We all toe the line between virtue and vice on a daily basis. Our September issue explores that line with stories of people wrestling with their capacity for corruption. We begin with Full Count, Matt Birkbeck's tale of an all-American baseball superstar, the great pitcher Denny McLain, who rode one of MLB's best streaks into a fraudulent phone-card business that put him between a pissed-off Mob and dueling federal agencies looking to crack heads and locate millions allegedly stashed in the Cayman Islands.
HEF SIGHTINGS, MANSION FROLICS AND NIGHTLIFE NOTES
PLAYBOY JAZZ FEST: THE COOLEST WEEKEND OF THE YEAR
PLAYMATES AT PLAY
BUNNY YEAGER 1929-2014
Cooper Hefner—with Playmates aplenty—brought the sights, and acts including Dianne Reeves, George Benson, Fantasia, Stanley Clarke and Jamie Cullum brought the sounds as the 36th Playboy Jazz Festival got jumping at the Hollywood Bowl.
Gary Oldman making excuses for Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism is a bitter pill to swallow (Playboy Interview, July/August). But Oldman’s withering remark that Hollywood is “a town that’s run by Jews” is nothing less than stomach-churning anti-Semitism.
"I’M NO LONGER shy about sex as a part of life,” says Israeli actress and musician Meital Dohan. “It’s what makes me feel beautiful.” Credit the transformation to Meital’s rise from a small, conservative village to her role as a kinky admissions director on Weeds.
HOLLYWOOD’S MISSION TO REPLACE THE BIKINI-CLAD SPECIAL AGENT
Bond girls may not be the most effective agents, but who needs spy skills when Honey Ryder steps out of the sea in nothing but a white bikini? Or how about Pussy Galore and Octopussy? Their names alone say they're probably more equipped for a good time than for serious espionage.
THE HOST OF TV’S MOST ABSURD TALK SHOW, ON OBAMA AND THE POWER OF DRESSING DULL
Shane Michael Singh
“Dressing like a white middle-American male puts people at ease,” says comic Scott Aukerman of his milquetoast wardrobe on IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! Such is his ruse for roping viewers into the otherwise zany universe of CBB, a modern incarnation—and parody—of the 1970s variety hour that pins Aukerman as an MC with a one-man band and a parade of A-list guests (Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm).
HOW WOMEN USE TINDER AND WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE STATE OF CASUAL SEX. SPOILER: IT'S GOOD
Early last year, 22-year-old Lori "matched" with John on the dating app Tinder. Lured by what she fondly calls his "shitty tattoos," she agreed to meet him at a bar. Later they returned to his place, where what followed was some of the kinkiest sex of her young life.
THE SECRET TO THE PERFECT BLOODY MARY IS ALL IN THE SPICE
THE SPICE IS RIGHT
The world is full of abominable versions of the bloody mary festooned with a farmers market's worth of cilantro and baby corn. And they tend to taste like some boozy fusion gazpacho instead of a nuanced 21st century cocktail. Jim Meehan, co-owner of New York’s legendary bar PDT, and Lior Lev Sercarz, who custom blends spices for restaurants such as Le Bernardin, have joined forces to create a simple and delicious corrective: a collection of spice blends and recipes that play into the essential flavors of your favorite spirit.
MAKE BUTTER BETTER (AND COOKING EASIER) BY ADDING BOLD INGREDIENTS TO THE MIX
1. Sriracha Sambal Butter
2. Spicy Citrus Butter
3. Chimichurri Butter
4. Bourbon Grape Butter
5. Maple Bacon Butter
We know it sounds crazy, but butter can actually be improved upon. It’s a simple and brilliant trick chefs call compound butter, and it couldn’t be easier to pull off. Just mix a few awesome, full-flavored ingredients with a stick of butter, let it all chill, and then keep it in your fridge or freezer to deploy at will: Put a knob of chimichurri butter on a just-grilled steak and go gaucho; elevate a toaster waffle with maple bacon butter; tuck a few slices of citrus butter under the skin of a chicken breast and roast it.
THIS FALL, STRAP ON AN AVIATOR WATCH FOR HIGH-FLYING STYLE
1. Have a Ball
2. The Ion Has It
3. Super Fly
4. Sun God
5. Flight Plan
Tritium gas tubes offer perpetual illumination in lowlight conditions. The canvas strap embodies understated masculine cool.
This low-key military-inspired field watch is outfitted with a sleek black ion-plated case.
Breitling Chronomat 41 Airborne
This impressive model from Breitling celebrates 30 years of the company’s pilot chronograph.
Seiko Core Solar
Oversize numbers and a solar-powered battery make this watch practical and tactical.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot
An elegant automatic watch that channels the timeless romance of flight.
Aviator watches are the confident man’s timepiece of choice: They have a subdued masculine style and rugged good looks that are right at home in the dressed-down offices of today. These five watches run the gamut from solar powered to status statement.
WHERE TO GET DOWN IN SOUTH KOREA’S BOOMING METROPOLIS
1. The Ballsy Business Hotel
2. Art Brag
3. Blood on Your Hands
4. Shake Your Martini Maker
5. Night Crawl
They call Korea the Land of Morning Calm, but in Seoul it can feel anything but. The city is a sprawling futuristic landscape of glass towers, neon lights and luxury shopping malls, populated by millions. Markets are open all night, along with sloppy karaoke bars, wholesale shopping complexes and 24-hour saunas for rebalancing your chi.
Since it first appeared in 1987, BMW's M3 has proved a cult favorite, and with good reason. It’s a refined four-seater for weekdays and a serious racetrack machine for weekends. BMW delivered a doozy with the fifth-gen M3 sedan (pictured), along with the newly monikered M4, a twodoor coupe version.
Don't let the dirty towels fool you. Today's sports-training facilities have evolved past the sweat factories of yesterday and into command centers where data on every swing, kick and shot are analyzed to make even the best athletes better.
Fans of femmes fatales, film noir-style tough talk and explosive violence have waited almost a decade for director Robert Rodriguez and comic book writer-artist Frank Miller (subject of this month’s 20Q) to concoct a sequel to their ultrastylized Sin City.
Sleep-deprived 30-something parents of a newborn baby, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) wage war over the intolerable noise levels at the house next door, a boisterous frat led by the cocky Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), in this R-rated comedy blockbuster.
Luke Wilson is surrounded by characters who can’t cope in The Skeleton Twins
PLAYBOY: In The Skeleton Twins, you’re a husband caught between suicidal siblings played by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. How does it feel to be compared to "a big Labrador retriever"? WILSON: If I didn’t have confidence in the person I was acting opposite, playing what my parents would call a dolt could have been boring.
ABC’s latest post— Modern Family sitcom telegraphs its premise in the title: Anthony Anderson is a corporate climber worried he’s led his family too far from their African American heritage. (His son’s demand for a bar mitzvah doesn’t help.) Black-ish is more interested in laughs than identity politics, however, with Anderson and co-star Tracee Ellis Ross completely charming as standard-issue sitcom parents.
Q: Your new record is called Blacc Hollywood. What does the title represent? A: I chose “Hollywood” because it’s where people’s minds go when they think of success. I wanted to spin on that and add the “blacc” part, because it makes whatever Hollywood is—it’s the film kids who start out with a passion and the fashion kids who start out with no knowledge.
Dennis Lehane’s latest Boston tale skates across the black ice of a cruel winter in fictional East Buckingham. By all appearances a pushover, Bob Saginowski keeps the wider world at arm’s length, tending bar at Cousin Marv’s, repenting his sins at Saint Dom’s and keeping a secret he can’t forgive himself for.
The first new game from the creators of Halo opens with the universe being destroyed. How’s that for a fresh start? Humanity’s problems began after a mysterious entity called the Traveler helped us colonize across the universe until our new friend’s enemies arrived and wiped it all out.
face it Percent of Facebook users who will drop the social network by 2017, according to Princeton researchers. R U SERIOUS? The state with the stiffest maximum penalty for texting while driving: Alaska, $10,000 fine and one year in jail Most lenient penalty: California, $20 fine Average penalty in the U.S.: $100 Price of 720-milliliter bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844, on sale exclusively in China: SIGNIFICA, INSIGNIFICA, STATS AND FACTS As a result of ongoing legalization in the U.S., a kilogram of Mexican marijuana has dropped in price from $100 to $25 over the past five years, according to The Washington Post.
FORGET THE PALEO DIET. WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD, IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE PROGRESS
The two most important aspects of a diet are that it makes you lose weight and that you can spend a lot of time talking about it. And as a guy, that really limits your options, since most diets are too embarrassing to tell other people about. You can’t tell your buddies at halftime that you’ve been feeling totally pumped from the Beverly Hills Diet.
FORGET THE FREE BOOZE AND STUPID DANCING. THERE'S ANOTHER GOOD REASON GUYS SHOULD SAY YES TO THAT WEDDING INVITE. WHY? BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST THE BRIDE AND GROOM WHO SAY "I DO"
It's summer, which means it's once again wedding season. Wedding season can be overwhelming, especially when second weddings start coming around. And between the travel and the gifts (yes, you still have to buy a gift for the second wedding), it can get expensive.
I’m a 35-year-old mother, and I love sex—I always have. I want it every day, all day. I was married and am now divorced, but sex is one area my ex-husband couldn’t complain about. I now have a boyfriend to whom I’m extremely attracted. We used to get it on two or three times a day.
Commentators, journalists and even—on exceptionally clear days—their audiences are now beginning to wonder why, as fatal environmental problems bear down on us and global warming threatens agriculture and our minimal ability to feed ourselves, the rich and powerful aren’t more actively seeking to remedy the situation.
Does Ilija Trojanow have a listening device planted in my living room? His tongue-in-cheek assessment of privacy in the United States (“Ask Zelda,” June) sounds like my side of the conversations I have with my less intrusion-wary friends and family.
You’d expect Americans to be up in arms over income inequality. Why aren’t they?
Why aren't Americans taking to the barricades over stagnant wages, rising inequality and declining social mobility? The reaction to Apple’s purchase of Beats, a joint venture between producer Dr. Dre—who is becoming hip-hop’s first billionaire—and recording entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine, may hold some clues.
FORMER DETROIT TIGERS PITCHER DENNY MCLAIN IS A BASEBALL LEGEND AND AN EX-CON. BUT DID HE ALSO SWINDLE THE GAMBINO CRIME FAMILY OUT OF MILLIONS? AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE INVESTIGATION INTO MCLAIN'S MOVE FROM THE BIG LEAGUES TO A MUCH MORE DANGEROUS GAME
Denny McLain sits comfortably in a metal folding chair at a baseball card show in Columbus, Ohio, doing his thing, which is selling Denny McLain. To see McLain work his admirers is a thing of beauty. On this spring day in early May he’s multitasking: signing baseballs, shaking hands and selling photos from his playing days in the major leagues.
Why stop grilling at the end of summer? Hack your backyard with our new rules for partying properly outdoors
LET THE GRILL CHILL
Ditch the Lawn Darts
Real men aren’t deterred from grilling when the weather turns foul. They see it as the elements daring them to reclaim, if not revolutionize, the idea of outdoor entertaining. (Just ask a Midwesterner who knows the pleasure of keeping warm by the barbecue as the game plays inside.) We talked to the experts and came up with new ways to revitalize the backyard party.
ULADIMIR PUTIN AND RUSSIA'S BIGGEST WEAPOSN MANUFACTURES THINK THE FORMER ACTION STAR CAN KICK OPEN DOORS TO U.S. RELATIONS. WHAT IF THEY'RE RIGHT?
LUKAS I. ALPERT
In an overcast day in the spring of 2013, hundreds of screaming schoolchildren and excited factory workers surrounded a military helicopter as it touched down amid a light drizzle in Kovrov, a major center of Russia's enduring defense industry about 150 miles northeast of Moscow.
FROM CANADIAN CHEERLEADER TO SUPERHOT PLAYBOY COVER MODEL, MISS SEPTEMBER IS LOVELY IN LOUISIANA
Stephanie Branton is all about going for it. Growing up on the icy isle of Newfoundland, Canada, she fantasized about becoming a model. "Some people back home said I couldn't do it," she says. "I just knew inside that if I took a leap of faith and worked hard, I could make this happen.
What’s the fastest way to get fired from a sperm bank? Every time someone walks in just say, “Get a load of this guy.” I think my girlfriend is confused,” a man told his buddy. “When I said I liked it rough I was talking about the sex, not the entire relationship.”
THE INAUGURAL CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF IS THE BIGGEST THING TO HAPPEN TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN YEARS. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS— AND WHO’LL WIN IT
PLAYBOY'S ALL AMERICA TEAM
After 16 seasons of the BCS formula and decades of the mind-numbing poll structure, college football will finally host a playoff to rightly determine a national champion. Not a big playoff, mind you, just four teams. A committee of football minds ranging from Archie Manning to Nebraska coaching legend Tom Osborne to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (a football coach’s daughter and former Stanford provost who hired Ty Willingham) will vote on a top 25 starting in the middle of the season and will eventually select the four teams that will gun for the title.
L.A. BOILS! A NATION ON THE BRINK! THE WORLD ABOUT TO CHANGE!
There—Whelan's Drugstore, Sixth and Spring streets. The site of four recent felonies. 211 PC—armed robbery. The store was jinxed. Four heists in one month predicted a fifth heist. It was probably the same bandit.The man worked solo. He covered his face with a bandanna and carried a long-barreled gat. He always stole narcotics and till cash.
Kayla Collins's latest acting gig had a familiar feel to it. "I felt like I was going to high school again but with all these actors and actresses,” says Miss August 2008 about filming the movie School Dance. Those “classmates” included Mike Epps, Katt Williams, Wilmer Valderrama and director Nick Cannon.
GIRLS OF THE ACC-CLASS IS IN SESSION AS PHOTOGRAPHER JARED RYDER KICKS OFF OUR ANNUAL COLLEGE ISSUE WITH A ROAD TRIP TO THE EAST COAST, WHERE WE’VE SCOUTED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, BODACIOUS AND BRIGHT-EYED COEDS EVER TO MATRICULATE IN THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE.