5 B.S. Stories That Went Viral: Anti-Roofie Nail Polish
Did you hear? They finally identified Jack the Ripper! At last, Scotland Yard can close that file and move on to other murders, and it's all thanks to ... uh, a shaky, non-peer-reviewed study by a man trying to promote his book in The Daily Mail. But hey, with a headline like that, who cares about the details?
The answer is: us. As our forever-part series has proved, we care a lot about those details, because while "Jack the Ripper Case Solved" looks pretty cool in big letters, it doesn't really mean much if it, you know, didn't actually happen. Same goes for the following ...
Tony Soprano's Creator Didn't Say He's Alive
Hey, remember back in 2007 when we assumed people would eventually get bored of talking about the non-ending to The Sopranos, in which Tony Soprano maybe died and maybe didn't? And remember when they never actually stopped?
"*hrump* Looks like Big Pussy is still around too." -George R.R. Martin
Seriously, anyone stuck in 2007 would spit-take Cherry Vanilla Coke all over their brand-new Amy Winehouse-playing iPhones if they were told that the above headline would be relevant seven freaking years after the fact. And yet, here we are: in a recent sort-of interview with Vox, Sopranos showrunner David Chase finally revealed that America's favorite stripper-gawking Italian stereotype didn't actually bite that bullet at the end of the show -- a pretty stunning revelation when you consider that not only has Chase refused to answer that question in the past, he always claimed the answer wasn't important. That's no doubt why Entertainment Weekly, Hitfix, NJ.com, and Oregon Live all spread the word ...
War of facts, also.
... only to have their loose mouths silenced faster than, you know, that guy who gets killed in Season 1 (oh shit, spoilers!). Yes, it seems we're right back to where we started: a mysterious ending that isn't that mysterious when you consider that the script makes Tony's death way more obvious, as we've covered before. But sure, just go ahead and teach the controversy.
There Isn't an Actual "Smartphone-Loss Anxiety Disorder"
Like any new technology, smartphones came with a predictable slew of people proclaiming them as the final shove into society's inevitable oblivion. But behold, naysayers -- according to Science Daily, QZ, Forbes, Globe and Mail, and, of course, The Daily Motherfucking Mail, it appears this fear-monster has legs:
"Sorry, damn autocorrect -- we meant there's NO cure. Except death."
Do you or someone you love suffer from the brand-spanking-new smartphone-loss anxiety disorder, or S.L.A.D. for short? What's the cure? Are there pills to treat it? Are they shaped like little cellphones? The answer to this, and any other questions you might have concerning this new phenomenon, is a resounding no -- for it appears to be just another case of N.R.P.T.F.H., or not reading past the fucking headline.
The story came from a study that, according to the authors themselves, has nothing to do with an anxiety disorder of any kind, but rather was about how people cope with security threats involved with the loss of a smartphone. Yeah, thrilling stuff. However, the study's press release was titled "Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder" because the PR person who wrote it was "trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek" ... unaware that the entire world would miss the joke and declare that a real condition. Now that they're aware of the fact that 90 percent of online journalists half-ass it, they've renamed the article "Coping with smartphone threats." Surely there's no way anyone could misinterpret that.
That Anti-Date-Rape Nail Polish Doesn't Exist
There's a heated debate about nail polish raging through the blogosphere right now, and this time, it has nothing to do with Fox News throwing a hissy fit over boys with pink toenails. No, this is a way more serious and complex subject:
So serious that we're giving the caption department a break. Take five, guys!
According to the articles on the subject, this new fashion accessory helps women prevent date rape by changing color when exposed to drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. As The Washington Post, CNET, USA Today, CBS, and Mashable wonder: does the nail polish help prevent the crime of rape or perpetuate the idea that the onus of prevention lay solely on the victim? Well, here's Cracked's take on the subject: it doesn't matter, because the nail polish totally doesn't work. Or exist.
According to the project's creators (four students at North Carolina State University), the thing is actually in an "early R&D" stage, which is another way of saying that it isn't actually a thing. And if it were? Turns out that only about 3 percent of urine samples from assault victims carry traces of the drugs it detects -- or "detects," since the technique they're using is notorious for giving false positives. Remember those date-rape preventing coasters? Yeah, they can turn color when exposed to water.
In other words, by all means keep the discussion going, but please just save your pre-order money.
No, a Panda Didn't Fake Its Pregnancy for Food
Everyone knows that pandas are lazy, spoiled-rotten assholes, so it's really no surprise to find out that they are also shitty little liars:
"Famous giant news outlets fake intrigue, get clicks"
Fucking pandas! When will we learn to stop giving them free rides? The story -- as told by Huffington Post, CNN, Independent, The Washington Post, and NY Daily News -- is that a giant panda named Ai Hin was moved into a more comfortable preferential environment inside the Chinese research facility where she lives upon showing signs of pregnancy, only to drop the scam once the goods were given and presumably bail from the zoo while everyone was off. The evidence? One zookeeper attributed her actions to faking it in order to get better treatment ... because shoveling panda poop every day probably makes you an animal behavior expert, right?
It turns out NOPE. According to actual panda experts, mimicking pregnancy is just a thing that they do -- often after a miscarriage, turning this cute "feel-good" story into a giant, meaty journalistic dick move. In fact, we're almost inclined to take back what we said about the species being such greedy layabouts.
And speaking of bullshit coming out of China ...
Everyone Relax About China's Supersonic Submarine
In "grab your ankles" news, it appears like the Western media will soon be forced to eat their "crazy China" stories after all -- with whopping 3,600 mph spoonfuls.
The whole city's about to become Chinatown.
Oh shit, when does the invasion begin? Do we have time to go back and re-remake Red Dawn? According to Popular Science, The Register, International Business Times, and The Washington Post, the supersonic bubble-traveling death tube could be breaching our coasts in less than two hours of travel time ... as long as they are able to create an underwater rocket engine that goes that fast ... which, according to the people designing it, is nowhere near existing.
Pretty much the same technique your ass uses to get through a bar line.
So what is everyone harping on about? A slight advancement to the friction-reducing "bubble technology" (which has been used on torpedoes since the Cold War) that makes a theoretical vessel travel at theoretically high speeds with theoretical military uses. That's it. So basically they've created slightly better wheels without an engine, making them "one step closer" to an underwater doomsday device ... with like a thousand more steps to go.
On the other hand, we're kinda looking forward to seeing a talking version of this thing show up on the next China-centric Transformers movie by Michael Bay.
See some bullshit? Tell Dave on his Twitter about it, or just ask how he's doing. He's people too, you know.