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Articles on this Page
- 02/19/13--12:18: _Not everyone loves ...
- 02/19/13--12:50: _MTV's social media ...
- 02/19/13--15:12: _Reddit investigates...
- 02/20/13--05:53: _Happiness according...
- 02/20/13--08:27: _That viral Guy Fier...
- 02/20/13--11:33: _Science explains wh...
- 02/20/13--12:01: _This "Harlem Shake"...
- 02/21/13--06:04: _@DrunkHumans stumbl...
- 02/21/13--06:45: _KFC employee fired ...
- 02/21/13--09:33: _Gay Mormon captures...
- 02/21/13--10:21: _10 crazy things tha...
- 02/21/13--11:06: _That epic Wikipedia...
- 02/21/13--14:13: _Boob-publishing tab...
- 02/21/13--15:47: _Kid President and P...
- 02/22/13--08:43: _Why Tumblr's "Sherl...
- 02/22/13--10:02: _Man exposes his che...
- 02/22/13--11:11: _Astronauts host a G...
- 02/22/13--11:31: _Misery and beauty i...
- 02/22/13--12:44: _11 college hockey p...
- 02/25/13--10:08: _4chan votes for Hit...
- 02/19/13--12:18: Not everyone loves SUNY's boobs-only Twitter account
- 02/19/13--12:50: MTV's social media team pranked Twitter with a fake hack
- 02/19/13--15:12: Reddit investigates a hotel's super-creepy not-so-secret room
- 02/20/13--05:53: Happiness according to Twitter
- 02/20/13--08:27: That viral Guy Fieri menu was plagiarized from Weird Twitter
- 02/20/13--11:33: Science explains why we can't stop watching porn
- 02/20/13--12:01: This "Harlem Shake" video got a high school class suspended
- 02/21/13--06:04: @DrunkHumans stumbles and slurs its way to Internet gold
- British Man
- Average Person
- Saudi Prince
- 02/21/13--06:45: KFC employee fired for making out with boob-shaped mashed potatoes
- 02/21/13--09:33: Gay Mormon captures yearlong coming-out on video
- 02/21/13--10:21: 10 crazy things that will happen if Tumblr users reach 500,000 notes
- 02/21/13--11:06: That epic Wikipedia "Star Trek" edit is still screwing up Google
- 02/21/13--14:13: Boob-publishing tabloid shocked by stripper's boobs on Twitter
- 02/21/13--15:47: Kid President and President Obama finally team up on YouTube
- 02/22/13--08:43: Why Tumblr's "Sherlock" fans are howling about "Teen Wolf"
- 02/22/13--11:11: Astronauts host a Google+ hangout from space
- 02/22/13--11:31: Misery and beauty in a South Sudan refugee camp
- 02/22/13--12:44: 11 college hockey players suspended over naughty "Harlem Shake"
- 02/25/13--10:08: 4chan votes for Hitler as the smartest person in history
A Twitter account which is used to share photos of female college students’ breasts has caused a ruckus in the State University of New York school system.
Over the past month, @SUNYBOOBS has shared photos submitted by students, garnering more than 4,700 followers in the process, as part of a contest to see which school in the system can share the most such images.
SUNY Brockport paper The Stylus first brought the account to students’ attention, noting that college accounted for the largest number of submitted photos as of Monday evening with 29, ahead of SUNY Oneonta's 12 photos.
Most of the images appear to be submitted by women themselves, or at least someone they've allowed to do so.
The account does not promote nudity, according to its Twitter bio, and some believe it's casting a poor reflection on both Brockport and the SUNY system.
"I’m personally offended because it’s directly associated with the women from this school,” Brockport student Cara Smith told The Stylus. Others the paper spoke with, including the chair of the school’s women and gender department, said the account reinforces gender stereotypes and objectifies women.
Twitter users expressed their disgust at the account and those sharing boob selfies, while others were a little more supportive of the photos.
Meanwhile, David Mihalyov, SUNY Brockport chief communications officer, warned that while the college does not condone the tweets, it respects freedom of speech. He also told The Stylus that students should be aware that posting such photos can come back to haunt them in later months and years.
@SUNYBOOBS does not appear to have posted any images without the permission of those depicted in them, unlike University of Arkansas student account @HPERprobsUARK, the owner of which faces possible felony charges. It follows in the footsteps of accounts like @KUBOOBS and @NHLBoobs, which depict women showing their support for sports teams with an emphasis on their chests.
Meanwhile, an account called @SUNYDicks (NSFW, obviously) was created Monday and has been retweeting photos of penises apparently tweeted by SUNY students. It appears to be run by someone who's not too happy with @SUNYBOOBS, as the submission email address begins "Revenge911."
Photos via @SUNYBOOBS
In an effort to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the hacking of Jeep and Burger King's Twitter accounts, a member of BET's social media team decided to "have some fun" by pretending MTV's 6 million–follower account was hacked.
At about 3:10pm ET, MTV's account changed its logo and profile to look like it had been hacked by a BET fan.
As it turns out, the hack was a publicity stunt orchestrated by self-proclaimed "@BET social media pugilist" J.P. Lespinasse, who tipped his hand on Twitter at 2:16 pm ET, about 30 minutes after Jeep's Twitter account was hacked.
The man behind both actual hacks is likely Tony "iThug" Cunha, "an esteemed former hacker of MySpace pages" and a member of the group responsible for hacking Paris Hilton's cellphone in 2005, Gizmodo reported. Cunha bragged on Facebook and Twitter about the hacks.
After each account was hacked, its followers grew exponentially as more and more people wanted to see what sort of mischief the hackers got up to.
MTV and BET are both owned by Viacom, a large media conglomerate. Oddly enough, this isn't the first time their marketing department tried to get cute by faking a hack. Anyone remember "Johnny Fame," a fake reporter invented for a promotional stunt in 1998?
MTV has returned its page to normal and posted the following tweet:
If you happen to be Houston, Texas, and are in need of a last minute hotel room, don't try ZaZa Hotel... unless you're into sleeping on a bed chained to the wall while a photo of a human skull stares down at you.
That nearly happened to a coworker of Reddit user joelikesmusic, who was forced to stay in ZaZa Hotel's room 322 while on business.
"Hotel was booked solid and my colleague managed to score a room unplanned. We all had normal ZaZa style rooms (swank) and he ended up in this goth dungeon closet," joelikesmusic wrote on Reddit. "We asked about it at the front desk and the clerk looked it up and said 'that room isn't supposed to be rented' and immediately moved him."
Joelikesmusic posted the following album on Imgur, where it has been viewed more than 269,000 times.
The images of the room have gotten Reddit's conspiracy theorists buzzing as to its meaning.
"322 is a number relevant to the Skull & Bones secret society at Yale," quakerlaw commented, along with a link to the Skull & Bones Wikipedia page.
"322 isn't just relevant to Skull & Bones, but to a large number of collegiate secret societies. This doesn't nail it to one society, but it would narrow it down some if that's really the story behind the room," cheops1853 added. "Interestingly, the guy in the portrait, Jay Cormeaux, went to LSU, which is home of The Friars. They're a secret society whose symbol also includes the skull and crossbones."
As it turns out, the room is not as big a secret as people think, nor is its backstory as interesting. The room is called "Hard Times" and is one of the many themed rooms offered at ZaZa, hotel spokeswoman Kyra Coots told the Houston Press.
"Coots also told us that, at one point, the company's president lived in the Hard Times room for two months, five days a week," Houston Press added.
“While it's a 'compact' room, it has one of the hotel's largest balconies, which overlooks the pool area, she said. (The other side of the hotel features another compact theme room, called Ship's Cabin, which resembles a yacht and also overlooks the pool). She says neither room is secret or kept from being rented."
Image via Joelikesmusic/Imgur
If you're happy and you know it, then tweet. And if you are spreading your joy in 140 characters or less, then you might live in Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah, or Vermont, at least according to a new study from the Vermont Complex Systems Center released this week.
The Vermont mathematicians, led by Lewis Mitchell, looked at more than 10 million tweets in 2011 to figure out where some of the happiest people are in America. The study, titled “The Geography of Happiness,” looked at where each tweet came from and then rated how happy it was based on the words that came up the most. Some words, like “rainbow,” were considered happier than others.
“Our overall aim in this paper is to investigate how geographic place correlates with and potentially inﬂuences societal levels of happiness,” the paper's introduction reads.
The paper concluded that, according to tweets, places in the west and New England were happier than the Southeast as a whole. Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware, and Georgia were all named the saddest states in the union. According to this map, the more red the state, the happier the tweets were.
The study even went as far as looking at the happiest and saddest cities. For example, tweets from Napa, Calif. used the word “shit” less than those in Beaumont, Texas, which was found to be the saddest town in the country. Although, as Alexis Modrigal of The Atlantic pointed out, Napa (which is the happiest city) is in the middle of wine country, which might contribute to some joy.
These two graphs show the happiest and saddest cities in America, respectively.
The study even went as far as identifying parts of cities that were happier than others. In New York City, the study found Harlem and Washington Heights were sadder than Midtown.
The study isn't perfect, however, as Modrigal noted. The happiest places are also places where people vacation a lot (heck, Maine is known as “Vacationland”), and so it's possible that may have tilted the scales.
Photos via Vermont Complex Systems Center
The programmer "hero" who registered the domain name for Guy Fieri's restaurant—because Fieri apparently forgot to do it himself—then filled the site with absurd menu items like the "Honky-Tonky Double Barrel Meat Loaded Blast," hasn't been entirely forthcoming with the public.
As it turns out, a few Twitter jokesters went on a run of tweeting bizarro Guy Fieri items in November, around the same time a damning New York Timesreview of Fieri’s Times Square restaurant went viral.
Bryan Mytko, who registered guysamericankitchenandbar.com on Tuesday, was met with immediate praise. But it seems he lifted his jokes, word-for-word, from those comedians who beat him by three months.
A deep fried snake attached to "a printed out picture of David Lee Roth," called "Panamania!"? That one was @autisticpet.
Mytko initially seemed to claim the credit for himself, tweeting"Guy Fieri didn't register his restaurant's domain name, so I picked it up. I think this new menu look great." But weird twitterer @a_girl_irl wasn't too pleased to see his compatriots go uncredited, and created a chart highlighting a dozen similarities between Mytko and other users.
"haha a cinnabon and two more cinnabons? how do you come up with this stuff dude? its almost like someone wrote it before," @a_girl_irl tweeted to him.
Mytko finally acknowledged a few other contributions Wednesday morning, though he didn't apologize. "Big ups to @a_girl_irl and @DinkMagic for the tweets. This has been a blast. I had no idea the stuff was theirs so just giving credit," he tweeted.
@a_girl_irl said the problem wasn't using others' jokes in a new format it, it was Mytko implying the jokes were his to begin with.
"if he had credited it from the beginning i honestly would not have cared but he wanted to be the Big Funny Lone Genius," @a_girl_irl tweeted.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
All right, Internet. Time for some #RealTalk. It's time to get a little lesson in our love of all things porn—or, more importantly, why we can't seem to get enough of the stuff.
Thanks to the whip-smart biological scholars at asapSCIENCE, the world can finally revel in an informative, digestible, entirely safe-for-work tutorial in what exactly is going through a person's brain when he or she watches Internet pornography. You'll also learn why the adult-entertainment industry's unbelievable excess, and our addiction to it—porn-related queries account for 25 percent of our online searches—has made it such that certain people in this world are now finding their mates less attractive.
The whole quandary comes down to the tolerances and the release of dopamine, which the duo of Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown detail rather scientifically midway through the clip. As for the tolerance, the two spell it out quite clearly.
"With prolonged exposure, your tolerance is increased, and many find themselves addicted. Though it's not a physical substance, it leads to the same general loss of control, the compulsiveness to seek out activity despite negative consequences, and withdrawal when it goes away—much like that of gambling or running."
"The issue," the two explain, is that "continued exposure can cause longterm or lifelong neural-plastic change in the brain."
And so we're left thinking that the only sex that's legitimately enticing anymore is the kind that involves whips and chains.
Fortunately, there's a remedy for this affliction, one that exercises the idea that the brain operates on a "use it or lose it" system.
"The neural connections you stimulate grow stronger and desire to be activated while the ones you ignore become weakened, much like your muscles, which, if sitting still all day, itch for activity, but after prolonged non-use become complacent," Moffit explains.
"The same neural-plastic system that proliferates these habits can also be used to acquire healthier ones."
Which is to say that the brain you use to make sense of that weird porn you're watching can be the same one that helps you tune out.
Photo via Jenna Jameson/Facebook
The Harlem Shake has claimed another victim.
Thirteen students at Brownsville Area High School in Pennsylvania were suspended for two days each after making a Harlem Shake video in one of the classrooms during school hours, ABC affiliate WTAE reported.
The suspension came just days after a New York high school hockey team was forced to forfeit their spot in the playoffs when its NSFW Harlem Shake video surfaced online.
The Brownsville School Board was made aware of the video, which was shot Monday, at a planning session Tuesday night, which School Board President Roy Brashear described as "very graphic and very vulgar." (It isn't as graphic as this one, we guarantee.)
"Our superintendent made a decision to suspend the students who were responsible, and we stand behind his decision," Brashear told TribLive.com.
The students shot the video during a digital photography class with the permission of a substitute teacher, and it features them dancing with each other and on top of tables once everyone gets involved.
As far as Harlem Shake videos go, this one is pretty tame. Unlike many of the videos which have already appeared online, only one person is masked and dancing with a stick. The video is missing the crazy costumes, sleeping bag, masks, and there is certainly nobody dancing while wearing nothing more than a sock.
Alyssa Broadwater, 15, shot the video with her iPad and described the behavior in the Harlem Shake video as "normal teenagers dancing." She found out that she was suspended after being pulled out of homeroom, but she wasn't given an explanation.
"I could see if we got in a bit of trouble, since it was in school and a little chaotic, but it was taken too far," Alyssa said.
Alyssa's mother, Kathleen Broadwater, agreed that the punishment was too harsh for the crime.
"We need to keep these students in the classroom," Kathleen told WTAE. "I don't want them taken out of class to miss the education they're getting. Can we please get them back to school, either ISS or some kind of detention?"
Some parents agreed with the punishment, citing that the students shouldn't have done the Harlem Shake video during school hours.
Brownsville Area Solicitor James Davis told reporters that the school district "can't comment on student discipline without parent authorization" and couldn't legally offer details on the students' suspension.
Others are tweeting out support to the Harlem Shake 13 by using the hashtag #TeamHarlemSuspension, and while the students may be out of school for the next couple days, they don't seem to regret their actions.
"At least I was suspended for something I ENJOYED doing," @_Whit_Booh tweeted.
Photo via TheLovegurl844/YouTube
Drunk people, beware: Your inebriated deeds may soon appear on a Twitter account that's on the hunt for ridiculous under-the-influence actions.
The tweets typically begin with the phrase "drunk man," "drunk woman," or in one case, "naked drunk woman." They also include links to the relevant articles, so you know whoever's behind the account isn't just making this stuff up.
The feed has seven tweets thus far after cropping up Wednesday evening. So far, we've been treated to headlines like these:
As with Florida Man and John Cusack News, it's way more amusing to imagine that one person named Drunk Man is behind every story.
If I may, a few suggestions for other Florida Man–style novelty Twitter accounts:
Photo by istolethetv/Flickr
A KFC employee in Tennessee is out of a job after photos of the culprit making out with a plate of mashed potatoes ended up on Facebook.
The mashed potatoes, which were apparently not served to some unknowing customer, had been arranged into the shape of a woman's boob. In the photos, the former employee can be found licking what we'd have to consider the underboob of the mashed potato mammary before throwing it into an oven.
The photo became public information when it showed up on the Facebook page for Johnson City, Tenn., news channel WJHL, where it was shared 2,000 times and received more than 700 comments. Once the news organization was able to determine its locational origin—the KFC on North Roan Street—the suspected employee was terminated.
KFC spokesman Rick Maynard confirmed the firing but would not name the culprit because that "wouldn't be appropriate." He stressed that the employee who took the photos is no longer with the company.
"Nothing is more important to KFC than food safety," he wrote to WJHL. "As soon as our franchisee became aware of the issue, immediate action was taken. The franchisee's investigation confirmed the photos were taken after the restaurant was closed and none of the food was served. … Today, KFC Corporation is sending representatives from our Operations and QA teams to the restaurant to reinforce and retain on KFC's high operating standards."
These types of antics are nothing new for employees within fast food restaurants. In August, a Taco Bell employee in Indiana was fired for urinating on a chalupa. One month before that, worldwide hacktivist collective Anonymous helped reveal the identity behind the soon-to-be-fired Ohio Burger King employee photographed standing in a container of lettuce.
At the time, both corporations said that food safety was a top priority within their establishments. If only their employees could figure out what the hell that means.
Mormonism is not the most progressive religion, but Jimmy Hales is doing his part to make it more accepting.
A student at Mormon bastion Brigham Young University, Hales came out to his friends and family over a course of a year and recorded each encounter. Genuine, surprising, and candid, the five-minute video charts the different ranges of emotions everyone experiences.
Writing that he only dated women because he "needed an excuse to eat at a restaurant that I really wanted," Hales blogs that his feelings of denying himself to be with a man just didn't sit right, so he had to come out.
"I finally decided to come out and stop living a lie," he writes in the video's description. "I'm still, and will forever be, a faithful Mormon, so it looks like I'm not going to marry and therefore live a single life through this mortal existence."
He expands further on his blog detailing on when he first told a Bishop about his same-sex attraction, his first reaction was "that sucks," that there are pro-LGBT supporters in the church (albeit very few and not outspoken), and how the It Gets Better campaign helped him.
"I know for a fact that I would never have had the courage to come out," he said.
Photo via FacetiousFaceProd/YouTube
Earlier this week, we told you how Tumblr celebrated Fluffy Chicken Day after reaching well above the 500,000 notes that Tumblr user thatsmoderatelyraven needed to convince her parents to buy her an, erm, fluffy chicken.
It seems on Tumblr, dreams really do come true—and ever since Tumblr came through for one girl and a chicken, Tumblr users have been lining up to capitalize on one another’s good will with the “My mom says if this gets x notes, then...” gambit.
So far the humor has been rife around Tumblr at the proliferation of note-grabbing posts. But the results are an interesting way of gauging where Tumblr’s priorities are. Here are just a sampling of the attempts to cash in on the trend we’ve seen around Tumblr--some tongue-in-cheek, some serious, and some somewhere in between:
The most popular versions of the meme indicates that Tumblr has its priorities firmly in place.
“It’s worked for white people, I figured I might as well give it a shot.”
Photo via cosbyykidd/Tumblr
“my mom said if this post got 50,000 notes she would buy me a hot asian boyfriend
she says there’s no way that tumblr cares enough
Photo via durianseeds/Tumblr
Naturally, fandom is getting in on the act, too.
Screengrab via schmoo999/Tumblr
Screengrab via canon-autopsy/Tumblr
But fandom is clearly, uh, lying down on the job where it really counts.
Screengrab via fatallywhimsical./Tumblr
But perhaps we spoke too soon.
Screengrab via craniumclutter/Tumblr
Sending Tumblrites to meet loved ones seems to be popular.
“my parents said if this post gets 700,000 notes then they will (attempt to) send me to america to finally meet my best friend!!!
i know 700,000 is a stretch like damn gurl but hey plane tickets cost a lot and they know you can get 500k for a chicken so”
Then there are the less, er, desirable outcomes.
Photo via sanktcrackolas/Tumblr
“my mom said if this post reaches 200,000 notes I can have the head of Holofernes on a silver platter to adorn my misandry cave is this how this meme works?”
“my brothers say that if this gets 500,000 notes i get to get out of the cage”
...but we’re not sure if this is a good thing.
Then again, even attempts to subvert the subversions of the memes are getting play...
Screengrab via tulipkid/Tumblr
“My mom said if this post gets 500,000 notes nothing will happen.
But if this petition gets 500,000 signatures we can get federal laws preventing rapists from suing for custody/visitation of their victim’s children.
You guys accomplished Operation Fluffy Chicken
How about putting in an effort to Operation We’re Finally Taking Rape Seriously?”
Tumblr notes: 6,687. And counting.
Photo via durianseeds/Tumblr
After 40,000 words and months of argument, common sense can eventually prevail on Wikipedia. But the effects of the crowd-sourced encyclopedia's excessive, mistaken pedantry can linger for months afterward. Just ask Google.
For months, Wikipedians argued over a single bit of style in the title of the new Star Trek movie. The film is called Star Trek Into Darkness. For reasons that remain impenetrable to most neutral observers or anyone with common sense, Wikipedians changed the name to Star Trek into Darkness (usually written as Star Trek Into Darkness). They replaced a capital "I" with a lowercase "i."
Eventually, after some less-than-flattering media attention, a brave Wikipedia editor made an executive decision and reverted the entry back to the actual movie title. In the end, sanity won out.
Unfortunately, Google's poor inhuman algorithm is still living in the past, unaware of that moment of Wikipedia bravery.
Anyone who searches for the movie on the world's most popular search engine will be fed back the inaccurate title.
It looks like this:
In other words, the arguments of a small group of pedantic editors on Wikipedia has more influence over Google—the most popular website in the world—than the movie's own creators. On Wikipedia, small mistakes really do matter. And not just when they're about capital letters.
Google isn't the only company or person to take the encyclopedia's facts at face value. Just last year, a prominent British judge embarrassed himself after parroting false information from Wikipedia in a high-profile report.
Photo via x-ray delta one/Flickr
Who needs #teamfollowback when you can just show your boobs on Twitter?
That's what an "average-looking" British stripper named Chelsea Ferguson did, and it garnered her nearly 350,000 followers (NSFW!).
Then The Sun profiled her, because boobs on Twitter are somehow news. (Naturally, included in The Sun's article is a NSFW close-up of Ferguson's boobs.)
Ferguson, 23, told The Sun that she got initial followers by promising to reveal her size-30F breasts if she hit 1,000. It's been growing from there.
Her photo gallery on Twitter is filled with seductive poses, her bare breasts bopping around in various positions, and an occasional butt shot. Bar and nightclub owners across England ask her to perform, she says.
“Word spread, everyone wanted to see more so I kept posting photographs and started doing stuff for Nuts magazines and that sort of thing," she said.
And the number of followers seems legit: Just 11 percent of her followers are "fake," according to a test conducted by the Daily Dot on StatusPeople.com.
"It’s like being getting paid to party," she surmised. “Some nightclubs have an idea of what they would like me to do, what I want to do is get drunk, get on stage, probably get my boobs out and have a good laugh."
As long somebody doesn't get an eye poked out, I don't see the big deal.
Photo via chelsfergo/Twitter
Kid President has hit the big league.
Robbie, the energetic 9-year-old who portrays the Kid President and has inspired millions with his Pep Talk, helped President Obama kick off the annual White House Easter Egg Roll ticket lottery in his latest video.
President Obama used his executive authority to send his message through Robbie's line of kid messengers, and once the note reached his desk through a series of calls, flags, and paper airplanes, he called Obama right away on his trusty tin can.
"Kid President, looks like you got my message," President Obama said in a split screen.
"Yes, Mr. President," Robbie replied. "I got your message."
The Easter Egg Roll is an annual day of fun, games, stories, and an egg roll which takes place at the White House around Easter. This year, more than 35,000 people are expected to join the Obamas on the South Lawn for the 135th annual event on Apr. 1, 2013. The Easter Egg Roll ticket lottery is open until Feb. 25 at 10am ET.
It's a day full of kids dancing and eggs rolling, so of course the Kid President is game.
He kept his while he delivered the details for the ticket lottery and the Easter Egg Roll, but, true to form, he broke out his slickest dance moves in a fit of excitement when he initially found out.
"I told you people to make this awesome year, and look what you did," Robbie said. "You made the White House call me."
As it turns out, the POTUS is a fan of the Kid President.
"The White House media team approached SoulPancake and asked if Kid President would be interested in kicking off the annual Easter Egg Roll lottery," Correy Stoner, Sales and Marketing Manager at SoulPancake, told the Daily Dot in an email. "We were informed that President Obama watched the Pep Talk video prior to shooting the Easter Egg Roll spot, and apparently he smiled through the whole video and laughed out loud during the 'Space Jam' part."
The Easter Egg Roll is a pretty big deal, Robbie explained, as he listed some of the presidents who have previously hosted the event at the White House, although he thinks that Ronald Reagan might have been on the Disney Channel and he's not sure whether Lyndon B. Johnson is a boy or a girl.
He's still in shock that the White House watches his videos, but it didn't take long before before he started grooving to his own tune again.
"This is not just a web show," Robbie exclaimed. "We're changing the world, y'all!"
Photo via soulpancake/YouTube
Teen Wolf and Sherlock fandoms are among the mightiest and most vocal current fan communities on the Internet. Overlap between the fanbases of the two popular shows is inevitable, as fans explore both shows and share their enthusiasm equally.
But on Tumblr, where anticipation for the third season of both shows has been incredibly intense, a group of Sherlock fans made life difficult for one fan who dared to post excitedly about Teen Wolf. In the process, they aptly demonstrated why Tumblr may be making things harder for fandom communication.
Two days ago, Tumblr user heyysourwolf made a typical Tumblr post to celebrate the newly announced premiere date of Teen Wolf season 3.
"So the season 3 premiere is JUNE 3, 2013," she wrote, and then followed it up with an ecstatic gifset. Short, simple, sweet. Uninitiated readers might not know which series she referred to, but in addition to the fact that her username is a Teen Wolf reference, heyysourwolf's Tumblr readily announces what readers can expect to find on her Tumblr: Teen Wolf and Thor.
Oh, and she tagged her post with the words "Teen Wolf."
Despite that obvious clue-in, what followed was a trainwreck of miscommunication that demonstrates three glaring and unavoidable facts about Tumblr:
1) It's easy for important contextual information to be left out of reblogs.
2) It's easy for misinformation to spread rapidly.
3) It's difficult for people to talk to each other across the communication gap.
A reblog occurs when one Tumblr user posts another Tumblr user's content to their own journal. Reblogs are easy, and make it easy for posts to spread far and wide, but reblogging a previous user's tags are optional. So as heyysourwolf's post spread to the masses, it was inevitably reblogged without her original tags telling readers which show she meant.
Some Sherlock fans saw the post, and assuming that anyone on their dash must be talking about Sherlock, began to rejoice that after a hiatus of more than a year, their wait for the new series of the wildly popular BBC show would soon be over.
When they realized their mistake, many Sherlock fans began to blame heyysourwolf for deception, assuming that her original post had been intended to troll them, lead them on, or deliberately trick them.
"Is this real? Because if not I will find you and I will skin you," wrote one Sherlock fan. Others followed suit, and soon an all-out dogfight, complete with deliberately passive-aggressive tagging, erupted between the two fandoms.
"TEEN WOLF DOES NOT DESERVE A JUNE RELEASE. TEEN WOLF IS UNWORTHY. SHERLOCKIANS UNITE!" wrote one Sherlock fan. (Teen Wolf, as a summer show, has always had a June release.)
"This season we get twenty four episodes," taunted a Teen Wolf fan in response. "Could you imagine, Sherlockians? Twenty four episodes. More episodes in one season that you have in your entire series."
Meanwhile, heyysourwolf, in good humor, posted a sampling of the hate mail she'd gotten from upset fans:
This certainly isn't the first time the Sherlock fandom has appeared to be overreactionary towards bystanders. Last year fans of CBS' Elementary, engaged in an ongoing turf war with a subset of Sherlock fans, dubbed them "Pressed Sherlock Fans" or “PSFs” (“pressed” is slang for a hater). And last month, Downton Abbey fans got a dose of Sherlockian rivalry when their show won Best Drama at the British National Television Awards over Sherlock, a snub which prompted some fans to go on a backlashbender—notoriously spelling "Downton" wrong in the process.
But of course not all fans are like this, and ironically, what happened to incense the Sherlock fans over the Teen Wolf mishap—posts being reblogged without context—is almost exactly the same thing that upset Downton fans over the Sherlock incident, as one anonymous fan pointed out at the time:
A grand total of 4 people tagged things in the "Downtown" tag. When you submit things without context, this is what happens. Hundreds of people in the reblogs and the "Downton" tag are apologizing for something 4 tweens did.
But while bystanders facepalmed at the Sherlock fandom through this latest incident, many more Sherlock fans were appalled that their beloved community was once again being tarnished by the actions of a few. As noted Sherlockian Kara McGee put it:
[Y]ou just sort of sit at your desk, sort of clutching at your hair going “no no no that’s not me, it’s such a good series, I don’t know why there are people screaming, I can’t control them, please don’t paint me with your hate brush."
Heyysourwolf readily agreed, noting that apart from the hate messages she'd received, she'd received an outpouring of support and apologies from Sherlock fans.
Ultimately, what this mishap demonstrates, above and beyond individual fandom rivalries, is that fandom as a whole continues to have issues adjusting to life on Tumblr.
Here's your new show, MTV: scorned lovers who post on their soon-to-be ex-girlfriends’ Facebook accounts lambasting them for cheating.
Scottish man Martin Melrose, 24, accessed his girlfriend's Facebook and wrote a scathing note alleging she was cheating on him with another man via a secret Facebook account. He claims that girlfriend Sarah Borthwick, 22, used his money to set up secret flings with the other man.
"Since this was hidden on Facebook, I'll reveal it on Facebook," writes Melrose on her account, saying the affair has gone for a year. It's unclear how he discovered Borthwick's relationship, but said she was sleeping with the man, named Robert McNeill, during their one-year anniversary in Amsterdam.
Melrose's expletive-laden rampage, which is still public to view, continues with the accusation of a covert account created by Borthwick: "She made up this second Facebook account to pretend to the guys at the [Red Cross] that she was single and to hide her slut behaviour from me."
He writes that Borthwick's relationship with McNeill was framed as a platonic one, where she repeatedly shrugged off advances from him.
Not so, according to deleted emails that Melrose somehow accessed, in which he claims "disgusting details" were discussed.
“So after a quick nap I’m going to wake her up and chuck her in a taxi out my life forever," he concluded. The note was tagged with seven of her coworkers.
Clearly sounding distraught about the dissolution of the relationship, Melrose described the closely shared moments they had together including spotting her money and taking her out to dinner weekly. Then it took a turn:
"[Of course] we argued, but when we did it was either about me being 'paranoid' that she might have been sleeping with that prick, that she was [texting] guys and deleting them from me, that she was lying about staying at his flat then coming straight to mine the next morning....fucking disgusting!"
Scottish newspaper The Daily Record talked with Melrose, who said he had "suspicions" of an affair.
“She started a new job last August but never told anyone about me so they believed she was single. One colleague started texting her and I saw pictures of them together posted on Facebook from work nights out," said Melrose.
He confronted her about her secret Facebook account but Borthwick denied any wrongdoing. Also, apparently this Scottish city is just brimming with hackers, because Melrose claims to have logged into the deleted account and found "hundreds of messages" between her and McNeill.
“They confirmed she had been cheating on me. I’m upset but this gives me more time to spend with my friends and doing jujitsu," reasoned Martin.
Borthwick's sister, Rachel, defended her and said Melrose could have dealt with this is "in a more mature way" than using Facebook.
"He wasn't perfect either but I know what she did doesn't even compare," she said.
Borthwick and McNeill both had no comment.
Photo via Martin Melrose/Facebook
Today more than 7,000 people joined a selection of NASA astronauts in a Google+ hangout to discuss what it’s like to go into space.
Questions came in from around the world, to be answered by astronauts Ron Garan and Nicole Stott on earth, and Kevin Ford, Tom Marshburn and Internet favorite Chris Hadfield live from the International Space Station.
Questions were submitted via YouTube, Google+ and the Twitter hashtag #askAstro, spanning a range of subjects from the specifically scientific to what day-to-day life is like on the Space Station. A lot of emphasis was put on the inspirational influence of the space program, with both earthbound astronauts—now in their 50s—citing the Moon Landing as a pivotal moment in their career path into space. As Garan put it, “I didn’t want to be an astronaut until July 20th, 1969.”
YouTube science channel SmarterEveryDay had an interesting practical question for the astronauts onboard the ISS: Is it possible to twist your body in zero gravity in the same way that a cat twists around in midair to land on its feet? The answer is yes, as astronaut Tom Marshburn was happy to demonstrate.
GIF by Fernando Alfonso III
Zero gravity was a popular topic. For example, are dreams effected by the experience of living and sleeping in space? According to Nicole Stott and Ron Garan, zero gravity dreams often incorporate the sensation of falling or floating—but unlike with ordinary dreams, the feeling doesn’t go away after you’ve woken up.
As for the physical effects, many aspiring astronauts were curious about how the human body deals with living in space. Stott described how many people end up with puffy faces and spindly legs when they travel to the Space Station, due to the different ways the body’s fluids shift in zero gravity. And rather more disturbingly, the lack of regular ground exercise means that “your body thinks it doesn’t need a skeleton any more, and tries to get rid of it.” However, with proper exercise there is not necessarily any limit to the length of time an astronaut might remain in orbit.
Thanks to the success of Chris Hadfield’s regular Twitter and YouTube posts from the Space Station, some social media-related questions were inevitable. Responding to a YouTube message from a schoolteacher in Australia, Hadfield seemed eager to share his enthusiasm for his work, saying:
“I don’t think anyone tries to use technology to push the boundaries of the human experience as much as we do... We are, for the first time in history, leaving Earth. It’s too good an experience not to share.”
As for the many photos Hadfield posts on his Twitter feed, another YouTube participant had some technical questions about how difficult it is to take pictures in space. Hadfield explained that lighting is a major issue, as “space is a bottomless pit of deep black, so black it almost has a texture to it,” but the astronauts do receive help from experts -- and it’s easier for them to operate bulky cameras because the camera’s weightlessness eliminates the need for a tripod.
After half an hour of conversation with the men currently orbiting Earth, it was time for a couple of closing questions with Garan and Stott. A classroom of Life Sciences students in Tyrone, Pennsylvania asked, “What does it feel like to walk on land and breathe air when you return to earth?”
“It feels awesome,” said Stott, smiling, with Garan adding that the first time he returned to Earth after being in space, his capsule landed in Kazakhstan with the window facing the dirt. But as soon as he set eyes on a patch of grass and a flower, he thought: “This is so wonderful, we’re home.” Even though they were in Kazakhstan, home had become Earth.
Photo via NASAtelevision/YouTube
Babo Tia is a noted artist from Southern Kordofan, Sudan. He's now a refugee at Yida, a camp nestled close to the border in South Sudan.
In one of Kathryn Mahoney's many stunning Instagram photos of life in the camp, Babo paints a mural at a preschool to mark 16 days of activism fighting sexual and gender-based violence.
Mahoney, a public information officer with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), had volunteered to be Babo's artist assistant that day. She offered to buy lunch. Babo refused, telling her that he doesn't feel hungry when he paints:
Nestled in a remote region of South Sudan, the planet's newest country, Yida is home to more than 60,000 refugees. Yida's population quadrupled between April and December of last year; every day, hundreds more arrive. Most are from the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan, trying to escape aerial attacks from the Sudanese Armed Forces. The camp's children struggle with memories of violence.
In November, the United Nations planned to move refugees away from the camp, where a recent conflict between state police and camp security turned ugly. Violence erupted between government forces and rebels nearby.
Through the hardships, there are moments of beauty and wonder. Mahoney's Instagram account, @nineteenfiftyone, offers a glimpse into the lives of Babo and many others in the camp.
Mahoney, 32, started sharing photos of the camp in September 2012 and has provided more than 110 insights so far.
For the last few years, Chicago-born Mahoney has traveled to remote corners of the planet to help give a stronger voice to the people living there and the organizations helping them. "I shoot what I see and share it as widely as I can," she said.
In Yida, Mahoney is living among "a community of proud, vibrant and entrepreneurial people who are living in some of the hardest conditions imaginable," she told the Daily Dot. "I would be doing them a great injustice by highlighting their plight without also showcasing their resilience."
That she does with her compelling portraits of refugees and life in the camp, along with detailed captions describing the scene and the people in it, to which her more than 24,700 followers are privy.
The photos on @nineteenfiftyone show a broad range of life in Yida, from the rations handed to refugees and butchers trying to make a living to new refugees being registered and children babysitting theiryounger siblings.
While Mahoney is most drawn to portraits—she feels the refugees tell their own stories through their faces and emotions—her favorite shot so far is one of a young shepherd walking his herd at dusk:
This photo, Mahoney believes, "captures both the resilience and strength of the Nuban people as well as the natural beauty and light of the land in Yida."
Resilience and strength are certainly attributes refugees need in the face of tough conditions.
During the rainy season, roads to Yida are impassible, meaning for half the year, everything from medicine and food to mosquito nets and staff has to be airlifted in.
The logistical problems that presents are many, noted Mahoney.
"If you have one helicopter, how do you decide what to prioritize: lifesaving medicine or food for malnourished children? Soap to prevent hygiene-related illnesses or mosquito nets to prevent malaria? These are decisions we have to make on a daily basis. It’s gut-wrenching."
Since the key aim of the UNHCR is to protect refugees, Mahoney ensures that she is not putting them at risk by taking their photos and telling their stories. She only shares images refugees have approved.
As soon as I take a picture, I share it with the refugees. Many of these kids have never seen a camera, let alone their reflection in a mirror. The laughter and curiosity that ensues is contagious and typically draws a crowd. It’s amazing. I also explain that I share my photos publicly and give people the option to opt out. One man told me how proud he was that his face would go to America.
Mahoney's depictions of life in Yida have struck a chord with the Instagram community. Many of her photos have garnered more than 1,000 likes. "I have been truly humbled by the outpouring of support, compassion, and questions about life in Yida and the refugee experience," she said.
"I am living in the heart of one of the biggest refugee crises in the world, and I try to report life as I see it—the triumphs, the heartbreak and even the mundane. I had no idea to what extent people would relate to these pictures and find some sense of shared, common humanity. To me, that is what it’s all about."
For more information on how you can help refugees in South Sudan or how you can get involved, visit the UNHCR website.
Photos by Kathryn Mahoney
Alright everybody, raise you hand high if you've never been arrested, suspended, or otherwise scolded for taking part in a filmed episode or rendition of Baauer's "Harlem Shake."
Members of the Susquehanna University men's hockey team, it's time to put your hands down.
11 Susquehanna University Crusaders were suspended from their team indefinitely this week after members of the team posted a version of the massively popular "Harlem Shake" onto YouTube.
School administrators say that they suspended the students because the video, which has since been removed—though a mirror clip is still widely available—found several students pantomiming sex acts on one another.
"Susquehanna University promotes a culture of respect and personal responsibility," read a school statement addressing the matter. "Participation in intercollegiate athletics is a great privilege. The student-athlete handbook calls upon student-athletes to be exemplary role models by demonstrating respect for others and acting in a first-class manner.
"We are disappointed by this behavior and the way in which these student-athletes represented our teams and the university. We hope that they learn from this experience, and that they will earn their way back to representing Susquehanna as members of their teams."
The hockey players' suspension is the third school-related sanction to come down on a group of Harlem Shakers this week.
On Monday, Nyack/Tappan Zee High School's hockey team was forced to forfeit a New York state playoff game after their rendition of the dumb dance emerged online. Two days later, 13 students at Pennsylvania's Brownsville Area High School were suspended for two days after they too couldn't make a "Harlem Shake" video without getting sexually grotesque and inappropriate.
Maybe the lesson in all of this is that it's time to stop doing the "Harlem Shake" the way that Baauer wants you to do the "Harlem Shake." After all, if you're not doing the "Harlem Shake" at all, you can't get suspended for doing the "Harlem Shake" inappropriately.
Photo via YouTube
Now the mass murderer is being called the "smartest person in history," thanks to 4chan.
The dictator has topped a public poll on The Top Tens which has asked people to vote on the smartest people in history. Hitler edged out the likes of Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Isaac Newton thanks to a post on Reddit's r/4chan forum linking to the poll.
The Top Tens poll is just the latest one 4chan has decided to have some fun with over the past six months.
In August, 4chan hijacked a public Mountain Dew poll which asked fans to vote for the name of a new flavor. The top results were “Gushing Granny,” “Fapple,” and “Hitler did nothing wrong."
In November, Time magazine's Person of the Year poll was gamed by 4chan, Internet Chat Relay (IRC), and Reddit users to have North Korean leader Kim Jong-un take the top spot.
Kim collected 5.9 million votes thanks to a Java script created by IRC user _js5. The script was also used to spell “KJUGASCHAMBERS” using the first letter of each candidate's name. Kim ultimately lost the cover to President Barack Obama, but was crowned the people's choice winner.
The discussion of Hitler's intelligence is older than the Internet itself. Numerous websites have tried to tackle the claim over the years. The top comment on The Top Tens poll sums up how many of these online discussions over the years have evolved.
"Though his motivation was evil, he was indeed brilliantly manipulative, and because of this combination of both brilliance and world impact, he deserves to be on the list," read the top comment, which has received more than 2,100 thumbs up.
Photo by Kerem Tapani/Flickr