In Other News, August 1, 2013: Hug Me Dogs, Awkward Years Project, And "Nonconsensual Sex"

'In Other News' is Bustle's daily roundup of the stories, videos, and more media you might have missed.

The U.S. State Department is not at all pleased Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has joined Instagram, calling it a "despicable PR stunt" and a misjudged attempt to draw attention away from the estimated 100,000 casualties in the region.

The Queen of England's pre-prepared speech in case the Cold War went dramatically south has been declassified. Had the country become embroiled in nuclear war, the Queen would have announced that the "close bond of family life" was the "greatest defense" against it.

A New York City school has banned a children's book because parents complained that references to masturbation were "inappropriate." They claimed that the details were akin to 50 Shades of Gray. They obviously have not read 50 Shades of Gray.

Yale's new report about how the college handles sexual conduct is disturbing. "Rape" isn't called "rape," it's "nonconsensual sex," and it's punishable by... uh, "written reprimand." As in, a warning letter ?

The stock market kicked off August with a record jump today, with the S&P 500 trading above 1,700 for the first time a Goldman executive was found liable by a jury for misleading investors.

What happened to the Harry Potter characters after we bade them goodbye? Well, J.K. Rowling knows, and she's been giving interviewers detailed answers for years. BuzzFeed uses them to round up the rest of the Potter-verse, complete with pictures.

(This was not in Harry Potter universe, but it should be.)

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Let's face it: we all had an ugly duckling stage. The Awkward Years Project on Tumblr is dedicated to the "Then and Now" experience of yearbook photos.

Musician Amanda Palmer was pissed when the Daily Mail reviewed her breasts rather than her music, so she wrote a song for them. It's awesome. Here's an excerpt:

i was doing a number of things on that stage up to and including singing songs (like you do…)but you chose to ignore that and instead you published a feature review of my boob
dear daily mail,there’s a thing called a search engine: use it!if you’d googled my tits in advance you’d have found that your photos are hardly exclusivein addition you state that my breast had escaped from my bra like a thief on the runyou do you know that it wasn’t attempting to just take in the RARE british sun?

They've now stopped making Boggle in its classic form... but who plays Boggle now anyway? Well, everyone should, argues Slate.

The new-and-improved Backstreet Boys are very down with the kids, you know. So they sang a song on Jimmy Kimmel Live dedicated to this Vine of the most furious Apple Store customer in the world.

Motorola introduced the Moto X today, which is supposedly going to rival the iPhone. But seriously, will it?

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Selling it.

Internet therapy could never replace face-to-face therapy... right? Well, studies of internet-based therapies have actually found them fairly effective. Soon they'll be training them using Skype...

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And, to end your day on a crying jag, people attached balloons with "Hug Me," "Don't Leave Me," and so on to ignored dogs.

(Image: Awkward Years Project)