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Atlanta Must-Reads of the Week: Smallpox, surveillance, dog babies, and turning down

The weekend's here, so it's a great time to catch up on these stories about Atlanta or by Atlanta writers.

What’s been filming in Atlanta this summer?

By now, it's well established that Atlanta is the “Hollywood of the South” (or “Y’allywood,” if you will). While it used to be exciting to see a film crew, we’re all getting a little jaded, and when we spot those yellow signs tacked to phone poles and hanging off buildings directing crews and stars to a location, we start to lament that it means street closings and extra traffic. But do you know what production is to blame for making you late to work? Here’s a roundup of what’s shooting around town this summer. Adjust your commute accordingly.

Q&A: Chris Conley, UGA football player, Star Wars fan film creator

His middle initial, "R," may as well stand for “Renaissance Man.” After leading the Dawgs in receptions last season, Christian Conley decided to lead his campus in the production of a Star Wars fan film, titled Retribution. And according to his Twitter bio, he’s also a lover of Christ and aspiring writer. Plus, he can carry a tune quite better than most. I think the only thing this guy doesn’t do is wear jorts. “Yeah, I wouldn’t be caught in those,” he said when we talked about the surprise response to his film.

Video of the Day: Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix

Plot details are hazy, to put it mildly, in the trailer for Jimi: All Is by My Side, the Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin of Outkast, aka Andre 3000. But here's what you can glean: Set in groovilicious 1966 London, the movie focuses on the early days of Hendrix's career, which evidently included a romantic entanglement with a young British woman, played by Imogen Poots. (That is the most British name ever; it sounds like a tertiary Harry Potter character, one of the Hufflepuff quidditch players, maybe.)

CNN and Georgia Tech are exploring ways to use drones in journalism

It’s not a bird or a plane or a man in cape or even a UFO.

Talking in circles: A UGA prof studies Twitter speak

More than just a home for breaking news and Bieber babble, Twitter has become a modern-day agora. University of Georgia assistant professor of telecommunications Itai Himelboim worked with the Pew Research Center and Social Media Research Foundation on analysis that revealed users of the social media behemoth interact with each other in patterns that fall into just six categories.

Video of the Day: T.I. raps at the Tony Awards

Sunday night television in review: Lebron James returned to the NBA Finals, contributing to a Heat victory for Game 2. A fourth-degree black belt, Nia Sanchez, was crowned Miss USA. Jon Snow got defensive on Games of Thrones. And over on the CBS Tony Awards broadcast, there was a performance by a special trio of Music Men: host Hugh Jackman, LL Cool J and Atlanta’s very own Clifford Harris, better known as T.I. If you’re having trouble deciding which is the strangest, just check out the video.

Video of the Day: The Walking Dead as an 80s sitcom

The Walking Dead already has been given the House of Cards treatment, so it's inevitable that a total mood-swing parody would follow. Matin Comedy envisions TWD as a Full House-esque 1980s sitcom.

For those of us who still first think of Andrew Lincoln as the hopelessly smitten gallery guy in Love Actually (and I know I'm not the only one) the thought of Rick as a lovable comedy lead makes total sense. My main kvetch with this perky send up is the excessive screen time allocated to Lori. Really?

Talking in circles: A UGA prof studies Twitter speak

More than just a home for breaking news and Bieber babble, Twitter has become a modern-day agora. University of Georgia assistant professor of telecommunications Itai Himelboim worked with the Pew Research Center and Social Media Research Foundation on analysis that revealed users of the social media behemoth interact with each other in patterns that fall into just six categories.

Celebrating Celestine Sibley’s centennial

“Child, what are you up to?” Instantly recognizing the voice behind me, I froze midway into shoving the crumpled dollar bill into the brown interoffice memo envelope. It was the morning of October 3, 1995. In Los Angeles, the verdict was about to be read in the O.J. Simpson trial. And on the eighth floor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Features Department, I was collecting up the office pool. As the department’s unofficial class clown/kid brother and a writer for the paper’s Peach Buzz column (the copy desk lovingly referred to me as Buzz Boy), this was in my job description. The voice behind me belonged to Celestine Sibley, a newspapering icon and state treasure. Red-faced, I explained to “ma’am” what in the hell I was doing (I never, ever called her Celestine. I had grown up reading her, after all). She toddled off and I assumed she was on her way upstairs to demand that the publisher fire me and then tie me to printing presses in the basement and use my blood to pump out the afternoon’s Extra edition. A minute later, Celestine handed me a dollar and said, “Put me down for a guilty.”

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