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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    The video for Robin Thicke’s recent single “Blurred Lines” is undeniably attractive. The beat, the hook, the melody. The half-naked models. The latter is the reason why a NSFW tag has followed the video around the Internet, ensuring people will be curious enough to click. It was banned on YouTube, but a clean version does exist.

    Beyond the presence of several topless women in the clip, the lyrics raised some eyebrows, namely the refrain, “I know you want it.” Thicke has been accused of promoting rape culture with the video, and objectifying women. Even the title could be misconstrued. Thicke commented on the controversy, and what he was trying to convey: that “women and their bodies are beautiful.” 

    With that in mind, Seattle “boylesque” troupe Mod Carousel blurred the lines even more, and flipped the gender roles for this new version. 

    In their reality, the women are the ones giving eyes and catcalling, and “I know you like it” holds a  different context when Caela Bailey sings it. The Mod Carousel boys assume the roles of the scantily-clad models. Their mission statement: 

    “It's our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and does everyone a disservice. We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.”

    Screenshot via Mod Carousel/YouTube


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    We've all been whooping and hollering for Mod Carousel's gender-swapped version of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." But this being the Internet, someone is always one step ahead.

    Chicago mashup duo the Hood Internetreleased their own version of "Blurred Lines," which threads into the theme song to Growing Pains. For those who weren't alive in the '80s, Robin Thicke's father, Alan, starred as the show's patriarch, Jason Seaver. Lest we forget (and the Internet never does), Thicke did have a bit of a musical career. Wonder if he still talks to Kirk Cameron.

    The songs actually sync up pretty well, and the track informs us that Alan Thicke “has a big D,” in case you were curious if he lives up to his last name. The Cosby Show got the “Blurred” treatment earlier this month.

    Then there’s YouTube presidential song club Barack’s Dubs’ version, spliced with several soundbites of President Clinton’s past speeches. Now we just need a Willy Jefferson sax solo over this song.

    Screengrab via The Hood Internet/YouTube


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    By CAPS OFF PLEASE

    In the 11th installment of the CAPS OFF PLEASE podcast, our intrepid hosts wade into the debate over the NSA spying on Paula Deen, discuss the most interesting man on Wikipedia, and try to decipher the origins of the phrase “Don’t blow smoke up my ass.”

    As always, the views of the hosts represent the views of small-minded southern males and should never be taken seriously. Oh, and it’s probably extremely NSFW, because they always are.

    Download the full podcast here.


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    It's been five days since David Karp announced that Tumblr would retract the most draconian parts of their new "Adult Content" policy—but many Tumblr users still aren't convinced that the company isn't still hiding access to countless blogs.

    The solution? Pornblur, a crude but effective way to search Tumblr specifically for the NSFW content you will no longer find on many of its more well-trafficked tags. Pornblur may be the brainchild of Robert Elwell, a search architect who declares himself the mayor of "Trillicon Valley," the group behind the site. 

    The concept is simple—type in a tag, get results. While you still don't seem to be able to search the names of individual tumblrs, you will come up with a list of tumblrs who serve up the content you're hunting. It also doesn't seem to limit itself to single-serving Tumblrs: rather, it shows you a taste of what an individual Tumblr whose description fits the search may be posting, which means that along with body parts, you get everything from mild fanart to cute little animals and pictures of flowers.

    For example, currently searching Pornblur for "f**k" gives you a first page full of almost entirely work-safe results—everything from robots to puppies—while searching it for "kittens" gives you—well, let's just say there are no cats on page one.

    The unpredictability of pornblur's search ironically shows how tough it is to really police adult content. Many Tumblrs whose owners have chosen to declare their content NSFW only post a small amount of actual explicit content in addition to their regular litany of pretty photographs, art, and GIFs. Some Tumblrs don't seem to have any explicit content, yet still wind up in search results due to having certain keywords in their names:

    Screengrab via Pornblur

    On the other hand, many adult Tumblrs aren't making it onto Pornblur at all. Tumblrs like the very NSFW catholicboysintrouble fail to come up when you search for "catholic boys," for example.  

    Meanwhile, Tumblrs like the equally NWS lipwrapped still aren't showing up in either Google search results or pornblur results. Tumblr noted Tuesday to the Daily Dot via email that the exclusion was very likely a "glitch" and that they would be looking into it; but that may be little consolation to the blog and its would-be followers.

    Still, there's plenty, upon plenty, of porn to be had. Pornblur seems to be a blog-based, rather than a tag-based, search engine, which makes sense considering how much trouble Tumblr has taken to clean up its tags. Formerly, generic tags like "anime" were infested with non-work-safe content; now, the tag is practically child-proof. Pornblur weirdly seems to be conflating "anime" with "animal," two vastly different things. And don't count on "Boys Love" to actually show you the genre of Boys Love manga, either. 

    But until Tumblr takes further steps in restoring naughty blogs to general searches, Pornblur will at least show you where some of the lost content is still hiding.

    H/T Hacker News | Photo via ticklishsocks


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    YouTube has already tried its hand at comedy, but can it also geek out?

    The company announced that it's teaming up with Nerdist's Chris Hardwick and the U.K.'s ChannelFlip for its first-annual Geek Week.

    The announcement comes just days after the end of San Diego Comic Con, but with shows like Game of Thrones being watched (and pirated) by millions, superhero movies from Marvel and DC earning millions at the box office, and the success of the Harry Potter series, geek culture is being brought to the forefront.

    And according to YouTube, there's never been a better time to be a geek.

    "Geeks are everywhere in popular culture," Danielle Tiedt, YouTube's chief marketing officer, told the Los Angeles Times. "You see that at YouTube as well: half of our top channels are in the geekdom area. ... This is a great opportunity to really highlight this amazing content."

    For Tiedt, it's also an opportunity to show casual viewers that the site is more than just a bunch of viral videos.

    YouTube's Comedy Week attempted to unite content creators and mainstream comedians in May with mixed results: the livestreamed Big Live Comedy Show was awkward and condescending at times, but for the content creators involved throughout the week, there was a 100 percent increase in subscriptions.

    This time around, YouTube seems to be abandoning the marriage of online and mainstream content. It's collaborating with geeky YouTubers who have already established themselves on the site, and it will bring in different YouTubers for both the U.S. and the U.K. audiences. 

    Taking place from Aug. 4-10, the company will feature Freddie Wong, Machinima, Tomska, and Felicia Day, among other YouTube creators, to introduce content focused on different areas of geek culture. The biggest name attached is Stan Lee, who launched his own YouTube channel last July, and will look into the world of superheroes as well as screen a trailer for Thor: The Dark World.

    Bringing in Hardwick and Day, who Jason Schmid called the "undisputed King and Queen of Geekdom," along with some of the site's most popular geek-oriented channels, may make Geek Week a more worthwhile venture. At the least, there are plenty of subscribers who will tune into whatever these people do.

    And if Geek Week turns out to be more than just a week of product promotion, YouTube may have a hit on its hands.

    H/T L.A. Times | Photo via YouTube/YouTube


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    Think about your day-to-day routine: When you get to work in the morning, when you end up at your favorite bar, what route you take home, and so on. We often lose sight of these patterns in the daily blur of life, but if you tracked your personal data for a year, would you notice a distinct rhythm or cadence to your day? Brian House did. 

    House teaches part-time in the Design and Media program at Rhode Island School of Design. For two years, he was also on staff at the New York TimesResearch and Development Lab, where he helped develop OpenPaths, a mobile app that collects personal geographic data, then creates a visual map of where you’ve been, which you can share or keep to yourself. House tracked his movements around New York City and beyond for a year. 

    “OpenPaths works in the background, so you really forget about it,” House told the Daily Dot. “And then you look at the map and see the trace of all those narratives, and it is striking. … What's surprising is really how much I did adhere to patterns, in ways I wasn't really aware, such as how late I stayed out or how often I left the city, and how going through the city I tend to travel clockwise.”

    House is also a musician, and decided rather than feeding the data into a computer program, he would make it a participatory experience. He narrowed down the locations he frequented most often, then pressed 365 days of data into 365 rotations on a record. One day equals one rotation. He called it “Quotidian Record,” and produced it as an 11-minute limited-edition LP. 

    “I think that the way we move in the world is inherently musical,” House says. “And that all music reflects that. Everyone can relate to music, musician or not, and I'm interested in finding new ways to utilize that capacity.”

    The goal of OpenPaths is twofold: to give users ownership over their personal data, and to encourage artists, researchers, and other creative minds to analyze data differently. As the National Security Agency continues its mass collection of info, House finds it troubling that some people don’t care who’s collecting their data. 

    “People don't seem to connect with the idea that this goes beyond individuals with ‘something to hide,’ but affects the texture of daily life,” he says. “Whether it's corporations building an advertising profile on you, individuals looking to hire you or date you, or the NSA evaluating your potential as a terrorist, personal data are increasingly defining, and increasingly inescapable. And we have to reckon with that. And in an art context, one way is to find alternative means of relating to data, ways that are not about classification and commodification and control but which emphasize embodiment and subjectivity and expressivity.”

    Photo via Brian House


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    Heisenberg probably wouldn't be too happy about this.

    MythBusters, which has been proving and disproving myths of all shapes and sizes since 2003, aimed big for their upcoming special episode. With only eight more episodes until the end, Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and the rest of the MythBusters gang recruited Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and actor Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) to put some of the scientific concepts presented in the show to the test.

    In the trailer released by Discovery, the episode promised to be an array of unstable flashes and explosions as Savage, Hyneman, Gilligan, and Paul reenacted a classic scene from the first season. Savage takes on the role of drug kingpin Heisenberg, trying to move a shipment of  "crystal myths."

    U.S. viewers have to wait until Aug. 12—one day after the Breaking Bad season premiere—to watch the MythBusters test out those theories, but someone decided to give us a sample a few weeks early.

    womenweedweather1 posted the unlisted video to Reddit earlier Thursday, and fans of both shows in r/videos are excited for the episode. The video was posted to YouTube on Jul. 21, and one redditor expressed excitement that the video hadn't been taken down yet. Others pointed out scientific inaccuracies in the experiments, but mostly everyone is in agreement on one thing: the new season of Breaking Bad —the highly anticipated conclusion of the series—can't come soon enough.

    For some Australian fans, they were surprised that the episode hasn't aired in the U.S. yet; they'd seen it weeks ago.

    "Mythbusters is produced in Australia by the Australian production company Beyond Television (despite being filmed in [San Francisco])," Synth88 explained. "Hence why we get it much earlier than everyone."

    Watch the entire MythBusters Breaking Bad special below before YouTube takes it offline.

    It's science...bitch.


    H/T Reddit | Photo via MrD3STR03R/YouTube


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    The TV show Daria ran on MTV from 1997 to 2002, and the titular teenage character, Daria Morgendorffer, was the pre-Internet geek girl: smart, sarcastic, forever rocking a blazer and boots. She and her best friend, Jane Lane, side-eyed Lawndale High School’s popular kid, and left us a time capsule of deadpan quotes.

    Her monotone delivery and unexcitable nature can be found in many modern TV characters, but her most apparent heir is Parks and Recreation’s April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza. The folks at CollegeHumor agree. The site just debuted a movie trailer for Daria: High School Reunion, starring Plaza as Daria, in which she returns to Lawndale to catch up with the class of 2002, 10 years later.

    Alas, it’s just a joke trailer, a teaser of sorts for Plaza’s real new movie, The To-Do List. But still, Internet, we must will this movie into existence. This is an important cultural moment for misanthropes everywhere.

    Screenshot via CollegeHumor.com


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    Out of all fan communities, gamers often seem the hardest to please. They also tend to be angrier and more volatile—perhaps because they spend their leisure time blowing each others’ heads off with automatic weapons. That could well account for the death threats received by designer David Vonderhaar after he issued a new patch for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

    Vonderhaar’s offense, as he tells it, was to implement a few ordinary fixes in the shoot-em-up military game—fixes that came down to differences of a fraction of a second. In particular, the firing rate of the Ballista sniper rifle, an apparent fan favorite, was slightly reduced for improved multiplayer balance.

    These changes didn’t sit well with some players, especially the snipers, who declared that Vonderhaar had spoiled their pastime. Here, for example, is a video of an incensed young man stalking angrily through the woods and declaring that he’s “coming for” Vonderhaar.

    There were, of course, the more restrained reactions, but even these nitpicking complaints drew toxic, hostile, and violent comments, some of which rose to the top of the heap.

    Elsewhere, an actual petition to undo the changes appeared on Change.org and has amassed more than 4,000 signatures so far—it appears on track to cross the pivotal 5,000-supporter threshold tonight. Titled “David Vonderhaar: Fix sniping in Black Ops 2,” its demands are blunt:

    There are too many people that love sniping and so many more problems like LMGs, C4s, and Riot Shields that they should fix. Sniping has been ruined on Black Ops 2

    To:

    Fix sniping in Black Ops 2

    Sincerely,

    [Your name]

    Dan Amrich, community manager for Activision, Call of Duty’s publisher, wrote an equally direct and unambiguous editorial on the matter of death threats:

    Weapons are designed with pros and cons; they perform in specific ways for specific reasons. But if, in the course of millions of hours of gameplay and the data to go with it, weapons are found to be more effective or less effective than they should be to keep that performance balanced, they are adjusted. This has happened with every Call of Duty game that’s come out for the last few years, and it will continue to happen — a gun’s stats being adjusted should not be a surprise to anybody at this point.

    Yet [Vonderhaar] often gets told he should die in a fire or kill himself or is a horrible person. If anybody thinks for a second that this is okay, it is not. But if the loudest voices in the Call of Duty “community” act like an angry mob instead, guess how the entire world views Call of Duty? Now consider that these Internet Tough Guy rants and demands are not unique to COD, but exist everywhere, in many gaming communities. This is why the world often does not take gaming seriously; this is why gamers are assumed to be immature, whiny assholes. Because the immature, whiny assholes are louder.

    In other words, if the fanboys don’t like the game, they’re free to go join the real army instead.

    Photo via GWIDTER/YouTube


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    Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz says he is “definitely” going to do more of the show.

    After seven years off the air, the cult series made a splashy return two months ago when its fourth season arrived on Netflix. And that doesn't seem to be the end of the road for the stair car.

    “Are we going to do more?” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos asked Hurwitz at Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy conference Thursday afternoon. The answer was positive in the absolute.

    There don't seem to be any deals in place as yet and Hurwitz maintains that he wants to make a movie version of the show.

    It took a year to cut through the red tape to make season 4 happen, since 20th Century Fox actually owns Arrested Development. But while you shouldn't hold your breath waiting for an official announcement of the movie or a fifth season, Hurwitz claimed he's ready. “We have the movie, basically. We have the next step,” he noted with regards the proposed film's plot. Sarandos said he'd be happy to keep the show going.

    Hurwitz also said he wanted the cast all together next time as opposed having to work around their other commitments. That in part led to the different structure of season 4, in which each episode focused on a single character with occasional appearances from the other cast members.

    The hour-long conversation between Hurwitz and Sarandos threw up a few other interesting tidbits about the show's rebirth.

    Sarandos, for instance, pointed out the Arrested Development revival emerged from a chance meeting with producer Ron Howard at a party. Hurwitz, meanwhile, was initially taken aback by Netflix's decision to release all episodes simultaneously “Even I was saying, 'What? You're going to air them all at once?’” he joked. That, of course, led to dedicated fans binging on the show and burning through all 15 episodes in a day.

    One of the season's plot threads revolved around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) driving what was obviously a Google Street View car, part of a running joke about the show's lead character driving ridiculous vehicles. Once Hurwitz had shot Bateman's scenes with the car, Google wouldn't allow Netflix to show its branding, leading to the logos on the car being blurred. Hurwitz noted the irony of the Street View car capturing his house and car in real life, but Google wouldn't allow the car to be shown. That's privacy for you.

    On the Netflix side of the discussion, Sarandos said the company is taking its time to find the really great projects to adopt for original content on the streaming service. He added that there was a massive swell of anticipation before Netflix debuted its first original series, House of Cards earlier this year. There were more than 2 billion “impressions” (tweets, blog posts, and so on) about the series before Netflix started airing it.

    Hurwitz admitted that no one “expected the press would be as into as they were.” Netflix bringing back the show was largely a consequence of its cult standing and popularity on the service.

    Those same fans who helped bring it back will be glad to know the door's wide open for the series to continue. 

    Screenshot via Darren Abate/YouTube


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    DJ Khaled is many things: Rapper, label exec, and yes, DJ. But he is also a sensitive man, who loves wearing gold chains over sweaters. And he is a romantic.

    Today, while at MTV studios, he took some camera time to ask labelmate Nicki Minaj: Will you marry me?

    He goes on to say he understands they both “suffer from success,” and that he respects her hustle, and so that’s why they should be together, as a mega-couple who both hustle. He says things have changed for him, and he’s ready to be husband to Nicki Minaj. He can take care of her. He even has the ring. 

    Just watch the video. Already tearing up a little. 

    Screenshot via MTV.com


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    When Miley Cyrus isn’t busy twerking, she is shedding her pristine Disney image for that of an edgy young songstress in the bizarre “We Can’t Stop” music video. Chock full of drug use and sexual references, the video has led many to criticize her for going overboard in her path to rebrand herself. 

    The strange video, which also features a makeout session with an oversized Barbie doll and plenty of tongue wagging, has sparked numerous parodies on YouTube. 

    From YouTube regulars to household pets, everyone wants a piece of Cyrus’s new video. Here are four of the most hilarious parodies of “We Can’t Stop.” 

    1) Bret Baker

    Baker is known for his spoofs of popular music from artists like Taylor Swift and Macklemore. In this parody, Liam Hemsworth, Miley’s real world boyfriend, makes an appearance and pleads with her to get her act together. The video also points out the large number of black people in the video, criticizing Miley for using them to prove how “urban” and edgy she is. In the end, Amanda Bynes makes a surprise appearance and hilarity ensues. 

    2) The Pet Collective 

    This parody features adorable dogs getting turnt up. Just like Miley, these pooches are shedding their innocent puppy demeanor. Putting paws on furniture, running in the house and eating as many treats as they can—these pups do what they want. 

    3) The Key of Awesome

    This video stands out for its amazing, hilarious dialogue. It describes Miley’s new style as “a poor man’s Gaga, or an albino Rihanna.” It also pokes fun at some of the more ridiculous aspects of the original music video, such as Miley’s constant gum chewing and urge to put her butt on just about everyone else in the video. The video ends with a surprise appearance by Miley’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, who attempts to take over the music video. 

    4) Shane Dawson TV 

    Even YouTube veteran Shane Dawson has made a parody of Miley’s video. Dawson’s previous celebrity parodies include Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Taylor Swift. Keeping with his edgy, and somewhat vulgar approach to making YouTube gold, this parody is no different. The video show little girls imitating Miley’s behavior by snorting Pixy Stix and twerking up a storm.  

    Although many of these parodies criticize her for being overly edgy and a bad influence on her younger audience, in Cyrus's defense, there is really only one thing to be said: She’s just being Miley. 

    Screenshot via MileyCyrusVEVO/YouTube


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    I spent years on the road travelling to different music festivals, handing out free ice cream across every corner of the country, from Coachella to All Tomorrow’s Parties in New York. And I never found anything quite like Pickathon.  

    Many festivals strive to be different, but no one goes to the extremes that Pickathon does. For starters, there’s the setting: Pendarvis Farm, a quaint and grassy pasture just outside of Portland city limits. Most everyone camps onsite, and there’s no real boundary between the stages and camp sites—just one large farm with a lot of tents tucked in between the trees.

    Then there’s Pickathon’s goal of being a zero-waste festival. All food is served on reusable dishware, and drinks are poured into stainless steel pint cups that people carry with them all weekend.   

    That community spirit and ethos spills over to the music lineup, too. Artists are selected by committee, with volunteers campaigning for personal favorites, and for about 15 years now, it’s resulted in eclectic lineups filled with bands known for their live shows.

    This year’s outing, taking place Aug. 2-4, boasts garage rock (King Tuff, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts), country (Dale Watson, Tift Merritt, JD McPherson), and pretty much everything in between (Lightning Dust, Shabazz Palaces, Marco Benevento).  Outside of a few bigger-name headliners (Andrew Bird, Fiest, Divine Fits), everything else is up in the air. You’re never quite sure what you’ll get but you know it will be quality.

    But here is what’s really cool: Every band plays twice at the festival. The stages consist of a two barns, a stage built into the woods, and two side-by-side main stages at the bottom of a perfectly sloped hill—and no artist plays on the same stage or in the same time slot twice.

    There is not a specific theme to this playlist. My girlfriend Kate and I just listened to as many bands as we could find on Spotify and starred the ones we liked the most.  From there we narrowed it down to around 40 songs, then tweaked the order over a few days til it flowed like we wanted. I think it does a good job of showing off the diversity as well as the common thread that can tie so many different types of music together.  

    More than any other festival, you really do have to be there to get what it’s all about, but this playlist can at least tide you over.

    Better known as the Ice Cream Man, Matt Allen is the publicity coordinator of Mississippi Studios, an indie music venue in Portland, Ore. You can follow him on Twitter, or catch him at Pickathon, “slingin’ the cream, livin’ the dream.” The festival will be livestreamed here

    Photo by Chloe Aftel


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    This weekend, The Conjuring, the latest film from Saw director James Wan, drops into U.S. theatres. But it's not only fans of exorcisms, demons, and the real-life demonologists behind the film's story who benefit from the release. Vice teamed up with The Conjuring's production team to put on a one-minute horror film fest called The 3:07 Project, so named in honor of the "devil's hour," when the movie's most notable demon action happens.

    Vice and The Conjuring's team invited four directors to create a 60-second film inspired by the Devil's Hour, which perhaps should more accurately be called the Devil's Minute. But they chose filmmakers who were more than up to the task: Oscar nominee Nacho Vigalondo, horror savant Ti West of House of the Devil fame, screenwriter Max Landis, and Jason Eisener, the cheeky creator of the Grindhouse short Hobo With a Shotgun.

    Together, the four horror experts produced a single six-minute video, full of scares to get your spine tingling in anticipation of your next foray to the movies. In order, the four films are: 

    • "This One, For the Lady," by Nacho Vigalondo, a look at one of the most common nightmare subjects—losing your teeth.
    • "The Seance," by Max Landis, an unforgettable excursion into the found footage genre.
    • "Box," by Ti West, a short "silent" film that manages to pack in a dozen horror tropes into one small space.
    • "One Last Dive," by Jason Eisner, a terrifying trip underwater.

    Short films are often the horror genre's bread and butter—after all, it only takes one good scare to be remembered. From animators to Reddit, everyone loves taking a stab at the genre. Not to be outdone, we present our ten favorite short horror films, ranging from 30 seconds to 25 minutes.

    1) Eel Girl

    An instant body-horror classic, eerie and atmospheric.

    2) Cutting Moments

    This 25-minute short film made in 1997 is an utterly disturbing short horror film. Cutting Moments is highly explicit, with slow scenes of intense and incredibly violent gore—but what you may remember most is the intense social commentary layered thickly over this dark and brooding tale of dysfunctional suburbia. American Beauty she ain't.

    3) The Library Kills

    Who says found footage can't be scary? Or fashion, for that matter?  This short film commissioned by designer Boudicca is not just a stylish photo compilation, but one that tells an increasingly mesmerizing, horrifying story of a deranged turn-of-the-century killer and his vintage victims. You'll never look at the library the same way again.

    4) Suckablood

    Horrifying morals for children and beautifully terrifying animation make this nightmare fairy tale a complete win.

    5) The Facts In The Case Of Mr Hollow

    This creepy 2011 animated short was showered with awards, for good reason. As mysterious as it is creepy, this chiller leaves you with more questions than answers.

    6) The Green Ruby Pumpkin

    Partially animated, all magical, this Halloween short manages to be beautiful, delightful, and creepy, all on a shoestring budget and all in under three minutes.

    7) Mockingbird

    Fewdio is a talented short-film production company known for its quick, sinister scenes of terror. Mockingbird is perhaps their most memorable offering, a riff on the basic "THEN WHO WAS PHONE?" creepypasta trope.

    8)The Horribly Slow Murderer With the Extremely Inefficient Weapon

    True to its word, ten minutes of hilarious non-death and spoofery of every horror trope on earth. Or should we say spoonery?

    9) 8 Butterflies

    If creepy, atmospheric horror is your thing, then Nick Narciso's near-silent film of inexplicable oppressiveness will stay with you for days.

    10) Rot

    Thirty seconds of stop-motion awesome.

    Screengrab via Vimeo


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    Earlier this month, an EVE Online player lured a rare spaceship worth nearly $9,000 in real American currency to its doom. It was a devastating ambush the likes of which the science-fiction MMORPG had never seen. But that’s peanuts compared to yesterday’s carnage.

    The game’s biggest battle to date claimed 2,900 ships.

    The interstellar conflict between two vast fleets—TEST Alliance and the CFC (or Clusterfuck Coalition)—was initiated sometime before 4:00pm ET on Sunday. Both sides were locked into an all-or-nothing play for control of planetary systems and the essential resources that come with them. When the space dust settled some five hours later, CFC had TEST in retreat and appeared the victor of an historic bloodbath involving more than 4,000 pilots.

    EVE designer Erlendur S. Þorsteinsson confirmed the new record.

    Due to the presence of so many players on one server, EVE Online’s developers had to slow the flow of game-time by 90 percent in order to keep things running smoothly. In the first half of the battle, densely packed ships waged war around TEST’s space station, CFC’s original point of attack.


     

    As CFC’s odds began to improve, and TEST’s attempt to jam their targeting and healing capabilities apparently fell short, the winning coalition sent in increasingly expensive and valuable “capital” ships in for mop-up duty. Despite TEST’s invocation of a favorite speech from The Lord of the Rings, the fight was lost.


     

    Some TEST forces would not accept defeat, however, going down in a blaze of glory. Vily, the fleet commander of CFC’s Goonswarm Federation, offered a full account of the “grueling” and almost unfathomably complex battle, which ended with a hopelessly noble counterattack:

    As we continued to clear the battlefield, killing everything but the most difficult to track frigates, word came in of something odd. It seemed that TEST Alliance planned to make a charge—a last stand—to come back in against overwhelming force and make a statement. In EVE, this is never done; you do not fight when there is no hope. You retreat and save your ships for another day, another chance. But in they came, and while I can safely say I was surprised, I was also a little sad that so much bravery would have to be killed so quickly.

    Their suicide run killed a single Naglfar-class dreadnaught. Over two hundred pilots paid the price for it. On a good day, 10 capitals might be worth that price - but that was not the day.

    Perhaps it was simply a good day to die.

    H/T and photo by The Verge


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    Did you know that House of Cards and its Netflix cohorts were not the only online TV programs to score Primetime Emmy nods? Burning Love, which landed on E! back in February, also received a nomination (along other web favorites) in the category for ‘Outstanding Special Class – Short-Format, Live-Action, Entertainment Program.’ As it turns out, Ken Marino and Erica Oyama‘s hilarious parody of The Bachelor was a big hit on TV, and its small screen distributor is hungry for more. E! has also picked up the show’s second and third seasons, and will air them beginning in the fall.

    Burning Love‘s first season, which originally debuted on Yahoo in 2012, made the move to TV just eight days after it obliterated the competition at the 3rd Streamy Awards, where it scooped up four trophies. TV viewers instantly took to the pitch-perfect satire, and it scored more than seven million viewers across its seven full-length episodes.

    The second and third seasons, though they each switch up the format, were similarly well-received when they arrived last February and April respectively. Going off of E!’s policy for the first season, I would expect seasons two and three to be removed from Yahoo once the TV version debuts, so if you haven’t seen them yet (or if you’d like to watch them again), you should do that ASAP.

    “The success that Burning Love has found on E! is the only thing keeping our marriage together,” joked Marino and Oyama. “For the sake of our children, we hope viewers continue to watch!” So there you have it. If you don’t want to see this adorable couple split up, you know what to do.


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    If you’ve ever scrambled to complete a book report the night before it’s due, you know the value of SparkNotes and CliffNotes. But if even that is too dense and boring, you should try YouTube’s newest literary sensation, Thug Notes.

    The show breaks down the plot, characters, and themes of some of the greatest books ever written—from To Kill A Mockingbird to Crime and Punishment—in a way that’s  accessible and entertaining. In just under two months, the channel has racked up more than 1 million view and 80,000 views.

    “I see education as an art form,” noted host Sparky Sweets, an L.A. native who claims to have a Ph.D. in Classics, “and it's my intention to help more people learn about literature and humanity through comedy.”

    On the occasion of Thug Notes’ latest tutorial, J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the Daily Dot talked to Dr. Sweets, the thug behind Thug Notes, about his background in academia, and why he chose to present literary works in a way everyone can understand.

    How do you choose which books you're going to review?

    My "syllabus" is based on the most popular reading assignments across America. I research which books teachers and students will most likely be reading this year and create my episodes from there. I'm working toward building a library of videos that students can reference anytime.

    My dream is to have a Thug Notes episode available for any major piece of work. As for Crime & Punishment, it just so happens that it's one of my favorite books. Even though Dostoevsky is not too widely assigned, I made that episode because I love the book so much.

    What was the inspiration for Thug Notes?

    It all started with my frustration with academia.

    Right now, the idea of truly comprehending literature is enshrouded by a veil of unnecessarily pedantic terminology and intellectual one-upmanship. Academia, as it is today, is not solely about love for the works. It's also about "wearing" it. For many, it's not about making the ideas of literature universal—instead it's about building themselves up to a virtually inaccessible plane and saying "if you want to truly understand literature, you have to get on this high-brow level with me."

    But the truth is the gift of literature is universal and should be made accessible to everyone on every plane. So Thug Notes is my way of trivializing academia's attempt at making literature exclusionary by showing that these ideas can be communicated to people on the opposite side of the social stratum. I can take grandiose ideas and make them truly understood by everyone.

    Have you faced any criticism for the use of the word "thug" or from the academics you speak about above?

    Actually, no.

    I keep the material as accurate and informative as I can, and my audience knows the show is tongue-in-cheek.

    By making the show funny, I allow my viewers to let their guard down and be entertained first and foremost. I think this is why so many people tune in and actually learn something from the show.

    I did get one piece of feedback from the academic community saying this is not the way to teach people. But all I need to do is look through the thousands of comments that come through each week to see people are, in fact, learning. And in most cases, they're comprehending more in four minutes than they did in class over the course of a semester or school year.

    Whether people like the approach or not, the fact that viewers are appreciating and understanding classical literature like never before is undeniable. That makes me proud.

    Photo via Thug Notes


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    Denzel Washington is a man of his word. When he makes a guarantee in a movie, he delivers. And the folks at YouTube’s Official Comedy channel have proof. Well, in supercut form. They found every instance where Washington makes a guarantee in his films, from The Siege to American Gangster to Training Day.

    They also found further proof in his new movie, 2 Guns, in which Washington plays a DEA agent on the lam with Mark Wahlberg. Drug Enforcement Agency? More like Guarantee Enforcement Agency. Sorry. Bye.

    Screengrab via Official Comedy/YouTube


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    In most cases, being Internet famous isn’t like being an actual celebrity. Red carpets are replaced with crocheted living room rugs, and fancy champagne’s swapped for a six-pack from 7-Eleven. Internet stars may have thousands of fans online, but most live rather ordinary lives—and some are just trying to get through another semester in school.

    Jon Cozart, 21, known as “Paint” on YouTube, has over 1 million subscribers, 62,000 followers on Twitter, and nearly as many on Instagram. That puts him in the upper echelon of YouTube stars, according to the video analytics site, Vidstatx.

    He’s also a sophmore film student at the University of Texas at Austin, trying to balance a normal college experience with his newfound Internet fame.

    “The great thing about Internet fame is that it is for a specific audience,” he told me. “I mean, it’s not like I go on the street and get mobbed.”

    Cozart’s a one-man barbershop quartet and comedy act. (He’s auditioned for GleeTwice.) He loops and layers his voice with various instruments to create exuberant pop musicals.

    His first major video success was a Hogwarts-themed spoof “Harry Potter in 99 seconds,” in which he takes the audience through all of the J.K. Rowling franchise with witty humor and catchy music. He released it the day before the 2011 premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

    When he awoke the next morning, his video had about 100,000 views. The video had made its way to Tumblr, attracting eager Harry Potter fans. By the end of the week, it had a few million views. Cozart had gone from casual YouTuber to Internet celebrity—just like that.

    “I get a lot of inspiration from other people who make what I make,” he said.

    Born in Arkansas and relocated to Texas when he was six, Cozart started making videos when he was in middle school for class projects. He works as a standalone operation: He thinks up the idea, shoots, edits and does all of the vocal work for his videos.

    His individual approach to making content does comes at a price. Unlike other successful YouTubers that can produce multiple videos a week, Cozart is sporadic.He produces videos only a few times a year. But what he lacks in content, he more than accounts for with quality and virality.

    His latest and most popular viral video, “After Ever After,” reimagines the lives popular Disney princesses in the wake of current events, like the BP oil spill. The video hits on issues of ocean pollution, beastality, the War on Terror, and the treatment of Native Americans—not exactly what you think of when you hear “Disney princesses.”

    Cozart said that he grew up with Disney movies and could relate to their symphonic music. The video launched him into another level of Internet popularity—quadrupling his audience since it was uploaded in March.

    “I was on the front page of Yahoo, and doing interview for all of these newspapers. It was crazy,” he said.

    While other college kids might be spending their summer working a summer job or studying abroad, Cozart has taken advantage of his most recent video success by nailing down performances around the world.

    Later this week, he will be doing a live performance at VidCon in California, and he’ll appear at VINinc in Australia.

    Despite his recent success, Cozart says he’s just a normal guy. He’s a member of Gigglepants, an improv comedy troupe on his college campus, and enjoys performing in local productions of musicals and plays.

    “I think my real friends, they don’t really care that I have a YouTube channel,” he said. “They just like me because of my personality.”

    Screengrab via YouTube


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    Orange Is the New Black is the latest hit in Netflix’s new chain of original programs, brought into existence by Weeds’ Jenji Kohan and set in a women’s prison. The show’s main character, Piper Chapman, is our entry point into the lives of more than a dozen different inmates of varying ages, races and classes. The show’s popularity is a refreshing surprise, and so is the dialogue it’s started online about women’s representation on TV.

    But the narrative started with Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. You can see the genesis of that book on Pipebomb, the blog Kerman and her fiance at the time, Larry Smith, kept while she was imprisoned.

    The blog spanned the length of her 13-month sentence in Danbury Federal, from February 2004 to March 2005, and throughout, Smith refers to Kerman lovingly as “our girl.” In browsing the entries, little details of prison life emerge.

    Here are five interesting tidbits from the Pipebomb:

    Recipes for prison food

    An entry from May 2004 details the culinary delight known as prison cheesecake. See also: “Piper’s Ramen Surprise.”

    PRISON CHEESECAKE

    (popular at birthday and going away parties)

    Ingredients:

    1 six-oz. package of Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafers or Oreos
    4-6 pats of margarine
    1 round of Laughing Cow cheese (8 wedges)
    4 cups of vanilla pudding
    6 oz. of Coffee Mate
    1/2 c. lemon juice (more to taste)

    A 2004 reading list from Danbury Federal

    An informal poll was taken, and Kerman returned with a list of the top 10 books inmates were reading. That list includes My Life Among the Serial Killers by Helen Morrison, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and The Collected Works of V.C. Andrews, in Spanish. “Resonates strongly with Danbury’s Latinos for some reason,” Kerman explained. “Anne Rice does, too.”

    Make a wishlist

    Books were popular at Danbury, and Kerman had a lengthy Amazon wishlist, which friends and strangers could peruse. There’s something telling about The Odyssey and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract being on there.

    The story of Vickie Stringer

    Smith posted a New York Times article about former madam and drug dealer Vickie Stringer, who wrote a memoir in prison, and went on to found a publishing company. She became known as the “queen of hip-hop lit.”

    Her pre-prison farewell blog

    Kerman wrote a FAQ for Pipebomb’s first entry, explaining why she’s going away, and how mandatory minimum sentencing eventually landed her federal prison time. It’s funny and smart, and features pictures of her cats, Wayne and Lady Bunny, plus a link to a sleepy cat video, which will remind you how far the Internet has come in the past decade.  

    Kerman goes into more detail about her friendships in prison here.

    Screenshot via SixWords/YouTube


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