Hey, it wasn’t all bad.
In the past week, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket successfully took off, landed, and launched Elon Musk’s Tesla into the eternal abyss. Scientists made progress on cracking the secrets of mental illness. And, mercifully, one hero finally figured out what The Shape of Water’s fish dick looked like.
Those are just a few of the spectacular stories that graced the pages of Gizmodo this week. Here’s a quick rundown of the best reads of the last week.
There are a great many things that make Black Panther a Marvel film like no other, but one of the most striking things about it is how thoroughly familiar the world of Wakanda feels. Not in the sense that you’ve seen anything like it before (trust me, you haven’t), but rather that seeing it feels like coming home.
In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.
Thanks to the Internet of Things, I could live in my very own tech-mediated Downton Abbey. That’s the appeal of smart homes for most people, and why they are supposed to be a $27 billion market by 2021. But that wasn’t my primary motivation. The reason I smartened up my house was to find out whether it would betray me.
It was a big day for Aaron Traywick, the idealistic and theatrical young CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, a biotech outfit that aims to cure cancer, herpes, HIV, and aging, while simultaneously battling Big Pharma and regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration. Much of this, Traywick believes, will be accomplished by bold, brave individuals resurrecting the scientific tradition of self-experimentation. So on a Sunday at BodyHacking Con in Austin, Texas—a conference dedicated to do-it-yourself healthcare and bodily augmentation—he planned to stage a performance of curing his own disease. Even among a crowd that included a performance artist with an ear implanted on his arm, a mathematician peddling DIY abortion pills and many with various electronic chips implanted into their hands, Traywick’s vision was extreme.
The 2018 Winter Olympics have descended upon the Earth, and with it will come hundreds of stories of triumph and failure that you need to be able to watch—or at least talk about the next day. Your best friend is about to turn into an ice skating expert, and your brother is going to painstakingly explain the rules of luging to you. The weird winter sports are upon us, and unless you want to spend your days glued to sites like Deadspin, eagerly waiting for the next clip of a guy taking a set of skis to the nards, you’ll need a way of watching these events.
In the past couple years, you could ask a drone to be two things: good or small. But never both. The Mavic Air changes the game. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the Mavic Air wins the game, and things will never be the same.
Do you remember when everyone thought the arrival of the iPad heralded the demise of E Ink-based devices? Even yours truly far prefers the experience of reading books on the bright, full-color LCD display of the iPad Mini. Consequently I’ve spent a lot of time questioning the need for e-ink devices like Amazon Kindle or anything created by E Ink, the primary producer or e-ink displays. But at CES last month I had an abrupt change of heart. It was there I was able to try out the reMarkable tablet for the first time, and after playing with it for a few minutes, I was excited at the thought of finally being able to go completely paperless; no more notebooks, no more misplaced scraps of paper, and no more sticky notes. I immediately begged them to loan me a unit to review, and after nearly two weeks with it I’m still in love—even if I know this thing has big problems.
A $500 PC and an AI Did a Way Better Job Erasing Henry Cavill’s Justice League Mustache Than Expensive VFX
There’s a long list of things wrong with the Justice League movie, not the least of which being the hasty and poorly-executed digital removal of Henry Cavill’s mustache that he couldn’t shave during the film’s reshoots. But not to worry, some random dude on the internet with a $500 used PC and a world-changing AI just fixed at least one part of that film.
It’s cutting it pretty close considering the actual movie’s out in three months, but we finally have our first look(s!) at Solo: A Star Wars Story. And while we still have a lot of questions about what the movie will show us, here are all the clues about the life of the young Han Solo, the seedy world he finds himself in, and the adventures that shaped him into the galaxy’s most lovable scoundrel.
Tuesday’s SpaceX launch was spectacular, making the Falcon Heavy the most powerful rocket in the world and wowing us with the synchronized landings of the side boosters. Yadda yadda, historic space stuff. But the payload was Musk’s own Tesla roadster with a spacesuit-wearing dummy in the driver’s seat.
So we wondered, if we were somehow able to bring the car back from space, would it still work?
There’s no shortage of steamy scenes in Guillermo Del Toro’s brave defense of interspecies romance, The Shape of Water, and our colleagues at Jezebel even debated whether or not the fish man is fuckable. Despite all this, I was shocked to discover that there’s very little erotic The Shape of Water fanart that might clear up the question everyone who’s seen the film has wondered at least once: What’s up with the fish dick?
In June, dental students and a University of Connecticut orthodontics professor took a selfie with severed cadaver heads during a medical training workshop at Yale which, according to the Associated Press, “focused on dental-related facial deformities.” The wire broke the story on Monday but declined to publish the photo because the person who took it “would not give the AP permission to publish it for fear of being expelled.” Gizmodo has obtained the selfie, which was allegedly posted in a WhatsApp group.
Halfway through a contentious trial, Waymo settled its high-profile lawsuit against Uber in a deal that gives Google’s parent company Alphabet $245 million in Uber equity—a slightly larger stake than Google already has—and allows Waymo to keep tabs on Uber’s self-driving car program.
It’s a crazy twist that lets both companies off the hook and leaves no clear winner in a case that was supposed to determine who would end up dominating the self-driving car market. Since the jury never got to weigh in, here’s our definitive Waymo v. Uber power ranking (in order of least embarrassed to most owned).
Sexual harassment and discrimination have plagued women and people of color in Silicon Valley for years, but for many outside the bubble, they came as a shock. That’s because many of the individuals who spoke out had been legally prevented from taking their employers to court due to a clause in their employment contract known as a forced-arbitration agreement.
So we reached out to ten leading technology companies—Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX, Verizon, Uber, and Lyft—and asked several times over the course of a few months for comment on whether they have ever required any employees to sign forced-arbitration agreements for sexual harassment claims, if they’ve eliminated such claims, and if not, if they planned to.