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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it’s physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Slacktory, "'Sex and the City' is one long segue"

    As Carrie narrates the lives of Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and herself through segues, we've come to realize that she does this way too often—nor are the transitions very smooth—as Slacktory puts them all together in one supercut.

    2) Symphony of Science, "'The Face of Creation' - Higgs remix"

    Between the Mars Curiosity landing and the Higgs-Boson discovery, 2012 was a big year for science. We just want to know why things are the way they are, and Symphony of Science celebrates the latter's discovery with a remix.

    3) Steve Cutts, "MAN"

    Using Flash and After Effects, Steve Cuts looks at man's relationship with the natural world as he dances throughout 500,000 years of history, and if we weren't well-aware of it already, the tour through history shows that we've kind of been assholes.

    4) Follow The Foot, "The Forgotten Etiquette of Holding Hands"

    Follow The Foot takes a look at one thing almost everyone from family to friends to significant others do and turn it on its head as they ask people to forego their usual hand-holding position while explaining just why men usually walk closer to the street.

    5) DARPAtv, "LS3 Follow Tight"

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency shows off their latest advancement in the LS3 program as the robot is able to demonstrate control, stability and maneuverability and follow commands.

    Photo via Slacktory/YouTube

     


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    According to IMDb and the inexorable calendar, today living national treasure, Emmy and Oscar and BAFTA winner, and notable wearer of hats Margaret Natalie Smith, Dame Commander of the British Empire, turns 78 years old.

    Well, I have news for IMDb and the calendar: Nobody tells Dame Maggie Smith what to do, and that includes "age like a normal person." She may get older, but clearly she only gets more fabulous.

    You would think 80 theatre roles and 61 television and movie roles in everything from Clash of the Titans to Harry Potter to Downton Abbey (best character name: Gwendylspire Boughgrough in The Carol Burnett Show) would wear the woman down a titch. A smidge?

    I beg your pardon? This is the utterly indomitable Maggie Smith about whom we are speaking, and if you require proof of indomitability and triumph over the laws of the quotidian universe, look no further than today's Morning GIF.

    Towel-on-head-in-orange-bathrobe is not any woman's most flattering ensemble, but if you want to know what is meant by the phrase "perfect bone structure" and what it can do for you, then here you go.

    First, Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1969. Secondly, Maggie Smith in the entirely underratedMy House in Umbria, 2003.

    In between, 34 years, ladies and gentlemen.

       

    Time is no match for cheekbones and attitude. Oh, it's nothing, really...

    All these GIFs are from the Smith-centric It’s Not Easy Being GreenTumblr (check out that URL). The first pairing is an undiscovered treasure, with only 56 notes, and the third was the blogger’s first original GIF ever, which we are happy to feature. It’s just so marvelously, properly, Smithily “Oh bitch, please.”


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    To say that Norbert is a fan of Maker’s Mark bourbon is an understatement.

    “He’s a super fan,” says Henry Timmons, a close friend of the cat. “This year, he went so far as to dress his bottle in a matching holiday sweater — and a pretty funky one at that.”

    His family and friends say the Maker’s Mark obsession is a little over the top, but it could be worse. “He doesn’t drink it,” says Timmons. “It’s a lifestyle thing for Norbert.”

    Submitted by Garland West-Arnold.


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    It's increasingly clear that Twitter's only real value* is lampooning the ridiculous.

    That what these highly successful parody Twitter accounts did in 2012. It seemed that everything that caught the public's attention was treated a personified, overly rambunctious version of itself that sometimes made more headlines than the news itself. 

    Some accounts are still tweeting absurdities while others proved how difficult it is to extend a joke. Here are our 10 favorite parody-based Twitter accounts for 2012.

    1) @YourAwayMessage (238,000 followers)

    This account does not help the PTSD I am suffering from after the years I spent on AOL Instant Messenger, but it's still one of the year's most clever creations. The witty account brilliantly captures your old away messages that you used to display during your distressed teenage years. It has evolved from a single-serving account to what could be the world's first teenage drama based on Twitter. I and its other 237,000 (!) followers want to know if things between her and Mike are going to be all right.

    2) @InvisibleObama (and other political-themed accounts) (65,000 followers)

    You can't see him, but this account won't shut up. Created after Clint Eastwood's now-infamous speech from the Republican National Convention in August (the right-wing actor used an empty chair to slam Obama, remember?). The account seemed to kick off an election season filled with other politically positioned parody accounts, such as @FiredBigBird, @RomneysBinder, @PaulRyanGosling, and @FiveThirtyNate. The election itself was exhausting enough, but not even Nate Silver could predict the type of an emotional toll the parodies would take on us. 

    3) @WillMcAvoyACN (46,000 followers)

    Love him or hate him, the fictional news anchor has been given new life by this parody. Based off of the bombastic protagonist of Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom, the account has a highfalutin opinion about the day's news—just like its TV-drama counterpart. Since its creation in July, it has added an additional 40,000 followers. We wonder what Will has to say about his recent rise in popularity, but we have a good feeling it would just end with F-word-filled rant.

    4) @NotTildaSwinton (43,000 followers)

    The "impossibly high-cheekboned" Tilda Swinton's parody Twitter smartly mocked the high-brow actress in a account that became too weird to explain—and too amusing not to follow. The impostor portrayed her as an existential storyteller living a mostly indescribable life in the Scottish Highlands. It all got too much for her when she formally said good-bye in early November.

    5) @ZooeySiri (33,000 followers)

    What Apple thought was a cute ad featuring talking raspberry-flavored Chobani yogurt and actress Zooey Deschanel has a prompted a Twitter account that keeps on answering life's brain puzzlers. It all started from a misguided Verizon Wireless commercial which featured Deschanel inquisitively asking her iPhone to confirm that it's raining. The world needs to know what other acute questions she's asking her phone, and the account delivers. Siri, will @ZooeySiri ever receive an answer? Hopefully not.

    6) @NYTOnIt (27,000 followers)

    For being the world's newspaper of record, The New York Times occasionally feels behind-the-times. The account astutely mocks the antediluvian trend pieces that gives more prudence to its nickname of the Grey Lady. Further implicating its tardiness, The Times's lawyers finally caught wind of the account in November and had the account temporarily suspended due to its avatar. Guys, there's a parody account mocking the Grey Lady and it can't take a joke, The Times is … Well, just wait to read the Sunday Styles trend piece about it in a few months.

    7) @NormalTweetGuy (8,500 followers)

    Who ever called normal "boring" should follow @NormalTweetGuy's always observant tweets. Guy's account wryly mocks the inner-thought process of what millions of Americans are thinking of. You think you're ready for the big football game? He's pumped too. Planning a relaxing evening watching a box office hit following by a meal at a casual restaurant? He's right there with you. In this time of uncertainty, it's Guy's normalcy that we relish.

    8) @LenosWritersRoom (4,700 followers)

    This might be the only time you'll hear the words "Leno" and "funny" in the same sentence and now want to shove a fork in your eye. The unaffiliated (we think?) account masterfully hypothesizes what type of unfunny jokes Leno's is creating for his show's monologue. Like watching your school principal trying to crack an "edgy" joke, @LenosWritersRoom's tweets are filled with off-color, unfunny, and grunt-inducing tweets that basically describe Leno's terrible jokes. More like Burlington Groan Factory, amiright Leno??

    9) @GuarascioPort (3,200 followers)

    When show creator Dan Harmon was forced out from Community in favor two new producers, fans nearly freaked. How could NBC do that to the low-rated show that has failed to attract a sizable audience with its overly quirky jokes do that to its creator? Oh, that might be the reason. Anyway, viewers didn't exactly welcome the comedy's new overlords, David Guarascio and Moses Port. The account takes trolling to a new level by petrifying the show's changes. Joel McHale out, Carlos Mencia in? Hell yeah. 

    10) @Shoshannasboard (3,800 followers)

    This. Is. Gorg. Shoshanna, the nation's preeminent Jewish American Princess from HBO's Girls, was made for Pinterest. Think Charlotte York for the Instagram set. Shoshanna's personality and love for all things girlie would fit perfectly on Pinterest. This account imagines the type of ironic scrunchies, fro-yo flavors, and cute puppies she would the pin the heck out of.

    11) @ThinkingCatalog (1,700 followers)

    If you ever wanted to know what's happening in the Adderall-riddled minds of millennials, read Thought Catalog. If you wanted to have a laugh at our biggest concerns, which is probably how Instagram is annoying us today, read Thinking Catalog. Although now-dormant, the account lampooned Thought Catalog's overly dramatic and vapid headlines with ones of their own. Facebook in the Age of Facebook: is that from @ThinkingCatalog or Thought Catalog? We'd tell you, but only if you tell us how pretty we look. 

    Honorable mentions

    @PinterestFake (8,400 followers) Disturbingly accurate peak into many of Pinterest user's minds.

    @TextInstagram (8,000 followers) A #nofilter look at your Instagram feed.

    @NIKKlFINKE(closed) Toldja there was no way Finke would find this funny.

    @Bill_Nye_Tho (12,000 followers) We don't remember Bill Nye being this high when we were growing up.

    @ObliviousNFLRef (71,000 followers) During the referee lockout, this might be the only touchdown they scored.

    * Besides, you know, all the breaking news. 


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    Yesterday, Hulu subscribers got a little year-end refresher on the year's funniest and most popular Saturday Night Live skits—according to Hulu, that is. The 38-year-old franchise remains a benchmark for comedy, and despite 2012 seeing the end of an era with the departure of Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig after seven years, Hulu's list proves SNL is still relevant, fresh, and funny.

    1) "Disney Housewives"

    This spoof of Real Housewives may have been Lindsay Lohan's one moment to shine in 2012, but the real scene-stealer in this perfect parody was Wiig's trashy, vodka-guzzling Cinderella.

    2) "Undecided Voter"

    In this hilarious, Onion-inspired pre-election skit, voters ask hard-hitting questions such as "What is oil?" and "Where's my power cord?"

    3) "Lazy Sunday 2"

    What could be better than a lazy Sunday brunch? Two white dudes rapping about it, of course.

    4) "Puppet Class"

    Bill Hader's hilariously creepy war vet makes this puppet workshop one to remember.

    5) "Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party"

    Mixing a touch of Whose LineIs It Anyway? in with the usual SNL comedy gold, this sketch (featuring cast newcomer Cecily Strong) offers the wisdom of the ages: "War, hunger, diseases—it's like, pick one."

    Though Hulu's list made us laugh, we can't help thinking of all the other great SNL skits from 2012 that didn't make the list: Louis C.K.'s hilarious turn as Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's opening monologue turned Magic Mike parody, all of the Stefon segments, Maya Rudolph as Maya Angelou in a prank show called I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs, and Sad Mouse.

    What are some of your favorites?


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    While Batman and Ethan Hunt helped make The Dark Knight Rises and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol two of the biggest box office hits this year, it was a couple of rowdy teenagers in Project X that made it the most pirated film of 2012.

    The movie, which features three high school nobodies throwing a massive house party that spirals out of control, was downloaded 8.72 million times, TorrentFreak reported. That was followed by Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with 8.5 million downloads.

    "Whether these unauthorized downloads are a serious threat to box office revenues is unclear. Earlier this year researchers found no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts U.S. box office returns," TorrentFreak added. "There is a link between downloads and revenues internationally, which the researchers attributed to long release windows.However, looking at box office revenues is only half of the picture as DVD sales, rentals and on-demand movies are perhaps more likely to be impacted."

    Despite only grossing $100 million in the box office, Project X captured the country's attention when it was released in March largely because of the depiction of underage drinking. The film also inspired thousands of teenagers around the U.S. to emulate the raucous party depicted in the film.

    In July, 21 people received summons after a party in Staten Island "complete with drinking, marijuana and out-of-control teenagers" was broken up by police, the Staten Island Advance reported.

    "As neighborhood parents started appearing and news of the police arrival was imminent, kids were seen jumping off the roof, jumping out windows and scrabbling down vertical gutter pipes to get away," the newspaper added.

    An estimated 30,000 partiers were expected to descend on the Dutch town of Haren in September for a recreation of Project X, but the massive party never actually emerged, with just a few hundred showing up.

    Those parties pale in comparison to that of Corey Delaney, of Australia, whose 2008 blowout featured 500 teenagers. The Melbourne shindig ended up creating $20,000 worth of damages and partly inspiring Project X, The Atlantic reported. The following is an interview with a shirtless Delaney. It has collected 2.6 million views.

    The fact that the film was partly inspired by an Australian partier and the island is popular with content pirates is what helped make Project X top this year's list, Buzzfeed reported. About 7 percent of illegal Project X downloads have been from Australia, TorrentFreak's Ernesto told Buzzfeed.

    Photo via Collider.com


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    With more than 72 hours of footage uploaded every minute, it’s physically impossible to keep track of the content on YouTube. But in YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Jason Steele, "Charlie the Unicorn 4"

    It's been almost four years since the last Charlie the Unicorn video, but now Charlie and his friends have traveled to the moon to defeat a singing millipede and blow up the whole thing in their trippiest adventure yet.

    2) Rhe De Ville, "NEWEST Happy New Year Song"

    Now that 2013 is just around the corner, it's time to look towards the New Year, and Rhe De Ville sings of new beginnings as her date runs all over New York City to make it in time for the ball drop.

    3) Ze Frank, "True Facts About The Angler Fish"

    Vlogbrother Hank Green wrote an entire song about the Anglerfish, and now Ze Frank has even more "facts" for you on the Anglerfish—or rather, a rainbow of ugly. This master of disguise can also use different "clothing" to catch its prey, if you take Ze at his word.
     

    4) The NOC, "Year in Sports Parody - 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'"

    What better way to sum up the past year of sports mishaps but in song? The NOC took one of the holiday season's creepier songs and turned it into a duet about athletes who didn't have such a great year.

    5) thatswakproductions, "Anti-Depressant Parody: Twenty-Somethings"

    They didn't teach you this in college, but being a twenty-something is a serious condition in which people question everything and avoid the real world. But don’t worry, you're not alone. The condition can last up to nine years, so see a doctor.

    Photo via Jason Steele/YouTube

     


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    You can’t talk 2012 without talking GIFs: the year’s cultural superstar, the Oxford American Dictionary’sword of the year, and the means by which the internet shared its obsessions (and we all know the internet really likes to obsess). From the GIF to politics to the apocalypse to Honey Boo Boo, the guys from I Love Charts bring you the year’s top cultural obsessions — in GIF form, of course.

    Zombies

    2012 was a year where major issues dominated the global narrative. Mainly we talked about the election and zombies.

    image

    12/21/12

    The world didn’t end in accordance with a misreading of the Mayan calendar, though we certainly wasted a lot of time dissecting the possibility. Add it to the list of disappointments. 

    image

    The Election

    America got really into the 2012 presidential election. It was as heartening to see the nation take part in the democratic process as it was predictable to see it go back to ignoring politics immediately afterward.

    image

    Rape

    Remember how suddenly everybody felt like it was their place to talk about rape this year? We never found the right chart to say just how disgusted we were.

    image

    50 Shades of Grey

    The book that stole America’s loins. 

    image

    Honey Boo Boooooooooo

    Nuff said.

    image

    Foreign Pop Stars

    The summer of 2012 was dominated by pop music made by artists not born in America. 

    image

    Mohawk Guy

    2012 was a huge year for science, we assume. As seems to often be the case, science reporting remained marginalized unless the stories involved Bill Nye, a dude with a mohawk, or cool space things we could fantasize about.

    image

    Gabby Douglas

    Sorry, Neil Degrasse Tyson fans, our hero for 2012 was Gabrielle Douglas, who captivated us all at the 2012 Olympics. 

    image

    Brooklyn

    Yes, Brooklyn. With Jay-Z as its figurehead, the borough not only picked up a professional basketball team but also a brand new stadium. Oh right, and a whole lot of artisanal pickles.

    image

    By Jason Oberholzer & Cody Westphal/I Love Charts


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    In Buzzed, we take a look at three things that trended over the weekend while you were away from your keyboard getting buzzed.

    On YouTube
    At his show Saturday night, Kanye West went on rant slamming a trifecta of targets: the media, the Grammys, and Maroon 5. In a diatribe that landed on YouTube, he said he wasn't "crazy" or "deranged" despite the media's reports. He ragged on the Grammys for snubbing him this year for not including his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as a nominee for Album of the Year. "So don't expect to see me at the Grammys this year, you know what I mean?," he told the crowd.

    And then, Sunday night, Yeezy dropped the biggest bombshell at a show in Atlantic City, N.J., reportedly announcing Kim Kardashian's pregnancy: "Can we make some noise for my baby mama right quick?" The news was seemingly confirmed by a chorus of tweets from the Kardashian clan.

    On Twitter
    A pregnant Jessica Simpson showed off her bulging stomach in a tweet Sunday that will be forever etched in your brain. Gripping her bejeweled (naturally) iPhone, she pursed her lips into duck formation (obviously) and wrote "Bumpin' and Proud!" because sure.

    On Intagram
    Wearing the dumbest hat, Ryan Seacrest posted a picture on his Instagram account promoting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest (real name) with a snap of the new set. It would be neat if we dropped Seacrest in the middle of Times Square, but watching him read a teleprompter for four hours should be enough pain.

    Photo via Jessica Simpson/Twitter


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    It's funny, the things you find when you're just trawling the interwebz, looking for boozy New Year's GIFs. A German propaganda sci-fi film from the late Thirties is a funny place to find the Great White Way circa 1920, but there it is, smack at 20:55 of Weltraum Schiffi Startet Eine Technishe Fantasie (Space Ship Takeoff, a Technical Fantasy). And very dashing it looks there, too, if somewhat incongruous, what with the emphatically Teutonic voiceover announcing the triumphs and expected return of the Nazi space-conquering rocketship.

    The cultural dissonance is lessened when translated to GIF form by the tireless Valentin of the GIFMovie Tumblr. Although that particular spot of NYC has probably not known silence since some time in the 1750s, it is lent an impassive dignity by the silence, allowing us to focus on the stark black and white of the image. Neon, doubtless a kaleidoscope of clash in real life, is here rendered a very existentialist white beacon against darkness. In the context of the film, it's a metaphor for the inexorable progress of science, but to put it to the test, I'd like to see that particular corner today. Back then it advertised Calvert, a pretty decent whiskey which now belongs to Jim Beam. Today? Probably Redbull.

    The GIF has had 851 notes since Dec. 22, while the YouTube languished in relative obscurity with 4,330 views in more than two years. If you like esoteric German space propaganda of the '30s, we've got you covered. There are worse ways to spend New Year's Eve than watching a nation's lost hopes for the future while drinking bootlegged Canadian whiskey. Or is that just me?

    Cheers!

    GIF via GIFMovie/Tumblr


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    Frodo, an 11-year-old pup from The Badger State, was thrilled to see the Green Bay Packers ascend to the NFL playoffs in early December. But he kept cheering his favorite team as they trounced the Titans for their 11th win.

    “After the Packers scored their seventh touchdown against the Titans, Frodo decided it was safe for him to snooze a little and store up energy for the playoffs,” says Colleen Weir, a source close to the situation.


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    Gaze back on the story of podcasting in 2012 and you may notice conspicuously few major new players.

    Consider some of the biggest highlights: the purchase of Nerdist by Legendary Entertainment (and news of its full-season pickup by BBC America), the debut of Comedy Bang Bang on IFC, the industry’s first stab at a truly all-encompassing awards ceremony in the form of the Stitcher Awards, President Obama’s appearance on The BS Report, and the comedy podcast-focused Los Angeles Podfest.

    All of these are milestones for the medium, but they’re developments dominated by players who have, at this point, been on the podcast scene for years. But what of the new shows, the recently emerged podcasts that have spent the year tightening their games and building their audiences? With the year drawing to a close, Podspotting flags up the 10 best new podcasts of 2012—the shows that emerged strong, got even better, and are poised to have a big year in 2013.

    10) Call Chelsea Peretti

    Comedian and writer Chelsea Peretti has an enviable resume, with guest appearances on Louie and The Sarah Silverman Program, credits writing for the Village Voice, and even a gig writing for the fourth season of Parks and Recreation. Her podcast, Call Chelsea Peretti, lets her bust out the comedy chops that have made her such a commodity, as Peretti responds to messages from listeners. There’s no real theme; listeners can call in to ask about everything from relationship mores to diabetes. Although Peretti can be a serial abuser of shortened forms of words—“sitch,” “convo,” etc.—she tackles questions with a sardonic irreverence that makes for fun listening.

    9) WNYC’s Here’s The Thing

    OK, so this choice is a mild cheat: Alec Baldwin’s ceaselessly erudite, almost oppressively classy interview show Here’s The Thing actually released its first episode in the waning months of 2011. But the podcast was mere weeks old when 2012 began, and this year has found the show truly finding its groove, with Baldwin speaking to a wide range of thinkers and cultural players to consistently entertaining and intriguing results. Of particular note is the show’s stellar David Letterman interview, in which Baldwin skillfully pierces through one of show business’ most guarded personalities, leading Letterman to recount a fascinating series of anecdotes, covering even his very first gigs in television. That kind of quality is worth bending the rules a little for.

    8) PodCRASH

    PodCRASH is another podcast that sneaks onto the list somewhat illegally, having started at the tail end of 2011. But it, too, found its footing in 2012, as “nerdlebrity” Chris Gore, the movie geek and comedian founder of Film Threat and regular film commentator on G4’s late Attack of the Show, embraced and perfected the podcast’s odd format. Every week, Chris Gore quite literally crashes another podcast; the show features Gore appearing on a different podcast each week, with added commentary from Gore. And it’s not just comedy podcasts; sure, one episode features Gore appearing on Paul Gilmartin’s Mental Illness Happy Hour, but he also pops up in podcasts on subjects as disparate as Doctor Who and crafting. It’s probably the most meta podcast yet conceived, but it’s a great way to get introduced to new shows, and a consistently interesting listen for fans of the medium.

    7) Decode DC

    Like most of us, Andrea Seabrook found herself growing increasingly frustrated during 2011’s debacle of a debt-ceiling debate, as the nation stood on the brink of a default and politicians used the media to take cheap shots at each other. Unlike the rest of us, Seabrook decided to do something about it, leaving NPR to start DecodeDC, a podcast that aims to go behind the rhetoric of politics and decipher the truth behind the massaged media messaging. DecodeDC’s true debut will come in 2013, when the show, which has support from the Mule Radio Podcast Syndicate, Soundcloud, and a very successful Kickstarter campaign, will begin releasing episodes on a regular schedule. But even with only four episodes under its belt, the podcast is already a refreshingly straightforward look at politics that’s tackled everything from the neuroscience behind party politics to the carefully managed staging of political events. It’s savvy, honest, entrepreneurial reporting, and I have every reason to think it will be a must-listen show in 2013.

    6) International Waters

    If NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! is your favorite audio-delivered comedic trivia show, it’s only because you haven’t heard International Waters yet. Jesse Thorn of Bullseye/Maximum Fun fame dials up the goofiness to 11 in this monthly show, which pits teams of comedians from the United States and the United Kingdom (or, in one case, Canada) against each other for quiz dominance. The pop culture-centric questions give comedians ranging from Michael Ian Black to Andy Zaltzman to Janet Varney ample opportunity to riff, with Thorn awarding two points to correct answers and one point to answers that amuse him. You may not learn much, but you’ll laugh … a lot.

    5) Fatman On Batman

    There’s probably no show that better exemplifies the virtues of narrowcasting then Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith’s weekly opportunity to gab about the Caped Crusader with guests ranging from Adam West and current Batman writer Scott Snyder to acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series writer Paul Dini. By definition, it’s not a show for everybody; those without a fanatical love for Batman need not apply. But if you enjoy your Batman—and the billion-dollar gross for The Dark Knight would suggest that a lot of you do—you’re likely to be as engaged and disarmed by Smith’s clear devotion to the character as his charmed guests are. The discussions are deep, insightful, and every bit as relentlessly geeky as they need to be, while Smith’s skills as a host and raconteur keep the conversations fun and inviting.

    4) The Dana Gould Hour

    Of all the comedy podcasts in the land, The Dana Gould Hour is probably the one that best approximates the joys of a late-night talk show—albeit an especially demented, unrestrained one. Every week Gould (a comedian and comedy writer who’s penned episodes of The Simpsons) and a smattering of guests hold court for well over an hour—the name is a loose suggestion, at best—with monologues, interviews, conversations, the occasional sketch, musical performances, factoids, and other interludes. It’s a freewheeling format that finds most episodes zeroing on a specific topic, like manliness, theme parks, or conspiracy theories, and hitting a number of different beats on that topic. The resulting podcast is a weird kind of brilliant, full of variety, fast-moving, well-produced and endlessly entertaining. No less an authority than Patton Oswalt once called Gould the founder of alt-comedy, and The Dana Gould Hour displays Gould at his smart, funny best.

    3) Here Be Monsters

    Here Be Monsters has as quixotic an origin story as any podcast out there: In 2010, host and creator Jeff Emtman decided he wanted to face his fears and insecurities head-on, and decided audio was the medium to do it in. Two years and one Souncloud fellowship later, he created Here Be Monsters, a podcast loosely about the freaky and the unknown. Every week, Emtman or one of his contributors talks to somebody who’s had an experience on the fringes. One episode dives into the world of the Juggalos. Another features a conversation with an unnamed professor, who shares his experience of (temporarily, as it turns out) dying. Another, especially cringeworthy episode talks with someone who was circumcised at the regrettably late age of 12. Here Be Monsters is one of the most unpredictable podcasts out there; it’s impossible to know what subject any given episode may tackle, giving the show a wonderfully eccentric, free-roaming vibe.

    2) Good Job, Brain!

    What exactly, is Good Job, Brain! anyway? It’s a little bit quiz show. It’s a little bit strange, offbeat news from all corners of the world. But, at the end of the day, it’s the perfect show for trivia nerds—folks who live to yell at their TV during Jeopardy!, who prefer to visit their favorite bars on quiz nights, and whose favorite party game is Trivial Pursuit. Hosts Karen Chu, Colin Felton, Dana Nelson, and Chris Kohler quiz the audience and each other, share trivia, discuss oddball news and true stories, and toss out more dinner party-worthy factoids than any other podcast out there. It’s an impossibly geeky, incredibly exuberant, just-plain-interesting weekly hour of infotainment that’s so winsome that the show had no trouble finding funding from fans on Kickstarter.

    1) The Truth

    Audio drama dates back to the earliest days of radio, so The Truth’s format—“movies for your ears,” per the show’s tagline—isn’t earthshaking in and of itself, even if it is a pleasant departure from the interview and/or commentary format that dominates most podcasts. What makes Jonathan Mitchell’s audio-fiction program so captivating is how incredibly well-executed it is, and how unquestionably modern it feels. Longtime radio veteran Mitchell debuted his podcast with a 2010 radio piece, the quiet tragedy of “Moon Graffiti”—a “what if?” tale imagining the final moments of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in a reality where the Apollo 11 mission failed.

    The Truth received a blast of attention when another of its episodes was featured on This American Life, and in the final months of 2012 released a spectacular triptych of episodes that wove Halloween and the election season together for a series of politically themed horror stories. “That’s Democracy,” which begins with a disgruntled teacher and an unruly classroom and ends with an act of shocking violence, may have been the tensest, most uncomfortable, most unforgettable single podcast of the year. There are other podcasts doing audio drama—many quite well—but none combine interesting writing, strong performances, and excellent production quite as ably as The Truth. The show is still finding its footing, releasing episodes sporadically, and some of its best episodes were older radio productions repurposed for the podcast. But the wait for each episode is more than worth it, and it will be interesting what tricks the show pulls out of its hat for year two—starting with a live episode to be recorded at the New York City Podfest in January.

    Photo via @GoodJobBrain/Twitter


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    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's insufferable pregnancy announcement is also spawning something equally terrible: Twitter parody accounts.

    A plethora of humorless, dull, moronic accounts popped up overnight in celebration.

    Brian Feldman took on the the dubious task of hunting down the accounts. His findings are enough to make us hide under our Kardashian Kollection sheets for the next nine months.

    Most of the accounts followed the same stupid jokes: the fetus is already wealthier than you, Kim's well-known sexual past, changing every word with a C in it to a K. Good stuff.

    Here are the five worst Kimye baby parody Twitters to make you rethink life and cement (kement?) your Kardashian loyalty with Mason and Scott Disick.

    1) @kimyefetus / 946 followers

    (Warning: NSFW for a TwitPic of Ray J.'s penis.)

    2) @kimyesfetus / 0 followers

    3) @KIMYESBABY / 625 followers

    4) @TheKimyeBaby / 6 followers

    5) @kimyebabyy / 20 followers

    Photo by Eva Rinaldi/Flickr


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    Start your week right with the Daily Dot’s Morning Mashup, the best music remix from around the Web. Turn up your speakers or pop on your headphones, and bring the funk.

    Seventy-three years ago, Charlie Chaplin wrote and then gave what has come to be known as one of the greatest political speeches ever made, in his film The Great Dictator. He delivered it on budget and in front of a blasé camera crew, on a hot Hollywood set where the great dictators were producers and directors, not Führers. As one of the United Artist studio founders, Chaplin was by default all three; nonetheless, his repudiation of dictatorial authoritarianism rings true, as true now as it has been for all the war-torn generations between 1940 and today. 

    Chaplin reportedly prepared for the film by watching Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will repeatedly, laughing as if it were the funniest thing he'd ever seen. Then he sat down and wrote his first real talkie, his most profitable film, and the one which has inspired perhaps more mashups in the past two years than any other segment of celluloid (Star Trek, as always, excluded). 

    The original Great Dictator speech, uploaded to YouTube in June of 2006, has had 4.7 million views. Since that time, it's been used as the basis for countless mashups, each one posted and re-posted and passed around activist circles with a sometimes cavalier approach to attribution, making the original source of any particular mashup difficult to trace.

    This version, from May 2007, mashes up the speech with "Time" from Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for Inception, which lends it an appropriate ominousness. Adopted and passed around later that year by Anonymous and Occupy, it has garnered a very impressive 321,916 views. This essentially identical version from one month later has 219,248 of its own. Countless versions have been remixed with contemporary news footage and uploaded as "Message to Humanity," gaining another few hundred Ks. You get the idea.

    The creator of this latest version of the soundtrack is (if YouTube comments and dates don't lie!) John D. Boswell, also known as Melodysheep, who was forced to take it off YouTube because of a copyright dispute. It lives on as Track 11 of his album Symphonies for the Soul on Bandcamp, uploaded on July 13, 2011. Only a master could successfully AutoTune one of the Great Speeches; we can only wonder what he'll do with the St. Crispian's Day bit from Henry V.

    Driven to the end of his Guy Fawkes mask's elastic by the current (and, if truth be told, eternal) drama among squabbling Anonymous members, AnonRoughCoitus has uploaded a new video accompaniment to the AutoTune masterpiece, and the new video mashup paired with the AutoTuned mashup from last year of the speech from the last century, is our choice for Mashup Monday. Full transcript of the speech is below the video.

    Transcript of the speech:

    I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

    Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

    Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

    Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

    Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it's written, "the kingdom of God is within man," not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

    Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

    Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

    Screencap via Tracing My Life/Tumblr


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    Mitt Romney holding a pistol sideways at a rally. Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie walking away from an explosion. The Olympics stadium filled with memes.

    These are some of the best altered images this year according to Reddit's Photoshop Battles, a place where users take topical, funny, or just plain disturbing images and remix them.

    This year's winners were were decided by the number of upvotes (not the total score) an image received on the social news site, wrote moderator thatoneguydunno.

    The following are this year's winners:

    Best Animal/Nature Image


    Posted by FueledByCoffee

    Best Apocalyptic/Zombie Image


    Posted by dr_mantis_tobaggan

    Best Celebrity/Political Image


    Posted by DaminDrexil

     

    Best GIF/Reaction Image


    Posted by ListenChump

    Best Meme Related Image


    Posted by Daanando

    Best Plot Twist/Unexpected/Troll Image


    Posted by /t3hTr0n

    Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Anime Image


    Posted by heavymetalpancakes


    Best Sports/Games Image


    Posted by Monkeyknife

    Best WTF Image


    Posted by elf_destruct_in_321

    Art via heavymetalpancakes/Reddit


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    The Daily Dot spent the holiday season checking more lists than the Transportation Security Administration.

    It’s annual exercise for most publications, a momentary pause for reflection meant to put the past year in perspective and to shed some light on the months ahead (not to mention fill the slower news cycle). For us it’s more than that, though: These lists serve as an opportunity to celebrate the events and people that brought us together and led the conversations online in 2012—the highs, lows, and Twitter parody accounts in between.

    Whether it’s with a 24-hour Spotify playlist or a list detailing the best new podcasts, this was the collective soundtrack to the year. Turn it up one more time.

    The 10 most influential people on Reddit in 2012

    The stars we lost in 2012: A GIF tribute

    The top 10 people who changed fandom in 2012

    The 12 best GIFs of 2012

    The top 10 most influential people on Facebook in 2012

    The 11 most influential Twitter parody accounts of 2012

    The top 10 most influential Twitter users of 2012

    The top 9 things that made fandom squee in 2012

    The top 10 most influential crowdfunding campaigns of 2012

    The top 10 most important people on Pinterest

    The top 10 most influential people on YouTube in 2012

    The 10 worst people on the Internet in 2012

    The top 10 events that changed fandom in 2012

    The top 10 most influential people on Tumblr in 2012

    The top 10 most influential Internet rights activists in 2012

    The top 10 most important fandoms of 2012

    The top 10 most important people on Etsy in 2012

    See you in 2013, Internet.

    Photo via Reddit


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    Real talk: Is there a greater cesspool of crudity and NSFL trolling than an Internet comments section? Check it on Gawker, YouTube, or Yelp. There's simply nothing more vile than the comments that show up under the cloak of anonymity.

    Erik Hoffstad knows this. The 27-year-old Los Angeles copywriter has spent much of his adult life cruising through the comments sections of nearly every website on the Internet, deducing the proper formulas for concocting an ideal comment for each one.  

    Through Internet Comment Etiquette, Hoffstad will spend six weeks trolling the trollers, bringing you a basic how-to for posting comments and raising hell. His suggestion: Write as many F-bombs as possible. Ours: Grab yourself a stiff drink and witness the master at work.

    Photo via Internet Comment Etiquette/YouTube


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    First the parody accounts, and now the memes: That's how the Internet is methodically reacting to the news of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby.

    West announced the news at a concert in Atlantic City (how gauche) Sunday night, but that was plenty of time for bored Photoshop users to place West's head on ultrasound pictures, create frightening depictions of Kardashian's and West's face melted together, and Photoshop a pregnancy test that shows a $ sign and not a plus or negative (in case you forgot how loaded the couple is).

    We've compiled some “Kimye” memes and mashups that will forever haunt you.

    Photo via @mikvylv/Twitter


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    You know nothing, Nice Guys.

    In the land of Westeros, there are a lot of eligible bachelors who are ready to forego the brothels and fight to the death in order to be the King of the Seven Kingdoms of your heart.

    But don't worry, they're all "nice"—or so they claim.

    Nice Guys of Westeros, the single-serving Tumblr that launched on Dec. 19, features some of your favorite characters from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and imagine what they would answer on an OKCupid profile questionnaire. It's Nice Guys of OKCupid, but with a Game of Thrones twist.

    The Nice Guy thing is practically a joke at this point. Calling yourself a decent fellow is usually just an excuse to whine about the "friend zone" and rag on the women who don't feel obligated to have sex with you.

    NGoOKC went viral shortly after it launched on Dec. 16. The author behind the original blog used snapshots from OKCupid profiles (along with their questionnaires) to reveal a level of bitterness and misogyny. The Nice Guys expect women to shave their legs. The Nice Guys expect to be the head of the household.

    The person behind the blog has received backlash, but so far has had more fun messing around with her subjects rather than appeasing them.

    NGoW goes along the same lines, but also incorporates plotlines from the first two seasons of Game of Thrones (so if you haven't read the books, you won't get spoiled). Sandor Clegane expects you to have sex with him after he rescues you, Renly Baratheon is stylish (but insists he isn't gay), and Viserys Targaryen warns you not to wake up the dragon.

    Oh wait, he does that in the book and show, too.

    The person behind NGoW has yet to respond to any critics—if any—but it doesn't appear that anyone's sent for Ser Ilyn Payne or brought up RW yet.

    They anxiously await your response by raven.

    All photos via Nice Guys of Westeros/Tumblr


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    Korean phenomenon Psy will be hanging up his imaginary horse saddle in 2013.

    The rapper/pop-star, whose ubiquitous song "Gangnam Style" plucked him from relative obscurity and made him a viral sensation, announced in an MTV interview that he plans to retire the song after he performs it in front of a large crowd in New York City's Times Square during tonight's ABC broadcast of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2012."

    "Being in Times Square on New Year's Eve is already special — it's the biggest stage in the universe — plus it's my birthday, so, with all that, it may be the ending of 'Gangnam Style,'" Psy announced. "I mean, what better way to do it? It's my biggest and most meaningful birthday."

    "The song became too popular, and so you start to have some concern about its life period," Psy continued.

    “Too popular” is likely the understatement of 2012. Since premiering on July 15, the song has amassed more than 1 billion views on YouTube, the first and only video to reach that milestone. The song also set a Guinness World record for being the most liked video on the video sharing platform.

    "Gangnam Style" also inspired countless parodies and tributes, clever mashups, and a vodka. It has even claimed the life of at least one individual, something not even "La Macarena" can lay claim to.

    For those worried that Psy retiring his famous pony dance will mark the end of the Korean pop star, you can rest easy knowing that he's already working on a followup, which will be likely be recorded in English.

    He's also planning on busting out some unknown moves. "I'm going to make some new songs with my old moves," he announced. "No animals anymore."

    Photo via Korea Net/Flickr


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