John Patrick Pullen: Writer & Editor

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Super Bon Bon

Mike Doughty • Circles

Too fat, fat you must cut lean. You got to take the elevator to the mezzanine, Chump. Change, and it’s on, super bon bon. Super bon bon, Super bon bon.

Revenge of the Nerds

Geek rebels Chris Hardwick and Peter Levin parlayed their passion for sci-fi, video games and superheroes into a new media empire for the Internet Age. All hail the Nerdist.

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It’s Thursday evening at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland, Ore., and the crowd is excited and, well, a bit awkward. While waiting for the night’s stand-up acts to begin, a woman flags down an overtaxed bartender to ask if the club serves zombie drinks. “What?” snaps the server. The customer repeats herself, snorts and elbows her date, causing the bartender to storm off, muttering, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” But other patrons nearby, smirking and shaking their heads, clearly get the gag. And if they’re laughing, it’s because—for once—the joke isn’t on them.

Read more at Entrepreneur Magazine…

A Beacon of Hope

A dying city glows with optimism over its plan for a giant lava lamp.

BY JOHN PATRICK PULLEN

The nighttime view from Brent Blake’s window offers a view straight through downtown Soap Lake, Washington, past the soft glow of the Masquers Theater marquee and the neon beer signs in the Del Red Pub, ending about a mile away where paved roads give way to sagebrush, high desert, and darkness. Situated at the corner of Main Street and Highway 17, which sports the town’s only stoplight, this view is all most people ever see of Soap Lake, as they blow through headed for anywhere else.

The locals, however — all 1,514 of them — see much more. They see the allure of a rugged, almost Martian landscape carved by the cataclysmal force of an Ice Age flood. They see the potential of a once-bustling wellness-centric resort town about 180 miles southeast of Seattle, where thousands of early 20th century vacationers spent summers soaking in the lake’s magical, healing waters. They see a home base from which hikers, hunters, and boaters have easy access to the outdoors.

And they see hope in a giant lava lamp standing in the middle of town, drawing curious passersby off the highway with a slow, hypnotic, goopy glow.

But 11 years into efforts to build the 60-foot-tall whimsical wonder, they’ve also seen the reasons no one has ever before constructed a six-story tower of lights, hot wax, and oil. Impractical, expensive, underfunded, and perhaps even technologically impossible, the Soap Lake Lava Lamp has proved more complicated to build than anyone had ever imagined. And as the concept became bigger than the city itself, they had no alternative but to build it. “The lava lamp will happen in Soap Lake,” says Wayne Hovde, the city’s former mayor. “When? I can’t tell you — but it will happen.”

Read more at The Magazine… 

The Cheat Code to Life

Get a real-world 1-UP with this sneaky, hospital power play

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Not having health insurance is bad. Paying through the nose when you need medical attention is worse. Good thing we happen to know a patient advocate with a large health care organization who told us how to game the system. We hope you’re comfortable with lying. — As told to John Patrick Pullen

Read more at Wired…