Facebook’s Manifesto, Aquarius’s New Friends, and Straw 2.0, All This & More In The Weekly Spread!

The scientific discoveries this week are LITERALLY out of this world! Seven earth-sized planets have been discovered in the constellation Aquarius, only about 40 light years away from us. The planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1. They are slightly smaller than Earth, although unfortunately not small enough to call them the Seven Dwarf Planets. Of the seven planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, three exist within habitable zones; making them pretty good contenders for an evolution of life. The name “TRAPPIST” comes from the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope that aided the discovery of this star and its planets by showing areas in which the light from a star is dimmed by a planet passing between it and earth.

Check here for a VR video from NASA of the rocky TRAPPIST terrains, or for some Twitter jokes about this new back-up solar system.

Speaking of space, the TRAPPIST discovery comes at a time when ambitions of developments in space are already running high. The United Arab Emirates have a vision of building a brand new city, on Mars. Granted, they’ve given themselves a century to complete this so called “Mars 2117” project. But, hey, if you can build a rotating skyscraper, then who are we to rain on your parade. We better all start learning how to drive a hovercraft.

Apple has it’s own little space park in the works as well. The company’s newest campus in Cupertino, California opens this April. Designed to resemble a large space ship, the new site features a ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot building clad in glass (with a 20-foot-tall, 165-foot diameter glass cylinder with a "metallic carbon-fiber" roof entrance, of course) as well as a large auditorium and theater to be named after the late founder of the company. And what’s even more exciting, a small portion of this fancy architectural feat will be open to the public. Beam us up!

Instagram has rolled out a new “albums” feature. The popular photo app just introduced the feature that will allow users to attach up to 10 photos or videos to a single post. So to everyone who has a hard enough time keeping track of the current volume of their Insta feed: sorry, but Instagram has now given everyone free license to bombard you with even more selfies and cat pics. But on the other hand, this is great news for anyone who has experienced the agonizing decision of which beautiful selfie to post (different angles, different filters - there are just so many variations!) - now you can just post them all!

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has just published a 6,000 word manifesto about the future of Facebook, and of the world. After a messy year in politics and in media, the Facebook CEO responds to many of the challenges that the social media company has faced, issues of sensationalism and ‘fake news’, and the responsibility of social communities and media on and offline. Although people are still trying to parse through the manifesto, it seems that it sends a clear and perhaps ambitious message about what it is that Facebook is trying to do in its national and global roles, as a giant in the world of social media. Some are even saying that the manifesto seems to be laying the groundwork a political career, Mark Zuckerberg for Prez? Hmm.

The Oscars are this coming Sunday, and everyone is gearing up for the show - from predictions of who will win big (Hollywood favorite La La Land), to convictions of who and what really should win (please not La La Land), to speculations of Hollywood political stands (Literally anything but La La Land! It’s overrated!). Check back with us next week to talk about what goes down at the Oscars ceremony, and meanwhile you can follow along to see if Seth Meyers really has this year’s Oscars all figured out.

Also in preparation for the Oscars, a Los Angeles street artist known as ‘Plastic Jesus’ has revealed his latest work in the streets of LA: a life-size ‘crucified’ Oscar statue with the head of Kanye West and a pair of Yeezy brand shoes on his feet, atop a plaque that reads “False Idol”.  A perfect mix of art and social commentary, or a shock piece for public attention, like most things in Hollywood the piece has garnered polarizing responses. Editor’s note: One more time for the cheap seats, anything but La La Land!

Taking his seat as the king of hip hop, Sean “Diddy” Combs has become hip hop’s first official billionaire. Born in Harlem, Diddy laments that when he was young he couldn’t even get a job as a waiter.  Soon after, Diddy established his legendary record label Bad Boy Entertainment and signed The Notorious B.I.G. Following the tragic murder of The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy (then Puff Daddy) produced his first vocal album, “No Way Out”. What followed was an illustrious career that has since propelled the hip hop mogul into the Billionaire’s Club, making him one of 12 African Americans to hit this milestone. Turns out it really is all about the Benjamins.

McDonald's has heard our suction prayers and has responded with a true gift from the Golden Arches above. McDonald’s has redesigned the straw. The chain’s new STRAW, which stands for Suction Tube for Reversal Axial Withdrawal, comes packaged in it’s own specially designed box inspired by Apple. The STRAW was invented to help consumers drink their Shamrock Shakes with the ideal portion of chocolate and mint. If you desperately need this in your life (and who doesn’t), act fast! McDonald’s has only made 2,000 models that are only available in 12 states. Hopefully this is just the start of technological wonders to come! What could be next, a brush that coats the ideal amount of BBQ on a chicken nugget, a glove that keeps your burger warm while you eat it, the sky's the limit!

The Meme of the Month (Yes, that’s a thing), has been announced! Introducing Trash Dove. Trash Dove originates from a Facebook sticker set that launched earlier in the year. Typically posted in the comment section of Facebook posts and blogs, the only thing I know for certain is that my friend’s 10 year old kid will tell me I’m using it wrong.

In international badass news, France is training eagles to fight drones. The idea came about after several drones were flown over the French capital building. Realizing they needed a way to protect from spy cameras and bombs, France decided the best course of action was to raise eagles from birth to seek-and-destroy these unmanned aircrafts!  We for one can’t wait to see the Go-Pro footage that comes from these aerial assaults.

In closing, we send you off into your weekend with this adorable viral video of a baby panda who just wants to hang out and cuddle.