BuzzFeed

The Year in President Obama’s Pop Culture Bona Fides

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Barack Obama’s “Cool President” status has officially reached its meta phase; towards the end of his interview with Jerry Seinfeld on the latter’s lovable vanity project Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, he describes himself using those exact words. In fact, starting with last year’s appearance/healthcare promotion on Between Two Ferns, the President’s been on something of a roll with his pop culture appearances and shoutouts — think of it as part of a more general late-second-term victory lap. In honor of the episode dropping, and the year ending, here are Obama’s biggest savvy PR opportunities Cool President bona fides of the past 12 months.
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The Data Drive: A Paper Internet From an Alternate Universe

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Many artists and scientists have considered printing the Internet on the requisite 136 billion pieces of standard (8″x11″) paper — few have tried. Still fewer have fed such sheets of paper into a printer, printed out the world’s most famous websites, cut them up, resized and reassembled them with original content before scanning the product back into a computer and posting it online. As far as we know, in fact, only a person named Daniel Kolitz has attempted to create a robustly microcosmic, hyperlinked Internet out of scanned cutouts.
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The Particular Horror of Hearing Creepy Stories About Famous Men Who Should Know Better

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Between Gawker publishing rumors that beloved comedian Louis C.K. has a tendency to expose himself (and I don’t mean emotionally) to women in the comedy world and today’s BuzzFeed piece alleging that a well-known TV character actor most recently seen on Mad Men acted inappropriately in the publication’s offices, it’s been a banner week for learning that a few male celebrities whose work addresses sexist and downright creepy behavior… may also practice that behavior.
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Talking Barbies, Passover Ice Cream and Absurdity in Indiana: Links You Need to See

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It’s been a doozy of a week in Indiana. In addition to facing nationwide backlash as multi-billion dollar corporations continue to scale down or phase out their businesses in the state (in response to the “Religious Freedom” Restoration Act that, in effect, legalizes discrimination against the LGBTQ community), the Hoosiers are likewise dealing with an HIV outbreak (also due to some shortsighted lawmaking) and, in the same stroke, have just become the first US state to sentence a woman to two decades of prison time for killing a fetus. Enough said—I’m moving my fantasy vacation to Pittsburgh.
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Apple Likes to Watch: ‘Terms of Service’ Author Jacob Silverman on Internet Surveillance

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With Apple’s “Spring Forward” preview this week, we got a glimpse of their latest and greatest innovation: the Apple Watch. While it’s a splashy product, it didn’t quite receive the typical “gamechanger” reviews with the Washington Post suggesting that “the Apple Watch should get dumber” to BuzzFeed’s litany of pieces on the pros (it can replace your FitBit and Jawbone, helping you get so fit, it’s going to change everything) and minuses (it sure can track your every move). It’s the last point that’s perhaps the most troubling. To get a clearer picture of what the Apple Watch means for the future of “wearable computing,” we talked to Jacob Silverman, the author of this month’s provocative and troubling Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection, set for release on March 17.
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Does Science Prove You Belong in Pawnee? : Links You Need To See

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Have you ever felt like you belonged in another city? That your life was drab and boring, and if you could just save up the money and find a way out of this small town that your life would just be so much better? Well, science says you’re right. Some people are apparently more suited to people-watching in a Parisian cafe and others are more suited to a quick stroll in Central Park. Hopefully Buzzfeed is preparing its servers for the inevitable flood of people who’ll want to take their fate-deciding quizzes.
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Longform You Have to Read: Writers’ 2014 Favorites

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In a world where you have more options for satisfying longform reading than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism and longform has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, being classic pieces of work, or just by a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re letting journalists take the lead, and highlighting five journalists’ favorite pieces that they wrote in 2014.
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