Scary Funny: Seth Rogen Learns What Frightens a Dictator

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Bobby Saygan

By Amy Nicholson

Update:: Sony has officially canceled the theatrical release of The Interview following terrorist threats against theaters--and the announcement that several major theater chains had opted not to exhibit the film.

Sony assumed North Korea would hate the movie. The question was: What would it do? Pyongyang had just tested its atom bomb and threatened "pre-emptive nuclear attack." And the Supreme Leader with his finger on the trigger was barely older than 30, with less than two years of experience.

But Kim Jong-un didn't care about Olympus Has Fallen, even though the violently anti-North Korean 2013 film showed his people strangling women, murdering unarmed men, kidnapping the U.S. president and even executing their fellow citizens. That wasn't worth a fight.

A year later, North Korea had a bigger enemy: Seth Rogen.

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Why Do So Many Students Commit Suicide at UC Irvine's Social Science Plaza?

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Greg Houston

No one gave Maxwell Chorak a second thought as he got off at one of the bus stops near UC Irvine and walked across campus on June 10, 2014. He resembled a disheveled grad student checking in for an evening of studying, blending neatly with the thin crowds that walked on a near-lifeless Ring Road. The footpath, normally lined with students selling $2 boba and spam musubi, was nearly abandoned that day as students prepared for their finals.

Chorak headed for Social Science Plaza, a collection of five-story buildings all Anteaters must pass through at some point in their academic career. They stand in an uneven, irregular courtyard, with a fountain that's always turned off nowadays in an effort to save water. The 25-year-old climbed one of the plaza's exterior stairwells, a spiral of steps coiling its way up to the top; mult iple warning signs are bolted to the stone walls at each landing. "We can help," the signs read in a relaxed, sans-serif font, and feature the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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Newport Beach PD Made Life for its Good Cops a Living Hell

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Luke McGarry

It was impossible for Balboa Peninsula motorists to notice anything unusual when they passed Newport Beach City Hall on the afternoon of March 10, 2011. The warm sun hovering above steady beach traffic and palm trees swaying from a periodic, lazy breeze revealed just a typical, Southern California day. But not far from Pacific Coast Highway, on a sidewalk adjacent to 32nd Street--a road flanking local government offices until last year's relocation--high-ranking police officers were teaching a lesson to one of Orange County's most heroic whistleblowers and his wife: Mess with us, and you'll pay dearly.

In recent years, daily examples of faithful public service inside the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) have been overshadowed by alarming corruption. City officials ignore or downplay the misconduct, but NBPD bosses turned the agency into a darker, stupider version of Animal House. Court records and internal documents show the city's boys in blue have accepted gratuities in exchange for favors, gotten frat-boy drunk at work, lied under oath, passed out confidential information to pals, encouraged oral sex from female job applicants, committed wild adultery on duty, doctored official reports, hurled feces, dished out horrific domestic violence against wives and girlfriends, engaged in intoxicated bar fights, issued criminal threats, vandalized property, converted powerful agency spy equipment to personal use, and rigged promotion systems to ensure mostly see-no-evil, management-loyal employees rise--and let the hijinks continue.

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Pat Leborio: The Clown Prince of Addicts

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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly

By Lisa Whittmore

This church of ours is open to all. . . . There will be no outcasts," reads a banner looming over comedian Pat Leborio as he struts onto the stage. He's in the church hall of St. Clement's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in San Clemente, ready to start a set for an audience that seem to be the last people on earth ready to listen to an hour of insults thrown their way: addicts.

Bald head gleaming, faded Dickies shorts reaching down to his calves and wearing a tent-like T-shirt that comfortably covers his 300-plus-pound frame, Leborio nods and smirks. It's time. His ferret-like eyes, bags underneath bruised so violet it looks as though he hasn't slept in a week, dart across the audience, looking for someone, anyone to trash. They land on a heavily tattooed man, seated in the second row.

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Our Babes of Burlesque: Celebrating OC's Cabaret Girls with a Bunch of Photos

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Photography: Riley Kern Photography Assistant: Genevieve Davis Model: Madeline Sinclaire Hair: Danielle June

Two decades have passed since Heather Sweet, a young woman from Irvine, first turned heads and raised eyebrows at Captain Cream in Lake Forest with her then-novel, vintage-inspired striptease sets. Known simply as "Dita," she titillated the county's--later, the world's--interest in the sex appeal of old Hollywood glamour. Though she went on to become Dita Von Teese, burlesque superstar and pinup extraordinaire, and has all but abandoned Orange County--and the legendary club that acted as her springboard (and which closed in 2011)---the local neo-burlesque movement has only grown.

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An Inconvenient Thirst: Rain Can't Save Us From This Drought

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Riley Kern/OC Weekly
Jay Famiglietti

Looking out the large windows from Jay Famiglietti's corner office at UC Irvine on a sun-drenched late-spring day, you take in an inviting deep greenbelt and, just beyond that, the green, green grass of Aldrich Park.

Contrast that with the view from the UCI hydrologist's new office at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, where Famiglietti is a senior water scientist. It's also serene and lovely here, but the hills cradling the sprawling facility are brown and tinder-dry heading into the always-gusty fall season.

"When I go back to Orange County, it is like Disneyland--everything is super-wonderful," Famiglietti says from behind a small table at a JPL bustling because of a newly launched Mars mission. He has moved into a rental home in Sierra Madre while still holding onto his apartment above UCI.

"It's like the county is in a bubble," he says of OC. "I leave Los Angeles County, and everything is brown. Then I get back to Irvine, and everything is green and lush. There is a little disconnect."

See Also: 6 Videos on UCI/JPL's Alarming Groundwater Research

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An Army Captain From Orange Died in a Vietnam POW Camp; His Remains Are Still Not Home

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Adam Doyle
Capt. Eisenbraun, R.I.P.

By H.G. Reza

Some men are absorbed by combat and experience a mystic rush from pushing the envelope as far as they can on the battlefield. William Forbes "Ike" Eisenbraun was one of them. He fought as a 20-year-old enlisted man in the Korean War, during which he was wounded and later earned a commission. He made the Army a career, volunteering for the nascent Army Special Forces and earning the coveted Green Beret.

Eisenbraun did a four-year combat tour in Vietnam, among the first waves of Americans drawn into that war. He was just 35 when he died in 1967; a plain bronze marker memorializing him sits next to his parents' gravesites at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana. The raised letters on the plaque, oxidized over the years by the elements, gives the basics of his life: a cross signifying he was Christian; his military rank; the word Vietnam; initials indicating he earned a Purple Heart. At the bottom is his birthdate and the date of his death, Sept. 8, 1967.

But Eisenbraun is not buried there.

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OC's Scariest People 2014! Scary People to Avoid in the Dark!

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Illustration: D. W. Frydendall, Design: Dustin Ames

By Gustavo Arellano, Matt Coker, LP Hastings, Charles Lam, R. Scott Moxley, Gabriel San Román and Nick Schou

Ever heard of the children's books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Neither had we, but the tales so spooked Weekly art director Dustin Ames as a kid that he asked if we could illustrate some of this year's scariest people in the same sparse, spooky style immortalized by the series. Why not? Cheaper than therapy!

Anyhoo, behold this year's roster of OC's worst people. Note that many inanimate objects made the list this year, then ponder that anomaly. And don't forget to visit our Navel Gazing blog, on which we'll reveal the latest inductee into the Bob Dornan Scary OC Hall of Fame!

1. ANTI-VAXXERS
A bunch of South County housewives feel they don't have to vaccinate their children because some mommy blog told them not to, so California saw its worst outbreak of measles in decades this past year. Unlike stolen purses or shoes, this isn't something they can blame on Mexicans, as they're one of the highest vaccinated groups in the county. So, conservatives? You're more likely to get a deadly infectious disease driving down Oso Parkway than you are hanging out with Liberians--try to blame THAT on Obama.
Mitigating Factor: Anti-vaxxers tend to be cute, so . . .

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Gary Webb: Pariah No More

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Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images, Design: Dustin Ames

A few months after Gary Webb killed himself with his dad's old pistol, I stood shirtless in my back yard, staring at the full moon. The sky was black and cloudless, the moon blurry. Earlier that night, I'd poured myself several splashes of single-malt scotch. I shook my fist in the air and screamed.

I'd been a mess ever since Dec. 12, 2004, when the Sunday-morning edition of the Los Angeles Times hit my porch. As usual, I had opened the paper to the last page of the news section, where the Times tended to bury its most important stories. "Gary Webb, 49, wrote series linking CIA and drugs," read the headline, and suddenly I realized I was reading an obituary. Webb, the article stated, who "wrote a widely criticized series linking the CIA to the explosion of crack-cocaine in Los Angeles, was found dead in his Sacramento-area home Friday. He apparently killed himself."

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The Best in Orange County Sports and Athletics, 2014

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Rickett & Sones

In honor of the recent release of our 2014 Best Of issue, we've compiled a list of the greatest sports and athletic activities Orange County has to offer. The winners range from professional to amateur with awards for the Best Gym, Best Angels Player and even pole dancing gets an award this year. Enjoy!

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