"Since starting on Politically Incorrect, in 1993. it has been my pleasure to make organized religion one of my favorite targets," says Bill Maher. "I often explain to people that I don't need to make fun of religion—it makes fun of itself. Then I go ahead and make fun of it too, just for laughs." In this month's Religion 101 and his new film. Religulous, Maher attempts to learn why people love religion. In the process he barbecues more than a few sacred cows. "Since there is nothing more ridiculous than the ancient mythological stories that live on as today's religions, this movie will try to be a real knee-slapper.' he says. "Unless, of course, you're religious; then you may not like it. Join me in the final battle between intelligence and stupidity, coming soon to a house of false idols near you." As of this writing, lightning has not struck Maher down. He told you so.
Perhaps if Kurt Vonnegut had been on the receiving end of German bombing as a civilian, as I was, he would not have been as sympathetic to the residents of Dresden (Wailing Shall Be in All Streets, April). According to various histories, the Russians asked the Allies to bomb Dresden in February 1945 to prevent the Germans from using the rail yards of the "open city" to prepare an eastward offensive against Russian forces. War is a terrible waste of life and resources, but Vonnegut should have directed his preaching at the German people. We were fightini; a ruth-
I enjoyed the profile of James E. Billie (The Man Who Would He Chief, April), a great Native American leader who helped his people very much. One thing I'at Jordan doesn't mention is the generosity Billie showed in allowing the band Phish and 80.000 of its fans (myself included) to play and camp on the Seininoles' beautiful, isolated and
Thank you for another spectacular World Wrestling Entertainment Diva, Maria Kanellis (Marvelous Maria, April). Since your first wrestling Diva pictorial—Sable in 1999—they have just gotten better and better.
Thank you for the Playboy Interview with Chad Kroeger (April). I have always hated Nickelback, and Kroeger is even more willfully ignorant and hopelessly shallow than I had expected. His narcissism comes through in the insipid lyrics of his brand of whiny rock. Anybody who boasts that much about the size of his penis or his sexual prowess must be impotent in some very meaningful ways.
Any doctor will tell you alcohol is a toxin. So we're slightly puzzled by Lotus, a decent vodka laced with vitamins B3, Bs, Bn and B12. We drank a bunch but didn't feel extra healthy. Clearly, more study is required. If you need us. we'll be mixing greyhounds down at the lab.
(Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson) KAOS reigns supreme—almost—in this redo of the 1960s TV parody of espionage flicks. Bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart (Carell), slinky Agent 99 (Hathaway) and Agent 23 (Johnson) swing into action when sinister counterspies attack the CONTROL agency.
(Angelina Jolie. James McAvoy. Morgan Freeman) This action thriller has McAvoy as a zero avenging his father's murder through indoctrination into a secret organization by Jolie. Under Freeman's wing, our hero trains to unleash his inner assassin and soon realizes his new associates are even deadlier than they seem.
(Will Smith. Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman) Box-office champ Smith looks set to score again in this fantasy-action-comedy as a boozy homeless superhero who has trashed his crime-fighting cred. He embarks on a risky romance with a beauty who happens to be married to a public official plagued by bad publicity.
(Ron Perlman. Selma Blair, John Hurt) The creatures are restless in writer-director Guillermo Del Toro's second film based on Mike Mignola's comic-book saga. This time a pack of rebellious, dangerous monsters are hell-bent on taking over Earth, so Hellboy (Perlman) and his cohorts must outsmart and outmuscle them.
owes more to its two-decades-old arcade ancestor than its immediate predecessor. Smooth, slow-to-boil story lines have been replaced with chaotic battles and graphic enemy sashimi— not that we're complaining. For visceral intensity and mind-bending difficulty, it's hard to beat. VVV —Damon Brown
erable PC-oriented strategy franchise has been streamlined and sped up for console play. Even though it takes only five hours instead of 15 to go from the Stone Age to space travel, the spirit of the original is intact. Be ready to stay up late. VVV1/? —Scoff Stein
STRONG BAD'S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE (Wii download)
One of the Internet's most entertaining personalities, Strong Bad finally makes his video-game debut in this episodic point-and-poke. Sharp writing and voice acting complement the highly amusing adventures and minigames. Don't miss it. VVV —Chris Hudak
LEGO INDIANA JONES: THE ORIGINAL ADVENTURES (360, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii)
PS3, Wii) Fans of LEGO Star Wars know these games only look like child's play. The perfect next step for LEGO, the Indy version guides you through the first three movies with tongue-in-cheek humor, a variety of sidekicks and your trusty whip. VVV'/r - John Gaudiosi
PS3) No movie tie-in, this Bourne outing is an original story penned by Robert Ludlum's posthumous production squad and is Matt Damon-free. Blunt and brutal hand-to-hand combat plus a story line worthy of the amnesiac assassin make it a trip well worth taking. VVV/2 —Scott Jones
Laughs trump gameplay in this politically themed brawl in which a hippo, an armadillo and others vie to become the new president of the animals. Despite the game's astute cultural timing, the single-player experience comes up wanting. Play at a party or not at all. VV —Marc Saltzman
PENNY ARCADE ADVENTURES: ON THE RAIN-SLICK PRECIPICE OF DARK-NESS. EPISODE ONE (360 download, Linux, Mac, PC)
Linux, Mac, PC) Penny Arcade, the web comic about games, went and made a game. It's a novel mix of adventure and turn-based role-playing. We'd like to tell you how funny and great it is, but its name ate up too much review space, vw —M.S.
PS3, Wii) Cinematic set pieces, a creepy atmosphere, customized weapons and compelling storytelling suffer an unrelenting assault from forced dialogue and clunky controls in this noble mess of a sequel. We wanted to love it. Unfortunately, we failed. VV'/j —Scott Steinberg
According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the United States' total bill for the Iraq war, including payment of death benefits and care for injured veterans, will exceed $3 trillion over the next 50 years.
SOMETIMES RIDING A motorcycle is about getting from point A to point B. Sometimes it's about speed and thrills. And sometimes it's about turning as many heads as possible when you pull up to a traffic light. The Travertson V-REX ($44,000, travertson .com) lets you do all three at once, with a distinct emphasis on the last objective. Moto-futurist Tim Cameron originally conceived this chrome-and-steel daydream in the realm of infinite possibility that is 3-D computer modeling. He posted his plans on the web, where extreme-bike builder Christian Travert stumbled across them and promptly had a so-crazy-it-just-might-work moment. Two years later the V-REX was born. Believe it or not, underneath its sci-fi skin beats the heart of a Harley. There's a DOHC V-Rod motor in there, as well as Harley-Davidson's transmission, wiring, speedometer and switches. That's where the similarities end, though, thanks to the V-REX's monstrous 79.2-inch wheelbase and cast-aluminum-frame structure that doubles as a fuel tank. In place of a telescopic front fork, a swing-arm monoshock suspension provides additional stability (instead of diving, it actually lifts when you brake hard). At nine feet long the V-REX isn't exactly what you would call nimble, but what it lacks in tight cornering it more than makes up for in visually appealing, easy-gliding cruisability. Next stop: Mars.
WE'LL TAKE WELL-EXECUTED | simplicity over snobby complexity any day. Grooming Lounge (groominglounge.com) has made a name for itself over the past few years with products that dispense with lapidary jargon. Try the Best Shampoo ($20), Mug Cleaner Face Wash ($18), Some Hair Goop ($18), Some Hair Stuff ($18) and Beard Master Shave Oil ($25) and enjoy the peace that comes from thinking less about your grooming options.
THE AUDIO INDUSTRY may be long on technology, but too often it's short on whimsy. Make your music 50 percent more adorable with Scandyna's Drop speakers ($850 a pair, scandyna-speakers .com). Made to sound good first and look funky second, they can handle up to 100 watts of output apiece. For the "it's raining music" effect, remove their feet and suspend them from your ceiling. The alien nightstand you see between them is the Amp ($700), which has four inputs and emits 50 watts a channel.
"I'VE ALWAYS BEEN into fashion," says the charismatic L.A. Lakers sophomore. He's not kidding. "At the NBA predraft combine, a lot of guys showed up in sweats, but I wore a suit. I treated it like a job interview. I have about 30 suits, and I wear one to every game. Most of them are custom-made Astor & Black, and I'm not afraid to wear colors like pink, peach and orange. My favorite dress shoe is Bruno Magli. I don't like a small knot on a tie. I like the half Windsor and full Windsor because they project confidence." Which of his teammates can hang stylewise? "Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom dress well. But Luke Walton's been in the league five years, and I just taught him how to tie a tie this season."
FEW THINGS COMPLETE a home like a pool table, but most of us don't have an entire room to devote to one. With a Fusion table ($6,000, fusiontables.com) you can rack 'em up in the same place you wolf it down. This cleverly designed dining-room table hides a seven-and-a-half-foot pool table inside, so you can complement your postprandial cigar with a kick-shot combo in the side pocket. When the big money comes out to play, it also converts into a poker table.
WEEGEE USED ONE. So did Diane Arbus and Helmut Newton. Annie Leibovitz still keeps one in her bag. We're talking about the Rolleiflex twin-lens-reflex camera, introduced in 1929 and one of professional photography's most enduring icons—both for the unique textures it produces and the steam-age aesthetic it embodies. If you thought Rollei was giving digital a pass, think again: The MiniDigi AF5.0 ($399, rollei.jp/e) brings the company's expertise to bear on a five-megapixel digital snapper. The body has been radically shrunk (the original had to accommodate bulky medium-format film), but the rest of its Rollei-tude is blissfully intact, right down to the hand crank you use to prep the camera for the next shot.
EVERY TIME YOU toss out a harmless, perfectly functional piece of gear so you can go through airport security, you lose a little bit of your soul. Get some of it back by picking up one of Christopher Locke's Scissor Spiders ($150, heartlessmachine.com). Made entirely from scissors confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration, these arachnophilic sculptures half playfully, half menacingly fuse fear, absurdity, danger and comedy into a tart and heady artistic cocktail.
THESE DAYS, THE planet can use all the recycling it can get. Which is why we're so smitten with the Wine Barrel Chair ($165, uncommon goods.com) from Uncommon Goods. Handmade of oak staves from 70-gallon wine barrels used at various California vineyards, it's great for outdoors but stylish enough to play inside as needed. It also offers the perfect place to park your rump as you ferret out the delicate complexities of your favorite pinot noir. If your butt were a critic, it would say (with a reedy professorial flourish), "Woody, with a hint of linseed in the finish." Did we go there? Yes indeed we did.
I love eating my girlfriend out, but my tongue sticks out only half an inch. I usually end up with a small tear in my frenu-lum that takes a lew days to heal, and I'm sore in the meantime. My girlfriend loves cunnilingus, but 1 know I do a poor job because I'm so cautious. I've tried holding my tongue still while moving my head but thought I would ask the Advisor about other techniques that might give me more reach.—D.S., Whitewater, Wisconsin
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to communicate with your readers about our great party and the bright future we see for the United States should it return to its founding principles of limited government and individual freedom ("The Grand Old (Independent) Party," May). However, I was a bit stunned (and a lot flattered) to see myself listed as our party's presidential candidate for 2008. While I am the current national chairman of die Libertarian Party and the 2008 LP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, I am not the presidential candidate. We will nominate our presidential ticket at our national convention, May 22 to 26, in Denver. Thank you again for interviewing me for your magazine, and I hope all your readers are now more informed about the only political party in the U.S. completely dedicated to keeping the government out of people's wallets and lives. I think we could all benefit from having the government return the free-
Susan Jacoby reveals some devastating statistics about our society's aliteracy in her April commentary, "Zero-Narrative Nation." It calls to mind the Mike Judge movie Idiocracy. The information age only distracts the shrinking percentage of "literates." Like any great invention, the Internet can be a tool, but it can also be a
Big Brother is watching—and thank God he is! I was amazed at the April Forum article titled "Big Brother Shacks Up With Ma Bell," about how the evil Bush administration is listening to phone calls and tracking e-mails. The government is tracking information that can save our lives. I say kill all the terrorists and their friends. Remember, the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security have been working with the evil Bush administration to save your liberal asses, too. R. Blair Dallas, Texas
I am a 24-year-old who is okay with the fact that John Doe may be dead ("Isjohn Doe Dead?" March). It's not that I am 100 percent comfortable living in a fish-bowl, but I make choices every day that allow others to access my private information, usually for my own convenience. When I make a purchase with a credit card at a department store, my buying habits are tracked, which is helpful when I need to return an item (I lose receipts). I am asked for my zip code, but this could be to my benefit: If a store notices a lot of people from a certain area traveling a long distance, it may build another outpost closer to me. Companies glean as much information from me as possible, and frankly I'd rather receive targeted ads than get masses of junk advertising sent to me as a shot in the dark. I don't deny the realistic fear of this going too far, but as long as I don't find myself in a real-life scene out of George Orwell's 1984, I think it's all right. There is a bal-
boston—The Federal Communications Commission held a hearing in Boston at the end of February on the topic of Net neutrality. The aim was to let interested citizens voice concerns over cable Internet provider Comcast and its practice of slowing down peer-to-peer traffic on its network. The commissioners sought public comment to determine whether they should allow corporations to dictate the terms of web traffic or to keep it an open system in which, for instance, a company can't buy the right to have its website load faster than yours or its e-mail expedited. The problem? Comcast acknowledged it had paid people (pictured here) to fill seats 90 minutes before the meeting, preventing many concerned citizens from attending.
Tallahassee. FLORiDA-The state of Florida is considering changes to its sex-education curriculum after disturbing results emerged from a new survey on the programs. Among the most bizarre beliefs spreading among Florida students are that drinking a capful of bleach can prevent AIDS and that drinking Mountain Dew or smoking pot can prevent pregnancy. (Perhaps not surprising, Florida has the sixth-highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation.) Critics of the state's abstinence-only education program blame such myths on that head-in-the-sand approach. "Young people are getting too little information too late," said Jenna Cawley of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando. Now state senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) is aiming to open the sex-ed process to include information about condoms, birth control and disease prevention.
Washington, d.c. After complaints from the Bush administration, Popline, the world's largest database on reproductive health—maintained by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health—blocked the word abortion from its search engine. "We recently made all abortion terms stop words," wrote Debbie Dickson, the database manager, to Gloria Won, a University of California at San Francisco Medical Center librarian who, after discovering the block, contacted Dickson. "As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now." Johns Hopkins reinstated the search word after the controversy, but as Popline receives federal funds
san antonio—Compiled by a student group at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the draft of an honor code covering such topics as cheating and plagiarism was found to have been copied from another text. Sections of the draft matched word for word a similar code from Brigham Young University (which credits the Center for Academic Integrity for some of its language). Akshay Thusu, the student in charge of the draft, said, "We don't want to have an honor code that is stolen."
If the last place you caught a wave was in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, maybe it's time you joined forces with big-wave icon Laird Hamilton and learned how to surf. When he's not giving playboy readers surfing lessons, Hamilton can be found near his Maui home, taming 40-foot swells while wearing his new clothing line, WONDERWALL (thisiswonderwall.com).
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 92-93 and 98-99, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Miss December 1979 Can-dace Collins did modeling (three limes our cover girl), advertising (her billboard dominated Times Square) and movies (ever hear of Risk\ Business}). Currently she dresses odi-ers for their close-ups as the fashion editor of Today's Chicago Woman. Her latest job represents a return to her roots. "Even though I grew up in a small town 1 was always in on the latest trends," she says. "I was also the youngest fashion coordinator ever for Famous-Barr. then a big Midwest department store chain, and I was represented by Wilhelmina Models."
Rapper Juvenile once theorized, "She get it from her mama," and we have accumulated a body—or rather bodies—of evidence to support him. Miss February 1989 Simone Eden was the first daughter of a Playmate (Carol Eden, Miss December 1960) to become a Centerfold. Here are more proud mothers and their beautiful offspring. The whole all-in-the-PiAYBOY-family pictorial is at playboy.com/pmdaughters.
Miss May 2007 Shannon James (second from left) took Cyber Girls Jennifer Hurt (far left) and Megan Hauserman to Cabo San Lucas for a spring-break trip documented on PlayboyU.com. Not a site member? Shannon offers an incentive: "What happens on spring break stays there, unless you're on PloyboyU."
Kenny Mayne tries it and looks like a doofus. Ditto Adam Carolla. Yet in other lands, dancing in frilly garb in front of other people is considered cool. So thinks muy caliente 'fashion model MARISA JARA, former girlfriend of Spanish flamenco superstar Joaquin Cortes.
Minimum wage is a bitch. American moviegoers know Spanish vixen PAZ VEGA—if at all—as a checkout girl (in 10 Items or Less) and a maid (in Sp.ini>lish). Never fear: She has been cast as femme fatale Plaster of Paris in the film adaptation of the crime comic The Spirit.