Mary Elizabeth Ross

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The problem with almost all movies

By now, most people have heard of “the Bechdel test.” To pass this famous three-part test, which measures whether female characters in a film are anything more than superficial, a movie has to (1) have at least two female characters (2) who talk to each other (3) about something other than a man.<p>It …

Animation

Emotional Exhaustion: Is Empathy a Choice?

Life offers endless opportunities to test your empathy—the ability to feel for and with others—sometimes to its breaking point: A rally that breaks …

The New French Volumizing Powder That Gives You Brigitte Bardot Hair in a Bottle

Last week, a funny thing happened. “You look healthy,” said a friend spontaneously while out to dinner. “You look young,” said another at Sunday brunch. And then, finally, from my sister: “Is your hair different?” Well, actually, now that you mention it, <i>yes</i>. A few days prior, the Paris-based …

Hair

The Psychological Fakery of “10 Cloverfield Lane”

The captive woman, held incommunicado and subject to the will of a sexual predator, is one of the emblematic figures of the time, whether in fiction or in the news, and “10 Cloverfield Lane,” which opens today, offers a new character in the series. Even putting this film into a genre category is a …

10 feminist books to read after you've gotten through the classics

Literature has always been the foundation of the feminist movement. Since the 18th century, when Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A <i>Vindication of the Rights</i> …

The Best Exercise and Eating Advice for Your Body Type

Ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph might sound like alien races straight out of a sci-fi series, but knowing which of these three body types you are …

Exercise

Here's Why Macronutrients Are an Important Part of a Healthy Diet

Are you finding yourself counting calories, sticking to your numbers, and even still not seeing results? The problem might be not about the number of calories, but the kind of calories.<p>We chatted with certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Carrie McMahon, author of the e-book <b>Why You Should</b> …

Fitness

10 horror books too terrifying to handle

<b>By DEANNA JANES</b><p>You’ve got the chills – and it’s not because the temperature outside is dropping. We’re talking horror books from big-name writers who …

Horror

The Dark Side of the Soul review – an insider’s guide to sin, by a priest

How did wickedness become so alluring? The Anglican author suggests that vice is not to be prohibited, but is ‘something with which we need to develop a constructive relationship’<p>Some people think sex is sinful, while others think sin is sexy. The glamour of evil is the reason half the postgraduate …

Boris Johnson

What Happened After Swedish Theaters Introduced a Bechdel Rating for Its Movies?

<i>This is the first of three dispatches from the 2016 Gothenburg International Film Festival.</i><p>The Bechdel Test is a vastly imperfect tool for gauging a …

Orgasmic design: how vibrators have become ambitious tech products

The vibrator’s long, slow march from taboo to mainstream (and maybe even cool) has been all about figuring out what exactly women want<p>Consider the humble vibrator. Invented as a medical device in the 19th century, it has gone on to become a Mad Men plot line, a Sex and the City tie-in, a celebrity …

Sex and the City

Netflix Has Thousands of Secret Movie Categories You Can Only Access with This Hack

Oh hello, "Critically Acclaimed Romantic Dramas from the 1980s."<p>You know that horrible, rug-pulled-out-from-under-you, life-spinning-out-of-control feeling when you've poured the wine and settled into the couch and opened the Netflix...and realized there's nothing you want to watch? It's all okay …

Netflix

What Determines a Woman's Favorite Sex Positions?

Some psychologists place a lot of significance on eye-to-eye contact, saying "the eyes are the messengers of the soul." So what happens if one …

Women's Health

No diet, no detox: how to relearn the art of eating

Our relationship with food has become disordered and obsessive. As the new year brings diet madness, it needn’t be such a struggle to learn good eating habits<p>So many of our anxieties around diet take the form of a search for the perfect food, the one that will cure all our ills. Eat this! Don’t eat …

Psychology

Specialty films look to awards season buzz to boost box office

As awards season kicks into high gear this month, certain films that aren't "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" should see box-office gains from conversations about and nominations for the best pictures and acting performances of 2015. Benefiting the most will be a number of independent films with …

10 reasons people are lonely? It’s more complicated than that

In the making of The Age of Loneliness, I set out to find people brave enough to tell me about their feelings on camera, and found some surprising results<p>How do you make a film about loneliness that isn’t bleak and despairing? It’s hugely important subject, and it’s reaching such epidemic …

Loneliness

Cord cutters face a sea of streaming options

Like millions of other consumers, Evan Hartstein was fed up with pay TV.<p>The 40-year-old father of two was paying nearly $250 a month for a bundle of phone, high-speed Internet and hundreds of cable channels that he and his family barely watched.<p>So Hartstein and his wife recently ditched their …

5 excellent crowd-pleasing movies you might have missed in 2015

Had your fill of the cineplex last weekend? Settle down at home with these underrated gems [UPDATED]<p>The holiday season means getting together with family members who may not share your political views, and watching a movie together is one way to get the bickering to stop. As it happens, that’s my …

Mad Max

The 9 Movies You Must See in January 2016

It's a fallow month for movies, but there are still some gems.<p>Most moviegoers will spend January doing one of two things – catching up with some of December's many award-courting releases, or watching <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i> for the seventeenth time. But don't miss the handful of new films well …

Movies

'Boy Meets Girl,' 'Grandma' and other films worth a second look

"Boy Meets Girl": A forthright young transgender woman's friendship with both her childhood male pal and a newer acquaintance, a pretty local debutante, gets a thorough, quite beautiful workout in writer-director Eric Schaeffer's wryly funny, profoundly sensitive dramedy.<p>"Like Sunday, Like Rain": …

Here's How Sugar Might Fuel the Growth of Cancer

Researchers may be able to explain how sugar might fuel the growth of cancer. They say it boils down to one type of sugar in particular: fructose.<p>Tests in mice show a possible mechanism for how it happens. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Research, support studies that suggest people …

Diabetes

This Month in Movies: The Force of Star Wars, Little Joy Over Joy, and No Point to Point Break

Hello, and welcome to This Month in Movies. We are standing in the mud of history. The last 31 days have not just been any month in movies; they've …

Lights, camera, aliens … what we’ll be talking about at the movies next year

In 2016, space invaders will take over from zombies, we shall laugh at international conflict and see Michael Bay finally getting serious<p><b>Aliens land</b><p>Aliens were curiously absent from big screens in 2015. Even The Martian was a deceptively titled tale of human ingenuity. But with zombies and vampires …

Obama Administration

11 Great Movies From 2015 That You Can Stream On Netflix Now

This New Year's weekend is a blissful time to visit movies you didn't catch in 2015. You can do that in theaters, where many of the year's best releases are still playing, or you can curl up on your very own couch. Whether you're hibernating before returning to work, avoiding lingering relatives or …

Mad Max

The 10 biggest box-office winners in 2015

Studio execs are also taking this break to joyfully count the 2015 box-office dollars, which hit $11 billion in the US alone, an all-time record.<p>The 2015 box office has been historic. Universal had three movies cross the $1 billion mark worldwide, the first time a studio has ever done that.<p>And …

Movies

Almost half of 2015's top movies failed the Bechdel test

The 75 films we're most excited about in 2016

Last year we chose 88 movies that were whetting our appetites – with mixed results. This year, we’ve whittled the list down to just 75<p><b>1) How to Talk to Girls at Parties</b><br>Neil Gaiman’s science fiction comedy short story has been adapted by screenwriter Philippa Goslett and directed by John Cameron …

Comic Books

Kurt Vonnegut Diagrams the Shape of All Stories in a Master’s Thesis Rejected by U. Chicago

“What has been my prettiest contribution to the culture?” asked Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography <i>Palm Sunday</i>. His answer? His master’s thesis in …

The Velvet Underground as Peanuts Characters: Snoopy Morphs Into Lou Reed, Charlie Brown Into Andy Warhol

The fun cartoon above was apparently found in a "Guide to the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol's Factory" published by the French magazine, <i>Les</i> …