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by Jac Kern 06.12.2014 94 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Humor at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Orange Is the New Black is back and it’s better than I imagined. The Netflix series centered on a women’s prison premiered its second season Friday and, despite my earnest intentions to pace myself, I couldn’t help but get through 12 of the 13 episodes (Thanks a lot, autoplay).

One of the striking differences this season is the fact that this is no longer The Piper Show. Yes, our blonde convict is still a major player, the thread throughout the series. But as Piper becomes more acclimated to prison life, she begins to share much more in common with her fellow prisoners, and we get a look into those women’s backstories — in such a fulfilling way. If you weren’t already invested in Red, Poussey, Morello and the other inmates, you will be after learning the very different and often surprising reasons they ended up in Litchfield. As for Piper, she’s hardened (perfectly if not cheesily represented by her selection of a 40 over a bottle of champagne on a night out during her furlough)— but not to the point where last season’s character is unrecognizable. If anything, the shift makes her more likable. For now, I’m holding off on the finale. I don’t want it to end!

Photographer Jeff Friesen has shot series of fun images using LEGOs for what’s culminated in an upcoming book, The United States of LEGO, available this September. In the series, each state is depicted in a scene full of colorful bricks and plastic yellow people (See Ohio here). Another, titled “Bricksy,” uses the popular toy to recreate various Banksy pieces.

Poet and thespian of our generation James Franco basically recounted Lindsay Lohan’s pursuit of him for Vice’s Fiction Issue. This “work of creative writing” that I’m just going to assume is completely true claims LiLo shamelessly came after Franco while they were both staying at Beverly Hills’ Chateau Marmont. In the end, she settled for a bedtime story reading of A Perfect Day for a Bananafish.

I’m not sure which part crushes my childhood memories the most: The fact that the Parent Trap ginge has fully blossomed into a desperate trash monster; or that Daniel Desario is actually a pseudo-intellectual douche/tattletale; or that I now have to burn my entire Salinger collection.

Nicolas Cage may have done his share of shitastic films in recent years, but you have to hand it to him: dude has a sense of humor about himself. This fact was illustrated recently in a photo of Cage, at a Guns N’ Roses concert with Andrew Dice Clay, dressed to the nines in a T-shirt with his meme-face on it.

Anyone remember Clone High?

The MTV toon depicted a high school for clones of historical figures throughout time, was weirdly hilarious and, thus, was cancelled after one season in 2003. The creators, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have since put out a successful string of productions: 21 Jump Street (and its sequel, 22 Jump Street, in theaters tomorrow), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie. They talked recently of revisiting Clone High as either a show or movie — read more here.

Lil' Kim welcomed a baby girl this week, Lil' Lil' Kim. Sorry. But seriously, Blue Ivy, North West, Jermajesty, all y’all epic-named babies watch out. Royal Reign is in the house.

In things that are making me feel feelings this week: the Dumb and Dumber To trailer.

 

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 06.12.2014 94 days ago
Posted In: Cycling at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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City Funds Non-Profit Bike Share, Battles Over Bike Paths

Council gives money to bike share but puts off bike path decision

Before the summer is over, Cincinnatians should be able to rent a bike in OTR, Clifton or downtown and take it for a spin. But whether or not there will eventually be more bike lanes to ride in may still be up in the air.

City Council on Wednesday passed legislation to help fund a bike share program in Cincinnati, but not before arguments over the bike paths prioritized in Mayor John Cranley’s budget.

The bike share program, run by a non-profit company called Cincy Bike Share, would allow residents and visitors to purchase a year-long membershipor a daily pass to gain access to 300 bikes from 35 stations in the central business district, Over-the-Rhine and uptown. Over the last few years, successful bike shares have started in a number of large cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The motion passed by council gives the startup $1.1 million from the city’s capital improvements fund to help get its operation off the ground. The group estimates it will need at least another $1 million in investment to ramp up, but Cincy Bike Share Executive Director Jason Barron has expressed confidence it can attract that money.

But there was some controversy. Though all members of council supported the money to Cincy Bike Share, the motion originally came bundled with funding for a number of off-road bike trails the mayor prioritized in his budget.
Those trails have been controversial, as they represent a shift in course from the last council’s plans for on-street bike lanes.

Some council members said they didn’t know enough about the bike paths included in the motion to vote yes or no.

“The problem is, someone has paired these two issues together,” said council member Chris Seelbach. “And the bike paths may be perfectly legitimate, but the public deserves a presentation on what these paths are, why they deserve $200,000 set aside for them and what they will be used for.”

Seelbach pointed out that some of the paths need millions in funds to be completed and asked what a little money from the city would do to help their progress.

But Cranley said money for the Bike Share program is already overdue and needed to be approved immediately if that project is to go forward. A motion to consider both measures together failed a council vote.

“I’m just trying to get the Bike Share passed,” Cranley said. “I believe the Bike Share plan is going to be dead if we don’t get it through today.”

Cranley said the bike path spending will not happen in the near future and ordinances could be passed to revise that spending later.

Eventually, the measures were split after some argument between the mayor and council members Seelbach, Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young, all of whom wanted Cincy Bike Share and bike path funding considered separately.

Council will vote on the bike path funding issue later, after presentations from the groups building the trails in question.
Young called splitting the two issues to find out more about the paths “time well spent.”

Simpson told CityBeat she and other council members are pleased that Cincy Bike Share will be funded and that they’ll get a chance to learn more about proposed bike paths.

“I support biking and bike trails in general, it’s just one of those weird nuance things where if we’re going to defund one thing and start funding something else, you want to know what it is,” Simpson said.

She added that she was hopeful the city can find ways to fund both bike paths and urban lanes.


Update: an earlier version of this story stated that Cincy Bike Share is a for-profit company. The organization is a non-profit. The error has been corrected.

 
 
by Alexis O'Brien 06.12.2014 94 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 09:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Matters of our Art: Manifest Gallery's Artists in Residence

There was something magnetic about Manifest Gallery when I walked into it late last Thursday afternoon.

And it wasn’t the space, designed to be charming with its recently opened art shows, the echoes of my slow-moving footsteps and the lost keystrokes of someone at a nearby office desk.

It was the well-curated combination of two resident artists hiding away behind those things — tangled in freshly minted work, upcoming moves and new things to create.

Nicholas Mancini and Jeremy Plunkett were in their neighboring studios sifting through iTunes and working on their prospective projects when I found them in the building’s back half. They were thinking about their past year in Cincinnati, and the artwork that was a result of it.

“Immediately it’s like this last breath and now I’m almost lost as to where I’m going to go,” Mancini says. “Your work is going there up to this point and now it’s out there. You’re done with it, and now it’s up.”

The two resident artists (plural for the first time this year), who are both painters from life (though they both work in other mediums too), opened their end-of-the-residency exhibition MAR Showcase May 30.

Mancini’s portion of the show is made by a compelling collection of moments painted perceptual remnants in his show Vestige, and Plunkett’s by an intimate, meticulously detailed collection of photorealistic light paintings in his show Container.

“I always find myself very attracted to what’s called the sublime feeling, and I try to get there with my work and it’s always been a theme,” Plunkett says. “Can I represent light in the most pure, realistic way?”


Plunkett is the type of artist who will trick you (cause you to triple-take a work until you realize it isn’t a photograph, but a humanly rendered painting), and one whose extraordinary attention to detail made me wish I knew something as preciously as he does his 6-by-4-inch, light-through-plastic-bag paintings.

Also hewn with oil, Mancini’s work balances Plunkett’s beautifully. Emotional abstractions of figures, still life and portraits reminded me first of some sweet melody, without any close look at or step up to. Full of fleeting pleasure and the sunset’s best colors, his work is briefer, shattered, and is able to catch you just in time to fall as you do.

“There’s a painting in the show that I did of my microwave and it’s like this thing, this moment,” Mancini says. “There’s this moment in a day where you go to open it and you go to put your coffee in because it’s been sitting there all day and it’s cold now, and you stop yourself and this thing you look at everyday becomes something else. And actually, I kind of like that way of thinking about it. When something becomes something else.”