Countdown: 18 Tim Burton Films Ranked

Tim Burton

In honor of his 60th birthday August 25, celebrate Tim Burton’s illustrious filmmaking career. From black-and-white stop-motion animation and gothic surreal imagery to bright multicolor fantasy worlds, director, producer and screenwriter Tim Burton does it all. His directorial career spans 20 feature films and counting, and his exuberant visual style has entertained audiences for more than three decades. Born August 25, 1958, Burton grew up in Burbank, California. As a child he was fascinated by horror stories. In a 1990 interview with film critic David Edelstein, Burton reflected on the roots of his passion for dark stories, which sprouted during his lonely childhood: “Embracing death and the catharsis of, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die’ and The Fall of the House of Usher and The Raven and Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price helped me to live.” Burton’s creative drive for storytelling led him to direct his first film        …read more

Confessions of a Backseat Gamer

video games

I don’t play video games, but I am a gamer, and these are the titles my husband and I love. This past March, when Amazon delivered a copy of Far Cry 5 to our house, I got really excited for my husband to come home from work. Far Cry 3 and its Blood Dragon spinoff were some of my very favorite games. The characters were compelling and well written, and the quests were worthwhile and unpredictable. I couldn’t wait for Matt to get home so he could pick up the controller and play for me. Because I don’t play video games. Or, more accurately, I don’t play video games alone: Matt and I play them together. He holds the controller, and we go through the game as if we are jointly holding the controller. We decide together which quests he’ll do, the general direction he’ll travel across the game’s maps,        …read more

The Afropunk Festival Sparks a Global Movement

Afropunk Festival

The Afropunk Festival began with a punk music documentary and progressed into a worldwide celebration of Black culture and activism. The Afropunk Festival is more than a two-day festival; it’s a global movement. It’s a celebration of Black culture and a safe space for self-expression and activism through skate, music, film and art. The manifesto is “No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no transphobia, no hatefulness.” Cofounder Matthew Morgan’s stated, “Afropunk is for open-minded, forward-thinking, progressive people. We are not a genre of music — we’re a state of mind. If you’re gonna do something that has an impact, it’s important for us to be involved in something that helps to spark a dialogue that’s felt globally.” The sold-out Brooklyn festival takes place August 25-26, 2018. If you’re lucky enough to attend, you’ll enjoy a great lineup of talented artists and, most importantly, celebrate        …read more

Brazen: Celebrate Women’s Equality Day with Rebel Ladies from History

Author and illustrator Pénélope Bagieu introduces powerful women who were unapologetically themselves in ‘Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.’ August 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the U.S., and flipping through Pénélope Bagieu’s gorgeous illustrated history book is a great way to celebrate. In the colorful world of Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World not every woman succeeds, but none are scared to fail. This is Bagieu's third graphic novel and profiles the lives of 30 brazen women in a combination of thin lines and good wit. Some, like Nellie Bly and Josephine Baker, are household names while others have been undeservedly forgotten. Ms. Bagieu shed the obscurity of those forgotten women after she came across them during research for a weekly column in her native France. “Not everyone lives happily ever after but they live,” says Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American journalist, to Bagieu during a reading        …read more

‘That ’70s Show’ Turns 20!

That ’70s Show

A mix of mindless, predictable fun and sly exploration of weighty issues, ‘That ’70s Show’ enamored audiences for a whopping 200 episodes. If there was any doubt young adults could be immersed in an era other than their own, That ’70s Show erased it. The comedy set in the back half of the 1970s in a fictional Wisconsin town quickly became a cultural phenomenon for young audiences when it premiered in 1998. In honor of the premiere’s 20th anniversary August 23, 2018, let’s take a look back at That ’70s Show. The core cast The stars of That ’70s Show, unlike those of many TV shows that have centered on a group of teens, were for the most part actually appropriately aged. When the series kicked off, they were all in their teens or had just entered their 20s and looked the part, too. Obviously, as the series continued, they        …read more

Julian Casablancas Leaps into The Voidz

Julian Casablancas

Once hailed as the savior of rock music, Julian Casablancas has dealt with a difficult case of the mid-career blues. Will he ever escape the shadow of The Strokes’ classic record ‘Is This It’? Recently a screenshot from a 1991 episode of The Brave Fighter of the Sunbird made the rounds on social media as the latest viral meme. The character asks, “Is this a pigeon?” in reference to a butterfly, and meme culture quickly repurposed his confusion to point out the most irritating blind spots of the uninformed. Below is one of the many versions of this meme to blow up on Twitter. As of this writing, the meme has 2,500 retweets and 10,000 likes. While this version of the meme deviates from the genesis of the joke, it’s hard to imagine a stronger place from which to begin a discussion about the long and winding career of Julian        …read more

Marsha P. Johnson Made the First Pride a Riot

Marsha P. Johnson

On her birthday, August 24, we honor the art and activism of Marsha P. Johnson. In my lifetime, I’m happy to have seen the landmark civil rights case of Obergefell v. Hodges conclude with the decision to legalize same-sex marriage. I’m grateful to live in a world that sees thousands of pride events throughout the year. While those are reasons to celebrate, I’m disheartened to also live in a decade when 49 members of my community were gunned down very near queer clubs I frequent myself. The 2016 Pulse attack serves as merely a punctuation mark in a long history of violence against the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. To use a modern example, in Chechnya today hundreds of gay men will die at the hands of their government and families, a mirror image of the days of Nazi Germany when members of the LGBTQ+ community were driven from their homes to        …read more

The School of Life Is Open and Tuition Free on YouTube

School of Life

If you need advice on anything, from relationships to wealth, the School of Life is always in session on YouTube. We’ve all descended into YouTube wormholes that inevitably had us watching dozens of videos as if we didn’t have any adult obligations to tackle. Often, those videos were inane entertainment or weird footage dressed up as clickbait, and rarely did we spiral into such binge-watch buffets that were mentally nourishing content. Until the School of Life came along. The YouTube channel, at 3.7 million subscribers and over 330 million total video views, uploads advice-laden videos, no longer than eight minutes, on topics that touch every part of our lives. It’s as if the video makers didn’t want to leave any aspect of the human experience out of their editorial calendar. One video from the School of Life will wax poetic on how our childhoods affect our adult lives, while another        …read more

10 Steve Carell Moments That Sum Up Why We Love Him

Celebrate Steve Carell’s birthday with these iconic moments from his TV and film career. The year 2005, though not a particularly eventful period in U.S. history, marked one very important development in pop culture. I am, of course, referring to Steve Carell’s rise to fame thanks to stellar performances on both the big screen (who could forget the modern-day classic 40-Year-Old Virgin?) and, of course, the premiere of the U.S. version of The Office. In 2007 Steve Carell reflected on 40-Year-Old Virgin making him a bona fide movie star. “I have a helluva lot more money than I used to! That’s the only perceivable difference,” he told People. “I will definitely be able to send my kids to college now, which was a question before.” In honor of Steve Carell’s birthday on August 16, let’s revisit 10 of his best moments. A few of them were even filmed before he        …read more

Jonathan Adler Makes His Mark on the Interior Design Game

Jonathan Adler

In an interview, designer Jonathan Adler reveals how his take on “modern American glamour” infuses his products with a design spirit that’s distinctly his own. When Jonathan Adler was 12, he signed up for his first pottery class because he thought the instructor was cute. “But when I first touched that piece of clay, there was something spiritual there, a connection,” he tells me in an interview for Crixeo. That seminal moment whisked young Adler on a journey that would see him run a design empire bursting with 30 stores across the U.S. In his early days, Adler’s family was extremely encouraging of his artwork, he says. “I was fortunate to have super-creative parents. My dad was a lawyer who spent every spare moment painting, and my mom used to write for Vogue, and her ebullient sense of color inspires me to this day.” While enrolled at Brown University, Adler        …read more

Steve Martin Is the Renaissance Person of Our Time

Steve Martin

Steve Martin’s restless spirit keeps him going. Steve Martin is a prime example of how to live a full, rich, creative life. The very definition of a renaissance person, to this day he continues to pursue his artistry in an impressive array of forms. On August 14, 2018, he celebrates his 73rd birthday and shows no signs of slowing down, currently touring with Martin Short to present An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, an earlier performance of which is currently streaming on Netflix. Steve Martin not only embraces sudden left turns in his career choices; he seems to thrive on them. Stand-Up Comedy Thirty-seven years after Steve Martin unexpectedly quit stand-up comedy, it’s hard to fathom the unprecedented success of his act, which dispensed with the witty wordplay, intellectualism and raw confessional comedy popularized by Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor and embraced infantilized absurdity, balloon        …read more

Why Do Institutions Fail to Report Child Abuse?

Child abuse often goes unreported, leaving more children vulnerable. In January of 2018, Dr. Larry Nassar, disgraced team physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for decades of abuse of gymnasts under his care. Nassar assaulted 265 girls, the youngest of whom was only six years old at the time of the abuse. People around the world reacted with horror when the investigations into Nassar’s crimes revealed that many adults knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Rather than helping the victims, these witnesses pressured them to stay silent, or tried to convince them that the abuse hadn’t happened. Twenty-one years ago, at the age of 16, Larissa Boyce thought she was living her dream. She was a young gymnast training at MSU with one of her idols, gymnastics legend Kathie Klages. When Nassar assaulted Boyce during        …read more

The Honey Bee in Art & History

honey bee

Humans learned to work with honey bees in ancient times, and our destinies are intertwined. In the mid-1990s, a zoology professor at Oregon State University made an amazing discovery while visiting a mine in northern Myanmar. As if from a scene in Jurassic Park, he held a piece of amber up to the light and discovered, encased within the fossilized tree resin and semiprecious stone, a humble bee. Later estimated to be 100 million years old, the insect was a fraction of the size of today’s worker bees and was believed to be from an early branch of their evolutionary tree. It was also 40 million years older than any bee previously discovered. Considered one of the oldest forms of life, wild bees were identified early on by humans as a source for honey. In some cases, humans sought hallucinogenic honey specifically. A cave painting depicting a honey hunter at Bicrop        …read more

Black Panther Series Teaches Kids STEM Skills via YouTube

Black Panther series

Inspired by Wakanda, educator and maker Netia McCray engages the next generation of designers with free software and a dynamic Black Panther series. For many young students, STEM careers might sound like a boring nine-to-five in a stale office environment. However, MIT grad Netia McCray has been working for the past eight years to motivate and connect young students with STEM and design. In early 2018 she and Erica Nwankwo launched a four-part Black Panther–inspired series on YouTube. Each episode includes tips for re-creating some of the film’s exciting artifacts, such as Queen Ramonda’s crown and Nakia’s ring blades. Highlighting the many intersections between art and technology, the projects and interviews inspire kids to design with technology. As the founder and executive director of Mbadika, Netia McCray uses partnerships and educational outreach to inspire young people in creative STEM fields. Mbadika is Kimbundu (a language prevalently spoken in the northern region of Angola) for “idea.” Though        …read more

How Hiroshima and Nagasaki Created Godzilla


The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki haunt every Godzilla movie. In the middle of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film Godzilla, we cut to a woman on a commuter train. She’s talking with a fellow passenger following a recent attack by the legendary monster. “This is awful,” she says. “Atomic tuna, radioactive fallout, and now this Godzilla to top it off! What if it shows up in Tokyo Bay?” The fellow passenger jokes, “It’ll probably go for you first!” “You’re horrible!” she scolds. “I barely escaped the atomic bomb in Nagasaki…and now this!” Godzilla, one of the most famous Japanese movies ever, was produced a short nine years following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cataclysmic events that killed upward of 300,000 people that ended World War II and changed the world forever. August 6 and 9 mark the 73rd anniversary of the bombings, and as they fall further into        …read more

Meet Corey Marshall, the Food Blogger behind Miss Foodie Problems

food blogger

From food blogger to popular Instagrammer, she travels the world to find the best bites — and shares her heart along the way. Corey Marshall’s Instagram account — @MissFoodieProblems — was named one of Zagat Foodie Award’s top 101 food Instagrammers of 2017. But with over 80k followers on Instagram, a thriving blog in Miss Foodie Problems, and a series of partnerships lined up, 2018 has been her best year yet. As the Instagram scene and algorithm continue to evolve, influencers have learned that the only constant is change — and Marshall has carved out a niche at the intersection of food and travel, set apart by personality and authenticity. Beloved for her unapologetic willingness to speak up about personal topics, Marshall often shares the less-than-glamorous parts of the industry and is known to get real about everything from ingredients to Instagram updates. Miss Foodie Problems herself, Corey Marshall, talked        …read more

Top 5 Films by William Goldman, Screenwriter of ‘The Princess Bride’

Princess Bride

Goldman, author and screenwriter of ‘The Princess Bride,’ has long been the dean of American screenwriters. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” There is no more ultimate tribute to a screenwriter than a single line of dialogue that just about everyone recognizes. This line, of course, is spoken by Mandy Patinkin, over and over and over again, in The Princess Bride (1987), and it was written by William Goldman. William Goldman, born August 12, 1931, has been the dean of American screenwriters for decades, writing primarily adaptations of his own novels and other novels by respected writers. His 1983 memoir, Adventures in the Screen Trade, was a best seller and has long been considered an industry classic. From a career that has spanned five decades, here are some highlights of this remarkable writer’s work. 1. The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner, 1987) Rob        …read more

RV Living and Learning: Dare to Take a Roadschooling Adventure

RV living, homeschooling

A new trend is emerging, transforming RV living into full-time schooling. Chelsea Gonzales loves to travel, and she was determined not to stop when she had children. So she did what felt the most natural to her: she decided against traditional schooling and took her son on the road instead. They started RV living over two years ago when he was about four, but they didn’t pause when he was ready for kindergarten, and they’re not stopping anytime soon. Schooling takes place in the RV or on trips to museums, zoos and aquariums. “Last summer, we were studying the Revolutionary War, and we went to a lot of the cool Revolutionary War museums,” Gonzales says. “We weave our history, language arts and science together, and it helps him and me get a better understanding of how all of these things fit into the world.” Gonzales’ family is roadschooling (homeschooling on        …read more

Meet Charlene Holy Bear, the Lakota Artist Whose Beaded Vans Went Viral

Lakota artist

When Lakota artist Charlene Holy Bear posted a picture of the beaded shoes she made for her son, she had no idea they’d go viral or be featured in ‘Vogue.’ Charlene Holy Bear first learned how to bead when she was five years old. Her older sister taught her how in an effort to keep her away from messier paints. Three decades later, Holy Bear is a full-time artist, selling her beaded creations through her website, art shows and markets. Her older sister, Rhonda Holy Bear, who adopted Charlene, is an established artist as well, known best for her traditional Lakota dolls. In an interview for Crixeo, Charlene Holy Bear talked with me about the picture of her young son’s beaded Vans that led to her viral fame. “Justus was four years old, and we were going to the Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, and I didn’t have enough time        …read more

‘Octopath Traveler’ Is Both a Nostalgic and Thoroughly Modern Role-Playing Game

Octopath Traveler

‘Octopath Traveler’ acknowledges its roots without ever being weighed down by them. Among fans of Japanese role-playing games, or “JRPGs,” the mid-’90s were among the greatest years in the history of the genre. At the center of this golden age was publisher Square — now Square Enix — and its masterpieces like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. Despite the limited technology of the Super Nintendo console, the games were able to tell sprawling and emotional stories backed up by strategic, satisfying combat. The days of the 16-bit role-playing game are largely behind us, but Square Enix and Acquire joined forces to remind us why we loved them so much with the Switch-exclusive Octopath Traveler. It makes a brilliant first impression, with some of the most gorgeous art ever created for a video game, but its beauty isn’t skin deep — peel back the façade and you’ll find a nostalgic        …read more

Punk’s Not Dead! 8 Current Bands You Should Be Listening To


These bands keep the spirit of punk alive. This summer, the Vans Warped Tour is making its final full cross-country run after more than two decades on the road. The music festival, founded by Kevin Lyman, began as an absolute oasis for punk rock fans, with now-famous bands like Blink-182 and The Offspring using it as a springboard into superstardom. In recent years, the lineup of bands has diversified beyond punk to appeal to today’s teenagers, but declining attendance still forced Lyman and his team to call it quits — but the end of Warped Tour does not mean the end of punk. In fact, contemporary punk bands are helping to keep the genre alive and thriving. Here are eight still-active punk bands you should be listening to. 1. Teenage Bottlerocket Hailing from Laramie, Wyoming — a city not typically known for its distorted guitars — Teenage Bottlerocket deliver        …read more

VR Headset Buying Guide: Which One Is Right for You?

VR headset

With a growing number of high-quality options to choose from, which VR headset is right for you? Virtual reality has grown from the stuff of science fiction to a tangible reality. Over the past few years, virtual reality headsets have started to flood the market, giving techies and gamers a myriad of options to choose from. If you’re interested in the burgeoning technology, which VR headset should you spend your hard-earned dollars on? That’s what we’ll explore in this VR headset buying guide. And the answer varies depending on your interests and current devices. A word of caution: Chances are if you’ve walked through the electronics section of a department store recently, you’ve seen VR headsets from companies you’ve never heard of, often for bargain-basement prices. Here’s the thing, though. Spending money on a knockoff VR headset is not worth it, no matter how low the price. Virtual reality is        …read more

Louis Armstrong: How ‘Ambassador Satch’ Changed Music Forever

Louis Armstrong

The influence of Louis Armstrong will always be heard in popular music. He may be primarily known almost half a century after his death as the gravel-voiced singer of the sentimental favorite “What a Wonderful World,” singing of trees of green and skies of blue in the song that’s been featured in advertising and movies for decades, but Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong is much more than just a posthumous hawker of products. He was one of the inventors of a uniquely American art form and a 20th-century artist who broke through the barriers of racism to become one of the most beloved and important institutions in American history. “The sound of that horn was pure spiritual essence. The sound of that horn was America.” —Wynton Marsalis New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz and of its greatest ambassador, Louis Armstrong. Born into abject poverty on August 4, 1901, Armstrong was immediately        …read more

The Secret Space of Dreams: Jerry Garcia’s Art

Jerry Garcia's art

In honor of his birthday on August 1, get mesmerized by Jerry Garcia’s art. It’s as psychedelic and openhearted as his music with the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia’s art was mostly of the musical variety. He was a founding member of the Grateful Dead, his longest-running project from 1965 to 1995. He was also an accomplished banjo player in the bluegrass group Old & In the Way and a longtime friend of mandolinist David Grisman, with whom he recorded several albums later in his life, not to mention his many side projects, including playing pedal steel guitar on “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Less famously, Garcia was also a visual artist who produced more than 1,000 pieces, mostly after his brush with death in the form of a diabetic coma in 1987. In her foreword to the book Jerry on Jerry: The Unpublished Jerry Garcia Interviews,        …read more

5 Disturbing Cases of Mass Suicide in World History

mass suicide

These historical cases of cult leaders initiating mass suicide shocked the conscience of the world. Throughout history, cases of mass suicide have shocked the conscience of the world. Who can forget the kamikaze pilots of Japan, who toasted with shots of sake before hurtling their aircrafts into American ships, or the terrified German citizens in Demmin who, fearing Stalin’s inevitable brutality, killed themselves in large numbers near the end World War II? And though rare cases of mass suicide have occurred during wartime, the majority of cases tend to surround radical religious cults led by paranoid and often charismatic egomaniacs who possess a genuine desire to control and manipulate others. Below are five such cases in world history. 1. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God Originally founded as an apocalyptic sect of the Catholic Church, the Movement of the Ten Commandments of God was established in        …read more

Amanda Lepore Is More Than a Diva with ‘The Most Expensive Body on Earth’

Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore’s memoir, ‘Doll Parts,’ chronicles her tumultuous beginnings to becoming an LGBTQ+ icon. Amanda Lepore’s childhood was far from the glitz and glamour that surrounds her today. Growing up, Amanda was bullied for being different from all her peers because although she was born a boy, her internal identity was female. In her teens, Amanda started taking hormone therapy and underwent gender reassignment surgery that was paid for by her boyfriend’s father. She fled New Jersey and became a fixture on the New York City club scene in the early ’90s with the likes of Kabuki Starshine, Richie Rich, and Michael Alig (whose rise and fall was made into the feature film Party Monster). After meeting photographer David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore became his muse, appearing in his cheeky, colorful photographs including the Amanda as Marilyn and Amanda as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor in his After Pop series. Lepore has        …read more