A Last Thought for the New Year: Write a Letter to a Stranger

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Hannah Brencher has a story to tell about how she helped herself by helping others — through the almost-lost art of real letters on paper.  Make 2015 the year you write some letters — thank you notes, condolence notes, someone in the military, an elderly person, or a letter to a stranger whose life will be brightened by finding something in the mail that isn’t a bill or an ad.

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Shorts

Christopher Orr’s 2014 Movie Round-Up

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If I were going to make a top ten list of movie top ten lists, Christopher Orr‘s would be number one. I love reading his end-of-year pieces in The Atlantic. The best of the year list is just the beginning. Then he goes into a brilliant examination of the year through a series of hilarious categories. This year’s best include:

Best Use of a 10cc Song: “I’m Not in Love,” Guardians of the Galaxy
Runner-up: “Dreadlock Holiday,” Life of Crime

Best Batman: Will Arnett, The Lego Movie
Best Alfred: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, The Trip to Italy

Trends of the Year: Ironically self-conscious sequels (22 Jump Street, Muppets Most Wanted), drum solos (Birdman, Whiplash), Tilda Swinton in terrifying makeup (Snowpiercer, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jason Reitman making awful movies (Labor Day; Men, Women & Children), final-act defenestrations (Birdman, Ida), tragic marital outcomes for Sienna Miller (Foxcatcher, American Sniper)

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Critics Understanding Media and Pop Culture

End the Year With Films About Justice

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Bill Moyers has an excellent list of 2014’s best documentaries about the struggle for justice, covering issues from healthcare to the environment, politics, the collision between national security and privacy, domestic violence, human rights, and marriage equality. All are highly recommended.

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Documentary Environment/Green Lists
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