Lokal Stops: The Future is Now

It all happened so fast, and we didn’t even see it coming. We have reached a new era and it is the future. We present to you, proof:

There are a lot of “what if” scenarios littered throughout history–key moments in our timeline that have very distinctly led up to our present day. If these key moments had gone even just a little bit differently, history could have been entirely rewritten. For example, what if Hitler won the war? What if we had never launched into Space? And, perhaps most importantly, what if Sega had won the console wars? Food for thought.


Lokal Stops: Chaos Reigns

Some days, you just have to accept chaos. Below is chaos.

Climate change is how we die, claims government propaganda on a surprisingly well-designed website.

Also, vampires are real.

Here’s some sex data, just for fun:


Turns out that fountains of youth walk amongst us, and they are just young people. Hate the youths however much you want, but: scientists put blood from young mice into old mice and that “rejuvenated their muscles and brains.”

By the way, if you’ve ever wondered why women are so hysterical, it’s because their wombs are living beasts preying on their bodies. At least that’s what Plato told everyone. (Aristotle said that women are just deformed males. It’s unclear who is correct.)

This game makes you dip into its code to get by.


It kinda feels like wedding season, so perhaps you’ll find value in this wikiHow:


And let’s end with poop.bike.

Lokal Stops: Heads Will Roll

“Terror is only justice,” says 18th century France. And 21st century America agrees: some are calling for the return of the National Razor, La Guillotine. When you take a quick look back at the history of the American death sentence, it’s not a terrible idea. Most notably, it’s a great cure for a headache.

In other vaguely referential news, police in Maryland are going to live-tweet an upcoming prostitution sting, marking (potential) sinners for life–with the letter D, I guess, for Degenerate? Whatever the Letter, the message is clear: don’t do anything remotely sinful, unless you want to be branded by your crime for life. This is clearly a good idea.

If you don’t want your life to end in crime, perhaps you’d consider finding a mentor. Note: mentors only available to white males, women and minorities need not apply. Women’s heads, by the way, aren’t controlled by their periods, it turns out! Listen, we all just have emotions sometimes and that’s okay.


Though women are not slaves to their periods, we are all slaves to our smartphones.

The lesson is this: in the end, our differences don’t much matter. We begin with nothing, we end with nothing. Which is why it was so easy for Minecraft creator Notch to write the coded story of our lives in less than 48 hours. Whether you play or not, you’re stuck with the non-code of your real life, so I guess what I’m trying to say is… have a great weekend!

Lokal Stops: We’re Not Animals!

Once upon a time, there was a boy. He was 6 or 7, sitting at his dinner table, looking at the plate of salad that had been set in front of him. This child, in all his experiential wisdom, thought to himself that this plate of leaves “seemed a little primitive – like something an animal would do.” Today, the boy is 25 years old, and has created a “beige beverage” called Soylent to replace the basic, bestial acts of cooking and eating. The man says, “People have this belief that just because something is natural it’s good. The natural state of man is ignorant, starving, and cold. We have technology that makes our lives better. It doesn’t make sense that you would keep technology out of this very important part of life.”

Screen shot 2014-04-29 at 10.49.07 AM

Also, he recently bought an old Ford pickup with “Bitcoin” money because “Ferraris are wasteful” which he might be right about because Ford F250s from 20 years ago have a gas mileage of up to 14mpg in the city and a brand new Ferrari only gets 11mpg. It’s a shame we live in a world where the only available cars are expensive, wasteful, and fuel inefficient.

Anyways, because everything this guy does makes a ton of sense, we really got to thinking: what other human acts are “primitive” and animalistic? What other acts of savagery do we commit every single day? Here goes:

1. A photographer is using his skills to take professional photos of doggies at a kill shelter to increase chances that the pups are adopted. Just because it’s nice to save helpless and adorable animals doesn’t mean we should.


2. Sex. Fluid-y and loud and talk about bestial. 45% of men finish within 2 minutes according to science, probably in an effort to keep the having of sex to a minimum. They are the true anti-savagery heroes.

3. Neil de Grasse Tyson was all like, forgiving and compassionate about Donald Sterling:

“We’re human, we make mistakes, and I might be more forgiving than others. But life is very complex. And to indict the rest of someone’s life on one thing they say — give them a chance to redeem themselves.”

4. Also, let’s talk about weed. Grows from the earth, has leaves, less harmful than alcohol, maybe reduces chances of getting cancer… fuck that. Do drugs made in a lab instead. More civilized for sure.

5. Turns out not everything is available in the App Store. Come on, isn’t this supposed to be the future? What year even is this?

Clearly, the world is a savage place. So why stop at engineering food to rise above the savagery? Why not use the technology we have to improve our very genetic code?

No one will mistake us for animals when there’s fire shooting out of our palms.

Or we can apply our newfound knowledge of the physics of Spider-Man’s webs to maybe get in on that web-slinging action. Now, you might be thinking that shooting spiderwebs out of our palms would make us more like, say, spiders, but you would be wrong – because we’d be using technology to get the webs, while spiders are naturally born with webs. And, as we have learned, technology is what separates man from beast.

Don’t you let anyone get you down by telling you that you have more similarities with the natural world than you can begin to imagine, you hear?

Yet another horrifying fact further delegitimizes anything Bill O’Reilly says: in blaming black teen pregnancy on Beyoncé, O’Reilly has revealed that he’s never even listened to Beyoncé’s music before.

Beasts, humans, Bill O-Reilly—even in chaos, things have a way of working themselves out.

Lokal Stops: Of Coke and Suffering

There was a time on this Earth when human beings used Coca Cola as a spermicide. Humans realized that the bottle in which Coca Cola comes in was a great device with which to apply Coke to vagina, often utilizing the “shake and shoot” method. Humans, a truly unique species, are the only animals on planet Earth to wonder about the meaning of life.


The question of the meaning of life causes human beings a lot of suffering. In this past week’s New York Times Sunday Review, Tim Kreider writes:

Even if we someday solve all our societal problems, people will still be unlucky in love, lonesome and bored, lie awake worrying about the future and regretting stupid things they did and wondering whether it’s all even worth it. Utopia will have an unendurable amount of hassles to deal with, endless forms to fill out, apathetic bureaucrats, taxes, ads and bad weather. Time will still pass without mercy.

This isn’t pessimism; it’s science.

For Harper Lee, time has passed for 88 years today. Also, today, Harper Lee announced that she’s letting To Kill a Mockingbird to be published as an e-book.

For this one guy, 4 minutes and 57 seconds passed, and in that time, he ran one mile and drank five beers.

In media news… Vox.com – relaunched for time number seven at the beginning of April – is publishing interviews alongside its reporting and here’s why that’s great. To quote that article: “I suspect a lot of people arrive at the article page and don’t even realize there’s an interview a click away — or vice versa.” Yep. Didn’t realize it.

Microsoft continues its campaign for media domination with its very own version of Netflix Originals, called Xbox Originals. It’s all very original. Apparently we haven’t lost enough touch with the world around us by spending hundreds of hours looking for digital coins to buy our digital weapons to kill some digital bastards. Now we’ll have some new programs to keep us away from our loved ones.

In media news from 20 years ago, Internet is coming to NPR! The future is now.

Women Do Science Sometimes, and Sometimes We Talk About Them

The eighth episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, “Sisters of the Sun,” focused on female scientists who majorly influenced astronomy and astrophysics. Here’s the rundown (uh, it’s not possible to spoil the plot of Cosmos, is it?): because at the time women couldn’t receive science degrees at Cambridge where she attended lectures, Cecilia Payne left her native England to study astronomy at Harvard. With the help of Annie Jump Cannon – who was the first to organize and classify the stars based on their temperatures – Payne discovered that stars are mostly composed of hydrogen and helium, which she then realized are the most abundant elements in the universe. Otto Struve, a Russian-American astronomer and man, said that her 1925 thesis, titled Stellar Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Observation Study of High Temperature in the Reversing Layers of Stars was “undoubtedly the most brilliant PhD thesis ever written in astronomy.” (He did die in 1963, so perhaps he missed a few of the recent ones, but still.)

Watching the episode last night, as usual, I felt a little inadequate to the genius minds that not only comprehend amazingly complex science, but also make seemingly extraneous connections to fuel new discoveries. (This feeling of inadequacy, by the way, I take as a great great motivator.) The female pioneers featured on last night’s Cosmos were, just like any of the males we generally learn about, brilliant thinkers. And they – like most women in any field even today – made these scientific strides facing harsh adversity. Women in science are rare, precisely because of the gendered setbacks (like not awarding degrees in science in the past, or still relevant today, mythologizing that women are bad at math).

At the same time, female scientists rarely get the attention they deserve. So last night’s episode perhaps attempted to redeem this sexism in historical narrative.

But then again, maybe if Cosmos focused on women in science alongside men all the time, in each episode… maybe it wouldn’t need an entire episode dedicated to female scientists. Women have made equally important contributions consistently (just take a look at this Wikipedia list of female scientists before the 21st century!) – and have been omitted from previous episodes. Such as Caroline Herschel, whose brother William was featured in episode four, “A Sky Full of Ghosts,” although both were equally as interested and active in astronomical discoveries. She discovered M110 (NGC205) – a satellite of the galaxy Andromeda – and discovered several comets.


But also, last night’s episode also mentioned something that I feel like I should have heard about before? There’s a huge mega supermassive star called Eta Carinae only 7,500 light years away that’s going to explode perhaps in our lifetimes. (Note: nothing really ever happens in our lifetimes. We exist for a miniscule portion of time, and we can barely see anything from Earth, so what are the chances?!) From NASA:

Eta Carinae is not only interesting because of its past, but also because of its future. It is one of the closest stars to Earth that is likely to explode in a supernova in the relatively near future (though in astronomical timescales the “near future” could still be a million years away). When it does, expect an impressive view from Earth, far brighter still than its last outburst: SN 2006gy, the brightest supernova ever observed, came from a star of the same type, though from a galaxy over 200 million light-years away.

Lokal Stops: No Explanation

For some reason, people don’t like it when other people explain things to them.

So let’s just do some pros and cons today:

Taco Bell and its new “fast-casual” Mexican chain
pros: boozy milkshakes
cons: it’s called US Taco

pros: boozy milkshakes
cons: the “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” guy lives here

Silicon Valley
pros: the revenge of the nerds!
cons: it’s horrible

The Internet
pros: there’s nothing it can’t do
cons: it does stuff to our feelings

pros: it brings presidents and robots together
cons: nothing, science is awesome


Aside from pros and cons, here are some things you should know: book covers are giving us the wrong idea about Lolita; scientific journals aren’t really trying very hard; there’s a bitcoin debit card now; and Andy Warhol made some computer art.

I would explain why any of this is relevant, but you probably don’t want me to.

Lokal Stops: The Limit Does Not Exist

All good things must come to being mistakes: the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau says they messed up and approved the powdered alcohol by accident. Don’t let the news cancel your fun, though: just cook up your own powdered amusements. The sky is the limit!

In other news, the sky is no longer the limit. In fact, the sky has not been the limit for quite some time. In fact, the limit does not existWe’ve been to the moon, pretty much assume there’s life on other planets, and soon we’ll be able to see aliens from the comfort of our own solar system.

These are all just baby steps… though giant, leaping baby steps, sure. The guy in charge at NASA says that if we want humanity to survive indefinitely, we’ll have to start colonizing other planets. NASA’s already working on designs for a new spacesuit for Mars. As we get closer to Mars, NASA will have to consider how to advertise space this time around. (Disney probably doesn’t have to be involved.) While we’re at it, we should probably also come up with some galactic laws.

Some cynics out there might be able to think of a reason or two that humanity might just want to stick to the one planet.

To those cynics, I say: things here on Earth could be a lot worse, so let’s try to chin up and look on the bright side. For example: on the bright side, a huge asteroid wiped out all of the creatures that would’ve kept us in the food chain. (On a murkier side, we aren’t as safe from asteroids as we like to believe–but at least if we’re ever struck, there’s a possibility that we’ll be remembered.)

Murky with a chance of sun: some poor schlep sold what might be Shakespeare’s annotated dictionary on eBay.

Also probably feeling pretty schleppy today is the NYPD, whose social media team asked people to tweet their photos with officers, tagged #myNYPD. You probably don’t need a link, you probably don’t need sample tweets of what happened next, but here you go anyway:


While the NYPD is treated to its daily ration of criticism/ridicule, James Franco once again enjoys some hearty portions of art-world-ego, while his peers smile and nod at him uncomfortably. For some discomfort outside of the art world, look no further than Game of Thrones’s accidental rapist.

If any of today’s news is making you anxious, you might want to dip into some of Earth’s natural resources for some peace of mind. Or just throw up your hands and let someone else take the wheel.

Lokal Stops: Sins Are Fun

Today is an important day. It is the day after Easter, which means… Easter candy is on sale. Jesus died for our sins, so it’s on us to make his sacrifice count! Sin away, my friends, sin away. We recommend Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. Gluttony is fun. So is drinking: in fact, it’s so fun, that science has found a way to powder it. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has approved Palcohol, so soon, you’ll be able to sneak alcohol into anywhere. You will be able to pour the stuff into your soda at the movies, you’ll be able to add it to your wine at family dinners, you’ll be able to snort alcohol at your desk. The world will be your drunk oyster. Also up there – if not topping – the fun scale is sex: sure, blue states watch more porn than red states, but turns out Kansas watches the most porn in all the land. ingraham_porn Related: More than half of Americans are “not too confident” or even “not at all confident” that “the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang.” Cool. But: the number of Americans who report no religious affiliation has doubled since 1990. The MIT Technology Review blames the Internet. Today, Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon – the first American to do so since 1982. Since 1991, Time points out, there have been 19 Kenyan winners. So, topically, have a listen to this Radiolab short from last November, “Cut and Run,” which attempts to figure out the science of why Kenyans dominate when it comes to long distance running. The “cut” part of the episode title refers to circumcision, if that piques your interest.

Lokal Stops: After Hours Edition

It’s Friday night, and happy Friday, but one day (one day soon) it will be Monday again. And when this day comes, there is something you need to do: stop with the sad desk lunches. This should be easier than ever now that you can strap on a pair of cyborg eyes, which means you no longer have to exhaust yourself trying to emotionally relate to your coworkers. So get out of your chair, secure a set of artificially empathetic eyes over your glazed expression, and socialize like it’s 2014!


Or you can just stay in your chair and read about how people socialized in 1964.

To make life a bit more enjoyable in the current day, this lone visionary is trying to produce a documentary that will make Disney fun for the people who actually pay for the tickets, instead of the moochers who just tag along and make you wait in line for two hours for a picture with some miserable guy in a Mickey costume.

Similarly, entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are finding new ways to program their way into our hearts.

We’re all just trying to make the world a better place to live, aren’t we?

Finally, remember: torturers are people, too. And sometimes people make mistakes. Live and let live. Good night and good luck. I’ll let Gabriel García Márquez see you out.

Do you think the novel can do certain things that journalism can’t?
Nothing. I don’t think there is any difference. The sources are the same, the material is the same, the resources and the language are the same.
from the Paris Review, the Art of Fiction No. 69