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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    Every day is April Fools' Day on YouTube.

    Ameatur pranksters have turned the massive, video-sharing site into a low-budget version of Punk'd. Instead of following Ashton Kutcher around Hollywood as he pulls gags on the rich and famous, YouTube pranksters usually target a close friend or a group of strangers.

    They're in your town square and at your local university, turning tricks for all the world to see. And in the process, they're raking in thousands (and sometimes millions) of views.

    These 10 con artists will make you cringe, feel awkward, and/or crack up as each scene unfolds. But enjoy them while you can: YouTube recently announced (on April 1) that it's shutting down for 10 years to pick a winner.

    1) Jack Vale // 495,140 subscribers

    Specializing in what he calls "Pooter" pranks, Vale works mostly with hidden cameras, capturing reactions as he makes strange noises. He also does a number of "paranoia" or "nonsense" pranks in which he'll try to make a stranger paranoid or speak gibberish to them. Vale has appeared on Lopez Tonight and pulled pranks on celebrities at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

    2) Roman Atwood // 900,366 subscribers

    Atwood’s antics are what they seem upon first glance. Just watch him fake a fire on a friend or offer tourists"woody" and "buzz." He’s perhaps best known for this hilarious bit with a Shake Weight.

    3) Magic of Rahat // 1,427,401 subscribers

    These pranksters incorporate elements of magic into their range of invisible pranks. They started going to just about every fast food drive-thru in town, but once people started to catch on they moved to fooling tourists with an invisible friend.

    4) Charles Ross //163,819 subscribers

    Ross is no stranger to pushing the envelope. In fact, his pranks have gotten him in trouble with the law. He was arrested in January after a victim of one of his pranks told police that Ross gave him a wedgie, and he found himself in trouble with the law again in March after he filmed a video of himself jumping over two police officers.

    5) Public Prank // 126,831 subscribers

    Public Prank's name is pretty self-explanatory. Most of their pranks are in view of big crowds or in the tourist areas of Los Angeles, and they either try to get empathy from the crowd during a fake scenario or use an old horror movie trick to scare the crap out of passersbys.

    6) Stuart Edge // 206,417 subscribers

    Stuart Edge didn't start making prank videos until last December, but his pranks are pretty tame compared to some of others on this list. Often calling in friends to help, he'll visit college campuses and talk with the students with stinky breath and try to get coeds to kiss him or the actors involved.

    7) PrankvsPrank // 2,399,586 subscribers

    Jesse and Jeana call themselves the "Craziest YouTube Couple," and given their repertoire of pranks, they may have a point. When they're not out to get one another, they manage to collaborate on bigger pranks for the public (and even got Jenna Marbles involved with one).

    8) LAHWF // 482,394 subscribers

    LAHWF specializes in pranks and interactions that leave you feeling awkward, whether that involves corny jokes, faking out on kisses, eating leftover food, or failing to finish that joke.

    9) Ed Bassmaster // 1,029,989 subscribers

    Bassmaster puts himself out in front of the camera for his pranks, singing in public and dressing up as one of his original characters. He'll often collaborate with fellow comedian Nathan Barnatt to "psh" their way through a city.

    10) Vitaly Zdorovetskiy // 748,622 subscribers

    Remember that zombie attack prank in Miami shortly after police found a man eating another man's face? That was Zdorovetskiy. He was arrested last July on bomb hoax charges after he left conspicuous-looking suitcases near strangers and one person chased him down.

    Photo via PrankvsPrank/YouTube

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    It's been a long time since they were on the bridge together, but Captain Kirk and Mr. Sulu remain curiously in sync.

    Sure, William Shatner and George Takei may be rumored to have been on testy terms since their Star Trek days, but their simultaneous April Fools' jokes don't lie. These guys are in lock-step when it comes to knowing their sci-fi-loving geek fanbase, and earlier they trolled their audiences right where it hurts—by pretending to be part of the new Star Wars franchise.

    "I am happy to announce that I will be seen again on the big screen in 2015!" Shatner declared on his Facebook, posting what looked at first like a legitimate screenshot of an AP article announcing his comeback. 

    That is, until you looked closer and realized that the "interview" had been given to Fox News, and supposedly had Shatner calling his new role, as a Jedi with a "mysterious connection" to Princess Leia, a terrible mistake.

    Meanwhile, on his own Facebook, George Takei (who currently bests Shatner's Facebook following by a scant 3.6 million) took a deadpan approach to announcing his own appearance in the new Star Wars movie:

    Friends, I am thrilled to announce that I'll be starring in the Star Wars reboot directed by JJ Abrams. I'll be playing Master Ceti Maru, a member of the Jedi High Council. The new film, entitled "Star Wars: Galactic Empire," is greenlit and will begin filming sometime early next year. It is truly a moment for The Star Alliance. Thanks to all my fans for their decades of support.

    The straight-faced tone apparently fooled thousands of people. "This is the MEANEST April Fools joke EVER," commented a distraught Facebooker, Mico Lucide. So far, over 8,000 people have agreed with them.

    But hey, at least Takei makes an awesome Jedi Master. 

    Unofficially dubbed Episode VII, the new Disney-fiedStar Wars movie hasn't dropped any casting bombshells, although George Lucas and Carrie Fisher have strongly hinted that the original dream team of Han, Luke, and Leia will be back. Most people are still getting plenty of joke mileage out of the fact that J.J. Abrams, the director of the new Star Trek franchise, will also be helming the new Star Wars franchise, in what is undoubtedly the first major one-man sci-fi coup of the 21st century. 

    Their April Fools' Day bluffs may be wry nods to the fact that neither Shatner nor Takei have appeared so far in the revamped Star Trek franchise. 

    But if the enthusiastic fan reaction to today's pranks may be any indication, who knows? 

    Maybe there's still time for a New Hope for Star Wars cameos from the original Star Trek team.

    Photo via Facebook


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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. In YouTube Guide, the Daily Dot will curate its five favorite finds for each workday.

    1) Barely Political, "Pet Shop"

    Macklemore's already conquered the complicated world of thrift shops, so now he's off to explore the next best thing. He's got a house full of pets (although he wants more) and they all need things you can only find at the pet shop.


    2) Improv Everywhere, "Reverse Times Square"

    Improv Everywhere got 2,000 people to start walking backwards around Times Square in order to confuse tourists and make them think that the world was going in reverse. Some of the shots are due to clever editing, but the bystanders are understandably puzzled as everyone walks past them.


    3) Chad Neidt, "The Offspring Medley"

    Chad Neidt is tired of making mashup videos—or so it seems. After popular demand, he finally tackles 17 different songs from The Offspring and reveals he's just pulling an April Fools' Day prank on you.


    4) Edgar Camago, "The Queen and the King and Joffrey Hound"

    What starts out as a rendition of "The Knife Game Song" turns into a group song from Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister. They each want to get their point across, and with the help of auto-tune, that just became easier.


    5) Barcroft TV, "Incredible Lava Kayaking"

    Three professional kayakers head all the way to the Hawaiian island of Kauai to see firsthand and explore the coastline of the island, and one kayaker decided to explore the active volcano inland on foot.

    Photo via Barely Political/YouTube

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    Greenpeace is all about pulling attention-grabbing stunts in the name of public awareness/shaming a corporation or government into not destroying the planet. Traditionally, this has involved doing things like floating a dinghy out to a nuclear bomb test site, harassing whaling vessels on the high seas, or decorating dirty coal plant smoke-stacks with Goodyear-sized graffiti. (I was on site to report on that last one, and I will add that it was epic.)

    But since the Internet has enabled the mass distribution of smaller portions of shame, Greenpeace has taken to the format as well. Case in point: They just built a fully playable 8-bit game called Shark Vs. Mermaid Death Squad, wherein players try to stop the industrial tuna fishing operations of the world from obliterating the planet's marine ecosystems. Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee, and Mermaid are all guilty of destructive, unsustainable fishing practices, Greenpeace charges—they trawl, overfish, and kill bycatch at alarming rates. They show up here as the pixilated villains. 

    The game is pretty much Pacman with a couple modifications, and you play as one of the three well-known or lovable marine creatures that tuna fishing kills: sea turtles, manta rays, or sharks. You then attempt to free the tuna from the cans (the equivalent of Pac Man's little white pellets). The action takes place in the aisles of Safeway, one of the largest purveyors of the above tuna companies' canned goods.

    The twist is that before and after the game, you're given opportunities to "engage"—you can earn yourself more lives by sharing the game, and its message, of course, on Facebook or emailing it to a friend. Within hours of its release, the game was shared over 10,000 times on Facebook alone. 

    It's an example of the trend in activism and education towards gamification, the use of mostly cheap(ish), social and shareable games to try to goad players into better real-world behavior or to raise awareness of key issues. 

    Which is kind of what Greenpeace is doing here. But mostly, they're just taking the piss out of Safeway and the big tuna companies.

    Play it here.

    By Brian Merchant

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    If you downloaded HBO's Game of Thrones via BitTorrent yesterday, congratulations. You helped set a new record for the most-pirated TV episode of all time.

    According to a study conducted by TorrentFreak, more than a million users downloaded a copy of the show's season 3 premiere in the first 24 hours after it aired Sunday, breaking the previous record set by the show Heroes in 2008. Also unprecedented was that at times Monday morning, more than 160,000 users were sharing copies of the same episode.

    HBO has received steady criticism for not making its offerings more immediately accessible to customers. Only people who pay for its cable service can legally have access to its live streaming option, HBOGo.

    Curiously, many HBO executives don't seem worried that fans are downloading Thrones at record rates.

    David Petrarca, who directed two episodes, told a crowd in Australia in February that he didn't mind they were downloading the show, which at the time wasn't available instantly in that country. He noted that shows relied on "cultural buzz," adding that "that's how they survive."

    And Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming, told EW that rampant Game of Thrones piracy was actually "a compliment of sorts," evidence that "the demand is there." Most importantly, he didn't see piracy as affecting his bottom line.

    "It certainly didn’t negatively impact the DVD sales," he added, and pointed out that on a per-season basis, it's still the most profitable show on the network.

    Though there aren't current plans to make HBO Go available to people who don't pay for the whole kit and kaboodle of a premium cable subscription, the network is aware that people clamor for it.

    "Doesn't mean we are not mindful that the problem exists," HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler told Reuters Wednesday.

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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    It may be months before fans of BBC's Sherlock see anything of the show's long-awaited third series, but the anticipation has proven inspiring for one group of fans. Sherlock: the Game is a recently announced fandom-wide project that aims to write, animate, code, and distribute a full online RPG to Sherlock fans, all completely free.

    Sherlock: the Game begins, of course, in 221B Baker Street. The starting concept for the game revolves around a month in the life of John Watson. The object? Keep Sherlock's boredom meter from getting dangerously high by solving crimes—and keep your own money meter from getting too low.

    While players will be playing as John, the game contains an impressively large cast of pixelized characters, known as "sprites," based on the BBC show’s ensemble.

    The project scope is impressive as well: what started as a two-person project has grown into a full-blown game production calling for at least 20 writers, pixel artists, puzzle designers, sound designers, and illustrators—and possibly more as the game continues to grow.

    The developers, Lynxelia and Fenix, have cast the net wide in search of talent: they've advertised on Reddit, Twitter, DeviantART, Tumblr, LiveJournal, and Facebook. Although the support they've received has been enthusiastic—Lynxelia informed the Dot that "literally overnight," the introductory post on their Tumblr gained over 6,000 notes—they've so far kept their developer requirements to a minimum, and have specified that they don't want donations from fans.

    "We are both huge fans of Sherlock Holmes and loved the BBC modern adaptation of the series," Lynxelia says about the genesis of the idea for the game, which started out as a casual plan and evolved into something much larger:

    One afternoon, we... began speculating about what sorts of games could result from an adaptation of [our favorite series]: an adventure game for Doctor Who, a servant RPG for Downton Abbey, an organization management sim for Breaking Bad.... eventually, we got to the topic of Sherlock.

    It seemed as if the more we talked about it, the more ideas we got, and the more plausible it became.

    What began as casual speculation quickly turned into actual planning. "We originally assumed it would be a small project that we could complete between the two of us," explained Lynxelia, "[b]ut as we moved forward, our small plans started piquing a lot of interest."

    From the original plan of one developer and one artist, the Sherlock RPG has evolved into a series of puzzle games with three teams of writers—some to design "main cases" for the characters they've been assigned, some to write shorter "side cases,” and a team of "integration" writers to make sure all these stories combine smoothly. They'll also work with a separate set of puzzle designers. The art teams are likewise sprawling: one to design crime scene photos, clues, and other items, one to do location shots and title screens, one to design the game promotional material, and, of course, a team to design and animate the cute little sprites.

    Illustration by fenilynx/deviantART

    The game will also have sound design—but not voice acting. In true 16-bit tradition, "all character dialogue will be accompanied with classic RPG dialogue letter beeps at varying tones depending on the character."

    If this sounds like an ambitious task, it's nothing the Sherlock fandom isn't eager to take on. Although applications to join the team don't close until the end of the month, they're already pouring in. Lynxelia tells the Dot that the development team has been blown away:

    On behalf of the development team, I’d just like to say that everyone here is extremely humbled by this fandom’s outpouring of support. We really did not expect to gather such a large following in a few short hours and we’re all a little panicked and overwhelmed at the moment from the sheer amount of responses and applications we are receiving. But despite our surprise, we’re confident that through the combined effort of all the talented people in this fandom, we can create something that will make the Sherlock fanbase proud.

    Although the project is being done completely for free, the team might still run into legal trouble if the BBC feels the project is threatening its copyright. Other fan-made gaming projects, like the Brony games Fighting is Magic and Friendship is Witchcraft, have swiftly gotten the ax from zealous copyright-holders. When challenged on this point, the game developers responded that their game was protected via the "fair dealing" and "fair use" principles of U.K. and U.S. copyright, but that "if we are contacted by the BBC, we will have no choice but to shut the project down."

    If all goes well, and the BBC gives its blessing, Sherlock: the Game will launch next year, entirely for free. Fans wanting to join the development team have until April 30th to submit their applications.  

    For now, the game is most definitely on.

    Sprites via sherlock-thegame; art by Jason Reed

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    All 17-year-old Ciara wants is to get shot in the head.

    The catch is, she wants to be decked in zombie makeup as an extra on The Walking Dead, and she wants Norman Reedus, one of the show's main actors, to be holding the (prop) shotgun.

    Ciara has launched a viral photo campaign on Twitter and Imgur, asking people to tweet #cleftstrong to help her fulfill her "one dream." Ciara, who was born with a cleft abnormality, hopes the tweets will help grab the attention of The Walking Dead's producers, Reedus, and AMC, the show's network.

    So far, Ciara's image has been tweeted about 35 times. On Imgur, however, the photo has been viewed more than 102,000 times and collected more than 700 comments.

    "Oddly enough, this is not the first time I've told someone I hope they get a crossbow bolt in the head," Unknowiac commented. "Good luck!"

    On the show, Reedus plays Daryl Dixon, a zombie-killing fiend whose heart of gold and gruff demeanor has made him a fan favorite. On Reddit and other social media, The Walking Dead has developed a cult following; thousands of fans apply to be zombie extras before each season.

    "At the beginning of each season, we have what we call 'Zombie School,' and what that does is give me an opportunity to audition anywhere from 150 to 200 extras," special effects director Greg Nicotero told CNN. "I grade them on two criteria: look and performance. We have a visual aesthetic that is really important to the show and [to] the zombies, that they look thin and gaunt and emaciated."

    It's not clear whether Ciara fits Nicotero's zombie requirements. Her photo is a little fuzzy. But even if that's the case, she says she'll settle for any role at all. Sure, she'd like Reedus to be the one to pull the trigger, "but that's optional." 

    Hoping for an update, we reached out to Ciara, but she hasn't responded.

    Image via Facebook

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    Just in time for the show’s Season 3 premiere, HBO’s Game of Thrones is taking the show on the road—and the work of some talented fan artists will be along for the ride.

    Beginning in New York before traveling to various cities across the world, the Game of Thrones exhibition includes props from the show and an “immersive experience” based on the Battle of Blackwater Bay from the show’s second season. Although hopefully not too immersive, since the show is famous for its casual attitude towards beheadings.

    As well as behind-the-scenes info and a chance to have your photo taken on the Iron Throne, the exhibit embraced the creativity of Game of Thrones fandom with a gallery of fan art.

    Although most popular TV shows do inspire a certain amount of fan art, it doesn’t often end up touring galleries around the world. Then again, HBO clearly have a pretty relaxed attitude towards their online fanbase, since their director of programming recently described GoT’s record-breaking online piracy rate as “a compliment of sorts”.

    Image via evasketch/Tumblr

    The art was submitted to the show’s official Tumblr account, where you can browse hundreds of images that run the gamut from painted guitars to this Medieval-style portrait of Sansa Stark:

    Image via rinua/Tumblr

    If you’re interested in entering some of your own work, don’t worry—they’re still taking fan art submissions, including a Season 3 poster contest. But for the less artistically inclined, there’s always the hugely popular Game of Thronescoat of arms generator.

    Image via stefanandolino/Tumblr

    Image via coltgriffith/Tumblr


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    The most popular character in Pixar history has finally found her way to a sequel—10 years after she taught us all to "just keep swimming."

    That's right: Dory, the odd blue fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres in the 2003 Pixar blockbuster Finding Nemo, is the star of the newly announced, long-awaited sequel, Finding Dory.

    Pixar and DeGeneres announced the news today via Dory's official Facebook page and DeGeneres's talk show and Instagram account.

    Dory has a bubbly outlook that carries her through epic adventures. She also has an ongoing battle with short-term memory loss. With over 24 million (million!) Facebook followers, she is the most popular character in Disney history. 

    But although Nemo is the fourth-most-successful animated film ever, the studio made no move to make a sequel, focusing instead on the more licensing-friendly franchises Toy Story, Cars, and Monsters, Inc.

    DeGeneres, however, never gave up hope for Finding Nemo 2. "I am a positive, patient person, and I know that when you have a successful movie, usually they make a sequel," she said on her popular talk show this morning. "So I finally got the call from director Andrew Stanton ... and he said that yes, indeed, we are going to make Toy Story 3."

    All joking aside, DeGeneres said she's thrilled that the sequel is happening. "Anything is possible, if you're patient and you beg hard enough on national television."

    Although the movie won't be out until sometime in 2015, enthusiasm is high; between Facebook and Instagram, nearly 240,000 fans have "liked" the announcement in the hour since it was made. A fanmade trailer from two years ago, also titled Finding Dory, predicts the film's possible plot arc, as well as its inevitable success, with over 400,000 views on YouTube:

    In a press release, Stanton said that the other side of Dory's story fascinated Pixar's writers and artists:

    One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In "Finding Dory," she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.

    Pixar, which has long been criticized for sidelining female characters, took a Brave, if weak, step forward last year. 

    If Finding Dory will truly allow Dory to be the main character of her own story, then it will be a positive step in the right direction—one that's even more overdue than the sequel to Finding Nemo.

    Images via InstagramTheEllenShow/YouTube 

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    Every evening, the Daily Dot delivers a selection of links worth clicking from around the Web, along with the day's must-see image or video. We call it Dotted Lines.

    • Remember the boob-filled Robin Thicke video "Blurred Lines"? YouTube finally banned it. Here come the mirrors.
    • Don't tweet photos of your standardized tests, even if your answer is "YOLO :)" 
    • This couple turned a boring marriage proposal into a "Thrift Shop" parody.
    • Meanwhile, in China, a drunk man dangled from power cables for 15 minutes.
    • The dancing sea lion is actually a huge scientific breakthrough. Oh, and she's a she, you sexists.
    • Here are some cool things you can do with a pet monkey like Bieber's.
    • Stan Lee, Marvel Comics' eternal wizard, was a major studmuffin in 1939. Check out his high school yearbook photo.


    See you tomorrow, Internets.

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    Did you know that the planned Clerks III was nearly funded by Kickstarter?

    The revelation about the sequel's almost-revenue stream was just one of many made by filmmaker, podcaster, and chronic tweeter Kevin Smith in his fifth Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

    During the Q&A, Smith discussed not only the much-anticipated conclusion to the Clerks trilogy, but also his podcasting work and other upcoming film projects. Unlike in a few of Smith’s past sessions on the Reddit, co-star and friend Jason Mewes—who plays Jay to Smith’s Silent Bob—didn’t join in.

    In addition to answering questions about his work and opinions, Smith also addressed some redditors who took it upon themselves to play a bigger role in his projects. When curlymike asked about appearing as an extra in Clerks III, Smith directed him to his Twitter feed for updates. 15-year-old redditor zero_acidburn asked about securing employment as an intern; Smith directed him to the Twitter feed of Jordan Monsanto, Jason Mewes' wife.

    "Tell her I sent you. You may be able to help us out with our Youtube channel," he answered in part.

    All in all, the thread, titled IAmA Google Glass Explorer Who Is Thinking of Chronicling His Masturbatory Habits. My name is Fat Kev Smith - AMA, mf's!, received close to 900 comments.

    Among the highlights:

    How disheartening is it to read people being shitty to you on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet just because they can? How much do you take to heart? (insipidpiss)

    "It's pretty transparent: folks hate you for doing anything because it reminds them they're doing nothing. If it helps them forget how fucking dumb they are for not ignoring me and creating something of their own instead, I'm okay with the slings and arrows.

    At the very least, it keeps the competition down. Imagine all that wit being put to use to create something new and different rather than simply taking pot-shots at folks who make you feel like a loser? They wouldn't have to talk about other people's shit anymore: they'd be talking about their own.

    But trolls don't process that, so they waste their time online. S'cool: I'm compassionate about it because if not for actually doing something instead of bitching about how other people do stuff, I might've wound up like one of those living dead fuckers.

    It's a simple formula, haters: the more time you spend worrying about and commenting on me and all the shit I'm doing, the less time you spend doing... well, ANYTHING productive.

    If you really hate my ass and what I make and the fact that I get to do whatever I want, then just start COMPETING with me: go try to do better and show people how easy it is and what a loser I am.

    Doesn't take a genius to figure this shit out, kids. But it's infinitely tougher to see anything real when you're wearing hater goggles."

    What's your opinion on Youtube being a platform for success for people who want to start writing sketch comedies and such? (recursion-noisrucer)

    "My opinion is HIGH. Figuratively, not literally (people online get shitty about the misuse of literally). I wish Youtube had existed when I was a kid. I'd have made something of myself. Instead, look at this asshole..."

    Hey Kevin, I love all of your movies, especially Dogma and Red State. I'm so exited for the new movie as well. How happy were you to hear about Meghan Phelps leaving the Westboro Baptist Church? (joop2323)

    "Yay, for Meghan! I knew she had it in her!

    I've emailed back and forth with her since the break and hopefully, we'll be sitting down for a SMODCAST soon!"

    Hey man, first i love all your work. Heres my question "do you think disney will ruin starwars?" (jxie)

    "I think Disney will do STAR WARS justice. Smart to do stand-alone Yoda, Boba and young Han Solo movies. And all the talent they're attaching are pretty passionate about the subject matter. And if they can take me to a galaxy far, far away anew? They'll get my money again."

    What do you think so far of Man of Steel? If ever given the chance, would you adapt another Superman movie? Or any other superhero movie? What did you think of Green Hornet? It was the worst movie I saw that year. (chrisjortiz)

    "I LOVE the MAN OF STEEL trailer. Zack Snyder can do anything - including fuck my wife. And as much as it'd hurt to watch him do that, he'd make it look so fucking cool, I'd still have to admire him for breaking my heart and destroying my marriage.

    And I love the new Superman. I was a huge fan of THE TUDORS. And Michael Shannon as Zod? Take my money, Warner Brothers. Take all my money and make me believe a man can fly..."

    Kevin! First of all--huge fan--seen all the movies, watched all the evenings, read your books, Smodcast loyalist etc. etc. I am getting married in one month to the biggest nerd (who I love very much). Advice? (mags1016)

    "Marital advice: make with the sex, often and much. Him too. Fuck instead of fighting. Fuck instead of worrying. Just fuck. Lots. It's the glue of marriage. You love LOTS of people over your lifetime, but when you're married, presumably, you only fuck one person. Man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman: sex is the crucial ingredient. It's the secret self you share with the person you choose over all other.

    Sounds corny, but it's actually true. And sexy. So fuck lots in your marriage."

    Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr


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    Joey Spiotto grew up reading Little Golden Books, the ultra popular children's books series that included such titles as The Little Red Hen and Three Little Kittens. According to his Etsy bio, he also grew up with a love of video games.

    Now, the freelance illustrator and former video game concept artist—he worked on Dead Space and The Simpsons Game—has combined the two to create an awesome series of prints available for purchase. He's given the Little Golden Books treatment to three beloved titles: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Portal, and Bioshock.

    "There's something very charming about [Little Golden Books'] simplicity, and yet they are some of the books that I remember most from my early childhood," Spiotto explained on his blog.

    The artists believes that the games he picked, much like the children's books, will stand the test of time.

    "As the sun sets on this current generation of video games, I've been thinking about some of the classic games that people will still (hopefully) point to years from now and hold them up as games that made a difference," he adds,"and possibly, for some child out there, Portal or Skyrim will be a memory from their early childhood."

    Check out Spiotto's Little Video Game Books series below.

    1) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    2) Portal

    3) Bioshock

    H/T Kotaku | Photo via Joey Spiotto/Etsy

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    The deadpan teens of Squaresville, Matt Enlow's award-winning comedy webseries, don't often let their geek flags fly, but when they do, they remind us how much fun it is to be giant nerds.

    In the latest episode, stars Mary Kate Wiles, Kylie Sparks, and Austin Rogers took on a whirlwind of popular fandom parodies, all with hilarious nerd cosplay. They also pointed out that geek culture can encompass a wide variety of subjects, from beloved PBS painter Bob Ross to Woody Allen.

    It's a nice moment of levity for the show, which looks at friendship and coming of age in Boresville, USA. Currently in its second season, the show has had some tough moments, including fights between friends, makeups, rocky relationships, and breakups. In the last episode, Wiles, who gained fame as Lydia on the just-concludedLizzie Bennet Diaries, made the decision to end things with her delinquent boyfriend.

    But in episode 21, she's all smiles as she, Sparks, and Rogers wing their way through numerous parodies, including Harry Potter, The Guild, Adventure Time, Doctor Who, and Sherlock. There's even a Star Trek fight with the Gorn and an expendable crewman.

    Enjoy the whole episode below:

    You can catch up on Squaresville from the beginning right here.

    Screengrab via YouTube

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    In the 1998 film You've Got Mail, Tom Hanks' lovestruck character famously calls The Godfather the "I ching," the movie which captures the essence of the human spirit and by which all of life's questions can be answered.

    If You've Got Mail were released in 2005, Hanks would have instead referred to the film Mean Girls, the cult-comedy which has captured President Barack Obama's and Tumblr's attention even eight years after its release.

    The latest Tumblr blog to pay homage to Mean Girls is Mean Mad Men, which features screenshots from AMC's hit TV show with quotes from the film on top of them. The blog is the brainchild of Taylor Pearce, who is a diehard fan of both the movie and show.

    "After seeing Mean Girls, Girl World was forever changed: consoling someone when they were sick was replaced with 'boo you whore,' fabulous was switched with 'fetch,' and girls grabbed their boobs when there was a '30 percent chance it’s already raining,'" Pearce writes on the blog’s "Burn Book" page—a reference to the book in Mean Girls where actress Rachel McAdams and her other high school cohorts write gossip about their classmates.

    "Then AMC decided to grace the earth with Mad Men and suddenly I found myself wondering WWJD- 'What would Joan do?,' questioning if it’s ever too early to drink if you’re on Roger time, and daydreaming about whether I would have caught Don’s wandering eye. "

    Pearce has posted 29 images on the blog since March 14. Here are some of the most fetch entries:

    H/T Salon | Photo by amira_a

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    Game of Thrones, that hotbed of sex, swords, and sorcery, made a triumphant return to HBO and the Internet Sunday night.

    The season 3 premiere scored millions of viewers for HBO and saw record levels of BitTorrent piracy soon after it ended. For those who are both too cheap to have HBO or even to take the time to illicitly download it, there's another way for you to catch up on this week's episode. (Obvious spoilers ahead if you haven't caught the outing yet.)

    Happy Place has put together an artist's impression of what the episode might have looked like had it played out on Facebook. Once you get past the idea of Barristan Selmy being able to operate a computer and figuring out how to change his Facebook username, it's actually believable. 

    There's a solid reference to the "had one job" meme and with fake check-ins to certain locations, it's a little easier to see where each character is at a given time. 

    The Facebookification of Game of Thrones continues on from Happy Place's great recaps of Downton Abbey in the same manner. One key difference: the Crawleys never had to come face-to-face with a giant. 


    Photo via ClevverNews/YouTube

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    The Internet sure loves its cats.

    We're fascinated by their every whim. We're entranced with a particular grumpy feline. We don't really know why they do things that they do, and now we can finally justify watching a cat video: for science!

    Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, the masterminds behind the popular AsapSCIENCE channel that brought us the science behind orgasms, the zombie apocalypse, and why we can't stop watching porn, break down the Web's favorite muse that isn't bacon.

    "Cats spend around 85 percent of their day doing absolutely nothing," Moffit explains. "Drinking, eating, defecating, and even mating only take up about four percent combined."

    However, when cats do move, they are always able to land on their feet due to the "Righting Reflex," which allows them to determine which way is down, and their flexible backbone and lack of a collarbone that allow them to rearrange themselves on a moment's notice.

    Cats use scent to communicate, whether it's lifting their tail to invite you to smell or use pheromones to communicate, which serves as their alternative to a hug or handshakes.

    "They also rub up against you to spread these pheromones," Moffit says. "The glands on their face, tail, and body help them to claim you with their scent, while also leaving nearby cats signals about their identity, sexual availability, and territory."

    Some people may be convinced that their cat is trying to kill them, but some of their actions show their acknowledgment that humans are the dominant species. Along with preventing predators from finding them, it's why cats bury their poop. Even determining color is scientific. If a cat is more than one color other than white, it's most likely a girl since color traits are carried on the X chromosome.

    However, science still can't tell you why cats purr—they do it both when they're happy and distressed—so it's a perfect excuse to sink your teeth into more cat videos. And if anyone asks, tell them it's for science.

    Photo via AsapSCIENCE/YouTube

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    Every evening, the Daily Dot delivers a selection of links worth clicking from around the Web, along with the day's must-see image or video. We call it Dotted Lines.

    • Former friends of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington finally begin to break the silence on allegations that Arrington raped and beat his ex-girlfriend. It's "the worst kept rumor in the Valley for years."
    • Jimmy Fallon is taking overThe Tonight Show.
    • George Takei talks about his upcoming Broadway debut—at age 75.
    • Schools in Norway move their midterms so students can see Justin Bieber perform.
    • This guy won a contest for hairiest back.
    • Obama will return part of his salary to the government.
    • This "doomsday prepper" seeks an extreme couponer.
    • Basic hair tricks every girl should know. 
    • A new treatment could beat cocaine out of the brain with lasers.
    • Every sexist double standard condensed into a single Reddit thread.
    • Weird Al and Huey Lewis parody American Psycho in this clever Funny or Die sketch:

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    Sex, lies, and verbal japes are thriving in Westeros once more, and fans of Game of Thrones are celebrating the return of the HBO fantasy show.

    Perhaps none are more delighted than a group who embody some of the key characters of the Seven Kingdoms (and beyond) on Twitter. The roleplayers often tweet multiple times a day about the troubles facing King's Landing, Dragonstone, and their fragile egos.

    Lannister family patriarch Tywin hasn't tweeted since 2011, though the rest of his house members often snipe at each other. Tywin's account is still visible, so he's maybe taking heed of the House Greyjoy mantra "What's dead may never die." 

    Here's a look at some of the more compelling recent tweets and conversations between Lannisters, Starks, and Baratheons, even if we don't quite understand who'd want to roleplay as Joffrey.

    Photo via @BoyOnTheThrone

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    Nevernudes, Blue Men, and les cousins dangereux, rejoice: The final countdown has begun.

    After much anticipation, Netflix announced today that the fourth season of Arrested Development will return on May 26, 2013. And, much like they did with their popular political drama House of Cards, they will be releasing all 15 episodes at the same time.

    "Arrested Development is now widely viewed as one of the top TV comedies of all time, and Mitch Hurwitz is bringing it to Netflix in a brand-new way, crafted for the on-demand generation that has come to discover the show in the years since it last appeared on TV," stated Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. 

    "The highly anticipated return of this show is sure to make history all over again."

    Not sure exactly what kind of history it previously made, but okay.

    For his part, executive producer and series creator Mitch Hurwitz sees this as a culmination of a longtime dream of his.

    "Finally my simple wish for the show is coming true: that it be broadcast every second around the clock to every television, computer, or mobile device in existence."

    So, how has the Twittersphere reacted? 

    People are losing their minds. Seriously. Just about every single one of the 46,000 tweets—according to social network analytics site Topsy—mentioning the show today is a proclamation of joy. You'd think Netflix was bringing The Wire back.

    Thanks for the overshare, guy. 

    You should totally try that and get back to us with how your soon-to-be married friend reacted. We're sure it'll go over well.

    It is. We checked.

    A show that's been off the air for close to seven years, one that millions of people view through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, and whose mythos has exponentially grown in that time? There's no way there's going to be some kind of letdown.

    Photo via Mark Larson/Flickr

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    In school Ciara Provencio was bullied relentlessly because of her cleft palate, a congenital deformity that affects five different parts of her face and which has been operated on 25 different times starting when she was 6 months old.

    They called her "crooked face," "crooked nose," and "slop face," the one insult she has never been able to shake even years after being home schooled.

    "My friend actually got jumped because she was my friend," Provencio told the Daily Dot.

    Now 17 years later, Provencio has figured out the perfect way to get back at her bullies. And it involves eating their brains.

    Provencio is a devout fan of The Walking Dead who launched a photo campaign Sunday asking to be transformed into a flesh-eating zombie extra. The photo, which asks for actor Norman Reedus to shoot her in the head, has since been shared 2,300 times on Facebook, collected 296,000 views on Imgur, and garnered 37,000 views on Buzzfeed. The Twitter hashtag #cleftstrong has collected more than 500 mentions and captured Reedus's attention, who sadly admitted that he doesn't have much pull in terms of zombie extras.

    "They have hundreds of zombies out there, I don't care if I'm in the back row," Provencio added. "I've loved Norman Reedus since the Boondock Saints. As soon as I found out that he was on The Walking Dead, I was like, 'I need to watch it.'"

    Since The Walking Dead premiered in October 2010, producers have been inundated with applications and requests to appear as a zombie extra. Special effects director Greg Nicotero interviews about 200 extras each season, most of which are from the Atlanta area, where the show is filmed (which Provencio says wouldn't be an issue since she lives in Columbia, Tenn., about four hours away).

    But even if she doesn't make it as a zombie, or any extra at all, Provencio hopes all the attention helps raise awareness for her deformity and prevents others from being bullied. Just five weeks ago, Provencio and her family traveled to Cincinnati where she had her 25th surgery. The four-hour procedure was to reconstruct her jaw and involved inserting 25 screws into her face. And in a few weeks, she will have another surgery.

    "I can't get rid of this. I can't help this," Provencio said. "I want to get our names out there. We are strong people."

    Photos via Ciara Provencio

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