the most beautiful hockey player: Martin Brodeur

Who: Martin Brodeur, the goaltender for the New Jersey Devils for the last two decades. It is a cliché of hockey that when a team wins handily, commentators say “the goalie stood on his head.” Watch this, and you will see why. Why: For the fourth of my most beautiful team sports player pieces, I […]

the most beautiful December holiday tradition: a proper eggnog

What: A correctly made eggnog, made with a half gallon of store-bought or handmade eggnog (milk, raw eggs, and sugar), a half gallon of French vanilla ice cream, liberal amounts of dark rum or cognac, and a heaping of nutmeg. Why: The story goes that eggnog’s name comes from the phrase “egg and grog,” grog […]

the most beautiful song for the new revolution: The Walls Came Down

What: “The Walls Came Down,” The Call’s declaration of war against the military-industrial complex off its 1983 album Modern Romans. Why: In 1983, just as now, the world looked like it was coming apart. As the Soviet Union and United States staked out their respective positions as evil empires in each other’s eyes, the center […]

the most beautiful law: Title IX

What: Title XV of the Education Amendments of 1972, which modified Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law begins, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or […]

the most beautiful baked dessert: sachertorte

What: The Original Sachertorte, a rich cake made from Belgian and German chocolate interlaced with apricot filling and served with unsweetened whipped cream, made in its original form at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Here’s a picture I took of one today. Why: In the United States, we call a piece of cake melted down, […]

the most beautiful comic book movie: 3 Dev Adam

What: 3 Dev Adam (“Three Giant Men”), a.k.a. Turkish Spider-Man vs. Captain Turkish America, a 1973 Turkish film featuring the long-awaited team-up of Captain America and Mexican lucha wrestler Santo against a surprisingly evil and overweight Spider-Man. Here it is in its entirety, without the burden of subtitles: Why: 3 Dev Adam starts the way […]

the most beautiful vegetable: Chinese broccoli

What: Kai-lan, known as Chinese broccoli, a staple of dim sum restaurants and Chinese New Year celebrations. Why: Kai-lan makes your heart feel super-happy. Like other Brassica family members, Chinese broccoli megadoses you with vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene, and can knock cancer to the curb. But unlike the Calabrese broccoli that you might see […]

the most beautiful coaches: Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma

Who: The coaching titans of women’s college basketball, Pat Head Summitt of the Tennessee Lady Vols and Geno Auriemma of the Connecticut Huskies. Why: The greatest personal rivalry in all of sports is not fought in the trenches of a football field, between the lines of a tennis court, or bumper to bumper on asphalt. […]

the most beautiful space opera episode: The Empire Strikes Back

What: Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the 1980 sequel to George Lucas’s epic. The continuing story of our band of heroes tempted fans with this trailer: Why: Showing a humility and foresight few would have imagined, George Lucas sought out his old USC film school professor, Irvin Kershner, to direct Empire. Kershner […]

the most beautiful nerd-rock song: Mandelbrot Set

What: “Mandelbrot Set,” Jonathan Coulton’s fantastical tribute to mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot, whose contributions to fractal geometry were only slightly less legendary than the demon-slaying versions found in the song. Here’s Pisut Wisessing’s brilliant video to the song, though it doesn’t use the complete lyrics. For that, listen to it on JoCo’s website. Why: Nerd rock […]