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Recent Society articles from Daily Dot

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    Feel like telling the world about how tough it is to be middle class and white? Now you can and be charitable at the same time, thanks to a new website.

    AllTheProblems.com is a site where individuals can post their First World Problems— complaints made by people who tend to live comfortable lives— and raise money to help out the less fortunate citizens of Third World countries.

    Created by redditor ThunderingNuisance, the site aims to raise money for Blood:Water Mission, a nonprofit organization that helps bring water to African nations, through online advertising. Every time an individual submits a First World complaint, a new page is created on AllTheProblems.com. Each page also shows a tally and view count. For every 3,500 pageviews, the site raises $1, enough to provide one person in Africa with clean water for an entire year, according to Blood:Water Mission.

    News of the novelty and charitable site first hit Reddit, when ThunderingNuisance submitted a post to r/self on Thursday evening. Since then, a link to it has also appeared in the r/firstworldproblems and r/adviceanimals subcategories, two of the more meme-centric destinations on the social news site, where it was favorably received.

    According to the site’s creator, every single dollar raised will go to charity. “I want to be clear here,” ThunderingNuisance wriote, “ I'm not attempting to take advantage of reddit's humanitarian side for personal gain; I will not be making a profit on this site.”

    Despite being less than a day old, over 243 individuals have submitted their First WorldPproblems. Below is a sampling of the more popular bourgeois grievances. Unsurprisingly, they all deal with the subject of technology.

    “My apple TV remote was on the other side of the room so I had to download an app to make my iPhone a remote,” whined mcrose.

    “One commercial is way louder than the rest, so I have to keep turning the volume up and down,” complained Tessa Lauer.

    “My iPad is in the other room so I have to play words with friends on my iPhone. The letters are so small,” moaned Annieshoe.

    Screengrab via Know Your Meme


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    A forgotten population during any natural disaster is often pets, but there are hundreds of dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, hamsters and other pets that are in need of relief following the devastating storm that hit the United States’ Eastern Seaboard last week.

    There are still pets being rescued in abandoned or flooded homes, there are pets living in shelters or temporary housing with displaced families that are in need of basic necessities like food, and, tragically, there are now-orphaned pets in need of good homes.

    You can donate to disaster relief efforts through the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States, two of America’s most respected animal charities.  Both organizations are operating emergency animal shelters and search and rescue operations in New York and New Jersey.  Of course, you can also help out the many humans in need by donating to the American Red Cross.

     

    Via WilliamMarlow.


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    There are plenty of reasons to vote: civic duty, desire to better your government, free sticker, get off work for a few hours on a Tuesday. But perhaps none are as compelling as the ability to use social media to brag to your friends that yes, you’re a good American—maybe better than they are.

    Besides, as a September study in Nature showed, when Americans report on social media that they’ve voted, it significantly increases the number of their friends who vote. And while you could simply update your status to say “I voted,” these three apps help you brag with substantially more flair. And that’s the point, right?

    1. Foursquare

    Considering it’s otherwise creepy to check in at your old high school gym on Foursquare, the location-based social network unveiled an “I Voted” app Thursday. With with it, users can check in at the polls to receive an “I voted” badge. Moreover, using the app lets you be a part of something bigger: Foursquare uses Google’s Civic Information API to compile a realtime map, available at elections.foursquare.com, that shows where and when Foursquare users are voting.

    2. Facebook

    Though Facebook already has an official“I voted!” button, digital rights activist group Fight For the Future’s Vote With Friends app takes that concept to the next level by introducing a more compelling element: shame.

    Vote With Friends isn’t simply a tool to check brag that you made it to the polls. Using the slogan “If You Don’t Vote, All Your Friends Will Know,” the app allows your Facebook friends can check your account to see whether or not you’ve voted, and, presumably, publicly shame you if you don’t live up to your word.

    3. Twitter and Google+

    You know what’s boring? Your normal face on election day. Thankfully, Fight for the Future also has a solution: a service that adds a banner to the bottom of your Twitter, Google+, or Facebook profile that says “I’m voting,” or “I voted.” According to Fight for the Future’s stats, the app has enormous visibility: the people who have used it thus far have more than 1.7 million followers combined.

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons


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    Here’s some sound advice: if you’re doing a livestreaming session of a video game, make sure you turn off your camera once you’re done.

    World of Warcraft player murdaralph learned that lesson the hard way after footage of him having sex with his girlfriend leaked online.

    Murdaralph was livestreaming a game of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria—the fourth expansion set of the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game—on gamer-oriented video platform Twitch.TV. He unintentionally left his camera on after his game, and it captured his girlfriend entering the room and proceeding to have sex with him.

    It wasn’t until the next day that the gamer realized what had transpired. Upon discovering what happened, murdaralph let out a very audible “oh no!” before finally turning off his camera. You can watch the reaction in a video entitled “DUN GOOFED,” uploaded to YouTube by murdaralph himself and posted below.

    The original video—the one showing the fornicating couple—is no longer available, and murdaralph’s channel on Twitch has been shut down due to its violation of the site’s terms of service. However, evidence of the unfortunate— and hilarious— incident still lives online. At least two separate threads have appeared on the Reddit subcategory r/gaming.

    The first contains a direct link to the since-deleted video, while a second, far more popular thread includes a screengrab of the couple lying naked in bed. As of this writing, the post has reached the front page of r/gaming and garnered hundreds of comments, many of them rightfully ridiculing murdaralph for his oversight.

    Photo via murdaralph/YouTube


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    It’s that time of year again. Time to scour strangers' Reddit comment history, or peruse their Amazon wish list, and buy them something (hopefully) awesome. That might include a brand new laptop or a hand-painted Mario portrait or maybe just $1,500 in cash. Cause who couldn’t use some hard cash, right?

    It’s Reddit’s Secret Santa, preparing to break it’s own recently minted Guinness World Record.

    If you’re not familiar with how secret santa works, it’s simple: Sign up, get matched with another redditor, read through their Reddit posting history, and send them something cool for Christmas.

    It might sound complicated, but as redditor Veronia explained in a comment earlier today, all it takes is a bit of creative Web stalking

     It's simple and... it also feels a bit like a game. Day out and day in people on this site sign up to their favourite subreddits, comment with hints about their personalities and likes. We share stories and anecdotes about that one song we love or that movie character we'd like to become/make love to/dress up as.

    I've done many exchanges by now and going through someone's post history isn't a chore, or a difficulty. You're looking for that comment gold or that google find that links your match to his or hers Sherlock twitter feed MsCumberbatch (just made that up). And that's when you know what to get them. Their best gift ever.

    It’s the event’s fourth year and, like every previous year, this promises to be the biggest one yet. As Reddit grows, so does secret santa, and Reddit just won’t stop ballooning in size, boasting 46.6 million unique visitors and 3.8 billion page views in October.

    Indeed, Secret Santa easily smashed the record books last year, with 30,000 participants. Will it break its own record year? That certainly seems likely. The blog post announcing the event has already rocketed to Reddit’s front page.

    In less than six hours, 20,000 people have signed up. And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

    Photo via RedditGifts


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    Here’s one strong reason to become social media proficient—so you don’t let down an entire hospital full of sick kids.

    When staff at SMM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center heard Justin Bieber was visiting St. Louis for a concert, they tweeted at the star to get his attention. After receiving a retweet from what they thought was Bieber’s agent, they were so positive the star was coming to visit that they got all the kids ready, only to be let down.

    Rose Fogarty of the Children's Foundation associated with the hospital told KPLR St. Louis she was positive Bieber was coming. She’d received a call from a national organization scouting children's facilities in advance of Bieber’s trip, and Cardinal Glennon immediately figured they'd be the ones to get the visit.

    "We assumed that would be ours because we were the only ones with a video out there,” she said.

    The video, made by 13-year-old leukemia patient Lauren Lee, was a plea to Bieber to come hang out at the hospital. After @BieberTeamSTL retweeted the video, the hospital began notifying patients that Justin Bieber was coming to visit.

    "We got a couple of re-tweets from his agent and I am 100 percent certain he saw the video,” Fogarty said.

    The “agent” turned out to be @BieberTeamSTL, a local fan account.

    Fogarty has since protected her tweets, but Oh No They Didn’t! saved the screencap:

    In preparation for Bieber’s expected visit, hospital staff had already informed the patients. A St. Louis organization that gives musical instruments to kids in need had even donated guitars and drum sticks for him to sign for a charity auction.

    Unfortunately, Bieber, who receives thousands of mentions a day on Twitter, did not end up noticing the tweets from @cardinalglennon or visiting the hospital. He left St. Louis for Dallas the next morning, where he actually did visit a hospital.

    Let this be a lesson—a retweet is not the same thing as a promise. Especially when it’s made by a fan account, not the star himself.

    Photo via Lauren Lee/YouTube


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    Jesse Tyler Ferguson is finding that his Facebook family might not be as welcoming as his Modern Family.

    The openly gay star on the ABC comedy wrote a scathing note on his Facebook fan page Monday deriding his homophobic haters. Ferguson’s note was in response to the backlash he received for encouraging fans to vote for pro-marriage propositions on some state’s ballots.

    Calling his supporters “amazing” and “supportive,” Ferguson called out his other so-called fans for chastising his sexual orientation.

    But I am in shock and ashamed of many of my ‘fans’ who are standing firm in their stance that I am ‘less than’ them because of my sexual orientation,” wrote Ferguson. “To those who feel this way: I gladly show you the door and wish you well on your journey.”

    The note clocked in more than 2,100 likes, 60 shares, and hundreds of positive comments backing Ferguson and encouraging him to “stand strong.”

    Jesse, I have, and always will, stand with you and Justin. And I have taught my daughter to do the same! Basic human rights, emotions, dignity... all belong to ALL humanity,” wrote one of Ferguson’s Facebook fans, L.J. Stevens. “It is not easy to be a crusader, to be strong, to be true to what you know deep down is right. My family will now and forever stand with you.”

    Photo via Jesse Tyler Ferguson/Facebook

     


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    Some soccer fans just don’t know how to let go of things.

    Like Arsenal fans, for example. Many Gunners felt betrayed when their star striker Robin Van Persie announced that he wasn’t extending his contract with the club over the summer. RVP, as he’s often called, chose to sign with Manchester United instead, one of the most reviled clubs in the Barclay’s English Premier League.

    Among the unhappy Arsenal supporters is Kye, the 3-year-old child in the video below. In the very short clip, Kye taunts RVP with the lyric “She said no, Robin, she said no,” a reference to his 2005 arrest for suspected rape. The charges against the player were eventually dismissed.

    Perhaps more startling than a 3-year-old alluding to rape is what comes next in the song: Kye calls Van Persie a “cunt.”

    All of this is of course perpetrated by the child’s father, who remains anonymous behind the camera and can be heard joyfully laughing as his son swears.

    The video is making the Internet rounds today thanks to a piece published by British tabloid The Sun, who gave their story the sensational and alliterative headline “Vile RVP vid.. by boy, 3.”

    On YouTube, it has elicited largely negative responses from commenters, who accuse the adult in the clip of being a terrible father.

    “Fucking hell it’s just football,” writes FanOfTheDoraemons, “there’s no need to teach a 3 year old kid to swear like this over RVP’s move.”

    “What a great father he is, apparently hating on a football player is more important than a child’s innocence.”

    Photo via Ronnie Mcdonald/Flickr


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    A man rooting around his medicine cabinet found one of his ex-girlfriend's old pregnancy tests. Because he was bored or felt like peeing on something, he took one of the tests, and much to his surprise, it came back positive. "Lol," he thought, probably. He told his friend about the ordeal, who then turned the humorous tale into a rage comic and posted it on Reddit.

    And that's the decision that saved his friend's life.

    Science fact: pregnancy tests detect beta human chorionic gonadotropin, which is not only a sign of a potential pregnancy but also, in some cases, testicular cancer. Several Reddit users knew this and told the man to get to a doctor.

    "You may have testicular cancer! Get to an oncologist, tell them you took a pregnancy test and it came out positive," one Redditor wrote.

    Another wrote: "If this is true, you should check yourself for testicular cancer. Seriously. Google it."

    The rage comic artist alerted his friend, who set up an appointment with an oncologist. It turns out that Reddit was right; the man had tiny tumor is his right ball.

    Of course, the Reddit user announced the news with another rage comic.

    While the guy still has cancer and will likely lose his right nut, he'll probably live. Which means the lesson is: take all medical concerns to Reddit, the front page of the medical world, and you'll probably live forever.

    By Taylor Berman, photo via Shutterstock


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    When eBay seller Julia McGill put up a piece of cardboard “shaped a bit like an iPhone 5,” potential buyers pushed the bidding up to £200,000. The auction was flagged as a potential scam, however, and McGill is starting over.

    It wouldn’t be the first time an elaborate joke has gotten a lot of attention online, but what probably encouraged buyers to put their money on the line for a piece of cardboard is the fact that 100 percent of the auction proceeds go to a good cause.

    “All money raised from this auction will go towards a challenge (trekking along the Great Wall of China) I am undertaking for the Charity Dig Deep which is a UK registered charity that helps communities in Kenya improve access to clean water, sanitation and renewable energy,” McGill wrote on Tuesday.

    On her sales page, McGill discussed the many merits of her (used) piece of cardboard over the latest Apple product. It’s eco-friendly, its battery lasts forever, and it doesn’t include a glaring screen to hurt your eyes.

    More than one hundred and thirteen people bid for the item, and some have left joking comments on McGill’s Question & Answer page:

    “You have very little feedback. If I were to make the winning bid, how would I know that you wouldn't just keep the piece of cardboard and try to fob me off with an iPhone 5.”

    (It’s a well-known eBay scam for a seller to claim to offer up the latest tech product, only for the buyer to receive a cardboard replica instead.)

    She also added that if people want to donate toward her cause without bidding for cardboard, they can go directly to her fundraising page.

    Even though donors on the page aren’t in need of the latest new cardboard slab, many wrote they decided to donate because of the eBay page.

    “I liked your ebay ad a lot, so here is a bit less than £150K,” one person wrote after leaving a £5 donation.

    Despite the fact that all the money for the cardboard was going to charity, McGill wrote Wednesday morning that eBay had taken down the original auction, high bid and all.

    Apparently, eBay had an issue with McGill’s use of “iPhone 5” to describe a non-iPhone product:

    “eBay has removed this item … despite it having raised £200,000 (see screenshot) for charity,” she wrote. A new version of this auction is now available (having removed the offending word iPhone from the title).”

    McGill put up a new auction page, but now the bid is only at £16. If you’re interested in raising money for charity and getting a shiny new piece of cardboard at the same time, this is an affordable option—for now.

    Screenshot by Lauren Rae Orsini


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    Have your curtains ever laughed at you right before you fell asleep?

    That’s just one of the many questionable queries posted on r/ambien, a section of social news site Reddit names for the prescription drug commonly used to treat insomnia. For some people, the drug also induces hallucinations and abnormal behavior, leaving the affected parties with a confusing crime scene once they wake up from their refreshing sleep.

    Since r/ambien’s first post on June 22, 2011, it has grown to over 700 subscribers. Moderators miserlou and eskimozach were inspired to activate the subreddit after being on the drug themselves.

    “I was prescribed Ambien briefly for insomnia I had during college,” miserlou told the Daily Dot.

    “As my roommates can attest, it sometimes led to some rather erratic thoughts and behavior. Apparently while on Ambien, I was incepted with the concept of 'Phil,' the name of the new gentleman caller of a roommate, neither of whom I knew particularly well. I awoke to find the word 'Phil' tagged on almost every surface of the apartment in indelible pen, thousands of times. Not a good feeling, and I didn't get the security deposit back.

    I was wondering if there was a place that people shared Ambien stories.”

    Fellow moderator eskimozach’s experience, while different, nevertheless led him to the same desire to seek out a community. “In one post, I have drawings I did of my friends while on Ambien. I used a projector and drew on them using MS paint and projecting the colored light. It was very fun.

    I just wanted to see what goofy stuff people on Ambien might wander over and post.”

    On the subreddit, Ambien’s hallucinogenic properties are commonly referred to as “the walrus,” named for a collection of Toothpaste For Dinner comics.

    “It appears a little cult following has developed around him. I'm not sure if r/ambien contributed to that or not,” miserlou said.

    Submissions to r/ambien are widely varied. Some users choose to write what they are experiencing while under the drug’s effects. Others post examples of what they have woken up to the next day. Still others come to the subreddit seeking genuine advice and information.

    “One post [described how] a girl baked an entire pie and hid it from herself before bed,” eskimozach recalled.

    “I think my favorite posts are the artistic ones,” miserlou added. “Ambien seems to bring out an artistic side in people, myself included. Usually this is expressed in the form of 'scribbling on things.’ This one is also particularly fantastic.”

    While finding the subreddit’s entries funny, both moderators strongly urge people not to abuse the drug and to use caution when taking it.

    “Be careful, kids,” miserlou said. “Hide your phone and try to get some sleep. If you do stay up, draw some pictures and post them on r/ambien!”

    Photo via Bev Sykes/Flickr


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    Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s oft-used line “engage” took on a whole new meaning when Patrick Stewart and other members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast unexpectedly bore witness to a marriage proposal.

    Uploaded to Reddit by user Luckboy28 on Nov. 6, a photograph capturing the moment reached the front page within hours, receiving nearly 1,500 comments.

    The proposal occurred during a photo op session at the Wizard World Austin comic convention, held in Texas’ capital city during the weekend of Oct. 26-28. The convention marked the first time in 25 years that the show’s full cast had reunited for an event.

    Like many attendees before them, the couple entered the photo area, where Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Wil Wheaton were waiting. Instead of a traditional pose, however, the man stated “I really love Star Trek, but I love [this girl] even more” and dropped to one knee.

    The photographer captured the element of surprise on the woman’s face—as well as an actual facepalm from Stewart.

    In a comment, Wheaton—a regular redditor—described how the exchange unfolded:

    “Marina started to cry, I felt like I was going to cry, and we all applauded and celebrated when she said "yes." Apparently, they'd met Marina earlier in the day, and Marina had given him shit for not marrying her, so Marina was embarrassed about that,” he wrote.

    Wheaton also claimed that Stewart’s facepalm was not intentional.

    “I'm not sure why this picture is being circulated online, like Patrick is giving the literal Picard Facepalm, because that's just not what happened. We were all delighted for this young couple, and I know that I was honoured to be part of this moment in their lives. I think it's likely that Patrick was just wiping sweat off his brow or something like that.”

    Other Redditors poked fun at the cast’s apparent reaction.

    “I love everyone's reactions, but absolute favorite thing about this picture is the ‘Brent Spiner is unimpressed’ look,” oo_nrb commented.

    “LEVAR BURTON IS NOT PLEASED,” ChronicPains commented.

    Photo via Luckboy28/imgur


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  • 11/08/12--04:36: Morning GIF: Up and running
  • Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    For survivors of a state of emergency, there’s an unforgettable sensation of elevation on watching the first lights wink back on after the blackout. Thanks to Jonny of the Ex-Genius Tumblr, we can all savor that feeling in some small, sympathetic sense.

    He’s created an animated map of the New York City subway system showing the different lines coming to life over the period of Nov. 1-5. From the Manhattan heart, like arteries carrying the lifeblood of of the country’s markets, media, and moneymaking, they grow daily longer, more networked, more robust, until the network is complete and the city’s circulation is restored.

    This marvel of GIF engineering, echoing actual marvels of engineering and hundreds or thousands of hours of physical work, has 408 notes, and never fails to arrive on time.


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    When 16-year-old McKayla Maroney traveled to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she had no idea that her notoriety would come not from a Silver Medal win, but an Internet meme.

    Her now famous scowl, which she made when another country’s national anthem began to play during the medal ceremony, exploded on the Internet in early August 2012. The tumblr blog McKayla Is Not Impressed collected images of the athlete Photoshopped into various backgrounds.

    While the athlete was on a visit to Philadelphia, the Daily Dot asked her about her life as a meme. Maroney, wearing a boot as part of toe surgery recovery, was enthusiastic about her fame.

    “All of the attention was a little weird at first,” she said. “But it actually turned out to be pretty fun.”

    Maroney does not worry about any impact that the meme may have on the rest of her career or life in general.

    “When something like that happens, you really just have to embrace it,” she said. “It actually made me feel pretty special. No other Olympic athlete had something like that happen to them, and it was nice to bring attention [to the sport] like that.”

    Out of the thousands of “McKayla Is Not Impressed” submissions, one stands out as her personal favorite.

    “I really liked the one with me and Charlie Brown,” she admitted.

    As far as other memes are concerned, McKayla says she is amused by Bad Luck Brian but said she does not have any particular favorites.

    Maroney was in Philadelphia as part of the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. She was also promoting her upcoming guest appearances on the CW drama program "Hart of Dixie."

    Photos via McKayla Is Not Impressed/Tumblr


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    President Barack Obama didn’t just win the election. He also won over Tumblr.

    Obama collected more than 75,000 mentions Tuesday compared to Mitt Romney’s 35,000, according to exclusive statistics provided to the Daily Dot by Union Metrics, Tumblr’s analytics partner.

    According to a real-time Union Metrics visualization tool, Tumblr collected upward of 170 posts per second on election day, with Obama and other Democrat related terms getting mentioned at a much higher rate than Republican ones.

    One of the most popular tags of the day was “election2012,” which collected about 34,000 mentions on Tuesday and 68,000 total since Oct. 8.

    The top “election2012” post made in the last month was of a seven GIF photoset featuring an elderly woman talking into the camera about her anger over reports of Republican voter suppression this election season, living through WWI, and voting for Franklin D. Roosevelt. The GIFset was posted on Nov. 2 and has collected more than 162,000 notes.

    In the month leading up to the election, Romney’s Tumblr presence had increased. He was the topic of 94.5 million posts and 3 million reblogs, comparable to Obama’s collected 117.1K posts and 2.5 million reblogs. But apparently he wasn’t popular enough to beat Obama, the official commander in GIF.

    The following is a Tumblr topic summary for Obama. Click to enlarge:

    GIF by Fernando Alfonso III


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  • 11/09/12--05:24: The darker side of Pinterest
  • Pinterest statistics tracker Repinly keeps tabs on which pins prove to be the most repinnable. Each week, we comb its popular pins from the past seven days to find the quotes, photos, and DIY projects that are hot on Pinterest right now.

    There’s a point at which inspiration can get downright ugly.

    Pinterest lets users live a fantasy life, pinning homes they can’t afford, food they can’t cook, and clothes and shoes they can’t wear.

    The narrative of “having it all” has been a standby argument of the women’s rights movement for decades—the belief that any woman can have a rewarding work life and family life, balancing it perfectly and looking good all the while. Pinterest, with its promises of quick DIY projects and 10-minute gourmet meals, lends itself perfectly to the myth.

    But at the end of the day, they’re just pictures. It can be depressing to leave one’s perfect pinboards and return to harsh reality.

    This week, life’s futility seemed to seep into the week’s trending pins, which read more like a cry for help than a fun diversion. Take a look at the demotivating side of Pinterest.

    1) “If I treated you the way you treated me, you would hate me.” (original pin)

    2) Skeletal aspirations (original pin)

    3) A suggestion that women can’t live normal lives after being cheated on (original pin)

    4) Humanity’s ugly side (original pin)

    5) A bathroom as dark as your soul (original pin)

    6) Justification of your teetering mental health (original pin)

    7) Explanation for your empty shell of a life (original pin)

    Photos via Pinterest

     


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    Fresh off saving a man from testicular cancer, President Obama’s favorite website, Reddit, is off on another adventure in crowdsourced medical advice. The beneficiary this time? Some guy suffering from the world’s most horrific pimple ever.

    It all begins at the site’s r/popping forum, where pimple and cyst aficionados gather to share videos of swollen pustules and papules and revel in the sight of percolating pus. It is not exactly a work-friendly subreddit. The sidebar warns users to “turn the volume down while watching some of the videos. A lot of screaming and puke noises.” It goes without saying that you should ready that gag reflex if you click through.

    On Tuesday, the day most Americans were headed to the polls, redditor GokkunMilkshake (don’t Google that name, just don’t, please) took to r/popping to show off his prize.

    “So, do you think my infection is ready to pop yet?” he wrote, attaching a photograph of what can only be described as the biggest pimple ever, the kind of thing you can only imagine needs to eat and absorb other pimples to sustain its growth rate.

    Thankfully, as much as the readers of r/popping take pleasure in the in pus-filled explosions, they also take care of their own. Some pimples are apparently so bad they can pretty much kill you.

    “Get to a doctor!” redditor Wraithex implored. “That looks like a major infection. I am sure you need antibiotics ASAP.”

    GokkunMilkshake explained that he’d already been to the doctor once, but r/popping was not impressed. Perhaps he should go back, he wondered?

    “Um. Yes. Unquestionably,” redditor FlintGreasewood replied. “Request a culture of the wound itself. Don't leave until they do it. You may need to have it drained and packed, too.”

    It sounds like GokkunMilkshake heeded that advice, and got himself to an emergency room stat. Three days later, he returned to Reddit with an update:

    Okay, so I just got out of the hospital after being on vancomycin IV 2x a day, and they drained 4ccs of pus out of my lip tuesday.
    about to get a script for clindamycin, and follow up with the surgeon who drained my lip and the infectious disease doctor next week

    And that was the last we heard from him. But it sounds like, for the time being, the horror pimple has been stopped in its tracks (Vancomycin is a powerful antibiotic but only used as a “last resort” when other antibiotics fail, according to an article in Science Daily).

    Good luck and godspeed, GokkunMilkshake. And thank you for not sharing a photograph of those 4ccs of pus.

    Photo via GokkunMilkshake/Imgur


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    If there’s one universal truth about fandom, it’s that even though it’s vast, extremely diverse, and populated by women, white dudes still rule the roost.

    At least they do in slash fandom—the part of fandom focused on male/male relationships—where the mantra “slash is the sound of white men fucking” is so common people have written songs and made one famously controversial satirical banner about it.

    But now, for what may be the first time ever, a brave new satirical Twitter account is stepping in to defend the oppressed heterosexual white fangirls who just want to squeal over two boys in love.

    The “No Homo” banner, and the discussion around it, takes a hatchet not only to the generic ‘two white dudes bantering’ formula that seems to generate tons of buzz from fandom around a show but to the fangirls who continually flock to turn those movies and shows into huge fandoms, most notably Sherlock, The Avengers, Supernatural, and Teen Wolf. The phenomenon of slash fans who migrate between Anglo media franchises, hopping from one eminently slashable white dude pairing to the next, is so noticeable that fans have formed several terms for it: Any Two Guys, Migratory Slash Fandom, Random Militant Slashers.

    None of this, however, has stopped fans from being drawn to those characters and tropes, though it has led to increased discussion about why fans are drawn to certain pairings over others, and how to increase representation of diverse fandoms and female characters within slash fandom.

    Recently, one fangirl dove into the fray with a Colbert-esque Twitter account: @hetwhitefangirl. While fandom has parodied the migratory slash fandom many times, this is probably the first time it’s ever happened via a Twitter roleplay account. @hetwhitefangirl, whose real name is Jess, is actually a “homoflexible” fangirl who’s in most of the fandoms she mocks. That’s her in her Twitter pic. She blogs at lastofthetimeladies on Tumblr, when she’s not skewering slash culture and the fangirls who make it happen.  

    True to the slash party line, @hetwhitefangirl hates Elementary but loves Jennifer Lawrence. (She’s strong, funny, and doesn’t threaten any of fandom’s popular male/male ships, which makes her the perfect fangirl totem.)  @Hetwhitefangirl’s commentary is current, and she squeals with fangs bared:

    And she doesn’t just stop with mocking the migratory slash fandom. She also mocks other het white fangirls—like the Ten/Rose shippers in her own fandom, Doctor Who:  “I love all the companions on Doctor Who except Martha,” she tweeted, pithily summing up years of fandom drama. “She's so whiny & sad. Not that I'm stuck on Rose...or racist! I just don't like her.” When questioned further, she clarified, “oh lol I meant on the real Doctor Who, not the old Doctor Who.”

    Naturally, the Daily Dot couldn’t rest until we cornered @hetwhitefangirl and asked her to fill us in on her misunderstood life. The result is a hilarious, snark-filled interview that takes potshots at just about everyone. Don your armor, fans, and read on!

    Daily Dot: What made you start your Twitter? Was it because there weren't many fangirls like you?

    There are definitely a lot of fangirls like me, but I feel like a lot of the time we're reduced to a flailing mess and don't have a voice. I wanted to become the voice of the fandom (or all fandoms). I think allies like me don't always speak up enough about their experiences as allies. It's important for all of us slash shippers to stick together against the homophobes of the world!

    DD: Can you describe your ideal couple? What makes them unique?

    What my ideal couple looks like is two tall, pale, and skinny British men with a little bit of muscle. They would have a lot of angry sexual tension at first because they would be rivals at something, but then they would realize they were in love. I mean, there are so many other ideas for couples I get, and sometimes I feel like writing fanfiction but with my own original ideas, but I think the important thing that makes all of these couples unique is that they have the kind of chemistry that only two men can have. There's that build-up of subtext and then finally they kiss and become everyone's OTP [One True Pairing].

    DD: How does being a slash fan empower your everyday life?

    I feel incredibly empowered, being a slash fan. A lot of people don't want to get in touch with that part of themselves—the part that accepts gay subtext as canon and unabashedly reads and writes kinky fanfiction about it. I feel bad for people who can't accept the reality of gay characters on TV. It's really a shame that there are so many people out there like that. I feel like if I were to ever meet a gay person, I would feel empowered knowing that I'm a slash fan and an ally, and I would befriend him really quickly.

    DD: What will happen to fandom if Sterek doesn't become canon?

    I already consider Sterek basically canon. There's enough subtext that it might as well be. People can ship what they want to ship, but the fandom isn't going to change to fit the mold of the small minority of hetero-supremacist shippers.

    DD: Do you feel there's a need to talk more openly and honestly about the love lives of white men in fandom?

    Yes! There is not enough discussion about gay men in fandom at all! That's why I'm so glad my Twitter has gained popularity—there I can be truly candid. I think a lot of slash shippers feel the need to hide out of fear for the so-called "social justice bloggers."  But these same bloggers, who are supposedly pro-LGBT, are also denying that many of my ships are canon. That's falling just short of oppression!  We have to speak honestly about our ships. We have to discuss every moment where one man's eyes hold the other's, and the way their hands touch, and everything like that. Seeing the "gay" in things is not difficult if you look, but you have to be willing to talk about it openly and honestly.

    DD: Do you have any fetishes?

    Does gay sex count? :P

    DD: But what are your thoughts on yaoi?

    I love yaoi! I spend a lot of time reading smut about all my OTPs, and sometimes I even write it.

    DD: Have you ever read any femslash?

    No, I don't read femslash. Lesbians aren't really my thing. I just don't see the appeal. Maybe I'll kiss a girl out of bicuriosity sometime, but I'm not really, like, into that kind of stuff.

    DD: Female characters in your slash fanfic: Do they make great side characters or are they just needless window dressing?

    I think female characters can make great side characters! There's something to be said for love triangles between two men and a women—you think the men will be fighting over the woman, but you come to realize that in the end the two men end up together! I love the idea of a female rival for one of the members of one of my OTPs. As long as my OTP gets together in the end, it's great. It just adds to the tension between the men! So yeah, women are great for love triangles. Also, being the platonic best friend and confidante of one of the guys. If she's not a part of a love triangle, she shouldn't be a part of the love story at all. I like it when female characters kind of become like the mentors of the gay characters and ship their relationship before it even happens. Does that make sense? It's like female characters who are best friends of the men are real-life slash shippers in the fanfiction world!

    DD: Would you ever consider shipping best friends Troy/Abed (Community), buddy detectives Gus/Shawn (Psych), mentor/mentee John/Ronan (Stargate: Atlantis) or House/Foreman, buds Tony/Rhodey (The Avengers), love/hate rivals Stringer/Avon (The Wire), or those buddy cops from Common Law?  I have no idea why I mention these characters specifically.

    I ship everything if I see the chemistry there.

    DD: Do you think fandom has a problem with race?

    I don't really see race when I look at people—I just see people! I think the people who have a problem with race are the people who are still racist and are afraid to admit it. The fandom as a whole doesn't have a problem with race. But the people who try to call other people out for "racism" and "cultural appropriation" (lol whatever that means) are the people who haven't caught on to the fact that art is art, regardless of race. Like the casting in movies and television. If they'd had a black guy who auditioned for Sherlock Holmes better than Benedict Cumberbatch, then the black guy would have gotten the role. But Benedict Cumberbatch is and always will be the perfect Sherlock. They cast it that way for a reason. (Plus a black Sherlock Holmes would be weird. I mean, those stories were originally written like a few centuries ago, before black people even lived in England.)

    DD: Any words of advice for fandom?

    Don't ever stop shipping! Don't let anybody tell you what to ship or what not to ship! Don't let the social justice bloggers get you down! Your opinions are valid and well-formed, and they should be respected.

    As always, fangirl logic proves irrefutable.

    Photo via hetwhitefangirl by Aja Romano


    0 0

    The presidential election had one clear winner, and it was not Barack Obama.

    Nate Silver, a journalist and statistics whiz, correctly predicted the election outcome in all 50 states using hard and fast data and complex mathematical models. Away from the grind of working out the probability of the election result, we don’t know much about Silver save for his penchant for burritos, fantasy baseball, and poker.

    That’s where the Twitter parody account @fivethirtynate, a.k.a. Nate Silver 2.0, stepped in.

    The name of the account is a play on Silver’s New York Times blog, FiveThirtyEight (for the number of electoral college votes up for grabs in a presidential election), and his eponymous Twitter account. With just 35 dark, glorious tweets, since last Saturday, Ford hit 11,111 followers.

    The pondering, surrealist tweets call to mind those of @NotTildaSwinton, a satire of actor Tilda Swinton:

    Matt Ford, a 23-year-old political science graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, began tweeting under the guise of an existentialist Silver as greater attention was placed on Silver’s predictions.

    “The Silver controversies on Twitter and elsewhere in political media were ripe for satire,” he told the Daily Dot.

    “For two months America had Nate Silver the person, a mild-mannered statistician-columnist who works for The New York Times, and Nate Silver the idea: a prophet cloaked in empiricism and intellect, striding across the battleground states like a colossus, armed with a mighty predictive model and inscrutable equations, giving hope and comfort to liberals, inspiring fear and outrage in conservatives, and spelling doom for the haughty and arrogant classes of entrenched political punditry.”

    The account helped Ford take his mind off the election, about which he was “a nervous wreck.” Pushing that energy into @fivethirtynate “went a long way towards lowering my heart rate and blood pressure for those four days” between starting the account and Tuesday.

    Ford’s long had an interest in politics. His parents took him to the polls with them, encouraged him to watch the news as a child, and pressed the “importance of civic participation.” He has friends who are also interested in politics and has volunteered for campaigns. “Growing up in a swing state, with all its biennial bipartisan bloodbaths, didn't hurt either,” he added.

    Pulling together the tweets on the account took some work—especially since Ford is self-admittedly “terrible at mathematics.” Opting for a surrealist tone helped compensate for that, he said.

    Having a solid enough understanding of mathematical concepts, such as discrete variables and Bayes’ theorem, to derive humor from them took “a lot of time and effort.” Ford, who is currently job hunting while applying to grad schools, tweaked most of his tweets four or five times before sending them. For every tweet that made the cut, he said there were five or six he composed that did not.

    The pensive election commentary did not stop with @fivethirtynate: The real Silver jumped into the fray as well. “On The Wall, The Writing,” Silver wrote in an election night message retweeted by Ford.

    The satirical account received notice from the Washington Post and the interest in @fivethirtynate extended to several people in the public sphere, with people such as famed Twitter comedian Rob Delaney among his followers.

    “[S]eeing words I've written appear on the feeds of well-known journalists, comedians, and political figures, some of whom I follow regularly on my normal Twitter account and highly respect in real life, was almost as surreal for me as seeing Meta-Romney's poll numbers in the infrared states would've been for Nate Silver 2.0.”

    Notably, this isn’t Ford’s first stab at a satirical Twitter account. When his favorite parody @GingrichIdeas closed shop when Newt Gingrich bowed out of the Republican presidential nomination race, Ford tried to take over the mantle with @RomneyIdeas. It wasn’t quite as successful as its forebear, garnering 117 followers to @GingrichIdeas’s 15,303. However, Ford learned plenty of lessons he put into practice with his more recent satire.

    Keeping @fivethirtynate apolitical was key for Ford, given widespread fatigue over politics as the race drew to a close. He believes part of the account’s success can be attributed to it being not a parody of Silver, instead the public’s perception of him.

    “I liked the idea of portraying Silver in mystical terms: not necessarily just making jokes about statistics or polls,” Ford noted, “but hitting upon the underlying idea that Silver's understanding of the forces that guide our universe exceeds mortal comprehension. “

    As the election season drew to a close, so to did Nate Silver 2.0. Ford became aware of comparisons between his account and those of @GingrichIdeas and @MayorEmanuel (a stellar parody of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel).

    “What did those two have in common that made them so successful? They ended. Some parody Twitter accounts can be consistently funny over a long period of time, like @ElBloombito or @KimJongNumberUn. But the vast majority of them won't be, and perhaps can't be. A parody account of Clint Eastwood's chair or Big Bird angry at Mitt Romney has a shelf life of perhaps two weeks. Silver himself could probably explain in mathematical terms how the longer a parody accounts exists, the likelihood it'll lose its touch increases. So, once @fivethirtynate caught on, I decided to not risk it and gave it a firm conclusion - for now.”

    There is an approximate 76.96 percent chance of @fivethirtynate returning, however. The midterm elections are just two years away.

    Photo by Matt Ford


    0 0

    Why did Businessweek think it was a good idea to poll its users about which college campuses have the hottest female students?

    Easy: It has done it before and no one noticed.

    This year, however, coming just after an election season full of heated debate over the “war on women,” Businessweek’s decision to promote their survey with a headline and a tweet asking “Which business school has the most attractive female students?” went over about as well as you’d expect.

    Source: Google cache version of Businessweek

    Reaction to the tweet was swift and universally negative, with most reactions either of appalledhorror and disbelief or smirkingpotshots. On the article itself, reaction was even more negative. Reader Rachel Sklar commented (cached link):

    Nothing says "We don't take women in business seriously" like ranking women based on their looks. This demeans every woman who works at your magazine, every woman you've ever covered, and pretty much every woman ever. And it is meant to. Know that this is intentional sexism. Whomever was responsible for publishing this knew exactly what kind of message it sent. That it got sent from BUSINESSWEEK makes it all the more stunning. Fix. This. Fast.

    Though the backlash was severe, it was slow to build, and Businessweek kept the article up for more than a day before deleting it without any further public comment sometime on Saturday. As for the tweet promoting it, that stayed up over the weekend, deleted only late Sunday night:

     

    Source: Twitter

    The poll was part of a new Businessweek feature called “Face/Off” that asks readers to vote on various short polls. Introduced just five days ago, the poll has already ground to a halt after the media outlet yanked its latest edition.

    What were Businessweek execs thinking when they put up the poll to begin with? Probably that this year would be no different from the other three years they’d published similar rankings of colleges by hotness.

    In 2009, Businessweek published an article called “Campus Life: A Report Card.” “It's important to understand what the universities that house the top business programs are really like,” claimed the article. The next year, they repeated the article, this time with a slide show purporting to list the “Fifty Colleges with the Hottest Guys, Girls, and Nightlife.” And by 2011, they were confident enough to declare it a yearly event.

    The lists generated virtually no discussion. In 2010, a Huffington Post syndication of the list garnered comments about the drug scene on certain campuses, but little else. On the Bloomberg Businessweek website, comments were absent altogether.

    How did Businessweek get its rankings? According to the 2011 report, “Every year Bloomberg Businessweek partners with College Prowler, which surveys college students throughout the U.S. and uses those surveys to grade each school on everything from academics to nightlife to off-campus housing.”

    College Prowler does provide information on academics, scholarships, and other collegiate issues; but it also lets students rank colleges by factors like “hot girls.

    Basically, what RateMyProfessor is to teachers, College Prowler is to listees of future Missing Person reports. Here’s how the site measures attractiveness of students:

    Girls and Guys grades are both determined by student's ratings of their peers based on the following characteristics: attractiveness, athleticism, creativity, friendliness, fun, geeky, hardworking, into partying, outgoing, smart, and stuck-up.

    Here’s what that looks like in action:

     

    Source: College Prowler

    Though College Prowler definitely lives up to its name, it does offer equal opportunity creeping: Both guys and girls are up for scrutiny and statistical ranking. Though this poll was not actually affiliated with BW’s annual collaboration with the Prowler, tweets and comments suggest that it probably would have also had a “hot guys” component if it had survived that long. It’s likely that had Businessweek not chosen to make this poll specifically about hot women, the ranking would have continued to fly under the radar even though the “college life” angle has always been a disingenuous one.

    “Businessweek, ranking the hotness of female students,” deadpanned Twitter user Millicent Somer. “Be sure to take them seriously in future.”

    At press time, the website had issued neither an apology for the original poll nor an explanation for the retraction. Perhaps they’ve realized that while ranking a college may take more than a user-generated poll, ranking a news outlet may take only one tweet.

    UPDATE: The Daily Dot has received the following statement from Businessweek: 

    We regret issuing two online polls last week that asked our readers to comment on which business schools had the most attractive male and female students. The Face/Off polls have been taken down from businessweek.com. They were in poor taste and undermine the tremendous value our Business Schools vertical provides.

    Photo via prayitno/Flickr


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