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  • Author: Danny Hamen
Photos by Collins Laatsch
Photos by Collins Laatsch

Glaze the Trail

“A donut challenge, you say? I once ate 33 Krispy Kremes in under 15 minutes,” boasted the bartender, polishing a pint glass while behind the bar at the AC Marriott hotel in Butler County, Ohio….

Inn at Honey Run2

Art Without Borders

Wildflowers color the hilltop meadows… open air art These words—emblazoned on a goliath stone resting alongside a zigzagging woodland trail—reverberate through the trees as they are read aloud. The Japanese translation of the haiku, along with the…



Amongst a psychedelically patterned backdrop enter five dancing fembots. Their faces are brushed white with dense makeup, contrasting fervently with bright red lipstick, cobalt eyeshadow, and fluorescent, multicolored wigs. Four of them move and sway…


The Big Short

Comedy knows no limits—and neither does Patton Oswalt. His work is honest, and with honesty comes indecency and, in Oswalt’s case, vicious self-deprecation. “My circle of friends has always been funnier than me,” Oswalt jeered…


Smile or Die

There is something absurdly relatable about Smile Inc. If it isn’t the ceaseless coffee overconsumption, the avoidance of humdrum office parties, or the subliminal “be happy” messages decorating the virtual workplace, it is the overarching…


Newer Grow Up

Hanging off an entry wall in the Gateway Film Center is a colossal wooden sandworm—a zebra striped serpent with dull red eyes and conical teeth, hosting a smaller, fiercer snakehead inside of its mouth. Beside…


Built to Last

Indie rock innovators Built to Spill retains relevance after all these years In Cincinnati earlier this year, hundreds of fans chatter and stir before Built to Spill takes the stage. Onstage an unassuming balding man…


Food Wire

Delivering the Goods Yeah, sit down restaurants are great and all, but wouldn’t it be nice to have that handmade lobster roll from The Walrus delivered right to your office during lunch break? Well, in…



The ever-steady popularity of the treadmill accurately represents America’s attitude toward fitness—that it’s repetitive, monotonous, and probably going to be boring as hell. It’s hard to get excited about creating a killer new body if…

Photo by Nick Fancher
Photo by Nick Fancher

Goodnight, Owl

I don’t particularly enjoy watching movies alone. For me, having another person to kick around with and reflect on the impeding action or drama makes the experience more valuable. Well, in the golden era of late…

Slip & Fly-2

Epic Flail

I am atop a 70-foot wooden landing, the timbered horizon of Butler, Ohio set before me in full view, a scenic panorama flanked by low, rolling hills and a buffet of marshmallow clouds in my sights….

Photo by Chris Casella
Photo by Chris Casella

Class of 2016: Sylvie Mix

Call Sylvie Mix “The Columbus Kid that Could.” Last Independents’ Day Fest, 16-year-old Mix, garbed in a weathered cardigan and old man mask, sang backup vocals for the local group Hugs & Kisses alongside her…

Photo by Collins Laatsch
Photo by Collins Laatsch

Meat Men

My papa was a butcher—one of those gregarious, old school, Buddha-bellied guys. The larger than life, cleaver-wielding stereotype whose rosy cheeks matched his stained work apron. The type of person who knew the first name…


Lexicon Over Lexus

In 2014, a data scientist named Matt Daniels created a diagram that visually ranked 85 prolific rappers, old and new, on a horizontal graph on their use of unique words in their song lyrics. For…


Sleazy to Soulful

The first time Har Mar Superstar entered my life, he was in tighty whities, flawlessly crooning Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” surrounded by beautiful women in matching frilly pink pajamas. For 2003, this was damn good…


Meat on the Main Stage

I saw somebody’s dog dressed as bacon for Halloween this year. The dog looked adorable—albeit in a morbid sort of way—and at the time I just giggled and walked on without giving much thought as to…

Photo by Rachael Barbash
Photo by Rachael Barbash

Fitness in Flight

I am suspended upside down 10 feet in the air. Two long, shimmering white sheets rigged to the ceiling are holding me up—one wrapped carefully around my left foot and the other nestled tightly underneath my…


The Art of Arnold

Depending on whom you ask, the Arnold Sports Festival (March 3-6) represents a variety of different philosophies. For some, it’s pure virility—that hyper-masculine aesthetic you might expect from the nation’s leading body building competition. But…

Recent Vintage

Recent Vintage

It’s the common mistake to classify pop music as boy band/Disney princess detritus. Music scholars have always been inconsistent in the way they’ve metered out characteristics for the broad genre. While we may associate the…

Illustration by  Alix Ayoub
Illustration by Alix Ayoub

Trent on Tilt

Nestled somewhere in the consciousness of a middle-aged Ohio man lives the memory of a young boy playing his first pinball machine. Thirty years later, that boy became the 10th greatest player in the world….

Photo by Chris Casella
Photo by Chris Casella

Console Conquerer

When I was 13, I broke up with my first girlfriend to play Xbox. This particularly embarrassing admission accurately underlines the oxymoronic mindset of the Nintendo generation: that romance is not the primary goal of…

Photo by Ray Lavoie
Photo by Ray Lavoie

Ready to ‘Ware

The ’50s: a time when Tupperware was considered more “space-age technological triumph” than “impulse buy at Wal-Mart.” It was also the dawn of a golden era for door-to-door dealing, where the “Tupperware party” took its…



As I trek through an overgrown field of tall grass and wildflowers in Zanesville Ohio, I can see the Columbia Portland Cement factory huddled in the distance. It’s a massive abandoned compound surrounded by wilderness;…

Photo by Foodbyfax/Creative Commons
Photo by Foodbyfax/Creative Commons

Dad in a Cape

“I define myself as many things: I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a brother. I’m a son. I’m the branch leader of Heroes Alliance Ohio. I’m a costumer. I’m a superhero fan.” That’s Aaron…

Photos by Jodi Miller
Photos by Jodi Miller

Here for the Cake

Cake is one of the few foods in our culture that signals “party time.”  Whether it’s at your friend’s wedding, a birthday bash for some unfortunate soul hitting 40, or celebratory party for making it…

Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard
Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard


It’s 2 a.m. I’m lying in my bed watching the ceiling fan spin in mesmerizing circles. Feeling hungry, I stumble over to my kitchen, open my refrigerator and peek inside. There is a box of…