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FEATURED COLUMNS

serial killer
lost, bsg, heroes, and living in the *here* and *now*
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: writing
2.2.09 • CLASSIC

J.J. Abrams, Ron Moore, Tim Kring, you're killing me. Or rather, you're killing everyone. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to rant about our favorite prime-time dramas killing and re-birthing their A-list players, especially since one of our writers already lamented this better than I ever could. This is less about killing Starbuck than it is about believing in her demise, even though at last count she has died twice already, each time in an aggressively final manner, and is still not dead

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the drink and the ink
a primer on pursuing publication
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: writing
7.7.08 • CLASSIC

There's a speakeasy in New York City you can only get into through a phone booth in the wall of a hot dog joint. You step into the booth and close the glass door behind you. Two of the three remaining walls are featureless, blank. In front of you there's a phone. Pick it up. Press its only button. One of the walls will slide open. Say the right thing to the hostess and, ta-da! You're in. Getting a book published is like that. The internet is jam-packed with authors, like me, who are trying to

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smokin'
we're gonna play you a song, a little bit of rock-n-roll
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: music
5.10.10 • CLASSIC

“I have to tell you, I’m kind of nervous,” he confided to his friend. “I get that.” “I practiced, like, two hours a night every night for the last week.” “I get that, too.” “This beer is helping.” “I get that.” He ran through the music once more in his head. Da-ta da-ta d-d-d-da-ta… The band on before them was just finishing up. “I need another beer.” “I’ll get that.” Thanks. He looked around for the rest of the guys he was playing with, most of whom spent a lot of time on stage, in

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yes, we can (watch it from the couch)
why to avoid the inauguration madness
by michelle von euw
topic: news
1.9.09 • CLASSIC

If you’re reading this outside the nation’s capital, I have some advice for you: stay there. I don’t mean always. Of course we would love to have you visit, and if you’re a Red Sox fan, we’ll happily welcome you to Washington on June 23, 24, or 25 for Boston’s first-ever series here against the Nationals, but it's best not to be here for the Presidential Inauguration. Seriously. Stay home. I promise you, you’ll have a much better view of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama and

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dagwoodn't
working eating on the chain gang
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
10.23.09 • CLASSIC

It’s a special joy, really, the feeling you get when you set out to make a good sandwich. Relishing every step of the process in anticipation of the final meal, you confidently open the fridge and pluck out each particular ingredient - some bread, a condiment, the meat, cheese, a tomato, maybe some more exotic accoutrement like a roasted red pepper or slice of avocado, depending on your taste – and lay them out on the counter, slowly piling them atop one another like a gifted architect at work

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carrot or stick
examining human desires and response
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: general
5.28.12 • CLASSIC

In a 2011 episode of the TV show "Curiosity", actor/producer/director Eli Roth hosted a reenactment of Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment from 1961. The goal: to determine if society has changed much in 50 years.

In the experiment, volunteers take on roles of a learner and a teacher to test the effects of negative reinforcement on learning. A test administrator in a white coat straps the learner to a machine designed to dispense electric shocks between five and 450 volts. The teacher is seated in another room, away from the learner, in front of a panel. This panel is the shock machine. The teacher asks the learner a series of word association questions, and for every incorrect answer, the teacher announces it is wrong, tells the learner the amount of shock to be delivered, then flips a switch to shock the learner. The learner does not receive the correct answer: the teacher simply moves on to the next question.

The learner is not really being shocked. He is an actor posing under random selection by the administrator.

read on



l.a. law
down and out with the boys in blue
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: general
6.14.10 • CLASSIC

1. Being a police officer is not easy. More often than on most jobs, the worst of humanity rears its ugly head and a slight lapse in judgment could be the difference between life and death. I have always believed that the police should be like the military -- shorter terms of service, more frequent re-assignments to different regions of the city, more emphasis on maintaining physical fitness -- as the stress of such a job can easily drive someone insane. And that's not a good

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from such great heights, come down
the fall into reality continues
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: pop culture
12.14.11 • CLASSIC

This is going to sound like complaining. But, it also could be the documenting of my mental collapse. So, enjoy.

In August, I wrote a piece called If you’re an artist, when is enough enough? Therein, I lamented about my urge to continue to make music, when I most certainly was not doing so. And now, four more months have passed; or, 1/3 of a year. And I am equally nowhere in terms of music creation. What has happened?

The easy answer is: it's hard to keep producing music without a band. Time has taught me that pretty much any music I write is improved through the benefit of collaboration. The best songs I've been a part of are pieces that started as a few notes plucked during a band practice that was latched onto immediately by someone else in the room, shouting, "play that again - I got something."

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you gotta have faith
but where's mine?
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
1.26.09 • CLASSIC

The year of 2009 is a big year for me. It's a year of change. A year of renewal. A year of growth. The Year of Maigen 2.0, a friend dubbed it. A few months ago, I posted a column about agnosticism and apathy. I was showing that column to a friend as an example of my writing style, and in doing so opened a can of worms. What followed was a discussion about creation, destiny, fate, faith, the creator, everything - a discussion that meandered its way through a four day visit. In those four

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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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they can do it! and so can you.
6 tips for successful blogging
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: writing
8.24.09 • CLASSIC

Have you read a blog today? I don't know you (unless I do. Hi!), but I'm going to guess that you have. If fact, you might have read several. Even with the up-and-coming competition of Twitter, blogs are holding strong. The best ones are supplying readers with the news and views they used to get from newspapers or the television, and even the worst are catering to someone out there with a passion for... armadillos in socks, say, who doesn't care if said blogger knows a preposition from a peanut.

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occupational profiling
is this because i'm an irish guy in a police uniform?
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
7.23.09 • CLASSIC

When Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his Cambridge home this week I was struck by something. Clearly, most of the media attention focused on the possible racial profiling involved in the case. Did this ludicrous situation arise just because Gates is a black man? I found myself poring over the police report thinking to myself: I can't even trust this report. This could totally be a cop who knows he's going to be in trouble trying to cover his tracks. Slimy bastard. Later, upon refle

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constant craving
*the secret* to success
by heather m. millen
topic: humor
8.27.08 • CLASSIC

The other day I was sitting at my desk. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon, the day had been a bit stressful and I was greatly in need of a tiny token of relief. Suddenly, I realized that all my soul craved was a cookie. I don't eat cookies very often but who am I to judge what my soul desires? My husband happened to call and I said aloud and with conviction: "I really want a cookie." Ask. Cookies are good. I used to make cookies with my grandmother. She made these amazing little thumbp

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future tenz
the sexier decade ahead
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
1.6.10 • CLASSIC

In The Tenz, we fly in hovercars fueled by laughter and rock n' roll. We've adopted a single global language, which is a hybrid of all known languages with a sprinkle of jazz theory. Consequently we're all getting along much better, and everybody can dance. Moral and religious disputes have gone the way of Disco, praise Gawd. World peace sets the stage for tolerance, innovation, and a new cultural renaissance. Creativity and intelligence are valued over celebrity and convenience. Our elected le

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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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