Who is ‘cliff wife’? What is a ‘wife guy’? Why is it a meme?

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A man was walking with his wife, when she fell down a small hill; it was quite a tumble and she was shocked, but pretty much uninjured. The man – YouTuber Shaun McBride – decided to film the whole thing, before uploading it as some kind of inspirational brush-with-death morality tale.

“I watched my wife fall off a cliff … you’re [sic] whole world can change in a matter of seconds,” he wrote.

For many, it is breathtakingly funny: from the unnecessary drama, to the truly small cliff, to the terrible editing, which clearly reveals how much of his own wife’s words McBride cut out.

For the Outline, Tom Whyman explains: “A Wife Guy is defined by the fact that they have done something which involves a wife, whether their own or someone else’s — call this a Wife Event. A Wife Event can take many forms, but it necessarily involves the internet in some way (a long-distance online relationship; a fake social media account; a prominent Instagram presence) and, when discovered, will be widely discussed online. The tone of this discussion will typically be mocking.”

14 Of The Best ‘Unhelpful High School Teacher’ Memes

14 Of The Best ‘Unhelpful High School Teacher’ Memes

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The joke isn’t that all teachers are like this, it’s just a generalised personification of bad teaching. So hopefully you won’t recognise yourself, but you’re sure to recognise teachers you know, or some you’ve had. Here we go…

From Distracted Boyfriend to Unhelpful Teacher, I love the twists of a meme’s journey

Man walking with girlfriend but looking at another girl

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or a meme to really take off, it has to be relatable; it has to contain a truth universally acknowledged, as Jane Austen would put it. That is basically how all jokes work. What I love about memes is the way they bring out the best in people: their wit, their absurdist thinking, their quick turns of phrase. I love that a 17-year-old girl in a Minnesota bedroom can reduce me to belly laughs as much as a father in Norwich or Jakarta.

Yes, the internet is in many ways driving us apart. But memes are bringing us together.

 

Super Bowl: T-Mobile’s Commercial

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During this year’s Super Bowl, a T-Mobile commercial featuring a text-message joke made people on Twitter very angry. Immediately after it aired, many were quick to point out that the concept of the spot was pulled from a viral tweet by the user @decentbirthday. A knee-jerk reaction followed: “TMobile just stole a meme.” “Hahaha @TMobile really stole the Uber meme for their Lyft #SuperBowlAds commercial.” “@tmobile stole a tweet!”

Except that wasn’t the case: T-Mobile CEO John Legere confirmed that the company did, in fact, pay @decentbirthday to use the Twitter joke as the ad’s inspiration.

The T-Mobile spot is an example of how viral tweets and jokes have real, tangible value for brands hoping to reach a younger, meme-devouring audience through advertising. The initial backlash to the ad, when viewers just assumed it was stolen, is also an example of something else: It still feels like the norm to swipe someone else’s online content without permission or payment rather than to pay for it.

 

People Use 10-Year Challenge to Show How Devastatingly Different Our Planet Looks

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Around the globe, environmental organizations are taking advantage of the #10YearChallenge to show just how different our planet looks now versus then.

Facebook’s ’10 Year Challenge’ Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right?

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Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older). Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years.

Sure, you could mine Facebook for profile pictures and look at posting dates or EXIF data. But that whole set of profile pictures could end up generating a lot of useless noise. People don’t reliably upload pictures in chronological order, and it’s not uncommon for users to post pictures of something other than themselves as a profile picture. A quick glance through my Facebook friends’ profile pictures shows a friend’s dog who just died, several cartoons, word images, abstract patterns, and more.

In other words, it would help if you had a clean, simple, helpfully labeled set of then-and-now photos.