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Penn and Teller

Over the weekend, Penn and Teller stopped by the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT. I bought tickets to this event for my boyfriend as part of his Christmas gift, after he went through a phase where he was marathoning the duo's Showtime program with a name that's somewhat inappropriate for this blog. (It sounds like "bull pit" though!)

Personally, I've never had strong feelings about Penn and Teller one way or another. Prior to Saturday, I knew only what I'd gathered from half-watching their show. I knew I liked their logo, a red ampersand. I also knew one of them was super tall and loud, while the other was short and silent. I did not know who was who and my understanding of their schtick was that they sort of did magic (maybe?) but they really liked trying to dispel myths about things.

Here's what I, a semi-indifferent viewer, thought of the show (and if you want to see a review of their Vegas show, check out Mike's piece!):


Looking back: Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home

The following is a guest article by Miles.

Bob Dylan

The voice of a generation

Robert Zimmerman, also known as Bob Dylan, is one of the greatest musicians with a career spanning over fifty years and 35 albums behind him. In the early sixties, Dylan became the voice of his generation; his music connected folk, blues and traditional music, transferring a message of freedom while opposing hypocrisy and the rule of "the man". His beginnings were defined by pairing the acoustic guitar and harmonica, accompanied by his distinctive vocal style. Just as the audiences started accepting his musical expression and status as a protest singer, Dylan did a sudden stylistic turn. This turn was first exposed on Bringing It All Back Home, an album widely criticized at the time.


Two-weekend festivals become more prominent, but is it a trend?

Calendar with highlighted days of week

Last year was one of firsts at Coachella®. It was the first time it brought a holographic singer to the stage. More than that, it was also the first time it spread to two weekends. Although the first first is not likely to come back, at least for now (one of companies involved folded shortly after), the second was apparently successful enough for other festivals to adopt it. This year the Ultra Music Festival did it in March, and the Austin City Limits Festival® will do it in October.

Although it's the in thing right now, this practice actually originated much earlier than last year. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage FestivalTM, for example, has run two weekends since 1976. So there was some precedent for this before 2012 — it just took a while for other festivals to catch up.


Athletes who have come back from career ending injuries

The following is a guest article by Annabelle.


Last season the NFL made fans, players, and medical experts redefine what is meant by the words "career ending injury." The top two MVP finalists, Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, were both returning from injuries many considered would significantly cripple or even end their respective careers. Manning had undergone multiple neck operations, while Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL, both injuries that once spelled doom for playmakers at their positions. But, not only did both Peterson and Manning return, but both were unquestionably the best players at their respective positions in 2012, with Peterson coming within ten yards of the all time rushing record and winning the prestigious league MVP. The examples of Manning and Peterson may seem insignificant, outliers in the vast scope of the NFL, but when we also consider the returns of Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Jamal Charles, or the continued play of Robert Griffin III, we have to consider the question: What has caused this dramatic shift in the landscape of injuries in the NFL?


The following is a guest article by Matt Thames.

Recycled album

Had enough of all those movie remakes yet?

Indeed, the last several years turned out a bunch of big budget remakes — The Longest Yard, King Kong, True Grit, The Bad News Bears and Fright Night — to name just a few. Soon Evil Dead, Carrie and Red Dawn will be coming down the pike, along with a slew more. With the big flick industry's creativity in the red, the studios are cranking out one recycled flick after another amid declining box-office numbers, and its been giving the 'biz a boost.

Maybe the music industry should consider a similar approach.

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