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How To Combat Harassment Online

Online harassment is an increasingly contentious issue, with social media sites like Twitter and Reddit pressured to crack down on users’ abusive behavior. Here are The Onion’s tips for combating harassment online:

Strongside/Weakside: Deshaun Watson

After leading his team to victory in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Clemson University quarterback Deshaun Watson announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Is he any good?

A Timeline Of Trump’s Relationship With The Press

President-elect Donald Trump routinely insists that he is treated unfairly by the press, while many in the news industry have openly expressed how difficult it can be to report on him in today’s chaotic media environment. Here is a timeline of the major events that have shaped this relationship.

Fisher-Price Releases New In Utero Fetal Activity Gym

EAST AURORA, NY—Touting it as the perfect tool for entertaining and stimulating the fetus during gestation, Fisher-Price announced the release Wednesday of a new in utero activity gym. “Whether they’re batting at the friendly toucans in order to harden their cartilage into bone or tapping the multicolored light-up palm tree to test out their sense of vision once their eyes open at 28 weeks, the Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Prenatal Activity Gym is guaranteed to give your fetus a head start and keep it happy and occupied,” said director of marketing Kevin Goldbaum.

The Pros And Cons Of Universal Basic Income

As Finland tests a program to give a universal basic income to unemployed citizens, many wonder if a similar initiative could work in the United States. Here are some pros and cons of such a program:

What Compromising Information Does Russia Have On Donald Trump?

On Tuesday, it was reported that leaders of American intelligence agencies had given Donald Trump a memo advising that Russia had gathered compromising personal information about him as part of a wider effort to disrupt the election, though these claims remain unsubstantiated and both the president-elect and the Kremlin deny these reports. Here’s a look at what damaging information Russia may have in its possession.

Treat Yourself Right

This past year was a tough time for Smoove. You may remember that early on in the year, my favorite white silk suit was ruined by my dry cleaner. Not only did this mean losing one of my freshest outfits, but it also meant having to search for a new cleaner, as the trust between us had been broken beyond repair. The search for a new dry cleaner was ultimately successful, but it was long and exhausting.
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Exhausted Video Editor Can't Tell If Blooper Reel Is Funny Anymore

LOS ANGELES—Video editor Scott Lessner, after working all weekend to meet a deadline for the upcoming Spike TV special, Wait, Did I Just See That?!? World's Zaniest Bloopers And Other Outrageous $%#!! Caught On Tape, reported Monday that he had all but lost his "usually rock-solid" ability to judge the comic merits of various on-camera glitches, blunders, and practical jokes.

Lessner struggles to cull the best footage from a wealth of "Grade-A" bloopers.

"I'm a pro—I should be able to do this," said a visibly weary Lessner, 46, who in the past has proven his video-blooper editing chops on America's Funniest Home Videos and TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes.

"Is the KCBS newscaster farting on-air funnier than the Taiwanese interviewer doing the same thing?" said Lessner, jogging back and forth between the footage on his computer. "The KCBS woman's fart has great timbre and texture, so that's a plus. But then the other one's got the funny foreign language and he's obviously deeply embarrassed. They're both money in the bank. I just can't think objectively."

Lessner, who said he started the weekend session laughing at the abundance of "blooper gold," soon lost all perspective when faced with the task of condensing the more than 86 hours of footage—most of which was "almost indistinguishably hilarious"—into a single 26-minute special by his strict Sunday deadline.

"I knew I was starting to lose my edge when that puppy peeing on the talk-show host failed to make me laugh," said the sleep-deprived Lessner. "That's network-caliber funny."

A tape of over 60 weather-segment gaffes caused the veteran editor particular consternation.

"How do you choose?" Lessner said. "You got the guy falling over in a hurricane, sure, but then you got the wacky rapping weatherman, or the reporter getting blasted by a snowblower, then there's the wrong bluescreen coming up behind the Oklahoma meteorologist—plus 50 some-odd others that are equally as good. Or at least seem to be. I can't even fucking see straight."

Lessner's traditionally dead-on sound-effect sensibilities also came into question when he struggled between the tweet-tweet and the classic "ah-ooo-gah" sound effects for a shot of a man hitting himself in the head with his own bowling ball.

One of more than 150 local-news-related blunders, flubs, and gaffes Lessner had to work with.

"I never noticed before, but if you play the 'boing' sound effect over and over, it starts to lose all meaning," Lessner said.

At approximately 3 a.m. Sunday morning, the increasingly stress-addled Lessner combined footage of a 1991 elephant attack on a young girl at a zoo in Tacoma, WA with the novelty hit "Baby Elephant Walk," but quickly discarded it when he realized that the gory footage was inappropriate for comedic purposes.

As the weekend drew to a close, Lessner's impending deadline began to try his usually cool demeanor.

"When somebody screws up on camera this bad, they should be fired," said Lessner, gesturing angrily at a botched local-news cooking segment. "I mean, my God, that entire table fell over. Why would you lean on it? You're supposed to be a professional. And what do they do? They laugh. Disgraceful."

By weekend's end, Lessner said that he had cobbled together a serviceable rough cut, but still had deep reservations about whether he had created the most inspired and well-paced blooper reel possible.

"This is the sort of thing you really need to walk away from for a while and come back to with fresh eyes," Lessner said. "But the blooper business is about getting the laughs out to the public in a hurry."

Lessner stopped suddenly and raised his hand to his head. "The shot of that woman's wedding dress falling down would have been the perfect place to use a slide whistle."

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