January, 2017 Archive

Is It the End of the World as We Know It? 10 Failed Predictions

world predictions

These 10 historic end-of-the-world predictions missed the mark. A constant stream of bad news can certainly make it feel like the end of the world, but congratulations — this big rock we inhabit has made it to 2017! Throughout the course of human history people have predicted our planet’s actual demise. Some people have even gained fame and fortune for their predictions. Others, when proven wrong, met a harsh end themselves. Let’s look at the most bizarre prophecies, the most anticlimactic predictions, and the end-of-the-world forecasts that aligned with real natural disasters. And don’t get left behind — there’s a bonus item at the end. 3 Bizarre Failed End-of-the-World Predictions 1. Mary Bateman and the Prophet Hen of Leeds Mary Bateman: thief, poison aficionado, chicken torturer. In 1806, the people of Leeds, England, whipped themselves into a frenzy over an allegedly prophetic chicken owned by the “Yorkshire Witch,” a farmer’s daughter by the name        …read more

When Love Wins: How Human Trafficking Survivor Elisia Lopez Reunited with Son Nahko Bear

human trafficking

A human trafficking survivor and her firstborn found each other and made peace with their painful past, inspiring the revolutionary music of Nahko Bear. After a ridiculous number of rings, she picks up. “Elisia,” I say, exasperated. “Sis! Are you ready to do this interview? “Hang on, Sis.” I just saw my client on the street and I gotta give him this lighter. Don’t ask.” She puts me on hold. Again. I do know not to ask. We call each other sister, a title given to a close-knit circle of survivors of human trafficking. Whatever she’s doing, it’s important: she’s helping someone. I know because she regularly provides food, blankets, friendship and clinical counseling from her office at Central City Concern for Portland’s abused and downtrodden. I also know she has a powerful story. Sold by her mother at 12, she later gave up her firstborn for adoption. Today many find inspiration        …read more

11 DIY Remedies for Anxiety

Bust your stress with game therapy, cooking, dancing and more... Anxiety isn’t “all in your head,” regardless of what people say. It’s a full-body, physical experience. Like many of us, I suffer from oft-suffocating anxiety. It can make it difficult to go about my day-to-day life, let alone pursuing hopes and dreams and that stuff. Through many years of trial and error (and more than one therapist), I have developed a bunch of tools for coping, and most are actually fun! Perhaps you’d consider dabbling in game therapy? Storytelling? Or something a little more...er...intimate? I stumbled upon these organically, just by paying attention to what quells my stress demons rather than amplifying them. But they all have scientific backing. Here are some things I do to cope with anxiety. 1. Engage in Video Game Therapy Don’t you want to go to here? I like Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, but you do you.        …read more

We Need a Female Superhero Movie Now More Than Ever

female superhero

And Marvel, get your head outta your ass, please. Like plenty of comic book fans, I am an opinionated, stubborn individual, and I have a very set idea in mind of what I want from geek media. So when I say a female superhero movie, I don’t mean I want any female superhero on-screen being featured. I mean Captain Marvel, and at this point I am not going to take a substitute. Brie Larson as Captain Marvel / Marvel Studios When Marvel made their announcement for “Phase 3,” or the third wave of superhero movies set to debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU), I and an ungodly number of other fans were beyond thrilled to see Captain Marvel announced, taking a place alongside Black Panther, Infinity War, and The Inhumans — all of these are huge steps for the representation that plenty of not-just-straight-white-male geeks crave. And no, the        …read more

Music History in an Alternate Universe: Imagine the Beatles Never Existed

music history

The Beatles changed the course of music history. But what if they hadn’t? Can you imagine music, culture or life in general without the past century’s defining moment in music history? Just try to picture our world without the Beatles. It’s like going down a rabbit hole and finding hundreds more rabbit holes in front of you. Your mind spins, your head hurts, and when you think you’ve come up with a cohesive and plausible vision, the reality of your delusion sets in. “Too depressing. No Beatles: no British Invasion. No British Invasion: no Stevie. No Brucie. No Byrds. Bob Dylan doesn’t plug in. Depressing,” said Steve Van Zandt of E Street Band and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes. All of that. And more. Nevertheless, we conducted a roundtable on the subject with several music history experts. Alternate music history roundtable: Lance Burson, Jim Berkenstadt, Todd        …read more

The Mind-Altering Art of Menton3

Dive into the beautiful oblivion of painter and comic book artist Menton3. Menton3 (born Menton J. Matthews III) makes art to “externalize the internal, to a point where self-realization is a foregone conclusion.” It’s easy to see a struggle within each beautifully horrifying entity he’s put to canvas, an inversion trying to gain its footing but still at ease. The confidence, both within the artist and within his subjects, is palpable. Menton3 knows what he’s doing and what he wants to show you. Acrylic speed painting by Menton3. There’s a vastness to Menton3’s work. Each piece suggests much more lies beyond the limits of the frame. A silent and fog-choked world serves as a backdrop to the pride and solemnity of his creatures. His paintings hold a profound sublime grotesqueness seldom seen since the works of artists Zdzisław Beksiński and H.R. Giger. Within Menton3’s works, though, self-acceptance pours from the shadow-clad        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Drunken Mussels Recipe

drunken mussels

Just add wine to my drunken mussels recipe. (Or drink the cooking liquid and have a drunken chef instead!) Welcome back to my lab, where I’m busy creating recipes for singles. If you live alone like me, you might not feel like pulling out your cookbooks every day. Recipes created for four to six people equate to doing a lot of math. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not fond of math. But I do love to eat, so I’ve simplified things for myself and for you with my recipes in the Mad Science for Singles series. This month I’ve created a delicious drunken mussels recipe that I think you’ll love. Nutrition-dense mussels offer loads of vitamin B12, manganese and selenium. These improve energy, strength, memory, mood, bone mass and metabolism. Nutrition is fun, but do you want to know what makes this dish even more fun? Wine! Take this recipe from basic to brilliant with your own mad        …read more

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Edgar Allan Poe Anthology ‘Extraordinary Tales’ Is a Visual Feast

Students of Edgar Allan Poe, don’t miss Extraordinary Tales. In celebration of his birthday (January 19, 1809), grab some Poe family eggnog and settle in for five stunning short films, including “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Directed by Raul Garcia, the highly stylized films are narrated by Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Julian Sands and Guillermo del Toro. This mesmerizing anthology is currently on Netflix and other streaming services and is also available on DVD.

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Janet Echelman Brings Texture to Cities with Hypnotic Fiber Sculptures

It’s easy to get caught up in the volumetric sculptures of Janet Echelman. And if not for a shipping mishap, we never would’ve been able to enjoy her intriguing art. Originally a painter, she was invited to India to create, but her paints never arrived. That’s when she discovered what would become her new passion: creating beautiful fiber sculptures. Working with local fishermen, she developed and refined techniques for her art, which can now be found in cities across the globe.


‘Hidden Figures’ Spotlights Black Women in STEM

STEM program

Hollywood’s imagining of tech culture may have minimized women — particularly women of color — but ‘Hidden Figures’ is changing all that. The screen adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s biographical book Hidden Figures shows a poignant conversation among three Black women who work at NASA during the civil rights movement. During their lunch break, the protagonists have a heated discussion on sexism and racism in tech jobs in the 1960s. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) quips to her colleagues Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), “Every time we have a chance to get ahead, they change the finish line. Every time.” When it comes to diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), her sentiment still rings true. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Glen Powell, and Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures / Twentieth Century Fox In 2017, there’s still a huge disparity when it comes to representation of women —        …read more