“I had read a beautiful story in The New York Times about the couple who were getting married, and that Mayor Bloomberg was going to preside over their wedding at Gracie Mansion. And my friend called me and said, ‘They’d love to have you come and sing.’ And I was floored. I was so honored. And I cried like a baby at that ceremony. And I brought my daughter. And it was a very moving moment and a very teachable moment having my daughter there. And as far as she was concerned, it was just another wedding. She doesn’t really see the issue, which is great. So that’s how it came about. It was a beautiful day.”—Audra McDonald on performing at the first legal gay wedding in New York City. [full interview here]
“There’s this funny paradox is that nearly every diet works and nearly no diet works at the same time. A diet may be effective in the short term because you’re cutting your calories. So you can do that with cabbage soup, molasses, chicken tenders. If you cut your calories back, you’re going to lose weight. But the diets can be very unsafe. And they also tend to not work in the long term, because people can’t stay on them very well.”—Psychologist Kelly Brownell on dieting.
“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is now, by far, the largest funder of work in this country on childhood obesity. They’re spending $100 million a year on the problem. The food industry spends that amount every year by Jan. 4, just marketing junk food – just to children.”—Psychologist Kelly Brownell on how food companies market junk food to kids.
What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
It’s Friday, Internet. You know what that means: What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
I’ll start: This week was really tough. I had to write several obits and had a lot on my plate. So I took yesterday off as a personal day. Got a haircut, went shopping, volunteered, ate some donuts, worked out. It was awesome and relaxing and exactly what I needed. You?
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”—Barack Obama in an interview with ABC News
“Sitting for long periods of time — when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles. You stop breaking up fat in your blood stream, you start getting accumulations of fat … in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you’re moving.”—If you’re reading this Tumblr post while sitting down, stand up! Here’s more reasons why.
“I believe we are part of a growing global chorus. And I know for a fact that moderates exist everywhere, in every tradition and in every political environment. There are moderates in Israel. There are moderates in Iran, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party. And what we need to do is link all of these moderates together and figure out a way that this coalition can speak to important issues to marginalize the voice of the extremists.”—For the past two decades, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has argued that Islam supports both religious tolerance and equality for women. His organization works to strengthen moderate voices with the Muslim world.
“You know who my gods are, who I believe in fervently? Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson — she’s probably the top — Mozart, Shakespeare, Keats. These are wonderful gods who have gotten me through the narrow straits of life.”—Maurice Sendak on religion and faith. [complete interviews here]
“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”—Maurice Sendak on Fresh Air in 2011. [all interviews with Sendak here]