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Is fake Martin Scorsese film Goncharov the internets best shared delusion?

2023-03-19 06:13:50

Is fake Martin Scorsese film Goncharov the internets best shared delusion?

I think we, as a society, can all agree that every mafia movie pales in comparison to Martin Scorsese's 1973 film Goncharov. It's the blueprint. It defined a genre. It also never existed(Opens in a new tab).

Is fake Martin Scorsese film Goncharov the internets best shared delusion?(图1)

Instead, Goncharov is an entirely made up film, communally created by users on Tumblr which then seeped into the posting and meme ecosystems of other sites like Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit. You might have scrolled right by a Goncharov praise post, not knowing that what you had just read was a deeply rich piece of Tumblr lore. I don't blame you for skipping yet another film opinion, but Goncharov is special. 

SEE ALSO: Oh no. There's another 'Bambi' live action in the works. And it's a horror film.

The universe of Scorsese's Goncharov is still growing, too. The fake cult favorite film has now been reported on by numerous outlets, including Polygon(Opens in a new tab), NBC(Opens in a new tab), BuzzFeed(Opens in a new tab), and even The New York Times(Opens in a new tab). The official Tumblr Twitter account has acknowledged the film in several posts (spot Robert DeNiro as the titular Goncharov in the account's profile picture), and Ryan Reynolds posted about his favorite Goncharov line(Opens in a new tab) on his new Tumblr account.

At this point, it's hard to parse what's real and what's fake — a shared internet joke, communal delusion, or the greatest experiment in community fiction writing ever known to man? Whatever it is, the Goncharov meme has gone about as far as one could possibly take it. But what's more true to the essence of a "cult movie" than one that's entirely made up by a bunch of anonymous Tumblr users and turned into a meme? in a new tab)

If you're new to the Goncharov fandom or have some internet FOMO, here's a super shallow dive into the Goncharovian Lore:

Goncharov's birth

The meme's origin is linked to old Tumblr lore, lining up perfectly with the social media platform's rejuvenation inspired by the revival of 2014 Tumblr aesthetics and users' apparent exodus from Twitter back to Tumblr. 

Some users linked Goncharov to an old image of a sneaker(Opens in a new tab) posted by Tumblr user "zootycoon(Opens in a new tab)",  which was embroidered with a label that read, "The greatest mafia movie ever made. Martin Scorsese presents: Goncharov" and was accompanied by a confusing caption about an ad for a nonexistent movie. Fact check! That's an edited picture. Goncharov's true origin is as mysterious as its main character…

A year of subtle Goncharov posting culminated in this week's surge in content, starting with a fan-edited poster:

ballooning well beyond memes(Opens in a new tab) into fan posts, mood boards(Opens in a new tab), fake trailers(Opens in a new tab), a title score(Opens in a new tab), and even entire scenes of storyboarding and scripting. The so-called "Gonch-posting" continued, and there's even an official Goncharov Lore Google Doc(Opens in a new tab) where you can watch the writing live. 

Goncharov becomes our unlikely mafia hero

Scorsese's Goncharov was immediately labeled as the preeminent mafia movie, in the same realm as The Godfather or Goodfellas, and subjected to the same critical film analysis. 

In this tale, users tell the story of our main character Goncharov (that's his last name, by the way. His first name is another layer of lore(Opens in a new tab).), a former Russian mob guy who has given up the dark life to settle down with his wife Katya. While in Naples, he is forced back into organized crime and meets a new rival named Andrey aka "The Banker." There's also "sad boy" Mario, and later "Ice Pick Joe" (an American guy named Joe who kills people with an ice pick and wears an eye patch). Lastly, there's Sofia, who forms a close (romantic) bond with Katya.

SEE ALSO: Tumblr will allow nudity again. Bring on the female-presenting nipples.

Goncharov is canonically played by Robert De Niro, by the way, and a young Al Pacino is sometimes Mario and sometimes Andrey (depending on who you ask). in a new tab)

Goncharov fandom divided between the bridge scene and the bus scene

The "resurgence" of Goncharov content also meant a deep analysis of its best scenes, characters, and hidden meanings — all created on the spot by Tumblr users and reframed as real analysis, even linking to fake film critics and academic journals. 

There's a bridge scene, where something big happens and a clocktower is chiming, and a boat scene, in which Katya almost dies and Sofia is there and fruit is involved.

Katya tries to shoot Goncharov, reciting the famous line, "if we were truly in love, I wouldn't have missed." And at some point, there are sexually-charged anchovies and other fish. Main themes include: Being a Girlboss, Escaping the Cycle of Violence, and Sacrificial Love. It also passes the Bechdel Test. in a new tab)

Goncharov even briefly made its way onto the film review site Letterboxd (let me add it to my top 4 cowards).

Goncharov is also gay

Duh. In what universe would Tumblr collectively write a 1970s Scorsese mafia flick and not make it a gay love story? In fact, the subtle, read-between-the-lines romances of Goncharov and Katya have even inspired a suite of fanfiction tags on the site Archive of Our Own(Opens in a new tab) in a new tab)

Our main character's flame is, of course, his rival Andrey — talk about some great enemies-to-lovers storytelling. Just go ahead and check out this in-depth (fake) analysis of the iconic cigarette lighting scene(Opens in a new tab). Ugh, the tension. There's also a second romance between Katya and Sofia. Something for everyone in Goncharov!

Goncharov director speaks out on controversy

Some users have now brought to light that Scorsese might not be the actual director(Opens in a new tab), but for now, we are ignoring that. Scorsese is our guy. 

Taking to TikTok through the account of his daughter Francesca Scorsese(Opens in a new tab), he finally broke his silence, in a reply to a fellow TikTok user asking if Scorsese had seen the Goncharov hype. "I made that film years ago," he texted his daughter. There it is folks. Goncharov is Scorsese canon. 

Goncharov was real. It was real to me(Opens in a new tab).

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    During a pandemic, protest livestreams are more important than ever

    Protests against police brutality continue around the country, but not everyone who wants can participate. Whether immunocompromised, living with someone in a high risk group for COVID-19, or simply too far away to attend a protest, people around the world have found their own way to engage: livestreams.


    Leigh Wallace, an 18-year-old in Mississippi, goes through chemotherapy every other week to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The treatment hasn’t affected her immune system as much as it has other patients, Wallace said, but her parents are wary of allowing her around other people, even friends. While treatable, Hodgkin’s lymphoma limits the body’s ability to fight infection. The number of new coronavirus cases(Opens in a new tab) is increasing in many states, and the world is bracing itself for a "second wave," expected(Opens in a new tab) to hit this autumn.

    But Wallace couldn’t just sit at home while her peers marched against police brutality. Her parents have a tight grip on her bank account, so she couldn’t donate to a bail fund or community organization. While she signed petitions pushing for prosecution for officers and advocating for defunding law enforcement, Wallace wanted to be more involved.

    “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    She began watching Instagram livestreams of the protests to stay informed. In a Twitter DM, she said that because she was viewing raw, unedited footage, she could get a clearer picture of what’s actually happening. Watching the protests live allows viewers to see police using disturbing force against peaceful protestors for themselves.

    “I think the news and even some YouTube creators are incredibly biased,” Wallace said. “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    Similarly, Celina Juarez, a 21-year-old restaurant employee in Los Angeles, felt that news outlets weren't focusing on what mattered. Juarez lives with her grandparents and didn't want to risk spreading the coronavirus to them, since the elderly are at high risk.

    "I feel that the news is showing more of the looting and less of the police brutality against peaceful protest when, based on every livestream I've tuned into, it's really the opposite," Juarez said in a Twitter DM.

    While the protests have been associated with looting and rioting, multiple videos(Opens in a new tab) show black protestors shutting down white agitators attempting to graffiti storefronts and steal merchandise. When the protests began in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer, Juarez and Wallace felt that news coverage focused on the looting rather than law enforcement escalating violence against peaceful protestors.

    In addition to presenting a clearer picture of the the protests in support of Black Lives Matter, livestreams also provide crucial information for those who attend.

    Elijah Daniel, a YouTuber with 568,000 subscribers and 446,000 Instagram followers(Opens in a new tab), attended numerous protests in Los Angeles last week. He's also been broadcasting the protests on Instagram Live, where tens of thousands of viewers watched police tear gas gatherings, shoot rubber bullets into crowds, and arrest peaceful protestors who were out after Los Angeles' controversial curfews.

    I watched Daniel's protest livestream last week because I had several friends who were also marching in Hollywood. It seemed peaceful from wherever Daniel was marching, but the chants of "No justice, no peace" were broken up by panicked comments warning viewers that police were tear gassing protestors a few blocks ahead. Madison Beer, another influencer who's been actively attending protests and was marching ahead of Daniel, tweeted that cops were beginning to block in protestors well before curfew.

    As soon as I read the livestream comments, I called everyone I knew at the protests to warn them. One narrowly avoided the gas and rubber bullets, which law enforcement began deploying just minutes after he decided to take side streets out of Hollywood.

    This weekend, I attended the massive candlelight vigil for George Floyd and other black victims of police brutality, which took place only blocks from where police had arrested(Opens in a new tab) thousands of peaceful protestors the week before. During the drive over, I watched the livestream broadcasted by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to keep tabs on police presence. Watching the protests live is a matter of safety.

    Watching protest livestreams is a matter of public safety. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images
    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level."

    Daniel's viewers are also using the livestream to open up conversations about police brutality and privilege with their families. Claire-Louise, a 21-year-old customer service agent in Belfast, Ireland, can't attend protests in Ireland because there aren't any close enough to be accessible. She's been showing Daniel's livestreams, as well as other screen recorded livestreams, to her family members who she claims are "a bit backwards in their mindset."

    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level," Claire-Louise said in a Twitter DM. "I get happy when I see the peacefulness but I get angry and anxious when I see the brutality and just blatant racism."

    Influencers and celebrities continue to fall out of public favor through this period of civil unrest. From posting well intentioned but ill informed black squares to their Instagram accounts to getting arrested for looting(Opens in a new tab), as Jake Paul did, celebrity culture is cracking. But those who use their platforms for activism, as Elijah Daniel and Halsey have, are inspiring a generation of viewers to join the Black Lives Matter movement.

    "Even though I can't actually be there, it at least makes me feel like I am," Wallace said. "Seeing how many people are at the protests, plus thinking about how many people are watching livestreams, makes me think that in time something may actually happen."

  • OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    On Thursday, OKCupid announced that it's rolling out a #BlackLivesMatter(Opens in a new tab) badge in a dozen countries. Users can obtain the badge by answering yes to the question, "Do you want to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement by adding a badge to your profile?"


    Since badges won't actually do anything to solve racism, OKCupid has also donated $50,000 to the ACLU, Black Girls Code, Fair Fight Action and the NAACP. The app will also donate a million dollars in advertising space to black civil rights organizations.

    SEE ALSO: How single people have been dealing with the 'sex ban' in England

    In addition to the badge, OKCupid has added matching questions related to racial injustice and inequality. Users can answer whether they protest; whether it's okay to silently support racial equality; how they plan on addressing racial inequality (say by donating or protesting); and whether they find it important that their date supports racial equality.

    OKCupid racial inequality question Credit: okcupid
    OKCupid how will you address racial inequality question Credit: okcupid

    In the past week, over 100,000 users have responded to the new questions. The majority said it's not okay to silently support equality, according to OKCupid's blog post. Seventy percent are protesting for racial equality.

    This isn't the first time OKCupid has created badges and questions around social justice. They did so with supporting Planned Parenthood(Opens in a new tab) and marriage equality as well(Opens in a new tab). While the badge could be seen by some as virtual signaling, the questions do allow users to dig deeper into a potential match's commitment to racial equality — which is a step in the right direction.

    Related Video: Want to donate to help the Black Lives Matter movement? Here's how.

Random articles


  • Cheeky Twitter meme lists all the very specific things you cant do, even once youre vaccinated

    Cheeky Twitter meme lists all the very specific things you cant do, even once youre vaccinated

    With millions of Americans getting their first, second, or only(Opens in a new tab) coronavirus vaccine shots every day, folks are actually starting to look forward to all the things they'll be able to do once herd immunity is reached and life can mostly go back to normal.


    And for those who've already been vaccinated (and waited a couple weeks(Opens in a new tab) for their glorious science-given immunity to kick in), they're already reaping the benefits. While vaccines don't reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading COVID-19 to zero, they do reduce the chance you'll get seriously, life-threateningly ill — meaning fully vaccinated people are feeling confident enough to hug their grandkids(Opens in a new tab), make out with (vaccinated) strangers(Opens in a new tab), and board a flight across the country(Opens in a new tab) to do those things.

    However, there are limits. The CDC notes(Opens in a new tab) that even after you've got your shots, you should avoid hanging out with at-risk loved ones without at least donning your mask, and also avoid "medium or large gatherings".

    SEE ALSO: NBA partners with Clear to screen fans for COVID-19

    And according to a new meme format doing the rounds on Twitter, your shiny new immunity also doesn't entitle you to go around recreating the plots of beloved movies, books, and plays.

    (Apparently being vaccinated does mean we're bringing back Cask of Amontillado(Opens in a new tab) memes(Opens in a new tab), and that is something we can all get behind.)

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    And don't even think about recreating your high school Tumblr posts just because you're all vaxxed up.

    But hey, vaccinated angsty 1950s sapphics: you do you.

    If you recognized all of those, congratulations! You have spent the past year inside consuming all media ever made, and you've earned one unforgettable summer of adventure that changes you and your friends forever. Just... stay safe, and get that jab as soon as you can.

  • How to avoid paying $139 for Amazon Prime

    How to avoid paying $139 for Amazon Prime

    UPDATE: Feb. 17, 2022, 4:40 p.m. EST The time has come. Today, Feb. 17, is the last day you can sign up for Prime at the $119 rate or gift yourself a subscription at the same rate. We've also corrected a previous version of this story that stated existing members had until March 24 to use the gift subscription method. We apologize for the error.


    Amazon is raising its Prime membership prices. But with a little creativity, you might not have to pay the increased rate.

    The company announced on Thursday that the monthly membership fee for Prime will increase from $12.99 to $14.99, while the yearly membership fee will jump from $119 to $139. This 17% increase will go into effect Feb. 18 for new subscribers and March 25 for current subscribers.

    Amazon says the reasons (Opens in a new tab)behind the rises include higher wages(Opens in a new tab), increased transportation costs, and costs associated with the expansion of Prime's services, including video, pharmacy, and more. The move isn't unprecedented — the company has bumped up Prime's yearly cost by $20 every four years since 2014.

    Maybe you were able to justify that 2018 increase from $99 to $119, but this latest price hike might have you wanting to end your membership altogether. While that's certainly one option, we've come up with a couple of ways for you to keep getting the most out of Prime without paying the absolute most.

    Give yourself the gift of no price increases for a year (or more)

    Did you know that it's not all that hard to send yourself an Amazon Prime gift membership? And since you pay that price in full, up front, and can activate it whenever you want, theoretically, one could buy a $119 yearly membership today and start using it months after the price hike goes into effect. You can even send yourself multiple gifts (if you don't mind a hefty upfront cost), making it possible to avoid the $139 fee for some time.

    SEE ALSO: How to maximize the perks of Amazon Prime

    Obviously, this process will differ slightly for new members and returning members. Since an estimated 153 million(Opens in a new tab) Americans are already Prime members, we'll start with step-by-step instructions for existing members.

    1. Go to your account in the upper right corner and navigate to the Prime page.

    2. There, you'll see a box with your membership information. To apply a gift subscription, you will need to cancel your current membership and start anew, but how you should go about this varies slightly depending on the end date of your subscription.

      • If your membership is set to renew after the price increases on March 25, you'll just want to make sure you check the box to get a reminder, or set a reminder through your own preferred methods, before it automatically renews with the higher rates.

      • If your membership is set to renew before March 25, you can let it renew as usual with the $119 rate, but you'll want to make sure you set a reminder a year from its renewal date so you remember to cancel your membership.

        Since this subscription is set to renew in Oct. 20, you'd check the reminder box and make sure you end it by Oct. 19. Then, you'd apply your gift subscription. Credit: Mashable Photo Composite / Amazon
    3. Go to the give the gift of Prime(Opens in a new tab) page.

    4. You'll have the option of a three-month subscription for $39 or a full year for $119. To get the most bang for your buck, we recommend opting for the latter.

      We recommend opting for the yearly gift subscription, especially if you're already a big fan of Prime. Credit: Amazon
    5. Input your email and make sure to complete your order by Feb. 17. If you wait until past this date, the gift membership will cost $139, even though existing members' Prime rates do not increase until March 25.

    6. Send yourself as many gift memberships as you'd like, and enjoy a year or more of Prime at the $119 rate.

    If you're new to Prime, we recommend just signing up before the price hike (by Feb. 17) unless you anticipate this is a service you'll want to use for years. If you want to pay up front for several years of subscriptions, here's what to do.

    1. Go to give the gift of Prime(Opens in a new tab).

    2. Send yourself the gift memberships by Feb. 17 at the latest.

    3. Redeem when you choose and enjoy a lower price.

    Share the love (by which we mean a Prime account)

    One email + more than one user = lower Prime prices for all. That's the basic formula for this next money saving trick.

    If you and a small group of highly trusted people in your life all want to use Prime without paying the full $139, sharing a log in can help you split up the price. We want to emphasize that you'd only do this with people you really, really trust, as everyone with access to the account will also have access to the payment information on the account. Even if that means you just two other people that closely, a three-way split means that $139 price comes out to about $47.

    If you don't want to share a password or email with anyone, Amazon does allow you to share your Prime benefits(Opens in a new tab) with your Amazon Household(Opens in a new tab) for free. In this case, you'll share the membership but each have your own email and private account. An Amazon Household can only include two adults, meaning that a year subscription comes out to $69.50 per person at the lowest.

    Say goodbye to Prime

    For some, these new prices could signal the end of their time with Prime. And while free two-day shipping is nice, it is also true that Prime members tend to order more(Opens in a new tab) than they otherwise would without the service. With plenty of stores now offering pick-up, drive up, and speedy shipping, Amazon's price hike might just be the opportune time for you to explore other shopping avenues.

    This story was originally published on Feb. 4, 2022.

  • The TikTok controversy over collecting human bones, explained

    The TikTok controversy over collecting human bones, explained

    We're arguing about the human bone trade again, folks.


    A TikTok creator's controversial collection of bones has the internet once again debating the morality of buying and selling human remains. The issue is oddly specific, but the discussion isn't new — Tumblr veterans will remember having this exact conversation in 2015(Opens in a new tab).

    Human bone collector and distributor Jon Ferry built a TikTok following of nearly 457,000 for his videos sharing facts about human anatomy, showing viewers how forensic anthropologists use bones in their research, and displaying his (literal) bone-chilling collection of human remains. Ferry's pièce de résistance, which he refers to his "pride and joy," is a corner stacked floor to ceiling with human spines. His cat Chonk occasionally makes an appearance.

    Since first posting in early 2020 under the username JonsBones, Ferry has established himself as a voice of authority in all things bone-related. In one video, he shows how forensic anthropologists use evidence of jaw deterioration to determine a person's age at death(Opens in a new tab). In another, he demonstrated how forearm bones twist around each other(Opens in a new tab) when a person moves their arm.

    The backlash started last week when Ferry responded to another TikTok user(Opens in a new tab) wondering if they found human bones in their wall. Ferry assured the user that the spine-like bones they found weren't human, and showed what a real human vertebrae looks like. Panning the camera across his spine wall, Ferry then recommended that viewers familiarize themselves with human anatomy as spines are the most commonly found remains in the wild.

    "Why do you have so many bones..." one TikTok user commented. "HOW DO YOU HAVE SO MANY BONES?!??"

    And in the U.S. there is no federal regulation on the ownership, sale, or possession of human osteology, so it's completely legal.

    In the video replying to that comment, Ferry explained that he works with osteology, which is the study of the human skeleton and its functions. Osteologists work in forensic osteology to aid in investigating crime scenes, or in archaeology to interpret ancient ways of life based on surviving human remains. It's worth noting that Ferry himself is neither an anthropologist nor a forensic osteologist, but a buyer and distributor of said human remains. His company, also named JonsBones, sells these remains to osteologists and medical institutions.

    "And in the U.S. there is no federal regulation on the ownership, sale, or possession of human osteology, so it's completely legal," Ferry said in his video explaining how he owns so many bones.

    @jonsbones(Opens in a new tab)

    Reply to @itsmeteddybear05 Hey everyone nice to meet you! Feel free to ask any questions you might have any comments I’ll take the time to answer it!

    ♬ Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - Gotye - french onion dip(Opens in a new tab)

    But the flippant way Ferry explained the legality of his company's medical osteology trade alarmed some TikTok users. One commented that if they wanted to donated their body to science only to end up in a collector's possession, they'd be "pretty mad." Others noted that legality can't be equated with morality, and some questioned how Ferry could guarantee that the remains were "ethically sourced" if he had no way to trace its origins.

    "Those were people," TikTok user wasianbarbi3 commented. "Not rocks to collect. Have respect."

    In another video, Ferry admitted that many of remains in his collection come from China, India, and Russia, and were likely that of very poor people, particularly of lower castes. He added that the remains were cleaned in India before Western companies bought and distributed them to private collectors. Ferry said his company's goal is to source what's left of those remains from private collectors and "put them back" into the medical community, but his inventory's origins only further stoked the outrage. The tag #jonsbones has nearly 4 million views on TikTok as of Wednesday.

    I can assure you the only thing I am digging up is my houseplants for repotting.

    "People seem to think I am out there, shovel in hand, digging up bones myself and then selling them on the internet," Ferry said in an email to Mashable. "I can assure you the only thing I am digging up is my houseplants for repotting."

    Some TikTok users drew similarities between Ferry's collection and another human bone scandal that shook the internet a few years ago.

    The uproar was all too reminiscent of the infamous Tumblr bone thief who was exposed for allegedly stealing human remains from Louisiana cemeteries and selling them. In what became known as "Boneghazi,"(Opens in a new tab) a Tumblr user shared a screenshot of a Facebook post by Ender Darling, who was known on Tumblr as littlefuckinmonster. In the Facebook post, Darling said that after rain, human bones resurface at the "poor man's graveyard" near their house, and they had been using the remains for witchcraft. They floated the idea of selling "leftover" remains from their monthly bone heists. in a new tab)

    Boneghazi scandalized and thoroughly entertained Tumblr users, who dubbed it the "last good meme" of 2015(Opens in a new tab). Darling, however, committed a felony, and in 2016 their home was raided(Opens in a new tab) by law enforcement for trafficking human remains.

    TikTok's backlash against Ferry and his company, reminded users of Boneghazi. The app's affinity for absurdist memes and hotheaded social commentary is already similar to that of Tumblr's(Opens in a new tab) during Tumblr's golden age, and the renewed discourse over trading human remains only emphasized that sentiment.

    TikTok users stitched Ferry's video with references to Supernatural, the book "The Fault In Our Stars," and TARDIS merchandise — nods to the mid-2010s pop culture that dominated Tumblr(Opens in a new tab). Another TikTok creator joked that the "Tumblr veterans tried to warn us"(Opens in a new tab) that the app is just Tumblr reincarnated and now it's circled back to the "great bone debate." One stitched Ferry's video with audio from Taylor Swift's "Exile,"(Opens in a new tab) in which the singer croons, "I think I've seen this film before, and I didn't like the ending."

    In an email to Mashable, Ferry clarified that his company JonsBones does not deal in anatomy taken from "gravesites, catacombs, ossuaries, or anywhere other than the medical bone trade." What Darling did is "grave robbing," which is "completely unacceptable," Ferry continued, and is not comparable to what JonsBones does as a company.

    "These pieces are not decoration, they are teaching tools and serve a very important purpose."

    "The Tumblr bone thief is an example of what I abhor and try to combat within the industry," Ferry said. "We work to preserve osteology so that future generations can learn form it. These pieces are not decoration, they are teaching tools and serve a very important purpose."

    Though the bone trade is legal, it's fraught with unethical practices that rely on exploiting the poor after death. In the United States, bodies donated to science aren't likely to become cleaned and bleached for skeletal display, but rather preserved and used by medical students for their studies. India is the primary source of human remains for medical study(Opens in a new tab), and although the country banned exporting them in 1986, the black market today thrives on grave robbing. Online retailers like Etsy and eBay didn't ban the trade of human remains until 2012 and 2016(Opens in a new tab), respectively, but determined individuals can still buy bones from Instagram accounts(Opens in a new tab) and Facebook groups(Opens in a new tab). Facebook began cracking down on the trade of human remains last year.

    In an email to Mashable, Ferry said that before the medical bone industry was standardized, medical education relied on worse practices like grave robbing. And before medical schools provided their students with skeletons, the students were responsible for purchasing them themselves. Ferry said JonsBones sources its inventory from retired medical collections and private collectors.

    "The students who had to purchase these pieces for their studies are now retiring and dying with literal skeletons in their closets," Ferry continued. "We try to make sure these bones do not get forgotten or misused, by using them to educate, and working with institutions to provide their students with these pieces."

    Despite the legality, and according to Ferry, altruistic motivation behind JonsBones, others are concerned that the bones will just end up in the hands of private collectors rather than medical schools.

    Lady Izdihar, a historian and ethnographer who specializes in Eastern European studies, also has a fascination with the macabre, and collects oddities like animal vertebrae and preserved leeches. She does not collect human remains. Most curio shops, she noted in a TikTok(Opens in a new tab), will provide "immense information" on a remains' origins and backstory. She questioned Ferry's respect for the remains he's selling since JonsBones doesn't appear to provide much information.

    Lady Izdihar added that since Ferry can't confirm where the bones are from and to which ethnic groups they belonged, there's no way to ensure that their remains aren't being laid to rest according to religious or cultural customs. Bones of Muslims, for example, must be laid facing Mecca.

    We have a great appreciation for beauty after death and we want to know as much as we can.

    "People who actually collect these things," Lady Izdihar continued, holding up her preserved leech in a glass jar. "We name them, we love them, we have a great appreciation for beauty after death and we want to know as much as we can."

    Those buying from JonsBones, she alleged, may not share that desire for understand or deep respect — especially since the company doesn't appear to sell inventory exclusively to medical schools.

    Regardless of the backlash, Ferry hopes to continue using his platform to educate viewers.

    "Because I am one of the more visible people in the industry, I understand why people might direct their concerns with fringe parts of the bone trade that even I don't condone towards me," he concluded. "I welcome dialogue about the bone industry, and truly believe that the more we talk about it, the more we all benefit."

    Time on the internet is a circle — and so are the online arguments birthed in it.

  • 20 tweets that perfectly sum up 2020

    20 tweets that perfectly sum up 2020

    We're approaching the 2020 finish line, and I just have to say: I think we all deserve a freaking reward.


    It's been a heartbreaking, tragic year filled with loss, chaos, and immeasurable stress, but through it all we persisted, and we've earned the right to close out the year with a small amount of extremely relatable comic relief.

    In addition to every "My Plans vs. 2020" meme online, here are 20 tweets that have absolutely gigantic 2020 Energy. They touch on everything from protesting during a pandemic and having emotional breakdowns, to struggling on video chats and feeling like the world is on fire.

    Go forth, you strong, tired souls, and laugh/cry at this perfect summation of our hell zone year.

    1. The commemorative scent, or stench, of 2020.

    2. Please do not have an emergency at this location.

    3. ThE nEw NoRmAl.

    4. TFW you're going through a little bit of a rough patch.

    5. We love an awkward Zoom call.

    6. We must have seriously pissed off Thanos.

    7. Whatever you do, don't drink bleach.

    8. We're so flexible.

    9. Good luck, rocks.

    10. Checks out.


    12. A real hot girl bummer of a year.

    13. Having generously buttered noodles, sprinkled with just a quarter cup of 🥺 for dinner.

    14. We're nothing if not flexible.

    15. Evergreen.

    16. :(

    17. Donald Trump losing again.

    18. Joe Biden winning again.

    19. The real star of the election cycle.

    20. Realizing March madness is on deck once again.

    Stay strong, everyone. The year's almost over.

    Editor's note: This piece was originally published in June of 2020, and was updated December 8, 2020.

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for September 7

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for September 7

    Something about Wednesdays makes for very hard Quordle puzzles. Maybe there's something in the air that makes solving a puzzle hard, and there's nothing any different about the mental work involved in solving it. But in any case, you're here.


    Well, it's not hard to find the Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

    What is Quordle?

    Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

    Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

    Yes, though not diabolically so.

    Where did Quordle come from?

    Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

    How is Quordle pronounced?

    “Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

    Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

    Yes and no.

    Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

    After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

    What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

    Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

    Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

    Is there a way to get the answer faster?

    In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

    Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand(Opens in a new tab) suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

    Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

    If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

    A semi-useful hint about today’s puzzle

    Synonyms for all four words are in the following sentence (in no particular order).

    To make a pot, I use my special rock for starting fires to get my kiln going, bend down and shape the clay, apply a shiny coating, and as long as I don't hurt the unfired clay, it comes out great.

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    One word has a letter occurring twice in a row.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?

    Yes. The last letter of the alphabet has a cameo.

    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    G, F, S, and A.

    What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

    Are you sure you want to know?

    There’s still time to turn back.

    OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

    1. GLAZE

    2. FLINT

    3. STOOP

    4. ABUSE

  • Honestly, Im just tired.

    Honestly, Im just tired.

    2020 won't stop, and I'm exhausted.


    Maybe I should have known this year would be cursed when the New Year's Eve party I attended missed the countdown to midnight by three minutes — the year has been a downward spiral ever since. On the personal front, my cat died on my 24th birthday, I went through a break up during the loneliest period of modern history, and my apartment flooded three times.

    The world, meanwhile, experienced a string of disasters: a global pandemic is forcing us to completely restructure our way of life, raging wildfires tear up the West Coast and confine those outside of the evacuation zones to our homes because the air is so toxic, and democracy could crumble at any given moment as the president wages war on an app infamous for dancing teenagers ahead of an election. 2020 has been marred by the losses of celebrities like Kobe Bryant, Naya Rivera, and Chadwick Boseman, whose deaths felt especially sudden because they were so young.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death was icing on the cake of a profoundly shitty year.

    Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer for equality in the United States. She lived an incredibly full life, and leaves behind a powerful legacy of dignity and respect amid a divisive political climate. Justice Ginsburg was a fierce defender of reproductive rights, and her dedication was unmatched. She even participated in several Supreme Court hearings from her hospital bed; in May, she defended(Opens in a new tab) cost-free contraceptive coverage while recovering from a gallstone. Despite her age, battle with cancer, and judicial duties, she still managed to maintain a workout routine. Regardless of politics, Justice Ginsburg was an inspiration.

    While the news of her death is heartbreaking, especially for the women who looked up to her, I had been bracing for it for the last few years. Justice Ginsburg had fought colon, lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer. She was aging. It was inevitable. I thought I would be better prepared for the loss, but I still felt deflated.

    There are others who are experiencing grief more tangibly in wake of Justice Ginsburg's death, but as someone who's skeptical of worshipping public figures, I'm mostly just tired.

    The grief I'm experiencing isn't quite grief. It isn't quite despair, either. It's more a quiet, overwhelming exhaustion that creeps into every aspect of existing and clings to my day to day. It's grief compounded over the entirety of 2020, growing larger and stickier with every tragedy this year tosses at us. I've learned to stop saying, "It can't get worse than this!" because it does, in fact, get worse than this.

    Describing this sensation as depression doesn't feel right. I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder in college, and have spent a majority of my adult life being treated for it. Major depression is characterized by(Opens in a new tab) a severe and persistent low mood, a loss of interest or pleasure in life, and an ongoing sense of despair. Exhaustion is a common symptom as well, but none of my depressive episodes have put me in a state like this before. This state of being seems to be a universal experience.

    I've been describing this feeling as the "hell zone," a sudden dip in mood and energy that's unique to existing through this pandemic. In April, comedian Dan Sheehan described the hell zone as an "anxious, semi-agitated state where you're just sorta 'off' for the whole day and time flows like you're wading through chili." It tends to follow an otherwise normal feeling period of a few days when you can almost forget about everything that happened this year.

    Despite promises of a vaccine and a return to normalcy, the last few months of 2020 are looking bleak, and the hell zones I've been falling into are more frequent than they were when social distancing began. My coworkers and I have been referring to the days of decreased productivity, gentle dissociation, and overwhelming exhaustion as hell zone days, because this is so widely felt.

    It's easy to wax poetic about honoring Justice Ginsburg's legacy by continuing her fight for equality. The sense of despair over possibly losing our civil liberties should galvanize all of us into activism if we haven't been doing so already.

    Following the news of her death, I checked my voter registration to make sure I'll receive my mail-in ballot in time for the election. I made sure my family had theirs all squared away, too. I donated to another bail fund(Opens in a new tab) for protesters fighting against police brutality and systemic racism, even though Justice Ginsburg had some outdated stances(Opens in a new tab) on race. I briefly considered getting a copper IUD, which is effective for 10 years, and stockpiling Plan B in case reproductive rights are stripped away by a conservative-led Supreme Court.

    Justice Ginsburg's last wishes were weighted by a similar urgency. In her last days, she told(Opens in a new tab) her granddaughter, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

    But the morning after her death, I fell back into the hell zone. Time felt warped, moving both too fast and too slowly. I chugged a latte loaded with espresso shots and even though my heart was racing with the sheer amount of caffeine I consumed, I still felt tired. There was objectively nothing wrong, so why did I wake up so easily annoyed? It's just the hell zone.

    Existing in a constant state of crisis is exhausting. I am, of course, immensely privileged. I have a salaried job during some of the worst unemployment rates(Opens in a new tab) in American history. My home in California is not threatened by wildfires. While so much of the world struggles with loneliness during social distancing, I have a tight knit quarantine bubble that keeps me somewhat sane. I'm not an essential worker who has to interact with the public amid increasing COVID cases. My medications are covered by insurance, for now.

    That being said, I find it greatly comforting to let myself despair every now and then. This capitalist hell we live in encourages productivity and looks down on spending the whole day curled up in a depression nest.

    It's almost easier to ignore that sticky exhaustion that comes with the hell zone, and distract yourself with working and hobbies and organizing for progressive causes. But you'll have to take a break from it eventually, and you'll have to contend with the fact that everything just sucks right now. That's not to say that you can't find joy in this bleak quarantine — I've picked up new hobbies, adopted two sweet cats, and finally started medications to treat my mental health. That compounding grief, though, will continue to grow with each tragic event this year manages to spawn.

    During our weekly sessions, my therapist reminds me that it's perfectly fine to feel exhausted and defeated. Sometimes, it's all you can feel, and you have to let it wash over you before you can begin feeling anything else. Some call it self care, and others might call it laziness. For me, accepting the fact that I'm in the hell zone gives me a chance to recharge.

    Is it enjoyable? Not particularly. I'd rather not deal with it at all, but suppressing this ongoing exhaustion will only make it worse. You do not need to be on top of it all of the time.

    When I let myself really settle into the hell zone, I'll sequester myself in my bedroom for the night without doing the errands I planned for the day. I'll smoke enough weed to get cozy, burrow in my comforter, and play Animal Crossing until I fall asleep. I'll ignore messages until the next morning, and when I emerge from my self-imposed hermitage, I'll be ready for another handful of days without the hell zone. I think of these nights as controlled depressive episodes – if I indulge in these every now and then, I won't fall into an actual depressive episode.

    A lot of people don't have the luxury of hell zone nights like mine. I'm not responsible for small humans like many parents dealing with a lack of childcare are, and I don't work overnight. Sinking into the hell zone doesn't necessarily require blocking off a whole night. You can let yourself be in the hell zone in a variety of ways, whether it's having a good shower cry or indulging in a late night ice cream. The most radical thing about hell zone moments is that they're a rejection of productivity.

    If Justice Ginsburg's death sparked a fresh wave of energy and you're ready to take action, by all means do it. If you're dealing with this ongoing, dull exhaustion like me (and you probably are, given the state of the world right now) sit with it. Take a moment, or a few hours, to really soak it in. Maybe this year will get better. It'll probably get worse. Let yourself wallow in the hell zone for a bit. Once you emerge, you'll be ready to tackle whatever shit 2020 has in store for the rest of the year.

  • Twitter is lighting up with Circle memes

    Twitter is lighting up with Circle memes

    Twitter Circle rolled out to all users this week, meaning folks can share posts exclusively with a select group of people.


    Basically, the feature is a lot like Instagram Close Friends. You get to choose the group of people who can exclusively access your Circle posts. The idea is to make these posts more private though, of course, nothing is that private on the internet.

    Predictably, since the Circle feature dropped, people online have been making memes and jokes about it. As one might expect with, you know, the internet...a lot of the jokes are about, well, being horny online.

    People definitely seemed ready to make and see horny content.

    There were also lots of straightforward jokes. People joked about Circle being for cowards, the pressure of getting added to a Circle, being nosy, and lots of other things. The memes came flying in.

    It'll be interesting to see where Circle goes from here. Folks online are great at finding novel ways to use new features. But for now we've at least gotten funny jokes about it.

  • Do Virgos deserve Beyoncés Virgos Groove?

    Do Virgos deserve Beyoncés Virgos Groove?

    While technically it's Leo season according to the astrology calendar, Virgo supremacy is year-round. And there's no other person to prove this point than the queen herself, Beyoncé, with the release of her latest blockbuster album, Renaissance. Her seventh solo album, Renaissance, celebrates queer Black music and communities, sampling from different dance genres like Jersey club, disco, house, UK garage, and more.


    However, at the center of the album is quite possibly her best work, and that's "Virgo's Groove." Born Sept. 4, 1981, Beyoncé is a Virgo sun and the song itself is a six-minute disco-funk gem that we can all assume refers to her own groove. And while the song is a blissful listen that doesn't overstay its welcome, Twitter users have responded with one question: "Do Virgos even deserve this?"

    Some users on Twitter have spoken up about their displeasure that such a life-changing song could be given to the Virgos and not them. Is it disingenuous of Beyonce to release a modern classic during Leo season? Sure, but to those who feel that way I say, stop being selfish and learn how to share the spotlight (I'm also a Virgo, so my opinions are slightly biased).

    Even Issa Rae, star of Insecure and creator of Rap Shit on HBO, had to let the internet know just how fortunate Virgos are right now, simply stating on Twitter, "Virgos are so lucky."

    According to MTV News(Opens in a new tab), Virgos are known for "their low tolerance for drama and direct nature, would never be that messy. And the majority of people in the United States are Virgos, so we better let the patient sign have its moment." Others on Twitter have questions about the "backlash" levied against the Virgo community.

    "Virgos Groove" is an endlessly replayable, vocal tour de force that's overflowing with power, joy, love, and desire. Do Virgos deserve this song? Absolutely. Everyone does to be quite honest, but this one just hits a little bit more for those of us born under the best sign in the universe.

  • A pilot took an amazing selfie with the Chinese spy balloon

    A pilot took an amazing selfie with the Chinese spy balloon

    Every once in a while, you get the perfect photo. Maybe the lighting is just right in a certain bathroom mirror. Or maybe you caught the sunset just so. Or maybe, it's just a good pic — I, for instance, really like one(Opens in a new tab) from my wedding.

    Well, one pilot snapped a selfie that is going to be hard to top. It's a pretty perfect photo. They were able to get a selfie alongside the now-infamous Chinese spy balloon that dotted across the United States before being the first in a string of airborne objects shot down by the U.S. military.

    I mean, just look at this amazing photo. I might suspect it of being a social media hoax if it hadn't been released by the Department of Defense.


    What an angle on this shot. Credit: US Department of Defense / Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    What an incredible selfie — the way you can see the pilot's helmet, the stunning, near-space horizon and the balloon floating on by.

    The Pentagon released the photo taken by the pilot of a U-2 spy plane, which is a glider-esque aircraft capable of operating at high altitudes. The Chinese spy balloon was apparently floating at about 60,000 feet when it was spotted. The photo was taken(Opens in a new tab) on Feb. 3 over the continental U.S., the Department of Defense said, just one day before it was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.

    The high-profile sighting of the spy balloon, in part, helped spark a rapid, sudden increase in UFOs being shot down(Opens in a new tab) in the U.S. The country was apparently expanded its parameters in the aircraft it was searching for, which meant they ended up shooting down four UFOs in just one month.

    While we haven't gotten a good look at those other objects, we now have an incredible image of the balloon that started it all.

  • See Florida live webcams as Hurricane Nicole makes landfall

    See Florida live webcams as Hurricane Nicole makes landfall

    Florida has yet another 2022 hurricane on its hands as Hurricane Nicole makes its U.S. landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday morning(Opens in a new tab) on Florida’s east coast. As of this writing on Wednesday afternoon ET, Nicole was bearing down on the Bahamas, and expected to be upgraded to hurricane status at any moment, according to the National Hurricane Center(Opens in a new tab). (Update at Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. ET: Nicole is now officially a hurricane)


    As the storm moves west, live webcams are a safe and handy way to stay aware of weather conditions in the potential path of destruction, and to feel connected with those dealing with Nicole's consequences.

    SEE ALSO: The best survival kits to prepare for all the things you can’t predict

    Nicole is not expected to pummel Florida with anywhere near the strength of Hurricane Ian, which invaded Florida from more or less the opposite direction on Sept. 28. Ian, a Category 4 hurricane, and one of the most powerful in the history of the state, led to the deaths of an estimated 127 people(Opens in a new tab). By contrast, Nicole will likely be a Category 1 hurricane at landfall and weaken as it makes its way inland. 

    Nonetheless, in or near Nicole’s "cone of uncertainty" are major population centers and tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World and former President Donald Trump’s personal residence and golf resort, Mar-a-Lago. 

    Here are some webcams you can use to keep tabs on this storm as it rumbles toward Florida. At landfall, you'll most likely witness hurricane force winds and frightening storm surge.

    Downtown Stuart, Florida, webcam will likely show storm surge on city streets.

    On Wednesday, residents of Stuart were already reporting storm surge in their community(Opens in a new tab). As the storm moves in, this webcam will be one to watch.

    Watch Tropical Storm Nicole hit Flagler Beach pier.

    This camera shows choppy seas battering an understandably taped-off pier.

    Watch Satellite Beach canal webcam to see Nicole's effects further inland.

    Located on a barrier island just east of the Florida mainland, Satellite Beach, which is a little to the north of the storm's expected point of landfall, is bracing for weather, although it will dodge the eye of the storm.

    Watch live webcam at Deerfield Beach, a little south of the expected landfall area.

    A little south of Nicole's expected landfall is Deerfield Beach. Given the unpredictability of hurricanes, it's one to watch, too.

    Watch Artemis 1 moon rocket at Kennedy Space Center as Tropical Storm Nicole bears down.

    NASA's next moon rocket, scheduled for launch on Nov. 18., is still in launch position and won't be rolled back to shelter, even as Nicole delivers harsh wind and rain over the next couple of days. You can watch live as this $4.1 billion launch vehicle weathers the storm.

    President Biden issued an emergency declaration in Florida on Wednesday morning. Florida’s Flagler, Palm Beach, Martin, and Volusia Counties were issued mandatory evacuation orders(Opens in a new tab) for vulnerable habitations, including homes on barrier islands and in low-lying areas, along with all mobile homes.

    How is Tropical Storm Nicole related to climate change?

    Climate change is impacting hurricanes. Some of these impacts are clear, particularly more serious rainfall and historic flooding, along with higher storm surges. Other impacts, like how the relentless warming oceans are affecting how strong these storms grow, are an intensive and ongoing area of research.