Odds and Ends 

A Definitive List of the Best #BottleCapChallenge Responses

It all started with a Taekwondo champion in Almaty, Kazakhstan. An expertly executed spinning kick posted on Instagram that resulted in the cap of a water bottle spinning off. With it, a challenge into the social media ether, tagging some of the world’s best known action stars and fighters. View this post on Instagram New Challenge with #farakickschallenge 😉! Sending a challenge @jasonstatham @thenotoriousmma @jcvd @jackiechan . Waiting for you video friends .🥋🔥 â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â € â €…

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Amazon Spark, the retailers two-year-old Instagram competitor, has shut down

Amazon’s two-year-old Instagram competitor, Amazon Spark, is no more. Hoping to capitalize on the social shopping trend and tap into the power of online influencers, Amazon in 2017 launched its own take on Instagram with a shoppable feed of stories and photos aimed at Prime members. The experiment known as Amazon Spark has now come to an end. However, the learnings from Spark and Amazon’s discovery tool Interesting Finds are being blended into a new social-inspired product, #FoundItOnAmazon. Amazon Spark had been a fairly bland service, if truth be told.…

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Banksy Crashes the Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale is recognized as one of the most prestigious art shows in the world. “For some reason I’ve never been invited,” Banksy laments, as he decided this year to set up his own stall anyway, at the famous Piazza San Marco. “Venice in Oi” is an original work by Banksy that features Venice’s famous Gondolas dwarfed by a giant cruise ship. The painting spans over 9 framed canvasses and the video posted on Instagram (embedded below) includes a perfect cut to an actual cruise ship looming behind. View…

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Mejuri raises $23M Series B to serve women buying jewelry for themselves

New Enterprise Associates, the 42-year-old venture capital firm, has invested in the $23 million Series B round for Mejuri, a startup capturing millennial women’s penchant for affordable and treat yo’ self type of jewelry rather than diamonds and precious stones for special occasions. It’s the latest instance of startups drawing investor interest with their direct-to-customer retail model. Based in Toronto and Buenos Aires, four-year-old Mejuri designs, makes and sells jewelry directly to women primarily online in addition to two offline showrooms, bypassing middle-person costs. Besides striving for reasonable prices, Mejuri…

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Instagram hides Like counts in leaked design prototype

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.” That’s how Instagram describes a seemingly small design change test with massive potential impact on users’ well-being. Hiding Like counts could reduce herd mentality, where people just Like what’s already got tons of Likes. It could reduce the sense of competition on Instagram, since users won’t compare their own counts with those of more…

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Mona Lisa Breaks the Internet (A Social Media Short Film)

Over 6 million people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre each year. Many share their visit on social media. Mona Lisa Selfie is a short film by Daniel McKee, and was made using images found on Instagram. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/mona-lisa-breaks-the-internet/

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Headlines 

This underground New York City farm grows rare edible plants for high-end restaurants What’s in the Basement?

Image: Getty Images Where is everyone on Instagram getting these gorgeous plants? Even if you denounce influencer culture, you have to admit that the social validation of a good selfie is intoxicating. Whether you posed in front of the bright pink wall in West Hollywood or embraced your heavenly side with angel wing murals scattered across the United States, the backdrop makes the photo. But if you want to add some depth to your posts (and quality to your life) look into houseplants. Not only do houseplants add color to…

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Dating apps face questions over age checks after report exposes child abuse

The UK government has said it could legislate to require age verification checks on users of dating apps, following an investigation into underage use of dating apps published by the Sunday Times yesterday. The newspaper found It reports that one 13-year-old boy with a profile on the Grindr app was raped or abused by at least 21 men.  The Sunday Times also found 60 further instances of child sex offences related to the use of online dating services — including grooming, kidnapping and violent assault, according to the BBC, which covered the report.…

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Tech platforms called to support public interest research into mental health impacts

The tech industry has been called on to share data with public sector researchers so the mental health and psychosocial impacts of their service on vulnerable users can be better understood, and also to contribute to funding the necessary independent research over the next ten years. The UK’s chief medical officers have made the call in a document setting out advice and guidance for the government about children’s and young people’s screen use. They have also called for the industry to agree a code of conduct around the issue. Concerns…

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Headlines 

Instagram’s direct messaging might be soon available on the web

You could be getting Instagram DMs on your desktop soon.Image: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images There’s no dearth of messaging platforms on the web, but Instagram DMs have likely become a big part of your online life. A prototype, spotted by software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, shows the platform making moves toward making its direct messaging service, Direct, accessible via your browser. SEE ALSO: Instagram’s new donation sticker will make it easy to give money to charities Given how many of our interactions happen on Instagram these days, it makes…

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‘Hair nails’ are the latest trend we hope won’t grow on you

Umbilical cords are not usually part of the traditional manicure experience.  Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule. Russian nail artist Nail Sunny recently shared intricate nail art featuring a detailed chair (with stirrups) and a little woman in a pink hospital gown.  The nail appears to be giving birth. View this post on Instagram @world_record_egg challenge 🥚Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked video post on Instagram 🥚 😂🤙🏽 PLEASE LIKE THIS VIDEO @nail_sunny #NAILSUNNYTUTORIAL p.s. Конечно же мы не могли не отреагировать на событие…

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A story of an online stalker takes a bizarre turn down the deepest of rabbit holes

Buckle up — this Twitter thread is a wild ride.  A serial plagiarist was caught in a lie — really, many lies — after making up a fake story for an Instagram caption, and it shines a light on the harassment women in tech face.    In a now-deleted post, a software developer Tee Medlin — supposed software developer, since who knows what’s true anymore — claimed that a woman who was pictured but not named was stalking him during a tech conference.  SEE ALSO: Self-driving robots and cars deliver…

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This Account Creates Collages of the Travel Photos You See Everywhere

@insta_repeat is doing God’s work. Their profile description sums it up aptly: “Déjà Vu Vibes 🌲 Wander. Roam. Replicate.” The account, which is curiously ‘verified’, makes 3×4 collages of common Instagram travel photos that you probably see clogging your timeline. As standalone images in your feed they can be beautiful, even inspiring (or envy-inducing); but as collages like these it reminds us that: originality is tough, social media isn’t real life, and you’re unique just like everyone else 🙂 Finally, it’s just for fun. Please don’t take this parody account—or…

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Animator Dad Illustrates His Kids Drawings and Everything is Awesome

Last year animator and illustrator Thomas Romain found himself marvelling at one of his son’s drawings. He admired his imagination and figured as an artist himself, maybe he could embellish and build upon his son’s originality. Fast forward to today and Romain has illustrated hundreds of his two sons’ (now aged 9 and 11) fantastic drawings, and the family have amassed a huge online following for their ongoing series of works. Thomas has even launched a YouTube channel and Patreon page that shows how each drawing comes to life. Below…

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