Woodgrains of the World Unite!: Giz drops an apt manifesto on the problem with gadget design today, and how to make the world handsomer. [Gizmodo]
Magazine of the Day: Letter to Jane sounds like the coolest new magazine in quite some time…if only we had an iPad. [PSFK]
Buyer Beware: Here’s a cautionary tale: If you buy an idyllic Honduran beach house, you may discover too late that it comes with an unlimited supply of free cocaine. So, you know, watch out for that. [World Hum]
Wise Up: Tommy Wiseau, auteur of The Room and modern day Ed Wood, blesses AskMen with 10 tips on shooting a sex scene. It doubles as ten ways to make your interviewer uncomfortable. [AskMen]
If you’re not a fan of 70s baseball or psychopharmacology, you may have missed one of the crowning achievements of baseball: Dock Ellis’ 1970 no-hitter, pitched under the influence of LSD. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of chances to brush up on your history. In November, No Mas graced us with a video reenactment, but our favorite artist’s rendering would have to be this Brad Klaussen print, courtesy of LA’s Gallery1988. From the looks of it, we’d say he was slinging a whole lot more than heat.
It’s been a long time since Scarface, but the world of drug trafficking has been through some remarkable changes. For instance, it looks a lot more like a Batman movie than you’d think…
A Vice TV doc just tipped us off to the strange phenomenon of narco-subs, underwater crafts that carry up to 10 tons of cocaine across the Pacific with as low a profile as possible. Naturally, they’re every bit as makeshift as you’d expect, but it’s still amazing what you can do with a bit of carpentry and fiberglass…
James Toback's documentary Tyson comes out today, but the director's relationship with the iconic boxer actually goes back two decades, to when Iron Mike was just a 19-year-old up-and-comer. The movie has moments of humor and sadness—sometimes at the same time, as when he calls Don King a "wretched, slimy, reptilian motherfucker" who "would kill his mother for a dollar." (But how does he really feel?) We sat down to talk with Toback to talk about whether he's scared of the champ, Tyson's curiously strong knowledge of 19th Century poetry, and the perils of the eight-day acid trip.
Kempt: So, Mike Tyson: Crazy or misunderstood?
JT: Certainly misunderstood. Crazy, only in the sense that he’s not a conventional, linear person, and is on his own channel, in a kind of uncompromising way.
K: So why do so many people think this guy is nuts?
JT: Primarily the ear-biting and the rape conviction. I think if you take away those two things, the perception would pretty much be gone.
K: You’ve known Mike for 20 years. Has it ever been scary working with him?
JT: No, [but] he said something interesting after seeing the movie: "You know, I always used to wonder why people said they were scared of me. [After] watching the film tonight, I’m scared of that guy."
Doping has been a known staple of Soviet sports since the famous Drago-Balboa fight, but lately even chess has come under suspicion.
Der Spiegel (via Neatorama) is seizing on Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk’s refusal to take a drug test at the recent Chess Olympiad as reason to suspect the chess world of being driven by something more sinister than just caffeine and neurosis. They even have a picture of him suspiciously fingering his nose!
In the old days, the drugs-and-whores memoir was a respected literary event. (I’m looking at you, McInerney.) But these days, talking too loudly about your days as a male escort is still enough to get your visa revoked.
Author of the well titled Dandy in the Underworld, Sebastian Horsley planned to have a U.S. book tour this month, but instead he got a charming eight-hour conversation with customs officials and an unceremonious flight back home. Apparently all that talk about opium and amphetamines was enough to invalidate Horsley’s travel waiver, leaving HarperCollins holding the bag. (You’d think Rupert could have pulled some strings…)