An Honest Trailer for Avengers: Infinity War

(YouTube link)

Wasn't it just yesterday that Avengers: Infinity War was playing in theaters? Well, it sure seems like yesterday. But Screen Junkies already has an Honest Trailer for the latest chapter in the Avengers series, and it's full of spoilers, just in case you've been away from the internet and don't know how it turns out.  


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Cities of the World Where You Don’t Need AC or Heat, Mapped

Living in a "temperate zone" often means cold winters and hot summers, with short interludes of perfect temperatures in between. While that breaks up the monotony, the power bills at the extremes can be terrifying. Nolan Gray is studying for a graduate degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers. Inspired by an interlude living in Guatemala City, he looked around the world for places where you can live comfortably without using a heating system or an air conditioning system. He found 13 cities that fill the bill, and quite a few other places where you don't need much temperature control. That resulted in an interactive map where you can select a place to live where the temperature doesn't fluctuate much from comfortable. Find those 13 cities and look around the map at Medium. 


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People Whose Last Name is Obama

The $100,000 Pyramid is still on the air -who knew? The game that aired Sunday contained the most embarrassing moment in contestant Evan Kaufman's life, as he played with SNL alum Tim Meadows. It's a classic brain cramp, in front of the cameras.  

Kaufman tells entire the story in his own words in this Twitter thread. -via Digg


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17 Red Flags That First-Time House Hunters Should Watch Out For

The old adage in real estate is that location is the only thing that matters. I would add the size of the property, too, as that is very difficult to change. But while you can change a house, some repairs may beyond your budget. Before buying your first home, it's best to listen and heed the horror stories of people who've been there, done that. A reddit thread is full of them. Some highlights:

12. If you're hunting in a college town, get a map, draw a line from the popular bars to the dorms, and then DO NOT BUY A HOUSE ON THAT LINE.

"You would be shocked by the amount of vandalism and noise in that area." —sewnlurk

13. Beware of staged properties.

"Staging can hide flaws like a rug put over a damaged floor. Picture the place empty and check everything twice." —scangemode

If you're on a budget, every house will have some flaws, but you should be able to identify them and figure out which ones you can live with. Buzzfeed compiled a list of the best tips, and you are welcome to add others here to help a first-time home buyer.  

(Image credit: A McCarron)


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The Rock Falls

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The bigger they are, the harder they fall! Maybe that's why Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson always manages to get a scene in every movie where he falls -and always survives, mostly unscathed. Nerdist put together a supercut so we can appreciate just how often it happens. You have to admit it looks cool, and that's what's important. -via Tastefully Offensive


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The Potato Paradox

Most of us, especially those in the food or shipping industries, know that you can save a lot of weight by dehydrating food. What if you had 100 pounds of potatoes, and each potato was 99% water. If you dehydrated those potatoes just a little, to the point that they were 98% water, how much would they weigh?

They would weigh 50 pounds. Believe it or not.

Wikipedia gives us a couple of explanations for the Potato Paradox.

Method 1

One explanation begins by saying that initially the non-water weight is 1 pound, which is 1% of 100 pounds. Then one asks: 1 pound is 2% of how many pounds? In order for that percentage to be twice as big, the total weight must be half as big.

Method 2

100 lb of potatoes, 99% water (by weight), means that there's 99 lb of water, and 1 lb of solids. It's a 1:99 ratio.

If the water decreases to 98%, then the solids account for 2% of the weight. The 2:98 ratio reduces to 1:49. Since the solids still weigh 1 lb, the water must weigh 49 lb for a total of 50 lbs for the answer.

You can also find the algebraic explanations on the same page, if you want to check further. By the way, potatoes are only around 79% water, but the paradox is in the math as a normal person would visualize it, not the food. Don't confuse pounds and percentage. -via TYWKIWDBI


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How Norman Conquerors Changed the History of Europe

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You might think of the Normans (if you ever think of them at all) as French, but they were actually Vikings who converted to Christianity after they settled in the northern part of France (which became known as Normandy). They conquered England in the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but that was only the first leg of the path of conquests. This TED-Ed video gives us the short version of the long story of the vast influence of Norman conquerors in Europe, including our language.  -via Digg


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11 Sharp Facts About Annie Oakley

Phoebe Ann Moses was born on this date in 1860. You know her better as Annie Oakley, sharpshooting star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. There was a lot more to her life than what people saw in the show, beginning with her peculiar childhood experiences.

1. SHE MADE HER FIRST SHOT AT 8 YEARS OLD.

Born on August 13, 1860 in a rural part of western Ohio, Phoebe Ann Moses grew up poor. Her father’s death in 1866 meant that she had to contribute to help her family survive, so she trapped small animals such as quail for food. At eight years old, she made her first shot when she killed a squirrel outside her house. “It was a wonderful shot, going right through the head from side to side. My mother was so frightened when she learned that I had taken down the loaded gun and shot it that I was forbidden to touch it again for eight months,” she later said.

2. SHE USED HER SHOOTING SKILLS TO PAY OFF HER MOM’S MORTGAGE.

Despite Oakley’s top-notch shooting skills, her widowed mother struggled to make ends meet. She sent Oakley to work for another family in exchange for her daughter getting an education. As a teenager, Oakley returned home (after working as a servant for an abusive family) and continued to hunt animals. She sold the meat to an Ohio grocery store, earning enough money to pay her mom’s $200 mortgage. She later wrote: "Oh, how my heart leaped with joy as I handed the money to mother and told her that I had saved enough to pay it off!"

That's just the beginning. Read about Annie Oakley's life, from her marriage at 16 to her work in World War I at Mental Floss.


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Strandbeest Evolution 2018

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Dutch engineer/artist Theo Jansen is known for his Strandbeests, giant kinetic sculptures that move along the beach on their own, powered only by the wind. We posted quite a few of them over the years. Over time, the Strandbeests have evolved to be bigger, lighter, and faster. They seem to be living beings, although they are made of PVC pipe, string, and zip ties. Check out this video showing off his latest, most kinetic Strandbeests. At the very end, you see Jansen with his Animaris Rhinoceros Transport from 2006, just to show how far his art has come. -via Geekologie


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Family Tree House

This is a lovely way to visualize the relationships in a family! Redditor OrbDeluxxxe posted this photo of his family reunion, mentioning that the couple at the top have been married 60 years. Their children and spouses are below, and the third and fourth generation are at the bottom -five of them babes-in-arms. You know who came from who by the color-coordinated shirts. If you look closely (enlarge the image here), you'd guess that they are arranged in order of age from the left. A lot of planning went into this picture, and the results are stunning, even though four people are missing from the bottom row. OrbDeluxxxe added:

Nearly everyone on the bottom row at least has a BA or BS, there’s a PhD, an MD, an MBA, and a masters in social work on that row, and two who are hoping to get MDs in the near future. There is also a handful of engineers and 2 teachers.

Also: What a neat cabin to have a reunion in! -via reddit 

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Is the Dinosaur-Apocalypse Story Wrong?

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If you went to school after 1980, you probably learned that the dinosaurs went extinct because of a huge asteroid smashing into the earth 66 millions years ago. If you went to school before 1980, you probably heard that it could be any one of a dozen different reasons and we possibly might never know the exact cause of the dinosaurs extinction. One of the competing ideas is that the mass extinction was caused by the Deccan Traps, a group of volcanoes that erupted for thousands of years, so long that they poisoned the entire earth. This hypothesis has been promoted by paleontologist Gerta Keller for decades, but it was overshadowed by physicist Luis Alvarez' discovery of the iridium layer that pinpointed the date of the asteroid. Scientists are still arguing over the reason for the death of the dinos, which you can read about at The Atlantic. -via Digg


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The Metrosexual Knights Who Defended Medieval Korea

King Chinhung of Korea's Silla Dynasty conceived of a training program to shape the country's most promising young people into a skilled class to serve the monarchy. The students were drawn from the aristocracy, and originally included girls, until one of the founding members pushed another into a stream and drowned her out of jealousy. After that, the program was called the Hwarang Boys Academy, which produced the the Hwarang Knights, an elite group of warriors who were known for their beauty, from their makeup to their jeweled shoes.

Roughly translated as “flower boys” or “flowering youth,” the Hwarang were male aristocrats who comprised an elite corps founded in the sixth century B.C. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot we don’t know about the Hwarang,” says Courtney Lazore, historian and author of The Hwarang Warriors — Silla’s Flower Boys. “We often liken them to knights, but they were much more than just fighters.” With their focus on religion, education and the military, it was “possible for [them] to become well-rounded leaders.”

They were warriors, but also nobility and cultural ambassadors. Read an overview of what we know about the Hwarang at Ozzy.

(Image credit: Jlsilo)


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Criminal Corralled by Crime-Fighting Cows

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When Jennifer Anne Kaufman fled the stolen vehicle she was driving Monday, she cut across some pastureland, trying to evade police. After all, it was dark and maybe the Seminole County Sheriff’s helicopter couldn't see her well. But she didn't count on a herd of cows following her! Cows know that a person in their field might mean getting fed, or at least something novel to see. In this case, they saw an arrest. A search of the stolen SUV yielded a gram of cocaine. Read the story at the Tampa Bay Times. -via Boing Boing


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The Fantastic and Troubled History of the Video Phone

We take video calls for granted these days, but it wasn't so long ago that such a thing was science fiction, fantasy, or pure moonshine. AT&T promoted the idea in 1964 when they demonstrated a picture phone call at the World’s Fair in Queens.

The trouble was it was insanely expensive. A 15 minute video call would cost about $600 (adjusted for inflation).  So, it wasn’t exactly an instant success.

Yeah, those were the days when long-distance phone connections were charged by the minute, and video cameras were huge and pricy. For decades, video calls were always just around the corner as developments were made. Meanwhile, we dreaded it, because we couldn't see that there would be several other ways of communicating to someone that you weren't fit to be seen at the moment. The microchip was a leap forward in miniaturization, and the internet gave us the connectivity to really do it, finally. See an illustrated overview of the journey we took to FaceTime, Skype, and all the other methods of video chat we have today at Flashbak. -via Nag on the Lake


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Bowling Tricks and Pool Shots

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Poolbowl must be some kind of combination of billiards and bowling. All I know for sure is that Jason Belmonte and Florian "Venom" Kohler have a lot of time on their hands, and have used it to perfect some glorious tricks. So what if they have terabytes of outtakes, this compilation video is cool! -via Metafilter 

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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San Diego Comic Con 2018 Cosplay

San Diego Comic Con has come and gone for 2018, and once again, you didn't get to go. But here's a way to experience all the best cosplay anyway! Or maybe you did go, and you want to see it all again. Jill Harness and Zeon Santos attended (their tenth year!) and took tons of pictures, and posted them, sorted into different galleries you'll enjoy.

San Diego Comic Con Cosplay From 2018

Fun fact, this kid wasn’t even with the rest of the group, but just popped in for a picture.

The ones that dressed to impress are here.

Sexy Costumes Spotted at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con

More here.

Brilliant costume mashups from the 2018 San Diego Comic Con

Would you like fries with that beatdown? Is it just me, or would Loki have to be the Burger King in this world?

Take a character from column A and a character from column B and see what you can do. Bonus points if the combination makes a pun. Deadpool and Batman got mixed up with everything under the sun at Comic Con. See them here.

Rule 63 Cosplays from the 2018 San Diego Comic Con

There are always plenty of great cosplayers at Comic Con, but some of the most fun are those highlighting Rule 63 (that for every pop culture character, there is another version of the opposite gender).

See more of these gender-swapped costumes.

What I learned by taking my 8 month old son to Comic Con

I did a little research before we left and found that even though anyone under 13 can go to Comic Con for free, they still need a badge. Since my husband had to pick his badge up in person, we were able to get little Rigby’s badge printed at the same time. That being said, it turns out that if you have a kiddo under walking age, they don’t actually need a badge.

That said, if you plan to take a child next year, read all the tips and confirm any questions you may have before arriving in 2019, to see if any rules have changed.


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When Cats Go Fishing

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In this goofy episode of Aaron's Animals, Aaron Benitez and his cat Prince Michael go fishing. They are not expert fishermen, like everyone else at the lakeside appears to be. But hey, fishing is supposed to be fun, not a competition! -via Tastefully Offensive


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Treating a Heart Attack in a Centaur

Dr. Wu and Dr. Funk had a discussion on Twitter about the proper treatment of a centaur having a heart attack. Where is the heart? Does he have more than one heart? After all, the hagfish and the octopus have auxiliary hearts, and a centaur has a lot of body to power. And what about the lungs? The conversation turned to centaur anatomy in general, which can get technical between medical doctors. Read their speculations and conclusions at Dorkly. -via Metafilter)

More on Centaur Anatomy

Anatomy of the Centaur

So How Does a Centaur Eat, Anyway?

The skeletal anatomy of the centaur of Volos

On the centaur's lungs

Do centaurs suckle from horse nipples or human nipples?


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The Easiest Way to Fold a Fitted Sheet


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Terri Metz has a unique but simple way to fold a fitted sheet -yeah, right, as if there exists such a thing as a simple way to fold a fitted sheet. If I were to try this, I'd probably fall asleep in the middle. But I can't try this, because I'd need to vacuum the rug first, and I don't want to do that. See, I know how to fold a fitted sheet real nicely, but instead I just launder my sheets and put them back on the bed. -via Everlasting Blort


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Aspirational Dating Quantified

You've heard about people trying to date someone "out of their league," and people who manage to "marry up," but how can you really measure that? There are so many different qualities that go into desirability: looks, education, income, age, and of course, virtue and personality. However, online dating gives us the digital tools to actually measure an individual's desirability in relation to others -at least during initial contact. Sociology professor Elizabeth Bruch of the University of Michigan crunched the numbers of 186,000 heterosexual users of one online dating system in four cities for a month.

Imagine for a second that you are one of the users Bruch and her colleagues studied—in fact, imagine that you are a very desirable user. Your specific desirability rank would have been generated by two figures: whether other desirable people contacted you, and whether other desirable people responded when you contacted them. If you contacted a much less desirable person, their desirability score would rise; if they contacted you and you replied, then your score would fall.

The team had to analyze both first messages and first replies, because, well, men usually make the first move. “A defining feature of heterosexual online dating is that, in the vast majority of cases, it is men who establish the first contact—more than 80 percent of first messages are from men in our data set,” the study says. But “women reply very selectively to the messages they receive from men—their average reply rate is less than 20 percent—so women’s replies … can give us significant insight about who they are interested in.”

The study found that online daters commonly approach or respond to people who are an average of 25% more desirable than they are. Some reached even higher, but hardly anyone reached out to potential dates who are less desirable. What is most intriguing (and depressing) about the study are the factors they found that determine the desirability score. For example, women's desirability peaks at age 18, while men's score holds pretty steady through adulthood, peaking at 50. Read about more factors that go into one's desirability score at The Atlantic. It might cause you to swear off online dating forever. -via Digg   

(Image credit: Thomas8047)


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Sheep Romps on a Trampoline


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A family in Marlborough, New Zealand, has a pet sheep named Bacon, which you have to admit is a slightly better name than Mutton. Bacon is having a great time on the backyard trampoline. I don't think this is his first time playing on it. It's a pretty good life for a sheep, even with that weird name. -via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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The 65 Absolute Best Moments from The Office

The American version of The Office ran on NBC from 2005 to 2013. In the five years since, its popularity hasn't waned at all. Nicole Gallucci is a fan who knows that other fans have their favorite scenes they'll never forget. She compiled 65 of the most important, iconic, funny, emotional and/or memorable scenes from The Office so that you can relive the entire series. Most have video evidence, and all are illustrated in one way or another. They are not ranked, but are listed in chronological order, so that you can follow along in sequence at Mashable.  


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Smoked Watermelon Looks Like Meat

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This is a watermelon. It's been skinned, brined, smoked, basted, and grilled like a ham, so it resembles a ham. Duck's Eatery in New York City offers it as an entree, but you could make it at home, with some skill, particular ingredients and tools, and lots of time. What does it taste like? My guess is that it tastes like a watermelon, no matter what it looks like. My guess is also that it looks better than it tastes. -via Laughing Squid

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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7 Charts Explain Why America is Becoming Obese

Americans are known around the world for our size. The country is big, our people stand tall, and in the last 50 years, we've become increasing fat. There are quite a few reasons why, and some of them multiply each other. You can probably guess some of those reasons, but you may not know them all, and you might be shocked at the extent of the changes over time. As you can see here, portion sizes have increased greatly. We're also eating out more. We consume more sugar. But there's more, including ideas for what we can do about it at Vox. -via Digg


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The Ideology of the First Order

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Lindsey Ellis looks at the marketing of the dark side. We all know that Lucas and company designed the evil Empire to resemble the forces of Nazi Germany, but the costumes and sets are just so cool-looking that every new young Star Wars fan wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween. In much the same way, the original Nazis looked cool to the generation that became the Hitler Youth. It helps that we don't get much of a look into the Empire's fascist ideology, and even less into that of the First Order. Not understanding the underpinnings of evil makes it easier to sell, as in pajamas and lunchboxes. This video is long, but if you are  interested enough to begin, it will hold your interest. -via Metafilter


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The Cat Who Loves Peaches

This is Ozzy. He belongs to journalist Lydia Coutré's parents. Ozzy loves peaches, and can't wait until they are in season. I can understand- in August and September, I can't get enough fresh peaches. But Ozzy does not eat the peaches, he just loves to sit among them and maybe nuzzle a few. You can't get any cuter than that! Ozzy has gone viral on Twitter, and people have responded with pictures of their own peach cats, cats who love other fruits, and other animals who like peaches, too. And then there's the fan art.

   
See more pictures of Ozzy and Ozzy fan art at Bored Panda.

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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What Will Happen In Your Body In The Next 60 Seconds

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Even when "we" are doing nothing at all, our bodies are busy. Sustaining life is an miraculous feat, and every organ of your body must work together around the clock to keep it going. For your entire lifetime. When you know all the stuff going on, you'll have a real sense of accomplishment -or else you'll be exhausted. -via Nag on the Lake


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How Much Would You Pay for Han Solo's Jacket?

How would you like to own Anakin's lightsaber from Revenge of the Sith? Or Indiana Jones' fedora from Raiders of the Lost Ark? Or Marty McFly's hoverboard from Back to the Future II? Or the jacket shown above, which Harrison Ford wore in the movie The Empire Strikes Back? The Prop Store is going to auction off more than 600 pieces of rare movie memorabilia on September 20 in London, during their fifth annual Entertainment Memorabilia Auction. You can see a preview of some of the most iconic items at How Stuff Works. Most of it is expected to go for more than you can pay, but you can register online and take your chances when the auction goes live.


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Illustrated National Park Reviews

Too hot, too crowded, needs more vending machines... You can find customer reviews for anything now, including national parks. What does it take for someone to leave a one-star review for the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone? No much- lackluster food at the restaurant or uncomfortable weather can be more important to some folks than the magnificence of the area's natural beauty. Tom Chitty found one-star reviews for America's best-known national parks on TripAdvisor and illustrated them. See seven of the illustrations plus the reviews that inspired them at Topic. -via Everlasting Blort

(Image credit: Tom Chitty)


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A New Academy Award for "Popular" Films

After this year's Oscars broadcast garnered the lowest ratings ever, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will make some changes to the Academy Awards. The broadcast will be earlier in the year, and some awards will be announced during commercial breaks, so that the broadcast can stay within three hours. But the big news is the new award.

At least as important, in terms of improving the ratings of the Oscars telecast for ABC, the Academy also said in its letter that it "will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film" in time for the 91st Oscars, adding that "[e]ligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming." Some will complain that adding such a category cheapens the prestige of the Oscars, making it more like the People's Choice Awards or MTV Movie & TV Awards, but that is old-world thinking. More than the length of the telecast or the name of the host, Oscar ratings have been shown to correlate with the popularity of the nominated films among the general public. And the gulf between what the public buys tickets to see and what the Academy nominates and awards has never been greater.

The backlash against such an idea was immediate. Some critics see the popular award as an excuse to exclude blockbusters from the Best Picture category, even though the Academy says a movie can be nominated for both. The Academy sees it as a way to counteract the exclusion of blockbusters, as was the intent in expanding the Best Picture category to ten films a few years ago. Some think the idea is specifically targeted at the critically-acclaimed Black Panther, while others see it as a continuation of the Oscars' traditional exclusion of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero films, no matter the quality, much like animated films, which have always had difficulty in being considered for Best Picture. Either way, it's an admission that the usual contenders for Best Picture aren't popular movies- and that fewer people want to see them celebrated on TV.   -via Digg

(Image credit: Greg Hernandez)

What do you think of the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film award?






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