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8 Children's Book Themes Dr. Seuss Never Tackled

Everyone reads Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak books growing up, but there are thousands more children’s authors out there. With so much competition, some authors choose to cover unique subjects in an attempt to stand out from the crowd.

1. The Illicit Drug Trade

Do your kids need to know more about the drug industry? Well then, The House That Crack Built might be just right for educating them about everything from the workers struggling in Colombian fields to drug dealers to homeless crackheads. While the book intends to show the evils of the drug trade, it also does a great job at showing that becoming a drug kingpin can get you one heck of a house.

2. Weed

Maybe you’re a 420-friendly kind of parent who doesn’t want your child to think all illegal substances are evil. Well, in that case, you’d better grab a copy of It’s Just a Plant as soon as possible. This title, written for children aged 3-5, tells the story of a young girl who walks in on her parents smoking marijuana and then is educated about the plant and why adults sometimes use it, but children never should. This might cause some confusion when the D.A.R.E. program starts up at their school.

3. In-Utero Boredom

Most children’s books are oriented towards kids that have already been born, but Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here! tells the story of a bored little fetus awaiting the big day when it can finally come out and see the world.

4. Fertilization

There are differing opinions on when you should introduce your kids to the birds and the bees, but for those who want to teach 4-7-year-olds about the subject, Where Willy Went is a good way to start. The book stars Willy the sperm and his nemesis Butch who compete in the swimming race every day until Willy finally makes his way into the big prize, the egg inside Mrs. Browne. Eventually, the egg becomes a baby girl, but no one knows where Willy disappeared to, until baby Edna starts showing off the same traits as the little winning sperm.

While the book won’t answer all of a kid’s questions about baby-making, it certainly makes the story of fertilization fun.

5. Constipation

If given the chance, most kids would survive on a diet of ice cream and candy. While this might be a delicious way to live, we all know that it’s not healthy, and it would wreak havoc on someone’s digestive system. Fortunately, It Hurts When I Poop is there to teach children why their diet can make it easier or harder to go potty and why they shouldn’t hold in their poops too long.

6. Flatulence

Ever since Everyone Poops became a breakout success, children’s authors have become obsessed with talking about things that come out of our backsides. This specific title was actually created by the same author as a follow up to Everyone Poops, offering to explain where gas comes from and why it stinks.

7. Urinals

This book is specifically oriented to children living in Brussels, as the plot revolves around the famous bronze statue of the little peeing boy. When a toddler sees the statue, he is inspired to start standing while urinating. While his first few attempts fail, he is soon peeing on trees, snails and more, finally standing beside his father at a urinal.

8. Conjoined Twins

Actually, Seuss did include conjoined twins in his 1953 musical The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, but this book includes a short history of famous conjoined twins and talks about the medical causes of the condition. It's more about accepting other people regardless of their differences. The author goes into detail about how Siamese twins are different from most people, but also makes sure to focus on how, in many ways, they are like everyone else.
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Have any of you ever bought one of these books for your youngster? Or, do you guys have any titles to add to the list?

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Pop Culture
An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

[h/t The Verge]

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Pop Culture
Treat Yo Self to a Piece of Pawnee, Indiana, at this Parks and Recreation-Themed Auction
Chris Haston/NBC
Chris Haston/NBC

They'll never get to eat JJ's world-famous waffles or attend a Mouse Rat concert, but Parks and Recreation fans can still purchase a piece of Pawnee memorabilia featured on the late NBC sitcom. As Slashfilm reports, auction house Screenbid has partnered with NBC Universal Television to sell nearly 300 props, clothing items, and accessories used by the fictional parks department and their fellow Pawneeans.

The auction starts on November 27, 2017, and runs through December 1, 2017. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the LA Conservation Corps, which describes itself as "the nation's largest urban conservation corps and L.A.'s preeminent youth development organization."

Items for sale include, but aren't limited to, Leslie Knope's campaign merchandise (including buttons, T-shirts, and mugs), a Raggedy Ann Halloween costume worn by Ann Perkins, and multiple Mouse Rat CDs. And for fans of Tom Haverford, there's plenty of Entertainment 720 swag to go around (and wear out around town).

View some selected auction items below, or treat yo' self by checking out the full online catalogue here.

 "The Final Word with Perd" mugs, featured on the NBC TV show "Parks and Recreation" and on sale in a new themed auction hosted by auction house ScreenBid.

The Final Word with Perd mugs, featured on the NBC TV show Parks and Recreation.

Courtesy of ScreenBid

Entertainment 720 Dollars Stack, featured on NBC show "Parks and Recreation" and on sale in a new online auction hosted by auction house ScreenBid.

Entertainment 720 Dollars Stack, featured on Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of ScreenBid

An Entertainment 720-branded T-shirt, featured on the NBC show "Parks and Recreation" and on sale in a new auction hosted by auction house ScreenBid.

An Entertainment 720-branded T-shirt, worn on TV show Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of ScreenBid

A bottle of Tom Haverford's Snake Juice, featured on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," is on sale in a new auction hosted by auction house ScreenBid.

A bottle of Tom Haverford's Snake Juice, from Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of ScreenBid

An "I met Li'l Sebastian" T-shirt, once featured on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," is on sale in a new online auction hosted by auction house ScreenBid.

An "I Met Li'l Sebastian" T-shirt from Parks and Recreation

Courtesy of ScreenBid

[h/t Slashfilm]

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