August, 2016 Archive

‘Pokemon Go’ Becomes Nostalgia Trip Megahit

Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go is an overnight phenomenon. Last month my town had a festival themed around logging — because I live in the real-world version of Twin Peaks, apparently. The mayor challenged a local restaurant mascot, a pirate, to a log-rolling competition. The mayor won, thank goodness. But the moment everyone’s focus was released from witnessing a man in a tailored suit outpace a man with a plastic hook for a hand on a half-submerged oak, everyone drew out their smartphones — either to check the time, find the next place to grab a beer or a hot dog or, in many cases, to see what Pokemon were lurking in the vicinity. Alexander Koerner / Stringer / Getty Images I did both: grabbed the beer and joined the hunt. Seated near the sidewalk at my favorite watering hole in the balmy Midwestern heat, I people-watched as they moved past the bar        …read more

Scout Trooper Helmet Designs Raise Massive Donation for Make-A-Wish

scout trooper helmet

When you give an artist a blank scout trooper helmet and total freedom, the results are brilliant. It was a dream assignment for Tom Spina, owner of Tom Spina Designs in New York. The owner of a company known for restoring original movie props, among other things, received an unfinished scout trooper helmet. You know, the one from Star Wars? He was told to decorate it any way he wanted, no boundaries. “The instructions were to come up with something that would bring in a lot of bidders,” Spina says, and he says the person who requested this “didn’t put any real limitations on it.” This was thanks to Simon Graham, who created a charity project in London called the Biker Scout Helmet Project. He contacted 35 artists and sent them all identical unfinished scout trooper helmets. Then he waited to see what would happen. The results of their work        …read more

Home Improvement Ingredients for Your Kitchen

home improvement

Home improvement design tips for your kitchen from The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home by Kelly Edwards. I once heard that people are judged on two areas of their home: their bathroom and their kitchen. With that said, I believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and should be given extra attention to be at its best. It’s the room we gravitate toward and end up spending the most time in. Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a killer peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich maker, having a great kitchen just makes everything taste better. Think about how you’d like your kitchen to function. What do you need most? Maybe it is storage, better lighting or a paint refresher. Even on a budget, you can give your kitchen the face-lift it needs. Do your research and figure out what’s realistic. Look through books and magazines and find styles and colors that speak        …read more

Miles Apart: Booker T and Son Share Relationship Struggles

Booker T

In the second of a six-part series examining the private life of wrestling star Booker T, the WWE legend and his son offer a raw, unflinching look at their struggle to remain a family — and the crime that drove them apart. Emerging from an adolescence marked by poverty, drugs and jail time, Booker T went on to become one of the biggest stars in sports entertainment. But even as his career in the ring flourished, his journey as a father to his oldest son, Brandon Terrell Huffman, was characterized by clashes between the two headstrong men. As Brandon grew older and his actions grew more serious, the bond between the two would stretch to its breaking point — and well beyond. Here, in their own words, is an unvarnished look at their tumultuous relationship, from Booker’s attempts to warn Brandon off a life of crime to Brandon’s longstanding resentments        …read more

Art & Nature Intersect at Grounds For Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds For Sculpture invites visitors into a sprawling garden and contemporary art museum. In a nondescript section of Hamilton, New Jersey, deep within an industrial park, is an extraordinary cultural oasis that makes adults feel like children and fills children with an appreciation for the beauty that artists can create. Grounds For Sculpture is a park of 42 acres filled with history, fantasy and vision, founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II to promote contemporary sculpture. It is now home to works from well-known and emerging artists covering every medium and possibility of design. Housed on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, the land at Grounds For Sculpture has been transformed into a green — in more ways than one. It’s an example of harmony between man and nature. Looking at its carefully planned landscaping, with trees and plantings offering the perfect backdrop for the artwork,        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Easy Chicken Recipe

easy chicken recipe

This easy chicken recipe is my favorite. Why? Because (1) when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, (2) patience is not my strong suit, and (3) despite my faults, I try to eat healthy, balanced meals. Use mad science to make this recipe your favorite. Therefore... My Favorite Dinner A satisfying easy chicken recipe. 2 chicken thighs (I like them with bones and skin) 4 tablespoons flour Oil to brown thighs 2 tablespoons tomato paste Splash (or splashes) of brandy Chicken stock 1 potato cut into bite-size pieces 2 carrots cut into bite-size pieces 1 rib of celery cut into bite-size pieces Salt and pepper Onion powder Garlic powder Coat chicken in flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Brown in cooking oil. Set aside. Add more oil if necessary and cook veggies until they start to soften. Deglaze pan with brandy, add tomato paste and mix.        …read more

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Activist, Artist and Dreamer

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul invites the world to dream of a better future for Thailand. Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an artist who speaks plainly about both the political and the personal. The Thai filmmaker has received international accolades for his work and is in high demand. Despite winning the coveted Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has often admitted his surprise at the film’s success. While the work was a very personal piece for the filmmaker, in the wider cinematic world it spoke to something much greater, revealing for one of the first times on the big screen what it means to be Thai. In the wake of Uncle Boonmee, Apichatpong Weerasethakul seemed to fall off the radar, but now he’s in the middle of a resurgence and the art world is watching. Characters dream in Uncle Boonmee Who Can        …read more

Women’s Fashion on TV Demonstrates Increasing Diversity of Roles

women's fashion

Women’s fashion on TV is as varied as the female characters portrayed. It used to be that if you were a woman in a TV show, you were probably either a casually dressed homemaker or a businessperson in a work-appropriate power suit — sometimes both. There wasn’t much variation in women’s fashion, from mom jeans to pantsuits, because they represented the miniature boxes that female characters were put in. Now, however, if you flick through channels or hop around on Netflix for a bit, you can see a huge range of women’s fashion on TV — and glean something about each character from a glance at her wardrobe. Women in current shows range from aimless stoners and twentysomethings to powerful boss ladies in expensive suits, women who are successful professionals but dress like slobs, and women who are successful professionals but dress like children. Broad City, Comedy Central Let’s talk        …read more

2016 San Diego Comic-Con Highlights

San Diego Comic-Con

Crixeo lead artist Arturo Delgado journals his San Diego Comic-Con experience. After eight years of missing San Diego Comic-Con, it was time to go again. I normally come to conventions with costumes, but this time I wanted to enjoy the convention as a noncostumed fan. Trying to experience it like it was my first time, I had everything I needed: camera on my phone, badge, water, walking shoes and a messenger bag to carry free goodies. Before I hit the airport, I needed my liquid sent from heaven: Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Then I was off to spend five days with my nerdy and geeky friends and hopefully meet new ones. When I got to San Diego, it was time to bust out my walking shoes. And then it was time to act like a professional. (Do I really have to?) Wednesday was day one. Pro tip: If someone ever asks        …read more

From Outcasts to Geek Chic: Nerd Culture in the Mainstream

geek chic

From Freaks and Geeks to Weezer, we’ve finally arrived in the wonder years of geek chic. In an episode of the tech-comedy Silicon Valley, Richard says, “For thousands of years, guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us. But now, for the first time, we’re living in an era when we can be in charge.” The “guys like us” are tech geeks and nerds, and it wasn’t that long ago that a reference to this type of entertainment would sneak under the radar, only reaching a segment of the population that personally identifies with the word geek. But today, in the era of geek chic, most of us are engaging in the consumption of nerd media and enjoying it. Times change. That’s completely obvious and probably doesn’t even need to be stated. In some respects, interests are passed down from birth, encouraged in some instances. Unfortunately, broad societal        …read more