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Barence writes "When it comes to programming, the classroom is moving online. A new wave of start-ups has burst onto the scene over the last year, bringing interactive lessons and gamification techniques to the subject to make coding trendy again. From Codecademy — and its incredibly successful Code Year initiative — to Khan Academy, Code School and Udacity, online learning is now sophisticated and high-tech — but is it good enough to replace the classroom? 'We are the first five or six chapters in a book,' says Code School's Gregg Pollack in this exploration of online code classes, but with the number of sites and lessons growing by the week that might not be the case for long."

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Before I saw Fedor Emelianenko fight, I thought mixed martial arts was a debased and debauched distraction for frat boys and thugs, more evidence of the slow demise of civilization, as if more evidence were needed.

After I saw Fedor Emelianenko fight, however, my life was completely rearranged. Time I used to spend watching the NBA, reading books, and cultivating meaningful human relationships I started filling with sparring sessions and endless hours watching UFC fights. I used to want to write about movie directors and the creative process; these days I prefer hanging around gyms rhapsodizing about particularly clever kickboxing combinations. This is all Emelianenko’s fault. Not since John F. Kennedy squared off with Nikita Krushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis did so much on the influence of a pudgy, balding Russian.

Our story happened this way:

A few years ago I read an article in ESPN magazine about back-alley bareknuckle-boxing king-turned-prizefighter Kimbo Slice. Despite a lifelong aversion to violence, I was curious about the YouTube streetfights that had made Slice so famous, and after watching him pound down a rag-tag assortment of street toughs I decided (as I’m sure many did) that he must be the toughest man in the world, impervious to pain and impossible to defeat.


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Evolution of basketball uniform

In the 1960s, the basketball uniform was about small, tight shorts and form-fitting tank top. It's grown longer since then. Andrew Bergmann sifted through the archives and illustrated the changes over the decades.

The arm-length "shooter sleeves" that Lebron, Carmelo and Pierce sport on a regular basis are one of the most interesting of recent accoutrements. These covers can directly be traced back to former 76ers point guard Allen Iverson, who by legend wore one to conceal a controversial tattoo, but in actuality had bursitis in his right elbow. Somehow the sleeves caught on and are now believed to improve your shot. I guess I should get one.

I can't wait until players are out there in full tights, and then as fashion always turns around on itself, speedos and thigh-high socks.

To follow me on Twitter, click here.

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As 2011 draws to a close, Framework looks back on an eventful, tumultuous year, documented by the photojournalists of the Los Angeles Times.

It was a year marked by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan; the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East, with rebel uprisings and hard-fought battles resulting in the fall of Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, and the capture and death of Libya’s Moammar Kadafi; and the humanitarian crisis of continued famine in Africa.

2011 also saw the somber 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001; the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement; the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in London and their subsequent Southland visit; and the involuntary manslaughter trial, conviction and sentencing of Michael Jackson’s personal physician.

Carmageddon in Los Angeles, anticipated with dire predictions of monumental gridlock, turned out to be not so disruptive after all.

Almost nine years after the invasion of Iraq, the war was declared officially over with the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops and their return home — in time for the holidays, no less.

As always, the worlds of entertainment, sports and celebrity are part of the gallery, adding a light, colorful touch to a memorable year.

Enjoy the look back with us, and have a wonderful 2012.

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Make no mistake; stories can be presented entirely through gameplay. In this article, we'll take a closer look not at "narrative/story games" but the story of gameplay and consider why we separated the two in the first place.

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Students from Bellport High School, many wearing their graduation caps and gowns, embraced Friday outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Patchogue, N.Y., where a funeral was held for 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia, one of four people killed in a Medford robbery Sunday. (Kevin P. Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal)

Dozens of brass players positioned themselves around the lake in Central Park Tuesday, playing an original composition called to an audience in rowboats as part of a daylong event called Make Music NY, which consisted of more than a thousand free concerts across New York City over the course of the day. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Antonio Munoz, center, rounds a corner during the Skyscraper Classic cycling race in Harlem on Sunday. Leif Lampater of Germany claimed the overall men’s professional title. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)

Bernice Acosta was among the thousands who celebrated the summer solstice by performing yoga in Times Square on Tuesday. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Artist Akihiro Ito helps install his sculpture titled ‘Forever,’ on Tuesday in Riverside Park on the Hudson River near 60th Street. Other works by members of the Art Students League also will be installed along the riverfront for a year. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Chinese artist Liu Bolin was painted for an art project at the Charging Bull in lower Manhattan Thursday. Mr. Bolin is creating a series called ‘Hiding In The City’ in which he camouflages himself against an urban background for a self-portrait.  (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal)

Ibtihaj Muhammad practiced her thrusts Thursday in Maplewood, NJ. Ms. Muhammad, 25, is the 11th ranked female saber fencer in the world and the 2nd ranked US Women’s saber fencer.  (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

Braised rutabaga with plum, fennel, pistachio and goat cheese at Gotham Bar & Grill. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)

Andrej Ruff proposed to Natalia Giesbrecht, his girlfriend of 12 years, in a row boat on Central Park on Tuesday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Actor Todd Lawson on the cot babckstage at the Acorn Theatre on 42nd Street. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

A fan is carried by a New York City police officer to an ambulance after falling ill at a promotional appearance by Justin Bieber at Macy’s in New York Thursday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger peered down from a digital billboard above Times Square on Monday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Kyrie Irving, who many sports analysts expect to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, attended a clinic for athletes with mental disabilities with Brandon Knight, left, and Kemba Walker, right, at New York City’s John Jay College Wednesday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns shows off his soccer skills during a charity match Wednesday on the Lower East Side. Several NBA and soccer stars participated in the annual event. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Robin Mazzanewitter and her father, Paul Mazza, played gongs in Columbus Circle as part of the Make Music NY festival. (Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal)

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