There is plenty of news out there today, and I won’t stop you from reading it, but I’m not gonna help you either. It’s been a thousand news-days since last week’s coup attempt, Maggie Haberman alone has published fourteen stories in the time it took you to read this paragraph, and I need a break. So today we’re looking at what else is going on.
If you ask a shipworm, what’s going on is getting it on. These freaky molluscs not only “jettison sperm and eggs into the open water,” but according to Sabrina Imbler in maybe the hottest paragraph ever written about a bivalve:
[S]hipworms take sex one step further by hoisting up gobs of sperm with one of their siphons and inserting those gobs into the siphons of other neighboring shipworms. This insemination can even be simultaneous, with one shipworm shoehorning its sperm into a second shipworm with one of its siphons, while its other siphon receives a gob of sperm from a different shipworm neighbor.
Also getting it on are Pablo Escobar’s feral hippos, which is not just a statistically improbable phrase, but a real danger to the people and native habitats of Colombia. “Efforts to castrate hippos are not as easy as you would think” claims the dek on Sarah Kaplan’s article, expressing some wild ideas about what I would think. Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai reports that the understandably pseudonymous owners of these hacked internet-connected chastity cages are not getting it on, but in an involuntarily involuntary way that may or may not be distinguishable from the voluntarily involuntary way they wanted to not be getting it on. And finally: is Armie Hammer a cannibal? Look: …no, don’t look.
I Dare You To Find a Through-Line Here: On Monday, Quebec’s 8 P.M. curfew started with someone blasting The Purge siren, which, I agree, “c’est pas drôle, bruh!” We finally held the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil lease auction that has been a culture-war shibboleth for literally my entire life, and no one was interested. The state of Alaska just donated a few million dollars to the federal government for land that is already in Alaska. Yes, these light-up bluetooth gaming dice are $219, but on the other hand, I am stupid and I love them. Sean Hollister wrote a long story for the Verge about a classic CES nonsense product, this $3000 pet door. The story is a ride through the peaks and valleys of invention but by the end I had to wonder: wouldn’t it be way cheaper and smarter to just invent a device that can open and close a regular door? And Media Classifieds ad-network pal Delia Cai wrote yesterday about Nicholson Baker’s NYMag cover story on the Covid lab leak hypothesis, which mostly angered some virologists and science writers and then disappeared into the coup-hole. The story is very readable but fatally flawed, and Delia’s roundup is excellent, do read it.
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Returning to the subject of seamen, the hottest ~v~i~b~e~ of 2021 so far is Sea Shanty TikTok. Collaborating asynchronously using the social app’s duet feature, people are building up incredible shanties one part at a time. It’s one of those things that comes along sometimes and makes you think maybe the internet / humanity isn’t a total loss, so enjoy it.
Today’s Song: “The Wellerman,” by The Longest Johns. Look it’s gonna be stuck in your head for a month too, you might as well bookmark it.
~One day when the tabbin’ is done, we’ll take our leave and go.~
Today in Tabs hopes this has been a breath of fresh air in your stuffy doom bunker. The collapse of America is important but it’s ok to take a break from looking at it. I tweet @fka_tabs and @TodayinTabs if you’d like to follow me on the hellsite.