February, 2017 Archive

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


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