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Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:00:00 -0500


QUIZ: Is This a Fake Headline or a Real Thing That Happened in 2017?

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:00:00 -0500

This year, more than any other, felt like some higher power was just picking random nouns and verbs out of a hat and making them happen. The news cycle was, to put it lightly, OUTRAGEOUS. You'd see a headline and think "Okay, that's definitely from The Onion," only to find out that it was extremely (and distressingly) true. To that end, I think the average person would have trouble knowing a real headline from a fake one. They all sounded fake, even the ones that were real. (Perhaps especially those.) [viralQuiz id=407]

Snapchats from Greek Mythology

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:00:17 -0500

As near as I can tell from the mainstream media, we are a generation of soulless degenerates. All we care about are memes, selfies, and emojis—and if you're going to stand there and tell me to my face that the heroes of Greek mythology wouldn't have been just as bad, if not worse, then we have nothing more to say to each other. Everyone in Greek mythology was obsessed with themselves. That's just a fact. Can you imagine Snapchat in the hands of Zeus? I can, and I did, and then this slideshow burst forth fully formed like Athena.

The 30 Most Sirius Black Things That Sirius Black Ever Did

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:00:07 -0500

Sirius Black was my first love, and my future spouse is just going to have to come to terms with that one day. When he died—snatched too soon from this world by the cold, unfeeling hands of death—it ruined my whole year. History will remember him for his bravery and for his canonically gorgeous hair, but mostly it will remember him for this list of things he did ranked in order of 1) how Padfoot-ish they were and 2) how good he probably looked doing them. 30. Escaped from justice by riding off into the sunset via hippogriff. He had never even met this hippogriff. Sirius was just the kind of guy that hippogriffs trust. 29. Did he even know how to ride a hippogriff? Doesn’t matter. I’m sure he did great. 28. Spent thirteen years in a horrible nightmare prison, but you could definitely still see that he used to be hot. 27. His Plan A was to just murder Ron’s rat in front of everyone with no explanation. 26. Seriously, he didn’t even give them the courtesy of “Your rat is secretly a person.” 25. Was a hardened fugitive going by the alias “Snuffles.” Duality of man. 24. Was a gold-hearted ruffian and also the only person I could ever love. 23. Used to sometimes get mistaken for an omen of death. I mean, who hasn’t? 22. Befriended Hermione’s cat. Probably the first friend he’d had in years. 21. Put Permanent Sticking Charms on all his paraphernalia so that his family had to deal with Gryffindor banners and magazine cut-outs of bikini-clad Muggle girls even after he left home. 20. Spent a year living off rats. Probably got through it by imagining each of them was Wormtail. 19. When faced with the prospect of admitting that he wasn’t actually there to kill Harry, he instead went with “ONLY ONE WILL DIE TONIGHT.” 18. Took time out of his revenge plot to watch Harry play Quidditch. 17. Did not know the password to get into Gryffindor Tower, so he just figured he should probably stab a painting. 16. Once sent Snape into the murder tree when they were teenagers. This was honestly really messed up and I’m disappointed in how he handled it. 15. Managed to look bored as hell while serving a life sentence in the most notorious wizarding prison of all time. 14. His first act as a man on the run from the law was to send Ron a new pet because he’d exposed and tried to assassinate his old one. Dude had priorities. 13. Somehow managed to juggle pranks, being a heartthrob, and getting good grades. I am currently juggling none of those things, and I’m still losing. 12. Definitely could have given Harry advice about girls if Harry had gotten around to asking. The fact that we missed out on this opportunity is one of life’s great injustices. 11. He was a sad, broken man and I wanted to hug the shit out of him. 10. Was very concerned about Ron’s well-being, even though he was the one who broke Ron’s leg. 9. Tried to commit murder in the most dramatic way possible. Three times. Three times he did this. They are, in order, 1) the bungled Halloween attempt, 2) the one with the knife, and 3) the one where he was just like “I’m going to drag this 13-year-old boy into one of my old haunts and hope the other two don’t do the logical thing like going for help.” 8. Was already distancing himself from his family and questioning the iron-clad pureblood ideology even before arriving at Hogwarts. 7. Gave Harry the two-way mirrors, and Harry NEVER EVEN THOUGHT TO USE THEM. HARRY. JUST. COME ON. I GET THAT THIS IS DRAMATIC IRONY AND THERE’S NO WAY YOU COULD HAVE KNOWN, BUT EVERY TIME I READ THIS PART I HAVE TO PUT THE BOOK AWAY, EAT A WARM COOKIE, AND TAKE A SAD NAP. 6. Was willing to die for James, Lily, and Harry. 5. Was willing to die for Peter, too, at one point. 4. Eventually DID die for Harry. 3. Chose not to come back as a ghost. 2. Immediately escaped from prison when he realized Harry was in danger because, for all his faults, Sirius was true of heart, cl[...]

Open Thread for December 11!

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:00:30 -0500

Auntie SparkNotes: I Want to Tell My Friends That Our Mutual Is a Creep

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:16:57 -0500

Hi Auntie, I’m having a dilemma about a guy I know. Recently we were both at this party, and were making regular jokes about regular things, and the conversation got to domination and submission in sex. I admitted that if it came to that, I would really only let a girl be a Dom to me (I’m bi). He jokingly said that he could change that, and I got slightly uncomfortable, expressing that really I’m not interested in that (as I tried walking away). He grabbed my arm, following me, and continued to say stuff like “Don’t make me try”, and “wait and see”, thrown in with “I’m sure I could change that.” And eventually I just got so uncomfortable I lied about going to the bathroom to avoid being near him. Later that night (which I’d since spent avoiding him), I went home and forgot about the incident. Until that same boy messaged me, asking to meet up later that week. When I didn’t respond, he continued to message me, asking if I enjoyed the party or whatnot. Eventually I responded, effectively brushing him off. He now hangs around weirdly at school, and I just feel really uncomfortable near him, especially because I'm a fairly private person when it comes to my physical body (my thoughts and feelings are fairly out in the open, but the flesh prison is kept under control). In hindsight, I should have expected what happened to happen. It was probably silly of me to say what I said. However, I do know that I was not flirting with him (we were both sober), or particularly leading him on in any way other than by talking to him. I’m ridiculously awkward, and very standoffish with boys in particular (due to past experiences with bias and spread rumours). I definitely do not give off "date me" vibes. I want to tell my group of friends (this boy is in it), but I am worried the boys of that group are going to call me sensitive and say that “it wasn’t that bad." Is this just the culture of my grade, or am I really just being sensitive? One of my friends I told said I should tell people, but I just don’t know. Let's start by stating the obvious, Sparkler: this is your story, and it's your prerogative to tell it if you want to—and the way other people might or might not react is beside the point. This is the kind of thing you say because it matters to you and you want it out in the open, and there are certainly reasons why getting something like this out in the open can be the right thing to do. But with that said, let's also mention what is perhaps not-so-obvious: before you put it out in the open, and subject your mutual friend to a public reckoning over what sounds like, at base, a dumb joke taken too far, you should at least give him some inkling of what kind of misery he's in for. Because look: in a perfect world, of course this guy wouldn't have taken your brief, unguarded moment as an invitation to cross the line. But we don't live in a perfect world. Instead, we live in a world where people sometimes assume that a candid conversation about kinky sex signals the start of a raunchy flirtation, and will continue to assume as much unless you tell them otherwise. And while of course you know that you weren't flirting, it's not hard to understand why he might have gotten his wires crossed, or even why he might have thought it was all in good fun considering the topic of conversation. (Not that being a sex pest is funny, but as you pointed out, his aggressive "I could change that" comments were said jokingly—in keeping with the convo you were already having about BDSM). So tell me, darling: are you sure that the best way for him to find out that he made a mistake is by being publicly humiliated when you announce it to all your mutual friends? Hopefully, your answer to that question is no—because let's be honest, that would be unkind. If this guy is making you uncomfortable, it's only fair that you tell him that—as in, "Your texts are making me uncomfortable, and[...]

QUIZ: Is This a Charles Dickens Story or a Mariah Carey Song?

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00:29 -0500

Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Story. Mariah Carey is known for her Christmas albums. Shockingly, this isn’t the only thing the two have in common—his stories and her song titles sound like they could be one and the same. (I know. I was surprised, too. When I started making this quiz, I thought there was no WAY this one would work. AND YET.) Can you tell the difference? [viralQuiz id=406]

Open Thread for the Weekend of December 8!

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:00:27 -0500

Everything You Will Put on Your Christmas List This Year

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:00:54 -0500

If you celebrate Christmas, then you know as well as I do that it’s time, once again, to craft a list of demands (read: just a bunch of links to things on Amazon) and send it to your family. Through the years, however, I have realized that while we may be different people from all walks of life, when it comes to gifts we pretty much want the exact same things. Here is, by my count, everything you will put on your Christmas list this year: 1. Some sort of super niche fandom T-shirt from Etsy or Redbubble that will take about four hours to explain to your parents. 2. Something easy and inexpensive so your distant relatives who barely know you will have some idea what to get you instead of going off-script and buying you something bizarre and impractical. I can only assume my relatives are like “What does Elodie like? Gnomes? I think she likes gnomes. Let’s get her 7.” 3. Gift cards to your favorite store, because simply asking for clothes is a toss-up and rarely worth the risk. 4. Just straight-up money. Can you do that? 5. A book you will probably never read. You would like to read it, sure. You would like to be the sort of person who can say they will do things and then do them. The reality of the situation is that you are not such a person, and this book, full of promise, will languish unread on your shelf. 6. A book you will dive into the second you rip off the wrapping paper. Now this one you’ve been dying to read since September. You had to exercise a lot of self-restraint not to just buy it for yourself. As a result, you’ll spend the rest of the day sequestered in a corner somewhere, feverishly flipping pages and missing out on valuable family bonding time. 7. A book someone recommended to you and which you are on the fence about, so you don’t want to buy it for yourself, but if someone else were to buy it for you… 8. Boring things like socks and hair ties, because where are those things going? 9. Something super expensive you don’t have a prayer of actually receiving and which at this point you have already adapted comfortably to living without. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask. 10. New headphones even though you already have headphones. 11. A Spotify subscription. I wish I had the cash to pay for Spotify Premium myself so I wouldn’t have to suffer a heart attack every couple songs when they hit me with an ad that’s twenty times louder than it has any right to be. But I don’t. 12. Concert tickets for a band or artist your parents don’t know or care about. 13. Nerd merchandise, like a BB-8 coffee mug or a Wonder Woman Funko POP! figure, that will make you feel good inside even while the world crumbles around us. 14. A sense of purpose. 15. New boots.

Gryffindor's Social Media Game Is ON POINT

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:00:52 -0500