The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

100 Things That Are Getting Better

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 25, 2010

Via Oprah.com

Amid the panoply of things we all have to complain about, there are a surprising number of bright spots on the horizon. For your consideration: O’s list of people, places, ideas, and stuff we’re loving more than ever.

1. Floral Arrangements

Baby’s breath—out! Sculptural, exotic, utterly original design—in! Even better: Recent hybridization techniques mean a riot of new varieties (the Spirit hydrangea, the Citrus Truffle daylily) and colors (coral, cerise, mango), and now you can buy flowers that are certified organic (no pesticides). Buy them fair trade, and you’re supporting sustainable growing practices and fair wages for workers.

2. Shapewear

Spanx, Sculptz, Sassybax, and Lipo in a Box…the new foundation garments streamline you, suck you in, match your skin tone, come at every price and—as an added bonus—won’t traumatize your partner when you disrobe.

3. Your chances of visiting the moon

Numerous astronauts and several animal species including a squirrel monkey named Gordo have made it up there, but the average earthling has been stuck on the sidelines until, well, soon: Richard Branson’s latest venture, Virgin Galactic, aims to be the first to book civilian trips into space, for $200,000 a head, a price the company hopes will fall dramatically over time. Multiple competitors are tinkering with tourist spaceships, and the FAA has already released its set of space travel regulations.

4. Apps to help you lose weight

Is that a gym in your iPhone? iFitness lets you build a custom workout, iTreadmill turns your phone into a pedometer, Lose It! tracks how many calories you’ve burned in every workout, and WeightBot charts your daily progress.

5. Polyester

Who doesn’t love the softness of a microfiber throw, the convenience of wrinkle-free sheets? Both can be attributed to the once-hidden charms of those much-maligned twins, Polly and Esther.

6. TV Dinners

Which would you prefer: Salisbury steak and mushy peas, or braised meatballs with tomato-basil sauce by Top Chef contestant and James Beard Award nominee Kevin Gillespie? We thought so.

7. Poetry

Dear reader, you may feel a twinge of trepidation,

But poetry is key to modern conversation.

In classrooms, poet laureate Kay Ryan makes

A case for passing time with Bishop, Frost, and Blake.

Or Keats—Jane Campion’s Bright Star garnered rave reviews

For conjuring the young Romantic’s passion for his muse.

Great poets—Robert Graves and Ogden Nash, e.g.—

Inspired Leave Your Sleep, Natalie Merchant’s CD.

Even Stephen King has found a poet’s perch.

He channels Coleridge in the epic “The Bone Church.”

Those Levi’s ads, meanwhile, attract both praise and venom:

Blasphemy or genius, Walt Whitman pitching denim?

8. Our lungs

This just in from the CDC: The number of American adults who smoke has dropped from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 20.6 percent in 2008; at last count, 38 states, the District of Columbia, and 360 cities have banned cigarettes in workplaces, bars, or restaurants—which means no more unintentionally smoked salmon.

9. Definition of the good life

It used to mean ostentatious designer bags, stock options, and second homes; now we’re spending $11 billion annually on goods and services that champion self-improvement. Voluntourism and spending time with the family are up, and socially responsible investing—in communities and eco-friendly companies that don’t profit from tobacco, oil, or sweatshop labor—is at an all-time high, totaling about $2.7 trillion. The good life just got better.

10. Going to the ATM

With banks collecting a jaw-dropping $38.5 billion in overdraft fees for ATM and debit card transactions last year, Senator Chris Dodd has proposed a bill that would limit the number of fees a bank can levy, and force them to issue warnings if you are about to overdraw. Here’s hoping it passes this year.

11. Home coffeemakers

Talk about a perk: Some now feature built-in bean-grinders (Mr. Coffee Grind & Brew), while the Tassimo single-cup brewer makes lattes and mochas with real milk. As for the user-hostile home espresso machine, Importika’s now got a handheld model as easy to wield as an ice cream scoop.

12. Oak Street, New Orleans

Ransacked by looters during Katrina, historic Oak Street is back in action. Businesses like Ace Hardware, the Maple Leaf Bar, and the legendary Jacques-Imo’s Café have reopened, and new ones are popping up: Blue Cypress Books, two yoga studios, and a day spa for pets (nothing says “We’re back!” like a day spa for pets). A $5.4 million overhaul helped, as has the annual Po-Boy Preservation Festival.

13. Catching bad guys

The Department of Justice’s DNA Initiative says that while some forensic tests once required a specimen roughly the size of a quarter, a perpetrator can now be identified by a few cells.

14. e-cards

No more confetti-throwing cats and singing cakes. Now you can channel Van Gogh ( Moma.org/ecards ), create animated videos ( Sendables.jibjab.com ), or layer video and pictures with your favorite design and fonts ( MyPunchbowl.com ).

15. Dry Cleaning

According to a survey, only half the dry cleaners in the USA still use the once ubiquitous toxic chemical perchloroethylene on your clothes.

16. Keeping tabs on your children

Honey, I found the kids: For a mere $100, the Zoombak, a GPS easily stowed in a backpack, will pinpoint your child’s whereabouts on a map.

17. Wal-Mart

The retail giant is making good on its recent promise to recycle, use fuel-efficient delivery trucks, run its stores on renewable energy, and force suppliers to cut wasteful packaging and bad manufacturing practices.

18. Dads

The aloof breadwinners of yesteryear have been replaced by full participants in the diapering, the disciplining, the chauffeuring, and the loving; currently 143,000 dads are stay-at-home, versus 98,000 just seven years ago. Downside: Now, many a dad’s homemade snickerdoodles on Snack Day will put yours to shame.

19. Robots

Lost in Space –style clunkers have given way to small, swarming bots designed to monitor pollution spills and explore space; a fur-covered robotic seal pup created to provide comfort and companionship to the elderly; and iRobot’s PackBot—an unmanned military vehicle, controlled remotely in war zones to detect explosives. Take that, R2-D2.

20. Hillary Clinton

She could have slunk away to write a withering campaign memoir; instead, the tough and tender Madame Secretary is using her star power to put a welcome new face on American diplomacy. The pantsuit rules!

21. Jeans

Because nothing comes between me and my dark-wash, hand-distressed, second-skin, midrise, booty-loving, got-’em-on-sale, favorite pair that I don’t have to be 23 and a size 2 to wear.

22. Candy

Blueberry gummy pandas, M&M’s in colors like teal and silver, artisanal licorice, eggnog marshmallows: Candy’s not just having a moment, it’s having a full-on renaissance.

23. Our access to deep space

Can’t afford the $200,000 price tag for that trip into orbit? No problem. Take a virtual lunar tour on a NASA probe ( Arc.nasa.gov ), put on your astronaut suit and play among the stars ( Google.com/sky ), or go into deep, deep space courtesy of the new and improved Hubble Telescope ( HubbleSite.org ).

24. Paint

Benjamin Moore’s Natura line is eco-friendly and stink-free. Gorgeous, durable, low-maintenance…maybe it’s time Benjamin Moore started making a line of men.

25. Marriage

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that the American divorce rate has dropped every year since 2006, bringing it down to its lowest point since 1970 (although hogging of the remote and dirty socks landing near—not in—the laundry basket remain an issue).

26. Mascara

Wands more magical than Harry Potter’s: These days you can choose between a ball wand that coats lashes from the roots (L’Oréal Telescopic Explosion Mascara), a cone-shaped wand that can reach corners (Nars Larger than Life Lengthening Mascara), a microwand that’s perfect for bottom lashes (Tarte Bottoms Up Lower Lash Mascara), and a vibrating wand that declumps and fully coats (Maybelline Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara).

27. Crayola crayons

No longer is burnt sienna the most exotic one in the box: Preschool Picassos can now color their worlds with silly scent crayons, glitter crayons, two-different-shades-of-one-color-built-into-a-single-crayon crayons, washable crayons, egg-shaped crayons.…

28. Cheap watches

It used to be that a cheap watch was just that, cheap—something with a faux-croc band that popped a spring the second time you wore it. Now you can find colorful, playful, quality timepieces rendered in rubber, resin, and metal from Armitron, Timex, AK Anne Klein, and Swatch—all for less than $100.

29. Our reputation around the world

Looks like the Ugly American has gotten a makeover: According to the Pew Research Center, the nation’s standing is on the rise in Latin America, Africa, much of Asia, and western Europe (a certain Norwegian prize committee comes to mind…).

30. The Beatles

Although their ranks have been depleted by half, the Beatles have never sounded better, thanks to gorgeous remasters of their classic albums. Now you can hear the tug of the bow across the cello strings on Revolver’ s “Eleanor Rigby,” the tug of your own heartstrings when John’s voice cracks on Rubber Soul’ s “In My Life.”

31. Undersea exploration

For the past decade, scientists from 80 nations have been working overtime to plumb the mysteries of the sea. In 2010 they’ll publish the results of their Census of Marine Life, an inventory of what swims, slithers, and lurks down there. Included are a six-foot octopod that propels itself with ear-shaped fins, a transparent sea cucumber, 5,300 potential new species, and a small fish named Nemo, who appeared to be lost.

32. Iowa

Legalizing gay marriage in 2009 + producing artisanal charcuterie (try La Quercia’s organic prosciutto) + University of Iowa football landing among the top 25 college teams for the fifth time this decade + ranking second on MainStreet.com ‘s Happiness Index = one seriously happening Hawkeye State.

33. Surgery

Removing an organ through a tiny nick in the skin; using radio waves or ultrasound to destroy a tumor without a single cut—in the past decade, the kinds of medical procedures once seen in sci-fi novels have arrived in the OR, often performed on an outpatient basis with minimal pain and recovery time.

34. Wind power

Change is in the air: We now produce enough wind power to run seven million homes. The goal is to generate 20 percent of our power from wind by 2030, which would mean a 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

35. Dental visits

Ultrasonic cleaning machines and digital imaging mean a lot less probing, goop, and pain. Virtual reality glasses even let you watch a movie during your root canal, which sure beats staring at ceiling tiles.

36. Composting

Thanks to apartment-friendly composting bins (like the Happy Farmer Kitchen Composter Kit, $65; NaturalGoodLife.com ), last night’s dinner can now easily be turned into something good for Mother Earth.

37. Anne Hathaway

She ditched the icky boyfriend, dirtied up for Rachel Getting Married (nabbing an Oscar nomination), then showed her live comic chops on the Oscars and SNL. Soon to play Judy Garland in the biopic Get Happy, the 27-year-old is a toothy Disney princess no more.

38. Kathryn Bigelow

She cracked the boys’ club with macho popcorn movies like Point Break and Blue Steel; with 2008’s intense Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker, she’s left the guys in the dust.

39. The news

In 1973, the year Rachel Maddow was born, only about 5 percent of TV newspeople were female. Now we’re up to 42 percent, with those glam truth-tellers Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer leading the charge.

40. Grassroots philanthropy

While corporate gifts may be in short supply during these lean times, individuals are dropping off groceries at the food bank, mailing checks for disaster relief, and making donations online. Feeling the itch? Through Heifer.org , your $20 sends a flock of chickens to a poor community.

41. Pop music

The bubblegum hangover from Britney, Christina, and the boy bands has given way to full-on appreciation of Pink’s strident hooks, Beyoncé’s anthems, and Lady Gaga’s ineffable…gaga-ness.

42. Laser hair removal

Today’s lasers are more compact, faster (zapping both legs, ankle to bikini, in 15 minutes), and effective for all skin tones.

43. Sunscreen

Once thick and chalky, the stuff is now imperceptible on the skin and more effective than ever. Need extra protection? Try Neutrogena Spectrum + Sunblock Lotion SPF 100, which has antioxidants and Helioplex 360.

44. Contraception use

According to the Guttmacher Institute, contraception use is going up worldwide, with the biggest gains in Latin America and Asia. For ages 15 to 44, the unintended pregnancy rate (per thousand) declined from 69 in 1995 to 55 in 2008.

45. Foundation

The latest offerings are expert multitaskers, combining lightweight pigments with skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, and antioxidants. Some new brands have an intriguing delivery system, too. Our favorite: L’Oréal True Match Roller Perfecting Roll On Makeup, which comes with a mini “paint roller” applicator.

46. Airport food

Where are you? Who knows: Airports all look the same. But at least your taste buds can touch down someplace real, as regional foods are now available in terminals from coast to coast (fried clams in Boston, Cuban sandwiches in Miami…).

47. TV Shopping

The onetime insomnia cures HSN and QVC have become stylish, nicely priced boutiques for the likes of Badgley Mischka, Naeem Khan, Isaac Mizrahi, and Rachel Zoe.

48. Diabetes maintenance

Improving on the pincushion approach to testing one’s blood, patients can now use a subcutaneous glucose sensor, which gives a reading every five minutes.

49. Skis

Skiers used to have to choose between maneuverability and speed—longer, stiffer boards were ideal for racing straight down the mountain, but you needed shorter, softer skis to make any turns along the way. Now designers have reinvented the gear, making schussing easier and more fun.

50. Newspaper puzzle sections

Explosive, game-changing international headlines will have to wait. We’ve got a date with Sudoku, Kakuro, and KenKen.

51. Office chairs

Thin, flexible stainless steel support wires in the back curve with the body. The Steelcase Think chair reflexively adjusts even to the body’s smallest movements. Resistance in the chair back increases or decreases according to the sitter’s weight. Up to 37 percent of the 32-pound chair comes from recycled materials.

52. Roads

A $20 billion transfusion of federal funds, which has launched 9,400 construction projects (including resurfacing and widening roads, repairing bridges) covering 22,000 miles means one helluva smoother ride.

53. Chips

Spicy Thai, Cheddar, sweet chili sour cream, crab boil, honey Dijon, chocolate, jalapeño… No one can eat just one bag.

54. Faux fur

The stuff is looking less Muppet-y by the minute. It’s getting so nobody even knows who to splatter with red paint anymore.

55. Conductors

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Gustavo Dudamel, just 29, is known as “the people’s conductor”; Alan Gilbert is modernizing the New York Philharmonic; Baltimore’s Marin Alsop is the first woman to lead a major American orchestra. It seems the baton has been passed.

56. Being single

The skies have never been friendlier if you’re flying solo, with people living alone now making up more than a quarter of U.S. households. Agencies are more welcoming toward singles who want to adopt, and there are dating Web sites for every conceivable cohort (SingleFirefighter.com, anyone?). Meanwhile, battery-operated companionship is more plentiful than ever: When the sex shop Babeland opened in 1993, they offered 25 types of vibrators; today there are 170.

57. Awards shows

Hugh Jackman transformed the Oscars; Neil Patrick Harris reinvented the Tonys and the Emmys. Be still, our hearts: Is that Ricky Gervais warming up for the 2010 Golden Globes?

58. Eva Zeisel

With, among other things, her classic dinner service still flying off the shelves at Crate & Barrel, her new line of Royal Stafford dinnerware, the teakettle she created for Chantal, and the lounge chair of our dreams, the Hungarian artist, at 103, is being lauded like a midcareer phenom.

59. Plus-size clothes

Dear Michael Kors, Elie Tahari, Calvin Klein: Thank you for designing chic clothes for those of us sizes 14 and up. We love fashion, too, and now we look better than ever. Sincerely, Women

60. Public awareness of the plastic problem

Fact 1: Except for the small percentage that has been incinerated, every bit of plastic that has ever been manufactured still exists. Fact 2: The chemicals used to make plastic pliable and flame-resistant are among the most toxic substances on Earth. Fact 3: Plastic chemicals are becoming part of our bodies, disrupting our endocrine systems. The good news: Because of increased media attention, you are more likely to know this.

61. Wanda Sykes

She’s written jokes for Chris Rock and starred in sitcoms and HBO specials; now she’s putting out something even better—her authentic self, on The Wanda Sykes Show (Fox).

62. Running shoes

New technology can reduce the weight of your sneaker by several ounces, simulate running barefoot, and provide midsole cushioning that acts like a trampoline, putting a literal spring in your step. Downside: Uncomfortable shoes are no longer an excuse to quit jogging.

63. Betty White

If she’d done nothing more than turn predatory Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore and daffy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls into the stuff of sitcom legend, Betty White would be entitled to just sit back, put her Easy Spirit–clad feet up on a chintz ottoman, and count her money. Instead, at 88, White is stealing scenes from Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal.

64. Salt

“Pay $6.49 for salt?! Are you kidding me? When I can buy a canister for 79 cents? No way! Yeah, so I put it on everything I eat. What of it?… You want me to take just a taste? What the heck. Mmmmm. Sea salt, you say? It tastes clean, gentle. Salty. Okay, I get it. Never mind.”

65. Animated movies

From Up to Coraline to Fantastic Mr. Fox, animated movies have become so sophisticated, we’re begging our kids, “Can we see it again? Just one more time? Please? Please?”

66. Household drudgery

Less drudge-y every day, thanks to the new lightweight garment steamers, cordless immersion blenders, and vacuums that ride on a ball so they can turn on a dime.

67. Beirut

With chic hotels popping up, a thriving gay scene taking hold, the thrumming bars and clubs of the trendy Gemmayzeh district becoming international hot spots, Beirut is rebuilding itself in high style.

68. Dog beds

Treat your pup to memory foam padding, orthopedic foam padding, Sherpa fleece, chew-resistant beds, beds made to fit perfectly in the back of your station wagon, water-resistant beds, heated beds, cooling beds.… (Silk puppy pajamas and liver-flavored pillow mint sold separately.)

69. Autism acceptance

The condition has grown so common, affecting about one in 150 children, that advocacy and research groups have launched a national registry, the Interactive Autism Network (IanProject.org), which connects parents to researchers, as well as the Autism Acceptance Project (TAAProject.com).

70. Train travel

Cary Grant–style travel plus Buck Rogers speed? Sounds good to us: Californians have okayed a $10 billion high-speed rail network from SoCal to the Bay Area and Sacramento. It’s a start.

71. Breast cancer survival rates

Keep kneading those breasts, ladies: A recent report from the American Cancer Society found that since 1990, breast cancer mortality rates have been steadily dropping—by 2 percent a year among women 50 and older, and by 3.2 percent a year among women younger than 50; we all have early detection, healthier lifestyle choices, and improved cancer treatments to thank.

72. Book titles

How can you not pick up Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards, A Better Angel, and You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!? Not to mention (okay, let’s mention) Someone Will Be with You Shortly: Notes from a Perfectly Imperfect Life, by O’s own Lisa Kogan, due out in March.

73. Street food

What do you get when you combine a generation of consumers raised on grab-and-go meals with an influx of cooks too impatient (or talented) to work their way up through professional kitchens? Street food: handmade gourmet meals—crepes, Asian dumplings, tamales, bratwurst, cupcakes—made to be passed through the window of a truck and eaten while walking down the sidewalk.

74. Urban greenery

Trees are sprouting up everywhere in cities across the land—L.A. has planted more than 200,000 in the past three years, and New York City aims to plant one million across the five boroughs over the next decade. And look, up in the sky: More than six million square feet of green roofs were installed in U.S. cities in 2008. So much for the concrete jungle.

75. Animal shelters

Not all that long ago, 17 million abandoned dogs and cats were euthanized in the USA each year; today that number hovers around five million. Much of the credit goes to the advocacy movement No More Homeless Pets (Network.bestfriends.org), which creates rescue networks and educates the public.

76. Community colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges reports that virtually every state is seeing enrollment go up—way up, including hundreds of thousands of white-collar workers attracted to the convenience of local campuses and the bargain price (average $2,400 per year). President Obama has pledged $12 billion to expand them over the next decade.

77. Affordable—good!—wine

Bye-bye, sugar-laden mystery juice; au revoir, watered-down junk in a box. Thanks to sustainable winemaking technologies and increased competition, populist vintners like Hess and Wente are offering complex varietals at nonruinous prices—less than $15 a bottle.

78. High heels

Say hello to the orthopedic stiletto: Designers like Kenneth Cole, Dana Davis, Joy Chen, and Cole Haan are rethinking the suffer-for-fashion credo, integrating comfort technology (better balance, more cushioning and support) into their shoes. Hallelujah!

79. Fruit options

Peaches, nectarines, plums, yawn. These days we’re all about the delectable hybrids—the peacotum (peach/apricot/plum), the pluot (plum/apricot), the mangonana. Okay, we made up the mangonana, but it’s only a matter of time.

80. McDonald’s coffee

The Golden Arches now offers a revamped “Premium Roast” brew and a new line of McCafé drinks so haute (caramel latte, hazelnut cappuccino), we’re thinking of writing our next novel on a laptop there.

81. Granola bars

“Glyceryl lacto esters of fatty acids,” begone! Thanks to companies like Lärabar and Kind, you now can power your day the way Mother Nature intended—with honey, almonds, and cranberries.

82. Flu pandemic response

Bad news for hysterics: Google Flu Trends works as an early warning system for flu outbreaks, providing near-real-time estimates of flu activity around the world by aggregating search queries, which can be counted in a single day. Now covers 20 countries.

83. Shots

Big babies, take note: The Buzzy is a new battery-powered, cold-pack gizmo that dulls or eliminates the pain of needles by confusing the body’s nerves and distracting attention from the poke.

84. Bikini Atoll

Few messes are dirtier than the one created by the U.S. government in 1954, when it unleashed a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb on this tiny Micronesian island. Radiation levels soared, people fled. But left alone to heal for over 50 years, Bikini’s waters now teem with marine life that has vanished from more populated corners of the ocean. It’s a sport-fishing paradise, a scuba diver’s dream. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade—Bikini’s biggest tourist draw is the fleet of sunken warships that dot its crystalline lagoons.

85. Prosthetics

A spring-loaded artificial knee called the XT9 means that above-the-knee amputees can now snowboard and rock climb; microprocessor-controlled prosthetics have sensors that anticipate your every step; and the bionic i-LIMB responds to muscle signals.

86. Contact lenses

Now that contact lenses are made of silicone, more oxygen gets to the cornea. The benefit to us? Safer and more comfortable to wear.

87. Ways to unleash your inner graphic designer

So easy, your Luddite grandma can do it: First, find the perfect typeface on Fonts.com by plugging in a description of your project into the search box; next, scour “microstock” clearinghouses such as iStockPhoto.com for the right photo or illustration to accompany it. Then, use PhotoShop Express ( Photoshop.com ) or the handy Picnik ( Picnik.com ) to edit your graphics and add the bells and whistles.

88. Headache treatments

And we thought the only thing that worked was a Valium and total seclusion: Emerging classes of drugs (like cortical spreading depression antagonists) help interrupt the chain of events that lead to a migraine, while high-flow oxygen therapy tames the pain of cluster headaches.

89. EPA

A shot of much-needed vitality and resolve has come to the Environmental Protection Agency courtesy of Lisa Jackson, its first-ever African-American chief. In her crosshairs: greenhouse gases, hazardous waste sites, climate change, tailpipe emissions, protection of our waterways, clean air standards.

90. T-shirts

From American Apparel to J.Crew to Lanvin, the humble T-shirt has been elevated with better cuts, softer fabrics, and embellishments befitting a blouse and a big night out.

91. Indoor fires

They’re hell on Santa, but new chimneyless fireplaces come in cool, sculptural shapes and are totally portable so you can move them from room to room (some can even be hung on the wall like a flat-screen TV).

92. Tattoo removal

Love may come and love may go. Tattoos? Not so fast, kiddo. But advances in lasers—better pigment recognition and deeper skin penetration—are making it easier to hide the evidence of a failed romance or an Aerosmith obsession.

93. Sportsmanship of male tennis players

“Superbrat.” “The Brash Basher of Belleville.” “The Bucharest Buffoon.” There was a time when the gods of men’s tennis—McEnroe, Connors, Nastase—were known as much for their verbal shots as their cross-court ones. But today’s champions let their rackets do the talking: When the perpetually verklempt Roger Federer and the quietly gracious Rafael Nadal take the court, it’s love-love all the way.

94. Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys

In the late ’80s, the tiny primate was declared functionally extinct. But last year, 15 to 20 snub-noses were found cavorting in a remote jungle in northern Vietnam. Time will tell whether they’ll be enough to save the species, but there was one very encouraging sign: three babies among them.

95. Uggs

Cable knit, picante, mulberry, shadow blue… Finally, some variations on the ubiquitous sand-colored stovepipe.

96. National Geographic

The yellow-border magazine has come a long way since the days of boys gawping at the native mammaries in its pages. See the recent dispatch on China’s “instant cities,” plus unrivaled photojournalism on malaria and the killing of gorillas in the Congo.

97. Parade balloons

Raise your hand if you recall seeing Bullwinkle floating through Times Square (you lose points if you had more than three vodka tonics). But lately we’ve noticed something: A Keith Haring balloon? A silver bunny by bad-boy artist Jeff Koons? Is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade getting hip?

98. Cars

Bye-bye, Hummer. Coming to a lot near you: Chevrolet’s battery-powered Volt and Nissan’s zero-emission Leaf; and the next generation of hybrids, including an even better Prius and the sleek, affordable Mercury Milan.

99. Tights

What’s better than plain black hose? Just ask our sock drawer: We’ve got plaid, lace, and argyle tights in burgundy and forest green, in ingenious blends that never seem to sag or snag.

100. You

You’ve just got this glow about you—some combination of wisdom and inner peace, plus a lovely self-awareness. You’re not sweating the small stuff; you know what feels good, feels right, and you simply don’t muck around with the rest. You’re not a kid anymore, and we mean that as a high compliment. There’s a new kind of lightness about you. And your hair has never looked better.

4 things that are just fine the way they are

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12 Responses to “100 Things That Are Getting Better”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sensual Seductions, Catchsuccess09, FashionNewsDaily, Ecotique, Connie Elder and others. Connie Elder said: 100 Things That Are Getting Better @ http://wp.me/pu61X-og […]

  2. Marie said

    What a wonderful list. I don’t think I could possibly come up with such a long list. I do know that plus sized clothes have improved greatly!

  3. Virgil Capellas said

    Awesome blog post, thanks for keeping me busy!

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  7. Rolf Mize said

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