El Paso and Juarez are twin cities divided by lines both real (the Rio Grande) and conceptual (the U.S.-Mexico border). You'd think being just a few hundred yards apart they'd share a vibe. And you'd be dead wrong. Or if you're on the Juarez side, maybe just plain dead. In A Weird Calm at the Edge of the Abyss Luis Alberto Urrea (author of The Devil's Highway and Into the Beautiful North) explores the politics and pathos of the border. Taking things in a lighter direction, Aaron Sigmond delivers stogie wisdom in Burn After Reading, a guide to how one of our favorite plants makes its way from the ground to your humidor. You'll find an exclusive special edition of Sigmond's forthcoming book Playboy: The Complete Guide to Cigars at fine tobacconists in November and in bookstores everywhere this spring. And now time for a riddle: How do you get one of the world's most beautiful supermodels to pose nude? Answer: Put her boyfriend behind the camera. It helps when that boyfriend is
Each fall I tear open the September issue to see how sports editor Gary Cole ranks the nation's top college football teams (Playboy's Pigskin Preview). As a die-hard Oklahoma fan, I am stoked to see he finally put us where we belong— at number one. Other fans lend to view the Sooners as overrated, but the truth is we have one of the most prolific programs in collegiate football history, right up there with glorified USC.
No offense to the beautiful women featured in September, but Seth MacFarlane is the sexiest person in the issue (Playboy Inten>ieu<). As Quagmire likes to say on Family Guy, "Giggity, giggity, giggity!' My only criticism is that the interview is far
As Frank Owen notes in Apocalypse 2012 (September), I believe that within the next few years a shift in the magnetic poles will wipe out civilization. Most of the members of our 2012 Survival and Revival Group plan to escape into the mountains, where we will protect with our lives mankind's technological knowledge. Should that knowledge be lost, humanity will likely revert to barbarism and we will be in a worse situation than uncivilized peoples, who can more easily adapt to challenging circumstances. We, on the other hand, have become so cultured we find it difficult to live without comforts.
As a scientist who has spent most of my life studying the ancient Maya, I have for years been receiving e-mails from people who've read articles such as Apocalypse 2012 and want my reassurance the world is not going to end on December 21, 2012. This widespread concern prompted me to write The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012, which tells the Maya's side of the story based on archaeological records and documents written prior to the Spanish conquest. The fact is the Maya were far more interested in the past than the future. The rulers of one of history's most brilliant and enduring civilizations manipulated deep lime to establish a historical foundation for their culture and, more
In light of James Auld's letter in the September issue, here's a further thought on Perfect Game: How to Fix Baseball (May), in which Bill James argues the sport needs to be sped up: Why should we watch lengthy pitcher-batter duels when the batter loses 80 percent of the time? Instead, move the pitcher's mound back until you get a sufficiently entertaining on-base percentage. Then we can turn our attention to raising those sagging basketball rims. Remember when players had to jump to dunk?
From the ubiquitous Hugh Jackman to delicious wine to an awesome modern architecture movement (google "Nar-veno Court"), Australia has lately been challenging the maxim that no history is ever made in the southern hemisphere. And then there are the women, gorgeous as the day is long. Up-and-coming model Tegan Woodford, born and bred on the Gold Coast, is one such natural resource. "Gold Coast girls are sexy," she says. "We're tan from all the time we spend on the beach." Tegan has appeared in Australia's major men's mags—Ralph, FHM and Nuts—and is readying herself for an international spotlight. Hey, you saw her here first.
Lightning Bolt, a Hawaii-based surfboard and apparel company that started in 1972 but later phased out its clothing in the United States, hits the beach again this fall with surfing legend Jonathan Paskowitz as the new boss. The iconic brand returns with a new line just as fellow retro-surf-shorts makers Birdwell and Sundek are likewise making comebacks. It's a move away from below-the-knee, basketball-shorts-length jams over to retro-cool low-riding nylons. And the surf-inspired bikinis don't look half bad either.
Now almost three years old, the iPhone has becorr the most MacGyver-esque of all personal elec tronics, able to turn itself into an instant problem solver. Here are five iPhone apps we love: (1) The Bad Decision Blocker: It helps deactivate certain phone numbers so you don't drunk dial an ex. (2) Email 'n Walk (pictured): Uses the phone's camera as a radar to let you know if you're about to walk into something, so yo can e-mail on the go. (3) ATM Hunter: You'll never stumble around hunting for a money machine again. (4) Run Pee: Find out the best time to go to the bathroom during a movie so you don't miss any big action or sex scene. (5) RedLaser: Scan bar codes in stores and instantly find out if there are better deals elsewhere.
One does not start a magazine with no money and nothing but a dream and have it become the most influential magazine of its time. It's better than fiction." So says Hugh Hefner when asked about his new six-volume, 3,506-page autobiography, Hugh Hefner's Playboy, just out from Taschen. The labor of love includes excerpts from the 2,000 scrapbooks Hef has kept since childhood,
We're finally getting close to the day when humans will be having sex with machines. Futurologist Ian Yeoman recently predicted that tourists will enjoy disease-free relations with robot prostitutes at artificial, indoor resorts by the year 2050. Can't wait that long? Henrik Christen-sen, director of the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, says men will be boning primitive bots by 2011 ("vibration" and audio will be added to lifelike silicone sex dolls that already exist). For now, we're stuck having plain old sex with real humans. Or are we? See the future of human-robot lovemaking today in Playboy.com's Wanderlust video series at playboy.com/wanderlust.
Prohibition-era cool never goes out of style when it comes to cocktail emporiums. The latest boozy bid to channel a 1920s speakeasy is Philadelphia's Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. New but already generating national buzz, the subterranean haunt is named after the Philly-based front for underworld boss Max "Boo Boo" Hoff's bootlegging ring back in the day. The FMIC boasts burgundy leather banquettes, marble tabletops and vest-wearing bartenders who hand-carve chips from artisan-al ice blocks and expertly pour more than 20 concoctions. Try the pirate's slave—it's truly a thing of booty.
One upside to the stumbling economy: Waitresses are getting hotter. According to the Hot Waitress Index, during financially robust times, beautiful women get jobs that place a premium on attractiveness (modeling, PR work, etc.). When the economy nose-
Scorpions, the Boston-based anti-establishment book club that celebrates "hard-guy" books, has gotten a debate rolling on the web. Which are the best hard-guy books of all time? Tops on its list: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Here are our top 10 books worth their weight in blood: (1) The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson. (2) To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway, (3) Shoot the Piano Player by David Goodis, (4) Nobody Move by Denis Johnson, (5) (of course) Blood Meridian bv Cormac McCarthy. (6) The Postman Always
In 2012. cataclysmic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves send John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton racing across the globe toward a modern-day Noah's ark. Director Roland Emmerich says he was inspired by the ancient Mayan doomsday prophecy and other jittery theories as he prepared to go back to the future. "I'm glad every two years visual effects take a leap forward," says the disaster master. "But it all starts with a concept, not effects." And that concept is? "The characters have to get aboard a ship or they're dead. The govern-
Author CD. Payne struggled for years to get his 1993 novel, Youth In Revolt, into print before going the self-publishing route. The path to a movie version of the cult classic—about a smart, angst-ridden 14-year-old's bizarre life—was nearly as rocky. Fox filmed a 1996 TV pilot that went nowhere, and MTV did no better with a planned miniseries. Now a new film version—starring Michael Cera, Steve Buscemi, Justin Long and Zach Galifianakis—is finally reaching screens some IB years after the book's first edition.
You probably haven't seen much of Gillian Jacobs, but we suspect now you'll want to see more. In the black comedy Choke (pictured), based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Jacobs plays a stripper who turns a sex addict on to domestic bliss. See her press more buttons—possibly even ones with mysterious magical powers—in the horror film The Box opposite Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.
There are those authors who > seem compelled to venture back j upstream, to explore the same ' tributaries, to endlessly test the roiling crosscurrents of their own fiction and memory. This sense of revisionist adventurism is both subject and subtext in John Irving's epic 12th novel, Lost Night in Twisted River. This particular journey gets off to a thrilling start with a vigorous burst of storytelling at a New Hampshire logging camp, then ranges from Boston to Iowa to Canada before finally settling down in the familiar land of Garp, Irving's oft-visited world of prep school wrestling, precocious young writers and symbolic bears. The young writer this time is Danny Baciagalupo, who with his chef father, Dominic, spends the majority of the book as a low-key fugitive slowly hunted by a homicidal, and incredibly patient, lawman. Under the pen name Danny Angel he writes books that have a striking resemblance to Irving's own (the fourth one makes him rich; the "abortion book" becomes an acclaimed movie) while his father works in a succession of restaurants.
A lot was riding on the reboot of the beloved Star Trek franchise—including big bucks and potential Trekkie outrage—but director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman delivered the warp speed that space-opera fans crave, not to mention one of 2009's most satisfying and profitable summer blockbusters. The best twist is having fiery young rebels James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) duke it out and then hug it out, allowing us to be sucked into a compelling origin story that just happens to have some kick-ass effects sequences. Kirk bedding a hot qreen-skinned babe and a clever
Swirling beats, jumpy guitars, howling horn sections and bursts of funky organ—no wonder interest in African music is booming. The latest sign? After an off-Broadway run got much love from such tastemakers as Jay-Z, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Reed, the musical Fe/o/—about Nigerian musician, political activist and all-around mack Fela Kuti (pictured bottom)—opens this month on the Great White Way. With his groundbreaking band Africa 70, Kuti created the blueprint for a pan-African funk by combining elements of styles from all over the continent and beyond. Afrobeat's resurgence animates new
Shaving is a sacred dance between you. your face and a deadly blade. What happens in that 10 minutes is deeply personal, so relax—take your time, and for Cod's sake use the right tools. This Olive Wood Shaving Set ($200. dwr.com) offers the perfect blend of style and minimalism. It's not making too big a fuss while also not letting the moment pass unnoticed.
Teaming Ernst Benz with Dohn Varvatos may seem odd given the stylistic gulf between Benz's utilitarian aviation-style designs and Varvatos's shabby, comfortable take on high fashion. But check the results. The Ernst Benz ChronoScope ($6,800, johnvarvatos.com) marries the at-a-glance precision of a pilot's watch with the elegance of a classic timepiece. Well done, gentlemen.
Augmented reality is the idea of projecting items from cyberspace onto the real world. Many will get their first taste this fall when Sony's EyePet debuts on the PlayStation 3. Using the PS3's camera, it lets you play with a cuddly alien
After taking a flight from the States and then a puddle-jumper hop to the tiny airport in Quepos, Costa Rica, the last place you want to be is on another plane. Unless we're talking about the 727 that doubles as the Hotel Costa Verde's most luxurious set of rooms ($400 to $500 a night, costaverde.com). Permanently parked 50 feet up in the jungle canopy, the two-bedroom suite offers views of both the ocean and the jungle, not to mention the chance to order room service to your deck chair atop one of its wings.
Four years ago I moved in with my girlfriend, who was sharing a two-bedroom apartment with a female friend she has known since junior high. The three of us ate meals together and hung out. A few months ago my girlfriend took a job in New York. We both knew a long-distance relationship wouldn't work, so we broke up. She said it would be great if our roommate and I hooked up, and within a few weeks we had. Then things got complicated. My ex's dream job became a nightmare, and she moved back to the apartment. The first night we all got a little drunk. The women were laughing and crying together when my new girlfriend suggested my old girlfriend "borrow" me for the night. I remember thinking we were playing with fire, but I'm also a guy. The next morning I expected fireworks, but everything was cool. Now I switch back and forth. If anything, the arrangement has drawn the women closer. Are there any guidelines to make this last? They both ask me questions such as if I have a favorite and who is better in bed, to which I respond, "You know it's not wise to go there," or "I love this or that about you." I have deeper feelings for my girlfriend of four years, but the sex is more exciting with my girlfriend of a few months. Is honesty the best policy here? Is it ever?—A.J., Chicago, Illinois
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Shortly after playing a concert ini Reynosa, Mexico, singer Valentin Elizalde was murdered by merce-' naries working for the Guli drug cartel. Elizalde had made enemies with his song "To My Enemies"— a seemingly jovial polka with a catchy tuba line—and on the night oi November 25, 2006 these enemies took exception to his song.
These photos were taken at one of the world's largest hand-rolled premium cigar factories—Tabacalera de Garcia in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The morning sun has barely risen over the tropical hills, but already the workers' bicycles line the front of the factory like a chrome snake. Inside, the day is under way. A radio blares American and Latin pop. In the main rolling room, pairs of rollers sit at two-desk wooden tables with all the tools of their trade. Left: A roller starts by bunching the filler leaves before moving on to the binder leaf and mold. The cigars are then pressed. Right: The roller fixes the wrapper around the already-formed shape and size. Last, the cap is added. The tools of the rollers' trade are: la tabla, a wooden cutting board: chaveta. a crescent-shape metal cutter: and a hand guillotine (also known as a cigar cutter or tuck cutter), which ensures a clean-cut foot.
Miss May 2002 Christi Shake is adding sizzle to VH1 's My Antonio. During the first episode Christi says, "I'm looking tor my Romeo, who is hopefully Antonio!" The reality dating show pits 13 women against one another to win the heart of soap star Antonio Sabato |r. There is more to worry about than just the other bachelorettes—Sabato's mother and ex-wife are also around.
rree lunch can lure politicians out of their offices, but you should have seen the mass exodus when word spread around Capitol Hill that PMOY 2008 Jayde Nicole was handing it out wearing nothing but a lettuce wrap. Jayde hosted PKTA's Annual Capitol Hill Veggie Dog Lunch outside the Rayburn House Office Building. She encouraged staffers to go veg while they got a mouthful of meatless dogs and an eyeful of what a vegetarian body Imks like. "In my business, looks can make you or break you— and nothing has helped me stay fit, trim and energetic more than kicking the meat habit." she said. "The best
irty years ago this we met the lovely November 1979 Garant. After Ing a Playmate adi.in went back in modeling tor d then dropped the public eye a family. This ; like a vision, -stunning Sylvie 'red at Chicago's amourcon, to the "excitement of fans. And _then? She slipped back »her life. After all, on 1 i^ita Sheet she told ^~sam was "to be rted island with , favorite man."
Miss December 1985 Carol Ficatier has always been an interesting subject. What strikes us most about our photos of the brunene from Auxerre, France are the twin messages her eyes send. The first is "I am almost supernaturally sultry" and the other is "I know how to pose for this picture because I have an
I'MOY 200" Sara Jean Underwood filled in tor July/August cover girl Olivia Munn on Attack of the Sboii1 this summer. She co-hosted the techy G4 program with Chris Hardwick. We thought she did great, but check the nerds: According to a poll on G4tv.com, 50 percent of viewers said "Hey, yeah!" and only 17 percent answered "Meh." That's good. We think.
In response to Kenneth Powell's letter in the September Reader Response, I have been in the trucking industry for more than 40 years, and yes, unions have caused some businesses to fail. But without union representation workers are at a company's mercy. Trucking companies lean on their drivers to go out in
Washington, d.c.-Though change was a buzzword of Barack Obama's campaign, President Obama's on-the-job behavior has sometimes followed George W. Bush's lead. The latest area in which the status quo has prevailed involves President Bush's radical interpretation of executive powers. Bush became infamous for his prolific use of signing statements, addenda penned on already-passed legislation in which he asserted his right to ignore portions of the new law. Since the Constitution contains no provision for such statements, and since Bush's statements consistently suggested executive power trumped congressional authority, Obama vowed to end the practice when in office. He has not. In fact, top Democrats in the House even sent Obama a letter of rebuke, saying, "During the previous administration, all of us were critical of the president's assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of congressional statutes he was required to enforce. We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude."
denver—Although a state ballot initiative legalized medical-marijuana dispensaries in Colorado in 2000, the facilities recently began to ramp up. The number of registered medical-marijuana users in the
olympia—Political activists in the state of Washington forced the release of e-mails that appear to reveal the military engaged in domestic spying, surveillance and infiltration of local peace groups. Such activity is specifically banned by U.S. law, and the new evidence adds weieht to calls for a full-scale investiea-
Baghdad—Six years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the ostensibly democratic U.S.-backed government of Iraq is enacting measures to censor books and curtail access to the Internet. The justification, as explained by Iraq deputy cultural minister Taher Naser al-Hmood, sounds familiar: "It is not easy to balance security
How did MIRANDA KERR lose her top? We have no idea if it was windy in the Caribbean during her Victoria's Secret swim-suit shoot—but it sure was nipply. Or maybe this is part of the company's new recession promotion: half off.
Not exactly the first thing you thought of, is it? Here RHIAN SUGDEN, LOUISE CLIFFE, KATIE DOWNES and IMOGEN GRAY rely on the buddy system to keep them safe at sea. As for you, wait one hour after devouring this picture before you go for a swim—or stand up.
The Bulls and Celtics had one of the most grueling play-off series in NBA history, after which the Bulls' JOAKIM NOAH rebounded in St. Barts. Noah is the offspring of French tennis player Yan-nick Noah and Miss Sweden 1978 Cecilia Rodhe. He was born in New York City, but two years ago he became a citizen of France (where they call this risque and tricky aquatic maneuver "swimming").
Pictures like this prove RIHANNA still glitters in the spotlight. On Independence Day the "good girl gone bad" showed up adorned with stars at a Las Vegas club with Jay-Z and Jamie Foxx. How patriotic!