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FEATURED COLUMNS

high rolla
how to get something for nothing
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: general
4.1.09 • CLASSIC

"All right Mr. Procopio, I've reserved a suite for you with our compliments. Is there anything else I can do?" "No thanks - well - hold on a second. I think it was... two years ago, my brothers and I stayed in the King Suite for the NCAA tournament, we decided to put everyone in one room rather than two or three like we usually do. Anyhow, this is my first trip with my wife and I'm trying to make it special. Is there any way you can upgrade me to that suite?" "Well let me check, sir. Normally

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2007: the year of the empty brand
why trust a word?
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: advertising
1.5.07 • CLASSIC

Welcome to the year of the brand. Oh, wait. You know about branding already? You know that people have blindly bought anything with a given word on it for years and years, including words like Levi's, Hershey's, and Snackwell's? You understand that the purpose behind branding is to build a trusted relationship with a family of products on the customer side, and on the corporation side, to inspire customer loyalty and therefore rake in the profits? Good. Then lemme lay down this new groove. Br

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good *uck, chuck
i don't want to be chuck lorre, but i wouldn't complain if it happened
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: television
11.9.07 • CLASSIC

Without going into detail (I'm saving that for the book), my life has changed a whole lot in the last two months. As compared to, say, six months ago, I have a new job, I'm living alone for the first time in my life, and -- most importantly -- I'm feeling pretty good about myself. Life -- knock on wood -- seems to be moving in the right direction. I'm pretty happy to be me. Which hasn't always been the case. (I can actually picture my mom reading this right now, thinking, "No, don't tell them

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the seven year itch
why can't tv do right by marriage?
by michelle von euw
topic: television
10.10.08 • CLASSIC

After months of ignoring the critical buzz, I finally succumbed to the pressure, and watched the first DVD of the acclaimed drama "Mad Men". While the show certainly looked gorgeous and authentic, as much as I can judge what is authentic in terms of a 1960s Manhattan advertising firm, I had trouble warming up to the characters. The men and women who populate the show, or at least the first three episodes, are a bit too cold and distant for me to really care about their struggles. I understa

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taking the under
10 of the most underrated flicks since 1990
by mike julianelle
topic: film
10.6.08 • CLASSIC

A recent article proclaimed Outside Providence one of the ten most underrated movies of the past 15 years. I don't think so. It's an enjoyable flick with a weak lead performance, some nice supporting turns and some funny moments. For the purposes of this column, let's define an underrated movie as "a great movie that is not recognized as being great." Outside Providence doesn't quite fit. So what does? Glad you asked! I made a list. First, some qualifications: I eliminated movies that got a

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god for president 2012
the official statement
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: humor
3.28.12 • CLASSIC

Behold, voters, for I have arrived!

No longer will I allow my self-appointed press secretary Rick Santorum to speak on my behalf. Bless his soul, he often goes off with his pistol half cocked, as we say in the American South. I am afraid that greatly skews his conscious understanding of me, the Bible, the Earth, women, Christianity, education, migrant workers, the role of government, the financial sector, the separation of church and state, unemployment, renewable energy, ham and cheese sandwiches, ring-tailed lemurs, athletic socks, rally stripes on muscle cars, Etch-A-Sketches--well, you see my point.

Something is bothering me. Frankly, I hate to bring it up, but my PR firm, Holy Universal Results, gently suggested I get in front of this before Anderson Cooper.

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september 11th, 10 years later
looking back, looking ahead
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: news
9.12.11 • CLASSIC

By the time you read this, for better or worse, the 10th anniversary (what is a synonym for "anniversary" that doesn't sound so peppy?) of the September 11th attacks will have passed. All of the commemorations and terrifying flashback footage and heartfelt commercials will be done and we'll be back to our daily reality, whatever that may be.

We are different in so many ways since 2001, in ways that connect to September 11th, and in ways that don't. The technological advances we've achieved in that decade have been phenomenal, and yet, I don't know that we're smarter as a collective. 

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woe the big 3
automakers want a bailout, but why should they get one?
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: news
12.12.08 • CLASSIC

I like cars. I even like movies centered around cars, i.e.: Gone in 60 Seconds, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, Vanishing Point, Days of Thunder and The Fast and the Furious. I also like politics. You aren't bestowed the title of "chief white house correspondent" for nothing around here. So when the Big 3 automakers are on Capital Hill, you know I'm watching. The request for money by the Big 3 was broken up into two trips, the first summarized like this: Carmakers: We need a financ

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stepping out of my professional comfort zone
a day in the life of a camera assistant
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
10.15.08 • CLASSIC

I tried a new job on for size this weekend. It’s the first time in a while that I took a step out of my day-to-day schedule, and I think I liked it. My husband’s production company needed a camera assist for a day of re-shooting, and they didn’t have the number for the person they normally hire. So I volunteered. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I take direction well. Also, I had nothing better to do. So this month’s column is a minute-by-minute account of a day in the life of a

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are we not entertained by top chef?
a taste of reality-tv's latest hit, garnished with jamie lee curtis
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: television
7.20.07 • CLASSIC

I love Wednesday nights. Even though I am temporarily separated from "Lost" (hem, hem—Matthew Fox!—hem, hem) because of television’s annual summer hiatus, I am not deprived. Instead of watching sweaty castaways struggle with fire, I now check out perspiring cheftestants cook off on "Top Chef". Of course, "Top Chef" isn’t the only reality-based competitive cooking show fun to watch with soft-core food fiendings —- "Iron Chef America" and "Hell’s Kitchen" are solid stomach-growling choices too.

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loving
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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how to be on the internet
your guide to not being a total douchebag
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: writing
4.17.09 • CLASSIC

You are a creator. You spend time organizing the inner workings of your mind into detailed output for the consumption and enjoyment of others. In your dreams of success, your work is out in the world for everybody to see and appreciate. Your name is on everybody's lips and pounded out on everyone's keyboard. Harsh reality: Your work will be criticized; some people will not like it. It's a fact of life. Even the most successful people have detractors. Sometimes, they are people with leg

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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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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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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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