This August, a garage in Old Monroe, Missouri burst into flames. There had been more than a dozen similar fires over the past year, a suspiciously high number for a town with a population of 265. When police reviewed security footage, they spotted a white Chevrolet Lumina parked outside the building minutes before it caught fire. They traced the car back to local volunteer firefighter Dustin Grigsby, the 19-year-old son of a fire district captain. Grigsby told police that he set the fires because he "needed a release."
On a recent five-star November afternoon, I decided to visit Trinity Church Cemetery in northern Harlem. Starting at the plateau on Amsterdam Avenue and 154th Street, I followed the winding paths down through a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves and crumbling crypts, which, glowing in the western sun, appeared almost transitory. As one tends to do in cemeteries, I contemplated the end of all things. Lately, I had heard murmurs about “the death” of the internet, and though inclined to dismiss such speculation as a form of insipid nostalgia that often clings to any recollection of the past—and really, what is the internet if not an infinite collection of memories?—I [...]
Tikker is a normal-enough looking digital watch. Nobody needs to know that every time you glance down to check the time, you’re also checking on your death. It’s “the watch that counts down your life."
Unlike Tikker, ALARMclock has a sleek, faux-retro design, with simplistic LED display. Upon waking, the prototype tells you how much money and how many social network “friends” you have, along with how many days left you have to live based on fairly common demographic information. It's “the stuff that matters the most to the most people," according to designer Al Kelly.
Tikker received almost $100,000 in its Kickstarter funding that ended early [...]
Everyone was so riled up about culture this week that I had to drink a whole bottle of ACME Acid every morning just to cope with my pointless existence. What kind of bullshit did we jerk our jaws off for? Come, let me chew your food with my metal teeth and my dashing enzymes!Selfies
Call me the Lizard Lord of Dooftopia and spank me silly with the atrocities of change! Shower me in selfies of varying qualities, poor lighting, and Vampiric Vanity! Listen, butterfly thinkers, the telegram didn’t cut us down and the telephone made us say I Love You more. Let visual communication of Self spread even [...]
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars had long been the only documentary from my infancy that I can imagine watching over and over again, or even at all. I like my early 70s laced with enigma, androgyny and ambiguity and tightly packaged in flamboyant space frocks.
The thought of a non-fictional account of the Monaco Grand Prix shot two months after I was born hardly registers a yawn. I don’t give a lick about the leisure class in couture leisure suits slurping vintage champagne and snorting copious amounts of coke as tiny cars whirl around in a circle spewing bravado in a contest of testosterone on overdrive.
Sure, there’s [...]
Previously: • Bret Easton Ellis—Or Dr. Seuss? • Ask Reddit—Or Sociopath Quiz Question? Alex J. Mann is a writer, director and comedian living in New York City. He’s written for Nickelodeon, The Morning News, CollegeHumor and National Lampoon. You can check out his comedy projects here and follow him on Twitter here.
President George Washington’s favorite nephew would go on to make his uncle proud. But at the age of sixteen, rumor had it that Bushrod Washington was bringing shame upon the family.
His mother, Hannah Washington, was the wife of George Washington’s brother—and the gossip had it that her son was attracting unfavorable attention in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Apparently he was getting a reputation.
We don't know now what she wrote to her son, but on November 23, Swann Auction Galleries will place Bushrod’s response up for sale.1 With a steady quill penning careful script, the future Supreme Court justice steadfastly denied the allegation:
The uneasiness I have suffered since the reception [...]
It had been six months since I quit, but I still managed to bring up the blog within 15 minutes of meeting Lauren.
We were at my go-to first date spot, a subterranean bar with shuffleboard and ping-pong in case the conversation flagged. When she asked what I did for a living, I dispatched with my day job in a few sentences before admitting, with false embarrassment, that I was also an aspiring writer.
The required follow-up question—"What kind of stuff do you write?"—was barely out of her mouth before I slipped into my spiel: "It’s a little embarrassing, but I used to be a dating blogger for Glamour [...]
Every family has its fair share of lunatics, alcoholics, weirdos, smug hippies, right wingers, racists and garden variety assholes (to paraphrase Tolstoy). And nothing exacerbates everybody’s awfulness and passive aggressive—and aggressive aggressive—behavior like a family gathering. With Thanksgiving just a few Xanax away, and in the the spirit of the holiday season, I’d like to share a secret family recipe that has nothing to do with food.
Fingo—that’s Family Bingo, of course—is a game that’ll save your next family function. Or, at the very least, it will make things a lot more interesting. Here’s what you’ll need in order to play it.1. At least two other members of your [...]
Mary HK Choi: OK, did you watch the last movie ever again after the theater? I did not. Not even on the plane or VOD.
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: NOPE.
MHKC: RIIIIGHT? No desire, right? Like, zip?
NVC: Zero! And I know why: 1) Zero camp 2) Too much bad teenage acting 3) No hot teen sex scenes. Once you've seen Spring Breakers the world is DIFFERENT. IT IS DIFFERENT NOW.
People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask.
I was on the Rihanna plane and once yelled at Jon Caramanica at a house party. Please consider letting me edit the New York Times magazine.
— Julieanne Smolinski (@BoobsRadley) November 12, 2013
Julieanne! So what happened here?
I’m glad you asked. This tweet was fascinating, and I’m glad it didn’t go unheralded as “not interesting to anyone, at all.” Let me break it down for you, in three equally entertaining parts.
• I was on the Rihanna plane Rihanna is a Caribbean musician who likes to wear shirts [...]
The first reports early last week told the story of a disgruntled young man who had been kicked out of a band called the Yellow Dogs, a band of Iranian expatriates. The man, traumatized by his exile and enraged at his friends, the story went, killed his former bandmates before killing himself.
"Iranian 'murdered bandmates' after group ousted him," read the New York Post headline. "Rafie betrayed his bandmates, stealing money and equipment last year," that story went. "Rafie was kicked out of the group, but on Monday returned with a vengeance." A source told the Post that Rafie shouted, "something like, 'Why did you bring me over here [...]
The Best Man Holiday is a success. That is not particularly a "surprise." It did not "over-perform," nor did it soar for a "race-themed film," as USA Today originally wrote. To speak of it in these terms reduces The Best Man Holiday to thousands of frames of low expectations. It existed and won. As a film, it was 50% an above-average comedy and 50% an abysmal drama. But financially—the only metric that matters to studios—it was a knockout. Set in the present. Not filmed by Tyler Perry. Of which you can expect to see more.
Malcolm D. Lee's movies, in fact, have nearly all been significant [...]
I graduated high school in 1997 and I went to work at the Winn Dixie deli counter, which totally sucked. I was still living at home and that fall I enrolled at Tallahassee Community College. I was more unsure of my future than at any other point in my life before or since.
A friend from high school had recently been hired at Blockbuster, and he got me a job there too that fall. Blockbuster was a step up. Not only did we not have to handle foodstuffs, but we also got free video rentals—although we didn’t get health care, or vacation, or sick days.
But I cannot overstate the [...]
In the few weeks before the auditions there was a bubbling sense of excitement which reminded me of the beginning of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A huge film enterprise, thus far closed to mere mortals, was to let two chosen people not only appear in the film but also perhaps take on lead roles.
I was working at my receptionist job at a local community center in Edinburgh the morning it was announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were holding open auditions for a ‘Major Hollywood Movie.’
"I’m too old, dammit," said Victoria, of the cafe volunteers, "and also they want beautiful, so that [...]
Wow is it cold out. The deer must think the same thing as I haven't seen a thing: http://t.co/7oVGxC7dK3
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) November 25, 2013
"Like riding my Harley and watching the Packers, going hunting is one of my favorite Wisconsin traditions." —The office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The attempt to sell Scott Walker as the anti-Chris Christie has begun in earnest. One angle of this is for Walker's new best friend, Washington Post columnist and Walker biography co-author Marc Thiessen to frame the governor as of an entirely different temperament then Christie.1 (Can you guess in what way?)
But an entirely [...]
50. Twisted Sister (H)
49. Tamar Braxton (H)Lyric Legend: M - “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” used H – “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough” used M/W - Both used
48. John Denver & The Muppets (H)
47. Christina Aguilera (H/M)
46. Jessica Simpson (H)
45. Michael Bolton (H)
44. Neil Diamond (H)
43. Joe (H)
42. Clay Aiken (H)
41. Kelly Clarkson (H)
40. John Travolta & Olivia Newton John (H)
39. Captain & Tennille (H)
38. Scott Weiland (M)
37. Sufjan Stevens (H)
The story of civil aviation is told in sequences of numbers—flights, models of aircraft, hydraulic fluid designations. Famous accidents become known by their flight numbers—Eastern 401, Air India 182, Wayfarer 515. Like the full names of serial killers or executed persons, this is the official mnemonic way to record this data. Categories of planes are distinguishable by number(s): the Airbus A-320, the Boeing 747-300, now the Boeing 747-8. If you wanted to superstitiously/erroneously avoid planes with recent crash records, you would already know what the Boeing 737-200's been up to this century–more like down to. Because the elevators and ailerons of a modern aircraft are too [...]
I'm going kind of crazy right now.
A year ago, I quit this job that I mostly enjoyed and was good at after three years in the same position. I quit because I wanted a promotion and suddenly it felt masochistic to keep waiting for that to happen.
I want to emphasize this: I really, really wanted a promotion. I wanted a promotion because I was undeniably successful in my role. I wanted a promotion because I had a lot of ideas how we might do things better but I had absolutely no authority to implement those ideas. I wanted a promotion because I wanted the external [...]
The Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco—in which the Victoria’s Secret model instagramed a photo misrepresentative of her body’s true dimensions—shouldn’t have inspired yet another meditation about the prevarications of Photoshop. We all know about Photoshop—how it's used and what it’s capable of. We’ve all got Photoshop’s number. What The Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco should, and with any luck will, turn out to be is a watershed event about our culture’s new and exciting interpretation of the word “support.”
To recap: last week, Victoria’s Secret had a fashion show. Unable to participate, Kerr stealthily instagrammed a photo of herself from last year’s show and included the caption: 'Sending love and best wishes [...]