There is a distinct advantage to being an awful human being in a team sport: You are shielded by the franchise (Just Win, Baby!, February). Because the roster is always changing, fans can hate a player but love the team. Athletes such as Tiger Woods who are not on a team face the abuse alone. (Notably, Woods is never booed when he's playing for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.) What A.J. Daul-erio's report overlooks is the impact of social media and the 24-hour news cycle. Every move of every star athlete is scrutinized. Sexual assault, cheating on your wife and killing dogs are bad. But should we consider LeBron James's "abandonment" of northeast Ohio as an example of misbehavior? If so, fans and journalists may soon be tweeting about Troy Polamalu jaywalking in downtown Pittsburgh or Dirk Nowitzki declining to sign an autograph. As a fan, I'm more interested in game previews, reviews and the occasional trade rumor.
Your report on Anna Chapman (The Spy Who Loved Me, January) makes me cringe. Not only did you publish low-quality photos taken by an ex-boyfriend looking to make a buck, you promoted the feature on the cover as if it were a pictorial. I'm disappointed. Michael Plourde Edmundston, New Brunswick
I read The Middle-Aged Lothario (January) with some interest. I grew up in a small town in New York where meth and heroin ran rampant. At 25 I know several people who are dead or in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. Many are parents, and their drug use damaged their kids' lives as well. Martin Deeson assumes that, like him, most users will reach middle age with relatively minor medical and/or legal troubles and that they will have the money and presence of mind to deal with those problems.
Bret Easton Ellis's Notes on Jersey Shore (January) fired me up. If I wanted to know more about kids who are giving my generation a bad name, I would read my wife's magazines. For Ellis to men-tion Jersey Shore and The Hills in the same breath as Mad Men and The Sopranos, in any context, makes me wonder what he's smoking. In a few months will I be reading in playboy how Keeping Up With the Kardashians compares to Family Guy} Peter Kuhnlein Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nick Tosches neglects, in The End of Rico (February), to fully explore the censorship that tempered the robust gangsters of the early 1930s and reduced Edward G. Robinson to starring in comedies such as Brother Orchid, in which he portrays a gangster who sells flowers. The real loss is not the image of James Cagney and his grapefruit but the antiheroes whose anger reflected that of a class-ridden nation; they were bad dudes but had few other choices. To some extent these tough guys shifted to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s, but today antihero has become synonymous with disaffected youthful rebellion, e.g., hip-hop, which will never be seen as tough. Finally, the notion that Scarface had a Jewish actor, Paul Muni, playing an Italian because of a Jewish plot to associate all organized crime with Italians is ridiculous.
Welcome to the No Fun League (January) focuses on the efforts of the National Football League to prevent betting on its games and to avoid associations with those who do. So how can Matthew Kredell claim the league and Calvin Ayre, founder of the sports-betting site Bodog, "have made a lot of money offeach other"? Certainly Ayre owes much of his wealth to the NFL, but the fact that the league could be making $700 million from legalized gambling emphasizes that the cash is flowing in one direction.
Cars of the Year 2011 (January) suggests comparing the Mazda2 to the Ford Fiesta. The Fiesta has a 1.6-liter engine (versus 1.5 in the Mazda2), 120 horsepower (versus 100), gets 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway (versus 29/35) and has a base price of $13,320 (versus $15,635). I love my new Fiesta, which is lime green like the Mazda2 you showed.
The End of Rico eloquently pays homage to the only type of man I allow in my fantasies. Down with soft, fluffy protagonists and all their quirky needs and phobias. (I'm looking at you, Michael Cera and Mr. DiCaprio.) Why do I love the real, rugged bad boy over a scrawny, doe-eyed James Bond? He's a reminder that women can take care of themselves emotionally without a man fawning over every bad mood and worry wrinkle.
Sometime in the past few decades we erased the line of indecency where hell and damn no longer stand out and shit, goddamn and asshole have their turn to shine (A Short History of Swearing: Part Two, January). I teach middle school and hear things in the halls that would have been censored from a Redd Foxx album. Kids are not being taught that cursing has its place and audience. My wife and I paint masterpieces of vulgarity around the house, especially during Jets and Mets games. But we don't curse at anyone, and we respect the wishes of those we know
People love to hate on female DJs— particularly the pretty ones. But the haters don't bother DJ Cat NYC, because she is truly skilled on the decks. "It can be a' challenge because girls are scrutinized more than guys, but I've worked hard to get where I am," she says. Plus, Cat thinks female * DJs have some advan- , . tages over their male counterparts. "Not only Cj is it cool to see a girl rocking it, but wi really good at under , standing what people > want to hear. I can look l' at a room and automatic' cally know what to play to get the crowd off." < And whether it's Lindsay Lohan's birti] party or a club in S| Cat has one goal: to keep bodies moving. v "It's a party—you have to work the crowd and get them excited."
Why hike up a recently erupted volcano and risk your neck surfing down its ashy slopes at 50 mph? "Because it is there," to quote the explorer George Mallory, who died trying to summit Everest in 1924. Volcano surfing, also called ash boarding, is the latest on the extreme-sport scene. The place to go is the 1,300-foot-tall Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua (pictured); book your trip through bigfootnicaragua .com. Hopefully you'll have better luck than Mallory.
Since the day in 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani opened Harry's Bar in Venice—the most glamorous watering hole of its era—the story of Cipriani has unfolded like an epic Edith Wharton novel. Four generations, some guilty pleas for tax evasion and a slew of opulent party spots later, the Cipriani clan is set to open Mr. C Hotel at 1224 South Beverwil Drive in Los Angeles this month (cipriani.com). See you at the bar. Pictured here: the pool at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice.
In case volcano surfing isn't the thrill you're after (see above left), we bring you another adventure this month: Drive A Tank. The small company located in Kasota, Minnesota invites you to its grounds, where you'll spend a day driving an array of real tanks that have seen combat. After you've gone on a few shakedown runs (at top speed!) and navigated an obstacle course by periscope, you'll drive a tank over not one but two cars, crushing them like Coors cans beneath your boot. Getting tired? Have a coffee. It's time to hit the live firing range so you can shoot machine guns. The full-day program goes for $699 (beers afterward not included). See the lineup of tanks at driveatank.com.
As swimsuit season approaches, let us praise 68-year-old Taiwanese American painter Hilo Chen, whose hyperreal-istic images of women on the beach leave us amazed and tumescent. Just be careful when you see these paintings in person; they look so real it's hard to keep your paws off the canvas. Pictured from top: Beach 162, Beach 149 and Beach 165. Chen is represented by the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery (bernarduccimeisel.com).
The classic leather motorcycle jacket makes a comeback this spring. Schott NYC, the go-to brand, made leathers worn by American pilots in World War II, Brando in The Wild One (1953), James Dean at the wheel of his Porsche, the Ramones and Joan Jett onstage, not to mention Springsteen on the cover of Born to Run. Shop for yours at schottnyc.com.
Some small urban entrepreneurs have taken a stand against corporate coffee juggernauts like Starbucks. Their goal: to make the best cup of artisanal joe in the world. This means beans straight from farms in Africa and South America, roasted in small batches on the premises and ground to order. At Asado in Chicago (asadocoffee.com), Blue Bottle in San Francisco (bluebottlecoffee.net), Zoka in Seattle (zokacoffee.com) and Stumptown in Portland (stumptowncoffee.com), each cup is handmade to order by slowly stirring hot water into the ground coffee with a spoon. Can't make it there? Order beans and try these elixirs at home.
This new techno-thriller casts Jake Gyl-lenhaal as a decorated soldier who awakens in a stranger's body. As if that weren't trippy enough, Gyllenhaal learns he is part of a government experiment that forces him to keep reliving a commuter-train bombing until he gathers clues to stop a bomber from pulling off a massive attack on Chicago. Co-starring Michelle Monaghan, Vera Far-miga and Jeffrey Wright, the movie has science-fiction fans psyched because its director, Duncan Jones—David Bowie's son—also made Moon, one of the best movies of 2009. "Source Code has been compared with things like Twelve Monkeys, Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap, but this is very much an action thriller with a few scientific conceits," says Jones. "The movie has action and the fantastical element, but it's a lot more grounded and humorous than many films in the sci-fi realm."
This fevered masterwork may well have set a record for the number of OMGs and WTFs texted during its 108-minute running time. Natalie Portman is beautiful, driven, disciplined and completely out of her mind. Director Darren Aronofsky throws his heroine into a perfect storm of psychosex-
Canadian actress Neve Campbell became a 1990s It girl with Party of Five, The Craft and the Scream trilogy. She filmed a hot threesome in Wild Things but didn't show audiences herwild things until 2007's I Really Hate My Job (pictured). Next, Neve faces Ghostface again as scream queen Sidney Prescott in Scream 4.
Leading a band of warriors to battle against the horrid Dark-spawn takes guts, cunning and occasionally sex. In Dragon Age II (360, PC, PS3), the sequel to the award-winning RPG, you play as Hawke, a legend in the world of Ferelden, who gathers a group of fighters including the badass Aveline and the swashbuckling Isabela. It isn't easy, but woo them with enough clever conversation and elaborate gifts and you can take a break from the ogre slaying for a roll in the sheets.
When producers began building Hoi front (360, PC, PS3) two years ago they had no idea how prescient their story line was: North Korea's Kim Jong II names as his successor his son Kim Jong Un, who then escalates military action. Sound familiar? In this game, set in 2027, Korea is a superpower occupying Japan, .China
Rising up to the challenge of your rivals is a long journey. In Fight Night Champion (360, PS3) the hard-hitting series finally offers a career mode that lets you take an unknown pugilist from small-time boxing clubs to big-time arenas with the best fight mechanics and real-time facial damage around.
If you grew up in the 1970s, you probably spent part of your weekends watching Leonard Nimoy narrate (potentially) true stories of the bizarre on In Search Of. That show's mystical vibe lives on via Animal Planet's River Monsters, which returns in April for a third season of freshwater horror stories told through the eyes of v "extreme angler" Jeremy Wade. Each hour unfolds a like an installment of J| CSI, with Wade investigating evidence of cunning creatures, most of which boast a fondness ' for human flesh. One upcoming episode has our hero looking into reports , of local fishermen who have bled to death after having their dicks I bitten off. Suddenly, ' shark attacks seem not so bad. VVVV
AMC has a knack for creating TV shows that turn into addictions: A few hits of Mad Men or The Walking Dead, and before you know it you find yourself in an internet chat room at two a.m., discussing the most effective means for offing zombies. Now comes The Killing, about the investigation of a teen girl's murder and its possible connection to an upcoming city election. We were hoping for a mash-up of Prime Suspect and The Wire, but the pilot offers only cop-show cliches, heavy-handed dialogue and vague hints of conspiracies. You'd be better
VHl's Rachel Perry puts her sarcastic stamp on naughty news, adult , film oddities, fetishes gone wrong I and other things too taboo for the mainstream, on Playboy TV's new weekly series The Stash. We talked to the lovely and entertaining host and got the inside scoop on the show. PLAYBOY: What can viewers expect? Perry: It's going to make people laugh. There will be some very funny clips and news bits. PLAYBOY: What will you cover? Perry: Porn. Old porn, new porn, strange porn. If you like porn, this show is for you, and if you don't like porn, this show is also for you. Plus, it's family-friendly—as long as everyone in your family is over 18. PLAYBOY: How did you get this gig? Perry: It's strange, right? I've been working in television for 10 years and finally I'm in porn! Just kidding. I wanted to do more comedy, and this show is definitely all comedy. PLAYBOY: Will you have guests? Perry: Absolutely. We already shot the pilot, and our first guest is the star of Saturday Night Beaver—she's amazing. PLAYBOY: Is there anything else we
Celebrate the arrival of spring with some retail therapy at the Playboy Store (playboystore .com). And because we love our readers, be sure to use the code PBMagazinell to get 15 percent off your order. Bikini Season Ladies will love Playboy's Vegas Pool Party bikinis with rhinestones, studs and animal prints. Best of all, the bikinis embrace every curve of a woman's body. Old School Love classic playboys? Shop our back-issue archive for your favorites. Plus, check out Playboy's collector guitars, glassware, framed prints and books. Tying the Knot? The Bridal Bunny carries plenty of sexy lingerie for the big night.
n most mornings I listen to an all-news radio station. After about half an hour the news seems to repeat itself throughout the day and into the next, save for the occasional breaking rape, murder, verdict, storm, stock market or terrorism bite.
I am 23 and have been dating my girlfriend for two years. I love her, but I've also fallen in love with her mother, who is 50 and happily married. I am so comfortable with her I can even talk to her about my sex life with her daughter. She takes me out, we watch movies together, she even gives me money. Should I try to sleep with her? I think about her when I masturbate and sometimes while having sex with my girlfriend. How do I confront her about how I feel so she won't say anything to my girlfriend or my girlfriend's father?—M.A., Youngstown, Ohio
Susan Jacoby, in "The Folly of Age" (February), challenges the "myth" of the wisdom of old age by promoting the opposing stereotype that the healthy old are "exactly who they were in earlier adult life, only more so." Yet new research has found that the aging brain retains its neuroplasticity, meaning it can still learn and grow, especially in stimulating environments. Furthermore, starting at about the age of 50, people's self-rated well-being improves progressively. We've found that postmenopausal women usually have positive feelings
In December's Newsfront you reported on the ability of police to track down suspects using DNA from family members ("Relative Guilt"). The ACLU warns that the technique "has the potential to invade the privacy of a lot of people." That's an understatement. Scientists are working on ways to quickly and cheaply sequence DNA, including by using nano-technology that could potentially read the 3 billion bases on a DNA strand by passing it through a single-atom-thick graphene sheet. This would cut the processing time from weeks to seconds and surely bring about the day when all new-borns are "registered " so those who later commit crimes can be identified. This is not an original idea; an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise reveals that the Vulcans record the DNA of their newborns for