Crossword puzzle from April 25, 1965, found by David Prasad.
The crossword puzzle, which turns one hundred years old this Saturday, is a native New Yorker. Contrary to popular belief, it was not born in the virtuous, cosmopolitan New York Times but in the back pages of the now long-defunct yellow-journalism daily The New York World, among the ads for breast-augmentation serums. In 1913, The World was one of scores of city papers grabbing at readers with sensational and morbid hooks, high-contrast photos of men in hats standing over fresh corpses, headlines about the secret lechers and killers of the grim urban anonymous. These were the [...]
Trevor Tahiem "Busta Rhymes" Smith, Jr. occupies a singular place in hip-hop history. He is a super-good rapper, blessed with a flow as quick and nimble and flexible as any we've ever heard. He's never put together truly great songs, though, or albums you want to listen to all the way through. He's perhaps most famous for his guest appearances on other peoples' songs—beginning with his jaw-dropping verse on A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" in 1991, he earned a reputation as the genre's greatest scene stealer. (Andre 3000 has since stolen that crown.) What Busta is, though, I think, is hip-hop's greatest video artist. He is the [...]
Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called "The Hideout." Among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.
George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.
Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always [...]
As lead-ups to fortieth birthdays go, I recommend steering clear of subway preachers who forecast the Rapture for the very day you're most dreading. For 18 months now, End-Timers have been gathering daily, at the top of the stairway to the train I take home from work, to press “Judgment Day” tracts on unsuspecting commuters. I'm sure someone else, someone who lacked my fundamentalist baggage, would've laughed at the coincidence and shaken it off, but to me it felt personal when the men turned up there, with their pamphlets and placards and dire predictions, as though the God I grew up fearing and eventually turned my back [...]
You were seven years old at the time, which was December 19th, 1991. I remember because I had just turned 21. The day before, as a matter of fact. You were in the first grade at a school for emotionally disturbed children in New Jersey, where I worked, as an assistant to your teacher, Suzanne.
Ernest Hemingway wrote what might become his most-quoted lines in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, shortly after the publication of Tender is the Night. Hemingway called Fitzgerald "bitched" for having married Zelda Sayre, "someone who was jealous of your work, wants to compete with you and ruins you." Leave it to Hemingway to describe creative impotency and emotional indulgence in overtly female terms.
"The societal pressure forces you to get on board because it’s considered a good cause. It would be such a faux pas to say no to it — you don’t want to be the one guy who doesn’t save the puppies. I know everyone thinks it, but no one wants to be perceived as cheap." —Is there a real trend going on where "more altruistic New Yorkers are insisting on throwing birthday bashes with mandatory charity donations"? On the one hand, now that we've decided government isn't going to do anything but funnel more and more [...]
Happy 70th birthday to Calvin Klein, who shares the day with Indira Gandhi and Allison Janney and other spiritual notables. Klein is proof—like some other very rich people in New York City who are of the exact same age—that life, and the expenditures of great sums of money, really does begin at 70. Having sold the company "Calvin Klein" almost exactly ten years ago, he has spent the last ten years really coming into his own: buying a monstrous Hamptons estate, then tearing it down; taking up with an extremely young lover, then having the young lover promise to write a tell-all about it, after breaking it off [...]
I mean, every birthday of any celebrity who peaked in fame years ago is an occasion to marvel at the passage of the time. But this should really, really make you feel very, very, very old: Ralph Macchio turns 50 today. (And Steve Vai is 51!)
"It's a frozen lump of frozen gases and I suppose not a terribly friendly place. Let's wish it a happy birthday but perhaps let's keep as far away from it as we can as it won't give you a welcome." —British astronomer Alan Chapman, on the fact that tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of the discovery of of Neptune—in Neptunian years, which are 164.79 times longer than Earth years. It was on September 24, 1896 that Johann Gottfried Galle, using theoretical predictions made earlier by French mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (and, of course, a telescope) officially discovered the eighth planet in our solar system, 4.4 billion [...]
Wikipedia commingles inane and profound topics willy-nilly, most always with equal weight and seriousness of tone. Cataloging everything under the sun with such seriousness of purpose and attention to detail is an amazing endeavor. The excerpts that follow are both very silly and very informative. The complete entries on "Deep-fried Mars Bar" and "Exploding Whale," for example, are each almost as long and serious in tone as the entry on "Immanuel Kant." They highlight the oddity and incongruity and wonder of the whole enterprise. What's more, these excerpts are proof that Wikipedia is most likely the most positive development in the history of our extremely troublesome Internet.
Stephanie Lynn “Stevie” Nicks turns 65 on Sunday. As the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist she has written and sung some of the most indelible songs of the rock era.
The band has long since entered the pantheon of Rock Greatness as a “legacy act.” When your local classic-rock station plays “Go Your Own Way” and “Rhiannon” back-to-back on “Two for Tuesday,” do you drum along on your steering wheel? Of course you do! You’re only human!
And yet. While Stevie—I’m going to call her “Stevie” because, like all icons, she invites familiarity while retaining a core of mystery—has enough solo hits to avoid [...]
This video is what the best MC ever to pick up a mic looked and sounded like when he was 17. Seventeen! Brooklyn's Biggie Smalls was born forty years ago today. Ego Trip has ten rarer videos up to mark the occasion. But this one always blows my mind when I watch it. The way he carried himself, his posture, his enunciation, the control he had of that booming voice—he knew how great he was already.
"Happy 53rd Birthday, Prince Rogers Nelson. You are definitely one of the world’s 'Favorite Blacks.' We know this not because of all the joy your music has brought your millions of fans. But because in 1985 you and your band, the Revolution, were presented the honor 'Favorite Black Album' at the American Music Awards (by Huey Lewis and Madonna, no less). The irony of this is that you didn’t even win that award for your raw-as-hell The Black Album (which didn’t come out till a few years later and scared all your pop fans who never heard Dirty Mind; we had to buy that shit on a bootleg cassette behind [...]
Hey! Awl-fave Erykah Badu turns 40 tomorrow! Happy birthday to her. She put out a new video a couple weeks ago, too, in case you haven't seen it. It sort of looks like what Terry Gilliam's storyboarding for the ministry of information scene in Brazil might have. (That style of animation is big in videos lately.) At the end of it, just as you'd expect, Erykah boards an ankh-shaped rocket and blasts off into outer space. Which is what everybody should do on their 40th birthday.