Game Of Thrones: "Your Father Lacks An Appreciation Of The Finer Points Of Bad Behavior."

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Nobody knows the Tyrion I've seen ...
You think *you've* had bad post-wedding hangovers? Imagine what the folks in Kings Landing are going through. Joffrey's body is barely cold and everyone's dealing with the aftermath in various ways: his family, the Lannisters, move on in their own fashion. From Tywin starting Tommen on his king lessons to Jaime and Cersei, uh, "rekindling" their relationship while their son's body sits in state, literally at (golden) arm's reach.

And then there's Tyrion. Arrested and left cooling his heels in the Black Cells, he attempts to figure a way out of his situation, not yet realizing the person behind Joffrey's death is also the one who's spirited his new wife out of the city.


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Revisiting Blood in the Face in the Wake of the Overland Park Shootings

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The neo-Nazi in his summer plumage.
Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. (AKA Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr.) will likely be hit with federal hate crime charges in addition to murder for the shootings at the Jewish Community Center in the Overland Park suburb of Kansas City:

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, could be charged as soon as today in Johnson County District Court, where he probably will face murder counts. District Attorney Steve Howe said information about charges could be released this morning.
[...]
Miller has made statements to investigators, but authorities would not reveal those comments Monday. The southwest Missouri man long has been known for deeply anti-Semitic and racist statements. He was a Ku Klux Klan grand dragon at one time and founded the White Patriot Party in the 1980s.

I thought the shooter's name sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it until they showed some clips of his WPP days. That's when I knew where I'd seen him: in a 1991 documentary about white supremacists called Blood in the Face. I rewatched it earlier this week (it's available for streaming on Amazon), and was struck by how the filmmakers really didn't take Frazier (or other white power figures in the movie) very seriously, and how big a mistake that might have been.

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Game of Thrones: "A Royal Wedding Is Not an Amusement."

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It's like rain/On your wedding day
So that happened.

In the unlikely event you're unaware of the events of last night's episode, I'll refrain from revealing anything until after the jump. Suffice to say, after the last four episodes of Game of Thrones, I'm willing to add a new item to the list of classic blunders: never get involved in a land war in Asia, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never attend a wedding in Westeros.


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Games of Thrones, Season 4: Your Favorite Killing-Beloved- (and Un-) Characters Show Returns

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Ugh. This guy again.
T.S. Eliot was right: April really is the "cruellest" month.

Not only do TV viewers have to contend with the finales of Justified, Archer, and Suits (actually, I'm pretty sure my wife is the only one who cares about that one), but this Sunday brings the premiere of Season Four of Game of Thrones, which may be the most diabolically sadistic television series since Joanie Loves Chachi.

Beloved characters getting decapitated? Yep. Pregnant woman stabbed to death? Sure. Involuntary amputations? Oh my yes. There are so many unpleasant deaths on GoT that horse that was got his head cut off in the first season is almost an afterthought.

It's hard to imagine how HBO will top the "Red Wedding" in Season Four, or if they should even try (killing Arya or Tyrion, the two most sympathetic characters remaining, would appear to be a TV crime on par with offing Daryl from The Walking Dead or Will from The Good Wife ... what?). So what is the upcoming season likely to bring?


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The New X-Men Movie Looks Like A Three-Hanky Picture

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Why the long faces? Oh, right: mutant genocide.
The second trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, the follow-up to 2011's First Class, "dropped" yesterday, as they say. This one reveals a good deal more about mutantkind's unpleasant future, as well as some damned spiffy Nixon era duds.

Oh, and crying. Lots of crying.

And why's that? Because lots of characters are going to die. Chances are, several of the ones they're introducing in this film won't make it to the end credits. And they're probably not the only ones, judging by some key absences and a few scenes in the trailer itself.


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Zach Levi Explains It All: Why Nerd HQ 2014 Needs Fan Funding

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Chuck Cook Photography
Zachary Levi (center) at Nerd HQ along with Chuck co-stars Mekenna Melvin (right) and Joshua Gomez (left)

Nerd HQ is the brainchild of actor Zachary Levi of Chuck fame, business partner (and former Chuck props guy) David Coleman and Courtney Coleman, David's wife. (Levi also provided the voice of Flynn Rider in Disney's Tangled and his singing on "I See the Light" garnered a Grammy award, as well as an Academy and Golden Globe nomination.)

The Nerd Machine
In this video, Zachary Levi explains why Nerd HQ has to be crowd funded this year. Donations are being accepted at the Indie Gogo site (click to view).

Together, they run a company called The Nerd Machine, which produces apparel and accessories that allow fans to express their nerdiness in a loud and proud way.

For the past three years, Nerd HQ has offered, free of charge, a place for pop culture fans to hang out during San Diego Comic-Con. (It is in no way affiliated with the convention.)


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Which Candidate Promising to "Fight Obama" Could Actually Beat Him (in a Fistfight)?

Categories: Noise, Trending

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Come and take Lt. Governor candidate Todd Staples' guns, Obama.
It's Primary Day! Will Senator John Cornyn avoid a runoff? Who will square off in the Republican race for attorney general? Will voter turnout surpass a whopping 12 percent?

The arrival of the primary also signals the end of campaign advertising. That's a real shame, because -- at least as far as the Republican ads go -- watching the candidates scramble to prove themselves the most concerned about border security and/or terrified of illegal immigrants is entertaining.

Most amusing to me was the number of candidates vowing to "fight Obama." Mostly they're referring to the Affordable Care Act, but there are also references to our state's unique "Texas-ness," and how each particular candidate will best resist the Socialist-in-Chief's infernal federal meddling.

But because political nuance is lost on me, I decided to see if I could figure out which of the candidates promising to "fight Obama" really could. Fight Obama, I mean.

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Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Are Opening Their Doors in Houston and Elsewhere

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I don't know about you, but if there is an insanely long line to use the women's restroom -- and there always is -- I will just jump in the men's room to do my business. It never seems like a big deal to me, as long as it is a single stall. But the right to use the bathroom of your choice is making big headlines recently.

In a groundbreaking decision last week, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a transgender female student was allowed to use the girls' bathroom of her elementary school. This is the first time a state's highest-level judicial branch ruled on gender identity and equal opportunities in public spaces. Welcome to 2014.

As the case states, Nicole Maines, now 16 years old, was told to use a communal bathroom by the grandparent of another child while she was attending elementary school as a fourth grader. According to the report, Maines, who was born Wyatt, began identifying herself as a female when she was as young as two. Her parents worked with the school system, who acknowledged Maines as a "she" and were surprisingly accommodating.

The school gave Maines, who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria -- a finding that identifies people who see themselves as the opposite gender -- the ability to use the girls' restroom. They also started calling her Nicole.

But the school's progress was stalled when a boy her age started making waves that if Nicole was allowed to use the girls' room, so was he. Apparently, this was at the insistence of his grandfather. So the school freaked out a bit and told Nicole that she had to use the unisex teacher's bathroom.

Last week's ruling stated that equal rights are equal rights, no matter what gender a person identifies with, and Maine's decision could be a model for other states.

Speaking of other states, transgender opportunities recently hit the news right here in our own backyard. Earlier last month, the University of Houston -- Downtown Student Government Association unanimously passed a bill to turn several of the campus's gender-specific bathrooms into gender-neutral and family restrooms. This is a first for a college in Texas.

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In Defense of Adderall

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Photo by Life Mental Health

Google the word "Adderall" and there are literally thousands of negative news stories about the horrors of the popular ADHD drug.

With headlines glaring about the dangers of the drug -- everything from "The Truth About My Adderall Addiction" to "Adderall Abuse Increases Among High School Students" -- it seems that on top of the supposed Adderall abuse epidemic, there's also an epidemic of slamming the drug.

Well, perhaps that's not so responsible.

Here's the thing. Chances are, the majority of the people -- whether they are children or adults -- who take Adderall, or some form of ADHD medicine, probably need it. I am one of those people.

I never really understood that my brain worked in a different way from most people's until Adderall swooped in to save the day. I just thought that I was incredibly stupid. That's what happens to kids with undiagnosed ADHD, though. They feel like they're broken when they see their peers grasp concepts that just don't click. ADHD medicine, if it's the right type and the right dosage, tends to fix that broken feeling. It's a good thing.

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Critical Mass Bike Ride Angering Some Houstonians

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Photo by Heather Vidrine.

My first experience with Critical Mass, the pro-bicycle organization that takes to the streets monthly in droves, was about a decade ago when I was still living in New York City. I recall walking down Fifth Avenue on a Friday evening when a herd of bikers came careening down the avenue; there must have been a thousand of them. They hooted and hollered as they drove by, swerving past cabbies and town cars. It was quite a sight to see, and all the people on the sidewalk stopped what they were doing and reveled in the moment. I was awestruck.

Houston is no stranger to Critical Mass. The H-Town arm of the organization has been in existence since the early 2000s. The group meets up on the last Friday of each month starting at Market Square, and they proceed to take to the streets in an "organized/disorganized" fashion. Sometimes the route is planned, sometimes they wing it, but they always have a great time. It's a monthly party on bikes with a cause: bring awareness to car drivers that bikers are a part of the roads. For a long time, this didn't appear to be bothering anyone, but something has changed.

There is no denying that Houston's Critical Mass is growing in numbers. What used to be 100 to 150 riders can now be estimated at closer to 1,000 on certain monthly rides. This expansion can be attributed to several things -- greater awareness, heightened publicity, more people biking in general and the development of the city. Regardless of reason, Critical Mass has made some enemies, and they are trying to figure out the best course of action.

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