eSports Are Here
LeBron James, Odell Beckham, Megan Rapinoe … German twisty finger sensation Kuro Takhasomi. What do they  have in common? They’re now all part of organizations scouted by big brands to ink shoe deals. In late July, K-Swiss became the first major athletic brand to tap eSports by bringing in official “gaming shoes.” Between that and the Luxor in Las Vegas building an impressive gaming complex, it’s fair to say the sport is officially mainstream. 

Fabric That Morphs
Researchers at the University of Maryland are on some futuristic shit right now. The team there says it has created the world’s first adaptive fabric, or basically, clothes that alter form depending on the environment. If you’re cold, small nano-tubes in the fibers constrict to keep heat in. When you’re hot, they open up to release heat and humidity. Damn.

Charcuterie as a Career
Parents in 1980: “When you grow up you’re going to be a doctor, lawyer or manager. Choose wisely.” Parents in 2019: “You’re a freaking charcuterie board influencer and make how gosh dang much!?” Yes, times are changing and that title is a real thing — a few Instagram accounts are out there making serious coin doing so. More meaningless choices in life? Always a win.


Flamethrowers on Drones(?!)
Throwflame is a company specializing in equipment that shoots impenetrable balls of hot, hot fire. And the geniuses over there in Ohio weren’t happy with simply strapping on backpacks of fuel to a human’s back — which is why drone flamethrowers on a consumer level now exist for just under $2,000. What could go wrong? Everything. Literally everything could go wrong here.

Love Island is the Future
Self-care Tip #69: Don’t watch this show. Just don’t. The fallout from its format, however (where viewers get to chime in on what happens via smartphone apps), can’t be denied. Future television will 100 percent test “choose your own adventure” type shows ad nauseam until one of them sticks. But yeah, Love Island itself is specifically trash. 


Faker Celebrities
During a livestream on the popular Chinese social site DouYu, host Your Highness Qiaobiluo accidentally revealed she was a 58-year-old woman, and not the younger, smaller version viewers actually watched. It happened when a video beauty filter glitched mid-stream to the shock of everyone, even her remote co-host. Can celebrities get any more fake? Yes. The answer is yes.

The Power of Tech
Love the turtle, hate the turtle, it matters not. Twitter locking the account of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month for posting threats (threats made to them) is a frightening dystopian sign. At the same time, #MassacreMitch (a hashtag in clear violation of the rules), trended for some time. Twitter had no comment. Yeah, social media has a clear role in politics, though allowing some pimply wiz kid in a room with no windows to choose who has a voice isn’t the way.

Chernobyl Vodka
Blame Netflix, blame HBO, blame ourselves. What the world probably didn’t need was vodka made from both grains and water taken from the still radioactive Chernobyl exclusion zone. Yet here we are. Dubbed Atomik grain spirit, the “artisan vodka” hopes to be a selling point in supporting surrounding communities. Shots? You go first.