Sure, this was a week that saw both another Republican Presidential Debate and Beyoncé dressing up as Storm. It was also a week in which Adele’s comeback just decimated everything in its path. (No, really: everything.) But most importantly, it was a week where the world learned about Zola, yeast infections defeated those seeking to limit women’s access to healthcare, and a blimp went AWOL. Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed during the last seven days on the most Inter of nets.

Yeast, Infectious

What Happened: How do you break up a protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic? Introduce the protestors to some health problems the organization deals with.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs

What Really Happened: This one is really best explained just by sharing the above tweet from Portland, Oregon’s Mary Numair, which you might notice has been retweeted almost 6,000 times.

As one of many reports explained, Numair saw the protest outside a local Planned Parenthood clinic starting from her work, quickly made a sign from cardboard found in the dumpster, and went to counter-protest. “In my first 30 seconds of walking out there, I did get called a whore,” she told Slate. “One woman was shaking her head. I knelt down to her kid and said, ‘Do you know about yeast infections?’”

That question became a chant—”I don’t know why I started chanting ‘Yeast infections!’ but it just came out. I have this cold, so it was just this obnoxious squeak, cheerleader-like”—and, soon enough, the PP protest came to an end, because Numair had successfully irritated them into silence.

Of course, this story was quickly shared online, and Numair won all manner of plaudits from social media:

The Takeaway: Even as Numair’s boyfriend tried to put everything in perspective (“In total, Mary protested about 20+ minutes that day. But those 20 minutes are being intellectualized and deconstructed over and over again. It does seem like something really special has happened here”), Numair herself had a simpler take on events:

What Happens in Vegas Ends Up on Twitter

What Happened: A dancer called Zola has redefined what it means to make long-form Twitter truly great.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs, media think pieces

What Really Happened: It’s really difficult to know where to start with this one. Earlier this week, a Twitter account belonging to a former stripper called Zola (or Aziah King, the name currently attached to the account) posted an astounding story that has, sadly, since been deleted but remains available via Storify. Before you go any further, you have to go read it. It’s astonishing.

So astonishing, in fact, that the Internet lost its mind in response.

As more and more people shared the story, Hollywood apparently came sniffing, and Zola teased more … in the right circumstances:

Meanwhile, the whole thing got not one, but two parody accounts, with the first at least attempting to pretend to be Jessica, the “white bitch” from Zola’s tale, before devolving into moral outrage over Zola’s success:

The Takeaway: Was Zola for real? Is the whole story fake? Who can tell? Either way, it was entertaining, engrossing and exactly the kind of thing we expect from “True Crime” tales. If there’s more where this came from, then hell yes, give this woman a book, movie, or TV deal.

Your Rivalry Is… Illogical

What Happened: Captain Kirk fired a few shots off the bow of Star Wars, just to prove what a contrarian he is. Or maybe to troll the entire Internet.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs

What Really Happened: Now that he’s retired from captaining the Enterprise through the galaxy, William Shatner has become a force to be reckoned with on social media, supporting nerd-friendly causes such as the renewal of Constantine or the CW’s Supernatural on Twitter. Which made some of his recent tweets rather surprising.

It was the kind of shade that attracts attention, and the Internet was very happy to assist.

The Takeaway: The thing is, this isn’t even new for Shatner. Look what he did last year when the first Force Awakens trailer was released:

Don’t feed the troll, people. Even if he’s saved the galaxy on countless occasions.


What Happened: SXSW cancels two planned panels, citing threats of violence from Gamergaters, thereby proving that it doesn’t matter how respected and well-established an event can be, it’s really, really easy to shake up its credibility in one fell swoop.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs, media think pieces

What Really Happened: As if making a desperate attempt for publicity—specifically bad publicity, but you know what they say—SXSW announced earlier this week that it had cancelled two panels for next year’s event centering around harassment in the gaming community. “In the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming,” the official statement read. “Preserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful. If people cannot agree, disagree and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised.”

The irony was real—in an attempt to preserve a harassment-free environment, the event had cancelled discussion of harassment—as many pointed out.

As BuzzFeed pulled out of SXSW in response to the cancellations (Vox Media did the same thing)—and others called out the event for its cowardiceSXSW quickly moved to reassure people that it had heard the outcry and was making plans to make up for its earlier decision. Plans like, for example, a possible all-day forum on online harassment.

With panelists for the cancelled panels taking to the Internet to give their side of the story, things began to look even worse for SXSW. “SXSW could have taken our concerns seriously when we first voiced them in August,” Caroline Sinders wrote, echoing what Leigh Alexander had written for WIRED. “I understand security can be hard; I understand wanting to show all sides of an issue and creating a panel that is ‘of the moment.’ But SXSW created a disingenuous and potentially dangerous situation.” The charge that SXSW didn’t really care about taking harassment seriously even before canceling the panels is one that, at time of writing, the event hasn’t responded to.

The Takeaway: The only real question at this point is how SXSW will manage to come back from this, and how long that will take.

Hey You, Up in the Sky, Learning To Fly

What Happened: What would be the worst thing to happen to a blimp built as part of a $2.7 billion program to detect airborne threats above our fine country? Oh, just that it’d get loose and become an airborne threat itself.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter

What Really Happened: Pennsylvanians might have had a Superman moment Wednesday, when they looked up and wondered “Is it a bird? A plane?” No, it was a massive military blimp that had gotten loose of its moorings and started flying rogue throughout the friendly skies. Or had it?

Of course, Twitter was on it:

Sadly, the blimp soon returned to Earth, but that wasn’t the end of the story: Now Congress wants to know how it got loose in the first place, even as authorities struggle to deflate it. This one could run and run.

The Takeaway: Of course, we should use this time to remember those former memes who have similarly captured our limited attention spans.

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While You Were Offline: Boy, That William Shatner. Such a Contrarian!