• Check out this recipe for "corn ribs" corn ribs image

    I tried to resist it, but the vegans are winning. I can't walk into my favorite artery-clogging fast-food chain without seeing an ad for a new vegan burger. Sometimes, after a workout, I'll find myself at a friend's house imbibing a delicious protein shake. "This is amazing," I'll say, "what is this?"

    "Oh, it's a plant-based cookies and cream shake," they'll respond. Suddenly, the formerly enjoyable shake will begin to taste like existential dread.

    It's not like I have anything against vegetables, or vegans. I'm just getting old, and it scares me. I remember the halcyon days of food being as damaging as it was delectable. Part of the joy intrinsic to snarfing down a 7/11 chili dog came from knowing that I shouldn't be doing it. Nowadays, the same chili dog is full of broccoli stems and garlic skin, and it actively cleans my colon instead of closing it. Not only am I getting old, but these damnable vegans will also make sure I'm healthy enough to watch the world continue to change around me.

    To meet the vegans halfway, I've started to learn their tactics. However, instead of veiling veggies in the garb of their meat rivals, I've taken to making vegetable variants of classic meat dishes. The Instagram account foods bible provides a fantastic recipe for "corn ribs" that I can't stop cooking.

  • Look at these classic cartoons drawn in the 1930s rubber hose style

    If you enjoy animation, a wild selection of veterans and emerging cartoonists are on Instagram. Back in the pre-internet days, if you wanted to get a peek inside an artist's sketchbook, you had to know them personally.

    Instagram cartoonists typically turn their creativity towards making artistic mashups of disparate styles or franchises, and Kev Craven is one such artist. Using the 1930s animation style known as "rubber hose", Craven has taken to rendering classic cartoons from the 90s and 00s in that aesthetic. Most of his renditions feel as if they'd be at home in a Betty Boop cartoon.

  • Hear how Jake Gyllenhaal almost replaced Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man Image

    It feels like 2002 again. Spider-Man is once again the biggest blockbuster around, and Tobey Maguire is involved. Prior to its release, for most people curious about Spider-Man: No Way Home, one of the most irresistible pieces of intrigue centered around the possible return of previous Spider-Men from the franchise's history. Although he was the first Spider-Man(on the big screen at least. We didn't forget about you, Nicholas Hammond), Tobey Maguire's position as the definitive Peter Parker of the 00s was almost as up in the air as the character himself. 

    In the video linked above, the YouTuber Captain Midnight explains how Tobey Maguire almost lost his spot in the center of Spider-Man's web to Jake Gyllenhaal. Part of me finds it incredibly hilarious that Gyllenhaal would later play Mysterio: the character that essentially served as the catalyst for No Way Home's entire plot. According to Captain Midnight, in some part of the multiverse, Maguire plays Mysterio, and Jake Gyllenhaal gets overshadowed by Andrew Garfield. 

  • How to write a Fast and Furious film

    In a hilarious meme, the Instagram account itsevanwilliams gives his take on the coke-fueled benders that most likely inspire the Fast and Furious series. The worst part of the video is that he's probably not too far from the truth. 

    Before the Fast and Furious film series wore its absurdity on its sleeve, I thought it was trying to be serious. Once the Rock joined the cast, my illusions were laid to rest. Sure, the films are formulaic and openly devoid of substance, but the same critique can apply to the Marvel films, and we flock to those, too. The difference between Marvel and the Fast franchise is that the former derives their scripts from comics with heavy symbolism. When Marvel movies swing towards the unenlightened, it's due to problems with adaptation and not the source material. The Fast films are dumb from the ground up. 

  • The sexiest cover of the Pokemon theme song ever made Pokemon Jazz

    "Turn the lights down, baby, and let's listen to the Pokemon theme song" is a phrase I never thought I'd utter, but here we are. With how widespread Pokemon-mania was in the 00s, I shouldn't be surprised at how thoroughly entrenched the franchise has become in pop culture. I mean, Hilary Clinton famously used Pokemon Go in her campaign to rouse eligible 18-year-olds from their political lethargy. It's kind of uncanny if you think about it. There were other white-hot, wildly popular television shows from my childhood, but I don't see anyone making sexy interpolations of the Power Rangers theme. There's just something about Pokemon that makes it impossible to ignore and even more impossible to forget. 

    In the video linked above, the YouTube band known as the Consouls shares their version of the Pokemon theme song. Before you click the video, I must warn you; please listen to this alone. Unless you intend to procreate, you'll be buying Pokemon toys all over again in nine months. 

  • Dambe: the Nigerian combat sport Dambe Image

    One of the most incredible elements of the UFC, and the broader rise of mixed martial arts as a sport, is witnessing combat styles from around the world. Even though we already understand which fighting styles are the most effective in actual combat, it's interesting to see how other cultures approach fighting. While some disciplines lean more towards balletic movements and elegance, other cultures focus on brutal brawling traditions. Ironically enough, the martial arts from the latter category tend to be more applicable to real violence than the choreography of more traditional Eastern martial arts. While martial arts like kung fu and Taekwondo look impressive, they usually crumble under the pressure of styles with less showmanship.

    In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Combat Culture explores the world of Nigerian Dambe. In Dambe, two warriors wrap a rope around one fist, turning their arm into a more effective bludgeon, and grapple in a circle of spectators. I don't think Dambe will ever find its way into the UFC, but two pros from the company offer their analytical eye to assess Dambe's effectiveness in the video.

  • Why wasn't Donald Duck in the original DuckTales? Donald Duck Image

    In the video linked above, Seaniccus explains why Donald Duck got ditched in favor of Scrooge in the 80s version of Ducktales.

    Who's never wrong but always right? Who'd never dream of starting a fight? Who gets stuck with all the bad luck? No one, but (a carefully rebooted) Donald Duck.

    I've always had a special place for the Disney ducks in my heart. Unlike his rivals at different animation studios—Bugs Bunny, Felix the Cat, and Woody Woodpecker—Mickey Mouse always seemed devoid of humor or personality to me. Bugs was a trickster with caustic wit and a gift for impersonation, whereas Mickey was just a milquetoast. The ducks, on the other hand? They're loaded with personality and humorous character quirks, and none more so than Scrooge McDuck. Although most remember Scrooge for his starring role in the 80s cartoon Ducktales, many fans don't know that Donald Duck used to be the anchor for the franchise. 

    Mickey Mouse should be retired; Scrooge McDuck needs to be Disney's new mascot.

  • Ugandan action cinema is peak African filmmaking Ugandan Cinema Image

    When the discussion of African filmmaking comes up, Nigeria typically dominates the conversation. For several decades, Nigeria has made tremendous strides in the world of cinema with its famed Nollywood. Through replicating the success of Bollywood by making culturally specific films that are a little cheesy in execution, Nigeria has risen to become a significant player in the global film market. However, where Nigeria leans towards comedy and romance, Ugandan cinema focuses on action. There are several entries in Uganda's film catalog that distill the essence of the growing African movie market. Still, if you're looking for a great gateway into Ugandan action, there's no better movie than Who Killed Captain Alex

    Riddled with horrible special effects and green screen, plus a DJ-style narrator who essentially heckles the entire film, Who Killed Captain Alex is one of the most popular Uganda films despite its copious "flaws." If you're looking for a successor to The Room and Plan 9 From Outer Space, check out the YouTube link above to watch Who Killed Captain Alex in full.

  • The Shaw Brothers' kung fu equivalent of Scott Pilgrim Heroes of the East Image

    Long before the movie became a cult favorite, I read Scott Pilgrim and thought it captured the zeitgeist. A modern manga-styled fairy tale full of allusions to classic video games, Scott Pilgrim encapsulated the millennial experience of the mid to late 00s. To win the heart and hand of his fair maiden Ramona, Scott had to best her evil ex-boyfriends. In addition to the relatable and contemporary tone, the premise gave Scott Pilgrim a metaphorical backbone about reconciling with your partner's past lovers and experiences.

    The Shaw Brother's classic Heroes of the East does it better. 

    Unlike Scott Pilgrim, so linked to the era of its creation that it's already dated, Heroes of the East feels impervious to time. The film follows Ah-To, a wealthy Chinese heir, on the day of his arranged marriage to an equally wealthy Japanese heiress. Initially resistant to the idea, Ah-To softens when he finds out his bride is incredibly easy on the eyes. Here's where the film becomes a better version of the Scott Pilgrim setup. Following the domestic bliss of their honeymoon period, the couple eventually discovers that their personalities and values, rooted in cultural differences, are a source of marital conflict. The film personifies each cultural difference as a martial arts style unique to their respective cultures to externalize the couple's marital spats. 

    I don't want to say anymore, as it could spoil the flick, but the film expands on the Scott Pilgrim premise maturely and hilariously. If you're curious about the movie, give the video linked above a click. 

  • This clip from Hercules in New York shows Arnold Schwarzenegger's growth as an actor Hercules in New York Image

    It's easy to disregard how much of a long shot Schwarzenegger's Hollywood dreams were in retrospect. Still, when you look at the clip from Hercules in New York above, you'll understand why I find Arnold's eventual box office dominance so inspiring. Schwarzenegger is so incredibly wooden in the clip that it boggles the mind to consider Arnold's subsequent career and charisma. If you're struggling to find the motivation to pursue your own dreams, check out the video linked above and remember that this man became the biggest marquee star in Hollywood. 

  • Is the Klingon Bat'leth impractical? Bat'leth Image

    The answer is yes. Not to ruin the surprise, but you don't have to be a sword nerd to see the innumerable flaws in the design of the traditional Klingon weapon. Ironically enough, the copious flaws infused in the blade are symbolic of Klingon culture as a whole. One of the traits that make the Klingons such a fascinating race, and my personal favorite in all of Star Trek, is their inflexible adherence to tradition. Even when a more practical or logical solution is available, Klingons will openly shun anything that conflicts with their rigid warrior culture. It's not the brightest move, but it's definitely admirable.

    In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Skallagrim uses his knowledge of swords and weaponry to explain precisely why the bat'leth is a dumb weapon. Even though he spends a majority of the video dismantling the myth behind one of Star Trek's most memorable objects, Skallagrim does handle the blade like a true Klingon.

  • Japan launches the first Esports high school Video Game High School

    In the latest episode of "everything that adults said in the 80s and 90s was wrong," Japan has created the world's first Esports-centric high school. Like the performing art high school from Fame, Esports Koutou Gakuin will allow kids to take their games seriously while balancing traditional studies. If the millions of dollars generated annually by Esports is any indication, Esports Koutou Gakuin definitely won't be the last school of its kind. 

    Students will compete and learn on 40 Galleria XA7C-R37 gaming PCs with an Intel Core i7-11700, as well as Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards. They'll be playing first-person shooters, third-person shooter, real-time strategy, and multiplayer online battle arena games. And for a better look at how things will work, the school's first open house will be kicking off in January. 

    I never believed my parents when they said there wasn't a future in video games. It was a farfetched concept to swallow, considering that I just watched them drop a couple of hundred bucks on a game system. Even before Esports became a thing, it was abundantly clear that video games would be a lucrative pathway for those intelligent enough to become early adopters. However, being the obsequious kid I was, I took their advice and cut my Street Fighter time down to a healthy four hours a day. 

  • Queens of the Stone Age cover Romeo Void's Never Say Never Queens of the Stone Age Image

    It's getting harder to find modern rock bands lately. I'm not talking about indie bands that play guitar or pop acts (like Imagine Dragons) which classify themselves as a rock band. I'm talking about bona-fide, hard-rocking bands. You can blame the genre's decline on a litany of reasons, but rock music's status as "youth music" was usurped. Rock is no longer cool.

    To compensate for the deficit of new rock, I've found it essential to cling to the surviving greats in the genre. Since the prospect of a future looks grim, I'm more than keen to cradle the slowly cooling embers of rock and roll from the compassionless winds of change. To keep the proverbial torch alight, Queens of the Stone Age have become my kerosene. The collective somehow gracefully walks the line between being modern and a throwback. Part of what affords the band their seemingly timeless aura is their reverence for the past.

    In the video linked above, Queens of the Stone Age cover the Romeo Void song "Never Say Never" from their masterful collection of B-sides.

  • El Santo: the Mexican wrestling superhero El Santo Image

    Wrestling occupies a unique cavern within my soul. I could spend the next twenty years in cryogenic stasis only to wake up and immediately use the handiest piece of tech available to browse the net for wrestling news. I'm a lifer.

    Through my somewhat obsessive fandom, I've galavanted across the globe to immerse myself in the various styles of grappling from every culture. Even though Mexico is America's proverbial next-door neighbor, their version of pro wrestling and the contrasting philosophies behind it couldn't be further removed from the style in the States. Unlike America, which only began to present its wrestlers as superheroes in the 80s, Mexican wrestlers have been comparable to superheroes since the 50s. The key figure behind the association is El Santo.

    In Mexico, El Santo was the equivalent of Superman. To capitalize on the luchador's immense popularity in the ring, the Mexican film industry began to churn out countless films starring El Santo. Within the confines of the celluloid, Santo battled everything from gangsters to witches and monsters. If you're into B movies and don't mind piecing together a plot without the benefit of dialogue, I highly recommend checking out his work on YouTube. Some benevolent souls have uploaded a slew of his slugfests on the website, and they're all glorious in their own way.

    I included one of my favorite scenes in the video linked above to whet your appetite. In the video, El Santo and Captain America—yes, you read that correctly—battle a horde of evil Spider-Men and Disney's lawyers. It's a hilarious scene, and I hope you enjoy it.

  • The French grave that doubles as an aphrodisiac

    In France, Père-Lachaise cemetery contains a curious tourist attraction that allegedly grants fertility and an increased chance at landing a husband for any woman bold enough to straddle a statue. The grave of Victor Noir, a French journalist from the 19th century, has become famed romantic aid for scores of French women over the years. Considering that the French refer to the orgasm as the "little death," the practice shouldn't be too disquieting. Every human grapples with death in their own way.

    From Amusing Planet:

    It's perfectly reasonable to ask who Victor Noir is, just like it was a century and a half ago when the man was alive. He was an ordinary young man, an unimpressive fellow, who just found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody knew him until he was dead. His recent cult following, however, has nothing to do with the manner of his death nor its political fallout, but rather on the mysterious bulge in his pants. … Dalou decided to give the sculpture a noticeable bulge under the belt. Whether or not anybody noticed this, we don't know, but in the 1970s, a myth began that rubbing the crotch and kissing the statue on the lips will bring women enhanced fertility and a blissful sex life. You can see the effect of this myth on the statue—Victor Noir's lips and groin are shiny, while the rest of his body has the usual greenish tone of oxidized bronze.

  • Artist creates a Marvel UFC league Marvel UFC League

    Since the days of Athens and Sparta, the rivalry between nerds and jocks has defined western history. If true happiness lies in unifying the seemingly disparate disciplines of athletics and academia, let's not kill a good feud by being rational.

    López allows fans to vote for which character they believe would win an MMA fight, and he decides how it ends.

    Several MMA stars are avid comic fans. Anderson "the spider" Silva, arguably the greatest MMA competitor of all time, chose his nickname as a homage to Spider-Man. The reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya uses anime references to taunt his adversaries pre and post-fight. Sadly, most comic artists don't show much love to the world of MMA.

    Characters can even earn world titles through López's championship brackets.

    That's why Rodrigo Lorenzo López is such a rarity. As a fan of both MMA and comics, López has created an interesting project through his Instagram profile: Marvel UFC. By separating Marvel characters into different fighting disciplines and weight classes, consistent with their comic book presentations, López allows fans to vote for which character they want to earn a proverbial "w" in an MMA fight. For an added level of immersion, López even selects other Marvel characters, both heroes and villains, to act as judges and referees to add an element of unpredictability to his micro-narratives. Let's just say you'd rather have Tony Stark as ref than Dr. Otto Octavius.

    To further the immersion, the fights are judged by other Marvel characters.

    If you're looking for a fantastic and interactive Instagram profile with tons of gorgeous art, give López's page a browse. I hope to see you on fight night.

    Shang-Chi recently beat Steve Rogers for interim lightweight championship.

  • The Beastie Boys: arguably the greatest rap group in history Beastie Boys Image

    For some reason, when most people think about the first commercially successful white rapper, Vanilla Ice is the name that comes to mind. Other people give the nod to Eminem, as he was the first white rapper to be fully embraced by the culture. Sadly, the Beastie Boys rarely get the credit they deserve as successful white rappers despite preceding Snow and 3rd Base. More importantly, Def Jam records would've most likely died on the vine without the Beastie Boys' crossover hits.

    Whether due to their significantly larger appeal in the white community or their jovial nature, the Beastie Boys have never had an easy road to acceptance within hip hop. However, the amount of props they receive is irrelevant because the Beasties are, without question, among the top three rap groups of all time. In the video linked above, Murs and Hip Hop DX defend a controversial position: that the Beasties are the greatest rap group in history.

  • The rise of Trap Metal Ghostemane Image

    If you were on Tik Tok last year, or at least adjacent to someone who was, you probably heard a snippet of a metal/pop-punk cover of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" blanketed by a hip hop beat, as it was one of the apps most popular sounds of 2021. After hearing the song, a quick Google search led me to the track's creator, known as Kim Dracula, and the surging genre of Trap Metal.

    Growing up a fan of both genres, I always found it puzzling that rock and rap kept their distance from each other. On the surface, both rap and rock are rooted in the same sense of rebellion, albeit from different sides of the fence. Occasionally, the genres would cross streams to produce a Rage Against the Machine or Linkin' Park, but the mergers were often few and far between. However, the lines are more blurred than ever before.

    Some of the most prominent rap acts like Lil Uzi Vert and NBA Youngboy cite rock artists as influences on their sound and presentation. While it's refreshing to hear that they're open to other genres, neither artist reflect as much in their work. In opposition, the artists in trap metal – one of the fastest-growing genres in music- deftly infuse both sounds into every track. Artists like Ghostemane, Scarlxrd, and Kim Dracula typically buttress their songs with enough bass boosted "trap drums" to fit on contemporary rap radio while simultaneously showering their tracks with gnarly metal growls. It's an exciting fusion, and I'm elated that it exists. If you're as interested in "what the kids are listening to" as I am, give the tracks a once over.

  • Check out the new Beavis and Butt-Head

    Mike Judge tweeted a rather haggard-looking Beavis and Butthead. Apparently, the brain-dead duo is going to make a return in an exclusive Paramount + flick that will age them realistically. Although much else isn't known about the movie at this point, the designs alone are enough to intrigue lapsed Beavis and Butthead fans. 

    Paramount + is working to come back from a deficit in the streaming wars. Last year, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made headlines when it was revealed that the company offered the South Park creators a billion dollars for a slew of exclusive "films". Now it seems like the visionary Mike Judge is following suit. 

  • Why is New York City replete with scaffolding? New York City Scaffolding

    New York City is my favorite collection of ironies. The city is renowned for its culture and sophistication, , but locals think Breakfast at Tiffany's is an invitation. Despite the world's largest subway system, traffic perpetually clogs Manhattan's streets. New York is also known for its stunning architecture, but hideous mountains of scaffolding obscure every other building. Even though natives and transplants get used to seeing the city blanketed by these oppressive eyesores after a few years, the obvious question remains unanswered. Why is New York City littered with scaffolding? 

    Well, first of all, it isn't actually scaffolding. The structures are known as sidewalk sheds, and they're surprisingly helpful. In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Half as Interesting explains why New York introduced the sidewalk sheds and why getting rid of them might be impossible.