Image: Leo Reynolds, Norwich UK.

This week’s blog basket includes translating French Vogue for midlife women,  a new Web site from NPR’s (and WVFC’s) Jacki Lyden, women leaders still fighting for gun safety, and why The Illusionist makes such a great date movie.

  • Valentine’s week is long over, but in this pre-Oscar week we loved this discussion, at  Acanthus and Acorn, of The Illusionist with Edward Norton.  Rebecca Ilgenfritz explains why the drama makes a great date movie: “The movie, I think, is well-crafted and very stylish. It does takes great liberties with fantasy and illusion, but the acting by Giamatti, Norton and Rufus Sewell (who plays Crown Prince Leopold) should get you well past any criticisms. It takes place in Vienna, Austria and the sets and costumes are fantastic.” So are the photos she includes.
  • The joyous scenes of Egypt’s peaceful overthrow of its dictator were dimmed, for many of us, by last week’s news that CNN journalist Lara Logan had suffered a brutal sexual assault on that celebratory day. At Feministing,  Ann Friedman’s “When rape is a risk that comes with the job” counters much of the pundit-talk that followed (along the lines of “What did she expect?”) and broadens the discussion to broader issues of sexual abuse at the workplace.
  • Speaking more happily of journalists and bravery, check out JackiLyden.com, the new site launched by the acclaimed NPR journalist who occasionally lends her voice here (most recently in our New Years’ roundups). Now we can keep up with progress on the movie being made from her memoir Daughter of the Queen of Sheba (perhaps to star Anne Hathaway), or see photos of her radio subjects, such as the Paris Underground or the history of Chanel Number Five.
  • In January, after the Tucson shooting that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, we hailed efforts by Carolyn McCarthy and Mayors Against Illegal Guns to take military-caliber ammunition and firearms out of the wrong hands. But did those efforts go by the wayside of the  new Congress? Not according to Women’s Enews, which profiled McCarthy and other Female Lawmakers who Carry the Banner for Gun Control. Reporter Sharon Johnson does wish there were more of them: Illinois representative Jan Schakowsky tells Johnson, “Women are more likely to support gun control measures than are men because they are less likely than are men to own guns, [and they] also realize the significant role guns play in not only mass shootings but also domestic violence, workplace killings and suicides.” The gender gap, says Schakowsky, is thus a barrier.
  • If you’re not currently reading French Vogue — or even if you are — you might want to check out I’m Late, I’m Late, It Was Worth the Wait in Tish Jett’s A Femme d’Un Certain Age.  Jett (who shared her Valentine wisdom with us last week) writes of a feature on celebrity clothes: “Thanks to my discerning eye and the fact I’m the chief of the No One Our Age Wants to Look Like a Fool Police Department, I’ve whittled the magazine selections down to a few choice pieces for us.” Follow the link to learn the basics, from Claudia Schiffer’s glasses to the perfect 501 jeans.

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