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Weekend Links: Cinematic Sand Sculptures

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While the illegal replication and distribution of media is extremely prevalent these days, video game creators have decided they’re not gonna take it anymore. These 6 Hilarious Ways Game Designers Are Screwing With Pirates show a few ways they’re fighting back. (Some language NSFW.)
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John Lamouranne is an artist – and eggs are his canvas. If you haven’t had enough of eggs this weekend, be sure to check out his egg-ceptional creations, which include The Beatles, the Toy Story gang, and Chucky from Child’s Play (of course). BTW I’m so sorry for that “egg-ceptional” pun. It was really an egg-xample of bad judgment. (Via Slash Food)
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Thanks to reader David E. for passing along this list of 18 Exquisite Cinematic Sand Sculptures. I've got a lot to live up to at the beach this summer. [Image credit.]
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Until today I have never once in my life thought “Hey, I’d really like a cake in a jar.” But now, after seeing this post with 8 amazing jar cakes, I actually realize just how empty and jar cake-less my life has been all these years.
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If you’ve never enjoyed the witty delight that is McSweeney’s, it’s time you start. The recent piece "Corrections to Last Night’s Party" is pretty great. And the very funny (and all too realistic) "I Am Seeking to Destroy My Deep-Seated Cynicism and Ironic Detachment Via A Strict Regimen of Self-Inflicted Enthusiasm!" Is one of my favorite titles ever.
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Right-leaning people who have wished for Stephen Colbert to just disappear just may get their wish, because the conservative-mocking comedian is heading for the Bermuda Triangle.
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Nerve has compiled a list of all of the major characters from The Office (America Version) and ranked them in order of funniness. I appreciate the effort, but I cry major foul that Creed isn't #1 by a mile. Your thoughts? (Via The Daily What)
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Are you a crappy writer? Why not make it official – with paper made out of elephant “leavings.”
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And finally, Smithsonian unmasks the mystery behind a famous Earth Day photo.

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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