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FEATURED COLUMNS

why i broke up with netflix
the beginning of the end
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
9.2.11 • CLASSIC

So I dumped Netflix a couple days ago. It wasn’t much of a big deal. The woman on the other end of the line was very understanding, somewhat apologetic, and even a little cheerful throughout the entire ordeal, which lasted maybe 90 seconds.

Although I like to imagine she slammed the phone down and then went on her break to hatch an elaborate plan to stalk me and eventually win me back.

With poetry.

But it didn’t go down like that at all. There were no histrionics. And conversely, I didn’t go out in a blaze of rage. Deep in my heart-of-hearts, I still love Netflix, and I’m already going through withdrawal.

Maybe, once all this blows over, we’ll end up together again when I realize I can’t live without the comfort of having movies to come home to every night.

read on



the you show, starring you
where new graduates are going from here
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
5.4.09 • CLASSIC

School’s almost out. If you’re graduating, from high school or college or grad school, you’re going to feel a strong obligation to get sentimental. Resist. But! But! You say. This is the last time we’ll X! Never again will we Y! OMG I can’t believe a month from now we all won’t be here in this room learning/eating/drinking/smoking/mocking/dodging Z! Resist. Rise above. Don’t give in to the urge to get weepy about the olden golden days of three-and-a-half months ago. Your friends and paren

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equal opportunity offender
is anything sacred? should it be?
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: humor
2.8.08 • CLASSIC

When my friend Kim informed me that she was coming down from Boston to see our friend Katie (possibly "Kate" these days; if she can call me by a college nickname, I can call her Katie) in a musical at -- get this -- Carnegie Hall -- and offered me her extra ticket, I said "Sure." When I learned there would be Catholics protesting, I said "Definitely." I should stop here and mention that protesters outside of any sort of theater, museum, etc. usually get my goat. I cringe at the thought of free

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beware the blues of february
the shortest month is short on inspiration
by michelle von euw
topic: writing
2.11.08 • CLASSIC

Is there a month worse than February? Every other month that graces the calendar has something to recommend it: March Madness, the start of baseball season, Memorial Day weekend, all the way through the sultry days of summer, the crisp weekends of fall, the cold nights of the winter holidays, culminating in January, a month packed full of long weekends, birthday celebrations, and good football. And with them? Good column topics. Just last February I complained about the overabundance of

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bleat the parents
judgment fray
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
12.22.10 • CLASSIC

We’ve known each other a while now. We don’t always see eye to eye, but despite our differences, I think we can all agree on two things: 1 – I’m a pretty amazing person, all around. 2 – I can’t remember the second thing. My actions, behavior, personality and general comportment on a daily basis are completely and 100% irreproachable. As such, there’s no reason to bother judging me; there’s nothing to judge. Besides, you don’t see me judging you, do you? Sure, most of you like terrible music

read on



tune out to tune in
reducing external information clutter
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: news
9.29.11 • CLASSIC

In the book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Dr. Andrew Weil promotes a news fast one day each week. The theory is when people absorb too much news, especially the kind that induces feelings of helplessness, anxiety, or rage, this impacts their health in negative ways. These emotions stay rooted in the body unless progressively moved out.

If we are constantly taking time to read the top headlines, are we also creating a balance of positive influences to offset the news impact? Because the natural news cycle is gore, injustice, corruption, repeat. If it bleeds, it leads. Good news is no news, bad news is good news, no news is bad news. Without equal scales of information, we ingest a current of despair that can, quite literally, affect our health.

read on



awkward moments
collect the set!
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: humor
11.20.06 • CLASSIC

We all have them. Often. But don’t be ashamed. Collect the set and trade them like baseball cards or food recipes. They are the extreme moments of discomfort for you and others. Here are some of my truly awkward moments: Awkward Moment #1, 460 Summer 1981, Toledo My Aunt Pat was dating a man named Frank, who would later become my uncle. But at the time, they were just dating, and he was the only man I’d ever seen with my aunt. So she shows up with this other guy and she and the guy and my mom

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from jesus to sears
ghosts of christmas past conjured by flickr packrat
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: pop culture
12.19.07 • CLASSIC

My family celebrates Christmas. Christmas, of course, is "an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus." But I'm not a Christian. I wasn't taken to church growing up. I was never baptized, confirmed, or any of those other rights of passage for any religious sect. I did not talk with others about Jesus or Christianity, and generally had little cause to dwell much on the subject of religion at all. Still, I understood that Christmas was a religious celebration. There would always b

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you weren't born in two pieces
why are you still looking for your other half?
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
2.24.12 • CLASSIC

It's a social construct, this idea that we aren't complete until we are part of a couple. It is an ancient concept, depending on the literature you read. When prehistoric humans were part of hunter-gatherer tribes, grouping together enabled each person to contribute their strengths and shore up their weaknesses as part of a cohesive and survival-oriented group. It wasn't until humans started living in agricultural societies, raising domesticated animals and farming, that there were recorded male-female partnerships. It has even been argued that marriage was an institution formed by the Church as a form of control. 

Regardless of the history of matrimony, it is still a widely accepted practice. Expected by most and avidly sought out by many. I've written a number of articles (and a book!) about it myself. But when you look at the divorce rate for nearly every first world country (all between 42-51%) and the hideous and brutal treatment of women and unwanted wives in other countries, it should make you wonder why we reach for the hand of a Life Partner at all. 

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rock on, robin
the top chef: las vegas cheftestant shares a few of her own personal ingredients
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: television
10.19.09 • CLASSIC

Fans and viewers of Bravo's "Top Chef: Las Vegas", take note: Chef Robin Leventhal is a survivor. Currently competing in the hit show's sixth season, the feisty cheftestant has become one of the top eight contenders for the "Top Chef" title. In addition to impressing culinary star Michelle Bernstein and showing a younger generation of peers that she's no old lady to underestimate at 43, she has also squared off against two types of lymphoma— and won. As "Top Chef: Las Vegas" prepares to a

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the power to decide
why it’s necessary for women to control their birth control
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
3.7.12 • CLASSIC

When Sandra Fluke stood up to testify in front of Congress on February 23rd about the importance of accessible birth control for all women, she probably didn’t expect to be called a prostitute. Women probably didn’t think that, in March of 2012, we’d be defending our right to use a medicine that was approved for sale 52 years ago. And yet, here we are again having to convince people – primarily men – that women do have the right to have sex without pregnancy.

We live in a time when men are lowering or erasing the barriers that allow them to get women pregnant (see: insurance-subsidized Viagra), while making it harder and harder for women to prevent conception. While the issue is birth control, no-one is really talking about condoms in this case. Condoms are available on supermarket shelves, they cost less to buy, and they are known to prevent STIs – a definite medical benefit. They also require the consent of a man. The real subject of the conversation is the pill: the birth control method that women control and that women can practice with or without a man’s knowledge or consent.* The question then becomes not just should women use contraception, but should women be allowed to choose contraception on their own? There are many excellent reasons why the answer is – and should always be – yes.

read on



the world baseball classic
you're (still) doing it wrong
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: sports
2.27.09 • CLASSIC

As it turns out, the Netherlands have a national baseball team. So do Italy and South Africa. This should come as a shock and a surprise to no one, and yet it still seems wrong, somehow. They are competing in the World Baseball Classic starting next week. Betchya didn't know. Based on numbers of television-watching fans, baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is behind only soccer, cricket, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, and every other sport that Amer

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a diamond in the rough
the rules of engagement
by heather m. millen
topic: general
4.27.07 • CLASSIC

When I announced my engagement in September of 2006, I had many visions of what the following year would entail. What I pictured was an endless year of one champagne-drenched celebration after another, all held in my honor. Red carpets rolled out at any available opportunity! And, heck, I didn't even necessarily need parties thrown for me, I'd create them wherever I went, celebrating the engagement until it was no more. I'd have to invest in a tractor trailer to haul all of my fabulous new p

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possible ride effects
a blog at best
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: advertising
9.28.07 • CLASSIC

It's Wednesday again, and I'm not impressed. Another ride to work on my aging Trek mountain bike, which has been modified only slightly with "hybrid" tires that make riding on the pavement a little less sluggish, but will explode if you hit a sharp curb. Fortunately, like most of the commuters you encounter in Boston, curbs in this teenytiny city are worn, dull, and slowly eroding into forms barely distinguishable from the street itself. As I ride in, I listening to yet another podcast. This t

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RECENT COMMENTS

re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...





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