Explainer of the Day

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In the early 19th century, French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville visited America to observe its political system in action.

In the early 21st century, French journalism student Lorena Galliot visited Williamsburg, Brooklyn to observe... its hipsters.

"The Hipster Hunt" chronicles her attempts to pin down the elusive definition of "hipster," much to the chagrin of the actual hipsters she's interviewing.

[kottke.]

Expletive-Fueled Explainer of the Day

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Expletive-Fueled Explainer of the Day: An Irishman Abroad offers a thoughtful yet succinct explanation of why so people are so mad at Wall Street, which, naturally, requires the employment of myriad swear words.

[cyn-c.]

Book Trailer of the Day

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Book Trailer of the Day: Procrastinate a little while longer and watch this video about procrastination, which is actually a smart promotion for David McRaney's new book You Are Not So Smart -- "a book about all the wonderful ways you delude yourself everyday."

[devour.]

Explainer of the Day

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Explainer of the Day: At a campaign event in Andover, Mass. last month, Harvard law professor, consumer advocate, newly christened Scott Brown challenger, and all-around awesome person Elizabeth Warren clearly and thoughtfully slams the suggestion that taxing millionaires and billionaires

Explainer of the Day

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Explainer of the Day: JESS3 uses puppets to help ESPN explain how the TV ratings system works. 

With direction to create something reminiscent of "Schoolhouse Rock," meets "Sesame Street," JESS3 created a five-minute animation with an old-school, 1970’s ESPN SportsCenter vibe to walk viewers through the television ratings process.

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Explainer of the Day

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Explainer of the Day
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Explainer of the Day: Apparently quite a few people reported reading tweets about today's East Coast earthquake before feeling it themselves.

xkcd prophetically explained this phenomenon in an April 2010 strip entitled "Seismic Waves":

Pottermore Explainer of the Day

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Pottermore Explainer of the Day
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Pottermore Explainer of the Day: So J.K. Rowling's mysterious "Pottermore" project was (mostly) unveiled today, and it seems early reports that it would be an online gaming experience were only partially correct.

While Pottermore is indeed an "online experience," which revolves around the premiere of the Harry Potter books in eBook form, its "gaming