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Aug. 27 2014 11:16 AM

David Lynch’s Ice Bucket Challenge Video Is Very Lynchian

David Lynch is not like other people, and so it’s no surprise that his Ice Bucket Challenge video is not like other people’s either. Make sure you wait to hear his nominee.

And if that wasn’t Lynchian enough, here it is backwards:

Aug. 27 2014 8:47 AM

Classic First Lines of Novels in Emojis: A Quiz

We've rendered these 10 famous first lines from novels in emojis. Can you name the novels?

Aug. 26 2014 9:12 PM

Kawehi Shares the Voices in Her Disembodied Heads for the “Anthem” Music Video

Kawehi is a relative unknown who just made one of the best music videos of the summer. The video is for “Anthem,” and it features the Kansas-based artist singing at a bare table, removing her head at the end of each vocal track, and placing her disembodied cranium in a box where it continues its looped contribution to the song.

Aug. 26 2014 6:58 PM

Emile Haynie’s New Song With Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dev Hynes, and Sampha Is Gorgeous

Sometimes the best songs come from out of the blue and involve a collaboration between artists you didn’t even know were working together. That’s precisely the case with the first-ever solo song from producer Emile Haynie (known for his work with Kanye West, Eminem, Lana Del Rey, and many others). The song, which Haynie quietly shared last night, is called “A Kiss Goodbye,” and it features a diverse roster of guests: actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, and British singer Sampha. And the song lives up to the amount of talent packed into it, resulting in an orchestral ballad that’s as heart-wrenching as anything Haynie’s ever done.

Aug. 26 2014 5:06 PM

What Robin Williams Learned From Jonathan Winters

The Emmys’ tribute to Robin Williams included a clip from Williams’ appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, in which he borrowed a pink scarf from someone in the audience and turned it into a nun’s outfit, a hijab, a prayer shawl, and so on.

It’s the kind of thing he learned how to do in part from watching, and later working with, Jonathan Winters, the comedy legend who died last year at the age of 87.

Aug. 26 2014 3:28 PM

Bob Dylan Announces The Basement Tapes Complete: Listen to a Track

In June 1968, a Rolling Stone cover story written by magazine founder Jann Wenner ran with the headline “Dylan’s Basement Tape Should Be Released.” The songs in question were a baker’s dozen of rough cuts recorded in Bob Dylan’s upstate New York home with the band that would come to be known as the Band, but these thirteen cuts were just a fraction of the 138 tracks recorded during that spring of 1967. Now, nearly a half century later, Dylan has announced that the recordings will be released in their entirety on Nov. 4 on The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11.

Aug. 26 2014 2:22 PM

Here’s How Other Men Would Look With Cary Fukunaga’s Man-Braids

For all the victors at this year’s EmmysBreaking BadModern Familythe “Colbort Report”—I think we can all agree that the night’s real winner was Cary Fukunaga’s man-braids. Widely praised for their “beautiful execution,” “fancy” look, and “strong side part,” the braids have already been named “the new man-bun.”

But how will the nation’s leading men look when they inevitably copy Fukunaga’s amazing braids (joining such other forerunners as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg)? We did some photoshopping to find out.

Aug. 26 2014 9:06 AM

How to Chop Vegetables Without Chopping Off Your Fingers

Recently a dissatisfied reader wrote to Slate for the purpose of accusing me of displaying a “wildly dangerous knife technique,” among other sins. I must confess that there’s some truth in this accusation: I didn’t go to culinary school, so no one’s ever forced me to chop onions for hours on end. I don’t habitually use the expert-recommended “claw grip” to hold onto foods I’m cutting, not because I have anything against it, but because muscle memory overrides conscious deliberation every time. I cannot dice to save my life.

And yet I almost never cut myself in the kitchen, a stroke of good fortune I attribute to the fact that I keep my knives sharp. (Dull knives have a tendency to slip around instead of going into the food you want them to penetrate.) Knife sharpening is far simpler than I used to think. For more details on sharpening, for a few bonus knife-related tips, and for footage of my terrible knife technique, see above.

Aug. 26 2014 1:05 AM

There Were No Disasters at the Emmys. That’s Why They Were So Boring.

The Emmy Awards started with a 30-second countdown, each second a clip from one of the television shows being celebrated at the ceremony. Getting pride of place—the last two seconds in the countdown—was Netflix, which brought the Emmys to liftoff with a kiss from Orange Is the New Black and then a shot of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood. Going into the evening, after all, there was an expectation that Netflix would win many—or at least one—award, marking the continued progression of fancy-shmancy, prestige, quality TV away from the networks and toward not only cable and premium cable but now streaming platforms as well. The night’s host, Seth Meyers, even stuffed his monologue with jokes about exactly this, mocking network TV for “having an awards show and giving all the awards to cable and Netflix.” But someone forgot to tell the voters that the networks weren’t supposed to win anything.

To get the logistics out of the way: Awards shows are too long. If the Emmys lasted two hours, they would be reliably—or at least more than sporadically—enjoyable. Instead, the show lasts three hours, and somewhere in that endless period of time someone is going to get the bright idea to put Sofia Vergara on a rotating dais so we can ogle her body and just for a second not be bored by another self-evidently boring part of an overly long and automatically dull-in-parts award show. And, as I mentioned when the nominations were announced, award shows are no fun if you greet them with calm and equanimity. To be reasonable about the Emmys is just another way of making them boring, and they are already mind-numbing enough. We would all be better off—well, all of us but the famous movie stars who are nominated in the over-stuffed miniseries and movie categories—if they just cut the run time.

And you know what does not help with the boring? The same people winning over and over and over again. It’s impossible to begrudge Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul or Julianna Margulies their awards. Those actors are all excellent in excellent shows. But it is totally possible to begrudge Modern Family beating out, among others Louie, Veep, and Orange Is the New Black for Best Comedy, again. As the night’s awards kept going to people who have won already (all the aforementioned folks, as well as Jim Parsons, Allison Janney, Jessica Lange, Amazing Race—and that was before Modern Family and Breaking Bad started running the table), the show couldn’t help but feel staid, rerun-ish. Awards-wise, the most surprising part of the night came when Sherlock, a TV series, won awards for being a TV movie, and then Fargo started winning, its biggest award coming in a category that included Bonnie and Clyde, the less said about which the better. For True Detective to lose nearly every award to Breaking Bad is a perfectly fair outcome—Breaking Bad was a great show in its final season—but, gosh, wasn’t it refreshing to see a new face in director Cary Joji Fukunaga and his wonderful twin-set man-braids?

The predictable lethargy, the inevitable inertia of the Emmys and the parade of familiar winners obscured what was a very professional and adeptly delivered performance from Seth Meyers. Meyers is not a huge personality, and his opening monologue was a little understated. But many of the bits that followed were sharp. The Billy Eichner on the Street segment was, as with all things Billy, abrasive and great. Poehler and Meyers’ observation that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are “two gentleman who seem like they’d be chatty in the sack” rang true. And a famous-people question-and-answer bit with Meyers even righted itself with a good bathroom-key gag.

Meyers’ steady hand and reliable charm was met with equivalent aplomb from the celebrity assembled. Bryan Cranston and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ repartee and smooch were impeccably delivered (even if Louis-Dreyfus was banking on a win to make the gag possible). Harrelson and McConaughey exhibited exactly the chemistry that made them so riveting on True Detective. Billy Crystal’s Robin Williams appreciation was lovely and not too long or too maudlin. Good speeches were peppered throughout, from Modern Family director Gail Mancuso to Sarah Silverman. If Stephen Colbert’s imaginary friend bit didn’t quite work and Weird Al Yankovic supplied words to theme songs that don’t really exist—if Scandal has a theme song other than the clicking of cameras, it’s the only theme song that never, ever gets played—generally speaking, there were no giant whiffs, Vergara’s rotating aside. The jokes were simultaneously pretty funny and right in the bull’s-eye of completely appropriate.

But all of this—accomplished professionalism from accomplished professionals!—only contributes to the show’s overall air of boring boring boringness. Let there be disaster! Let there be controversy! Let there be other winners we can scoff at as endlessly as Modern Family! Instead, by the end of the night, the networks and basic cable had tied in their number of awards—11—while premium cable had taken home just four and Netflix none. (The streaming site did win a few Creative Arts Emmys, which were handed out on Sunday.) All in all, that’s a pretty fair allotment of prizes. But who wants to watch fair?

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