Items ranging from the gently ironic to the satirical

VIDEO: Rainn Wilson's Indie Spirit Outtakes Hit the Web

Barbara Walters, he ain't – Wilson conducts interviews with filmmakers

The Office's Rainn Wilson is prepping for his role as emcee at the Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 23. Could he be adding entertainment journalist to his resume?

The actor appears on the Web in a series of new video segments (titled "Rainn on Film") featuring Wilson sitting down for tongue-in-cheek interviews with directors like Juno's Jason Reitman and I'm Not There's Todd Haynes. (View all the clips here.)

And while the chats are totally unscripted, they are not quite Barbara Walters caliber, either.

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Step XIII Of My Spiritual Journey: In Which I Refuse To Fast

I can tell you right off the bat that fasting is not for me.

It's just not my thing. My one and only attempt at a fast involved the Master Cleanse, which is a fancy name for a creative concoction of hot water, lemon, paprika, and maple syrup. I lasted five hours before my stomach staged a coup and I found myself chowing down a Big Mac. 'Nuff said. But honestly, I'm nowhere near a level of spirituality where fasting would be at all beneficial, and really, I have no interest in crash-dieting under a pretense of spirituality and lastly, the idea of yogarexia makes me feel stabby.

{josquote}It's supposed to be the ultimate sign of self-sacrifice, the definitive form of self-control. And yet the whole point of it is to release control - control of the material world, of earthly needs.{/josquote}

I thought about doing one of those diary of a fast-type posts, but they're always the same. Either you're miserable and cheat and spend a self-indulgent 800 words discussing your coffee-withdrawal headache, or you're energized and clear and spend a self-indulgent 800 words discussing the regularity of your bowel movements. (You can probably guess which one I'd be.)

Nonetheless, fasting is an important topic. Nearly every religion, from Christianity to Buddhism to Baha'i has some form of fasting. Sikhism is probably the only major / organized religion to actively discourage fasting as a spiritual task. And this is my point, really. No one I know actually fasts as a spiritual endeavor. I mean, half my office fasts, but let me tell you, they're not trying to find god, they're trying to find their way into size 2 pants. The only person I've ever known to fast religiously was my Muslim friend in high-school who observed Ramadan because his parents said so.

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Baha'is are re-writing the future

What's under that rug? word at a time

Fantasy Item: The Assistant to the Auxiliary Board Member, in collaboration with the Local Spiritual Assembly, has determined that "Feast" is a term outside the American consciousness. Except in November. The Baha'is want to attract more people to their Faith year 'round, and believe that re-defining a few core terms can do the job.

For "Feast" they propose to use the word "Conclave,"which lends an attractive, mysterious air to things which folks looking for a religion today expect, and which more accurately defines the actions of the community officers who administer it. As a Feast, the meeting was subject to inclusion of non-members as the community chairman saw fit. This met with some objections from those who chose to abide strictly by the rule of "members only" at Feast. Now the Conclave can not only accept non-members at the will of the chairman, but exclude Baha'is at his will as well. The Assistant to the Auxiliary Board Member thought this was a swell idea, because he cannot keep track of anything. But if history is to speak, he will support the decisions of the community chairmen, because he wants to be on the Universal House of Justice some day. He thinks that is how you get there. It is not for this reporter to say true or false, but we can say wrong!

{josquote}Other changes designed to open the Faith to everyday Americans include changing the term "Fast" to "Days When God is Watching You Try Not To Eat." It is long but so is a day without food.{/josquote}

Other changes designed to open the Faith to everyday Americans include changing the term "Fast" to "Days When God is Watching You Try Not To Eat." It is long but so is a day without food. Since "anniversary" makes many Americans think of marriage, which half of them, including Baha'is, screwed, the word will now be "B's Big Birthday Party" and the location to be known as "Chairman's Choice." The community agrees that these terms are less constraining and formal and strict, and look forward to letting their hair down with the general public.

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Thanks for, um, reading

Time to put a twist-tie around 2007 and set it out by the curb. Quite happily in my case. And while, for me personally, 2007 will be memorable for things I'd rather not remember, my mailbag gives yearly testament to the fact that there are many other folks wandering around out there who are not without their own issues. The following is my annual round-up of the best (a relative term) my inbox had to offer over the last year:

. . .

Thanks for watching Hour... and no

"Hi guys, love your show. I was wondering if you guys can educate your audience about the Baha'i faith." - Kamyar Y.

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