Hey, did you hear? Science finally invented lightsabers! Or so we believed for about 15 seconds before we got to the second paragraph of that article with a photo of Darth Vader at the top and realized it was actually about photons or some shit.
Yeah, as we keep pointing out again and again, the news media just love a grossly misleading headline, but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper than the second paragraph to find out what really happened ...
#4. Public Masturbation Isn't Really Legal in Sweden, Guys
According to Gawker, Huffington Post, and even Time, residents of Sweden are officially allowed to masturbate on public beaches under the condition that the act isn't "dedicated" to any one individual. It's all thanks to one brave pioneer who was acquitted for such an act because he had not directed his manhandling at any particular person (or fish, we hope). Upon the ruling, the prosecutor was quoted ceding all future beachside jacking: "With that we can conclude that it is OK to masturbate on the beach." A great day for freedom!
Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart
And so, with those magic words, masturbation was henceforth declared legal across the land, as men, women, and children rejoiced together but without directly pointing their genitals at one another -- or not, because the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Had anyone bothered to drop the original article in Google Translate (or show it to a Swedish person), they would have realized that the guy actually said the opposite: "We CANNOT conclude that it is OK to masturbate on the beach."
In other words, you can stop packing.
#3. The Plumber Fired for Saving a Woman's Life Was Actually Laid Off
In what sounds like the dying words of a stroke victim, a New York City plumber who helped Dr. Oz save a woman hit by a taxicab was apparently fired because his boss didn't like the publicity he was getting for it. At least that's what this headline from the website of New York's Channel 11 says:
"Listen, I already have one guy going off to stomp turtles every Tuesday."
Or this one from the always reliable Daily Mail:
They forgot the scare quotes around "reporter" so we Photoshopped them in, because we're helpful like that.
That's some major bullshit, right? Yep, but not on the side of the employer: Those reports omitted a small detail from the original article by the Daily News, which mentioned that the plumber was actually one of three people laid off because of slow business. Even the president of his union called it a totally common part of the job -- but since it's not as interesting to tell two sides of a story, we're left with the one that causes dicks to write protest Yelp reviews on an already hurting business. Nice.
#2. The Kid "Expelled" for Using an Airsoft Gun in His Own Yard Had a Previous Record
Apparently, some school in Virginia Beach hates freedom so much that they decided to expel a student just for using an airsoft gun in his own yard! Is this the end of America as we know it? Some news sites seem to think so: Time's three-sentence article claims the school is "attempting to extend its policies into student's [sic] homes," while others are using this as an example of "carrying zero tolerance for firearms way too far."
BuzzFeed reported on this with an in-depth analysis of 18 gifs of Carl from The Walking Dead.
Turns out it's not "zero tolerance" so much as it is a kid with a long record of bad behavior getting suspended (not expelled) when the police came to tell the principal he'd been involved in an incident with guns. Yeah, someone called 911 because they saw unsupervised kids shooting pellets in the road near a bus stop, which is pretty illegal. In other words, there was totally a reason to give these kids a kick in the ass instead of painting them as martyrs.
#1. Don't Believe Anything You Read About the New iPhone
With fanatics of the new iPhone lining up, the media have been sopping up any and all stories that spot some kind of hilarious flaw. For example, the Guardian and Huffington Post ran extensive pieces about how thieves could cut off your fingers to use the touch pad ... even though they simply don't work that way. Apple still cancelled plans for a dong-activated feature, just in case.
Or how about the story that some jackass paid $10,000 for one on eBay? Who pays that much to play Angry Birds? Nobody, that's who -- because, had anyone followed up on what was actually a bidding error, they would have seen that the phone actually went for a little under 1,000 bucks.
"Give or take $9,000. Whatever, I'm a journalist, not a mathematician."
And finally, we hate to break this to you, but contrary to reports by pretty much every news site ever, no one got fooled by the hoax ad claiming that iPhones are now waterproof -- every widely circulated tweet from someone who "lost their iPhone" this way is easily revealed as an obvious joke or clear sarcasm by just looking at the user's profile.
The author wishes to thank Lachlan M. for their knowledge of masturbation law.