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It's already Passover! Can you believe it? This year I'm home in NYC instead of doing the whole seder thing with the fam in VA, so I thought I'd start my own little tradition by having my girl band over for a night of home style Jewish cooking and a spirited screening of The Ten Commandments . I already started my vegan matzoh ball soup last night with the help of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's genius recipe , which you can follow along with here: And every time  Charlton Heston demands 'Let My People Go!' I'm gonna pelt my band mates with macaroons.
Like to give and/or get some harmless, consensual paddling in the boudoir? Turns out, your naughty little secret might be more than just a turn-on: Spanking could actually bring some couples closer, according to a study conducted at Northern Illinois University. Researchers tracked levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 13 men and women at an S and M party in Arizona before, during, and after spanking and other activities like bondage and 'flogging.' They also measured testosterone for women and men at another S and M event in Chicago.
Calling all word nerds! The Williamsburg Spelling Bee has more contests coming up. In fact, there are five more competitions before the finals on June 22. So grab your dictionary and start brushing up on your 50-cent words. Last year's big winner went home with $150 and a twenty-volume-long 80th anniversary edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (I know it's tradition, but wouldn't the dictionary be better used by the losing competitors?). He also got a nifty trophy to show off.
In case you missed it (I did), the Brooklyn Indie Market re-opened for the season last weekend. The BIM, now in its third year, showcases Brooklyn-based designers and handmade goodness. You may not have gotten to the 10% off birthday sale, but the market is there every weekend, so you can still go and browse the tables for some cool unique finds. Even if you don't have money to burn on designs, it's free to get in, so just go and look. Head over to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, (take the F or G to Carroll St) and look for the red and white tent at the corner of Smith and Union Streets.
Jenny Lewis has struck gold again with Acid Tongue.
The long-awaited second album from Brooklyn's Department of Eagles.
New York-based photographer Kate Engelbrecht is on a mission to empower teen girls through pictures. She's heading up The Girl Project , in which she sends 13- to 17-year-old females in the United States cameras and asks them to document their lives with self-portraits and images of anything else that defines who they are. Engelbrecht has posted some of the submissions on The Girl Project Web site, but she's also planning to curate the most compelling of those in a high-end photography book as well as a traveling exhibition, which she hopes will kick off sometime in 2010.
The first solo album from the frontwoman of the L.A. band Hello Stranger.
Everybody needs a sister-- at least if the results of a new study from the University of Ulster in Ireland hold true. Researchers at the school recently asked 571 people ages 17 to 25 about their lives and discovered that the ones who grew up with sisters tend to be happier and more balanced, according to the BBC . People with brothers, on the other hand, had more 'distress.' 'Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families,' said professor and head researcher Tony Cassidy. 'However, brothers seemed to have the alternative effect.
This recession hasn't deemed fair to many of our beloved boutiques; keeping their heads above water to be true to their dreams and their following, only to be held down by these ugly times. Not cute. It's the sweet, quaint shops that flood our senses with endless walls of creative one-of-a-kinds and vintage finds that lift our spirits when we walk away with something special. Speaking of a boutique as such, Sweet Tater in NYC will be closing shop on April 19th.
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