With more than 200 stories to his credit and the novel Duma Key coming next month, Stephen King continues to enthrall us with his dark, disturbing imagination. In his latest short story, Mute, a traveling salesman whose terrain is King's fictitious Maine picks up a hitchhiker and pours out his heart about his wife's infidelity. Then it gets eerie. "I don't think there is a monster in every man, but I think there's one in most men," King has said. "I think most men are wired to perform acts of violence, usually defensive, but we're still primitive creatures, and we have a tendency toward violence." One can't help but wonder if a man who easily gives others nightmares sleeps well at night. "People ask me, 'Do you have bad dreams?1" he says. "And the answer is yes. When I don't write, I get bad dreams."
I read Teller Speaks (September) with great interest. The writer is fascinated by Teller's genius at not talking onstage in our show. I'm mentioned, in passing, as the one who lalks. I'm the one in whom the "secret power of silence" isn't. Okay, that's fine. Teller is my business partner. He says in the article that we're not really friends. Well, then, let me speak freely. I'I.wiiiiv sells Teller short: There's so much more he
Last year you gave us all-natural frau-lein Janine Habeck (Achtung, liab\, September 2006). This year you upped the ante with Patrice Hollis (Natural Beauty, September). I can hardly wait for 2008. John Pathy Ibronto, Ontario
As a longtime high-performance-car enthusiast and mechanical engineer, I can describe American Muscle (September) only as entertaining. The horsepower figures you quote for the older cars are myths: The evidence is incontrovertible to those of us who understand the principles of engine design and have actual racing experience, as well as access to vintage road tests, dynamometer tests, National Hot Rod Association records, etc. Unfortunately, current sources tend to focus solely on the most impressive statistics for the older muscle cars, usually failing to mention the significant modifications required to achieve them. 1 realize playboy isn't Hot Rod, but you have a responsibility to print the truth.
Kudos to John H. Richardson for The RedClouds Revolution (September), which dispels the sordid stereotype that people who share explicit photos of themselves must be perverts or freaks. We have always loved to play the role of Peeping Tom as he ogles Lady Godiva, and technology has made it that much easier. The men, women and couples who create "reality porn" for sites such as RedClouds seem to be looking for something other than 15 minutes of Warholian fame. That many contributors choose to blur or hide their faces is a sad commentary on our society's continuing squeamishness about human sexuality-Clay Calvert
Playmates are perfect, and perfection, as any dictionary will tell you, is that which cannot be improved upon. So is there no way to better the Playmate videos featured in the Playboy Cyber Club? As a matter of fact, there is—by definition, as in high definition. Playmate Xtra videos are now available in HD (that's 720p in geek speak) at cyber.playboy.com. Perfect as always—yet better.
Based on a survey by the U.K. Internet dating service Illicit Encounters, an estimated 260,000 Britons are engaged in an extramarital affair at any given time, spending an average of about $600 a couple for each encounter, on hotel rooms, dinners, clothing, gifts and the like, for a total on pace to exceed $1.4 billion by the end of this year.
(Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson) Woody Allen tries to go gritty in a tale of two cockney brothers—Farrell, a boozy mechanic, and McGregor, a dreamer who runs a restaurant—each desperate to score big money. Turning to their filthy-rich uncle (Wilkinson), they commit a murder with disastrous consequences.
(Javier Bardem, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benjamin Bratt) In this masochistic love triangle set in turn-of-the-century South America, Bardem is a cocksman who spends half a lifetime in unrequited love with an unattainable woman (Mezzogiorno) who marries a wealthy, beloved doctor (Bratt).
(Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Eva Green) This adaptation of the first book of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy features a heroic young girl who lives among scholars at Oxford University but also inhabits an allegorical universe of witches, strange creatures and human souls that take the form of animals.
(Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall) From writer-director Paul Schrader comes a sort of continuation of his American Gigolo. Harrelson plays a vain gay escort paid to step out with Washington, D.C.'s female elite; he gets in trouble when a senator's wife involves him in a murder case.
Jack Sparrow unites with the Pirate Lords to save their ranks, they're upstaged by a cameo from Jack's dad (Keith Richards) and nearly drown in digital effects. Watch after the credits for a fun glimpse
Alyssa Milano broke out on Who's the Boss.7 before sexing herself up in teen temptress roles. Prior to a detour back to tween fare with Charmed, Milano fought off erotic vampire cravings—and her blouse—in 1995's Embrace of the Vampire (pictured). Next she'll sink her teeth into Pathology, a thriller about med students trying to commit the perfect murder.
Since returning to the stage at the Coachella festival in 2006, Daft Punk has perfected a transcendent live show. The French duo's summer tour finale— in a beachfront minor league baseball stadium at Brooklyn's famous Coney Island—had 12,000 revelers going bonkers, dancing throughout a set of chopped-up versions of the combo's signature dissonant filtered electro house. Now comes Alive 2007, a recording of Daft Punk's first show in 10 years in hometown Paris, performed
The pair's first next-gen outing has them on a quest to suss out Ratchet's mysterious origins. The gameplay is more epic in scope, the mayhem more intense, and no other game lets you morph enemies into penguins and then make them do the hustle. VVV'/z — S.J.
LIKE MOST OF the good things about the holidays, the old mistletoe trick dates to pagan times. If you like the way this bit of floral folderol can catalyze amorous interludes, try one of these more obscure traditions.
WE TESTED THE worth of this Montecristo-branded steak knife (set of six and wooden case, $150; available at retail tobacconists nationwide) against a tough overcooked porterhouse and found a new best friend. / It's not just that the German 440C stainless- -steel blade sliced through the hardened flesh quickly. It was the perfectly weighted hand feel, the panache with which it severed gristle from bone. As t
SOME PEOPLE BALK at paying more for their iPod dock than they did for their iPod. The colloquial term for these people is morons. If you want to listen out loud and watch with friends, do yourself a favor and pony up for a good experience. From top: Altec Lansing inMotion iMV712 ($350, alteclansing.com): For sharing the show or watching hands-free, this 8.5-inch LCD screen with three-speaker audio system is a great choice. Wrapped in a handsome piano-black finish, it allows you to plug in audio and video from non-iPod sources. Harman/Kardon Go + Play ($350, harmankardon.com): For those who want to take the party with them, this boom box nouveau runs on batteries or AC power and packs a pair of rear-firing woofers plus 30-watt tweeters to deliver serious audio ammo. Rock, hip-hop and jazz all feel substantial, even in wide-open spaces. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin ($600, bowers-wilkins.com): This two-foot-wide stainless-steel sculpture reproduces music with both power and subtlety, thanks to audiophile-quality tweeters and midrange drivers on each side, as well as a substantial subwoofer. There's enough power here to fill even a large room easily, and tricky digital-signal processing automatically tweaks the audio output for the volume you've chosen, whether it's Regina Spektor across the table or Page, Plant and Bonham (we couldn't resist) from 30 feet away.
HEY, WANT TO come back to my place and check out the orgy?" Now there's a pickup line. The Orgy sofa and ottoman ($14,000, karimrashidshop.com) from design star Karim Rashid are beautiful pad pieces with a built-in theme. The rounded sofa back facilitates relaxed interaction, and when you slide the ottoman in, you get ample surface area for you and your friends to stay comfortable even in the most strenuous of contortions. Now that's putting some funk into function.
FIVE THINGS YOU may not know about Wyoming's Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: (1) It has 4,139 vertical feet of skiing, the most continuous lift-served terrain in North America. (2) Half the slopes are expert. Jackson Hole is regarded as the nation's most-likely-to-break-your-leg resort. (3) The new Couloir Restaurant and Bar opens this season, at the top of Bridger Gondola Summit (9,095-foot elevation)—swanky dining with views of the stars and Corbet's Couloir, often called America's scariest ski slope. (4) The resort's first eco-boutique hotel, Hotel Terra (from $395 a night, hotel terrajacksonhole.com) opens at the base this month: romantic rooms, a fine wine list, a reduced carbon footprint, a walk to the gondola. (5) Until you've skied this mecca, you haven't lived.
HALFWAY BETWEEN HIGH-tech and classic design lies the Fusion Chrome Collection. Gillette teamed with the Art of Shaving to create this razor ($125), stand ($100) and badger-hair brush ($25, theartofshaving .com). A gleaming cross-hatch grip harks back to Gillette's old Super Speed safety razor. Timeless.
DRESSING IS LIKE painting, with you as the canvas. A good suit provides the background, but as in art, the details make or break your work. The correct application of accessories separates kitsch from masterpiece. Your belt, naturally, holds it all together. Ermenegildo Zegna Couture offers these brilliant examples (from left) in brown alligator ($495), black leather ($125) and rich pony hair and leather ($520). More information at zegna.com.
TIES ARE A focal point for your creation. Rep stripes, whether to signal membership in an elite club or to show the audacity of the wearer, never go out of style, as evidenced by these two specimens. The middle tie, from Canali ($120, www.canali.it), offers a late-autumn feel, while the Ermenegildo Zegna tie, on the right ($150, zegna.com), is tastefully reminiscent of a candy cane. The tie on the left, from Valentino ($150, valentino.com), is a rich pink that will pop equally
FINALLY COME THE shoes. After the black oxford, the classic brown wingtip, or brogue, is the most versatile shoe to have on hand or, in this case, foot. This one from Canal i (top, $580, www.canali.it) fits the bill with simple, unassuming lines that don't com pete for the spotlight. Monk straps, like this black one from Ermenegildo Zegna Couture (middle, $675), are appropriate for fine suits and offer a refreshing departure from lace-ups. On rare occasions you can meld the two, as Fratelli Rossetti (bottom, $525, rossetti .it) does with this dip-dyed beauty. (Note the subtle depth of pigment concentrated at the toe.)
My wife and I have been together for 11 years. She recently escorted a school group to Europe for 10 days. Because she was so busy, she sent me only three or four e-mails and never called. I looked at her itinerary a few times to see where she was. but I never missed her. I would think 10 clays without your spouse would wreck a person, but I felt indifferent. I love my wife, so why do I not care if she's away?—S.B., Sugar Land, Texas
Having read about playboy Indonesia's problems ("Playboy of the Muslim World," September), I thought your readers might appreciate a lighter side of the story. Last year a popular joke going around Jakarta was that playboy Indonesia should indeed have been prosecuted—for brand fraud. You see, the Indonesian version of playboy is seen here as being de-eroticized. Scin-tillatingly sexual material—never mind the real thing—is already freely available, making many wonder how playboy would compete. Given these facts, what was all the fuss about? Branding and American power. The thuggish Islamists were simply reacting emotionally to a powerful global icon that is more symbolic of America and the sexual revolution than Coca-Cola, Nike or MTV. How do we know this? Because the local versions of FHM, ME, Popular and even Vogue and Cosmopolitan are visually steamier and also have torrid sex-advice columns. Americans would be amazed to see how much skin and sex talk are tolerated in other magazines, none of which has attracted the rage of the Islamic Defenders Front. In essence it is protesting
In "This Land Is Our Land" (September) the statistics about changes in the size of farms and the number of farmers are a bit conservative. The size of holdings in Iowa has tripled, while the number of farmers is down by one quarter. In 1955 there were three farmers in each section of land (a section is 640 acres); now it is about one farmer for every four sections. Many old
I wish to add one last thing to the debate about Frederick Barthelme's "Help Wanted" (June). New Orleans is finished, done, gone, and we'd all better get used to it. Rather than seek healing, we should take off our rose-tinted glasses and ask how we ever let anyone live there, 20 feet below sea level, thumbing their collective noses at mother nature. I lost my house in a 2003 flood caused by Hurricane Isabel, which devastated Maryland's Chesapeake Bay waterfront. My insurance paid, but it was capped at $250,000. We were required to build new houses above the floodplain so it wouldn't happen again (that is, so taxpayers wouldn't have to bail us out again). We weren't given building permits to rebuild at the same level, as the city of New Orleans has allowed. We didn't get extra federal money beyond the existing insurance, though FEMA did offer us a trailer. I visited New Orleans before Katiina and took a sightseeing ride down the river. We were looking over the levees at rooftops, and I wondered at the time who in their right mind would live there just waiting for a disaster. What's wrong with this country is that the people who
You are right on the money with your nuclear-power article in the July issue ("Greens for Nukes"). I would like to add some insight as to how nuclear power can be a catalyst for energy' change at the gas pump. Nuclear-generated electricity gives us wide latitude to do things we can't do with other energy sources. This relatively cheap electricity permits us to derive hydrogen and oxygen from sea-water, which is impractical with other energy sources. Once we have hydrogen, a wide world of energy independence opens to us. Without dramatically changing our automobile engines, we can produce low-emission motor fuels. Hydrogen can be reacted with the global-warming gas CO., to produce methane, which can be used as a very low-pollution motor fuel, as well as an interim fuel source for decades. Nuclear power will eliminate the inefficient conversion of food crops into fuel. At one time, the United States set the bench-
Washington. D.c—An evangelical entertainment group called Operation Straight Up is working with an official arm of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, on what OSU describes as a "crusade in Iraq." It is distributing Bibles and copies of a video game based on the Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins Left Behind books as part of its care packages. "The Constitution has been assaulted and brutalized," says Mikey Weinstein, a Ronald Reagan-era White House counsel and ex-Air Force judge advocate general who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "Thanks to the influence of extreme Christian fundamentalism, the wall separating church and state is nothing but smoke and debris. And OSU is the IED that exploded the wall separating church and state in the Pentagon and throughout our military."
Washington, dc. After a lawsuit between the federal government and two peaceful protesters was settled, White House spokesman Blair Jones said, "The parties understand that this settlement is a compromise of disputed claims to avoid the expenses and risks of litigation and is not an admission of fault, liability or wrongful conduct." The problem with this characterization? The protesters, Jeff and Nicole Rank, had been removed from a public, taxpayer-funded Fourth of July event at which the president was speaking, because they were wearing anti-Bush T-shirts. The couple made no disruptions, the shirts contained no vulgar language, and the event was held on the West Virginia statehouse grounds. Yet, at the behest of the White House event staff, the two were handcuffed, fingerprinted, charged with trespassing and detained in jail for several hours. As a result Nicole Rank was temporarily suspended from her job. One particularly eye-opening document came out of the legal proceedings: A heavily redacted version of the Presidential Advance Manual, dated October 2002, was made public, revealing how the White House manicures its audiences. Most surprising is how much importance the manual puts not on hiding protesters from the media but on shielding the president from protesters.
Harare. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe approved a new law permitting domestic surveillance. The change allows the intelligence services to listen in on telephone conversations and look at mail and e-mail. Mugabe's government
Washington, D.c. Former Middle East diplomat and State Department employee Patrick Syring retired when his alleged comments to James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, came to light. "The only good Arab is a dead Arab," Syring reportedly said on a voice mail recorded at the institute in July 2006. The same day, he sent an e-mail to Zogby that read, "Fuck the Arabs and fuck James Zogby and his wicked Hizbollah brothers. They will burn in hellfire on this earth and in the hereafter." Syring was indicted and pleaded not guilty.
For the first time Oris is integrating its legendary Pointer Day into the classic Artelier watch collection in the Art Deco style. Thanks to the extra-large case opening, the day display on the outermost ring is one of the most striking elements of this watch. Oris Artelier Pointer Day —fashion goes full circle, www.oriswatches.com
Brand-New CD! A stunning new collection of holiday classics from the famed sax player. Features special guests ANGIE STONE. CHANTE MOORE & ANTHONY HAMILTON. Available at Circuit City. www.circuitcity.com
Tech Gear pushes forward in technology, endurance and style. The perfect balance of precision timekeeping and rugged sophistication. Choose from a variety of styles with features like average-speed computer, alarm chronograph, solar technology, bi-directional pilot's slide rule bezel and enhanced 100-lap memory.' www.pulsarwatches.com
DIAL UP REAL RESULTS. Bowflex' SelectTeclr technology puts the power of 30 free-weights into one compact system! Call today for your FREE DVD and Information Kit. Call 1-8OO-953-2173 today! www.BowflexDumbBell.com
Stiletto 2 combines SIRIUS radio with your own personal MP3 music library for the ultimate portable audio entertainment experience. Enjoy live SIRIUS radio via satellite or Wi-Fi, listen to stored SIRIUS programming or to your favorite songs from your personal music collection. Add optional accessories for customized performance in your vehicle, home or office.
o sporting event in America draws more viewers than the NCAA tournament. It's bigger than the World Series, bigger than the Super Bowl. March is the month of madness that sees more money dumped into Vegas sports books than any other time of the year. Amid all the hoopla it's easy to forget these athletes are amateurs. They play for all the right reasons: school pride, love of the game and, yes, for some, future NBA paychecks.
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 paqes 44, 47-52, 110-115, /J2-137 and 208-209, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is among the oldest, largest and most infamous in the world,. Every year 500,000 bikers descend on the sleepy town in the Black Hills of South Dakota to partake in two-wheeled debauchery. From far left: Playmates Jordan Monroe, Patrice Hollis and Sara Jean Underwood indulged in the hogs and hoopla.
Michael Clarke Duncan, Mickey Rourke and CARLA CUGINO played characters who die in Sin City. Rumor has it Duncan and Rourke will return iorSin City 2 (the stories aren't told in order), but Gugino, whose sweet, naked lesbian parole officer never hurt anyone, will not.
Strip mini golf is one of life's great pleasures, but for reasons we can't fathom it's still frowned on at our local putt-putt course. Rather than sneaking in at midnight to get in a few holes, pick up My Mini Golf ($420, unicahome .com). The kit lets you lay out a custom set of microlinks in and around your home, with nine holes and up to 13 handicaps, including loops, bridges, twists and more. We won't reveal our fiendish personal blueprint here, but suffice it to say the Grotto makes one hell of a water hazard.
Hollywood's adoration of speed peaked in the 1960s, and at the top was Steve McQueen, the king of cool. You remember the Ford Mustang GT fastback he drove in Biillill (1968), his Triumph motorcycle in The Great Escape (1963) and his Gulf-Porsche racing car from I.e Minis (1971). Now comes a coffee-table book by Matt Stone, McQueen's Machines: The Cars and Hikes of a Hollywood Icon, which details those historic rides. It also takes you inside McQueen's garage for a look at his beloved Jag XK-SS roadster and the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso (pictured) that sold at auction this past summer for just over $2.3 million. Think of this book as a love story. It was good to be king.
When you're slogging through a workout with an iPod strapped to your arm, the last thing you want to do is reach across your body to fiddle with it. The wireless iControl from Timex ($125, timex.com) allows you to simply touch your wrist to track forward and back or adjust the volume. Setup is simple: Just plug the receiver into the iPod's charging port and it syncs right up. Now get moving!
"Hidden within this painting," says motor-sport artist Kric Herrmann, "are desert animals, plants, winning racers and the names of celebrities who have tackled the most challenging of off-road events." Herrmann's work aims to capture on canvas the essence of this past November's 40th anniversary of the Baja 1000 off-road rally The original painting is up for grabs (48 by 40 inches, $40,000; ericherrmannstuclios.com). but you can get a limited-edition print for $ 150.
The Sky Challenger PicoZ Battle Pack ($80, firebox.com) has two easy-to-use RC copters, each with an infrared laser for aerial tag. Use your craft's laser to paint your pal's bird and his motor will cut out. Fast reactions can save him from eating pavement, and the light copters aren't easily damaged by crashing. Bonus points for reciting dialogue from Airwolfi&s you play.
The bottle struck us first. You can't look at it without thinking of a deeply suntanned couple having sex on a beach in France. (At least we can't.) Then we tasted: apricot marmalade, walnut, lemon zest, a hint of chocolate. Martell, the oldest of the major cognac producers (founded in 1715), has launched its latest bottling. Creation Grand Extra ($300, in fine liquor stores). For a perfect nightcap, pair it with a La Aurora 100 Anos cigar.
The TiVo box is a revolutionary device, bill storage space has always been its weakness, especially lor high-delinition content, which uses 10 limes the memory of standard del. That's where weaKnees comes in. The company buys new TiVos, cracks them open, installs mammoth hard drives, then rewarrant.s and sells them. It oilers boxes with up to 144 hours of high-def'capacity ($300 to $1,400, weaknees.com).
With all the digital flotsam in your life, it makes less sense than ever to keep your movies, photos and music on specific computers. Iomega's StorCenter ($390, iomega.com) is a network-attached hard drive that works like a digital butler. Hook it up to your Wi-Fi router and it can feed files to any computer in range. Beyond being a repository for things you want easy access to, it can also back up your computers, and its terabyte of storage comes in two separate drives so it can even back up itself.
Billiards master Willie Mosconi knew how to work the felt. He could run table after table and pull off elaborate trick shots. But all his talent could not keep a bottle of wine from turning. Mr. Pocket Billiards would have enjoyed these authentic vintage-billiard-ball wine stoppers ($32, sterlingplace.com). They're mounted on cork to keep your half-empty vintage bottles as true as Willie's game.