- RSS Channel Showcase 9707807
- RSS Channel Showcase 5538306
- RSS Channel Showcase 8281755
- RSS Channel Showcase 9542125
Articles on this Page
- 02/20/14--09:24: _27 Dogs Who Are Gua...
- 02/20/14--15:21: _The 100 Most Beauti...
- 02/24/14--12:24: _Which "Empire Recor...
- 02/24/14--19:11: _The Most Stylish Po...
- 03/03/14--15:30: _35 Things Everyone ...
- 03/06/14--16:24: _101 Reasons You Sho...
- 03/25/14--14:26: _What's Your Sex Num...
- 03/28/14--10:47: _35 Odd Baseball Fac...
- 04/01/14--13:10: _What Career Should ...
- 04/04/14--11:09: _What Level Texan Ar...
- 04/04/14--12:40: _108 Hairs On Tim Li...
- 04/10/14--11:04: _What's Your Geek Nu...
- 04/16/14--09:10: _How I Fell In Love ...
- 04/17/14--10:57: _How 11 Simple Words...
- 04/21/14--08:47: _The Fine Art Of Mix...
- 04/22/14--08:16: _Are You A Scrub?
- 04/22/14--15:56: _Do You Have A Heart?
- 04/23/14--13:34: _15 Photographs That...
- 04/25/14--08:44: _You Need Marnie The...
- 05/01/14--14:40: _Porn: A Conversatio...
- 02/20/14--09:24: 27 Dogs Who Are Guaranteed To Make You Smile
- 02/20/14--15:21: The 100 Most Beautifully Unusual First Names
- 02/24/14--12:24: Which "Empire Records" Character Are You?
- 02/24/14--19:11: The Most Stylish Poodle Brothers In Japan Are Here To Make You Happy
- 03/03/14--15:30: 35 Things Everyone Should Do In Austin, Texas, Before They Die
- 03/06/14--16:24: 101 Reasons You Should Live In Texas At Least Once In Your Life
- 03/25/14--14:26: What's Your Sex Number?
- 03/28/14--10:47: 35 Odd Baseball Facts That Are Too Strange To Be Made Up
- 04/01/14--13:10: What Career Should Your Cat Actually Have?
- 04/04/14--11:09: What Level Texan Are You?
- 04/04/14--12:40: 108 Hairs On Tim Lincecum's Face That Really Make A Girl Think
- 04/10/14--11:04: What's Your Geek Number?
- 04/16/14--09:10: How I Fell In Love With The Dorkiest Game Of The Year
- 04/17/14--10:57: How 11 Simple Words Can Reveal Your Secret Thoughts
- 04/21/14--08:47: The Fine Art Of Mixtape Seduction
- 04/22/14--08:16: Are You A Scrub?
- 04/22/14--15:56: Do You Have A Heart?
- 04/25/14--08:44: You Need Marnie The Dog In Your Life Right Now
- 05/01/14--14:40: Porn: A Conversation Between Women
I bet you’re smiling just thinking about these good dogs!
These dogs just want to make you smile and improve your day. Will you let them?
This dog is extremely excited about this endeavor.
Here, we have the most perfect dog costume ever invented.
If this dog can get through this wind, you can get through anything.
Kieran Doherty / Reuters
If you’re hoping you son or daughter’s name will be one in a million instead of one of a milion, be inspired…
When a community member made this post on having an unusual name, hundreds of similarly-afflicted oddly named folks chimed in with comments. We read them all and here are our 100 favorite, most beautiful names of the bunch. It may be annoying when Starbucks can't spell your name, but at least you'll always stand out from the crowd!
What’s with today today?
Prepare your heart parts for Maron and Fleur.
How are you doing today?
Life got you down?
Maybe you need a reminder that the world is a lovely place?
A place where magical forces collide to make you feel good when you need it most?
Whether you’re a longtime resident or just trying to hang like a local during SXSW, these are the things that everyone should check off their bucket list in ATX. Mostly they involve eating, drinking, and natural beauty — that’s how we do it in Texas.
Pack a picnic and head to gorgeous natural swimming grotto Hamilton Pool.
This magical place on earth was formed when the dome of an underground river collapsed, leaving a ring of waterfalls and a gorgeous natural swimming pool.
Watch cute old people two-steppin' at the Broken Spoke.
This dusty dancehall is a touch of authentic Texas 10 minutes from downtown Austin. If you get to see Dale Watson play, you're doubly lucky.
See the city's 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats emerge from underneath the Congress Bridge at dusk.
The best vantage point for the bats is to just stand on the Congress Bridge, but there are also boats you can rent out and hills to picnic on. Afraid of bats? Learn more about them because they are actually awesome and the population under the bridge eat 10,000–20,000 pounds of insects and pests each night (!).
The stars at night are big and bright…
Trey Ratcliff / Via Flickr: 95572727@N00
1. Queso. To be honest, the existence of queso is reason enough to live in Texas, but we'll give you a few more just for fun.
2. Blue Bell ice cream for days.
3. Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits from Whataburger. AKA your new favorite thing to eat that is actually terrible for your heart, but is so good for your soul.
4. Breakfast tacos. EVERY DAMN DAY.
5. Tex-Mex in general.
6. BBQ, obviously. And understanding what "BBQ" actually means. (Hint: It's not "grilling.")
7. Mambo Taxis from Mi Cocina: frozen margaritas mixed with frozen sangria and just a pinch of "wait, what happened last night?"
8. Drinking Dr. Pepper like it's water.
9. Late-night drunken Taco Cabana runs.
10. Pecan pralines.
11. Being able to eat cuisines from basically the entire world, all within the Houston city limits.
12. The delightfully confusing experience of hearing someone say "I'll have a coke." And then immediately ordering some other kind of soda.
13. Crunchy ice and happy hour at Sonic.
14. Homemade tortillas >>>>
15. Home of H.E.B., Central Market, and Whole Foods. And FIESTA!
16. Freshly baked kolaches from Czech Stop.
17. Frito pies.
18. Topo Chicos, the only decent hangover cure in the world.
19. Austin being home to both the world's best BBQ and being declared by PETA to be the country's best place to be vegan, because we're not afraid to contain multitudes.
20. Iced tea = sweet tea.
21. Pickle salt on all of your cheap beer.
22. Tito's Vodka.
23. Deep Eddy Sweet Iced Tea Vodka mixed with lemonade.
24. Shiner Bock and visiting its adorable brewery.
The ultimate “purity test” for the modern age. NSFW.
Just check off all the acts that apply to you!
Marc St. Gil / Via commons.wikimedia.org
This is why baseball is the best.
1. When Jimmy Pearsall hit his 100th home run in 1963, he ran the bases in the correct order but facing backward to celebrate.
2. Babe Ruth's top salary was $80,000 (in 1930 and 1931). Adjusted for inflation, that's the equivalent of a little more than $1.1 million today (a little less than middle reliever Antonio Bastardo made last year).
3. During World War II, the U.S. military designed a grenade to be the size and weight of a baseball, since "any young American man should be able to properly throw it."
4. Pitcher Jim Abbott was born without a right hand and had a 10-season baseball career, including throwing a no-hitter for the New York Yankees vs. Cleveland in 1993.
5. Bobby Richardson won the World Series MVP in 1960 after hitting .367 with 12 RBIs — he played for the losing team.
6. Bank robber John Dillinger was once a professional second baseman, although he never made it to the major leages.
7. Eddie Gaedel was the shortest man to ever play in a Major League Baseball game. He was 3 feet and 7 inches tall. St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck put him in the game as a stunt, saying, "He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big-league ball. He was also the only one."
8. Geddy Lee from the band Rush had a huge collection of autographed baseballs from the Negro Leagues; he donated over 200 balls to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in 2008.
9. Ralph Kiner is the only player ever to lead the league in homers for seven years in a row — his first seven years as a major league player.
Topps / Via cardsthatneverwere.blogspot.com
Is your cat secretly an artist, or is your cat a total suit? Find their true destiny within!
If God blessed Texas, how blessed are you?
Timmy, why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?
San Francisco Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum was a bona fide phenom when he won the Cy Young award in 2008 and 2009, but in recent years he seems to have lost the magic. In the latest of a series of somewhat inexplicable hair/face-related decisions that may or may not be related to his attempt to climb back to dominance, he has unveiled a new mustache. As die-hard baseball fanatics, BuzzFeed's Lindsey Adler and Summer Anne Burton have a lot of thoughts about The Stache.
Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Summer Anne Burton: OK, so we're here to discuss San Francisco Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum's new mustache. And I'm here to say I think the mustache is great! Big fan. I'm not a Giants fan, but as a baseball fanatic who's been increasingly invested over the last six years or so, I have a lot of feelings about Tim Lincecum, generally speaking. In just a few years, I've gone from admiration and confidence that he was going to end up being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, to sadness and sympathy when he started to decline, to a strange brew of anxiety and optimism for his currently somewhat positive trajectory (aided by the fact that I drafted him for my fantasy baseball team this year). And I feel that this mustache really speaks to all of that. The mustache contains multitudes. Lindsey, you're a Giants fan, so I know you must have thoughts…
Lindsey Adler: Timmy is my dude. He's one of the very few athletes I find relatable. This does in fact lead me to psychoanalyze some of Timmy's more bizarre choices. I've watched my two-time Cy Young winner let his ERA skyrocket, pitch relief in the 2012 World Series, and sign a two-year extension (for maybe too much money) when we were certain he was leaving San Francisco. Timmy spent the 2012 offseason in Mexico and returned with a new haircut à la Atticus Finch. This offseason, he installed a synthetic mound in a warehouse in Seattle and came back with that damn mustache.
You know when you get out of a relationship and feel like it's time to make some changes and enter your next endeavor hotter, cooler, and more prepared? That's how I see Timmy's mustache: a breakup makeover. Can whatever confidence he gets from the upper-lip fuzz help him throw more strikes? I'm doubtful.
Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
John Gara for BuzzFeed / ZeniMax Online Studios
I'm not what most people would call a gamer. I've played console games only here and there, and I've never installed a game on my computer. Truth be told, the one game I play on a regular basis involves smashing candy on my iPhone. There's really only been a single exception in my adult life. In 2012, every day, for months, I played Skyrim.
That game, until earlier this month the latest in the series of impossibly dorky Elder Scrolls role-playing games, turned me into a gamer. I played it passionately. I played it obsessively. Why? Despite its daunting scale and complexity, it wasn't classically "hard". I was a gaming novice, and I appreciated the fact that it took practice, rather than skill, to get “better.” It didn’t really matter that I had never played Fallout or Portal or the other Elder Scrolls games; simply by putting in my time, I could be a level-60 grandmage/superthief/badass assassin/dragon-slayer just like everyone else. In Tamriel, the world in which Skyrim takes place, I was my own master.
So it was with a great deal of anxiety that I approached Elder Scrolls Online, the new game by the Skyrim people that is the first version of these games that you can play online with other users.
Frankly, I was very nervous about the idea of playing Skyrim with others. That game was a private experience for me, something that was a huge part of my life, but that I never talked about with my friends. Very few people I knew were playing the game, and it was something that felt like mine — losing myself for hours in the game was a vacation from my real life, and it was incredibly peaceful. Having other people in the game complicates that — dare I say it? — spiritual connection I had to Skyrim. As we all know from IRL experience, humans are annoying and selfish, they like to harass you and say dumb things, and they’re always get in the way of inner peace.
I was also genuinely anxious about being compared to other players in real time. What if the only reason I got “good” at Skyrim was because I played it forever?
What if I was actually terrible?
In the interest of charting my progress, virtual and emotional, I decided to keep a diary of my time with the game. Here's what happened.
Day Zero, 9:42 p.m.:
In the 20 hours it takes for the game to download (a process that involved the frantic deletion of my Chrome cache and a mysterious 453% install), I decide to do some preparatory reading. Apparently the game features guilds, which are groups of friends (or strangers, sometimes? Often?) who play together online. I do not belong to a guild (I don’t think?), but Elder Scrolls Online is designed so that the main story can be played totally solo if one so chooses. Apparently this is hotly debated, because while traditional MMO fans think this defeats the purpose of making it an online game, Elder Scrolls fans are stoked that the game is retaining the series’ trademark solo adventuring.
While it’s a relief to know I can play by myself, I’m nervous about what playing in a world populated by “real people” will be like. I don’t know anyone else playing the game, so this feels a bit like the first day at a new school.
Which, frankly sounds like hell. I better get a good night’s sleep.
Day One, 12:35 p.m.:
I AM MAKING MY CHARACTER. This feels like a really big deal. I decide I want to be a Khajit (see above) because they look like cats and I really like cats. My job title at BuzzFeed is “Beastmaster.” Anyways, I name my cat Liliger — that’s a cross between a Lion and a Liger, which is like cat on cat on cat — and I make her pretty thick, with big awesome boobs and a big awesome butt.
I hope she kind of looks like Cat Beyoncé.
Liliger is already gorgeous before I even start focusing on her face. Faces are super customizable — there are sliders for categories like “forehead slant” and “chin height.” You can also choose among several voices, but it’s hard to compare them because some of them go “ugh” and some of them go “raaaaaaaaaah.” I choose Voice F, which goes “ooo ooo.” When I finish creating Liliger, I feel a little like God. This part of the game is so fun that I kind of want to just go create a bunch more characters in the image of various people I know and boys I’ve had crushes on.
Day One, 1:06 p.m.:
I wake up in a dungeon, in a cell, and there’s a guy talking to me. He claims that he’s a “prophet” but I am skeptical, because he looks like a dude who would harass me on the subway. He is “the past and the future both,” he tells me. I think he might be high? The prophet guy is telling me that we aren’t in Tamriel and we have to do some stuff to get to Tamriel, which is annoying because I’ve spent the last few months of my life waiting to return to Tamriel. But I remember something similar from Skyrim — these games often start with some tiny mini-quest to get you used to the controls. I guess that would be helpful for me, since I’m running into a lot of walls.
Day One, 1:13 p.m.:
My first kill is a skeleton. I killed him easily, because I am a badass. Lots of dudes are running past me and my dead skeleton, and I think they are other human players because they have names like “Vagitarian” and “Sexorcist.”
I find the woman the prophet told me to find, and she looks me up and down and says, “You’ve got more meat on your bones than most of these poor bastards.” The hell? Is she fat-shaming me? I do not like her. She joins me, though, and we run into a big open area with a ton of other players. There are flame atronachs, which I recognize from Skyrim as evil bastards, flying everywhere. I immediately die.
Ten minutes later, I am starting to feel good about this game for the first time. I have killed, like, six dudes. But I'm supposed to destroy these weird sentinel things and I can’t figure out how to get to them AT ALL. I got stuck trying to get to them and I was just weirdly floating next to this big wall, and uh, then I died. Growing pains.
ZeniMax Online Studios / Via Summer Anne Burton
Day One, 1:30 p.m.:
I want to pause here to say that I am completely confused about what all the other players are doing. Do they have different missions from mine? How come they haven’t just destroyed the sentinels and fixed everything? Surely they are better than me at this. I think they’re on the same mission as me, and it looks like they’re in the same space, but when they destroy the sentinel, nothing happens for me until I also separately destroy it. It’s sort of like we’re each in parallel and close to identical worlds changed only by our own actions, stacked on top of one another in transparent layers. Maybe that’s what real life is like too? Whoa.
I am drunk, by the way. Have I mentioned that?
Day One, 1:45 p.m.:
I pause to wonder if I’m going to be able to get married and buy a house in this game like I did in Skyrim. One of the best things about Skyrim was getting a chance to do super-grown-up things I haven’t yet done IRL, like meet a shopkeeper and ask him to marry me like three minutes later, or own houses in, like, four different cities just because I can.
Day One, 2:05 p.m.:
The tutorial is over and we are finally here in Tamriel! The first place I’m in is just a tiny room with ‘70s-style wood paneling. Neat. The prophet subway guy appears to me as a ghost. He tells me that he’s in an awesome place where it smells of gardens and I’m in hell, basically. Have I mentioned how much I fucking hate this guy?
It’s always an option in the Elder Scrolls Online to just say “good-bye” when you’re in the middle of talking to someone, which is incredibly delightful. I really wish I could pull that off IRL.
“So, my brother had this dream ab—”
Day One, 2:15 p.m.:
I am in this little town now and there are people everywhere. Other players doing stuff! OH SHIT THERE IS STUFF HAPPENING IN THE CHAT WINDOW. People are CHATTING! This is a CHAT ROOM! I did not know that this was how this worked.
People are “recruiting” for guilds, which I guess is sort of like rushing for fraternities? Anyways, the fact that I am participating in a game that has a chat room is making me feel incredibly nostalgic for ICQ and IRC and AOL and other three-letter acronyms. If the main multiplayer aspect of this game is just in-game chat, I am INTO IT.
I type “helloooooooo” into the chat window, just to feel alive.
I walk by this one super-hot character in his underwear just standing there, which is pretty awesome. I keep walking by him again on purpose and stopping and making eye contact and getting too close to him, but he seems to be in his own little universe.
This is also often how it goes in the real world with hot guys.
Day One, 3:00 p.m.:
From the chat: “Your queen asked me to fight for her after seeing my performance in her bedchamber.” ZING!!
In this town, lots of other new people are doing the same quests I am, and we keep running into each other doing it. It feels super embarrassing.
“Nothing to see here, just checking these barrels for poisoned meat! What are you up to?”
“Oh, the same thing? Huh, what a coincidence!”
* ambles off into a corner casually *
Day One, 3:51 p.m.:
The cool thing about dying in ESO is that it seems like you can just revive and pretty much nothing bad happens. I think? I’m not really sure what the disadvantages are. So far I am pretty into death!
After a few deaths, no big deal, I basically rescue the queen of the first town and fix everything and she is super into me now and wants me to do stuff with her. I ask her some questions about herself and I get the impression that no one ever really bothers to do that, you know? Of course I skip through her answers really quickly and listen to nothing she says — I'm just trying to see if she would give me any other quests — but she doesn’t need to know that. It's pretty cool, being a good person in a computer game.
Day One, 4:20 p.m.:
I resolve to start talking to some of the random other players I pass, for the sake of this being an experiment, but they keep ignoring me. So rude! One of the people I just tried to address is named Kitty Soft Paws so I’m pretty upset that he wouldn’t talk to me.
Maybe I’m not doing this part right?
Day One, 4:45 p.m.:
I finally find some horses. I name mine Benedict Cumberbatch.
The quest I’m doing now involves traveling to an island filled with cute but deadly dinosaurs. I had to talk to someone named Sugar Claws to get there, which was obviously great because Sugar Claws is, like, the best name!
Being on the island is a constant series of distractions. Everywhere I go I meet another person who needs help, or there’s some cute little dinosaur to kill (I don’t want to kill them, but they keep attacking me). Right now I’m finding these poor shipwrecked dudes and giving them something called torchbug juice to make them feel better. I don’t even remember what I came to this island for in the first place. I just do whatever. I’m a free spirit, helping people everywhere I go!
Day One, 6:45 p.m.:
New quest: I collected some monster eggs and I have to find five different rats' nests and throw the eggs on them, which, long story short, causes monsters to dig up and eat all the baby rats while they run and scream for their tiny rat lives. I’d much rather kill people.
Doesn't this game know I'm vegan?
ZeniMax Online Studios / Via Summer Anne Burton
Day One, 8:06 p.m.:
FUCK YES, I mean, very good, I found a smithing station. My favorite thing to do in Skyrim was to make piles and piles of armor and weapons. What sucks is that I don't actually have any of the stuff I need to craft weapons or armor right now.
I’m actually pretty bummed about this, so I use all my gold to buy two shitty iron swords that I can deconstruct for their iron and use to make something new. I essentially downgraded the swords to crappy daggers for the privilege of smithing, but it was worth it. DIY! DIY!
Day One, 9:00 p.m.:
I feel like I have accomplished a lot today. I have rescued some fake-ass prophet, gotten to Tamriel, saved a queen from some assholes, been arrested unfairly, repaired a ship, fucked up some magic pirates, killed a bunch of dinosaurs, destroyed some rats' nests (sigh), made two daggers, helped some hot cat kid kill his dad, destroyed countless skeletons and rogues, joined a mage's guild, picked some plants, and now I'm in some fucking dank ass catacombs. And I don't even look phased — Liliger remains the Beyoncé of Tamriel.
I'm feeling really good but now I'm going through some major gender-related shit in the catacombs. Here I am at another crossroads, and here we have another lady telling me she wants to take a dude's place in an eternal prison because he's too valuable. This seems to be a theme, and it's not one I'm into. I want to sit this fool down with some ice cream and red wine and just tell her there's no way any guy is worth her eternal damnation.
I tell her I need to talk to her dude about it and at least this guy isn't a jerk — he agrees with me. As he points out, he's old and she's young. Plus his "greatest joy was watching Gathwen blossom." OK, gross, but as long as she doesn’t literally sacrifice her life for him I’m still OK with it. He should be the one in the hell tomb forever.
Day One, 9:25 p.m.:
I’m trying to help this family salvage some of their alchemical tools after a fire destroyed their plantation, but I'm not having much luck yet. I’m learning that the woman who asked me to try to salvage the tools is a skooma maker/drug dealer. Skooma is like the heroin of Tamriel. It's everywhere, and it's completely destructive and hurts families and changes people. “Don’t do smack, kids,” the game seems to whisper.
Eventually I find the skooma. It was buried in what the game described as a "packed mound." I bet $100 the game’s developers called it that on purpose for giggles.
Day One, 9:45 p.m.:
Another player said hi to me! The person’s name is Chynadra. I tried saying hi back. I am waiting for a response and feeling very excited and scared. It’s a girl character, which gives me the probably unrealistic hope that maybe the player behind the avatar is a lady as well.
She never responded. I am moving on, but I will always remember her, and our bond.
Day…Two? 12:07 a.m.:
ZeniMax Online Studios / Via Summer Anne Burton
A list of things I like doing in Elder Scrolls Online more than I like fighting:
• jumping off of stuff I probably shouldn’t jump off, but not dying.
• having my horse jump over random people.
• fishing, which you can do at certain bodies of water and involves just standing there with guts or insect parts on a lure and catching salmon.
• mining for iron.
• making weapons with that iron.
• getting weirdly in the physical space of other players' characters for no reason.
• lying around for minutes after death, waiting to be revived by a stranger and admiring my dead body.
• picking flowers.
• picking butterflies out of the air.
• chasing foxes and bunnies.
• reading the stupid stuff people put in the chat.
• swimming improbably long distances.
• reading the silly books I find on random bookshelves.
• saying “good-bye” in the middle of a conversation with someone who thinks they’re important.
• sneaking around for no reason.
• changing clothes and then taking selfie screenshots.
• admiring how beautiful Audiron is.
• leveling up!
Day Two, 1:01 a.m.:
The chat is getting real:
“Hilary Duff: I never had a dad”
“Ancano Caemor: Oh :( neither did I”
Day Three, 10:20 p.m.:
Something exciting has happened! An old acquaintance from Texas DM’d me on Twitter and asked for my Elder Scrolls username. I think perhaps we will be able to QUEST TOGETHER, unlocking the true online potential of this game at last. I try to play it cool and I wait (coolly) for him to come online.
When he does, I can see that he’s near the wayshrine in Mistral. I go there, and sure enough I find another character with a little triangle over its head indicating that my friend is standing right in front of me. HE IS A GIRL CHARACTER. My hopes and dreams of all of the women I pass in the streets being real lady players are dashed upon the rocks of this wayshrine, but it is still pretty cool to “see” someone I know.
My friend teaches me that if I type things like "/jumpingjacks" or "/dancedrunk" into the chat window, my character does funny but useless physical things. I guess people use these functions to simulate sex and/or just behave like weirdos, both of which I approve of. My friend and I decide to go questing together and I share with him a quest that’s been troubling me: aiding a foxy queen. When we finally get down to it, killing together is delightful. It’s literally twice the fun of doing it on my own. I get to see his cool special abilities, and we coordinate effortlessly — when I’m not accidentally running into trees. When my friend eventually decides to log off, I’m left feeling kind of lonely.
Day Four, 7:24 p.m.:
Hack into your subconscious feelings and desires in 11 simple steps.
Think of your FAVORITE ANIMAL first, and then think of ONE WORD that describes them perfectly. Once you have the word, click to reveal what you're really thinking about...
Oh, but what's your SECOND-FAVORITE ANIMAL? I need ONE WORD to describe them. Once you have it, find out the secret...
I just need ONE WORD to describe how you feel about COFFEE. Once you're sure, click to reveal your true self...
OK, what's your FAVORITE SONG? What's ONE WORD to describe what makes it great? Click to reveal your inner thoughts...
Mixtapes are really flattering self-portraits, but the best ones are selfies of two.
Summer Anne Burton
I have always given my crushes pet names: a never-revealed infatuation with my friend "Married," the waiter "Seconds," a future boyfriend "Twelvest," and someone who I would eventually come to refer to as "Purgatory" to his face.
I named "Wilco and Breakfast" that because of how I imagined our future together — listening to Summerteeth on vinyl while smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee in bed. "His beard makes me feel like he'd make good pancakes," I told my roommate during one of our countless conversations about the boys I was considering hitching my crush wagon to.
Wilco and Breakfast was a co-worker, but in a different department so it was a mysterious and slow-moving courtship. He maintained a soft reserve throughout his tenure. He was always kind, but never really hung around to get to know his colleagues. He had a round face, ruddy cheeks, broad shoulders, and that beard, which probably accounted for at least 60% of my reasons for crushing. He was several years older than me and a musician. A musician with a rumbly Southern drawl who would sing his songs about girls in the corner of some Tex-Mex restaurant once a week.
I didn't stand a chance.
I'd wait for him to clock out for his cigarette break and then go out for mine. I'd sit next to him, pretending it was a coincidence, and we'd chat about the easy stuff: books, movies, songs. We shared a weakness for sad stories and vintage anythings. At some point, I loaned him a copy of one of my favorite films — David Gordon Green's All The Real Girls, and he wrote me a short email the next day saying "I loved it. I loved it two times." I found those two sentences so charming that I showed the email to half of my co-workers.
At some point I became confident that my feelings were, at least in some part, mutual. Wilco and Breakfast had a thing for vintage pinup girls — I knew this because of MySpace — and he would compliment my knee high socks or my slouchy trench coat in this certain way that felt like a wink. He would occasionally use the word beautiful — as in "you look beautiful today," or "that dress is beautiful," which knocked me over because boys my age never called anything beautiful, especially girls that they barely knew. It was all very fun and exciting and sweet, as requited crushes tend to be.
My next move was obvious: I made him a mix.
Summer Anne Burton
Someone told me once that mixtapes are barely about music at all. They are about which songs you hope will be forever linked to your face and subconsciously understood as your intentions. Mixtape making is flattering self-portraiture — like choosing the perfect selfie to express how funny, sexy, light-hearted, or endearing you are...preferably all of the above.
I have been working at this art since I was 16, crafting hundreds of meticulously chosen mixtapes, CDs, and playlists for best friends, foxy boys, friendly co-workers, and various bad decisions. I've learned to embrace the vanity of mix-making while also making mixes that people really want to listen to. I've been doing this so much — more than any other creative pursuit — and for so long, that I've started to think that mixtapes have become my purest self-expression.
The only way I know how to feel something is to make a mix about it.
These days, finding someone who actually listens to cassettes is a white whale, so I have switched to Spotify and gift-wrapped CDs. It's fun, but not quite the same. Making someone a cassette was so personal because of the time you had to spend with the songs, sitting in front of a cassette player pushing buttons and obsessing over whether the song you wanted would fit on what was left of a side. It was different for the listener too — cassettes don't make it easy to skip tracks, so they're forced sit and listen to what you have to say.
Can you get no love from me?
Are you human, or are you robot? Take this simple test to find out for sure.
This fuzzy little fellow, taken in 1912.
Two lovely sisters, taken in the '20s (approximate).
This girl, her new best friend, and her snow shoes. Taken in 1926.
A basket of delight! Taken in 1929.
Getty Images / Fox Photos
This dog is life-changing and you should start following her on Instagram at this moment and never look back. She’s even friends with Miley!
She is a shih-tzu living in New York.
She is EXTREMELY fashionable.
Like, she can pull off anything.
Six women discuss pornography, its place in our lives, and what a perfect porn future would look like.
Conversations about porn are too often conversations about men's desires and women's objections. In reality, real women have desires, opinions, and their own varied relationships with pornography. This is an online conversation between six women about what porn means to them, how it's affected their lives, and what could make it better.
Who are you and what's your relationship with porn?
Tracy Clayton: Hello! I'm Tracy, staff writer at BuzzFeed. I'm very interested in issues of race, sex, and class, and porn is an amazing arena to watch it all play out. My relationship to porn these days is primarily scholarly, watching to see how trends change and wondering at what those changes could mean on larger scales — and cosmetic because I really need to learn how to nail that porn smoky-eye look.
Alex Tauchman: Hi. I'm Alex, and I like to tweet a lot about porn, sex, and feminism. I have been interested in porn for about a couple years now and recently attended the Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto in my capacity as a big fan of porn and feminism.
Julie Gerstein: Hi! I'm Julie, the style editor at BuzzFeed. I was a women's studies major in college, so I studied porn in a scholastic setting — mostly in the context of feminist porn and then vis-à-vis anti-porn feminists like Andrea Dworkin, who felt that porn was violence against women. But I don't really watch it in my personal life.
Conz Preti: Hi! I'm Conz, the editor for BuzzFeed Espanol and Brasil. I watch porn regularly and have been able to understand more of what I'm into and not throughout the years.
Lara Parker: Hi! I'm Lara, staff writer at BuzzFeed. I have experienced vaginal pain/extreme pain with any sort of penetration and tampons since I was about 14 years old. Therefore, porn makes me incredibly uncomfortable and I feel like it sets a standard that I will NEVER live up to. (I don't watch, mostly because it brings me to tears.)
Aurora Snow: Hello! I'm Aurora, retired adult actress and current freelancer for The Daily Beast. I worked in the adult industry for 11 years, saw it change dramatically, and now work to educate others about it.
Picking up on what Aurora just said about how the industry has changed dramatically — is porn more interesting to you now that the landscape is changing? Is the landscape changing that dramatically yet, or is it still a small movement?
CP: Yup, definitely see the change and have been more into the things I find. Before there was a lot of time spent looking at things and going, "Nope, nope, not liking it," and now there's more of a celebration of normalness in sex and sexiness in women. Maybe I JUST came across it, but I've been seeing it a lot more lately.
TC: My interest in porn has waned over the years; I don't watch much now because I guess I'm kind of burned out and bored by much of what I see. I think that I somehow know or assume that things have changed, but I don't readily see those changes, I think. Like, I know that there are more woman-centered options out there, but I still have to look for them explicitly. Big, popular sites, like YouPorn and Xtube, for example, are still largely (from what I see) full of the same old, same old. But I know that there was a time when searching specifically for something different was a chore, and it doesn't seem to be as big a hassle now.
JG: From my perspective, I'm amazed that there is a movement at all, because I haven't kept up with what's happening in porn at all, since the earliest burgeoning feminist porn makers like Tristan Taormino and Susie Bright and such. To know that there is actually a feminist porn thing happening now, amidst all the other crap out there, is actually kind of heartening, though I wouldn't know the first thing about finding it.
AS: I think the movement itself is rather small, but small as it may be, receives a disproportionate amount of media attention. It's still a lot of the same, but with more women in powerful roles, it is changing. Even with porn aimed at women, made by women, the porn still has to appeal to men in order to find a distribution company unless the same producers are also the distributors. When you get to the top, it's still some of the same people running it that have been doing so for the last decade.
AT: I want to pick up on what Aurora just said because it reminded me of a portion of the keynote speech that Courtney Trouble gave at the Feminist Porn Conference. Courtney said that their porn "Trans Grrrls" has been their best-selling so far, and they originally figured it would be more a labor of love than anything, because men, or "the casual cis guy," as Courtney referred to them, wouldn't watch it. I am delighted that porn that increases sexual representation is finding audiences in "the casual cis guy," and I think that is perhaps a harbinger of the possibilities for more crossing over between "mainstream porn" (i.e., large-budget porn made by men for men, presumably) and feminist/queer porn.
JG: Does it matter, Alex, though, if cis men are watching that porn in a genuine way, or not, though? Does how it's viewed matter, or just that it's viewed?
AT: I think that any time the casual cis guy, or whoever, is able to see porn that is earnestly made by people who want to publicly show how they have sex and what they like, that's a step in the right direction.