Mega-Sloths, Mastodon, and Manilow, All This & More In the Weekly Spread!

We hope everyone had a successful April Fool’s day! If you need a laugh today though, check out this list of some of the best (and some of the less inspired) pranks recorded on the web from last Saturday. From Google’s “PacMaps”, to the viral ‘neverending letter’ prank this couple played on their mailman, April Fools 2017 was pretty fun. Sadly, Netflix’s April 1st removal of some of our favorite shows to binge-watch was not a joke. RIP Buffy binge-fests.  

Barry Manilow, the amazing talent that brought us the hits Mandy and  Copacabana, among others, has publicly confirmed in a People magazine exclusive that he is gay. Barry married his longtime partner and manager Gary Keiff two years ago in a private ceremony. Coming out at any age can be a nerve wracking experience, let alone when you’re a prolific star with millions of fans. We salute Barry’s bravery and wish him nothing but happiness. Barry, it looks like you made it!

If you’ve been on the internet this week, you’ve probably seen Pepsi’s newest advertisement starring Kendall Jenner. It may come as no surprise that not everyone saw eye-to-eye with this representation of social and political activism. From Martin Luther King’s daughter, to celebrities like Madonna, Stephen Colbert and the general public, people had some very choice words for Pepsi and Jenner. Pepsi pulled the ad, saying that clearly they “missed the mark.” In a way, the ad did bring people together, though maybe not in the way Pepsi intended.

While Twitter seems to be at the forefront of media recently, there’s a new microblogging animal on the scene: Mastodon. In fact, the social media site is apparently named after the heavy metal band rather than the prehistoric animal, but that’s beside the point. On Mastodon, users can set up a profile, post 500-character updates (360 more than Twitter), and even set up their own customized “instances” of the network. The network upholds a strict policy prohibiting bullying or discriminatory behavior. The best thing though, is that while you have “tweets” on Twitter, on Mastodon, you have “toots.” Hehe, toots.

In other social media news. Facebook’s introduction of their own version of the ‘stories’ feature is about to make it a lot harder for you to Facebook creep anonymously. Sure, we know that on Snapchat you can see who views your story, but somehow with the volume of tangential and weird friends you accumulate on Facebook, knowing that they’re all watching videos of your cat is, well, a different story. In addition to the stories feature, Facebook is building an escape from your current overwhelmed and crowded newsfeed to a whole other newsfeed crowded with different kinds of content. Fittingly, it’s just the click of a rocket ship icon away! Sources say that this second feed is designed to offer you exciting content that is more locally themed, or perhaps more akin to your interests, but we can’t say for sure until the feature is rolled out more broadly.

For the reality TV buffs out there (you know who you are!), big news from the Honey Boo Boo clan. Mama June is turning heads after losing 150 pounds! The star underwent gastric surgery to help jumpstart her healthy transformation. Combined with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, Miss June has gone from a size 24 to a size 4 in 11 months. Way to go Mama June!

Can we all just take a second to be thankful we’re not Shia Labeouf? The movie actor’s latest project is a certified bust, selling only 3 tickets in the UK at its release. No word yet on if Shia was the one who purchased all 3 tickets. While another setback to Shia’s career, we still applaud him for creating this masterpiece of art. Chin up Shia, you’ll get them next year!

In some exciting science news, a new Earth sized telescope may allow us to actually see a black hole for the first time ever. As astronomers now believe that every universe has one of these massive matter and light sucking things known as black holes, science has gone to great lengths to study them. And now, for the next ten days, radio observatories across the globe will be pointed toward our Milky Way’s supermassive black hole to try and snap a picture of it!

The origin of massive underground tunnels discovered in the 1930’s in South America has been found. The answer? Giant ground sloths. That’s right, sloths. 10,000 years ago, giant sloths ruled over much of North and South America. Claw marks discovered on the tunnel walls support the theory. Turns out Sid should have been a whole lot bigger.

In conclusion, things are about to get squirrelly! In the next installment of Animals Stealing People Food, here is a squirrel that made it all the way up a tree with somebody’s taco. Alongside it, a story of a woman who (successfully) trained squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend. That’ll do squirrels, that’ll do.