Topical Cream, 5.14.10

Robin Hood: The vigilante of Locksley has seen many interpretations: there was the original 19th-century novel, some black-and-white swashbuckling in the 1930s, anthropomorphic Disney animals in ?73, surfer dude Kevin Costner in the early 90s, and a campy British TV show in recent years. But enough of all that fun. Now Russell Crowe is all set to glower and chew the scenery for today?s audiences. The new Robin Hood movie opens this weekend.

Gold Standard: Whenever some bleeding heart bores you with his theories about America as the land of excess, show him this story. Over in Abu Dhabi (a city in the United Arab Emirates), the top cats are so rich they gamble with pure gold ingots. When they start running low, they go to the ATM, which dispenses more shiny chips at the push of a button. I wonder how that works, psychologically. I mean, I can push blue plastic discs into the center of the table all night long ? they don?t look like real money. But I?d have to think a little harder about anteing up with 24 carat dubloons.

Monaco Grand Prix: Speaking of things rich people do, what ever happened to Grand Prix races? I remember the thrill of watching F1 cars tear ass through the streets of real cities on TV when I was a kid. It was cool whether the backdrop was familiar (Chicago or Denver) or exotic (France, Brazil. South Africa, etc.). ?One place that hasn?t given up the ghost is the magical kingdom of Monaco, which must be the place where James Bond (the Connery version) and Emma Peel lived out the rest of their post-secret-agent days. If you?re looking for a vacation destination you can brag on, a trip to the Monaco Grand Prix might be exactly the thing.

Cars of the Playmates:

I?m trying this new ?subtle segue? thing. Which was going pretty well until I mentioned it here. Anyway, the geniuses at Jalopnik figured out the perfect research project for those of us who love cars and babes (yeah, that?s all of us). Turns out Playboy has been giving beautiful cars to the beautiful women who win the annual Playmate of the Year award. The internet is the perfect place for the resulting archive of historical and modern POYs posing next to their swanky free rides.

Office Supply Art: For most of us, being confined to a cubicle saps our creative juices. For some, those pilfered office supplies are handy raw materials for fantastical art projects. Binder clips are built into desk-bound Transformers. Shaded sticky notes become portraits. ?In one office I worked in, people would sharpen their pencils fifteen times a day to wring some non-productive minutes out of a boring day. For all I know, one of those drones turned his collection of wood and graphite time-wasters into one of these sculptures. Which reminds me: I hope you will join me this weekend for my exhibit at the MOMA. It?s called TPS Reports ? A Retrospective in Green Bar.

You Are Iron Man: Iron Man has been my favorite of the recent flood of superhero-themed movies. That?s largely because the character is not goody-good like Superman or gloomy Gus like Batman. That, and it?s immensely fun to imagine wearing that badass suit. Recently, some internet dreamer tracked down real-life parts that could be used to build something similar to Tony Stark?s masterpiece. It ain?t cheap ? the estimated cost is in the neighborhood of a brand new fighter jet ? but it?s definitely possible, which only further fuels the superhero fantasy.

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About Eric Angevine "In his time on planet Earth, Eric Angevine has been a bookstore manager, a late-night radio DJ, a taco-filler, a middle-manager, and a professional writer. Which is a polite way of saying he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up."

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