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  • With the release of the new Bond film Skyfall, I cannot help but nostalgically recall many of the insane physical feats James Bond exhibits in the Bond films.

    For example, who hasn’t wanted the chance to maneuver on top of a train and try to get inside one of the cars? Possibly while fighting someone? Of course, it’s easier said than done. I’d probably lose my balance instantaneously, and fall from the speeding train. I’m definitely more of a fit for a Jackass film, rather than a James Bond one. .

    Oh well, these exciting instructions from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht doesn’t stop me from dreaming of succeeding nonetheless!

  • Since its inception, rock and roll has always had a unique relationship with fiction and pop culture.

    From Elvis’s famed white fringe jumpsuit, aping the Captain Marvel comic book, to the great rock operas and concept albums such as The Who’s Tommy, or David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spider from Mars, and to the modern-day “jukebox musicals” that line the streets of Broadway and beyond, the link between rock and roll music and both literary and genre fictions are undeniable. Even heavy metal, and its various subgenres, has often been obsessed with the imagery of horror stories and fantasy.

    As such, it’s only fair that fiction started taking its cues from rock and roll. Below, you’ll find some of my personal favorite fictional bands (some of whom may or may have broken their way through page/screen and found a way into our own reality).

    The Archies: This one is way too many levels of meta. The Archies were a garage band formed by the cast members of the cartoon The Archie Show, which in turn was an adaptation of the long-running comic book series Archie. The songs, which featured heavily into many episodes of the cartoon series (but also the comic book, don’t forget), where actually written and performed by Ron Dante and Andy Kim, who themselves were neither cartoon nor comic book characters but rather real live flesh-and-blood human beings (weird, right?). Are you still with me? Good.

    The Archies -- under the guise of Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones -- scored a number of Top 40 hits, including “Sugar, Sugar,” which was named the Billboard #1 song of the year in 1969, and still remains a popular icon of 60s bubblegum pop. How many other fictional bands can make a claim like that? Also check out this fantastic cover of “Sugar, Sugar” by Mary Lou Lord and Semisonic.

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    After stuffing yourself guiltlessly on Thanksgiving, you must prepare your battle strategy for Black Friday. Every year, you run the risk of having your battle plans thwarted by a mad frenzy of shoppers. If you’re at Costco, there is also the added risk of being crushed flat by those very heavy, Hummer-like shopping carts.

    I know I’ll need some good tactics to help stealthily weed through crowds of frenzied shoppers, and try to snatch any remaining boxes of the new Nintendo Wii-U.

    With this advice from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven, you can even evade the craziest flock of rampant Wal-Mart shoppers on Black Friday!

  • Actually building bookshelves for your house or apartment is a wonderfully creative, and sometimes painful, experience. You can adjust the size and design to fit your particular needs, all while discovering the upper limits of your pain tolerance every time you miss a nail.

    But when you finally finish lathering on that final coat of lacquer, stand back, and admire your wonderful new home for stories, that euphoria of creation will sweep over you. That beast of a bookshelf was built by you and the sweat off your brow. It is a place for you to proudly display not only your books, but also your craftsmanship.

    Note: If you experience too much euphoria after applying the lacquer, open a window.

    After exploring some of the deepest recesses of DIY sites, we’ve found you three of the best build-it-yourself bookshelf instructions.

  • If you love beef and pasta, you’ll love this creamy classic dish that deserves a place on every gourmet cook’s list.

    Surprisingly, it’s one of the easiest pasta dishes to make. Take some strips of sizzling steak sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, lots of butter, mushrooms, onions, heavy cream and seasonings. Pour this heavenly cream mixture and beef strips over mounds of curly, extra wide egg pasta noodles. Enjoy how the pasta cradles the tender, succulent beef strips coated with the rich mushroom sauce. It’s so versatile, too. Make the sauce and try it on different types of pastas.

    Any way you make it, it’ll be fabulous and perfect!

  • Thanks to Twilight, people have ceased to believe that vampires are blood-thirsty murderers. Bella Swan would have been long dead if she tried dating Dracula.

    Anyways, anyone watching Breaking Dawn Part 2 is far more vulnerable to being attacked by vampires after leaving the midnight showing. Who knows if vampires are studying popular culture’s opinion of vampires, and changing their disarming disguise accordingly?

    It’s best not to go to the cinema unprepared, as your vampire killer might very well be wearing body shimmer! Here is some insider advice from The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition by David Borgenicht and Joshua Piven that will help you avoid these intelligent killers.

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