It's party season. In fact, we have our office shindig tonight, and maybe you're attending a holiday fete of your own.
At the minimum, you avoid devolving into a sloppy drunken mess. Best case scenario, you actually come across as clever and well-informed. Here are your talking points for the week.
Did you hear someone stole an entire driveway in Florida?
Summary: A woman came home from the day and felt a huge bump when she was pulling into what once was her driveway. While she was out, two guys had taken out her 300 square-foot driveway brick by brick.
Your opinion: Of course this would happen in Florida. Plus, that neighborhood was swanky. If you're going to steal a driveway, you could do worse.
Most surprising fact: Florida still considered a part of the U.S.
Do you know that the NYPD busted a Brooklyn gang using...Facebook?
Summary: Members of Bushwick's TBO Gang (True Bosses Only aka Team Bang Out) stupidly accepted friend requests of fake accounts made by officers. The police saw the accused bragging about their crimes, which were then cross-referenced with police reports.
Your opinion: This is the ultimate overshare.
Most surprising fact: You'd think even the world's dumbest criminals would have figured out Facebook by now.
Time Magazine's readers' Person of the Year is Kim Jong Un—thanks to 4Chan.
Summary: The group bombarded Time with votes to give North Korea's Supreme Leader the annual title. The manipulation of the ranking caused the first letters in the other important people's names to spell out the ever-so-classy KJU GAS CHAMBERS.
Your opinion: Well-played, 4Chan.
Most surprising fact: 4Chan pulled the same con on Time, in 2009, to make Christopher Poole (aka moot) Person of the Year.
Did you hear a woman was caught trying to smuggle cocaine inside her breasts?
Summary: She was traveling from Bogotá, Colombia to Barcelona, and failed to answer questions convincingly at security. So she was strip searched, and boom! Three pounds of cocaine hidden inside her breasts.
Your opinion: Must have been the most expensive, worst-looking boob job ever.
Most surprising fact: The bags of blow were inserted inside of her without any stitches—they were just covered by bloody bandages. Ew.
Did you know scientists created a fish with legs?
Summary: An experiment recreated the evolutionary point at which fish got limbs. The scientists did it by isolating the part of the gene cluster that governs shape growth (aka morphogenesis) in multicellular organisms. They manipulated this HOXD12 cluster, sending the cue for the fish to grow legs.
Your opinion: Whoa.
Most surprising fact: Scientists believe that they've recreated the genetic mutation that gave fish legs in the first place—a change that eventually led to homo sapiens today.