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Mobile Empire

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A mobile empire is on the march. As desktop PC sales fall and smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular, it’s only a matter of time before mobile dominates the market. Smartphones alone made up 60% of the smart connected device shipments last year. The rapid rise can be attributed to a plethora of factors: The intuitive touchscreen interface led to the fastest adoption rate in technology’s history while the sleek, unfettered design of mobile appeals to the masses as a companion to on-the-go lifestyles. Plus, the affordability can’t be ignored — mobile devices ring up at roughly half the price of their PC counterparts, and the battery life on smartphones last a full workday. With such a persuasive resume in its favor, mobile is an easy sell to any person in the market for a new electronic device. It’s no surprise that teens are on the cutting edge of this trend, with smartphones high atop many wish lists. As more people start toting smartphones and tablets, a rich market for e-commerce has sprung up, with businesses scrambling to take notes. Don’t fall behind as this new medium is poised to sit the digital throne.

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Internet Connectivity: Who Does it Best?

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With a solid one-third of the Earth’s population connected to the Internet, the speed and quality of one’s Internet connection is more important than ever. Everyone has dealt with the annoyance of a painfully slow Internet connection, and when you’re trying to get something done, slow Internet can feel like more than just a minor setback. While in reality, slow Internet isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s interesting to take note that, for some places in the world, the Internet does move markedly faster than in others. In some countries, the Internet speeds make even downloading HD movies quick and painless, while in others you may find yourself waiting for days just to fully download your favorite Adele song. Populous nations, like China and India, tend to have slower connection speeds, while less densely populated countries like Finland tout some of the best Internet connections on the planet. In a time when more and more people are considering high-speed Internet a necessity rather than a luxury, it’s interesting to see which nations are truly delivering on that principle. The following infographic takes a look at some of the world’s Internet speeds: Who’s fast, who’s slow, who does it cheapest and who does it overall best.

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Fido and Facebook: Your Pets May Be More Popular than You

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The US is full of pets—about 165 million cats and dogs, to be exact—and many people regard them as more than just pets, but as members of the family. For some non-pet owners, calling Fluffy or Fido a member of the family may seem a little strange, but for those with a close bond to their furriest friends, nothing could be more natural than making sure that their pets have all the creature comforts life can offer. A growing trend in those “creature comforts,” however, may seem slightly stranger than others: More and more pet owners are putting their dog, cat, or other interesting animal into the public eye via social media. In fact, an estimated one in ten dogs have some sort of social media profile, and that number is just growing. People’s pets are now tweeting, blogging, and Facebooking as adeptly as their human counterparts. But the most interesting part of this phenomenon? Some pets become more popular than the humans that blog on their behalf. There are a few big names in the world of online animals that you’re probably familiar with: From Boo to Maru to Grumpy cat, some pets quickly amass an almost cult-like following. So before you jump to get your new kitten a Facebook profile, beware: That little ball of fur might soon have more friends than you.

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10 Tweets That Summarize the Book Black Beauty

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Anna Sewell’s novel Black Beauty has been called the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the Horse,” as its publication spurred the drafting of legislation to protect horses from cruelty and contributed to a shift in public attitude regarding the pain and suffering of animals. Multiple generations of young readers have loved this classic tale, and even in our modern age this story is still a favorite of kids and adults alike. Assuming that social networking had existed in Black Beauty’s day, and that horses were able to use Twitter, here are ten tweets that summarize the plot of Black Beauty.

  1. “My mom, @Duchess, and I live in the meadow. The @Master calls me #Darkie.” – The novel opens with Black Beauty, then called “Darkie”, living in the meadow with his mother. His first home is pleasant in every way, and he enjoys a happy life as a colt.
  2. “@SquireGordon came to look at me today. He and @Master talked about #breaking me. I wonder what that means.” – Darkie’s master doesn’t believe in selling colts, so he won’t sell Darkie before he’s four years old. As the Squire Gordon examines Darkie thoroughly, he and the master discuss what a fine horse he’ll be once he’s broken.
  3. “I left the @Master’s home to live at @SquireGordon’s park. #Birtwick” – After being broken, Darkie is sold to Squire Gordon and taken to live on his property. His stall is spacious and clean, the food is plentiful, and the groom is gentle and kind with him. There he meets Merrylegs, who warns him that Ginger has a habit of biting because no one has ever treated her kindly.
  4. “My @Lady ordered that #CheckReins be used. They were painful, but not as much as the kick @Ginger gave my leg.” – The thoughtless lady of the house orders that the horses be reined tightly to keep their heads up; Ginger’s revolt causes much mayhem and she accidentally kicks Darkie. Ginger is not returned to the carriage, so Darkie gets a new partner who tells him that tight reins shorten horses’ lives.
  5. “Though it’s nice to have the small meadow and sweet grass to myself, I miss @Ginger.” – After Darkie’s injury he’s turned out into a meadow to recuperate. He misses his friend Ginger, but is quickly reunited with her. His happiness turns to dismay when he learns that Lord George has ridden her too hard and injured her. Their sadness is compounded when they learn that Darkie is to be sold.
  6. “Life as a #JobHorse is much different than I am accustomed to.” – After leaving the Squire’s park, Darkie finds himself living as a “job horse” and being driven by all manner of incompetent drivers. The careless treatment he receives causes him pain and minor injury regularly.
  7. “The #HorseFair was an experience I’m not likely to forget.” – At the horse fair, Darkie sees both purebred horses in the prime of their lives and older specimens that have been broken down by a lifetime of mistreatment. He also meets a man that he hopes will buy him and is worried at the prospect of being taken by a loud, hard-looking man. The kind man buys him and Darkie goes to sleep feeling certain that he will be happy with his new family.
  8. “@Jerry’s very sick. @Harry came to tend to us the last two mornings.” – Darkie realizes that Jerry’s illness must be very grave indeed when Harry is the only one available to care for the horses for three mornings running. It seems that he’ll recover as Governor Grant comes to exercise Hotspur each day. When word comes that Jerry’s been accepted as a coachman, Darkie realizes that he will never see him again. Worried for his future because he’s no longer a young horse, Darkie is led to his new home.
  9. “I’ve been sold to a corn dealer. My carter, @Jakes, took off my check-rein since the #Lady spoke with him.” – The heavy loads from the corn dealer’s foreman and Jakes’ rough treatment of him take its toll on Darkie. He’s struggling mightily when a mysterious lady intervenes and asks Jakes to stop beating him and take his check-rein off. Conditions improve slightly, but the work is hard and Darkie feels himself weakening.
  10. “The groom at my new post is @JoeGreen! My troubles are over, and I am at #home.” – After more trials, Darkie finds himself reunited with Joe Green, who works as a groom for the two sisters that bought him. His name with Squire Gordon, Black Beauty, is restored to him and he lives out the rest of his days in peace.

The only book that Anna Sewell ever wrote, the manuscript for Black Beauty was sold for twenty pounds, and is still one of the most commonly read books in the world. New print editions are published almost annually; with multiple translations and film adaptations the story of Black Beauty is timeless

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10 Tweets That Summarize the Book A Tale of Two Cities

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The publication of A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 marked a seminal moment in fictional literature history; to date, more than 200 million copies of Charles Dickens’s epic novel have sold. Often included on high school required reading lists, the fictionalized account of France in the years leading up to the Revolution is easily one of the most beloved works in all of English literature. Using the emerging popularity of the social networking site Twitter’s format, here are ten tweets to summarize this timeless classic.

  1. @MmeDefarge “Fair amount of traffic at @TheWineShop today. #Jacques” – The introduction of Madame Defarge marks an important moment in the narrative, as her silent dedication to her knitting belies the rage and desire for vengeance that seethes within her. She alerts her husband to Lucie and Lorry’s presence, but chooses only to converse with three customers who refer to one another by the revolutionary code name “Jacques.”
  2. @LucieManette “I’ve found my father, @DoctorManette!” – Lucie discovers that the father she believed to be dead was actually alive after spending eighteen years in the Bastille. Dedicating herself to his care, the relationship between the father and daughter is one of the centerpieces of the novel.
  3. @ MonsieurTheMarquis “Quite a tiresome journey today. The #peasants were particularly taxing.” – As a nod to the embodiment of the French aristocracy and their cruelty, the Marquis St. Evremonde seals his own fate by running over a child with his carriage and killing him. Concerned only for the vehicle, he carelessly tosses a coin to the child’s father as payment. The chapter chronicles his return to the village over which he rules, which is rife with animal imagery indicating his view of the peasants as little more than beasts. Encountering a woman mourning an unmarked grave, he ignores her pleas for a marker for her husband’s resting place. Symbolizing the arrogance of the aristocracy, his behavior foreshadows the coming revolution.
  4. @ MisterStryver “My plan to propose at @VauxhallGardens did not come to fruition. #MincingFool.” – Named “Stryver” to symbolize his desire to ascend the ranks of society, the law partner of Sydney Carton is defined by his arrogance and snobbery. The implication that marriage to Lucie Manette would not serve him socially leads Stryver to dismiss her completely in his blustering manner, calling the affair a “vanity” of “empty-headed girls.”
  5. @ JerryCruncher “@RogerCly’s burial was quite the spectacle. #Fishing tonight.” – Supplementing his income from Tellson’s Bank of London with a bit of grave robbing on the side, “resurrection man” Jerry Cruncher joins the mob carrying the body of a convicted spy, Roger Cly, to his burial. Claiming a fishing trip, Cruncher actually goes back to Cly’s burial site in order to steal his body to sell to anatomists; his discovery that the coffin did not contain a corpse proves to be very useful in Charles Darnay’s eventual rescue.
  6. @ LucieManette “Though @LittleLucie thrives I can’t help but feel a sense of #foreboding.” – Though Lucie and Charles enjoy a peaceful life with the exception of the death of their young son, she maintains her habit of listening to the echo of footsteps on the street. As news arrives from France about the flood of aristocrats trying to save their wealth, the rumblings of coming revolution increase in volume.
  7. @ CharlesDarnay “French travel has proven difficult. I’m often questioned; the #Parisians are restless.” – Embarking upon a secret journey to save Gabelle, Darnay’s travels become more and more difficult as he progresses. With each step, it becomes clearer that he cannot turn back; as he approaches Paris, he’s a free man, then a suspect under escort into the city, before becoming a prisoner despite having committed no crime. As Monsieur Defarge refuses to assist him, the truth that the Revolution has become perverted emerges.
  8. @ DoctorManette “I have saved him! @CharlesDarnay” – After his testimony on behalf of his son-in-law sways the fickle mob, Dr. Manette declares to his swooning daughter, “I have saved him.” The political influence of Dr. Manette turns Darnay into a hero in the eyes of a crowd that had moments before sentenced him to death.
  9. @ SydneyCarton “@JerryCruncher made an interesting remark about #StonesAndDirt today.” – In keeping with his promise to Lucie to protect her and those that she loves, the deus ex machina appearance of Sydney Carton allows for the creation of a plan to rescue Darnay, who is once again the sacrificial lamb of the Revolution. He relies on his fortuitous appearance and knowledge of Barsad’s spy status and association with Roger Cly to help him in his endeavor. Arrogantly relying on Cly’s death certificate, Barsaud is caught when Jerry Cruncher reveals that Cly’s corpse was not in his coffin.
  10. @ SydneyCarton “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done. #Sacrifice” – The last lines of the novel, and perhaps the most lasting, belong to Sydney Carton as he goes to his death with dignity in the face of tyranny: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

The prevailing love triangle posed by Sydney Carton, Lucie Manette, and Charles Darnay was inspired by Charles Dickens’s turn in the Wilkie Collins play The Frozen Deep; his character in that play also sacrificed himself to save his rival for the good of the woman they both loved. This theme, along with the more complex ones of violence and rebirth explored in the novel, set against the backdrop of the bloody French Revolution, has proven to be much more enduring than the play that inspired it.

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10 Tweets That Summarize the Book The Catcher in the Rye

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Since his in-print birth in 1951, Holden Caulfield has served as a sort of touchstone for generations of disillusioned youth. During the counter-cultural surge of the 50′s and 60′s especially, the voice of J.D. Salinger’s singular protagonist seemed to echo in the minds of those ready to challenge the social mores set by their parents. The Catcher in the Rye has been banned as often as it’s been held up as an argument for First Amendment rights for its frank treatment of adolescent sexuality, swearing and substance abuse. As a new generation emerges, carrying the same angst as each that preceded them in the latter half of the previous century, but their own social networking-influenced style of communicating in the Internet Era, here are ten tweets that summarize The Catcher in the Rye.

  1. “Old @Spencer says that life is a game. #GameMyAss” – Early in the novel, readers discover that Holden is being expelled from Pencey Prep, another casualty in a long line of academic failures. Though Spencer is Holden’s favorite teacher, he’s hiding his ridicule and dismissal of Spencer’s words behind the compliant facade he presents. His identification with the “other side” of the game shows how isolated and persecuted he feels by the world at large, especially by the adults in his life.
  2. “@Ackley’s getting a bang out of ribbing me about my #PeopleShootingHat.” – Arguably the most famous symbol of the entire novel and the one most identified with the character of Holden Caulfield, the red hat favored by the narrator serves as a badge of his individuality and contempt for the accepted fashions of the crowd he’s scornful of. No one else at Pencey Prep would wear such a hat; characters like Ackley even go so far as to ridicule it.
  3. “I bet that #moron @Stradlater is giving @JaneGallagher the time. I know his technique.” – When Holden discovers that his roomate Stadlater’s date is Jane Gallagher, he immediately becomes uncomfortable. As he reminisces about Jane, it becomes clear that Stradlater isn’t interested in her as an individual in the least; Holden knows that a girl he cares for is being treated as a sexual object. Despite his anger, he writes Stradlater’s English composition before spending the rest of the night stewing.
  4. “Saw @ErnestMorrow’s mother at the train station. She’s alright. Didn’t look like a #dope to me.” – Though Holden’s default setting is sarcasm, he still shows his deep-seated sensitivity and keen awareness of other people’s feelings by indulging that “bastard” Ernest Morrow’s mother on the train. Rather than hurt her with his true feelings about Ernest and his shortcomings, he lies to her; in contrast to this altruism, he then proceeds to lie through the entirety of their exchange.
  5. “Everybody in this crumby hotel is a #pervert.” – Upon his arrival in New York and check-in to a hotel, Holden is confronted with two overtly sexual sights: a man carefully dressing in women’s clothing and a couple playfully spitting their highballs on one another in lighthearted foreplay. Though the sexual mores of the time would have pointed to the cross-dressing man as “more” deviant than the couple, Holden makes no distinction between the two acts. Both are sexual, which makes the participants perverts on principle.
  6. “Took a vomity cab with a driver named @Horowitz. Talked about ducks and fish on the way to #Ernies; the place is full of morons.” – Holden’s observations en route to Ernie’s about the empty streets and the absence of ducks culminate with the disappointing crowd at Ernie’s, a bar his older brother introduced him to. There, he observes yet another display of sexual aggression as a “Joe Yale-looking-guy” fondles the “terrific looking girl with him” under the table. As she protests his attention, he’s chronicling the suicide of a dorm mate.
  7. “Old @Maurice in the elevator set me up with a prostitute. I just want to get it over with.” – In the time between his agreement with Maurice and Sunny’s arrival, readers are given another glimpse into Holden’s sexual insecurities, as well as his deep empathy. Sunny is immediately a fully-actualized person to Holden, rather than the sexual object that her profession would indicate to most other teenage males. At the end of their encounter, Holden is still a virgin and Sunny leaves with five dollars.
  8. “Had a drink with Old @CarlLuce. He kept putting me off and wouldn’t stay for another drink when I asked him.” – Though he insulted him during their time as classmates, Holden calls Carl Luce and invites him out for a drink in a characteristic fit of loneliness. He tries to engage Luce in conversation to no avail; when the two finally do settle on a topic, Holden becomes excited enough that Luce protests the volume of his voice. For the second time, someone with whom Holden is interacting asks him to stop shouting.
  9. “Snuck into my apartment and had a talk with old @PhoebeWeatherfieldCaulfield about being #TheCatcherInTheRye.” – The title from the novel is taken from this scene, in which a rapidly unraveling Holden Caulfield tries to explain himself to his little sister, Phoebe. Misquoting Robert Burns’s “Coming Thro’ the Rye,” Holden says that he wants to be the person standing in a field of rye at the edge of a cliff, catching the children who come too close to falling off. This image, Holden Caulfield guarding the sanctity of children in a bid to prolong his own childhood, is decidedly at odds with the themes of casual sex present in Burns’s poem.
  10. “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – The ambiguous ending of The Catcher in the Rye leaves readers without a clear resolution; Holden may be recovering. Then again, he may just be growing into an opinionated adult with a penchant for depression, which would indicate that there’s nothing for him to “recover” from. The last line of the novel, however, points to the conclusion that Holden’s problem was never an inability to connect with those around him, but rather a struggle not to connect due to a fear of the pain that comes with an inevitable loss.

The Catcher in the Rye holds the strange distinction of being the most censored book in 1981, while simultaneously capturing the second place on the list of books most taught in public schools that same year. This complicated classic, which captures adolescent fear and anger so vividly, chronicles the struggle that all young people must face as they leave the idealism of youth behind to embark upon the adult life they see as distasteful when they observe it in the “phony” grown-ups around them.

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10 Tweets That Summarize the Book The Hobbit

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The Hobbit, the first published work by J.R.R. Tolkien, spawned the intricately detailed world that would give rise to his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy by establishing the world and creatures of Middle Earth. Introducing the world to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit is among the most beloved books ever published. And if Twitter had been around when the Hobbit was first published, these are the 10 tweets that would effectively summarize the story before Frodo’s journey begins:

  1. “The wizard @Gandalf invited me on an adventure today! I assured him that I don’t have the #Took adventurous streak.” – As the story opens, readers discover that Bilbo Baggins is quite fond of living quietly, unlike his Took ancestors who exhibited a shocking love of adventure. Gandalf appears and asks Bilbo if he’d like to go on an adventure, and he quickly states that he would not. In the interest of being polite, he extends Gandalf an invitation to come over for tea sometime, but secretly hopes that he’ll do no such thing. Bilbo is shocked to find a troupe of dwarves at his door the next afternoon; he lets them in reluctantly and is bewildered until he discovers that Gandalf has volunteered his services as a burglar for their upcoming adventure. Bilbo protests that this is certainly not the case, and the dwarves are skeptical about Gandalf’s claims that he’d be an asset to the group. After talk of treasure, dragons and battles, the Took side of him overrides his respectable Hobbit fondness for staying home.
  2. “During the skirmish with the #Goblins at the Misty Mountains I found a small ring and a creature called @Gollum.” – Setting the stage for the events of The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is separated from Gandalf and the group of dwarves at the Misty Mountains. Sneaking through the goblin halls, he happens upon a golden ring that he places in his pocket and subsequently forgets about. As he approaches an underground lake with an island in the middle he spies Gollum. After a series of riddles, Bilbo slips on the ring and follows Gollum out of the tunnels with the aid of the invisibility granted by the ring.
  3. “We entered #Mirkwood without @Gandalf, who warned us not to leave the forest path.” – Despite Gandalf’s advice to stray from the path under no circumstances, Bilbo and the dwarves run out of food and wander into the forest. Stumbling onto the Wood elves, Thorin is taken prisoner as the rest of the retinue takes cover.
  4. “Finally, #DurinsDay has arrived! A keyhole appeared in the door, which led into the #LonelyMountain.” – Taking advantage of the invisibility granted by the power of the ring, Bilbo steals from the dragon, Smaug. He takes note of a weak point in the dragon’s scales and relates it to the dwarves; a nearby bird hears this information as well.
  5. “I found the #ArkenstoneOfThrain that @Thorin wants. My instincts tell me to keep this acquisition to myself.” – The dwarf Thorin wants the Arkenstone of Thrain desperately; Bilbo finds it immediately upon creeping into Smaug’s store of treasures. Though he doesn’t have a solid reason to feel as he does, Bilbo follows his hunch to keep the Arkenstone and its discovery a secret.
  6. “Heated debate has broken out between @Bard, the @ElvenkingOfMirkwood and @Thorin about the #Treasure!” – When news of Smaug’s defeat spreads, a bitter dispute breaks out regarding his stores of treasure. Though Bard killed the dragon and his friends with the Elvenking of Mirkwood, who also hopes to gain a share of the riches, Thorin refuses to allow Bard access to the treasure. In the interest of preventing a war, Bilbo secretly gives Bard the Arkenstone as a bargaining tool.
  7. “Before negotiations could commence, @Gandalf returned with news of an alliance between the #goblins and the #Wargs.” – Banding together against the goblins and the Wargs, the humans, elves and dwarves march into battle.
  8. “@Beorn the bear-man and a flock of #eagles appeared and offered their assistance in battle against the #Wargs and #goblins.” – As the battle rages, the combined efforts of the elves, dwarves and humans don’t seem to be enough to defeat the Wargs and goblins. Beorn the bear-man and a flock of giant eagles offer their assistance, helping the group achieve a victory over the alliance.
  9. “@Thorin is wounded!” – In the skirmish with the goblins and Wargs, Thorin is mortally wounded. His last wish is to repair his friendship with Bilbo, realizing that friendship is more valuable than gold. Bitterly grieving Thorin’s death, Bilbo finds himself tired of adventures and longing for home.
  10. “I’ve returned to my home under #TheHill, with @Gandalf as my escort. #TheresNoPlaceLikeHome” – At the end of his adventure, Bilbo is escorted back to the Hill by Gandalf and presented with his portion of the treasure. With the respect of those that he shared his encounters with and the Ring that would shape the next chapter in Middle Earth’s history, Bilbo ends the story safe in his home.

When readers encounter Bilbo again at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, he’s been changed from the endearing, eccentric character that Gandalf first approached with offers of adventure. The power of the ring that would later become “The Ring” takes its toll on the little Hobbit, leaving his cousin and ward Frodo to continue the legacy of adventuring began by Bilbo in this tale.

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10 Things James Dean Would Have Tweeted

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James Dean made an indelible mark as one of America’s most recognizable cultural icons despite his short life. From his Midwestern roots to his meteoric rise to fame, here are ten things that James Dean might have tweeted had Twitter existed in his lifetime:

  1. “Opening night of @FairmountHighSchool’s production of #MooncalfMedford. I’ll be playing John Mugford.” – On March 28, 1947 James Dean starred in his high school’s production of Mooncalf Medford as John Mugford. That same year he would also play Herbert White in The Monkey’s Paw and take the lead role in An Apple from Coles County.
  2. “Come to #GoonWithTheWind at @FairmountHighSchool’s Halloween carnival; I’ll be playing Frankenstein.” – When Fairmount High School’s drama society launched a monster parody entitled Goon with the Wind as part of the annual Halloween carnival, a young James Dean took the stage as legendary monster Frankenstein. He reportedly took great pains to perfect his make-up and costume, and immensely enjoyed the prospect of playing the role.
  3. “I took 1st place in the @NationalForensicsLeague’s Indiana competition.” – Reciting “The Madman” from Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, James Dean earned the top spot in the state Forensics competition. The charisma and stage presence that helped him earn this honor would soon propel him to stardom.
  4. “I’m being honored at @FarewellPartyMondayNight tonight; tomorrow, I’m boarding a bus for #California.” – In an event that would earn him a headline in the local newspaper, James Dean was honored at the Fairmount Farewell Party Monday Night before making his way back to California.
  5. “Starting my #FreshmanYear at @SantaMonicaCityCollege.” – On January 18, 1950, Dean began studying at Santa Monica City College. Later that year, he would star in the UCLA theater’s Macbeth, in which he played “the world’s worst” Malcolm.
  6. “I have my first paid acting job in a @PepsiCola commercial.” – Dean scored his first paying job in a Pepsi-Cola commercial in December of 1950; in it he and a group of teenagers danced around a jukebox, singing the praises of the soft drink.
  7. “My television film debut will be playing #JohnTheApostle on @FatherPeyton’s TV Theater.” – In a role that inspired the girls of a local parochial school to form the Immaculate Heart James Dean Appreciation Society, Dean played John the Apostle on a Catholic television program in his first television feature debut.
  8. “My drama coach, @JamesWhitmore, seems to think that I should go to #NewYorkCity.” – Following the advice of his drama coach, James Dean departed Los Angeles for New York on September 1st, 1951.
  9. “I’m flying for the first time, with @EliaKazan to start filming for #EastOfEden.” – Storing his clothing in a brown paper bag, James Dean boarded a flight to Hollywood with director Elia Kazan. Less than one month later, he’d sign a contract with Warner Brothers for his role in East of Eden, and would purchase his first sports car in May of that year.
  10. “Decided to trade the @Porche Speedster for their #Spyder550. @GeorgeBarris is doing a custom paint job.” – On September 30, 1955, James Dean was killed in an automobile accident in his new Porche Spyder 550.  He’d traded his Speedster in only nine days earlier, and had just taken possession of the powerful vehicle after customizations.

Despite only having three films to his credit, James Dean became a symbol for the restless youth of his generation. His small body of work garnered him two Academy Award nominations, and an everlasting place in Hollywood history.

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10 Things Marilyn Monroe Would Have Tweeted

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The woman who was the personification of sex appeal and glamour for an entire generation, the woman who has inspired many a Hollywood starlet, the woman who would become the iconic Marilyn Monroe, was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926. Her tragically short life was, by all accounts, a tumultuous one; her death has been the source of controversial debate for decades. If the technology had existed during her lifetime, here are ten things that she might have tweeted:

  1. @GraceMcKee can’t keep me anymore. I’m going to the #LosAngelesOrphansHomeSociety.” – From infancy to the age of nine, the young Norma Jeane was shuffled from one home to another as her mentally unstable mother was incapable of caring for her regularly. In 1935, the family friend that had been Norma’s guardian, Grace McKee, turned care of the child over to the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society due to an inability to financially support her.
  2. “I’m leaving the #Orphanage! @GraceMcKee has come back for me!” – After almost two years in state care, young Norma Jeane found herself once again in the care of Grace McKee, now Grace Goddard. She would live with Grace and her new husband briefly before being moved into foster care; the conditions in the foster homes led Norma Jeane to plead with Grace to move her back into the Los Angeles Orphans Home, causing the Goddard’s to once again take her in.
  3. “@JimDougherty and I are getting #Married!” – Once again unable to care for Norma Jeane, sometimes-foster mother Grace McKee Goddard played matchmaker in order to secure Norma’s future. Because she’d harbored a crush on neighbor Jim Dougherty and greatly preferred the idea of marriage over a return to the orphanage, she married him on June 19, 1942.
  4. “I’ll be appearing on the #cover of @FamilyCircle!” – In what would become the first in a long line of national magazine covers, Norma Jeane posed for the April 26, 1946 issue of Family Circle.
  5. “I have a #screentest at @Fox today. Wish me luck!” – In June of 1946, Norma Jeane divorced Jimmy Dougherty and had her first screen test with Fox studios. This flurry of activity would be the beginning of her rise to fame.
  6. “My contract with @Fox is signed, and I’ll never be Norma Jeane again. #MarilynMonroe” – Upon signing with Twentieth Century Fox and taking on her iconic platinum tresses, Norma Jeane also made another major life decision: she took on what would become one of the most recognizable names of the twentieth century, Marilyn Monroe.
  7. “Met a wonderful Hollywood #agent, @JohnnyHyde. This is the start of something big.” – The New Year’s Eve meeting with super-agent Johnny Hyde would prove to be a pivotal moment in Marilyn Monroe’s life. Hyde devoted himself to making her a star, a promise he delivered.
  8. “I begin shooting #AticketToTomahawk today! #ChorusGirl” – The film A Ticket to Tomahawk, featuring an unbilled appearance by Marilyn Monroe as a chorus girl, would eventually become popular with film aficionados because of her uncredited presence.
  9. “I was named female #WorldFilmFavorite at the @GoldenGlobeAwards tonight.”- In 1962, Marilyn Monroe cemented her place in film history by securing the Female World Film Favorite award, just months before her tragic death.
  10. “Today I’ll be shooting for another LIFE magazine cover.” – On June 22, 1962, Marilyn Monroe appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine for the last time. She’d be laid to rest in Westwood Memorial Park on August 8 of that year.

A half-century after her death, Marilyn Monroe is still considered one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses. The torment of her private life, fraught with melodrama, would serve to both fuel her ambition to succeed and leave her with profound psychological scars that she carried throughout her years as America’s sex symbol.

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10 Things Noah Would Have Tweeted From the Ark

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As part of our never-ending quest for ways in which technology could have changed history, today we consider Noah and the Ark. What might old Noah have had to say if he had a wireless internet connection and a Twitter account during those fateful 40 days and nights? Here are ten things we think Noah would have tweeted from the ark: 

  1. Day 1 and I’m already over this floating menagerie. Whose idea was this anyway? Oh, right. Thanks @God. 39 and a wake-up. Knowing that you had a solid 40 days and 40 nights of sleeping on a rocking ship couldn’t have been easy.
  2. Day 5. Having doubts about bringing the elephants. When I think of all the #Cheetos we could have loaded without them on board. Those elephants sure do take up a lot of space…
  3. Day 10. Flooding everywhere. Can’t see my house anymore. Someone needs to invent #Scotch Guard for these loincloths. We can only imagine that in the rush to build the ark and gather the animals that several changes of clean clothes weren’t a top priority.
  4. Day 15. Partly cloudy, my @*%. I don’t know why I even bother to listen to those weathermen. I bet this dove could do a better job. No matter how much you enjoy storms, after a solid two weeks of cloudy weather and steady rain, seeing the sun would be a welcome change of pace.
  5. Day 20. Wonder what my neighbor @Jesse thinks of my ark right about now. Pretty sure that was his roof I saw float by yesterday. Wouldn’t it be a little disconcerting knowing that your neighbors were floating around next to you?
  6. Day 25. Are we having fun yet? I can’t even see trees or hills anymore. Up to my @$* in rabbits. Anyone know a good #veterinarian? Wonder how many little baby animals were hanging around the ark by the end of THAT trip!
  7. Day 30. 600 years old and still dealing with this crap. Couldn’t even get a deal on lumber or pet food with my AARP card. And we think people start getting old at 50…
  8. Day 35. The stench is unbearable. Even the rain can’t flush it away.  Remind me again why we needed to save cats. Then again, lots of lulz. We’re pretty sure that no one really thinks about the bathroom situation – or lack thereof – onboard the ark, especially when you factor in the sheer number of animals all contending for bathroom time. And after 35 straight days of non-flushing toilets things were probably getting a little foul.
  9. Day 39. OMG, one more day and we’re home free. Can’t wait to hit land and have a decent meal. It won’t be @Red Lobster, that’s for sure. Wouldn’t you be tired of seafood by that point?
  10. Day 40. @Garmin:  How’d we wind up here? I thought we plotted a course for the Bahamas. Anyone know any good places to eat in Turkey? Even then Garmin was too busy rerouting to get people where they need to be in a timely fashion. 
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