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.
As you’ve probably heard, last week, Facebook decided to give in to the grammatical abominations that are hashtags, start supporting them, and surely hasten the apocalypse. Here’s how that likely went down — and yes, it probably did involve their brilliant focus group:
Via FAIL Blog
A human is a system for converting dust billions of years ago into dust billions of years from now via a roundabout process which involves checking email a lot.
The arbitrary distinction between steroids and other chemicals, like creatine and whey protein, is even more confusing when you add in the fact that there are good steroids.
It’s not on his website, but the cartoon was drawn by Bruce Beattie.
On the heels of the latest news that Voyager 1 – the farthest man-made object in the universe — has left the solar system, xkcd decided to tally up how many times this has happened before:
The hover text reads:
So far Voyager 1 has ‘left the Solar System’ by passing through the termination shock three times, the heliopause twice, and once each through the heliosheath, heliosphere, heliodrome, auroral discontinuity, Heaviside layer, trans-Neptunian panic zone, magnetogap, US Census Bureau Solar System statistical boundary, Kuiper gauntlet, Oort void, and crystal sphere holding the fixed stars.
Note that some of those aren’t actually at the edge of the solar system, or even real things.
College Humor has these and other cards on their website, which would have been very popular with the ascetic Puritans.
From College Humor, via Laughing Squid
If you don’t get it: George R. R. Martin writes the series A Song of Fire and Ice, of which A Game of Thrones was the first book. The series features a lot of incest. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, in which Ron and Ginny Weasley are two of the main characters, and siblings.
From You Choose Books, via FAIL Blog