Maybe this year's Emmy statues should be made out of Valyrian steel. Game of Thrones dominated the Emmy nominations and is joined in the best drama category by the likes of Breaking Bad, True Detective and Mad Men. From the Yellow King to the Red Wedding, this is an epic era in television awesomeness.
+ Jon Hamm was nominated again this year. So the question is: Who will beat him?
Hamm has ten Emmy nominations and zero wins. Of course, as I like to remind people each year, Two and a Half Men has nine trophies and The Wire has none.
+ Emmy noms and snubs we're sad about.
+ It seems like every network is trying to get in on the demand for quality television. But can Cinemax move to the high-end when we all associate it with the rear-end?
+ Take a look at this short video showing the visual effects created for Game of Thrones.
+ And the bigger Game of Thrones gets, the more people ask George R.R. Martin when the next book is coming out, and the more dire his related threats become.
2. Penalty Kick
Germany has kicked a top U.S. spy out of the country and relations between the countries continue to be strained.
+ Everybody spies on everybody. Including you. From Vox, here are 13 ways the NSA spies on us.
3. Caught in the Middle (East)
The rocket attacks and death toll continue to rise in the Middle East. As The Atlantic's Jeff Moskowitz explains, young people are at the center of this conflict. "Perhaps the most dangerous outcome is that many on both sides could go their entire lives without saying a word to one another."
+ The Economist: From two wrongs, ruin.
+ Around the world, there are fewer wars, but still a lot less peace. And it's costing all of us, in many ways.
4. The Shirt Hits the Fan
"American Apparel has 249 stores in 20 countries; last year sales were $633 million ... Its factory workers make an average of $12 an hour, generous by industry standards." That's all good. But then there's the wild ride of the company's founder (who was recently stripped of his CEO title), Dov Charney. Here's BloomberBusinessweek's Suan Berfield on The Fall of the Sleaze King.
5. Waxing Brazilian
We now know who is in World Cup final (Argentina and Germany). And we also know who won the World Cup. Adidas.
+ InFocus has another great collection of World Cup photos.
+ Roughly translated by SB Nation, here's how Argentina's Javier Mascherano described his game-saving stop: "I do not want to be rude ... I tore the anus that play."
+ As the World Cup winds down, the Tour de France is warming up. To understand the race, you have to understand the unofficial rules.
6. Money Shots
When Facebook shelled out $1 billion for Instagram, it seemed like a high price. In retrospect, it may have been one of the best buys in recent memory. Fortune's Jessi Hempel provides and excellent snapshot of just how huge the service is, and just how much pressure is on its founders to figure out a way to turn a hyper-engaged user base into some real money.
+ The Verge: Can Snapchat make money without losing its cool? (If we can't figure out a way to make money off of people taking half-naked selfies, the Internet is doomed.)
7. Being There
Apparently, one of the reasons you're so stressed out is because you're being bombarded with bad news. (Don't blame me, I led with the Emmys.) In a recent study, "researchers questioned more than 4,500 people across the country about their reaction to last year's Boston Marathon bombing. The study found that 'people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed -- meaning they were at the site of the bombings.'"
8. Tenth Aisle Freeze Out
We're getting more into healthy eating. And that hasn't been very good news for the frozen-food industry. (Translation: Don't be surprised to see Kale Pops in the frozen food aisle ... and I'm not kidding.)
9. Baby's Got Brand
"Making six-second videos with my baby started out as fun. Then came the followers, the money, and the fame." Slate's Nick Confalone: Confessions of a Vine Dad.
+ Back when I still had some control over my kids' burgeoning personal brands, I did everything I could to exploit them for my personal gain. But, it was just my luck; my kids refused to go viral.
10. The Bottom of the News
Ever find yourself reflecting on a co-worker who has worked their way up the corporate ranks with seemingly litte talent and wondered, "How do they do it?" It could be that they know how to use the dark triad of personality traits: manipulativeness, narcissism, and antisocial behavior. (Those seem to be the same things that work in dating.)
+ Can you identify these 90s hits by listening to just one second of music?
+ How do you rate your Uber driver when he essentially kidnaps you?
+ I just took my kids to see Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time. With that in mind, here are 53 fascinating facts about Indiana Jones you probably never knew.