Pop Culture

Pop Culture’s Most Famous and Fabulous Cape-Wearers

A child prodigy piano player turned glittering Vegas entertainer, flashy songbird Liberace would have been 96 today. Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant performer, introduced younger audiences to the King of Bling. Liberace was known for his outrageous stage shows, which featured everything from chorus girls and wild animals, to a Rolls-Royce and special effects. But Liberace was best known for his gaudy, sparkling, exotic costumes — including his capes. Today, we associate capes with superheroes, but pop culture has proven that cape-wearers are not limited to those with superhuman powers. … Read More

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Tom Waits Breaks Hearts, Salma Hayek Eats Them: Links You Need to See

For the last month, it seems every day is a tribute to Letterman, with increasingly famous guests (well, I supposed they stopped being increasingly famous after Obama did it) appearing on the Late Show and saying their own gracious farewells to the host of so many American evenings-at-home. Last night was Tom Waits’ turn. The veteran musician with the beautiful voice of a malfunctioning concrete mixer returned to performing after a two-year hiatus, and gave a heartfelt 10th Late Night performance with a fittingly titled new song, “Take One Last Look.” (This could also, if Arrested Development ever returned to Netflix, perfectly double as Kitty Sanchez‘s theme song; relatedly, The Mindy Project was rescued by Hulu today, and in anticipation of another season you may or may not want, here are 20 things you probably don’t know about the show).   … Read More

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Nothing Is Embarrassing: On Kim Kardashian’s Strangely Liberating Book of Selfies

Selfish, Kim Kardashian’s new 445-page book of selfies, is a bit of a party trick. Pull out the compact, three-pound art book at a social function, and people clamor to flip through the hundreds of near-identical selfies that chart Kim’s evolution both as a human and as a brand (is there a difference?). Some took a meta selfie with the book, Kim’s damp bosom and dewy face overshadowing their own smiles in the foreground. … Read More

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‘Mad Men,’ Mad Science, and Dying Bees: Links You Need to See

Today was a big day in tech. Not because of any eagerly anticipated reveal of an upgraded Smartwatch, but because you can now fly above Manhattan like a bird, thanks to this Oculus thing (as Gothamist calls it) at the Museum of the Moving Image (through Fri-Sun, June 7th), and because this little 3-D printed robot can crack a combination lock in 30 seconds and not even break a sweat. Hacker Samy Kamkar came up with robot idea, built the whole thing for about $100, and then published the blueprint and software code, along with a How-To video, on the Internet. Masterlocks everywhere are cowering in fear. … Read More

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“Pretty Girls” May Give You ‘Goosebumps': Links You Need to See

How, you may have wondered when “Pretty Girls” was first released, could the soaring(ly manufactured) talents of Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea be combined in a single song? Would said song not simply combust from that flammable combination of vocal fry and heavy bleach? And then, when you heard it, you realized it wouldn’t be the hilarious explosion of sonically offensive kitsch you expected, but rather just a middling and forgettable pop song. BUT. The video, on the other hand, which follows Azalea’s trend of making videos based on cult classics (it spoofs Earth Girls are Easy), is pretty deliciously, and memorably, tacky. Here it is, replete with all the leopard print and product placement (there’s a full interlude devoted to Samsung!) you could ever ask for: … Read More

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Staff Picks: Petite Noir, ‘The Ghost Network,’ and ‘Black Spider Memos’

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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How Would Radiohead’s “Karma Police” Look as a Painting?: Links You Need to See

Summer is finally settling down around us, and the warm weather will probably have you thinking about all the awesome things you want to do, while simultaneously distracting you from actually doing any of it. If one of your goals for something to pretend to be interested in accomplishing this Summer is writing, then you should read these rather educational pretend-letters between Hemingway and Fitzgerald about The Great Gatsby.  … Read More

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Jian Ghomeshi Will Face Two Sexual Assault Trials

Two charges of sexual assault against disgraced Canadian Broadcasting Company radio host Jian Ghomeshi have been dropped — but he’s… Read More

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Owen Wilson Is Quite Often Awestruck: Links You Need to See

Everybody makes mistakes. It’s a part of life. Even self-driving cars make mistakes, apparently, because four of them have been involved in accidents in California. If you fancy yourself an impeccable human driver and are gloating due to the imperfections of machines, check out this essay on why being wrong and screwing up is good for you, and try not to judge this vulnerable new technology so harshly. … Read More

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Flirting with the Victorian, Living in the Future: Links You Need to See

When people bemoan the impersonal, cowardly or even misrepresentative ways we flirt online — and how said flirting is now preferred to in-person flirting — they usually also recall the good old days when the pursuant would address the pursued with an extemporaneous witticism, and the two would share a drink at a candlelit counter, staring into one another’s actual eyes, speaking with their actual mouths. But said recollection just doesn’t speak to everyone’s past experiences. The same romantic cowardice we now hide behind was always present, as Hyperallergic points out, in their gallery of a selection of Victorian escort cards. These absurd cards were used by men who simply didn’t want to have to vocalize the fact that they’d like to flirt/bed/whatever someone.  … Read More

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