“If I could draw the world as I see it, and show every last person how he or she is enmeshed in this fine and intricate and impossibly beautiful structure, perhaps people would stop getting lost in the hurt of things and be elevated by the wonder of it all” (Jason Padgett).

It might just take an accidental genius to direct our eyes toward something so wonderful. As you can read in this month’s issue, Jason Padgett is one of only 40 people in the world with acquired savant syndrome — and it has shown him that beyond our fear and confusion is a beautiful tapestry of order we’re all an essential part of.

What better season to celebrate that beauty than in the days leading up to spring: a time of renewal, growth and new beginnings. With the right lens, we’ll see brilliant colors being applied to this incredible canvas of life, reminding us that there’s a world of exploration constantly blooming out there, even in the mundane, and we’re all a part of the adventure.

—Adam Mock, COO




Acquired Savant Syndrome: Meet an Accidental Genius


An accident unlocked Jason Padgett’s mathematical and artistic potential, making him one of only 40 people in the world with Acquired Savant Syndrome. Jason Padgett, who has acquired savant syndrome, says he wouldn’t change any of the pain he underwent after being beaten, as he now sees the world in an overlay of geometric fractals that he believes hold answers to some of life’s biggest questions. With the popularity of shows like The OA, The 4400 and Second Chance, questions about the human brain’s hidden abilities surface, leaving many of us to wonder what price we’d pay to unlock hidden neurological gems. Though these shows are fictional, the brain science behind some of them is not. And there are real-life people to prove it. Jason Padgett with his Wave Particle Duality in background. For Jason Padgett, a man living with Acquired Savant Syndrome after a violent mugging in 2002 in Tacoma,        …read more

New York Fashion Week with Katie Gallagher and studioSPACE

fashion week

Escape into Fashion Week with Katie Gallagher’s ‘Hallow’ collection and an immersive design experience by studioSPACE. The night of February 9 was the run of Katie Gallagher’s 16th line, Hallow, an event in collaboration with a burgeoning local design company called studioSPACE. As a writer for Crixeo based in New York City, I took the journey to Projective Space to cover my first-ever fashion show for my first-ever New York Fashion Week. What I knew about the work of Rhode Island School of Design graduate Katie Gallagher was that it uses textural and color contrasts, tends toward strong shapes and incorporates a good amount of sheer fabric. studioSPACE, on the other hand, was new to me. The design team promised a supremely different space, art installations to parallel Katie’s work and projections to accompany the fashion show. A supremely different space it was. The studio tucked into a small nook of Chinatown,        …read more

Nintendo Switch: The Video Game Revolution

Nintendo Switch

On March 3, Nintendo Switch will usher in a new era of possibilities for video games by switching up the way we play. When Nintendo first revealed its latest video game system in October, many were dismayed by its bland name: the Nintendo Switch. Sure, the trailer showed off that the system would act as both a home console and a portable unit — hence the “Switch” — but the name seemed too benign, too literal for a company that has prided itself on bucking industry conventions. Nintendo went beyond a mere teaser trailer three months later, offering an in-depth look at the Nintendo Switch. Right then it became clear the system was fittingly named not only for its variety of different modes of play but for its potential to change the way we see and interact with video games. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c6MWsEE884 Let’s switch up our perceptions on what a piece        …read more

Untangling the Truth in ‘The OA’

the OA

Can you tell reality from delusion? Netflix’s hit show 'The OA' leaves us guessing. Do you believe in angels? Responses might range from chortling to reverent: the curt no, the exuberant yes and the protracted maybe. But chances are, most have asked themselves this question before. Would you believe someone who told you they’re an angel? This is the kind of question to ask at a party if you’re wondering which guest is the most uncomfortable with answerless questions. The nos have it easy: “No, I don’t believe in angels; therefore, no, I wouldn’t believe you were one.” The yeses are stumped: “Technically it would be possible, but I don’t expect angels to introduce themselves.” The maybes snuck out while you weren’t looking. Expect them to decline any future invitations. Netflix Spoilers ahead! When it was revealed that the title of Netflix’s new show The OA meant ‘the Original Angel,’ I        …read more

Ben Thomas Turns His Latest Album into Opportunities

latest album

When Ben Thomas produced his latest album, ‘Bring Forth,’ he didn’t know it would lead him here. In the middle of creating his latest album of repurposed hymns, Ben Thomas had a revelation: art is inside everyone and, given the proper tools, everyone can create it. For a man whose entire career had led to this moment, it meant changing direction entirely to help others let their inner artist escape. “What if I could create some sort of space that could empower other people to create?” Thomas asked himself. “What if I could curate or create a space that would be focused on songs or recording but, at its core, focused on this act of creating?” So he did. Ben Thomas performs. But to understand Thomas’ thinking, you’ll have to go back to a time long before he was repurposing hymns for his latest album. Due to his father’s job,        …read more

Josefina Guerrero: Leper, Leader, Soldier, Spy


When life gives you leprosy… #BygoneBadassBroads is a weekly Twitter series run by author, feminist and history nerd Mackenzi Lee (@themackenzilee). Motivated by a desire to counteract the misuse of the term “historical accuracy” to exclude women and minorities, Mackenzi takes to Twitter each Friday at 1 p.m. EST to tell the life story of a forgotten badass lady from history in 140-character bites. The series has garnered millions of hits, been picked up by multiple news sites, and in 2018 the compiled essays will be published by Abrams Books. We asked her to share an exclusive #BygoneBadassBroads story with our readers. Get ready to meet a Filipina you probably never heard of who changed the course of history. It was 1941, and Josefina Guerrero was having a really sucky year. Until then, Josefina — or “Joey,” as she came to be known — had a pretty swell life. Born in 1917, she grew        …read more

8 Can’t-Miss Events at SXSW 2017

SXSW 2017

From keynote speakers to live music, here are 8 highlights to add to your SXSW 2017 lineup. When someone tells you they’ll be at SXSW 2017, a fair question to ask is “Which one?” The gargantuan festival, which overtakes seemingly the entire city of Austin (or, at least, the area surrounding downtown) for 10 days in March, isn’t just one thing. It started as a music festival, but that hasn’t been its primary identity in at least a decade. It’s a tech conference famous for helping launch Twitter and FourSquare, but “tech” barely encompasses an event that’s been known to feature keynote sessions from, say, Barack and Michelle Obama. There’s a world-class film festival as part of SXSW, but when you’ve got all the other stuff going on, a major film festival is almost an afterthought. The comedy portion of the festival pulls headliners like Amy Schumer, Seth Meyers and more.        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Roast Beef Recipe

roast beef recipe

This roast beef recipe is ready in under 60 minutes! Welcome back to my lab, where I’ve been busy experimenting with recipes for singles. This month I’ve created a delicious, satisfying roast beef recipe with carrots, potatoes, onions and a pretty darn sexy gravy. And it’s ready in less than an hour! If you’re single now, you won’t be for long! Let’s get started. Roast Beef Recipe Quick and easy but oh so delicious 1 1/2 pounds roast (bottom round, tri-tip, whatever) Approximately 4 carrots 1 potato 1 onion Heaping tablespoon stone-ground mustard Splash (or splashes) of brandy 1 cup or so of beef stock 1/4 cup or so of heavy cream Salt and pepper Garlic powder Onion powder Olive oil Preheat oven to 425º. Cut carrots and potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Not too small. Slice onion. Parboil carrots and potatoes for 5 minutes. Arrange onions in roasting pan, making        …read more

10 Things No One Tells You about Going Vegan

going vegan

Going vegan can be a daunting prospect — unless you know these 10 secrets. If you’re thinking of going vegan but don’t know if you’re up to the task, here are 10 things you should know. 1. You don’t love the meat. You love the sauce. Homemade butternut squash ravioli ready for red sauce. Photo + food by the author. Once upon a time my partner ate meat, and boy did he love the pork in his dad’s black bean sauce. He was so, so sad that he would never get to taste it again upon going vegan. Then he visited Grasshopper in Boston and tried the tofu in black bean sauce. Holy god, did he stop missing pork. Simply put: he loved his dad’s dish because of the delicious, specific sauce, not the protein it was coating. So many meals we adore contain unnecessary animal products. We associate meat with countless        …read more

Ask Dr. McKinley: How Can I Overcome Worry and Insomnia?


Dr. McKinley suggests three sources of energy to draw from when you’re emotionally drained and suffering from insomnia. Dear Dr. McKinley, I am a 43-year-old woman. My fiancé and I broke up two years ago, and I’m still having a hard time getting out of bed. I recently got a promotion at work and if it weren’t for Adderall I’m not sure that would have occurred. However, I have developed a bit of insomnia. For the past two weeks I’ve been getting off work about 1 a.m. I get home and cry for hours sometimes. My face is starting to age and I’m suddenly very aware of my age and that I don’t have much time left on this earth. I worry about my children all day long and my nighttime is usually reserved for overthinking and overanalyzing everything. I’ve never been unhappier in my entire life. I can’t sleep.        …read more

Starving Artist No More: 4 Resources for Your Body and Soul

starving artist

Make your art and eat too: a survival guide for the starving artist. Who here has eaten lentil soup for two weeks straight? Or worn the same pair of jeans day in, day out for two years (and counting), grateful that at least the trend gods have smiled on you because it’s OK these days to have your holes-to-denim ratio encroaching on public nudity? And how about those Costco sample meals tiding you over until payday, eh? We’ve all gone in with the shopping cart, sauntered around “looking for something,” nonchalantly sampled everything, put on sunglasses and a hat and then gone around for the second, third and fourth time — shout out to Craig Jelinek. Pseudo-homeless freegan, starving artist, whatever you wanna call yourself — you know who you are. The cliché of the starving artist has been around for centuries. From the Romantic poet, strung out on opium in a garret,        …read more

As Seen On TV: The U.S. Criminal Justice System

criminal justice TV series

Can criminal justice TV series and documentaries go beyond entertainment and help us fix a broken system? Bertolt Brecht is quoted as saying, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” In terms of television, one could argue that first-time filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Riccard achieved this with their award-winning hit Making a Murderer. As many of you know (nearly 20 million people binged on the 10-part miniseries within 30 days), this unflinching documentation of our broken criminal justice system in action tells the story of a man named Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey as they’re devoured by “the machine.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxgbdYaR_KQ Granted, this criminal justice TV series covers only one incident in middle America — Manitowoc County, Wisconsin — but the entire system comes across seared by the microscope, its failings all too obvious in this context. You        …read more

Superhero 101: Power Man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist

Luke Cage Power Fist

With Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ season one in the books and ‘Iron Fist’ on the horizon, get to know these two superheroes according to the comics. Long before Luke Cage and Iron Fist had their own original shows on Netflix, they each had gone through periods of turmoil within the Marvel Universe. There was a time when both heroes were almost cancelled from the comics, likely to be expunged entirely, due to dwindling readership. It was during that struggle that the worlds of Iron Fist and Luke Cage collided to save one another from extinction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCSPda7xQ3s But before we discuss their intersection, we should examine their respective beginnings as solo comics. Luke Cage — commonly known as Power Man — was created in 1972 by Archie Goodwin (Iron Man) and John Romita Sr. (The Amazing Spider-Man). Arriving four years after the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Power Man was a particularly timely        …read more

Candy Chang’s Interactive Street Art Experiments


Through chalk, stickers and murals, Candy Chang invites the public to reflect, connect and transform their communities. Since 2006, multitalented artist Candy Chang, who holds degrees in urban planning, graphic design and architecture, has created 21 different urban experiments. Chang’s simple but powerful changes to public spaces invite people to share their innermost thoughts about themselves and the communities they live in. Chang uses chalkboard paint, murals, Post-it Notes, door hangers and graffiti stencils to transform abandoned buildings and busy metropolitan streets into new spaces for public conversation. Chang describes how the experiments work: “This personal anonymous prompt, it offers the first gentle step toward honesty and vulnerability in public, which can lead to trust and understanding.” After losing a person who was like a mother to her for most of her life, Chang channeled her depression and grief by painting the side of a crumbling house in her New        …read more

5 Things You Should Know before Choosing a VPN App

VPN app

A VPN app shields your passwords, bank account info and browsing activity, but how do you choose the right one? So what’s a VPN app and what can it do for you? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) app or service is a versatile, inexpensive tool that can decrease your chances of being hacked and prevent unwanted entities from watching everything you do online. It’s like a security wrapper or a private tunnel for your data only as it travels through the internet to its final destination. It can shield your browsing activity on public Wi-Fi networks (so no one can grab your passwords or bank account information) and much more. Let’s look at five things you should know before choosing a VPN app or service. Privacy vs. Anonymity There’s a big difference between a private connection and being anonymous. VPN providers almost always know who you are and can see what you’re        …read more

Irish in America: From the White House to Where the Streets Have No Name

4 artistic and cultural contributions of the Irish in America. Many see St. Patrick’s Day as a time to get tipsy. Others wonder why we celebrate the holiday at all. To be fair, many don’t realize why a country as small as Ireland could be so important, but the Irish have greatly influenced the United States. In fact, the two nations’ histories are intertwined. Ireland is a small country with a huge heart. Visiting it today, one feels the enchantment of a rich heritage. The soaring landscapes practically sing of a culture built on the depths and heights of artistic creativity. The passionate, witty people of Ireland have long reveled in the mysteries of the universe and possessed a deep love for nature and sharp insight into the human condition. Adobe Stock Yet for hundreds of years, the Irish suffered great oppression. Their country struggled under England’s rule, enduring horrific enslavement, genocide and tyranny        …read more

A Weekend of Cosplay: What It’s About, What to Expect


A subculture of geekdom is growing into an artistic culture entirely its own. Welcome to cosplay. A huge chunk of the world has thought, “I want to try cosplay.” A smaller portion jokes, “Cosplay has sucked up most of my life and has left me an empty shell of a person.” Generally those remaining wonder, “What is cosplay?” At its strictest definition, cosplay is a hobby of making and wearing costumes of characters from different media, generally for fan conventions or photo shoots. But cosplay has grown from a fringe hobby to an entire subculture. Thanks to a shift in media attention, being a geek is now a badge of honor instead of something wedgie-worthy. And so cosplaying — an aspect of geek culture worth all the talent and work of a skilled job — has become a very accessible phenomenon. X-Men group at San Diego Comic Con. Courtesy of        …read more

How Blind Contour Drawing Freed Sophie Kipner’s Voice

contour drawing visual artist

Visual artist and writer Sophie Kipner finds inspiration in the unexpected. Art is a multidimensional road map with dozens of endless highways. There’s the easy routes, the middle road, and then there’s the very edge, the uncharted. Sophie Kipner, a visual artist based in California, makes those edges her playground. Without a GPS, she charts impressions, lives, moments, discontinuity — it’s all on the page, organic objects taking life in varied forms. Her visual art has been featured in Flaunt Magazine, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, Crave Online, The Examiner and many other publications. Not content to be just a visual artist, Kipner has written for Kugelmass: A Journal of Literary Humor, Metazen, Amy Ephron’s One for the Table, FORTH Magazine and The Big Jewel. Her new novel, The Optimist, is due this May. Courtesy of Sophie Kipner Although she’s an accomplished writer, journalist and artist, it was actually        …read more

Please Don’t Feed the Internet Troll

internet troll

A psychologist’s perspective on how someone becomes an internet troll — and how to respond. Have you ever faced off against an internet troll? What did it look like? Some of you may vaguely recall a fairy tale involving a bridge (and some oddly named goats) where a troll was the hungry antagonist. It’s more likely, however, that many of you imagined a gigantic brute: an ugly, angry, dim-witted creature intent on ruining everyone’s day. Authors J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling popularized this iconic version of a troll in their fantasy genre classics, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series. In both tales, the troll is an enemy the heroes must defeat through righteous valor, as in The Fellowship of the Ring, or through sheer cleverness, like that of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. If we took our lessons from these books or        …read more

Top 10 Unexplained UFO Sightings

UFO sightings

Have you heard of these 10 mysterious UFO sightings? Whether from the sky or the sea, these 10 UFO sightings are some of the most mystifying that have ever been encountered. 1. Battle of Los Angeles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m7736RMBEg&feature=youtu.be The skies above Los Angeles were showered with antiaircraft artillery shells during the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, when searchlights lit up an unidentified object. This UFO sighting was alarming, as it took place during a citywide blackout due to the threat of Japanese bombers. Because of its slow speed, the object was thought to be a blimp, but the theory was dismissed. Meanwhile, the United States Army, already on high alert because of submarine activity along the coast, raced fighters to pursue what they thought to be Japanese aircraft. 2. Rendlesham Forest Incident https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ6oS6ZPoaE&feature=youtu.be Perhaps one of the most fascinating UFO encounters, this event at RAF Woodbridge was the basis for        …read more

Multimedia Artist Sara Erenthal Explores Displacement and Liberation

multimedia artist

Sara Erenthal is a NYC multimedia artist who ran away from her ultra-Orthodox upbringing to truly find herself. “When I grew up I didn’t feel like I was worth much and didn’t feel like I was good at anything,” says Sara Erenthal, a 35-year-old multimedia artist living in Brooklyn. Her statement is relatable to any teen unsure how to navigate impending adulthood, but Erenthal’s story is unique. Erenthal grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York known as Neturei Karta, whose teachings call for the end of the State of Israel and, most relevant to Erenthal, refrain from embracing Western culture. Erenthal couldn’t flip through magazines or wear pants. She couldn’t watch Hollywood films, listen to pop music or interact with other kids outside the ultra-Orthodox community. Chatting with the opposite sex was tantamount to scarfing down bacon. “I would see other kids in my area, and I would        …read more

Searching for Street Performer Ron Raffel

street performer

For years, Ron Raffel played guitar in the same spot on the NYC subway. One day, the street performer was gone and I began my search. It was 16 years ago that I first encountered a street performer named Ron Raffel. I was working at a café in Greenwich Village, and I was late. I rushed from the L train platform at 14th St. and 6th Ave. to the F train platform. There, standing under the tiled station sign, was a man who looked as if life had dealt him a difficult hand. He was tall and thin, had large gaps between his few remaining teeth, and his stringy gray-streaked hair was pulled back in a long ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was dressed like a down-on-his luck rock star, his tight black jeans and cowboy boots either well-worn or fantastic Salvation Army finds. He was playing the guitar. “No big        …read more

A Glimpse into the Future of Virtual Reality Movies

virtual reality movies

Virtual reality movies will change the way we see ourselves and the world. Virtual reality has found a home in mainstream entertainment, but you won’t find virtual reality movies in a theater. Instead, for now their unique offerings are on display at festivals and special events. Virtual reality movies thrust you into the action in a whole new way by giving you the opportunity to exist outside your personal reality, changing your persona or even your gender. That’s what I experienced with Dark Corner Studios’ Mule; for six minutes I was in a man’s body inside a horrifying virtual world. Waking Up as a Man in Mule This is awkward. I’m naked on top of a bed, and there’s an unclothed woman demanding payment from me. I can’t move, though, and something definitely isn’t right, because I’ve got a penis. That’s a first, and I can’t stop staring at it.        …read more

Life’s a Drag: An Interview with NYC Artist Michael Burk

NYC artist

NYC artist Michael Burk breaks down how to stay true to your creative self and make a living, too. I recently had the privilege of speaking with NYC artist, art director, photographer and overall creative guru Michael Burk. I’ve always turned to Michael for inspiration because he has an enviable knack for turning something mundane into something disgustingly beautiful. Most importantly, he has always been honest about his identity in his work. Now more than ever is a time when people can feel proud of who they are and, as artists, what their work represents. Michael provides his personal take on maintaining a sense of self all while trying to survive as a NYC artist. What do you feel has changed from when you first started making work for money until now? Pitfalls, success stories, etc. I’ve made some mistakes, the biggest of which is undervaluing myself and my work. It’s hard        …read more

8 Sports and Art Therapy Organizations You Should Know

art therapy

These 8 organizations use sports and art therapy to help people facing challenges like homelessness, autism and PTSD. Sports therapy or art therapy may not be something you’d immediately consider pursuing when help is needed, but maybe you should. The American Art Therapy Association finds art therapy can help people “explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” The benefits of art therapy are seemingly endless. Here’s a look at some programs making a difference in people’s lives today through sports and art therapy. Combatting Homelessness In January 2015 564,708 people in the United States were experiencing homelessness, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. With art therapy, people affected by homelessness can find an outlet to express themselves and create the possibility for a better future. 1. Art With a Mission In Los Angeles, California, Art        …read more