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Wednesday, 24 February 2016 09:04

Celeb Slam - (02-24-2016)

More monkey business

As anyone who reads this space with regularity is aware, we're not at all averse to going for the low-hanging fruit. Sure, we could dig a little deeper in our quest to scorn and deride the failings of the famous, but really why bother? There are plenty of celebs who are more than happy to provide a nigh-constant stream of misdeeds and faux pas.

One of our all-time favorites is Justin Bieber. The Biebs has been providing fodder for this feature for what seems like forever; he's definitely earned a place on the Celebrity Slam Mount Rushmore. So what is Bieber doing now to warrant our interest?

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 05:41

Time Waster (02-24-2016)

Cube Escape: Birthday'

Continuing the haunting series of 'Cube Escape' games, Rusty Lake has put out another free escape game on the heels of the 'Rusty Lake Hotel' game which you can buy in the app store, on Steam or via their website (www.rustylake.com). This latest release brings you into the past of the recurring character Dale Vandermeer, who first appeared in 'Cube Escape: Case 23.'

You are placed in the point of view of young Dale, who is enjoying his ninth birthday party with his parents and grandfather when things go suddenly and horribly wrong. But does the darkness need to remain?

Published in Time Waster Weekly
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 09:27

The consequences of genius - A Doubter's Almanac'

Novel explores the powerful, punishing effects of true brilliance

'Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.' Bernard Williams

What is the true cost of genius? How does a single-minded fanatical brilliance impact the rest of one's life? What effects does it have on interpersonal relationships and one's sense of self? Great problems require great solutions, but those solutions can often prove to be obstacles in their own right.

Ethan Canin's 'A Doubter's Almanac' (Random House, $28) tells the tale of the issues raised by the obsessive genius of one particularly gifted family.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 09:24

The profane perfection of Deadpool'

Film offers crass, clever take on the superhero genre

Considering the current ubiquity of superhero movies, one might think that we're past the point where any of these films might be capable of surprising us. We've got the ongoing Marvel brightly-colored world-building and the DC dark-and-gritty take about to commence what else is there?

Quite a bit, it turns out.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 09:13

How to Be Single' deserves to be alone

Rom-com attempts edginess, fails to resonate

Plenty of people critics and consumers alike are happily dismissive of romantic comedies out of hand. I, however, am not one of them. There's something inherently romantic about the medium; movies are great vehicles for the telling of love stories. Call them cheesy, call them trite, call them whatever you like they can absolutely have value. They don't always, mind you, but they can.

This is where a distinction needs to be made; I'm talking about WELL-MADE romantic comedies here. There are certainly plenty of terrible rom-coms out there, just like there are terrible examples of every genre of film. Granted, romantic comedy tends to lean into formula and hackneyed tropes more than most, so it's always a delight when a solid one pops up.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:59

Zoolander 2' a fashion victim

Too-late sequel neither funny nor necessary

Sequels are inherently subject to the law of diminishing returns. Revisiting the same people doing the same things is almost always going to result in a lesser experience. The degree of diminishment, however, is variable. Sometimes, you get a sequel that stands fairly strong; it's particularly nice when a sequel allows itself to change in a significant way.

Other times, you get 'Zoolander 2.' This wildly unnecessary 15-years-later sequel to 2001's 'Zoolander' has no real reason to exist. The original managed to take advantage of a cast operating at or near the peak of its collective comedic powers to elevate a barely-viable concept into a fun, eminently quotable cult classic. The sequel doesn't.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:38

Criminal Mischief - (02-17-2016)

Maine Attorney General announces new hire for Unsolved Homicide Unit

Renee Ordway named as victim advocate for Maine's Unsolved Homicide Unit

AUGUSTA Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced that a final hiring decision has been made to complete the staff of Maine's Unsolved Homicide Unit. Renee Ordway has been hired to serve as the victim advocate to work with the family members in these cases, making the unit fully staffed.

'In her 30 year career in journalism, Renee has demonstrated an ability to give voice to victims in a manner that has earned her a reputation for fairness and compassion,' said Attorney General Mills. 'We are very pleased to have the unit at full complement and working on these difficult cases. As we have said over the last several years as the Legislature considered creating this unit, we cannot guarantee convictions, but we can guarantee our undivided attention and our best efforts.'

Published in Criminal Mischief
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 08:22

Celeb Slam - (02-17-2016)

No one will believe you

You might have heard about a whole bunch of business involving Kanye West and his new album, about his apparently massive debts and a stinging lyric about Taylor Swift. Honestly, it's kind of in the Celebrity Slam wheelhouse - we've made a lot of hay with Yeezus and his shenanigans over the years and this is more of the same. Truthfully, if we wanted to change the name of this space to 'Kanye Slam,' we could probably still manage our weekly output just fine.

But rather than contribute even further to the steady creep of Kanye Fatigue, we thought we'd make mention of another celebrity, one whose behavior is the sort of odd that rarely gets him mentioned in this space.

Published in Celebrity Slam
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 07:55

Weird National Briefs (02-17-2016)

For the birds

CARLSBAD, N.M. - A New Mexico city in cracking down on people feeding pigeons.

KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports that the Carlsbad city council recently approved an ordinance that bans residents from feeding or providing environments that attract the birds.

The city says the ordinance will help eliminate some of the health risks associated with pigeon droppings.

Published in Weird National Briefs
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 22:00

Time Waster (02-17-2016)

TEKK

Blacksmith Lab'

'Blacksmith Lab' is a clicker game, but though it does have an idle mode, you are best served when you are actively playing it. You own a smithy, and your goal is to make things, fill orders and upgrade your smith so you can upgrade and fill more orders.

All the while there are other things going on in the world, like thieves that steal your money, investments you can make in town, gifts you can receive and so on. The more you actively play, the more you can do things like put out literal fires in your forge or take advantage of lower risk investments at the bank but you can't do those things if you are just forging idly in the background.

Published in Time Waster Weekly
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