Mixed Media

Study Confirms What Your Mother Always Says About Your Father

| Fri Dec. 12, 2014 10:10 AM EST

One day he's going to die doing something stupid:

A 20 year study of the Darwin Awards, an annual review of the most foolish ways people have died, found almost 90 per cent were 'won' by males.

Of the 318 valid cases remaining, 282 (88.7 per cent) were awarded to males and just 36 to females, a gender difference entirely consistent with male idiot theory (MIT) that states men are idiots and idiots do stupid things.

Writing in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, the researchers say it is puzzling that men are willing to take such unnecessary risks - simply as a rite of passage, in pursuit of male social esteem or solely in exchange for "bragging rights".

The study is tongue in cheek but to be honest it's not even really surprising. We're awful. I'm a man. I come from a long line of men. (My father was a man. His father was a man...) Some of my best friends are men! But men are awful. Women are awful, too, but, you know, less awful.

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Jon Stewart Can't Believe the Right Wing Defense of the CIA Torture Report Either

| Thu Dec. 11, 2014 2:00 PM EST

From rectal feeding to threats aimed at children, the horrific practices outlined by the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report have provoked widespread condemnation of the CIA. As if these torture methods weren't enough to swallow in one news cycle, a number of talking heads were quick to applaud the torturers. Andrea Tantaros of—surpriser!—Fox News and her unbelievable "America is awesome" rant is just one example.

Last night, Jon Stewart showed he's just as disgusted with these responses as the rest of us. Watch below:

The MPAA Says Teens Can't See a Film About Edward Snowden. This Theater Is Going to Let Them in Anyway.

| Wed Dec. 10, 2014 9:26 AM EST

"Citizenfour," a documentary about Edward Snowden, was given an R rating by members of the Motion Picture Association of America. Their rationale for doing so was apparently due to the occasional swearing that takes place in the hotel room where Snowden, director Laura Poitras, and journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill conduct their conversation.

For all teenagers who think they can handle a bit of naughty cuss words and are interested in learning more about shocking global surveillance practices carried out by their government, head over to the IFC theater in New York City, where they're overriding the MPAA's suggested rating. Their rationale? "Not only do we feel the film is suitable for teens, we feel it is essential viewing for anyone who may vote in the next election."

(h/t Boing Boing)

This Is the Predictably Awful Way Fox News Reacted to the CIA Torture Report

| Tue Dec. 9, 2014 6:26 PM EST

On Tuesday the Senate released a long-awaited, scathing report condemning CIA torture methods during the George W. Bush administration. The report outlines horrible abuses including "rectal feeding" and "ice-water baths," but only the geniuses over at Fox News could see what it was truly about: Obamacare.

The hosts of Fox News' Outnumbered were convinced the report was made public in order to distract from Jonathan Gruber's testimony on Obamacare this morning. Jesse Watters, who says he would have rather remained in the dark, because after all people do "nasty things in the dark" all the time, said he found the timing of the report's release "ironic," which it is not.

Watters then went on to compare the torture report to Rolling Stone's botched sexual assault reporting at the University of Virginia, because why the hell not?

"They didn't even interview any of the CIA interrogators who do the report," Watters explained. "It's kind of like how Rolling Stone does their stories—they only get one side. And to say this is about transparency at the CIA, the Democrats didn't care about transparency when they were destroying hard drives at the IRS."

(h/t Media Matters)

Watch "Emperor" Obama Take Over Hosting Duties for Colbert

| Tue Dec. 9, 2014 9:10 AM EST

"You've taken plenty of shots at my job. I'm going to take a shot at yours."

And with that, President Obama seized control of a special D.C. edition of "The Colbert Report" last night, leading off by taking over hosting duties for the latest installment of "The Word," or as the president promptly renamed, "The Decree."

Later on, the two sat down and discussed everything from the midterm elections to the nuclear launch codes. Regarding immigration reform, Colbert asked his guest, "You realize you're an emperor now...Why did you burn the Constitution and become an emperor?"

Colbert, who will be replacing David Letterman over at the "Late Show" soon, concluded the special appearance with a suggestion that melded both immigration legislation and Keystone into one bizarre policy proposal. The president declined: "Stephen, that sounds like a ridiculous idea. But that's why you're where you are, and I'm where I am."

She & Him & M. Ward

| Mon Dec. 8, 2014 6:00 AM EST

She & Him
Classics
Columbia

M. Ward
Transistor Radio
Merge

 

Behold the two sides of M. Ward (Matt to his friends), the gifted troubadour who makes nice pop records with actress Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and crafts darker folk-rock fare on his own. Classics finds She & Him covering 13 chestnuts in engaging fashion, with Deschanel taking most of the lead vocals, as usual.

Though she lacks the booming voice of a Dusty Springfield, whose "Stay Awhile" gets a welcome reboot here, Deschanel is a charming singer who sells a lyric with understated grace. See the downcast soul standard "Oh No, Not My Baby" or the enthralling and dreamy "Unchained Melody" for proof. If their sleepy reading of "Stars Fell on Alabama" won't make anybody forget the timeless Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong duet, it's still lovely.

Ward's stellar 2005 album Transistor Radio, just reissued on vinyl with a CD containing four bonus tracks, has aged extremely well. Without straining for effect, his whispery rasp brilliantly conveys all the simmering desperation and mordant humor of haunting songs such as "Four Hours in Washington" ("It's 4:00 in the morning and I'm turning in my bed/I wish I had a dream or a nightmare in my head") and "One Life Away," recounting a visit to a sweetheart's grave. Ward can spook a person like few others when he's in the mood.

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Watch This Dog React to Its Favorite Song Coming On

| Sun Dec. 7, 2014 4:15 PM EST

Here is a video of a dog sleeping in the back of a car while the driver plays Charli XCX's wonderful "Boom Clap." Then the driver switches to Frozen's "Let It Go" and the dog wakes up and starts singing along. Then Charlie XCX comes back on and it goes back to sleep.

This dog has terrible taste in music. Charli XCX is objectively better than Frozen. If this dog were a music critic, I'd fire it. But it's not a music critic. It's a dog. And all things considered, this is a spirited performance for a dog.

(via BuzzFeed)

Film Review: "We Are the Giant"

| Sat Dec. 6, 2014 6:30 AM EST

We Are the Giant

MOTTO PICTURES

Bahraini sisters and activists Maryam and Zainab al-Khawaja are the heart of this devastating look at the lives behind three Arab Spring uprisings. The film's interviews are interspersed with grainy, often violent footage—one heart-wrenching clip of a little girl singing at a peaceful protest is cut short by a nearby explosion; another expresses the profound remorse of a Syrian protest leader whose peaceful rallies were met by fatal attacks on his people. By the end, some of the film's main characters are questioning their faith in nonviolent resistance, but their resilience in the face of injustice is this excellent film's common thread.

President Obama to Appear on "The Colbert Report"

| Fri Dec. 5, 2014 9:29 AM EST

President Obama will have the distinct honor of appearing on one of the handful of episodes that remain before the nation must bid a sorrowful adieu to the institution that is "The Colbert Report."

Host Stephen Colbert, who is replacing David Letterman over at the "Late Show," announced the booking last night, summing it up as a great privilege to "be sitting down with the man who sat down with Bill O'Reilly."

The interview will take place Monday, December 8th and be broadcasted from George Washington University for a special D.C. edition. So pumped, we are.

 

Jon Stewart Explains What Is "So Utterly Depressing" About the Eric Garner Grand Jury

| Thu Dec. 4, 2014 2:38 PM EST

Last night, Jon Stewart began the Daily Show by dropping the comedy and expressing in very human terms the frustration and disbelief everyone (or (well, not everyone) is feeling after a Staten Island grand jury's failure to indict the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner in a lethal chokehold on film."If comedy is tragedy plus time I need more fucking time—but I would settle for less fucking tragedy, to be honest with you. What is so utterly depressing is that none of the ambiguities that existed in the Ferguson case exist in the Staten Island case. And yet the outcome is exactly the same." Stewart says. "We are definitely not living in a post-racial society and I can imagine there are a lot of people out there wondering how much of a society we're living in at all." Pretty much.