Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Perils of Extreme Pubic Grooming

People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, New York magazine sex columnist Maureen O’Connor tells us more about clitoris threading.

Maureen! So what happened here?

I was Gchatting with my friend Beejoli, when she informed me that a freak hair-removal incident had nearly resulted in her clitoris getting ripped off by a rapidly whirling piece of string.

My exact response:




The Best Time Eve Went Camping



When People Say Funny Things When Animals Attack

I go to CNN.com sometimes in the hopes that something terrible has happened that might provide me with a good excuse to stop working for a moment. I am rarely thus rewarded. That said, I did buy myself a few moments of happiness today with this video of a Maine man being attacked by a moose:

The best part of the video was when the man says, "The only thing that I could think of was what I could put between myself and the moose." Not only did I laugh out loud, I wondered if this line was in fact funnier than the last funny thing I heard after an animal attack. And, yes, I know, this isn't really funny, because someone died.



DIY Crystal Light Lip Balm

Welcome to Just The Tips.

Today: DIY Crystal Light Lip Balm

Previously: The Faux Cross-Stitch Emoji Sweatshirt

Katie is a producer in Texas. Katy is a copywriter in California. They are best friends who met at piano lessons in the early 18th century. In “Just The Tips,” Katy and Katie heed the siren song of “best life” advice in the realms of fashion, makeup, DIY, crafts, and home decor. Their efforts are met with only varying degrees of success; their spirits remain suspiciously undefeated. Follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.


Anthony Lane Profiles James Franco

"Would it be construed as trespass, therefore, to state that Johansson looks tellingly radiant in the flesh? Mind you, she rarely looks unradiant, so it’s hard to say whether her condition [pregnancy] has made a difference." —The New Yorker, March 2014.

Poised on the edge of adulthood, James Franco is somehow all things at once, hard and soft, weathered and barely able to grow a beard, famous but quotidian, like a dumpling. Sitting by the fireplace in the Bowery Hotel and listening to the scruffy actor/ writer/ poet/ teacher/ artist/ intellectual provide meta commentary on his own celebrity, the intense glow on his face accents the sharp cheekbones that have cut so many spaghetti straps on so many camisoles. It’s easy to forget he’s just a child, until he laces up his Keds and bounds across the room to hit on a wispy 16-year-old angling between a pair of six-inch platforms and the oak bar.

It is a good time to be James Franco. He is a working actor in the most traditional sense: He is wearing overalls in Anna D Shapiro's production of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. It is honest work, he tells me—his voice like agave syrup, slow and precious—he gets to eat beans out of a can on stage. READ MORE


Warpaint, "Love Is to Die" (Live at KCRW)

Here's Warpaint performing "Love Is To Die," one of the best tracks off of their latest, self-titled album, in a live-studio session that brings to mind their "Billie Holiday" clip from a few years back (embedded after the jump, because it's too good). The ladies released a fun saunter of a music video for "Disco/Very" and "Keep It Healthy" earlier this month. READ MORE


Introducing "The Blood Countess"

What confused the joke, perhaps, was the already existing literature on “clinical vampirism,” a set of symptoms that, if it had not yet been given a catchy, Dracula-informed name (Renfield is the name of the Count’s blood-sucking assistant in Stoker’s novel), had been written about by medical professionals since the late 19th century. Psychiatric reports dating to that period occasionally described patients who derived sexual pleasure from consuming blood, sometimes their own. This behavior, though very infrequently reported, continues to show up in psychological studies, and sometimes in serial killers.

—Hairpin pal Katie Heaney wrote about "clinical vampirism" at Pacific Standard yesterday; be forewarned that reading her piece will likely send you down a Elizabeth Báthory (a.k.a. "The Blood Countess") Wiki-hole: "The exact number of young women tortured and killed by Elizabeth Báthory is unknown, though it is often speculated to be as high as 650, between the years 1585 and 1610." Add it to the list. [Pacific Standard]


This is Above Average's parodic response to Dove's "Patches" campaign from earlier in the month: the "real beauty mirror test," which has women confront how they see themselves when they look in the mirror. I, for one, tend to see sort of an amorphous blob. (Need new glasses.) [Via] | April 22, 2014


"This is what my body looks like now."

"He does not know when he will resume his career. She may never be able to return to critical-care nursing, with so much walking and lifting in a 12-hour shift. But they wear their injuries with a quiet, deliberate dignity, not hiding them. 'This is what my body looks like now,” she said. 'This is what it looks like when two amputees are married.' And when they reach that 'other side' Jess describes, they see themselves working together, treating and advocating for trauma amputees."

—Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, newlyweds who each lost a leg in last year's bombings at the Boston Marathon, completed the handcycle race today in 2:14:13. They crossed the finish line holding hands. The two were profiled in the Boston Globe on Sunday. Three cheers for them; three cheers for Meb. [Boston Globe]


The Ballad of the Tabloid Darling

A poem composed entirely of Daily Mail subheds. (Previously: The Love Story of Michelle Rodriguez and Cara Delevingne.)

She’s had two children

Posted intimate snaps

Second appearance

Lost control of her top


Her Majesty wore blue

Pumping her toned arms

Making sure to put her feet up

With ‘bunny’ Carmen

They looked just like any other family


Loading up with festive goodies

A massage room, a library, a spacious pool, and a screening room.

Ivy By the Shore READ MORE


"Did you know that you are hot?": An Affirmation From Ilana Glazer

This is the latest installment of Chronic Gamer Girl, a perfectly bizarre web series from Broad City's Ilana Glazer. NSFW, as this episode starts out with Glazer naked (but with bars!), delivering a draft for your future daily affirmation: "Did you also know that 100 people within 10 square miles of where you are, right here, right now, would kill to fuck you? Yes, you, Chronic Gamer Girl viewer, you know it!" Hopefully we get more of these to tide us over until the return of Abbi and Ilana.

Aging Out of the Foster Care System and Figuring Out How to Build a Life

Kyo, not his real name, is a young black man in his mid-20s currently living in transitional housing for the homeless in Northern New Jersey. I have known him since he was 18. I had met Kyo during my former job as a reporter with The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper.

Kyo was placed in the foster care system as a toddler. His mother was dead of a drug overdose, and his father was a long-time drug addict until he became clean several years ago. Kyo does not have a close relationship with his father, but has kept regular contact with his siblings, one younger brother and two older sisters.

In the system, he had stayed at several places including a good orphanage, where he felt taken care of, and the home of an abusive couple who would make him and their other charges stand for hours on end as a form of punishment. He had bounced between several schools over the years as well, but he did manage to graduate with a high school diploma.



Mad Men: When Pretending Is Your Job

Watching Mad Men feels a bit like refinishing a wooden chair, sometimes. You’re methodically working away with sandpaper at the arms and legs of this thing, which has been this way for as long as you can remember, and you’re up close and it seems like work, but it’s also strangely soothing, and suddenly you step back after an hour and the whole chair has a different appearance.

At least, that’s how I felt about it last night. Not all that much seemed to happen, because after all, it's Mad Men; with some surprises the pacing tends to be slow and steady. Yet, by the end of the episode everyone looked a bit different from how they started. We also got a return of Sally Draper (can I please have Kiernan Shipka’s eyebrows?), who’s at boarding school and grown up enough to attend the funerals of her friend’s mothers. And there was plenty of juicy intraoffice politics at Sterling Cooper Draper.

The first scenes of the episode, which is called “A Day’s Work”—yep, that’s a clue, or more of a hammer hitting a nail on its obvious head—involve Don. He’s in work limbo, waking at 7:30 a.m. only to fall back asleep until noon, hanging in his apartment in his pajamas watching TV, reading magazines, monitoring his liquor intake, watching bugs crawl along the floor. He is a mess. Until, suddenly, it’s time to start playing “work,” to put on a suit and tidy up and look like he’s got it together, because his secretary Dawn is coming over to give him the latest intel about the agency.

Dawn and Don clearly have an affinity for one another—he respects her, he needs her, now more than ever, for her connection to work and because she is human (I imagine days go by when he interacts with very few people; he’s lonely, he’s a bit lost, he is the '50s success story now heading into the vastly changed landscape of the '70s). Dawn likes Don because for all his flaws he’s never really been a shithead to her the way her new boss, Lou Avery, is. Don and Dawn have more than a very similar name, they have a connection, they have ambitions and they have secrets. So when he asks her to cover up for him with Megan, who still doesn’t know he’s on involuntary leave, Dawn does it; when he asks her to visit and give him agency dirt, she does. But she doesn’t want to take his money, even though she eventually does that, too, him pressing it into her palm like a dad giving his daughter cab fare. And she won’t get files from Peggy’s office for him. It’s funny: Don Draper can be so very shady, so sexually conniving, and yet with certain women, he is kind and gentle and openly needy. Or maybe that’s the new Don. Here, we see Dawn working for her boss, yes, but in a certain position of power, too—there are things she will and will not do.

At boarding school, someone’s mom has died, and Sally and her friends are planning a trip to the city for the funeral. No one seems all that distraught: “Jesus, Draper, is this your first funeral?” asks one of Sally’s friends, but Sally, the girl who grew up too fast, is upset. Her world has shifted yet again, and now people’s parents are dying?  READ MORE


25,000 Postcards of America in the 1930s and 1940s

The Boston Public Library's Flickr account has an amazing collection of postcards from the '30s and '40s, all published by a Boston firm called Tichnor Brothers, and you can search them by state: Florida, from whence came Ma and Pa Pelican, has over 3,000 postcards in the archive. [Via]

Photo via BPL/Flickr


"Furler wrote Rihanna's 'Diamonds' in 14 minutes"

The New York Times Magazine profiled Sia Furler, the brilliant and press-averse singer/songwriter who last year appeared on the cover of Billboard with a paper bag on her head:

Pop hits these days usually have at least two or three writers, and the choruses are generally celebratory — “victim to victory,” as Furler put it. For some, this process can still be soul-wrenching and endless, but Furler has no patience for that. In recent years, she has become a one-woman hit factory, working with Kurstin and others to write songs for artists like Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé. And her hits — including Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” and Eminem’s “Beautiful Pain” — seem to roll off something of a pop-music assembly line. Furler wrote Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in 14 minutes. After the D.J. David Guetta invited her to write the melody and lyrics for one of his songs, she futzed around on the Internet and pumped out “Titanium” in 40 minutes. (It has since been downloaded more than 3.7 million times.)

Sia wrote "Diamonds" in less time than it takes me to drink a cup of coffee. The behind-the-scenes women of the music industry (20 Feet to Stardom, holy shit) are endlessly fascinating, and I'd read unlimited words on them and would certainly read a whole book about Sia, who got drug-riddled and suicidal when forced to go on tour, eventually "dress[ing] herself and her band in masks and black costumes so crowds couldn't see their faces onstage." She got sober and found out she was better off writing for other people:

Daniel explained to Furler that she didn’t have to put herself out there as personally as she did on “Breathe Me.” He described what he called “high concept” songs — the industry trick of coming up with a word or phrase that works as a simple, poignant, bankable metaphor, like the Katy Perry song “Firework.”

Spotting a piggy bank on a table, Furler asked him: “So I could write, ‘I’m not your piggy bank’?”

“Exactly,” Daniel said.

Here's a video of Sia singing her 14 minutes of work, salute. [NYT]