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politics & government

I’ll tell you where our obligation to the government comes from

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I read a very good op/ed from the Richmond Times Dispatch website yesterday.  It was written by Mr. Barton Hinkle.  The piece explores the idea about where our obligations to the government come from.  It was very thought provoking, and extremely well written, especially given the depth of the topics the author touches.

But as I read through the piece, I realized that Mr. Hinkle was missing an important truth that, once considered, should alter his entire hypothesis.

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ends & oddmoney

Little known facts about federal reserve chairman Ben Bernanke

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Sure, we all know that Ben Bernanke is the head of the federal reserve. But did you also know that he’s a tool? That’s just one of the many things I discovered while compiling my list of little known facts about him! Read on for some more!

Ben Bernanke was the inspiration for the Marvel Comics villain “The High Inflationary.” In the upcoming film “X-Men: First Class,” he will be portrayed by actor Ray Park!

Ray Park as the villain The High Inflationary in a promotional shot from the upcoming film “X-Men: First Class.”

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: This week — special guests Dave Allen and Justin Pearson

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Welcome back to “Audio Files,” where existential orphans with spiritual aphasia power-bock toward the sexy froth of a Siberian Dawn.

Last week we debuted a new feature wherein talented folks describe five albums they’d need if stranded on a desert island. (Yes, that ol’ cliche.)

I initially called it “Meadows of Asphodel” in reference to this desolate Greek void of negative space. But “Meadows of Asphodel” sounds like a diseased candyland for Medieval sex offenders, so I’m giving it the more muscular name of “Asphalt Meadows.” And this week I’ve got some damn fine participants.

Please come along — we’ll eat the world and vomit lava!

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Mr. Sean goes to Washington

Meet Murkowski: One ballsy ballot buster

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When Lisa Murkowski lost the GOP primary, it seemed her time in the U.S. Senate was over. The Republicans didn’t want her (and the party leadership were enraged that she might want to run regardless), the Democrats already had a candidate (and even when they learned Lisa had an unexpectedly open dance card, chose to stick with their guy), and if she made a go of it as an independent, voters would be required to write her name on the ballot. And thus she faces a uniquely harsh task for a candidate: not only must she battle the two majors parties to convince Alaskans to go to the polls to support her, but she must teach the general population how to spell “Murkowski.” [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

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It started back in March, 2009 — my first column for When Falls the Coliseum, and my review of The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I have been waiting all those long months for the follow-up, The Fall and boy, was this worth the wait.  When they get around to making a movie about this trilogy, I will be first in line for my ticket. [Read more →]

going parentaltechnology

Going parental: iPad — Magic Slate in disguise?

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I recently got an iPad for me and my girlfriend. Our laptop was on its way out and we have a new desktop that works perfectly. I didn’t want to get another laptop so I settled in the middle and got the iPad since all we really wanted was easy access to the Internet when we were lounging around. I’m not going to lie. This thing is awesome. They have apps for everything. I’m pretty sure there’s an app that will tie your shoes and do your laundry for you — for just $9.99! Anyway, all was going well with our new toy. We bought a fresh black case for it and a screen protector. We’re careful about where we put it — ya know, the way you are with your baby the first few weeks of its life. And then it happened. [Read more →]

Broadway Fred

Broadway Fred

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You take a train to Penn Station, make a left onto Seventh Avenue and fight uptown through the crowds until you hit the TKTS line at 47th Street. You wait on what used to be the Howard Johnson’s side but which is now the Roxy side. You figure you’ll be on line for an hour or so and you inch forward. You and your companion take turns moving up front to check the board, which used to be narrow signs slid into slots but now is LED’s. You lament the fact that the shows you want to see the most are not up there. Too new. 

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Gail sees a movie

Gail sees a movie: Devil

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Elevators can be scary places, especially when that elevator music is playing.  But when the lights start flickering, the elevator gets stuck between floors and you are trapped with strangers and possibly Satan, a new level of terror sets in. Less is more in the taut 80 minute Devil, produced and based on a short story by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is tense, chilling and satisfying. And it is fun. [Read more →]

ends & oddmusic

Music for beards: Fripp and Eno’s “An Index of Metals”

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I like many types of music, ranging from Russian monophonic chant to Gothic German techno-metal to screechy avant-garde nonsense. My beard, however — well that’s a different story. His tastes are very specific, quite rarefied and were formed mostly in the first half of the 1970s, ending shortly after I was born. He likes droning, ambient noise, stuff that suggests the depths of space, or a long, slow descent into madness. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentMeg gives advice to famous people

Dear Kardashian family, please go away

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The nightmare I’m about to describe starts out like any other evening: You’re lying in bed after a long day, enjoying a glass of pinot grigio and flipping channels on the television. That’s when you see one. Dark, round, and virulent-looking. And just as quickly, it’s gone. Wait, are your eyes playing tricks on you? But no, for there is another. And another. And…another. You start to sweat, you start to cry, you jump up off the bed and battle the urge to burn the whole house down. Alas, it is too late. You’ve been infested, and the innocence you once knew is now gone. No, dear readers, I am not talking about bedbugs. I speak of the Kardashians. [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzo

On artistic weirdness: Part one

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I spend a lot of time trying to hide something, but I might as well come clean here. I have these slightly creepy, longish fingernails on my right hand. You can uncurl the top lip a little. It’s not like I am lounging on a gilded, wing-backed settee in a robe and grinning while scratching the top of a sleepy Persian cat’s head with three inches of talon. They’re just a little beyond the ends of my fingers. I play the classical guitar and the nails are how you get good sound on nylon strings. Still, it looks weird from the uninformed perspective. In the end, my nail issue sums up an awkward situation for the unknown artist in our society. [Read more →]

language & grammarthat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Bumper sticker mentality, self-esteem and second-rate art

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I harbor a distinct antipathy toward what a friend of mine used to call “the bumper-sticker mentality,” which disdains thinking and settles instead for sloganeering.

You’ve probably seen this one: “Arms are for hugging.” This isn’t wit. It’s plain old-fashioned equivocation — taking a word that has multiple meanings and pretending it only has one. Whoever came up with this should run out right now and hug a howitzer. [Read more →]

recipes & food

Curry chicken sandwich; an easy weeknight dinner

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A big satisfying sandwich can make a great weeknight dinner. For this Curry Chicken Sandwich recipe, the chicken can be prepared the night before and dinner can be on the table in 10 minutes. I usually serve this with some homemade potato chips, or a green salad with sliced apples.


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all workfashion & clothing

Marty digs Wal-Mart and Dockers

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I dig Wal-Mart. As much as people hate on Wal-Mart, I go for therapeutic reasons. I have been down in the dumps lately — work has been busy, money is tight, and I have spotted a few grays in my precious golden locks. But instead of going to a shrink to help me work out the kinks, I just jump in the car and go to my local Wal-Mart to make myself feel better. I cannot imagine what it costs for a session in some professional’s office to help you sort yourself out, but at Wal-Mart it’s free. (Well, it was $15.67 for the cashews, apple juice, Willie Nelson clearance priced T-Shirt, and pack of gum.) Once again, Wal-Mart has saved a consumer his hard-earned pocket change. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Braylon Edwards gets a DUI

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I try not to make Bad Sports, Good Sports the jerk-of-the-week column every Monday, but there are too many idiots in sports that make this difficult for me. Writing this column for the past year and a half has made it clear to me that there will never be a shortage of first-class morons on which I can focus. This week, Braylon Edwards is our man. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten things you don’t want to hear from your college roommate

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10. “When my last roommate gave me any trouble, I just beat him with a sockful of nickels.”

9. “What’s the point of having two beds in this room?”

8. “I’m studying the flesh-eating virus, so all these drawers here are off limits.”

7. “Hope you don’t mind all the Justin Bieber posters.”

6. “Oh, Glenn Beck is like God to me!”

5. “So which are you, Team Edward or Team Jacob?”

4. “Hi, I’m Steven, but on the weekends I’m Stephanie.”

3. “Seriously, some of Al-Qaeda’s principles aren’t as crazy as they sound.”

2. “I haven’t stopped crying since I found out the Cathy comic strip was ending.”

1. “Goodnight snuggle?”

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

terror & wartravel & foreign lands

Juarez: city of fear

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‘We’re not going to die, are we Dan?’ asked my friend Joe, a CBS radio reporter, shortly before we crossed from El Paso into Juárez, Mexico, murder capital of the world. ‘Nah,’ I replied. ‘Our guide is a priest. It’s a Sunday. The narcos will respect that.’

I was lying to make him feel better. [Read more →]

family & parentingtelevision

Bluenosing busybodies know what kind of entertainment your children need

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A group calling itself the Jerks Who Want to Tell You How to Raise Your Kids Because Your Kids are Obviously Too Stupid to Think for Themselves Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission complaining about a new show called “Zevo-3,” which is about a bunch of superheroes who wear shoes.

They’re not complaining about the fact that the show promotes an unhealthy view of the world by suggesting that all kids need to succeed is superpowers (think about what that will do to the self-esteem of the literally thousands of children who go without superpowers every day); no, what they’re in an uproar about is the fact that these totally unrealistic superhero characters wear a specific brand of shoe. [Read more →]


Can someone please clean my balls?

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I don’t have a clue what determines if something is acceptable on television these days. Clearly wardrobe malfunctions where a boob happens to come flying out in the middle of a Superbowl half-time show is not. We know that’ll get you a hefty fine and will force live shows to broadcast on a delay.

However, clear sexual innuendo on television is, apparently, just fine. The other night I decided not to fast forward though the commercials and watched the AXE commercial below. I immediately rewound it so I could watch it again… and again… and again. I turned to my husband and asked him, “how many guys do you think are whacking off to this commercial right now?”

The 12 seconds of silence while the host of the show circulates the two [golf] balls in her hand and then says “Wow, I can play with these balls all day” had to be the most sexually charged. But below I pulled out some other highlights… [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

My kid plays up

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It’s important that you know this about me: My kid plays up.

I remember those early days, when she was I guess four, when we first joined the town club team. She was running around with the other kids, and I could tell she had it. She needed more. She needed to play with the five-year-olds. As a good parent, I was restless watching her out there with the average kids. I recognized that having fun with her friends wouldn’t be enough. I told her everything she needed to do every second of every game. And I know she heard me, because I said it nice and loud. But we still weren’t getting results. So I moved her up. [Read more →]

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