"This is my principal objection to life. I think: It is too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes," wrote the late Kurt Vonnegut. In Wailing Shall Be in All Streets he condemns one such mistake, the Allied firebombing of Dresden that killed tens of thousands of civilians in one night. The previously unpublished essay (from his forthcoming Armageddon in Retrospect. from G.R Putnam's Sons) was the basis for Slaughterhouse-Five. Both works are timely warnings about our war in Iraq, which Vonnegut railed against until his death. "I, myself, feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers." he said. Despite his dark humor. Vonnegut never gave up on the future: "Why write books? You catch people before they become generals and presidents and poison their minds with humanity."
Christian I'arenti's article Our Battles Joined (January) is superb. There is an old proverb. "Some people make themselves taller by cutting others' heads off." This applies to the Taliban for its cowardly murder of Afghan journalist Ajnial Nacjshhandi.
I'm generally not a fan of tattoos placed near a woman's private parts; as Chris Rock says, "The pussy works on its own." But model Trisha Lurie looks inkalicious in January's ('•rape-vine—that's quality work.
Thank you for making my trip to the mailbox fun once a month. 1 am also glad to see important articles such as jimmy Breslin's Land of the Free, Home of the Scared (January). Like Breslin, I am tired of watching our civil liberties erode behind the politics of fear. Mike Tr/.eciak Burnt Hills, New York
I can't believe playboy has turned conservative. You printed 11 negative letters in January about your Playlwy Inlewiew with Keith Olbermann but only two positive ones. If you get 90 negative letters from the lunatic fringe and one positive letter, would you print them in that ratio? The right-wingers mobilize whenever they perceive the media has slighted them. I'm shocked that playboy, a liberal bastion, would fall for this tacu'c. Scott Holm Lake Zurich, Illinois
Was ist los? No, it's not a schematic for a penis-size iron maiden. It's the apparatus for applying the first spray-on latex condom, developed by Germany's Institute for Condom Consultancy. The gadget's a godsend for the exceptionally large and exceptionally small. Insert yourself, push the button and in no time you're wearing a sheath that is literally skintight
The winning bid at auction for a bottle of 157-year-old Bowmore single malt, sold by McTear's in Scotland (even though the cork had fallen into the whiskey). It was the most ever paid for a bottle of scotch.
From 1913 through 2006 6,397 major league baseball players made at least 100 plate appearances. Statistical analysis shows that batters whose name begins with K strike out 18.8% of the time. The rest whiff at a rate of just 17.2%.
A new study by the University of Pittsburgh and UC Santa Barbara found women whose waist measurement was 60% to 70% of their hip measurement scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than other women.
(Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria) The hilarious Pegg plays a clueless, chunky geek who deserts his pregnant fiancee (Newton) in this David Schwimmer-directed comedy. Years later Pegg realizes she's the woman of his dreams and decides to run his first marathon to try to win back her love.
(Owen Wilson, Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley, David Dorfman) Producer Judd Apatow follows up the raunchy 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up with something more akin to School of Rock. When three teenage nerds are humiliated by a bully, they hire Wilson as their bodyguard, not knowing he's just an eccentric homeless guy.
i Spacey, Kate Bosworth. Laurence Fishburne) Real-life its inspired this film about five MIT students who, trained as card-counting whizzes, make a killing at blackjack in Vegas. They don disguises and outwit casino bosses until their egos and interpersonal conflicts threaten to bring the game tumbling down.
(Kyan Hhillippe. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Channing Tatum, Timothy Olyphant) No sooner does Phillippe return to his Texas hometown from combat duty in Iraq than he's shipped right back into battle even though his military contract has expired. Phillippe and Tatum play friends struggling to make sense of an endless war.
HBO's much hyped attempt to duplicate Sopranos-type ratings, about the arrival of a mysterious stranger named John into the lives of the Yosts, a dysfunctional California surfing family, was plagued by high expectations it could never hope to satisfy.
We can think of at least two good reasons why a wealthy admirer showers Thandie Newton with gifts in Besieged (pictured). See her next in Run, Fatboy, Run, in which her chubby ex-fiance, played by Simon Pegg, also tries to woo her, after he realizes she is the love that got away.
chise has struggled to get the freestyle soccer formula correct, but this time its streamlined controls let you easily pull off insane (or impossible) moves using more than 250 of the world's best players, rendered in likable caricature. Smooth animation, a giant set of trick moves, specialized players, a rede-
brow shooter turns on the premise of a future blood sport that entails blasting your way through a gantlet filled with cannon-fodder enemies, killing all, en route to each level's finish line. Ifs basically The Running Man on meth. Although the settings are rote and the story nonexistent, The Club succeeds in amping up the adrenaline
verse pleasure to be found in killing something you thought was extinct. When you and your men crash-land on a planet overrun by dinosaurs, you must fight your way through the lizards to get to your nemesis, Kane. Not that you're complaining: You're armed with guns, bombs, a bow and explosive arrows, as well as
PC) This gritty war game puts you in a soldier's shoes in the military conflicts that arise as humans enter the throes of oil-addiction withdrawal in 2024. The nonlinear structure allows you to choose fluidly between multiple objectives within each scenario, and the game is packed to the gills with destructive toys based on today's
This new biography of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN special envoy killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2003, chronicles the rise of a unique humanitarian and diplomat over his 30-plus-year career. De Mello's tendency to "side with power," to charm and engage Western leaders and war criminals alike in the pursuit of humanitarian solutions, earned him results if not the scorn of some of his colleagues who felt a more confrontational approach was required for those with records of human-rights abuses. But perhaps the greatest aspect of De Mello's legacy, and
With the exception of the Roswell crash site, nothing attracts more crackpots than the Texas School Book Depository. Yet the incidents surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination are far more compelling than any UFO tale. In The Road to Dallas we see the rare vindication of the lunatic fringe, as Kaiser—who teaches history at the Naval War College—puts forth the first serious historical study to confirm what we've long suspected: that JFK's killing was not the work of a lone madman. Comprehensive and well documented.
Painter Skolnick, asked in 1969 to illustrate a sex manual, thought photography better suited to the task. The resulting images of bodies intertwined convey a raw elemental power reminiscent of Rodin's sculpture. Skolnick captures fleeting moments of sensual foreplay between couples but no penetration. Seen today these images seem like the capstone to the decade of free love, a last celebratory gasp of the erotic before the world turned hard-core. VYV —Matt Steigbigel
WHEN KILLIAN HENNESSY turned 100 last year, the patriarch of the storied cognac-producing clan received a very special gift from his master blender, Yann Fillioux: Beaute du Siecle, a cognac composed of Hennessy reserves dating back to 1907. Hennessy is now offering this nectar to the public in a Baccarat crystal decanter set in gilded bronze within an elaborate 160-pound aluminum-and-glass box designed by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. At the press of a button the carafe rises from within the chest. All this can be yours for a mere $200,000, making a decent pour from this bottle worth more than $1,000. Just close your eyes and pretend you're drinking diamonds.
EIGHT-TIME WORLD champion surfer Kelly Slater knows a thing or two about boards. And while he's mainly recognized for his work on the water, unsurprisingly he's no slouch when it comes to surfing across town. Slater recently teamed with skate- and snowboard maker Arbor to create the Slater ($230, arborsports .com), a surf-inspired deck made from layers of maple, fiberglass and koa, a Hawaiian wood that was used to construct the first surfboards. Based on the surfboards Slater favors, it's built to perform on intense downhills, with a long wheelbase offering stability at speed, incredible flexibility and an extra-deep camber that makes carving turns on pavement less hazardous to your health.
VISITING THE FUTURE is a dream for many of us. Alberto Frias's Transport pod (from $16,000, alberto frias.com) is the closest we'll get without a time machine. The Transport was designed as a stress-relieving sanctuary; accordingly, inside you'll find a water bed, high-end speakers by Anthony Gallo Acoustics and an enveloping constellation of LEDs. Now all you need is a fellow futurist to enjoy this present with.
THE FRAGRANCES CREATED by Frederic Malle are the aromatic equivalent of a three-star meal. You could say Malle, the grandson of legendary Dior perfume co-founder Serge Heftler-Louiche and nephew of filmmaker Louis Malle, was born with good taste, but consulting on fragrances for Hermes and Christian Lacroix honed it. In 2000 the Parisian struck out on his own, and the world has smelled better ever since. This spring, along with a new fragrance, Bois d'Orage ($190 for 100 milliliters), he offers a sampler of 15 of his most sensual creations ($480, barneys.com) so you can change your aroma to suit your mood.
WE'VE ALWAYS FELT art deco struck a perfect balance between extravagance and elegance, which is why we're fond of Tourneau's whimsical yet deadly serious Gotham Avant-Garde ($6,450, tourneau.com). Its dial is hand-set chrome on black enamel, and you can keep track of the automatic movement's power reserve on a dashboard-style gauge below the six. When you're in a reflective mood, a crystal exhibition back lets you contemplate the complex Swiss clockwork.
DESIGNED AND PRODUCED in John Hardy's innovative Balinese workshop, these square carved-chain tigereye cuff links ($595, neimanmarcus.com) are inspired by traditional Indonesian weaving. This partnership between Western designers and local artisans may be housed within mud walls and a thatched roof, but the results it achieves are ahead of their time.
IN 1985 WE said the Reference record player from Goldmund "costs as much as a midsize car, but many purists swear by it." Well, inflation's a bitch: The new version is priced like a Ferrari. For vinyl snobs, however, the Reference II ($300,000, goldmund.com) is worth every penny. Made of brass and titanium, the cog-free motor is insulated to minimize background noise. Three Teflon tubes protect the signal wire, and the stylus, pivot and counterweight are meticulously balanced to ensure clarity. The liquid-nitrogen-treated turntable belt guarantees the smoothest rotation, and Goldmund's proprietary Spherical Inserts and RIAA equalization in the digital processor mean A Love Supreme sounds as clear as it did in Coltrane's ear. Plus, Goldmund itself will come to your house to install and calibrate this masterpiece. With only 25 being made, you may want to get in line now.
Hollywood Actor Rupert Everett has slammed the conservatism of entertainment corporations. In an interview in The Times of London, he criticized attitudes on abortion after last year's slate of films dealing with the subject, including Knocked Up, Juno and Waitress. "On abortion, the studios are for it in private because they don't want actresses to clog up their schedules by taking time off to have babies," he said. "But in films if you get pregnant, you have to keep the baby and end up with the man." He also took aim at what he described as hypocritical attitudes toward drug and alcohol addiction, which give men like Robert Downey Jr. sympathy while treating women like Britney Spears as crazy. "Hollywood pretends it's very liberal, but it's not remotely. It's like Al Qaeda."
MADRiD-ln response to what they see as harassment by government authorities, abortion clinics in Spain staged a weeklong strike in January. The country legalized abortion in 1985, but regulations mandate that most terminations take place fairly early in the pregnancy. Though some members of the ruling Socialist Party have advocated further liberalization of the rules, police in Barcelona late last year arrested 13 clinic doctors and health workers, accusing them of performing or conspiring to perform later-than-legal procedures. According to Francisca Garcia Gallego of the Association of Accredited Abortion Clinics, inspections of clinics have greatly increased, causing undue
Riyadh, saudi Arabia After international outrage over the case, King Abdullah pardoned a woman sentenced to 200 lashes and jail time after being gang-raped. The woman and a male companion were dragged from a car, and a group of seven men raped both of them. While the perpetrators were given nine-year prison sentences, the man and woman were also penalized with a sentence of 90 lashes each for having been alone together at the time, a violation of Islamic law. When the woman appealed the sentence, her punishment was raised to include imprisonment and additional lashings. The Bush administration called the case "astonishing" but refused to criticize the Saudi justice system.
Jonathan Raban's "How the West Was Ruined" (January) is remarkable as a sustained series of non sequiturs. Consider Raban's logic: John Muir described nature as majestic and sublime. He also remarked favorably about the politeness of "Negroes" he encountered in the post-Civil War South, and thus Muir was an elitist. Therefore, Muir's descriptions of nature are elitist. None ol this follows, of course, and the absurdity of the argument becomes even more apparent when one recalls that Emerson and Thoreau, ardent opponents of slavery and proponents l democracy, at times used similar language to describe nature. The word sublime simply expresses the reality that human beings, even poets, are ever at a loss to find language adequate to describe anything as overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful as wild nature. I find nothing elitist about confessing this incapacity.
I read with interest the letter in January's "Reader Response" regarding "What City Is This?" (September). So true! Here in St. Louis independent coffeehouses have formed an association called Coffee Locals. Its goal is to inform the public that it has a choice, and spending money in these shops keeps customers' money local. These business owners are typically your neighbors, and they care more about the local parks, schools, roads, etc., than someone from a thousand miles away who couldn't find your city on a map. Verner Earls St. Louis. Missouri
He was a Seminole Indian who grew up in the Everglades. He slept in the swamp under a blanket of pine needles and killed gators with his bare hands. He fought for his country in Vietnam. Back in the Everglades he killed a panther in the Big Cypress Indian Reservation, then skinned and ate it. When he was arrested and tried for killing an endangered species, he was asked what panther meat tasted like. "It was a cross between bald eagle and Florida manatee," Chief James E. Billie supposedly said. He was acquitted.
The Pechanga band of the Luiseno tribe operates California's most profitable casino: Its resort in Temecula (pictured left) grosses as much as $1 billion a year. But don't tell this to John Gomez Jr. or the 135 members of his extended family who were kicked out of the Pechangas after tribal leaders ruled one of his deceased elders wasn't a true tribe member. The elder in question left the
Next month G.P. Putnam's Sons will publish Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut, a long-standing and valued playboy contributor. The collection of previously unpublished material spans the course of his career. Wailing Shall Be In All Streets is one of the book's most affecting pieces—a powerful but spare account of his experiences during World War II, which inspired the unforgettable antiwar novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
It may be trite to say, but there's no denying it's a small world after all. Travel is faster and communication easier. These days business and pleasure are equally likely to take you to far-flung locales. And despite local quirks in other areas of culture— ever eaten horse-meat salami or roasted guinea pig?—style increasingly translates perfectly from one region to another. Now playboy fashion goes transnational too, as we unite with our 24 international editions to create a wardrobe that looks as good in downtown Tokyo or Stockholm as it does on the veranda at an exclusive seaside resort while you search for your next mojito. Using the cosmopolitan Caribbean islands Turks and Caicos as a test lab, we've assembled the season's best casualwear, with special attention paid to one global standard: the versatile spring sports jacket.
Next up is a Bitch Barossa grenache ($10) that brings out the dominatrix in the normally demure Samson. The bold, spicy wine is composed of 100 percent old-vine grenache. "It's not often I bring out the leather, whips and chains, so when I do," she growls, "look out. I love the feeling of power as I take control. Watching a guy get off as I work the whip is so delicious. A wine called Bitch is perfect-l can be the perfect bitch."
Though PMOY 2005 TifTany Fallon was heroic in her Wonder Woman outfit on our February cover, a stuffy business suit wasn't as good a fit. Her quest to win on Celebrity Apprentice (and contribute to the Walter Reed Society) ended quickly when villainess Omarosa Man-igault Stallworth threw Tiffany under the bus and the Donald fired her on the show's first episode. We know Tiffany has the looks to impress anyone.
From far left: Miss January 2002 Nicole Narain looks as good as gold for Financially Hung's Black Card launch; PMOY 1994 Jenny McCarthy's blue eyes sparkle at Sapphire Gentlemen's Club; Miss November 2007 Lindsay Wagner checks out D. Anna Reznik's handbags; PMOY 1997 Victoria Silvstedt strikes a pose at the Just Cavalli flagship; Miss February 1990 Pam Anderson is the ultimate New Year's host at PURE.
Two years ago PMOY 1993 Anna Nicole Smith got a wild idea and commissioned her own chopper. She took her vision and her pinups to the guys at Ultra Motorcycles, where she picked the colors—a flashy mixture of pink and purple—and added accents like a heart-shaped gas tank and a fuzzy pink seat. Sadly, she died before she could fire up the engine. But Ultra
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 28, 31-34, 92-99 and 142-143, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Who's the LPGA's sexiest golfer? Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer come to mind. The European tour boasts Italian SOPHIE SANDOLO, who puts out a saucy calendar every year. No, she doesn't win tournaments, but do you care?
She's the starlet of the moment. She's the next Angelina. She has a tattoo of Marilyn. They don't come hotter than MEGAN FOX—but she hasn't let it go to her head. Ask her for an autograph and you may get a glimpse of the southern hemisphere. And we don't mean Peru.
At laurenconrdd.com Laguna Beach's LAUREN CONRAD posts "fashion tips"—photos of herself at events with commentary on why each outfit is fabulous. At press time she had yet to share the secret of this winner from People's Grammy kickoff party. We could sum it up in one word.
Few things are more depressing than watching your paycheck tick away at the fuel pump. Make the switch to a Vectrix electric scooter ($11,000, vectrix.com) and you can bypass gas stations permanently. Though designed more for getting around town than going cross-country, this is no sewing machine with wheels. It boasts a top speed of ()2 mph, and its tight handling lets you weave through traffic jams. It goes 3d to 55 miles on one charge, and il you run out of juice, just plug the on-board charger into any electrical outlet and you're golden. Plus, the scooter's simple construction (250 parts compared with 2,500 for a gas scooter) makes it a low-maintenance proposition. No gas, no oil, no problem.
Pork has had a rough go of it in this country. It's hard (o find a cut that hasn't been factory farmed (i.e., pumped full of antibiotics antl engineered to be overly lean). Mangalitsa pork, a breed of swine only recently introduced to the U.S.. is pork the way it used to be—rich, well marbled and lull of flavor, with a silky fat that rivals duck for butleriness. Spokane, Washington-based VVooly Pigs farm (woolypigs.com) specializes in heirloom breeds and brought the species over from central Kurope last year. Karly harvests went to top-shelf restaurants, but look for some cuts to start showing up at high-end butcher shops this month.
We're used to portable media players that handle audio, video, podcasts and radio in a slim, sexy chassis. The 1*2 ($200 to $250. samsung.com) adds Bluetooth to the mix so it can wirelessly shoot music to compatible headphones. You can also sync it to your cell phone so incoming calls ring on the player; you answer by listening thiough the headphones and speaking into the built-in mike. After the call ends, your music fades back in. Sounds good to us.
The only thing we like better than the truth is a really entertaining lie. Which is why we dig Big Fat Lies! ($15, mentalfloss.com), a game in which you're given two statements and are asked to separate the false from the merely improbable. Does Elton John own more than 400 Cabbage Palch dolls, or does Queen Elizabeth II own a Big Mouth Billy Bass? Was Billy the Kid born in New York, or was Zsa Zsa (labor born in Hoboken? (Elton and Zsa Zsa are the lies.)
juggling shot glasses and measuring cups may work for movie bartenders, but it's less sexy when you make a giant mess of your living room bar. Kikkerland's tube jigger (S20, unicahome.com) combines I he six most common drink measures (from .5 oz. to 2.25 oz.) in a box small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. That means you can crank out as many gansevoort fizzes and jabber-wockys as you like without making a mess, no matter how compromised your coordination becomes.
We'll take hard science over the dippy promises of botanicals any day. The folks at Amenity put their lab skills to work in the Balm moisturizer ($;5">. getamenity.com), a three-step shaving system ($27, $25, $.'57) and an antibreakout gel ($28). All use Pro-Form 6, a potion that prevents dry skin, razor burn, pimples and signs of aging.
If you waul to impress her by cooking Italian, remember two things: Keep it simple, and use great ingredients. New York City's II Buco restaurant (ilbuco.net) sources authentic staples from rural Mediterranean enclaves. Its Fiore di Sale ($22) is from the legendary Trapani salt pans of Sicily; the sublimely fragrant Viridens extra-virgin olive oil ($42) comes from I'mbria. Round things out with aged balsamic vinegar (SI40), fennel pollen ($4(j) and ground Calabrian peppers ($16).
While the big bat-making companies save their best wood for the pros. Naked Bats ($80 to $140, nakedbats.com) are all made to the same stellar standards (with a clear finish so you can see the grain) whether you're an average joe or Joltin'Joe. Plus, the barrel sports a vintage pinup. Keep your eyes on the ball, there, champ. _
Since Alienwarc is famous for high-performance gaming-oriented computers, it's fitting the company would offer the latest computing innovation—solid-state hard drives—on its m9750 (from $2,200. alienware.com). Instead of a spinning disk, you get a giant flash-memory drive with no moving parts. Data is far less susceptible to damage and can be accessed faster, which speeds up the entire system. Alas, it won't save you when you're beset by foulmouthed 12-year-olds in Team Fortress 2. ^^