Microwave Spying, Meme Studies, and SXSW Helicopters, All This & More in the Weekly Spread!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of the patron saint of Ireland, here’s a list of some authentic St. Patty’s Day traditions to fuel your celebration this weekend!

Winter is coming. No, spring is coming. NO, winter is coming. It seems like the weather’s been back and forth and it’s just now starting to feel like winter. While winter storm Stella didn’t necessarily have us doing our best Marlon Brando, it did dump 30 inches of snow in areas along the NY/PA border and leave the rest of the Northeast with a bit of ice and slush to wade through. Let us not forget the groundhog saw his shadow this year...

Music lovers are flocking to the warmer climates of Austin, Texas for the annual South by Southwest festival. In addition to a star-studded concert lineup, SXSW also transforms Austin into a hub of exciting new technology and culture. Whether it’s ‘smart clothes’ and virtual reality, or media stunts and Facebook’s talkathon, SXSW is known for pushing the limits. This year even saw a group of start-ups take to the skies to deliver pitches from a helicopter for the chance to win $25-$50 million in funding - so there’s a lot of buzzing this festival!

From the “Things Kellyanne Conway Said” files: our homes have been infiltrated by “microwaves that turn into cameras” so that the government can surveille you! Given the plethora of wi-fi-enabled “smart” household devices (and the recent exploits of the Samsung-hacking CIA), the concerns of President Trump’s key adviser do have a degree of substantiation. However, we think it’s safe to say there are no hidden cameras spying on you while you warm up last night’s lasagna for breakfast - though late-night’s Stephen Colbert did try to send a message to former President Obama using his microwave.

Even if “Microwave-gate” is a hoax, it’s not just your Samsung TV that should have you concerned. A Canadian sex toy manufacturer was fined $3 million for using “smart” vibrators to spy on their customers. An Illinois court found the company, We-Vibe, responsible for tracking customers’ product usage data without consent, including temperature, intensity, and frequency. The moment you find out your sex toy manufacturer is tracking your usage? Buzzkill.

Think getting the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 out of your life means you’re safe from your electronics? Well think again! New safety measures include avoiding sleeping with your device under your pillow and not using battery-powered headphones on a flight. Ain’t technology great?

Some say that fashion, like history, has a tendency to repeat itself; and with that, mom jeans are all the rage. But what does one who wears 40-year-old denim do about those pesky holes in the knees? One solution: clear-kneed mom jeans! Because the knees are the new window to the soul...

If that whole knee-skylight is your thing, you’ll want to check out some of these other DIY fashion options. Trash bag peplum top, anyone? To top off these “fashion trends”, Urban Outfitter unveiled their version of the “crop top”. Funny, we were just saying the other day that current crop tops aren’t quite cropped enough and here comes UO blowing that out of the water and completely undermining the essential purpose of clothing.

Street Fighting Mathematics. Kitchen Chemistry. Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling. You can study literally ANYTHING in college. Northwestern University has unveiled their newest class, Meme Studies. Billed as a study into “the ways that Internet memes reflect and influence society as a whole”, learning about these web-viral tidbits may put you on your way to earning a Doctorate in Memeology. We know a meme when we see it, but we can’t define exactly what a meme is.

Now that you’ve got that shiny new Memeology degree, you can carefully dissect the rising popularity of the “BBC interview crashing kids”. During an interview with the BBC on South Korean geopolitics, Professor Robert E. Kelly’s two adorable children burst into the room, and they’ve become an instant internet hit. The family held a press conference to discuss the viral video and the so-called ‘BBC kid’ was dressed to kill and highly meme-able as expected, sporting a trendy trench coat, her signature pink glasses, and a stare that said “I take things seriously. When’s nap time?”

If you’re concerned with the alarming rate at which our friendly pollinator, the honey bee, has been dying, a classic cereal company is working to save the day. Cheerios has launched a program to save the American Honey Bee with Buzz, the Honey Nut Cheerios mascot, as the face of the campaign. Cheerios will offer free wildflower seeds to participants to plant in an effort to produce the food and nutrients honey bees need to survive. Cheerios: lowering a nation’s cholesterol and saving species from extinction. Sounds like a good day’s work.

Love SNL’s Weekend Update? Well get excited - anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che are headed to primetime TV this August with a 4-show #SNLWU special! Obviously there will be special appearances from other SNL personalities (but who?) and we’d bet that Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump will be taking the stage as well. The first special airs Thursday, August 10 at 9pm ET on NBC (or watch on Hulu when you feel like it, like the rest of us).

Finally - consider this your pinch if you didn’t wear green today - Happy St. Pat’s Day!