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a year without netflix
i really just hope she's happy
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
9.7.12 • CLASSIC

It was almost exactly one year ago that I gave Netflix the heave-ho, the 86, the Heisman. Having been told my $9.99-a-month deal was going to soar to $15.98 and include a reported massive cut in streaming selection, I really didn't hesitate.

My belief, and this holds true today, is that Netflix is a luxury service, even for an entertainment junkie like me (and my wife) with three kids who, through no fault of my own, can sing every Fresh Beat Band song there is.

God save us all.

And I was also right about this: The price increase and the public relations dumpster-fire that followed couldn't have come at a worse time for Netflix.

read on

there's a word for it
the art of the title
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: writing
2.3.10 • CLASSIC

So, my first novel is coming out next spring. A year and change from now. I would like you to buy it, of course. I would like you to buy many many copies and give them to everyone you've ever met and organize book club discussions around them. Also parties. And parades. And over-the-top festivities of all sorts. To that end, I would also like to tell you what the novel is called, but: right now, I can't. It's an occupational hazard of publishing, this. (Of course publishing has SO many occupat

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yo! i got some weight for you to watch
i'm a little teapot, pt. 2
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: humor
5.10.11 • CLASSIC

A few weeks ago, I woke up one morning to find quite a number of e-mails on my phone from friends who "liked" my updated Facebook status. (For those of you not quite up on current social networking technology, "Facebook status" means an area on the Facebook Web site where the night before, I wrote something about how I was feeling. "E-mail" is a way to send free messages via the Internet. The "Internet" is the thing you're currently reading this column on. I will give you the benefit of the doub

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winning isn't everything
but it's so much better than losing
by michelle von euw
topic: sports
10.12.09 • CLASSIC

It’s over. Is it over? It could be over. It’s been almost decade. Quite a decade. Six titles between 2002 and 2009, and suddenly, the world has changed. Not just for me, who began it as a consummate obsessive Boston sports fan, and is ending it as exactly that, describing myself with the same basic terms. But it’s different. It means something completely different. For me, for my hometown, for the fans of Boston teams, and, perhaps most drastically, for those of you outside Boston, looking in i

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we don't need some other hero
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
4.6.11 • CLASSIC

In a pattern that is so common it's now merely referred to as "summer," another crop of superhero movies will be sprouting up over the next few months. And regardless of whether they clean up (Captain America) or don't (Thor), more are on their way -- including new installments for the three most famous: Spider-Man, Batman and Superman. A few years ago I wrote a column about Superman's most recent attempt to reclaim his spot as the most super-heroic of all the superheroes. It didn't q

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operation sunbeam
cassie and marlo listen in
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: writing
6.29.09 • CLASSIC

"The guys were bragging about bringing showgirls up to their rooms, getting them super drunk, and then trying to score with them right when the bombs went off. Typical Vegas-guy-weekend stuff. They were well into their 70s, though, so it was odd to hear their bravado." Here she goes again. I've noticed lately I don't even need to ask questions she will just tell me anything, anything at all, barely taking a breath, like there's an hourglass only she can see with a ribbon of sand left to drop a

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they shoot with film, don't they?
some thoughts on the film .vs digital civil war
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: film
6.6.12 • CLASSIC

Times are changing fast, with technology transforming all we see around us. Those of us alive long enough to remember cassette tapes, encyclopedias and phones that couldn't do everything for us, are often forced to adapt or be left behind. In the film and photography worlds, a civil war has emerged over the last decade or so, between those who prefer shooting film or digital, a civil war that would've been unthinkable in the past.

I remember film school like yesterday. There was an immediacy to shooting on film that made me realize how essential preparation was. When I had to pay out of my own, broke, out-of-state pockets to purchase 8mm film, and mail it to a lab in Boston where it would be developed, and, hopefully, returned, I learned quickly that I needed to know what I was doing when I filmed.

We used light meters but that didn't mean it wouldn't return under lit. I had 20/20 vision, but that didn't mean shots may not have returned out of focus. I remember sitting in dark editing rooms at the renowned Pittsburgh Filmmakers facility, splicing the tiny film with an Exacto knife and taping it back to the preferred next shot. Film editing, they called it. I have only seen my film school shorts once since I graduated in 1998. They are not good, but I can't imagine my future films without them. Shooting with film the way we did was the most difficult thing I can imagine. And that's exactly why it was essential.

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a message to the reluctant would be father: part 1
overcoming pedophobia
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: general
12.15.10 • CLASSIC

When I was writing this month's piece, I was at first reluctant to write about my upcoming child. After all, Michelle just wrote about raising her boy, Jason wrote a letter to his unborn child, and Julianelle started a blog on being a dad. And this is far from an exhaustive list on articles about children on this site. I'm just saying, the competition is stiff; Maybe we're not Salon or the Huffington Post, but our staff here is not a bunch of troll slouches. However, at this juncture, it'

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customer service and social media
how @boingo did it right
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
12.21.11 • CLASSIC

Customer service (or the lack of it) makes us all angry at some point or another. Social media makes it easier then ever before to have your voice heard, but how many companies are using social media to really interact with their customers?

I've been angry for a while now. Not a Super Pissed Off and Going To Shout About It kind of angry. Just a slow simmering crankiness that peaks once a month and then returns to being out of sight and (mostly) out of mind.

Since I'm a high-time flight attendant, I'm always on the go, rarely in one place for more than a day and constantly swiping my debit card for innumerable small charges (a coffee here. A hotel charge there. A quick bite to eat. Oh! A pretty scarf!). Instead of relying on a bank statement that only shows up once a month, I check my bank account once a day - sometimes more. There's a constantly updated ledger of checks and balances in my head, and if anything goes wrong it's usually my fault. I don't have credit cards, so if I spend more than I can afford, well, I'm eating Ramen noodles and peanuts on the plane until my next paycheck.

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life sans an iphone
a strangely positive end to my apple snobbery
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: humor
7.20.11 • CLASSIC

For the last two years, I've been a smartphone user. I've been a satisfied user of an Apple iPhone 3G, and considered it pretty important on a day-to-day basis to have an Internet connection. I've loved having immediate email access with the ability to check into Facebook or Twitter whenever I wanted to. All that came to a screeching halt two weeks back, when my iPhone refused to boot. At all. As I slowly comprehended that not all Apple phones are the totally perfect products their commercia

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a part of our speech
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
4.16.12 • CLASSIC

Loving: Noun
Loving begins as a noun, but not just any noun. Loving is a personal noun; it is something we experience only through the prism of ourselves. We can’t point to the source of love, diagram its location, or dissect it from our body, and yet it is there. Loving is also a noun in the stricter sense: Richard Loving, a white man born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1933.

Loving: Verb
Loving may begin as a noun, but we know it best as a verb. We recognize love only because we see it in action: caring, sharing, laughing, kissing, touching, soothing, healing, helping, grieving. These actions can shape our lives, yet we can’t trace them to a source. Love – of nature, of creatures, of music – is a mystery in the abstract, but vibrant in reality. Something happens in your spirit, your physical heart might thump, your nerves might jitter, and suddenly that potential for love comes out into the open. That kind of spark caught Richard Loving (noun: white) and Mildred Jeter (noun: black) and whirled them into action. They were loving each other, and – as it always does – that love was shaping their lives.

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where have all the bad guys gone?
i miss the days when they just wanted to take over the world
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: film
5.31.10 • CLASSIC

I noticed it first in one of the worst movies I've ever seen: G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra. I'm actually ashamed to admit that I watched it, a little more ashamed to say that I actually took guilty pleasure in it, and I should probably be punished for actually using it as the basis of film critique, but here we are! Let me see if I can sum up the relationships in this movie correctly: The protagonist (Duke) is the ex-fiance of one of the primary antagonists (the Baroness). She works for an or

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the elevator superhero
captain america goes to portland
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
4.20.12 • CLASSIC

The morning we're leaving for our family trip to Portland, Maine, my son discovers one of the hiding places where I've (obviously) failed to conceal an open Amazon box containing two kick ass 10" Marvel action figures. Through the open cardboard flap, he spies a Captain America shield, barely visible through the packaging - but it's enough to send him flying down the stairs yelling "DADDY DADDY I SEE CAPTUM ANMERICA CAN I HAVE HIM!?

He's three this month, and there's just no postponing gratification - birthday or not - when a toy of this caliber is unearthed. If he'd dug a little deeper, he would've seen the brain-melting awesomeness of the accompanying Iron Man figure. Luckily, I get to save that one for his big day.

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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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