The therapy dogs that helped the Parkland survivors got their own yearbook page, and yes, we’re crying.

After the devastating Marjorie Stoneman High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, a number students and faculty experienced debilitating symptoms that often accompany a traumatic event. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can take many forms, affecting both the body and mind years after the inciting incident. There are several forms of therapy that have been proven helpful for those living with it, but one that brought a great deal of comfort to the Parkland students involved 14 adorable, four-legged friends. These therapy dogs have been a staple at Marjorie Stoneman High School ever since the shooting, acting as non-intrusive, comforting, mobile support systems that students can turn to whenever they need. The students have dealt with …

How the Videogame Aesthetic Flows Into All of Culture

When the science fiction film Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, came out in 2014, WIRED called it “the best videogame you can’t play.” The film’s main character, Bill Cage, repeats the same day again and again—a day of futuristic combat with aliens. Each time he dies, Cage wakes up again on the previous day. Everything is as before, with the crucial difference that he remembers all the previous versions of that fatal next day. The repetitions are the film’s equivalent of a videogame’s replayability, and Cage’s battle skills improve, just as a player’s skills improve through replay. But Cage is not a player. He is a character in a narrative film, so the repeated days are in fact …

Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies aged 74

Mark Hamill and William Shatner among those paying tribute to Star Wars star: A big man with a bigger heart The family of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars franchise, has announced his death on Twitter on Thursday. He was 74. Mayhew died on 30 April in his North Texas home surrounded by his family, #RIPPeterMayhew @TheWookieeRoars May 2, 2019 Mayhew was a minor actor working shifts as a hospital orderly when he was cast as Chewbacca the Wookiee in the first Star Wars film, 1977s A New Hope. The 7ft 3in tall actor was cast partly because he was taller than the 6ft 6in actor David Prowse, who played villain Darth Vader. A fan favourite, …

Which is the world’s most musical city?

Is it a metropolis like London or a New York or a smaller city where music is the focus? The event was advertised as a pedal steel all-dayer something you would usually be unlikely to see outside of Nashville. But on a recent Sunday afternoon it was a pub in central London that opened its doors to eight pedal-steel guitar players. London, and its small independent venues, embrace the wacky and wonderful with open arms, says Joe Harvey-Whyte, a pedal steel player who attended the annual event at the Betsey Trotwood pub. It brings a community together in such a fractured city. Music is part of the streets, underground, clubs, pubs, houses, tower blocks and bedrooms of the UK capital. …

Netflix’s New Comedy Lunatics Is Dizzying, Tone-Deaf

Watching Netflix’s latest stab at edgy comedy, Lunatics, is like scrolling through Instagram at 3 am. Fragments of lives flicker by—self-aggrandizing, specific, bizarre, sometimes obscene. Pretty soon, they all start looking fundamentally, headspinningly the same. We are, the show seems to be suggesting, the many faces of Chris Lilley. The new Netflix comedy is strikingly similar to the Australian comedian’s previous work. Like the popular Summer Heights High (and its spinoffs, Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Jonah from Tonga, which was pulled from the air in 2017 for being racist), Lunatics is a mockumentary following a bevy of characters all played by Lilley. In place of unseemly students and teachers, the characters are a celebrity pet psychic, a boy Instagrammer, …

Game of Thrones Returns, a New Star Wars Trailer, and More

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: Winter is coming It's true: The final season of Game of Thrones begins this Sunday. We collected the biggest GoT fans in the office to chat about their hopes and dreams for the future of Westeros. Haven't caught up on the show? We recommend binge-watching it backward. Disney+ is ready to take over the world Disney's long-discussed streaming service, Disney+, will launch November 12. What's the deal, you ask? It will be $6.99 a month, have movies from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and all of Star Wars (!), as well as a compliment of TV shows from Disney, National Geographic, and Fox. If you live in a house with kids, good …

This teacher’s viral ‘check-in’ board is a beautiful example of mental health support.

Update: We have found the teacher who originate the mental health check-in board! Kudos to Erin Castillo for the brilliant idea and for sharing how she’s using it to help kids. She is offering a free download of the board as a poster along with instructions for utilizing it on Teachers Pay Teachers. Thanks, Erin! This teacher is making a difference in her students’ lives, one simple Post-it Note at a time. Excellent teachers do so much more than teach. They can be mentors, role models, guides, and even confidants. Sometimes a teacher is one of the only trusted adults in a child’s life—a fact that drives home the immense responsibility educators hold in their hands. Perhaps that’s why a …

5Gs Potential Health Hazard, Zucks Deleted Posts, and More News

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: 5G: Cool for your cellphone, terrible for your health? 5G, the cell phone network that promises to exponentially increase data speeds for all, might help load a web page faster but could also hurt your health. It turns out your sweat glands act kind of like antennas in response to the high frequency waves planned to be used in the service, and funding for research on the health effects is relatively slim. 5G is still in its infancy in the US though, so here's to hoping research about its potential health hazards catch up with the technology itself. Facebook had a hell of a weekend Over the weekend, Facebook poked …

While You Were Offline: The Internet Will Forever Fight Over the Mueller Report

Good day to you! Are you ready for some déjà vu? Welp, the GOP, apparently forgetting how poorly it went for them last time, has decided to target the Affordable Care Act again. What else happened last week? Federal prosecutors charged Stormy Daniels' attorney with some pretty major crimes, and Chicago authorities dropped all charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett. It was also a week in which Spice Girls slashfic turned out to be real, and promotion for the next Avengers movie became a meme. But perhaps most importantly of all, it was the week when Meghan McCain threw shade and the internet loved it a lot. What else has been happening over the past seven days? So glad you …

Unplanned review anti-abortion propaganda is a gory mess

In a dim-witted Christian drama part-financed by the disgraced founder of a pillow manufacturer, a woman discovers abortion is evil Its been five years since the evangelical Christian production studio Pure Flix had their runaway hit Gods Not Dead. (Listen, when Kevin Sorbo is playing your elitist, latte-drinking, Christ-denying college professor, you can expect success!) The Arizona-based outfit pumps out profitable movies each year, but this Easter season, with Unplanned, theyve taken a page out of the Hollywood playbook they claim to despise: more sex and gore! Dont get too excited. The sex is off-screen, but results in a lot of out-of-wedlock pregnancy. And the gore doesnt come from action-adventure sequences, but from grisly abortion complications in which chunks of …

‘Why Don’t You Want Kids?’ ‘Because Apocalypse!’

This story is part of a week-long series on reproduction, from prenatal testing to male birth control. Are you pregnant yet? Don’t you like kids? Well, it’s different when it’s your own child. Being a parent is the most important job in the world. You’re being a bit selfish. What if your parents had decided not to have you? Speaking of your parents, isn’t it cruel to deny them the joy of grandchildren? Besides, who will take care of you when you get old? You’re just saying that because you’re young. You’ll change your mind. Your biological clock is ticking! What if your kid cured cancer? If you don’t have kids and don’t want them, apologies: You’ve heard this all …

The Read/Write Metaphor Is a Flawed Way to Talk About DNA

In 2014, chemist Floyd Romesberg, of the Scripps Research Institute, synthesized a new pair of artificial nucleotides and got a cell to accept them as part of its genetic code. In metaphorical terms, he extended the alphabet of life. To review, the DNA molecule is built from four nucleotides, or “letters”: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). Each letter is one half of a pair—A always goes with T, and G with C—and each pair forms a single rung of the molecule’s twisted ladder. Romesberg’s team, after years of work, synthesized a third pair—X and Y—and inserted it successfully into the code of a bacterium, which then reproduced, maintaining its synthetic code. Life on Earth depends on …

The ordinary boys: how Ed Sheeran-inspired troubadours swept the charts

Theyre soulful, tattooed, wear hats and, from Tom Walker to Lewis Capaldi, theyre absolutely everywhere. So what does their dominance say about 2019? By the end of 2018, critics were the New York Times Jon Caramanica. In this moment of international pop utopianism, Britain, naturally, has gone the other way. Our current pop stock-in-trade is a school of male singer-songwriters with exceptional voices and wilfully unexceptional images that entrench an impression of authenticity. They are all white, despite their soulful vocals, which sing of safely secular salvation (theyll provide it), epic loves (theyve had and lost them) and struggle (broadly defined). These ordinary boys bolster their yearning with a sound that homogenises sturdy rock heft, EDM dynamism and delicate electronica, …

Can we all agree that slashing $7.1 billion from education is asinine?

Of all of the hair-brained, short-sighted budget proposal ideas, removing billions of dollars from education takes the cake. If there’s anything that people of all political persuasions should be able to agree on, it’s the importance of education. A well-educated citizenry is the chassis that supports everything we need to keep moving forward—a thriving economy, safer communities, advances in science and technology, strong international standing, and more. And as the top-performing educational systems in the world prove, a well-funded, equitable, government-funded school system is the most reliable engine humans have designed to keep the machine of civilized society running. However, the 2020 budget proposal coming from the White House includes cutting $7.1 billion from the Department of Education. On the …

From the grime MC to the model: five men on what masculinity means to them

Musician D Double E, broadcaster Jon Snow, reality star Jack Fowler and others reveal the influences that shaped them My dads given me everything from my calmness to facial expressions: Double E, 39, musician In my head, Im not masculine because Im not big, and Im not physically strong. But Im powerful as a man in my own way because I know what I want and I know how I want to be. Im a lot like my dad, I dress like my dad, we walk the same, I think hes given me everything from my calmness to facial expressions. He was everything I am, just not an artist. He was famous in the end, had the deepest swagger, 20 …