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Lucas Kavner
Lucas Kavner is a writer, performer and Middlebury College alum based in New York, he's been a frequent contributor to McSweeney's, with essays published in The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, and The Williamsburg/Greenpoint News, and videos featured in the NY Times, Vanity Fair, Russia Today, Time Magazine, and The Atlantic, among many others. He was a founding editor for the college website, Unigo, co-founded the popular interview project, The Days of Yore, and works extensively in comedy and theater around New York and elsewhere.

Entries by Lucas Kavner

At Brooklyn Free School, A Movement Reborn With Liberty And No Testing For All

(130) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 7:00 AM

NEW YORK -- On a recent Wednesday morning at the Brooklyn Free School, a class was in session. Ten students, ranging in age from about 12 to 16, sat around a table having a heated debate about chemistry. And superpowers.

"Those elements don't really go together," said one boy in...

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Ang Lee, 'Life of Pi' Director, Talks Culture Shock, Anxiety And Why His Films Fit Together

(66) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 1:17 PM

NEW YORK -- Ang Lee's best films begin with an initial calmness, a tranquility, which inevitably breaks open and gives way to desire and explosive emotional revelations. In "Brokeback Mountain," two soft-spoken sheep herders unearth a much deeper connection on a quiet mountainside, while in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the...

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With, Two Sisters Revolutionize Disaster Relief

(7) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 8:46 AM

Last year, Morgan O'Neill was tinkering with a tornado display at the Museum of Science at MIT when she got a phone call informing her that a living, breathing tornado was ripping through her hometown in Western Massachusetts.

The effects were devastating, "splitting the town in half," O'Neill said....

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For Public Housing Residents After Sandy, 'A Slow-Motion Katrina'

(219) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 4:38 PM

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Ask anyone living in Cobble Hill or Carroll Gardens or Park Slope earlier this week, and they would tell you that they have power, hot water and Wi-Fi. In fact, most of the $1 million-plus townhouses and local businesses in Brooklyn's wealthier neighborhoods never lost any basic...

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Occupy Sandy Emerges As Relief Organization For 21st Century, Mastering Social Networks

(191) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 5:00 PM

As local leaders and citizens complain of FEMA and the Red Cross and general government absences in their own neighborhoods, independent and local volunteer relief organizations have sprung up in droves, organized almost entirely through word of mouth and extensive social media campaigns.

Last week, The Huffington Post...

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Berkeley Township Volunteer Rescue Group Helps Hurricane Sandy Victims On Jersey Shore

(4) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 12:24 PM

The Underwater Search and Rescue Squad 86 in Berkeley Township, New Jersey is made up entirely of volunteers, squad president Carl Mattocks among them. When he's not donning his wetsuit, Mattocks works as a business consultant, mostly for "securing information systems," he said. The rest of his team is made...

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Fighting, Unruliness Hinder Hurricane Sandy Recovery In New York, New Jersey

(130) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 8:25 PM

Waiting in a 45-minute line Friday morning at a Hess gas station in Center Moriches, Long Island, to fill up a portable fuel tank, Chip Daniel noticed sudden a flurry of police cars surrounding the station. He heard shouts and stomping, and the groaning of drivers in the packed crowd...

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Occupy Sandy, Occupy Wall Street Offshoot, Amasses New York Volunteers

(128) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 8:18 PM

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Conor Tomas Reed stood beside a flagpole in front of a pair of high-rise apartment buildings in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, waiting for more volunteers. These buildings, like many in the neighborhood, were mostly still without power.

"I've been here pretty much 10 a.m....

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The Official Antihero of Hurricane Sandy

(135) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 12:02 PM

We've already seen a number of true heroes emerge in the aftermath of this hurricane. There are the first responders, the doctors and nurses at the NYU hospital who helped evacuate patients with no power in the middle of the night, literally sliding them down staircases to get...

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Hurricane Sandy: Red Cross, Other Relief Organizations See Social Media As 'Double-Edged Sword' For Relief Efforts

(11) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 5:49 PM

As Hurricane Sandy eases away from the East Coast and the cleanup begins, major charitable organizations are increasing their reach and personalizing relief efforts thanks to social media.

Melanie Pipkin, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, said that Twitter and Facebook have allowed the organization to affect more people...

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Hurricane Sandy: Climate Change Activists Offer Stark Reminder Before Storm Hits

(1490) Comments | Posted October 28, 2012 | 8:27 PM

NEW YORK -- A group of climate change activists braved the calm before the storm on Sunday afternoon to rally in New York City's Times Square.

Leading environmental activist organization organized the event, "Connect the Dots between Extreme Weather and Climate Change," in less than 48 hours, according...

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Upworthy Thinks Viral Videos Can Reach Millions And 'Make The World A Better Place'

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 3:06 PM

Of the 396 videos uploaded to YouTube by political magazine The Nation, the vast majority have between a few hundred and a few thousand views. But one of them, a 13-minute video about the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, now has almost 750,000.

So what happened?...

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Social Impact Bonds Help Investors Bridge Philanthropy And Business Goals

(10) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 3:20 PM

Long before doctor and entrepreneur Paul Polak began trying to revolutionize social investing -- before he could even drive a car -- he was planting the seeds for a movement he hopes will change the way some people do business.

It was 1939, and Polak's father was making a good...

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Amy Pascal, Sony Chairman, Defends Reboots And Franchises, Calls Herself A Movie Nerd

(67) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 11:43 PM

Despite successes like "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," and "Marvel's The Avengers," blockbuster movies are in a bit of a rut. Stars like Shia LaBeouf have publicly shunned big-budget films, while audiences have become slightly more finicky with their dollars as well; ticket sales

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Lois Lowry, 'Son' And 'The Giver' Author, Reflects On Dystopian Novels, Psychopaths And Why Kids Make The Best Audiences

(5) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 5:31 PM

Usually when schools ban your book, it only serves to further solidify the work's cultural significance. In the 1990s, the Harry Potter series topped the American Library Association's list of the most often banned books in schools across the country, but Lois Lowry's now-seminal young adult novel, "The...

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Copies Of 'Total Recall' In New York, Mostly Talks Bodybuilding

(72) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 5:20 PM

NEW YORK -- A line snaked around the corner of independent bookstore McNally Jackson in New York's Soho neighborhood on Monday as people waited to meet the man who LA Weekly once called "the most famous immigrant in America."

"Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story," Arnold...

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From Juilliard Ballet To Strip Clubs: One Connecticut Girl's Chosen Path

(267) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 12:05 PM

Caity Gwin did everything a budding professional dancer is supposed to do. She studied ballet five days a week, all the way through high school. She would travel from Connecticut, where she grew up, to New York City to see recitals. And when her dance teacher, impressed with her talent,...

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Apocalypse Later

(1) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 10:50 AM

What in God's Name: A Novel
By Simon Rich
Reagan Arthur Books
240 pages


Simon Rich is probably the funniest writer working in America right now. He also might be the most prolific young person in the history of time. One of...

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Axl Rose Threatens Art Gallery With Legal Action

(13) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 6:36 PM

Somebody vandalized Axl Rose's garage door more than 20 years ago and a photographer snapped a picture of it. Now the Guns N' Roses singer is very angry.

Los Angeles-based photographer Laura London recently launched her newest exhibit, "Once Upon a Time ... Axl Rose Was My Neighbor," at...

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David West Read, 'The Performers' Playwright, Brings Porn And The Fonz To Broadway

(3) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 10:44 AM

"I don't normally have this," 29-year-old playwright David West Read assured a reporter, referring to the dark blazer he wore over his t-shirt. "Though I give you permission to make 'Trail Blazer' the title of your piece."

The remark -- entirely self-deprecating and topped off with a play on words...

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