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Articles on this Page
- 11/03/15--04:30: _Susan Wojcicki want...
- 11/03/15--07:54: _How DJ Akademiks be...
- 11/03/15--08:01: _NPR wants to make i...
- 11/03/15--11:38: _How Instagram star ...
- 11/03/15--13:07: _VidCon 2016 tickets...
- 11/03/15--13:19: _CW Seed adds 'The O...
- 11/03/15--14:00: _Jon Stewart signs 4...
- 11/04/15--06:30: _How much of the Fat...
- 11/04/15--08:51: _Alanis Morissette a...
- 11/04/15--09:51: _Vine star Nash Grie...
- 11/04/15--11:10: _WWE's SummerSlam ge...
- 11/04/15--11:47: _This week on The Da...
- 11/04/15--13:56: _Kendall Jenner post...
- 11/04/15--14:15: _Meet #WCW Ashley Ma...
- 11/04/15--14:24: _Here are the promos...
- 11/04/15--14:55: _Reddit and Wired’s ...
- 11/04/15--16:30: _Hip-hop jam 'Desser...
- 11/04/15--18:57: _5-minute Netflix vi...
- 11/05/15--04:25: _Stephen Colbert enl...
- 11/05/15--04:38: _Jimmy Kimmel made a...
- 11/03/15--07:54: How DJ Akademiks became hip-hop's one-man TMZ
- 11/03/15--08:01: NPR wants to make it easier for you to find great podcasts
- 11/03/15--11:38: How Instagram star Connor Franta takes the ultimate photo
- 11/03/15--13:07: VidCon 2016 tickets are now on sale
- 11/03/15--13:19: CW Seed adds 'The O.C.,' 'The Flash' to its streaming platform
- 11/03/15--14:00: Jon Stewart signs 4-year deal with HBO
- 11/04/15--06:30: How much of the Fat Jew's book is plagiarized?
- 11/04/15--11:10: WWE's SummerSlam gets the virtual reality treatment
- 11/04/15--11:47: This week on The Daily Show
- 11/04/15--13:56: Kendall Jenner posts intentional nip slip on Instagram
- 11/04/15--14:15: Meet #WCW Ashley Mardell, the big voice of Little YouTube
- 11/04/15--14:24: Here are the promos for Donald Trump's imminent trip to 'SNL'
- The fact that "uuuuuuge" is starting to get old.
- The fact that NBC can only legally grant presidential candidates a certain amount of airtime.
- The fact that Taran Killam's Trump impression might just have to come face-to-face with the real deal.
- 11/04/15--18:57: 5-minute Netflix videos set to help parents at bedtime
- 11/05/15--04:38: Jimmy Kimmel made a supercut of Donald Trump's strange noises
BY SAM GUTELLE
Since taking over her current position as the CEO of YouTube in February 2014, Susan Wojcicki has taken outspoken stances on a number of sociopolitical issues. Her support of federally mandated paid maternity leave for all new mothers in the U.S. has made headlines.
One of the other topics she discusses vociferously is the presence of women in the tech industry, and by promoting a new documentary, she is looking to inspire women to get coding. Until Nov. 5, YouTube has made Codegirl—a documentary about female coders—available for free.
Codegirl is directed by Lesley Chilcott, who is best known for teaming with Davis Guggenheim on award-winning documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman, and It Might Get Loud. This time, Chilcott focuses on an international coding competition from Technovation, through which 5,000 girls were given an opportunity to design a new app and win $10,000. Codegirl follows a handful of the contestants as they progress through the competition.
By distributing Codegirl, YouTube (and, by extension, Google) is continuing its crusade in support of women in tech. Its Made with Code initiative is intended to support women who are passionate about programming and technology. “Our goal is to inspire as many students as possible during this special five-day free viewing period before it hits theaters,” wrote Wojcicki in a blog post introducing Codegirl. “With your help, we’ll be able to inspire more girls around the world to pursue their passions in tech.” If you’re on board with Wojcicki’s mission, you can check out Codegirl on its official YouTube channel.
Screengrab via Code Girl/YouTube
DJ Akademiks is one of the most popular online figures in rap music. Not because of any music production or actual DJ work, but rather his knack for reporting gossip.
Tech-savvy, young hip-hop fans routinely come to him for rumors and viral offerings, whether it be Young Thug following Caitlyn Jenner on Instagram or Suge Knight fainting in a courtroom (the most-viewed video he has made). DJ Akademiks is molding urban news in his image one screenshot, one added watermark, at a time.
The guy has amassed more than 125,000 Twitter followers, 90,000-plus Instagram followers, hundreds of thousands of subscribers to his various YouTube channels, and he's recently taken on livestreaming platform Twitch. There is no host blog, but rather a series of attacking outlets that flock to where his audience converses.
He did begin as a DJ though.
Akademiks was a literal disc jockey at the Rutgers University radio station every Saturday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm ET until 2013. Originally from Spanish Town, Jamaica, Akademiks emigrated to the United States in high school, he says, around 2001. (He declined to tell the Daily Dot his real name.)
He was shy as a foreign teenager and besides a couple of Jamaican friends, he clung to music—specifically hip-hop. He integrated himself to the culture through early rap blogs and forums, and by the time he went to college, he became comfortable enough to open himself up online.
“In college, I’m like, ‘You know what, I think I’ve grown into what I now believe is me,’” Akademiks tells the Daily Dot on the phone.
Akademiks says he received his bachelor’s degree in biomathematics, and it was in school where he started DJing parties and barbecues. He would play events and then post footage to YouTube and Facebook, someofthese clips are still posted. When strangers started coming across the videos and requesting him to do parties outside of his immediate area, Akademiks realized how powerful his Web impact was becoming.
“Usually anyone that’s American who goes to a dancehall party, they’ll say this one thing: 'The DJ talks way too much.' Because the DJ oftentimes makes his opinion heard. Now, I’m the same way,” Akademiks says, explaining how he transitioned from uploading videos of his parties to uploading videos of his point of view.
Akademiks was a regular at online hip-hop forums, and began to feel comfortable enough to post about Kanye West albums and Chris Brown arrests, right alongside party videos and a DIY strain of his interviews. But he also began to report deeply embedded info that became increasingly exclusive. He likened it less to carving out a journalistic niche than putting forward a brand that is passionate enough about rap to pay attention to its gossip and minutiae. Over time Akademiks found what people responded to most, and he catered to it.
His information arrives largely via fan tips. He says tipsters go to him before aggregating blogs like WorldStarHipHop or a gossip site like TMZ—though at this point, it’s hard to tell those outlets apart from Akademiks in terms of their reporting pace.
He claims to have received “at least 600 videos” of an incident that caused 61 people to be arrested during this year’s Summer Jam music festival in New Jersey, for instance. As far as fact-checking goes, Akademiks says he tries to reach out to the person his story is about, but also conceded that most of the time, they will not give confirmation.
But lest you think he’s not giving careful consideration to work, his coverage has a three-point plan for ethics and best practices:
“Number one, does my audience care about this? Number two, for the discussion we are going to have, is this relevant? Number three, are these all the facts that are important to the case for us to even have a discussion in the first place?” he says.
What’s relevant is subjective, he adds. But rather than chasing what’s trending nationwide, he simply follows his followers. He sees himself in them. He can elaborate: “My type of people who will think like me, listen to music like me, and most likely act and react like me. And not only that, but what’s relevant to me is relevant to them.”
He cops to actively reading comments, especially when he doesn’t agree with this audience. He mentions doing a story on Caitlyn Jenner.
“I feel like this could be the media moment of the week,” he remembers, and he was certainly right about Jenner on a national level. But his often insular, hypermasculine community of rap heads tuned it out: “There’s no conversation I want to have about it, it’s not something we’re interested in,” is what came back.
Most of what DJ Akademiks is doing–reporting on gossip and posting his assessment of it online–is not unique. (In fact, the name “DJ Akademiks” has been used by an on-air radio personality in Baltimore for at least the last seven years.) Websites like Media Take Out and Bossip have thrived focusing on black celebrities often ignored by traditional gossip magazines, and personalities like DJ Vlad and Charlamagne tha God have built their brands as pot-stirring commentators.
Akademiks doesn’t quite create beefs like Vlad or Charlamagne, but he does tend to prop up obnoxious, widely held beliefs. Take, for example, his videos entitled “Michael Sam Has a Terrible Performance at NFL Combine. Is the Gay Agenda Pushing Him?” or “Lupita N’yongo Beauty, Skin Color & The Black Agenda.”These could be interpreted as equal parts conspiracy theory and trolling, but he knows what gets people engaged. Sometimes that can be not sharing his opinion, and it always means controversial worldviews.
Akademiks’s social-media popularity is somewhat divorced from his YouTube videos. The two former platforms of his are almost uniformly made up of memes and news with little commentary. He wants to eventually “completely separate” his “personal brand” and his “media brand.”
At the moment those two aren’t far apart, especially with his YouTube videos embellished with the kind of tired jokes a Twitter comedian might not even use at this point, like sexist references to “thots” or Jerry Sandusky. He is prone to that troll-esque, removed sarcasm that’s so prominent among those who process and judge complex issues from behind a computer screen.
DJ Akademiks has a whole channel dedicated to the “War in Chiraq,” a popularized term for the widespread youth violence in Chicago. The channel details the incarcerations, murders, and occasionally, the music of Chicago rappers.
When I ask if his videos trivialize Chicago violence by employing the same comedic tone he uses elsewhere, he says no. He says there is a “cool factor” with Chicago rap and that, “You have to let people know that this is not even cool. This is ridiculous... You have to point out or use satire, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”
He continues: “Most of my followers think [the violence] is cool… My videos serve a purpose to let people know that no I don’t [think it’s cool].” It is unclear how comparing an opposing gang coming to the home of a 20-year-old to murder him with a pizza delivery (“The goddamn opps is doing goddamn deliveries. This is like Papa John’s”) accomplishes that goal.
I ask DJ Akademiks about the gay jokes he makes in reference to the heterosexual Atlanta rapper and colorful dresser Young Thug. “Young Thug is a new representation of the confusion and the market factor that he’s used,” he says.
As best as I can interpret, Akademiks is getting at a similar thing that rapper Wale said during a recent interview about how being gay can help an artist’s music career, while specifying that it is the questions surrounding Young Thug’s sexuality–and not explicit homosexuality–that draws interest. He dismisses Young Thug’s persona as “just marketing.” Akademiks says it is his job to “point it out and make it white and black,” rather than the “gray” and “vague” ways on which Thug presents himself.
Regardless of what problems people may have with DJ Akademiks, both his reporting and commentating styles are set to become even more pervasive. The previously mentioned Charlamagne tha God, whom Akademiks considers a “mentor,” has expanded his brand from radio and social media to podcasting and various television shows.
DJ Akademiks gets better at aggregating content with each tweet and video, continually figuring out how to expand and build his audience. He’s already at the numerical level of opportunistic social media personalities DJ Zeeti and 40oz Van.
Last month the website created and run by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, the Root, used a DJ Akademiks tweet in a news story about Drake and Meek Mill. It was one of the first times a website has sourced Akademiks that wasn’t a rap blog. Unless someone else can repost and add their watermark sooner than he can, it won’t be the last.
Photo via DJ Academiks/Facebook
The NPR Arts, Books & Culture desk has launched earbud.fm, a detailed, diverse catalog of podcast recommendations curated by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Pink; longtime professional podcasters; and NPR listeners.
“Podcasts as a form of mainstream journalism and entertainment have reached a level of influence in our culture that deserves the kind of editorial attention our cultural news department gives to books, movies and music,” Michael Oreskes, NPR’s Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director, said in a press release. “We understand this is a particular challenge since NPR and public radio are among the largest producers of podcasts, so we devised a system to use audience recommendations vetted by a team of external and internal reviewers to come up with the most interesting and impartial recommendations.”
NPR received approximately 6,000 submissions for more than 800 podcasts. A panel of industry experts reviewed the submissions, avoiding the problem of ballot-stuffing.
The earbud.fm interface is easy to navigate. Podcasts are divided up into categories, interests, and formats. For long-lived podcasts, some of the reviews recommend the best places to start—so you won’t have to make the choice of starting with the most recent episode or at the beginning.
Finding the time to listen to everything, however, might be even more difficult now.
Photo via Jonathan Grado/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)
In the quest for a perfect Instagram feed, there’s no one better to consult than an expert that's already mastered it. Luckily, YouTuber and Instagram star Connor Franta is letting the world in on his Instagram style with a guide to how he develops the perfect picture in a new video.While Franta might first be known as a YouTuber, but he also has 3.9 million Instagram followers, and he doesn’t follow the typical celebrity Instagram format of simply taking pictures of himself.
Franta covers everything in this video, from selecting your camera to framing your shots (his goals are always one of the following: depth, symmetry, color, or contrast) and editing your photos. He shouts out a few apps he uses in his process—VSCOcam, Afterlight, and Facetune—and gets as specific as particular filters he prefers. Franta’s tutorial focuses on the fun of Instagram, with ways for an everyday user to turn into a amateur digital photographer.
Franta isn't the only one pulling back the veil on how social media visuals are constructed this week. Essena O’Neill,a teen Instagrammer who quit the platform began editing her captions to reveal the truth behind her mental state and the staged and branded photos she’s posted over the years.
Whatever your Instagram status, Franta’s tips are definitely enough to keep you “faking reality,” as he jokes, and mastering your Instagram game.Screengrab via Connor Franta/YouTube
While the world of digital video shifts daily, one thing fans and professionals alike can plan on is an annual pilgrimage to Anaheim, California, home of VidCon. Tickets for the 2016 event are on sale as of today, with a few changes to the proceedings.
VidCon 2016’s major change will be the month, with the event moving to June instead of July. The annual event will run June 23-25 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The July weekend VidCon used in 2015 now conflicts with San Diego Comic-Con, a potential problem for the target audience.
VidCon also announced that it will open up more programming in the Anaheim Marriott. A space at the convention will be fully dedicated to gaming content, with specialized panels and live play opportunities. The new gaming content will be integrated to the existing badge types.VidCon doesn’t set an end-date for ticket sales, but last year they sold out in advance of the event. Attendees can still buy tickets with three different distinctions: Community, Creator, and Industry. Each allows different access, from signing lines and general panels to more specialized sessions and mixers for professionals. Tickets for the weekend start as low as $100 for buyers shopping in advance, but those rates jump to $750 for non-early bird Industry attendees.
While other conventions have popped up in the digital video space like New York’s recent StreamCon and the upcoming Project IRL in Miami, VidCon continues to be the go-to hub for the digital video community each year, with more influence from non-native digital worlds.
With over seven months until the next event, an eternity in digital time, it’s hard to predict what VidCon 2016 will tell us about the future of video, but it will definitely be the place where the key players come together to figure it out.
Screengrab via VidCon/YouTube
At long last The O.C. is available for streaming online—just in time for fans to get their pre-holiday season binge watch out of the way. At the very least, it’s a good time to revisit the Chrismukkah episodes.
The entire series has been added to CW Seed—the CW’s online streaming portal—for your consumption, and it’s not alone. The entire runs of the original The Flash, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Almost Human have been added as well.
These shows join CW Seed originals like Vixen and Play It Again, Dick, along with every single episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
There’s no telling how long The O.C. or any of CW Seed’s newest acquisitions will stick around, so don’t take them for granted. After all, it’s not like The O.C. has ever been available to stream before, never having appeared on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
And what about those who have never seen The O.C. before? Why should you tune in? Where else will you see a young Ben McKenzie (Gotham’s Jim Gordon) and Rachel Bilson (Hard of Dixie’s Zoe Hart) sharing memorable moments with Adam Brody and Mischa Barton? Nowhere.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
For the deal, Stewart will be producing short-form, digital content to be featured on HBO Go and HBO Now, which aims to update regularly throughout the day. The contract also gives HBO a first-look option on Stewart's other television/film endeavors.
In partnership with Los Angeles-based cloud graphics company OTOY Inc., Stewart is working on new technology to allow him to produce the content quickly for fast and frequent updates. As for the subject matter, Stewart will continue to "view current events through his unique prism," according to the press release. While he may not be returning to the desk, we can probably expect our daily dose of Stewart to be something similar to his work from The Daily Show.
Stewart left The Daily Show in August after serving as the primary anchor for 16 years. Three months later, it seems difficult for Stewart to stay off screen however. "Appearing on television 22 minutes a night clearly broke me," he said in the release. "I’m pretty sure I can produce a few minutes of content every now and again.”
Screengrab via CNNMoney/YouTube
The moment I learned the Fat Jew—New York comedian and joke aggregator extraordinaire—was publishing a book, I immediately laughed that it’d probably all be plagiarized.
After all, Josh Ostrovsky a.k.a. the Fat Jewish, has become notorious for stealing comedians’ jokes and republishing them as his own on Instagram and elsewhere. Why wouldn’t he use the same tactics in his 255-page book?
I’m here today to confess that I was wrong, and—for better or worse—the Fat Jew seems to have written all of these words himself.
After downloading the Kindle version of Money Pizza Respect, I set to work copy-pasting chapters of it in some of the Web’s many plagiarism checkers, used by teachers and editors the world over. One by one, they came back clean.
Perhaps the best-known free plagiarism checker online, Grammarly passed the test first. I plunked in the entirety of Chapter 3: “My Dad Thinks I’m Gay” to the free service, and it got the green light. To my horror, it also came back clean of any grammatical or structural errors, which I find difficult to believe.Really, Grammarly? I took a closer look. True enough, sentences like this one may be disgusting, but it’s surprisingly structurally sound. (You could argue for a comma after the opening prepositional phrase and for "fourteen" in numeral form, but those aren't hard rules.)
“When I was fourteen I was just discovering that I could make a milky substance come out of my penis, and I had one long pubic hair that was longer than my dick”
I dug up another free resource online to try with Chapter 20: “Available for Bar Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras & Graduations.” This one, too, popped back out zero complaints.I’m amazed that no one else has written something as vague as “traditional media will try their best to scare you into thinking that the job market is soft and that it’s never been harder to get work,” but even Google checks out here: So, you know, if you’re a college dean looking for a commencement speaker, you’re in luck.
I’m getting close to hitting the publisher’s preset limit on the amount of copying I can do in the Kindle text, but I have to try one more.
In goes Chapter 17: “Sharon Stone, an Ostrich, and an Ocean of Rosé,” and out comes…
Nada.At this point, the cynic in me wants to just give up on the world of free plagiarism checkers, to blame them for allowing this monstrosity to exist. But the simplest explanation is usually the right one, as Occam’s Razor states, so I just have to admit that it’s original work.
That just doesn’t make it good.
Illustration by Max Fleishman | Remix by Monica Riese
One of Alanis Morissette’s biggest hits becomes even less ironic once you bring in a clucking band to perform it.
Jimmy Fallon somehow wrangled Morissette and Meghan Trainor to join him onstage in chicken costumes and happily bawk through a rendition of “Ironic,” and it’s just as bizarre as it sounds. Bawking and clucking all the way through, they managed to capture the tone of the song without letting their poultry-inspired attire distract them.
Finally we can enjoy the song on its own merits instead of having endless debates about just how unironic it really is.Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
BY BREE BROUWER
Nash Grier is working to create content way longer than the popular six-second vines that made him famous. The 17-year-old Vine star (who boasts over 12.2 million followers on that platform alone) and social media force of nature will produce a currently-untitled autobiographical documentary, as well as a corresponding behind-the-scenes webseries about the documentary’s production.
Grier’s upcoming documentary project will show how the 17-year-old rose to social media fame in only a few years’ time. The companion webseries will show how his life changes during the documentary’s production. The Hollywood Reporter notes the entertainment personality will simultaneously film both projects. Grier, who’s repped by both WME and 26 MGMT, will produce the documentary and webseries through his NSHT LLC production company alongside the original content branch of the WME-owned agency IMG.
Grier has quite a lot on his schedule as of late. In addition to these new productions, he’s set to make his acting debut in the upcoming Fullscreen film The Outfield, scheduled for digital release on iTunes on Nov. 10, 2015. Grier also just teamed up with his brother and fellow Vine star Hayes to become ambassadors for healthy-eating organization FNV and launch a T-shirt design contest to help benefit the brand. Finally, the social media superstar is working as the creative director for DigiTour Media, where he’ll help develop original series for distribution on the company’s various channels.
Grier has started production on his autobiographical documentary and the behind-the-scenes webseries, which will wrap some time in the spring of 2016.
Screengrab via Nash Grier/YouTube
Get ready to rumble.
The clips were filmed in August and, according to the press release, will feature:
360-degree highlights from SummerSlam weekend, including the showdown between John Cena and Seth Rollins and the surprise appearance of Jon Stewart as host. The other video recaps the match between Finn Bálor and Kevin Owens at NXT TakeOver, a WWE Network special that took place the night before SummerSlam.
And if you tuned into the original airing of the show, you don't need to worry. All of the footage will be brand new.
According to WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson, “We were able to put [the virtual-reality camera operators] in positions where they were a fly on the wall.”
The clips are available for the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition as well as the forthcoming $99 Gear VR headset, which will be released Nov. 27.H/T Variety | Screengrab via WWE/YouTube
Kendall Jenner just Instagrammed an intentional boob-flash photo because it's Wednesday and why not? In the pic, she appears to be living her best life as she holds the strap of her tank top aside to reveal her right breast.
Instagram's ongoing war on the nipple probably won't come into play here, either, because Jenner covered her bases in the editing process: Her nipple appears to have been digitally altered away in addition to that big red X obscuring any controversial areas.
On Twitter, she called it her "favorite photo" of herself. She credits it to "lil Ky" in her caption, which suggests that her sister Kylie took the pic, but then she also tags actor Moises Arias's handle @490tx at the end, so maybe it was a collaboration. Art!
Screengrab via Kendall Jenner/Instagram
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Ashley Mardell. Long before there was the Daily Dot’s #WCW column, there was a show called YouTube Nation. As that show’s curator, I spent hours scouring the Web for passionate, articulate women to highlight and help disprove the theory that YouTube is entirely cat videos and fail compilations. And in my years with the platform, I’ve found many, many examples of this type of woman. But few are as consistent and special as Ashley Mardell.Starting her channel in 2009, Mardell has built an archive of creative, discussion-focused videos that matter. Little YouTube vs. Big YouTube, the ABCs of LGBT, stereotypes, gender and sexuality, coming out, relationships, depression: Mardell’s content is a series of honest letters to her thousands of subscribers. She first gained notice online after collaborating with Hannah Hart in 2013 during Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen national tour, and from there, Mardell wowed fans with the level of detail each of her videos presented. With stop-motion, props, and collaborations from around the world, Mardell has never cared about being “YouTube famous” but instead, makes the platform a more inclusive place.
Through YouTube, Mardell has spent years creating personal (often educational) videos for and with members of YouTube’s LGBT community. Her series The ABCs of LGBT moves through the gender and sexuality spectrum as Mardell and other LGBTQ YouTubers share their own experiences. These videos are educational for all, but they’re especially important for LGBTQ individuals looking for information to support or explain their own identities. For young fans who can’t get an education on sexuality in school, this content is even more of an asset.She’s talked about coming out, educated others on how to be an ally, and recently, shared with the world her love for her girlfriend Grace, a now-permanent partner on the channel and in our hearts. Three months ago, Ashley released her first video discussing her depression, further working her magic of creating dialogue around “taboo” topics.
Ashley Mardell, I’m raising a beer to you. Thank you for reminding us to be brave in our own way, to listen to others even when we might not understand them at first, and to always always be open to love.
Screengrab via Ashley Mardell/YouTube
The promos have finally dropped for Donald Trump's stint hosting Saturday Night Live with musical guest Sia this weekend, and they're very promising. Cecily Strong, Taran Killam, Sasheer Zamata, and Jay Pharoah all make appearances, and the clips address the big issues:
If the promos are any sign of what's to come, Saturday's episode should be a fun one.
Wired and Reddit have combined forces to launch a tech documentary series called Cyborg Nation. The first six episodes went live today, and their captivating subjects will keep viewers enthralled through the run of the series.
It’s hosted by YouTuber Derek Muller (whose personal science channel Veritasium has nearly 3 million subscribers), and each five-minute-or-less episode walks you through a different emerging technology. The topics of the episodes were suggested by people on the r/Futurology subreddit, too, so a lot of the topics are clicky as all hell.
One episode, called “Cyborg Cockroaches Could Save Your Life,” explains how researchers can hack cockroaches’ antennae and control where they walk by strapping a microchip to their backs:In another, they test robot hands that simulate human feeling by measuring things like temperature and pressure. The test? Petting a bunny and a duck and a tortoise and a chicken: In another, they look at the exoskeleton technology that’s hoping to help wheelchair users walk on their own: Wired and Reddit are reportedly planning to team up to host AMA (or Ask Me Anything) sessions with the documentaries’ subjects at some point in the near future, but additional info on that is still to come.
In the meantime, get ready to learn a lot of fun facts. Then keep them in your back pocket as Thanksgiving conversation starters.
Can dance track "Dessert" become the next "Nae Nae?" It's certainly on the path toward breakout success.
To wit: Here's Chachi Gonzales dancing over "Dessert" with an intense, choreographed teacher fantasy dubbed "Donut High."
For the uninitiated, DanceOn carves a niche by choreographing elaborate dance routines to trending pop hits. They can elaborate:
"Dance videos are powerful music videos driving more fans to discover new songs in an authentic way," said DanceOn CEO Amanda Taylor. "DanceOn's partnerships with such artists as Silento, ilovememphis, James Bay—and now Dawin—showcase our ability to not only make new songs go viral but also impact chart rankings long term."On DanceOn's main channel, performers Kaelynn "KK" Harris, Jade Chynoweth, and Sienna Lalau go to war over a cupcake in a number choreographed by Janelle Ginestra and Will “Willdabeast” Adams.
Sweet obsessions aside, the women in these videos have hard-hitting moves, and "Dessert" is performing strongly, peaking at No. 1 on Billboard’s Twitter Emerging Artists chart in mid-October. Last time DanceOn took on a Silento project track sales tripled, according to Billboard.
Screengrab via DanceOn/YouTube
Netflix is making an effort to help parents thwart their kids' witty bedtime-stalling tactics, and it's coming in five-minute packages of dinosaurs and trucks.
As many parents are probably familiar with the classic "just five more minutes," plea in front of the TV, Netflix wants to give parents a means of sticking to it. Thus it's created Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites, a collection of five-minute-long videos specifically targeted for bedtime.
Netflix launched this series in response to a survey Ipsos Public Affairs conducted on its behalf in September. Reaching out to Brazil, Canada, Australia, France, Mexico, the U.S., and U.K., more than 7,000 parents were polled about their nightly bedtime routine with their children. The survey found that 61 percent of parents struggle to get their kids to bed and spend more than 17 minutes on average fighting to tuck their kids in.
Unsurprisingly, the numbers from the U.S. are above average, coming in at 66 percent of parents spending almost 20 minutes on average. But does Netflix really think it can solve this problem?
According to the research, the "just five more minutes" tactic isn't the only one kids employ to stay up late. In fact, of the seven countries surveyed, Brazilian kids were the most likely to use that strategy—which they classify as negotiation. Other methods the research names include "cute," "outrageous," "hard-to-argue-with," and the American child's favorite: "creative."
Seeing as how asking for five more minutes is a pretty classic excuse, it doesn't appear Netflix's five-minute videos really address the problem. Once those five minutes are granted, what's to stop a kid from deploying plan B?
The attempt is valiant no less, the idea behind it all being that parents can let their children watch another entire episode of something before bed. With Netflix's solution, theoretically, parents can give a little extra time and still get their kids to bed in a timely fashion while kids can feel like they're watching a whole story—beginning to middle to end.
Though kids can prove smarter than they're given credit for, and surely after just five minutes, they can figure out how to finagle their way out of bedtime for those other 15. In a space where kids often find themselves in a vortex of short YouTube videos anyway, it just doesn't seem like Dinotrux 5 Minute Favorites can really quell their anti-bedtime rebellion.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
Daniel Craig's Bond films have been praised for their gritty realism, but as this skit from The Late Show proves, James Bond should never be too realistic.
Stephen Colbert enlisted Daniel Craig to film a lost scene from Spectre in which Bond tries to rent a car in the middle of a chase scene. It doesn't go well for him. After all, would you rent anything to a guy who destroys every vehicle he touches? Heck no.
Watch out for Craig cracking up halfway through the sketch. We don't blame him; acting opposite Stephen Colbert must be a blast.
Screengrab via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube
To describe Donald Trump as an eccentric presidential candidate is the mother of all understatements. He's a bundle of idiosyncrasies, especially when it comes to public speaking.
But Trump is never afraid to make his voice heard, and when words fail him, he has a truly impressive vocabulary of weird non-verbal sounds. And thanks to this video from Jimmy Kimmel, you can now watch them all in one go.
"Bing bing, bang bang bang, bing bing." You said it, Mr. Trump.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia (CC BY SA 3.0)