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Everything We Know About Ariana’s New Makeup Line, R.E.M Beauty

Get the Ariana look without the R.E.M. price tag

Our favorite pop diva is finally giving the people what they want — a makeup line.

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7 Extremely Relevant Sci-Fi Books To Check Out This Fall

These sci-fi books will help you make sense of the real world.

The Broken Earth Trilogy

Sci-fi may often be about alternate histories or futuristic societies, but it tends to offer very necessary reflections on our own world.

This fall, as we speed through a stressful election that has existential implications for all of our lives and continue to grapple with a pandemic, we'll need great sci-fi books to get us through the season. And what could be better than sitting back with some hot cider, watching the autumn leaves fall, and traveling to a distant sci-fi universe?

Here are 7 sci-fi books to help get you through the fall.

1. The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem

tor.com

Game of Thrones' creators just announced that their next blockbuster adaptation will be based on The Three-Body Problem, an award-winning series about extraterrestrials that's really a reflection on humanity.

2. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

hachettebookgroup.com

Octavia Butler is a must-read for any fan of science fiction, but her book Parable of the Sower feels extra-relevant today. It tells the story of a society brought to its knees by environmental destruction, racism, and economic crises. It stars a girl suffering from hyperempathy, or an extreme sensitivity to others' suffering. Studded with poetry and filled with reflections on dystopia, zealotry, and other problems, it also offers something extremely rare: a blueprint for a potential solution.

3. Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune by Frank Herbert

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The 2020 movie version may star Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, but the actual print book Dune has been beloved by science fiction fans since 1965. Taking place around 20,000 years in the future, it is set in a feudal society in which varying powers compete for sovereignty over planets. The central planet in question is Arrakis, a wasteland of a planet that is also the only source of melange, a drug that allows users to travel through dimensions.


Dune has been translated to computer games, follow-up films, and many other forms of entertainment, but the original still occupies a very specific place in the sci-fi and fantasy canons. Whether you're looking to brush up on your Timothee Chalamet lore or want to dive into a distant and fascinating world, Dune is a surefire bet.

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

mentalfloss.com

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has remained perpetually relevant since it was published in 1966. Confronting meaninglessness, global annihilation, inane leaders, and the absurdity of human life, it offers a roadmap for getting through the (hopefully) last few months of the Trump presidency; and it may even be, as one writer put it, "The Book of 2020."

5. The Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

abebooks.com

Ellison's classic novel appears on many books-to-read-before-you-die lists. It addresses what it means to be a Black man, but it also addresses and interrogates human identity on the whole. In the midst of a second Civil Rights movement, this book offers perspective and wisdom.

6. The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

The Broken Earth Series

Broken Earth Series

theverge.com

N. K. Jemisin's highly lauded Broken Earth series consists of three books—The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. Taking place on a fictional planet, it tells the story of a world whose inhabitants are faced with regular, cyclical catastrophic periods of climate change. The series is difficult to explain in brief, but its nuanced perspectives on the war between humans and the earth made Jemisin the first author in the history of sci-fi to win three consecutive Hugo Awards.

7. Feed by M. T. Anderson

Feed M. T. Anderson

Feed M. T. Anderson

prodimage.com

Feeling exhausted by the Internet, but not exactly sure why—or how to detach yourself from it? M. T. Anderson's YA cyberpunk novel "Feed" might provide the impetus you need to finally abandon the Internet once and for all, and it might also awaken you to the fact that everything on the Internet is specifically designed to sell you something.

The novel takes place in a future dominated completely by corporate exploitation, in which most people's brains are connected and controlled by digital implants that allow corporations to target and control them. The book takes place in an ecologically devastated world and offers a complex critique of capitalism, groupthink, and endless targeted advertisements.

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Support the Post Office: 11 of the USPS's Best Gifts

Support the United States Post Office and grab some amazing gifts. It's a win-win.

United States Post Office Dog Merch

The United States Post Office has been struggling lately, due to economic cuts, COVID-19, and attacks from the new Postmaster General and Donald Trump himself.

But as it turns out, the Post Office has a gift shop—which is full of a surprisingly huge variety of charming items!

Here are 10 of the postal service's most adorable gift options, so you can support democracy and make your friends and family happy with some truly wonderful gifts.


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Cats are polarizing. Non-cat people vehemently despise the entire species, readily listing the wrongs done to them and loved ones by felines. Meanwhile, cat people feel just as strongly, and are ready to tell you all the ways their cat is smarter, better, prettier, and more fun to be around than you'll ever be. But whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit there isn't anything much better than a funny cat video. So you don't have to waste your time filtering all the non-cat content out of your newsfeed, we've compiled a list of our favorite funny cat videos.

Cat Jump Fail with Music: Sail by AWOLNATION

First of all, "Sail" by AWOLNATION is an absolute banger under any circumstances. Second of all, this sneaky boi looks like he'll set your house on fire and laugh while it burns. Third, and finally, what an incredibly bad jump.

Cats vs Zombies

We love a high budget production, talented feline actors, and tasteful machine gun use. Most of all, we love cats in funny little vests committing graphic acts of violence. We hope the creator of this video has found the help he needs.

Official Video: Cat Bath Freak Out -Tigger the cat says 'NO!' to bath

This cat is not happy about bath time, and eerily screams "NO!" over and over again. Inexplicably, instead of calling an exorcist, the owners of the cat continue to laugh, ignoring the fact that Lucifer himself is emerging from the mouth of their furry friend.

Surprised Kitty (Original)

This video of a small kitten throwing it's paws up in surprise has gained almost 80 million views on Youtube. We have to wonder if the person to post this now famous 30 second clip had any idea of the cultural impact their kitten would have.

Boxing cat

While this boxing cat's behavior almost certainly indicates a feline neurological disorder and not an understanding of human sports concrete enough to generate imitation, it's pretty funny anyway. We're pretty sure he'd lose a boxing match though, he's pretty small.

The Savitsky Cats: Super Trained Cats Perform Exciting Routine - America's Got Talent 2018

We aren't sure if these talented cats are funny or just disturbing, but either way they're undeniably entertaining. And fluffy. Look at their little paws. We'd like to believe that the cats actually trained the two women, not the other way around.

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What's the Right Scotch for You?

Are you a Ron Burgundy or Ron Swanson kind of scotch drinker?

Giphy

Every day is a good day to enjoy scotch.

But July 27, National Scotch Day, is the best day to celebrate scotch and the weird, surly misanthropes who love it. As the five time Emmy Award-winning anchor of Channel 4 News, Ron Burgundy, says, "I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly."

Why drink scotch? Because "clear alcohols are for rich women on diets," as wisely said by Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation. If you're not a fan of scotch, then you just haven't found the right drink–either that, or you're just very uncool. So how do you know which scotch is right for you?

Ron Burgundy Giphy

Ron Swanson Giphy

In terms of general flavor, scotches can be identified by region: Islay, Highland, Speyside, Campbeltown, and Lowland. Lowland scotches tend to be less intense and might be a good place to start if you're just beginning your journey to becoming a Cool Scotch Drinker. On the other hand, Islay scotches can be too overwhelming in scent and flavor for some. These are some choice selections to taste the full flavor spectrum scotch has to offer:

Highland Park - The best spirit in the world?

Highland Park

Highland Park

Highland Park was once named the "Best Spirit in the World." But you might particularly enjoy scotch from a region in Highland region (of which there are many) if you enjoy spicier (northern Highland) or sweeter notes (southern Highland) in your scotch. Some specific flavors notes include oak, heather, dried fruit, fruitcake, or smoke.

​Glenkinchie - Floral and fruity

Glenkinchie

Glenkinchie

As a Lowland scotch, Glenkinchie has more subtle flavors. Sometimes described as green apple, lemon, honey, and oaky cereal flavors with a hint of spice, Glenkinchie's mellow taste makes for a good beginner's scotch.

Glenlivet - Fruity and nutty 

Glenlivet

Glenlivet

Most Speyside scotches have a malty sweet flavor. One of many well-known Speyside scotches, Glenlivet has a smooth, fruity, and nutty flavor profile. Some say it even has a buttery taste; but most important is what Ron Burgundy says at dinner: "Yes, I am going to have three fingers of Glenlivet with a little bit of pepper and some cheese."

Glen Scotia - Dry and fruity

Glen Scotia

Glen Scotia

Campbeltown used to call itself the "whisky capital of the world," but the number of distilleries there has dramatically decreased in recent years. While Campbeltown has a less distinct style than other regions, its coastal location adds a bit of signature dryness and general pungency to its malts. Master of Malt describes Glen Scotia, in particular, as having "vibrant fruit... (peach flesh and green apple peels), followed by chewy vanilla fudge, a hint of salinity, then an array of oak-y spices including some char."

Laphroaig - Tastes like a "burning hospital"

Laphroaig scotch

Laphroaig

Laphroaig (pronounced "la-froyg) has been compared to Sharpie markers, butterscotch, burning tires, and cloves. "A symphony of smoke," reads one of Laphroaig's ads. "Tastes like a burning hospital. Earth never tasted so good." Like most Islay scotches, it's known for its smoky, peaty fragrance and flavor. This is my personal favorite because every sip is like a mouthful of campfire smoke.

Lagavulin - "Nectar of the gods," according to Ron Swanson

Lagavulin

Lagavulin

Another well-known Islay scotch is Lagavulin, AKA Parks & Recreation's Ron Swanson's drink of choice, because Very Cool people can handle the intense flavor of Islay scotch. Before leaning back with this smoky single malt with a light finish, remember Ron Swanson's pre-scotch advice: "Prepare to experience true freedom and bliss."

So remember, "There is no wrong way to consume alcohol." That's boldly incorrect advice from Ron Swanson, because when scotch drinkers are wrong, at least they're confident about it. And as for the morning after a night spent drinking alone in your manly mahogany chair, here's another piece of Swanson wisdom: "Never been hungover. After I've had too much whiskey, I cook myself a large flank steak, pan-fried in salted butter. I eat that, put on a pair of wet socks and go to sleep."

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