July, 2016 Archive

The Grand Unified Theory of Quentin Tarantino Films

Quentin Tarantino films

The interconnected threads of all Quentin Tarantino films. Known for inimitable dialogue and blasts of sudden gore, Quentin Tarantino films have remained among every film buff’s favorites since Reservoir Dogs, not only for their nods to other films that show Tarantino’s love for the medium and obvious talent behind the camera (let’s not talk about his acting chops) but also because all of his films are connected. In the Tarantinoverse, there are a few sets of siblings, ex-partners in crime and one tight-jawed Texas lawman who seem to pop up pretty frequently. But sometimes the way Quentin Tarantino films are connected is so subtle or so briefly seen on screen it might take the director himself to mention a connection before anyone picks up on it. Here we have collected — for the eight released Quentin Tarantino films at the time of this writing — how everything is tied together.        …read more

Welcome to the Age of the Alternative School

alternative school

A new Chicago-area alternative school joins the American education revolution. In his manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams, modern-day philosopher and writer Seth Godin made the argument for a revolution in the American education system. He argued that public schools are not producing the brave, creative and self-reliant individuals — the ones intent on carving their own paths as artists, inventors, scientists and innovators — that we need for a successful culture and workforce in the connected economy. Instead he argues that the rote memorization, blind obedience, multiple-choice tests and antiquated curricula of the public school system are all tools to prepare students for an industrial era that is slowly dissolving into ancient history. However, since there are huge barriers to change, which are keeping this industrial model alive, Seth calls for parents and teachers to write their own manifestos and start their own alternative school. Because if a revolution is going        …read more

Cleveland, Ohio: In the Wake of Constant Belief

Cleveland, Ohio

The curse is broken in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s the fourth quarter of game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals, and I’m pacing uncontrollably. I believe but I’m conditioned to expect heartbreak. Palms clasped against the center of my face as if I am praying, wishing, hoping that this time — this time — it will be different. The series of events throughout the final two minutes of the game have already been talked about endlessly: LeBron James’ freight train chase down of Andre Iguodala’s would-be go-ahead layup. Kyrie Irving’s breathtaking ball-handling wizardry, sinister crossover and step-back three-pointer to take the lead. Kevin Love’s improbable defensive stand facing the first-ever unanimous league MVP, Stephen Curry. The would-be tomahawk slam by LeBron resulting in a two-possession game after a trip to the line. As these events are unfolding, my heart flutters. All at once I’m shivering and burning up. Recalcitrant tears slip        …read more

In Praise of Orlando Nightlife: The Dive Bar That Saved My Creative Soul

Orlando nightlife

As we mourn the violence amid Orlando nightlife, I remember the goodness of Uncle Lou’s. In the wake of the horrid acts committed against a vibrant and beaming community celebrating Orlando nightlife, I must pay homage to what hateful acts aim to break down — unity amongst marginalized groups. I must mention a place that offers reprieve. It was the moment that we set a table on fire and chopped it into pieces with a hammer that I knew I was in a place that supported me regardless of how insane a project idea was. Typical floor scene at Lou’s. Photo courtesy of Andrea Knight. We got away with having a whole audience take off their shoes so we could spray them with foaming shaving cream to crowd-surf over. Boys dressed as ladies, ladies dressed as gorillas, people could be whatever they wanted to be that night. At Uncle Lou’s        …read more

Social Media Delivers a Happily Ever After to Animals in Need

animals in need

Animal rescue goes viral, benefiting animals in need and their lucky humans.  If we’ve learned nothing else through social media, it’s pretty obvious we are all suckers for a “happily ever after,” especially when it involves animals in need. Is there a person out there who doesn’t melt when they see heartwarming stories of kittens and puppies in their Facebook streams? Or who doesn’t follow some Instagram dog or cat legend? Judging by the number of accounts dedicated to cute animals and animal memes, it seems most of us are head over heels for animals. Courtesy of Eldad Hagar via Flickr CHANGING AN ANIMAL’S LIFE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA More important, though, is the effect social media has on animal rescue. To have a “happily ever after,” there must be an unhappy beginning. Since its inception, social media has been a place to keep in touch with distant family members and        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch Baby Pancake

Take this simple Dutch baby pancake from basic to brilliant. With just four ingredients, you can whip up a perfect brunch. This Dutch baby pancake, AKA magic pancake, is simple comfort food at its best. Use your own mad science to create a masterpiece. Check out my mad science mix-ins and toppings below, and then use your imagination and a dash of magic to make your own masterpiece. Dutch Baby Pancake, AKA Magic Pancake A beautiful brunch ½ cup flour 2 tablespoons butter 1 ½ cup milk 2 eggs Preheat oven to 475º. Put butter in a cast-iron skillet and place in oven until butter melts. Mix the rest of the ingredients and reduce heat to 425º. Pour batter in skillet on top of melted butter. Return skillet to oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pancake puffs up and looks glorious. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or serve with syrup.        …read more

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Triple Threat Mentoring ‘My Story’

Now in its fifth year, here’s a look back at Triple Threat Mentoring’s second annual “My Story” program. Led by Doug McKinley (PsyD, MCC, Xcellero Leadership managing partner), 3T mentored five young men in confidence, compassion, courage and conviction. The culminating event was an unforgettable visit with Medallion/Crixeo CEO Helen Rich.

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‘Learn to Fly’ by Rockin’ 1000

This month Rockin’ 1000 will play a concert of “the glorious history of rock.” It all started a year ago when this 1,000-musician rock band played “Learn to Fly” in Cesena, Italy. You read that right: 1,000 rock musicians. In one place. Playing one song. Their goal? To entice the Foo Fighters to perform there, and (spoiler alert) it worked. Dave Grohl called their unique invitation “the greatest moment of my life.” Brace yourself. This will put a smile on your face all day!

Healing Sounds

healing sounds

The science of healing sounds. A few years ago in university I went through a sustained period of severe insomnia. The chronic lack of sleep eventually started to interfere with my everyday life: I couldn’t keep my attention, had problems with memorization, was constantly out of energy and was emotionally unstable. I dreaded nightfall when, tired but determined to relax, I would wait for hours for sleep to come. I usually ended up with Dumbo’s Pink Elephant–like dreams that left me as drowsy as before. Then, at a family function, a relative gave me a CD. “Try this,” he said. “It’ll make you go to sleep in no time.” That night I skeptically propped on my headphones and pressed play. Water began to flow gently; a bird chirped here and there; a very low frequency, barely audible, pulsated underneath. Soon enough I glided into a restful sleep to these healing        …read more

What’s So Important about Culinary Art?

In celebration of a unique art form that dazzles the senses: culinary art. Food is an important aspect of life, and I’m not referring to mere survival. Yes, we must eat in order to survive, but delicious and well-presented culinary art makes life fuller. Imagine eating just sandwiches for Christmas or not having turkey for Thanksgiving! Food is so important for humanity that we’ve made it the center of most of our celebrations. Food is not only a necessity to human existence but a social activity and, thanks to passionate cooks, an art — the most delicious form of art. Measurement is important. But so are instinct and taste. Many people eat primarily to satiate their hunger, not caring if they’re having Argentinian beef or a fast-food burger. I can't blame them, since I used to have a similar attitude. But then I heard about Jamie Oliver and became his        …read more