What we’re reading

We’ll start with one of the more controversial pieces circulating the internet this week: Jonathan Chait’s “Not a Very P.C. Thing To Say.” Chait’s thesis is simple: political correctness, and the subsequent (or concurrent) culture it operates in actually works against that which it claims to advocate for. In other words, political correctness isn’t bringing us any closer to equality. What isn’t simple is the ensuing discussion, with Gawker and Slate publishing particularly thoughtful responses.

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Parking lots and gas stations are lit 10 times as brightly as they were just 20 years ago. The Atlantic has been producing some great video content recently, including “What Happened to the Milky Way?” exploring how 99 percent of the U.S. living in light polluted areas affects our culture and health.

Then, there’s the Super Bowl content. Deadspin‘s “The Patriots Knew Exactly What Was Coming” is an in-depth look into what will soon be dubbed Carroll-gate.

Another internet back and forth this past week began with Nicholas Kristof’s “Where’s the Empathy?” a story about his high school friend who just died of multiple organ failure, “but in a deeper sense…died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.” It serves as an anecdotal counterpoint to those claiming the poor have it easy by living off welfare. The Economist published a response piece entitled “Hard problems,” which argues that if we were a truly empathetic nation, we would make it harder to qualify for benefits to incentivize searching harder for work. And then, New Republic published a response to that piece, “Welfare Doesn’t Destroy Families. Poverty Does.”

The New York Times‘ “The Surprising Power of Blue-State Republicans” looks into exactly that: the surprising power of blue-state Republicans.

The Trip Treatment,” from The New Yorker, illuminates the renaissance of research on the potential medicinal qualities of psychedelic drugs.

And last, but certainly not least, “The Mental and Physical Toll of Student Loans,” from The Atlantic, ditches the usual metric for assessing student loans–a cost/benefit analysis–for a look at how “the mere act of borrowing money for college can be detrimental to health and mind.”

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Katy Perry played Wii tennis last night

Honestly, I can’t tell you much about the Super Bowl–I didn’t watch (I know, I’m not American, blah, blah, blah). But I can tell you that Katy Perry just started the hottest new video game-inspired trend since pixelated hair.

For those unfortunate enough to have never dabbled in the realm of Wii tennis, KP is sporting the wristband used to ensure your Wii remote doesn’t go flying out of your hand and into the TV–but for her microphone.

But wait, there’s more! Katy seems to have unlocked a door of potential for these wristbands. How have we not thought of this before? They can be used for cell phones: unnamed

  You can get creative with ’em (thanks, Etsy): il_570xN.538637649_daba

  Always lose your keys? Fret no more! il_570xN.538545694_lxda These Wii-inspired wristbands can be bought on Amazon WITHOUT THE REMOTE. Go forth, young ones. And thank you, Katy. For everything–but mostly for this and Missy Elliott.

By the way, this is what pixelated hair looks like: 


I really don’t know.


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The best of Super Bowl XLVIII’s commercials

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In case you don’t live within 400 miles of a TV, the Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos in the Puppy Super Bowl last night. Unfortunately for those looking to apply their newfound understanding of overtime, the game was over from the second half’s opening kickoff, which Seattle’s Percy Harvin returned for a touchdown. This left fans in the awkward situation of waiting for the Seahawks to score or for someone to call timeout so the commercials would return. Luckily, the haul this year was pretty great (would you expect anything else?). Here are BlogDH’s superlatives for Super Bowl XLVIII’s commercials.

Cutest: Budweiser’s tale of puppy-clydsedale forbidden love. The puppy was adorable. The clydesdale was a clydesdale. All they wanted to do was hang out a little bit. Really everyone wins.

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Not a football fan? There’s always Puppy Bowl X


Happy Super Bowl Sunday! It’s your natural right to watch football, drink beer, and eat snacks today, because sports. But what if that football involved the snuggliest little puppy babies in lieu of the rough-and-tumble nature of professional football? Totally kosher.

Enter Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl X: it’s like Heavy Petting, but with “football.” In its tenth year, the Puppy Bowl is the greatest alternative to American football—instead of 300-hundred pound linebackers, the most adorable rescue pups frolic compete on a football field. This game has the same characteristics as a typical football game, but with an adorable twist: puppy penalties, touchdowns, a lot of fumbles (it’s a lot harder when you don’t have opposable thumbs), and the Bissel Kitten Halftime Show, at which an actual kitten will be “performing.”

Tune into Animal Planet at 3 p.m. (or live-stream it here) for your yearly dosage of cute—if you’re a doglover (guilty), or if you’re a Pats fan and just really hate Peyton Manning (also guilty), you can find comfort in these puppies duking it out and leaving nothing on the field (…we hope). Find some of the puppies competing in today’s contest after the jump.  Continue Reading

Football: A primer


The first Super Bowl — although, not the first NFL Championship — to be hosted in the Northeast has finally arrived. Although many people are watching it for the legendary commercials (as well as for the excuse it provides for your usual Sunday binge drinking), there will be a football game featured as well. For those of you who have never seized the opportunity to watch the other great American pastime, now is your chance! Football may come off as barbaric to an outsider, but to understand the basics of football is to see it for the beautiful and highly strategic sport that it is. Also, as a rule, if you’re going to spend 4 hours watching something, you should probably understand what’s going on. Here are the basics:

Four 15 minute quarters, 22 players on the field at a time (11 for each team), and a very important ball that is shaped like Hey Arnold’s head.

When the game begins, the offensive team is tasked first with moving the ball into their opponent’s end zone. The other team, playing defense, wants to prevent the offense from moving the ball down the field until their turn is up. If possible, the defense will also try to intercept the ball, thus reclaiming it and becoming the offense.

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