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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre Anchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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5 classic Universal monster movies you’ll love and 4 you should run away from

Universal has a lock on classic monster films, but will the new action-adventure ones be as good as the originals? Photo: Universal Studios

Universal has a lock on monster films, but will the new action-adventure ones be as “classic” as the originals? Photo: Universal Studios

Now that Universal Studios has decided to go the Marvel route and create its own cinematic universe built around its classic monsters like Frankenstein and The Wolf Man, we thought it might be a good time to reach back into the archives and re-watch the originals.

As the new Universal monster movies will likely be more action-adventure-oriented, it’s good to look back to see what made the original features so great, and which of the old oeuvre were just stinky cash-grabs meant to pad the studio’s bottom line.

With that, let’s get into the best and worst of the genre.

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Glorious gifts for the gamer in your life

Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Gamers need gifts! Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Shopping for the gamer in your life can be more difficult than beating your way to the end of Battletoads or collecting all 121 stars in Super Mario Galaxy.

To make the holiday shopping season a little simpler, Cult of Mac searched far and wide for the best gaming gear, trying out all the major platforms and accessories.

What follows is our roundup of the finest gamer gifts, from consoles and handhelds to peripherals. And we’ve even tossed in a few must-play game recommendations.

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Role-reversing comic book video shows the truth about geeks

"Who got you into comics? Was it your mom, you sister? " Photo: Buzzfeed

“Who got you into comics? Was it your mom, you sister? ” Photo: Buzzfeed

“So, what do you cosplay as?” asks this geek girl in the comic book shop. “Slutty Hawkeye? Slutty Thor? Slutty Iron Man?”

The video below is one of those “funny because it’s true” situations, as many women who love superheroes and comics hear the same kinds of questions and face the same sort of dismissive candor from geeky men who can’t seem to realize that everyone loves comics and superhero movies.

Check it out and see how annoying it would be to face this kind of discrimination.

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Hot gaming deals will get you itching for Black Friday

Hopefully, your trip to the store next Friday won't look like this. Photo: Bungie

Hopefully, your trip to the store on Black Friday won’t look like this. Photo: Bungie

blackfriday logoRetailers and consumers alike love Black Friday for all it represents: pure, unadulterated consumerism. Gamers love sitting on their couches all day, playing video games. Lucky for both groups, you can have it all next weekend.

If you’re looking to save big bucks on hotly anticipated holiday gifts, you’re going to have to get out into the feeding frenzy the day after Thanksgiving and elbow your way to the front to grab some of these amazing gamer-centric deals.

Best Buy,  Toys R Us, Walmart and Target have some great upcoming deals for Black Friday, including some fine Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS hotness.

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ICYMI: Jony Ive’s design secrets, sexy iPhone 6 cases, and easy GIF creation

All the Apple news and views we can fit, right here. Cover Design: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

All the Apple news and views we can fit, right here. Cover Design: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Another week, another full docket of great stories at Cult of Mac, so we’ve put together yet another special Newsstand issue just for you, with all of the best news stories and features compiled in one place to easily read on your iPad or iPhone. This week we’ve got some great stuff: Jony Ive’s design secrets, some sexy slim cases for your iPhone 6, quick tips for OS X Yosemite, the best Black Friday deals (so far), and a hot tutorial on making GIFS on your Mac. All that and more, like we do, in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine.

Dig into Cult of Mac Magazine November 14 Edition, Free on iTunes

Innovative mobile game will get you stabbing buddies in the back

Both scheming and strategy will help you win in this game. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Both scheming and strategy will help you win in this game. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Remember when you’d hang out with your pals all night long, scheming and swearing and stabbing each other in the back as you played board games like Monopoly, Axis & Allies or Risk for hours on end?

The developers of upcoming mobile strategy game Subterfuge want to recapture that competitive and fun gaming magic on the iOS era’s platform of choice.

“We started with the idea of making a game that would give you a shared, epic experience with your friends,” designer Noel Llopis told Cult of Mac. “We’re hoping Subterfuge provides something like that,” Llopis says, “but in a way that meshes with people’s real lives.”

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Take a gorgeous time-lapse tour of Europe without leaving your Mac

Simply beautiful. Photo: Andrew Walker/599 Productions

Simply beautiful. Photo: Andrew Walker/599 Productions

Not all of us have the chance to head to Europe, what with the cost of airfare these days.

Luckily, we’ve got the Internet, and amazing videos like this one from filmmaker Andrew Walker at 599 Productions. He filmed the various time-lapse images while exploring Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic last September using a Canon 5D Mark III and several Canon and Ziess lenses.

Check it out, and be sure to strap on a pair of high-end cans or route the audio through your huge Bluetooth speaker to hear the epic soundtrack.

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Amazing 4K video of the sun is perfect for your 5K iMac

Might as well be walking on the... Photo: NASA

Might as well be walking on the… Photo: NASA

If you got one of those amazing new iMacs with the crazy 5K pixel resolution, you’d be crazy not to watch this stunning animation of the sun by YouTuber James Tyrwhitt-Drake. You can gaze at the star at the heart of our solar system for a full eight minutes, using YouTube’s new 4K resolution setting and that killer new Mac.

This timelapse covers about 16 days of solar activity, focusing on the largest sunspot in the last 22 years (about two solar cycles), which is cleverly named AR 2192.

Check it out and enjoy.

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Save the world from invading aliens (again) with XCOM: Enemy Within

Manage your troops, destroy all aliens, save the world. Again. Photo: 2K Games/Firaxis Games

Manage your troops, destroy all aliens, save the world. Again. Photo: 2K Games

The excellent strategy game, XCOM: Enemy Within, is out now for mobile devices as an entirely new standalone game for $12.99. If you haven’t played an XCOM game yet, this is a fantastic place to jump in – the graphics are stunning and the gameplay is addictive; like Civilization, you’ll battle it out with alien invaders in turn-based, tactical maps that offer some thrilling alien-busting fun.

In the new game from developer Firaxis and publisher 2K Games you’ll manage the XCOM global headquarters and send your troops out to fight, dealing with both battle mechanics as well as resource allocation and research into new weapons and gear for your soldiers. The new game adds a “rogue” human faction, EXALT, that will offer even more battles and maps.

“XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Mobile proved that turn-based strategy games are a natural fit for touch interfaces,” said lead designer, Firaxis Games’ Ananda Gupta in a statement. “In XCOM: Enemy Within, players can return to the XCOM universe, where they’ll encounter an assortment of new content including powerful new weapons, abilities and strategies, and confront a host of dangerous new alien threats.”

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Crazy swiss rocket bike travels a quarter mile in 7 seconds

This guy's about to go really fast on a skinny bike. Photo: François Gissy

This guy’s about to go really fast on a skinny bike. Photo: François Gissy

Seriously, outside of an airplane, I don’t think I’ve ever traveled at 207 miles per hour (or 333 kilometers per hour, if you’re metric).

Swiss cyclist François Gissy, however, just set a speed record on a rocket-propelled bicycle designed by his buddy Arnold Neracher.

How’s that for fast? Check out the video of the record-breaking attempt below, but be sure to turn down your sound. Nothing sounds as silly as a rocket bike.

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