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Score a deal on a yeedi robot vac and get your floors in tip-top shape for the holidays

2023-03-19 06:14:41

Score a deal on a yeedi robot vac and get your floors in tip-top shape for the holidays

Let’s face it — this time of year is nuts. As soon as the last slice of pumpkin pie is gobbled, the holidays are on and it’s a whirlwind of shopping, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning. It’s all good, but it’s also a lot, so why not make it easier on yourself and get a robot vac and mop combo?

Score a deal on a yeedi robot vac and get your floors in tip-top shape for the holidays(图1)

yeedi is a solid choice for people who want a decently priced vacuum-and-mop hybrid that’s tech-savvy yet practical. yeedi is also throwing a one-day sale on November 24, where you can nab a killer deal on top performers and make holiday cleaning a snap. Here are just a few picks, check out the sale for more.

Don’t bother picking up your stuff

The yeedi Vac 2 Pro(Opens in a new tab) vacuum and mop combo traces your space like a GPS and has built-in 3D obstacle-avoidance technology to dodge sneakers, pet toys, and anything else you’re too busy to pick up off the floor. The vacuum sucks up the cat hair and the unique oscillating mop system moves back and forth to scrub muddy paw prints off your hard floors. It’s also compatible with the yeedi self-empty station, a nice perk.

Credit: yeedi

Clean without using your hands

The self-emptying yeedi Vac Station(Opens in a new tab) sucks up chip crumbs from your midnight gift-wrapping sessions and leaves your hard floors sparkling. Put it in vacuum mode and it cranks up the suction on your carpet. In mopping mode, it avoids your carpet and keeps it dry. The 2.5-liter dust bag gives you up to 30 days of hands-free cleaning – enough to get you through the holidays.

Credit: yeedi

Freshen up your space

The voice-activated yeedi Mop Station Pro(Opens in a new tab) will get your floors clean enough for your baby niece to crawl on. It vacuums up dust bunnies and self-unloads them into the 750-milliliter dustbin. The dual-power spin mopping feature also tackles floor stains, and the self-cleaning pads stay fresh-smelling, thanks to separate water tanks and a handy self-dry feature.

Credit: yeedi

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  • Mayor of D.C. has city workers painting Black Lives Matter on street to White House

    Mayor of D.C. has city workers painting Black Lives Matter on street to White House

    Washington, D.C. has taken some very visible action to support the Black Lives Matter protests around the country.


    On Friday morning, a group of people were seen painting the words "Black Lives Matter" in large yellow letters down two blocks of 16th Street, a two-lane road which leads to the White House.

    The painters were commissioned by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser(Opens in a new tab), per CNN, and when New York Times writer Emily Badger happened upon the city workers on Friday morning, they casually said they were "just paintin' the streets."

    Badger noted that the 16 eye-catching letters, which span the full width of the street, will "be a real middle finger to any federal forces flying overhead."

    If you're curious as to what the statement looks like from above, check out this video that Mayor Bowser shared on Twitter alongside the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The video was taken from a roof and music can be heard playing in the background.

    Badger also added that the yellow paint is not temporary by any means — it appears to be the same paint city officials use to stripe road lanes.

    "Black Lives Matter" paint on 16th street near the White House. Credit: DANIEL SLIM / AFP via Getty Images

    The lettering comes as protests continue to spread throughout the city and hundreds of people gather each day outside the White House gates to condemn racism, police brutality, and the death of George Floyd — a black man who died on May 25, after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. 

    After protests outside the White House escalated last Friday night, the Secret Service reportedly ushered Trump — along with Melania and their son Barron — to the underground presidential bunker, where they were said to have remained for nearly an hour(Opens in a new tab).

    On Friday morning, Mayor Bowser shared additional tweets that related to the Black Lives Matter paint. The first was a letter she wrote requesting that President Trump "withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from the city.

    And the second was a video that showed a "Black Lives Matter" street sign being added to a lamp post in the city. "The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially 'Black Lives Matter Plaza,'" Bowser wrote in her tweet.

    Mashable has reached out to the D.C. Mayor's office for comment and will update this article if we receive a reply.

    UPDATE: June 5, 2020, 10:55 a.m. EDT Updated to include a tweet from D.C. mayor, Muriel Bowser.

    UPDATE: June 5, 2020, 12:13 p.m. EDT Updated to include two additional tweets from Mayor Bowser.

    Related Video: How to donate to support the Black Lives Matter movement

  • In TikTok protest, witches cast spells to hex cops

    In TikTok protest, witches cast spells to hex cops

    Under the light of this week's full moon, a group of witches of TikTok — or WitchTok, if you will — are casting protection spells for protestors and hexes for cops.


    With the U.S. a week into protests against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd, a surprising array of subcultures have stepped up to help. K-pop stans flooded police reporting platforms with fancams so informants couldn't snitch on protestors. Even Mennonites showed up(Opens in a new tab) to protest in Minneapolis. And now covens are redirecting their power to protestors.

    Organizing under the #witchesforblm hashtag, practicing witches are teaching each other how to cast simple spells, draw sigils, and manifest intentions.

    The movement seems to have started with a comment from TikTok user beckydoeslife. This was in response to a TikTok by venxm.exe, in which the practicing witch filmed herself casting a protection spell for protestors rallying against police brutality.

    In just five days, the tag #witchesforblm garnered a collective 10 million views on the app.

    The tag started when a TikTok user suggested using #witchesforblm to organize. Credit: tiktok / venxm.exe
    The tag started when a TikTok user suggested using #witchesforblm to organize. Credit: tiktok / venxm.exe

    WitchTok users aim to protect protestors and hex law enforcement, who have been escalating violence against peaceful protestors nationwide all week.

    In some videos, like this one from, users act out what they predict will happen to cops after WitchTok casts its spells.

    TikTok users are acting out what'll happen to cops after they cast their spells. Credit: tiktok /

    In a video for beginners, jes.tkidding suggests a simple hex: write down the names of police officers and use a black candle to burn that paper, and then let the candle burn all the way through. In a video for more experienced practitioners, sorciereverte demonstrates how to write protection sigils that spell out "PROTESTORS ARE PROTECTED FROM POLICE BRUTALITY" and "BLACK LIVES MATTER TODAY AND ALWAYS."

    A TikTok user demonstrates simple spells beginner witches can cast. Credit: tiktok / jes.tkidding
    A TikTok user demonstrates writing a sigil that says, "PROTESTORS ARE PROTECTED AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY." Credit: tiktok / sorciereverte

    Of course, casting spells probably isn't enough to really make change to a historically racist and unjust system. So in addition to recommending meditating, burning candles, and making "moon water," TikTok user earthytiana suggests(Opens in a new tab) using the power of the full moon to sign petitions, donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, and attend protests.

    Happy full moon, witches.

  • Enjoy watching as Brits tear down a slavers statue and dump it in the river

    Enjoy watching as Brits tear down a slavers statue and dump it in the river

    If you happen to be looking for the Edward Colston statue in Bristol, England, try finding it at its new location: in the harbor, at the bottom of the river.


    If you’re not sure exactly where, you can try checking Google Maps. It’s been updated with the statue’s new underwater location. (It may be changed back when you go to look, though; keep reading.)

    An estimated 10,000 people showed up in Bristol, England on Sunday for a Black Lives Matter protest in solidarity with the hundreds of cities across the United States which have been protesting the police killing of George Floyd.

    During the protest, some attendees tied a rope around the memorial of Edward Colston in Bristol, where the bronze statue has stood since 1895. Colston was a 17th century English slave trader and former member of Parliament. He was responsible for transporting more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa.

    Some were quick to point out how Colston was a well-known philanthropist, supporting schools, hospitals and various other charities. A number of city landmarks and establishments bear his name. However, what needs to be mentioned along with these charitable efforts is how he funded all this with money he made from the slave trade.

    The demonstrators proceeded to topple the statue. One protester kneeled down on its neck after it fell, in a nod to Floyd, who was killed when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes while three other officers both looked on and, in two cases, helped.

    Protesters then dragged the statue to the harbor and pushed it over a guardrail, where it fell into the Avon River, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

    Shortly after, as word spread, many users on social media platforms like Twitter had noticed that a Google Maps search was now showing the statue’s new location: at the bottom of the river. The statue was later updated with additional info, obviously crowdsourced by users, like how the memorial was “permanently closed.”

    I checked Google Maps to confirm. However, at the time that I looked, the updated location of the statue had reverted back to its original spot... where the statue is no longer located.

    Local law enforcement have condemned the toppling of the statue. An investigation has been opened to find out who was responsible for taking it down.

    The Colston statue has been a point of contention in the Bristol community since well before the current police brutality protests. In 2018, the Lord Mayor of Bristol removed(Opens in a new tab) a portrait of the slave trader that hung in city hall. A petition to remove(Opens in a new tab) the statue already existed, garnering 11,000 signatures.

    Protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd continue to spread across the United States and around the world.

  • 14 Harry Potter things to love that have nothing to do with J.K. Rowling

    14 Harry Potter things to love that have nothing to do with J.K. Rowling

    On Saturday, J.K. Rowling posted her latest string of transphobic tweets, in which she suggested that only women can menstruate and that gender inclusivity erases the female experience. As an ardent Harry Potter fan myself, with a network of friends in the community, I saw my Twitter timeline fill up with exactly one sentiment in response to these tweets:


    Fuck that.

    This isn't the first time Rowling has been transphobic; previous likes and tweets have followed the line of thought demonstrated on Saturday. I personally expressed my disappointment in her December 2019 tweets, but wrote them off. I assumed she was oblivious and disconnected from the right resources due to shoddy PR, her own ignorance, and that bubble away from reality that most of the ultra-rich and famous seem to occupy.

    But again, fuck that.

    Saturday's tweets are further evidence of Rowling's ignorance, but there can be no doubt now that it is willful. Even Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, couldn't remain silent and issued a statement in solidarity with the queer and trans community(Opens in a new tab).

    For a generation that grew up on the Harry Potter values of standing up to power and bigotry, the irony is not lost and the heartbreak is real. It's been a long time coming for some but totally new for others who might not be able to stop loving Potter as easily as they turned on its creator.

    Harry Potter has been around long enough that its influence spreads far beyond a certain writer. Songs have been written, merch designed, organizations launched, and discussions furthered far beyonds the limits of what Rowling could ever have imagined. Those of us who read Harry Potter as children are writers, artists, and activists now, equipped to enjoy the wizarding world without her.

    So now that you've accepted the Death of the Author(Opens in a new tab), here are 14 places to direct your Harry Potter love that have nothing to do with You-Know-Who.

    Note: The author (I mean myself now) knows individuals involved with several items on this list.

    1. The Harry Potter Alliance(Opens in a new tab)

    Launched in 2005, the HPA is a social justice organization that works toward gender equity, LGTBQIA+ equality, racial justice, climate change activism, education, and more. It has partnered with groups like the American Library Association, ACLU, and Hank and John Green's DFTBA. In 2010, the HPA raised enough money through fan campaigns to send five airplanes of medical supplies to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti(Opens in a new tab). They have a handy guide on how to advocate for trans people right here(Opens in a new tab).

    2. Black Girls Create(Opens in a new tab)

    This multifandom resource for black creators encourages fans to recognize that you can love something while still being highly critical of it. They raised $16,000 in a week for organizations helping Black Lives Matter through a Hogwarts house-themed points competition. Through podcasts(Opens in a new tab) like #WizardTeam(Opens in a new tab) and the Doctor Who-themed TARBIS(Opens in a new tab) (Who Watch: Time and Relative Blackness in Space), the BGC community promotes intersectional representation, especially for black women.

    3. Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis(Opens in a new tab)

    This breezy web series what would have happened if 25-year-old Hermione Granger didn't marry Ron and become a cop, but questioned it all and hightailed to California to hang out with former classmate Parvati Patil. Created by Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael and starring Ashley Romans, the series imagines how wizardry looks for millennial adults and how the magical and muggle worlds collide. It's even brave enough to suggest Hermione go to therapy, something that would certainly have helped all the adults in Cursed Child. And speaking of that nonsense...

    4. StarKid(Opens in a new tab)

    Filmed in a 100-seat basement theater at the University of Michigan, A Very Potter Musical became an early viral sensation in 2009. It expertly pokes fun at its source material and expands upon the canon, as with Harry's obvious desire to be the center of attention or Draco's inability to stand still. The cast and characters are more diverse in race and sexuality than any Harry Potter content ever distributed by Warner Bros. or Universal, a statistic that will probably hold up for a very long time.

    AVPM spawned a sequel ("There is literally no way forward from this point") and a threequel, but its creators have created over a dozen non-Potter productions since then, including Holy Musical, [email protected]!, Ani: A Parody, and originals like Firebringer and Black Friday.

    5. The Gayly Prophet(Opens in a new tab)

    Two Harry Potter fans (Jessie Blount and Lark Malakai Grey) host this weekly podcast that examines the books through a queer feminist lens. They were quick to note after Rowling's comments that this person was being openly transphobic during an uprising in a pandemic and that there is truly no weirder or worse flex.

    6. Sorted(Opens in a new tab)

    Credit: simon & schuster

    Jackson Bird(Opens in a new tab)'s 2019 memoir about coming out as trans is inextricably linked to his experiences in the Harry Potter fandom. Bird's writing is thorough and informative yet never overwhelming. He takes you on his journey through childhood and adolescence, weaving in the boy wizard's influence and the community that ultimately helped him accept who he was and offered support when he declared it. The title refers to the Sorting Hat, but especially to Dumbledore's musing in Deathly Hallows that "I sometimes think we sort too soon." Once again, the fans understand Rowling's message more than it seems she ever could.

    7. Man Up Apparel(Opens in a new tab)

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    This clothing brand started as a part-time source of cheer apparel and now provides some of the swaggiest HP clothing Warner Bros. could only dream of. The house face hoodies give mascots as much a chance to shine as colors, and the varsity jackets will be the envy of every former high school athlete you meet. Best of all for this Ravenclaw: The Ravenclaw colors of blue and bronze and the house eagle are resplendent, putting that hideous blue-gray raven gear from the movies to shame.

    8. Mark Reads Harry Potter(Opens in a new tab)

    Writer Mark Oshiro(Opens in a new tab) has made a career of watching and reading things(Opens in a new tab) (and is now an author(Opens in a new tab) too) because their voice is so utterly entertaining. They started Harry Potter for the first time in 2010(Opens in a new tab) with little to no prior exposure (the podcast Potterless(Opens in a new tab) started a similar journey in recent years) and there is nothing quite like experiencing the joy of a grown adult becoming obsessed with Rubeus Hagrid for the first time.

    9. Carry On(Opens in a new tab)

    Credit: St. Martin's Griffin

    Rainbow Rowell's YA fantasy novel is a spinoff of her own Fangirl, but the characters are undeniably influenced by Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy as they occupy a slightly different magical realm. Simon Snow is his world's Chosen One, guided by "the Mage" and anointed by a prophecy — and as if that's not enough, he finds it harder and harder each day to deny the attraction he feels to his so-called enemy Basilton (a.k.a. Baz). Carry On and sequel Wayward Son (yup) are the Drarry fic you crave on ink and paper, and a beautiful example of how joyous and easy it is to write a queer magical story.

    10. Puffs(Opens in a new tab)

    The now-closed off-Broadway play about "a certain school of magic and magic" tells the story we all know through the eyes of Hufflepuff students — sometimes confused, often endangered, and always nice even in the face of certain danger brought upon them by the Boy Who Lived. It may not be running anymore, but the show lives on digitally(Opens in a new tab).

    11. Vegard(Opens in a new tab)

    This European YouTuber happily declares "Harry Potter (minus JKR)" in their Twitter bio(Opens in a new tab), and has a wonderful time exploring the books, movies, spells, and more in video form regardless. Vegard proves there is no end to answers to the question of how one can manifest one's Harry Potter love, whether it's explaining the story drunk, editing oneself into scenes, talking about it to Siri, and so much more.

    12. Wizard rock

    The musical genre launched in the early 2000s now boasts hundreds of musicians and bands who sing about the series, including to challenge its heteronormativity or ridiculousness wherever they can. The wizard rock community has long been a haven for queer fans, and the growing roster of artists(Opens in a new tab) means more diverse talent joining its ranks every day.

    13. The Wizard Tailor(Opens in a new tab)

    @thewizardtailor(Opens in a new tab)

    Get in the car, looser, we’re going to Beauxbatons 🦋 ##tiktokprom(Opens in a new tab)##harrypotter(Opens in a new tab)##passthebrushchallenge(Opens in a new tab)##passthebrush(Opens in a new tab)##beauxbatons(Opens in a new tab)##french(Opens in a new tab)##hp(Opens in a new tab)##hpcosplay(Opens in a new tab)##hpcos(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ Theme from "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Potter Waltz) - Movie Sounds Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)

    This TikTok creator and cosplayer known as Michael is doing the ridiculous and yet very important work of recreating popular TikToks with a Harry Potter spin(Opens in a new tab). Apologies in advance to all your friends for the slew of links you're about to send them.

    14. Binge Mode: Harry Potter(Opens in a new tab)

    Though it does occasionally praise the author, The Ringer's Binge Mode podcast hosted by Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion provides exceptional analysis and raucous commentary as they reread the Harry Potter books. No amount of Fantastic Beasts movies (and we hope there are no more) could conceive of anything as brilliant as "McGalleon," a headcanon about McGonagall's aggressive sports betting and how it clouds her objectivity as a teacher. You'll learn to turn down the volume when Jason yells, and you'll love it.

  • Its OK to post on social media even though you havent replied to texts

    Its OK to post on social media even though you havent replied to texts

    I don't know who needs to hear this, but it's perfectly OK for someone to post on social media even though they haven't replied to your text messages yet.


    Sure, it's polite and respectful to respond to messages and answer questions as soon as possible, but taking a few hours — or even days — to do so doesn't always mean someone is actively trying to be rude or disrespectful toward you.

    It's easy to get annoyed with people who take a while to respond to messages — especially if you see them tweeting, sharing articles to Facebook, or posting Instagram stories in the meantime. Trust me, I get it.

    I used to make every effort to reply to texts within seconds of receiving them, so I often got frustrated when others took a while to respond to me. When people would leave my texts unanswered and I'd see them post on social media, I'd admittedly wonder, "What the hell?" But then, something changed.

    I grew increasingly overwhelmed with work, life, and all the chaos going on in the world, and my anxiety made it impossible to text anyone back. I started having to wait until it subsided to reply to people, and that's when I realized delayed responses aren't always what they seem.

    SEE ALSO: 13 mental health resources for black people trying to cope right now

    Sending a text seems like one of the simplest tasks in the world. You tap your phone screen to form words and smash the send button, right? Most of the time I do consider texting to be an extremely low-energy task, but much like in-person conversations, communicating digitally sometimes requires real effort, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness. That's not always easy to give.

    Texting and using social media require different levels of effort

    At some point over the past few years, I began staring at light gray iMessage bubbles that read things like, "How are you?" or "How was your week?" in absolute terror. My thumbs became paralyzed at the sight of daunting questions that required deep levels of introspection or explanation on my part, so I'd put off responding until I felt up to the challenge.

    I occasionally let my text messages pile up unanswered, but I kept living my life and posting to social media. It seemed like a good system, until one of my friends called me out.

    "Hi, remember me???" a friend replied to my Instagram story one Saturday. She had texted me the day before, and I hadn't forgotten to respond. I'd had a truly horrible week and wanted to take the weekend to recover. I had every intention of replying to her non-urgent text on Monday, but because she saw me using Instagram, she felt I should have texted her back already.

    Unless the person you message has read receipts turned on, you likely won't be able to tell when, or if, they've had a chance to read your texts. If you picture someone being too busy to stop and look at their phones — as I'm sure my friend was doing with me — it's easy to rationalize delayed responses. But if a person you've messaged posts to social media before replying to you, their silence in DMs is often taken as a slap in the face.

    The common thought process here is that if someone has the time to casually be online, then they must have time to reply to your text. If they're on social media, they're clearly using technology, so why can't they take a few extra minutes to answer you?

    On the surface, this logic makes sense. But it's not always as simple as someone failing to carve out time. People might be posting to social media during a quick break from work, they could be using social media to distract themselves from daily dread, or they might quickly post something in the presence of other people and not have the time to devote to texting. There's also the chance that they just might have forgotten to reply.

    When my friend called me out for not answering her, I replied honestly. I explained that for me, posting on social media requires much less effort than engaging in a personal conversation. I told her I was taking the weekend to recharge my social batteries, and she was super understanding. We ended up having a really productive conversation about how texting isn't always as easy as it sounds.

    Sometimes self-care means not texting back right away

    Depending on the conversation topic and where you're at in life mentally/emotionally, chatting with people can be challenging.

    Reminding myself that texts like, "How are you?" can demand significantly more detailed responses than than texts like, "Have you watched Better Call Saul yet?" helps me understand and justify delayed responses. And acknowledging that mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or posting photos of food can be easier than talking about your life helped me accept that it's perfectly fine to use social media in between receiving and answering texts.

    How have I been? What a stacked question. Credit: screenshot / nicole gallucci

    Sometimes self-care means not texting back right away, and that became extraordinarily clear to me this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd protests.

    When my mind was racing to grapple with all the new coronavirus social distancing guidelines, medical research, and death tolls, I had trouble replying to texts in a timely manner. I did, however, find some semblance of calm on Instagram, and I continued sharing informative updates on Twitter.

    And after George Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, I barely texted anyone for days. I took time to watch protests spread around the world; to read books and articles, and to watch films to further educate myself on the history of racism and police brutality. I made an effort to donate to organizations, sign petitions, and support black-owned businesses.

    Though I didn't feel ready to reply to non-urgent texts for a full week, I felt it was imperative that I continue to use my social media platforms to help raise awareness on the issues at hand and share invaluable resources.

    Exceptions to the rule

    If you're not in the right mindset to reply to text messages immediately, you shouldn't. Prioritizing your mental health is important. But you should also choose which texts to leave hanging on a case-by-case basis.

    Always keep a message's content and urgency in mind. If someone's asking a question that requires an immediate response, do your best to respond in a timely fashion. And if someone needs help, you obviously shouldn't ignore them.

    Wait a bit, but don't ghost people forever. Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    If you wait to text back, be sure to acknowledge and apologize for the delay when you do get around to it. You can even be upfront with people and let them know upon receiving their message that you need a day or two to get back to them — that way you can relax without the unanswered text lingering in the back of your mind. Be honest with people if you're too overwhelmed to chat, but please avoid using that viral text reply template.

    And remember, there's definitely a difference between waiting until you feel emotionally ready to text someone back and straight-up ghosting them. Don't ghost people, that's rude as hell.

    Be kind to yourself and others

    Ultimately, it's crucial to keep in mind that you never know exactly what someone is going through when they receive your text messages.

    Cut yourself, and others, some slack, and try not to read too much into text delays — even if you see people posting on social media before they've replied. (If the wait really bothers you, you can always confront them about it. And you might end up having an eye-opening talk like I did with my friend.)

    As someone who's avoided replying to family members and friends I absolutely adore because of sheer emotional exhaustion, I can tell you that delays aren't always ill-intentioned. Sometimes people are just overwhelmed.

  • Now you can identify plants and pooches right in Snapchat

    Now you can identify plants and pooches right in Snapchat

    Have you ever seen a dog so adorable or a plant so lush out in the wild that you had to know what it was right then and there?


    Snap announced new partnerships on Thursday with the apps Dog Scanner(Opens in a new tab) and PlantSnap(Opens in a new tab) that will allow Snapchat users to do just that. Snapchatters can identify dogs or plants they encounter in the real world by scanning them right in Snapchat.

    When you press and hold on the camera screen in Snapchat, lenses that are relevant to what the camera is pointing at are unlocked. For example, if I point and hold the camera on my dog right now, lenses that put sunglasses or heart eyes specifically formatted for the shape face of a dog appear.

    Now, if you point the camera at a particularly Good Boy you see, you can access a lens that tells you what breed the dog is, using the data and A.I. of Dog Scanner, which recognizes nearly 400 dog breeds (my dog would get 100 percent purebred mutt). And if you focus your lens on a tree, bush or bud that catches your eye, you'll be able to identify 90 percent of known plants and trees with the PlantSnap integration.

    Gotta snap that plant!!! Credit: snap

    Snap announced the new features at the Snap Partner Summit, which it held virtually Thursday.

    The ability to identify two of earth's best things — dogs and plants — through your smartphone, of course already exists; Dog Scanner and PlantSnap are standalone apps. But it's helpful that the capability comes within Snapchat itself if you're either someone who uses the app frequently already, or doesn't want to have to download a new app for each object you want your smartphone to help identify.

    Plus, more categories are coming soon. An upcoming integration with the food and cosmetics scanning app Yuka(Opens in a new tab) will let Snapchatters unlock nutrition facts when they point and hold the camera at a food item. Snap already lets you point and hold to identify a song through Shazam, solve math problems with Photomath, and identify (and shop for) products sold on Amazon.

    The dog and plant integrations are the sort of typically playful and fun feature that Snapchat is known for. However, the lens product also holds opportunity for further monetization for the company, as Snap CEO Evan Spiegel pointed out during a Q&A with reporters. For example, Snap unveiled a partnership with Louis Vuitton that allows users to point and hold on the monogram logo, which then takes users to content about their new collection. It's easy to see how — similar to the Amazon integration — this could lead to not just brand content and awareness, but shopping.

    Snap made some other announcements around lenses for both developers and users Thursday. It's making more lens development templates available, such as ways to interact with — wait for it — feet (this could enable experiences like virtually trying on shoes).

    On the user side, pointing and holding in a neighborhood will now unlock "local lenses," which lets users actually decorate buildings and other landmarks in AR. It's kind of like a shared street art experience, in which users build on each other's creations, that anyone in the physical space can access.

    Snapchat's innovation in AR has helped the company keep its creative edge, even as companies like Facebook continually try to copy it. The biggest trouble with Snapchat's AR products is keeping track of all the things the app can do in a sometimes difficult to navigate lens ecosystem. But with a new voice search feature and a souped up Activity Bar, also announced Thursday, Snap's working on that, too.

  • Fox News used doctored images to, uh, report on Seattle protests

    Fox News used doctored images to, uh, report on Seattle protests

    A protest against the police killing of George Floyd and police brutality in Seattle has been mostly characterized by drum circles, speakers(Opens in a new tab) and movie screenings. But if you only tuned into Fox News for coverage of these demonstrations, you might think it was full of burning buildings and armed guards.


    On Friday, Fox News published several digitally altered images of the demonstrations on its website, which the Seattle Times caught(Opens in a new tab). It's not clear who is responsible for tweaking the images.

    One photo, shown on Fox's homepage on Friday, placed a man with a rifle standing in front of a sign that reads "You are now entering Free Cap Hill." The street scene and the man who appears in it come from two different photos, taken more than a week apart.

    The sign in that photo refers to the newly-dubbed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a stretch of six blocks set up by protesters in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to create "a police-free" independent zone, The Guardian reported(Opens in a new tab). It was established after the Seattle police abandoned a precinct in the neighborhood(Opens in a new tab) and converted the area into a festival-like space.

    The conservative outlet also published a photo of a person running past a fiery building and car to accompany stories on the Seattle protest. The headline read "CRAZY TOWN." The photo is actually from St. Paul, Minn. and was taken on May 30, according to the Seattle Times.

    After the Times reached out to Fox News about the photos, they were removed. But a Fox News spokeswoman also said the following, "We have replaced our photo illustration with the clearly delineated images of a gunman and a shattered storefront, both of which were taken this week in Seattle’s autonomous zone.”

    The Times pushed back on this statement writing in its article that "the gunman photo was taken June 10, while storefront images it was melded with were datelined May 30 by Getty Images."

    Though, as the Times reports, the demonstration has seen armed protesters it is nothing like the scene Fox attempted to purport with its misleading use of images.

    As a photojournalism ethics educator told the Times, "I think it’s disgraceful propaganda and terribly misrepresentative of documentary journalism in times like this, when truth-telling and accountability is so important,” said Kenny Irby. “There is no attribution. There is no acknowledgment of the montage, and it’s terribly misleading.”

    On Saturday, Fox News appended an editor's note to the stories featuring altered images expressing regret for "these errors."

    A home page photo collage which originally accompanied this story included multiple scenes from Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” and of wreckage following recent riots. The collage did not clearly delineate between these images, and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slideshow depicting scenes from Seattle mistakenly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets these errors.

    UPDATE: June 13, 2020, 4:06 p.m. EDT Added the editor's note that's been appended to stories on the Fox News website featuring the misleading images.

  • In honor of Trumps birthday, people tweet praise for Obama

    In honor of Trumps birthday, people tweet praise for Obama

    Donald Trump turned 74 on Sunday. So, naturally, people celebrated the occasion by tweeting about the person who perhaps gets under his skin the most: Barack Obama. (Sunday was also Flag Day, but we feel like that wasn't the impetus here.)


    The former president trended on the platform(Opens in a new tab) for much of the day, frequently under hashtags like #BarackObamaDay, #ObamaDayUSA, and #ObamaDayJune14th. Users tweeted corny praise for the former president alongside statements about Trump's incompetence. Some were oblique: "Smart intelligence leadership. I miss that every day," one person wrote. Others were more pointed: "Best president in my lifetime. Right @realdonaldtrump? You're the worst," wrote another(Opens in a new tab).

    Still others made references to Saturday's ramp fiasco, when Trump stepped gingerly down a ramp after his West Point graduation speech, got made fun of, then lied about it being slippery in a later tweet. One user, for example, tweeted a photo(Opens in a new tab) of Obama walking down a "slippery wet sidewalk."

    SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama to 2020 graduates: 'Finish the work the generations before you have started'

    While not explicitly related to Obama, #AllBirthdaysMatter — a troll-y reference to the dismissive slogan "All lives matter,"(Opens in a new tab) which is often employed in attempts to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement — also trended briefly above Trump's birthday. Of course, the K-pop fans participated.

    Like most Resistance Twitter(Opens in a new tab) trends, the tweets skewed largely corny, were very reductive, and suffered from an overuse of hashtags. But Trump also takes the bait on this kind of thing all the time, so perhaps it genuinely bothered him. In any event, we're sure the Krassenstein brothers(Opens in a new tab) would be proud.

  • Elon Musk says Juneteenth is a holiday at Tesla, just not a paid holiday

    Elon Musk says Juneteenth is a holiday at Tesla, just not a paid holiday

    Juneteenth is a holiday at Tesla and SpaceX now, but it's not that simple.


    Elon Musk announced the company policy on Twitter on Friday. Also known as Freedom Day, the holiday commemorates the day Major General Gordon Granger and Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas with federal orders that the state's enslaved people were declared free. The day has not only come to symbolize the end of slavery in the United States, but also the continued fight against systemic oppression of Black people.

    The day carries extra weight this year. It comes after weeks of protests against police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer. While the day is considered a state holiday in Texas and official one in New York City, it isn't yet a federal holiday. Many organizations(Opens in a new tab), including Nike, Twitter, and the NFL are commemorating Juneteenth by giving employees a paid holiday. Others are taking smaller steps, like Google, which has just asked for employees to cancel unnecessary meetings on Friday.

    Tesla and SpaceX are joining in, sort of. Musk tweeted that the day is "considered a U.S. holiday" at both companies.

    But when a Twitter user expressed his appreciation, Musk clarified that like other holidays at Tesla and SpaceX, employees had to use their previously allotted paid time off, or a vacation day, to have the day off from work.

    This comes after CNBC(Opens in a new tab) reported on internal emails that showed Tesla first told employees they could take Juneteenth off, but it would be considered an unpaid absence. Tesla also told employees they could take off after many had already started their work day, according to emails shared on Twitter(Opens in a new tab) by Buzzfeed News reporter Ryan Mac.

    So his nod to Juneteenth, the history behind it, and the ongoing oppression that Black people in this country face doesn't quite hit the mark.

    Musk was thoroughly eviscerated by other Twitter users.

    Meanwhile in Washington on Friday, Sens. Ed Markey, Corey Booker, Tina Smith, and Kamala Harris proposed a bill(Opens in a new tab) to make Juneteenth a national holiday. The last national holiday(Opens in a new tab) approved by Congress was Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

  • 7 of the best face masks of 2020 so far

    7 of the best face masks of 2020 so far

    Face masks came roaring into vogue this year, first due to smoke from the Australian bushfires, then due to the global coronavirus pandemic. While the accessories have been common in Asian countries for a long time, 2020 saw them widely adopted internationally as health issues dominated the news cycle.


    Though face masks are primarily tools for protecting health, a plethora of interesting, eye-catching designs have emerged as they've quickly become a must-have accessory. From pretty to practical to political, here are some of the best face masks of 2020.

    1. Knit monster masks

    This mask won't protect you from viruses, but it will probably encourage others to keep their social distance. Credit: Ýrúrarí

    The world is monstrous, so here are some monstrous masks to match it. Icelandic artist (Opens in a new tab)Ýrúrarí(Opens in a new tab) has worked in sculptural knitting for years, but only started adding soft teeth and tongues to face masks in 2020.

    "Now face masks are becoming such a necessity and part of our life I thought it could be interesting to translate my ideas into that form, inspired by current events," Ýrúrarí told Mashable in an email. The result is a series of grotesque masks that will definitely prompt others to keep their social distance.

    Ýrúrarí sells knitting patterns(Opens in a new tab) for some of her sculpture elements, so you can create your own personal mouth horror. Her knitted masks are designed for aesthetics rather than safety though, so you’d have to wear another protective face mask beneath them.

    2. 'Face' masks

    Vaguely unsettling, but also pretty practical. Credit: resting risk face

    The idea of printing faces onto masks so they’d work with facial recognition initially began as a joke, but product designer Danielle Baskin(Opens in a new tab) is now working on actually creating the masks.

    Baskin’s service Maskalike(Opens in a new tab) intends to launch fabric masks with people’s faces printed onto them first, which won’t unlock a phone. However, she is also developing contoured masks(Opens in a new tab) which work with iPhone's Face ID(Opens in a new tab), provided your masked face is registered as an Alternate Appearance. Print half a face on them, and voila: practical yet unsettling phone-unlocking masks.

    Making masks iPhone compatible isn’t the only advantage to this project, Baskin told Mashable some people think they would be useful in hospitals. "Waking up to a room of faceless masked doctors can be unsettling, but if masks had a unique print on them, maybe being in a room of doctors would be a more warm or lighter experience."

    Also offering a lighter experience is Baskin’s very cool apple mask inspired by “Son of Man” by Magritte(Opens in a new tab). It won’t unlock a phone, but it will make you the talk of your socially-distanced grocery store run.

    3. 'I can't breathe' masks

    Some protesters against police brutality put George Floyd's last words on their masks. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / AP / Shutterstock

    Thousands of people took to the streets in protest this year, rallying against police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The 46-year-old father died in May after a Minneapolis police officer handcuffed him and knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his cries that he couldn’t breathe.

    Protesters have been diligent in wearing face masks, which now serve the dual purpose of protecting their identities as well as slowing the spread of COVID-19. Some have taken it a step further though, writing "I can't breathe" across their masks. These were the last words of both Floyd and Eric Garner, another Black man who died needlessly at the hands of the police.

    If any mask design perfectly encapsulates 2020, it’s this one.

    4. Clear face masks

    The ClearMask was designed to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Credit: Clearmask

    Though face masks are essential for public health, they create new problems for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Many rely on lip-reading to understand what others are saying, so being unable to see the lower half of people’s faces can be infuriating and isolating.

    Transparent face masks such as the (Opens in a new tab)ClearMask(Opens in a new tab) and the (Opens in a new tab)Communicator(Opens in a new tab) were designed to address these issues. Originally intended for medical personnel, the pandemic has now sent demand for these masks skyrocketing.

    Swiss researchers are also developing a transparent surgical mask which doesn’t use plastic shields. The HelloMask(Opens in a new tab) is intended to be biodegradable, more breathable, and won’t have any issues with fogging up.

    5. Hijab masks

    Halima Aden's Hijab Set is designed to be comfortably worn for hours. Credit: Anywear

    For healthcare workers, wearing an abrasive face mask during lengthy shifts can become painful. If they wear a hijab, it can also become uncomfortably hot. To help mitigate this problem, fashion startup Anywear teamed up with Somali-American model Halima Aden to design a series of practical yet attractive masks for women who wear hijabs.

    “As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered,” said Aden, herself a former hospital worker.

    Frontline workers still have to wear an N95 mask beneath the Hijab Set, since it isn't up to personal protective equipment standards. Instead, the washable mask is designed to cover the N95 mask.

    Each Hijab Set(Opens in a new tab) includes a matching head wrap and face mask made from breathable fabric, as well as a built-in extender enabling the wearer to comfortably secure their mask behind their head. It’s a cute option for any hijabi, even if they don’t work in healthcare. Anywear is also donating a medical cap with buttons to a healthcare worker for each set bought.

    6. Beaded plague mask

    Each symbol on this mask has a meaning. Credit: Dolores Gull

    The beaked shape of a plague mask isn’t something most people associate with traditional art, but it made perfect sense to Cree artist Dolores Gull. Gull is a member of Weenusk First Nation in northern Ontario, and has been beading for decades.

    "I came across this plague doctor mask and it reminded me of the ceremonies that we attend," Gull told CBC(Opens in a new tab), speaking about her beautiful beaded mask.

    Gull made her mask after seeing the (Opens in a new tab)Breathe Facebook group(Opens in a new tab), founded by Métis artists (Opens in a new tab)Nathalie Bertin(Opens in a new tab) and (Opens in a new tab)Lisa Shepherd(Opens in a new tab). The pair has been asking traditional artists to design masks using traditional materials — an effort to foster community amidst the pandemic.

    "The mask itself is the initial inspiration," (Opens in a new tab)Shepherd told CBC(Opens in a new tab). "We learned early on that the mask is not protecting [the wearer] from COVID-19. When I wear the mask, I'm protecting you and I'm taking care of the community."

    Gull’s mask is deeply symbolic(Opens in a new tab), with beaded flowers to represent the land and medicine, three circles representing life, and two parallel lightning bolts “for your eyes to see, to keep you in balance and to have faith.”

    7. Facehugger masks

    There are fortunately no chestbursters involved. Credit: Cristina Rodo

    Fiber Art Fever(Opens in a new tab)’s mask competitions have been running since March, prompting fiber artists to produce incredible designs that vary wildly in practicability. Though they’re all worth checking out(Opens in a new tab), one likely to inspire glee is Cristina Rodo(Opens in a new tab)'s felt facehugger mask.

    "I was inspired by the Alien movie's facehugger," Rodo told Mashable. "That immediately came to my mind since, like the virus itself, it's terribly scary and sucks the life out of you, keeping you from breathing."

    The Portuguese artist took three days to make her wool mask, using wet felting for the body and needle felting for the details. Like Ýrúrarí’s monster masks, Rodo’s alien(Opens in a new tab) is focused on art rather than protecting people from COVID-19. It makes thematic sense though — Xenomorphs aren’t known for being particularly concerned with human health and safety.

    Rodo isn't the only person who has brought the iconic movie villain into our horrific reality. German artist Lady Frankenstein also took a shot at it, though her sculpted clay mask(Opens in a new tab) looks much less comfortable.

    All of these masks are great in different ways. But really, the best face mask is any mask that protects you and the people around you.

Random articles


  • Facebook Dating finally arrives in Europe

    Facebook Dating finally arrives in Europe

    It's a weird time to be dating right now.


    Facebook, nonetheless, is undeterred.(Opens in a new tab) From today, the social network's Facebook Dating platform is expanding to Europe after launching in the U.S. and 19 other countries around the world.

    For the uninitiated, Facebook Dating is an "opt-in space within the Facebook app". You can create a Facebook Dating profile that's separate from your main profile (you'll need to be over 18 and using the most recent version of the app).

    The launch comes nine months after the intended release date was halted(Opens in a new tab) at the 11th hour after a leading data regulator raised concerns about privacy and the processing of personal data. In February, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) visited Facebook's Dublin office and flagged that the social media company hadn't given ample information about how Dating would work, and hadn't given the regulator enough notice of the product launch (Facebook gave them just a few days warning). "Facebook has provided detailed clarifications on the processing of personal data in the context of the Dating feature," deputy commissioner Graham Doyle told(Opens in a new tab) TechCrunch. "Facebook has also provided details of changes that they have made to the product to take account of the issues raised by the DPC."

    Facebook Daters have access to several features including Stories, much like you'd share on Instagram or non-dating Facebook. You can also share your existing Facebook or Instagram Story to your dating profile.

    There's also a feature called Secret Crush, which lets you select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you might be interested in. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list, you'll get a match. But if the crush you've selected isn't on Facebook Dating or they didn't add you to their crush list, then they'll never know how you feel. Unless you tell them, of course.

    Virtual Dates are also an option for users — which is to be expected given the current, errr, situation we find ourselves in. Once you've matched with someone and you feel ready to, you have the option of video calling each other. Initiating a call will send an invite, which your match will need to accept before joining the call.

    Much like non-dating Facebook, there are also events and groups, which can help you find people with similar interests.

    SEE ALSO: Tinder launches apocalyptic Swipe Night in the UK and around the world

    There are security measures in place, like the ability to report and block anyone, as well as the prevention of people sending photos, links, payments, or videos in messages. Your Facebook friends won't be informed that you've joined Dating, nor will they be suggested as potential matches.

    In case you're worried about your main Facebook profile being taken over by dating content, fear not. Your Dating profile, messages, and matches won't show up in your Facebook News Feed.

    Facebook Dating is now available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

  • Logan Paul, now an intellectual, says hes done with Hollywood

    Logan Paul, now an intellectual, says hes done with Hollywood

    Forget Notes App apologies — now influencers are dropping Notes App prose.


    Logan Paul hinted at being done with the influencer lifestyle in a turgid statement posted to his Instagram story on Wednesday. Typed out on the Notes App, Paul ruminated on his fleeting "privilege of youth" and the "venom of adulthood" that separates him from the "horde of inebriated young Hollywood socialites driven by temptation and bad intentions."

    "I do enjoy it," Paul wrote. "But I cannot deny the inevitable ending of an era."

    Here's the full...statement? Poem? Start of Paul's highbrow phase?

    "As I sit, observing the horde of inebriated young Hollywood socialites driven by temptation and bad intentions, I take pleasure in knowing that, while a part of me flourishes in such an environment, my personal aspirations will not often lead me to such crassness. The privilege of youth, the absence of responsibility, the free-spirited nature of song and dance... all fleeting. I feel it. The venom of adulthood slowly sinks its way into my veins, and with it, comes new passions and new habits. I do enjoy it. But I cannot deny the inevitable ending of an era."

    As commentary creator Def Noodles described(Opens in a new tab) it, the statement could have been summarized in a concise three words: "People grow up."

    The 25-year-old announced his departure from the Los Angeles influencer bubble last month — though he admitted that it was for lower taxes, not to distance himself from "Hollywood socialite" lifestyle. The YouTuber turned podcaster turned NFT hawker(Opens in a new tab)'s move to Puerto Rico sparked outcry(Opens in a new tab) from native Puerto Ricans, who don't receive tax exemptions that are available to wealthy outsiders like Paul. And while Paul found the island's lower cost of living charming, Puerto Ricans worry that his move will inspire more white, wealthy influencers to move as well, essentially gentrifying the territory and forcing its native population out.

    It's unclear whether his departure from Los Angeles is finalized. While Paul has been posting photos on Instagram from Puerto Rico, he's also still posting episodes of his podcast Impaulsive, which are recorded in his mansion in the Los Angeles suburbs. While his viewers may see the "inevitable ending of an era," more of Paul's lofty contemplation is likely inevitable as well.

  • TikTokkers call for a Mothers Day Strike to protect abortion rights

    TikTokkers call for a Mothers Day Strike to protect abortion rights

    TikTokker akcrucial(Opens in a new tab) has proposed a week-long strike beginning Sunday, May 8 in reaction to the draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court that would strike down Roe v. Wade leaked to Politico(Opens in a new tab) earlier this week. According to an official website(Opens in a new tab), the Mother's Day Strike would "break the economy over the course of one week" as "everyone who will suffer immensely and possibly die under the right-wing extremists repeal of Roe v. Wade" abstains from work, shopping, and entertaining.


    "Our human rights have gotten stripped away to the point where protest doesn't really do a whole lot anymore," said TikTokker @graceotto0 in a video about the strike(Opens in a new tab). "The only language America speaks is money and exploitation so let's show them how integral we are to this system."

    SEE ALSO: Abortion funds and reproductive justice networks to donate to right now

    The official website for the strike(Opens in a new tab) also includes action options for those for whom striking is impossible or dangerous: stocking up on groceries before the strike begins, spreading the word on social media, donating to vetted organizations, and supporting those who are striking.

    "The ask is great. The sacrifice is necessary," the site reads. "It will not be in vain."

    According to akcrucial's initial TikTok(Opens in a new tab), the strike is inspired by Iceland's 1975 national women's strike, in which "90 percent of women in the country decided to demonstrate their importance by going on strike," according to the BBC.(Opens in a new tab)

    Since akcrucial's initial post yesterday, the hashtag #mothersdaystrike has gained 2.5 million views on TikTok as creators duet their post or promote the strike in their own videos.

    You can see a list of abortion funds and reproductive justice networks to donate to right here.

  • What do K-pop stars CIX watch on YouTube?

    What do K-pop stars CIX watch on YouTube?

    If nice guys finished first, CIX would come out on top every time. The Korean pop quintet are exceedingly kind and charming, even while juggling an exhausting schedule that makes their calendar look like a game of tetris.


    In the past few months they've been on a breakneck promotional cycle for their new EP ‘OK’ Episode 1: Not OK and its sleek lead single "458."(Opens in a new tab) Before that, they toured the U.S. over an intense few weeks, member Bae Jinyoung's once blazing red hair fading to a sweet bubblegum pink by the time they played their last show in New York City.

    When we catch up with them they're back in Seoul, taking the time to chat over Zoom between music show appearances. They’re all smiles — bright and buzzing, even though I know they've barely slept. Soft spoken Yonghee is sporting a blush-colored bob and chatty Seunghun's cherry hair is accented by a chic undercut. Hyunsuk, BX, and Bae Jinyoung wave from beneath black bangs, their warmth palpable through the screen.

    SEE ALSO: The 16 best K-pop songs of 2022 (so far)

    We’ve asked the group to tell Mashable what they’ve been watching on the internet, and our lively conversation spans dance battles, nature documentaries, and soccer greats they can’t get enough of. 

    Street Man Fighter

    Mashable: Hi guys! What have you been watching lately?

    Hyunsuk: We're really into this dance competition TV show called Street Man Fighter right now.

    I remember last year when a dance from Street Woman Fighter went viral.

    Bae Jinyoung: Yeah, "Hey Mama!" By NOZE.(Opens in a new tab) [Seunghun performs the choreography in his seat] 

    HS: Because we've been watching it, choreography and classes from the dancers on the show have been popping up on my YouTube feed a lot. There's a dancer on the show called Vata, and I've watched a few(Opens in a new tab) of his(Opens in a new tab) classes(Opens in a new tab) at the JustJerk Dance Academy. YouTube also recommended this dance cover(Opens in a new tab) of Justin Bieber's "Red Eye" that I like. I've been listening to the song for a long time, which is probably how the algorithm knew to recommend the video to me.

    Music videos 

    HS: Music-wise, I love DPR Live, I've had Kehlani's "Toxic"(Opens in a new tab) on repeat, and we all like a UK singer named Etham and his song "12:45."(Opens in a new tab) I also recently discovered James Smith(Opens in a new tab), and I've fallen in love with his kind of acoustic style. It makes sense because I also like Shawn Mendes, the whole atmosphere of his music. His voice is emotional and soothing.

    BX: DPR Live is like the prime example of the style I really like in music. His song "Text Me”(Opens in a new tab)… it’s always in my head. And when I get asked, “Do you have any song recommendations?” I always pick it. I've heard he's become really big in the States and that he'd be touring there after us, so to pay homage to him I covered the song at our concert in New York City. I'd also recommend his song "Jam and Butterfly."(Opens in a new tab) 

    ph1's "Like Me"(Opens in a new tab) is still super popular in Korea right now. I like his style, I think he's a great lyricist. There's a line he wrote that goes in Korean, "There are so many fine people, but why me?" It's pretty straightforward, like "there's so many other good guys out there, why did you choose me?" but I really like that phrasing. I'm also into Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign, those were the artists that really inspired me when I was training to join CIX.

    What are you all laughing about?

    Seunghun: Yonghee is a big Beenzino fan, so while BX was picking his favorite artists Yonghee was very cutely murmuring "Beenzino, Beenzino" under his breath.

    Yonghee, tell me about Beenzino.

    Yonghee: I just like his vibe, I think he's very cool, and his lyrics are really good so I get to appreciate them while listening to his music. Some of his lyrics can be a little bit explicit, but there are a lot of them that are more hopeful and relatable that I connect with. I recommend "Dali, Van, Picasso."(Opens in a new tab)  I've [also] been listening to Japanese artist Yuuri(Opens in a new tab) a lot, and they're a recommendation that popped up on YouTube.

    When do you listen to music most?

    HS: When we're in traffic. We spend a lot of time in the car on our way to scheduled appearances and performances. And in the shower I'll play songs on shuffle, and if I hear something really good I'll go back to the playlist, like it, and create a separate playlist for it. Honestly, while we promote like we have been in the past few weeks, we listen to our own music a lot. 

    BJY: On YouTube, I watch dancing, singing, and music videos and a lot of our own appearances on stage, to monitor our overall performance. 

    We all loved Charlie Puth's "That's Hilarious."(Opens in a new tab) I think the special little "ha ha ha" sound effect in the chorus is really smart. I also like Keshi a lot. There are songs that I listen closely to the lyrics of, but Keshi usually sings about sad stories, goodbyes and farewells, so I tend to focus more on his vibe and melodies. Of course, on sunny days it makes sense to listen to something with happy or hopeful lyrics. But generally, I don't mind listening to sadder tracks. Songs with sad lyrics tend to be a little bit better in my opinion, the vibe is better. 

    National Geographic

    What have you been watching on YouTube, Yonghee?

    YH: Recently I've been watching animal documentaries from National Geographic, comebacks of other idols, gaming — pretty much everything that's recommended by the YouTube algorithm. It's magic, it offers such an overwhelming amount of information every day to us.

    BX: I've been watching a lot of nature videos, especially from National Geographic — wild animals fighting and living in the wild, like lions and tigers and rams. I find it so fascinating that animals fight for power in the hierarchy amongst themselves.

    Do you watch those documentaries together?

    BX: I had no idea that Yonghee also watches them until right now.

    YH: I tend to watch ones about animals we don't see that often, like elephants or giraffes.

    HS: I like Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls.

    That's a classic! If you ever get lost in the wilderness, you could save the others?

    HS: I'm not sure about that! I've learned more about how to choose a good protein in the wild. Bear is always saying "this is a good protein."(Opens in a new tab) So rather than learning how to leave the wilderness I’ve learned how to… find protein in it. 

    Celebrity Interviews

    What about you Seunghun, what do you watch?

    SH: I tend to spend a lot of time on the Naver Now app, where you can watch people being interviewed for the radio live in-studio. There are a bunch of stations and shows. In terms of some of my recent favorite videos — just before we started our tour, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, and other actors from Doctor Strange were visiting Korea and went on this really popular YouTube program(Opens in a new tab) that hosts guests and exposes them to Korean culture. It was so exciting to see them on it. I love all the movies from the MCU, but Doctor Strange is one of my favorites. My no. 1 since I was young was Ironman, but now my new hero is Moon Knight.

    I also recently watched a video about a soccer coach that I now admire a lot. He used to be with a team in the Champions League, and he recently moved to AC Milan, which is in the [more minor] Conference League. His team made it to the finals, and he teared up because he was so proud(Opens in a new tab). AC Milan fans were impressed by his display of emotion and so was I, it was really touching. I like that coach and am keeping an eye on him, but my little brother and I actually support another team, Tottenham, which [Korean player] Son Heung-min is on.

    I saw that Tottenham lost(Opens in a new tab) two days ago, didn't they?

    SH: 2-0! But they're gonna come back, it's gonna be fine.

    Do you all like soccer? Hyunsuk's making a face that looks a little like "maybe not."

    HS: They all enjoy both watching and playing the game, but I just love playing it.

    YH: I'm a big fan of Son, too, so I keep a close eye on him and can't wait for the World Cup.

    BX: I'm a fan of Chelsea because I like their uniforms. [All laugh]

    BJY: I don't have a particular team that I cheer on, but I love playing soccer. We all go to a local indoor soccer stadium and rent the pitch by the hour. I used to be an all rounder and play in any position but after injuring my ankle in 2020, now I can only be the goalie. 

    That's still kind of a dangerous role, though! A lot of jumping.

    SH: When we're playing amongst ourselves, we don't have to jump. We're not that good.

    Who's the best soccer player? 

    [Yonghee raises his hand] SH and BJY: We're all the same.

    Narco Saints

    BJY: On Netflix I've been watching a Korean drama called Narco-Saints.(Opens in a new tab)

    About drug cartels?

    BJY: Yes, drugs! [Laughs] Please add context to that.

    I've got you. I read somewhere that you have to watch videos to go to sleep. Is that true? 

    BJY: Yes! All the time. There are days I just pass out because I'm so tired but whenever I can't go to sleep, and I have a full schedule the next day or something, I'll turn on YouTube and fall asleep to mukbangs. I usually follow the algorithm, I don't search for a particular video.

    I've always worried that if I let the algorithm play that it might eventually play something loud that might wake me up.

    BJY: That hasn't happened to me yet! I'll play mukbang videos for five, six hours and when I wake up it's still going.

    Short Box

    YH: I do want to recommend watching a channel called Short Box(Opens in a new tab) because I think they're a really helpful guide to our culture for foreigners who don't know much about Korea. The comedians that run the channel used to be on a TV show in Korea called Gag Comedy that ran for 20 years and just went off air last year. Now they make these YouTube videos that are fun but I feel also really deliver cultural messages very well. 

    There's one skit about karaoke in Korea(Opens in a new tab) that's particularly fun, but I'd recommend watching all their videos to understand multiple aspects of Korean culture.

  • Barbie, the only good YouTuber, explains racism in her latest vlog

    Barbie, the only good YouTuber, explains racism in her latest vlog

    Barbie's latest vlog unpacks racism in a two-minute video that is so simple, both children and your racist uncle can understand it.


    Like any modern vlogger, Barbie's channel depicts her in dance battles with Ken, doing makeup tutorials for various special occasions, and learning how to tie-dye clothing. Since Mattel launched her career as a content creator in 2015, Barbie has also vlogged about difficult topics, like mental health(Opens in a new tab) and adjusting to the new routine of quarantine(Opens in a new tab). She's even challenged her young female audience to resist the impulse to say sorry(Opens in a new tab) just for existing in a patriarchal world.

    For her latest vlog, she didn't shy away from discussing an especially timely topic: racism.

    The year 2020 will, of course, be remembered for the pandemic that confined most of us to our homes, but it also brought about a worldwide push for a more equal society inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer in May, Americans took to the streets to protest systemic racism and police brutality. This summer saw historic turnout for peaceful protests, but the fight for a more just world will take longer than a few months of rallying.

    Which is where Barbie comes in. She invited Nikki, another character in the Barbie animated universe, to discuss her experience as a Black girl living in the United States.

    "Millions of people across the world are standing up to fight against racism, and they're doing this because too often, and for such a long time, people have been treated unfairly," Barbie says in the video posted Wednesday. She adds that even though this topic isn't easy to talk about, they have to talk about it.

    Then she hands the reins over to Nikki.

    "I, and so many other Black people, have to deal with racism," Nikki says. "All the time. It's really hurtful, and it can be scary and sad."

    Nikki's experiences echo ones all too familiar to people of color, especially Black people, in the United States. She recounts a time when she and Barbie sold stickers on the beach. While Barbie was able to sell her stickers without issue, Nikki was stopped by beach security three times. In another anecdote, Nikki remembers a French teacher dismissing her perfect test score as getting "lucky," because she couldn't possibly speak French that well.

    "Usually when I talk about these things, people make excuses," Nikki continues. "People did these things to me because I was Black, and they made the wrong assumptions about me."

    "They don't make those assumptions about white people, like me," Barbie adds before summing up white privilege in a single sentence. "That means that white people get an advantage that they didn't earn, and Black people get a disadvantage they don't deserve."

    Then Nikki calls on the audience to stand with protestors against racism. Barbie notably calls out those who'd rather stay quiet and be complicit: "When we don't say anything, we're just letting it continue."

    The vlog quickly went viral on Twitter and TikTok. Users praised Barbie for explaining such a delicate, but persistent concept in a way that anyone could understand. Many also noted that Barbie didn't speak over Nikki while she shared her experience, or make excuses for white people.

    The episode was co-written by Aydrea Walden, who also writes for Disney Jr. and Nickelodeon. In a statement emailed to Mashable, Senior Vice President Lisa McKnight, who's also the Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel, acknowledged the character's huge platform and unique reach to a young audience.

    "We made a commitment to the Black community to leverage our global platform, including Barbie herself as a YouTube vlogger, to tackle important topics such as racism," McKnight said. "Being an ally includes having difficult conversations to better understand discrimination, so we hope that by leveraging Barbie and Nikki to explore these conversations in a kid-friendly format, we can spark productive discussions for families and empower our next generation of leaders to become advocates for change, raising their voices against racism."

    At least we know that if Barbie is ever canceled, she won't put out a half-hearted Notes App apology.

  • TikToks algorithms knew I was bi before I did. Im not the only one.

    TikToks algorithms knew I was bi before I did. Im not the only one.

    When we spend so much of our time online, we’re bound to learn something while clicking and scrolling. Discover something new with Mashable’s series I learned it on the internet.


    Here's a shortlist of those who realized that I — a cis woman who'd identified as heterosexual for decades of life — was in fact actually bi, long before I realized it myself recently: my sister, all my friends, my boyfriend, and the TikTok algorithm.

    On TikTok, the relationship between user and algorithm is uniquely (even sometimes uncannily) intimate. An app which seemingly contains as many multitudes of life experiences and niche communities as there are people in the world, we all start in the lowest common denominator of TikTok. Straight TikTok (as it's popularly dubbed) initially bombards your For You Page with the silly pet videos and viral teen dances that folks who don't use TikTok like to condescendingly reduce it to.

    Quickly, though, TikTok begins reading your soul like some sort of divine digital oracle, prying open layers of your being never before known to your own conscious mind. The more you use it, the more tailored its content becomes to your deepest specificities, to the point where you get stuff that's so relatable that it can feel like a personal attack (in the best way) or (more dangerously) even a harmful trigger from lifelong traumas.

    For example: I don't know what dark magic (read: privacy violations) immediately clued TikTok into the fact that I was half-Brazilian, but within days of first using it, Straight TikTok gave way to at first Portuguese-speaking then broader Latin TikTok. Feeling oddly seen (being white-passing and mostly American-raised, my Brazilian identity isn't often validated), I was liberal with the likes, knowing that engagement was the surefire way to go deeper down this identity-affirming corner of the social app.

    TikTok made lots of assumptions from there, throwing me right down the boundless, beautiful, and oddest multiplicities of Alt TikTok, a counter to Straight TikTok's milquetoast mainstreamness.

    Home to a wide spectrum of marginalized groups, I was giving out likes on my FYP like Oprah, smashing that heart button on every type of video: from TikTokers with disabilities, Black and Indigenous creators, political activists, body-stigma-busting fat women, and every glittering shade of the LGBTQ cornucopia. The faves were genuine, but also a way to support and help offset what I knew about the discriminatory biases in TikTok's algorithm(Opens in a new tab).

    My diverse range of likes started to get more specific by the minute, though. I wasn't just on general Black TikTok anymore, but Alt Cottagecore Middle-Class Black Girl TikTok (an actual label one creator gave her page's vibes). Then it was Queer Latina Roller Skating Girl TikTok, Women With Non-Hyperactive ADHD TikTok, and then a double whammy of Women Loving Women (WLW) TikTok alternating between beautiful lesbian couples(Opens in a new tab) and baby bisexuals(Opens in a new tab).

    @thisismayasprofile(Opens in a new tab)

    I love all of you 💖💜💙 #ItBeLikeThat(Opens in a new tab) #FootlongShuffle(Opens in a new tab) #bisexual(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Maya(Opens in a new tab)
    @kelliamirah(Opens in a new tab)

    Are there any other fellow baby gays that can relate? #lgbt(Opens in a new tab) #lgbtq(Opens in a new tab) #bisexual(Opens in a new tab) #pansexual(Opens in a new tab) #dating(Opens in a new tab) #mytype(Opens in a new tab) #wlw(Opens in a new tab) #BeKind(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - KelliAmirah(Opens in a new tab)

    Looking back at my history of likes, the transition from queer “ally” to “salivating simp” is almost imperceptible.

    There was no one precise "aha" moment. I started getting "put a finger down" challenges that wouldn't reveal what you were putting a finger down for until the end. Then, 9-fingers deep (winkwink), I'd be congratulated for being 100% bisexual. Somewhere along the path of getting served multiple WLW Disney cosplays(Opens in a new tab) in a single day and even dom lesbian KinkTok roleplay(Opens in a new tab) — or whatever the fuck Bisexual Pirate TikTok(Opens in a new tab) is — deductive reasoning kind of spoke for itself.

    But I will never forget the one video that was such a heat-seeking missile of a targeted attack that I was moved to finally text it to my group chat of WLW friends with a, "Wait, am I bi?" To which the overwhelming consensus was, "Magic 8 Ball says, 'Highly Likely.'"

    Serendipitously posted during Pride Month, the video shows a girl shaking her head at the caption above her head(Opens in a new tab), calling out confused and/or closeted queers who say shit like, "I think everyone is a LITTLE bisexual," to the tune of "Closer" by The Chainsmokers. When the lyrics land on the word "you," she points straight at the screen — at me — her finger and inquisitive look piercing my hopelessly bisexual soul like Cupid's goddamn arrow.

    Oh no, the voice inside my head said, I have just been mercilessly perceived.

    As someone who had, in fact, done feminist studies at a tiny liberal arts college with a gender gap of about 70 percent women, I'd of course dabbled. I've always been quick to bring up the Kinsey scale, to champion a true spectrum of sexuality, and to even declare (on multiple occasions) that I was, "straight, but would totally fuck that girl!"

    Oh no, the voice inside my head returned, I've literally just been using extra words to say I was bi.

    @taygens(Opens in a new tab)

    #lgbtq(Opens in a new tab) #pansexual(Opens in a new tab) #bi(Opens in a new tab) #queer(Opens in a new tab) #millennial(Opens in a new tab) #over30(Opens in a new tab) #married(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - Taylor G(Opens in a new tab)

    After consulting the expertise of my WLW friend group (whose mere existence, in retrospect, also should've clued me in on the flashing neon pink, purple, and blue flag(Opens in a new tab) of my raging bisexuality), I ran to my boyfriend to inform him of the "news."

    "Yeah, baby, I know. We all know," he said kindly.

    "How?!" I demanded.

    Well for one, he pointed out, every time we came across a video of a hot girl while scrolling TikTok together, I'd without fail watch the whole way through, often more than once, regardless of content. (Apparently, straight girls do not tend to do this?) For another, I always breathlessly pointed out when we'd pass by a woman I found beautiful, often finding a way to send a compliment her way. ("I'm just a flirt!" I used to rationalize with a hand wave, "Obvs, I'm not actually sexually attracted to them!") Then, I guess, there were the TED Talk-like rants I'd subject him to about the thinly veiled queer relationship in Adventure Time between Princess Bubblegum and Marcelyne the Vampire Queen — which the cowards at Cartoon Network forced creators to keep as subtext!

    And, well, when you lay it all out like that...

    But my TikTok-fueled bisexual awakening might actually speak less to the omnipotence of the app's algorithm, and more to how heteronormativity is truly one helluva drug.

    Sure, TikTok bombarded me with the thirst traps of my exact type of domineering masc lady queers, who reduced me to a puddle of drool I could no longer deny. But I also recalled a pivotal moment in college when I briefly questioned my heterosexuality, only to have a lesbian friend roll her eyes and chastise me for being one of those straight girls who leads Actual Queer Women on. I figured she must know better. So I never pursued any of my lady crushes in college, which meant I never experimented much sexually, which made me conclude that I couldn't call myself bisexual if I'd never had actual sex with a woman. I also didn't really enjoy lesbian porn much, though the fact that I'd often find myself fixating on the woman during heterosexual porn should've clued me into that probably coming more from how mainstream lesbian porn is designed for straight men.

    The ubiquity of heterormativity, even when unwittingly perpetrated by members of the queer community, is such an effective self-sustaining cycle. Aside from being met with queer-gating (something I've since learned bi folks often experience), I had a hard time identifying my attraction to women as genuine attraction, simply because it felt different to how I was attracted to men.

    Heteronormativity is truly one helluva drug.

    So much of women's sexuality — of my sexuality — can feel defined by that carnivorous kind of validation you get from men. I met no societal resistance in fully embodying and exploring my desire for men, either (which, to be clear, was and is insatiable slut levels of wanting that peen.) But in retrospect, I wonder how many men I slept with not because I was truly attracted to them, but because I got off on how much they wanted me.

    My attraction to women comes with a different texture of eroticism. With women (and bare with a baby bi, here), the attraction feels more shared, more mutual, more tender rather than possessive. It's no less raw or hot or all-consuming, don't get me wrong. But for me at least, it comes more from a place of equality rather than just power play. I love the way women seem to see right through me, to know me, without us really needing to say a word.

    I am still, as it turns out, a sexual submissive through-and-through, regardless of what gender my would-be partner is. But, ignorantly and unknowingly, I'd been limiting my concept of who could embody dominant sexual personas to cis men. But when TikTok sent me down that glorious rabbit hole of masc women (who know exactly what they're doing(Opens in a new tab), btw), I realized my attraction was not to men, but a certain type of masculinity. It didn't matter which body or genitalia that presentation came with.

    There is something about TikTok that feels particularly suited to these journeys of sexual self-discovery and, in the case of women loving women, I don't think it's just the prescient algorithm. The short-form video format lends itself to lightning bolt-like jolts of soul-bearing nakedness, with the POV camera angles bucking conventions of the male gaze, which entrenches the language of film and TV in heterosexual male desire.

    In fairness to me, I'm far from the only one who missed their inner gay for a long time — only to have her pop out like a queer jack-in-the-box(Opens in a new tab) throughout a near year-long quarantine that led many of us to join TikTok. There was the baby bi mom(Opens in a new tab), and scores of others who no longer had to publicly perform their heterosexuality during lockdown — only to realize that, hey, maybe I'm not heterosexual at all?

    @special_feel(Opens in a new tab)

    Lesbian sleeper cell Rona activation

    ♬ original sound - Ϛ⃘๑•͡ .̫•๑꒜ℒℴѵℯ❤(Opens in a new tab)

    Flooded with video after video affirming my suspicions, reflecting my exact experiences as they happened to others, the change in my sexual identity was so normalized on TikTok that I didn't even feel like I needed to formally "come out." I thought this safe home I'd found to foster my baby bisexuality online would extend into the real world.

    But I was in for a rude awakening.

    Testing out my bisexuality on other platforms, casually referring to it on Twitter, posting pictures of myself decked out in a rainbow skate outfit (which I bought before realizing I was queer), I received nothing but unquestioning support and validation. Eventually, I realized I should probably let some members of my family know before they learned through one of these posts, though.

    Daunted by the idea of trying to tell my Latina Catholic mother and Swiss Army veteran father (who's had a crass running joke about me being a "lesbian" ever since I first declared myself a feminist at age 12), I chose the sibling closest to me. Seeing as how gender studies was one of her majors in college too, I thought it was a shoo-in. I sent an off-handed, joke-y but serious, "btw I'm bi now!" text, believing that's all that would be needed to receive the same nonchalant acceptance I found online.

    It was not.

    I didn't receive a response for two days. Hurt and panicked by what was potentially my first mild experience of homophobia, I called them out. They responded by insisting we need to have a phone call for such "serious" conversations. As I calmly tried to express my hurt on said call, I was told my text had been enough to make this sibling worry about my mental wellbeing. They said I should be more understanding of why it'd be hard for them to (and I'm paraphrasing) "think you were one way for twenty-eight years" before having to contend with me deciding I was now "something else."

    But I wasn't "something else," I tried to explain, voice shaking. I hadn't knowingly been deceiving or hiding this part of me. I'd simply discovered a more appropriate label. But it was like we were speaking different languages. Other family members were more accepting, thankfully. There are many ways I'm exceptionally lucky, my IRL environment as supportive as Baby Bi TikTok. Namely, I'm in a loving relationship with a man who never once mistook any of it as a threat(Opens in a new tab), instead giving me all the space in the world to understand this new facet of my sexuality.

    I don't have it all figured out yet. But at least when someone asks if I listen to Girl in Red(Opens in a new tab) on social media, I know to answer with a resounding, "Yes," even though I've never listened to a single one of her songs. And for now, that's enough.

    Read more from I learned it on the internet

    • Watching makeup tutorials made me feel confident wearing less makeup

    • Twitter taught me I have no visual imagination

    • The best online tools to trace your genealogy from home

    • Where to find photography classes online

    Related Video: How algorithms work

  • Why COVID vaccines give way better protection than a COVID infection

    Why COVID vaccines give way better protection than a COVID infection

    COVID vaccines give us much better protection than a COVID infection, say infectious disease experts.


    That's one of many reasons to get a COVID shot, which are rigorously (and continually) tested for safety. The vaccines trigger a significantly more robust immune response than a naturally-acquired infection. Ultimately, this better prepares your body for a real infection, which can ravage the lungs(Opens in a new tab), among other risks.

    "I would advise everyone to get the vaccine," said Philip Felgner, an infectious disease expert and director of the Vaccine Research and Development Center at the University of California, Irvine.

    "I would advise everyone to get the vaccine."

    The evidence is strong. For example, Felgner and other researchers assessed thousands of blood samples(Opens in a new tab) from people who were naturally infected with the coronavirus, versus those who received an FDA-authorized mRNA vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna). The new research, published online(Opens in a new tab) and now currently under peer-review, found the immune system's response is "much stronger" with vaccines, explained Felgner. Following the second shot, people had ten times more antibodies(Opens in a new tab) than people who recovered from COVID.

    The CDC agrees(Opens in a new tab) that vaccines are superior. The agency notes the likelihood of reinfection after a natural infection "may increase over time" after a few months, and the vaccines provide the best protection against COVID illness, which can be serious. "The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity," the CDC writes.

    Some prominent national politicians continue to claim they don't need vaccination(Opens in a new tab) after getting infected by the coronavirus. Yet COVID vaccines produce better immunity than a naturally-acquired infection for a number of reasons:

    • Better spike: The FDA-authorized vaccines don't contain the coronavirus, just genetic instructions (like computer code)(Opens in a new tab) for our cells to create just a piece of the virus — specifically the spike protein that lets the virus enter and infect our cells. By seeing just this foreign, spiky intruder, our immune system can then make defenses to block the spike from attaching to our cells. Crucially, the vaccines provide our immune system with a much better "view" of the spike than an infection can, because the virus has evolved to conceal some portions of its spike proteins. This means with a natural infection our immune systems don't create as effective of defenses against the coronavirus' spike. "The virus is clever," explained Dr. Peter Gulick, a D.O.(Opens in a new tab) and professor of medicine at Michigan State University. By hiding part of the spike, the body can't react as well to the virus, Dr. Gulick said.

    • No immune interference: Unlike vaccines, a coronavirus can attack or interfere with our immune system. This likely adds to a weaker immune response during an infection, because the virus can do things like attack our immune cells, explained Dr. Wesley Long, an M.D. and infectious disease expert at Houston Methodist, an academic medical center in Texas. But there's no "pathogenic trickery" with COVID vaccines: "There's none of the other viral activity going on that otherwise interferes with the immune response," explained Dr. Long. Ultimately, this leaves our immune system better equipped to identify and deal with a future exposure or infection.

    • Effective dose: How much coronavirus someone is exposed to likely matters, explained Felgner, of UC Irvine. But with natural infections, one's exposure can vary significantly, meaning too low a "dose" could result in a weaker immune response. This might be why some people who were infected with the coronavirus don't end up having detectable levels of protective antibodies, Felgner explained. Consequently, these people remain vulnerable to infection. "They would presume to be susceptible," he said. In sharp contrast with variable infections, everyone vaccinated receives a standardized dose of the vaccines, an amount researchers tested to ensure a robust immune response.

    A graphic of the spike protein that binds to our cells and causes COVID-19. Credit: Sikora M / PLoS Comput Biol, 2021

    The benefits of vaccination are unambiguous. "The evidence is really clear," said Dr. Long, noting vaccines have driven sharp declines in infections, hospitalizations, and death(Opens in a new tab). "The vaccines do provide better immunity."

    What's more, infections also come with the drudgery and serious risk of, well, infections. The effects of resulting illnesses don't always vanish. "There may be longer-term consequences," said Dr. Gulick. The CDC has found some people can experience "long-haul symptoms"(Opens in a new tab) weeks to months after an infection, including shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue, and beyond.

    SEE ALSO: 5 big COVID vaccine myths, debunked

    Experts who best understand how viruses and vaccines work are choosing vaccines to ensure superior immunity.

    "I wouldn't trust an infection at all," said Felgner.

  • The 20 best viral videos of 2020

    The 20 best viral videos of 2020

    2020 is nearly over, thankfully.


    It was, clearly, a hellish, odd year. We spent more time online than ever, considering the pandemic forced us to isolate inside.

    And if nothing else, the internet is good for mindlessly passing time. That in mind, we collected 20 of our favorite viral videos from 2020.

    Hopefully you can waste a little time watching these videos and take yourself ever-so-closer to a new year. So, here they are, our 20 favorite viral videos of 2020.

    1. This is may be the best song of the year

    2. Look at this fast javelina and admire its grace

    3. I think about this deranged Conner O'Malley video about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at least once per week

    4. Kick your balls, just don't touch them

    5. A very relatable F-bomb when a reporter had technical difficulties

    6. Please enjoy this glorious fall

    7. This is the best interviewer to ever live

    8. A gentleman

    9. The timing here, it's just so good

    10. Honestly, this video needs to be rewarded for the commitment to a intensely complicated Rube Goldberg machine

    11. Speaking of complicated: Check out this person facing down squirrels trying to eat from their bird feeders

    12. "Kohl's next to a Party City"

    13. This is, frankly, a pitch-perfect parody of the conservative slams a SJW video trope

    14. I'm going to be honest: I have no idea what is really going on here. But I promise you this is so impressive.

    15. This is a wonderfully adorable video of neighbors taking care of neighbors

    16. This video was a wonderful trip down(Opens in a new tab) the internet's memory lane

    17. Remember March? We got a good COVID jam back in March when quarantine was still a novel concept.

    18. A perfect post-election interview in New York with a French TV station

    19. Say it with me: Boneless wings aren't wings

    20. And finally, some joyful dancing on the way to the polls

  • Why I Think You Should Leave Season 2 is a major meme event

    Why I Think You Should Leave Season 2 is a major meme event

    My editor had never seen the Netflix sketch series I Think You Should Leave — a fact I insisted he remedy — but I could still reference the show to him. Let me explain.


    Being capital-O Online is a prerequisite to what we do here at Mashable. So I told my editor, you know the hot dog guy meme? Yeah that's the show.

    And that's a particularly interesting fact. It's knowing a show without knowing a show. I mean, hell, a congresswoman tweeted that meme out.

    I Think You Should Leave (ITYSL), if you're unaware, is a truly unhinged, hilarious sketch show helmed by comedian and SNL and Detroiters alum Tim Robinson(Opens in a new tab). The name of the show is almost a thesis: Much of the humor in the series revolves around people acting unreasonable and detached from the reality in front of them. I Think You Should Leave is also memeable in a way most shows aren't but it's also particularly memeable to a certain crowd. For lack of a better phrase, it's popular among the terminally online.'s popular among the terminally online.

    Season 1 was a goldmine of memes. Consider the Hot Dog Guy. In the sketch, a wienermobile plows through the front door of a clothing store. Everyone scrambles to figure out what happened, until they notice the a man in a hot dog suit, played by Robinson. The Hot Dog Guy refuses to admit, despite it being obvious, that he crashed the car into the store. Along the way he rants about porn, and his grandmother, and attempts to casually steal suits. But it gave us a man, in the hot dog suit, clearly guilty, saying, "We're all trying to find the guy who did this." The meme was born.

    And it was far from alone. Season 1 also gave us the Focus Group Guy(Opens in a new tab), Vanessa Bayer cursing wildly(Opens in a new tab), Bart Harley Jarvis(Opens in a new tab), and The Bones are Their Money Guy(Opens in a new tab), to name a few.

    Adam Downer, a senior editor at Know Your Meme, a site dedicated to cataloging and explaining memes, said I Think You Should Leave became a show that people felt like almost needed to reference. The show is so much like the best jokes you'll see online that it became a show for the Online.

    "It's a particularly online sort of show," Downer said. "You post about it to sort of gain cred online."

    So when Season 2 dropped this month. It was like a sprint to post new memes. Seriously. Being online began spoiling the show for me the very day the new season came out. My favorite ITYSL meme account, I Think You Should League Pass(Opens in a new tab), was firing off NBA/ITYSL posts right away. A site to search through screenshots(Opens in a new tab) popped up to make meme-ing easier. For me, it's been a nonstop barrage of ITYSL memes. There were even memes about memes spoiling the show.

    I corresponded with Ryan Perry(Opens in a new tab), the 39-year-old head of the digital agency Pennant Digital(Opens in a new tab), who is also, importantly, the mad genius behind I Think You Should League Pass (the handle is @NBALeave(Opens in a new tab)). It's an account that somehow mashes up the NBA and I Think You Should Leave in memes that work impossibly well.

    Though Perry said that making memes based on I Think You Should Leave — even those that have to tie back to the NBA somehow — feels like breaking the rules.

    "[It's] cheating," Perry wrote in an email. "The show is so tightly spun with hilarious lines, usually delivered in a super unique way, and the visuals are absurd. So the screengrabs and GIFs are inherently very funny, no matter how you use them."

    ITYSL is, by its very nature, an exceedingly memeable show. Think about it: What is more relatable to people online than kooky characters who are unreasonable and disconnected with reality?

    ITYSL has had an online life kind of like Uncut Gems, the Adam Sandler-led film that's had a long meme shelf-life due to its leading man and memorable dialogue that made for great screenshots with closed captioning turned on. There's some sort of alchemy that has to happen for a show or movie to become heavily memed. It has to be popular but not like too popular because it has to also be cool. NBC's This Is Us is incredibly popular, but when's the last time you saw a This Is Us meme, if ever? There needs to be a little bit of cache, some humor, and some inherent outlandishness that lends itself to jokes on the internet.

    "Within whatever fandom, the show needs to be quotable, needs to have extremely good lines, and memorable scenes," Downer said about a show creating memes.

    But ITYSL is different than say, The Sopranos, a show with a million memes, in that it's not really all that popular by comparison. Downer seemed to suggest that while not all the Online people love ITYSL, all the people who love ITYSL seem to be very Online.

    Perry, himself an Online person who spends much of his day on Twitter, said he started the @NBALeave account "thinking the niche was too tight to entertain anyone beyond my friends who incessantly quote the show." It has more than 50,000 followers now.

    That sort of incessant quoting made Season 1 an obsession for lots of folks. It kind of came out of nowhere, making it a fun surprise. After a pandemic and a long wait for Season 2, people were itching for new sketches and thus new, preposterous memes.

    Perry said when he watched Season 2 for the first time, the potential memes were already flying through his head.

    "The show has broken my brain to the point that any time something happens my head is flooded with ITYSL references. I need an intervention at a total party house," Perry said, while, of course, making an (Opens in a new tab)ITYSL(Opens in a new tab) reference(Opens in a new tab).

    "There's such a limited amount of content to work with, it's a fun challenge to think of new ways to wring it for meme material," he added. "You know how writers of sitcoms and short stories say the limitations of their medium drives them to create better material? It's like that, but less pretentious and with more chode jokes."

  • The Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Vacuum is $350 off, plus more of the best deals of the day

    The Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Vacuum is $350 off, plus more of the best deals of the day

    We gathered the best deals we could find on Dec. 8 — here are some of our top picks:

    • BEST TV DEAL: Insignia 24-inch F20 Series LED Full HD Smart Fire TV(Opens in a new tab)$99.99 $189.99 (save $90) + free Echo Dot (third generation), 3-month Apple TV+ subscription, and 30-day fuboTV Pro trial

    • BEST STREAMING DEAL: Paramount+ Essential(Opens in a new tab) — $24.99 $49.99 (save $25) for your first year

    • BEST SUBSCRIPTION DEAL: DoorDash DashPass(Opens in a new tab)$59 $96 (save $37) for your first year

    • BEST FLOOR CARE DEAL: Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Stick Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$299.99 $649.99 (save $350)

    Bummed you missed out on Cyber Week savings? Don't be — good deals come to those who wait. Between Best Buy's 20 Days of Deals event, the Discover Samsung deals event, and plenty of other random price drops from Walmart, Amazon, and more, there's all kinds of ways to save on Dec. 8.

    Today, you can score a Fire TV for less than $100, a cordless stick vacuum from Samsung for over $300 off, a year of Paramount+ or DoorDash for a massive discount, and more. Shop all of our top picks of the best deals of the day below — and don't forget to check back tomorrow for a new batch of goodies.

    Best tech deal

    Why we like it

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Insignia
    Our pick: Insignia 24-inch F20 Series LED Full HD Smart Fire TV (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $99.99 at Best Buy (save $90)+ free Echo Dot (third generation), 3-month Apple TV+ subscription, and 30-day fuboTV Pro trial
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    If you're looking for a smaller TV for your bedroom or office, this 24-inch Best Buy exclusive is going to be hard to beat. Not only is it under 100 bucks, but it also comes with a free Echo Dot (third generation), three free months of Apple TV+, and a free month of fuboTV Pro. The Insignia 24-inch F20 Series isn't the most advanced on the market, but it does offer a full HD experience in 1080p, Alexa voice control, Apple AirPlay, and plenty of versatile connections.

    TV deals

    • onn. 24-inch HD LED Roku Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$88 $138 (save $50)

    • Philips 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV(Opens in a new tab)$198

    • Hisense 43-inch R6G Series LED 4K UHD Smart Roku TV(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $269.99 (save $70)

    • Hisense 58-inch R6 Series 4K UHD LED LCD Roku Smart TV(Opens in a new tab) $298 $338 (save $40)

    • LG 50-inch UQ75 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV(Opens in a new tab)$299.99 $379.99 (save $80)

    • Samsung 58-inch TU690T Series LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV(Opens in a new tab)$359.99 $449.99 (save $90)

    • Hisense 58-inch U6 Series ULED TV(Opens in a new tab)$469.99 $599.99 (save $130) + $50 Amazon credit for free

    • VIZIO 75-inch M7 Series 4K QLED HDR Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$698 $998 (save $300)

    • Sony 75-inch XR75X95J BRAVIA XR Full Array LED 4K Ultra HD Smart Google TV(Opens in a new tab)$1,298 $1,598 (save $300)

    • Samsung 65-inch QN900B Neo QLED 8K Smart TV (Opens in a new tab) $3,799.99 $4,799.99 (save $1,000)

    Apple deals

    • Apple Watch SE (1st Gen) (GPS + Cellular)(Opens in a new tab) $229 $279 (save $50)

    • Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation) (GPS only)(Opens in a new tab)$209.99 $249 (save $39.01 with on-page coupon)

    • 2021 10.2-Inch iPad (WiFi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$269.99 $329.99 (save $60)

    • Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm, GPS + cellular)(Opens in a new tab)$339 $499 (save $160)

    • 2022 10.9-inch iPad (WiFi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$399 $449 (save $50)

    • 2021 iPad mini (WiFi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$399.99 $499.99 (save $100)

    • Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS only) 45mm(Opens in a new tab)$409 $429 (save $20) + 4 free months of Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, and Apple News+

    • 2022 10.9-Inch iPad Air (5th Generation) (WiFi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$499.99 $599.99 (save $100)

    • Apple Watch Ultra (GPS + Cellular unlocked) 49mm(Opens in a new tab)$749 $799 (save $50) + 4 free months of Apple Fitness+, Apple Music, and Apple News+

    • 2020 MacBook Air (M1 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$799 $999 (save $200)

    • 2021 12.9-Inch iPad Pro (5th Generation) with WiFi (M1 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) (Opens in a new tab)$899.99 $1,199.99 (save $300) + 3 free months of Apple TV+, 4 free months of Apple Music and Apple News+

    • 2022 MacBook Air (M2 chip, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,049 $1,199 (save $150)

    • 2021 MacBook Pro (M1 chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,599 $1,999 (save $400)

    • Apple 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display (Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,699.99 $2,299.99 (save $600) + 3 free months of Apple TV+, 4 free months of Apple Music and Apple News+

    Amazon device deals

    • Echo Dot (3rd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$14.99 $39.99 (save $25) + free Echo Dot with code FREEDOT22

    • Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Sengled Bluetooth color bulb(Opens in a new tab)$27.99 $64.98 (save $36.99)

    • Blink Mini (2-pack)(Opens in a new tab)$29.99 $64.99 (save $35)

    • (图1)

      Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $84.99 (save $50)

    • Blink Video Doorbell(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $49.99 (save $15)

    • Echo Show 5 Kids (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $94.99 (save $55)

    • Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock with Sengled Bluetooth color bulb(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $74.98 (save $34.99)

    • Blink Video Doorbell System + Sync Module 2(Opens in a new tab)$54.98 $84.98 (save $30)

    • 2922 Fire Kids 7 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $109.99 (save $50)

    • Echo (4th Gen) with Sengled Bluetooth color bulb(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $114.98 (save $54.99)

    • Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $129.99 (save $60)

    • 2022 Fire Kids 8 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$89.99 $149.99 (save $60)

    • Amazon Fire TV 75-inch Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab) — $549.99 $1,099.99 (save $550)

    • Amazon Fire TV 65-inch Omni Series QLED 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$599 $799 (save $200) + 4 months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free

    Even more tech deals

    • Tile Item Finders(Opens in a new tab)starting at $17.99 (save up to 30%)

    • Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope Refractor Telescope(Opens in a new tab)$125.99 $189.95 (save $63.96)

    • Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope(Opens in a new tab)$152.99 $219.95 (save $66.96)

    • Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD Newtonian Telescope(Opens in a new tab)$279.99 $379.95 (save $99.96)

    • ASUS Zenbook 14-inch 2.8K OLED Laptop (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$549.99 $749.99 (save $200)

    • MSI Katana GF66 15.6-inch Gaming Notebook (Core i9, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,249 $1,899 (save $650)

    Best streaming deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Paramount+
    Our pick: Paramount+ Annual Subscriptions (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $24.99 for your first year (save $25)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Through Jan. 2, you can score a year-long subscription to Paramount+ for half price. With so many streaming services raising their prices, this is a perfect opportunity to lock in a good deal for the foreseeable future. Both Essential and Premium annual subscriptions are currently 50% off, knocking the cost down to just $24.99 (reg. $49.99) or $49.99 (reg. $99.99), respectively.

    More streaming and subscription deals

    • Apple Music(Opens in a new tab) free $10.99/month (save $43.96) for 4 months

    • Apple TV+(Opens in a new tab)free $6.99/month (save $20.97) for 3 months

    • Audible(Opens in a new tab)$5.95/month $14.95/month (save $36) for 4 months

    • DoorDash DashPass(Opens in a new tab)$59 $96 (save $37) for your first year

    • Paramount+ Premium(Opens in a new tab) — $49.99 $99.99 (save $50) for your first year

    • Sling TV(Opens in a new tab)$30 $40 (save $10) for your first month + free Amazon Fire TV Stick

    • Starz(Opens in a new tab)$3/month $8.99/month (save $17.97) for 3 months

    • Vudu(Opens in a new tab)save 30% on your first purchase or rental

    • YouTube TV(Opens in a new tab)$54.99/month $64.99/month (save $139.98) for your first 3 months

    Best home deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Samsung
    Our pick: Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Stick Vacuum (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $299.99 at Samsung (save $350)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    The Samsung Jet 75 is a whopping $350 off as part of the Discover Samsung deals event (which is live through Dec. 15). This baby works great on both carpets and hard floors, with intense suction power up to 200AW. It also utilizes multicyclonic air filtration, which instantly traps fine dust floating through the air. The lightweight design (just six pounds) and 180-degree swivel head make it a breeze to clean hard-to-reach places, while the two included batteries allow you to clean for up to 120 minutes with a quick swap.

    Floor care deals

    • Eufy 25C(opens in a new tab)$96 $249.99 (save $147.99)

    • Eufy Clean G32 Pro(Opens in a new tab)$98 $299.99 (save $201.99)

    • iRobot Roomba 676(Opens in a new tab)$174 $269.99 (save $95.99)

    • iRobot Roomba 692(Opens in a new tab)$174 $299.99 (save $125.99)

    • iRobot Roomba 694(Opens in a new tab)$179 $274 (save $95)

    • Samsung Jet 75 Complete Cordless Stick Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$299.99 $649.99 (save $350)

    • iRobot Roomba i3+ EVO(Opens in a new tab)$349 $549.99 (save $200.99)

    • iRobot Roomba j7(Opens in a new tab)$349 $599.99 (save $250.99)

    • Dyson Ball Animal 3 Complete(Opens in a new tab)$449.99 $549.99 (save $100)

    • Dyson V12 Detect Slim(Opens in a new tab)$499.99 $649.99 (save $150) (read our thoughts here)

    • Roborock S7+(Opens in a new tab)$679.99 $949.98 (save $269.99)

    Fitness deals

    • Fitbit Charge 5 (Opens in a new tab)$99.95 $149.95 (save $50)

    • NordicTrack 50 Lb iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells(Opens in a new tab)$299 $429 (save $130)

    • NordicTrack GX 2.7 U Exercise Bike(Opens in a new tab)$320.99 $799.99 (save $479)

    More home deals

    • LEGO sets (Opens in a new tab)— starting at $15.69 (save up to 47%)

    • Magic Bullet 7-Piece Personal Blender Kit(Opens in a new tab) $20 $34.99 (save $14.99)

    • LEGO Icons Orchid Building Set for Adults(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $49.99 (save $10)

    • Ninja NJ601AMZ Professional Blender (Opens in a new tab)$64.99 $99.99 (save $35)

    • Cricut EasyPress 2 Heat Press Machine (9 in x 9 in)(Opens in a new tab) — $99 $189 (save $90)

    • Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machines(Opens in a new tab)starting at $126.75 (save up to 25%)

    • Arcade 1Up Atari Legacy 12-in-1 Arcade Cabinet(Opens in a new tab) $199 $315 (save $116)

    • Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Deep Round Oven (5.25-quart)(Opens in a new tab)$199.95 $249.95 (save $50)

    • SmoothSkin Pure Mini IPL Hair Removal System(Opens in a new tab)$259 $329 (save $70)

    • Arcade1Up The Simpsons 30th Edition Arcade with Matching Stool and Tin(Opens in a new tab) — $274.99 $699.99 (save $425)

    • Shark 3-in-1 Max Air Purifier, Heater and Fan(Opens in a new tab)$299.99 $449.99 (save $150)