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a river guide lays out the dos and don’ts of rafting etiquette

the cascading call of a canyon wren echoes hauntingly throughout the chasm. droplets falling from my oar blades make ripples on the water, the only movement on its glassy surface. the entire canyon turns a muted pink as the river reflects the surrounding sandstone.in the stillness of this moment, a life-jacket-clad passenger in the front of our four-passenger rubber raft turns around and looks at me, sitting in the oar seat, with an expectant expression. i anticipate questions about the wren’s singing, the mighty colorado river or the towering cliffs of the grand canyon, through which we’re floating. instead comes the question: “so, what’s for dinner?” earlier that morning, this same passenger asked a co-worker and me to pick the blueberries out of his blueberry pancakes.after gr...





michelle obama reveals the cover image for her upcoming memoir

cover image by miller mobley. (penguin random house)this is no buttoned-up political tome. that’s the message we get from the cover of former first lady michelle obama’s upcoming memoir, “becoming.” obama shared the book cover via social media on thursday, and the image is distinctly not stuffy.obama appears in an off-the-shoulder white t-shirt, her hair loose and wavy. simultaneously casual and glamorous, it’s a look that would be at home at a brunch with girlfriends or even a day of running errands (albeit on the kind of so-good-hair day that makes you hope you run into your ex).“as i prepare to share becoming this fall, i hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be,” the former flotus wrote on twitter. “y...





add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

overviewingredientsstepsoverviewburgers and dogs may be the traditional staples of a cookout, but when you’re craving something more than meat on bun, a well-assembled skewer is a colorful showstopper on the grill.it’s scientifically* proven that food tastes better when it’s served on a stick, especially when that stick features alternating bites of grilled, spicy chicken and sweet, fruity goodness. (*disclaimer: this is not a scientific fact, but your taste buds might tell you otherwise.)jerk marinades can rely on different peppers for heat, such as scotch bonnet, jalapeño and habanero. here, we’re rolling with the latter, which delivers a perky punch without overwhelming the thyme, scallion and allspice that round out a typical jerk flavor profile. fresh lime juice adds brightne...





country singer jackie lee had the worst year of his life. it inspired him to make a comeback.

jackie lee performs last year at the faster horses music festival at the brooklyn trails campground in michigan. (amy harris/invision/ap)in september 2016, country singer jackie lee was headed to a songwriting session when he knew something was wrong. it was three months after his mother died of cancer, so nothing had really felt normal since then. but this was different. he wasn’t in pain and he didn’t feel sick, exactly — it was “a weird intuition,” he said. he called his father, and after conferring, lee decided to make a doctor’s appointment when he got home.multiple doctor visits, an ultrasound and one surgery later, lee, then 25, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.lee initially shared the diagnosis with his father and manager, and was truly conflicted over whether he s...





how to spike summer lemonade

summer in padua; get the recipe, below. (jennifer chase/for the washington post)i don’t know about you, but now and then i kind of regret developing high standards. i can still enjoy movies that fall into the so-bad-they’re-good category (i’m looking at you, “con air”), but it has become harder with food and drink.nowhere is this more the case than with summer lemonade, which these days i typically feel morally and gastronomically compelled to make the old-school way: juicing the bright yellow fruit by the dozens, a fragrant but messy and time-consuming process. but once upon a time, i was ecstatic about powdered country time lemonade mix — a blend of sugar, fructose, citric acid and various multisyllabic chemicals and stabilizers. if juicing real lemons is the old-school way, ...





we can't stop eating these two-bite crab cakes

mini crab cakes with avocado wasabi sauce; get the recipe, below. (deb lindsey/for the washington post)these light but sumptuous two-bite treats stand miles apart from the mayo-heavy, crab-flavored bread-crumb mounds that often pass for crab cakes nowadays.here, they are all about the succulent crab, which is bound minimally with whole-grain bread crumbs and egg — no mayo at all. the sweet tenderness of the seafood is elevated, not overwhelmed, with lime, ginger and cilantro, and enriched with fragrant, toasted sesame oil. the cakes are coated in more whole-grain bread crumbs, specifically japanese panko, which make for an extra-crispy exterior when pan-fried (not deep-fried) in a small amount of oil. the sauce rises above the densely mayonnaise-y typical tartar as well, both flavor and ...





nso to return to carnegie hall

on the road again: gianandrea noseda will finish up his second season as the music director of the national symphony orchestra by conducting the orchestra at carnegie hall in may, 2019. (photo by tim coburn for the washington post)the national symphony orchestra has announced a new tour date for next year. on may 19, 2019, the orchestra will play carnegie hall.earlier this year, both carnegie hall and the kennedy center announced performances of verdi’s “i vespri siciliani” by the teatro regio torino under gianandrea noseda, who had led that company as music director for 11 years. in april, however, noseda resigned from torino after the government put in a new general director to head the theater and the tour was abruptly cancelled.torino’s loss is the nso’s gain: it was perfectl...





stressed out about teaching your teen to drive? experts share 4 things to keep in mind.

by lisa l. lewismay 24 at 6:00 am(istock)it’s been almost 35 years since i started driving, and i’ve gotten pretty good at it. but with a 16-year-old in the house, i realized we both have a lot to learn before he’s ready to get behind the wheel on his own.unlike when i first passed my driving test, every state and the district now has some form of graduated licensing, typically requiring new teen drivers to obtain a learner’s permit and then a probationary license before they can get an unrestricted license. as part of this, parents play a critical role in helping their teens learn the nuances and complexities of driving. although requirements vary by state, most mandate a certain number of practice driving hours with a parent or an instructor in the car as part of the process.it??...





classic rock: exploring the spectacular landscape of south-central utah

lower muley twist canyon, seen from the trailhead in capitol reef national park, lives up to its name. it’s full of twists. (ken barber/alamy stock photo)like most hikes and drives in south-central utah, lower muley twist canyon is both heavenly and hellish for someone curious about what’s around the next corner — and i definitely am. it’s possible to hike down the canyon, in capitol reef national park, for 12 miles and turn at least three times as many corners.i’m in this part of utah because it’s still snowing where i live in northwest wyoming and, in late march, the temperatures are in the 60s, maybe even the 70s. i’m already somewhat familiar with the area, but there are plenty of hikes and back-road drives i haven’t yet done. also, one of my favorite restaurants, hell?...





create a calming retreat with room for family and friends to put their feet up

mari-jane williams edits parenting and other lifestyle content, and writes the house calls column for the washington post. previously, she edited community news for the post’s local living and the prince william and loudoun extras. follow @marijanewilliam





why is instagram adding a mute button? because rejection is scary.

(istock)the internet is rejoicing over instagram’s announcement that it will be adding a “mute” button, allowing you to silence posts and stories from accounts you find annoying but don’t want to unfollow. including but not limited to: your exes, your friends who can’t stop posting proof of their blissful relationship, anyone who’s posting too many baby pics, or documenting so many avocado toasts they actually add up to a down payment on a home.in a statement tuesday, instagram said “the accounts you mute will not be aware that you’ve muted them. you can always unmute an account to get their posts back in your feed.” the new york times calls the mute button “so desperately needed.” cnn describes it as a “less aggressive option” than unfollowing someone, a ...





scientists say fish feel pain. it could lead to major changes in the fishing industry.

fishermen row a boat loaded with mullet near the fish farm in the crimean village of olenivka. (pavel rebrov/reuters)fish feel pain.read that sentence again: fish feel pain.the idea that fish suffer runs counter to almost everything americans have been taught about creatures of the sea. that their brains are not complex enough to experience pain. that their behaviors when stressed — such as wriggling violently on a hook — are just unconscious reactions, disconnected from the suffering of sentient beings. that they’re, more or less, unfeeling little meat sticks that don’t deserve animal welfare protections.greg abrams, a longtime commercial fisherman in florida, perhaps best sums up the classic american attitude about fish and their potential to suffer: “god put these animals on ...





gene weingarten: trump did it. why didn’t i dictate glowing letters about myself?

i bet you were just as shocked as i was to learn that donald trump himself had written that glowing letter signed by his doctor attesting to the overweight burger-gobbler’s phenomenal, terrific, unprecedentedly presidential a++ state of personal health — which is to say, not shocked at all.right. and no one seems to have cared all that much about the blatant lie. we should be outraged. if i thought i could get away with writing bogus letters about myself and having other people sign them, my life would be substantially better. it would have come in handy at all stages of my life.april 11, 1965dear mr. and mrs. weingarten,to clear things up, gene has not been held after school for disruptive and shocking behavior every day this month. he has been tutoring me in geometry. i’m sure you ...





as a quintessential side or a topping, this zippy tahini slaw is a cookout crowd-pleaser

lifestylefoodvoraciouslyget the newsletterjoin our growing newsletter community and get the tips and tricks you need to host a killer dinner party.post_newsletter413falsetrue





when my husband died, it felt as if i was starting from scratch as a parent

(istock)my middle child loves to go to the cemetery. he loves the wide open spaces and the funny statues. he loves to look at the gravestones and read the old-fashioned names. we hold hands and explore together. he loves to be there, even though, at 7 years old, he is much too young to have to visit his father’s grave there.his 9-year-old sister refuses to go. yes, she misses her dad, but she doesn’t want to be sad, and she knows she’d get “teary-eyed” if she went there. she also doesn’t want me to be sad, and she certainly doesn’t want me to cry in public, so she’d much rather avoid the cemetery.but i think it’s important to go back to the place where, only four months ago, we placed their father’s body in the ground. i don’t want it to be a scary place. i want it t...





second glance; may 27, 2018.

find the 12 differences between the original photograph, top, and the altered photograph, center. answers at bottom. (degree of difficulty: advanced.) for more second glance puzzles, click here. original photo by post reader barbara van dyke; gate at nationals park before game one of the national league division series, 2016. may 24 at 5:00 am





date lab: there was no spark. still, they persisted.

lucy vernasco, 25, a congressional staffer, and john lowry, 24, a congressional staffer. (daniele seiss/for the washington post)lucy vernasco and john lowry both work in politics. they both run and enjoy being outdoors. and in their date lab applications, they both came across as ambitious go-getters. lucy noted that she earned a bachelor’s degree in three years, attended grad school and landed a director-level job, all by age 25. john is a year younger but relayed his own impressive list of accomplishments: junior olympic fencer and national championship triathlete in high school and college, president of his college class. we sent these precocious hill staffers to bar deco in chinatown. john arrived first, straight from work, feeling a bit nervous and overdressed in a suit. “oh, gosh...





jet li responds after viral photo alarms fans about his health, hyperthyroidism

herman wong is a deputy editor on the general assignment news desk for the washington post. he joined the post in 2014, and was previously at the business news site quartz. follow @hermanywong





the museum of ice cream is launching its own ice cream line — with “sprinkle pool” and piñata flavors

the museum of ice cream — an instagrammable pop-up funhouse devoted to the childlike pleasure of candy and frozen sweets — has frozen out a lot of guests since it first opened in 2016. it’s notoriously hard to get into: only open in certain cities (currently, san francisco) for a limited time, and the $38 tickets sell out almost immediately. it leaves people scrolling through social media, longing for the day when they’ll get their chance to dive into a pink swimming pool full of rainbow sprinkles and post boomerangs of the experience that will make everyone jealous.those people are now in luck. the museum announced wednesday that it’s planning to open a new concept, the pint shop, in new york — no tickets required — and is launching its own brand of ice cream, which wi...





carolyn hax: why it’s called the pta instead of the gpta

adapted from a recent online discussion.dear carolyn: my son and his family recently moved back to our area. i feel i've missed so many milestones, though i did make the effort to visit them every month or so. once the kids started school, i joined the pta. i so enjoyed my time as pta president when my sons were small, and thought i could get to know the parents of my grandchildren's friends. when i announced this, my daughter-in-law started to cry and said, "we never should have moved back." my son gathered up the kids and left, and we haven't spoken since. i don't understand what happened, though i have always had a frosty relationship with my daughter-in-law. she is not my favorite person. i did not approve of my son marrying her, and found her immature. since the kids were born, ...