While You Were Offline: Australian Kids Just Schooled Man-Kid Martin Shkreli

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A Simple Click Really Helps

It’s been a while since we all last checked in with the Internet, but don’t worry; it’s still there. With the holidays getting underway, however, you’d be forgiven for letting your attention wander, especially when thoughts of family, friends, and warm social acceptance are far more inviting than whatever disquiet the web has in store. Surprisingly, though, it hasn’t been all been bad in the virtual world recently. In fact, things might even be looking up for some people. (Muppets count as people, right?) It must be the magic of the season. Here, dear friends, are some things you might have missed online over the last week or so.

Australian Students School Martin Shkreli

What Happened: Science is a wonderful thing, especially when school kids work out how to make incredibly affordable medicine.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Here’s the feel good story of the week: A group of 17-year-old Australian students managed to synthesize Pryimethamine as part of a class project. Pryimethamine, also known by its brand name Daraprim, you may remember, is the anti-parasitic drug used to treat things like malaria that was price boosted by Martin Shkreli from $13.50 to $750 per pill last year. The cost of the Australian schoolkid-created version? $2 per pill.

Of course, this was a big deal, reported far and wide. As might be expected, Shkreli took to Twitter to demonstrate just how not mad he was at this news:

Yeah, he seems totally fine with it. Not bothered at all. That’s why he also made a YouTube statement:

And then returned to Twitter…

…before taking to Periscope (The opening of which has to be seen to be believed, as he literally starts it by saying, “I’m a man,” giggling, then adding, “I’m a man, and you’re not,” before putting something in the microwave. That’s actually how it begins!):

Oh, and then he put out a phone number so people could call him to talk about the subject:

Like, that’s just what people do when they’re not upset at all, right?
The Takeaway: Well, at least he’s not turning into some kind of Australian schoolboy truther or somethi—

Oh. Never mind.

No Trump Tweet Left Behind

What Happened: Apparently, when you’re the President-elect, you should really watch how you construct tweet storms, so that you don’t accidentally prompt a game of Presidential Madlibs.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: Earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump did what he likes to do every morning: take to Twitter and make pronouncements. This time out, he was intending to announce a press conference to deal with the many conflicts of interest that arise from the combination of his businesses interests and the presidency. However, the first tweet was somewhat incomplete:

Although Trump clearly intended to continue in the next tweet, the hanging sentence was the only opening needed by Twitter to offer some suggestions about just what he could leave:

Thankfully, the media was paying attention to the assistance being offered by the Twitterati. Perhaps this is the answer to how the media should deal with the President-elect’s tweets, which show no sign of stopping any time soon.
The Takeaway: In case you were wondering what Trump was actually trying to say, here’s the rest of his multi-tweet message:

Not everyone was convinced by his plan, but one thing’s for sure: This is the kind of thing that makes us glad Trump is continuing to tweet during the transition. Not only does he provide an endless stream of things for Twitter to riff on, it’s like having a direct line into his brain!

They’re Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreatly Upset By Advertisement Placement!

What Happened: Apparently, believing in the free market is a concept that doesn’t extent to allowing private companies to choose where their advertisements should run. Well, according to Breitbart, at least.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: You might not know this, but the Kellogg Company—the company that makes a lot of breakfast cereals and snack foods—has on more than one occasion been named one of the world’s most ethical companies on an annual ranking by the Ethisphere Institute. That might explain why the company decided to pull advertising from alt-right, white supremacist news organization Breitbart earlier this week. The company is not alone—a number of brands are doing the same thing, noting the racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic content on the network—but it was Kellogg’s that caught Breitbart’s attention when it pulled out.

The site breathlessly reported that, although Kellogg’s pulling ads “will make virtually no revenue impact” on Breitbart, it was nonetheless a move that was unforgivable, and launched a campaign (complete with petition) for its readers to stop supporting Kellogg’s as a result. “Boycotting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice,” the petition explains. “If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.” Yes, it’s bigoted to choose not to support bigotry, because, really, do words mean anything anymore when it comes down to it?

The campaign quickly spread on Twitter:

That last tweet highlighted a strange and wonderful thing about the boycott: the pose that it wasn’t just about “values” (and certainly not about being upset at a company choosing how to spend its own advertising budget)—no, this was also about caring about your health:

As would be expected, the boycott campaign drew much attention from the mainstream media, while also provoking a countermovement on social media:

The Takeaway: For those who really want to #DumpKelloggs but are wondering how to do it with the most impact, this tweet offers a foolproof guide:

The Final Word on Gilmore Girls’ Final Words

What Happened: After almost a decade, Gilmore Girls returned to screens and finally delivered the famous “final four words” that fans had been waiting for. Their reaction? Ehhhhh…
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: So, last week Netflix released the miniseries revival of Gilmore Girls (OK, fine, Gilmore girls—apparently, it’s a big deal that the second word is all lower case). And in the new episodes the streaming service finally revealed the show’s “final four words,” a mystery that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino has been teasing fans with since 2006 when she left the show ahead of its final season. The reaction was… mixed:

Even in the media, people couldn’t decide how they felt, with one outlet running competing pieces about the subject. Did it matter, though? Everyone was talking about the damn thing, in what might be the most viral finale since Lost. Not that everyone was taking it seriously, though:

The Takeaway: If you hated those final words, there’s an upside: it really could have been worse!

Count Von Count’s Twitter Account

What Happened: Sometimes, it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure. Like a Twitter account reaching its full potential, much to the appreciation of its followers.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Maybe you don’t know this (Why would you?), but Count Von Count has a Twitter account. You know the Count; he’s the Muppet from Sesame Street that likes numbers.

The Twitter account is based around a very simple idea: each tweet will count up one number from the previous one. That’s it; it started with “One,” then the second tweet was “Two,” then “Three,” and so on. (Every now and then, he punctuates things with laughter, because of course he does.) Well, last week, the Count was approaching a milestone…

And then he took three days off, a move that provoked both concern and confusion from his followers:

But don’t worry; he soon returned to pick up where he left off:

Can you feel the tension and excitement about what’s about to happen?!? If so, you’re not alone; people got very excited about what was next:

And then, on December 1… it happened:

Needless to say, Twitter was pleased for the Count’s achievement:

To be fair, it really was an achievement of sorts…

The Takeaway: But what will he do for an encore? Well, what do you think…?

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