Your Kids Might Not Cry Watching ‘Paddington 2’ but You Will

Paddington 2

‘Paddington 2’ has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its message is even more important for adults than it is for kids. Paddington 2, which comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 24, has 100% fresh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I walked into the theater to see Paddington 2 in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, expecting to laugh along with the few other people who cleared their schedules to watch a movie about a talking bear in London. I laughed plenty, as writer-director Paul King and his team have mastered the understated comedy used in the first movie. But as the film’s final shot ended and the credits began to roll, I was overcome with emotion by its moral message, even if it is supposed to be simple enough for children to grasp. Paddington Brown — the adopted bear originally from “darkest Peru” — is selfless, even when he’s introduced        …read more

The Making of ‘Labyrinth’: 5 Things You Didn’t Know


In honor of ‘Labyrinth’ briefly returning to theaters this spring, impress your friends with trivia from the filming of the cult classic. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, a fantasy film that both touches the heart and tickles the funny bone, returns to cinemas April 29, May 1 and May 2, 2018, for a limited engagement. (It’s also being adapted for the stage!) This classic film, which premiered June 27, 1986, broke new ground with its cinematic achievements in special effects (first CGI character), puppetry (largest puppet ever created) and animatronics (most realistic facial control). Jim Henson created a world full of unforgettable characters — finger-biting fairies, talking door knockers, and a narcoleptic old man with a cantankerous talking hat that is also a bird. And those are just some of the minor characters. Considered a failure upon its original release, Labyrinth has proven itself a cult classic and true cinematic treasure. Not        …read more

5 Family-Friendly Shows Adults Can Actually Enjoy

family-friendly shows

‘Monitoring’ what the kids watch? Here are 5 family-friendly shows you’ll like as much as (or more than) they do. Recently, after interpreting my viewing habits, Netflix “helpfully” suggested that I could make a Kid account. I don’t have kids. And stop judging me, Netflix! I enjoy watching animated television, and as more of my friends are having kids, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about family-friendly shows aimed at children. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have lots of entertainment geared toward kids. And with Disney working toward its own streaming service, there will be more and more. In that vast amount of content, not much can truly entertain the family as a whole. But here are five noteworthy family-friendly shows that are actually fun for kids and adults alike. 1. Trollhunters For most people, just seeing the name Guillermo del Toro means you’re in for an enjoyable        …read more

Should Science Edit out Genetic Disorders?

genetic disorders

Is a new scientific breakthrough in the treatment of genetic disorders tantamount to eugenics? Some people claim it is. Scientists have successfully modified the DNA of a human embryo to erase a genetic and lethal heart condition. The experiment, published August 2 in the journal Nature, used a tool known as CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, and was the first to successfully “correct” a gene mutation in human embryos. Reactions to this news range from excitement to horror. Soon we could have the technology to help parents who carry genes for genetic disorders to conceive children free of those traits. But should we? Some of the strongest opposition to CRISPR has come from people with genetic disorders themselves. Far from hoping for a path to prevent their children from inheriting pathogenic genes, some people with genetic conditions fear science may soon “wipe out” people like them. They        …read more

5 Weird Wedding Traditions around the World

wedding traditions

If you’re thinking of getting married, you may want to consider incorporating some of these wedding traditions in your festivities. Though weddings are a universal celebration performed around the world, many of the rituals surrounding the practice vary greatly depending on the country and its culture. Listed below are five peculiar wedding traditions from around the world. 1. Kidnapping the Bride (Romania) In Bucharest, a tradition called “bride kidnapping” dates back to antiquity, to a time when most marriages were arranged. According to legend, the tradition began when Romans, wanting to populate the city, began inviting members of the Sabine tribe (famous for its beautiful women) to large celebrations for the sole purpose of snatching their wives, sisters and daughters. While today the ritual has taken on a frightening form in some countries, the tradition in Bucharest is a more lighthearted affair, often involving a party in which brides are        …read more

Tony’s Chocolonely: The Heir to Willy Wonka’s Dream?

Tony’s Chocolonely

Meet the slave-free chocolatier putting joy back into chocolate. “We want to do things differently, and show that it can be done differently.” This is the driving force behind Tony’s Chocolonely, as well as our dear Willy Wonka, a magician and chocolatier first created by “the world’s number one storyteller,” Roald Dahl. Of course, Mr. Dahl never made a bar of chocolate in his life. As a child he was an eager tester of confections brought to his school by Cadbury, and as an adult he would eat a bar of chocolate every day with his sandwich during lunch. He knew, and taught his young readers, that chocolate could not be made without cacao beans, that Wonka’s factory needed billions every week, and that the Oompa Loompas themselves were absolutely wild about them. Dahl also, indirectly, inspired us to question exactly how chocolate was made. If not by Oompa Loompas,        …read more

‘The Punisher’: Is It the Wrong Time for a Hero Who Kills?

The Punisher series

Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ series reboots a vigilante story that began in an eerily similar moment in history four decades ago. When Netflix released The Punisher series, people said it was a bad time to do so, with all the shootings that plague us as a nation. The Punisher’s New York Comic-Con panel was canceled after the shooting in Las Vegas last October. As of this writing, there has been an average of one school shooting per week this year. However, with the cyclical nature of history, a little reflection shows that now is the perfect time to bring back Marvel’s The Punisher series. It’s not an encouragement of violence — it’s a reaction to it. When The Punisher was created in 1974, we were not only a country in turmoil — we were also feeling an identity crisis, eyeing the differences between who we were and who we’d thought we were.        …read more

6 Unusual Relaxation Methods to Help You Find Your Chill

relaxation method

We all know meditation is great for us, but here are six lesser-known relaxation methods. From screaming into pillows to being set on fire, people have found some pretty weird techniques. It’s long been said that meditation is one of the best relaxation methods you can use to reduce your stress, and recent scientific studies show how it can change your brain and how it works. But sitting still, deep breathing and related exercises like yoga and tai chi aren’t the only ways you can relax. Ever think about getting a human stem cell facial? Setting yourself on fire for calming effects? Here are six ways people unwind. Maybe you’ll find your technique of choice among these unusual relaxation methods. 1. Screaming into Pillows I used to have a psychiatrist who insisted, despite the fact that I lived with several roommates in a tiny NYC apartment, that I try screaming into        …read more

Artist’s Hyperrealistic Repaints Turn Celebrities into Lifelike Dolls

lifelike dolls

With a little paint and a lot of love, Instagram’s @Cyguy83 designs incredibly lifelike dolls. Cyrus Bronock’s day starts just like anyone’s might: He rises early, brews some coffee, gets dressed, gives his still-sleeping husband a quick kiss on the forehead — Kamden is a college professor — and then it’s off to work. But here’s where his day diverges from the average nine-to-fiver’s. Bronock, known to his fans as Cyguy83, is a repaint artist who specializes in lifelike dolls. Specifically, he takes prefab 11.5-inch fashion and character dolls, strips off their assembly-line paint, then lovingly re-creates them into astonishingly accurate one-of-a-kind representations of celebrity actors and musicians in some of their most iconic incarnations. Bronock starts work in his second-floor studio just as the sun is coming up. “I wake up super early because I’m usually excited about the doll I’m creating at the moment,” he told Crixeo. The        …read more

Songs for 4/20: Put This Playlist in Your Pipe and Smoke It


Get 50 shades of green with this 420 playlist. Marijuana transcends genre. And pot smoke crosses (and blurs) other lines too, like gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, education level and political affiliation. With recreational cannabis use legal in nine states, medical use legal in 29, and 64% of Americans supporting legalization, 420 just might be the thing that finally unites us, turning blue and red states green. But what does 420 mean? Its hazy origins can be traced to a group of high school students in San Rafael in 1971, but these days both 4:20 p.m. (or a.m. if you’re so inclined) and the date 4/20 hold a generalized significance in stoner culture. 4:20 is a perfect time to light up, and April 20 is as good a day as any other to act as the unofficial holiday to celebrate marijuana. Cannabis is favored by a wide variety of        …read more

Garlic Is More Than the Best Food Ever — It’s the Stuff of Legends


Myths and legends for National Garlic Day. National Garlic Day is April 19, and you might wonder why you’re not getting the day off from work to honor what Merriam-Webster calls “a European allium (Allium sativum) widely cultivated for its pungent compound bulbs much used in cookery.” Allium is “any of a large genus (Allium) of bulbous herbs of the lily family including the onion, garlic, chive, leek, and shallot.” If you didn’t know garlic is a member of the lily family, congratulations! You can now impress friends and family at your Garlic Eve party. If you’re wondering why this pungent compound bulb warrants its own day, it’s because garlic has played a central role in human civilization almost since the beginning. Native to central Asia, garlic grows wild in Italy and southern France and has long held a highly esteemed role in the development of human health care, not        …read more

‘My Favorite Murder’ Makes Murder Great Again…Kind Of

My Favorite Murder

How two California girls are bringing sexy [murders] back with their popular comedy podcast ‘My Favorite Murder.’ Plus: 4 tips to not get murdered! What’s your favorite murder? Is that a weird question? Are you freaked out? I can explain. Let’s back up a little bit. Rewind to early 2016, when friends Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark gave us the gift we never knew we needed: a true-crime podcast focused on murder…that’s categorized as a comedy. They weren’t the first duo to venture into true-crime podcasting, but their charm and (usually inappropriate) humor have earned them worldwide recognition in a short two years’ time. Fast-forward to present day, and the duo have a website, badass fan art, and live-show tour. You may be wondering, “What kind of people start a true-crime podcast and have the audacity to label it comedy?” Well, let’s meet the California natives. Introducing Karen and Georgia        …read more

Get ‘Lost in Space’ with Netflix’s Reboot of the 50-Year-Old Classic

Lost in Space

The series about a family in space was popular for decades, but how will a modern audience respond to the ‘Lost in Space’ reboot? On April 13 Netflix will release its Lost in Space reboot. First airing on CBS in 1965, the series (unlike its contemporary Star Trek) began as a hit whose popularity grew through syndication. And while not as beloved today, it remained hugely successful over multiple decades. But with the tremendous failure of the Lost in Space motion picture in 1998, and John Woo’s 2003 reimagination not going to series, it seemed to be merely a product of its time. Netflix has a pretty good track record in reboots and has recently earned sci-fi cred — but will audiences look at this reboot more favorably than they did previous attempts? It’s fair to say the political climate now is not unlike that of the mid-to-late ’60s. The original plot        …read more

It’s Not Just Millennials: Why We Love (And Love to Hate) Pink

color connotations

It’s the color that divides us, but why? Growing up, I told anyone who would listen that my favorite color was green. It wasn’t untrue. I’ve always been obsessed with color, and the color green appealed to me on a fundamental level because there was so much of it outside. But claiming green was also about something else: the color connotations of pink were too much for me. As a little girl growing up in the ’90s, surrounded by Barbies and My Little Ponies, it was important to me to reject the color pink. By asserting that I didn’t care for pink, even at the age of seven, I tried to tell the world I was not that sort of girl. In a perfect example of internalized misogyny, I understand pink to be the color of “girly girls,” of Barbie Dream Houses, of blush and lipstick and weakness. I couldn’t        …read more

5 Obscure Religions Practiced Today

world religions

Beyond the world religions you’ve heard of, here are some lesser-known belief systems that might surprise you. While more than half of the human population follows one of three world religions — Christianity, Islam or Hinduism — there are thousands of religions in practice today. World religions like Buddhism, Judaism and Chinese folk religion are well-known and account for a significant portion of the population. But what about some of the lesser-known religions? What are they all about? Take a look at five obscure religions currently in practice. 1. Servants of the Light Founded in 1965 by W. E. Butler, a British occultist, Servants of the Light is part of a long line of organizations and groups that believe in the teachings of mystical Qabalah (very similar to Kabbalah, which Madonna has been known to practice). Basically, Servants of the Light espouses that humans can harness psychic powers and accurately        …read more

Superhero 101: New Mutants (X-Men)

X-Men, X-Men movies, The New Mutants

X-Men spinoff ‘The New Mutants’ has a surprisingly long and interesting history in comics. If you are even remotely versed in superheroes, you’ve probably heard of the X-Men, the superhero team of mutants — most notably, Wolverine. From the vast collection of X-Men comics to the nine feature films revolving around Wolverine and the group since 2000, this superhero property has become quite the pop culture staple. Even with the cultural relevance of X-Men, its spinoffs haven’t typically been well-known except by comic book enthusiasts until they hit the silver screen (2016’s Deadpool, for example). So even the most dedicated of X-Men moviegoers could be forgiven for not being well-versed in The New Mutants, the latest X-Men spinoff that will hit theaters February 22, 2019. The New Mutants will focus on five teenage mutants who’ve just discovered their powers: Magik, Wolfsbane (played by Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams), Cannonball        …read more

10 Moments That Made Us Love Jerry Seinfeld Even More

Jerry Seinfeld, best Seinfeld episodes

To celebrate Jerry Seinfeld’s birthday April 29, revisit the funniest and most memorable moments of his career. Almost 30 years have passed since the first episode of Seinfeld graced our televisions and forever changed scripted comedy shows. The Emmy Award–winning “show about nothing” skyrocketed Brooklyn comedian Jerry Seinfeld to global fame, giving him more opportunities than he could’ve ever imagined. The standup specialist hasn’t been lax in his post-Seinfeld life, either. He performed gigs across the world, launched his own series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and told his coming-of-age story in the Netflix documentary Jerry Before Seinfeld. The tireless actor and comedian is turning 64 on April 29, but don’t expect him to retire anytime soon. His second wind could be just as fun to watch as his first foray into entertainment. To get a sense of what makes Seinfeld so sharp, let’s revisit those iconic moments where he        …read more

Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig Leads Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts

Puerto Rico recovery efforts

Off the tennis court, Puig is focused on helping Puerto Rico recovery efforts. Tennis player Monica Puig currently resides in Miami, but her heart is in her place of birth: the island of Puerto Rico. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Puig became the first athlete to win a gold medal representing Puerto Rico. Just over a year after Puig’s historic win, Hurricane Maria devastated the island and Puig swiftly took action to help those affected by the tragedy. Accompanied by Maria Sharapova, Puig traveled to Puerto Rico in October to deliver supplies and hope to the island’s residents. “My mother always told me God put me in this world for a reason,” Puig said at the time of her visit. “I think the reason is to help Puerto Rico and give hope to people who have lost everything. In this moment, that’s what we need.” Puig also set up        …read more

‘A Way Out’ Video Game Brings Back the Lost Art of Couch Co-op

A Way Out video game, games with friends

Chronicling a pair of inmates escaping from prison, ‘A Way Out’  puts a unique spin on the glory days of playing games with friends in one room. Somewhere during video games’ ascent from a niche pastime to a mainstream hobby, the way we play games with each other changed. It happened gradually, as online connectivity became a core focus for developers. Just like the rest of media, video games transformed into a medium dedicated to communities, to offering the tantalizing opportunity to play your favorite game with legions of people throughout the world. Although a welcome evolution, we lost something along the way as multiplayer gaming shifted online: couch co-op. As a kid, I sat on the couch with my brothers and sister playing split-screen multiplayer games. This was before online infrastructure had reached games in any widespread degree. And while I’ve spent my formidable years playing games online via Xbox        …read more

From ‘Atypical’ to ‘The Good Doctor’: A Look at Autism On-Screen


With shows like ‘The A Word,’ ‘The Good Doctor’ and ‘Atypical,’ how do people with autism and their families feel about media representations of their lives? Carlos Lopez remembers how it felt to watch his son, Sammy, stand on the sidelines at a birthday party, terrified to move even an inch, for fear one of the many colorful, floating balloons might make a loud pop. Lopez has learned to problem-solve on the spot, stuffing tissue paper in Sammy’s ears as an added sound barrier beneath the headphones Sammy always wears to block out the excruciating noise of the world. Lopez also knows well, from the early days before he understood autism, the helpless feeling of being unable to calm his young son during a meltdown. Sammy, who has autism, is now thriving at age 14, a high honors student and a talented visual artist with a group of good friends.        …read more

Is It Time for an Internet Bill of Rights?

internet bill of rights, United States Constitution

If military officials are technically in my computer, aren’t they in my home without my consent? And more questions that deserve answers. When our founding fathers set out to ratify the U.S. Constitution, many were concerned about the amount of power being granted to the government over the individual. They expressly feared the threat to freedom and prosperity that a strong centralized power could become. And so, to address these concerns and ultimately prevent the government — or any entity — from becoming too powerful, the Bill of Rights was created. Proposed by James Madison, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were intended to protect human beings from the tyrannical rule of an all-powerful central authority. These rights were ratified in 1791, but the ideas behind them go as far back as the Magna Carta in 1215. Basically, by being born human, you have a right to        …read more

What We Know ahead of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2

Handmaid’s Tale season 2

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 2 will debut on April 25 on Hulu. The Emmy Award–winning show perfectly touches on so many issues, from patriarchy to totalitarianism to policing language. What’s in store for June and her band of not-so-merry women in The Handmaid’s Tale season 2? You’ve heard the cliché of “must-watch TV,” but I’m not spreading marketing hype when I stress how crucial it is to absorb the dystopic world that is The Handmaid’s Tale, which debuted last year on Hulu. The 10-episode series, adapted from Margaret Atwood’s book published in 1985, reminds us how easily we can slip into neutering our human rights at the hands of righteously misguided powerful men and women. For those new to this TV phenomenon, The Handmaid’s Tale introduces us to a next-era United States known as the Republic of Gilead, run by a totalitarian government aiming to enslave certain women as sexual        …read more

How to Make a Difference on World Health Day

World Health Day

Half the world’s population doesn’t have access to health care. Here’s how to help on World Health Day and every day. April 7 is World Health Day, and this year’s cause is access to health care for everyone. According to statistics gathered by the World Health Organization, half the world’s population currently doesn’t have access to health care — and a staggering 100 million people have been forced into poverty due to health care costs. Lack of access to health care affects the most vulnerable populations, both in the U.S. and abroad. I spoke to four medical experts about their biggest areas of concern — and what we can do to help on World Health Day and every other day of the year. Lack of Access to Health Care Is a Multilayered Issue When we hear the phrase “lack of access to health care,” many of us immediately think of people        …read more

4 Strong Women Who Were Vital to the Civil War

strong women in history

These strong women in history ditched their subservient roles and fought for the cause. Despite their subjugated status in society, strong women in history played vital roles in the Civil War, often serving as nurses, soldiers, civil rights activists, women’s suffragists, abolitionists and even spies. Others formed aid societies sewing uniforms, canning food and providing soldiers with necessary medical supplies, blankets, socks, shoes and bandages. Gathered below are just four of the many strong women in history who proved vital to the causes they fought for. 1. Susie King Taylor (1848 – 1912) Born Susan Baker, Susie King Taylor was the first Black nurse in the Army. For four years during the Civil War, she served the First South Carolina Volunteers 33rd Regiment (an all-Black troop), acting as a nurse for the Union while also teaching off-duty Union soldiers to read and write. Taylor was also the first Black person        …read more

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Is Still Breathtaking 50 Years Later

Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick’s enduring classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ released on April 2, 1968. Stanley Kubrick made almost every genre his own. Historical epic? Spartacus. Romantic drama (albeit skewed)? Lolita. Satirical black comedy? Dr. Strangelove. Future dystopia? A Clockwork Orange. Period piece? Barry Lyndon. Horror? The Shining. War movie? Full Metal Jacket. Psychological thriller? Eyes Wide Shut. See what I mean? But Kubrick’s best film (in my opinion) is his take on science fiction. 2001: A Space Odyssey is not just a science fiction film — it’s the science fiction film. If you were to trace the DNA of nearly every sci-fi movie since 1968, you’d discover that 2001 is the common ancestor. And with good reason: 2001 is a masterpiece. Even though it’s now 50 years old, and the year 2001 has come and gone, the movie’s big ideas, stunning visuals and immaculate craft hold up. Story 2001: A Space        …read more

#DeleteFacebook to Begin the Purge of Surveillance Capitalism

delete Facebook

Deleting your account is a micro-rebellion. Let’s talk big picture. As the story goes, the political data firm Cambridge Analytica was able to conduct “unprecedented data harvesting” through the use of Facebook and a third party’s personality quiz. The survey in question was deployed by a British research company called GSR for academic purposes in line with Facebook’s terms of service, yet the data was later acquired by Cambridge Analytica and stored on their servers. In the end, it was said to have affected more than 51.3 million Facebook users. Keep in mind that Cambridge Analytica already has a treasure trove of data on almost every American citizen. Through their extensive personality profiles, the company offers politicians the service of “psychographic targeting” based on personality types. It’s a business model called “surveillance capitalism,” in which the goal of the company is to collect, share and exploit user data. Of course,        …read more

Ready for the ‘Ready Player One’ Movie? Binge These ’80s Essentials

Ready Player One movie

Bone up on your ’80s trivia to get the most out of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ movie. Ernest Cline’s 2011 debut novel Ready Player One is a love letter to nerd culture, a meta sci-fi thrill ride packed with references to classic ’80s video games, movies, music and television shows. I blazed through the novel when it came out and revisited it (via the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation) when I found out Steven Spielberg would direct the Ready Player One movie adaptation. And who could be a better choice? Ready Player One is set in the dystopian near future. The world is in an energy crisis due to fossil fuel consumption and global warming, and everyone spends all their time hooked into the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game in which players can build the life they choose in an immersive virtual reality.        …read more

The Rebirth of Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey

Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey ditched the cloak of American nostalgia and is navigating her own space. “It’s already difficult to remember Lana Del Rey, but let’s try.” This is the opening sentence from a scathing 2012 New York Times review. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, also known as Lana Del Rey, became an instant internet success after posting her 2011 single “Video Games” from her debut album Born to Die. The singer-songwriter established a meticulously crafted aesthetic based around iconic American nostalgia. Critics were divided, and some accused the star of a manufactured image. In 2017 Del Rey received a Grammy nomination for her fifth studio album, Lust for Life. It’s been six years since her debut, but has Lana Del Rey transformed herself? In our digitized environment, it becomes easier to pave your own way in the music industry. Several artists find success without being signed to a record label        …read more

Requiem for the (Un)dying Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo handhelds

Counting down the 10 best games on the Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS turns seven in North America on March 27. That’s an abnormally long life cycle in the realm of a handheld gaming system. And with approximately 72 million units sold worldwide (21 million in the U.S.), it makes sense why Nintendo would still want to support its aging handheld. Yet there’s a rather large elephant in the room — the massively popular Nintendo Switch, which doubles as a home console and handheld powerhouse. The brunt of Nintendo’s attention has rightly gone toward the trendy new platform that has taken the world by storm. Nintendo is trying to prolong the 3DS’s life with a brief but attractive lineup of upcoming ports like Luigi’s Mansion, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, but the docket of original games in the pipeline is        …read more

15 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

baseball movies

In honor of opening day March 29, we count down the best baseball movies of all time. If baseball is America’s pastime, then movies are a close second. And what do you get when you combine the two? Well, usually a bunch of baseball movie clichés like underdogs, slumps and game-winning home runs. But there are some (baseball) diamonds in the rough. The earliest known depiction of baseball on film is a 30-second clip from 1898, copyrighted by Thomas Edison, and the first “baseball movie” was arguably a silent film called Right Off the Bat from 1915, so baseball movies have been around almost as long as movies themselves. With so many baseball movies, I couldn’t include everything, but here are my favorite classics, biopics, comedies, documentaries and movies for kids. Classics These movies are widely praised by critics and fans. If you love baseball, there’s a strong chance you’ll        …read more

The Best Thing Steven Soderbergh Ever Did Was Retire (Because He Didn’t)


Soderbergh, who shot ‘Unsane’ entirely on the iPhone, predicts the future of filmmaking. Since Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), director Steven Soderbergh’s career has been anything but predictable. He’s traversed the independent film scene while also helming big-budget pictures. And with both, he delivers the unexpected, which is part of the draw for his work. The biggest shock he’s ever given: announcing in 2013 his retirement from directing feature films because he disliked the state of moviemaking. It was an excellent decision because his second life behind the camera is generating exciting, industry-changing projects. Steven Soderbergh’s Retirement Retirement was over before it even began for Soderbergh. When the script for The Knick came across his desk, he couldn’t resist putting his mark on the story of a cocaine-fueled doctor in early-1900s New York. It was anything but what you’d expect from a medical drama, with its electronic score, stomach-turning gore        …read more

Why Blockchain Will Change Everything


Blockchain is the technology of an entirely new internet. Right now we’re in gridlock. The human race wants to move forward with the Internet of Things — to really push the boundaries of what we can do with our digital connectivity and possibly create an entirely new (and hopefully cooperative) world — but a few major problems stand in the way. First, our economic, legal and political systems are practically stuck in the Stone Age, using paper contracts and proof of identity in a slow-as-sludge bureaucracy. Second, history online (and on paper) is far too easy to delete, and “fake” information is abundant, making it difficult to know exactly what happened and when. Third, cybercrime is out of control, with companies and individuals simultaneously spending a fortune on security and losing their valuable currency (data, information, money) to hackers every day, with damages set to hit $6 trillion by 2021.        …read more

Simulation Theory: What If Elon Musk Is Right & We’re in the Matrix?

simulation theory

Any takers for ‘the blue pill’? Simulation theory explained. Once upon a time, the notion that we were living in some kind of dream world was the stuff of fanciful novels and Hollywood blockbusters. Fast-forward to our age of VR computer games, deep data, large-scale automation and social media algorithms, and it no longer seems so improbable. At least some of us think so: cofounder of internet money innovators PayPal, chief executive of electric car company Tesla, and the man behind SpaceX, Elon Musk is a household name. But he’s more than just a robot junkie; he’s a budding posthumanist. When he’s not investing in research directed at protecting us against an I, Robot (2004) fallout, he’s working toward fulfilling his vision of humanity 2.0 in a multiplanetary society of intergalactic colonization. It’s unsurprising, then, that he recently came out in support of the so-called “simulation argument” during a Q&A        …read more

11 Times Spock Taught Us to Be Better Humans

Spock Leonard Nimoy

He may value logic over feelings, but when Spock speaks, we feel it in our hearts. There’s no denying the lasting legacy of Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015). Though Spock’s farewell words are his most iconic, Nimoy offered the world far more than a neat hand gesture over the years he portrayed the beloved Star Trek character. So in honor of Nimoy’s birthday on March 26, here are some of the best lessons from Spock we can all use to live long and — well, you know. 1. When he’s the picture of graceful defeat but also manages to get in this sick burn. Episode: “Amok Time” When the woman he’s betrothed to resists the union, Spock relinquishes his right to marry her, allowing her to be with the man she truly wants. Before he leaves, he cautions her would-be partner, Stonn, “After a time, you may find that having is not        …read more