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New Abortion Rights Ads Target Young Men via Xbox, Comedy Central — But Aren’t “Family-Friendly” Enough For Google

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Leftist pundits love to ask why younger people are so progressive on gay marriage but haven’t moved very far from their elders on abortion. Some have opined it’s because gay marriage is about extending an inherently conservative institution to include more people, while others say abortion will never seem as innocuous as marriage, even to supporters. “That element of the culture war appears to be here to stay,” one article concluded.
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bookofnumbers_feature

‘Book of Numbers': 2015’s Great Novel of Ideas Explained With Animated GIFS

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Joshua Cohen has just been dubbed “a major American writer” by the New York Times and a “great American novelist” by Tablet. At 34, he is the author of eight books, including the 800-page Witz and now the 600-page Book of Numbers.

In Book of Numbers, a failed novelist is, like the author, named Joshua Cohen, but he is about ten years older than the actual Joshua Cohen — he’s paunchy, losing his hair, and in the middle of a protracted divorce. He’s been hired by another Joshua Cohen, referred to in the book as “Principal,” the CEO of Tetration, a fictional company that reads like a merger of Google and Apple. Principal is a Steve Jobs-like figure: in ill health and devoted to the California version of an Eastern religion. The novel retraces the birth and rise of the Internet, as well as the much longer — and, in some important ways, ending — history of print culture. It’s about surveillance and data and the impact of these on all of us now and, as the novel’s long view of history would suggest, in the years ahead.
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John Oliver with an important message about April Fool's Day.

15 Internet April Fools’ Jokes John Oliver Would Hate

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April showers bring May flowers, or whatever, but April Fools’ brings a glut of mostly Web-based, absurdist non-humor. As John Oliver so eloquently ranted about the other day, much of April Fools’ is about being a dick, whether it’s simply wrapping your coworker’s desk in aluminum foil or, as so many Internet presences have chosen to do, setting our expectations high for new, bizarre products and then killing our dreams when corporations remind us that business is, in fact, business, and fun is rarely allowed.
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Google Pacman

The Streets Are Teeming with Miniatures and Pac-Men: Links You Need To See

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Google often bestows the tiny, uselessly amusing gifts of decorative and sometimes interactive fonts — celebrating a variety of both famous and obscure birthdays, holidays and anniversaries — upon its users. Now, the corporation is letting Pac-Man run loose on the streets of Google Maps for our very mindless entertainment. Similarly on the subject of the Internet’s gifts, here are three mashups of various Muppets performing the hip hop classics. 
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textbookwars

Beware! The Second Coming of the Textbook Wars

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It may not happen today, or tomorrow, but the coming textbook wars will be massive, if quietly so. Why? The world of educational publishing is enormous; it is much bigger than you might imagine. It dwarfs, for example, the feeble trade publishing market. At the turn of the last decade, Pearson’s educational arm alone brought in more revenue than all other publishers, with the exception of education-driven Reed Elsevier. That’s just the arm that produces textbooks and other educational material. Frankly, when we talk about publishing as a whole, what we say makes little sense unless we’re talking about textbooks and educational publishing.
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The Muppets go to the movies

What Google’s New Study Tells Us About Why People Go to the Movies

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Nobody likes feeling irrelevant, and when steering people towards good movies and away from bad ones is part of how you make a living, it’s more than a little dispiriting when it seems no one’s listening. But if the grosses for Trans4mers and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 weren’t enough, now here’s this: Google conducted a study, analyzing nearly two years of search data, to determine what makes frequent moviegoers choose which movies they’ll see. As you may have guessed, the carefully composed missives of yours truly (and my critical brethren) don’t really figure into the equation. But frankly, neither do filmmakers, actors, or even word-of-mouth. No, the biggest influencer is the movie trailer (which might help explain why there’s six or seven of them before every feature nowadays).
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