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This Week in Culture: November 7, 2014

This Week in Culture News: Interstellar premieres today, GQ profiles the greatest counterfeit in the world, a Japanese whisky wins best whisky in the world and a look into the daily routine of the seventh strongest man in the world.


In the Kitchen Making ham is no joke. (“In the winter of 2008, police officials in northern Italy seized 1,000 suspicious hams from supermarkets, warehouses and family-run shops, pegged as Prosciutto di Parma imposters.”) Here’s a look at the art behind the meat. And to wash down the prosciutto, get a glass of Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, which was just named best whisky in the world, a wakeup call to Scots, who’ve been asleep at the pot still lately. But if you can’t get your hands on the Yamazaki, a new site called Ezra’s offers a comprehensive online marketplace for craft distilleries, and their editorial section, The Swill, provides updates on booze trends, distillery tours, cocktail recipes and whatever else they find noteworthy and alcoholic. And if you don’t feel fit after a dose of ham and booze, read about the floating feasts aboard cruise ships, where gaining weight is half the fun.
On the Screen Interstellar opens for wide release today. Eleven GP writers saw it Wednesday in IMAX; here’s what they thought. Even if you don’t love Nolan, the movie, which nudged science forward a bit and explores what happens to humans in space, is a worthy viewing experience. Elsewhere, some noteworthy sequels are on the horizon, with Pixar announcing a fourth Toy Story film and the title of Star Wars VII unveiled as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. In other extraterrestrial news, thousands of copies of the Atari game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, considered the worst video game ever made, have been unearthed and are now being auctioned on Ebay. Finally, John Stewart’s film Rosewater opens November 14, and New York Magazine interviewed him about the film and his life after The Daily Show.
On Crime GQ recently released a profile of Frank Bourassa, the most prolific counterfeiter in American history. While he was actually guilty, The New York Review of Books took an in-depth look at why innocent people plead guilty, while, on the other side of the aisle, Rolling Stone magazine explored how the accused keep witnesses off the stand. And speaking of a witness stand, rappers are having trouble keeping their incriminating lyrics out of the courthouse. In other news, bills legalizing recreational marijuana passed in both DC and Oregon, while medical marijuana remains illegal in Florida. Finally, for more in-depth looks at crime and how it impacts neighborhoods and families, here’s a look at the transition of Bushwick, NY from mafia infested to hipster infested and a personal narrative of what it’s like when your father is a serial murderer.
On Sports Grantland profiled Andrew Palmer, the seventh strongest man on the strongman contest circuit about, well, traveling the world to move heavy shit around. For those of a normal stature that are just trying to get fit a little faster, The New Yorker explores wearables and the performance revolution. And finally, ESPN Ombudsman Robert Lipsyte’s 18-month stint is up later this year. Here is Part One of his goodbye reflections.

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