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Author Neal Stephenson has decided that we all need to stop being so negative. He complains that modern science fiction—books, movies, etc.—is overstuffed with the apocalyptic and the dystopian. He thinks that what the world really needs is an optimistic vision of the future, one that can give the world's inventors a little inspiration.

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/backtoschool.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-798" title="backtoschool" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/backtoschool.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="303" /></a> <em>This guest post was written by Crystal Hall over at <span style="text-decoration:underline;color:#0000ff;"><a href="http://thebestdegrees.org"><span style="color:#0000ff;text-decoration:underline;">thebestdegress.org</span></a></span>. You can read the<span style="text-decoration:underline;color:#0000ff;"><a href="http://www.thebestdegrees.org/9-worst-cinematic-portrayals-of-college-life/"><span style="color:#0000ff;text-decoration:underline;"> full version here</span></a></span>.</em> Let's start here: you were cooler than you think in college. Although movies often rest on the assumption that their viewers will suspend disbelief for a few hours and fall into their world, some films fare better at this than others. This is not to argue that movies should all be hyper-realistic -- they're pieces of art, and there's real life for that. But there's something to be said for the hyper-ridiculous setting. Enter: the universities portrayed in the movies. And because no one wants to be bored with a list of bad flicks, we've found instead the most ridiculous. While college life may be a time of wild partying, barely making it, and coming of age, these nine movies feature the most unrealistic ("the <em>worst</em>!") cinematic portrayals of the subject. Sit back, relax, and thank your lucky stars that you didn't get your degree in one of these nine worlds.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/42372767] Neil Gaiman's commencement speech to the graduates of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, embedded above, is, much like his books, charming, enjoyable, and full of lots of legitimately good insight. Listen to the whole thing if you've got the time, but if not, at least read the best part, transcribed below. (In the clip, the below quote begins at 14:06.)

Bookbyte has been providing cheap textbooks to college students since 1999. We have a selection of millions of used college textbooks, the only rental program that pays you a rebate on return, and one of the best textbook buyback programs in the business. Here on the Bookbyte Blog , we ...

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/maurice-sendak16801050.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-717" title="Maurice-Sendak16801050" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/maurice-sendak16801050.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="337" /></a><em>Source</em>: <a href="http://www.artgalleryartist.com/wallpapers/Maurice-Sendak/index.htm">Artgalleyartist.com</a> Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of <em>Where the Wild Things Are</em>, <em>In the Night Kitchen</em>, and a bunch of other books that likely played an important role in your childhood, passed away yesterday at the age of 83.

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mega-upload-police-tape-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-667" title="mega-upload-police-tape-cropped-proto-custom_28" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mega-upload-police-tape-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="298" /></a> <em>Source</em>: <span style="color:#0000ff;"><a href="http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/megabust-feds-shut-down-megaupload-website-arrest-employees-in-massive-copyright-case.php"><span style="color:#0000ff;">Talking Points Memo IdeaLab</span></a></span> Where do you save your files? I mean the really important ones. Ones that you couldn't afford to lose if your computer went kaput. Do you have an external hard drive? Do you stash them in a cloud service like Dropbox? Or do you just keep them in "My Documents" and hope that nothing bad ever happens to your CPU?

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mass-effect-3.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-660" title="mass effect 3" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mass-effect-3.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="170" /></a> Source: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/MassEffect3.gg">http://www.facebook.com/MassEffect3.gg</a> Apparently, people hate the ending to <em>Mass Effect 3</em>. I mean really, <em>really</em> hate it. Compare the critics' reaction (who typically write reviews after only a few days of playing) to the masses' (who can submit a review whenever they want). Metacritic reports an average critic rating of 93/100 on Xbox 360, 92/100 on PS3, and 89/100 on PC. Metacritic users' respective ratings are 4.9/10, 3.8/10, and 3.8/10. People were so outraged at the ending that they flocked to The Consumerist's <a href="http://consumerist.com/2012/04/congratulations-ea-you-are-the-worst-company-in-america-for-2012.html">Worst Company in America poll</a>, voting en masse for producer Electronic Arts. EA won the poll, beating out runner-up Bank of America.

I'm sure by now many of you have already heard about the Tumblr page "Hunger Games Tweets." It's a collection of tweets by people griping about the casting of a character named Rue. You see, the film cast 13-year old actress Amandla Stenberg. The tweeters targeted by the Tumblr page bemoaned the fact that the film version of Rue just had </em>to be black.

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/marion-polk-foodshare.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-642" title="marion-polk-foodshare" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/marion-polk-foodshare.jpg" alt="" width="216" height="160" /></a> Around here we love giving back and supporting the community right here in Salem. One organization we've been happy to partner with is the <a title="Marion-Polk Food Share" href="http://www.marionpolkfoodshare.org/" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000ff;">Marion-Polk Food Share</span></a>. Each year they are able to distribute over 7.6 million pounds of food to those in need in the Willamette Valley. They run and facilitate several programs that help and support the community. Some of their programs include a community kitchen where they provide cooking classes and serve meals to those in need. They provide support to children and senior citizens through various programs as well. Working with local prisons and jails, they grow gardens for food production. This program helps provide food for the Food Share and agricultural skills to the inmates. These skills are often used to find future employment.

<a href="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/the-usual-suspects-1995-movie-image-11.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-636" title="The Usual Suspects" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/the-usual-suspects-1995-movie-image-11.jpg" alt="The Usual Suspects" width="540" height="361" /></a> <em>Source</em>: <span style="color:#0000ff;"><a title="MGM Studios" href="http://www.beyondhollywood.com/new-on-blu-ray-book-the-usual-suspects-1995/the-usual-suspects-1995-movie-image-1/" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000ff;">MGM Studios</span></a></span> Ever since I got a DVR... wait, scratch that... ever since my girlfriend's roommate got a DVR (which first introduced me to the joy of pre-recorded television), I completely stopped watching live TV.

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