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Iran

  1. Gaming

    Iranian League of Legends Tournament Bans a Bunch of Female Characters for Being Too Revealing

    For a fighting game, League of Legends has a surprisingly decent ratio of female champions to male -- at 39 out of 104 it's not completely even, but it's better than the standard "token broad" you get in most fighting games. So it's a pretty huge bummer that an unofficial LoL tournament in Iran felt it necessary to ban most of the female champions from the tourney.

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  2. Weird

    Iran Rolls Out Teams of Snipers to Battle Enormous Mutant Rats

    The Iranian capitol of Tehran is suffering from a pest problem we don't envy -- Rodents of Unusual Size have come to plague the city. While they're not the nearly human sized creatures native to the Fire Swamp, Iranian officials have reported that the "genetically mutated" creatures weigh in at up to 11 pounds. That's larger than some of the cats that prowl the city's streets, and big enough to warrant government backed teams of snipers whose job is to hunt down the voluminous vermin, because of course they're resistant to traditional poison. Of course they are.

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  3. Space

    Iranian President Wants To Be Shot Into Space, John McCain Takes Opening For Monkey Joke

    Iran's Mehr News agency is reporting that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has volunteered to be the first Iranian citizen launched into space. Say what you will about Ahmadinejad, who is a world-class jag by pretty much any metric you might care to use, but that's a pretty brave move, considering there are significant questions about whether Iran is even capable of launching a monkey into space and retrieving it safely. Representatives of the U.S. government have already responded to Ahmadinejad's orbital aspirations through the accepted diplomatic channels, which in this case is apparently "monkey joke on Twitter."

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  4. Space

    Iran Put A Monkey In Space, And Apparently Got It Back Safely, Too

    Reuters is reporting that the aerospace arm of Iran's defense ministry has successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, thereby pushing Iran's young space program leaps and bounds forward, all the way into the 1950s. We would say welcome to the party, Iran, but frankly, the idea of you having rockets really just makes everyone uncomfortable, so... come in if you have to, I guess?

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  5. Science

    Oh Me, Oh My, Rare Tumor Causes Hair to Grow on Man’s Eye

    Human hair has that unique quality of being both a blessing and a curse. While it gifts us with luscious locks that can make others swoon, hair also has the inconvenient habit of sprouting out of places we'd rather not have it grow -- typically resulting in the reluctant use of tweezers that leaves us whimpering like a child. Still, perhaps we should be fortunate that rogue strands of hair aren't growing on more sensitive parts of our face, like, say, our very eyes. A 19-year-old man from Iran learned in the most startling way possible that, thanks to a rare tumor known as a limbal dermoid on the surface of his eyeball, hair can grow wherever it damn well pleases.

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  6. Tech

    Worst. Present. Ever: Christmas Sees New Stuxnet Attack For Iran

    This Christmas, Iran -- whose ruling regime is on any number of naughty lists around the world -- got another dose of the gift that keeps on giving. Like a flareup of digital herpes, the Stuxnet virus apparently reared its ugly head once again, with Iranian media announcing on Christmas day that the virus had been causing trouble for industries including  power plants in the south of the nation over the last few months.

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  7. Entertainment

    Iran Launches Own Version of YouTube, We Look Forward to Iranian Cat Videos

    Iran keeps a pretty tight lock on what they allow on the Internet over there, and sites like YouTube generally don't make the cut. YouTube has been censored there since 2009, but Iran has launched their own version of the video-sharing site called Mehr. The government has not said if, or how heavily censored Mehr will be, but with any luck the Iranian Nyan Cat will have is day.

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  8. Tech

    Iran Only Blocked Gmail Because They Couldn’t Figure Out How to Just Block YouTube

    It appears that Iran has today pulled back the block it had in place on Gmail, which the country put in place a week ago. We'd originally suggested that Iran didn't truly understand the implications of their action, but it seems that they totally did: They just didn't know how to stop it. That anti-Islam clip was the intended target, but the country didn't know how to only block YouTube. To be fair, this type of digital incompetence is present universally, but it's more prevalent in countries prone to censorship.

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  9. Tech

    Estonia Somehow Tops Internet Freedom Chart, Has Least Amount of Digital Tomfoolery

    This is Estonia. For those that might not know, Estonia is a small country that sits on top of Latvia and has Finland across a bit of water directly to the north. According to the most recent assessment by Freedom House, an advocacy group that unsurprisingly focuses on exactly what you might think, Estonia is also the country that provides the best, most unrestricted access to the Internet. That's right: A former Soviet republic tops the charts of digital freedom.

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  10. Tech

    Iran to Block Google, Doesn’t Seem to Understand Implications

    Censorship of the Internet isn't something that's new in Iran. Their new plan to block Google indefinitely, however, is probably the worst instance of this to date. This ostensibly relates back to the anti-Islam clip that fueled attacks on United States embassies and consulates, but more than likely has to do with the fact that Iran likes to keep their citizens on a strict leash. What they don't seem to understand is that blocking Google means blocking everything associated with it to boot, like Google Maps, Drive, Calendar, and so on. More sinister is the thought that, perhaps, they actually do, and that's the goal.

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  11. Gaming

    Blizzard Blocks Iranians From World of Warcraft

    There are some pretty heavy economic sanctions businesses have to deal with under United States law. A number of these have to deal with Iran, because the US isn't what you'd call a fan of their government. However, digital goods and the like have a tendency to be mostly ignored; this isn't because they aren't against the law, per se, but because it's a difficult thing to effectively track and stop. In order to comply with these sanctions, however, it looks like Blizzard has finally blocked access for Iranians to World of Warcraft.

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  12. Gaming

    Report: Iranian Government Blocking Battle.net Due to Promotion of Superstition and Mythology

    When it comes to Iran and the Internet, we never quite know what to expect, but we can usually assume that it's never anything good regarding digital freedom. A Tehran Blizzard player posted to the forums that Blizzard's online service is now blocked from the Iranian Internet. The user posted a screenshot of the government's message that lists reasons for the block, which includes the "promotion of superstition and mythology."

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  13. Tech

    Iran to Remove Key Ministries From the Internet by September

    We've been hearing about Iran wanting to disconnect from the lawless pit of sins that is the Internet for a while, but it never seemed like it was going to happen. Empty threats, we thought. They wouldn't want to lose Lolcats, we said. Well, now we have reports saying Iran is planning on moving its key ministries from the Internet come September, and house them in its very own intranet.

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  14. Tech

    Iran is Full of Apple Gadgets Despite Economic Sanctions

    In case you've been out of universe during the past decade, Iran has been under economic sanctions from the United States for years and years. This includes complex computer products like, say, the entire line of devices from Apple. Unfortunately, it looks like Iran didn't get the memo as in the capital city of Tehran there are an estimated 100 stores that most certainly sell them. So much for those sanctions.

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  15. Tech

    Tehran Claims its Nuclear Facilities Under Cyberattack From U.S., Israel, and Britain

    Iranian officials are claiming that the U.S. and its allies Israel and Britain are attacking the country's nuclear facilities with sophisticated cyberweapons. And here you were, thinking that stuxnet and its ilk were dead and gone.

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