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The Stories You Meant to Read This Week, Summarized

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If you're anything like me, you wake up in the morning and immediately start reading your email and social feeds. (I know it's not good for me, but whatever -- it's just what I do in the morning.)

I end up finding five or six stories I want to read, only have time to scan two before I have to get going, so I leave the rest for later. 

Then I get to work and the same thing happens: I read the news, get stories forwarded to me, and IMs with links of stuff to read. Then I get home and I find even more links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. (A lot of those pervade the workday, too.)

My point? There's a lot of not-critical-but-really-interesting-stuff to read.

And at the end of the week, I probably only end up reading about half of it. The other 50% kind of just fall through the cracks.

This post is designed to catch that stuff that fell through the cracks. The stories you meant to read -- you wanted to read -- but you just forgot, ran out of time, accidentally X'd out the tab, whatever. 

With that in mind, here are some of the top interesting/cool/funny stories that graced my social feeds, IMs, email, etc. this week -- accompanied by short summaries so you're up to speed quickly. Never run out of cocktail party fodder again.

Online Sales for Girl Scout Cookies Are ApprovedNew York Times

You're totally not losing 10 pounds next year.

In 2015, coconut covered balls of sugar are just a click and a credit card away, with the Girl Scouts finally being approved to sell their cookies online (with the permission of a parent, of course). They're calling it "Digital Cookie," and it's expected to be a boon for business as well as an opportunity for the young ladies to flex their entrepreneurial muscles and tout their digital savvy.

Stephen Colbert Explains Why The Controversial New 'Star Wars' Lightsaber Is 'Perfect', Business Insider

The internet (okay, pretty much Reddit and Twitter) worked themselves into a tizzy when the trailer for the latest Star Wars installment showed a new lightsaber that features a beam running sideways across the hilt at the top of the saber's handle. Geeks everywhere decried the design change, but none funnier than Stephen Colbert, who used physics and whiteboarding to defend the weapon's "perfect" design.

Need an Ugly Christmas Sweater? Now You Can Rent One, Today

Not even ugly Christmas sweaters are immune from "disruption." If you need an ugly Christmas sweater, you don't have to buy one. You can rent one on Rent the Runway.

A 4-day rental costs $15, plus $5 for insurance. And then $10 for shipping and tax. So $30. Or you could just buy one for $30 and treasure it forever.

China Bans Wordplay in Attempt at Pun Control, The Guardian

Their title, not mine.

In an attempt to get ahead of ‘cultural and linguistic chaos,’ China's State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has banned wordplay. While the administration leans on the power of idioms in the Chinese language to back up their decision, detractors lean on it to poke holes.

"That’s the most ridiculous part of this," said Beijing Capital Normal University's academic director for CET Chinese Studies, David Moser. "[wordplay] is so much part and parcel of Chinese heritage.” 

“But I wonder if this is not a preemptive move," he continued, "an excuse to crack down for supposed ‘linguistic purity reasons’ on the cute language people use to crack jokes about the leadership or policies. It sounds too convenient.”

Case Highlighted in Serial Podcast Moves Through Appeal, Time

Listeners of the smash hit podcast Serial should soon expect to hear the results of Adnan Syed's appeal. The appeal rests on the belief Syed had ineffective counsel, namely that Syed’s attorney failed to interview a witness who claimed she was with Syed at the time of the crime -- a critical component of the case considering there was no eye witness that tied Syed to the crime.

Syed’s lawyer, C. Justin Brown, commented on the impact the podcast may have on the appeal:

“The Court of Special Appeals has shown some interest in the case and asked the state to respond to our application, which is more than they usually do in this procedural posture. But I truly think the appellate courts make their decisions based on the merits of the case, and not the popularity of a podcast.”

Syed was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, and false imprisonment in 2000. He was sentenced to life in prison. 

Data Breach Sets Off Upheaval at Sony PicturesThe Wall Street Journal

A hacking group, The Guardians of Peace, effectively hacked Sony Pictures -- leaking information from executive pay, to health care records, to upcoming films. Sony is working with the FBI and a cyber security company, but they are concerned more leaks may be coming.

Alright, so these are the stories that kept popping up in my world this week. But your networks probably have a lot of other interesting stories surfacing -- so I'm hoping now you all leave some of the most interesting stories from your week below (with a quick summary). Whatd'ya say?

Happy Friday, everyone -- have a fun weekend.

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