Category: Viral



Collective Cabin Fever Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

Another week, another opportunity to start this column by saying, “It’s been a helluva week.” As the coronavirus continues is morbid march, people the world over are sheltering in place and doing all they can to stay safe and sane. People, it seems, are in this for the long haul, and that’s going to destroy the internet … or, well,… Read more →

A Hospital Train, DIY Face Shields, and More Car News This Week

Enough with the despair. Even as grim news of the coronavirus dominated the airwaves, this week in transportation-land was all about solving problems. A federal bill signed by the president Friday gives gig workers access to unemployment benefits, though workers are getting creative as they search for money to fill the gaps. The French used a high-speed train to move… Read more →

A Rest Stop Where Flying Cars Can Recharge

If it weren’t for the racket from a helicopter landing on the roof, the complex of heavily modified and interconnected cargo containers in a corner of Burlington International Airport would be a great place to hang out. The structure has a sleek wood-lined lounge, two cozy bedrooms, and a view from the front porch of Vermont Air National Guard F-35… Read more →

Where Did Plants Come From? This Ancient Algae Offers Clues

Around 500 million years ago—when the Earth was already a ripe 4 billion years old—the first green plants appeared on dry land. Precisely how this occurred is still one of the big mysteries of evolution. Before then, terrestrial land was home only to microbial life. The first green plants to find their way out of the water were not the… Read more →

14 Apps and Tools to Stave Off Cabin Fever

$7 a month (5 free sessions), Android and iOS The Brain.fm app offers something a little different from the norm, generating a limitless playlist of algorithmically tuned sounds to boost productivity, to help you relax, or to get you to sleep more easily. You can pick from a variety of sounds and themes—natural, classical, cinematic and more—then set the time… Read more →

How Decades of Offshoring Led to a Mask Shortage in a Pandemic

If you can reach him, Gus Nasrallah, president and CEO of manufacturing equipment supplier Sharpertek in Pontiac, Michigan, can sell you a machine that cranks out the N95 face masks desperately needed by health workers treating Covid-19 patients. It will cost you $250,000 or more—but don’t expect it soon. “We’re telling them six-month delivery.” Keith Hayward, managing director of specialty… Read more →

This Is the ‘Cozy Catastrophe’ Americans Have Always Wanted

Here’s a little secret about the coronavirus crisis: If you and your loved ones are healthy and financially secure—for now—then some not-so-small part of you might just be enjoying this whole thing. Lazy days at home, ALL CAPS headlines, desolate parking lots, that warm-and-fuzzy-end-of-the-world feeling. The turmoil is thrilling from afar. The internet works just fine. And, let’s be honest,… Read more →

‘Star Trek: Picard,’ Fancy Sheets, and the Meaning of Home

Star Trek: Picard, the new reloading of the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) universe, explores contemporary disasters—refugees denied havens, racist paranoia, travel bans, genocide—but, if I may, I’d like to land into this world on its soft furnishings. One often disappointing element in science fiction is the lack of warm, homey décor. The interiors of the distant future tend… Read more →

Business as Usual Is On Hold—Even at the EPA

2020 has a new motto: “Canceled due to the coronavirus.” Businesses, schools, sports, travel, film, and TV production, conferences, meetings, and basically any and all business as usual has been suspended in the US as individuals and institutions try to slow the spread of Covid-19. We have, at least, had outdoor space to go to—staying at least six feet away… Read more →

Reddit’s Wedding Planners Pivot to Covid-19 Crisis Comms

The difficulty in deciding how to manage the coronavirus posts was exacerbated by a lack of clear advice and the conflicting needs of different users—some of whom have weddings planned imminently, and others who are just starting to plan. The moderators were keen to operate best practices from a public health perspective, but weren’t always sure how—especially when there was… Read more →