Scientists have found many ways to explain what remains largely mysterious: the astonishing murmurations of starlings Jan van IJKen captured in this sublime short video. The best description of that mystery is John Updike’s The ...
Every minute of Zach Lieberman’s AIGA talk is full of amazement. We excerpted our favorite two minutes: the book his stepdaughter River made when she was six year old, called I Am Art.
Fran Black, known in Australia as Dr. Fran, for her wise counsel on health matters, is an unusually outside-the-box thinker on everyday matters. Recently, she shared her revelation about the dessert she’d made for guests ...
My big lesson in productivity, learned the hard way, flies in the face of the accepted wisdom.
Over the past 25 years or so, a number of artists have taken to embellishing the INSIDES of ordinary cardboard boxes to great effect. Barbarians that we are, we take their work as inspiration for ...
We often weave poetry into Improvised Life’s articles, taking John Ashbery’s view that The poem is a hymn to possibility. Of the many poets we publish, Mary Oliver is probably the most frequent. We were thrilled ...
In this lovely animated film, legendary composer Abdullah Ibrahim tells how improvising guided him during dangerous run-ins with white police, an active practice throughout his life and music.
Our friend Harriet Bell told us how to make the homemade vegetable soup she’s made for fifty years, improvising on her mother’s beloved recipe.
Wise woman Mira Keras recently mentioned a unique strategy she came up for dealing with situations when either she, her husband or her young daughter Gogo are angry, inevitable in any close relationship.
When we couldn’t find examples of the metallic checkerboard floors we’re smitten with, we devised a way to envision what they —and other jazzy patterns— would look like as a floor.
When I worked with legendary photographer Irving Penn years ago, he gave me a tangible lesson in setting boundaries to maintain the flow of his work.
We like to open books at random to see what chunk of synchronous wisdom they might offer. Recently, we found this description of Leonardo’s wild, endearing culinary FAIL…
Bob Dylan’s 1970’s classic, Forever Young, is in essence a blessing, perfect words for clinking glasses in a toast this Thanksgiving Day and for celebrating a 100th birthday.
If you’re still wrapping your head around pulling Thanksgiving dinner together, here is our toolkit of Improvised Life’s best ideas from Thanksgivings past.
When we saw the great Cab Calloway singing Jumpin Jive, we had to check out the wild lyrics. We were doubly knocked out by the dance routine that went with it.
As is, roasted pears are wonderful with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or a custard sauce/creme anglaise*. But they can be the inspiration for all manner of desserts.