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The Magical George Foreman Grill, Jonah Hill’s Tears and Straight Men v. Group Fitness Classes

For a straight guy like me, there are few situations more judge-y than an exercise class. I can’t put my finger on exactly why—it might be because we’re all there to improve our outward appearance, and hence, we’re a vain bunch. It might be because I’m out of shape, and no one needs to know that except me—let alone see it in form-fitting spandex. Or it might be because of the first two reasons, plus the fact that women make up the majority of the clientele in such classes.

Yep, it’s the third reason.

I don’t go on dates with women and fling my belly fat around the bar—so why would I fling it around a barre class? Today, features writer C. Brian Smith conducts his own investigation into why guys don’t do fitness classes as well as how fitness classes got started in the first place.

Here’s everything else you might have missed today…

Must Read

“The Immortal Mystique of the George Foreman Grill”
There’s never been anything in the kitchen as iconic as the lean, mean fat-reducing machine known as the George Foreman grill. Even its origins are the stuff of legend:

And over the years, the grill has developed a reputation as the go-to kitchen tool of college students, squatters and the simple-minded alike. Miles Klee explores the grill’s humble beginnings, its shift from “gimmick” to “miracle device,” and its now-endearing place in culinary history. READ MORE

A Quick Primer On… Weight Room Jargon

Ever hear one of your gym-rat friends use terms like “ripped,” “cut,” “jacked” or “swole”? Ever wonder what the difference is between them? Here’s a handy guide:

Body-fat, or lack thereof: “Ripped,” or “cut”

Muscularity: “Jacked,” or “brolic”

Big, or contest-ready: “Swole”

And now you know. Oliver Lee Bateman digs into the origins behind these goofy slang terms, here.

Dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival

This is how you know you’re a “true artist” in Hollywood: You make the perfect movie, you get a standing ovation when that movie is unveiled at the Toronto International Film Festival (or TIFF for you industry insiders) and you cry your eyes out during said standing O:

Nooooo, not her—actor, director and fashion-daddy, Jonah Hill!:

We kid, Mr. Hill. It’s just that these crying fits on stage are so dime-a-dozen these days we don’t even know what’s real anymore. But MEL critic-at-large Tim Grierson says it looked real, so we’re going to trust him here.

Read Grierson’s dispatch from this year’s festival, including more on Hill’s ongoing career shift from Superbad dork to celebrated actor and auteur; the festival’s deadly stair situation; and an important shout-out to TIFF’s under-appreciated volunteer corps here.

Do You Come Here Often?

Is there anything as uncomfortable as the guy in the urinal next to you trying to chat you up while you’re taking a whiz? Not really. But still, there are men who, for some reason, treat the bathroom like it’s the goddamn Algonquin roundtable. We reached out to these bathroom talkers to find out why they can’t stop with the chit-chat while taking a leak.

Let Me See You Sweat, Guys

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It’s incredibly rare to find a straight man hitting up a group exercise class. C. Brian Smith signed up for Zumba®, Pilates® and “Booty Blast®” to find out why that’s the case—and the reasons became immediately apparent as soon as he was directed to “shimmy.”

Schoolin’ From 9-to-5

The work day is 9 a.m to 5 p.m. The school day, however, is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. And that sucks for parents for myriad reasons—e.g., they need to find and pay for someone to care for their kids before and after school, and also because research shows 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. is when kids get into the most trouble. So why don’t we just fix the glitch?

My Dad, the Coach

Should you, loving father, coach your kid’s sports team? Let’s see what the experts say:

Current coach and Little League board member: Definitely

A mom who has coached her sons: Of course

A former Major League pitcher: Absolutely, yes

Social worker: All signs point to “yes”

Kid who’s dad is a coach:

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Welp, that settles it.