Weekend Links: Journalism, in so Many Words

On April 1, The New York Times announced a new spinoff website called Times Haiku, featuring “serendipitous poetry” pulled from real articles published in the paper. There were suspicions the algorithm used to translate journalism into poetry was a joke, but certain lines apparently just lend themselves to Japanese-style verse: “To many, the Mets/ appear destined for a fifth/ straight losing season” and “For reasons he is/ not sure of, he also adds/ scallions at the end” are some good ones.

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Sounds Just Like is a website that provides side-by-side comparisons of clips from songs that, well, sound just like each other. The comments section is rife with disagreement, naturally, but have a listen to a few and decide for yourself: for a start, ABBA’s “Waterloo” sounds just like The Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

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If you’re traveling anytime soon, sites like TripAdvisor can be a great resource to scope out potential hotels, restaurants, and sights to see, with ratings from users who’ve been there before. If you’ve ever traveled in the past, you’ll be able to appreciate the compilation of terrible travel reviews compiled on TripAdvisaargh. If you’re interested, I know this place that has a “Recomendsble Hamburger very nice treatment and proper cleaning area very old but well chvjvghhnchxgvvnfjfvb.”

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This list of 10 Hidden Places Around the World will restore the travel fever that the previous link may previously have snuffed out in you. Understandably, a lot of these lesser-known places are literally underground.

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Even celebrities have to take their shoes off at airport security.

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The articles on Discovery.com feature some surprisingly urgent-sounding questions; here’s hoping they at least try to provide some answers.

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Speaking of urgent-sounding questions: if you’re the kind of person who carefully considers your survival rate from moment to moment based on such arbitrary factors as where you’re sitting on a plane, your odds are better in the back.

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There’s a new trailer out for Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It features lavish parties, tense facial expressions, period dress, and Leonardo DiCaprio trying very, very hard.

Watch Alexei From Stranger Things Drink a Slurpee For 12 Hours Straight

Netflix
Netflix

*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things season 3.*

As if we needed a reminder of how much we miss a certain late Stranger Things character, Netflix just went and drilled it into our hearts again.

As reported by CNET, the streaming service recently released a video tribute to the Russian scientist Alexei (Alec Utgoff), showing him sipping his Slurpee on a loop for 12 hours. Yep, you read that right: 12 hours of nonstop Slurpee-sipping.

The video is captioned: "To honor our Slurpee sipping hero, we are pouring one out for our pal. Sip along!"

In season 3 of the Netflix hit, Alexei opens the portal between Hawkins and the Upside Down to help the Soviets in their research. When the fan-favorite character gets kidnapped by Jim Hopper, his request is a cherry Slurpee in exchange for information ... and he won't compromise on the flavor.

Tragically, Alexei doesn't make it to the end of the season. And in true Stranger Things fashion, his death was totally unexpected and left fans shocked.

While you're still mourning the fallen character, just try and enjoy the oddly mesmerizing video of Alexei sipping away.

This Caturday, Watch Two Kitties Duke It Out in the World’s Oldest Cat 'Video'

VladK213/iStock via Getty Images
VladK213/iStock via Getty Images

Yes, Thomas Edison’s invention of the first commercially successful light bulb indisputably altered the landscape of modern technology. But was it really his most important contribution to the world as we know it? This first-ever “cat video,” shot in his Black Maria Studio in New Jersey, suggests the answer is "No.”

In the 20-second short film from 1894, two cats bedecked in boxing gloves and harnesses duke it out inside a tiny ring. According to the Public Domain Review, the cat-thletes were members of Professor Henry Welton’s touring cat circus, which also featured cats riding bicycles and doing somersaults.

The film’s subject matter is actually pretty on par with the level of eccentricity reached in Edison’s other early recordings, which weren’t always animal-friendly. Atlas Obscura reports that he electrocuted an elephant, filmed a trapeze artist undressing, and also captured the first copyrighted film, “Fred Ott’s Sneeze.” In it, Fred Ott sneezes.

The decision to film a couple of kitties seems oddly prescient in the wake of today’s internet culture, where viral cat videos reign supreme. But if you’ve studied ancient Egypt even a little, you know that 1894 was hardly the beginning of our obsession with fascinating felines.

Hopefully, you’re not forcing your own cat to entertain the neighborhood with boxing matches, but are you treating her as well as you could be? Find out the best way to pet a cat here.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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