A headline is supposed to be a succinct summary of an article. Clickbait, on the other hand, is like the headline’s slimy, used-car salesman cousin. It’s vague, intriguing, hyped up, and created with only one purpose in mind: to make you click on that link. Over the past couple of years, lazy bloggers have more or less standardized the jargon, so pretty much any headline starting with “this” or “these” or a number, like “6 Ways The Grocery Store Is Ripping You Off” and “This hilarious cat will make you bawl your eyes out” is clickbait.
This insightful xkcd turned the eye of history on clickbait, and came up with 14 headlines that you won’t believe.
Some of these are really obvious, but if you’re stuck on what the headlines are about:
- 1905: Einstein’s publishing of his Theory of Special Relativity
- 1912: The Titanic sinking
- 1920: Prohibition coinciding with women getting the right to vote
- 1928: The discovery of penicillin
- 1929: The start of the Great Depression
- 1945: The end of World War 2
- 1948: The Soviet occupation of East Germany
- 1955: The discovery of the polio vaccine
- 1957: The launch of the first man-made satellite
- 1968: MLK’s and RFK‘s assassinations
- 1969: The first moon landing
- 1986: The Challenger exploding
- 1989: The Berlin Wall being torn down
- 1990: Basically every one of Buzzfeed’s
The hovering title text is about Einstein’s publishing of the Theory of General Relativity.
Last week, Kanye released a music video called Bound 2. In the video, which is obviously produced by a teenager, he’s riding a motorcycle while having sex with a topless Kim Kardashian in front of cheap computer-generated backgrounds. It’s safe to say this was Kanye’s plan to top Kim’s sex tape with Ray J. But then, James Franco and Seth Rogen made Bound 3, a shot-for-shot remake of Kanye’s video, and it is pure genius:
Kanye’s original, Bound 2:
From YouTube, via The Superficial
I had to double check to make sure this wasn’t April Fool’s Day, because when you hear — on Halloween, no less — that Transylvanian scientists invented artificial blood, it seems too good to be true. But it all checks out: according to The Daily Mail, researchers from a university in the medieval city of Cluj-Napoca say they’ve synthesized blood and used it in lab mice with no adverse effects. Instead of hemoglobin, it uses an oxygen-carrying protein called hemerythrin, which is found in marine invertebrates. The scientists hope to start clinical trials in the next couple of years.
Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, where the research took place
In the HBO series, Tru Blood was created by Japanese scientists, and its invention allowed the vampires to finally reveal themselves, since they no longer had to kill people for sustenance. No doubt the thought crossed some writer’s mind to have the artificial blood invented by vampires in Transylvania, but it probably seemed too on the nose. Well, it’s nice to know that sometimes reality can outdo fantasy.
Incidentally, Cluj-Napoca was originally settled by Germanic colonists called Transylvanian Saxons, and was known as Klausenburg. King Matthias I Corvinus of Hungary was born there, in 1443. (House Corvinus is an ancient vampire family in the Underworld series.) And a final little known fact: Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula, lived in Transylvania for only a short part of his life, while in exile from his home principality to the south, Wallachia. Both regions are now part of Romania.
From The Daily Mail, via Slashdot
As we’ve seen before, Bad Lip Reading is hilarious. When taking their art to Game of Thrones, they did something a little different, and turned it into a trailer for a campy medieval comedy along the lines of A Knight’s Tale. The results are great:
From YouTube, via Neatorama
If you’re reading this in the distant future, this is regarding the 2013 U.S. government shutdown and the NSA surveillance scandal
Via FAIL Blog
The building replacing the Twin Towers is officially called One World Trade Center, but is colloquially known as Freedom Tower. It is now in the final stages of completion, and EarthCam released a time-lapse video showing its construction over the past seven and a half years. (The cornerstone was laid in 2004, but construction didn’t actually begin until April of 2006.)
In response to the Miley Cyrus incident at the 2013 VMAs, the New York Times has a hilarious article in which the word “children” was replaced with “parents”. A brilliant tweak that lead to gems like this:
A critical first step is to acknowledge that twerking is a normal part of life and that there is nothing shameful in their questions. They’re parents, after all, and this is the sort of thing they hear about on NPR, and, well, they’re curious.
Go ahead, read the whole thing — it’s a good use of three minutes.
Miley Cyrus twerking
From The New York Times
College Humor has a great new video explaining why you can’t use electronic devices during takeoff and landing.
The great thing about the skit is that while the stewardess’ explanation is funny, it’s really not that far off the mark.
From YouTube, via Airplane9
There are a bunch of other old pictures of Sarasota and her surroundings at the Sarasota County website and also a City-Data forum.
From The Real Florida
More research has come out against the common belief that being on your phone while driving will make you more likely to crash a car. This time, they took advantage of the cellphone call spike that happens at 9pm on weekdays, which is when it generally becomes free to place calls: if talking on the phone led to more crashes, then there would also be a spike in car accidents just after 9pm. There was no such thing.
In lab simulations, it’s been shown that any kind of cellphone use (talking hands-free or not, texting, etc) is always more impairing than driving while drunk or high on marijuana. Real-life data does not seem to support the lab results, though. In their paper (PDF), the researchers also brought up two important points that we’ve seen before:
- Despite the exponential increase in cellphones over the past two decades, car crashes haven continued to decrease
- Laws banning cell phone use have no effect on accidents
It’s also worth mentioning another study from 2012 showing that bad drivers will always drive badly: if they can’t be distracted by cell phones, they will find or make another distraction to keep them from being bored. Thankfully, self-driving cars are just years away at this point.
From Carnegie Mellon University (PDF), via Slashdot