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Before Twitter and Buzzfeed, there was Homestar Runner. As the aging homepage wallpaper peeled away revealing the html beneath, the gang finally returned to the Internet.

If the Internet had a god, a creator, a primogenitor, it would be a 3D animated dancing baby riding a one-eyed, winged toaster reciting Monty Python sketches. As that primordial stew receded and the eldritch horror of the old gods faded away, Matt and Mike Chapman, along with their website HomestarRunner.com, emerged as the Internet’s Cain and Abel.

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homestarrunner.com

Debuting at a time when Napster was still the king of piracy, HomestarRunner.com was a Flash animation site that realized much of the web’s multimedia potential. The site updated frequently with new cartoons, soundboards full of character’s catchphrases, and obscure homages. Typical cartoons didn’t let viewers passively sit through a show, forcing them to search around the mise-en-scèn for interactive elements to advance the story. Like in the first Halloween short, “The House That Gave Sucky Treats,” where every knock on the door revealed a new guest to whom one could give a selection of off-brand candies, each triggering a unique response. Like a Buzzfeed quiz to determine which Hogwarts House one really belongs, at least part of the fun came from replaying the toon and selecting different options.

Spin Me Right Round

Jack White’s Magic Record Machine

Making a record in this day and age takes a lot of time and effort, but Jack White managed to do it in under four hours.

It’s been six years since the first Record Store Day regaled audiophiles with limited edition EPs, special collaborations, and in-store exclusives, and already the vinyl holiday has a world record under its belt. The record holder? Jack White and Third Man Records. The record? World’s fastest record release.

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Jack White pictured at a solo concert at Roskilde Festival’s Orange Stage 2012. (Gonzales Photo/Christian Hjorth)

Clocking in at just under four hours, White and co. recorded “Lazaretto” and the Elvis Presley cover “Power of My Love,” trucked the master vinyl to Nashville’s United Record Pressing (URP), and released the 7-inch to the masses, all in the span of a late morning to early afternoon on April 19.

Comedian Billy Eichner surprises New Yorkers with Amy Poehler in a Pitbull mask.

Comedian Billy Eichner loves surprising unsuspecting New Yorkers on his Fuse show, ‘Billy on the Street.’ In a clip from an upcoming episode, he gets his ‘Parks and Recreation’ co-star Amy Poehler to don a mask of rapper Pitbull to play the specifically-themed game, ‘It’s Not Pitbull—It’s Amy Poehler!’

Watch as amicable Manhattanites’ expressions go from confusion and fear to sincere joy when they discover that they're being accosted not by another loony city dweller but by the funniest woman on TV.

Laid back... With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

Fo shizzle, Brizzle Wizzle. NBC’s esteemed news anchor is back on the mic with some more California love.

In the latest installment of Jimmy Fallon’s brilliant series of hip-hop supercuts, Williams flows to Snoop Dogg’s G-funk classic. It might just be the hottest one yet.

New Face

GoT's Sexiest Recast Yet

Notice something different about Daario Naharis? The actor who plays Daenerys Targaryen’s suave love interest discusses peeing on camera and ‘Orphan Black.’

Even the most die-hard fans of Game of Thrones, the vast fantasy epic boasting myriad realms and hundreds of wildly-accented characters, were left a bit perplexed during the show’s Season 4 premiere. What happened to Daario Naharis?

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Michiel Huisman, Emilia Clarke. (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

The rakish Captain of the Stormcrows—and love interest of Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)—had transformed from a dimpled, swaggering, square-jawed Brit with a long, braided Braveheart mane into a moodier, mellower warrior equipped with brown eyes, neck-length hair, a beard, and a more slender frame.

Today's Links

The Culture Cheat Sheet

And 'Captain America' continues box-office reign.

Neil Patrick Harris yells at loud fangirl during performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  She: “I love you, Neil!” He: “I’m doing something up here, motherf---er. People

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Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The White House (finally) responds to the “Deport Bieber” petitions.   273,968 signatures later, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue decides to “leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber's case.” E! Online

New York City Ballet

What It Takes to Create a Ballet

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Choreographer Justin Peck in rehearsal for his work-in‐progress with New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck. From the documentary Ballet 422, directed by Jody Lee Lipes. (Jody Lee Lipes)

A new movie at the Tribeca Film Festival takes an intimate look at young dancer Justin Peck's road to opening night as he choreographs the 422nd ballet for the New York City Ballet.

In Ballet 422, a new documentary debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival, director Jody Lee Lipes captures the two-month conception, preparation, and execution of the New York City Ballet’s 422nd new ballet under the helm of an up-and-coming choreographer, 25-year-old Justin Peck, who was dubbed “the third important choreographer to have emerged in classical ballet this century,” by The New York Times’s dance critic Alastair Macaulay.

The film opens with the following statement: “The New York City Ballet is one of the foremost creative dance companies in the world.” Founded in 1948, the NYCB consists of 91 full-time dancers, but Peck, who joined the Corps de Ballet (the group’s lowest tier of dancers) in 2007, is the only current NYCB dancer who choreographs for the company.

“At first, Justin was just one of the dancers that worked with my wife [Ellen Bar, former soloist at the NYCB, who now serves as its director of media projects, and producer of Ballet 422],” Lipes told The Daily Beast when asked how he discovered Peck’s talent. “It wasn’t until I saw him choreograph on Tiler Peck [principal dancer at the NYCB, no relation to Justin] for the first time that I knew I wanted to make a film about him.”

Make-A-Wish

Country Music's Kevin Sharp Dead

After a publicized battle with cancer.

It was a sad Easter weekend in the world of country music.  Country singer Kevin Sharp passed away at his mother’s California home on Saturday. After a long-running and high-profile battle with cancer, he died from complications from surgery. He was 43. 

After two years of chemotherapy and radiation, the after-effects of the treatment—such as stomach surgery, digestive issues, and residual issues—had been bothering the singer.  The post-cancer difficulties had left him hospitalized for ten weeks, and he came home on Good Friday.  The news had been posted on Sharp’s website

Sharp was born in Redding, California, in 1970.  He grew up in Weiser, Idaho, with seven other musical siblings, who sang together at local church functions. During his senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.  It started out with him experiencing a pain in his left leg, and he would have to sit out from sport events at his school. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Sharp was able to meet music producer David Foster and together, they worked on a demo tape, which eventually led to his signing a record deal with Asylum Records in Nashville.

Confessions of a Starlet

Lindsay’s Miscarriage Shocker

Lindsay Lohan’s OWN reality series ended Sunday night with the starlet’s bombshell reveal that she had a miscarriage, capping off a series full of personal confessions.

Like its subject, there were plenty of reasons to be both fascinated and disgusted by the OWN reality series Lindsay, about Lindsay Lohan’s attempt to restart career and remain sober. Varying opinions of whether the troubled starlet, an abuser of second chances, deserved a reality series about another comeback attempt aside, Lindsay was a remarkable celebrity docuseries.

Lindsay Lohan

OWN

It was shockingly frank. It rejected the presumption that it would be a fluffy and superficial PR vehicle, a Keeping Up with Lindsay Lohan airing on Oprah’s network rather than E!. The series served as a lens into the star’s life, showing her to be, often, unlikable and self-involved, giving a view into just how hard it has been for Lindsay Lohan to ground herself in reality after years of ringleading a personal and professional circus.

From Stud to Dud

Johnny Depp’s Mid-career Crisis

Hollywood’s most reluctant heartthrob isn’t doing so hot. With ‘Transcendence’ tanking, it seems as though America may have finally tired of the actor’s too-cool shtick.

This weekend should have been a smashing success for Johnny Depp. Transcendence, the first major release with Depp top-lining in 2014, had an all-star cast, with Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, and Paul Bettany, a Prometheus-worthy, intriguing sci-fi premise, and what’s more, for at least a portion of the movie, you could actually get a glimpse of Depp’s movie star looks, with those chiseled cheekbones and pouty lips on full display. The studio seemed to hedge its bets on Depp’s marketability—using only his face on the poster.

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Davide Lanzilao/Contrasto/Redux

But Transcendence, despite having all these things going for it, has bombed at the box office and with critics alike. At press time, it’s got a dismal 20 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and only earned a combined $12.4 million at the box office.

Enough Already

Rape Threats Over a Comic Book

After criticizing the new ‘Teen Titans’ cover, Janelle Asselin was name-called and threatened with rape. The worst part? No one is surprised.

You’ve seen this scenario before, and you’ll see it again (until more of us do something). Woman writes about something traditionally regarded as a male-orientated industry or area of interest; if she’s conveying love, she’s doing it “for attention” (so what?) or “fake” (whatever that means); if she criticizes, she’s insulting, whining, moaning, on her period; if she says anything at all, her argument or point is made invisible because her damn biology is getting in the way.

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DC

This latest incident involves Janelle Asselin, who was a DC Comics editor of something called “Batman,” a line editor at Newsrama, and so on. Needless to say, she’s got years of experience in the comic book industry, in both a creative and critical capacity. But, recently, she dared to criticize a comic book cover and drew the wrath of brave comic book fanboys.

Kate Upton Beats a Serial Cheater

In a given year, 4 percent of married people have extramarital affairs. Find out more stats about infidelity tied to the new comedy ‘The Other Woman,’ with Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton.

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