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The 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos

Saturday, June 28th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

[WARNING: Graphic videos below!! Nature isn't always pretty.]

Public service announcement: If you’re considering an exotic pet, please do your research. There are millions of pets in rescues because of impulse purchases by owners who had no idea what they were getting into. If you’re still set on getting an exotic pet after you’ve done your research, consider adopting one from a rescue organization.  

The miracle of birth — it’s awe-inspiring and at the same time terribly gruesome. Anyone who has ever witnessed a live birth must at some point wonder how any thinking creature can choose to go through such an ordeal. Fortunately, our animal friends, including our beloved pets, spend exactly no time contemplating whether childbearing is worth the time and effort. As much as we’d like to imagine a more cuddly, loving narrative, they procreate because they must, not because they desire to create a beautiful family. Those same powerful instincts allow them to (mostly) give birth without human intervention. However, as evidenced by most of these home videos of pets giving births, the humans can almost never resist the urge to lend a hand. Nevertheless, despite their midwifery duties, many individuals have managed to capture some excellent footage of their pets giving birth.

Here are the 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos:

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The 10 Best Films of the 1990s

Friday, June 27th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

10. The Lion King (1994).

The importance of The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991) in reviving Broadway musical-style animation shouldn’t be underestimated, and Pixar’s entry into filmmaking with Toy Story (1995) was revolutionary, but it’s the African saga based on Hamlet that gave animated storytelling a depth, seriousness and resonance it hadn’t had since Pinocchio. Now that we’re used to seeing one or two great animated films a year, it’s hard to remember how special it was for a movie to carry so much appeal to both adults and kids.

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The 10 Worst Billy Joel Songs

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 - by Rich Tucker

For the next month or so, Sirius-XM radio is featuring a “Billy Joel channel.” It’s 24-hours a day of the Piano Man. Although, to be fair, the channel only plays “Piano Man” once an hour or so. Oh, there it is now!

Anyway, Billy’s been recording music since the 1960s, so there’s plenty of great stuff to listen to. But there are, unquestionably, some stinkers mixed in with those show-stoppers.

Since it’s more fun to focus on the negative, let’s list the 10 worst Billy Joel songs:

10) “Ballad of Billy the Kid”

It’s bad history. Billy the Kid was born in New York city, not Wheeling, West Virginia. And it’s bad form for Billy Joel to compare himself to a notorious outlaw. And even if Joel really did ride out of Long Island carrying “a six-pack in his hand,” wasn’t he concerned about open container laws?  

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The 10 Most Overrated Disney Animated Films

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 - by Chris Queen

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For over 90 years, the Disney Studios has created some of the most memorable and enduring animated films of all time. But even a fanboy like me can admit that not everything Disney has released has been perfect. As much as Disney markets and hypes every animated feature as a classic, many of them are simply overrated. Here are the top ten.

My ground rules were pretty simple: I didn’t include Pixar’s output because they haven’t always been directly part of the Disney family. I also didn’t include the direct-to-video “cheapquels” that Michael Eisner made so famous, because they’re in a lower class all their own, and I left out the package features of the 1940s. Enjoy!

10. Meet the Robinsons (2007)

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Once in a while, Disney tries to throw a bone to boys to make up for the prominence of the princesses in animated films. While the idea is worthwhile and the efforts are valiant, once in a while the more male-oriented movies fall short. 2007’s Meet the Robinsons is one of the latter.

Meet the Robinsons had a lot of potential – a twisty, time travel story with a sweet adoption plot coupled with clever, stylized animation. Instead, Meet the Robinsons is dizzying, noisy, and just falls short. Part of the cartoon’s problem may stem from the fact that John Lasseter, newly taking over as head of animation after Disney acquired Pixar, suggested a retooling.

Whatever the reason, Meet the Robinsons just didn’t make the impact that it could have.

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The 10 Most Essential Women’s Shoes in the 1970s

Sunday, June 15th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Are you a true child of the 1970s? See how many of these essential shoes you owned to find out!

10. Earth Shoes

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Going from worst to first, I’m almost reluctant to name Earth Shoes to a list of “essential” anything because they were so completely unfortunate looking. The “negative heel technology” shoes represented one of those terrible moments when fashion tried to merge with health benefits. Anne Kalsø, a native of Denmark, invented the shoes in the 1950s. According to the Earth Shoes website:

Kalsø ‘s passion for yoga led her to study in Switzerland and eventually in Santos, Brazil. It was there, in 1957, that she observed the excellent posture of indigenous Brazilians, and the impressions left by their bare footprints as they walked through beach sand. She observed that the footprints laid were deeper in the heels than in the toes. This natural body position resonated with the thoughtful Kalsø. It echoed a formative yoga pose she knew well – Tadasana (the ‘Mountain’ pose). posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.As she herself emulated the pose of the native Brazilians, she noticed how her own posture improved, and how her breathing passages opened. She was inspired.

Ten years later, Earth Shoes were born in Copenhagen. The company claimed that many people reported that the shoes eased chronic foot and body problems. It wasn’t until April 1st, 1970 — coinciding with the first Earth Day — that the first ”Kalsø Earth Shoes” store opened in the United States. The shoes became wildly popular, even appearing on the Tonight Show and in TIME Magazine. They’re still available, by the way, in case you’re feeling nostalgic or feel the need to have your breathing passages opened.

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The 10 Best Films of the 1970s

Friday, June 13th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

10. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

A roaring, timeless Kipling adventure directed by John Huston and starring the incomparable duo of Sean Connery and Michael Caine, the film is simultaneously a swashbuckling imperialist adventure and a cautionary tale about venturing into dimly understood lands to take advantage of easy pickings there. The scene in which the two old soldiers laugh their way out of doom — their voices cause an avalanche that seals an unpassable chasm — is a mini-tutorial on the payoff from looking at the bright side.

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The 10 Worst Movie Fathers Ever

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 - by James Jay Carafano

The movies have given us some of the most hateful, horrible paternal role models imaginable. Here are 10 films well worth watching—but not on Father’s Day.

#10: The Mask of Fu Manchu 

The evil protagonist in a series of Sax Rohmer novels is perhaps fiction’s greatest bad dad that no one remembers.  The East’s arch evildoer and his despicable daughter appeared in a number of film adaptations over the years.  This 1931 film is easily one of the best, as the deadly pair races against British intelligence in the quest for the source of ultimate power: the mask and sword of Genghis Khan. Come on! What kind of respectable father teaches his daughter that conquering the world is cool?  At the time, the film proved controversial.  The Chinese government complained the film conveyed a hostile depiction of Asians. They had a point. During the film, Fu Manchu commands: “Kill the white man and take his women!”

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The 10 Best Summer Songs You Probably Haven’t Thought Of

Saturday, June 7th, 2014 - by Chris Queen

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This time of year, everybody comes out with their list of the best songs of summer, and it seems like most every list boasts the same songs every year. But there’s nothing like discovering new music, especially this time of year. So, here’s your alternative summer playlist.

A quick note: not all of the songs specifically mention summer or take place in summer, but they have a summertime sound or feel. Here we go…

10. Zac Brown Band, “Uncaged”

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With songs like “Toes,” “Jump Right In,” and “Where The Boat Leaves From” in their repertoire, Zac Brown Band just about has the market cornered on summer songs. As latter-day disciples of Jimmy Buffett, they’re the perfect band to kick off our countdown.

The title cut from their most recent full-length record, “Uncaged” extols the virtue of just getting outside and experiencing what the great outdoors has to offer. Who doesn’t want to escape the cages of the daily grind and take part in the excitement of nature? After all, isn’t that what summer is really about?

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The 10 Best Films of the 1960s

Friday, June 6th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

10. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Warren Beatty and Co’s idea to make a movie showing vicious criminals as prankish antiheroes — but nevertheless have them meet the most gruesome comeuppance ever depicted on screen to that point — yielded a provocative entertainment that also expertly marshalled the forces of irony. Are we meant to laugh with these careless bandits as banjo music plays them jauntily along to their next despicable act? Maybe, but even as we become complicit in the granting of legend status to twisted narcissists we forgive ourselves for enjoying what is, in our experience of it, only a movie. And the shocking, sudden end makes sure we don’t leave the theater smiling.

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10 Ladies’ Room Rules That Will Keep Other Women from Hating You

Thursday, June 5th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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This one is for the girls. Not being completely familiar with the rules and regulations of trigger warnings, I’m a little hesitant about whether or not this is appropriate, but before I begin, let me just warn our male readers: continuing to read will rob you of your sense of awe about the mysterious and wondrous things that you think go on in the women’s restroom. Read at your own peril.

I’m attending some classes this week, which means I’m drinking copious amounts of coffee and therefore having to spend more time than I usually do in a public restroom frequented by other women — poised, professional-looking women who (by most measures) seem to have impeccable manners. But the minute I walk into the restroom I realize that women are the same wherever you go: It is a universal truth that women demonstrate appallingly uncouth behavior when they’re turned loose in public restrooms — especially when they are traveling in gaggles.

With that in mind I’d like to suggest a code of conduct for the ladies’ room — 10 Ladies’ Room Rules That Will Keep Other Women from Hating You.

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The 10 Most Terrifying Public Service Announcements from the 1970s

Saturday, May 31st, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Back in the 1970s, most Americans only had a few TV channels. In the pre-DVR era, there was no fast-forwarding through the commercials, so when the networks ran public service announcements, everyone watched. Apparently, someone in a position of influence thought that fear was a great motivator, especially for small children and their parents, so many of the TV spots were downright terrifying. Is it any wonder that the kids who grew up watching these PSAs became the parents who overprotected and coddled their millennial children, raising a generation of pajama boys?

Watching a few of these PSAs may help to explain why so many parents are so afraid of… basically everything.

 

1. Anyone can share VD with someone nice as you!

 

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“VD is for everybody. Not just for the few.  Anyone can share VD with someone nice as you!”

The takeaway from this PSA is that venereal diseases were lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting individuals who were just minding their own business. The nice-looking boy who plays the violin, the friendly local grocer, your 3rd grade teacher, the school librarian – any one of them could be surreptitiously carrying ”the clap” or chlamydia and could at whim pass it on to an innocent bystander.

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10 Surprisingly Unconventional Uses for Your Crock-Pot

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

While you likely already know that your crock-pot is fabulous for making mouth-watering stews, pot roasts, and soups, you might be surprised to learn just how wide a variety of concoctions you can create in your slow-cooker. Here are some surprising and unconventional uses for your crock-pot:

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1. Candles

A good quality, jar-sized candle at a specialty store can cost you close to $30. Fortunately, they’re not that difficult to make at home and they’re much less expensive than the store-bought varieties. By following a few easy steps you’ll enjoy homemade candles at a fraction of the price. Your friends and family will also appreciate your lovely scented gifts!

This is a great opportunity to get creative with glass jars you’ve recycled or found at thrift stores or yard sales. As long as the jars will fit in your crock-pot, you’re free to use your imaginate to create unique candles. In addition to the jars, you’ll need wax (renewable soy wax is slow-burning and soot free), essential oil or candle fragrance, candle coloring dye, and wicks. All of these supplies are available at craft stores or from online sources.

Instructions here.

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Grading Blondie’s 10 Studio Albums on their 40th Anniversary

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 - by Clay Waters

The rock band Blondie celebrates 40 years together this year. If you wish to feel old, that means as much time has passed between then and now as between then and the repeal of Prohibition. The lineup has shifted over the years but retains the core of singer Deborah Harry, collaborator-guitarist Chris Stein, and ace drummer Clem Burke.

The band emerged from the stew of Manhattan’s mid-70s Bowery and the burgeoning punk scene of CBGB’s. Harry, New York Bowery to her bones, was already a grizzled scenester when Blondie formed (that’s her lazing on the cover of this  Wind in the Willows album from 1968). Harry and Stein have kept their eyes and ears open and have never been afraid to try something new, which has made for some dubious choices but also kept Blondie from becoming an inert nostalgia act. The group’s judgment may have sometimes faltered, but their invention has never flagged, from punk to pop to disco to rap.

Their 2006 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a live appearance in Manhattan during Super Bowl week 2014 prove the band has stood the test of time, albeit as a great band that hasn’t always make great records.

The new CD Blondie 4(0) Ever marks the bands 10th studio album, a two-disc package that includes one disc of re-recordings of past hits. But reducing the band’s output to a handful of polished dance-rock singles leaves out much of their grittier punk past. Here then, is a hopelessly subjective chronological rating of Blondie’s 10 albums, with tough letter grades in the style pioneered by rock-god-critic Robert Christgau.

1. Blondie (1976)

Released years before producer Mike Chapman would polish them up and propel them to worldwide fame, their self-titled debut remains intriguingly unclassifiable, gritty and sunny all at once. It retains a rogue sense of dark urban exuberance reminiscent of midnight movies and sketchy subways. The cartoonish, punky sound is delivered with panache, without sliding into three-chord Ramones monotony or the dense pretensions of Talking Heads, two of their compatriots on the local scene. Opening cut “X Offender” (which was “Sex Offender” before the radio censors) sums up the tensions of the record – a sweetly perverse tale of a prostitute with a crush on her arresting officer. Cracked, cheerful tributes to sci-fi and kung fu keep Side 2 fun (yes, I am old).

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5 Memories That Will Make You Nostalgic for the 1970s

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

As it turns out, the decade wasn’t all bad!

Here are a few things we remember fondly from the 1970s:

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1. Department Store Gift-Wrapping

As a child I was completely enchanted by the dazzling array of bows and shiny gift wrap displayed on the wall in the gift-wrapping department at the May Company department store near my home in suburban Cleveland. The ladies were expert wrappers, with perfectly creased corners and stripes that lined up at every seam. The bows and gift cards were like icing on the tops of beautiful cakes. It was like watching magic happen before my eyes to see an ordinary salad bowl transformed into a sparkly work of art piled high with ribbon and lace. These days, most stores no longer offer gift-wrapping service (though a handful still do). More often than not you’ll be directed to the wrapping paper aisle and told to fend for you ham-handed self — explaining the exponential growth of the gift bag industry.

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5 Things to Grab When You Hear the Tornado Sirens

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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‘Tis the season when those of us in the Midwest are serenaded by the tornado sirens on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Whether you head for shelter the minute the sirens go off or wait until you see the funnel cloud heading up your street, it’s important to think about what items you should grab on the way to safety. While you hopefully have emergency supplies like water, non-perishable food, self-powered flashlights and radio and a first aid kit in your basement or storm shelter, what other items will you need in the minutes and days immediately after your home is destroyed? What should you grab as you are heading for shelter?

Here are five things you can grab quickly and drop into a small bag as you’re running to safety — things you’ll be very glad to have in the event your home sustains significant damage:

1. Cell phone and charger

While most people will instinctively grab their cell phones on their way to the basement or shelter, it’s also important to grab your electric phone charger or, even better, a battery (or solar) operated charger. At the first sign of an impending storm, charge all of the family’s cell phones (and extra batteries if you have them) so you’ll be able to connect with first responders, other family members, and insurance companies in the event of a true emergency. If your home is damaged and you’re forced to relocate to a shelter or a hotel, you’ll likely have access to electricity, but chargers specific to your phone may not be available.

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10 Recent, Non-Annoying Pop Songs for When You Need the Energy of a Teenager

Saturday, May 17th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

1. “Right Actions” by Franz Ferdinand

This week at PJ Lifestyle for the daily pop culture debates we started a conversation about music. I sympathized with these sentiments from Don in New Hampshire:

In part my loss of interest in much that is called “pop” came from overexposure and, I suppose, disappointed hopes.

I’d done some interesting work, even post Abstracts, including writing and recording for motion pictures. But even at the time, entering my twenties, so much pop music seemed shallow. In its stead I focused on two things:  A return to my early love of classical music, particularly the symphonies of Beethoven and the keyboard works of Bach — these to satisfy the mind — and a turning towards roots music, be it in the form of Delta blues or the more modern Chicago variety — these to satisfy the spirit.

To this day most “pop” music strikes me as very teenagy. So much so that I have trouble understanding how any adult can find it of interest.

Of late I have again started to listen to music once classified as “pop,” but it is from the days when such music was aimed, not a teenagers, but at adults. Music of the Gershwins, for instance, and that of Cole Porter.

And this is, I think, the difference. Today everything in the “arts” seems to be aimed at children.

I was never a huge bubblegum pop music consumer — my tastes ran more toward the “despite all my rage/I’m still just a rat in a cage” Smashing Pumpkins school of adolescent angst. But I do think there is a place for upbeat, fun, simpleminded music: when exercising. I’ve come to appreciate Bach, Mozart, and innovative jazz in recent years but I don’t think it was ever meant to accompany running.

These are some of the tracks that are in my regular rotation for when Maura and I do our morning runs at sunrise. (Note: I make a point to turn the music off at 6:07 when The Morning Answer starts on AM 870 here in Los Angeles. Listening to Ben Shapiro and Elisha Krauss fighting against the inane, narcissistic arguments of their so-called liberal co-host Brian Whitman is also good for inspiring the energy of a teenager first thing in the morning…)

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9 Fascinating Facts about Senior Citizens and Technology

Friday, May 16th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

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Recent surveys highlight the fact that seniors lag behind the younger generation in the adoption and usage of technology. Based on interviews with more than 1500 adults age 65 and over, Pew researchers found they could roughly divide senior citizens into two groups. The first group is “younger, more highly educated, or more affluent.” They are far more technologically connected and demonstrate more positive attitudes toward the benefits of the modern digital world. In fact, this group uses the internet at rates approaching — or even exceeding — the general population. The second group is “older, less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability.” They are less connected and more wary of the Brave New World of digital platforms. Internet use drops off dramatically after age 75.

Here are some other facts about seniors and technology use:

1. 59% of Seniors Use the Internet

In 2012, 59% of seniors were internet users, up six percentage points from the previous year. In 2014, 47% of seniors have a high-speed broadband connection at home and 77% have a cell phone (up from 69% in 2012). According to the Brookings Institute, seniors spend most of their time online communicating with friends, shopping, and searching for health information.

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11 Curious Spurious Correlations

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Tyler Vigen, a Harvard Law student, has created a website that appears to demonstrate the truism: “53% of all statistics are made up.” That’s not precisely true of the “research” Vigen presents at Spurious Correlations (his correlations rely on actual data sets) but it does give some insight into the tools the data crunchers have at their disposal for spinning actual facts into what they want us to hear (often to the exclusion of more relevant information). Vigen says, “Empirical research is interesting, and I love to wonder about how variables work together. The charts on this site aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, I hope this projects gets people interested in statistics and research.”

Here are some of Vigen’s best Spurious Correlations:

1. Number of people who tripped over their own two feet and died correlates with Civil engineering doctorates awarded (US)

 

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The more pressing question: Are the civil engineers tripping over their own feet or are they designing things that cause others to trip? 

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10 Modern Technologies We Lived Without in Primitive, Pre-Millennial America

Monday, May 5th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

While the 1970s are known for some terrifying fashions and the human indignity of the Disco Era, the decade (with some assists from the previous generation) also gave us some amazing technological advancements that many of us take for granted today. Here are ten that changed the world:

1. Microwave Ovens

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Before the 1970s, our only option for heating up leftover pizza was the conventional oven and we didn’t have the luxury of 4-minute microwave popcorn (gross as it is). Though the “Radarange” was first sold in the United States in 1947, it wasn’t until the ovens became affordable for the average family that “microwaves” became common in American homes (even if they didn’t live up to their promises of delicious layer cakes and scrumptious roasts in 30 minutes). In addition to the high prices, many Americans were afraid of radiation associated with microwave ovens. I remember my dad refusing to purchase what he called a “radar burger” at a concession stand in the early ’70s. In 1971, only 1% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave. By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave oven, with the number soaring to 90% of American households by 1997.

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5 Lame Superhero Sequels That Should Never Have Been Made

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 - by John Boot

More spandex. More stunts. More destruction. More incredible powers. More yawns. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wouldn’t live up to its billing even if it were called The Adequate Spider-Man. Thanks to phoned-in, factory-produced efforts like this one, with each new superhero movie, super-fatigue threatens to become a super-serious problem. Here’s a look at the five most superfluous, extraneous, unnecessary superhero movies of the last five years.

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Andrew Garfield’s cockiness makes you long for the sweetness of Tobey Maguire, and the script doesn’t help him at all by having Spidey issue jocular, punny one-liners as he’s battling goofy villains like Rhino (Paul Giamatti, giving a Nicolas Cage-level tutorial in how to overact), Green Goblin (a completely unscary Dane DeHaan) and the soon-to-be-notorious Electro (Jamie Foxx), a shockingly low-voltage clown who fires electricity out his fingertips. The romance between Peter Park and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, who has the brisk cuteness of a stage brat without ever making the audience fall in love with her) seems forced, and the gigantic special-effects sequences are all bluster and boom, no genuine drama. You’ve seen everything in this movie before. 

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PJ Lifestyle’s Top 50 List Articles of 2013

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

shutterstock_140335888In ranking these articles over the past few months I’ve blended a number of different factors: popularity, significance of the subject matter, creativity of the arguments, originality of concept, and I’ve limited myself to only a handful of personal bias.

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Kyle Smith: 10 Amazing Criterion Collection Films On Hulu Every Sane Person Should See

45. John Boot: 5 Actors With Careers That Are Collapsing

44. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

43. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

42. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

41. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

40. Leslie Loftis: The 5 Most Under-appreciated Female Heroes

39. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

38. Chris Queen: 5 Underrated Disney World Attractions You Shouldn’t Skip

37. John Boot: 5 Reasons Childish Liberals Love Their Hunger Games So Much

36. Bonnie Ramthun: 3 Reasons Why Teens Today Can’t Find Jobs

35. Kyle Smith: 5 Ways Democrats Mythologize JFK

34. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

33. John Boot: The 4 Big Lies That Ruined The X-Men Movie Franchise

32. Chris Yogerst: 5 Secrets For Thriving In A World When Everything Happens NOW

31. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

 

30. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

29. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

28. Kathy Shaidle: Why The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest

27. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

26. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

25. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

24. Kathy Shaidle: How to Go Galt: 5 Controversial Tips For Enjoying America’s Coming Collapse

23. Paula Bolyard: 7 Bad Reasons to Send Your Teens to Public Schools

22. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

21. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

20. John Boot: 6 Kids Films Filled With Green Propaganda

19. Chris Queen: 10 Books Every Disney Fan Should Read

18. J. Christian Adams: How 7 Crappy Green Products Threaten To Annoy Your Family

17. Paula Bolyard: 5 Reasons To Remain Optimistic That We Haven’t Lost America Yet

16. Kathy Shaidle: 6 Classic Songs That Almost Didn’t Exist

15. Dave Swindle: Don’t Forget These 10 Morally Blind Responses to 4/15/13, the Boston Jihad

14. Robert Spencer: 5 Ways Reza Aslan Lies About Christianity

13. Walter Hudson: How 6 Green Lies Threaten To Starve Your Family

12. John Boot: 5 Destructive Ideas Matt Damon Devotes His Movies To Promoting

11. Bryan Preston: The 10 Most Amazing Eateries in Austin, TX

10. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

9. Walter Hudson: 5 Ideas You Need to Escape Poverty

8. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

7. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

6. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

5. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

4. R.J. Moeller: Dostoevsky’s 6 Nightmare Prophecies That Came True in the 20th Century

3. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

2. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

1. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa: 11 Reasons To Reject JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories

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Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa

Kyle Smith, Becky Graebner, Paula Bolyard, John Boot, Charlie Martin, Megan Fox, Leslie Loftis, Chris Queen, Bonnie Ramthun, Walter Hudson, Kathy Shaidle, Susan L.M. Goldberg…

This list offers an introduction to some of these writers’ strongest pieces but this is just the tip of the iceberg. They have each thrived in non-list format as well. In the coming weekends at PJ Lifestyle I’ll begin unveiling some of the greatest hits collections and themed article compilations of these and PJ’s other all-star writers. My hope is that these future collections can showcase clearly what I believe sincerely: the team of writers that I’m blessed to work with every day is the most talented, innovative, and exciting online. I want to see my friends succeed and more people all around the world come to recognize the extraordinary insights their articles provide.

So please check back with us at PJ Lifestyle on the weekends for more surprises…

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image courtesy shutterstock /  Dirk Ercken

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The 5 Most Overrated Sports Movies

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

5. Draft Day (2014)

It’s currently at 57 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not highly rated. But it is highly amazing that anyone at all liked this football-illiterate soap about a Cleveland Browns general manager (a sullen-looking Kevin Costner) simultaneously having girlfriend problems (with Jennifer Garner, who plays his team’s salary-cap guru), dead-dad problems and personnel problems on the biggest day of year for general managers.

Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) trades three first-round draft picks at the annual NFL draft of top college prospects in order to move up six spots and select the hottest college quarterback in years. But then he worries he’s made the wrong decision because of a rumor that none of the jock’s teammates attended his twenty-first birthday party. Also he gets jittery because of a game in which the QB got sacked four times, though even a non-expert looking at the tape can see how the sacks were entirely the fault of poor blocking by the offensive line, not the quarterback.

In short, no one who knows anything about football can take this film seriously, and the romance between Costner’s character and Garner, is flat and tepid. Their arc? They’re having difficulties because he’s not very nice to her. But then he decides to be nice. The end.

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45 of PJ Lifestyle’s Best List Articles from 2013

Sunday, April 6th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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See the introduction to this new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle here: What Are the Top 50 PJ Lifestyle ‘Listicles’ of 2013? Cast Your Votes!

Each weekend I’m going to republish five of our best and most popular lists from last year followed by an update of this post with the newest rankings. Please let me know which lists you like and which subjects you want to see more of at PJ Lifestyle.

50. Kyle Smith: 5 Smart Comedies You Haven’t Seen on Netflix

49. Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World

48. Paula Bolyard: 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers

47. Kyle Smith: The 6 Most Disgusting Horror Movies On Netflix Streaming That No Sane Person Should Ever Watch

46. Kyle Smith: 10 Amazing Criterion Collection Films On Hulu Every Sane Person Should See

45. John Boot: 5 Actors With Careers That Are Collapsing

44. Charlie Martin: 4 Weight Loss Myths Exposed

43. John Boot: 5 Reasons Zach Galifianakis Is a Hack

42. Megan Fox: 9 Reasons to Abandon the Corporate Gym for a Family Gym

41. John Boot: 4 Ways Star Trek: Into Darkness Shills for Surrender in the War on Terror 

40. Leslie Loftis: The 5 Most Under-appreciated Female Heroes

39. Becky Graebner: 4 Reasons Americans Don’t Care About Cars Anymore

38. Chris Queen: 5 Underrated Disney World Attractions You Shouldn’t Skip

37. John Boot: 5 Reasons Childish Liberals Love Their Hunger Games So Much

36. Bonnie Ramthun: 3 Reasons Why Teens Today Can’t Find Jobs

35. Kyle Smith: 5 Ways Democrats Mythologize JFK

34. Megan Fox: 9 Secrets to Keep Your Daughter From Becoming a Slut

33. John Boot: The 4 Big Lies That Ruined The X-Men Movie Franchise

32. Walter Hudson: 7 Ways to Reboot Star Trek With a New TV Show

31. Kathy Shaidle: Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand

30. Bonnie Ramthun: The 5 Worst Books for Your Children

29. Kathy Shaidle: Why The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest

28. Paula Bolyard: 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey

27. J. Christian Adams: 7 Times Downton Abbey Has Jumped the Shark

26. Kathy Shaidle: Do These 3 Things To Own Your Name on Google’s First Page

25. Kathy Shaidle: How to Go Galt: 5 Controversial Tips For Enjoying America’s Coming Collapse

24. Walter Hudson: 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause

23. Rhonda Robinson: 3 Principles of a Biblical Diet

22. John Boot: 6 Kids Films Filled With Green Propaganda

21. J. Christian Adams: How 7 Crappy Green Products Threaten To Annoy Your Family

20. Paula Bolyard: 5 Reasons To Remain Optimistic That We Haven’t Lost America Yet

19. Kathy Shaidle: 6 Classic Songs That Almost Didn’t Exist

18. Robert Spencer: 5 Ways Reza Aslan Lies About Christianity

17. Walter Hudson: How 6 Green Lies Threaten To Starve Your Family

16. John Boot: 5 Destructive Ideas Matt Damon Devotes His Movies To Promoting

15. Paula Bolyard: How 10 Troubling Homework Assignments Reveal the Truth About Common Core

14. Walter Hudson: 5 Ideas You Need to Escape Poverty

13. Susan L.M. Goldberg: 5 Uncomfortable Truths HBO’s Girls Reveals About American Pop Culture Today

12. Megan Fox: 8 Reasons Homeschooling Is Superior to Public Education

11. Kathy Shaidle: The 8 Most Overrated Musicians

10. Chris Queen: The 10 Things You Must Do At DisneyLand

9. R.J. Moeller: 6 Wars of the 20th Century Dostoevsky Predicted

8. Susan L.M. Goldberg: Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives

7. Walter Hudson: 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative

6. Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa: 11 Reasons To Reject JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…? Next weekend.

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5 Actors With Careers That Are Collapsing

Saturday, April 5th, 2014 - by John Boot

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in July of 2013 as “5 Movie Stars Whose Careers Are in Trouble.” It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months… Click here to see the top 40 so far and to advocate for your favorites in the comments.

Even in Hollywood, you have to deliver results if you want to remain employed. Every year stars fall off the A-list — ask circa 2009 Nicolas Cage about that — and find themselves in a shame spiral of B-movies, supporting roles, and eventually television (sorry, Robin Williams, who will be appearing in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones, and as the dad, no less). Who is about to fall off the top of the perch?

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1. Tom Cruise

The success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol less than two years ago gave his stock a bump, but apparently it was the stunts that were the star of that movie. In the three consecutive flops he’s made since — Rock of Ages, Jack Reacher and the aptly-named Oblivion – audiences didn’t even show up on opening weekend out of curiosity. Before Protocol, don’t forget, no one showed up for Knight and Day, Valkyrie or Lions for Lambs, either. Cruise is 51 years old, his boyish charm is finally gone, and he isn’t an action hero anymore. Audiences see him as their weird dad. He should give up on trying to rule the multiplex and start nosing around for more interesting roles like the one he had in Magnolia. Not that he’s fond of Paul Thomas Anderson anymore after Anderson made fun of scientology in The Master.

Next up: Fighting aliens next summer in All You Need Is Kill. Sure.

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