A change is in the air. A new year, a new start.

If you’re like most of us, the idea of a new beginning brings great excitement. The hardships you faced in 2016 are now in the past as your eyes focus on the horizon of 2017.

With another year behind you, you move forward with a bit more stride in your step. This year will be different. This year will bring about great things. This year will be good.

Our hope for all our family, friends and fans is that this year will indeed be different. And that great things will happen. And that it will surely be good.

Let’s move forward together with great expectation for what is possible and what we can do to make this world a place where colors shine, differences are celebrated, and hope springs eternal.

From all of us at Crixeo to you, happy New Year.

—Adam Mock, COO

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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

Exclusive: Booker T Is Running for Mayor of Houston, And Here’s Why

mayor of Houston

Pro wrestling superstar Booker T talks about his plans to conquer a different kind of combat sport — politics. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career that I can live pretty much anywhere in the world that I want. And I choose to live in Houston, Texas. I was born and bred here — hell, I hadn’t even been outside of Texas until I was in my late 20s — and I’ll be buried here. Houston is part of me, and I feel like part of the city. When I look around and see problems, I want to do something about them. I’ve been involved in charities and speaking engagements and getting youth on the straight and narrow through my wrestling school, but I felt it was time for something new. Recently, I told my wife, Sharmell, that I was going to run for mayor. I can’t say when specifically        …read more

Ask Dr. McKinley: How Can We Prove Our Acceptance of Our Gay Son?

acceptance

A mom asks how to repair the rift between her husband and their son. Dear Dr. McKinley, Our son, who’s in his midtwenties, came out about five years ago. My husband has tried to accept every part of his life. Things had been going well until recently, when we went for a visit. Our son has a new boyfriend. They’re very physical with one another. We went to dinner, just the three of us. Our son had way too much to drink, which is way out of character for him. Long story short: he got angry with us, and in turn my husband got angry back and, in the course of conversation, remarked how uncomfortable he felt with all the affection displayed between our son and his boyfriend. Our son got very upset and asked us to leave. We cut our visit short by three days and left. My son        …read more

The Broke Person’s Guide to Curing Writer’s Block

writer's block

How to conquer writer’s block (when that whole ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ thing isn’t exactly in the budget). Writer’s block is a bitch. Don’t bother fighting her. Try it — I dare you. Scour the internet for tips and tricks to banish her. Play your classical music as loud as you can. Run endless, idiotic laps around your living room until your neighbor below takes a broom to the ceiling. Sign up for Tinder (again). Reluctantly agree to a BDSM relationship with some married dude just so you can panic and run away at the last minute. Because there has to be a story there…right, right? Wrong. I would’ve tried anything to cure my writer’s block. But unfortunately when your body and your mind aren’t in sync, your art will always reflect that. And I’ve had no art to speak of for months now, so something needed to change. If you’re anything        …read more

Design Museum in London to Announce Best Design of the Year

design museum

From David Bowie’s album cover to a DIY robot surgeon, the Design Museum is exhibiting the best designs of the past year from the world’s greatest minds. Now through February 19, the Design Museum in London is exhibiting 70 top products and concepts of the past year from brilliant designers around the world. A panel of respected designers and artists selected designs from well-known companies — such as Adidas, LEGO and NASA — as well as college students and even a group of insightful eight-year-olds. Each product or concept is in the running for best design of the year because it “promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.” At the end of this month, the museum will announce the top six Beazley Designs of the Year and one overall winner. The panel has a difficult task ahead, choosing from a long list of extraordinary designs. Here we’ve selected some of our favorites, one from each category: architecture, digital,        …read more

7 Funny Podcasts That’ll Make You Pee Your Pants

funny podcasts

Ready for a post-holiday pick-me-up? Listen to these top 7 funny podcasts! I have a problem. It involves my phone, the gym, laundry, dishes and earbuds. Basically, in order to exercise or perform household chores, I must be listening to a podcast at all times. If my phone dies, I automatically leave the gym. If my podcast app crashes, I ditch the dishes immediately. I’ve turned into an audio info junkie, which would be useful if I could retain the info. Being a podcast addict does have its benefits, however. I come across many fascinating stories, some of which have led to breakthroughs in different areas of my life. But once in a while I stumble upon a brilliant bit that hits my gut more than my brain. These funny podcasts are my lifesavers because I don’t have to think about anything while listening and unloading the dishwasher. I just        …read more

The Undeniable Sexiness of the Catsuit

catsuit

And the women who make it fierce. Everyone loves a catsuit, the form-fitting costume that hugs each and every curve without forgiveness. The catsuit has made its mark throughout film history, in various stylings and designs, and the women who slither their way into it are strong, sexy and always commanding of attention. The catsuit has been sewn on or zipped around numerous unforgettable female bodies, and if you had to choose a costume that exemplifies fetishizing the female form, the catsuit wins. It’s also one of the most empowering garments a female character can wear. You’ll be hard pressed to find a year in modern-day cinema that doesn’t include a catsuit sighting, and for 2017 the initial honor goes to Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld: Blood Wars. Behind every female character in a catsuit is the costume designer who created it specifically for her. Here’s a look at        …read more

Jason deCaires Taylor Creates Underwater Art to Save the Seas

Jason deCaires Taylor

Dive into the ocean to find the bold, breathtaking and transformational sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor. Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, photographer, diver and, most importantly, environmentalist. Since 2006, when he created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in the waters off Grenada, Taylor has used his craft as a breathtaking message board alerting the world to issues such as climate change, the perils of technology and the role of humanity as stewards of the planet and each other. Courtesy of Jason Taylor. Growing up in Europe and Asia, the British-Guyanese artist learned to dive at an early age. Combining his love of diving with his artistic sensibilities, Taylor began using his art as social and ecological statements by creating sculpture parks under the sea. Jason deCaires Taylor is currently working on an installation in Lanzarote, a Spanish island that is part of the Canary Islands. Other sculpture parks        …read more

5 Most Unconventional Films Ever to Debut at Sundance

Sundance indie films

As the 2017 Sundance Film Festival opens this month in Park City, Utah, we look back at five maverick-minded must-watch indie films. Established in 1978, the Sundance Film Festival has become the apex of American independent cinema. This institution recognizes the radical, artistic and often quirky facets of indie culture, offering emergent filmmakers a creative and free-expressive medium outside the mainstream Hollywood parameters. Beyond the commercialization of major production companies, this niche market focuses on communicating the visceral, sometimes dysfunctional themes of our broader existence. Here are our top five most unconventional films to debut at Sundance. Swiss Army Man Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano in Swiss Army Man / A24 This surrealist comedy-drama premiered at Sundance in 2016, earning the coveted US Dramatic Directing Award and generating instant hype from both critics and viewers alike. Based on the paradoxical premise of a suicidal man reawakening a corpse to life’s        …read more

Synesthesia: Some People Really Can See Music, Taste Words, Hear Color

synesthesia

The rare and misunderstood neurological condition of synesthesia inspires both artists and scientists. Seeing music. Hearing color. Tasting words. It may sound impossible, but for a subset of the population, it is actually possible for them to do these things. It’s called synesthesia, a rare neurological condition where the stimulation of one sense produces an experience in one or several other unstimulated senses, even emotion. Kanye West claims to be synesthetic and the artist Melissa McCracken, based out of Kansas City, Missouri, has gained attention with her paintings inspired by the colors she sees when she listens to music. And it turns out, artists are key to helping neuroscientists understand the condition. The term synesthesia loosely means “senses coming together” from the Greek syn, meaning “together,” and aesthesis, meaning “sensation.” Developmental synesthesia is thought to be the most frequent form of synesthesia, found in about 4% of the population. However, it        …read more

Stunning Drone Photography from around the World

drone photography

With drone photography, the sky isn’t the limit; it’s the destination. We try to capture the perfect photograph in many ways: lying on the ground, using a selfie stick, leaning dangerously over an edge or simply moving one step to the left or right to block the sun. While smartphones make it very easy to snap and go, drones are changing the photographic landscape in a huge way. Drone photography opens a photographer’s scope to views that only a short time ago seemed unimaginable. Cityscapes USS Detroit with the GM Renaissance Center in the background. Detroit, Michigan, USA. Photo by Alex Boge. Drone: DJI Phantom 4, aka “Casper.” Have you ever wondered what your city looks like from above? With drone photography, cities come to life from unexpected angles and with fantastic results. Drone Mora has been a professional photographer for five years, but it wasn’t until a year ago        …read more

What Happens When Mindfulness Meditation Replaces School Detention?

mindfulness meditation

Teachers and parents are discovering the surprising effects of providing mindfulness meditation at school. Many of the young students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore lead chaotic lives. Some of their parents are in prison, many don’t eat outside of school, and the clothes on their backs are all they own. But as soon as they enter their school, they’re in an oasis of calm. The day begins with 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation. Breathing exercises help these kids leave their troubles at home and enter their safe space, where they can learn and grow. At the end of the day, a similar mindfulness meditation and breathing exercise is repeated for 15 minutes to give them the strength and calm they’ll need to get through the evening. Beginning the day with mindfulness meditation at Robert W. Coleman elementary school in Baltimore. When students are overwhelmed for any reason, they        …read more