25 Vintage Boy Names Worth Reviving

If you’re looking for a baby boy name that’s not all-the-rage right now, Nameberry has some suggestions with a vintage flair.

Since boy names tend to stay on the popularity lists longer than girls’ names, these examples are quite unusual in that most of them were in common use at one time but then slid into obscurity.  See which ones you think are ripe for revival.

Alaric — An ancient regal name that sparks with electricity, it starred in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and in The Vampire Diaries. Emeric is a similar possibility.

Aldous — Associated with Brave New World’s Aldous Huxley, more recently seen in “Orphan Black,” Aldous boasts the popular s-ending for boys

Ambrose — As rosy as Rose, as amiable as Amelia, this early Latin name has loads of history, both religious and literary.

Art — Sure it’s familiar as a vintage nickname for Arthur, but there’s a lot more to Art. In Ireland it’s the stand-alone name of a pagan High King (perhaps why Chris O’Dowd chose it for his son), and of course it’s a culture-saturated word name as well.

Burl — A long-lost nature name related to trees, Burl has a down-home feel, and was in the Top 1000 for 81 years, ranking as high as number 381. A notable namesake: folk singer and Oscar-winning actor Burl Ives.

Clive — If you’re looking for a sleek and polished one-syllable name with a refined British accent and the charisma of Clive Owen, consider Clive.

Cosmo — A name with cosmic breadth and a stylish o-ending; as long as you can banish all thoughts of cocktails and Kramer.

Crispin — Harry Potter-related, crisp and curly-haired (its literal meaning), Crispin is now ranked number 518 on Nameberry.

Cyprian — A rare and noble ancient Latin saint and Harry Potter name (such a treasure trove!), Cyprian is related to the island of Cyprus.

Doyle — This friendly Irish surname, which hasn’t been heard from since 1980, was a well-used choice for about a hundred years, peaking at number 195 in 1931. Doyle McMaster was a recurring character on “Gilmore Girls” — one of the name’s few modern appearances. It could make a cool choice for Sherlock Holmes aficionados.

Eben — Most of us are not ready for Ebenezer, but short, stand-alone Eben has lots of appeal, it was as high as 528 in the 1880s but hasn’t been used much since then.

Esmond — An interesting alternative to Edmond or Desmond with a distinguished air and literary cred via Thackeray’s novel The History of Henry Esmond.

Eustace — The monocled New Yorker magazine symbol and, curiously, the middle name of both Ross on “Friends” and the female Paris on “Gilmore Girls.”

Florian — This name shares the gentle floral quality of Flora and Florence, with solid saintly and literary cred (Harry Potter once more!). It ranks at number 55 in Germany right now.

Garland — A generic floral name that isn’t primarily female: it was used for boys through the 1980s. Garland was a military name in “Twin Peaks.”

Giles — The G is pronounced as J in this single-syllable British aristo appellation. It’s another one with lots of literary connections.

Green — Blue is now an accepted unisex name, as are many shades of green. And Green itself actually ranked on the popularity list for at least 32 past years, reaching as high as number 254 in the 1880s.

Guthrie — Now that Arlo has taken off, how about surname Guthrie? It has a nice cowboyish feel, a la Wylie, and even hit the Top 1000 for one year, back in 1895.

Hardy — A name with the solid, strong yet spirited Hardy Boys image, Hardy fell off the list in 1960, but in this era of word names, deserves a new look. British fashion designer Hardy Amies (born Edwin), official dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II, was its most notable bearer.

Ignatius — The ancient Roman name of several saints, it was used in the U.S. in the early decades of the 20th century, primarily by religious families. Actresses Cate Blanchett and Julianne Nicholson both chose it for their sons; and if you’re wondering about Iggy Pop and Iggy Azalea, the former was born with the name James, while the latter grew up with jewel name Amethyst.

Ives — This cool single-syllable surname has lots of cultural cred, via composer Charles Ives, singer Burl (see above), and James Merritt Ives, half of the renowned Currier and Ives printmaking duo.

Jennings — Looking for a distinguished but unusual surname ending in ‘s’?  This one, which ranked at number 244 in 1897 (likely the William Jennings Bryan influence) could make a neat namesake for a family member, Jenny.

Morley — A pleasant surname name that has never ranked. Now that Marley is becoming popular for girls, this could make a nice option for boys. It was long associated with Morley Safer of “60 Minutes.”

Roscoe ― If you’re looking for a forgotten o-sound-ending name, Roscoe may be your boy. It’s got a slightly quirky but warm and friendly feel. Once a Top 200 name, it’s now given to fewer than 75 boys a year.

Teddy — Yes, I know Theo is the current nickname du jour for Theodore, but there’s something so irresistibly warm about Teddy. Used on its own in the U.S. until the early 1990s (peaking at 239 in 1933), its one of the enthusiastically revived nicknames in England and Wales — now at number 42!

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32 Museums Across NYC Are ‘Trading Places’ And Taking Fans With Them

On April 26, museums across New York City are switching Instagram accounts with one another for the sake of art lovers everywhere. The social media initiative, called #MuseumInstaSwap, hopes to introduce loyal followers of certain institutions to other local spots they have not yet explored. 

It’s basically “Freaky Friday,” but with museums. 

There are 32 museums participating in the campaign, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Jewish Museum, the El Museo del Barrio, the Met Breuer, MoMA PS1 and many more institutions that are must-visits for people living in or traveling to NYC.

During #MuseumInstaSwap, each participating organization is assigned a partner museum and, throughout the day, is encouraged to post photos from the other’s collection, giving peeks into rarely seen corners while drawing parallels to their own holdings.

Museums can sometimes feel like isolated, enclosed worlds, but they are in fact part of a significant network of New York art centers, engaged in constant conversation. The swap hopes to illuminate the connections between museums like the American Folk Art Museum and the Japan Society, or the New Museum and the Drawing Center, thereby enhancing the experience of both. 

This year, most major New York institutions seem to be participating, though some historic havens like the Met are represented by their smaller outposts ― the Met Breuer. A few particularly interesting partnerships include the Museum of the City of New York and the Queens Museum, meant to illustrate the ways in which the two New York establishments approach the city’s history. The American Folk-Japan Society swap started the morning off by introducing their followers to the former’s stunning “Third Gender” show, now on view. 

The social media initiative will hopefully introduce art lovers to new museums and collections they might not be familiar with, through the spaces they already know and love.

Follow #museuminstaswap today to get your full serving of art and museum history. 

Today is #MuseumInstaSwap day! We’ll be exploring works from @JapanSociety_NYC’s current #exhibition "A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints” and making connections between our two institutions. We hope you enjoy this unique exchange! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “A Third Gender” is the first exhibition in North America dedicated to “wakashu,” the word for attractive young males who were considered neither men nor women, but who occupied a distinct and desirable third gender category during #Japan’s #Edo period (1603–1868). The numerous depictions of #wakashu in #prints and #paintings suggest their popularity and importance within the cultural fabric of the time. Featuring over 65 woodblock prints, “#AThirdGender” is largely comprised of works on paper, much like our two current #exhibitions #Gabritschevsky and #Zinelli. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This late 18th–early 19th century “bijin-ga” (pictures of beauties) woodblock titled “Wakashu with a Shoulder Drum” is a great starting point in identifying wakashu through hairstyle. Having not yet transitioned into the role of an adult man­—symbolized by the ceremonious removal of their entire forelocks—the wakashu can be identified by the small shaved spot on the crown of their heads. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Image: Wakashu with a Shoulder Drum, Hosoda Eisui (act. 1790–1823), late 18th–early 19th century, color #woodblock print, ROM, Sir Edmund Walker Collection, 926.18.701. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #museumlove #nyc #museums #japanese #worksonpaper #nycmuseum #JapanSociety

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It’s #MuseumInstaSwap and today @afamuseum is is taking over our account to show us what is on view at their institution at Lincoln Center! We will be introducing & drawing parallels between our our exhibitions and institutions all day long! We hope you enjoy ! Like our current exhibition #AThirdGender, "Eugen Gabritschevsky:Theater of the Imperceptible" and "Carlo Zinelli (1916 ‒1974)" are the first major exhibitions focused on a particular subject matter- these artists’ works- in the United States. Both exhibitions illuminate these artists’ practices on works on paper. Eugen Gabritschevsky (1893–1979), was a Russian-born artist and scientist whose work relied on the “accidental image” that echo techniques and styles of surrealist artists. He once wrote that “there are some processes in art that engage the unforeseen, putting us in direct contact with the magical essence of nature.” Carlo Zinelli (1916 ‒1974) was a self-taught, Italian painter and a exemplary artist of art brut, a term coined by the painter Jean Dubuffet to refer to a range of art forms outside the conventional dictates of the art world. His works-often double sided-feature repetitions of his personal iconography, vocabulary, and format that link to his past. #gabritschevsky #Zinelli Carlo Zinelli (1916–1974) Untitled San Giacomo Hospital, Verona, Italy 1957–1958 Gouache on paper 19 1/2 × 27 1/2" Collection of Audrey B. Heckler Photo by Visko Hatfield © Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli Eugen Gabritschevsky (1893–1979) Untitled Haar, Germany 1949 Gouache on paper

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A Pivotal ‘Riverdale’ Character Will Be Recast In Season 2

Hearts are breaking across Riverdale High today. 

The CW series “Riverdale” is saying goodbye to actor Ross Butler, who plays Archie’s nemesis Reggie on the show. Butler, who recently shot to fame for his roles on “Riverdale” and Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” is apparently too busy to continue playing Reggie in Season 2.

“We love what Ross did with the role of Reggie [this season], but because of his commitments to other projects, we couldn’t use him nearly as much as we would have liked,” series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine.

Don’t fret, “Riverdale” fans. You’ll still get your Reggie fix next season. The show’s creators are just planning to recast the role.

“[Next season], we want more Reggie on our show — he’s Archie’s rival! — and because Ross is unavailable to come back to ‘Riverdale,’ we’re looking for a new Reggie,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.

“Those are big shoes to fill, but we’re confident we can find an actor who is as funny and sexy as Ross,” Aguirre-Sacasa added. “And of course we all wish Ross the best.”

We may be jumping to conclusions here, but could one of Butler’s “other projects” be a second season of “13 Reasons Why?” Hey, a girl can dream. 

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Hollywood Pays Tribute To Jonathan Demme With Touching Notes On Social Media

Following news of Jonathan Demme’s death on Wednesday, members of Hollywood remembered the famed director with touching notes on social media. 

Demme, who was 73, directed the Oscar-winning movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks, but was perhaps best known for his work on “Silence of the Lambs,” which won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. 

Everyone from Billy Eichner to Thandie Newton took to social media to share their memories and condolences. 

I love you #JonathanDemme and I will never forget you. There is a place in my heart for you, always xx Thandiwe

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Public Art Project Is Giving Away 4,000 Free Copies Of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’

Written in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has never been out of print. So to call renewed interested in the beloved dystopian story a “resurgence” might be disingenuous ― the book’s popularity was never in question. 

Nonetheless, as President Donald Trump has ascended to the highest public office and policymakers have suggested revoking basic women’s rights, the story of Gilead ― a militant and theocratic future-version of the United States reliant on a group of sexually enslaved handmaids to repopulate its dwindling republic ― evokes a different kind of urgency.

Perhaps that’s why the new Hulu adaptation of the book, starring Elisabeth Moss, is stirring up enough political parallels that people are clamoring to buy, borrow or read by whatever means necessary Atwood’s original source material. (Even high school teachers are using the book to talk about America today.)

Thanks to a public artwork in New York City, anyone trying to get their hands on the book can do so free of charge. A massive installation on Chelsea’s elevated park, the High Line, designed by graphic artists Paula Scher and Abbott Miller, houses 4,000 complimentary copies of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Yes, passersby can simply take a book from the massive installation, no charge whatsoever, and return home with a free novel that warns of a dictatorial future.

By removing the books from the wall, participants will reveal “messages of female empowerment and anti-authoritarian resistance,” including the novel’s central battle cry: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” or “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

The Handmaid’s Tale provides a chilling reminder of how easily the darkest currents of repression can re-surface,” the artists expressed in a statement. “The installation we designed shows how these dark messages are often accompanied by bombastic language and imagery: spectacle becomes a form of persuasion. Cracks in the floorboards reveal empowering texts, glimpses of resistance for an uncertain age.”

The glorified public bookshelf, flanked by stunning images of the handmaids from the book and show, will be open through April 30, near the High Line’s 16th Street entrance. The Hulu series, for those who’ve yet to binge on its first three episodes, began streaming on April 26.

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‘Devil’s Gate’ Is A Sci-Fi Cop Thriller With An Unexpected Twist

Rarely do we see indie films with special effects that level up to those of big-budget monsters taking over the box office. But director Clay Staub tests the waters with his new thriller “Devil’s Gate,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this week.

Staub, who’s worked as a 2nd unit director for Matthijs van Heijningen (”The Thing”) and Zack Snyder (”Dawn of the Dead,” “300,” “Man of Steel” and “Justice League”), is making his directorial debut with the cop-drama-turned-horror-movie, testing genres in an original story featuring an unexpected sci-fi twist. (We won’t give it away here.) 

“That was the core idea, [it] is: Can we just play with the genre and flop it?” Staub told the audience during a Q&A following the premiere Monday night.  

“Devil’s Gate” follows FBI Agent Daria Francis (Amanda Schull) as she tries to track down the whereabouts of a missing woman, Maria Pritchard (Bridget Regan), and her son, Jonah (Spencer Drever), with the help of local deputy Colt Salter (Shawn Ashmore). But when Francis and Salter head to the Pritchard home and find Maria’s husband, Jackson (Milo Ventimiglia), in a state of mayhem, the story gets a lot more complicated than one can imagine. 

“I don’t know that I set out to find a genre thriller, something that was dealing with certain matters that we did here,” Milo Ventimiglia, who’s enjoying great success with NBC hit show “This Is Us,” said of joining “Devil’s Gate” during the Q&A. “I read the script, I loved it, I saw the cast assembled ― they’re friends and I’m a fan ― and I was like, ‘This just feels like it would be fun to make.’ And it was fun, but it was also dark and fucked up!” 

“I didn’t see it coming,” Shawn Ashmore added of the plot. “This got me, and then as soon as that twist happened, I was like, ‘Now I need to get to the back of this [script].’” 

Below, another one of the film’s stars — Amanda Schull — chats with HuffPost about her role in the genre-bending flick, and why she was proud to play a female detective in a mostly male-driven field. 

The film was totally not what I was expecting! Is that what drew you to the script? It appears to be this typical cop thriller and then all of the sudden you’re like, “Wait, where is this going?”

I know. Shawn [Ashmore] said that was one of the things that drew him to the film ― that he knew where it was going, absolutely got it, knew what the outcome was going to be, but then, 30 pages into it, he was like, ‘Wow, what?’ And yes, that was it for me, but it was also the character. For me, personally, a story can be great but if the character is kind of lame, or you’ve done it a number of times or it’s just a trope or she doesn’t have any depth to her, what’s the point? What’s the statement you’re making when you’re putting in your time and your energy into creating this? I was fascinated with my character, the material was really interesting ― it was something I’ve never done before ― and the actors were pretty fantastic. 

Yes, it’s a great ensemble cast. Milo Ventimiglia was saying at the premiere that you were all fans and friends of each other. Was that the case with you, too? 

Yeah, it was. I think they spoke to me before anybody else, but I had known they were speaking to other people a little bit into it. I had never worked with any of these people before and the circumstances of the film ― where we shot in the middle of nowhere, the hours that we spent, and the fact that we were literally on location for 12 hours every single day in a mouse-infested barn ― [was intense]. But I loved it, every second of it. It was really cold, and this will make it sound really horrible, but there was a tick infestation — but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was fans of their work beforehand, but then I became fans of them as people … Getting to do a scene with people who were on the same page and challenged me was invigorating ― you don’t get that every single day with acting, so I was really lucky in that regard. 

I think people are sick and tired of seeing girly girls. I think they’re ready to see women as they are in the world ― strong and capable and just as competent as men.
Amanda Schull

Usually you see detectives as men, being that it’s a male-dominated profession, but it was cool to see you kind of as a Jodie Foster or a Mariska Hargitay in this lead power position. Was that important for you? Clay Staub said during the panel that he was originally going to cast a man in your role. 

Yeah, I didn’t know that, that was news to me! Excuse me. But, yeah, I’ve been really lucky over the last few years to have these interesting, strong female characters placed in front of me and I hope I’ve done them justice because, like any man, women are just as strong and capable in these positions. But they all have flaws. I know my character right now that I play on “12 Monkeys” has become very physically strong, as well as with her mental capabilities, yet she still has weaknesses. And that’s something, with this as well, that I wanted to make sure I didn’t fall into the trope of being a victim. That these circumstances start happening around Agent Francis that could easily fall down the rabbit hole of being scary, and it’s just a different way to visualize and project fear that’s maybe masked or ingested in a different way. I think people are sick and tired of seeing girly girls. I think they’re ready to see women as they are in the world ― strong and capable and just as competent as men. 

This movie does have a really big twist ― it turns a little sci-fi. How was it to play in this world? 

I shot this only after the first season of “12 Monkeys,” so I hadn’t dabbled in the sci-fi world so much. In the first season of “12 Monkeys,” my character lives in what we consider present day. I hadn’t yet experienced the time travel, the windy twists and turns. So this was my first foray in a lot of ways, which was fun but really intimidating also. First of all, sci-fi audiences are very smart and very perceptive and, I don’t want to say critical, but they’re very intelligent viewers. Also, from an acting and logistical standpoint, a lot of what we experience and see and live through in that world doesn’t get added until post-production, so you don’t necessarily know what it’s going to be. We were lucky because we were given the gift of Clay’s storyboards and these paintings and renderings of what he was going to put in in post with visual effects. And that was helpful.

How do you feel the emotion or build yourself up for a scene when you don’t actually have these effects to work alongside of? 

For these scenes, I had the gift of my fellow actors. I am only in a couple of scenes by myself, but for these emotional, scary or heightened scenes in “Devil’s Gate,” I had Shawn … 

Yes, you guys have a great buddy-cop relationship …

Yeah! I love working with Shawn. If someone were to offer me a buddy-cop film with Shawn, I’d jump at it! I’d love the opportunity to be his buddy cop. 

And then Milo. Milo’s character is much more intense and emotional and he understands the depth of what is happening much better than anybody else, so he had to work himself up, in a way, differently than our perspective. And we got to play off that because he did it not only for his coverage when he was in front of the camera but for our coverage behind the camera ― he did a performance that we could play off of, and did it just as well as if the camera was on himself.

It’s weird because he has this whole “This Is Us” fame around him now with the beloved Papa Pearson, and this is a different, deep, disturbing role. 

Yeah, I know. We shot this before all that. As far as I know, I don’t even think that he had even been introduced to that. He was on another show at the time. 

What did you guys think, reading this indie script and seeing that it needed all of this post-production work? Was it hard to visualize how an indie film could do what a big-budget film does? 

I think it comes across as a big-budget movie. Clay has a background [with those types of films], as does Scott Mednick, our producer of Mednick Productions, who was on set with his son Skyler, our executive producer. They were on set every single day, every single scene ― that is not common. And for him to be as involved and communicative and yet allow us creativity [was great]. Often on an independent film, you have the producer on set just to be a naysayer or to be like, “We only have time for this one shot, forget about this other thing, it’s not important.” He wasn’t that. He was encouraging and excited and a part of the whole process from tip to tail. And that gave us an incredible amount of confidence and security. From the very beginning, he said, “I’m going to protect you, I’m going to do this justice, have faith in me, I have faith in you, and let me show you I’m going to do that.” And he’s a man of his word. 

Is it nice for you to see your trajectory ― going from your film debut as a ballet dancer in “Center Stage” to a detective in “Devil’s Gate”?

They’re very different people, I guess. [Laughs] When I was watching myself [at the premiere] pull a gun and talk about being a federal agent, part of me was pinching myself because I’m like, “God, I’ve tricked a lot of people into giving me opportunities.” I’m really lucky that I was in the right place at the right time and I finagled my way into these wonderful characters. I don’t know what I did in a former life, but I’m pretty thankful to whoever she was to have gotten this gift. 

“Center Stage” is 17 years old already! 

Even longer than that, we shot it about 18 years ago. Actually, I invited Sascha [Radetsky], who plays Charlie, to come to the premiere [of “Devil’s Gate”], but he couldn’t because he had another event. 

Well, that would have been a nice photo op!

I know!

What’s your hope for “Devil’s Gate” going forward? 

Gosh, I hope that people get to see this movie ― it’s been a real labor of love, I know for Clay and Peter [Aperlo], the co-writers, and producer Scott Mednick. And, for us, it was such a wonderful experience and to get to see it in its finality with an audience … I think it holds up, as far as the story, and also [as far as] flipping stories on their heads. What you expect to happen does not, several times over. So I think people will really enjoy that ride and I hope people get to experience it. I would love people to take a trip down “Devil’s Gate” lane.

“Devil’s Gate” is now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival. 

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This Library Has A ‘Mini Car Wash’ For All Of Its Dirty Books

The romantics among us swoon over images of seemingly endless library shelves. But if you work in said library ― or happen to own a few shelves’ worth of books yourself ― a more practical concern leaps to mind: How do you keep all of those books dust-free?

There’s not an app for that (yet), but there is what Boston Public Library describes as its “mini car wash for books,” a machine that can clean around 12 books per minute.

The Boston institution shared a video of the machine in action on Twitter and explained how it’s used in its stacks. Books get the tune-up after they’re requested or digitized, the library explained.

“We do not use this machine on our rare books, just the books from our closed stacks. Most closed stack books don’t have dust jackets,” the library tweeted. Rare books, meanwhile, require more individualized care.

The Depulvera, as its called, isn’t the only book-dusting machine; it has competitors. But it is the only book-dusting machine being touted by a frightening ad and a lofty battle song

H/T DesignTAXI

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Couple Announces They’re Expecting A Baby In Adorably Geeky Way

Someone needs to buy a car seat for their Batmobile.

James and Alisha Doherty, a couple in their late 20s from Nashville, Tennessee, love Batman.

Both have been fans of the caped crusader since they were little kids. Alisha can quote all the Batman films from the ’90s, and James even volunteers to dress up as the Dark Knight at birthday parties and local events to entertain folks.

So, when Alisha recently found out she was pregnant, there was only one way to announce the news.

“I think we both kind of knew we would be doing it even before we found out we were pregnant,” James told HuffPost.

On April 20, both got decked out in their Batman and Batgirl finest and snapped a few fabulously nerdy shots.

Afterwards James decided to post the photos on Reddit, using the caption: “My wife and I have a sidekick on the way.” The photos ended up getting a good amount of attention, racking up over 1,200 comments on Reddit and over 368,000 views on Imgur.  

The couple feels the reason for their popularity is because the photos are 100 percent authentically them.

“We wanted to take a few of the most common poses and add our own twist to them,” James said. “Alisha had the ‘drinking for three’ idea and mine was the What To Expect When You’re Expecting one.”

James told HuffPost that their photo shoot lasted about 30 minutes, and it consisted of him setting a timer on a camera in their living room and jumping into the shots. He said the entire time, he and Alisha had a blast.

“You can’t dress up in suits like that and not have fun doing something,” he said.

He also wants all the haters out there to know that he and Alisha are perfectly aware that Batman and Batgirl never hook up.

 “We’re both aware that Batman and Batgirl did not have a romantic relationship in the canon,” he said. “There’s always the issue of making non-canon fan content and placing it on the internet. There will always be naysayers and mean spirited comments. But the good has vastly outweighed the negative.”

But the best thing of all? The couple is totally psyched to meet their first child who is due on October 31.

“We are very proud, happy, and thrilled,” James said. “This baby coming is the biggest blessing of our lives. And we can’t wait.”

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Michelle Obama Thanks Beyoncé ‘For Investing In Our Girls’ With Scholarship

Beyoncé’s newly formed scholarship program is getting two thumbs up from Michelle Obama.

On Tuesday, the former first lady went on Twitter ― a rare occurrence these days ― to share a heartfelt thank you to the artist for launching Formation Scholars.

“Always inspired by your powerful contributions @Beyonce,” Obama said. “You are a role model for us all. Thank you for investing in our girls.”

Beyoncé announced the launch of Formation Scholars on Monday in celebration of the anniversary of her visual album “Lemonade.” One scholarship each will be awarded to a woman who is “unafraid to think outside the box and [is] bold, creative, conscious and confident” at Berklee College of Music, Parsons School of Design, Howard University and Spelman College.

Since Obama is also dedicated to helping girls pursue an education, it’s no wonder why she’s giving Beyoncé praise. In 2015, Obama launched her Let Girls Learn initiative. The program was started to help young women around the world get access to a better education. Obama is also a huge cheerleader for College Signing Day. Plus, after Beyoncé performed for Obama a few times and collaborated with her for Let’s Move!, it’s safe to say that they’re practically BFFs.

Queens recognize queens.

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In A Bold New Book, Earth Is Left Uninhabitable By War

Lidia Yuknavitch’s latest novel, The Book of Joan, pays homage to a figure who’s inspired the author since her Catholic upbringing: a woman and a martyr, Joan of Arc. In an interview with The Rumpus, Yuknavitch explained how the historic idol allowed her to turn her suffering into “something more like girl power,” and her novel makes that personal connection clear.

Honoring the story of 1400s Joan, Yuknavitch’s book follows another Joan on a near-future expedition. As a girl, she learns that she’s intimately connected with Earth, down to her anatomy, which includes a blue light that emits from her forehead, coinciding, it seems, with the planet’s pain. As war happens ― suddenly and everywhere ― child soldiers are enlisted, and Joan’s oneness with the natural world is used as a weapon. She also discovers she has the power to bring the dead back to life, for a short time.

These skills turn her into a symbol of hope, one the tyrannical Jean de Men aims to destroy. The dictator reins over CIEL, a space home inhabited by humans whose skin has lost its pigmentation and whose genitals have become shriveled and useless. In this new society, there are no books, only stories branded onto skin through a process called grafting.

One expert grafter, Christine (after Christine de Pizan, a medieval writer who criticized poet Jean de Meun’s work about courtly love), wears Joan’s story and believes that, although Joan was burned alive, she’s still living and thriving somewhere down on Earth. She hopes to lead a coup against Jean de Men, who’s working to restore human genitalia not for pleasure, but for reproduction.

Meanwhile, Joan roams Earth with Leone ― her closest friend ― exploring deep caves where life thrives in the form of worms and bugs. Yuknavitch’s stellar prose is most alive here, when she’s lovingly describing the natural world ― its beauty and brutality.

As a story, The Book of Joan is something new altogether. The characters moralize. They give speeches, they lay out their philosophical views, and they seldom act in ways that contradict their beliefs. So, the effect is like that of reading a comic book ― or medieval text ― infused with lines of perfect poetry. There are heroes and villains. The heroes act heroically, and the villains, corrupted by power, enact evil deeds without remorse. Jean de Men’s “gross train of flesh [is] splayed out on the floor.” His voice is “reptilian.” “He aims his words with measured venom.”

This is not a conventional approach to contemporary literature or science fiction; both genres aim to create characters who are as morally complex as most humans. (Individuals are large, remember? They contain multitudes.) But, Yuknavitch isn’t a conventional writer, and has, in fact, devoted her career to rethinking conventions.

She runs a writing workshop called Corporeal Writing, where budding authors’ intuitions are valued and where politically engaged work is encouraged. In the description for one of the courses, the program’s site reads, “A cohesive narrative can happen any number of ways.  It can be an accumulation of fragments, it can be kaleidoscopic, it can by lyric, braided, circular, vertical, visual, it can be arranged as a palimpsest.”

Kaleidoscopic, lyric ― these words nicely fit Yuknavitch’s style, which is especially suited to the passages wherein Christine is telling the story of Joan, who, to her, is a symbol of hope.

But, aside from her descriptions of her heroes, her fantasies, and her beliefs, we’re not given access to Christine’s life on CIEL. This book will appeal less to readers interested in worldbuilding and in individuals navigating future social systems ― a la Ursula K. Le Guin, more anthropologist than philosopher. It is, instead, an homage to an idol, an ode to a way of life, and a warning about mistreating the earth and each other. All of that’s wrapped up in a voice that’s uniquely Yuknavitch’s, which is worth reading for alone.  

The bottom line:

More poetic creed than conventional story, The Book of Joan shows off Yuknavitch’s imagination and her gift for crafting sonorous sentences.

Who wrote it:

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of The Chronology of Water and The Small Backs of Children, which we named one of HuffPost’s Best Books of 2015.

Who will read it:

Anyone interested in fiction that grapples with gender, climate change or near-future scenarios.

What other reviewers think:

The New York Times: “Telling the truth with precision and rage and a visionary’s eye, using both realism and fabulism, is one way to break through the white noise of a consumerist culture that tries to commodify post-apocalyptic fiction, to render it safe.”

LARB: “Perhaps it is only ‘natural’ that in a book that brings together so many different strains of history, literature, theory, and even science, some parts are bound to contradict others.”

NPR: “Yuknavitch is a bold and ecstatic writer, wallowing in sex and filth and decay and violence and nature and love with equal relish.”

Opening lines:

“Burning is an art.”

Notable passage:

“Leone, whose small heart had a defect at birth, who carried a heart that started out in a pig. Xenotransplantation and Leone had become Joan’s favorite words. Xenotransplantation represented a change in the distance between people and animals in a way she loved. Leone represented Leone, just Leone, Leone.”

The Book of Joan
Lidia Yuknavitch
HarperCollins, $26.99
Published April 18, 2017

The Bottom Line is a weekly review combining plot description and analysis with fun tidbits about the book.

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