put the White House, and especially red-state Democrats, in an even more awkward position heading into November.” I don’t know about that! Seems to me that people like higher wages and increased labor mobility and less income inequality. Taken as a whole, those ads that the Democrats will be running suddenly sound pretty competitive. And it probably won’t be too hard for Democrats to find living examples of the virtuous effect of the Affordable Care Act. It only took The Huffington Post a few hours to find Claudia and Joseph Schulz, an Arizona couple who finally achieved their dream of starting a business together, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The truth is, this CBO isn’t so much a “huge gift” for Republicans. It actually confirms that the ACA is
LOOKING FORWARD IN ANGST
poised to do some things they really, really hate — like strengthen the bargaining position of middleclass job seekers and force employers to raise wages to compete for low-wage, service-sector workers. It means a less cowed workforce with more options in front of it. It means more sad business lobbyists, which is always good for America. So, Y Kant Politico Reed? Is it not smart enough to understand
Are we here to work as much as we can until the day we die, or is there more to life?” the CBO’s big word? Actually, it’s more like Politico just doesn’t care, one way or the other, about what the CBO actually said. Rather, Politico is signaling that it plans to be an unconcerned observer in the coming ad wars over this issue. It possesses the knowledge to properly inform people, and shut down the malformed spin before it gets started. But it is choosing to not be virtuous or decent or honest. The political freakshow is probably good for business, but the Affordable Care Act might be the thing that helps you start yours.
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The Part of Feminism That Pisses Off Jackie Collins “Feminist always conjures up a picture of women ripping off their bras and throwing them away. Which is so ridiculous.”
Above: Author Jackie Collins visits SiriusXM Studios in February 2013 in New York. Below: Jackie Collins on the Today show in 2013.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW, VISIT HUFFPOST LIVE
You’ll Want to Wash Your Hands Immediately After Reading This Germaphobes, you may be on to something. Bacteria and viruses can lurk on surfaces long after they’re expelled in an infected person’s sneeze or snot. It depends on a number of factors:
the humidity, temperature and type of surface. Ahead, see how long the most infamous microorganisms are able to survive on a surface — as well as their “loves” and “hates.” — Amanda L. Chan
SURVIVAL TIME ON A SURFACE
S TAP FOR TEXT
Rhinovirus The common cold
Influenza The flu
Antibiotic resistant bacteria
Salmonella Food poisoning
DIRTY SURFACES THAT CAN MAKE YOU SICK Fridge water dispenser
Sink faucet handles
Microwave door handles TAP FOR CREDITS
Norovirus Stomach flu
Hepatitis A Food poisoning
These places are especially good at storing dangerous microorganisms
Gas pump handles
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The Week That Was TAP IMAGE TO ENLARGE, TAP EACH DATE FOR FULL ARTICLE ON THE HUFFINGTON POST
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Brussels, Belgium 01.28.2014 A group of FEMEN activists are detained as they demonstrate outside an EU Russia Summit. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Sochi, Russia 01.31.2014 Members of the German Speed Skating team skate during a training session ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics at Adler Arena. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Mathiang, Sudan 01.31.2014 Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government soldiers walk past dead bodies. Recent fighting in the country has seen waves of brutal revenge attacks, as fighters and ethnic militia use violence to loot and settle old scores between the Dinka people of Kiir and the Nuer of Machar, the country’s two largest groups. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Sukameriah, Indonesia 02.01.2014 Rescuers arrive to recover the body of a victim covered in volcanic ash at a village in Karo district. Fourteen people, including four schoolchildren, were killed after they were engulfed by scorching ash clouds spat out by Mount Sinabung in its biggest eruption in recent days, officials said. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Atlanta, Ga. 01.29.2014 In this photo taken with a fisheye lens over the city’s perimeter highway known as “Spaghetti Junction,” the ice-covered interstate system shows the remnants of a winter snow storm that slammed the city with more than 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots when motorists abandoned their vehicles, creating massive traffic jams. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Kathmandu, Nepal 01.30.2014 Nepalese Hindu women fill vessels with water from the Bagmati River, which they consider holy, to offer prayers during the Madhav Narayan festival. During this month-long festival, devotees recite Holy Scriptures dedicated to Hindu goddess Swasthani and Hindu god Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to get a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast during the festival. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
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Quezon, Philippines 01.27.2014 A girl cries as a SWAT member of the Philippine National Police searches for residents who allegedly threw rocks at them as they enforced the demolition of the local shanties, to pave the way for the commercial development of the area. Tap here for a more extensive look at the week on The Huffington Post. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK
What I Learned Spending 5 Days in Silence THE HARDEST PART of living with an undiagnosed and often difficult to manage immune disorder is the war it has waged between my mind and my body. What started as a small rash of hives at age 22 slowly blossomed into a dark and prickly garden of endless referrals, specialists, misdiagnoses, pills, needles, IVs, full-body scans and more questions than answers. Six years of feeling like my body had turned against me created a separation within myself that is
hard to pinpoint. It’s sort of like having a dollhouse inside your body and closing off three rooms because there are bad things inside of them. I got used to walking around that house, but it was unsettling to see the rooms sealed off — knowing that at any moment, or on any morning, those doors could be blown wide open, and I would wake up with welts all over my body or crippling shooting pain in my knees or such deep exhaustion that I sometimes couldn’t get out of bed. The list of doctors in my phone
The cliffs of Big Sur seen from one of the walking paths at the Esalen Institute.
Voices grew steadily, as did my list of prescription drugs. Popping cocktails of bright, multi-colored tablets became routine as I tried eliminating everything from gluten to caffeine, sugar, dairy and alcohol. I carried my disorder with me through three jobs, three apartments and three relationships. The side effects of the medications were vast and deep. Depression and a constant, free-floating sense of unease cloaked my clothing during the day and pushed up against me at night when I slept. It ran down my legs and into the drain like soap when I showered. Trying to determine what drug was causing what reaction or what circumstance was causing what emotion became an endless maze — a nauseating brain teaser that I longed to quit but also needed to solve. Consequently, maintaining sanity was my biggest concern going into a five-day silent meditation retreat at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif. It was the end of 2013 and I found myself exhausted, burnt out and looking for peace. Having never meditated before (I don’t count the hourlong class while studying abroad in England at age 21 where I instantly fell asleep to the sound
of a train passing by), I worried about what repeated meditation and prolonged silence would stir up within my psyche. A month before going, I told an ex that I was most scared of my own intensity, and he told me that that was exactly why I should go. Revealing to people that I was going to be silent for five days inspired all sorts of responses. They were even more baffled when I clar-
What started as a small rash of hives at age 22 slowly blossomed into a dark and prickly garden of endless referrals, specialists, misdiagnoses, pills, needles, IVs, fullbody scans and more questions than answers.” ified that I would do so alone, over New Year’s Eve and my birthday. The decision to go came almost out of a fever dream. I don’t remember when the idea came to me and I don’t remember deciding to do it. It’s like I always meant to go, forgot about it and then suddenly remembered. A minor case of curable amnesia.
Voices Even after calling Esalen and being placed on a waitlist because the retreat was full, I didn’t bat an eye. I saw a missed call from a Monterey area code the very next day and listened, with glee, to a voicemail saying that I was in. I always knew I was going. I am pretty certain I don’t believe in god and my relationship with spirituality is one I would characterize as celibate, but the magnetic force pulling me to Esalen is one I can only describe as calm and real. The Esalen Institute is a beautiful place tucked deep into the jagged cliffs off Highway One in Big Sur. The constant sound of waves crashing was the soundtrack to the five days I spent there. I had no phone, no music and no books. My meditation class met for two-hour blocks, three times a day. I napped outside in the breeze in the afternoons and ate meals alone, bundled in a puffy jacket and beanie, staring out at the grays, blues and shimmering shapes in the ocean. I soaked in the fragrant hot springs at night, floating weightless, naked, staring up at the blackest sky with the brightest stars. Our meditation teacher explained the mind’s tendency to
wander and said that pulling it back is just like flexing a muscle. He encouraged us to focus and refocus on the in and out of our breathing, and sometimes I would keep count of my breaths just to stay awake. Other times I would drift into a trance that I could feel in my bones as both heavy and light — like I was being pushed into the ground from my sternum and lifted up at the same time — until he
A month before going, I told an ex that I was most scared of my own intensity, and he told me that that was exactly why I should go.” rang a little bell and signaled our return to reality. I felt deeply isolated and also deeply happy. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle. In morning meditation, I fell asleep often and then would silently scold myself for not being better. In walking meditation, I cursed my teacher for moving too slowly. In sunset meditation, I started seeing bright, flashing neon shapes pulsating out of the sun and peered around at others
Voices to see if I was the only one imagining things. I had such a persistent headache that I had to slip a note to a classmate pleading for Advil. I didn’t have a big “ah-ha!” moment that I can use as the headline for this essay. I didn’t have a breakdown and I didn’t deflate with loneliness on New Year’s Eve or on my 29th birthday, even though I was absolutely alone. I commemorated the changing of the New Year by laying on my back in the darkness at the edge of the pool, drawing imaginary lines between the stars in the sky and counting the seconds between waves crashing. My alarm chimed quietly, as if not to disturb me, at midnight. It was 2014. I didn’t miss the parties or the candles or the shouting and the hollering. I fell in love with every moment of quiet that I found in Big Sur. Quiet didn’t come as the result of a dramatic breakthrough like I expected it to. It just was. I didn’t feel any of the despair, anxiety, rage or sadness that have colored my twenties as I dipped in and out of good health. Being quiet didn’t aggravate any of the emotions swirling within me. It actually quieted them down. The act of exaggerated silence filled
me with the purest sense of calm I have ever felt. The retreat only lasted five days, and I’m no longer silent. But I am quieter. I still take pills in the morning and at night, but I’m taking less and less of them. The medical bracelet on my wrist feels less permanent and more temporary. Talking and laughing and reading and
The act of exaggerated silence filled me with the purest sense of calm I have ever felt.” music still make me feel alive. But so does silence. It can feel scary and it can feel dark for a few moments when I try to fall asleep at night, thinking about all of the unknowns at age 29, and 39 and 49. So I turn on a noise machine and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves, and I imagine floating weightless, staring up at the brightest stars in that infinite black sky. Sasha Bronner is the Los Angeles editor of The Huffington Post.
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The No. 1 Feature of a Meaningless Job
SK PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT in a job, and meaningfulness looms large. For decades, Americans have ranked purpose as their top priority — above promotions, income, job security, and hours. Work is a search “for daily meaning as well as daily bread,” wrote Studs Turkel after interviewing hundreds of people in a striking array of jobs. Yet all too often, we feel that our work doesn’t matter. “Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.” ¶ What makes a job meaningless? After more than 40 years of research, we know that people struggle to find meaning when they lack autonomy, variety,
Voices challenge, performance feedback, and the chance to work on a whole product or service from start to finish. As important as these factors are, though, there’s another that matters more. Consider the following jobs. They all meet some of the criteria above, yet about 90 percent of people fail to find them highly meaningful: Fashion designer TV newscast director Revenue analyst Web operations coordinator Airline reservation agent Graphics animator Why is meaning missing in these jobs? They rarely have a significant, lasting impact on other people. If these jobs didn’t exist, people wouldn’t be all that much worse off. By contrast, here are the jobs that are highly meaningful to virtually everyone who holds them: Adult literacy teacher Fire chief Nurse midwife Addiction counselor Child life specialist Neurosurgeon They all make an important difference in the lives of others. Not convinced yet? Here’s a taste of the
evidence on the link between helping others and meaningful work: A comprehensive analysis of data from more than 11,000 employees across industries: the single strongest predictor of meaningfulness was the belief that the job had a positive impact on others. Interviews with a representative sample of Americans: more than half reported that the core purpose of their jobs was to benefit others.
Work is a search ‘for daily meaning as well as daily bread.’” Surveys of people around the world: in defining when an activity qualifies as work, “if it contributes to society” was the most common choice in the U.S. — but also in China and Eastern Europe. On multiple continents, people defined work more in terms of contributing to society than as getting paid for a task, doing a strenuous activity, or being told what to do. Studies of people who view their work as a calling, not only a job or career: Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski, widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on
Voices the meaning of work, shows that a core element of a calling is the belief that your work makes the world a better place. Enriching the Meaningfulness of a Job Becoming a neurosurgeon isn’t for everyone. The good news is that there are steps we can take to make jobs more meaningful — for ourselves and others. In many cases, our jobs do have an impact, but we’re too distant from the end users of our products and services. Think of automotive safety engineers who never meet the drivers of their cars or medical scientists who don’t see a patient. By connecting directly with these end users, we can see our past and potential impact. When university fundraisers met a single student whose scholarship was funded by their work, they increased 142 percent in weekly phone minutes and over 400 percent in weekly revenue. When radiologists saw a patient’s photo included in an x-ray file, they wrote 29 percent longer reports and made 46 percent more accurate diagnoses. This is why leaders at John Deere invite employees who build tractors to meet the farmers who
buy their tractors, leaders at Facebook invite software developers to hear from users who have found long-lost friends and family members thanks to the site, and leaders at Wells Fargo film videos of customers describing how lowinterest loans have rescued them from debt. When we see the direct consequences of our jobs for others, we find greater meaning. “The greatest untapped source of moti-
In many cases, our jobs do have an impact, but we’re too distant from the end users of our products and services.” vation,” Susan Dominus explains, “is a sense of service to others.” Of course, some jobs are simply not designed to have a major impact on others. In these situations, people often make the mistake of treating their job descriptions as fixed, overlooking the fact that they can take initiative to alter their own roles. Wrzesniewski, Jane Dutton, and Justin Berg call this job crafting — adding, emphasizing, revising, delegating, or minimizing tasks and interac-
Voices tions in pursuit of greater meaning. For example, hospital cleaners who lack patient contact stepped up to provide emotional support to patients and their families, and technology associates began volunteering for mentoring, teaching, and training roles. When people craft their jobs, they become happier and more effective. In an experiment at Google, colleagues and I invited salespeople and administrators to spend 90 minutes doing the Job Crafting Exercise — they mapped out ways to make their tasks and interactions more meaningful and contribute more to others. Six weeks later, their managers and coworkers rated them as happier and more effective. When they developed new skills to support more significant changes, the happiness and performance gains lasted for at least six months. Like all things in life, meaning can be pushed too far. As the psychologist Brian Little observes, if we turn our trivial pursuits into magnificent obsessions, we gain meaning at the price of manageability. When the weight of the world is on our shoulders, we place ourselves at risk for burnout.
Yet most people are facing the opposite problem in their jobs, of too little meaning rather than too much. Against this backdrop, the chance to help others can be what makes our work
Like all things in life, meaning can be pushed too far. As the psychologist Brian Little observes, if we turn our trivial pursuits into magnificent obsessions, we gain meaning at the price of manageability.” worthwhile. “Suffering ceases to be suffering once it finds a meaning,” wrote Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search For Meaning. “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself — be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.” Adam Grant is a Wharton professor and author of Give and Take.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: AP PHOTO/JASON DECROW; GETTY IMAGES/IMAGE SOURCE; MICHAEL BEZJIAN/WIREIMAGE/ GETTY IMAGES; DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES
“It’s so much more fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed & sacked!”
“Once we put someone in jail they should not have to live in fear for their safety.”
— HuffPost commenter cpbsmw
on “Prison Staff Not Held Accountable For Sexual Abuse Of Inmates: Report”
— Hillary Clinton
on Twitter, during Super Bowl Sunday
“Thank goodness there’s no such thing as Climate Change!”
— HuffPost commenter OmegaZ
on “California Drought Photos Show What Happens When It Rains Just 4 Inches In 13 Months”
“Ultimately, you want emotional monogamy with somebody no matter what.”
— Margaret Cho
on the secret to her open marriage with artist Al Ridenour on Oprah: Where Are They Now?
FROM TOP RIGHT: SLAVEN VLASIC/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE NEW YORKER; GETTY IMAGES/FUSE
You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
— Dylan Farrow,
Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter, in an open letter in The New York Times alleging that her father sexually abused her as a child
“You can no longer choose not to be in a relationship with it.”
— Jonathan Franzen
on the “totalitarianism” of mass media, web and social media, in an interview with The World Post
“Owl gently combs shaggy dog for edible guests.”
— HuffPost commenter Centrist_53 on “Gentle Owl Desperately Wants To Be Friends With Shaggy Dog”
“So sad that I am not surprised anymore.”
— HuffPost commenter jistinnkees
on “South Carolina State University Shooting: Student Dies, Police Seek 4 Suspects”
02.09.14 #87 FEATURES
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ROCK HARD AND A
Coal-Hungry World Brings Tough Choices for Native Americans
BY LY N N E PEEPLES
INSIDE A CEREMONIAL LONGHOUSE IN NORTHERN OREGON LAST SEPTEMBER,
the sun’s rays spilling between the high-peaked beams, Davis Yellowash Washines was seated in full ceremonial dress — yellow headband, red sash, beaded shoes. A rawhide drum rested in his hand, and to his left sat four teenage boys, each with his own drum and mallet. One wore a black Chevrolet T-shirt. They thumped their instruments and called out native songs as an organized smattering of young children bounced rhythmically counter-clockwise around the dirt floor. Two dozen fellow members of the tribal community, seated in folded metal chairs, looked on. ¶ “This longhouse is used for lots of occasions,” Washines said between songs. “But this one is significant.” ¶ This ceremony aimed to ward off coal.
Members of the Lummi Nation bask in the natural light of the Celilo longhouse before the ceremony.
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Celilo Indian Village, Ore., separated from the Columbia River by only a highway and some railroad tracks, is one of many tribal communities that sit in the path of what could soon become America’s coal-export superhighway. If government agencies grant approval to three export terminals proposed for Oregon and Washington, up to 100 million metric tons of coal per year could soon be shuttled in open rail cars from mines in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, along the shores of the Columbia River and the Puget Sound, and through ranches and reservations like this one. The coal would then be loaded onto ships destined for Asia’s proliferating fleet of coalfired power plants. Many activists currently fighting the plan see the impacts of burning coal on the global climate as their primary motivation. But for the Yakama, Lummi and other tribes, as well as communities in the path of these shipments, it’s the local effects that worry them most. There are the potential traffic delays and disturbances to cultural sites. Then there’s the very real prospect of toxic coal dust wafting off the passing trains, fouling
the air, poisoning local waterways and even contaminating key food resources — such as the salmon on which many local tribes, including those living in the tiny Celilo Indian Village, depend. While the U.S. has seen a steady decline in coal use in recent years thanks to tighter federal regulations and the expanded viability of natural gas and renewable energy, the rise of burgeoning, coalhungry economies in China, India and other fast-developing nations means the Celilo tribes — like
An estimated 30 percent of U.S. coal reserves west of the Mississippi are located on native lands. many communities across the Pacific Northwest — now find themselves wedged squarely between a domestic abundance of the combustible rock and its most promising international market. The potential expansion of coal exports elicits differing opinions among tribes and communities here. What may be an environmental or public health imposition for one is seen as a desperately needed opportunity for another. The coal industry, for example, argues that exports
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could inject welcome economic activity into struggling Northwest towns and reservations. By itself, the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposed at Cherry Point on the Puget Sound would add approximately 1,250 permanent jobs, including induced jobs such as restaurant and healthcare workers, as well as 4,400 temporary construction jobs, according to an analysis by an industry consultant. Annual local and state
tax revenues would amount to about $11 million. The dispute over the coal trains is playing out in television advertisements, on the streets and inside boardrooms, town halls and courthouses from Washington, D.C., to Seattle. A series of hearings and protests over the last few months have attracted thousands of people — some donning makeshift respirators, others wearing “Beyond Coal” T-shirts, and some even rappelling from a bridge over the Columbia River as a symbolic blockade to the shipments. Still,
Carver Jewell James addresses the Olympia crowd: “We are all children of the earth,” he said. “No means no. No coal!”
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nowhere are the tensions so acute as on the hardscrabble reservations that either sit atop valuable coal — an estimated 30 percent of U.S. coal reserves west of the Mississippi are located on native lands — or lie in the path of the trains that would haul it to port. Just outside the walls of the longhouse where Washines and his fellow drummers were singing out in opposition to the coal shipments, a 22-foot totem pole lay on the bed of a white truck. The carving, which depicted five salmon, two kneeling men and a hungry child, was touring towns, churches and reservations across the Pacific Northwest as part of an effort to consolidate tribal opposition to the proposed coal shipments. (The totem’s last stop, in late September, would be across the border in the Tsleil-Waututh Nation of British Columbia, where it now stands erected as a display of solidarity with that tribe’s parallel struggle over a tar sands oil pipeline.) “Mother Earth doesn’t have a voice,” said Karen Jim Whitford, a tribal elder, as she stepped shoeless into the center of the longhouse floor. A couple of her tears disappeared into the dirt. “So we must speak for her.”
“I vote we stand up,” exclaimed another elder, Lorintha Umtuch, referring to the totem’s symbolic call for Native Americans to get off their knees and “Warrior Up!” for future generations. “Indian people need to stop this, or else corporations will trample us.” Not all tribes stand on the same side of the coal-export battle line. CJ Stewart, a senator of the Crow Nation, said in a phone interview in October that his tribe desperately needs to develop its coal reserves to improve its economic
“We rely on coal just as they rely on salmon. All tribes share one common enemy, and that enemy is poverty.” fortunes and lift its people out of poverty. In November, the Crow Nation signed a joint resolution with the Navajo Nation in support of each other’s coal development. “We rely on coal just as they rely on salmon,” Stewart said, referring to the Yakama and other tribes represented in Celilo. “All tribes share one common enemy, and that enemy is poverty.” Many tribes along the rail corridor, however, feel it’s not just livelihoods at stake — it’s lives.
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Jewell Praying Wolf James, the carver of the well-traveled totem and member of the Lummi Nation, expressed sympathy with the coal-dependent tribes during a later stop on the totem’s journey in Olympia, Wash. “We feel bad for the Crow Nation, the Navajo, the Hopi. That’s all they got,” he said. “But we want clean air, clean water. We want salmon restored and our children healthy.” Dig into Native American history and you will strike coal. As far back as the 1300s, Hopi Indians in what is now the U.S. Southwest used the fossil fuel for cooking, heating and baking clay pottery. In the 1800s, Native Americans made up much of the early mining workforce that would help ignite coal’s long reign as the go-to fuel source for the country’s necessities and luxuries — from transporting goods and running factories to heating homes and powering Playstations. But King Coal’s grip is slipping. The rise of hydro-fracturing technology in recent years has unleashed torrents of natural gas, a cheaper and cleaner alternative, and left coal-rich states and undiversified coal companies with a serious revenue problem. Many
have responded by looking to Asia, where mining local coal, in addition to building wind farms and solar panels, has not created nearly enough energy for the rapidly growing economies there. Asia’s ready market and America’s still plentiful coal could make a convenient marriage. Proving particularly attractive to Asian buyers is Powder River Basin coal, which is cheap to extract and relatively low in polluting sulfur. Yet plenty of obstacles remain in the
The totem pole stopped in front of the Washington State capitol building in Olympia, drawing more than 50 opponents of the proposed coal ports.
SOURCES: US ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
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GLOBAL COAL CONSUMPTION 10 9 8
GLOBAL COAL CUNSUMPTION IS EXPECTED TO RISE 25% BY THE END OF THE DECADE
IN BILLIONS OF TONS
8.1 BILLION TONS
largely by rapid development centered on coal-fired power. In December, Shanghai’s air quality fell to a record low and the country’s smog could be seen from space. But even with leaders in China vowing to slow down the growth of coal use, experts predict global coal consumption will jump up another 25 percent by the end of the decade. Decisions on the Northwest export terminals could significantly influence the future of coal in Asia. “Opening up this main line of cheap American coal is a pretty important signal if you are a Chinese official thinking about how much to invest in what kind of energy infrastructure,” said KC Golden, senior policy adviser for the non-profit Climate Solutions, which has advocated against the proposed ports. The effects would span the globe. According to estimates by
U.S. and abroad before coal interests can successfully drive their product to northwestern ports for export. There are the vocal environmental advocates, the newly elected local leaders who’ve made clear their opposition to the plans, the big-money investors who’ve withdrawn support for port builders and, of course, the tribes. In a July letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency tasked with evaluating the two Washington State coal port projects, the Lummi Nation wrote of its “unconditional and unequivocal opposition” to the terminal planned for Cherry Point, near its reservation. The tribe cited among other concerns “significant and unavoidable impacts and damage” to treaty rights reserved in the 19th century to fish at its “usual and accustomed” areas. Patricia Graesser, a spokeswoman with the Corps, acknowledged the Lummi letter and said her agency was in government-togovernment discussions with the tribe. “We have a responsibility to uphold the nation’s treaty with Native American tribes,” she said. The Chinese government, meanwhile, is responding to a major air pollution crisis sparked
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the Sightline Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Seattle, Pacific Northwest coal exports could create greater national and worldwide environmental impacts, including on climate change, than a Canadian company’s controversial proposal to ferry Albertan tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Keystone XL pipeline. As Jewell Praying Wolf James put it: “Once the coal gets to China, it’s pollution for all of us.” For more than 11,000 years, Celilo Falls served as the center of trade and commerce for Native Americans of the West. The upwards of 15 million salmon that passed through the milelong span of rocky chutes in the Columbia River every year functioned as a sort of currency. “Some tribal people call it precontact Wall Street,” said Charles Hudson, intergovernmental affairs director with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in Portland, Ore. Lewis and Clark called it “the great mart.” But within a few short hours on March 10, 1957, Celilo’s era of plenty came to an abrupt end. Rising floodwaters from a newly completed hydroelectric dam engulfed
the rapids. Salmon runs soon shrank to a small fraction of their former numbers. Davis Yellowash Washines, chief of enforcement for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, was only five years old when the Dalles Dam opened and drowned Celilo Falls. “I can still feel its mist. I can still hear its thunder,” he said over dinner the night before the September longhouse ceremony.
“Opening up this main line of cheap American coal is a pretty important signal if you are a Chinese official thinking about how much to invest in what kind of energy infrastructure.” Warren Spencer, a Yakama elder, was serving in the military in Germany that year, but he recalled the time-lapse photos of the inundation he received by mail from his mother back home in Celilo Falls. “I sat there on my bunk and cried,” he said. Now, Spencer is deeply concerned about how this new energy project might affect the futures of his four children, 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
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The coal push, he said, represents the continued encroachment of the federal government and “white man’s money” on Native American tribes. “It’s turning brother against brother,” he said. Many of the current and former residents of Celilo belong to the Yakama Nation. Like the Lummi, the tribe put its opposition to the exports on paper. In a November letter to the Army Corps of Engineers and a state official, Yakama chairman Harry Smiskin referenced a “long history of Treaty violations from energy development in the region that permanently and irreparably have harmed my People.” The new energy projects, he said, would add “direct adverse impacts” to the tribe’s treaty rights to fish, hunt and gather food, and do more damage to the already fragile environment, culture and health of his nation. Dr. Frank James, of the University of Washington School of Public Health, underscored the “disproportionate impacts” of the coal projects facing native people of the Northwest. Much of this vulnerability results, he said, from their traditional dependence on the salmon of the region’s rivers and coastal waters — fish that are
now widely listed as threatened or endangered under federal law and could be further spoiled by air and water pollution from mining and transporting the coal, and its burning overseas. The tribes’ reliance on salmon goes beyond a staple food and a means to make a living. “It is their total way of life,” said James. “Salmon is part of their religion, their culture, their language. To further impact that is an assault on their very existence.” In a back corner of the Celilo longhouse kitchen, Gloria Jim sat in a folding chair, on a brief break from cooking the ceremony’s Columbia River salmon lunch with other Celilo women. She lamented that they hadn’t had enough salmon to serve for breakfast, too. “That’s how it used to be here,” said Jim, who wore a white shirt printed with a picture of her deceased son, pink stretch pants and running shoes. She recalled the Forest Gump-like menu of her childhood: Salmon, fried or dried, stuffed or baked, or simply salted. “My mom didn’t believe in food stamps. We lived on what we caught,” she said. “Now we have no choice. We have to go to the grocery store.” Her people have been warned, she added, that the salmon they do catch and eat may be danger-
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ously polluted. An estimated 17 percent of pregnant Native American women already have mercury levels high enough to disrupt the healthy development of their babies — much higher than other racial groups. Deposits of the neurotoxic heavy metal, along with arsenic and other contaminants from coal-fired power plants, can accumulate up the food chain and into salmon. Research further suggests that around 25 percent of the mercury in Northwest American waterways and up to 10 percent of the ozone in the region’s skies is carried by wind currents across the Pacific — from power plants in Asia. Coal exports could pollute the region in other ways. Perhaps most talked about are the risks of heavy metal-laden coal dust and diesel exhaust blown and belched from trains, terminals and ocean-going tankers. Derailments, such as the one that sent seven cars spilling coal into a British Columbia creek last month, raise further fears, as does the possibility of bunker fuel spills once tankers set out to sea through narrow, rough passages. In November, Dan Jaffe, an environmental scientist at the University of Washington-Bothell,
released preliminary results of a study on the environmental insults of existing coal train traffic. His team monitored 450 passing trains — some carrying coal, some not — from two representative sites. They sampled for about 10 days at a spot on the Columbia River Gorge and for about a month near a Seattle home that butts up against railroad tracks currently used by trains en route
His people continue to struggle with poverty and an unemployment rate he suggested is upwards of 50 percent. “And the U.S. cries over its 8 percent,” he said. to Canadian coal ports. Jaffe said he confirmed elevated levels of diesel exhaust there “on par with the dirtiest air in the Seattle area,” as well as a slight increase in large airborne particles — likely coal dust, he said — when coal trains passed by. The three proposed terminals would dramatically increase rail traffic, bringing some 35 additional mile-plus-long trains in and out of the region every day. Currently, fewer than 10 coal trains come and go.
The carving [pictured], which depicted five salmon, two kneeling men and a hungry child, was touring towns across the Pacific Northwest... to consolidate tribal opposition to the proposed coal shipments.
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OR MORE ADDITIONAL TRAINS COULD COME AND GO EACH DAY
Jaffe’s crowdfunded research has yet to be peer-reviewed, a point emphasized by Courtney Wallace, a spokeswoman with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, whose lines would host much of the westbound coal. Wallace added that BNSF has spent more than $1 billion on rail cars and locomotives that “achieve the highest EPA standards available,” and result in 69 percent fewer diesel emissions compared to older locomotives. BNSF has testified that up to 645 pounds of coal dust can escape from each rail car during a 400-mile journey, but Wallace also pointed to findings by the railway that this fugitive dust diminishes as railcars travel farther from the Powder River Basin and toward export terminals. Several environmental organiza-
TONS OF COAL COULD BE RAILED THROUGH THE REGION EACH YEAR
TONS OF COAL LIE BENEATH THE CROW NATIONS LAND IN MONTANA
tions, including the Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit in July against BNSF over coal contamination of U.S. waterways. Wallace called the action a “publicity stunt,” but a U.S. District judge denied a motion to dismiss the case last month. Blown coal dust and other hazards could be particularly dire around Celilo and the rest of the Columbia River Gorge, where train tracks are sometimes just feet from tribal residences, said Hudson, of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The winds are reliable and strong — 40, 50, 70 miles per hour,” he said. “There’s a reason it’s the wind-surfing capital of the world.” Located in rural Montana, the Crow Nation can’t boast a lucrative seafood or wind-surfing tourism market. What they do have is a whole lot of coal. Approximately 9 billion tons of the fossil fuel lie beneath their land, comprising one of the largest coal reserves in
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the United States. “Coal is the way we’ve been taking care of our people,” said CJ Stewart, the Crow senator. Yet his people continue to struggle with poverty and an unemployment rate he suggested is upwards of 50 percent. “And the U.S. cries over its 8 percent,” he said. In June, the U.S. government approved a deal between the Crow and Cloud Peak Energy, a Wyoming company that’s moving to increase its coal exports to Asian markets. The tribe now has the green light to lease its rights to an estimated 1.4 billion tons of coal, more than the U.S. consumes annually. The deal could be worth at least $10 million for the Crow over the first five years. Cloud Peak has also pledged to give preference in hiring, training and promotion to qualified Native Americans, as well as annual scholarships to local native students. A spokesman for Cloud Peak, Rick Curtsinger, said the company is continuing to work through an agreement with the tribe. Crow Nation chairman Darrin Old Coyote testified in July before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources that the deal is largely dependent on the fate of coal exports through the North-
west. Such significant coal development, he said, has “unlimited potential to improve the ongoing substandard socioeconomic conditions of the Crow people and the surrounding communities in southeastern Montana.” “Given our vast mineral resources, the Crow Nation can, and should, be self-sufficient,” he said. Also in the heart of the Powder River Basin, and also saddled with high unemployment, are the Northern Cheyenne. The tribe
“M y mom didn’t believe in food stamps. We lived on what we caught. Now we have no choice. We have to go to the grocery store.” has a long history of resisting coal development due to perceived environmental health risks. But like the Crow, the Northern Cheyenne are also recognizing an increasingly tough economic reality. “We’ve got a lot of coal underneath our land,” said Tom Mexican Cheyenne, director of the Northern Cheyenne’s community health department, who made clear that he did not speak for the tribe. “There’s a split — some on
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IN THE PATH OF COAL Cherry Point, WA Bellingham Powder River Basin National parks American Indian reservations Waterways Cities and towns Proposed ports
PHOTO SOURCES: OR ILLUSTRATION WYOMING STATE CREDIT GEOLOGICAL TK SURVEY
Coal train route
Yakima Longview, WA Celilo Village, OR
Port of Morrow, OR
the tribal council are for coal mining and some are against it.” The Northern Cheyenne’s decision on whether or not to harvest their coal may, too, come down to pending verdicts on the Pacific Northwest ports. No train tracks currently run to their reservation’s coal reserves, though rail lines could be expanded with enough demand. Mexican Cheyenne believes the council is leaning towards development of the coal. “I see a real desperation to help the economy any way they can,” he said. Wind energy has also been on the table here for years. But impoverished tribes such as the Northern Cheyenne and the Crow often lack the funds necessary for capital in-
vestments and opportunities for outside help, such as tax credits. Debra Lekanoff, a leader with the Swinomish Tribe of Washington, said the tribes need federal support to find alternative ways to benefit from their resources. “We urge the federal government to help our brothers and sisters with funding, capacity-building and sound science to open up the doors to new opportunities,” she said. She suggested that the “elephant in the room” in the coal development debate is the challenge of “walking in two worlds” and soundly balancing “economic sustainability and environmental protection.” The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, which includes the Yakama and Lummi, adopted a resolution in September supporting a pilot project proposed by
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the Crow Nation to convert some of its coal to liquid fuels such as diesel and gasoline for domestic use. The tribe’s plan, which Stewart said illustrates that the Crow are not entirely reliant on coal exports, also gained support from the National Congress of American Indians this fall. It still awaits federal approval. The official document from the Northwest Indians, however, notes that their blessing does not “supersede, replace, or rescind” a resolution made by the group in May that opposed all proposals to increase transportation through the region of “fossil energy,” including both coal and unrefined crude oil. About a week after the resolution’s adoption, Jewell Praying Wolf James’s totem pole pulled up in front of the Washington state capitol building in Olympia for another event opposing coal exports. Much like the other stops on the totem’s journey, this ceremony’s songs and speeches pointed to both the despair and hopes of Native Americans and the deeply complex tensions at hand. A crowd of some 50 people, many representatives of local tribes, stood in the alternating rain and sun in front of the flat-
bed truck. Flanking the truck was a yard sign that read, “No coal exports. We can do better.” Creating alternatives, experts agree, is prerequisite to combating climate change and sustaining resources for future generations — and even to passing judgment on
The coal push, he said, represents the continued encroachment of the federal government and “white man’s money” on Native American tribes. any group that chooses to develop its coal, or buy and burn it. “At the end of the day, we’re not going to stop fossil-fuel dependency if we don’t have an answer for how to create energy and create better lives,” said KC Golden, the Climate Solutions policy adviser. “The Crow and other folks across the world want a fair shot at the relative prosperity we enjoy. We have to have a better answer than digging up half of Montana and burning it in Asia.” Lynne Peeples covers the environment and public health at The Huffington Post.
How Dove Tried to Change the Conversation About Female Body Image
By NINA BAHADUR
One of the biggest conceptual ad campaigns of the decade grew out of a photography exhibit in a retail building in Toronto. ¶ “Beyond Compare: Women Photographers On Real Beauty,” a show organized by Dove and Ogilvy & Mather, featured work from 67 female photographers including Annie Leibovitz, Tierney Gearon and Peggy Sirota. And it marked the beginning of Dove’s quest to understand how women thought about beauty — a conversation that would eventually become the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty.
Ten years after the exhibition opened, the Campaign For Real Beauty is one of modern marketing’s most talked-about success stories. The campaign has expanded from billboards to television ads and online videos: The 2006 video, Evolution, went viral before “viral” was even a thing. (After all, YouTube had only launched the year before.) And Dove’s 2013 spot “Real Beauty Sketches,” which shows women describing their appearances to a forensic sketch artist, became the mostwatched video ad of all time. How did a brand associated
with a plain white bar of soap get men and women worldwide to think about the narrow definitions of female beauty? And does the fact that this message comes from a brand owned by Unilever — the company behind the very sexily marketed Axe — make it less authentic or important?
The Start of Something In the early 2000s, Dove executives began looking for a way to revive a brand that was being overshadowed by other companies. Their PR agency, Edelman, conducted a study of more than 3,000 women in 10 countries in order to learn about women’s priorities and interests. When it re-
Previous page: Women pose for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.
ported that only 2 percent of the women interviewed considered themselves beautiful, the executives at Dove saw an opportunity. As they moved beyond the bar of soap and introduced other products such as shampoo and body wash, could they also start a conversation about beauty? Would a campaign that tapped into what women were thinking and feeling help Dove become more relevant — and more profitable? Dove’s first steps in the Campaign For Real Beauty included “Tick Box” billboards, which debuted in Canada and spread across the United States and United Kingdom. The outdoor
How did a brand associated with a plain white bar of soap get men and women worldwide to think about the narrow definitions of female beauty?
billboards featured images of women with two tick-box options next to them such as “fat or fit?” and “grey or gorgeous?” Passersby could text their vote to a listed number, and the percentages appeared next to the image on the billboard. The campaign led 1.5 million visitors to the Campaign for Real Beauty website, alerting Dove that it was on the right track — this was a topic women wanted to talk about.
One of Dove’s “Tick Box” billboards.
Authenticity Questioned Dove’s critics were quick to point out that the brand’s owner, Unilever, was the parent company of Slimfast, Axe and Fair & Lovely skin-whitening cream. How could a message about “real beauty” coming from a corporation that sells diet products and advertises men’s body spray with sexist tropes about women possibly be authentic? According to Jean Kilbourne, creator of the Killing Us Softly documentary series which explores how women are portrayed in advertising, these objections are important — but the anger toward Dove is misdirected. “I think that’s a good reason to go after Unilever, or to go af-
ter Axe,” she told The Huffington Post. “But I actually don’t think the people at Dove have much control over that.” A second criticism sometimes leveled at Dove is that its cosmetic products feed into women’s insecurities. “For the most part, I think that Dove’s products are innocuous,” Kilbourne told HuffPost. “It’s soap and body wash. I do have an issue with products like cellulite-firming cream [which Dove sells] — it’s just one more way to create anxiety for women. But it’s not like they’re selling feminine hygiene sprays.” Jennifer Pozner, executive director of Women In Media & News and author of Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, believes that Dove’s mes-
An ad by the sexily marketed Axe, which is owned by Unilever — also Dove’s parent company.
sage is at odds with its products, and that the company is capitalizing on women’s poor body images. “[These products] could not possibly exist if women actually as a demographic believed the principles at the campaign’s core,” Pozner told HuffPost. “Cellulite cream would not exist if women believed they were beautiful and enough as it is.” Pozner also expressed surprise that Dove has not affected change within its parent company: If the stated goal of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign is for girls and women to understand that their power and their beauty does not come from a tube or an airbrush or a cream, but rather from their own personalities and power, then the company would not sell certain products that they sell, and their parent company would not run some of the most misogynistic ad campaigns in the past ten years. While Dove does not release sales figures, executives at Unilever suggest that the campaign has boosted sales. “We believe that conversation
leads to brand love, and brand love leads to brand loyalty,” Jennifer Bremner, brand director of skin cleansing at Unilever, said in an interview with HuffPost. “That’s obviously a positive for us not just in the power of the brand, but also ultimately in sales.”
Bringing ‘Real Women’ Into the Picture A few months after “Tick Box,” Dove launched a billboard campaign that featured groups of “real,” diverse women in their underwear. One of the women featured on the original billboards
“Until we get to a point in the culture where the dominant messages about girls and women are not focused on their physical bodies, then we do need to actually reaffirm a broader and more innate, internal definition of what beauty is.” was Gina Crisanti, who was approached by a talent scout while taking out the trash at her job at a café. According to Crisanti, she wanted to join the campaign to help other women feel empowered and confident in their bodies. “I grew up not being happy with
AP PHOTO/NAM Y. HUH
my body shape and size at all,” Crisanti told NBC News in 2005. “I hated being curvy. I hated having big breasts. And I hated having curly hair. In my 20s, I realized all those [ideas] were simply self-destructive. Once I started to develop an alternative definition of beauty, all of it started to fall into place.” According to Kilbourne, who has studied advertising since the ‘70s, Dove was — and still is — one of the only mainstream advertisers talking about how we define female beauty. “There are so few commercials that in any way are different, that challenge the stereotypical images,” she told HuffPost. Some other brands have followed suit, capitalizing on the association of their products with a message of female empowerment. Commercials like Pantene’s “Labels Against Women” draw on themes similar to the Campaign for Real Beauty’s, like the snap judgments people make based on a woman’s looks — and why that shouldn’t matter.
Moving Beyond ‘Rebranding’ Knowing that the campaign would be criticized as a shallow marketing ploy, the team behind the
“I grew up not being happy with my body shape and size at all. I hated being curvy. I hated having big breasts. And I hated having curly hair.”
Campaign for Real Beauty concluded that simply talking about these issues wasn’t enough. “[We were thinking], we have to walk the talk,” Sharon MacLeod, vice president of Unilever North America Personal Care, told
Gina Crisanti stands next to a billboard image of herself, which was part of a Dove ad campaign, in 2005.
CHRIS RATCLIFFE/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
HuffPost. “We can’t just be getting people stirred up; awareness and conversation isn’t enough. We actually have to do something to change what’s happening.” And so Dove created a fund in 2004 to partner with organizations like the Girl Scouts,Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Girls Inc. to organize activities including discussions about online bullying and photography projects capturing the beauty girls see in the world around them. “A product-based affair was never going to [affect change],” Janet Kestin, former creative di-
“A product-based affair was never going to [affect change]. The goal is to alleviate pressure on the next generation.” rector of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto who worked on Evolution, told HuffPost. “The goal is to alleviate pressure on the next generation.” The team at Dove Canada created a series of short films to raise awareness about the fund and the larger campaign. Former creative leaders at Ogilvy & Mather Nancy Vonk and Kestin worked with directors Tim Piper and Yael Staav to create Daughters, a series of interviews with mothers and their
“I do have an issue with products like cellulite-firming cream [which Dove sells] — it’s just one more way to create anxiety for women. But it’s not like they’re selling feminine hygiene sprays.” daughters; Onslaught, a look at how the beauty industry targets young girls; and Evolution, showing how makeup and digital alterations can make an average woman look like a supermodel, which quickly blew up on YouTube. (The video currently has 16.9 million views.)
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Evolution, 2006 Evolution was the tipping point, turning the Campaign For Real Beauty into a household name. For many young women, Evolution struck a chord, opening their eyes to the narrow definitions of beauty they grew up with and the way images were manipulated to fit said ideals. Today, Evolution still has an impact, but seems almost passé. Women’s websites like Jezebel, which launched in 2007, took up the gauntlet, making sure
that women all over the world saw what unretouched magazine spreads and billboards look like. Dove still feels like it has a role to play in ongoing discussions about beauty and body image. “We’re going to try to change a generation,” MacLeod told HuffPost. “You have to wait until they grow up to see what happens.” Dove plans to continue making videos like 2013’s “Real Beauty Sketches.” Currently, Dove Canada is working on a social media campaign, #DovePositiveChange, which posts encouraging responses to women tweeting self-deprecating remarks about themselves. And Dove’s latest short film, Selfie, was released on Jan. 20.
Documentarian Jean Kilbourne feels the anger toward Dove over its owner, Unilever, is misdirected.
The Downside To ‘Real Beauty’ But is Dove’s idea of change what we should be focusing on? Not everyone agrees with the importance the campaign places on physical beauty. In an April 2013 piece for The Cut, Ann Friedman wrote: These ads still uphold the notion that, when it comes to evaluating ourselves and other women, beauty is paramount. The goal shouldn’t be to get women to focus on how we are all gorgeous in our own way. It should be to get women to do for ourselves what we wish the broader culture would do: judge each other based on intelligence and wit and ethical sensibility, not just our faces and bodies. Pozner acknowledges that the beauty message is problematic, but deems it necessary. “Until we get to a point in the culture where the dominant messages about girls and women are not focused on their physical bodies, then we do need to actually reaffirm a broader and more innate, internal definition of what beauty is,” she told HuffPost. Both critics and champions of
the campaign have also pointed out that just because women are redefining beauty, doesn’t mean they are actually feeling differently about themselves. Some see this as a call to change the conversation entirely, as Friedman suggests, others as evidence that Dove’s message about beauty is important and neces-
“We can’t just be getting people stirred up; awareness and conversation isn’t enough. We actually have to do something to change what’s happening.”
sary. An estimated 80 percent of American women feel dissatisfied with their bodies, and 81 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of becoming “fat.” Can a series of ad campaigns really change institutionalized body hatred? The Dove team feels strongly that the campaign will be around for a long time to come. “The conversation is as relevant and fresh today as it was 10 years ago,” MacLeod said. “I believe we’ll be doing [this campaign] 10 years from now.” Nina Bahadur is a writer for HuffPost Women.
Exit ‘Aren’t We Curious to See How We’d Grow Up?’ BY REBECCA ADAMS
65-year-old skincare guru and model Linda Rodin.
Exit NE LOOK at Linda Rodin, and it’s easy to see why Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen cast her as a model in their recent ad campaign for The Row. The 65-yearold skincare guru is wearing her signature bright pink lipstick and oversized eyeglasses. Her white hair is tied into a simple low ponytail. She radiates “chic” in an allblack ensemble, but nothing about her reads overly classic or stuffy — she’s undeniably contemporary. As she should be. Rodin started her eponymous skincare line in 2008 after a long career in the fashion industry, enjoying a brief stint as a model in the ‘60s and a successful tenure as a stylist for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Gisele Bundchen and Madonna. “It’s funny to think that people want to take my photograph — why didn’t they want to take it when I had no wrinkles?” she joked when we met in New York recently. But Rodin’s certainly grateful for the opportunity to model, especially when it involves working with the Olsens. “I knew they respected me and they knew I wasn’t going to show up… young,” she said. Response to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive, in-
dicating that perhaps the industry is ready to accept images of models above the age of 20... at least if the Olsens say so. Rodin explained: “I think that was what was so interesting: If those two girls find this amazing, when they’re on the cut-
I think the whole culture’s screwed up. They retouch 20-year-olds.” ting edge of everything, there must be something to it.” It would appear there is. More and more magazines and brands, like Marks & Spencer and TK Maxx in the UK, are enlisting mature women to star in photoshoots. Some models, like Sarah Wiley, are even scouted after they turn 50. There is a “whole gang of us roaming around,” Wiley, 66, told Stella Magazine last month. That “gang” includes 85-year-old Daphne Selfe, 81-year-old Jenni Rhodes and 82-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice, who’s been working steadily as a model since the age of 15. As for Rodin, she had a full-page feature in American Vogue in August 2011, and she also posed for upcoming issues of Dutch maga-
zine Rikka and Canadian magazine Fashion. But the last time she had seriously modeled was in the late ‘60s while living in Italy to study Italian. It was only in 2012, when J.Crew asked Rodin to model in its fall catalogue, that she came back in front of the camera. “I always feel like they’re using me as not just a model, but someone with something going on,” she said. “I’m not just an old lady who they think looks cute in clothes.” It’s easy to make the argument that a brand’s choice to cast an old-
er model is shtick, especially when many models are actually under the legal drinking age (and those who aren’t are altered to look that way via Photoshop). “I think the whole culture’s screwed up,” Rodin said, noting the irony. “They retouch 20-year-olds. I work with them, and I see the pictures, and I know that they’ve retouched this and that and that and this. I just go, ‘She doesn’t even have any wrinkles!’” Fortunately, Rodin hasn’t succumbed to the pressure to look younger unnaturally (though she experimented with fillers and Botox briefly). She’s never dyed her hair, which went gray in her mid-30s,
In the past two years, Rodin has modeled for J. Crew’s fall catalogue and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s highfashion line, The Row.
Exit and she has never even considered getting a facelift. (“Aren’t we curious to see how we’d grow up?”) Instead, she’s established a simple beauty regimen using only her own products (“I’ve got my own little universe”), and she claims she owes her glowing complexion to her namesake brand’s enormously popular face oil, Olio Lusso. “I first made it in my bathroom,” she says, by simply mixing essential oils purchased at a health food store together in a teacup until she created the perfect concoction for her skin. Rodin began handing out small vials of the oil to models, photographers and celebrities on the photo shoots she styled. Before she knew it, Gwyneth Paltrow and Liv Tyler were vocal fans, and a cult following ensued. “It makes your skin radiate naturally,” she said. “It’s not going to take away wrinkles. There’s no miracle cream — if there was, we’d all have it.” So rather than harp on the fine lines and freckles that come with aging naturally, Rodin’s chosen to focus on looking the best she can while being healthy. “I’m never going to look younger; it’s a folly,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to fix anything, so I
might as well embrace it.” Considering all of the top-tier modeling gigs she’s booking, that strategy seems to be working well for Rodin. As of now, she’s having fun modeling and focusing on the product launches set for her brand this year, which include a powder face wash and a fragrance inspired by her mother. With this level of energy, it’s no wonder the woman is helping to set the
‘It’s funny to think that people want to take my photograph — why didn’t they want to take it when I had no wrinkles?’ she joked.” bar for longevity in the fashion, beauty and modeling worlds. But the wisdom and perspective she’s gained have only come with age. “I remember when I was 24 saying to somebody, ‘You know, I’m really getting up there — I’m 24!’ I was embarrassed by how old I was. Can you believe that? Twenty-four and you’re making excuses? What was I thinking?” she said. “ And now, I want to be 90. I want to be old and healthy.”
THE THIRD METRIC
This Is What Sleep Loss Will Do to You BY LAURA SCHOCKER
F YOU DON’T SNOOZE, you lose. Skimping on sleep can wreak havoc from head to toe. In fact, one study published last year showed that just one week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night resulted in changes to more than 700 genes. That’s alarming news, considering nearly half of Americans don’t bank the recommended seven or more hours
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of shut-eye a night, according to a recent survey. Read on for the nightmare-inducing truth about what could be happening to your body when you don’t get enough sleep, starting the very first night.
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AFTER ONE NIGHT YOU’RE... Hungrier and apt to eat more. Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with a propensity to load up on bigger portions, a preference for high-calorie, high-carb foods and a greater likelihood of choosing unhealthy foods while grocery shopping. More likely to have an accident. Getting six or fewer hours of shut-eye a night triples your risk of drowsy driving-related accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsydriving.org. Plus, just one bad night’s sleep can affect a driver’s eye-steering coordination, according to research from Manchester Metropolitan University. And sleep deprivation can just make you generally more clumsy, whether you’re behind the wheel or not, reports Prevention. Not looking your best — or your most approachable. Beauty sleep is legit. A small study published last year
in the journal SLEEP found that sleep-deprived study participants were rated as less attractive and sadder, HuffPost reported at the time. A different study from the Medical Institutet Karolinska in Stockholm, Sweden, found that exhausted people are also judged to be less approachable. And the problem only gets worse over time: Researchers have linked chronic sleep deprivation with skin aging. More likely to catch a cold. Proper rest is one of the building blocks of a healthy immune system. In fact, one Carnegie Mellon University study found that sleeping fewer than seven hours a night was associated with a tripled risk of coming down with a cold.
Getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night triples your risk of drowsy drivingrelated accidents.
Exit Losing brain tissue. A small, recent study of 15 men, published in the journal SLEEP, found that just one night of sleep deprivation was linked with signs of brain tissue loss, measured by blood levels of two brain molecules that usually increase after brain damage. More likely to get emotional. One 2007 study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard Medical School used functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging to show that after sleep deprivation, the brain’s emotional centers were more more than 60 percent more reactive. “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” senior author Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, said in a statement. “Emotionally, you’re not on a level playing field.” Less focused and having memory problems. Being exhausted zaps your focus, and can render you
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more forgetful (no wonder you keep misplacing your cell phone after a bad night between the sheets). On top of that, sleep is thought to be involved in the process of memory consolidation, according to Harvard, which means shortchanging it can make it more difficult to learn and retain new things.
A small study published last year in the journal SLEEP found that sleep-deprived study participants were rated as less attractive and sadder.” AFTER A WHILE YOUR... Stroke risk quadruples. Research presented at the SLEEP 2012 conference suggested that getting fewer than six hours a night can ratchet up stroke risk for middle- and older-aged people. “These people sleeping less than six hours had a four times increased risk of experiencing these stroke symptoms compared to their normal weight counterparts that were getting seven to eight hours,” study researcher Megan Ruiter, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told HuffPost.
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Obesity risk jumps. Not only can short-term sleep loss lead to increased caloric consumption, but multiple studies have suggested a link between chronic sleep deprivation and increased obesity risk over time. One 2012 research review from Penn State, for instance, found that sleeping fewer than six hours a night was linked with changes in levels of the appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin. Another 2012 study published in the American Journal of Human Biology showed that too little sleep was tied to changes in appetite regulation, which could trig-
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ger people to eat more. And another study from the University of Pennsylvania found study participants who were sleep-deprived for five nights in a row gained about two pounds, perhaps because of late night snacking. Risk of some cancers may increase. One cancer study of 1,240 participants who underwent colonoscopies found that those who slept fewer than six hours a night had a 50 percent spike in risk of colorectal adenomas, which can turn malignant over time. Another 2012 study identified a possible link between sleep and aggressive breast cancers. Researchers have also suggested a correlation between
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sleep apnea and increased cancer risk of any kind. Diabetes risk goes up. A 2013 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that too little (and too much!) sleep was linked with a host of chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. And the same 2012 study that found that sleep deprivation was linked to hormonal changes associated with obesity also found that too little sleep was tied to decreased insulin sensitivity, a diabetes risk factor. Heart disease risk increases. Chronic sleep deprivation has been associated with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (or cholesterol-clogged arteries), heart failure and heart attack, Harvard Health Publications reports. A 2011 study from Warwick Medical School researchers found that inadequate shut-eye was tied to heart attack risk, cardiovascular disorders and stroke. “If you sleep less than six hours per night and have disturbed sleep you stand a 48 percent greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15 per cent greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke,” lead author Francesco Cappuccio said in a statement on the findings, which
were published in the European Heart Journal. “The trend for late nights and early mornings is actually a ticking time bomb for our health so you need to act now to reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions.” Sperm count decreases. Besides the obvious fact that exhaustion isn’t conducive to getting busy, skipping sleep can take a hit on fertility. A
Sleeping fewer than seven hours a night was associated with a tripled risk of coming down with a cold.” 2013 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology of 953 young men in Denmark found those with high levels of sleep disturbances had a 29 percent lower concentration of sperm in their semen. Risk of death goes up. A SLEEP study evaluating 1,741 men and women over the course of 10 to 14 years found that men who slept fewer than six hours had a significant increase in mortality risk, even after adjusting for diabetes, hypertension and other factors.
The Only Chicken Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Need BY JULIE R. THOMSON
Exit T’S SOUP SEASON, and we’re all in need of a good recipe or two. Whether it’s to fight off that persistent cold or just to make you feel better after a hard day, chicken soup is what you need. You could spend hours looking online to find the perfect recipe that’ll warm your belly during these winter months, or you could just make the best chicken soup recipe around. The decision’s easy, we think: Make this recipe. The best part about this soup is that you don’t have to strictly follow the recipe, which means you cook to your taste. There are just a couple of key things you have to keep in mind:
First, the secret to a great chicken soup recipe is simple: use homemade stock (directions here). And better yet, make it fresh with the vegetables and bones of the chicken you’re going to use in the soup. We know some of you are scared of stock, but it’s time to get over it. If you face your fears for anything, it should be for great soup. Next, be sure to use celery, carrots and onions, along with any
of your other vegetable preferences. (Fennel, broccoli and squash are some great ones to throw in.) These three vegetables are pals and their flavors work so well together. They’re the only ingredients in a mirepoix which is the base of so many great dishes (and it has
Be sure to use celery, carrots and onions, along with any of your other vegetable preferences. These three vegetables are pals and their flavors work so well together." been since the 18th century) so you know you’re in good hands. Make sure you use high quality ingredients. We know some of you think that all the ingredients in soup are just going to get buried in a big pot so you can get away with throwing whatever you want into it, but this is a big mistake. You can’t hide from flavor — it’s either there or it isn’t. And with subpar ingredients, it just isn’t.
When using rice or noodles, add them with just enough time so that they cook through. You don’t want pasta to be sitting in a pot of boiling water for two hours. Nothing good will come of that. Now check out Simply Recipe’s Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s the only chicken soup recipe you’ll even need — it’s perfection. Find the ingredients ahead,
and tap here for the step-bystep instructions. INGREDIENTS One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into parts — breast, thighs, backs, wings and neck (if available) ■ 5 carrots (2 carrots scrubbed clean, but not peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks for the stock, 3 carrots peeled and cut into 1/4inch rounds for the soup) ■ 5 ribs of celery (2 ribs cut into 2 inch pieces for the stock, 3 ribs cut into 1/4-inch thick slices for the soup), including celery tops for the stock ■ 1 onion, quartered (for stock, peel on is okay) ■ 3 cloves of garlic, peel on, cut in half ■ 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a teaspoon of dried) ■ 1 bunch of parsley ■ 5 whole peppercorns ■ Salt ■ 8 to 12 ounces of egg noodles (depending on how noodle-y you want your soup) ■ Freshly ground black pepper ■
Dog Ears: Born in February In which we spotlight music from a diversity of genres and decades, lending an insider’s ear to what deserves to be heard. BY THE EVERLASTING PHIL RAMONE AND DANIELLE EVIN
Jazz chanteuse and songwriter Melody Gardot’s clarity and reserve is something to take in. Born in New Jersey in 1985 and raised in Philadelphia, she tracked her path of music starting at the age of 9. Piano and fashion studies were interrupted at 19, as Gardot was hit by a car whilst riding her bicycle, and left for dead on the side of the road. During the arduous months of recovery, music became her healer and her third hand. The injurious trauma left her sensitive to noise and light, yet ever resilient. The Grammy-nominated songbird’s highlights include the VSA International Young Soloists Award, featured tracks for the film An Education, and a batch of releases to date. Her gentle voice is a soaring force. “Worrisome Heart,” from her 2006 release Worrisome Heart, is pure grade-A.
Singer/songwriter Conor Oberst was born in Omaha, Nebraska, at the hit of the ’80s, the youngest of three children to a musical family. In boyhood, he picked up the guitar and started writing songs. By the mid ’90s, as a teen, Conor founded Bright Eyes, setting his trajectory that included Monsters of Folk, Desaparecidos, Conor Oberst & The Mystique Valley Band, and a solo career. His collective work comprises over two dozen releases to date. Among his collaborations are Gillian Welche, Andy LeMaster, Taylor Hollingsworth, Nik Freitas, Macey Taylor, Nate Walcott, and Jason Boesel. Oberst’s storytelling voice makes way with heart and a little nerve. Download “Cape Canaveral,” from his 2008 Conor Oberst.
Los Angeles-based soul revivalist Mayer Hawthorne was born on the cusp of the ’80s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised on the wonderment of Detroit radio. As a young boy, he took to many instruments but never to singing — singing took to him. After cutting his musical teeth, Hawthorne released his debut solo effort for Stones Throw Records in 2008. (He also performs in the hip-hop world as “Haircut.”) Shared stages include Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae, Foster the People and Amy Winehouse. Collaborations include Pharrell Williams, Booker T. Jones, SebastiAn, Daryl Hall and Pitbull. Open with “Where Does This Door Go,” from the 2013 Where Does This Door Go (Deluxe Edition) — the sound of modern elegance.
BUY: iTunes GENRE: Jazz ARTIST: Melody Gardot SONG: Worrisome Heart ALBUM: Worrisome Heart
BUY: iTunes GENRE: Alternative ARTIST: Conor Oberst SONG: Cape Canaveral ALBUM: Conor Oberst
BUY: iTunes GENRE: R&B/Soul ARTIST: Mayer Hawthorne SONG: Where Does This Door Go ALBUM: Where Does This Door Go (Deluxe Edition)
SIMON JEFFES (PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA) Modern-classical composer, producer, and arranger Simon Jeffes was born in Sussex, England, in 1949. At the age of 12, Simon discovered guitar at boarding school, later moving on to piano and music theory. In the early ’70s, Jeffes conjured up The Penguin Café Orchestra. Collaborations include Brian Eno, Rupert Hine, Yvonne Elliman, Malcolm McLaren and Sid Vicious, whose version of “My Way” includes Jeffes’ string arrangements. Jeffes, who passed away from a brain tumor in 1997, leaves behind a handful-plus of releases in his garden of sound. Revisit Jeffes’ “Zopf: Surface Tension,” from the epic and tender 1976 Music From the Penguin Café. BUY: iTunes GENRE: Modern Classical ARTIST: Simon Jeffes (Penguin Cafe Orchestra) SONG: Zopf: Surface Tension ALBUM: Music From the Penguin Café
Master mandolinist Dave Apollon (a.k.a. the World’s Greatest Mandolin Virtuoso), born in the Ukraine in 1897, was a gifted child who taught himself the instrument. By the age of 14, the charismatic lad led his own ensemble. Amid the massive slaughter of World War I and the Russian Revolution, he served with the mandolin by his side. In 1919, after traveling the world, he ended up in New York City and began a 20-year run in vaudeville and then hit the nightclub circuit. In 1937, Apollon married show dancer Danzi Goodell. Throughout the ’30s, he made private recordings and appeared in films, eventually signing with Decca Records in 1941. During the ’40s, Apollon worked on Broadway and in Hollywood. His collaborations included legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt and soundtrack arranger Jimmie Haskell. In 1956, he released his first album, and performed in Vegas until his retirement in 1963. The marvel passed away in 1972. Rediscover Dave Apollon’s “2nd Hungarian Rhapsody,” from The Man With the Mandolin: Complete Recordings, 1930-1956. A nostalgic journey to somewhere old and new.
Jump blues originator Floyd Dixon was born Jay Riggins Jr. in Marshall, Texas, on February 8, 1929. As a boy, Jay taught himself piano. By 1942, the Dixon family moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as golf caddie, studied hotel management, and seriously considered a career in football. But with music so entrenched in his spirit, he took the artist’s road. In 1948, thanks to bandleader Johnny Otis, Dixon recorded his first side, “Houston Jump.” By 1949, he enjoyed a regional hit with “Dallas Blues.” This hotshot’s handshake was a gospel-bluesbayou-swing fest on the eve of rock ’n’ roll. Dixon was also a deep influence on the great Ray Charles. Collaborations include Leiber & Stoller, Robert Cray, Ruth Brown and Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers. Accolades include the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s 1993 Pioneer Career Achievement Award. Dixon passed away in 2006. Remember him with the 1950s recording “Please Don’t Go,” from the Chess Blues (Box Set) collection.
BUY: iTunes GENRE: Folk/Classical ARTIST: Dave Apollon SONG: 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody ALBUM: The Man With the Mandolin: Complete Recordings, 1930-1956
BUY: iTunes GENRE: Blues ARTIST: Floyd Dixon SONG: Please Don’t Go ALBUM: Chess Blues (Box Set)
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