Mel Armstrong

78 Flips | 13 Magazines | 5 Likes | 3 Following | 7 Followers | @MelyMermaid | Keep up with Mel Armstrong on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Mel Armstrong”

We're Not All Witches: An Introduction to Neo-Paganism

This month, many modern Pagans in the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating Samhain (pron. sah-win) on October 31st, the same day that many of their neighbors are celebrating Halloween. Due to the coincidence of these two holidays, as well as contemporary Paganism's association with Witchcraft, …

Are You Living Only Three of the Seven States of Consciousness?

We live our 24/7 daily cycles of life by going through the waking, dreaming, and sleeping states of consciousness--unless one has perpetual insomnia!<p>In our quiet moments, we often ask ourselves the question, "Is there more to life?" or "What is the purpose of my life?" In the search for more …

10 Stories That Prove Study Abroad Changes You In The Best Possible Way

"What's the place that changed you?"<p>We're eternally nostalgic for college -- the things we learned in class and out (okay let's face it, mostly out) shaped us into the humans we are, quite probably more than any other chapter of our educational lives.<p>But for those of us who were lucky enough to …

Seven Insanely Cool Tips for Fall Travel

Fall is the mellower season, perhaps the finest time to travel, for what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. All those golden autumn days the sky is full of wings, yet there are fewer flights packed to the seat. The season burns brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch …

Whatever Happened to Those Folks Who Checked Bag Tags?

When I was a kid, back when everyone checked bags because there were no overhead bins at all (just racks for the coats and pillows, if you recall), there'd be someone at bag claim whose sole job it seemed was to compare your bag check tag with the claim check issued by the airline. This prevented …

How to uncover closed-door restaurants when travelling

It’s like a dinner party with strangers. Closed-door restaurants, also known as underground restaurants or supper clubs, are private eateries tucked away in a chef’s home. And though they’re not widely advertised, they are often some of the most sought-after tables in town.<p>For travellers, these …

Airline Passengers! Is There a Right to Recline?

It's called the Knee Defender. But I prefer to think of it as the Schmuck Identifier. It was dreamed up by a tall man who was tired of getting his knees slammed whenever the person seated in front of him on an airplane reclined. So he designed a device that, when attached to your tray table, …

Why Annie’s won’t suffer from its acquisition by General Mills

Food industry giant General Mills announced yesterday that it will buy Annie’s Homegrown—the organic food company with a bunny mascot and a popular line of boxed macaroni and cheese—for $820 million in cash. It’s the latest effort by packaged food giants to cash in on consumer affection for organic …

Marriage Vows Don't Always Last Forever. But #AmtrakResidency's Rights To Your Work Would

Writers celebrated Amtrak’s residency program, rolling out free rides for up to 24 creatives. The catch: the train company owns application materials …

The 9 Best Books for Meaningful Change

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...<p>Yes, its that time again: New Year's is almost upon us. Regardless of where you stand on New Year's resolutions, the new calendar can serve as a helpful reminder about the only true constant in all of our lives: <i>change</i>.<p>Like it or not, we are all always changing and adapting to …

How Habits Make You Less Creative

Maintaining a routine can help keep you productive. But stick to it too strictly, and your most interesting work may wither.<p>We’re fascinated by habits.<p>By learning how the Most Creative People do their daily thing, we hope to become more like them. But habits, when they run amok, may hem in your …

Why Is The Business Of Creativity Such An Oxymoron?

TED talks and bestsellers about creativity are often anything but creative. Here’s why.<p>Judging by the number of TED talks or books bouncing up and down the bestseller lists offering to help us bottle that elusive djinn, we should be living in the Age Of Creativity. If that’s true, though, why are …

10 Paradoxical Traits Of Creative People

Creative people are humble and proud. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted. Creative people are rebellious and conservative. How creative are you?<p><i>Editor’s Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list.</i><p>I frequently find myself …

How I Run a $16 Million Company Out of My Living Room | Inc.com

<i>Allison O'Kelly was on the corporate fast track: She had an M.B.A. from Harvard, had worked as a CPA at KPMG, and was climbing the executive ladder at Toys "R" Us. But everything changed when she had kids. Now, O'Kelly's Atlanta-based staffing company, Mom Corps, is helping her--and other working</i> …

When Crazy Is Good - 9 Good Reasons For Your Character's Bad Behaviour

We like to read about the troubled, the deviants, the obsessed and the depraved. This is therapeutic. We deal with our dark side by learning about …

5 Cool Career Gals, 5 Inspiring Work Spaces

When you work from home, you miss out on after-work booze-fests with co-workers, nobody's there to crowd around your desk with a cake on your …

Filmmaker Jason Silva Is Inspiring Us To Live Life To The Fullest (VIDEO)

This video will possibly inspire you, make you tear up, and convince you to go out and start living life to the fullest -- all in three minutes.<p>For the last few months, filmmaker Jason Silva has been impressing us with his philosophical YouTube series, "Shots of Awe." This installment, called …

Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs

<i>“Employ a simple and straightforward style,”</i> <b>Mark Twain</b> instructed in the 18th of his 18 famous literary admonitions. And what greater enemy of simplicity and straightforwardness than the adverb? Or so argues <b>Stephen King</b> in <b>On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft</b> (<i>public library</i>), one of 9 essential books …

F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret to Great Writing: Letters of Advice to a Friend’s Teenage Daughter and to His Own

What is the secret of great writing? For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun. For Henry Miller, about discovery. Susan Sontag saw it as self-exploration. Many literary greats anchored it to their daily routines. And yet, the answer remains elusive and ever-changing.<p>In the fall of 1938, Radcliffe …

Anne Lamott on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

Anne Lamott’s <b>Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life</b> (<i>public library</i>) is among my ten favorite books on writing — a treasure trove of insight both practical and profound, timelessly revisitable and yielding deeper resonance each time. Lamott adds to the collected wisdom of great writers …

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Choosing Presence Over Productivity

The meaning of life has been pondered by such literary icons as Leo Tolstoy (1904), Henry Miller (1918), Anaïs Nin (1946), Viktor Frankl (1946), Italo Calvino (1975), and David Foster Wallace (2005). And though some have argued that today’s age is one where “the great dream is to trade up from …

Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook

As a lover — and keeper — of diaries and notebooks, I find myself returning again and again to the question of what compels us — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their fragile subjectivity. From <b>Joan Didion’</b>s 1968 anthology <b>Slouching Towards Bethlehem</b> (<i>public</i> …

How to Enjoy Poetry

<i>“True poetic practice implies a mind so miraculously attuned and illuminated that it can form words, by a chain of more-than coincidences, into a living entity,”</i> <b>Edward Hirsch</b> advised in his directive on how to read a poem. But how, exactly, does one cultivate such “true poetic practice”? In an …

How To Stay Sane: The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling

<i>“I pray to Jesus to preserve my sanity,”</i> Jack Kerouac professed in discussing his writing routine. But those of us who fall on the more secular end of the spectrum might need a slightly more potent sanity-preservation tool than prayer. That’s precisely what writer and psychotherapist <b>Philippa Perry</b> …

Cats Hear You; Don't Care

A new study from the University of Tokyo sheds some light on cat's understanding of the human voice. A team led by Atsuko Saito studied 20 house cats …

18 Surprising And Odd Things You Never Knew About The English Language

What even is this crazy tongue we speak?

Linguistics

37 Pictures That Prove Cats Have Hearts Of Gold

This post will make you want to go hug your kitty.

The one myth about cats that's actually true

Most of us know at least one cat myth. Maybe it has to do with the width of their whiskers, or their purported ability to steal breath from a baby. …

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Top 10 silent movies

10. City Lights<p>City Lights was arguably the biggest risk of Charlie Chaplin's career: The Jazz Singer, released at the end of 1927, had seen sound take cinema by storm, but Chaplin resisted the change-up, preferring to continue in the silent tradition. In retrospect, this isn't so much the precious …