Monkey See
2:07 pm
Tue August 11, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour Small Batch: Fantastic Four

From left: Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara) in the new Fantastic Four.
Twentieth Century Fox

Well, that is a thing that happened.

Fantastic Four came out last weekend, only to encounter less-than-stellar reviews and box office. Our own Chris Klimek saw it for and summed up its squandered potential with his usual nerd-cred eloquence, so I sat down with him for Pop Culture Happy Hour to discuss what went wrong and why.

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Author Interviews
1:19 pm
Tue August 11, 2015

Music Journalist Chronicles The 'Wild Obsessive Hunt' For Rare 78 RPM Records

Amanda Petrusich is a contributing writer for Pitchfork. Her work has also appeared at NPR Music.
Bret Stetka

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 1:37 pm

With almost all the music you'd ever want to listen to available online digitally, the obsessive hunt for scratchy, fragile 78 RPM records may seem anachronistic. But author Amanda Petrusich says that those early records, which hold between two and three minutes of music per side, showcase the sound and spontaneity of a time before second takes were common in record studios.

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It's All Politics
12:10 pm
Tue August 11, 2015

Donald Trump's Policy Positions Lack Specifics ... So Far

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media Aug. 6 in the spin room after the first Republican presidential debate, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Thu August 13, 2015 4:01 pm

Donald Trump wants to "Make America Great Again!" But much of how he plans to do that is still a mystery.

In his nearly two months as an announced presidential candidate, the controversial and outspoken billionaire businessman has promised he would be the "the greatest jobs president God ever created."

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Tue August 11, 2015

Dense, Fantastical 'Prodigies' Rewards The Patient Reader

Courtesy of Small Beer Press

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 4:28 pm

In Angélica Gorodischer's Prodigies, a home formerly occupied by the Romantic poet Novalis becomes a boarding house, in a small German town in the 19th century. At the helm of the residence is Madame Helena, who as a young bride left her unsatisfying husband and moved back to her childhood home, which she has converted into a space for boarders.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:14 am
Tue August 11, 2015

'The Water Knife' Previews A Future Drought Scenario

Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 3:53 pm

As I write this, California remains deep in its fourth year of drought.

One hundred percent of the state of Nevada is in drought — with 40 percent in the extreme drought category. Over to the southeast, 93 percent of Arizona's territory is in some form of drought. Even Washington state, far to the north, finds all of its territory in drought and 32 percent of its land in extreme doubt.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue August 11, 2015

'Hominids' Is A Deeply Human Collection Of Speculative Fiction

Courtesy of Tachyon Publications

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 10:54 am

Magic happens in "Soul Case," one of the standouts from Nalo Hopkinson's latest short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids. Not a metaphorical kind of magic, either. Set in a Caribbean village that's based on the historical phenomenon of marronage — former slaves escaping into the wilderness and forming free societies — the story zooms in on a battle between villagers and the colonial army set to subjugate them. That is, until a spell is cast that weighs heavily on all who witness it.

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Author Interviews
5:01 am
Tue August 11, 2015

The Kindness Of Strangers Connects A Poet To Her Own Grief

A tiny jar containing a thumb drive of poetry, given to Alexander by a young man at a reading.
Elizabeth Alexander

Originally published on Tue August 11, 2015 1:12 pm

You may know the acclaimed poet Elizabeth Alexander from her reading at President Obama's 2009 swearing-in ceremony.

Alexander, who teaches at Yale, published a new book earlier this year — but it's not poetry. The Light of the World is a memoir of the 16 years she shared with her husband Ficre, until his sudden death a few years ago.

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Monkey See
2:09 pm
Mon August 10, 2015

'Sense8' Is Getting A Second Season — Now What?

Daryl Hannah in the Netflix series Sense8.
Murray Close

Fans of Netflix's world-spanning science-fiction/action soap opera Sense8 have experienced a long, tense wait for renewal in recent weeks. While Netflix series like Daredevil, Bloodline and House Of Cards got their next-season notices back in March or April, and the second season of Grace And Frankie was finally announced in May, Netflix drew out the tension over Sense8 for months, sparking widespread speculation about what was holding up the announcement.

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1:36 pm
Mon August 10, 2015

Movies To Make You Forget The Heat: A Summer Watchlist

Omar Sharif's Doctor Zhivago didn't need any help chilling out.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon August 10, 2015 7:36 pm

I remember a blue and white sign that used to tempt me every summer when I was a kid. It dangled from the marquee of our neighborhood movie theater: Painted penguins and three irresistible, snow-covered words, "It's cool inside."

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The Salt
1:24 pm
Mon August 10, 2015

The Art Of Drinking Absinthe, The Liquor Of Aesthetes

Le louche refers to the transformation that happens when water is added to absinthe, turning the liquor from a deep green to a milky, iridescent shade. At left, a classic pour. At right, an absinthe glass fitted with a brouilleur, a device that holds the ice and lets water slowly drip down.
Courtesy of Scott MacDonald

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 2:09 pm

There's something romantic about absinthe — that naturally green liquor derived from wormwood and herbs like anise or fennel. Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde drank it. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso filled the glasses of cafe patrons with absinthe in their paintings. Absinthe was a drink of aesthetes.

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