This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Playboy Interview, a feature as synonymous with Playboy as the Playmate of the Month. Aptly enough, it was born with a blast from a trumpeter--a searing discussion of racial dissonance by Miles Davis. The interview was conducted by Alex Haley, who was instructed by Hef to test the boundaries of a long-format Q. and A. Haley went on to interview Malcolm X and write the seminal blockbuster Roots, while the feature he helped shape went on to become a heterochromatic atlas of 20th and 21st century icons. Media baron Robert Maxwell once said, "I want to do this interview so I can say no to everyone else who asks me with a guilt-free conscience." This month continues the grand tradition. If a million dollars represents fuck-you money, multibillionaire Larry Ellison has enough bank to blow off the whole planet. During the heyday of Nasdaq, Ellison was briefly the richest man in the world. His company, Oracle, is the only software company around to rival Microsoft. And that is just one of the major plot points of the man's life. In an aggressive Playboy Interview with Contributing Editor David Sheff, Ellison articulates why he "intensely dislikes" Bill Gates (a "convicted monopolist"), calls IBM's database program a "real piece of crap" and talks about winning the America's Cup. Did we mention that he's a ladies' man?
Hef's annual Easter egg hunt attracted a hutchload of Bunnies, Playmates and loved ones, all vying to find the most eggs and hobnob with Mr. Rabbit. Hef then hosted a press luncheon for PMOY 2002 Dalene Kurtis.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), September 2002, Volume 49, Number 9. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $45 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000); Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD Media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell Road, Suite 102, South Building, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800); for subscription inquiries, Call 800-999-4438.
Why dress nudes? Photographer Dahmane says the concept "gives my pictures a glamorous touch. Female bodies are made more beautiful by the addition of a corset, bra or blouse." His book Dressed Nudes (Edition Olms) is full of hot black-and-white shots of European women in provocative poses. We can applaud his hard work. It's special. Or, as he explains, "The momentary union of a model, her goodwill and a setting does not occur twice."
Artist Russell Young says his Pig Portraits are a reaction to his old career as a celebrity photographer and video director. His anticelebrity portraits--like this mug shot of Frank Sinatra--speak to "the glamour in the dark side of crime, fame, sex, drugs and rock and roll."
Angelo Gaja is one of Italy's foremost winemakers, and we've enjoyed his Barbarescos for many years. He's making new wines (Magari, Promis) in Tuscany under his Ca'Marcanda estate with grape varieties not usually used in Italy. They are Italian wines with a distinctly French flair, not to mention delicious--winners in any region.
As the star of porn classics like Butthead Dreams and director of Fantasiany series (Metro), Mimi Miyagi is usually the one getting pinned. Now she's training to be a pro wrestler (above) for the new Ultimate Wrestling Federation. "There are times when I get flashbacks," she says. "I begin moves as in a girl-girl act, but then I hear the referee and I'm reminded it's a sport, not foreplay." Right--and this time, only one of the guys watching her is holding a towel.
Moroccan restaurants are gaining a presence throughout America. With them comes a seductive food trend. At many of the places, belly dancers are not listed on the menus, but they often rival the other dishes when it comes to flavor and spice. The best entertainment can be found nightly at such restaurants as Le Souk in Manhattan, Imperial Fez in Atlanta and Dar Maghreb in Hollywood. Belly dancers originated among gypsies who traveled across North Africa. Go to a local place that lets you eat with your fingers and you'll be glad they kept migrating.
Because confidence is sexy: "From the moment we met at the art gallery, he was decidedly unapologetic about finding me utterly fabulous and sexy. He wasn't cloying--just unashamed of being caught in my web, as he put it. He was attentive throughout the evening, bringing me drinks or stopping to chat as he ambled past the reception table. At the close of the evening, he came up to me and said, 'Where are we going to go for drinks?' Not arrogantly, but confidently. I liked that. So I went. We talked and laughed as we played getting to know you. As he excused himself for a bathroom break, he kissed me right on the lips. I liked that, too. He went after what he wanted. And what he wanted was me. That was the best move he could have made."--M.L., Hollywood, California
We were minding our own, flipping through Town and Country, when we saw this ad for Fope jewelry. At first, we didn't get it. And then we remembered that old joke--here's what she does when she wants to get pregnant, here's what she does when she wants jewelry. We suspect that this woman can get pretty much whatever she wants.
Hansaware's hard wallets and cigarette cases are adorned with pulp fiction-style illustrations. They are available in a variety of styles, like Quickie (above), or even a plain, nickel-plated Playboy Rabbit Head. They come in two sizes--filtered and 100mm. Or you can stash cards and cash instead, along with a few smokes for chance encounters with nubile nicotine fiends.
Jennifer O'Dell is out of this world. She plays Veronica, an untamed jungle girl, on TV's Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. Her character is stranded on a plateau high above the Amazon where dinosaurs rule, lost civilizations flourish and the laws of nature intermingle with the supernatural. Before she kicked dino and troglodyte butt, the 27-year-old fitness expert and actress got her break on shows like Silk Stalkings and The Profiler and had a recurring role on Beverly Hills 90210. Now she's crossing over into feature films such as Molly, Wise Guy and Point Doom. Most appealing to casual fans is her ability to do many of her own stunts--all while expertly filling out a loincloth every week. She's all woman. Hear her roar.
Moviemakers, like moviegoers, have always been suckers for a pretty face. That's why producers and talent scouts often turn to fashion models for raw talent. Marsha Hunt in the Thirties, Jinx Falkenburg in the Forties, Suzy Parker in the Fifties, Cybill Shepherd, Lauren Hutton, Elle Macpherson and beyond--the never-ending search for new faces (and figures) focuses on runways and magazine covers.
Only a fraction of the millions of fans who have seen the newest episode of Star Wars are aware that what they saw was not created on film. In about 60 theaters across the U.S. and Canada, it wasn't even projected on motion picture film.
Margaret Cho. Now on-screen: Her latest concert film, Notorious C.H.O. Her previous one-woman film, I'm the One That I Want, is now on video and DVD. Why do you like making concert films? "It's a way to elevate what I do beyond the outlets there are for comedy, to make my product a higher-end deal. It's a different experience." Would you like to make other kinds of movies? "I've written a film I'd like to shoot later this year. It's a broad comedy about what would have happened if I had never done comedy and stayed at home until now." If you could have any movie role, what would you pick? "I would like to play Rosa Parks, but I don't think people would buy it. I would love to do any kind of huge costume drama; it would be exciting to be in a corset for three or four months. It'd be great to break into the Merchant--Ivory world--those are my favorite movies." Who makes you laugh? "I like what Christopher Guest has done in his films, like Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman. I love Sandra Bernhard, Rosie O'Donnell as stand-ups, and Chris Rock. He's amazing. Can you see yourself starring in a buddy movie? "I would love to do something with Jackie Chan." And would you get physical? "I actually did a John Woo film, Face/Off. I have a minor role in it, but I did stunts, and my stunt double was a perfect, muscular version of me. I loved that."
To celebrate the DVD release of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and Michael Madsen's chilling performance as Mr. Blonde, we asked the actor to cite his favorite movies. "I have to start out with One-Eyed Jacks, a Western originally directed by Stanley Kubrick and then taken over by Marlon Brando. Also, Lonely Are the Brave, the Kirk Douglas picture that introduced Gena Rowlands to the world. I like Paris, Texas very much--it features the quintessential Harry Dean Stanton performance. I like High Sierra, with Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino, and Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. I love The Sound of Music, and I still bawl at the end of Shane. I've been trying to get my six-year-old to watch it, but he's not interested. Everyone forgets that I was a Disney dad, playing the father in Free Willy--the antithesis of Mr. Blondé--and that's the only one of my movies I let my kids watch."
You didn't have to be Dionne Warwick to see this one coming: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring will be available November 12 in a five-disc New Line Platinum Series package for $80; the outstanding two-disc edition is currently on sale for $30. With all those characters, effects and the staggering lore lode from J.R.R. Tolkien's Ring trilogy to draw on, Rings overkill was inevitable. Maybe it's not such a bad thing, though, given that director Peter Jackson's take on the tale is as strong creatively as it's been commercially. So what (beyond the movie) will you get for your eight crisp Hamiltons? Another 30 minutes, for starters; and while early rumors suggested it would be an R-rated director's cut, Jackson's fleshing out evidently didn't push the MPAA's buttons beyond the theatrical cut's PG-13. (Does anyone really need to see naked Hobbits?) The extended cut stretches the movie to two discs, while another two discs offer feature material. Illustrations from faeries artist Alan Lee adorn the package, which includes trading cards and figurines, plus a new version of the National Geographic Beyond the Movie special, with photographs and footage. If you can live without the National Geographic disc and the little dolls, or "Argonath polystone figures," the director's cut can also be had in a four-disc set for about half the price ($40), which includes the two discs of extras.
In America, kids used to dress up like the Lone Ranger and wreak havoc on the forces of evil in their backyards. In Japan, kids dress up like Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman--a sort of Nipponese Dirty Harry. Home Vision Entertainment has rolled out 17 episodes of this cult classic on DVD with restored image and sound. It's infectious storytelling, fun action and impressive blade work.
Let's see if we have this right: This year, Jackie Chan put on a suit and assumed hyperactive superpowers in The Tuxedo. Didn't Jim Carrey do that in 1994 with a different item of apparel in The Mask? Why are we surprised? Every generation has its own version of the same movie; here's proof there is little new under the cinematic sun:
Hi-hats punctuate the dark, throbbing synth washes on First Album (Emperor Norton) by Miss Kittin and the Hacker. Miss K is a French-accented fembot whose message isn't encrypted--it's sex, sex, sex. Call it electro-porn noir.
On Plastic Fang (Matador), the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion makes gentrified Southern rock--adding hand claps, funky drumming, theremin and a sense of irony to a classic blues-rock base. But even if you don't have a taste for postmodern parody, the Blues Explosion rocks convincingly, and well. The best song here is Hold On, guest-starring Dr. John and P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
Seelenluft makes intelligent pop. Out of the Woods (Klein) relies on the laptop, but the live instruments and killer vocals carry the day. It's top-notch LA music, filtered through a Swiss sensibility.
Long Live the King Department:The Elvis Treasures by Robert Gordon is being released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Presley's death. It includes pop-up memorabilia reproductions, such as his signature on a high school library card. Reelling and Rocking: In other Robert Gordon news, look for his Muddy Waters documentary on PBS.... Jennifer Lopez will play Carmen in a movie scripted by Craig Pearce, who co-wrote Moulin Rouge .... Penélope Cruz has joined the cast of Bob Dylan's movie Masked and Anonymous. ... It looks as though Rohan Marley and Lauryn Hill will play Bob and Rita Marley in a biopic.... If you're looking for a laugh, buy Russ Forster's documentary Tributary. He traveled the country recording and interviewing tribute bands. (For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.) Newsbreaks: There will be two John Lee Hooker tribute albums--one featuring British musicians, the other Americans.... Rick James is a busy man these days. He is writing a musical called Alice in Ghettoland, trying to get his autobiography made into a film and is producing a new singer, Rain. Says James, "We created her because I want to get rid of Britney Spears."
The best punk rock has humor behind its recklessness. On Dillinger Four's Situationist Comedy (Fat Wreck Chords), the group recalls that attitude with a blitz of distortion and clever songs--The Father, the Son and the Homosexual/Single Parent, for one.
Although Hot Hot Heat is inspired by, New Wave, it's not a revival band. The new EP, Knock Knock Knock (Sub Pop), is amazingly fresh. This record couldn't be more entertaining--it's forthright and catchy as hell.
Nine years after Counting Crows' August and Everything After, one of music's best-selling debuts, front man Adam Duritz is less melancholy and more lyrically eloquent. Hard Candy (Geffen) is another batch of emotional narratives, but this time you can ditch the Kleenex. Try not to grin during American Girls, with kicky backup vocals by Sheryl Crow.
With On a Wire (Vagrant), the Get Up Kids graduate from power-chord romantics to a band with a unique voice. The melodies are still as sweet, especially on Overdue and Wish You Were Here. Along with Jimmy Eat World and Promise Ring, the Get Up Kids are a signpost to rock's future.
It sounds embarrassing: Sixties' soul legend sings tunes written for him by the likes of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. But Solomon Burke's Don't Give Up on Me (Fat Possum) is a surprise. Producer Joe Henry sets up a loose Memphis groove, allowing plenty of room for Burke's great 66-year-old voice. The songs aren't bad, either.
Shenanigans (Reprise) is a fast ride from Green Day's power-punk start to the stripped-down sound of their last studio CD. NOFX compiles B sides and out-of-print records on 45 or 46 Songs (Fat Wreck Chords), a set that includes deserving originals and covers.
New Orleans was the center of the rock-and-roll universe after World War II, and producer Dave Bartholomew was right in the middle of it. The Big Beat of Dave Bartholomew, part of EMI's Crescent City Soul series, is R&B at its best. The four-CD set Gettin' Funky: The Birth of New Orleans R&B (Proper) fills out the scene with powerful recordings by Roy Brown and Professor Longhair.
Ska-core masters the Mighty Mighty Bosstones subscribe to a foolproof formula--a jolly horn section, gruff vocals and a don't-give-a-rat's-ass mentality. A Jackknife to a Swan (Side One Dummy) doesn't disappoint.
Instant messaging has eliminated the problem of phone tag by allowing computer users to see who's online before typing a hello. Known as presence technology, the innovation may appear in cell phones, PDAs, pagers and other devices before the end of the year. If all goes as planned, you'll be able to see who's connected, where they are and whether they're in the mood to take a call. User-set preferences determine whether to route incoming calls to a cell phone or work phone and can be set to deliver personal information. Commuters, for example, may receive a call that alerts them to traffic problems and offers an alternate route by using global positioning system technology. As helpful as all this sounds, there are potential pitfalls. Currently, no single standard connects different IM networks from companies such as Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft. Far more alarming is the idea that stores will be able to call as you approach and beg you to come inside and spend money. To avoid this, users can set up privacy-control filters that provide time, date and content restrictions on incoming calls.
Xybernaut's Poma ($1500) is the first truly wearable computer, The "personal multimedia appliance" consists of a Hitachi processor (32 MB RAM, 32 MB ROM) with CompactFlash and USB ports encased in a sleek 11-ounce box that fits in your front pocket. The mouse is a cylindrical, blue-glowing optical device controlled by your thumb. A full SVGA 1"x1" head-mount display that covers one eye serves as a monitor. It's transmissive, so you can see through it to tend to your e-mail, listen to music and play games while on foot. The Poma is bundled with Windows CE and Windows Media Player 6.4 for productivity and computing, as well as PDA functions. Look for functionality and versatility to expand to include wireless and two-way communication capabilities and such accessories as a one-gigabyte micro-drive.
The battle between Sony PlayStation2, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Game-Cube is moving from the living room to the online realm. The PS2 will be the first system online. This month, Sony will introduce its $40 Network Adapter, a plug-in module for the back of the PS2 that houses two jacks: one for dial-up modems and an Ethernet port for high-speed gaming. Gamers can use their existing Internet service providers or the bundled CD, which includes software for AOL and Earthlink. Sony's efforts will be on multiplayer gaming, but in the future users will be able to use the adapter to access web content, e-mail and instant messaging. Coinciding with the launch is Socom: U.S. Navy Seals (pictured bottom right), Sony's first Internet-ready action game. As elite Navy Seals, players dismantle terrorist infrastructures around the globe. The real fun of Socom is in the online cooperative or competitive modes, which support up to 16 players per match. Other online-ready games include Tony Hawk's ProSkater 3, Tribes: Aerial Assault (pictured at top right) and EverQuest Online Adventures. Watch for online initiatives from Microsoft and Nintendo to launch before the end of the year. Microsoft has announced that Xbox owners won't need an adapter for online play (it's built into the system), but they will need to purchase a $50 one-year subscription to Xbox Live that includes a voice-chat headset and ReVolt, an online racing game.
Even though the three-martini lunch and subsequent snooze have gone the way of the leisure suit, sleep researchers say an afternoon nap makes employees more alert and productive. Workers in cultures where afternoon naps are commonplace score better on stress tests than do Americans. However, there is an art to napping: Sleep too long and you could wake up more fatigued than before. That's because after 30 to 45 minutes of napping you enter deep sleep, which is essentially a physiological shutdown. NASA studies show that naps of up to 40 minutes are particularly helpful during long nighttime flights. In conjunction with research from NASA on pilot fatigue, the Jetlog 24x7 PowerNap ($50) was developed to rouse you before dreams begin. The PowerNapping Module fits in the back of the Handspring Visor PDA and includes a touch sensor. When it's naptime, you curl up with your thumb on your PDA and fall asleep. The PowerNapper monitors the body's muscle tension. Right before deep sleep occurs (or 40 minutes passes) an alarm sounds. When is the best time for a nap? According to researchers, it's between one and four in the afternoon. Napping after four may inhibit sleep later at night.
Flash Frames: A New Pap Culture (Watson-Guptill), by designer Laurie Dolphin and producer Stuart Shapiro, documents the work of 40 innovative animators using the computer application Flash to create their unique art and some of the hottest content on the Internet. Highlights include Marina Zurkow's mutant superheroine Braingirl, Bob Cesca's Nipple Man, Joe Cartoon's Cult animations and visuals from veterans Stan Lee (Spider-Man, The X-Men) and Russ Heath (Men of War, Mad). All flash, no trash.
Ethan Hawke is a fine actor, but he's a mediocre novelist. His second effort, Ash Wednesday (Knopf), tells the often-humorous tale of James Heartsock, a white-trash AWOL army recruit, and Christy Ann Walker, the love of his life, who wooed him by lifting up her skirt. Jimmy and Christy have a hurts-so-good relationship--the kind that might be dissected by Oprah's Dr. Phil--but when they hit the road in a tricked-out Chevy Nova and stumble into marriage and parenthood, they morph into a mature, I loving, but ultimately flawed family. Not bad, if only the journey were not so predictable.
Scandal is sex education for the masses, a classroom without teachers, where whispers carry the lessons of the day. When lust leads to murder, the collective conscience kicks in. As Howard Engel shows in Crimes of passion: An Unblinking Look at Murderous Love (Firefly), our fascination with infamous affairs is enduring. Engel recalls Yvonne Chevalier's crime of passion--she killed her war-hero husband over infidelity and was acquitted by a sympathetic jury. Engel wanders through a rogues gallery of killers, from Ruth Ellis and Jean Harris (woman scorned) to Ruth Snyder (the first woman electrocuted) to bladed beauties Lizzie Borden and Lorena Bobbitt. Love hurts.
In Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (Crown), Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham form the perfect tag team to chronicle pro wrestling's improbable transformation from low-budget regional entertainment to billion-dollar spectacle. McMahon, the irrepressible marketing visionary, deserves the credit--or blame--for making it happen. But the picture painted here of the wrestling world (tinted with steroids and substance abuse, egomania, disloyalty and double crosses) isn't pretty. McMahon's first coup was hooking up with Cyndi Lauper to snare a young audience in the early days of MTV. Since then, the downhill spiral in taste has been mirrored by a corresponding rise in popularity. Given McMahon's predilection for parading himself before the cameras in self-parody, it's hard to see him or anyone as a victim. But the wrestlers come off as freak-show characters, distinguished from county-fair performers only by their six-figure incomes. Despite the devastating dropkicks and forearm smashes that are delivered by the authors, McMahon, as always, retains his standing as lord of the ring.
What did you accomplish by your late teens? Probably not as much as then-17-year-old Nick McDonell, whose debut novel Twelve (Grove) compelled Hunter S. Thompson to call him a "dangerous freak with very sharp teeth. I'm afraid he will do for his generation what I did for mine." Twelve follows the lives of affluent Manhattan preppies who like to fuck and get fucked up. White Mike is a modern-day Holden Caulfield--a quasi genius who'd rather sell marijuana than attend Harvard. His customers include a boy wrongly accused of murder, who must sit in jail because he can't remember his parents' European itinerary. A hot chick uses her feminine charms to talk a boy with absentee parents into hosting a New Year's party. Another girl's life turns to shit when she develops a taste for a fictional drug called 12, which seems like a mix of ecstasy, cocaine, LSD and roach killer. Toss in a boy with an Uzi and Park Avenue looks like urban blight. This book is an enthralling read about apathetic youth who have everything and nothing. This is a dramatic debut for McDonell, who has a brighter future than these scary teens.
See what happens when the prettiest feet are connected to the hottest girls in Barefoot Beauties, available now on DVD and VHS. Playmates showing full toe include Heather Carolin, Tina Jordan, Jennifer Walcott, Stephanie Heinrich and Christi Shake. "I don't like to cover my toes--I think I have pretty feet," says Christi. "During the day I'm usually barefoot, but at night I like wearing open-toe heels. The sexiest shoes a woman can own are a pair of elegant strappy black heels."
The moment is forever etched in our memory: After clinching the 1999 Women's World Cup championship with a penalty kick, U.S. soccer star Brandi Chastain rips off her jersey and drops to her knees, revealing a sports bra and chiseled abs. If she'd ditched the bra, it would have been a perfect picture. We like our women athletic, sweaty and naked, don't you? Over the years Playboy has photographed some of the sexiest athletes in the buff--including Olympic skater Katarina Witt, boxer Mia St. John, volleyball star Gabrielle Reese--and Playboy.com now is working to ensure that the list goes on. We've launched a series of online polls asking which athletes you would like to see out of uniform. From the WNBA to the volleyball league AVP, no sport or player is exempt. Winners to date include Phoenix Mercury hoops forward Lisa Harrison, golfer Carin Koch and tennis princess Anna Kournikova (yes, the real Anna Kournikova). The winners--and a few runners-up--are offered the opportunity to appear nude in the magazine. Former WNBA player Tamara Stocks (pictured) posed for our October 2001 issue. In 2000, our Sexiest Sports Reporter feature received nearly 250,000 votes and coverage on Extra, sports radio shows and in major daily newspapers. CBS sportscaster Jill Arrington narrowly beat Monday Night Football sideline reporter Melissa Stark, inspiring sports Illustrated to call it "the season's second most-discussed poll"--the first being the presidential election.
In the early Nineties Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret supermodel Stephanie Seymour slipped out of her trademark lingerie and onto the pages of Playboy for two pictorials, Stephanie (March 1991) Stephanie's Secret (February 1993). "The pictures are strong, unique and maybe a bit shocking," Seymour said at the time. 'I don't have the perfect Barbie doll face, but I did get famous for this body. I love posing nude. The feeling in these pictures is freedom and strength. I don't hold anything back. But I don't think I'll do any more nudes. It's done. Save this issue, people. It's my grand finale." If you can't find your original copy--or were too young to buy it then--you can see all her photos republished in their entirety in the Cyber Club's "Celebrities" section. Seymour is in good company, joining former cover girls Cindy Crawford, Bo Derek and Marilyn Monroe.
What follows is a multiple-choice quiz. Certain situations will be described. You are to select the response you think any woman would choose first, above all others. Do not cheat, do not scroll down, do not show your answers to anyone. By the time you reach the end of this quiz, you will have learned a vital fact that will increase your ability to meet, greet, seduce and hold on to the women who appeal to you the most:
A shot of tequila with salt and a wedge of lime is fine if you are downing an inexpensive brand. But plan to linger over Jose Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia, an añejo tequila produced once a year. It's aged in new French and American oak barrels before being sampled for quality by a member of the Cuervo family. The barrels of tequila that are worthy of the name Reserva are then hand-poured into bottles that are labeled, numbered and sealed with the family crest. Each bottle is sold in a wooden box that features artwork by a local artist. No wonder a 750 ml bottle of Reserva de la Familia costs about $125. The long-stemmed tequila glass shown at right is by Riedel Crystal. The price: about $10 each.
When Anheuser-Busch wanted a pool table adorned with the Budweiser logo, it went to Olhausen Billiards Manufacturing, a family-owned company in Poway, California that bills itself as "the best in billiards." Brothers Donny and Butch Olhausen are the head pool sharks who started the company in 1973. Back then, the annual production run totaled 60 tables. Today, it's 30,000. The Anheuser-Busch eight-foot solid-maple model (above) incorporates leather pockets and carved panels that are embellished with Budweiser logos. Special features include a three-piece diamond-honed slate playing surface and Olhausen's exclusive Accu-Fast cushions, which have a lifetime guarantee. Price: $5495. A matching Budweiser 10-cue wall rack is available for $399. Both the table and wall rack are sold through authorized Olhausen dealers. Log on to OlhausenBilliards.com for more information.
Clothesline: Danny Kass, Ross Powers and J.J. Thomas
American snowboarders won gold, silver and bronze in the halfpipe competition at Salt Lake City last winter--the first U.S. medals sweep in the Winter Olympics in 46 years. Their dress styles are decidedly uncompetitive. "I'm sponsored by Ralph Lauren, so I wear anything from his jeans and sweatshirts to some of the company's dressy stuff," says Ross Powers (center), who won the gold. "I like the RLX sportswear line, too, and one day I hope to get a Ralph Lauren tux." Danny Kass (left), who took the silver, looks to Grenade Gloves and Quicksilver Clothing when choosing sportswear. "Oh yeah, and Armani," a remark that got laughs from his teammates. "My favorite clothes are made by Oakley and my favorite place to shop is Wal-Mart--and that's no joke" says J.J. Thomas (right), who got the bronze. As for dressing up, "I'm getting there. Right now I'm at the Diesel and Polo stage."
Light. The Las Vegas nightclub in the Bellagio Hotel that opened with Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlie Sheen in attendance. An 8000-square-foot bar and lounge area surrounds a sunken dance floor bordered with velvet booths that invite serious cuddling. But what has really switched Light on is its buy-the-bottle liquor policy. No single shots, guys. If your table is drinking bubbly, Louis Roederer Brut will set you back $195. The hard stuff starts at $250, with a liter of Jack Daniels, Absolut or Bacardi Light offered as some of the choices. • Dodge-ball. The World Dodgeball Association says this new tournament sport isn't the same as the schoolyard game in which you tried to slam your buddy in the face with the ball. "Teamwork and skill are part of the strategy," says commissioner Mark Leonard. A 12-college tour begins this fall. The WDA envisions a professional dodgeball league in the near future. • Gourmet salt. This is not the stuff you use to ring your margarita glass. We're talking exotic cooking salt, such as Danish smoked salt made in a process that dates back to the Vikings. There's also Peruvian pink sea salt from a landlocked sea in the Andes. Bricks of it are carried 200 miles to market on the backs of llamas. Chef Michel Nischan of Heartbeat Restaurant in Manhattan says it's "unbelievable on sliced ripe tomatoes." The price for either salt is $11 for a two-ounce bottle, from the Cooking School of Aspen.
Alain Ducasse is the only chef in the world whose restaurants have received six Michelin stars. Plus, he's the author of several books on French cuisine, including Provence of Alain Ducasse: Recipes, Addresses and Places--a guide to the region's best markets, wineries, restaurants and villages, accompanied by his handwritten notes. The "Where to" and "My Favorite" sections are particularly fun and useful. If you're a truffles fiend, don't miss the turbot with fondue of anchovies and truffled beurre blanc at L'Auberge de la Fenière. Price: $45. Assouline is the publisher.
There are 30,000 local and state judges in the U.S. Each spring The National Law Journal publishes a select list of those who left the bench under a cloud during the previous year. (Ticket fixers and judges who are alcoholics are not eligible--there are too many of them.) Of those chosen for the magazine's hall of shame, most are seriously corrupt and a few are just bizarre. Here are some of our favorites:
In August 2001 we presented 20 cases in which listeners had complained to the Federal Communications Commission about "indecent" radio broadcasts. We asked readers to judge for themselves what crossed the line. This time out we want you to play judge, jury and meter maid. Each of these segments that follow were ruled indecent by the FCC. Can you guess the fine the agency imposed? Nail all seven and you win 30 seconds to say whatever you want on the radio.
"Pools can be dangerous for children. To protect them, one can install locks, put up fences and deploy alarms. But by far the most important thing one can do for one's children is to teach them to swim."
The American Family Association has been campaigning for years to get our national motto, In God We Trust, posted in every public school, library, auditorium and cafeteria in the land (it's already on every coin in your pocket). So far, only Mississippi has mandated the practice, evidently in an effort to make up for Tennessee's having gotten the Scopes trial. Two years ago the U.S. House put in its two cents by passing a nonbinding resolution calling for the motto to be displayed in public buildings. Nervous airport travelers or hospital patients may not be comforted.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 30, 32, 43--44, 80--85,112--113,116--117 and 157, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.