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What I learned from googling ‘sex’ everyday for four years

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[Update 19-04-2017: Due to a website redesign, many of the below links are now dead. However, you can read many of the mentioned articles HERE.]

I learned very many things thanks to my weekly column ‘Sex in the Press’. And as the column inches towards its 200th edition, I still feel that I have very much more to learn. Yes: sex ed should be considered a lifetime undertaking.

The column collects global news stories related to affairs of the heart and the loins. So for me to stay, um, atop of these issues, I have to, um, insert ‘sex’ into Google News almost every day. Sure, I also appreciate getting sex-related links from friends and colleagues. But Google usually beats them to the punch. Thanks Google! You’re a true perv. Respect.

My orgasm is purple. What colour is yours?
Animal genitals: A gift that keeps giving’ 
How to date a sex doll

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Sex in the Press appears on the acclaimed sex&relationships platform Love Matters (for more on LM and my role as editor, go HERE). Every week, the column is published on the India and Kenya websites, before being bounced to spark conversations with the millions of LM followers on Facebook. It’s also regularly translated into Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Hindi for the other LM websites. It’s also often picked up by other media such as Youth Ki Awaaz (India), This is Africa, Kenya Buzz and Kenya’s major print newspaper The Star.

The penis in history
Vaginas of yesteryear
Ass from the past

So yes, my column gets around – but don’t you dare slut-shame it. Continue Reading…

Posted: June 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm.

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World’s longest fart joke

Welcome to the fourth dimension. Time. Now take a deep breath. And release…

Over the years, I’ve gotten some strange gigs from the inspired ‘experience architects’ WINK. For example, they once asked me to write and narrate a washroom soundtrack around the concept of ‘time’.

The result ended up unifying two distinct genres: ‘meditation tape’ and ‘fart joke’. And thanks to the audio artistry of Arjan Beurskens of This Is Taped, it actually worked out quite, um, tastefully.

This recording was broadcast as a loop in the VIP bathrooms during Berlin’s music and street fashion festival Bread&Butter. The event took place in Tempelhof Airport which was originally built by brown-shirted Nazis. Coincidence?

For a time afterward, I fantasised about finally specialising and focusing solely on writing fart jokes for a living – with me providing the brown nouns, and Arjan providing the brown sounds. But diversification remains key since this market proved limited. However if you hear of anything, please let us know! We’re still available for weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs!

Anyway, I will let you get to the washroom to give this a full and attentive listen – and please do listen to the very, very end…

Posted: April 5, 2016 at 1:47 pm.

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Dark, stormy and drunk

My contribution to the ‘picture and caption’ issue of Dark&Stormy, the inspired ‘zine from graphic designers/writers Bart de Baets and Rustan Söderling. Check out a digital version HERE before rushing to the excellent Amsterdam art bookshop San Serriffe to see if they still have any hardcopies left.

'Dancing Forest' Curonian Spit Kaliningrad Oblast
‘Dancing Forest’, Curonian Spit, Kaliningrad Oblast
Kaliningrad – the city-formerly-known-as-Königsberg – is a dislocated blob of Russia in the heart of the EU. In days of yore, it was a favoured hang-out for Teutonic Knights. During the Cold War, it was the most militarised zone on the planet. Today, this Baltic region offers visitors unspoiled beaches and drunken pine trees. Depending on who you talk to, the twisted appearance of the trees that form the ‘Dancing Forest’ is caused by microbes, unstable soil or ‘polarized energy fields’. (Steve Korver)

Posted: March 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm.

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NEE: Not ready to be the new yes.

A while back I spent a delightful Sunday as the self-appointed band psychologist for N.E.E. – a band made of two top producing duos: Arling & Cameron and David Schreurs & Jan van Wieringen (Caro Emerald). But alas, I was of little help. The boys were just too far gone…

But I did come up with this text. As you read it, it may just seem like more of my smart-ass malarky. But alas, it’s all freakishly true. Irony dies the second you say NOOOOO!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, negativity has never sounded so easy (albeit with dark and deeply funky sub-tones). Listen to their EP HERE.

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Posted: March 31, 2016 at 1:03 pm.

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Yuri on the phone

Our award-winning film ‘Yuri on the Phone’ directed by Rene Nuijens is now online! Watch it above! With killer animations by stellar Celia Rosa and design studio Addikt! Edited by pulsar Will Judge!

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Every man wanted to be him. Every woman wanted to be his wife. Now 55 years later, one lady’s passion for Yuri is as strong as ever…

Featuring Serbian film diva Rada Đuričin, ‘Yuri on the Phone’ shows us that space has enough place for all our hearts. It’s a story about love without borders. How obsession can be triggered by a single smile. How enduring passion can fill all voids.

Experience beauty, poetry, borscht and lift-off in this production from Road to Gagarin – makers of the multiple award-winning ‘Yuri Gagarin Goose Chase’ and the ‘First Yugoslavian Cosmonaut’…

Together, let’s reach for the stars!

(If you don’t have the attention span for this 6-minute movie, watch the trailer HERE for which I did my very best ‘voice of God’ voice-over impersonation.)

MIAMI LAUREL WINNER SHORT SEP 2015ISTANBUL FILMFESTIVAL  Laurel - Istanbul (1)

- Nominated at the BARCELONA PLANET FILM FESTIVAL, Feb 2016, Barcelona (ESP).
- WINNING AWARD at FILM FESTIVAL CINEVANA ISTANBUL 2016, Istanbul (TRK).
- Official selection for the TEXAS ULTIMATE SHORTS, January 2016 (USA).
- Official selection for the HOLLYWOOD SKY FILM FESTIVAL, 2016 (USA).
- Official selection for the BROKEN KNUCKLE FILM FEST 2015 (USA).
- WINNER MIAMI INDEPENDENT SHORT FILM FESTIVAL August & September 2015 (USA).
- Official selection for BLOW UP, CHICAGO’S INTERNATIONAL ARTHOUSE FILMFEST (USA).
- Official selection for the KINOLIT FILMFESTIVAL, 2015, St. Petersburg (RUS).
- Official selection for LINEA D’OMBRO, FESTIVAL CULTURA GIOVANI, Salerno (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 DC SHORT, Washington (USA).
- Official selection for the 2015 LOS ANGELES CINEFEST, LA (USA).
- Film looping at: FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA 2015 at MUSEUM REGGIO EMILIA (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 FMK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Pordenone (IT)
- Official selection for the 2015 ROMA CINEMA DOC, Rome (IT).
- Official selection for the 2015 REGINA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Regina (CAN)

Posted: March 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm.

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Romancing the Thread: the Story of Dyneema®

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I was asked to write the story of Dyneema®. As world’s strongest, lightest fiber, this plastic works to stop bullets, moor oil rigs and repair human joints. It’s also been behind some of the more iconic images of recent times: upturning the stranded cruise ship Costa Concordia in Italy, placing the crown on the Freedom Tower in NYC, and the tethering of satellites in outer space.

As I talked to the various players behind its decades-long march to market, I discovered that chemistry can be a very rock’n'roll game: “involving multiple co-inventors, dismissive managers, happy accidents, quantum technological leaps, commercial innovations and a few experiments that under current regulations would be considered safety violations.”

One killer quote: “One Saturday I remember asking someone to go get us some coffees but he couldn’t walk because the rubber of his shoes had partially dissolved and he was glued to the floor.”

Another killer quote: “Excuse me, could you please tell me what the value is of a cooked soldier?”

And a third: “It’s funny to think it all just started with some stirring in a pot.”

Read the full feature HERE.


(Thanks to DSM-Dyneema and Super Stories for arranging the access. I learned stuff!)

Posted: March 30, 2016 at 11:02 am.

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Dutch design: Mucus in the air

andaz-amsterdam

Last year I was asked to write a piece for the ‘City Hotels’ exhibition at Amsterdam’s architecture centre Arcam. My story ended up being about Andaz Amsterdam from Dutch design icon Marcel Wanders. But I also managed to slip in references to being a doorman, eel-pulling, lion shit and being snotty about fringes…

Read it after the jump! Continue Reading…

Posted: March 29, 2016 at 2:58 pm.

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Joep van Lieshout: one man and his baggage

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“The Dutch artist and designer Joep van Lieshout – founder of Atelier van Lieshout – brought the world fully-realized ‘Free States’, slave camps and rectum bars. Now he’s just come out with a line of unisex handbags. Is he undermining his past work, playing with people or just being funny? Actually, he’s following his chaotic mind…”

Read the PDF of the interview I did for Code magazine with Joep van Lieshout here.
Photography by Bianca Pilet.

 

Posted: March 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm.

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Kaliningrad: A deeper shade of gray

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“Even when suppressed, history has a way of bubbling up to the surface. In Kaliningrad, that gray blob of dislocated Russia in the heart of the EU, local creatives have turned this bubbling into an arts scene. For visitors, the city-formerly-known-as-Königsberg provides a surreal, and economical, crash course in Teutonic Knights, WWII, the Cold War and today’s Russia. Plus, with the Baltic Sea, there are long stretches of unspoiled beach…”

Read the PDF of my travel feature published in Code magazine here.

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Posted: March 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm.

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Hospitality, Moscow-style

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I’ve had recurring dreams about showing my parents around Moscow. I would be taking them to major sights or exposing them via friends to that majorly psychotic brand of Slavic hospitality. But alas, such a trip never happened. (I did take them to former-Yugoslavia once. It was a mixed success. While my parents did get a taste of Slavic hospitality, they also flashed-back to their WWII childhoods – the taste of war was just still too fresh. But that’s another story.)

Last summer my Moscow dreams came partially true. My parents and I visited Moscow, Ontario, Canada (pop: 65). For a second as we drove across the town line, it even seemed like the real thing. Unfortunately, the rising spires of a Russian Orthodox church turned out to be a cluster of farm silos.

We stopped at the Variety Store and Gas Bar by the crossroads – aka ‘Downtown Moscow’. I hoped to buy local souvenirs to use as payback for hospitality the next time I was in Moscow proper. The proprietor Gord, a large older man who did not seem prone to movement, laughed when I asked if he sold Moscow-branded baseball caps or t-shirts. “I got chips and root beer. That’s pretty much it.” Gord laughed again when I asked if the town was originally founded by homesick Russians.

moscowontariocanadaApparently, Moscow was originally called Springfield until government agents dropped by in the late 19th century to tell the hamlet to change its name because there were already too many goddam Springfields. So in the name of not confusing the postal services any further, Springfield was renamed Moscow since it happened to be the anniversary of Napoleon’s wintery retreat from Moscow proper. “And hell, it gets cold here too!” Gord laughed.

We bought root beers as a small compensation for Gord’s story before making our own retreat. Just as we were about to pull out, Gord ran outside. Huffing, puffing and verging on a heart attack, he was holding a piece of paper. It was a photocopied certificate embossed with ‘Mos’ and a cartoon cow [pictured above]. He said he just found this last copy in his desk drawer and we could have it. Thanks Gord! Consider it laminated!

As we drove off we all agreed: Moscow is one hospitable town.
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Posted: October 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm.

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