See? Life before the Internet was creepy, too.
See? Life before the Internet was creepy, too.

These men's swingers ads from the '60s are horrifying

Retronaut is the time capsule of the Internet that shows us what life was like before we were born. Starting from the early 15th century and spanning over 400 years of history, Retronaut showcases photographs of some the strangest aspects of yesteryear.

By far, one of the most peculiar set of photos is a collection of men's swinger ads from the '60s. Each one of these guys looks like they belong on a sex offender mega-list.

Easily the most unsettling use of the phrase: "willing to learn."

The guy on the left looks like the catatonic love child of Paul Simon and Matthew McConaughey. The guy on the right is wearing a belt made out of people.

"Married, wife doesn't swing. No inhibitions. Discretion necessary. Photo necessary." Nobody will ever believe you.

The author (left) with his late brother.
The author (left) with his late brother.

My pain, your problems

July 5 marked the two-year anniversary of my brother’s death. Two years I’ve spent without my best friend by my side watching TV and eating fast food. It’s awful, but I’ll always think of it as the turning point in my life and the tragedy that made me who I am today.

I’m fine nowadays. Fine enough, at least.

I have a steady job with a good salary, a nice apartment, great friends, and a wonderful girlfriend. Except for the massive brother-shaped elephant in the room that arises every single time I’m asked about my siblings, my pain doesn’t usually show itself in social situations.

However, it seems I’ve lost almost every bit of empathy for other people’s problems. So, there’s that. I think of it like this: my arm got chopped off and everyone around me is bummed about a paper cut on their fingers. I sympathize, but I don’t care.

Take, for example, a close friend who recently broke up with his girlfriend. He and I have spent hours together talking about his pain. His broken heart, his hurt feelings, his desire for comfort. I understood and I told him everything would be OK – I wanted to care, but I couldn’t. Life after the death of a loved one is a life that’s permanently tainted. I try not to be pessimistic about it; in fact, I still find joys in many activities. I love the beach, I love my friends, I love my girlfriend, but my view on the world has zoomed out.

I used to live in a world where I found myself pruning the leaves of a broken branch, and now all around me is a lush forest of noise. I cannot – will not – get wrapped up in small problems anymore. It’s unfair, too. There are people out there whose pain is worse than mine. Pain I’ll never understand and pain they’ll never understand. They think the worst thing on earth is to be dumped and I know that it simply isn’t. I’m selfish with my pain and I’m aware of it – in fact, I’m trying my hardest to not come off as an unfeeling robot; I know there’s always a light at the end of t…

Read more...
Somehow, the people who created Yo raised $1.2 million.
Somehow, the people who created Yo raised $1.2 million.

Yo app will destroy us all

I spent a week on Yo, yo-ing to all the friends of mine who'd downloaded the app. Both of them. Here's how to use it: download, choose a user name, sign in, enter your phone number, wait for Yo to message you a code (no, the message isn't "Yo," much to my dismay), enter the code, find your friends, add your friends, and send them yo. Got all that? Cool.

So I sent "yo" to a friend and got one "yo" back. The conversation sort of ended there. I sent another Yo, but was met with silence. In the five days I used Yo, I got one "yo" back. I requested a dozen other of my friends get "Yo," but none would bite. What's up with that, yo?

Frankly though, if they had, I can't foresee why I would have even kept going. It's pointless and, really, takes about as much time to send an actual text with the word "Yo" in it. I admit that I understand its appeal, at least initially. 'Hey', you're saying to a friend, I'm thinking of you; are you thinking of me? (Hopefully they'd "Yo" you back, in that case.) But here we are, well, "we" being professionals in our 20s and 30s, and "Yo" just doesn't quite cut it. It's like a Snapchat without any of the context, creativity or clarity. I can't screen-shot a Yo, I can't (or won't) huddle around the phone with my in-person friends when one comes in because, well, we know exactly what the hell it's going to be. Yo is, to me, a very anti-social app and not a shareable one. I am not compelled to share a "Yo."

Yes, I subscribe to the "never call me unless you're on fire and need immediate assistance and I'm the only one who can help, please text me instead" rule, because phone calls are outrageously personal to me and borderline obnoxious, but this is too minimalist, too unclear and too useless. That's it. This is useless. Yo is useless.

A bunch of college kids hacked YO only days ago -- so is this be the beginning, or the end? Guess we'll see.

Read more...