Skip to main content

Tumblr teens know exactly who the late Antonin Scalia is, thank you very much

Tumblr teens know exactly who the late Antonin Scalia is, thank you very much

/

Anatomy of an insane reblog chain

Share this story

FOX

It starts with a confession: "I have no idea who Scalia was."

Then a joke, to deflect attention from a failure on the part of public education: "Isn't that the thing that people call themselves when they are furries but with reptiles?"

The perfect seed for a baffling chain of Tumblr reblogs with no clear endpoint or purpose!

"You're thinking of scalies," starts the first reply. "Scalia is a quantity that has magnitude but not direction." And we're off to the races.

Obviously the joke only works if the next person to reblog the chain accurately guesses the former's intended Scalia-adjacent word, Jeopardy-style. As the chain continues, this feat becomes more and more impressive. If you can't guess or Google your way to the correct word for "the scary bird-like creatures from the 1982 fantasy movie The Dark Crystal," then you'll have to give the chain a like and move along. Listen, the game is for everyone, but only if you're funny and not dumb.

You didn't memorize those SAT vocab words for nothing!

Responses flit in and out of pure nerddom ("Scalia are green-skinned, shape-shifting antagonists in the Marvel comic universe"), pop culture ("Scalia is the electronic music producer and DJ who just won a grammy"), scientific minutiae ("Scalias are Australian legless lizards, of the genus Pygopus, with prehensile tails and scaly flaps in place of hindlimbs"), and five-point SAT vocab words ("Scalia are subjective internal experiences") — the only constant is absurdity. And of course, never explaining who Antonin Scalia is. Because who cares!

Tumblr is known as a home for the young, the weird, and the witty, and they come out in droves for something like this. Under the guise of educating each other on a current event, Tumblr's hordes take what might have been a serious question and turn it into a well-meaning troll that now involves over 40,000 people. This joke would be impossible to execute on Twitter, where replies quickly get clogged with the usernames of everyone involved, or on Facebook, where all it takes is one "lol you guys are nuts" from someone's mom to derail all the fun. It's a friendly reminder to Tumblr that the hideous reblog chains they would like to clean up are actually the truest expression of "it's a feature, not a bug." To some, it's the platform's core feature.

To sum: Tumblr is obviously the best social media platform.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.