Twitch Plays Pokemon: Perhaps It Is We Who Are the Pocket Monsters

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It's weirder than you think.
You've seen The Truman Show, right? Oh, no? Okay, go ahead and do that. It's cool. I'll wait.

Good movie, right? Now imagine if Truman had an earpiece, and into that earpiece is piped the reactions of every single audience member across the land. Now imagine that they are all shouting commands at him, and Truman must do the first one he hears after finishing a task, regardless of what it is.

Walk. Run. Dig. Rifle through your pockets. Switch directions. Break some shit. Fight that guy. Throw your wallet away. Jump off that cliff.

Something very much like that is happening right now on the Internet. It is a phenomenon called Twitch Plays Pokemon, and even if you are like me and care nothing at all about Pokemon, I urge you to keep up with it. It is endlessly fascinating.

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Pop Rocks: Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony Ring Fail Dominates

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The greatest tragedy in the history of opening ceremonies...you would think.
Amid all the problems and complaints that have surrounded Sochi and the $50 billion that was spent for the city to host the Olympic Games, you would think that the most horrifying problem of all time was the fact that a mechanical ring didn't open during the initial ceremonies. Sure, there are all kinds of problems with accommodations, packs of stray dogs roaming the streets until they are shot, reports of homeless humans being ushered out of the city and families forced into tiny apartments after their homes were razed in favor of Olympic needs. But, my God, did you see the ring malfunction?

During the opening ceremonies on Friday, a set of lit-up snowflakes dropped from a gantry inside the enormous stadium built only to house the opening and closing ceremonies -- there's a good use of funds -- slowly expanded to create the Olympic rings. The only problem was that one of those rings didn't open. Oops.

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Tila Tequila's Meltdown Seems Awfully Familiar

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There's nothing quite like a celebrity meltdown to raise public interest, eh?

It seems that celebrity meltdowns -- from A-Listers like Charlie Sheen and Kanye West to obscure actresses like Amanda Bynes -- are happening at a rapid pace as of late. Although most of these meltdowns are a result of some pretty legit issues, whether it be addiction, mental health issues, or simply the stress and chaos of constantly being in the public eye, we watch every move with bated breath, waiting for the next big incident to occur.

As a result, a well-timed meltdown can be quite boosting for the career, even if the idea of increased publicity wasn't what was driving the bad behavior in the first place. There's a laundry list a mile and a half long of stars who have seen a renewed interest in their careers post-meltdown -- Charlie Sheen, Kanye West, all of the Kardashians and Amanda Bynes have found themselves on the covers of tabloids mid-meltdown, despite how slow or nonexistent their careers were at the time.

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Pop Rocks: Sharkeisha, the Viral Sensation Surrounding a Sucker Puncher from Houston

Categories: Internet

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Sharkeisha with the bitch slap.
Update: According to a press release from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the girl in the video known as "Sharkeisha" has been charged with Assault with Bodily Injury as a result of the video. She was taken into custody on this class A misdemeanor Thursday morning and is being held by the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. Video taping assaults is clearly not a good idea.

Original Entry:

People on the Internet love videos of other people getting hurt, punched and kicked, whether it be intentional or otherwise. They also love videos of black people being sassy (ask Antoine Dodson or Sweet Brown). And they really love sharks (Sharknado anyone?). Put them all together and you might have the most talked about T-shirt in ThinkGeek.com history (it would probably also have a wolf, a light saber and a unicorn), or an Internet meme spawned by a sucker-punching girl from Houston with a funny-sounding name.

The cell phone video, which spread virally after it was posted on WorldStarHipHop.com, of a teen named Sharkeisha punching another teen, allegedly over a boy, shows Sharkeisha sucker punching 17-year-old Shamichael Manuel and then beating and kicking her repeatedly outside an apartment complex on Mills Road. The two reportedly were friends who both attended Cypress Creek High School. Manuel, interviewed by KHOU, said the now-viral video of the beat down is increasing the humiliation she feels, not surprisingly.

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Facebook Losing Teens; Where Have All the Teenagers Gone

Categories: Internet, The Web

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In my spare time, I am a communication professor, and for the past few years I have been teaching a history of mass media course on the college level. Each semester, the students put together a media diary in which they monitor their media usage for three days. It's usually pretty eye-opening for them to see just how much media they consume. However, the past few semesters have also been eye-opening to me.

"I barely use Facebook anymore," one of my students said this semester, "because it's too annoying." (Italics, mine).

In fact, the majority of my students mentioned a decline in their use of the social media giant, opting instead for Instagram or Twitter. Given this information, I was not at all surprised with the report that came out this week stating that teens were leaving Facebook.

According to Facebook's Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman, teen usage of the social network fell in the last quarter.

"We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens," Ebersman said, sending down the stock from the rise it saw after earnings were announced. "We wanted to share this with you now because we get a lot of questions about teens."


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#Royalbaby: Best Royal Baby Tweets

Categories: Internet, Trending

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Cover of UK's Private Eye
I guess people really care about this whole royal baby being born. The media can't get enough of it, social media is bonkers, even my own husband whose motto in life is wishing that everyone will "go die in a fire," said, "Well it's exciting because of the lineage." Nobody felt that way when Drew Barrymore had her baby.

I feel bad for the kid. His life is just going to be a series of Daily Mail covers and E! News speculations. But he will also be obscenely rich and have access to the best schools in the world and have the opportunity to travel to places you and I can only dream of and do basically whatever he wants so, there's that too.

The best part about yesterday's waiting game for the Prince and Duchess to ascend upon the street was following along on Twitter as it all played out. People had something interesting things to say about this whole shebang that can only be said in 140 characters.

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10 Dogs From the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows Who Need Their Own Memes

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Photos by Allison Hess.
Honorable Mention: Does this dog seem just a little too happy to you?
Let's be honest: if you're on the Internet there's a good chance you like photos of dogs doing silly things. There's nothing in the world, aside from maybe penguins, that makes for better meme fodder than dogs. We love seeing man's best friend be man's best fool.

The Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows is a five day extravaganza of all things dog related, and it's also the perfect place to find new faces for new memes to spread all across the world of social media. Here are our 10 favorite we found.

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Never Miss a Thing with the New Version of the Houston Press Mobile App

Categories: Internet

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If you're one of the many Houstonians who have already downloaded the Houston Press mobile app, you know just how handy it is to have the Press with you wherever you have your smartphone. Today we're happy to announce that we're taking things up a notch with the new and improved version of our mobile app, available now for iPhone and Android users.

We know that when you open an app, you want to get straight to the information, and that's exactly what this new version of the app does. We've cut to the chase and ditched the home screen to get you to the information you're looking for faster than ever.

With the new app, you'll have access to our fully searchable event, concert and restaurant listings; slideshows of local events and nightlife; and all our daily blog content. You'll also have access to Voice Daily Deals if you're looking to save some cash next time you go out.

Get the updated and improved Houston Press mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play store today.

Cover Story: A Battle for Creative Control of the Video World and Its Profits

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Twenty-one-year-old Ben Vacas gained attention in the video game world as a top-ranked hunter in World of Warcraft. He moved from that to making videos about his experiences and that of other lead players. He was flattered when Machinima, a multi-channel YouTube network offered him a partnership.

They'd put ads on his videos and he'd get a cut of the revenue generated. Alas, the smart, smart gamer/filmmaker hadn't read the fine print and he came to find out that he'd signed away to whatever he made for the rest of his life and - believe it or not - beyond. His contract would never expire.

So he opted out. Said he'd never make another video if that was going to be his life.

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