All posts in “Watercooler”

Woman Instagrams her catcallers to prove an important point

Anyone who’s experienced catcalling knows how uncomfortable the experience can be — but one woman has found a way to bring more attention to it. 

Last month, Noa Jansma, a 20 year old from Amsterdam, ran a social experiment where she takes selfies with her catcallers and exposes them on an Instagram account she created, @dearcatcallers.

Jansma explained in her first post how doing this empowers her, “By making the selfie, both the objectifier and the object are assembled in one composition. Myself, as the object standing in front of the catcallers represents the reversed power which is caused by this project.”

The fact that these men were totally willing to pose for selfies shows just how appropriate they believe their behavior is.

She captioned the photos with the inappropriate things these guys would say to her to get her attention, such as, “*honks at me 3 times with his scooter, approaches from behind and cuts off my way* ‘God bless, When I see you, all I get is wild thoughts, wild, Wild Thoughts!! Darling…'”

#dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Sep 30, 2017 at 9:49am PDT

Jansma began this project in late August and is now planning to pass on the Instagram account to other girls so they can share their catcalling experiences and showcase what she calls “a global phenomenon.” 

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This app makes your Instagrams literally sparkle

Everything in this world needs, nay deserves, sparkles. Be they in glitter, confetti—or thanks to a viral app—digital form. 

Step away from the glitter, people. The kirakira+ app adds actual✨ sparkles✨ to videos as you’re taking them. But, while it’s great for taking videos of ~objects~, it’s not all that marvellous for taking selfies. 

The app—which has been around since 2015—went viral during fashion week in London and New York as fashionistas posted their shiny, sparkly creations. Instagram’s head of fashion Eva Chen went to town with kirakira+ during London fashion week, which drew many Instagrammers’ attention to the app. 

Chen’s kirakira+ Intagrams prompted something of a craze. 

mood ✨

A post shared by Rosie HW (@rosiehw) on Sep 21, 2017 at 8:01pm PDT

So, how exactly does the app work? 

Available for 99p in the App Store, kirakira+ is pretty straightforward to use. Once downloaded, open up the app, swipe the screen to pick a filter, and tap the red button to film something. 

I tried out the app to see just how sparkly my world could become. And, there was some good news and bad news. I ventured out of doors to a nearby park to see what could—and could not—become sparkly. 

Turns out that pigeons are prime territory for sparkles. 

During my travels, the “color” filter turned the park into a pretty scary-looking place. The “bling bling,” “twinkle” and classic “kira kira” filters are the best filters for adding cute sparkles to your view. 

Sadly, there’s one thing that kirakira+ isn’t great at: selfies. The only way I could get any part of my face to look remotely sparkly was by applying lip gloss and pouting until sparkles appeared on my face. Annoyingly, it seemed to only add sparkles to my lips and—rather bizarrely—my scalp. Which is not exactly the aesthetic I’m trying to achieve on Instagram. 

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Still, that’s not to say you can’t go to town on things that aren’t closeups of your face—however pretty it may be. You can now turn the most basic and unappealing objects and sights into gloriously sparkling wonders that’ll probably blow up your Insta notifications. 

Who doesn’t love a sparkle?

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This guy missed his high school so much he recreated it on Minecraft

Image: Shutterstock / Iuskiv

Now this is dedication. 

A Mincecraft player in Taiwan decided to recreate their entire school on the sandbox video game because they missed it so much. 

The gamer, along with a few friends who attended the Banqiao Senior High School in Taipei, started working on recreating their school during their first year of university.

It took them two years to recreate the entire campus:

The amount of detail is incredible. From the athletics field:

Image: @MINECRAFTPCSH/FACEBOOK

To the swimming pool:

Image: @MINECRAFTPCSH/FACEBOOK

And just the general facade — there’s nothing this Minecraft player has missed out on.

Image: @minecraftpcsh/facebook

“I started this [project] in my freshman year because of homesickness,” said the gamer in an online blogpost.

The gamer, along with three other high school classmates, then started on the project in 2014.

But the project is far from over. 

“There are still many parts of the school that are not completed, because we are very busy,” they said. “Only 87% is complete.”

The group have set up a Facebook page, to keep people updated about the project that they hope to complete soon.  

Given it already looks amazing, we can’t wait to see how it turns out. 

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There’s a new kind of snowflake in town: the ‘Broflake’

Of all the moronic alt-right internet slang, of which there are truly endless examples, the word “snowflake” should be at the top of everyone’s list.

If you’ve been fortunate enough not to hear this word before, let me ruin it for you: snowflake is a derogatory term used against progressives deemed to be too soft on issues of national importance, including immigration and all female Wonder Woman screenings. Following Trump’s election, the word spiked in popularity, so some liberals have started to fight back the best way they knew how: by popularizing the term “broflake” instead.

In American political internet discourse, you’re either a snowflake or a broflake. Or you’re a smart person who’s deleted their Twitter account. 

Broflakes share a little bit in common with their despised cousin, snowflake. Like snowflakes, broflakes are especially sensitive to issues of race, class and gender. They are, however, the inverse of the snowflake community demographically and are disproportionately likely to be white, male, and making prank videos on YouTube.

Instead of challenging traditional power hierarchies, they defend them. For all the oppressed straight white male egg avatars in the world, they want you to know — they’re here for you.

Broflakes belong to a very dangerous subset of bro: more narcissistic than the typical bro and more sensitive to slights, but only in an ego-centric President Trump kind of way. They may even be smarter than the average bro and they don’t mind letting everyone know it, by tweeting approximately 12 times a minute on Twitter.

There’s no easy way to spot a broflake or separate it from a traditional bro, but broflakes do have several common identifying characteristics I would nonetheless like to group into an actual taxonomic subset, thanks.

1. They’re soldiers in the war — civil rights leaders, really — against feminazi Ghostbusters and misandrist Wonder Women screenings.

2. Broflakes hate Colin Kaepernick. The player’s bended knee is very clearly a threat to national security/Western Civilization/their Sunday afternoon sports schedule.

Also, they’re better at football than him.

3. They’re defends of the voiceless, including Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and this really brave YouTube artist they know who made a groundbreaking Loretta Lynch mashup.

4. They, too, are panicked about the slow erosion of democracy — at the Wesleyan College campus newspaper. 

Ideological diversity is facing a #genocide.. Can democracy survive 17-year-old drama majors from Westchester? 

5. Broflakes consider safe spaces absurd and fascistic. 

That being said, they do support Trump’s effort to jail meanie journalists from The Washington Post who pubbed “fake news” about the president’s bathrobe. 

6. Half of their tweets start with the question, “Can you believe if the same thing was said about [men/white people/straight people]?”

7. They’re leaders in the fight to keep Tim Allen on ABC.

8. They’re not racists they’re “race realists” committed to the truth.

9. They often appear in the form of the “devil’s advocate.”

10. Though they live on the alt right, some do take up residence on the left. They are terrified of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the potential boo-boos she can inflict. 

9. To locate a broflake, you need to look no further than the wannabe screenplay writer industry. It’s their spiritual home.

Image: screenshot/vanityfair

To be fair, the term broflake is an invention of the internet and is therefore, by its very etymology, annoying. The speed at which its travelled in no way matches the evolution of its far dumber relative, the :snowflake.”

Perhaps progressives have been more resistant to using the term because they have a much more eclectic and accurate vocabulary to choose from: including Nazis, fascists, MRAs and white nationalists. Why call someone a broflake when you can legitimately draw a connection between them and actual Nazis?

More than anything, the left may may not be using “broflake” as much the right uses “snowflake” because frankly, they DGAF. Even though battles between Trump and Clinton supporters dominated the internet in the weeks following the election, liberals and the left have largely refocused their attention elsewhere in recent months. 

Progressives are far more concerned about whether they’ll have healthcare in the morning or a planet in the afternoon than whether that egg avatar who told them they’re an MS-13 defender on Twitter is scientifically a broflake or not. 

Even with all this, let’s hope #broflake doesn’t go any more viral than it already has. If there’s one thing progressives don’t have space for anymore it’s battling unemployed ding dongs on the internet who will never, ever vote for their candidate. Anyone who’s called Milo Yiannopoulos a “victim of political correctness” isn’t about to knock on doors for Elizabeth Warren in 2020. There’s no point in engaging — and, as I’ve recently learned, so much joy in dropping out.  

Calling trolls “broflakes” isn’t any more effective than labelling folks “snowflakes” although I do believe, in my heart of hearts, that it’s one million percent funnier.

So let’s give it a rest, block the broflakes as soon as we see them and use real adjectives to describe the horrible people in our lives. Perhaps one day we’ll mature into an era where no one is snowflakes or broflakes or even hashtags, they’re all just regular annoying people, shouting about nothing on the internet.  

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Snapchat maps can figure out what you’re doing and it’s either cool or creepy

Image: rachel thompson /mashable

Snap Maps don’t just tell your friends where you are; they also disclose a few of your activities. And it’s freaking people out big time. 

Anyone who’s found themselves lurking on Snap Maps since it launched last week might have spotted a few quirky details that occasionally pop up on people’s Bitmojis. Some Bitmojis are appearing in yellow cars, planes, and even on big armchairs. And, some people’s Bitmojis are disappearing from the maps completely without them switching on Ghost Mode. 

So, what exactly is going on? 

According to Snapchat, these Bitomojis are actually called “Actionmojis” and they appear when Snapchat pulls in things like your location, the time of day ,or your speed of travel. These Actionmojis are supposed to contextualise your friends’ placement on the maps. The feature doesn’t track any of those things while you’re off the app, only when you’re active in the app. 

Here are just a few of the quirky things that have been appearing on people’s Snap Maps. 

People sleeping 

Snapchat knows when you’ve been sleeping. Seemingly Snapchat can tell you’re asleep based on the duration of your inactivity and the time of day. When you’re asleep, your Actionmoji will appear is a very sleepy state on an armchair. 

Image: Rachel thompson / mashable

But, that’s not the only way people are appearing on the map while they’re snoozing. Some people seem to be sleeping while standing up, which looks pretty uncomfortable. 

Image: kerry flynn / mashable 

People flying 

Snapchat also looks at your altitude, which is why a lot of people are noticing planes appearing on their Snap Maps when they’re flying. 

People listening to music

The map also picks up when you’re headphones are plugged into the jack. When you’re listening to music, your Actionmoji will don a tiny pair of headphones. Kind of cool, if we’re honest. 

Image: rachel thompson / mashable

People on the beach

People chilling at the beach will also notice that a towel appears over one shoulder. 

People driving

Because the map looks at the speed at which you’re travelling, it can also tell when you’re in a car. When you’re snapping in the backseat, your Actionmoji will appear in a yellow car. 

Creepy or just plain cool? You decide. 

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