What to see, read and hear

This Week in Culture: August 8, 2014

The White Mamba Returns Brian Scalabrine, a.k.a. The White Mamba, a.k.a. The Vanilla Godzilla, wrote an essay entitled “I’m Coming Home” to announce his return to Boston and parody LeBron’s similar announcement, along with his own bench riding in the NBA. In fact, he heard so much shit talking from his fans about how they could beat him one on one, he started The Scallenge last year to serve up a little “Beantown beat-down”.
Spy Gadgets from MIT Researchers at MIT were able to record and play back audio they collected using only a high speed camera aimed at an object in a room, from the other side of a sound proof window. Or, in simpler terms, when you talk, stuff around you vibrates, if only slightly, and a quality camera can pick up these vibrations, which a bunch of scientists can transform into sound. Turn out the lights before you share secrets.
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest These are the 11 best photographs from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest (according to National Geographic). Time to upgrade your wallpaper.
Don’t Thaw Your Steak In an experiment for America’s Test Kitchen, Dan Souza showed that while fresh steaks are best, if you have to freeze your steaks, you shouldn’t thaw them before cooking. While they take a little longer to cook, frozen meat retains more moisture and generally tastes better. But be careful: frozen surface moisture can create grease fires.
The Pandas Friend,
a.k.a. Metta World Peace, a.k.a. Ron Artest
Metta World Peace is going to China to play for the Sichuan Blue Whales next season. The ex-Knicks player will make $1.43 million next season — and in order to make the money worth it for Chinese fans, show some cultural awareness and put people at ease about his feeling towards pandas, he’s changing his name to “The Pandas Friend“. No apostrophe.
Guardians of the Galaxy Guardians of the Galaxy set a new record for an August domestic debut when it premiered last weekend. Read about the lead star Chris Pratt, who went from being homeless in Hawaii, to Parks and Rec fans’ favorite character, to a blockbuster action star.
Grandfathered In You think your job mobility is sketchy? Malcolm Gladwell outlines the crooked ladder to the top of Italian Mob in The New Yorker.
Why is Weird Al popular? We mentioned Weird Al’s latest album, Mandatory Fun, when it dropped last month. Sasha Frere-Jones breaks down exactly why Weird Al is so popular. Spoiler: It’s because we can’t keep up with pop culture.
Retiring Athletes Giants running back David Wilson announced his early retirement, due to neck injuries he suffered last October. He’s only 23. On the same day, Landon Donovan, one of America’s greatest soccer players, announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season.
It’s Something We’d Never Do…
(Sponsored Post)
We do it. The New York Times does it. Everyone has a mortgage. But it’s further blurring the line between advertisements and real journalism, which is upsetting to most everyone aware of it, and especially Jon Oliver, who blasted it on his most recent episode of Last Week Tonight.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young and Yayo Just how raucous was CSNY’s 1974 Doom Tour? Grantland finds out.
On the Road with Francis As it turns out, Francis Ford Coppola is a serious traveler. He shared some tips with The Wall Street Journal.
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