LazyTruth, the GMail Widget That May Save Your Family

Thanksgiving is a week away, which means the start of the holiday season is just around the corner, and with it come the inevitable swath of heated, drunken political rants from the uncles you rarely see and—even worse—the email forwards. Did you know the Democrats are waging a literal war on Christmas? Or that when you take off his face, you see that Obama is actually a giant praying mantis from outer space? Or not to drink Fanta because it was invented by the Nazis and by drinking your gross orange soda you’re basically promoting a fascist America? Or that Obama is a Secret Muslim? Of course he is, you already knew that, because you saw the last forward Uncle Frank sent you, right? Or the one before that? 

Before you have to endure another deluge of cringe-inducing, fact-devoid email forwards and even worse dinner chatter, Matt Stempeck and the team at the MIT Media Lab may have just the thing to save you and your family and bring everyone a little bit closer together, or at least make interactions more bearable. LazyTruth is a Google Chrome extension that automatically scans your emails for bad information (e.g. conspiracy-theory chain letters), as cleared by FactCheck and PolitiFact. The widget actually posts the correct information along with the crazy email, so you get the facts delivered alongside the blather. Stempeck told The Atlantic that they’re looking into adding a reply option, which sends the fact-checking to the crazy relative or acquaintance doing the sending. And we could all benefit from a little education. 

From the looks of things, Stempeck isn’t doing this because of a bad holiday dinner, although he assumes most of the downloads will come from those who have grown weary of relatives’ emails. He wants to get to the bottom of how misinformation is kept alive, spread and recontextualized, even in the age of so, so many spam blockers and tools to the most basic of online research. 

“Some of these emails, they’ll get updated for different nations and context,” Stempeck told the Nieman Lab. “I would also love to do some network analysis of how these things spread, how many people need to forward them for them to stay alive, and how many people actually forward them versus people that don’t? Is it like spam, where .001 percent is enough to keep it alive?”

So click away, and arm yourself for that next feast or forward. Maybe Stempeck will follow up with a plugin that news websites / YouTube / various forms of social media can use to scan for similar misinformation and conspiracy-spreading in their comments sections. Wouldn’t that be the greatest gift of them all? 

“Never Sleep Alone” Hooks People Up: We’ve Got the Transcripts to Prove It

When a show is created that is designed to hook you up, you better believe it delivers. Need some evidence? At Never Sleep Alone, patrons are given an email address and phone number to call and report their post-show and after-party hook-ups. Here, we’ve provided the scandalous, real-life transcripts of all the triumphs.

Just to re-cap: Never Sleep Alone is The New York Times-acclaimed show led by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller. The Dr. dispenses advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, performs some sex-infused pop songs, and encourages mingling (and occasionally on-stage makeouts) between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid, you can just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold. Performances are at Joe’s Pub every Friday this month at 11:30pm. This Friday, March 16th is the next one – and only three shows are left, so get your tickets now – they sell out quickly. Each ticket includes free access to NSA’s after-party, which is at a different location every time, and is always-secret and sexy. This Friday’s will be at a very exclusive downtown hotel… come to the show to find out where.
 
Now, onto the testimonies: 

Hi, my name is ___.  I was just calling to report what happened after the Valentine’s Day show. I decided to stay at the after-party by myself because my girlfriends were all going to work in the morning and wanted to go back home. And so, getting into the mood of the show, I decided to hang out. I ended up meeting this amazingly smoking-hot Brazilian. He took me to a late-night restaurant/lounge that served food, and after a couple of martinis, we started making out like crazy. I went back to his apartment, and the rest was history. I have to say: it was one of the most memorable nights I’ve had in a long time. God, super amazing. Just thought I would call and let you know your advice clearly works. Thanks, Dr.

WHERE did that guy ___ come from? Is he some hustler you hired, and did you put something on our champagne because, I swear to God, it was the best random hookup OF MY LIFE. Love you so much!

I am reporting TWO hook ups from Friday night: one at the show, where I kissed a girl by the coat check, and another at the after-party where I did more than a kiss 😉 I don’t have to call her, do I, Doctor? Just joking. I do want to and will see her for dinner this week, but if it doesn’t work out… I want the Doctor!

Hey Dr. Alex. The show was phantastic.  We laughed our butts off and ___ wants you to know that she did not sleep alone. She was very good at being mysterious with the guys you showed to her at after-party spot Pravda and he was thrilled with your program, too. Thanks again, I’m telling EVERYONE.

I had a fantastic time on Friday night. I had to call and say thanks.  I made about with the guy you brought on stage. After the after-party, we went to Blue Ribbon for oysters, he bought, and we did not sleep alone. What a time. I really may see him again. Thanks, Dr. Excellent time. Thank you.

Feel silly doing this, but I figure I owe it to you, Dr. I went to the Valentine’s Day show and had a really good time time. I’m 32 and work a professional job and I was just in a relationship for a while – seven years – kind of had a rough break-up.  But my buddy was like, “You gotta check out this NSA thing,” and I went and met this really fun girl that you had actually pulled on the stage, and ended up sleeping not alone ; she actually came back to my place and stayed for the next 48 hours! So, I guess I’m back in the dating scene. This is a lot of fun, and I’ve been telling everyone to check it out.

Hey, this is ___; you were just telling my friend and I to contact you if we hook up, and thanked us “’for being so handsome” (which was very kind of you but we don’t believe a word of it, heh-heh). Anyway, you were a very gracious hostess and even introduced us to two women we’re meeting for brunch on Sunday, so, cheers! 

Hi, Dr. Alex. It’s Jake. Loved meeting you last night and thanks for the good advice. I did what you said and told the girl directly that, “I want to take you to dinner tomorrow night. Would you prefer sushi or Italian?” and she laughed but said yes, so now I have to cancel on my cockblocker friend. 

Do you have a post-NSA hook-up to report? Call 917-830-3672 or email NSAshow@gmail.com.