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  1. How and Why I’m Donating My Body to Science

    I don't plan on ever dying, but it's good to have a backup plan.

    I might die some day. I know. I'm bummed too. Hopefully not anytime soon, but I started thinking about my post-death options recently after a relative's funeral. While "never die ever" is still at the top of my list, I've decided that donating my body to science should be my alternative. It's not like I'm going to be doing anything with it after I'm dead. I might as well help science.

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  2. My Hate Watch Begins: On Angel, Hate-Watching, and the Irresistible Lure of Terrible Television

    Why am I so compelled to watch this terrible show?

    For the last two months, I've been kind of stuck in my house due to a stress fracture. While I'm nursing the broken foot that's kept me from doing a whole host of things I would rather be doing with my summer, I am playing Xbox and watching a lot of Netflix. This has brought me to a rare first in my long TV-watching career: I'm hate-watching my first show, and I kind of love it.

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  3. Review: Super Mario Bros. 3: Brick by Brick Reminds Me of Why I Love Video Games

    Why wasn't this a thing sooner?

    Books are rarely written about a single video game. There have been many written about fictional video games, or takes on gaming culture in general, but texts devoted to one particular game are few and far between. Bob Chipman, or MovieBob, is known on the Internet for his critical analyses on films and games alike. So it’s only fitting that he attempted this very thing with his new book, Super Mario Bros. 3: Brick by Brick. But does it work?

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  4. It’s All Connected, People! Our Theory on the Pronunciation Book Mystery

    Don't worry, it's not about Half-Life 3.

    The Internet has been following a YouTube series that started out as a pronunciation guide, became a slightly weirder pronunciation guide, and went off the rails two weeks ago and started a portentous countdown. Theories have been springing up, but any evidence you derive from interpreting Bob Dylan lyrics isn't exactly reliable. What if they're entirely off the mark?

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  5. Review: Axe Cop Will Make You Believe in the Power of Imagination, Then Chop Your Head Off

    Axe Cop may be silly, but it's also deeply beautiful.

    Imagine seeing something you thought of when you were five become a mainstream animated series. That's the world Malachai Nicolle lives in. He co-created the webcomic Axe Cop with his older brother Ethan at that age, and Axe Cop the series premiered on Fox this past weekend. I went into the premiere with high hopes, and the show did not disappoint.

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  6. Review: The Age of Ice is Part Tolstoy, Part Postmodern Magic

    J.M. Sidorova's epic first work is available now.

    J.M. Sidorova's first novel, The Age of Ice, is not what I anticipate from epic fantasy, nor is it for everyone. In fact it seems to be the latest classical Russian novel: A story of Russian history told through the eyes of a strange hero, his unique conception and corresponding condition the main mark of "fantasy" found within. While it spans wars and ages and loves, The Age of Ice is not an adventure story.

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  7. Yes, Alan Turing Deserves a Pardon, But Not Because He Was a National Hero

    Pardoning Alan Turing is a nice thought, but it runs the risk of sending the wrong message -- that thousands of other men who suffered his same fate in Britain deserved it.

    There's a new movement gaining steam in England to officially pardon British cryptographer and godfather of modern computer science Alan Turing, and it appears likely that this one will finally end in a formal pardon. Now, ordinarily, we'd be all for that, but for one fact. If Turing is issued an official pardon, it will be for the wrong reasons, and runs the risk of ignoring why he actually deserves an apology from his government -- and why many other Britons who were similarly affected by a bad law deserve the same.

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  8. A Polite Discussion on How to Properly Throw a Raccoon

    Assuming you must toss a raccoon, that is.

    As you may or may not be aware, Digg founder Kevin Rose made waves on the Internet over the past couple days by posting a security video where, in an effort to save his dog Toaster, he tossed a raccoon down a flight of stairs. Part of this interest comes from the inevitable group calling his actions "animal abuse," but the other segment of viewers are surely tuning in simply because, well, it's Rose tossing a raccoon. It's with this in mind that we present a polite discussion on how to properly throw a raccoon.

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  9. When It Comes to Science Fiction and Fantasy, Multiple Levels of Realism Are Necessary

    What makes suspension of disbelief work in the most implausible of stories

    How many times have you complained with something along the lines of, "How did Character A survive that gaping chest wound, or get from Point A to Point B so fast, or figure out the mystery with no clues?" And how many times have you gotten the response, "You're expecting realism from a book/show/movie with dragons/time travel/vampires?" Clearly, that's too easy a comeback. It can be used to dismiss virtually any complaint about a work, and yet you somehow have to answer it. Why are you okay with a story about time-traveling vampire dragons -- my idea, don't steal it! -- but bothered by relatively minor elements in the story? The answer is that rather than coming from a desire to nitpick the story to death, our reaction is natural, and it's no big deal if we have multiple types of 'realism' in our fiction.

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  10. What Happens to Your Body During a Hunger Strike

    As many as 30,000 California prisoners are refusing meals today. Here's what they have to look forward to.

    This morning in California, nearly 30,000 inmates in prisons throughout the state's penitentiary system entered the second day of an apparent hunger strike. While the beginning of Ramadan -- during which Muslim prisoners do not take meals during daylight hours -- has complicated an exact count, it's becoming clear that thousands of the prisoners who refused meals yesterday did so not out of religious obligation, but in solidarity with prisoners at the Pelican Bay State Prison who are protesting what they call abusive policies that can find prisoners suspected of gang ties locked in solitary confinement for decades at a time. While this isn't an official hunger strike yet -- the state's policy is not to deem a prisoner on hunger strike until he or she has missed 9 meals -- this looks a lot like the beginning of the largest one seen in America in some time. With that in mind, we bring you this primer on what happens to the body during a hunger strike. Just a warning: It's not pretty.

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