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Here at BUST we’re big on crafting — we even wrote a book on it — so we’re super excited for the launch of a fantastic new fashion-forward DIY site, Kollabora.com, that provides inspiration, knowledge, and an online community for all levels of makers this month.

If there’s two things I’m sick of hearing about, it’s Chris Brown’s continued existence and the women’s reproductive rights debate. Frankly, I’m just too busy to worry what goes on with my vagina, and I’m a little insulted that some politicians assume that women are obsessed with reproductive rights. If they even took two seconds to open an issue of Glamour, they’d know we care about a wide range of things, like Fall’s Nine Hottest Nail Polish Colors and Three Totally Chic Ways to Wear a Cape.

A new study from Japanese researchers at Hiroshima University has found that looking at photos of baby animals may actually help improve your productivity. The researchers tested out their theory by having small groups of participants play the game Operation.  They then had one group look at puppies and kittens while the other group looked at adult cats and dogs (yawn, right?).  They played Operation again, and the group that had looked at the baby animals had a higher performance score than the group that had looked at grown animals.

Jumping seamlessly from style to style and interweaving elements from garage rock, ’60s girl groups, and cabaret, the music of Austin-based duo Agent Ribbons is hard to classify. On Let Them Talk, the band takes a lighter turn than on its past two full-lengths and embraces the whimsical side of its twisted-fairytale style. Opener “Family Haircut” begins with ethereal “oohs” sung over ominous drums, but soon enough, the pace picks up while frontwoman Natalie Gordon sings, “A restless heart is like a satellite.

Musical maverick Amanda Palmer opens up about Scientology, stripping, and going solo Amanda Palmer is so impossibly busy that the week I meet her, she has a show every night and a photoshoot almost every day. Her iCal is Beyoncé-level packed, but that’s just the way she likes it. After a nasty split from Roadrunner Records in 2010, the 36-year-old singer/songwriter/pianist is now putting out her own music and loving her newfound creative freedom. “I’m buckets happier,” she says. “I deeply despise being told what to do.

  Keep your toes toasty this fall with a pair of Rockford Red Heel Monkey socks--adorable and classy socks that'll make you smile when you kick off your shoes. For a fun, layered look, wear them over tights with a skirt and ankle boots. Rockford Red Heel Monkey Socks in Brown, $7.00, woodlandsshop.

  It’s no secret that bullying is a pervasive problem in schools. And LGBT students are frequent targets of anti-gay slurs and assaults. According to a 2009 survey by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 90 percent of LGBT students reported being harassed at school –a harrowing statistic. The recent publicized cases of harassment and bullycide motivated teen activist Brittany McMillan to take action. In 2012, she came up with Spirit Day, when students, teachers, and professionals would “go purple” in support of LGBT youth.

Literature about oppression and social injustice usually sounds more interesting than it reads—and it doesn’t help that self-righteous activists make themselves redundant through repetition. Thankfully, in The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues, famed activist Angela Y. Davis proves that it’s still possible to find a new, refreshing way to discuss race, gender, class, and sexuality.

When I chose the awesome-looking craft book Star Wars Origami to review, I squealed like a Jawa on the wrong end of a blaster. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a toddler (thanks, parents!), and although no origami expert, I have fond memories of making dozens of paper cats and frogs as a kid. I figured Chris Alexander's Star Wars Origami would be much the same: follow the instructions carefully, fold the paper, and — ta-da! — you have something amazing.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

  For thousands of years, embroidered patches have been a means of identification. Dating back to the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean, Mideast, China, and India, elaborate hand-stitched fabric swatches were tools used for the military. Other times, such embellishments were a sign of beauty for other important personnel, stitched onto the robes of royalty or religious figures. Even today, patches are seen on a wide range of people: from the military to sanitation workers and even, of course, on Boy and Girl Scouts.
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