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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) Bad Teeth, "Daniel Radcliffe: A How-To Guide"

    Actor Daniel Radcliffe tells us just what we need to do in order to be a successful actor. And while he hired Jake to keep him grounded, he's intimidated by him, leading to an outburst of anger. You’d be a little nuts, too, if you played Harry Potter on film for a decade. At least Radcliffe has his appreciative fans, even if he can't do a handstand or split.

    2) Improv Everywhere, "Grand Central Lights"

    Grand Central Terminal in New York City just turned 100 a few days ago, so Improv Everywhere recruited 135 participants to create a light show on the terminal's west side with LED lights and cameras, to the enjoyment of the commuters and tourists below.

    3) HUMORdy, "Favorite Memes"

    Journey's Steve Perry has recently discovered the Internet and all its high (and low) lights, but he especially has a knack for memes. His love for them is enough to change the lyrics of "Faithfully" to profess his love in song.

    4) James Farr, "Super Mario Busters"

    Mario and Luigi have handled their fair share of ghosts, so it's only natural that they take their services to the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom. Peach is possessed, Yoshi imagines the Stay Puft Marshmallow Kirby, and Luigi is left to save the day in a mashup with Ghostbusters.

    5) Geek & Sundry, "Go Viral"

    Paul and Storm are trying to go viral in the latest episode of LearningTown, and they enlist the help of Weird Al Yankovic, gym sequences, jean jackets, and an '80s-era training montage.

    Photo via Bad Teeth/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.

    How to describe Canada's living national treasure Don Cherry? For some tasks, dear reader, mere words seem pathetically insufficient.

     

    To explain the world's most recognizable hockey commentator would require the combined efforts of grand opera, Expressionist painting, and interpretive dance, at the very least.

    A bullet-headed blowhard, a conservative who occasionally makes Stephen Harper look like Karl Marx, a man as full of opinions as Algonquin Provincial Park is full of moose nuggets, he's the man we all love to hate, but he is also, without question, the most sartorially splendid being this beige-on-beige nation has ever produced.

    Behold the wonder that is Don Cherry.

    You can thank the Canucks fan at Sweet Flow and Majestic Beardies for this glorious GIF, which has a paltry six notes.


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    Tired of inane statuses, political rants and boring photos, Jolene — a cat from Austin, TX — went on a massive Facebook un-friending spree on Tuesday, leaving 15 casualties in her wake.

    “She just got sick of seeing those inspirational quote pictures,” says Madeline O’Conner, who considers herself one of Jolene’s real-life friends. “She was just cruising through her News Feed, exasperated, and was like, ‘Why am I still friends with these people? I haven’t spoken to them since graduation.’“

    Submitted by Stefanie Squier.


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    The Academy Awards rolls out its red carpet Feb. 24.

    With only a few weeks to go before the prestigious, 85th annual event, you may be experiencing a surge of Netflix rentals to get you ready for the big night.

    Letting your inner film geek out to play doesn't mean you have to suppress your inner style guru, though.

    After all, that's what Pinterest was made for. And nothing says "style" like these 10 Pinterest boards devoted to all things cinematic.

    1)2013 Oscars | 85th Academy Awards Nominees

    This board by user keekz4prez is just what it says on the tin, showcasing posters and still images from all this year's nominated films.

    2) A Place for Film

    This is the Pinterest account for the Indiana University Cinema, an arthouse series hosting hundreds of films year round. Its boards include commentary, reviews, posters, filmmakers, and more.

    3) My fave movies & series by posters

    This board by user wickedsheila features mostly minimalist alternative poster designs to popular favorite films.

    4) "You-You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down."

    With its romantic, nostalgic bent, this board is a must for fans of vintage film and classic on-screen couples.

    5) Fashion and Film

    Popular Pinterest user mylusciouslife has 400 pins devoted to cinema fashion in this eye-catching board. As a bonus, check their favorite movie board as well.

    6) Movies

    With over 3 million followers, Pinterest  power user Jodi McKee may not have as many pins on her favorite movies board, but what's there is a great space to make conversation and geek out with other film buffs.

    7) Movie Stills

    This collection of stills from famous movies will send you on a nostalgia trip and pique your interest in the variety of user courtneyblazon's eclectic board.

    8) The Movie Poster

    You can't go wrong with this mix of vintage, new, and indie movies, or the variety of posters, also from courtneyblazon.

    9) Academy Awards

    Brian Horton's gallery of people clutching their Oscars may make Leonardo weep, but it will delight the rest of us.

    10) Oh, the Horror

    No movie roundup is complete without the grisly and the macabre, and this board devoted to classic and cool horrorfests is perfect for anyone looking to have their spine tingled.

    All screengrabs via Pinterest


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    Twitter darling and Mitt Romney scourge Rob Delaney is looking to take his fame to the coffee table.

    Delaney shot to fame with his funny, often outlandish Twitter activity and he's now set to release a board game "centered around hundreds of Rob's most entertaining tweets." The gist, according to Amazon, is that players will read Delaney's tweets "aloud as you race around the board identifying 'who wrote what' and battling to see which player's words are the funniest." 

    The game, called "Rob Delaney's War of Words," is made by All Things Equal, a board game maker with a little history in Internet-fame-based products. The company previously released a game based on Awkward Family Photos.

    The Delaney effort seems like it might be a little complicated. Pieces include a game board, playing cards, voting chips, an answer pad, and a custom die. 

    "No knowledge of Twitter is required!" screams the Amazon description, taking care to note that the game "contains naughty words." After all, Cards Against Humanity is doing all right for itself with all those not-so-family-friendly references.

    In seriousness, it's an interesting move for Delaney as he looks to capitalize on his Twitter stardom. He has more than 750,000 followers, and we named him the second-most influential person in the community last year.

    The game's out in May, and Delaney's legions of fans are already counting down the days.

    "Can't wait to play this with the church fam," wrote Hiland Chamblee.

    "Five minutes ago, I had no idea this existed. And now, I can't imagine living in a world where this DOESN'T exist," commented Kevin Bannon.

    "It says your product dimensions are 3.5 x 10.5 inches. Not bad … ," joked Todd Wessendorf.

    "Oh God, I can only imagine how lame is going to be. *Preorders it anyway*," tweeted Cassis Chaos.

    It's just a pity Delaney's not using his infamous Twitter profile photo on the box.

    Photo via Amazon


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    If you enjoyed the heart-pounding action of Saving Private Ryan and the taut intrigue ofThe Da Vinci Code, you'll love dynamic thrill ride that is: The Son of the Star of Those Movies Lost His iPad.

    SCENE: Monday afternoon, in a Northwestern University dormitory. Chet Haze feels a creeping sense of dread:

    SCENE: The situation grows frantic.

    SCENE: Desperation sets in.

    SCENE: A twist ending. 

     

    -fin-

    By Hamilton Nolan // photo via Facebook

     

     


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    Twitter's most famous spambot @Horse_ebooks is looking for love.

    A new Tumblr called Okc_ebooks features screenshots of hilarious OKCupid conversations between "earnest dudes" and a female spam bot inspired by the popular Twitter account.

    @Horse_ebooks captured the world's attention with garbled asides like "Ugly Handwriting by the Mystery Writer Ugly Handwriting Thin Writing The Uniqueness of Personality The Perfect."

    The Twitter account was created by Russian Web developer named Alexey Kouznetsov as a "misguided and nonsensical attempt to market ebooks," Slacktory reported. It has more than 150,000 followers and has inspired a slew of copycats, T-shirts, and comics, not to mention poetry and fanart.

    Okc_ebooks, which was first spotted by Gawker’s @Horse_ebooks beat reporter Adrian Chen, has already made a small corner of the Internet all fuzzy inside. It is unclear whether the conversations are indeed real or fabricated, considering the name of the bot and the fact that some participants have been removed from the photos.

    Here are some of the best conversations thus far.

    Photo via Twitter/remix by Fernando Alfonso III


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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) Tay Zonday, "Dragonborn"

    Tay Zonday, the rich baritone voice behind "Chocolate Rain" and a "Call Me Maybe" cover he sang as low as possible for fun, covered the theme song for Skyrim, and he even provided his own harmony.

    2) Jonathan Mann, "Come Live With Me In Brooklyn"

    Jonathan Mann has written and posted a song on YouTube every day since January 2009. Now that he needs a new roommate for his Brooklyn apartment, he naturally turned his Craigslist advertisement into a song for his project.

    3) Harry Hanrahan, "Hit By A Bus* - The Supercut"

    If you learn nothing else from movies, if you walk backwards into the middle of the street, you're bound to get hit by some vehicle. The over-exhausted trope is used 93 separate times in just this one supercut. Sean Bean hasn't even died that many times.

    4) Jon and Al Kaplan, "DIE HARD: THE MUSICAL"

    If you've ever wished that Alan Rickman sang more often in Sweeney Todd, you finally got your wish as Die Hard is turned into a musical and villain Hans Gruber gets his moment in the spotlight with a rendition of "So, Mr. Mystery Guest."

    5) What's Trending, "Farmer-Ville: Ram Trucks 'Farmer' Super Bowl Ad Parody"

    On the eighth day, a farmer wasn't made (as the Ram Super Bowl commercial suggested), but rather it was FarmVille. In order to take on the task of a "Farmer-Ville," a person needs to be stupid enough to give all their personal information to Facebook but smart enough to find the loopholes, and if anyone can handle that task it's the Facebook generation.

    Photo via Tay Zonday/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.

    If there is one thing the Internet is good at, it's answering obscure-yet-pervasive questions, and among these there is none greater than, "How do I, a moderately uncoordinated white person, learn to moonwalk?"

    This two-day-old series of GIFs from new Imgur user Mago Mike will answer that question for you once and for all. With 43,620 views and counting, he's made an impressive debut, walking away with the (entirely honorary) dance GIF prize.

    In case the (annotated!) GIFs weren't clear enough, he's added paragraphs of explanation for those who fear to step into his shoes without exhaustive research.

    But first: Is this what you're doing? You're doing it wrong.

    Watch the master:

     

    At last, we know the secret of the true moonwalk!

    Balls.

    And length.

    Walk on.

     


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  • 02/07/13--05:00: The evolution of iJustine
  • Justine Ezarik could be considered the new face of YouTube.

    Better known by her on-screen persona iJustine, Ezarik is one of seven YouTubers who have been given the opportunity to test out the new layout, which is still in limited beta, before it's rolled out to the rest of massive video-sharing community.

    And understandably so. Alongside Jenna Marbles and Felicia Day, Ezarik is one of YouTube’s leading ladies—an energetic pioneer of vlogging whose career has blossomed in parallel with the Google-owned company.

    Since 2006, she’s been giving her audience a glimpse into her everyday life on YouTube, vlogging about anything and everything that strikes her fancy on her five successful channels.

    On YouTube Creators blog late Monday, the 28-year-old introduced the changes for the channels and offered some tips, like creating channel trailers and art, for gaining new subscribers. Of course, she made a video about it as well.

    "And it's crazy how much YouTube has changed over the past couple of years," Ezarik said about the layout changes. "I've had a channel since 2006, and in Internet time that is a freaking eternity!"

    Ezarik originally became involved with making videos and learned to edit even before she started making channels. She studied multimedia at Pittsburgh Technical Institute and initially landed jobs as a graphic designer and a video editor.

    An early adopter to YouTube, Ezarik received encouragement from viewers to make more videos, but it was a slow process; at that point, the YouTube Partner program, which enabled YouTubers to make money from ad revenue by allowing ads to be placed on or near their videos, was not yet in place.

    It wasn't until her infamous reaction video to getting a 300-page iPhone bill in August 2007 that things really took off for her. If there was a hall of fame for vlog entries, this one would make it. In the minute-long clip, which has been viewed more 3.3 million times, Ezarik flips through the entire stack of papers as iPhone commercial music plays in the background.

    It’s like an accidental advertisement for e-billing.

    "It was just a weird video," Ezarik told the Daily Dot.

    "It showed me how many views and how many people it reached that there is something to this whole Internet thing, so I kept going from there."

    Around that time, she also launched her own reality-video blog on Justin.tv after doing a guest spot on founder Justin Kan's channel where she began to film almost every aspect of her life (except the more private moments) for the Web for six months straight in what's known as lifecasting.

    She took the camera everywhere she went—sometimes even wearing a camera on her head. In essence, her audience never left her side. They were captivated by her daily life, and soon many of her fans felt that they had a sense of ownership of her life. Some even tried to vote off friends who made guest appearances on her show.

    "The fans have that feeling that they do have a say, and even now they'll make comments about people in my videos," Ezarik said. "And it's hurtful because my friends will read these things and it's not very nice. So you have to pick and choose your battles."

    She reduced the amount of time she spent lifecasting (eventually abandoning her Justin.tv channel) and now just shares what she wants to share with the Internet, a process she said is "much easier."

    She still has to deal with backlash from fans after guest appearances from friends, but her audience tends to warm up to them after they've popped up on her videos a few times.

    Ezarik has over 1.3 million subscribers on her main channel, and there are over 2,200 videos between that and her four side channels that feature iJustine.

    The side channels (a vlog, a review channel, unedited iPhone videos, and video game commentary) came out of a desire to publish extra content that didn't fit with her edited videos—and to allow viewers to subscribe directly to the content they wanted—in a similar manner to a DVD's extra features menu.

    She handles the video production and editing herself, and depending on the concept, it usually takes Ezarik about four to five hours to produce, shoot, edit, and post an easier video. The most important part of the process, however, comes after she hits “publish.”

    "After that, a lot goes into making sure you're commenting and keeping on top of that and promoting it through all your social networks," Ezarik noted. "So even though that video might take a couple hours it's pretty much a full-time process, babysitting it after it launched."

    Ezarik has also done her fair share of acting over the years. She's had small roles on multiple television shows, regularly appears on the Fine Brothers's YouTubers React series, and she has been involved with Web short-turned-TV-show Annoying Orange and Video Game High School.

    But for Ezarik, she loves the instant feedback and constant adaptation that comes with producing content for the Web.

    "If I post something and my audience doesn't really like it or if they have other suggestions on how to make it better, I can take that feedback and instantly apply it to the next video," she said. "So it's a very interactive community and they're definitely very vocal about things they like and don't like."

    The feedback is already flowing in on the new YouTube design, with viewers weighing in loudly on both sides of the issue.

    Ezarik may not have yet fully explored what the new layout can do, but as she does with her channels, she's certainly adapting.

    Photo via iJustine/Facebook


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    It may be Feb. 7 for the rest of us, but for Community fans it’s Oct. 19 at last. After last year’s airdate for the show’s fourth season was pushed back by almost four months, fans have been eagerly awaiting any hints about what the Study Group will face in their last year at Greendale. Luckily, Community’s writers (sans original showrunner Dan Harmon, who left the show last year) were on-hand last night for a Reddit AMA.

    The writers and cast of Community have always been unusually open about the inner workings of the show, with Dan Harmon freely admitting his discomfort with episodes he saw as subpar, and several cast members not-so-subtly commenting about former co-star Chevy Chase’s unpopularity on set. The technical Q&As on this Reddit thread are less like a behind-the-scenes publicity statement and more like a frank interview several years after the fact.

    “How do you feel about the Holiday episodes coming out when it isn't the holiday?” (sharper4221)

    “At first I was really pissed. But after a while it started feeling like a very Community thing to do. It somehow makes sense that a show that pretty much disregards all the rules of television would air a Thanksgiving episode in March. Or at least that's how I've personally lemonaded the lemons.”

    Tim Saccardo, writer

    “What are the chances of a full season 4 and/or a season 5?” (TidderRevol)

    “i'm bullish on a season 5. nbc's ratings are so low. do we really have to do that well to get more episodes? long live the low bar.”

    David Guarascio, showrunner

    “How fun was it to write Chevy Chase out of the show?” (Ryanthepostmaster)

    “It was not fun at all. Especially because for a couple weeks we did not know from day to day, from hour to hour, whether we had Chevy or not. We literally had to come up with multiple contingency plans: what if you had Chevy for one more day? What if you didn't have him at all? What if you had him but only under very specific conditions? It drove us fucking crazy.
    Love the character. Tolerated the actor.”

    Andy Bobrow, writer

    “Do you/have you ever read any of the surprisingly large archive of Community fanfiction, and if so are there ever any idea nuggets that you're like - "hmmm we can use that?" I only ask as some of the things that occur in the show have definitely been pre-chronicled by fan writers...” (hannahsmetana)

    “We don't read fanfiction as a rule, because there are concerns about ideas accidentally making their way into the show and us getting sued. But one day we were at the office late and we started reading a bunch of Troy/Abed slash fiction. There was a surprising amount of it.”

    Megan Ganz, writer

    “Who is Jeff always texting? Or is he just browsing Reddit on his phone?” (TrafficRage)

    “Joel put forward the theory that he's just composing texts, not sending them. I'd agree with that.”

    Megan Ganz, writer

    “What was one joke/line/scene that you were really proud of that never made it into an episode?” (thesnacks)

    “Abed and Troy had an inflatable couch filled with helium in their apartment -- you know, so it could float back up to the ceiling when not in use -- and the bit got cut. (They lost the ottoman, but then it flew back in the window at the end of the scene.)”

    Maggie Bandur, writer

    “Is there any episode or scene that you wish you could have a redo, because you were never satisfied with how it read or because you came up with an alternate punchline that worked way better?” (paranoidkiwie)

    “This is probably a bad thing to say -- especially when we haven't aired one episode yet -- but I wish I could redo the finale of season 4. I had to write it in a bit of a pinch, during a period of upheaval on the show. I wrote it too long (like... 6 minutes too long) and we had to cut a ton out of it in the edit bay. Part of me fears I was too freaked out to do my best work on it, because I wanted it to be a finale worthy of a show it could never be worthy of. Finales are generally terrible, and I am expecting that people will say this one is trying to hard, because it is. Because I was. God was I ever trying too hard on that one. My hope is that you'll all love the Halloween episode and forgive me for the finale. Maybe you'll like it. I have no way of knowing anymore.”

    Megan Ganz, writer

    However, fans who are concerned by this description of the finale may wish to take a look at writer Andy Bobrow’s more positive comments. And intriguingly, showrunner David Guarascio mentions that there are actually two versions of the finale.

    Other Season 4 semi-spoilers include:

    Photo via NBC/YouTube


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    Linkie, a pup from Tuscon, AZ, made some waves in his social circle late Wednesday afternoon when the surprise birthday party he threw for himself was revealed to be a sham.

    “We thought it was weird that none of his actualfriends were invited,” says Ralph Kilroy. “So when we got wind of the party, a few of us decided to crash. Turns out, he had just set up a bunch of stuffed animals to make it look like he was super popular.”

    News of the party hoax spread quickly on Facebook, where Linkie’s friends proceeded to tag themselves as plush toys in the photos.

    “He was pretty embarrassed about it, but I think he learned a good lesson,” says Kilroy.

    Submitted by Ryan Maza.

     


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    You had to know a Taylor Swift "sex tape" would be trouble.

    A Facebook scam—almost as silly as yesterday's "maintenance" hoax—is tempting users into clicking through for a Swiftie sex tape with former fling Harry Styles of One Direction.

    The tape is not an actual thing that exists. But it sounds plausible.

    "The famous singer Taylor Swift had her iPhone hacked Monday and a sex tape between her and former boyfriend Harry Styles has been leaked on the Internet," reads the message, as discovered by multiple security sites.

    "Taylor's publicists are trying to take down all of the websites hosting it, but we found a working one! Watch the video before it's taken down!," with a link directing users to the "video."

    Of course, clicking the link doesn't bring up anything salacious—just a survey requesting your email address, cellphone number, mailing address, and willingness to download games and browser toolbars. 

    Providing that information essentially "guarantees that you'll be at a higher risk" for spam, fraudulent text messages, and even malware, warns TechNewsDaily. So to avoid all that, it's best to ignore those messages and don't download anything or ever use the Internet again.

    There's plenty of Haylor love on the Internet anyway.

    Photo via Eva Rinaldi/Flickr


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    The Memory Palace is a lot of things—wistful, often sad, imaginative, evocative, reflective—but it’s also, almost above all else, astonishingly efficient.

    Within a mere 30 minutes or so of cumulative podcast time—enough for several of The Memory Palace’s brief episodes—Nate DiMeo can tell you a handful of stories, little pearls of obscure history, and true-life folklore. There’s the tale of John R. Brinkley, the doctor who claimed to be able to cure male impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men and who eventually fled to Mexico to hawk his quackish medical procedures over pirate radio. There’s the story of Jenny Lind, the Swedish opera singer who was a global phenomenon in her day and of whom no recordings exist. There’s a spellbinding examination of the many and varied attractions of the ambitious Coney Island amusement park Dreamland, which burned to the ground in a massive conflagration in 1911.

    Roughly every month, DiMeo releases one of these stories into the world. There are no interviews and no guest hosts, and the production is fairly modest. Most episodes of The Memory Palace consist largely of DiMeo’s underplayed narration and a smattering of musical cues. Some episodes stretch out to 15 minutes; others dip below the five-minute mark. The recently released 50th episode is a mere 90 seconds.

    The podcast, in other words, is economicaland a relentlessly addictive, sometimes-tragic, sometimes-comic listen. Its listeners, and DiMeo’s friends, are sometimes surprised to learn that DiMeo, a public radio veteran, is by his own declaration not exactly a history buff.

    “To this day, I read very little history, in terms of sitting down and reading an actual history book or biography, but I am always drawn to stories of the past,” explained DiMeo, speaking via Skype from his home in Los Angeles.

    “My ears and eyes are kind of always open. For a long time the stories of The Memory Palace were simply anecdotes that I'd been struck by over the years that hung with me. I’m fascinated by why certain things hang with me, and move me once and kind of move me still. … What is it about these history stories that I may have caught a smidgen of in the middle of a documentary or heard in the middle of some historic home tour? Why do those anecdotes both speak to me and speak to something larger? I wanted to figure out why.”

    DiMeo developed his natural ear for nuggets of history growing up in New England—a part of the United States with, as DiMeo explained, large amounts of “capital H History”—and hearing the passed-down stories of his family. (For a time in his 20s, DiMeo lived in the same house that both his mother and grandfather grew up in.) A great many of The Memory Palace’s episodes delve into stories that DiMeo heard in some form or another over the years—bits and pieces of Rhode Island history passed down through the generations.

    DiMeo had long loved the radio—it was an ever-present fixture in his childhood home, owed partially to his father’s love of music—but it wasn’t until Rhode Island finally received an NPR station that he began to be fascinated by public radio.

    “There were two stories on All Things Considered, in particular, that I remember,” DiMeo recalled. “One was, I believe, about a kid who died falling out of an outdoor window, and it was so heartbreaking and so moving and so unlike anything I’d ever heard before, And I recall also listening to This American Life, and thinking ‘Oh shit, here might be the thing that I want to do with my life.’”

    DiMeo began hanging around Providence’s NPR station, leading to a decade-long career in public radio that saw him assisting with special coverage of September 11 in Boston and doing work for such flagship NPR programs as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace. He left NPR to relocate to Los Angeles to join then-girlfriend, now-wife Leila Gerstein—creator of the CW’s Hart of Dixie and former writer for The O.C. and Eli Stone.

    He began The Memory Palace with the initial intent to carve out a space for the show on public radio, reasoning that history was one of the last corners of the humanities ill-served by NPR. Although the episodes of The Memory Palace have made their way to public radio—one episode was commissioned specifically for 99% Invisible, for instance—that goal has largely receded into the background and the podcast has picked up its own steam. Last year, Maximum Fun added The Memory Palace to its roster of shows.

    “Four years later, I still love doing these short stories, and the truth is that once I realized it wasn’t really happening, that kind of freed it up a little bit,” DiMeo said. “That let me make it a little bit more of an art project, which I feel like has benefitted the show, and certainly benefitted me.”

    Over that time period, certain tendencies have emerged in The Memory Palace, such as its tendency to tell stories centered in New England and to focus on the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    “That’s sort of an extraordinarily exciting time in the Western industrialized world, because I feel like that’s the time that modernity is invented,” DiMeo reasoned. “It’s the time when people start living lives that are, more or less, like ours. That’s when the metastructures that we kind of continue to drape our lives over start to get built. And it’s exciting to think about the sort of first encounters with aspects of our lives that are mundane today. A lot of The Memory Palace’s episodes address that.”

    That The Memory Palace is not on public radio has other benefits. It grants DiMeo time to pursue other projects—time he’s taken plenty of advantage of. He’s currently working on a video version of the podcast and often writes for a variety of outlets. Perhaps most famously, he penned Pawnee: The Greatest Town In America, a book spin-off of NBC’s Parks and Recreation. A winningly funny exploration of the fictional town Pawnee, its wistful, history-centric style shares some of the DNA of The Memory Palace. One section of the book, which finds a visitor to the show’s Harvest Festival getting stuck on the ferris wheel, DiMeo said is “like four different Memory Palace episodes in one.” The book led to DiMeo getting tapped to work on the show; he wrote the episode that debuts on NBC tonight.

    And perhaps best of all, The Memory Palace’s status as a podcast allows the show its idiosyncratic variable lengths. The show’s often-short run times are, DiMeo said, entirely on purpose. Brevity’s a strength that DiMeo developed while working on NPR shows like Marketplace, and it’s one of The Memory Palace’s greatest features. The show never gives its listeners time to grow bored.

    “It's just that I still believe that most things are better shorter,” DiMeo stressed. “It's not an attention span thing; it's that when I think back to the greatest concerts I ever saw, what hangs with you is that first 17 minutes before the chills subside and you have to shift your weight or sit down for a second or have to pee or whatever.

    “I think, particularly, of a couple of punk rock shows that lasted maybe 12 minutes but were two of the single greatest things I've ever experienced, simply because they never outstayed their welcome, and never left that phase where the hairs on the back of your neck go back down.”

    Photo via The Memory Palace/Twitter


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    Subscribers to the r/StarTrek subreddit got quite the surprise when none other than William Shatner himself popped into the community.

    "Someone said I haven't said hello to r/StarTrek yet. I do apologize if I have not. Hello," read the post by williamshatner.

    He was not there to seek romance with green-skinned female redditors (that we know of), but rather to hold an impromptu discussion of his work and Reddit itself.

    A redditor since only Jan. 27, Shatner had previously posted and commented in such subreddits as r/geek and r/videos. The actor, who immortalized the role of Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek television series and reprised the role in seven movies, made his unexpected visit on Feb. 7. The thread received thousands of upvotes and is currently the subreddit's second-highest link.

    "How is it possible that the reddit name 'williamshatner' was not yet taken?!" asked Maverick144.

    "Simple: Reddit magic!" he said. "It's been sitting in reserve for me to activate."

    Shatner also shared his views on Reddit AMAs:

    So I've been reading the AMAs. First off whomever told me on Twitter that they were easier to follow LIED! ;-) They ramble and ramble off on a plethora of bizarre trails. It seems like it always comes down to this question: "Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?" My answer: I'm a lover, not a fighter. So that means I've done my AMA and I've done it without any questions so that has to be a world record, right? ;-) I see the value of an AMA for someone who is never coming back here again but really, is an AMA for someone who is going to stick around necessary? I would much rather just do it more of a grassroots style. Answering things as I go along.

    The informal, grassroots-style AMA did indeed commence.

    Out of curiosity, what's the weirdest thing someone asked you? Besides the 100 ducks question. (KookyGuy)

    There's so many bizarre questions. Time travelers who need a part for their damaged time machines and for some reason NEED to contact me...Some have sent me the cure for cancer (I checked with experts - it wasn't.)... the list goes on and on. Now doesn't that make you feel better about the questions you ask?

    When you guest star on shows like Psych, is there any "Holy crap, we're on set with William Shatner!" mood/air from the other actors or crew? (midwestredditor)

    It happens but most younger actors need to personify that stoic attitude. Then I get an email or message that's a total fanboy gush.

    Did you learn anything useful in r/TIL? (ReigninLikeA_MoFo)

    TIL I learned that a lot of people have very boring lives and made me feel good about my own life. ;-) (just being snarky!)

    Shatner also used his time browsing r/StarTrek to remind his fellow redditors of his conference call to the International Space Station.

    After almost seven hours of interaction, Shatner beamed himself back up to real life. While his iconic characters on Star Trek and Boston Legal may have closed episodes with profound dialogue, the actor himself simply promised a return.

    OK, I'm taking off. Tomorrow is a busy day for me but I'll try and come back at some point during the day.

    Photo via Alex Archambault/Flickr


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    It used to be called the Streisand effect. Maybe now we should call it the Beyoncé effect.

    It all started at Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. Beyoncé's performance was one for the sports-history books. It featured a reunion of Destiny's Child, enough pyrotechnics to see the event from space, and some seriously intense dance moves.

    But don't take our word for it: "[S]he balanced explosions and humanity, imperiousness with warmth, an arena-ready sense of scale with a microscopic approach to the details of her vocals," The New York Times reported. "Amid all the loudness were small things to indicate Beyoncé was answering her skeptics, quietly but effectively."

    As the game went on, focus quickly shifted away to the Baltimore Ravens and Oreo's ingenious marketing strategy. BuzzFeed, on the other hand, wasn't through with Beyoncé.

    On Monday morning, the viral conglomerate released a listicle featuring a handful of unflattering halftime photos of Beyonce cringing, jiggling, and crotch-thrusting. The story collected more than 50,000 Facebook likes—and an email from Beyoncé's representative asking BuzzFeed to pull them down.

    The answer from BuzzFeed was a resounding no. And thus began the Streisand effect, a phenomenon where attempts to hush critics only serve to bring a person wider attention.

    In the case of Beyoncé's unflattering photos, that meant unwanted attention from the Huffington Post, The Vancouver Sun, and The Telegraph. And now one of the photos featuring a scary-looking Beyoncé flexing almost every muscle in her body has become the latest meme to capture the attention of Reddit's r/PhotoshopBattles and r/AdviceAnimals forums. 

    The photo has been altered more than a dozen times by redditors laughing at the idea that it could be "removed from the Internet."

    "That's like getting pee out of a swimming pool," callipygian1 commented.

    Here are some of the best photo and GIF remixes created so far.

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    Photos via Reddit


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    Kai, the homeless hitchhiker who saved a woman from a racist man with his hatchet last Friday, took a cue from the Incredible Hulk with his message for anyone who ignores basic moral principles: SMASH, SMASH, SMASH.

    The Gregory Brothershave long taken memorable quotes from politicians and witnesses alike and turned their colorful words into catchy, songified hits. Just look at Antoine Dodson, George Lindell and Paul "Bear" Vasquez.

    Now they've taken notice of Kai's tale of heroics and turned his interview into a heartfelt and uplifting anthem.

    "It was so bizarre, but it was such a story of heroism," Michael Gregory told KMPH via Skype on discovering Kai's interview.

    "And what I was excited about for the song was not only did it have the melody of heroism that was very specific to the situation, it also had the post-chorus statement that it could apply to anybody in any walk of life."

    "Not only was he a hero and able to kinda spontaneously act in this situation, but he has this amazing attitude and message of equality for all people," Andrew Gregory added.

    The Gregory Brothers highlight that message and latch onto Kai's catchphrase of "SMASH SMASH SMASH" to describe how he stopped 54-year-old Jett Simmons McBride from harming a woman in his interview with KMPH reporter Jessob Reisbeck.

    "No matter what you've done you deserve respect," Kai sang. "Even if you make mistakes, you lovable."

    But if you ignore some of those basic moral principles—or in this case, try to harm others while claiming to be Jesus Christ—prepare to feel the wrath of Kai.

    "If he started driving that car again, there'd be a hell of a lot of bodies round here," Kai explained.

    Kai just might be the hero West Fresno, Calif. needs.

    Photo via schmoyoho/YouTube


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    Want to listen to Destorm Power but don't have a video screen? No sweat. The YouTube rapper (and former Bad Boy Records ghostwriter) DeStorm released his second mixtape Feb. 6.

    Called King Kong, the 14-track mixtape is the prominent New York City MC's second adventure offscreen in two years. (Last year'sBe Careful mixtape dropped in May.) It's brash, fresh, and rich with witty one-liners—a few of which come from YouTube star vlogger William Ray Johnson, who's featured on the piano-laden "Invincible."

    "I had a listening session and we broke it down to 14 bangers," he said in a video posted Monday. "I'm making music videos for every one, but I don't know which order to put them out in."

    The rapper has spent the days since King Kong's release retweeting positive messages from his 200,000-plus followers on Twitter.

    You can listen to the mixtape by clicking on the DatPiff widget below.

    Photo viaDeStorm/YouTube


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    After months of waiting, Community is finally airing its fourth season today. The sitcom about a group of misfit but loveable community college students was originally scheduled to be back on the air on Oct. 19, 2012, but NBC executives chose to shelve the show in favor of something that's probably already cancelled.

    Despite being a cult sitcom—or because of it— Community has been under constant threat of cancellation. But the Dan Harmon-created comedy lives on for another season largely thanks to a very vocal fan base. In celebration of that strong online community and the return of the Greendale Seven, we've compiled the following list of handmade items found on the community-oriented craft site Etsy.

    1) Felt Goatee


    Photo via GothLyfe/Etsy

    The world was introduced to Evil Abed in the season three episode "Remedial Chaos Theory." The nefarious alter ego of the otherwise amiable Abed came to be after the gang, in the role of a six-sided die, ended up in "the Darkest Timeline."

    Now you too can have a villainous alter ego for $6 thanks to this felt goatee. Evil Abed would be so proud (if he weren't busy trying to destroy the Prime Timeline).

    2) 8-bit Community Charm Bracelet


    Photo via TheRaspberrySouffle/Etsy

    "Digital Estate Planning," might be one of the most ambitious Community episodes ever produced. In it, the gang become pixelated characters in a video game in order to help curmudgeon Pierce Hawthorne (played by Chevy Chase) from losing his inheritance. The show was so beloved by fans that it even inspired an actual, playable version of the game called Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne.

    It also served as inspiration for this lovely charm bracelet. Now you can walk around with each member of the 8-bit Greendale Seven on your wrist.

    3) Troy and Abed Broship Keychain


    Photo via PeachyApricot/Etsy

    Every great television show has had great bromances: McNulty and Bunk in The Wire, JD and Turk in Scrubs, Cory and Shawn in Boy Meets World. Community is no exception. The Troy and Abed friendship has served as a driving force behind some of the show's most popular episodes, including "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" (an homage to Ken Burns) and "Early 21st Century Romanticism," in which Troy and Abed choose each other over a girl they both liked.

    Celebrate their man-love with this keychain featuring both of their faces.

    4) Inspector Spacetime Handmade Mug


    Photo via jewlerybyteri/Etsy

    One of the major reasons nerds love Community is the show's obsession with pop culture. Just about every episode pays tribute or makes reference to a film or television program. The most elaborate of these homage has gone to the popular and long-running BBC series Doctor Who. That praise has been manifested in a fictional television show called Inspector Spacetime, a program in which the Inspector and his Constable travel through time and space to fight "Blorgons" and partake in other adventures.

    This handmade mug also plays tribute to the fictional show. It features a handpainted booth (the Inspector's mode of transportation) and the program's tagline.

    5) E Pluribus Anus Button


    Photo via pixelpopdesign/Etsy

    Greendale Community College is as important a character to the show as Jeff Winger or Britta Perry. The fictional Colorado school is a surreal environment that makes it possible for events like the annual paintball game to occur. And much like every Community character, Greendale Community College has its own idiosyncrasies that make it unique.

    One such attribute is the school's flag and logo, which hysterically looks like an anus. You too can show off your Greendale pride with your very own button of that rectal-inspired emblem.

    Photo via TheRaspberrySouffle/Etsy


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    He was perhaps distracted, texting somebody while he typed, but Joel McHale, who plays former lawyer (and current community college study group leader) Jeff Winger in NBC's beloved, jerked-around comedy Community, came to Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session Thursday.

    He followed in the footsteps of fellow Community stars Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, and Yvette Nicole Brown, and a group of the show's writers, all of whom have spent time on the site before. It was pretty clear he was there simply to promote the show's season 4 premiere: He chose Community catchphrase “Oct19isTonight” as a username.

    And while he wasn't completely forthcoming about the show's offscreen troubles with showrunner Dan Harmon and costar Chevy Chase, both of whom have since departed, he didn't ignore those questions either. And as a comedian, he didn't shy away from questions about awkward boners and breast milk.

    From an actors perspective, how has the attitude of the set changed since Dan Harmon's departure? (tom_riddler)

    We as a cast have become more vocal on about jokes in scripts and such. Since we've lived with these characters for four years we have a pretty good sense of what they might say or do. Or I like to think I have a pretty good sense. Damn, I hope I do by now

    We have seen a lot of changes in Jeff's character during his journey toward becoming a "good person." Do you think these have been innate changes to Jeff's personality, or do the other members of the group bring out the best in him? (fluffynukeit)

    I hope any change Jeff goes through take place glacially. I think that's more real. In real life it's usually not an about-face. I love that he's slowly learning and has to learn some of the same lessons over and over again. Jeff relies on the group. They're his family. That alone is a big change for him.

    Who is your favourite actor on set to work with? Is Danny Pudi as cool as Abed in the show? (WhiteTrashRedditor)

    Danny is one of the best people on the planet. People are attracted to him like he's the president.

    What was it like growing up in Italy? (okayc0mputer)

    I don't know. I left when I was 3. Food was really good but it was pretty much breast milk the first year I was there.

    I know that you're a married man and probably have a happy marriage. However...

    1. During Alison Brie's "Santa Baby" lapdance, what did you think about to avoid an awkward erection?
    2. Also, did you know Ken Jeong has a medical degree from UNC (Go Heels) . . . and would you ever trust him to operate on you?
    3. Finally: Favorite Childish Gambino song? (readcommentbackwards)

    I had to imagine Ken Jeong's medical degree to avoid the awkward boner. I was also wearing a cup(as I always do). Picking a favorite Childish Gambino song is like picking your favorite type of puppy. They're all good.

     

    How long DOES it take to get that perfect kind of bedhead? (Cyense)

    6-8 hours. Depending on what time I go to bed.

    Given that Chevy Chase seems like a nightmare and didn’t really want to be there, was he professional about it every time “action!” was called? (themadnooch)

    When Chevy was in the zone and liked what he was doing he would nail it.

    My question is: How does the show feel without Dan Harmon? (NikkiNavs)

    The show is different in that the creator of it isn't there. So that was weird. Thankfully there were some writers from the beginning to help guide for all the new people.

    how big is your forehead REALLY? (Girrzimm)

    IMAX

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons


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