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Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones? | PBS Idea Channel

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If you're like us, you love watching Game of Thrones, but you may not have cable. In this case, how are we watching this amazing show on HBO, which is stuck behind a pay wall? A huge number of viewers are downloading the show illegally. But, despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records! Could it be that piracy is actually helping the show? 

How Does Glitchy Art Show Us Broken Is Beautiful? | PBS Idea Channel

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You may have noticed "glitches," where people purposely push machines to malfunction and therefore create fascinating "mistakes." Instead of being frustrated and disdainful of these errors as we usually do when our technology fails mid-workflow, we find them to be bizarrely beautiful. Why are we so interested in these images, music, or objects that are structurally or formally broken? 

How Does Steven Universe Expand Our Ideas of Family? | PBS Idea Channel

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We love Steven Universe, but what makes it so great? Is it more than just a story of mismatched characters trying to save the world? Could Steven Universe really be about family and how it's impossible to define it universally? What else, or who else, can we call family? Are fandoms family? Can things be family? 

How Is Technology Changing TV Narrative? | PBS Idea Channel

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Watching our favorite TV shows is one of the most fundamental ways we entertain ourselves. For most of TV history, these stories were simple and episodic: you could watch one episode when it aired, and it was a self-contained story. However, now that we have the ability to find the whole back- catalogue of a show online, is it changing the way TV show are created? Not only can people catch up without waiting for a DVD release, but entire seasons are also released and consumed in a single weekend. How might that be changing the types of stories we're being told?

Are the Titans from Attack on Titan Evil? | PBS Idea Channel

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The titans, from the anime series "Attack on Titan," are most definitely the bad guys. But can we call them evil? If you're unfamiliar, the titans are huge beings that devour humans, but their motivation is a little unclear. Is it just hunger? Do they hate humans? Are they just dumb? And with all this doubt, what's the use in the label of evil anyway? Nietzsche, Kant, and Jung all weigh in, but you should probably watch the episode and find out! Tell us what you think!

Is YouTube Making Us Smarter? | PBS Idea Channel

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Did you know there's a place where you can learn just about anything you'd like? It's true! It's called YouTube! Sure, YouTube has hundreds of thousands of hours of deliciously time-wasting content, but it's much more than just a black hole of pet videos and funny clips. If you know where to go, YouTube has some of the best educational content on the planet! Although watching Kahn Academy all day might be a bit dry, the creativity of YouTube creators has allowed "education" to be transformed in a variety of amazing and engaging ways. YouTube probably won't replace schools anytime soon, but it's a pretty awesome alternative. 

Are You A Hipster? | PBS Idea Channel

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Hipsters aren't the most likeable people, right? They seem so smug and arrogant, with their ray bans, scarves, and ironic t-shirts. Even those who clearly are hipsters still recoil at the label. Embracing irony over earnestness, the key to hipsters is not just what they enjoy, but how they enjoy it. Borrowing from other subcultures, hipsters reappropriate these fashion elements as their own. But don't we all do that? Our own fashion came from somewhere and certainly has been refined. Do we all have a little bit of hipster blood in us? Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

The Experience of Being Trolled | PBS Idea Channel

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In a very special episode, Mike rethinks his approach to hosting. Most of you have heard the phrase "Don't Feed the Trolls," but do trolls actually serve a purpose? Found in every place people converse online, their combative rhetoric can be annoying, even harmful. Can a valid argument be made for the value of trolls? 

How Much Can Data Improve Your Health? | PBS Idea Channel

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You may have heard of the Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, or one of the myriad of other wearable self-tracking gadgets. You might even be wearing one right now! These gadgets help track everything from hours slept, calories consumed, to number of steps taken in a given day. But, can they actually make you healthy? Sure they provide us with tons of data about our bodies, but what do we do with all that information? Is it just about the knowing? Or does this actually motivate us to change and enhance our behavior? And if it does, can that be a bad thing? 

Do You Choose To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly choose to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? 

Is There an Introvert Craze Because of Technology? | PBS Idea Channel

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Introverts are super popular right now, celebrated to the point of meme-level. Stereotypically quiet, smart, and reserved, they are often conflated with nerds, who are also currently deemed awesome according to pop culture. But why do we suddenly want to self-identify as nerds and introverts? Is this popularity connected to technology? 

Bored Americans Using Teleporters! | PBS Idea Channel

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It's time for you to put on your thinking cap, because we have three new ideas for you to consider. 1) What's so bad about being bored? 2) Why are Americans so sensitive? 3) Is that really you on the other side of the teleporter? Watch the episode and discuss it all with your fellow bored, overly-sensitive, teleportation-obsessed Americans! And tell us what you think!

Why Are You Ignoring My iMessages?? | PBS Idea Channel

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Why are you ignoring my messages? Are read receipts amazing or infuriating? When you check iMessage on your iPhone, iWatch, iMac, or iPad and see a little note that says your friend saw your message, but they aren't responding, don't you wonder why they're ignoring your texts? 

Why Makeup Isn't Superficial | PBS Idea Channel

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When someone puts on makeup, there is no easy way to know why they've done it or why they made the decisions they did about their makeup. Answers to those questions might not even be clear to the makeup-wearers themselves! After a very long history of putting stuff on our bodies to accentuate our features, cosmetics - both the products and the idea of them - have taken on a good amount of baggage. So, its tough to know... Is it for the person wearing it? Is it for the people who are going to see the person wearing it? Is it for one by way of the other? This episode of Idea Channel approaches some of these questions, inspired by beauty and makeup tutorials found on YouTube and the tradition of person-to-person sharing of makeup knowledge. 

Are There Internet Dialects? | PBS Idea Channel

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We consider ourselves natives of Internetland, which has made us wonder if there's such a thing as an internet dialect. Is there a common way of communicating through word choice, vocabulary, and how these words are arranged and used? So what is Standard Internet Speak? Acronyms, emoticons, and hashtags? Purposeful misspellings and abbreviations? 

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