• Check out this awesomely detailed digital art Digital Art Image

    With increased accessibility and the host of spellbinding advancements in technology, the quality of digital art has jumped through the roof. If the great masters of yesteryear could utilize a procreate on an iPad instead of oil paints, classic works like the Mona Lisa would be even more staggering. In addition to the spectrum of colors and lighting effects that digital art programs afford, they can also accentuate the details of a piece in ways that would've been unfathomable only 15 years prior. Armed with the correct hashtags, scrolling through the explore page on Instagram is like wandering through the social media equivalent of the Louvre. Sure, some questionable "fan art" might find its way into the mix, but the creativity on display makes it all worthwhile. 

    Take the piece linked above, for example. Through the innovative application of the zoom-out feature, artist Pablo Andres Pozo has been able to produce arresting works of art that wouldn't be possible in any other era. 

  • God help us all: Hershey's Kisses will have vanilla frosting this Easter hershey-vanilla-frosting-kisses

    Presumably, we've all fallen off of our New Year's resolutions by now. To be frank, I don't trust anyone that adheres to the concept beyond the month of February. Let's say you're trying to lose weight. If you can resist the oceans of decadence that line the aisle of any convenience store around Valentine's day, I'm not sure that I want to know you. Even after withstanding the assault against your willpower on February 14th, you still have to make it through Easter if you intend to stand firm on your resolution to shed pounds. Well, the fine folks at Hershey's have decided to turn the difficulty on that particular task up to eleven.

    This Easter, Hershey is unveiling a new flavor of their famous Kisses filled with vanilla frosting. Look, I'm Muslim, and even I'm contemplating picking up a bag. Of course, I'll only eat them before or after the intended date, but that's beside the point. The folks at Hershey's have to be stopped before they can chip away at our collective willpower even further.

  • Take a trip to the sushi university Sushi university Image

    One of the worst sins a person commits while traveling is staying on the beaten path. Some travelers—Americans—venture into a new land and play it safe. Instead of exploring and discovering the unique elements of a foreign culture, they stay within the guardrails of their sojourn by visiting the most obvious tourist attractions. I've even heard it said that uninspired American tourists will have dinner at the local McDonald's to "see what it's like in a different country."  

    Part of their aversion to new experiences comes from fear. Embracing another culture can be overwhelming and intense. Sure, you might want to be adventurous and try a new restaurant, but what should you order when you get there? What do the locals enjoy? The whole process can become intimidating and force you to seek the familiar irrespective of how antithetical it seems to the notion of travel. Luckily for us, not all guides are made equally. 

    If you happen to find yourself in Japan- you know, once the world gets back to normal- you can use this handy guide from Tabimori Inc, known as Sushi University, to learn about authentic Edoame sushi. Sushi University has a host of comprehensive history lessons and an extensive ingredient guide for a slew of delicious-looking sushi available on their website. If you decide to take the extra step and apply for their service, Sushi University will pair you with a seasoned translator and guide to escort you through the various epicurean delights from the Edo period during your visit to Japan.

    Aside from having copious languages available on the site, Sushi University also comes equipped with an irresistible visual guide for some of the best sushi. If you want to order sushi like a pro next time you head to Japan, take a trip to Sushi University first. 

  • Why is it so hard to separate art from the artist? Art and artist Image

    Separating the art from the artist is easy for me. Take Joss Whedon, for example. BuffyAngel, and Firefly were foundational to my identity and instrumental in my decision to pursue writing as a career. Before his fall, Joss Whedon was a creator I idolized and resonated with on a deep level. Even my interest in feminism was prompted by him identifying as such.

    Though Whedon's scumbag tendencies are exposed for the world to see, it doesn't invalidate the joy I garnered from his work, nor does it prompt me to recontextualize them. Once art it leaves the physical vessel responsible for its creation, it exists independently. 

    H.P. Lovecraft would surely hate my Black ass, but it doesn't make his work any less genius. Is his racism tolerable because he isn't alive to spout it? Do the dead get a pass? Since living controversial artists are going to be equally as dead someday, why shouldn't I apply the same philosophy to them in present?

    There's one example where I can't separate art from the artist: Chris Benoit.

    That's why the video above from the YouTube channel Eyebrow cinema hit so close to home. I can't apply my ability to separate his craft from his crimes. And, if anything, the video forces me to reevaluate my stance on the issue.

  • The Tom and Jerry fighting game that should have already existed Tom and Jerry fighting game Image

    Once Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, the best-selling fighting game of all time, played the final cord in its encore and began to leave the stage, several other companies started efforts to clone its success. There have always been Smash Bros clones, but it wasn't until recently that major companies like Paramount and Warner Brothers thought about using their extensive library of characters to mimic the famed platform fighter. 

    Warner's impending attempt to cash in on the Smash bandwagon, known as Multiversus, will allow players to battle as iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Superman, and Shaggy in what looks like the world's most interactive commercial. Multiversus will also include Tom and Jerry on their roster, but the famously combative characters will be working as a team instead of rivals. That's pretty wack, man. Like millions of fans worldwide, I wanted to re-create the decades of splendid violence between the most famous cat and mouse duo in cartoons. I know it's a weird hill to die on, but I'm totally okay with that.

    Since we're seemingly never going to get a solid competitive fighting game for Tom and Jerry, this scene from Teen Titans Go! will have to serve as the next best thing. The artist behind the scene's creation, Hazen Becker from Instagram, shared the clip linked above. 

  • King of the Hill is getting a revival series King of the Hill Image

    Five years ago, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that streaming networks would revive Veronica Mars and Twin Peaks. Now we're facing the prospect of every show with even the most modest fandom getting a reboot. You can chalk it up to a lack of creativity in Hollywood or the modern obsession with nostalgia, but nothing stays dead in the world of media. Typically, I would view this through the eyes of cynicism, but Mike Judge just announced that King of the Hill is coming back and that just fills me with glee, I tell ya what. 

    Since its cancellation on Fox-to make room for the Cleverland Show, of all things–King of the Hill's brand of wit and social commentary has been sorely missed by millions. With the entrenched political division, host of wild conspiracy theories, and evolving social norms running rampant in America, the new King of the Hill will have no shortage of potent material to lampoon. 

  • 26 anti-Muslim groups gained over $100 million from charitable organizations in America Muslim Image

    To say that Muslim Americans have been scrambling in their attempt to restore their public image to its pre 9/11 variant would be an understatement. Although 9/11 was 20 years ago, the rampant association between Muslim people and terrorists has yet to dissipate. At one point, it seemed as if the correlation was beginning to die down in the 2010s, but Donald Trump's presidency in 2016 only caused the public distaste for Islam to grow substantially. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, anti-Muslim groups generated over 100 million dollars through various charity organizations between 2017 and 2019.

    While the amount of money raised is a staggering display of how woefully misunderstood both Muslims and Islam are to most Americans, the bigotry behind the donations isn't surprising. As if the years of negative media representation following the events of 9/11 weren't enough, the hateful and anti-Islamic rhetoric of the 45th President only aided in furthering the global misinformation about Islam.

  • How did the Vikings get high? Vikings High Image

    Nazis are boring. Since the end of the second world war, Nazis have become the generic, default bad guy in all forms of storytelling. Need someone for Indiana Jones to punch? Try a Nazi. Want some expendable cannon fodder for a video game? Don't waste your time inventing a compelling villain with a uniquely horrendous ideology; just add some Nazis. 

    Don't get me wrong, watching a Nazi swallow their teeth along with their racist rhetoric is fantastic, but I find their oversaturation in stories to be taxing and repetitive. Honestly, it's just a product of the times. Before the Nazis became the de facto example of human evil, other notorious groups were the template for narrative antagonists. If I were around in the 1900s, I'm sure I'd be equally as bored of pirates. Prior to that, Vikings would've been the overused personification of human evil. 

    Ironically enough, despite all the carnage they caused in their era, the media now presents Vikings as noble warriors and protagonists. We've moved so far away from their bloody legacy that Vikings are now "cool." We shrug off colloquial phrases associated with Vikings and their grizzly rampages and view their berserker rages with whimsy.

    In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Nutty History explains that the only people to regard berserker rages as a lark were the Vikings themselves, primarily because they were incredibly high during them. 

  • How do modern billionaires stack up against African kings? Billionaires Image

    Growing up in an Afrocentric household, one of my parents' most commonly spouted tidbits of trivia related to Mansa Musa and his immense wealth. "You know," they'd say, for the 46th time that month, "Mansa Musa was the wealthiest man ever. Even compared to modern millionaires." 

    Mansa Musa was the Islamic ruler of Mali who traveled across Africa during his Hajj pilgrimage to flaunt and donate his exorbitant wealth. It was essentially Cribs: the roadshow. The trip forever enshrined Mansa Musa's name alongside the other historical bastions of obscene wealth. Consequently, whenever a new headline emerges touting Jeff Bezos as the wealthiest man ever to live, you can bet some Afrocentric brother from Harlem—that sells incense and conspiracy DVDs for a living—will bring up Mansa Musa as a counter-argument. But how does Mansa Musa compare to modern billionaires like Elon Musk? 

    In the video linked above, Home Team History offers their take on the debate between wealthy African kings and their modern equivalent in the billionaire class. 

  • Let's look at the Korean Mafia Korean Mafia Image

    While we bask in the glory of bands like BTS and Twice and watch smash K-dramas such as the Squid Game, an aspect of Korean culture that takes a back seat to China and Japan is its organized crime. We all know the Triads and Yakuza through their various outings in cinema, but what's the deal with the Korean mafia? Before an inevitably great and Oscar-winning Korean mafia film makes its debut in the States, let's learn about the nuances of Korean street crime. In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Forgotten Streets gives a brief look at the Korean mafia. 

  • Cargo trains in LA raided for Amazon packages Cargo train image

    For most people, the fear of thieves stealing their Amazon packages happens once the items are delivered. There's that weird period where the coveted item you've been craving for a whole day rests vulnerably on your doorstep like an infant at a firehouse. Maybe you're running errands or at work when you get the notification that your package is waiting for you, but, in either scenario, the apprehension is the same. It doesn't matter about the affluence of your neighborhood or how upstanding your neighbors seem; the fear, no matter how slender, exists in the back of your mind. Unfortunately, you can now add the prospect of your package getting stolen long before it reaches your door to your list of worries.

    In the video linked above, Inside Edition, of all places, covers a cargo train in Los Angeles getting gutted for the valuable Amazon items housed inside. As if the crime wasn't detestable enough, the trash littered across the rails is an equally appalling sight.

  • Oscar Issac joins the Marvel cinematic universe as Moon Knight Moon Knight Trailer

    When Samuel L Jackson sauntered across the screen in 2008's Iron Man, spouting promises of a connected Marvel universe in film, my lifelong nerd noodle began to rifle through a potential roster of films. Like any good geek from that era, I knew Marvel's big guns—The Fantastic FourSpider-ManDaredevil, and the X-Men—were locked down with other movie studios. If Marvel wanted to make their own movie studio work, they would need to rely on their second-string heroes. Of all the characters I considered, Moon Knight never crossed my mind as I pondered who Marvel would potentially select for their future adaptations. 

    That's not because the character is terrible on the page. Moon Knight has been pretty hit or miss throughout his career but far more hit than miss. It's just that Moon Knight was seemingly too obscure for mainstream attention. Only weird, obsessive nerds like me would be excited to see the character on the big screen. Cut to today, and Marvel has turned the entire planet into weird, obsessive nerds like me. So, not only is Moon Knight getting an adaptation, but, dig this, it's hotly-anticipated.

    The ever-talented Oscar Issac dons Moon Knight's signature white hood in a trailer that looks as trippy as anything Marvel's produced in the video linked above. 

  • An owner of the Golden State Warriors claims "no one cares about the Uyghur Muslims" Golden State Image

    Recently the NBA has come under fire for its continued relationship with China. Since the NBA has chosen to position its brand as a beacon of social justice issues related to race, many have labeled the organization's inability to denounce China's genocide of the Uyghur Muslims as hypocritical at best and sinister at worst. Lebron James, who infamously skirted the double standard to curry favor with his Chinese business partners, faced a wave of scrutiny for his selective activism last year. With the torrents of lousy press spewing from the issue, one would think anyone associated with the NBA would avoid the problem entirely with some clever PR sleight of hand. Chamath Palihapitiya, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, took a different approach and claimed that no one cared about the Uyghur genocide.

    During a podcast, tech Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya callously said that the Uyghur genocide in China was "below his line" regarding news issues that deserve his attention.

    "You bring it up because you really care, and I think that's nice that you care; the rest of us don't care," Palihapitiya said while discussing human rights with his co-hosts. "I'm telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/virgin-galactic-responds-chamath-palihapitiyas-nobody-cares-uyghur-genocide-2022-1

    Palihapitiya has since doubled back on the statement in an equally emotionless tweet that only obliquely references his offensive comments.

  • Listen to Teddy Swims' cover of Georgia on my mind Teddy Swims Image

    No matter how hard we try, our eyes will always establish a bias based on the plethora of visual information we've accrued over a lifetime of experiences. Too often are we forced to reevaluate a person after forming an imbalanced perspective of their personality before we interact with them.

    When I first encountered Teddy Swims, it was on a muted Instagram clip. Judging by his visage alone, I assumed he'd be yet another white rapper, festooned in facial tattoos, that was actively searching for fifteen seconds of fame as opposed to the more sustainable version of renown. With the endless barrage of "musicians" that share his aesthetic, it was remarkably easy to slot Swims into a stereotypical category that robbed him of individuality. Once I allowed Swims' melodic vocals to work their way into my ears, I realized that I should've let his music speak first.

    That's why I feel Swims' cover of Ray Charles' "Georgia on my mind" is the perfect way to introduce him to others. Unlike Charles, who would've never had the chance to form a negative association with Swims' visual, I couldn't divorce my bias on a first impression. However, through his admiration for Charles' work, I finally got to see Swims' talent in a clearer light than my eyes would've ever allowed.

  • Professional pillow fighting: the newest combat sport Pro pillow fighting Image

    During the height of the "war on terror," one of the stock responses used by Republicans to defend the unjust incursion on Iraqi soil was that the terrorists "hated us for our freedom." As far as warmongering propaganda slogans go, you've got to admit, that's a great one. By keeping the idea of freedom as nebulous as possible, the listener can project their favorite form of consumerism onto the maxim as a freedom worth defending. Let's say Burger King is your favorite fast food joint. Well, the terrorists don't have a Burger King, and they hate you for it. Instead of demanding that all Americans file in line under the shared idea of Coke and apple pie, the slogan gives enough latitude to encompass every tendril of capitalism- no matter how inane. However, if professional pillow fighting existed in the early 00s, I think Americans and terrorists would stand in solidarity to despise the freedom that allowed such an idiotic venture to exist.

    In the video linked above, check out the newest attempt to capitalize on the popularity of MMA: professional pillow fighting. The promotion is one hundred percent real and has already signed a former UFC fighter to its roster. God help us all.

  • Watch the scene from the Lancer pilot that inspired Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Lancer image

    Since the beginning of his directorial career, accusations of plagiarism have circled Quentin Tarantino like buzzards over carrion. The debate between the director's most ardent fans and detractors usually boils down to the difference between homage and theft. While he never gives too much credence to the claims of plagiarism, Tarantino will playfully claim to "steal" from his favorite scenes all the time in interviews. Whichever camp you reside in, it's evident that Tarantino wears his influences on his sleeve.

    In his most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino doesn't just reference classic films through identical cinematography; he actively recreates scenes from movies and television shows in the era. Seeing Leonardo DiCaprio's Rick Dalton starring in The Great Escape is the most prominent and jarring example of this practice. However, the entire subplot that follows Dalton's day on the Lancer set is the most elaborate reimagining of 60s entertainment in the movie.

    In the video linked above, you can watch the scene from the Lancer pilot that features throughout in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

  • The battle over Howard the Duck Howard the Duck Image

    Although Deadpool holds the title of being Marvel's most contemporary fourth-wall-breaking character, he's far from the first. Before the merc with a mouth became the comedic flagship at Marvel, She-Hulk preceded him in the 80s with John Byrne's legendary run that's filled to the brim with metatextual comedy. And prior to She-Hulk's time in the limelight, Howard the Duck was Marvel's resident gag character and arguably their most successful. 

    While most might remember him from the 80s Hollywood bomb Howard the Duck, studious comic fans remember Howard as a fixture of Marvel's 70s scene. Despite getting into several conflicts in the confines of his book, some of Howard's most notable fights happened outside of the comics. For example, as the fowl soared to dizzying heights of popularity, Disney, who now owns Marvel, tried to clip Howard's wings by alleging that he was too similar to Donald Duck in a brief legal dust-up. However, the Disney suit wasn't the only legal battle that Howard faced during his lifespan. At one point, Marvel and Howard's creator Steve Gerber found themselves in a legal dogfight over the character. In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Comic Tropes goes over the battle and its ramifications in full. 

  • Meet the fighting game pro that wins without hands Brolylegs Image

    "I can beat you with both hands behind my back" is usually a phrase uttered by supremely confident and braggadocious competitors. In the case of the Street Fighter pro Brolylegs, it's a fairly honest appraisal of his physical limitations. If you've ever tried playing Street Fighter, or any fighting game, at a competitive level, you already know about the unfathomable difficulty inherent in the discipline. Not only are you juggling the geometry of the characters and their effective ranges, but you're also applying that knowledge within seconds, thanks to perfectly honed motor skills. It's already rough enough with two hands. 

    Brolylegs, also known as Mike Begum, plays with Street Fighter using a controller and his mouth. Yeah, you read that correctly. Racking up a series of victories over the years, Brolylegs has become a legend within the fighting games community due to his unique and effective playstyle. The official Street Fighter Youtube channel gives Begum the praise and attention he deserves in the video linked above. 

  • Jazz Maynard: European comics at their finest

    Are you looking to take a sabbatical from the superhero exploits of American comics? Maybe the manga tropes you've come to love are starting to get a little too repetitive. If so, boy, do I have a great palate cleanser for you. European comics have long been a fantastic escape hatch for American comic fans who crave variety in their funny books. One of the best series that exemplifies the European sensibilities in sequential art is Jazz Maynard

    Jazz Maynard follows the adventures of the eponymous trumpeter that moonlights as a world-class thief. Aside from the twist and turns within the narrative, the mesmerizing art of Maynard is as alluring as the book's plot. Artist Roger Ibanez Ugena balances the grit and excitement of the premise by draping his highly stylized characters in heavy shadows.

    Like the titular character, Jazz Maynard the comic book occupies two worlds as well. The book explores the seedy world of Spanish crime while simultaneously acting as a character study of Maynard and his two childhood friends, who have also found success in criminality. I fear giving away too much in this recommendation, but if you like the Ocean's Eleven series, Jazz Maynard is the book for you. 

  • How did Atari die? Atari Image

    Some brands permeate the public consciousness so effectively that people begin to call the product by the brand name. Try to remember the last time you asked for gelatin instead of Jello? In the realm of video games, Nintendo used to be that brand. I vividly remember my mom demanding I turn off my Nintendo Playstation in the early 00s. However, Nintendo's hold over the video game throne has loosened significantly in modernity. Playstation and Xbox have similarly eclipsed the company exactly like Nintendo usurped the console throne from Atari. Prior to Nintendo claiming their gilded seat in the center of the video game kingdom, Atari was the brand the populace mentally associated with video games. Sadly, that's no longer the case. It's gotten so bad for the former video game giant that their most prominent piece of press in 2021 came from Soulja Boy claiming to own the company. So how did the company hit the skids so dramatically? 

    In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Company man explains how Atari fell from grace despite being the original company to pioneer video games.