I don’t want to suggest it’s some sort of indicator of where we stand as a culture at this moment in history that footage of a Jack Russell terrier (name: Olly) spectacularly faceplanting at the Crufts dog show is the only thing that can raise our spirits, but here we are. Just look at that little dude go! Behold how little he cares as his fuzzy face drags across the astroturf! Watch his tiny legs fling up as he (nearly) bounds over (almost) every obstacle in his path! Marvel at how he doesn’t immediately sign onto Twitter to convince us that his public failures were all part of the master plan! Just curious: How old will Olly be (in dog years) come 2020? And do we know if he has any holdings in Russia?
South by Southwest (“SXSW” if you’re nasty; “South-by” if you’re insufferable) is back! But before the much ballyhooed music component of the empirically hip annual taco conference in Austin, Texas, kicks off, there’s a whole week of world-changing technology to explore at SXSW Interactive. Sony unveiled its Motion Sonic wristband, which stands to revolutionize the way we air guitar; Vinci debuted its freshly Indiegogo’d ostensibly smart headphones with aggressively silly touchscreens; and Levi’s introduced a $350 “interactive denim” jacket it co-designed with Google. So congratulations, girl wearing cowboy boots, yoga pants, and a Native American headdress — you are no longer the Worst Outfit in Texas.
ALAS, POOR ALEXA
If you’re like me, the only major flaw with that Amazon Echo you just bought is that it’s not nearly terrifying enough. Thankfully, wily home hacker Mike McGurrin’s ambitious “Yorick Project” transforms Alexa from a monotone digital assistant into a “fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy” by rerouting her voice through a googly-eyed animatronic skull. It makes a fun conversation piece for any living room, as well as an ever-present reminder of death’s cold, unfliching gaze. There, that’s better.
I don’t want to suggest it’s some sort of indicator of where we stand as a culture at this moment that a DIY Oreo taco is the only thing that can raise our spirits, but . . . hm, that’s odd. I am experiencing some serious deja vu right now. In any case, please, I implore you: Do not eat this. Things cannot be that bad. Maybe watch that Olly clip again?