LOVE: An Exclusive Interview with Val Kilmer

The secret world of Val Art: Val Kilmer’s burgeoning art that you never saw coming. We know him as the brilliant actor who won our hearts in numerous unforgettable roles. He’s the gun-slinging dentist Doc Holliday in Tombstone, the poetic genius Jim Morrison in The Doors, Maverick’s rival-turned-ally Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazanski in Top Gun,…

Wolverine
Superhero 101: Logan, the Man Known as Wolverine

Before you watch the new Wolverine movie, ‘Logan,’ discover his origins according to the comics. Today when people think Wolverine, they think Hugh Jackman. That’s understandable. After all, Jackman has played the role in nine films, including the upcoming Logan, since 2000. X-Men and Wolverine films make some of the basics of the character common…

Singles Day
Singles Day, the Original Anti-Valentine’s Day

Need an alternative to Valentine’s Day? The Chinese calendar offers Singles Day, involving shopping, partying with friends and eating fried dough. Who’s in? Yes, February 14 is the day single people inevitably get singled out. It even gets a bad rap for being SAD (Single Awareness Day) or a Hallmark holiday full of ooey-gooey sappy…

A Dog's Purpose
A Guide Dog and Her Handler Review 'A Dog's Purpose'

My guide dog Roja and I watched a screening of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ before that controversial video was released. Here’s what we thought of the movie. The message of the recently released film A Dog’s Purpose is clear: there is an unquestionable, magical bond between humans and animals. Unfortunately, the handling of the animals in…

mentoring programs
Triple Threat Mentoring Programs Launch At-Risk Kids into Amazing Futures

A couple gave up their jobs and everything they owned to create mentoring programs that help kids reach their fullest potential. Originally Caleb Luper was living day to day as many people do, and mentoring programs didn’t cross his mind. Out of college, he worked for a developer and was super excited to receive his first paycheck.…

  • All you need is love.
    All you need is love.
    All you need is love, love.
    Love is all you need.

    —The Beatles

    I’ve found that in spite of the ills of the world, love has a way of warming the coldest corners and bringing people to a place of light. It’s like a kind of magic that when mastered becomes an unstoppable force of unity, encouragement and hope.

    It’s tragic to think that often we can choose to keep this beautiful magic locked up, as if we’re scared it might betray us in some way. Unfortunately, choosing not to wield this power only robs us of something infinitely better and more brilliant.

    I’m grateful February is a month that puts a spotlight on love. And if you think it’s just about couples, then you’re missing a great opportunity. Whether you’re in a relationship or you’re single, love is a gift that can be given to anyone, at any time, in any place. And it should be given — freely and abundantly.

    Love. Love. Love.
    Love. Love. Love.
    Love. Love. Love.
    Love is all you need.

    —Adam Mock, COO

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    Save

    LOVE: An Exclusive Interview with Val Kilmer

    The secret world of Val Art: Val Kilmer’s burgeoning art that you never saw coming. We know him as the brilliant actor who won our hearts in numerous unforgettable roles. He’s the gun-slinging dentist Doc Holliday in Tombstone, the poetic genius Jim Morrison in The Doors, Maverick’s rival-turned-ally Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazanski in Top Gun, the bank robber Chris Shiherlis in Heat. Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Kurt Russell and Bill Paxton in Tombstone (1993) / Buena Vista Pictures Kilmer not only attended the prestigious art school Juilliard, but at the time he entered, he was the youngest student ever admitted to the drama department. He made his feature debut in the comedy Top Secret! (1984), quickly followed by Real Genius (1985) and Top Gun (1986). It’s almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around the scope of acting partners he’s worked with since, starring alongside the industry’s biggest names, then and        …read more

    Superhero 101: Logan, the Man Known as Wolverine

    Wolverine

    Before you watch the new Wolverine movie, ‘Logan,’ discover his origins according to the comics. Today when people think Wolverine, they think Hugh Jackman. That’s understandable. After all, Jackman has played the role in nine films, including the upcoming Logan, since 2000. X-Men and Wolverine films make some of the basics of the character common knowledge. Wolverine frequently goes by the name Logan, the title of the upcoming film. Sometimes, in less fortunate occasions, he’s known as Weapon X. The Marvel Universe is prolific and endlessly transforming. While moviegoers know Logan is a member of the superhero group X-Men, they may not know he’s also been a member of another iconic group of heroes — the Avengers. Before you sit back with a popcorn and soda to watch Logan, let’s take a look at his identity, sans Jackman, by examining his comic book origins. A modern creation, Wolverine first appeared        …read more

    Singles Day, the Original Anti-Valentine’s Day

    Singles Day

    Need an alternative to Valentine’s Day? The Chinese calendar offers Singles Day, involving shopping, partying with friends and eating fried dough. Who’s in? Yes, February 14 is the day single people inevitably get singled out. It even gets a bad rap for being SAD (Single Awareness Day) or a Hallmark holiday full of ooey-gooey sappy stuff only for couples. For everyone who feels doomed to eat ice cream and endorses being SAD, China suggests a creative alternative to the ho-hum attitude toward being single. November 11 (or 11.11 as it’s commonly seen) is a celebration of singledom. In fact, Guanggun Jie (literally Bare Sticks Holiday) is a full-blown opportunity to go shopping, party with friends and eat delicious fried dough. Start Celebrating Being Single...with Shopping? Scarlett Johansson and Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, attend a night gala to celebrate Singles Day online shopping festival in Shenzhen, China, November 11,        …read more

    A Guide Dog and Her Handler Review 'A Dog's Purpose'

    A Dog's Purpose

    My guide dog Roja and I watched a screening of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ before that controversial video was released. Here’s what we thought of the movie. The message of the recently released film A Dog’s Purpose is clear: there is an unquestionable, magical bond between humans and animals. Unfortunately, the handling of the animals in the film has been in question. In case you’ve been on a media hiatus for a few weeks, here’s the scoop. A Dog’s Purpose received a lot of negative attention two weeks prior to its release. TMZ posted a leaked cell phone video in which Hercules, the German shepherd who portrayed Ellie the police dog, appears to be pushed into a pool during the filming of a scene. The video went viral, petitions were made, boycotts demanded, screenings of A Dog’s Purpose cancelled. W. Bruce Cameron, author of the 2010 best-selling novel by the same title and        …read more

    Triple Threat Mentoring Programs Launch At-Risk Kids into Amazing Futures

    mentoring programs

    A couple gave up their jobs and everything they owned to create mentoring programs that help kids reach their fullest potential. Originally Caleb Luper was living day to day as many people do, and mentoring programs didn’t cross his mind. Out of college, he worked for a developer and was super excited to receive his first paycheck. One paycheck led to the next, and he found himself eight years in, married and the not-so-proud owner of lots and lots of stuff. A house, a car, clothing — just a lot of things. And instead of making him feel fulfilled, those things started making Luper depressed. “We started thinking, ‘There’s got to be more to life than buying a bigger home, saving up for a bigger retirement,’” Luper says of himself and his wife. “‘If that’s all there is, then that sorta sucks.’” To them, the bigger picture was helping others, so the        …read more

    7 Extraordinary Valentine’s Day Gifts

    Valentine's Day gifts

    Flowers die, chocolates melt. But these 7 unique Valentine’s Day gifts — from tattoos to sexy art kits — will amp up the romance. For Valentine’s Day you could buy your special someone flowers and chocolate, or you could get creative and give them an artsy gift unlike anything else their friends are posting pictures of on social media. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to scour the internet or hit the mall looking for Valentine’s Day gifts,” you’re in luck because I’ve got some great ideas right here — and you don’t have to tell your Valentine how you came up with them. It will be our little secret. In the spirit of acknowledging that chocolate melts and flowers die (but your love shouldn’t), here are some unique options of Valentine’s Day gifts to give your sweetie. 1. Nothing Says “Be Mine” Like a Tattoo “Shut Up and Kiss        …read more

    Mad Science for Singles: Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe

    lava cake

    Here’s your chocolate fix! You’re welcome. Satisfy your sweet tooth with this decadent dessert! Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe Easy and oh, so good! 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg 3 tablespoons flour Preheat oven to 400º. Heat chocolate chips and butter in double boiler until melted and incorporated. Remove from heat. Add sugar and vanilla and then mix. When cooled enough, add beaten egg and flour and mix well. Pour into well-greased and granulated-sugar-dusted ramekin and place on cookie sheet. Bake 13-14 minutes (ovens vary: the sides should be firm and the centers should be nice and soft). Let stand one minute. Run knife around edge to loosen and invert on plate; release after 10 seconds. Serve warm. MAD SCIENCE Try to figure out how to make and eat just one! Or try various toppings, such as berries,        …read more

    Top 5 Oscar-Nominated Performances by Previously Unknown Actors

    Oscar nominations

    In honor of the Oscars’ 89th broadcast, let’s remember 5 scene stealers who earned Oscar nominations and rose from anonymity to stardom. The 89th Academy Awards will air February 26, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. Founded in 1929 to recognize the crowning achievements of US cinema, the Academy Awards have celebrated exceptional filmmaking for nearly nine decades. Films have come a long way in that time, from manually rotated motion-picture slides to sophisticated visual effects and computerized images. The history of the Academy Awards has been marked by unforgettable vignettes and even occasional upsets, but no Oscar moment is more unprecedented or impactful than a newcomer triumphing over a veteran performer. Here are five ambitious, fresh-faced prodigies who earned Oscar nominations. They challenged expectations, obstacles and pipe-dream stakes to become dark horses of Hollywood. Rinko Kikuchi Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko Wataya in Babel (2006) / Paramount Nominated in the Best Supporting Actress        …read more

    ‘Overwatch’ Is Brilliant, And Here’s Why Everybody’s Talking about It

    Overwatch game

    Blizzard Entertainment shakes things up with its latest hit, ‘Overwatch.’ For decades, Blizzard Entertainment has proven itself to be the master of putting out products that walk the tightrope of pick-up-and-play approachability and appealing to the hard-core set. From the early days of The Lost Vikings to the Diablo trilogy — StarCraft, Warcraft and its insanely popular MMORPG counterpart, World of Warcraft — part of what makes the draw of Blizzard’s games so powerful (apart from being incredibly well-tuned products, of course) is great character design. Topping several Game of the Year lists, sitting pretty with a Metascore of 91 on PC, and inspiring an avalanche of cosplayers and fan art, Blizzard’s smash hit Overwatch is no exception. But it’s been an interesting path. Overwatch started out as very different game. From the Ashes D.Va in Overwatch / Blizzard Entertainment In 2007, Blizzard began work on their next MMO, Titan. From what’s been        …read more

    6 Adventurous Valentine’s Date Ideas

    Spice up your Valentine’s date this year with an evening that’s a little out of the ordinary. Candlelit Italian dinners, clinking Cabernets, chocolate-covered strawberries, long walks on the beach.... You get the picture. These are all lovely, romantic Valentine’s dates, albeit a bit clichéd. But here’s the thing: sometimes romance is a tad overrated and innovation is slightly underrated. If you and your Valentine want to try something different and more spontaneous this year, consider taking a hiatus from Cupid’s typical plans with some of these uncommon Valentine’s dates. 1. Running Just as Fast as We Can Getty Images Throw on your jogging suits and begin sprinting as a couple in one direction for as long as you can. Whoever gets tired and gives up first has to pay for a driver to get you both home. And however much the ride costs, the winner gets to buy a gift for themselves for the same amount. Over-the-top        …read more

    Ask Dr. McKinley: I’m 42 and Feel 12 around My Parents

    grow up

    Psychologist Doug McKinley shares 3 principles of living authentically as an adult when it seems like your parents don’t want you to grow up. Dear Dr. McKinley, I think my upbringing was so focused with religion and discipline that I can’t deal with life. I’m 42 and I feel 12. When I’m around my parents, I feel small and powerless. I lie about my beliefs and hide my life from them. I’m exhausted and afraid! I’ve often thought that I could be free when they die. Horrible, I know, but I can’t confront them. I’m terrified they’ll shun me. —Still Growing Up via iStock Dear Still Growing Up, Thank you for your vulnerable question and transparency. You are not alone and I’m pleased to make a couple of suggestions that have helped others in your situation. We all experience the unenviable pressure to gain approval from others. The approval of our        …read more

    Berlin International Film Festival: 5 Films We Can’t Wait to See

    international film festival

    From the incomparable James Baldwin to two runaway weirdos, the Berlin International Film Festival features must-see films from around the world. The year of 2017 is in motion, which means the Berlin International Film Festival is upon us. Each year, the festival opens the calendar with experiments on-screen and forays into the unknown, bringing together filmmakers and movie buffs from around the globe to get frostbitten in the plazas of East Germany. The “Berlinale” is the first of the year’s ‘Big Three’ European international film festivals, running February 9-18, setting the standard for the premieres in the months that follow. Though Berlin is not the oldest of the European festivals (Venice is), it is one of the most highly regarded, especially as a hub for arthouse and the left-field. Since its conception in 1951, it’s garnered a reputation for its high-profile documentaries, broad subject matter and dedication to young filmmakers. There is a series        …read more

    From the Back of My Drawer to the Museum of Broken Relationships

    Museum of Broken Relationships

    At the Museum of Broken Relationships, I took a stroll through other people’s donated memories...and I was not prepared to feel this way. Stack of books. Stuffed teddy bear. Old sweater. Diet guide. Woman’s slip and thong. Trophy. Diapers. Old cellphone. Pair of jeans. Rusty Jeep. On the surface these items have little meaning, but when you attach a memory and an emotion to such items, they develop into something entirely different. The meaning you imbue them with makes it much harder to discard them from your life. You could send them to a landfill, but it’s painful to send something sentimental to decay amid banana peels and old tires. We may never be able to erase the memory of someone or something, but there is a place that will hold on to them for us. Our emotional artifacts can have a lifelong home at the Museum of Broken Relationships, where the        …read more

    Rise, Disrupt, Connect: How 1 Billion Will Be Celebrating V-Day This Year

    V-Day

    Get to know the history and progress of a global movement called V-Day. If you haven’t heard of V-Day, consider your notions of Valentine’s Day forever changed. V-Day is a global movement that started with the simple idea to start a conversation. For the past 21 years, that conversation has been the fuel for ending violence against women and girls (all who were assigned and/or identify as female) worldwide. While V-Day is technically on February 14, it is recognized throughout the month of February. In fact, the activists fighting for this cause honor V-Day every day. A Little Herstory Getty Images Activist Eve Ensler is the creative genius behind the original play The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day movement. The first Monologues were seen in New York in 1996. They were pulled from firsthand stories of women Ensler interviewed about sexual violence, vagina shame and first periods, just to skim the        …read more

    20 Years of Resident Evil

    Resident Evil

    With ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ now in theaters, we bring you a ‘Resident Evil’ REtrospective. Plus: What RE game titles to try and what to skip. Since the first title’s release in 1996, the Resident Evil franchise has meant a lot of different things to gamers. Some who were around for the first titles prefer the original trilogy, having developed a soft spot for the games’ tank controls and unintentionally hilarious dialogue. Others who may have discovered the series around the time of its renaissance with Resident Evil 4 may prefer the high-octane action over the creeping dread of the earlier titles. And some may be approaching Resident Evil 7: Biohazard with guarded enthusiasm, with its perspective change and all familiar faces from previous titles seemingly (as of the time of this writing) dropped. Regardless, without Resident Evil, video games likely wouldn’t have seen the words “survival” and “horror” together,        …read more

    Pushcart Prize–Winning Author Jerry Stahl on Living It and Writing It

    Jerry Stahl

    A conversation with Jerry Stahl on writing, the connection between stand-up comedy and memoir, and half-miracles in Hollywood. Jerry Stahl is a Pushcart Prize–winning author whose recent works include Bad Sex on Speed, I, Fatty and Happy Baby Mutant Pills. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight, chronicling his recovery from heroin addiction, was adapted to a film starring Ben Stiller. Stahl’s recent screenwriting credits include The Bleeder (2016) and episodes of Maron and CSI. Here Stahl opens up about addiction, writing, and finding humor amid chaos. A professor once told me, “All great authors endure some form of suffering.” Do you see this as a valid expression? I imagine it holds true with your memoir Permanent Midnight. Well, I guess it was valid for your professor. That poor bastard. But ultimately one man’s suffering is another man’s honeymoon. So who the fuck knows? But I’m sure there are a lot of        …read more

    Dissecting the Taboo of Polyamory

    polyamorous

    Are polyamorous relationships just like dating — but more honest and open? It’s put into our minds from a very young age that monogamy is the ideal, that one day we will meet a perfect someone and they will be our whole world, we will start a nuclear family and feel completely romantically fulfilled for the rest of our lives. For many people, however, this is largely fiction. We date people, sometimes several of them at once, looking for the single person who will satisfy our needs. Polyamorous relationships are rarely mentioned, and when they are, they’re often misunderstood. While I love the idea of building a life with someone I adore as much as the next person does, I have a slightly different approach to it. This approach, which despite all the articles you’ll see about millennials not having sex anymore, is growing in appeal and application. Some call it        …read more

    Voluntourism: The Alternative Vacation

    voluntourism

    Voluntourism — volunteering abroad — is an increasingly popular phenomenon, but it has its baggage. What organizations are good to work with, and how do you decide if a project is worthwhile? The first episode of the recent Netflix installment of Black Mirror imagines a world in which everything is recorded, uploaded and shared, and everybody is judged according to their out-of-five-star rating. Every moment of the day is reduced to a unit of a potential popularity: how many stars will I rack up for this perfectly bitten cookie, casually tucked in next to my Picasso art latté? What about this polarized-light, backward Boomerang GIF of me doing downward dog? And what about this cute African baby I’m holding from my voluntourism vacation? Wait a second… Were they stalking me on Instagram? Jokes aside, voluntourism gets a bad rap for becoming a self-congratulatory ego trip. We roll up, paint some        …read more

    Fairy Tales Are More Than Entertainment

    fairy tales for kids

    Fairy tales are much older and much grimmer than we thought. They’re also much more beneficial. Once upon a time…someone first began a story with this iconic phrase that now conjures magical images — witches, giants, dragons, talking animals, ogres and fairies. Once upon a time…someone imagined heroes and heroines who persevered against insurmountable odds to achieve lives of joy and love for the rest of their days. Once upon a time…people told the stories that came to be known as fairy tales. Most of us know of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales. But they weren’t the only ones who compiled and stylized fairy tales throughout their lives. Brothers Grimm In Denmark, local historian Esban Brage was recently wading through the dense archives of the Plum family when he found something interesting. While sitting in the National Archive for Funen in Odense, Esban came across an aged piece        …read more

    The History of Graffiti: A Love Story

    history of graffiti

    From ancient tombs to city walls, the history of graffiti is a rare and valuable glimpse into everyday human life through the ages. The story of graffiti is as old as when humans decided to band together and live in villages. The need to leave a mark, to say, “I was here,” can be found in Egyptian tombs, on the walls of the ancient city of Pompeii preserved in lava, in medieval churches. The American soldiers who stormed Europe during WWII left their famous “Kilroy was here” cartoon. Graffiti is found in almost every town or city today. Graffiti can be made with mud, fingernail scratches, pens, stickers, house paint and, of course, spray paint. When most people think of graffiti, they remember images of 1970s and ’80s New York City buildings and trains plastered in calligraphic-style lettering and pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse. That visual extension of hip-hop culture        …read more

    The Artful Lives of Charles Addams and Edward Gorey

    American cartoonist

    These iconic American cartoonists showed us death isn’t just macabre or inevitable. It can be...funny? “When I die, I wanna go like my grandpa...peacefully...in my sleep...unlike the passengers in his car.” Did you laugh the first time you heard that joke? Did you feel bad about it? Well, you shouldn’t have. Enjoying the joke doesn’t make you bad or insensitive. You’re not laughing at the idea that an elderly man passed away in a tragic car accident. You’re finding humor in the absurdity of the scenario. Gil Greengross, PhD, states, “Humor has been long established as a good coping mechanism against many of life’s adversities. When feeling ‘down,’ many people find comfort in watching a comedy film, reading a funny book, or joking with friends.” Many people seek out and enjoy things others consider morbid. While some may think it’s an unhealthy obsession with death, in reality it could be a        …read more

    What Is Mardi Gras? Let’s Talk History, Tradition and Cake

    What is Mardi Gras

    What is Mardi Gras and why has this party lasted over 2000 years? Here are 5 highlights of this amazing celebration. There are many theories as to how Mardi Gras began, but some might argue that it was born in 753 BC in a grotto at the foot of the Palatine, where a she-wolf was said to have suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of the almighty Rome. And each February 15, with the wolf as the city’s totem, the citizens of Rome would celebrate Lupercalia, a tribal fertility and purification festival that included plenty of rowdiness and celebration — as well as a love lottery where young men could win, through the luck of the draw, the companionship of women for a year. Of course, as Christianity gained influence, the pagan celebration had to take on another face, and so began Carnival — a period of celebration just before the penitential        …read more

    Changing Our Dialogue: How Female Solidarity Can Treat an Epidemic of Eating Disorders

    Women are the hardest-hit by a pandemic of eating disorders. Can we reverse this dangerous trend? According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), an estimated 20 million women across the United States exhibit behaviors consistent with anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, binge-eating disorder and other forms of this life-threatening condition. Despite nationwide surveys pointing to increased public awareness and medical resources, new eating disorder cases have been emerging since 1950. In fact, this issue is often misunderstood, stigmatized and stereotyped in our image-obsessed culture. But why is the number of affected women disproportionate to the level of compassion in mainstream society? Twiggy relaxes on the beach at Nassau. April 5, 1973 via Getty Images To investigate — and ultimately answer — this question, we’ll need to contextualize where America’s “cult of thinness” originated. During the 1960s, male fashion designers began adapting their creations for angular physiques, which contrasted with the voluptuous        …read more

    Can We Talk about Forced Representation?

    forced representation

    Representation matters, so it has to be handled well. Any proper geek will tell you that right now, popular and indie media have just started to enter some kind of age of enlightenment when it comes to representation. It’s been a real struggle from the beginning to see comics, movies, television and video games show an accurate, diverse number of represented characters. And it looks like the reign of the Straight White Male Protagonist finally seems to be threatened. There are some genuine advancements happening across the media world right now: action movies featuring female characters, RPGs highlighting queer romances, top-selling comic titles about Muslim, Hispanic, and Black superheroes. The list goes on. But leave it to a jaded, skeptical regular consumer to look too deeply into a good thing to notice just how disingenuous forcing representation can be. I’m not talking about real representation. I’m talking about pandering — shallow,        …read more