Having fun with words (because everyone wants to learn more during finals)

People who know me well understand two things about me: I hate coffee and I love words. Words are my trade and I take care of them. We have a very strange language with a long history, but most people do not stop to think about how it came together. So here is a brief tour of some of the more peculiar points of English.

Confessions of a Playboy subscriber: I read it for the articles — no, seriously!

A little over a year ago, I got into my head a very strange idea. I decided to buy an issue of Playboy. The precise reason for this decision is a little fuzzy, but I believe it had something to do with viewing it as a rite of passage. At 21 years old I had never flipped through a Playboy in my life, and it seemed that I was missing out on a big aspect of popular culture.

Smoke clears for Mad Men’s season premiere

It was Sunday night. As 7 p.m. approached, I began to notice the faintest hint of Lucky Strikes and whiskey in the air. This meant only one thing: Mad Men was returning. I was about to embark on the two-hour Season Five premiere, long-awaited throughout the show’s 17-month hiatus.

The Edible Woman is a delectable satire

“Thank you, it was delicious.” This line succinctly captures the essence of the play in which it appears, the recent stage adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “proto-feminist” classic The Edible Woman. Canadian playwright Dave Carley’s script works as a satire of marriage, gender roles and relationships in general, and while it does not push the politics of these issues to their full extent, the play’s many facets offer plenty of enjoyment.

Greystone Theatre goes Greek: The Love of the Nightingale gives facelift to classical myth

If birds could speak, oh the lyrics they would weave. The final instalment of Greystone Theatre’s season tackles ancient Greek tragedy combined with modern political commentary — along with a healthy dose of sex, violence and excitement. The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker is a retelling of the old story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses about the tragedy of Philomele and Procne. Philomele’s sister Procne is married to Tereus, the king of Thrace. However, Tereus decides he is in love with Philomele, so he rapes her in a moment of emotional vulnerability, then cuts out her tongue when she promises to spread word of the rape.

Bullies from the schoolyard to the MPAA: ratings controversy brings light to problems in Hollywood

No one likes to be bullied. It happened to many of us as young pups in the schoolyard, and it continues to happen, especially with the rise of cyber-bullying in the information age. So it was natural that an intrepid filmmaker would have the desire to make a hard-hitting documentary on the subject of bullying. Unfortunately, it seems our desire to click our tongue at the young people of today is superseded by our pathological need to present a sanitized version of everything to our children.

Live Five play East of Berlin is challenging, enticing and darkly funny

East of Berlin is a sharp, biting and brutal play, laced with wicked humour and profound philosophical resonances. It is a play about uncertainty that asks hard questions of its viewer, but also provides a comfort in its familiar search for meaning. It will not depress you as other Holocaust-themed plays might, but it will leave you shaken, somewhat off-balance and generally richer for the experience.

Once upon a time in Nazi Germany

“Once upon a time” and “Happily ever after” — these phrases are not typically associated with the Holocaust. Yet so unfolds the storybook opening to All Through the Night. The dark yet strangely whimsical drama is the latest offering from the Greystone Theatre, sporting an all female cast and a striking atmosphere.

We the Artists, hear us roar

When I walked into the upper gallery of TCU Place on Jan. 21, I was struck by something unusual. It was classy — a little too classy. But that is the life of the fine arts student: spend your daylight hours shuffling through the hallway in black sweatpants or paint-covered jeans, but be prepared at any moment to clean up and dazzle your audience with elegance and charisma. We the Artists was one such occasion.

Saints Row: The Third is a new kind of crazy

When the first Saints Row title arrived in 2006, it was dismissed by many as a shallow Grand Theft Auto clone. However, in subsequent years, the series has developed a significant fanbase and carved out a unique identity in the urban sandbox genre. The latest entry, Saints Row: The Third, takes a spectacular plunge off the deep end.

Immortals packs a punch, too bad it forgets a plot

Tarsem Singh’s sword-and-sandals epic plays fast and loose with traditional mythology, but exhibits an astounding artistic style. The story centres around King Hyperion (who is not actually a mythical figure), embarking on a conquest of all of Greece. He plans to do this by obtaining the most powerful weapon known to humanity, the mystical Epirus Bow, which can then be used to free the Titans from the depths of Tartarus.

Waiting for the Parade has a dynamite female cast

Waiting for the Parade does more than just reflect on war, past and present, and the way it has shaped our country; it interacts with the past in a way that is full of love and vitality, and it takes hold of the audience with its continuing sense of urgency.

Amadeus is a dark and rhythmic tribute to Mozart’s musical genius

The man, the myth, the legend — who was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? The newly arrived production of Amadeus may not provide exact historical accuracy, but it does provide a sizzling spectacle of classic elegance and bloodthirsty rivalry. This fall, Greystone Theatre is putting on the Peter Shaffer play that delves into the mystery of the genius who changed history. Amadeus is told from the perspective of Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri. It begins in the early 19th century, with Salieri wasting away in his autumn years, his distinguished career long behind him.