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Celebrate the 4th of July with these patriotic books, movies, and music

7 new TV shows to watch on iTunes over the long weekend

New Mac Pro sits pretty in this custom desk

The new Mac Pro, with its sleek cylinder design, has gotten a bad rap. While it’s light-years from the bulky, ugly first-generation Mac Pro and “built for creativity on an epic scale,” this ingenious machine, which Apple sells for between $2,999 and $3,999, looks like a common waste receptacle.

The much-trashed design recently got some love from architect Takara Maru, who carved out a spot on this sleek walnut desk for it. Some might joke that it’s to shield users from the Mac Pro’s looks, but really the aim is to reduce clutter on the desk surface so Maru can focus on home design.

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Gadget Watch: Shooting, cycling, charging and … toweling?

These geeky T-shirts put nerd pride on your chest

Glenn Jones didn’t set out to build a one-man T-shirt empire. The Aukland, New Zealand-based designer and illustrator started emblazoning tees with his visual witticisms on Threadless in 2004 and then hit the virtual shelves with his own store featuring just six designs in 2008.

He now sells more than 100 designs at Glennz Tees — you may remember his Melting Rubik’s Cube worn by Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory — all of which look as home at South by Southwest as they do at your favorite watering hole.

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Gadget Watch: Keyboards, skateboards, duck heads and drones

Comics’ best supervillains (and not just the obvious ones)

Who’s the baddest of the bad?

Got your own favorite underappreciated supervillain? Let us know in the comments below.

Your picks for Apple’s next ‘thought leader’

Cult of Mac readers came through again: after our nominees, here are your semi-serious and sometimes outrageous picks for who should be coming up with the next big ideas at Apple.

One small footnote: Apple tweaked the job title on us. Now they are looking for a “business intelligence thought leader” rather than just a plain old “thought leader,” but the party game is still a fun one.

Who should Apple hire as a ‘thought leader’?

Apple is looking to hire a thought leader. While the actual job listing — blah blah blah “execution of critical sale reporting projects” blah blah blah — sounds about as exciting as a new ink cartridge, the idea of a thought leader role at a company like Apple is worth pondering.

Ever since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, there’s been much speculation and hand-wringing over who could assume his role as Apple’s foremost visionary. Although no one can ever fill his New Balances, we’ve rounded up a short list of leaders who might kick the Cupertino company in a new direction.

Who do you think should drive Apple’s big ideas? Check out our picks in the gallery above, then nominate yours in the comments below.

Gadget Watch: Real newspapers, waterproof e-readers and giant buttons