Before Trump had caps lock, there’s a centuries-long history of typographic tricks men used to GET LOUD in PRINT

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Donald Trump’s angry, nearly all-caps Twitter threat to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Sunday night prompted relentless memes and jokes. Immediately, folks on Twitter applied the president’s screaming-tough-guy rhetoric to things like misbehaving cats and video games.

It also made us wonder: How did all-caps typing come to be interpreted as yelling, anyway? And how do specific text-based choices signal meaning beyond the words?

When you look at a piece of writing, your brain uses lots of different signals to interpret its meaning. Sure, there’s the actual content of the text itself: what the words mean, the order they’re…


The other day, I found myself looking at a blank address bar in a new tab in my browser. I wanted to waste time, but… I didn’t know how.

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Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The other day, I found myself looking at a blinking cursor in a blank address bar in a new tab of my web browser. I was bored. I didn’t really feel like doing work, but I felt some distant compulsion to sit at my computer in a kind of work-simulacrum, so that at least at the end of the day I would feel gross and tired in the manner of someone who had worked. What I really wanted to do was waste some time.

But … I didn’t know how. I did not know what to type…


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Illustrations by Dave van Patten

MTV’s ‘Are You The One?’ mixes trash TV with simple Algebra

Near the end of the third season of Are You the One?, MTV’s mind-boggling The Bachelor-meets-OKCupid-meets-Algebra reality show, one contestant attempts to win the competition by constructing an equation out of red Solo cups. According to talking-head interviews during the show, he takes three hours to puzzle through it, during which time most of the other contestants look at what he’s doing, rub their heads in confusion, and wander away.

Viewers would be forgiven for doing the same to the show, honestly, and yet its fourth season premieres this week. Are You the One? is, by far, the most complicated…


An app that wants to be the next Amazon is more like the new 99-cent store

The internet is very good at helping consumers find (and eventually buy) the “best” thing: the best phone, the best car, the best toilet paper, the best book. Mixing human-penned ratings with complicated algorithms, their goal is to get you to come back for more. …


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POOL JUMP EPIC FAIL,” Jukin’s most popular video. Screenshot via Youtube

Jukin Media’s mastery of the dark arts of viral video is slowly taming (and perhaps killing) the internet’s weirdness

“It was very, like, guys lighting their balls on fire. It wasn’t family-friendly.” That’s how Jonathan Skogmo, founder and CEO of the burgeoning internet-home-video empire Jukin Media, describes the early days of internet video — about a decade ago. Internet users of a certain age probably remember Ebaum’s World and Stile Project, two legendarily lousy websites full of shocking and often-pirated videos, neon captions and ads for hardcore porn.

Jukin is the unlikely 2016 evolution of those sites. Even though you’ve perhaps never heard of the brand, you’ve definitely seen some of Jukin’s hits. Remember the “Pizza Rat” who pulled…


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Illustrations by Brian Khek

How a currency built around security still manages to get stolen

Though it existed mostly as a curiosity for the first few years of its life, bitcoin is real money. You can use it to buy plane tickets online, coffee in Berlin or a sandwich in San Francisco. And like all money, you can steal it. As the currency becomes increasingly legitimate — with usage skyrocketing around the world and a move toward normalization within the European legal system — the value of one bitcoin has risen to $408.09 (as of this writing) in recent months. …


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Illustrations By Erin Taj

Don’t let income inequality ruin your friendship

I heard from a friend recently that Billy Joel is still close with his best friend from kindergarten. “Just this regular guy,” she explained; the regular guy being a cousin of hers by marriage. So when it’s your birthday and your friend Billy Joel gives you, like, a car? Must be awkward, we agreed — especially when his birthday rolls around.

But even when the disparity isn’t so great, an imbalance of income can cause serious problems in any close friendship. All kinds of difficult social interactions can arise, from minor awkwardness like choosing an income-compromised restaurant for dinner to…


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Image by Brian Khek

How one guy carved out his niche on a social network for bridesmaid’s dresses and avocado-toast selfies

Offline, Josh Draper is a 45-year-old architect, designer and teacher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who lives in Brooklyn and works at the firm PrePost.

Online, Josh Draper has more than 2 million Pinterest followers — making him one of the network’s most popular men.

In his Pinterest bio, he describes himself as: “Designer, Maker, Educator, Dad” (in seemingly no order of importance). He has 175 different boards — some with deceptively simple names and topics (“Faces,” “Paper”), some with decidedly twee themes (“Formwork and Formed,” “Emergent,” “Circulations”), some that tie directly into his line of work (“Tubular,” “Roofs,” “Structures”) and…


froge
froge

The number of amphibians has been declining disturbingly rapidly over the past few decades, due to all the usual suspects: habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, pesticide use, introduced species, weird new fungal diseases. Being a widespread and effective seed distributor as well as a food source for many larger animals, the disappearance of the frogs is a huge and very un-cute problem. As a result, funding and interest in discovering and theoretically protecting frogs has increased quite a bit. More and more scientists and researchers are tasked with heading out to find new frogs. …

ᴅᴀɴ ɴᴏsᴏᴡɪᴛᴢ

freelance writer (atlas obscura, modern farmer, the awl, nytmag, etc). dannosowitz.com. i have strong opinions about which season of the real world is best.

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