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Spice Up Your Vocabulary With These Scandalous Victorian Vulgarities

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The Victorian era was notoriously prim and proper—but its people certainly weren't. They discussed offensive, shocking, and tasteless topics just like we do today, and to soften the blow, they used slang euphemisms. To pay homage to some of the period's most memorable vulgarities, Oxford University Press created the infographic below. It lists 16 pieces of hilariously outdated profanity (flustered thornback, anyone?) that are sure to elevate the party gossip at your next soirée.

[h/t OUPblog]

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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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