Blog Posts by

  • 10 Confessions of a Reality TV Mastermind

    As Jersey Shore returns for a second season, we asked a five-year veteran producer of reality TV shows, including competitions and semi-scripted dramas, to tell us the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. Here's what our anonymous source had to say:

    1. Everything you see has been mapped out. We design it, we build it, we know what it's going to be. It's a maze; my job is to pop the mice in and watch the reaction. But the mice are manipulated. We've written everything.

    2. You can make a big storyline from the littlest thing - a tense moment, something minor. It's water-cooler talk for the rest of the country, but it's just some tiny, nothing incident.

    3. Jersey Shore is not about talent. It's about getting attention because you're young and stupid and arrogant. The more obnoxious you are, the more airtime you get. I can't stand it, even though some people in my industry love it as a guilty pleasure. (Is the new season of Jersey Shore one of the best on TV right now? Read More »from 10 Confessions of a Reality TV Mastermind
  • Science: Men Stare at Celebrity Shoes Just Like Women

    When men look at Angelina Jolie, they see legs. Women see shoes. A man might, however, look directly at Brad Pitt's shoes - or his three-piece from Tom Ford (another celebrity who always dons a near-perfect appearance, as in this best-dressed Oscars gallery). (Or wonder which brand of razor he used to shave that beard.) Turns out men's brains aren't that different from women's after all... (Maybe the secrets of the female brain, revealed in Esquire's 75 Things You Don't Know About Women, aren't so secret, after all.)

    Dutch neuroscientists recently released a study that more or less confirmed the obvious: not only do women love examining celebrity fashion, their brains actually light up when Julia Roberts is wearing a pair of Louboutins as opposed to, say, a single mother on a check-out line. Clothes officially don't make the woman; the woman makes the clothes. But when Esquire's daily Style Blog asked the researchers on Monday whether men transfer the same kind of "positive

    Read More »from Science: Men Stare at Celebrity Shoes Just Like Women
  • 8 Life Lessons Learned from Mad Men's Don Draper

    It's easy to assume that Mad Men can't teach you anything. Yet the show is rife with lessons, and not just for white guys who secretly wish that all men still wore hats. Here are some small tips, from Esquire's Tom Chiarella:

    Always keep a stack of clean dress shirts on hand.

    (And take some damn good advice: Here's what you should be wearing for your post-summer return to the office.)

    Brylcreem is acceptable, since that stuff signifies sincerity.

    (But in case you're looking for something more modern, find out how to duplicate the haircut of your favorite celebrity.)

    The way you deal with an ashtray is as important as the way you hold a cigarette.

    (And if you're not a smoker, well, hey, it's never too late to learn how.)

    Wearing a bathrobe signifies the absolute absence of work.

    (A great suit, however, signifies pure business. Find the right one for you.)

    A glare has more influence than a smile.

    (And silence carries the most influence of all.)

    There are large lessons, too:


    Read More »from 8 Life Lessons Learned from Mad Men's Don Draper
  • How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

    Yes, there is such a thing as the perfect cup of coffee. We caught up with Todd Carmichael, co-founder of La Colombe Torrefaction and the first American to cross Antarctica to the South Pole alone on foot. Not surprisingly, one of the first things he did upon returning from the frigid continent was make an excellent cup of coffee.

    So, what does a frostbitten and emaciated coffee roaster with every machine and a dizzying array of beans at his disposal make as his first cup of coffee? Here are the main ingredients.

    The machine:
    In a world gone mad on elaborate contraptions, the Krupps and Cuisinart five-cup gold filter brewers still reign king. If you're embarrassed by this, don't be. Even hipsters, getting bored with the bong-looking slow-brew paraphernalia, are starting to admit it (here's how to survive the horrible hipster coffee trend). Drip brewers are wonderfully American and although they do not look exotic, they deliver.

    Ladies and gents, it's now safe to order coffee in

    Read More »from How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee
  • 7 of the Best Airline Snacks Around the World

    While a bag of nuts may feel like a luxury item on most flights these days, witness the best examples of free haute cuisine varying route-to-route and month-to-month across the suddenly not-so-unfriendly skies. Check out even more enticing flight fare here.

    Emirates' Cheese Platter
    New York to Dubai

    This is the best cheese platter you'll encounter in the air. Period. (What else would you expect from an airline with roast lobster, Dom Pérignon, and Iranian Sevruga caviar on the menu?) The selection of international cheeses changes frequently, but often includes tart labnah balls, slices of rare Spanish bonvallis with a wine-soaked rind, pungent Swiss gruyères, chaumes from Périgord, and German cambonzolas, all of which come plated on oak cutting boards garnished with dried apricots, fresh carrots, and grapes.

    Related: The Best Fast Food On-the-Go

    Austrian Airlines' Pastry Plate

    New York to Vienna

    While Austrian Airlines' transcontinental flights have living,

    Read More »from 7 of the Best Airline Snacks Around the World
  • Wackiest Chip Flavors of All Time

    From octopus flavor to ones made from paper, here are 9 disgusting summertime snacks that are best avoided at your summer barbecue, and what to eat instead.

    Octopus Flavored Tako Chips

    Imagine if Goldfish, that beloved childhood snack, tasted like actual goldfish. Now you're beginning to get a sense of what these octopus chips taste like. There's an initial fishy assault on the taste buds, followed by an even more offensive aftertaste. Ah, so that's the reason our fish-shaped chips taste like cheddar cheese.

    Think octopus-flavored chips are weird. Check out the craziest food inventions of all time.

    Doritos Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger

    The March recall of Pringles' Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger flavor deprived "restaurant cravers" everywhere of those unpleasant chips. But the health scare wasn't enough to kill this terrible trend, and those looking to get their meat, cheese, and pickle fix in convenient chip form can still grab some of this variety.

    Wash down your

    Read More »from Wackiest Chip Flavors of All Time
  • The 5 Ways to Raise Boys Well

    One father's hilarious test of which virtues matter most in young men, and which parenting tricks are overrated.

    by A.J. Jacobs / Photo by Russ and Reyn

    Underrated: Tribalism

    The last time I'd paid attention to professional sports was around 1977 - the year my dad took me to Game Six of the World Series, then made us leave in the seventh inning to beat the traffic. "But what if Reggie Jackson hits a third home run, Dad?" "Don't worry. He won't."

    On the upside, we did have the subway all to ourselves.

    But this year, at the request of my eldest son, I watched the Jets in the playoffs. And when they scored, he laughed like Ray Liotta in GoodFellas, and I laughed with him, and we stomped triumphantly around the living room, doing coyote howls. So this is what all the fuss is about, I remember thinking. I'd forgotten the joys of tribalism. I'd forgotten the deep irrational pleasure of belonging to an arbitrary group.

    The next week, the Jets lost, which sent my son into a

    Read More »from The 5 Ways to Raise Boys Well
  • Inside Paris Hilton's Mini-Mansion

    Our little heiress is growing up. Esquire got an exclusive tour of Paris Hilton's mini-mansion - pets, Bentleys, and all. Don't miss even more photos of Paris's home - including a few of the princess of pink herself - here at

    The tour begins, cordially enough, in the drawing room of her house. There are pictures, images, likenesses everywhere. Many are of Paris herself - only the hottest justify display. Many are of Paris and her friends. Paris and Mariah. Paris and Jessica. Paris and Carmen. Paris and Fergie. Paris and Nicole and Nicky, each of them in its own fun frame.

    RELATED: The 75 Greatest Women of All Time - Which Celebs Made the Cut?

    "My house is kind of like a reflection of my life and my accomplishments and what I've done," Paris says in her serious voice. "And I've done it all on my own. When my parents and my grandfather came over for the first time, I was so proud. It just feels good to like walk around and be like ... I earned all this, you know? I see some

    Read More »from Inside Paris Hilton's Mini-Mansion
  • 15 Life Lessons from Late Sausage King Jimmy Dean

    The late sausage king and singer talks about getting old, being a good American, living up to expectations, and much more, as told to Esquire in October of 2001.

    1. You gotta try your luck at least once a day, because you could be going around lucky all day and not even know it.

    2. When I was a kid, I used to think, Man, if I could ever afford all the ice cream I want to eat, that's as rich as I ever want to be.

    3. I used to help my granddaddy make sausage. He would mix it up in a cleaned-out washtub with his hands, no gloves. Man, if we did anything like that today, they would jack the jail up and throw us under it.

    What I've Learned: George Clooney

    4. You know you're getting old when you go to more funerals than you do weddings.

    5. A lot of things I am, and a lot of things I am not. But I think I'm about as good an American as there is. I love this country. It's been very, very good to me. And it will be good to anybody if they are willing to give of

    Read More »from 15 Life Lessons from Late Sausage King Jimmy Dean
  • Celebs Who Ruined Their Finances (And How to Save Your Own)

    Just when you thought Madoff was rotting away in prison, along comes alleged Ponzi schemer to the stars Ken Starr, arrested last week on charges of swindling $30 million in Hollywood fortunes. Here are the bold-faced lessons for your own (much smaller) fortune.

    1. Savings

    You could... ...make $737,000 a month, just like Britney Spears, then save or invest exactly zero dollars. Just like Britney Spears, according to actual court documents.

    You should... ...give away some of that gargantuan salary and all the goodies that come with it. George Clooney donated his Oscar gift bag to charity for $45,000, and the IRS is cracking down on swag anyway.

    You're probably better off... ...regularly depositing your earnings into a tax-deferred annuity that would support you in old age and shield you from your worst youthful impulses. Also: adhere to a restrained lifestyle, à la Warren Buffett. Note: this is way less fun than racking up $600,000 in credit-card debt, like Lindsay Lohan

    Read More »from Celebs Who Ruined Their Finances (And How to Save Your Own)


(174 Stories)