This week’s trip into the strange corners of culture inhabited by young people is all about different kinds of danger! There’s the danger of talking to strangers online, the danger of going on first dates, and the danger of pursuing scientific achievement. But let’s start with the danger of tweeting something weird.
What is the “This is Miyamoto” meme?
Nintendo revealed this week that the release of the animated Super Mario Bros. movie has been pushed back from December to May 2023 in the US Tragic news, sure, especially given gamers’ universal excitement over the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario. But the delay went viral not because fans were upset, but because of the way Nintendo used a tweet purporting to be from legendary game director Shigeru Miyamoto to deliver the news. “This is Miyamoto”The message began, launching countless memes.
Most agreed that their first impression of the tweet was that it had to be from a parody account. But nope. It’s from Nintendo’s official Twitter. The blue check is right there. “Why do the first 3 words read like an email scam / hostage situation? ” asked @rabbidluigi. Others parodied the format with tweets like “This is Miyamoto. You are not ready for Chris Pratt. But he’s coming. He is inevitable. You can not run forever. ” And of course the phrase was quickly ‘shopped into the original Super Mario Bros. game too, in an image you can see at the top of this post.
FBI issues ‘sextortion’ warning to teens
If you know a young person who’s Extremely Online (or even Slightly Online) you might want to let them know about a warning the FBI recently issued concerning the growth of “sextortion” -style crimes. There are a few different variation on this scheme, but basically, a scammer befriends a young person on social media, often posing as a girl / woman, and coerces them into taking a nude picture / pictures. From there, the criminal threatens to spread the photos to the victim’s contact list unless a ransom is paid. Sometimes they use one photo to demand more, and sometimes the scammer says they’ve hacked your nude pictures and demands money. While some adults would respond to a threat like that with, “Whatever, dude.” or “Good. Release my picture to whoever you want. You’re just saving me the trouble, ”kids are neither experienced enough to recognize an obvious fraud or jaded enough to not care anyway. The FBI urges victims to come forward and promises they will not get in trouble.
This week in online danger
Speaking of dangerous things on the internet, this is part 463 of my 736,000-part series “Do not do these things you saw online.”
Bad dates on TikTok
TikTok user Taypole had a terrible Tinder date recently and her story is going viral. According to the video, a charming gentleman-caller brought her back to his place, then made her watch him practice his short golf game for three hours. (I have been going to make a joke about “heavy putting” but decided against it.) Taypole’s nightmare made me curious whether there’s a bad dating corner of TikTok, and of course there is! The Worst Date Story hash is crammed with hilarious, scary, and tragic romantic disasters, like this woman whose suitor committed a felony halfway through dinnerthis woman whose Tinder date took her to church to crash some strangers’ weddingand this dude whose date thought she was a mermaid,
Viral video of the week: The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History
Who killed the most people? Stalin? Hitler? Genghis Khan? All wrong. This week’s viral video, “The Man Who Accidentally Killed the Most People In History”From Veritasium, gives the surprising answer: Thomas Midgley. Midgley indirectly caused the deaths of millions, lowered the collective IQ of the entire human race, and may ultimately be the person most responsible for the end of all human life. And he did all with science! Midgley is the guy responsible for putting lead in gasoline, which has
lead led to an incalculable number of deaths and the lowering of our collective IQs. Not satisfied with that accomplishment, Midgley went on to pioneer using freon to keep refrigerators cold; that pioneering use of CFCs led to the development of all the chemicals that put a hole in the ozone layer and helped hasten global warming. Fittingly, Midgley was eventually killed by one of his own inventions. The story is just off-the-rails weird and interesting, and you can learn all about it here.