Halos & Horns: A look back at the good, the bad, and the dead of 2017
Dec26

Halos & Horns: A look back at the good, the bad, and the dead of 2017

It’s Halos and Horns with a side of hashtags this year. While President Donald Trump was busy tweeting from the White House throughout 2017 (we gave him his own whole article), the rest of the world had their own Twitter responses, many of which inspired the Advocate’s yearly doling out of halos to the good and horns to the bad. So we took that # symbol and made glowing, yellow-ringed hashtag halos and stretched red hashtag horns....

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Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune
Dec11

Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune

For more than 40 years, Mumtaz Begum has been reading the fortunes of visitors from within the cage of a Pakistani zoo. With a body of a fox and a head of a woman, Begum is one of the oddest attractions at the zoo. However, the fortune teller is actually played by performer Murad Ali, who inherited the role from his father. Every day, Ali cakes his face with a thick layer of makeup and bright red lipstick, and then crawls into a box...

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Bizarro Briefs: Quench Your Thirst With Celery
Dec04

Bizarro Briefs: Quench Your Thirst With Celery

Celery isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a flavor of soft drink, but surprisingly it was one of the first. In 1869, Dr. Brown (Is that you, Doc?!) founded the Cel-Ray soda company. The good doctor made tonics intended to alleviate bowel and stomach discomforts and decided to make a tonic made from sugar, carbonated water, and crushed celery speeds. Dr. Brown’s tonic was renamed Cel-Ray in the early 1900s and...

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Courtesy, Melted Ice Cream, and Conspiracy Theories: Out on the Street in a Power Outage
Nov15

Courtesy, Melted Ice Cream, and Conspiracy Theories: Out on the Street in a Power Outage

In front of Northampton Market, employee Rilshad Azez shoos away potential customers as they pull into the lot. “No power,” he says. The mailman he welcomes, but he asks a question: “You didn’t bring the power?” “Sorry, not today,” is the answer. As Azez enjoys a cigarette, he watches cars at the intersection in front of the store go by. The traffic light is out, but the cars are moving...

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Bizarro Briefs: Sunscreen Snow and Robot Horror Stories

The fear of robots and artificial intelligence taking away your job and your livelihood just got real, folks. A new AI bot created by Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology writes it’s own horror stories. The bot, “Shelley’, named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, has been trained on more than 140,000 horror stories posted on Reddit. Every hour, the AI starts a new story on Twitter and others are encouraged...

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