You know things have been busy when Republican presidential debates spark furor about fictional videos and create musical memes, and yet they still seem somewhat less important than everything else that’s going on across the internet. How did this happen? That’s a very good question, but chances are the answer has something to do with the following selections of recommended reading.

14-year-old Ahmed Ahmed Mohamed is greeted by a supporter during a news conference on September 16, 2015 in Irving, Texas. 14-year-old Ahmed Ahmed Mohamed is greeted by a supporter during a news conference on September 16, 2015 in Irving, Texas. Ben Torres/Getty Images


What Happened: A 14-year-old kid in Texas brought a clock he’d built to school to show teachers, only to end up arrested when those teachers mistook it for a bomb.

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

What Really Happened: It’s almost definite that you’ve heard about Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old student who was arrested by authorities in Irving, Texas on suspicion of building a bomb, when all he’s actually done was make a digital clock. The arrest happened on Monday, and on Tuesday, the story reached the Internet.

What followed was a groundswell of support on social media for Mohamed, with support coming in the form of a swiftly-trending hashtag #IStandWithAhmed—a phrase soon adopted for the name of Ahmed’s own Twitter account—and an impressive list of celebrities lining up to praise his work, and his response to events:

Tech companies expressed support … and interest:

On Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that “the future belongs to people like Ahmed,” and invited him to the Facebook offices. Apple’s Steve Wozinak, meanwhile remembered his own high school days before suggesting that “even if he got into no school, [Ahmed’s] talent would blossom,” adding, “he is a modern day hero to ones like myself.”

Even the President got in on the act:

Ahmed accepted the invitation, of course. Because, come on.

The Takeaway: It’s kind of wonderful when something that starts out so horribly ends up becoming almost inspirational, isn’t it? No, you’re tearing up!

Oh, and also:

Never Upset a Medical Professional

What Happened: Following their commentary on a Miss America contestant, the hosts of ABC’s daytime talk show The View came under fire for disrespecting nurses.

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

What Really Happened: During the Miss America 2016 pageant in Atlantic City last weekend, Kelley Johnson (Miss Colorado to her friends) gave a monologue about her career as a nurse. So far, so Miss America, right? On the following Monday’s episode of The View, however, host Joy Behar asked “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope around her neck?” while another host, Michelle Collins, described her monologue as “basically [reading] her emails out loud.” Guess how those comments went down?

Behar and Collins both apologized for their comments on the show Wednesday, as well as on Twitter—

—but it didn’t come soon enough to prevent Johnson & Johnson and Eggland’s Best from pulling advertising from the show in support of the nursing community.

The Takeaway: Previously, we’d always followed the rule “never upset a medical professional” purely out of self-preservation—they are, after all, the people who can make life much worse for you when you’re sick—but now it seems that it’s a rule that should be observed for business purposes, as well. ABC has yet to officially comment on the subject, but don’t be surprised if The View’s We Love Nurses Really Spectacular is announced before too long.

White and Nerdy

What Happened: An impressive illustration of the lack of diversity amongst late-night TV hosts came in the form of a Vanity Fair cover featuring all of the current crop.

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

What Really Happened: As part of a cover story on the current state of late night TV, Vanity Fair unveiled said cover online this week, showing the current hosts sharing a drink—and reminding the world that they’re pretty much all (with a couple of notable exceptions from Comedy Central’s line-up) white men.

That’s a fact that didn’t escape notice, with a host of commentary about gender bias following the release of the image.

Twitter, too, had some thoughts to share:

Thankfully, Samantha Bee—whose own late night show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, launches soon on TBS— had an appropriate response:

The Takeaway: There’s only one thing for it. Cancel all the late night shows (OK, Colbert and Seth Meyers can stick around) and make all the hosts go on to more interesting, if somewhat niche, pursuits.

For Once, The Internet Embraces Positivity

What Happened: Facebook announced plans for a “Dislike” button. Ironically, the collective web hive mind did not like that idea.

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

What Really Happened: Surreally, it might actually be happening: Facebook is actually planning to test something along the lines of a Dislike button. The thinking behind the new button isn’t to harsh other people’s mellows for a particular topic, apparently, but to “express empathy” when someone shares sad news … although, let’s be honest, there’s absolutely no way people aren’t going to abuse the potential the button offers as quickly as possible.

While the idea of a Dislike button might be surprising, what was far moreso was the unhappiness about the move. Essays argued that it would be a disaster, could be a nightmare for Hollywood, and would be “a rabbit hole we don’t want to go down.” It could also transform online media, although whether that’s a good or bad thing might depend on how you feel about online media.

Facebook users weren’t in favor of the potential change, either, with comments including “PLEASE DO NOT PUT DISLIKE BUTTON ON FACEBOOK. IT IS ANOTHER FORM OF CYBER BULLYING” and “It makes depression to ppl.” Good thing, then, that the dislike button might end up merely being emoji to denote all kinds of emotions, instead.

The Takeaway: Quite why the Dislike button is apparently going to be a real, genuine thing and not some April Fools’ joke or Onion story that we all smirk at is beyond us. But for all the unhappiness about its existence, who can really deny that they’re secretly itching to use it?

The Interaction Between Different Social Networks, Illustrated

What Happened: What happens when Facebook fails? Apparently, users head to Twitter to find out when it’ll come back.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter

What Really Happened: Still on the subject of Facebook, the site crashed for around 25 minutes for some users this Thursday, which prompted an unexpected flurry of activity on Twitter:

The Takeaway: We love that the temporary disappearance of one social media platform seems to push people towards another. Can someone engineer a temporary return of the Fail Whale so that we can conduct a purely scientific experiment and see if all of Twitter returns to their previously abandoned Facebook accounts to complain? Maybe they’ll all go to Ello. That’s still around, right?

Wolf 359, Betelgeuse, Sun (sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun)

What Happened: Wondering what a to-scale map of the solar system really looks like? Head to the Nevada desert.

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

What Really Happened: Quite what brought filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh to a dry lakebed in Nevada, where they built a scale model of our solar system, may forever remain a mystery, but what their project accomplished will make you glad that they did. It might not be the very first to-scale (1 astronomical unit to 176 meters, if you’re curious) model, but it’s certainly one of the most impressive—and one that makes the viewer fully aware of just how damn big everything is out there.

Within a couple of days of the video going live online, it had (rightfully) received much attention all across the internet. Understandably so; the video is both beautiful and educational. Someone give these guys a TV show to explain it all.

The Takeaway: The heavens are a place on earth after all. It’s impressive how something so simple can somehow manage to impress upon us the sheer scale of the universe in a way that all the Nova documentaries in the world never could.

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While You Were Offline: Brave Texas Goes to War With Clocks