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February 18, 1885: Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

On this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous–and famously controversial–novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Though Twain saw Huck’s story as a kind of sequel to his earlier book, the new novel was far more serious, focusing on the institution of slavery and other aspects of life in the antebellum South.

At the book’s heart is the journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on a raft. Jim runs away because he is about to be sold and separated from his wife and children, and Huck goes with him to help him get to Ohio and freedom. Huck narrates the story in his distinctive voice, offering colorful descriptions of the people and places they encounter along the way. The most striking part of the book is its satirical look at racism, religion and other social attitudes of the time. While Jim is strong, brave, generous and wise, many of the white characters are portrayed as violent, stupid or simply selfish, and the naive Huck ends up questioning the hypocritical, unjust nature of society in general.

Even in 1885, two decades after the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn landed with a splash. A month after its publication, a Concord, Massachusetts, library banned the book, calling its subject matter “tawdry” and its narrative voice “coarse” and “ignorant.” Other libraries followed suit, beginning a controversy that continued long after Twain’s death in 1910. In the 1950s, the book came under fire from African-American groups for being racist in its portrayal of black characters, despite the fact that it was seen by many as a strong criticism of racism and slavery. As recently as 1998, an Arizona parent sued her school district, claiming that making Twain’s novel required high school reading made already existing racial tensions even worse.

Aside from its controversial nature and its continuing popularity with young readers, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been hailed by many serious literary critics as a masterpiece. No less a judge than Ernest Hemingway famously declared that the book marked the beginning of American literature: “There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”



National Geographic Photo of the Day

Neon Nights

With raindrops no longer falling, this street in Beijing, China, hums back to life under the glow of neon signs. Your Shot photographer Caue Ferraz took this photo in the neighborhood around Jingshan Park, a 57-acre green space with views into the Forbidden City.

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Sandy Oasis

Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, is a nation of tranquility, but Sandy Island takes it to another level. This speck of sand in the bright blue waters is constantly reshaped by the ocean and weather, and visitors to the cay are encouraged to make reservations. Your Shot photographer Matthew Wade captured this shot using a drone.

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Golden Hills

Your Shot photographer Hannah Overeem captured this shot of her dog, Badger, an Australian cattle dog, in Chino Hills, California. She writes that the contrast of the golden field and blue-and-white sky give this image a “surreal” look.

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Hidden Gem

Forged by the wear of water rushing over rocks, Olo Canyon in Arizona is concealed inside the Grand Canyon. Its alluring landscape includes natural springs and rocks shaped like cathedral amphitheaters.

See more pictures from the September 2016 story "Are We Losing the Grand Canyon?"




Behind the Curtain

Circus performers in Hanoi, Vietnam, prepare for the show minutes before it gets under way. Nguyen Thi Thu Hiep, shown here stretching, is a contortionist. For extra money, she also performs at private parties and social events.

See more pictures from the September 2016 story "A Life at the Circus: Going Behind the Curtain in Vietnam."




'You Dropped Something!'

Your Shot photographer Suyash Mehta gained a souvenir from a passing eagle in Satara, India: a long feather. India is home to nearly two dozen eagle species.

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City of Sun Showers

Even in a rainstorm, Paris lives up to its nickname of the City of Light, as sun streaks through storm clouds over the city in this image by Your Shot photographer Raffaele Tuzio.

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A Flash in the Distance

Flashes of lightning illuminate the night sky above Lake Ontario, as seen from an overlook in Lyndonville, New York—located about an hour from the Canadian border at Niagara Falls.

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Flood of Color

Floods bring a mosaic of color to the rice fields of Y Ty, Vietnam. The wet season typically lasts from May to June in the mountainous village.

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A Walk on the Wild Side

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in China’s Wolong Nature Reserve. China has been creating reserves to restore and protect disappearing panda habitat and is now introducing captive-bred pandas into the wild.

See more pictures from the August 2016 feature story "Pandas Get to Know Their Wild Side."




A Popular Perch

Birds gather on a rock formation—a popular attraction for both seabirds and people—at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, California. Your Shot photographer Laurence Norah writes that it’s “a wonderful place to get the sunset … A long exposure added a slightly surreal element to the shot.”

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High-Rise and Shine

The brightly colored lights of Shinjuku, a ward of Tokyo, Japan, glitter in this double exposure by Masayuki Yamashita. The district is a bustling hub and home to what’s known as the world’s busiest railway station: Shinjuku Station, through which millions of passengers pass daily.

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Whale of a Time

A whale shark—the biggest fish in the sea—swims along, “extremely curious” about his observers. Your Shot photographer David Robinson, who researches whale shark ecology, captured this image in Qatar on a day with “great visibility” in an area with waters that are usually full of plankton.

Robinson's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Life on Mars

Your Shot member Bryan Geiger’s early morning visit to the summit area of Haleakalā volcano in Hawaii’s Haleakalā National Park yielded this extraordinary image of an otherworldly landscape. “I woke up at 3 a.m. and drove to Haleakalā summit,” Geiger writes. “As the sun came up it revealed only a white wall of mist. After a couple of hours, disappointed and cold, I decided to leave. While driving back I jumped out at the overlook to see if anything had changed. At that moment the clouds retreated and I had only an instant to snap this photo of the [alien-looking] land.”

Geiger's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Western Spirit

Framing an expansive blue sky, desert buttes, and a pair of majestic horses, Your Shot member Nora Feddal captures the essence of the American West in this image made while visiting Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which extends into both Arizona and Utah.

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Night Falls

By day, the water of Arizona's Havasu Falls is a remarkable, bright blue-green. In this image submitted by Jes Stockhausen, it’s a milky ribbon, illuminated at night by the light of a camper’s headlamps. “While camping in the Havasupai [Indian Reservation], you hear the roar of the falls 24/7. My friend and I went to see if we could see the stars and were blown away [by] the sheer darkness of the canyon. This shot was [made] with two headlamps, one at the subject’s feet and one on his head.”

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First Light

Photographer Theerasak Saksritawee submitted this photo of birds taking flight in a golden sky over Taiwan’s National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The memorial, dedicated to the former president of the Republic of China, includes gardens, ponds, and this sprawling plaza, a popular spot for national celebrations.

Saksritawee's shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen

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A Walk in the Park

Photographer Graham De Lacy captured this shot of an African elephant taking a sunny-day stroll in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve. “[It was] one of the many close encounters … I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing,” De Lacy writes. African elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth.

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Pelican Party

Pelicans, seen from above in this aerial shot submitted by Your Shot community member Stas Bartnikas, congregate on the Colorado River in Mexico. The social birds usually travel in flocks and are found on many of the world’s coastlines and along lakes and rivers.

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Lifting the Veil

A lacy veil of cigarette smoke encircles a man in Sarawak, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. “I embarked on photography trips to inland Sarawak to seek out the native people [who] preserve their way of life,” Your Shot member Jonathan Nyik Fui Tai says. ”Many of the tribes have slowly [been] assimilated into modern society.”

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Hot Rock

Spiking from inky storm clouds, a white-hot thunderbolt spears the plateau during a summer storm in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The monument comprises 300,000 unspoiled acres that cross both Arizona and Utah and contain steep cliffs, deep canyons, and sandstone formations.

Rankin’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Black Water

Seen from above, a small boat travels the Buriganga River, thick and dark with pollution, in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Though the water is filled with human and industrial waste, millions depend on it for their livelihood and transportation. “The Buriganga is economically very important to Dhaka,” Your Shot photographer Jakir Hossain Rana writes. “Launches and country boats provide a connection to other parts of Bangladesh.”

Rana’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.

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Rose-Tinted Spectacle

Sunset splashes a rosy tint over the landscape in this image submitted by Fabrizio Fortuna. The mountain is the 1,500-foot (457-meter) Vestrahorn, a main landmark of southeastern Iceland.

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Pushed for Time

“One of the best places [to photograph] in Cairo, Egypt, is the camels market,” writes Your Shot member Nader Saadallah. “At this moment, the camels’ keepers and sellers [are] trying to push the camel into their vehicle to send it to the local market to be slaughtered to be ready for customers.”

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Old Guard

“Hundreds of old cypresses guard the perimeter of Lake Camécuaro and its turquoise-colored, crystal clear water,” Javier Eduardo Alvarez writes of this photo he made of the small Mexican lake, popular for its picturesque beauty. “This place is magical.”

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our storytelling community where members can take part in photo assignments, get expert feedback, be published, and more. Join now >>




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Mashable

Man eats all the food in 'Lord of the Rings' in tribute to his late father

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Second breakfast. Elevenses. Luncheon. Afternoon tea. Dinner. Supper.

It was all consumed by one dedicated Lord of the Rings fan, who created a themed 14-course menu that mirrors the food eaten by characters in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy — and it was all for a very important reason.

SEE ALSO: Harry Potter-themed cruise is something you definitely want to go on, stat

UK writer Nate Crowley commemorated one year since his father passed away with a back-to-back marathon of all three films from The Lord of the Rings — paired with a 14-course menu reflecting exactly what was eaten on screen. Read more...

More about Watercooler, Food, Food And Drink, Lord Of The Rings, and The Lord Of The Rings


Put your vital signs on show with this ultrathin, stick-on skin display

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There's a glut of devices out there designed to tell all sorts of things about your bodies, but few you'd want stuck to your body for very long.

Perhaps with that in mind, engineering researchers at the University of Tokyo and Dai Nippon Printing have developed an ultrathin display which sticks to skin.

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It's made up of a 16x24 array of micro LEDs, stretchable wiring, all mounted onto a rubber sheet. Researchers say the display will last on your skin for a week without causing inflammation. 

Image: Takao Someya Research Group.

Of course, it isn't the first stretchable display around. What researchers say makes this different is its durability on skin, claiming it can be expanded up to 45 percent more than its original length. Read more...

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There's finally a board game powered by Amazon Alexa

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Your next family game night could include Amazon Alexa. 

Game manufacturer Sensible Objects has released When in Rome, the first board game to incorporate Alexa. 

Through your Amazon Echo device, Alexa teaches you the rules, keeps track of the score, and guides you through the game. 

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The game is pretty simple. Players sit around a world map, and each places their marker on a "home city" to start. 

Players then travel around the map to various major cities. As your marker enters each city, Alexa asks you questions about that city's weather, customs, food, culture, and more. The questions range from easy ("Is San Francisco foggy?") to difficult ("Which of these is not a real pub?").  Read more...

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'Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman hands over mask to Victor Oladipo

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It was a slam dunk for Wakanda on Saturday night, as Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman bestowed his own character's mask on Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo.

SEE ALSO: These two guys tried that 'tall man in a trenchcoat trick' to see 'Black Panther'

Black Panther co-stars Boseman and Michael B. Jordan sat courtside at the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk championship at Staples Center on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Aw. Chadwick Boseman, Victor Oladipo and Michael B. Jordan.

Aw. Chadwick Boseman, Victor Oladipo and Michael B. Jordan.

Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

During the game, Boseman presented Pacers guard Oladipo with his own Black Panther mask, to the sheer delight of the crowd. Read more...

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These two guys tried that 'tall man in a trenchcoat trick' to see 'Black Panther'

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Marvel's latest hit Black Panther has audiences and critics swooning, and some people will do anything to see it.

That includes moviegoers resorting to tactics you'd only see in cartoons, a la Vincent Adultman from Bojack Horseman.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know before watching 'Black Panther'

As per a video by Twitter user @steveslikecups posted on Saturday, two people were spotted in a trenchcoat trying to score themselves a "two for one special" to the movie. 

We tried getting the two for one special at black panther. The manager was not having itpic.twitter.com/Ktqsuh7s3m

— Pillsbury (@stevelikescups) February 16, 2018 Read more...

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Twitter trolls are using the latest iOS bug to crash iPhones

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It looks like trolls are exploiting the latest iPhone bug to make life very difficult for Twitter users.

Earlier in the week, yet another iPhone-crashing iOS bug surfaced. For some reason, a single character from the Indian Telugu language will cause whatever app it's viewed in to crash repeatedly.

SEE ALSO: It's not just you: Apple's software is buggier than it used to be — here's how they fix it

Apple has said it's aware of the issue and plans to fix it in an upcoming update, but the issue has proved to be particularly problematic on Twitter. As word of yet another crash-inducing bug has begun to spread, it appears that some Twitter users are using it to their advantage. Read more...

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Adam Rippon just won a different kind of Olympic prize: A spot on NBC

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Adam Rippon may be done skating at this year's Winter Olympics, but thankfully that doesn't mean we've seen the last of him.

In addition to winning a bronze medal in the team skating event, the 28-year-old figure skater has made headlines both as one of two openly gay U.S. male athletes competing in Pyeongchang and for speaking up to Vice President Mike Pence in support of LGBTQ rights. 

Oh, also for his sass — an element of his personality that will likely be on full display as he spends the rest of the Olympics working as an NBC correspondent.  

SEE ALSO: Adam Rippon is an immortal witch

That's right, NBC offered Rippon a gig, and according to USA Today Sports he accepted. That means we'll see his beauty on TV, digital streams, and social media.  Read more...

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Now you can shoot enemies out of the sky like Iron Man using augmented reality

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Every New York Toy Fair is a constant reminder that kids are so friggin' lucky these days.

Take the Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man AR Experience role-playing mask (yes, that's what it's called) Hasbro just announced. It's no ordinary mask. Slap a phone inside and put on the gauntlet and you can actually blow up enemies in augmented reality.

SEE ALSO: Behold: Lego's 1,400-piece 'Kessel Run Millennium Falcon' in all of its glory

The toy is the latest attempt by a company to fuse traditional toys with the latest technology. Years ago it was simply creating an app for a toy and now it's augmented reality. Read more...

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Anyone can use Facebook to boost a message. Even Russian agents.

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There's no longer any question at all: Russians meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, and they relied on social media tools we can all use.

Facebook and its photo-sharing site, Instagram, are mentioned dozens of times in the indictment handed down Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller. Twitter, YouTube, and PayPal are also mentioned at various points. 

SEE ALSO: The 9 craziest things from latest Mueller indictment against Russian trolls

Mueller, for those catching up, was appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to investigate alleged foreign meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The Friday indictment is only the latest development in the lengthy process of disentangling who interfered and how they did it. Read more...

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Apple's slow iPhone X sales are hurting Samsung too

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It's not just Apple feeling the effects of lackluster iPhone X sales.

Samsung is also now grappling with the same problem. Since Apple relies on the Korean tech giant for the iPhone X's expensive display panels, it is now searching for a new buyer, according to a report from Nikkei.

SEE ALSO: Why Apple doesn't need to sell more iPhones anymore

This new development follows earlier reports that Apple was cutting production of the iPhone X after slowing sales. 

The problem for Samsung, though, is that it's proving more difficult than expected to find takers for the leftover OLED display panels originally intended for the iPhone X. Nikkei reports that Samsung had been counting on other smartphone-makers to follow Apple's lead and start using the more expensive OLED displays. Read more...

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Researchers discover hidden details lurking beneath a Picasso masterpiece

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There are many layers to great art — sometimes literally. 

We are reminded of this fact by researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago's Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, who have revealed hidden details lurking beneath the Pablo Picasso masterpiece "La miséreuse accroupie." 

SEE ALSO: This app tells you which museum art you look like and it's way too real

While the presence of another artwork — specifically, a painting of the Catalan countryside by a different artist — below Picasso's "Crouching Beggar" has been known about since the 1990s, Science reports that we now are able to see previously hidden elements of Picasso's work.  Read more...

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Google tests its answer to Apple's screenshot-editing tools

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One of the best features in iOS 11 was the addition of new markup features that made it much easier to edit screenshots without having to go find them in the Photos app. Now, Google is coming out with its own take.

Android already includes ways to do this, but — like so much of Android — it depends on which phone you have since it's not an official part of the operating system. 

SEE ALSO: Download this: Microsoft's new app makes photo transfers much easier

The latest beta for the Google app on Android includes new screenshot-editing tool that functions very similarly to Apple's markup tool. Once enabled, the app will surface a prompt after you take a screenshot anywhere in the Google app.  Read more...

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Parkland shooting survivors call for a march on Washington, D.C.

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They will be heard. 

Less than a week after the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, survivors have announced a march on Washington D.C. to demand an end to gun violence. 

SEE ALSO: Emma Gonzalez has no time for NRA-funded politics. 'We call BS,' she screamed.

The call went out on Sunday morning talk shows, the BBC reports, with students and parents coming together under the banner of March For Our Lives. Planned for March 24 in both D.C. and in other communities around the country, the goal is to force collective action on gun control.

"Not one more," reads the group's mission statement. "We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students." Read more...

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'Black Panther' just had the biggest box office debut ever for a Marvel solo movie

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Excited for Black Panther? So are we. Which is why we're rolling out obsessive coverage with Black Panther Week.  

We knew Black Panther would be a hit. And now, the box office figures are here to prove it.

The latest chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe opened with an estimated $218 million earned over the weekend, including Monday's holiday. That's enough to give King T'Challa's adventures in Wakanda a second-place finish among all other MCU movie openings.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know before watching 'Black Panther'

Black Panther's Friday-Saturday-Sunday opening accounts for an estimated $192 million. That's just enough to secure an all time top-five finish among Friday-Saturday-Sunday opening weekends, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million), Jurassic World ($208.8 million), and The Avengers ($207.4 million).  Read more...

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Why has 'Phantom Thread' given us so many great memes?

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Spoilers follow for Phantom Thread, so if you've yet to see that beauty, go do that.

Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread is more than an exceptional film. It's also a surprising fount of memes.

On its face, the Paul Thomas Anderson movie doesn't seem like it would inspire such a wide range of jokes. The 1950s period piece tells the story of genius dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock's torrid love affair with the passionate and challenging Alma Elson. They circle each other like rival sharks as their relationship gets more nuanced and complicated.

And then Alma starts poisoning Reynolds to balance out the power dynamics. And it seems to work for them! Read more...

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The best VPNs for Mac users looking for privacy

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Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to start using a virtual private network or VPN. VPNs offer many benefits, like getting around geographic restrictions for streaming content. 

They can also help protect your privacy and make browsing more secure (though it's always a good idea to vet your VPN provider's claims carefully — some do a better a job than others).

SEE ALSO: Do you need a VPN? Quite possibly. Here's why. Read more...

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Emma Gonzalez has no time for NRA-funded politics. 'We call BS,' she screamed.

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Remember the name Emma Gonzalez. She surely has many more speeches to come.

In the aftermath of last week's shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and survivor stepped up during an anti-gun rally to deliver a fiery speech. Like so many others, Gonzalez is fed up. She's seen firsthand the desperate need for tighter gun controls, and she understands the political machinations that prevent such changes from happening.

SEE ALSO: After Florida shooting, gun control becomes a global conversation

It's a powerful moment. You should watch for yourself.

"They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS!" Florida high school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez calls on President Trump and lawmakers to tighten gun restrictions in impassioned speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale https://t.co/DgnqrrVs9x

— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2018 Read more...

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Behold: Lego's 1,400-piece 'Kessel Run Millennium Falcon' in all of its glory

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Think you know everything there is to know about Han Solo's legendary Millennium Falcon? Think again.

At New York Toy Fair, we got a sneak peek of the famed space freighter as we'll see it in Solo, back when it belonged to Lando Calrissian. Serious fans will have the opportunity to build it themselves in Lego form — and let's just say O-M-G!

SEE ALSO: Han Solo's BFF Chewbacca is now the cutest, cuddliest toy in the galaxy

Lego's released several brick versions of the Millennium Falcon before — there's the $800, 7,500-piece version and 1,400-piece edition from The Force Awakens — but this new "Kessel Run Millennium Falcon" coming out in April for $170 is the first time we're seeing it with its original paint job. Read more...

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Somebody finally made motorized Heelys, and they look pretty fun TBH

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Remember Heelys, those horrendously unsafe sneakers with the built-in wheels that were popular in the early 2000s?

Yeah, they're back from the graveyard... sorta. Razor (not to be confused with Razer) has taken the same concept of wheels-on-heels and motorized the whole dang thing.

SEE ALSO: Lego unveils 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' sets and we're pretty darn excited

Their $130 footwear contraption is called Turbo Jetts (with two T's). On one foot is an 80-watt, gear-driven motor with a battery capable of propelling you up to 10 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Its max weight limit is 176 pounds. Read more...

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The next generation of work perks ironically focus on work-life balance

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While Amazon continues its search for the next North American city to host its second headquarters, the online shopping company is no doubt also looking at what to include in the future HQ2 building no matter where it is. Its workplace amenities will help recruit talent and keep them at the company. Just look at its Seattle campus with its giant, bio-dome spheres.

But putting in some bean bags and a foosball table won't cut it anymore. Perks need to be built into the building, whether it's a state-of-the-art gym, infrared spa, or forest sanctuary.

SEE ALSO: Sorry LA, here's where experts think Amazon will put its second headquarters Read more...

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.tech could be the next big domain extension — and you can get on board now

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’ve tried to get a .com domain name, you know that getting your first — or second, or third — pick can be almost impossible. How in the world was [insert your name].com taken?!

But you're not aloneAccording to get.tech, 65% of people don’t get the domain name of their dreams. Maybe you’ve settled for a .net instead. Or even had to rename your product or business due to domain unavailability, like 32% of people (lame).  Read more...

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Watch Lupita Nyong'o and Letitia Wright freestyle a 'Black Panther' inspired rap

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The best freestyle rapper in Wakanda is clearly Letitia Wright.

Celebrating the release of the already-smash-hit Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, co-stars  Lupita Nyong'o and Letitia Wright decided to share a few impromptu bars. 

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons why ‘Black Panther’ scored big with fans and critics

The Black Panther lives... and so does Troublemaker! Introducing MC Underbite (@LetitiaWright), best freestyler in Wakanda. All cred to my girl @RobynHoodmusic for the original inspiration and my bars
Happy #BlackPantherDay! #BlackPanther 🎵🎶 @travbryanmusic pic.twitter.com/pIwO9DNBfP

— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) February 16, 2018 Read more...

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Elon Musk gets permission to do a little digging for his Hyperloop

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It's been far easier for Elon Musk to send a rocket to the Mars than move a pebble in Washington, D.C.

That could be changing, according to The Washington Post. The SpaceX entrepreneur's tunnel digging company, The Boring Company, recently received vague permission to do some exploratory digging at 53 New York Avenue NE.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Even Elon Musk was starstruck during the Falcon Heavy launch

Musk is hoping to build a high speed hyperloop between New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and D.C. The loop will be capable of moving passengers at very high speeds thanks to depressurized tubes and magnet-levitated pods.  Read more...

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Models rocked 'vagina mohawks' so hard at New York Fashion Week

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Pubic hair is making a beautifully punk comeback, and it's long overdue.

The last time the fashion world did anything of significance with women's pubic hair was in 2015 with vajazzling. Thankfully, fashion designer KAIMIN broke the dry spell at the latest New York Fashion Week with a runway show featuring a diverse array of ... vagina wigs.

SEE ALSO: Bakery has perfect response to people who thought this cake looked like a vagina

KAIMIN says he grounded his show in diversity and tolerance. That principle extends to one of the most stigmatized parts of the female body, and the artificial hair that is sometimes used to cover them: merkins. Read more...

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Google's firing of James Damore was legal, according to a federal labor agency

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A federal agency has found that Google was well within its legal rights to fire James Damore in 2017.

The company dismissed its former engineer after he wrote a paper arguing that woman aren't as biologically equipped for leadership roles as men. Damore filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board after his firing, but a newly released January memo from the agency sides with Google.

SEE ALSO: We need to change the way we talk about women in tech

As NLRB legal counsel Jayme L. Sophir wrote on Jan. 16: "While much of [Damore's] memorandum was likely protected, the statements regarding biological differences between the sexes were so harmful, discriminatory, and disruptive as to be unprotected." Read more...

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Very embarrassing mom Sally Field tries to set her son up with Adam Rippon on Twitter

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Actor Sally Field is not shy about landing her son a date, even if it involves completely revealing his Olympic crush to the entire world. 

"Find a way," Field told her son Sam Greisman after he revealed to her that his Olympic crush was USA figure skater and internet heartthrob Adam Rippon. But when Griesman's way wasn't enough for Field, she took things into her own hands.

SEE ALSO: Adam Rippon is an immortal witch

On Friday evening, Greisman tweeted a screenshot of a text with his mother. "Just some really helpful advice from my mom on how to deal with my Olympic crush," he wrote, blocking out the part where he reveals his crush is Rippon. Read more...

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Twitter is finally ending support for its unpopular Mac desktop app

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On Friday, Twitter announced that it would be shutting down work on its Mac desktop app, to the dismay of, err, no one.

Users have 30 days, starting on Feb. 16, before the app will no longer be supported, Twitter said.

SEE ALSO: How I cleaned up my embarrassing Twitter history

"We're focusing our efforts on a great Twitter experience that's consistent across platforms," Twitter Support wrote in a tweet. "So, starting today the Twitter for Mac app will no longer be available for download, and in 30 days will no longer be supported."

The app hadn't exactly been flourishing in recent years, scoring a dismal 1.7 out of 5 in the App Store. Twitter had outsourced the development of the app to a studio in Seattle called Black Pixel. Read more...

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This dog's heartwarming rescue from a New York subway tunnel will bring you happy tears

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One lucky pup found compassiom in a most unlikely place: The New York City subway.

Dakota, aka Loppy the dog, was playing with her dog walker at a park in Brooklyn on Friday when the pooch managed to escape. Frightened, the poor pup ran to a place that she knew — the Jay St. station — and ended up inside the dangerous subway tunnel.

SEE ALSO: How this startup is trying to bring dog toys into the 21st century

"It’s a familiar place for her, we commute together every day. She entered, ran across the platform, and at some point either fell or jumped in," Dakota's owner, Caroline Francis, posted to her Facebook.  Read more...

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There's a striking difference between Obama and Trump's responses to school shootings

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On Friday, President Donald Trump visited Parkland, Florida in the wake of a school shooting in a high school that left 17 people dead. But Trump has faced criticism over the way he carried himself during that visit.

After an awkward meeting with first responders, the president and first lady Melania Trump stood together for a friendly photo op, which in itself seems insensitive. Trump had a huge smile on his face in the photo, and flashed his now signature thumbs up.

Trump updated his Twitter cover photo with the picture from the meeting Friday evening.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump contradicts himself on gun violence and mental illness Read more...

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Activists are registering voters at 'Black Panther' screenings for #WakandaTheVote

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It's rare that blockbuster movies do anything to move culture forward besides make people really annoying on Twitter.

Ben Shapiro rants aside, Black Panther is a lovely exception. Activists Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba from the Movement for Black Lives' Electoral Justice Project recently launched #WakandaTheVote to help register voters at Black Panther screenings across the country. 

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know before watching 'Black Panther'

"This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda," the activists told Blavity. "We know that for some it's a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it! This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice." Read more...

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