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Songbird Stories: The Rest from the Nest of Social Media


March creeps into April, the last dregs of chocolate egg worm their way out of our collective digestive systems and the world continues to spin. We didn't manage to get away without yet another famous person dying, this time it was actor Erik Bauersfeld, who voiced Admiral Ackbar and Bib Fortuna in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Meanwhile, there was your standard serving of political scandal, sporting upsets and all the other things you pretend to care about whilst trying to relocate that video of stoned people meeting a sloth. Well, I could post the link here, but then you'd just click it and angle around all the social media news from the week that I need to round up. As such, I've hidden the link somewhere in this article, but you'll need to get to the bottom to find out where it is. Good luck.

Ambridge Murder Breaks Twitter




With over 17,850 episodes to date (!?), The Archers is  the longest-running radio drama of all time. It started out in life as an educational program about farming with enough drama mixed in to keep the wheels turning, but over the years it's become more of a contemporary drama that just happens to be set on a farm. Most of the time though, people just do farm things, and have the odd heated discussion from time to time. Last week though, somebody got murdered

For months, an uncharacteristically unsettling subplot about domestic abuse had been unfolding, until finally Helen, the abused, tormented wife, stabbed her husband Rob in front of their young son. The reaction was so massive that it was dubbed 'The Day The Archers Broke Twitter' by Tory councilor Holly Mumby-Croft. Many famous people were involved in the ensuing uproar, providing a timely reminder that half the houses in the country probably have the show flickering away in the background most of the time.


American Reddit Users Lose Their Minds Over Mr. Blobby

Coming from the Live & Kicking/Dick & Dom/Zig & Zag generation, I'm pretty familiar with Mr. Blobby, I even went to 'Dunblobbin'', his stately home in Crinkley Bottom, the theme park in Somerset which was based on Noel's House Party. Said park was abandoned in 1999 and is now seemingly one of the most terrifying places in the country. Some things made the jump across the Atlantic, but Mr. Blobby was not one of them, as evidenced by the way a lot of Americans reacted when he appeared on Reddit.

It was a YouTube Clip of his recent appearance in The Big Fat Quiz of the 90s what did it, and before long American users were freaking out. You can understand why, he's a weird looking thing, and the noises he makes are markedly unsettling. The reaction quickly built beyond the initial thread and spread across the site like pink, googly-eyed wildfire. Some of the observations were pretty apt, but this was my favourite:

"He was like if a puppy's brain was put into the body of a a blancmange looking humanoid and he'd come on and ignore the personal space of various celebs." - IntelligentIdiot 

Tom Daley Asked Twitter for Creative Advice. Twitter Did What Twitter Does. 




It astounds me that people still ask Twitter to help edit photos for them, or do any other kind of creative work. Sure, not everyone is deserving of the same treatment as the people who ask to have specific people cut out of group shots, or the sun moved in the sky so it looks like they're pinching it, but Twitter takes no prisoners, I feel like we should all be on the same page about that by now.



Tom Daley clearly wasn't, as on Friday (which was also April 1st, another fact seemingly lost on him), he asked Twitter users to take an image of him and 'personalise' it, as a kind of impromptu competition. 7 minutes after the post the first image appeared, emblazoned with nothing but a stern warning - "THIS MIGHT NOT BE A GOOD IDEA TOM".



It was too late by then, and the floodgates opened. Suffice to say, I don't think Tom got exactly what he was looking for. He did eventually pick a top 3, 2 of them were disappointingly non-jocular, but he did give the silver medal to the above 'Divey McDiveface' picture, so I guess he has a sense of humor? Jury's still out.


Internet Dazzled by Powerpuff Girls Avatar Maker 



Avatar making tools are absolutely everywhere, and most of them are rubbish, regardless of what the theme might be. There are about 50 different Simpsons ones, and not one of them comes close to recreating the style of the actual show. If you want that, you have to actually commission one of the artists to draw you, but that would make you a smarmy prick, and you're not a smarmy prick, are you? Anyway, moving on. 

Perhaps owing to a combination of good design and burgeoning 90s nostalgia, a new one based on Cartoon Network's landmark show Powerpuff Girls seems to have broken the chain. It's actually a piece of official promotional material, since the show is making a comeback, 11 years after first being taken off the air. For many, the appeal seems to have come from trying to recreate famous people, rather than themselves, which is why you can see in the image above that it's not me, but instead my effort to transport Prince into the Powerpuff world. 


Australian Author Adopts a Dog in Skyrim, Unfolds Dramatic Narrative on Twitter


Anyone who has played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or any other RPG produced by Bethesda will tell you that half the game's appeal is way your own personal story unfolds while you're exploring the world doing this and that. For writer Patrick Lenton, it all started when he found a dog whose owner had died. He swiftly adopted the dog, and any previous objectives soon fell by the wayside as he fought to protect the dog from harm.

It didn't end there though. A narrative almost as epic as the one which guides the actual game unfolds, as Patrick (who plays as a female Khajit mage, or as he calls her, a 'lady cat-wizard') protects the dog from dragons, before deciding to build a house for the dog to settle down in. He has to adopt a child first, though, which culminates in him building two houses, becoming the thane of Falkreath and marrying another 'cat lady'. It gets even more manic from there, and you can read the full story here, but warm up some popcorn first.


Iskra Lawrence Brilliantly Demonstrates How to Deal with Instagram Body-Shamers

A photo posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on


Iskra Lawrence is one of the most followed models on Instagram. She made the news a while back when, having been dumped by her agency for being too big, but unable to find work as a plus size for being too small, Aerie picked her contract up, because they aren't jerks. She became the chief ambassador of Aerie's wildly successful campaign against airbrushing and unrealistic standards, which makes it doubly ironic that some tool saw an image of her on Instagram and attacked her for "eating too many bags of crisps".

A video posted by 🌙iskra✨ (@iamiskra) on


Not one to be perturbed by such behaviour, Iskra posted a new image, which you can see above, which quoted the comment and thanked him for the inspirational words. This first image was followed by a slow motion video, again above, in which she eats a crisp and then flips him the bird (fair warning, if that kind of thing is liable to upset you).


SwiftKey Unveil 'Shakespeak' Shakespeare Keyboard App

BuzzFeed
SwiftKey are the makers of one of the most popular predictive text keyboards on the market, and they also developed a keyboard which non-verbal learning disabled users can use, so it's fair to say they're probably pretty nice people. This latest app is liable to annoy people, though. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of The Bard's death, they've released Shakespeak, a key board which, based on a starting or key word, can suggest and auto-complete Shakespearean phrases for you

Fun, right? Well, yes, to start with, until you've annoyed basically everyone you know with a barrage of why bastards, wherefore bases, minds full of scorpions, ills met by moonlight, and so forth. If you're studying one of his works for an essay or an exam, however, I can see how it would come in handy.


Elderly Chinese Woman Spotted Praying to a Character From League of Legends

Kotaku
The modern world confuses me, and I'm 25, so I can't imagine how it must be for people twice, or even 3 times my age. People living a more traditional lifestyle likely have an even harder time understand what the hell is going on, which would go some way to explaining why an elderly woman was spotted praying and making offerings to a character from a video game. Images emerged on Weibo of her laying incense and praying to a statue of Garen from the hugely popular MOBA League of Legends outside an internet cafe.

The theory goes that she had mistaken the character for Guan Yu, an ancient general who has since ascended to deity status in many parts of China. It's quite sad, in a way, and many have pointed out that it's a kind of melancholic illustration of the way the world is moving, but social media being what it is, many others ridiculed her. Who knows, though? She might have known exactly what she was doing, the LoL community is as massive as it is dedicated, a little prayer now and then might not be that uncommon if you're chasing ranks.


Well, you got this far, congratulations. The 'stoned sloth' video is linked to the third word in the sentence after the second mention of feline females, so if you just scrolled to the bottom, sorry, but you'll just have to go back and read through until you find out what I'm referring to. Mwah ha ha ha. 



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum


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Songbird Stories: The Rest from the Nest of Social Media Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, April 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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