Dive into the Creepy-Fantastical World of Karen Jerzyk

Karen Jerzyk

They might look like dreamscapes from the love child of Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam, but the photography of Karen Jerzyk is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The childhood of Karen Jerzyk practically reads like a script of a film she adored as a kid, where outcast children find their true calling. When she was young, Jerzyk barely owned Barbie dolls, but the few she had went under the knife, “because I ended up cutting off their hair or burning them.” At nine, she and her friends explored dark wooded areas near her hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire, where she still lives today. They found an abandoned shack, thick dust coating antique furniture. “It was like I was stepping back in time,” she recalls. “I loved it.” She wasn’t into cartoons, but instead watched Unsolved Mysteries on TV, and her favorite films were Labyrinth, The Goonies and Edward Scissorhands. She        …read more

Paranormal Investigators Reveal Their Most Effective Tools

paranormal investigators

We asked paranormal investigators about their most trusted tools. “Paranormal investigator” has got to be one of the coolest LinkedIn headlines you’ll find. But amazing job title and winning conversation starter aside, I’ve often wondered what exactly a typical day on the job entails. In particular, what sorts of tools do paranormal investigators use and how do these devices work? I spoke to two experts: Debi Chestnut, paranormal investigator and author of the new book Haunted Anchor Bay, and Dan Sturges, a New York City–based paranormal field investigator and researcher. With the rapid advances in science and technology, one might assume paranormal investigators have their ears to the ground for any and all new developments. But both Chestnut and Sturges say the old-school tools are the most effective. In fact, Sturges says he actively avoids anything specifically designed for ghost hunting. “We can’t even prove the existence of ghosts or        …read more

7 Strange Services and Items You Can Get Online

strange services

Have you searched for any of these strange services or items? Think you know what you can buy, rent or barter online? Think again. Here are seven strange services and items you may not have Googled before. 1. Invisible Boyfriend Looking for a handsome beau to tell your friends about? Look no further. Invisible Boyfriend, a popular new online service, invents a boyfriend just for you so that you can make your girlfriends (or boyfriends) jealous and pacify your pestering family and friends. After signing up for the service, you can design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your particular specifications. Want a short guy with blond hair? A tall guy with green eyes? No problem. The app allows you to even specify his personality traits and age. And if that’s not enough, once you pay the $25 charge, your newly designed beau begins texting you. Who’s actually texting you, you        …read more

‘Release the Hounds’ Is Stupid Fun

Reality TV combines ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ with ‘The Running Man’ — with dogs. Contestants who have no idea what they’re in for are brought to a shadowy patch of woods. There, they’re instructed to find keys to unlock chests that contain money — and then leg it from a bunch of dogs. If they get caught, they don’t get to keep the money. Release the Hounds sounds like something 30 Rock’s version of NBC would’ve run. But it manages to be infinitely watchable despite the dubious concept. Release the Hounds — which I can only assume gets its title from the oft-repeated Mr. Burns line from The Simpsons — speaks to the same portion of the brain that makes us unconsciously rocket to our feet for a better view when a college hockey game explodes into fisticuffs while the puck glides away completely ignored. Or what likely drove the        …read more

Speak of the Devil: Movies and Shows Starring Satan

Lucifer has made his mark on film history. Here are 6 standout devil movies and shows from the last century. Old Scratch. Beelzebub. Lucifer. Whatever your preferred name for Big Red, for almost as long as there have been motion pictures, the devil has appeared in one form or another. Sometimes in the most unexpected forms. Paradise Lost is set to be adapted to the small screen by Martin Freeman (Watson in Sherlock). So we thought it might be time to go back over several iconic devil movies and shows from motion picture history. Here are the six best portrayals of the prince of darkness. 6. Reaper (2007-2009) Twin Peaks fans might know actor Ray Wise best as Laura Palmer’s father, Leland — who, in that character’s own right, displayed some dastardly and demonic behavior. But long before Wise would reprise his Twin Peaks role, he appeared as the devil        …read more

The Female Ghost in Asian Horror Films

Asian horror films

The ghost girl thrives in Asian horror films. The horror genre currently dominates the box office, with the remake of the ’90s classic It and Annabelle: Creation, the fourth installment in The Conjuring series. Yet sometimes you need more than a scary clown or a demonized doll to give you a visceral thrill. Asian horror films gave us the most successful antagonist in modern horror: the dead, longhaired wet girl looking for revenge. What’s the appeal of the female ghost in horror? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JruLV_Wjkp4 Japanese horror films became a global phenomenon after the release of Hideo Nakata’s Ringu, based on a novel by Koji Suzuki, which was released in 1998 and had a very successful American remake (The Ring) four years later. The original movie and the remake are petrifying, and both installments have their own charm. The story line is lightly based on the 18th-century Japanese ghost story Bancho Sarayashiki.        …read more

Gargoyles, Our Stone-Cold City Protectors


Lions, dragons and beasts, oh my! Gargoyles inspire as much fascination today as they did in their medieval beginnings. They leer and stare from above, coming to life when it rains, vomiting, spitting and even defecating on unsuspecting passersby below. Since their beginnings on French medieval cathedrals, gargoyles first captured a place in our collective imagination as embodiments of evil, chaos and superstition. Over time, however, gargoyles changed from primarily fear-inducing creatures to include more playful, whimsical, ironic, mischievous and humorous elements. Gargoyles debuted on Gothic cathedrals in France in the 12th century and proliferated in the 13th century and beyond. Though there were precedents for sculpted waterspouts in the animal-shaped faces of ancient Etruscan and Greek fountainheads, it was the soaring architecture of the Gothic cathedrals and the gargoyles’ projection from the walls and buttresses, combined with their fearsome expressions, that intensified their terrifying appearance. As sculpted drainpipes, gargoyles        …read more

Say It Loud to the Abusers: You Have No Power Here!

sexual harassment

As a white man in the restaurant and entertainment industries, I too have experienced sexual harassment. Compared to what women face every day, it’s like a drop of rain in a hurricane. #Me2.0 As a male I can’t imagine what it is like to be a female in this world. I can put on a dress, put on some fake lady parts, makeup, a sweet wig, killer lashes and get a fabulous mani/pedi — all of which sounds like a great way to kick off a spectacular weekend — but I can never put on the experience of birth-to-now as a female. And as a white male I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a non-white person of any gender in this world. Nothing could ever give me that birth-to-now experience necessary to fully understand what life as a non-white male is truly like. So what can I speak        …read more

Sex & the Spotlight: Harvey Weinstein Is Nothing New in Hollywood

Harvey Weinstein

Hollywood has always been built on power and vulnerability, and abusers like Harvey Weinstein have been a mainstay since the days of Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. At the time of this writing, Harvey Weinstein has been accused by 40 women of sexual misconduct over the course of his career as a producer and distributor of films. While applauded by the industry for his “cultural impact,” few saw it fit to speak up about the decades of abuse, assault and rape that had been going on in their ranks. Yet when news broke of Harvey Weinstein forcefully performing oral sex on one actress and masturbating into a plant while cornering an unsuspecting news anchor, no one seemed the least bit surprised — apart from Harvey’s closest friends. And why is that? Why didn’t anyone speak up sooner? Because this is who Hollywood is, and has been, since the very beginning. Think:        …read more

Remembering a Legend on Tom Petty’s Birthday

Tom Petty’s birthday

On Tom Petty’s birthday, October 20, we remember 6 reasons why we loved the man and his music. I’ve been listening to Tom Petty since the womb. My mom is undoubtedly his biggest fan. She calls him, simply, “Thomas” and always has. My first concert? Tom Petty. The first time music brought me to tears? Tom Petty. My first crush? The girl from Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” video. That “good girl” who loves her mama, Jesus, America, Elvis, horses and her boyfriend too. I’ve been obsessed with Tom Petty my whole life. I’ve learned most of his songs on guitar. I’ve seen Runnin’ Down a Dream, Peter Bogdanovich’s excellent documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and savored every word of Paul Zollo’s Conversations With Tom Petty and Petty: The Biography by Warren Zanes — all of which I highly recommend. So when news hit on October 2, 2017, that        …read more

How Hiring a Qualified Person with a Disability Serves Everyone

October is National Disability Employment Month (NDEAM). Here’s what everyone should know about the value differently abled people bring to the workplace. I recently returned to the field of education after an eight-year stay-at-home-mom hiatus. In addition to the typical reentry jitters and pondering over whether my favorite coral blazer is still in style, some more significant questions surfaced as I signed my contract: How will I travel to trainings and meetings after the closest bus routes to my house were just cut? What if one of my students or parents is allergic to my guide dog? And how many sessions with my accessibility specialist will it take for me to confidently use all the technology required to do my job? As a person who is legally blind, these are legitimate questions to ask, but they’re also relatively straightforward to solve, especially when compared to the invisible barriers people with        …read more

Demons, Succubi & Ghosts: Avoid These Supernatural Visitors This Halloween


A guide to evil supernatural beings and some (bizarre) tips for guarding yourself from them. Some call it Samhain, others All Hallow’s Eve. You may know it as Halloween, and it’s one of my favorite times of the year (and not just because my birthday is on The Day of the Dead). But whatever you call it, October 31 is believed by some to be a sacred day when the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest. Witches and mediums claim this is the perfect night for communicating with lost loved ones and interacting with the spirits of the other world. It’s also believed to be an evening where ghosts and demons reach the heights of their supernatural powers. So, for the sake of some Halloween fun, let’s see what those powers are and how you can protect yourself should        …read more

Super or Shady: A Closer Look at 6 So-Called Superfoods

superfoods, healthy eating

While healthy eating is key, what’s the cost? We looked at 6 popular superfoods and their impact on health and the environment. Someday in the future, instead of the 99th Marvel remake of Spider-Man, Quinoa Kid will have swept the nation, wowing critics and inspiring a generation of kids and superfood comic book fanatics alike. Its message will be clear: think outside the bubble of our everyday drudgery, imagine different possible diets, throw out fast food and defend their communities against threats to healthy eating, mindfulness and exercise. The Awesome Avocado Woman will follow in its footsteps, paving the way for a host of superfood franchises, complete with LEGO sets, lunch boxes and Lululemon collaborative prints. It will be glorious. Gone will be the days of patriarchal, jingoistic, external-underwear-wearing vigilantes. In will roll an era of winged wheatgrass heroes and kale-caped creatures, the evil clowns and corrupt colonels banished to        …read more

The Beautiful Restorative Art of Mastectomy Tattoos

mastectomy tattoos

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s how artists are using ink to heal souls with mastectomy tattoos. Have you ever stood in the cosmetics aisle staring at the rows upon rows of bottles, jars, compacts and powders with names like “buff beige” and “sienna,” wondering whether you’re more of an olive or if the light in here is just weird? This was going to be the time you remembered to write down the number on the last bottle you bought and used even though it was off by a shade, so that you would remember to buy the one just a step darker / lighter / warmer / cooler. But you forgot again, and now you’re wondering what color you even are. Now ask yourself: what color are my areolas? Yes, seriously. Like foundation, temporary areola tattoos are sold in shades from peachy “cream” to a deep-brown “mahogany.” Actually,        …read more

Human Experimentation: Medical Research Gone Disturbingly Wrong

human experimentation

Did you know about these 6 horrible cases of human experimentation that actually happened? Throughout history doctors largely have been viewed as trustworthy healers and caregivers of the sick. And while historically, most scientists and physicians have observed the moral and ethical lines dictated by their profession, a few, unfortunately (no doubt in an attempt to gain notoriety or scientific insight), have resorted to inhumane, barbaric methods — namely, human experimentation. Here are just a few cases of human experimentation that may surprise you. 1. San Quentin Prison Eugenics Experiments From 1913 to 1951 Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at San Quentin, used prisoners as test subjects to conduct a variety of bizarre medical experiments related to sterilization. Convinced that inferior genes played a vital role in criminal behavior, Stanley became obsessed with what he perceived to be the decline of white male vigor and its connection to the gradual        …read more

The Sacred Art of Maori Tattoos

Maori tattoos

Maori tattoos connect the indigenous people of New Zealand to their sacred heritage and attract the world to their ancient artistic expression. Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand, exhibit a sacred Polynesian form of body art known as tā moko, commonly referred to as Maori tattoos. Because Maori perceive the head as the most sacred part of the body, the facial tattoo is the most common. Arch shapes and coil-like patterns cover the whole face as “a form of identification, rank, genealogy, tribal history, eligibility to marry, and marks of beauty or ferocity and much more,” according to Tahaa: Ta Moko Studio and Maori Arts Gallery. Most Maori tattoos are made up of repeating patterns and symbols, commonly used as background decoration. Superficially, these patterns seem to be merely geometric designs, but most have a specific meaning. While tā moko most recognizably appear on the face, other parts of the        …read more

Madeline Stuart Rocks Down Syndrome Awareness, Launches Fashion Line

Madeline Stuart continues to storm the runway with a smile, inspiring diversity and Down syndrome awareness in the fashion world. When Australia-based model Madeline Stuart walks down the runway at New York Fashion Week, she doesn’t don a serious expression with a tailored walk. Instead, she celebrates. As she makes her way back up the runway, she holds out a hand for high fives. As a model and designer, Madeline Stuart promotes Down syndrome awareness by doing something she loves. How the Journey Started In 2015, Madeline Stuart recognized that Down syndrome predisposed her to a slower metabolism, which caused her to gain weight. She turned this fact on its head with her famous May 12 Facebook post, which announced her choice to live a healthy lifestyle and documented her physical transformation over an 18-month period. Her mother created social media profiles on multiple platforms and posted her before-and-after pictures,        …read more

The Walking Dead Comic vs. the Show: Similarities & Differences

the Walking Dead comic

AMC uses the framework of The Walking Dead comic but creates their own zombie world. The toe-curling tension of the postapocalyptic zombie world in AMC’s The Walking Dead has locked in fans and casual viewers ever since the show aired its first episode in 2010. The gory show is based on The Walking Dead comic books created by Robert Kirkman with illustrations from Charlie Adlard. The ongoing comic book series is now in its 14th year and has 170 issues, while the show has seven seasons and a moderately successful spinoff show. Both mediums enjoyed unprecedented commercial success and are now firmly established in pop culture. In light of the season eight premiere, let’s analyze the show and look at some noticeable differences from the comic books. SPOILERS AHEAD! As with all book-to-TV adaptations, the story lines of the comic books and the show overlap. However, there are both minor        …read more

Storm Chasers: A Close-Up View of the High-Stakes Job

storm chasers

We talked with pro storm chasers about one of the most exhilarating and dangerous jobs in the world. Storm chasers. They don’t curl up on the couch and wait for a storm to pass or head for the basement when a twister’s coming; they jump up and get outside, excited to witness what Mother Nature has cooked up. Storm chasing isn’t a modern-day phenomenon. In 1755 Benjamin Franklin chased a tornado on horseback, according to the American Meteorological Society. Storm chasers may seek out hurricanes, lightning and hail, but the main objective appears to be witnessing tornadoes. They can happen anywhere if the conditions are right, but living in or near Tornado Alley, which encompasses eastern South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas and eastern Colorado, is ideal to catch supercell thunderstorms, which often produce violent (EF-2 or greater) tornadoes. Even with the destructive nature of severe weather storms, they’re        …read more

Stephen King Adaptations: The Best and the Worst

Stephen King movies

This year brings more Stephen King movies and shows than ever before. Which adaptations have been the all-time best and worst? Would you believe me if I told you there have been more adaptations of Stephen King’s stories and novels than King books themselves? It’s true. By the end of 2017, King’s book count — novels, short story collections and nonfiction — will stand at 71. The number of King adaptations — feature films, TV series, miniseries, made-for-TV movies — will reach 93, and two more are currently scheduled to add to that total next year. Adaptations of the iconic novelist’s work have been a part of our culture for almost as long as his books. Carrie, King’s debut novel, was made into a film just two years after its 1974 release. Ever since, Stephen King movies and shows have rolled out almost every year, and quite often more than        …read more

What ‘Mr. Robot’ Gets Right about Cybersecurity and Hacking Attacks

With Rami Malek, Christian Slater and the cast back for season three of ‘Mr. Robot,’ we spoke to cybersecurity specialists about what makes this show so impressively realistic in its portrayal of hacking culture. It’s sadly too easy to rattle off the many ways Hollywood has watered down cybersecurity and hacking scenes in films and shows over the past two decades: Swordfish, Live Free and Die Hard, CSI: Cyber, The Net… I could go on and on. But it’s been difficult to name films or shows that accurately depicted cybersecurity threats, the defense against those attacks and the programming languages used by the pros…until Mr. Robot came along in 2015. The series follows Elliot (Rami Malek), a hacker and programmer whose gang of fellow counterculture misfits aim to attack the online defenses of E Corp, a massive conglomerate resembling Google or Microsoft. Rami and his hacking crew, fsociety, aim to        …read more

How to Come Out for National Coming Out Day? It’s Complicated

National Coming Out Day is October 11. For many LGBTQIA people, the issue of coming out is both loaded and complex. But on one day in October, we often attempt to make it more straight(pun intended)-forward. I’m referring, of course, to National Coming Out Day, which occurs on (or near) October 11 each year. Armed with the truth that closets can be extremely harmful and painful, National Coming Out Day (or NCOD) encourages us to live our lives out in the open. What if we all came out, each year, on the same day? It’s a beautiful idea, but the way that queer folks interact with the day, and the very concept of coming out in the first place, is of course more complicated than the surface veneer would make it seem. Please note that in this piece I use the acronym “LGBTQIA” rather than “LGBT” whenever I’m not directly        …read more

Deckard Is Back…And Other Reasons We’re Stoked for ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Blade Runner 2

'Blade Runner 2049,' starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, hits theaters 35 years after the original. Fall 2017 will go down in history as the season that brought us Blade Runner 2049. Thirty-five years since its release, the original movie has finally been granted a sequel. The first Blade Runner is hailed by sci-fi buffs and movie critics alike as undoubtedly one of the most seminal science fiction films produced in the 20th century. “Look at Dark City, Total Recall, Brazil, 12 Monkeys or Gattaca and you will see its progeny,” the late Roger Ebert noted in his review of the director’s cut. Written, directed and edited by British action-epic virtuoso Ridley Scott, the 1982 cult classic is famous for its immersive and detailed environments. Though Scott took on the role of producer for Blade Runner 2, allowing Denis Villeneuve to take over as director, the trailers suggest his signature        …read more

Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism: What Are Meltdowns?

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month. Is understanding SPD the key to helping someone experiencing a meltdown or shutdown? Whether it’s due to increased awareness of sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorders, I can’t say, but there’s no denying that the words “meltdown” and “shutdown” have been absorbed into our modern vernacular. But what do they really mean? We use “meltdown” colloquially to describe someone in a bit of a bad mood, but this belies the true meaning and experience of a meltdown. “Shutdown” is often used when we feel ignored or if someone hasn’t responded to us, but it, too, belies the actuality of the experience. So what are meltdowns and shutdowns? In simple terms, they are two sides of the same coin. According to Alis Rowe, author of Asperger’s Syndrome: Meltdowns and Shutdowns, they are an involuntary physiological reaction to “overload.” This can be from too        …read more

Are ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Black Mirror’ Really So Similar?

Twilight Zone, Black Mirror

‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Black Mirror’ are frequently compared, but here are three fundamental differences. If you’re just catching on to the series Black Mirror, you’re not alone. Though it first aired on British television at the end of 2011, its acquisition by Netflix in 2016 brought it to a whole new audience. The original press release for the series called it “a hybrid of The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected which taps into our contemporary unease about our modern world.” This particular bit of marketing of the techno-drama series, which mainly plays on insecurities about the digital world, seems to have been particularly effective. A whole lot of articles have declared Black Mirror the heir to The Twilight Zone. That’s a difficult standard for any show to live up to, but Black Mirror does admirably well. Both shows are quite largely concerned with future worlds and the morality        …read more

7 Little-Known Mental Disorders

mental disorders

These 7 lesser-known mental disorders affect more people than you may realize. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental disorder each year. While the most common mental disorders include anxiety and occasional bouts of depression, many individuals face lesser-known challenges, including the following seven conditions. 1. Trichotillomania Trichotillomania is a disorder that causes an irresistible urge to pull out one’s hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. There is some evidence that the disorder may be genetic, that hair-pulling episodes may be triggered by anxiety, and that it often occurs more frequently in people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. In rare cases, people with trichotillomania eat the hair, which often results in the development of hairballs in the intestinal tract. One such hairball is on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, DC. The hairball, removed        …read more

Artists Transforming Weapons into Powerful Messages of Nonviolence


In honor of Gandhi’s birthday and International Day of Nonviolence, check out these incredible works of art promoting peace around the world. On October 2, the birthday of nonviolence philosophy activist Mahatma Gandhi, the United Nations commemorates International Day of Nonviolence. It is meant to reaffirm the universal desire for a nonviolent existence and a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding. The nonviolence philosophy started by Gandhi is continuously present in the art world, as artists of various backgrounds and disciplines create works promoting pacifism and peace. For International Day of Nonviolence, here’s a look at seven artists who use the weapons of war and conflict to create impactful art, thus transforming their associated narrative. 1. Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s ‘Nonviolence’ Sculpture In 1980, singer, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City home. To honor Lennon and his vision of a peaceful world,        …read more

‘Blade Runner’ Is Still Stunning 35 Years Later

Blade Runner film

The original Blade Runner film changed moviemaking and culture forever. Philip K. Dick was one of the world’s most “unacknowledged science fiction writers of our time,” Brian Aldiss says in the documentary On the Edge of ‘Blade Runner.’ Dick wrote against the grain of modern science fiction. In a time of space-trekking heroes conquering unknown worlds and saving alien damsels in distress, Dick was writing about the human condition and experiences of the mind. One of Dick’s essential works was a novel titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In 1982 screenwriter Hampton Fancher adapted the novel into a motion picture screenplay: Blade Runner. Ridley Scott helmed the sci-fi film masterpiece as director, and the stunning imagery and haunting soundtrack meshed seamlessly with the novelist’s exploration of what it means to be human. Though distinct from the novel, the movie still reflects the story’s main points. It deals with a        …read more

6 Creators Combating Domestic Violence with Art

domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to speak out against violence and support victims. These 6 artists are boosting the signal. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 35% of women worldwide have been physically and/or sexually assaulted in their lifetime; 30% of women have experienced violence by an intimate partner. Domestic violence doesn’t just affect women, though. One in four men in the United States have been physically abused, with one in seven experiencing severe abuse, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic violence should be eradicated, but it continues to occur in every country around the world. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to speak out against this societal problem and show support for victims, and a great device for doing so is art. Here are six artists raising awareness of domestic violence and working to combat it with creative endeavors. 1. “Promise”        …read more

Forest Bathing: The New Meditation Trend

forest bathing

Any person at any age and any fitness level can participate in forest bathing, which helps the mind and body. Every Friday afternoon, rain, snow or shine, Nicole Sumida and her two eight-year-old daughters step out of their busy Illinois suburb and disappear into the forest on the outskirts of town to do their form of forest bathing. There they look at the deer, rest on logs and touch trees. After about three hours, the therapist and her daughters emerge, refreshed and ready for the weekend. “It’s their downtime when they can be away from people, be with the trees and just be,” Sumida says. “It’s our decompression time.” Sumida is part of a growing national movement practicing forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku (meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere). The Japanese practice was developed in the 1980s, and it’s essentially a deliberate walk through the forest to engage with nature using        …read more

Examining Cerebral Palsy on TV: An Evolution

cerebral palsy

RJ Mitte, Keah Brown, Maysoon Zayid and Micah Fowler share thoughts on how cerebral palsy is represented on TV, from ‘The Facts of Life’ to ‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Speechless’ and beyond. Happy World CP Day! WCPD, celebrated every October 6, advocates for the 17 million people worldwide who have cerebral palsy. As part of its awareness campaign, World CP Day focuses on six key areas people have said are their biggest barriers: quality of life, medical access, civil rights, public awareness, education and contribution. At the same time, society is influenced by more than bureaucracy and political decisions. It’s also influenced by culture: stories, images and art in all its forms. To celebrate those of us living with cerebral palsy, I’m taking a look at one of western society’s favorite pastimes — watching television — and examining how the depictions of CP have evolved. As far as I can tell, there        …read more

Watch Rick and Morty for Jokes, Stay for Jabs at Pop Culture

watch Rick and Morty season

If you watch Rick and Morty with an ear toward its commentary on media and Hollywood, you’ll get a deeper appreciation for this Adult Swim megahit series. Remember those glory days of pre-season nine Simpsons, the first few years of Family Guy, the weirdness of Ren & Stimpy? Mix all that in a bowl and add a hefty cup of satirical smarts, a layer of sci-fi creativity and enough movie references to keep IMDb buzzing every Friday night. That's what it’s like to watch Rick and Morty, one of the most engaging and best-written animated series to grace our tubes or YouTubes. How many shows can include in one episode a gun-toting pickle, bloody scenes of rats getting decimated by said pickle and an endearingly humane monologue unlike anything broadcast in the cartoon world? I’m citing Rick and Morty’s season 3 episode “Pickle Rickle,” but I could be dropping knowledge on any        …read more

With George RR Martin’s Help, Artists Open Immersive Fantasy Realm

George RR Martin, Meow Wolf, House of Eternal Return

How art collective Meow Wolf convinced George RR Martin to invest $3 million and create a real-life fantasy/sci-fi world — and how it’s paid off. Imagine walking up to a beautiful, eccentrically styled home. You’re not sure what to expect, but you’ve heard odd things are going on at this house — and it’s up to you to investigate. To your right is a brown wooden staircase with numerous family portraits carefully lining its ascent to the second floor. Looking at the portraits of the Seligs — the family that allegedly resides in this home — you see parents, a boy, a girl and some curious-looking relatives. At first glance, they seem like a pretty regular American family. But there’s something odd, and you know it. A strange booming sound is coming from unseen interior areas of this house. In fact, multiple odd noises are coming from different parts of        …read more

2 Decades of Breaking All the Rules: Grand Theft Auto Turns 20

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto, one of the most successful and controversial video game franchises ever, hits 20-year mark. Even though video games are the most popular form of entertainment in the world, there’s perhaps only a handful of video game franchises that have become household names. Super Mario Bros., Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, perhaps Sonic the Hedgehog — and the outlier of the bunch — Grand Theft Auto. Whether you know Grand Theft Auto — commonly known as GTA — as one of the most critically acclaimed series of all time, or merely as the ultraviolent, anything-goes simulator that has spent much of its existence engulfed in controversy, you’ve heard of it. Like the more wholesome games listed above, Grand Theft Auto has had a profound effect on entertainment and culture. This October Grand Theft Auto turns 20. Let’s take a look back at how and why the franchise everyone seems to        …read more

Law & Order: SVU Is More Relevant Than Ever


Season 19 of Law & Order: SVU premieres this September, and the series is timelier than ever. I can’t remember a time when Law & Order: Special Victims Unit wasn’t on the air, but I was still a little taken aback when I saw the headline that SVU had been renewed for season 19, which will premiere on September 27. It wasn’t the renewal that surprised me — it was the fact that a show about sex crimes is one of the longest-running TV dramas of all time. Most dramas jump the shark by season six or so, and I’ll admit that when Christopher Meloni announced he wouldn’t return for season 13, I assumed SVU’s days were numbered. I couldn’t have been more wrong — the show’s quality didn’t wane, and over the past few years SVU has become increasingly important. In 2017 it’s more relevant than ever. But why do viewers        …read more