Image: Pop Chart Lab

Cats Categorized Poster


Pop Chart Lab is a treasure chest of beautifully designed posters covering a wide range of interests, from the evolution of video game controllers to fictive beers. I recently acquired the “Cats Categorized” poster, because I want to be one of those people who can easily identify cat breeds and this seemed like a good way to learn. The chart organizes cats from hairless, short-haired, medium-haired, and long-haired, further breaking breeds down by body size and geographical origin. But what makes the poster a good addition to my living room is the artwork of each breed, with individual cats posed in precisely the way cats themselves pose. The looks on their faces, too, are true to life: The Turkish Van cat looks up with the perpetually affronted look some cats have; the Burmilla sits in awkward half-stance, face pleading for attention; the Egyptian Mau is on the prowl, too busy to even glance your way. The Scottish Fold (medium body, European origin) is my favorite of the poster, a pudgy slob of a cat sitting like he’s reached the part of the evening where he’s too drunk to get up. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

Don’t Think Twice

When I’m not writing or playing games, my primary hobby is doing improv comedy. I’ve been at it for more than 10 years now, from the horrors of college improv to a run through the gauntlet of Chicago’s vaunted iO training program, to scrabbling to find stage time and teammates during my self-imposed late-20s exile in the middle of Indiana. (I currently play regularly at a theater in Portland, Oregon, and it continues to be one of the great sources of joy in my life.) But while I’ve seen a lot of hilariously knowing jokes about improv crop up on TV over the last few years—the bit where Michael takes an improv class in The Office and tries to shoot everybody with made-up guns comes to mind, or the extended cult sequence in BoJack Horseman season two—I’ve never watched anything that approximated the real feeling of getting up on stage and getting silly with your friends, until I sat down to watch Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice. Birbiglia’s ensemble comedy is about a lot more than improv—it has some really beautiful things to say about the two-edged sword of ambition, for instance—but it’s also the truest portrayal I’ve ever seen of the way it feels to be on a team of people whose hobby of choice is standing in front of strangers and playing make-believe. The silly little rituals, the weird drama, the way every conversation is always one weird turn of phrase from becoming a running bit—it captures the details, frustrations, and pleasures of the improv world better than anything I’ve ever seen. Really, the best thing I can say about Birbiglia’s cinematic love letter to the pleasures of collaborative silliness is that when I walked out of the theater, I felt weirdly refreshed, and ready to attack the stage again. [William Hughes]

Master & Dynamic Rolling Stones headphones


I’ve had a ton of different pairs of headphones in my life, not because I break them but more because I always want to see what’s out there. My latest set is from Master & Dynamic, and they might be my favorite. Only 1,962 sets of these headphones were made, a figure that pays tribute to the year The Rolling Stones were formed, and while these are definitely Stones headphones, they’re still subtle, with only a little Stones logo on the side of each can. They’re sturdy and comfortable, so much so that I can sit at my desk wearing them for eight to 10 hours a day and never even get so much as a minor headache. And while they’re certainly not cheap, if you’re into great headphones and premium audio quality, these things are worth the money. I can’t say enough good things about them, really. Plus, if you’re not into the Stones, you can always pick up any of Master & Dynamic’s other MH40 headphones, all of which cost a little less and should be just as good. [Marah Eakin]