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Lokal Stops: Just Trynna to Be Optimistic Here

It turns out that our school librarians were right: books are the greatest weapons. Too bad the novel keeps dying on us. Because of Twitter and stuff.

Whether or not a civilization without novels still needs grammar, FiveThirtyEight found that people who think they’re smart use Oxford Commas. I can’t help but remember how the average American thinks he’s smarter than the average American.

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The average American is also generally optimistic, according to a Gallup survey. And the most optimistic of all is Texas. What does this say about Texas? What does this say about optimism?

Well, it’s surely also alive and well in Canada, where next month, a robot will attempt to hitchhike across the country, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. HitchBOT can talk, but he can’t move on his own. It’s unclear whether he eventually intends to turn this adventure into a memoir, but he will be tweeting and instagramming, so that’s memoir-ish.

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We can’t all roll through Canada, fueled by the kindness of strangers’ cigarette lighters, but most of us can properly marvel at the beauty of our planet thanks to the kindness of Google. And we can all confirm that reality is a lie thanks to OK Go. Also a lie: soccer. If you’re new to the whole sports thing and that comes as a shock to you, take comfort in the fact that at least some of these guys are being punished.

Though soccer season abstinence might seem unduly cruel, no one had to tell Voldemort not to have sex. Someone probably should tell video game developers that women do more than sex. Or maybe just quietly think about it, since when you constructively talk about gender politics, you get death threats.

But let’s end today’s post remembering that good things and good people still exist in the world. All is not lost.

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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:

Twitter___mollycrabapple___myNYPD__johnknefel____

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.