Q&A: Michelle Orange on Running For Your Life

Reading Michelle Orange is like having a moving, one-sided conversation with your best friend if your best friend was feeling particularly astute that day. In This Is Running For Your Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), her ambitious first collection of essays, she mulls over top-shelf concepts like mortality and mediated reality, while seamlessly merging the high-end stuff with equally punch-packing discussions about choice movies of 1999 and Ethan Hawke's face (Of which there's quite a lot to be said, go figure). Orange e-mailed us to talk about the art of the critical essay, her family ties to film, America as everyone's cool dad, and why I should start drinking more.

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Ron Paul to Jay Leno: Michele Bachmann 'Hates' Muslims

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Last night, Ron Paul was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno promoting his new romantic comedy Unfair Trade, in which he plays a Libertarian Congressman who won't settle for anyone less than Ayn Rand (played by Katherine Heigl). He's also running for president, so Leno decided to ask him some questions about his fellow GOP candidates. What ensued is a preview of your Christmas dinner: Your lovable curmudgeon of a great uncle loosens up and everyone starts to pepper him with questions just to hear the zany, off-the-cuff responses he comes up with. Before long, he's accusing Aunt Gwen of hating Muslims and dad has to drive him back to the home. Take a look after the jump.

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Bye Bye, "Bye Bye, Bunga Bunga" Headlines

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As we reported yesterday, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italy's prime minister. News outlets around the world clamored to give their own unique, measured perspective on his exit. More specifically, they all got to finally use that "Bye Bye, Bunga Bunga" headline they had been sitting on for years. After the jump, a collection of outlets that used that headline, or a variant thereof.

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Bus Rider Cries "Rat," Stops Bus

A B38 bus was stopped and emptied at Adams and Willoughby Streets in Brooklyn on Monday morning at about 5 a.m., reports the Daily News, after a bus passenger yelled "Rat!" No rat was found, says the MTA, perhaps because the yell scared it off, or maybe the guy was just trying to start trouble and there was no rat in the first place. Or maybe he hallucinated a fake rat. (The bus had apparently been on the road for a few hours without complaints.)

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What the 1% Say: Grading Bankers' Aloofness

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After entrenching themselves in Zuccotti Park for weeks, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have finally grabbed the attention they originally sought. What started as a largely ignored sideshow is now a global phenomenon, and the demonstrators' voices are being heard from Wall Street to The Hague. But what about the people who are the focus of the chants and signs, what say the bankers? The New York Times talked to members of the financial sector, many who spoke anonymously, and asked what they thought of the protests raging outside their windows.

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Ambassador Says 40% of Male Visitors to Philippines are Sex Tourists; Apologizes via Text

via Wikipedia
Ambassador Harry Thomas
At a human trafficking conference last month, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines said that 40% of male visitors to the country are sex tourists. Harry Thomas, who was appointed as the ambassador last year, sent a text message to the Philippine foreign secretary to apologize for using an unverified figure. "I should not have used the 40% statistic without the ability to back it up. I regret any harm that I may have caused," the Guardian reports his text message said. Good to see that's all cleared up, then.

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Ron Wayne, Apple Co-Founder, Shares Steve Jobs' "Richest Man in the Cemetery" Sentiment Almost Verbatim [UPDATE]

via Bloomberg
Ron Wayne was a 41-year-old draftsman at Atari when he first met Steve Jobs, and the 21-year-old convinced him to help out with a home computing project. That project, of course, was Apple, and according to the Mercury News, Wayne "designed the company's original logo, wrote the manual for the Apple I computer, and drafted the fledgling company's partnership agreement." Wayne sold back his 10% of Apple after 12 days with the company, recouping $800. Those shares are now worth an estimated $35 billion, but in an interview with Bloomberg News about the passing of his former co-founder, Wayne says he has no real regrets about the cash. In fact, his thoughts on money are remarkably similar to Jobs'.

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Improv Everywhere's Latest Effort Tries to Get New Yorkers to Say Nice Things

It's been a while since the latest effort from Improv Everywhere, and in this one, the group known for going without pants on subways and coming to a total standstill in Grand Central Terminal seems to go a little soft. That is, they set up a podium in Union Square with a megaphone and a plaque that says "Say Something Nice," in an effort to get New Yorkers to be all mushy with each other.

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10 Percent of Birthers Will Not Be Convinced By Some Silly Actual Birth Certificate

Recall last week, when one of the major issues being discussed by the fine people of our nation was still whether or not Barack Obama was born in the U.S., even though his administration released a copy of his birth certificate years ago. Still, there were plenty of detractors who said he could have faked it, and where was the long-form version, and show the birth certificate! And then Donald Trump started talking about it (ooh, in the past week we've almost forgotten about him!). So Obama finally showed everyone his long-form birth certificate and told everyone, basically, that there were bigger issues to deal with and could we all just sort of shut up about it now? And then he had Osama bin Laden killed, and so we all pretty much did, and started talking about that instead.

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Park Slope Is 'Not Really Brooklyn' Says Man Who Runs Large International Chain

Taking the concept of gentrification to a rather weird place, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been caught dissing Park Slope by calling it "not really Brooklyn." What is Brooklyn? According to Schultz, who grew up in Canarsie, Bensonhurst counts. But if the CEO of Starbucks, the least Brooklyn of coffees, is calling a place in Brooklyn "not really Brooklyn," does that mean that Park Slope is actually more Brooklyn than anywhere else in Brooklyn?

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