‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Wraps 8 Days of Videos With ‘Mission Statement’
WSJ’s Speakeasy has the exclusive premiere of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s video “Mission Statement,” wrapping up an eight-day string of video releases.
The song, from Yankovic’s new album“Mandatory Fun,” is in the style of“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. The song features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics constructed of corporate jargon, like “operationalize our strategies” and “leverage our core competencies,” while the animated whiteboard video depicts a live-action hand that is drawing illustrations to go with the words.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Wraps 8 Days of Videos With ‘Mission Statement’

WSJ’s Speakeasy has the exclusive premiere of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s video “Mission Statement,” wrapping up an eight-day string of video releases.

The song, from Yankovic’s new albumMandatory Fun,” is in the style of“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. The song features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics constructed of corporate jargon, like “operationalize our strategies” and “leverage our core competencies,” while the animated whiteboard video depicts a live-action hand that is drawing illustrations to go with the words.

Portrait of a Prodigy
Most 4-year-olds going to visit their grandparents in Florida while away the flight kicking the seat in front of them. Matt Aucoin spent the trip composing “Cloud Symphony.”
Now 24, Matthew Aucoin has become one of the most sought-after young voices in classical music. He also is one of the most ambitious, setting himself the goal of transforming opera into something other than musical spinach for a new generation. Read more.

Portrait of a Prodigy

Most 4-year-olds going to visit their grandparents in Florida while away the flight kicking the seat in front of them. Matt Aucoin spent the trip composing “Cloud Symphony.”

Now 24, Matthew Aucoin has become one of the most sought-after young voices in classical music. He also is one of the most ambitious, setting himself the goal of transforming opera into something other than musical spinach for a new generation. Read more.

Fashion’s Most Exclusive Show

Unlike most fashion shows, this one had no assigned seating. Guests, who had been warned to wear flat shoes, chose seats or pillows scattered around the rocks, some sprayed by sea waves. Many took selfies on the shore, framed by the dramatic Faraglioni cliffs that rose from the water nearby, as champagne was passed around.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showed their fall Alta Moda collection on this rocky island last weekend. At the center of the three days of no-paparazzi events were 78 looks conceived by the designers for clients who pay prices that start at $40,000 and rise to sky’s-the-limit.

There were no prints, which by their nature come in copies. Every striped or floral dress was hand-painted, the brush strokes visible to the naked eye. Accessories included 18-carat-gold sandals, flip flops lined with astrakhan fur, jewel-encrusted watches and gold crowns. Mr. Dolce said his favorite look was a full-length cape of lynx lined with shaved mink.

Why We Need a Female Thor and a Black Batman


Thor is a woman. Now let’s make Batman black. 
Marvel Entertainment set the Internet ablaze Tuesday with the news that the God of Thunder and marquee member of the Avengers will be a woman starting in comics this October. The Disney-owned publisher and film studio was clear: They are trying to reach a broader female audience that the industry had neglected for so long.
Beyond geeky-fun debates about continuity and how, exactly, the change would work as a story, the announcement triggered the usual accusations of pandering to minorities and political correctness, not to mention all sorts ugly, misogynistic comments. There were positive responses, too, but as is routine on the Internet, the passionate intensity of the worst among us drowned them out.
All of it leads me to ask: What’s wrong with making Thor a woman? Or what would be wrong with making Batman – specifically his billionaire alter ego Bruce Wayne – a black man? Or Spider-Man/Peter Parker an Asian-American?
Read the full commentary.

Why We Need a Female Thor and a Black Batman

Thor is a woman. Now let’s make Batman black. 

Marvel Entertainment set the Internet ablaze Tuesday with the news that the God of Thunder and marquee member of the Avengers will be a woman starting in comics this October. The Disney-owned publisher and film studio was clear: They are trying to reach a broader female audience that the industry had neglected for so long.

Beyond geeky-fun debates about continuity and how, exactly, the change would work as a story, the announcement triggered the usual accusations of pandering to minorities and political correctness, not to mention all sorts ugly, misogynistic comments. There were positive responses, too, but as is routine on the Internet, the passionate intensity of the worst among us drowned them out.

All of it leads me to ask: What’s wrong with making Thor a woman? Or what would be wrong with making Batman – specifically his billionaire alter ego Bruce Wayne – a black man? Or Spider-Man/Peter Parker an Asian-American?

Read the full commentary.

First Look: Guardians of the Galaxy ‘Rocket’s Warbird’ Lego Set
WSJ’s Speakeasy has the first look at this new Lego set, which will be revealed at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con.

First Look: Guardians of the Galaxy ‘Rocket’s Warbird’ Lego Set

WSJ’s Speakeasy has the first look at this new Lego set, which will be revealed at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con.

Getting Rid of Cable TV: The Smartest Ways to Cut the Cord

Today about 19% of American TV households live without cable, according to market research firm GfK. Many holdouts are haunted by doubts: How will I watch live sports? Without HBO, how will I know why everyone is talking about some mother of dragons?

Going without cable—or at least with considerably less of it—is easier than you think. Last week, I sliced my bill from $212 to $75 without giving up the stuff I really watch. Yes, cable and satellite companies lock away some content for subscribers. But you don’t have to be an online pirate to see what you want.

A CEO Keeps One Foot on the Wrestling Mat

John Bardis hasn’t wrestled competitively in more than 30 years, but the sport is still a big part of his life. The 58-year-old CEO of MedAssets spends his free time coaching wrestlers and mixed-martial artists.

"Being around young guys on the mat motivates me to keep up my own fitness," says Mr. Bardis, who founded the Atlanta health-care technology company in 1999.

He says the sport taught him to persevere. “I have learned that in both training and work you can find your pain threshold and push through it,” he says.

Winners From the iPhone Photography Awards 
Who needs a fancy camera? Winning images from a smartphone photography contest
See a gallery of the winners here.
Share your best sunset photos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WSJbestphoto. We’ll choose some to critique during a live video chat on Thursday, July 17, at 11:30 a.m. ET.
(Photo: Michael O’Neal)

Winners From the iPhone Photography Awards

Who needs a fancy camera? Winning images from a smartphone photography contest

See a gallery of the winners here.

Share your best sunset photos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WSJbestphoto. We’ll choose some to critique during a live video chat on Thursday, July 17, at 11:30 a.m. ET.

(Photo: Michael O’Neal)


A Standing Desk Ups Office Ergonomics and Aesthetics


Those taller-than-usual work surfaces that the ergo-conscious use to combat the reportedly harmful effects of sitting for hours aren’t usually known for their visual appeal. But a dramatically named new standing desk from Germany—the Crescendo C2 Maximus M22—is elevating their aesthetics substantially.

A Standing Desk Ups Office Ergonomics and Aesthetics

Those taller-than-usual work surfaces that the ergo-conscious use to combat the reportedly harmful effects of sitting for hours aren’t usually known for their visual appeal. But a dramatically named new standing desk from Germany—the Crescendo C2 Maximus M22—is elevating their aesthetics substantially.

Restoring an 18th-Century Farmhouse as a Guesthouse

This soothingly austere 1710 abode offers a stylistic getaway from the opulence of a Connecticut estate’s main dwelling.