WMUH: Happy Half-Birthday, 2017!

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And just like that, 2017 is halfway done. (Sorry, optimists. No way around this one.) A lot has happened in the last six months and the Ham Fam has some serious catching up to do. So let's not dawdle. Here's 207 days worth of What's Making Us Happy. 






Sooo much has already happened this year! TAY HAM got a new HQ - it's blue and big enough to do cartwheels in! Our Tonya Harding-inspired card made it into the New York Times! And oh yeah, I had a baby and tortured everyone for nine months by not revealing the name 😬






I think with the everything happening in politics, news, and just the climate of society, musicians are putting out some great music right now to bring us together, lift us up, and get our spirits a little higher.  

St. Vincent: New York
Sza: Control
Grizzly Bear: Four Cypresses
The National: The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness
Alt-J: Relaxer
Rihanna: whatever song she's featured on or releases

I've always liked reading about other people's lives. Joan Didion's South & West is a great summer read that makes you want to pack up and hit the highway, stop in a roadside motels, eat at greasy spoons, and just see. I think I connected with her writing because she reminds me of my aunt Carolyn, the aunt that on a sunny summer day is wearing her vintage black bikini (because she still has it from years ago, not because she bought it at a hip new shop), her husband's white dress shirt with the collar popped as a cover-up, and some of the most fantastic sunglasses you've ever seen- and she's probably carrying on about some divine meal at an unknown restaurant, or sharing her very valid opinion on whatever topic.

In closing, I suggest you YouTube Sasha Velour So Emotional. You're welcome.







I think Netflix is killing it in 2017 so far with some of the best seasons of already favorite shows, and great new content. Masters of None came out strong with a great second season. It is so different than any other show and sometimes the second season can suffer when the first season is so good, but that's not the case!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had the funniest season yet. I love anything that Tina Fey is involved in, and have been giving this show the benefit of the doubt but haven't been totally on board. Titus's Lemonade spoof was brilliant and had me literally loling. 

Glow is a new show that just came out that totally deserves a watch. It's set in the 80's so you instantly get that nostalgic, fun feeling that decade had. 

Special shoutout to Orange is the New Black, and that new Stranger Things trailer looks crazy! Keep it up, Netflix! 






Um, if you have been going around saying this is your year, please see yourself to the nearest exit ASAP because 2017 belongs to Celine Dion. Celine has always been my queen, my heart, my human soundtrack, and apparently now I have to share. If she wasn't already in your DIVA TOP 3, that changed the moment she touched that Sabrett's to her lips curbside during the Met Gala. A month later we saw her put all of our nudie GAP dressing room selfies to shame when she bared all in a post to Vogue's Instagram - just one in a series that highlighted her reign at Paris Fashion Week. However, the culmination of Dion's World Takeover Tour is probably this video showing peak Celine hat humping in baby's breath haute couture. Be still my heart.   







This human is my favorite thing I've found in 2017, scratch that ... IN MY LIFETIME. She is all I need. She a light in dark times, she is my spirit animal, she is my everything. If I have a baby, and it doesn't come out as Ava Ryan, I'm sending it back. 
P.S. "I'm craving some SUSH"







All the magic that is coming from the solo boys now that One Direction is done. Harry Styles' solo album is amazing and he's somehow even cuter than before. Niall's "Slow Hands" is constantly stuck in my head. Pretty much everything those boys are doing is making me happy lately!

Propagating succulents. I've been attempting and failing at propagating little succulent babies for like a year; then all of a sudden within the last month or two, all the babies are sprouting and they're so cool! I don't have any green thumbs to speak of, so I'm pretty excited!

I know I'm a little late to the game for having just watched FX's Fargo, but I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I love that each season can stand on its own, but that if you do watch them all in order, there are so many little characters and references from other seasons. I feel like it's so well written and the overall aesthetic of the show is so good. Especially in season 2 -- all of the 70s clothes and decor are the best. 



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Do Color-Blind Cyborgs Dream of Rainbows?




The year: 2017. Technology has advanced. Drone delivery, driverless cars, and whatever new musical synth device that can make Chris Brown talented have all become acceptable realities. Unfortunately, the zero-gravity boots, suitcase space pods, and tube travel of the Jetsonian era are still just out of reach. But good news for all you Inspector Gadget fans - cyborgs are very real, and they are here in all of their part-human-part-machine glory walking, talking and GO-GO-GADGETING among us.

Our current favorite manbot is Catalan-raised, British-born, sweetest bowl cut-sporting, Neil Harbisson. The 33-year-old is best-known as the first person to have an antenna implanted in his skull, and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government.

 Born with achromatopsia, Harbisson lived in a grayscale world until he received his antenna in 2004. Since then he has been hearing colors via a sensor that hangs, angler fish-like, over his brow. Using infrared and ultraviolet technologies, it sends signals to an implanted chip allowing him to hear and feel color through tone and bone vibrations. Once the color sensations became perception and feeling, he finally began to dream in color -  an event he describes as becoming one with his mechanical components; a true cyborg.

Now Harbisson can actually feel the blue of Picasso’s Blue Period. Supermarkets, with their array of brightly colored produce, have become vibrating nightclubs. Dressing to feel good is on a whole 'nother level. An uber cool secondary effect of his cyborg appendage allows him to perceive normal sounds as color. Telephone rings sound green. The BBC beeps are turquoise. Mozart hums a vibrant yellow. 


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That's when he started to paint music and the frequencies of people’s voices. Pictured below is one of Mozart’s most famous arias “Queen of the Night", and the song that launched Justin Beiber into super stardom.  


"Queen of the Night" composed by Mozart. Art by Neil Harbisson.



“Baby” Performed by Justin Beiber. Art by Neil Harbisson.


At an exhibition in 2012, Harbisson placed two works titled “No labels” side by side and asked viewers which they liked most. Both are color portraits of speeches - Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” and a Nazi parade address by Adolf Hitler. Which do you like most?



Neil Harbisson


In 2010, Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation to help other humans become cyborgs. Created on the principle that enhanced senses lead to enhanced knowledge, the foundation aims to evolve the human senses through technology as we push towards an even more technological future -  a future that will hopefully stop developing apps for our phones, and begin to develop them for ourselves.




 

 

 

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20 Famous Letterheads From The Desks of 20 Famous Letterheads

Letterheads are one of the oldest forms of professional and personal stationery. Not only do they announce a person or organization's name and address, they invite you there, to the penner's most private space: their desk. You can tell a lot from a person's letterhead. The font, stock, ink, and design are like a palm reading on paper. To receive correspondence on letterhead is an invitation to read more than just words, it's a token of time and space - a sign that you have been written into someone's history.

And since April is National Letter Writing Month, what better way to celebrate than to rifle through the internet desks of some of the most famous letter senders ever? So without further ado, here's some of the most interesting personal stationery we could scrounge up from past and present. 






Letterheady

Marilyn Monroe, 1958






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Princess Diana, 1997






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Marcel Marceau, 1994






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David Bowie





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Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, 1961





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Ray Charles





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Queen





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Frank Lloyd Wright





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Lena Dunham





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Helen Gurley Brown, 1971





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Muppets, Inc., 1963





Charles D'Angelo

Richard Simmons





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The Church of Scientology, 1976





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MTV Animation, 1995





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Albert Einstein, 1932






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Adolf Hitler, 1943-1945





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John Denver





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J.K. Rowling, 2009





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Back to the Future, 1985





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Andy Warhol




 

🤤📝 😍

 

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What's Making Us Happy: MARCH MADAMNESS Edition



Strong females are kind of our thing: We were raised by them, we idolize them, we support their endeavors whether big or small, creative or liberating - and sometimes, we even make greeting cards inspired by their monumental bad assery. It's the least we can do. And since it just happens to be Women's History Month, we're each giving a shout-out to a leading lady that's touched our lives in a special way. Enjoy!


Public Domain/Tay Ham composite

Sojourner Truth

"Because of them I can now live the dream. I am the seed of the free and I know it. I intend to bear great fruit."

 A black abolitionist and women's rights activist in the 1800's - that took some major courage. She not only fought for universal suffrage and African American rights she also championed for many other causes including prison reform and property rights. She did this during a time when when being a woman made you a second class citizen and being black made it so, to some, you weren't even a citizen at all. 

But she never faltered, never gave up. She had courage and gumption, and if she could stand up against the establishment, then there is no reason I can't stand up and resist now - NO reason I can't demand change. She is living proof that you may never see the change you champion for but it doesn't mean one day it won't come about. Her efforts are still seen today. Just imagine what can happen if we champion for justice and equality today, how that might look for all the people in all the tomorrows. - KAT



NBC/Tay Ham composite

Jane Fonda

"Stay curious, keep learning and keep growing. And always strive to be more interested than interesting."

Words can't - and won't - do justice for how much I admire, love, and want to be BFFs with (or adopted son of) Jane Fonda. Not only has her life been full of opportunities in feminism, activism, acting, and fitness, but with each of her endeavors, her dialogue about each experience somehow resonates what it is to be human - stand up for yourself, stand up for others, apologize when you need to, take a few risks, take care of yourself, and love yourself and others. - MICHAEL

Honorable mention: Rihanna.



Pinterest/Tay Ham composite

Parker Posey

"I like sitting close to windows."

I pick Parker Posey. She might not be the most obvious choice for an influential woman, but I find myself needing a dose of Posey when I'm feeling a certain kind of way. She is someone who I think values authenticity and embraces both the highs and lows it can bring into your life. My favorite roles of hers are the ones where she gets to improvise the dialogue and help sculpt the character. Plus, she always makes me laugh. I like that. - TAYLOR


New York Magazine/Tay Ham composite

Shonda Rhimes

“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.”

SHONDA RHIMES! I think she's a really very powerful and relevant woman in today's society. She writes such strong female characters for her TV shows. With as much of an impact that media plays in our lives, I think it's really important that little girls grow up seeing bad ass female characters that they can relate to and look up to. My boy Riz Ahmed just gave a really awesome speech about diversity and representation in the media, and he said that by including diverse voices and stories, creative industries have the opportunity to humanize and unite people, which I think Shonda fully understands and strives for in her shows. - SUZY



Democracy Underground/Tay Ham composite

Eleanor Roosevelt

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Besides being a champion for peace and equality, she was such a brave and amazing lady! I love her so much, I named my cat after her. - JESS


Dan Hallman/Invision/AP/Tay Ham composite

J.K. Rowling

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Oh J.K. She's inarguably the greatest witch of our age. She's a world builder that has scaled the ranks to sit alongside literary greats like Tolkien, Lewis and Le Guin. She has an enormous sense of charity that she concentrates on issues near and dear to her heart like anti-poverty, children's welfare and Multiple Sclerosis. She also has zero qualms with dueling evil bullies on Twitter.

Personally, I owe her a large debt of gratitude for the flights of fancy I experienced (and thb, continue to on a regular basis) through her Harry Potter novels. Her ability to weave such universal social themes as contrasting religions, corruption, prejudice and racism into a fantasy narrative is a gift that will endure for ages to come. What I admire most, though, is that she has kept humans believing in magic - not the kind found in her books, but the stuff that's conjured up in conversations about her books. The spells we cast when sharing thoughts, ideas, and compassion with each other is the strongest magic we possess. - JAY





Want more AWESOME WOMEN? Shop TAY HAM's Women's Month selections HERE. 
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What's Making Us Happy: Double Dip Edition

For the shortest month of the year, February sure is a savage: The Northern Hemisphere is pelted with winter blizzards and a general dreariness takes up residence above our heads, zero foods are in season (be sure to tip your hat to the previous sentence), and depending on your current relationship status, Valentine’s Day is always up for debate. Idk, Feb. Maybe you’re overcompensating for something? Or are you just upset that we’ve misspelled your name for forever?

In better news, the second month is generally good for the greeting card industry. Right now the Tay Ham office is buzzing with activity. A steady rapping of fingers on keyboards, the crinkle of cellophane sleeves, and the tween pheromone drunken howls of “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” by Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift (45% office approved btw) fill the air daily with a mostly pleasurable cacophony of sounds and motivating feels. Smiling faces and the regular flashing of bicuspids make up our current fashion trend and we’re definitely ok with it. It’s for those reasons and more that we’re happy this week. And because we want February to lighten up a little, we each put 2 things in the pot this round: 1 general and 1 love-related. We hope you enjoy.



TAYLOR

🍗 : Having an ice cream sundae for dessert every night this week is making me very happy. Rewatching this Power Rangers video I found this past summer was pretty fun too. Good times.

❤️ : I love conversation hearts. The candy corn of winter.

 

 

SUZY

🍗 :  My current guilty pleasure TV show, The Royals, is making me happy this week! It's so bad that it's good - AND I get to stare at William Moseley, which seriously overrides all cheesiness.

💛 : I'm currently really loving these super pretty vintage inspired tins full of fancy little chocolates! The tins alone make it worth the purchase and they're perfect for Valentine's Day gifts (way cooler than drugstore hearts of chocolate)!

 

MICHAEL

🍗 : The podcast, My Dad Wrote A Porno is making me happy this week. This one is hitting it right - sex, laughter, and some of the most anal-ytical banter and criticism.  Jamie's dad wrote an erotic novel, Belinda Blinks, and each week he and his 2 best friends read a chapter pausing often to laugh, gasp, gag, and question if this was in fact a good idea to read your dad's dirty thoughts.

💙 : This week I'm really loving Kehlani's, Sweet Sexy SavageThink TLC, Brandi and Rihanna. The album title says "get a girl that can do all three" and she did just that. Connecting it all is an IDGAF attitude to conformity, being vulnerable and foregoing being cool to say what needs to be said laced over throwback sounds and electronic beats.

 

KAT

🍗 : Elizabeth Warren being a total badass is making me the happiest this week! Mitch McConnell unknowingly coining the new feminist battle cry was the best backfire, too!

💜 : I just discovered cold brew old fashioneds. Cheers to 2017!

 

JAY

🍗 : I just fell into a Netflix pit for the first time in a hot second and I’m really happy about it! My new show is The Magicians. It’s a SyFy Channel original (which is why I didn’t give it a fair shot at first) based on a trilogy of books (which I devoured) by Lev Grossman. The typical C+ AT BEST grade I give SyFy shows has been curved to an impressive A- thanks to a higher budget, better acting and complex finger movements needed to conjure amazing spells even Harry Potter couldn’t muster.

🙏 👐 👏 👉 👈 ✌️🤞🤜 💨✨💠🤥

💚 : My heart strings were significantly plucked when I ran across one of those surprise proposal stories yesterday. First, I’m really jealous this couple broke into my iPhone Notes app and stole item 14 on my bucket list. But second, Celine Dion seemed super kooky/happy about the whole thing so I guess it’s ok.

 

JESS

🍗 : Not gonna lie, this granola is making me really happy this week! It is kind of expensive but so totally worth it. The sea salt in it is perfect and I love it for a late night sweet treat. 

💗 : I love to cook and generally don't like to be out with lots of other people, so I always cook for Valentine's Day. I'm getting excited to work up a delicious menu this week for this years feast. It usually involves some sort of steak and delicious sides and of course a chocolate dessert

 

Are you feeling the love yet? Here, THESE might help.

 

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What Mixtape Song Are You?

Set the tune for this Valentine's Day with this quiz featuring the hottest acts from our new HAM WOW collection!

LET'S PLAY!

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