Time Between Thing Being Amusing, Extremely Irritating Down To 4 Minutes

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Science & Technology

Biologists Still No Closer To Discovering How Birds Have Sex

BERKELEY, CA—With not a single scientist having successfully observed the behavior despite extensive ongoing research, the field of biology has made no progress in its understanding of how birds have sex, experts at the University of California told reporters Wednesday.

What Smoking A Cigarette Does To The Body

With the FDA recently pulling multiple cigarette brands off the market, the conversation surrounding the harmful effects of smoking has been returning in full force to the national stage. Here is what happens to your body as you smoke a cigarette

Alarming Report Finds Only 6% Of Earth’s Surface Indoors

LAWRENCE, KS—Drawing attention to the distressing prevalence of outside areas on the planet, researchers at the University of Kansas released an alarming report Monday revealing that a mere 6 percent of the Earth’s surface is actually indoors.

Meteorologists Say Upcoming Hurricane Season To Be Permanent

SILVER SPRING, MD—Warning residents to prepare for extreme winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding starting in the near future and continuing indefinitely, meteorologists at the National Weather Service announced Friday that the upcoming hurricane season would be permanent.

NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding

WASHINGTON—Calling the program “the most crucial in the agency’s history,” researchers at NASA announced Wednesday they have successfully deployed a Special Exploratory Rover to Congress as part of an open-ended mission to seek out any possible trace of funding on Capitol Hill.

What The Planet Will Look Like In 2100

As scientists try to project the effects of climate change into the future, many of these forecasts only go as far as 2100, a year beyond which the alterations to our environment become much harder to predict. Here is a breakdown of what we can expect our world to look like in 2100

What You Need To Know About ‘Female Viagra’

The FDA recently approved the sale of Flibanserin, a pink pill intended for women diagnosed with low sex drive; critics have questioned the pill’s effectiveness, while advocates are praising the move toward supporting both men and women with these sexual issues. Here are some of the most common questions about Flibanserin

GMOs: Myth vs. Fact

Consumers have consistently distrusted the use of genetically modified organisms in their food, believing that they make food unsafe for consumption, although a majority of scientific evidence contradicts these views. Here are the common myths associated with GMOs and the facts that refute them

Timeline Of Google’s History

Google recently announced the formation of Alphabet, an umbrella corporation that will separate the company’s internet search business from its forays into robotics, biotechnology, and other areas of innovation. Here are some of the most notable milestones in Google’s 17-year history:

How Hackers Steal Data From Websites

With millions of Americans’ personal information becoming compromised by recent high-profile data breaches, many people are wondering just how anonymous hackers target and infiltrate these supposedly secure systems. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how your data can be stolen

Man’s Body Running Out Of Ideas To Convince Him He Full

BAYTOWN, TX—Having repeatedly ratcheted up the 34-year-old’s level of discomfort with no noticeable effect on his behavior, the body of local man Kent Dugan confirmed Wednesday that it was starting to run out of ideas to convince him that he was full.

How Apple Plans To Rebound From Apple Watch Flop

With sales of the Apple Watch reportedly down 90 percent since its initial release, Apple is suffering in the wearables market and faces a lack of enthusiasm about its latest product. Here are some ways Apple can improve the watch and prevent the company from falling into a slump:

Astronomers Just Going To Go Ahead And Say Dark Matter Nitrogen

‘Fuck It, We’re Done,’ Say Scientists

WASHINGTON—Declaring that this is the last time they ever hope to speak of the aggravatingly enigmatic substance, astronomers from NASA announced Thursday that they are just going to go ahead and say that dark matter is nitrogen.

What We’ve Learned About Pluto

Nearly 10 years after its launch, the New Horizons space probe made a flyby 7,750 miles from Pluto, marking the first time in history a spacecraft has examined the dwarf planet up close, and NASA has begun to release data and images transmitted from the approach. Here’s what we’ve learned about Pluto so far

Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...
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Time Between Thing Being Amusing, Extremely Irritating Down To 4 Minutes

PROVIDENCE, RI—According to a study released this week by Brown University's Department of Modern Culture and Media, it now takes only four minutes for a new cultural touchstone to transform from an amusing novelty into an intensely annoying thing people never want to see or hear again.

"The American populace experienced a genuine sense of enjoyment when initially exposed to phenomena as diverse as the Double Rainbow video, the actor Jon Heder, and the phrase 'Stay thirsty, my friends,'" lead researcher Irene Levinson said. "But what's remarkable is that these exact same things were rejected with an almost violent revulsion less than 240 seconds later."

"The results are the same for everything from TV news bloopers to professional ad campaigns, with only a handful of exceptions," Levinson added. "For example, it takes, on average, less than 90 seconds to go from feeling delight to active enmity for anything that involves talking infants."

According to researchers, the unprecedented exposure afforded by the Internet is responsible for the speed with which such phenomena shift from eliciting joyous chuckles to provoking blind, undiluted rage.

"The average web user receives a dozen links and reads 60 mentions of a new meme or sensation within the first 45 seconds of being online," said Salvador Calder, a media studies professor. "During this period of peak popularity, individuals seem to derive a great level of satisfaction from endlessly repeating an entity's signature component, be it a contrived Kazakh accent or the words 'epic fail.'"

"However," Calder continued, "at roughly the 91-second mark, when the phenomenon has been remixed, set to a dance beat, and Auto-Tuned, that original sense of pleasure begins its inevitable, precipitous decline."

Calder's data indicate that between the second and third minute, the phenomenon is typically signed to a movie, book, or record deal, the news of which tends to trigger a "harsh and immediate reassessment" among most individuals as to whether the thing was ever legitimately amusing in the first place.

"A wide-scale backlash is initiated shortly after four minutes," Calder said. "This is usually the point when one is no longer able to turn on a TV or engage in a normal conversation without hearing someone make a clumsy reference to the now painfully stale entity."

"It's precisely at this moment when the subject starts to experience an unshakable and overwhelming desire to punch anyone making further allusion to the phenomenon right in the face," Calder added.

The study confirmed that 98.7 percent of attempts to capitalize on the public's annoyance with the phenomenon through mockery and spoofs also backfired, serving only to compound and intensify people's fury instead.

Using data collected over the past four decades, the research team determined that it used to take considerably longer for a cultural phenomenon to evolve from an entertaining diversion into the most reviled thing on the planet. In a particularly telling example, the study showed how the phrase "Yo quiero Taco Bell" sustained itself as an acceptable interjection for four years during the pre-broadband era. They then compared this to a modern-day equivalent, "Release the Kraken," which last year was angrily snuffed after only two days due to the "excruciating levels of irritation" that it inflicted on the population.

Researchers predict the time lag between novelty and utter hatred is likely to narrow further as technological advancements continue to increase and expand social connectedness online.

"We project that by 2018, the gap between liking something new and wishing yourself dead rather than hearing it again will be down to 60 seconds," Levinson said. "And by 2023, enjoyment and abhorrence will occur simultaneously, the two emotions effectively canceling each other out and leaving one feeling nothing whatsoever."

"I can't fucking wait," he added.