Interweb Finds: A Victoria’s Secret prank, the science of optimism & more

San Francisco house

I attended another beginners’ yoga class yesterday, and before the session came to an end, the instructor asked us to think of what we have to be grateful for. It was a no-brainer for me. This week, I am especially grateful to have my family.

Let’s see some of the web highlights from this week…

Notice how every house tour I share is in California? This gorgeous Pacific Heights, San Francisco home (pictured above) is move-in ready as far as I’m concerned.

The creators of Uglydolls reached a point in their success where they had to decide to either quit or go all the way with their idea. (I know because I watched a lot of TV yesterday, and they were on the show “How I Made My Millions.”) An article I read earlier this week addresses that dilemma asking, Is it time for you to stop dabbling and get serious?

Is it dorky that I just want to give all my loved ones pretty calendars for Christmas? This lunar calendar also doubles as a lovely piece of art. Maybe I’ll just buy one for myself.

Feminists put Baltimore on the map in this Victoria’s Secret prank. The chain’s PINK line  seemed as though it was taking a step in a (gasp!) woman-empowering direction. (The panties with “Consent is Sexy” on the croch are a nice change from “Sure Thing.”) The store’s own employees were gushing with pride. But nope. Just a hoax that VS was forced to address. (An interview with the pranksters here.)

A fascinating read from Brain Pickings about the science of optimism.

Optimism starts with what may be the most extraordinary of human talents: mental time travel. That is, the ability to move back and forth through time and space in one’s mind. To think positively about our prospects, it helps to be able to imagine ourselves in the future. Although most of us take this ability for granted, our capacity to envision a different time and place is critical for our survival.

Speaking of Brain Pickings, here’s an interview with the woman behind the site.

The woman who rails against her contemporaries for turning their backs on old books said she had no interest in writing one. “That’s such an antiquated model of thinking,” she said. “Why would I want to write something that’s going to have the shelf life of a banana?”

Photographer Tim Flach’s More Than Human features beautiful images of surprisingly expressive creatures.

After the tragic and horrific events in Connecticut on Friday, I felt conflicted and guilty about engaging in an act as trivial as blogging. (These things give us all a somber dose of perspective.) I decided not to write about it at length—I have no appropriate words. But there are ways we can help. Aside from that, all we can do is make a promise to never forget those victims and their families.