5 Wes Anderson Movies to Watch ahead of ‘Isle of Dogs’

Wes Anderson movies

Your guide to understanding Wes Anderson movies. After an interminable four-year wait, the new Wes Anderson movie is here at last: Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s ninth film and second stop-motion animated effort, releases March 23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt__kig8PVU It’s been 22 years since Anderson’s feature debut Bottle Rocket, and in the years since, he’s become an indie film institution. With an aesthetic that even the most untrained viewer of cinema can spot 100 miles away, Anderson has developed one of the most unique voices in cinema history. For those unfamiliar with this maverick’s world, here are five Wes Anderson movies that should be viewed and savored before you sail to the Isle of Dogs. 1. Rushmore (1998) Anderson’s second film, and first to gain real critical and box-office attention, is the story of absurdly overachieving and universally loathed teenager Max Fischer (played by Jason Schwartzman in his first major role) and his        …read more

BTS: The K-pop Boy Band on the Rise

boy band

The Korean boy band BTS is riding the wave of their popularity, but it remains to be seen if they can make a lasting mark. “Oppan Gangnam Style. Gangnam Style.” In 2012 the rapper Park Jae-sang, also known as PSY, set the world ablaze with his dance hit “Gangnam Style.” PSY became a quick-fire success, but his star soon fizzled in the U.S. Five years later, the seven-piece boy band BTS made their U.S. TV debut via the American Music Awards and exploded on the scene with appearances on talk shows and a performance at the iconic New Year’s Eve party. The group has an uncanny ability to keep the press’s attention, but will they make a lasting mark in the industry? The boy band craze comes in waves. In the ’60s girls were screaming and fanning themselves at the sight of the perfectly rounded Afros of the Jackson 5,        …read more

World Water Day Draws Attention to Our Most Valuable Resource

World Water Day

In honor of World Water Day, learn how to help preserve safe water for future generations. Although March 22 may not ring a bell as a significant date of celebration, it happens to impact every human on the planet: World Water Day. As part of the United Nations and Sustainable Development Goal 6, World Water Day focuses on “access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems...essential to human health and to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.” World Water Day 2018 explores nature’s models of sustainability to ensure future water safety. Knowledge Is Power While entire societies, government departments and environmental groups are dedicated to protecting the state of water, the average consumer in developed countries might view water as an infinite resource. Most houses are equipped with faucets that open and release clean water. In grocery stores, shelves are full of clean bottled drinking water. Yet        …read more

Beyond Its Cringe Comedy, ‘Nathan for You’ Has Real Heart

Nathan for You

The hilarious pathos of ‘Nathan for You.’ Comedy Central’s business-reality show Nathan for You is unlike anything else on television because its host, Canadian comedian and writer Nathan Fielder, is unlike anyone else on television. A master of awkwardness and cringe comedy, Fielder is capable of making everyone in his presence feel uncomfortable in a way that extends to the viewers, who are left squirming in their seats as they wait for someone to break the silence. But look beyond his bizarre conversations and surreal “solutions” to the marketing problems of small businesses, and you’ll find Nathan for You to not only be the funniest show on television but the one with the most heart as well. SPOILERS AHEAD! The majority of episodes in Nathan for You, which recently wrapped its fourth season on Comedy Central, follow the same basic structure: Fielder approaches a business struggling to attract customers and        …read more

Wonders of the Ancient World: 5 Architectural Marvels from Antiquity

wonders of the ancient world

Built into cliffsides and atop mountains, these gravity-defying marvels are true wonders of the ancient world. Of all the wonders of the ancient world, faith-related architecture is perhaps the most formidable. Irrespective of religion, ancient places of worship were such remarkable feats of ingenuity that one questions if there was some sort of competition to see who could build the most awe-inspiring complex. If that were the case, the architects of temples and monasteries surely would have won. Some of these were built in the most hostile, inaccessible places: into mountainsides above the clouds, on the peaks of rock monuments, and on the edges of sheer cliffs. The purpose was twofold: to isolate the faithful from the world of sin and temptation, and to elevate them to a higher place — both physically and spiritually. Not to mention such locales would separate the wheat from the chaff: only the most        …read more

5 Seriously Weird Books

weird books

Thousands of pages of um . . . what? Are any of these weird books in your library? There are some incredibly weird books out there. From the recently (finally) translated Voynich Manuscript to the Codex Seraphinianus, discover five of the strangest books ever written and some trivia about each that’s almost too odd to be true. 1. The Voynich Manuscript For 100 years the Voynich Manuscript was an unsolvable 240-page thorn in the side of linguists and cryptologists, leaving many to believe its true meaning would never be known. Many theories circulated about the manuscript, including that it was in fact created entirely by the man who discovered the untitled work, Wilfrid Voynich. Like something out of a movie, Voynich managed to barely make off with the manuscript before the Vatican included it among their countless other precious written works, where it would likely never be seen again —        …read more

5 Legendary Duels: When Disputes Ended in Bloodshed

legendary duels

Engaged in a Twitter brawl? Be glad you weren’t born two centuries ago. For hundreds of years, the ancient practice of dueling was a common method people used for settling their disputes. Though it may seem barbaric to many people now, challenging a person to a duel was often essential for men and women as a means of proving their courage and defending their honor. Here are five of those legendary duels, many of which ended in bloodshed. 1. Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr (1804) The most famous duel in American history happened during Thomas Jefferson’s administration: Vice President Aaron Burr vs. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Though political and personal tension had been rising between the two for years, most of the anger seems to have stemmed from the fact that Hamilton had a crucial role in preventing Burr from winning the presidency. Hamilton also actively campaigned against        …read more

Lara Croft Is Back with a Vengeance in the New ‘Tomb Raider’

new Tomb Raider

What to expect as Alicia Vikander takes over for Angelina Jolie in the new ‘Tomb Raider.’ Some of my earliest memories of video games aren’t of actually playing them. I have a distinct recollection of watching my childhood friend’s eldest sister playing the ’90s Tomb Raider series on their PlayStation. The original Tomb Raider games were iconic, famed as much for their imaginative stories as for their gameplay. It’s no surprise that over two decades down the line, Hollywood is rebooting the franchise on the big screen for the second time. But the kid version of me probably also intuited something more significant than the simple thrill of the stories. The fact that boys and girls were playing games with strong female protagonists probably struck me as an exciting change from the standardized boyish world of ’90s mainstream video games. In the hyper-macho world of other first-person shooters like Duke        …read more

‘Jane’ Explores Legacy of Incomparable, Unstoppable Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall biography, Jane Goodall documentary

‘Jane’ draws from over 100 hours of unseen footage of Jane Goodall at work with chimps in the ’60s. Few films today let you simply travel with someone into parts unknown. Thanks to the documentary Jane, a new generation of animal lovers can learn more about the world’s most famous paleontologist, Jane Goodall, who revealed that we aren’t much different from our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Using 100 hours of footage hidden from view until now, director Brett Morgen highlights scenes from Goodall’s groundbreaking discoveries about chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania,  in the ’60s and blends them with recent interviews of the 83-year-old Jane Goodall. Goodall reflects in the film: “I wanted to do things men did and women didn’t. I wanted to talk to animals, like Doctor Dolittle, and move among them without fear, like Tarzan.” That fortitude to step into the habitat of animals who could easily rip her head        …read more

6 Extreme Students of Method Acting and Their Iconic Roles

method acting

Enduring everything from broken noses to life-threatening weight loss, these students of method acting became characters you know and love. Over the years, so-called “method acting” has gained a mythical status as the actor’s philosopher’s stone, a badge of honor earned only by those committed enough to go without sleep, shelter, food — whatever it takes — to inhabit the mind, body and soul of their character. Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Daniel Day Lewis… For many of the greatest names in Hollywood, you name it, they have done it — the full nine yards — to truly become the person we see on-screen. The glamour and prestige afforded those who take the leap are understandable when we think of the endurance and feats of mental strength involved in, say, never breaking character as Abraham Lincoln, or losing 60 pounds only to regain it in six weeks. It takes true commitment        …read more

14 Literary Landmarks for Your Bookish U.S. Road Trip

literary landmarks

These literary landmarks are the stuff of every bookworm’s dreams. There’s a lot to take into account when you’re planning a vacation, but one thing bookworms never want to miss is the chance to visit a literary landmark (or five…or 14). Even if you’re sticking to a certain state or region, there’s almost always the opportunity to visit at least one place where incredible authors wrote some of their greatest works. If you’re the road-tripping type, what could be better than traveling across the country to visit as many of these landmarks as possible? (That is, of course, a rhetorical question.) From New England to California, here are some literary landmarks that are sure to make every bookworm smile. New England 1. The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home (Lenox, MA) The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, Wharton penned classics including Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth at this stunning        …read more

Intuition Is Key to Innovation in Creative Business

creative business

Kim Chestney, founder of CREATE! Festival, says a thriving creative business depends on intuition. In 2017 roughly 3.5 million people in the United States were employed in the Creative Industries by over 674,000 businesses, ranging from museums and symphonies to design and advertising firms — and this is an extremely conservative approach to documenting those currently employed in creative fields. In contrast, the political and economic juggernaut Walmart employed only 2.3 million people globally in that same year. Still, why should we care about the Creative Industries at all? Because as we move from the information age into an age of imagination, creative businesses and artist entrepreneurs may become the driving force behind an automated and mostly digital economy. And the key to harnessing this power comes down to our intuition. At least that’s how Kim Chestney, the founding director of Pittsburgh’s CREATE! Festival and recent addition to the advisory council        …read more

Tarot Practitioners Introduce Us to Their Favorite Tarot Decks

tarot decks

Different readers favor different tarot decks. Understanding why helps show the complexity of this art form and divination medium. Last fall, I found myself excited about a new tarot deck coming out. Christy C. Road had started work on her Next World Tarot years ago, and I’d been intrigued by it ever since. The cards are all beautiful, featuring her unique style of detailed illustrations as well as people of many races, sizes, abilities and ages. The cards are also a little larger than average, making them feel more like individual works of art, and also making them feel different when handling them for a reading. I was in love with the idea of the deck (I luckily received it as a gift before it sold out). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7i3j_TN_Lk Over a decade after my introduction to tarot decks, I still find myself unsure about what makes a deck quite “right” for        …read more

Blaming Video Games for Violence: A Brief History

violence gaming politics

Politicians have been blaming video games for real-world violence for decades. On February 14, 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and began opening fire with an AR-15 rifle. After Cruz was taken into custody, the death toll stood at 15 victims, mostly students, with two more dying later in the hospital. It was the work of a disturbed and radicalized killer who had ties to a local white supremacist group, enabled by the high-powered weapon he was able to easily acquire due to the United States’ gun laws. A short time after the attack, however, as many Americans began to question why Cruz was able to legally obtain such a dangerous weapon, those in positions of power pointed the finger elsewhere. Florida Congressman Brian Mast and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin blamed games like Call of Duty. President Donald Trump spoke up as well,        …read more

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies for the Tech Challenged

cryptocurrency market

Everyone’s talking about Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market lately. Get in on the conversation with this brief intro. Cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets, crypto-trading, the cryptocurrency market… It’s practically a whole other language, and questions abound. How does it work? What is it backed by? Is it a government trap in disguise? Does it make it easier for someone to steal my money? Is paper money dying? Every time I’ve gone to a party or gathering recently, these questions have hovered over the conversation like a heavy cloud. So in an attempt to help you sound like the smartest person in the room, I’m gonna try to break it down for you in humanspeak. Steal at will. What the hell is cryptocurrency? You might’ve heard that cryptocurrency is the “currency of the internet” or “email for money.” Some even call it electronic cash or digital gold, which is fine. It’s also regarded as        …read more

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Is as Groundbreaking as the Banned Book

A Wrinkle in Time movie

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ opens March 9. Here’s why both the book and the feature film are such important milestones. In 1963 Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time won the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious prize in children’s literature. The book was adapted to a TV miniseries in 2003, but given the book’s literary and commercial success, it’s surprising that it’s taken nearly six decades to make its way to the big screen. Finally, on March 9 Ava DuVernay’s highly anticipated film adaptation will hit theaters across the country and world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4U3TeY2wtM But the stars aligned, because there’s no better director than DuVernay to transform the iconic middle grade book into a feature film that’s just as groundbreaking as its inspiration. Meg Murry, the young protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time, has frequently been hailed as one of the most inspiring heroines of fiction — so it couldn’t        …read more

Inside Jane Goodall’s Tireless Fight to Save the Environment

Jane Goodall documentary

Jane Goodall explains why she still has hope the environment can be saved, and why we all need to be active participants. Renowned primatologist, anthropologist, activist and feminist icon Dr. Jane Goodall is now 83 years old, but to say that age hasn’t slowed her down would be the understatement of the century. Goodall spends approximately 300 days each year traveling all over the globe, keeping up a steady schedule of speaking engagements that educate people about threats to the environment and the steps we can take to be part of the solution. On March 12 the documentary Jane premieres on National Geographic. Drawing from over 100 hours of footage that had been forgotten for decades, the documentary brings viewers back to the very beginning of Goodall’s career. She arrived in Gombe, Tanzania, in 1960 at the age of 26, with no formal scientific training or education. But what Goodall        …read more

Vero: The Good, the Bad and the Hypocritical

Vero

Everything you need to know about the newly popular social media platform Vero. In recent weeks, a little-known app founded in 2013 and launched in 2015 surged the ranks of the iOS app store and gained the number-one spot in Google Play. In the process, the servers supporting the product crashed. What product was this? Vero, a new competitor to social media behemoths Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Snapchat, as well as the mac daddy OGs themselves — Facebook and Twitter. Founded by Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, Vero seeks to be an authentic network designed to enhance our relationships with others, rather than detract from life’s experiences. At the time of this writing, there are nearly three million registered users, and the platform itself appears to be growing...fast. So if you’re looking to get in on the action while the going is hot, here’s what you should know. The Good        …read more

Love, Marriage and Sexual Beliefs in the World’s Oldest Cultures

sexual beliefs

Sexual beliefs and their social implications vary widely from culture to culture. In some cases, sexual rituals may act as a means of initiating adolescents into adulthood. In others, the practices may have a more practical, economic purpose — controlling an increasing population, for example, or ensuring that an estate survives for generations. Whatever the purpose, sexual beliefs and rituals, though sometimes shocking to outsiders, have a distinct function within their particular culture or tribe. Here are a few unique practices and rituals from around the world. 1. Polygamy (Wodaabe tribe of Niger in West Africa) In the Islamic Wodaabe tribe of Niger in West Africa, polygamy is not only accepted; it’s encouraged. In September, near the end of the rainy season, members of tribe gather to celebrate Gerewol, a festival of music and dance, which lasts for seven days and nights. The primary highlight of the festival is a        …read more

Kicking Ass & Taking Names: The Strength & Spirit of Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly, International Women's Day

On International Women’s Day, the world remembers breakers of glass ceilings throughout history. Among them: the bold journalist Nellie Bly. Each International Women’s Day, the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. One woman who made great strides toward equality is known to the world as Nellie Bly. The year is 1885, and a woman’s place is in the home, says Erasmus Wilson in his Pittsburgh Dispatch article “What Girls Are Good For.” Chastising women for seeking an education and career, he calls the working woman a “monstrosity.” That doesn’t sit well with 21-year-old Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, a single, working woman of little means. Demonstrating her intelligence and grit, she lets the newspaper’s editor, George Madden, know in an angry letter signed Lonely Orphan Girl. He’s impressed and offers her a job. Cochrane, taking the pen name Nellie Bly, accepts, but she won’t settle for “women’s        …read more

6 Life Hacks from The Dude

The Dude

The Coen brothers’ cult favorite ‘The Big Lebowski’ turns 20 on March 6. Celebrate with these important life lessons from The Dude. Jeff Lebowski is a man for his time and place — 1991, Los Angeles. But he doesn’t call himself by the handle his loving parents gave him. He calls himself The Dude, Duder, His Dudeness, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. But is The Dude a bumbling burnout or a Zen master? If you think he’s a mere stoner, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. I happen to think there’s a lot to be learned from The Dude’s approach to life, and I’m not the only one. New shit has come to light. For instance, did you know The Big Lebowski has its own religion called Dudeism, making it literally a cult film? And an annual Lebowski Fest attended by self-described Achievers        …read more

‘Heathers’ Remake May Never Air (Yay!): 7 Shows to Watch Instead

Heathers remake

The out-of-touch ‘Heathers’ remake was postponed, but most early reviewers would be happy if it never aired. Here are 7 fantastic shows to binge instead. The Paramount Network said the Heathers remake, originally scheduled to premiere March 7, is being postponed until later in 2018 “in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones.” If you missed the Heathers pilot, which it must be said was released online after the Parkland shooting occurred, then don’t cry into your pillow. It’s unworthy of the cult classic source material, and it received well-deserved backlash. A plus-size female, genderqueer teen and Black lesbian (whose sexuality is questioned) are now the popular kids in school? They bully, shame and threaten to end classmates’ lives at will, with social media their weapon of choice. Viewers can only shake their heads at the misguided attempt        …read more

There’s Love! Doug Jones Dives Deep into ‘The Shape of Water’ and His Incredible Career

Doug Jones, Shape of Water

An intimate look into the wonderful mind (and body) of actor Doug Jones. Doug Jones is not just one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood. He’s also played some of the most iconic and memorable characters and creatures we’ve ever seen, from his dual roles in Pan’s Labyrinth as the Pale Man and Pan to Hellboy’s gentlemanly Abe Sapien to Star Trek: Discovery’s cautious Saru to The Shape Of Water’s Amphibian Man. If you’ve ever watched a sci-fi, horror or fantasy film or show, you’ve likely seen Doug Jones. And even if you’re not a fan of those genres, you’ve probably seen his work as some of the most quirky and unforgettable characters in commercials. I had the privilege of getting to know Doug Jones when we worked together on Mime Very Own Book, an IPPY Award–winning coffee table book we wrote along with the wildly talented Scott Allen        …read more

The Little-Known Works of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss

Beyond ‘The Cat in the Hat,’ Dr. Seuss created political cartoons, films and even a couple of books for grown-ups. On March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Twenty-seven years later, under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, he released his very first book, The Pocket Book of Boners. The book, which is very much not what you’re likely thinking it is, collected “boners” — a now-outdated term for silly errors, found in classroom papers. It sold 1.34 million copies by 1945. In 1937, after dozens of rejections from publishers, Dr. Seuss made his first contribution to children’s literature: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Within two years, he’d released two more children’s books and begun a hugely successful relationship with Random House that would last the rest of his life. In 1939 he released a book for an adult audience, a humorous spin on        …read more

8 ‘Game of Thrones’ Women Ruling the World

Game of Thrones women

‘Game of Thrones’ women govern their world. The men only think they’re in charge. Times are certainly changing, albeit slowly. But if you grew up when I did and were a fan of fantasy comics, books and movies, there was one certainty — the heroes were men. How many video games or books could be boiled down to “saving the princess”? And even when there were women who weren’t helpless damsels in distress, they were often there to be scantily dressed and in the end still had to be saved by men. But let’s look at Game of Thrones women and their powerful roles. Spoiler alert! While most of us are upset the next season won’t be until 2019 (and we’re still waiting for the next book), this article speaks to not only the full book series to date but also the TV series. Ye have been warned… First published        …read more

7 Worst Oscar Blunders of All Time

Oscar blunder

They’re back! On March 4, the 90th Academy Awards are here to frustrate us again with undeserving winners. I distinctly remember watching the Oscars in early 1983 and crying when Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi won Best Picture over Steven Spielberg’s E.T. I was a sad, bitter 11-year-old. I had no Twitter to amplify my angst to an unsuspecting world about this obvious Oscar blunder, but the sour taste of defeat still resonates 35 years later. Hollywood producers originally founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the 1920s as a reaction to the cries for unionization in the age of 20-hour workdays. The producers thought at the time the Academy would function as kind of a house union, but it never worked out that way. Instead the Academy, while functioning as an important champion of film preservation, is known primarily for its annual awards ceremony. And for 90 years,        …read more

Where Are All the Heroines in Fairy Tales? Glad You Asked…

fairy tales

From every continent, anthologist Kathleen Ragan found the mighty girls and women in fairy tales around the world. February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. We are the stories we tell. For the first people who lived in what’s now known as Australia, tales were maps designed to guide generations across miles of desert to landmarks, water and safety. For them, a certain story sequence could mean the difference between life and death beneath the blistering sun. During America’s civil rights movement, stories were used to alter our collective sense of morality and to shift our perspective on issues as serious as slavery, justice and freedom. Beautiful tales from this era expressed the change that needed to happen and helped us all understand why. And today, for the little girl reading the same tale over and over again, leaving no word or sentiment unturned, stories are a way for        …read more

Remembering the Man in Black: 12 Best Johnny Cash Songs & Covers

Johnny Cash songs

In honor of his birthday February 26, we’ve gathered 12 top Johnny Cash songs and covers for your playlist today. Few artists have had as profound an impact on the music world as Johnny Cash. Although he’s best known for his country music, Cash’s repertoire also included gospel, folk and rock — he even recorded a haunting cover of the Nine Inch Nails song “Hurt” toward the end of his career. Dubbed “The Man in Black” due to his all-black attire during concerts, Cash’s influence on the music world was far-reaching and continues to inspire artists to this day. Bob Dylan, another icon in the music world, has described Cash as an inspiration and it’s not uncommon to hear modern artists perform covers in concert. On his birthday, remember five of the most iconic Johnny Cash songs, lesser-known gems and a few covers by musicians who love the Man in        …read more

Dinara Kasko Designs Eye-Popping Pastry Art with 3D Printed Molds

3D printed molds

A baking hobbyist with a background in architecture, Kasko became a dedicated pastry artist using the technology of 3D printed molds to wow admirers around the world. In 2011 Dinara Kasko graduated from Kharkov Architecture University and began what would become a three-year stint as a designer and visualizer working remotely from home. By day, she was either sitting at her computer creating ethereal models or working as a photographer part-time; by night, she was baking cakes in her apartment’s modest kitchen. There she experimented with traditional French recipes, from mousses and sponge cakes to jellies and fruits — and, of course, all kinds of chocolate. It was her hobby, an excuse to work with her hands, and a way to be creative away from her desk. She even considered enrolling in a professional culinary school to study patisserie full-time, but upon discovering that she was expecting her first child,        …read more