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Wonder, and Love: On Close Encounters of the Third Kind

I just watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind for the first time in over 30 years with my son of seven. Throughout the film, as is his way, the boy kept leaping to conclusions of what would happen next: the army guys are gonna try to kill that guy; the army guys are gonna try and kill the aliens; the aliens are gonna try and kill the army.

Maxime Luère’s A Life on Facebook

Maxime Luère‘s short film, A Life On Facebook, tells the accelerated life story of Alex Droner. Through the stream of information on his Facebook profile we see him accumulate friends and photos, fall in and out of love, and eventually grow old and logout.

Hey Paula, Bye Career

Doesn’t she know that it’s difficult to convince people of your sobriety when you’re not actually sober? I mean, I’m glad she signed up because when the cameras rolled, they provided us with so many delicious gems but c’mon!

Eleven New Albums To Get Excited About In 2011

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You haven’t even cleared Thanksgiving, let alone started drafting your best of 2010 lists (um, well, maybe you’re already working on that, you nerds), but there’s already a growing heap of new music to look forward to in the early months of 2011.

How To Become Unsatisfied In a Long-Term Relationship

How To Become Unsatisfied In a Long-Term Relationship

Feel resigned about the fact that sex sometimes doesn’t happen for weeks. Start to feel apathetic about lack of intimacy, orgasm and physical touch. Become overly silly. Hide the fact that you’re not addressing her problems with jokes, funny voices, inappropriately loud talking and tickling.

When Crime and Pornography Ruled Times Square

You always hear about how New York’s Times Square was more fun way back when, when hookers and porno ruled, before America’s terror mayor Rudy G. “took back the streets” by banishing the Squeegee Men and welcoming Disney into the fold. And maybe it was.

E-Tomb Preserves Your Social Networking Persona Forever

A tombstone for the internet-age, it stores all a dead person’s social presences – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, photos, videos, etc., in one easy to access space. A bluetooth-like device – the cross on the front of the tombstone – transmits and makes available this data. When the departed’s relatives visit the stone, they can interact with their now defunct internet presences via mobile.

Presidents and NYC Subways

Certain subway lines give off a beacon of efficiency while others remind me of the flu. So, for no other reason other than that I enjoy personifying inanimate objects, I have decided to equate each subway line with an American President.

Gender Bending in Entertainment

Surprise! Not only was the talent on display at the drag pageant just as impressive as anything you’d see televised on Miss USA or Miss Universe, but it involved so much more than lip-synching to Garland, Streisand, Cher and Madonna. And the turnout was massive.

Why I’m Wearing a Poppy This Week

No one in my family – Canadian born and raised – served in the military, so I have no personal attachment to the poppy or its powerful association. But a visit in November 2008 to the Canadian cemetery near Juno Beach, in Normandy, left me weeping for an hour, stunned by the rows of maple-leaf-etched gravestones, the wet green grass carpeted by the reds and golds of the maples planted there.

I Will Never Call You On The Phone

… And I call this guy in Ireland and within five minutes I knew that he was a big perv because he started telling me that I have a sexy voice and asking me about sleeping with women and stuff.

Redskins Ineptitude Immortalized

Artist Pete Cullen has taken the time to immortalize this epic failure in an oil painting. The work captures Smith right before the snap, starring at five giants defenders who are about to charge him unblocked. It is currently on display in Baltimore…

Things My Five-Year Old Has Said, Which I Have Quoted on Twitter

Eli is my five-year old son. He has an older brother, Slade. Slade writes fiction and spends a substantial amount of time on FlipNotes, so he rarely says anything worth quoting. Eli, on the other hand, has unknown goals and will say things that I feel other people could relate to, so I occasionally quote him via Twitter and once on Autostraddle.

How to be Gay

Discover that you like men when you’re 14 and in the shower. Think to yourself, “This is just great.” Keep it a secret for a few years. In the meantime, dye your hair strange colors and tell people that you watch Queer As Folk for the storylines. Masturbate a shocking amount. Become exhausted and depressed.

Attack of Hollywood: Space Invader Gets a Ticket

We see him applying construction adhesive to a small ceramic tile ‘Invader’ piece and sticking it to one of the steel uprights. As he works, a voice booms from a speaker atop the hill, announcing that the L.A. City Park Rangers are monitoring his activity.

There’s Something Bad in Our Cocaine

An in-depth feature by Brendan Kiley at The Stranger this August reported that the percentage of cocaine seized by the DEA cut with a cattle deworming drug called levamisole has risen from 1.9% in 2005 to 78.2% in 2009. Levamisole has been documented to cause agranulocytosis in humans – a condition that can result in anything from diarrhea to fever to “skin infections” to “sores in [the] mouth or anus” to death. And no one can really explain why it’s in our cocaine.

Paul Auster: Sunset Park

Paul Auster is perhaps the most accessible writer of those considered to be part of the “high establishment.” And you know the echelon I mean—Roth, Morrison, DeLillo, McCarthy, etc. Yet his new novel, which comes out today, is too accessible, toeing a dangerous line somewhere between the inventive plots of Jonathan Lethem (one of Auster’s own protégés) and the facile sentences of Dan Brown.

Two Minutes of Silence Song Could Top Charts in UK Next Week

A charity release for the Royal British Legion, the organizers of the song are hoping it’ll top charts in the UK next week to coincide with Remembrance Sunday. It has no sound at all, while the video (which seems to be, functionally, what users are ‘really’ paying for) shows people with various facial expressions set to ‘background noise.’

Tom Hanks Ocean Index

Tom Hanks has embraced many roles where his characters haplessly struggle in the modern condition, to ultimately find themselves. Were it not for Hanks’ subtle charm and humane generosity as an actor, such “Hollywood endings” might be trite, but they are not; rather, they mark the journey of common man. That many of them somehow involve the ocean, and its vicinity, will be examined herein.

The Craziest Emails & Messages Received By A Video Game Journalist

I have received a mail suggesting I should marry the sender when we are single and something to do with that they would/wouldn’t wear bow ties, can’t find the mail. I regularly receive drunk mails from a friendly Scottish guy with an aggressive brand of humor. I have received a mail about how I destroyed someone’s life somehow…

I Took a Class at The New York School of Burlesque

I began to envision myself up on the stage, the crowd worshipping my secretary hips, my muffin top spilling over my G-string, the insides of my long thighs that would rub together as I’d slink seductively offstage. Finally last Thursday, I stripped out of my inhibitions and signed up for a $15 beginner class with the New York School of Burlesque.

Introducing the Turtle Man

Ernie Brown Jr, the Turtle Man, is a beast. His YouTube video has over 2.5 million views, landing him a website selling apparel decorated with his trade mark logo: “Snapper-Licious”. He also hired a manager, has a rap song, got a shout out by American troops in Iraq on CNN and took his turtle catching show on the road. Despite his remarkable talent and brilliant marketing effort he calls himself “the poorest famous guy around.”

Guide To Vague Relationships

A vague relationship basically feels like a real relationship, only it’s harder to tell when it’s okay to cuddle. Vague relationships can last anywhere from 0 to 8 years, but are usually just a few months long. You can have a vague relationship with your co-worker, your friend, your friend’s brother, your brother’s friend, your co-worker’s brother, your brother’s co-worker, your friend’s brother’s co-worker, or your brother’s co-worker’s friend – but not your brother.

A Phone Interview with Mary-Kate Olsen

Next March, Actress come fashion designer Mary-Kate Olsen will emerge from her couture and drug-fueled haze to star in a film called, Beastly. We like Mary-Kate because, unlike other child stars, she’s managed to stay relevant by carving out a successful career in fashion.

Who’re You Calling A Nihilist?

She had a couple of drinks in her too, which helped. But alcohol, like it does for so many of us, inflected her words with a kind of Fuck you timbre, setting up, what in hindsight was perhaps a totally avoidable confrontation.

Quidditch: In Real Life

The young sport is experiencing some growing pains. Some want Quidditch to retain its lovable innocence, as acne riddled Potter fans playfully prance around on brooms. Others (presumably Princeton) demand more serious competition and regulation- equipping the sport with coaches, referees, practices, and even player cuts.

How I Met Your Mother Is Really the Anti-Friends

He falls in love with Robin at first sight, foolishly tells her so on their first date, and then makes the dumbest lovesick moves to get her. He’s neurotic, obsessive, nerdy, and a little more into her than she’s into him. So far, so Ross. But unlike Ross, who was genuinely nice to a fault, Ted can be such a douche bag.

127 Minutes: A True Story

So this weekend, America will be introduced to adrenaline-junkie Aron Ralston, the smart one who got his arm wedged between a boulder and a mountain, and was stuck like that for 5 days, or 127 hours.  Audiences will ooh and ahh in amazement, as well as disgust, at the raw brutality of this man vs. nature true-life story. 

Movie Review: Due Date

Due Date is a bromantic comedy/road movie. I’m not sure of the origins of this particular variant on a genre that began with films like It Happened One Night, but Due Date is certainly not the first of its kind. It also might be called a screwball comedy, in that its characters are thrown into implausible, often absurd situations.

20 Memorable Quotes from Grey Gardens

Little Edie: “There are some nice people in the world, you know, I just don’t happen to be related to any of them.”
Big Edie: “The cat’s going to the bathroom right in back of my portrait. I’m glad he is. I’m glad somebody’s doing something they want to do.”

Lloyd Kahn Talks About Shelter, the Concept of Home

Lloyd Kahn, the do-it-yourself pioneer and former champion of the geodesic dome, is the focus of a new documentary titled Shelter. Directed by Jason Sussberg, and shot in 16mm film, Kahn discusses how home is more than a shelter, that it provides an intangible sense of safety and warmth that you feel the moment you walk in the door.

The ‘No’ Beatrice Inn

It is impossible to compare these places to Beatrice. Maybe it was strange because the Beatrice didn’t just die one night, it carried on for so long – what we were trying to save was something irreversible. It was special because it was a physical place that summed up a specific time. The bougie/slummy charm, the civilized debauchery – there was appeal that was just made sense in the moment in the city.

Knut Hamsun – Hunger

Hunger, despite it’s bleak subject, is often a comical novel. The narrator expresses a lot of indignation … But what is this indignation directed towards? The world? The worst thing is that there’s nothing really to direct it towards – except perhaps our own nature, which only inspires more indignation.

Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl vs. Blair Warner of The Facts of Life

Ever since Gossip Girl made the transition from the pages of YA books by Cecily von Ziegesar to the small screen I find myself periodically having certain thoughts when I watch it. Thoughts like, So Blair Waldorf is the “queen bee” huh? Know who the original queen bee was? Blair Warner. Yep, that’s Blair from The Facts of Life.

Henry Rollins Comes Out Strongly Against Hipsters

In a Lower East Side record store, Henry Rollins regurgitated just about every hipster stereotype propagated by the anti-hipster blogger camp, first to a woman that was interviewing him, then directly – and awkwardly – to a group of hipsters he’d just confronted. “Feel exhilarated?” he said to the woman after the exchange. Then, in the car, later, “I knew that would happen. I could feel it when I walked into the store.” Video inside.

The Emerging Trend of Using MS Paint and Paintbrush to Express One’s Emotions on the Internet

The use of Microsoft Paint and Paintbrush to create amateurish-looking, expressive, and fun art seems to be an emerging trend. Largely created by and for people who spend a lot of time online, “MS Paint artists” like Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half, Sam Brown of Exploding Dog, Mark Leidner, Tracy Brannstrom, and Tao Lin create simple geometric humans and creatures with lines for hands, often adding titles or speech bubbles to humorous effect…

Rapper Lil Wayne Released From Jail

In July 2007, rapper Lil Wayne was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed .40 caliber semi-automatic gun. He went to jail in October of last year and was released this morning, despite MTV’s initial reports of a possible day-long delay. Plans of a homecoming party at a Miami strip club have been confirmed.

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