Posts Tagged: Sarah Marshall
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The Biographies of Thomas Jefferson, International Man of Mystery

Sarah Marshall and Amelia Laing are reading their way through biographies of all the American presidents, in order. This time up, it's Thomas Jefferson. Have you heard of this fellow Thomas Jefferson? He was our third President! From 1801 to 1809! And he was the father of somewhere between five and eleven children!

Amelia: Sarah Marshall left Denver this morning #lifeisterrible. We had a grand old time, though, Sarah and I. We made literally (and I do mean literally) the best bloody mary mix ever (the secret is red hot chili flakes, real grated horseradish, and three times the amount of recommended hot sauce). We were both finishing our respective [...]

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The Grim American History Of 'The Bicentennial Minute'

On July 2, 1776, in a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote: This second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.

As it turned out, Adams was nearly right about this, [...]

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The 17 Best Failed TV Shows Of The 80s (As Judged By Their Openings)

Sarah Marshall: I'm not especially proud of any of the hobbies I used to waste my free time, but perhaps the most inexplicable is my fondness for watching compilations of old TV themes on YouTube. As a general rule, I love all sludgy runoff of pop culture past and present, and the themes to failed 80s TV shows provide its most potent concentration: the montages, the glittery synth music, the streetwise detectives running on the beach in tiny shorts. I vacillate between feeling ashamed of how many no-name actors I routinely recognize, and feeling that I'm spending my leisure time in exactly the right way.

Michael Magnes: It's oddly thrilling [...]

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Hideous Birth Control Methods Through The Ages

Some things aren’t as good as they used to be, but that isn't true of birth control. Some tips from the footnotes of history, used by women (and in some cases, men) far less fortunate than us:

• A pessary made of dried crocodile dung (Ancient Egypt)

• A mixture of olive oil and oil of cedar, placed in the vagina (recommended by Aristotle)

• Bloodletting, as current medical tradition held that sperm was merely blood turned white by the heat humor. The French physician Jacques Ferrand, author of A treatise on lovesickness, recommended that, if moderate bloodletting failed to dampen libido, the man must be bled until he "is [...]

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All The Presidents’ Menus

While compiling this list I attempted as often as possible to learn not what the presidents ate at state functions and inaugural dinners but during their solitary breakfasts and family suppers—in other words, their comfort foods. Often this information came from contemporary accounts, and occasionally from the recipe cards of first ladies who left for posterity the dishes they'd cooked for their husbands, during the White House years as well as the early days of their marriages. Where this was difficult to track down (such as with the earlier presidents), I focused on menu items from the more personal of the large events (birthday and wedding dinners, for example) held [...]

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32 YouTube Comments Inspired by Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey”

• ahhh 1968..the 'good innocent part' I was 10 years old, and when me and my friends heard it for the first time, we cried…her going 'away' meant she was dying

• I loved this song when ot firtlst came out. I've lovedbit ever since. I could never list er n to it WI Rt hout balling befote it was half through. Apparently I still cant. thank you

• the first time i heard this song, my cat had just died and it came on the tv and just shook me. i love this song. i cry everytime

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Go, Carpet Tacks! The Very Best Baseball Team Names Of The Past

In honor of Opening Day on Sunday, the second of two pieces today on the history of the game.

From my extensive research, I've learned that baseball is a sport people watch sometimes. I could blame my lack of appreciation for America's greatest sport on many factors—my father being Australian, and therefore interested only in cricket; the fact that when I played softball in school I always ended up in right field; the fact that my entire heart belongs to Patrick Chan—but I've decided instead to scapegoat the names, specifically their terrible decline in quality in recent years.

Having already fallen in love with the names [...]

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John Adams, The Lovable Schlub In White Tights

Sarah Marshall and Amelia Laing are reading their way through biographies of all the presidents, in order. This time up, it's John Adams and the books discussed are David McCullough's John Adams and John Ferling's John Adams: A Life.

Sarah Marshall: In the first installment of this series, Amelia and I talked about George Washington, and we both came to the conclusion that, despite the insights a biographer can afford us, it's still hard to see him as a man rather than a symbol. No matter how many self-questioning diary entries we read, we can't quite forget the image of the giant in buff and blue. Not so, [...]

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Acne Cures Through The Ages

Part of a series about youth.

1. Urine has been used as an acne cure and everyday cleanser since at least the 17th century. The Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine reports that "rubbing [a] baby's face with a recently wet nappy was practiced in the Highlands of Scotland to prevent the child developing acne later and give it a good complexion." And in an article on natural remedies used by Kansan pioneers, Amy Lathrop quotes a seventy-year-old woman who claimed: "None of the girls in the family ever had acne. All retained fine skins until their deaths—complexions outstanding for their beauty and smoothness. My mother had the rosy skin of [...]

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"Don't Even Brush Your Teeth": 91 Hangover Cures From 1961

Much like the philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail, the perfect hangover cure has been the subject of endless inquiries by some of history’s greatest minds, and has proved just as elusive. Those who do possess it are often fictional or demigods, or both: who can forget the mystery drink concocted by P.G. Wodehouse’s inimitable Jeeves on his first day reporting to work for Bertie (this was itself a variation on the oft-touted prairie oyster)? Kingsley Amis made a long study of hangovers and their cures, much of which can be found in Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis, and in which he notes that [...]

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Assorted Presidential Pets, In Order

29. Misty Malarky Ying Yang, a Siamese cat belonging to the President’s daughter (Carter)

28. Washington Post, Yellow-Headed Mexican parrot (McKinley)

27. Maude, pig (Teddy Roosevelt)

26. Old Whitey, a horse the President had used during wartime and from whose tail White House visitors would pull hairs to keep as souvenirs (Zachary Taylor)

25. Old Whiskers, an ill-tempered goat who once escaped the White House lawn and had to be chased down Pennsylvania Avenue (Harrison)

24. Sweet Lips, Scentwell, Drunkard, Taster, Tipsy, Tipler, Lady Rover, Searcher, Mopsey, Captain, Vulcan, and Cloe, hounds (Washington)

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The 19 Best Failed TV Shows Of The 90s (As Judged By Their Openings)

Michael Magnes: When Sarah Marshall first told me about her hobby of watching old TV show themes on YouTube, I probably made fun of her, and then immediately told her about this early 90s Fox show called "Woops!" The exclamation point is part of the title. It was about last six humans on earth, survivors of a nuclear holocaust. They all found a farm somewhere in America and did things like fight giant spiders, have their aging process reversed, start their own currency, and find hallucinogenic berries. Later I'd find myself at parties trying to explain the show and no one believed me. They suggested I'd made it up, [...]

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Huzzah, George Washington, Secret Basketcase And First President

Many years ago, Sarah Marshall and Amelia Laing went to high school together. They laughed, they cried, they wore regrettable outfits to underage dance clubs. They traded books, sweaters, and anxieties, and somewhere along the way they took AP US History together, and learned, all told, surprisingly little. Now, as they make their way through a different but equally ridiculous phase of their lives, they have set out to remedy this oversight by reading biographies of all the presidents, in order. It's going to get hairy around Harrison.

This time up, as an accompaniment to Presidents Day weekend, it's George Washington, and the books discussed are David McCullough's 1776 and [...]

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Name That Last Meal

1. Chicken in white wine sauce, salad, and tea

2. Half a bottle of Israeli wine

3. A tuna sandwich

4. A glass of white Bordeaux and a croque monsieur

5. Ice cubes

6. Coffee, orange juice, two boiled eggs, bacon, and toast with marmalade

7. Vegetarian pasta

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Honeymoons Of The Presidents

Now that we've looked at presidential pets and favorite foods, let's explore their honeymoons. It's difficult to judge which has been the most romantic presidential honeymoon in history; possibly a draw between the Nixons' canned pork-and-beans for breakfast or the honeymoon hours spent by the newlywed wife of Woodrow Wilson compiling the index of a new edition of his book Congressional Government, A Study in American Politics. In any case, if we were to rank presidents in order of greatness of their honeymoons, it would give us a system that might place otherwise mediocre or downright awful presidents at the top, and America's best leaders near the bottom. [...]

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The Cannibal Who Loved Me: Hannibal And Clarice's Fanfiction Romance

Hannibal Lecter has appeared in four books and five film adaptations to date, and, with each installment of his saga, he's spun farther along the unlikely trajectory from serial killer to ladies' man. A supporting character in Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, he graduated to main character status in The Silence of the Lambs, where he simultaneously beguiled and repulsed FBI trainee Clarice Starling, only to finally win her hand in Hannibal, which ended with the pair canoodling in Buenos Aires. (The subsequent film adaptation stopped short of this ending, but still presented Hannibal and Clarice as thwarted lovers.) Reviewing the novel for Talk (oh, 1999!), Martin Amis described the [...]