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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 12/16/2011

Christopher Hitchens dead at 62

All right, kids, next week we start our countdown of the Top 10 local stories of the year. I've got my list pretty well formed, but if you've got any suggestions, please do e-mail/facebook/tweet me. Gracias.

Author Christopher Hitchen, 62, dies of complications from esophageal cancer on December 15, 2011, Vanity Fair magazine reported. (SHANNON STAPLETON - REUTERS)
Christopher Hitchens is no longer with us . The incredible essayist, expert wordsmith and profound thinker is flat out my favorite writer of any kind, of all time. Last night, he lost his public battle with esophageal cancer at 62. I once bumped into him, literally, outside The Wyoming, his home in Kalorama, when we collided while walking and staring at our phones. I can't put into words how much I'll miss this man's work. Here a couple of noteworthy stories from WaPo. and Slate.

I've considered writing a book or two in my life and if I need to do so, I know where I can publish it. Politics and Prose, the lovely bookstore on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest D.C., apparently has its own machine that prints paperback on demand. To be more specific, you can basically bring in a tome you want, and print it off for anyone to read for a reasonable price. Appropriately, the name of this machine is Opus. It's one of only 80 in the world. The Post's Jess Righthand reports.

Facebook has rolled out yet another interface change and this one is drastic. It's called 'Timeline' and if you ask me, it basically makes your profile look like the front page of a Gawker Media Web site. But, it's way more complicated than that to some people. (Per usual, I must disclose that Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook’s board of directors.) The Post's Hayley Tsukayama reports on the latest overhaul.

Truth be told, you probably consider yourself a decently big deal . You've got a sweet job, cool friends and you know what to order when you sit down to eat. Your clothes are sharp, your hair is coiffed and if you get drunk you can speak another language. But you, yes you, are more real than those other people than make up the background of your amazing life. The Post's Maggie Fazeli Fard reports on the specifics of why D.C. is one of the U.S.'s vainest cities.

It's the preseason, which means the Wizards are full of hope . Yesterday was media day and Javale McGee got things off to a very professional start, by proclaiming that one person who regularly covers the team has "diaper breath." To boot, owner Ted Leonsis claims he wants D.C. to become a free-agent destination and coach Flip Saunders covets what he calls "popcorn" players. How about winning some games to start? This franchise is ridiculous.

Extra Bites

• When Gene Marks wrote "If I Were A Poor Black Kid" in Forbes, it was roundly criticized as obviously idiotic. Culture critic Touré's response, titled "If I Were a Middle Class White Guy Writing About Being A Poor Black Kid," is brilliant.

• There are people in Denmark inventing coffee machines that can be controlled via iPad or iPhone. I have no idea why this is necessary, but it sounds cool.

• This is the best music video about the Occupy movement you'll see all year. Semi-NSFW.

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