Elections, Summer Blockbusters, And Roach-Infested Computers: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Elections, Summer Blockbusters, And Roach-Infested Computers: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week
Clockwise from top left: ABC; Elena Scotti (Photos: Shutterstock); Richard Drew (AP); Robyn Beck/AFP (Getty Images) (Image: Various)

The fact that we’re already halfway through August defies explanation. I feel like these past few months will go down as “the summer that never was” given the distinct lack of summer things available to most folks. Beach day? Forget about it. Cookouts? You better be social distancing around that grill. Water park? Ugh, gross, they’re a petri dish of bacteria even when we’re not in a pandemic.

I haven’t gotten sunburned once this year, and do you have any idea how difficult a feat that is for someone as pale as me? The sun cooks me lobster red if I even think about leaving the house without sunscreen (which skincare Tiktok has taught me is practically a cardinal sin). For those of you able to actually get out there and do something other than binge Netflix and doomscroll, I salute you.

Here at Gizmodo, we were tackling the big questions, like why oh why do the creepiest, crawliest critters on Earth — cockroaches — make a home out of so many people’s electronics? Someone please send a note to the universe that that should not be allowed, thank you. The perennially talented Victoria Song also broke down how the flaming death spiral of Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel reflects a much larger problem with media companies in this industry. Namely, the fact that they have zero clue when it comes to making video content work.

Next, the folks at Gizmodo gave us the rundown on this year’s big summer blockbusters that are making their way to a streaming service near you given…you know….the everything going on right now. I’ve been craving a horror movie recently, and Host looks like it might be able to scratch that itch. Though I know I’m in the minority here, I actually liked Unfriended a lot, and the whole “Zoom call gone spooky” idea hits a lot closer to home nowadays than it did before.

Finally, at Earther, our writers explained the frankly mind-boggling method scientists have created for transforming bricks into batteries. As well as how Chevron is playing the roll of “evil big oil” far too well again, this time trying to shut up a climate lawyer because, well, do I even need to explain? Even with such painfully low expectations, oil companies still manage to disappoint.

You can read all these stories and more below:

National Review, Daily Caller Help Publicise Lies About Former Kamala Harris Staffer

According to leading conservative columnists, Twitter has hired Nick Pacilio, a former staffer for Sen. Kamala Harris, to decide which of President Trump’s tweets deserve to be fact-checked and which should be labelled for the public as “potentially misleading.” That’s news to Pacilio.

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Key Unanswered Questions About Big Tech’s Election-Integrity Alliance

Ahead of the 2020 election, all eyes are on Silicon Valley as some of the biggest tech companies attempt to prevent the sorts of foreign U.S. election interference that plagued their platforms the last go around. And it looks like these typically fierce rivals have chosen to set aside their...

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What It’s Like to Live With a Giant Brain Cyst

In June 2017, Michigan doctor Jennifer De Longpre published a report in the New England Journal of Medicine detailing a highly peculiar case she had come across: a 27-year-old man with a brain cyst so big that it took up half of his skull and had started to cause neurological...

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Scientists Found a 200,000-Year-Old Human Bed Made From Grass and Ash

Archaeologists from South Africa have uncovered rudimentary beds that early humans made by placing bundles of grass onto a layer of ash. Sounds basic, but these Stone Age beds were more sophisticated than they appear at first glance.

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Chevron Is Trying to Crush a Prominent Climate Lawyer, and Maybe the World

Amid falling citywide rates of covid-19 infection, many New Yorkers are beginning to emerge from months of lockdown. That’s not the case for human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who has barely left his two-bedroom Upper West Side apartment for the past twelve months.

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Scientists Have Turned Bricks Into Batteries

We build homes out of bricks for lots of reasons. They’re resilient to high pressure and frost. They can withstand fluctuating temperatures without shrinking, expanding, or warping. They’re great at absorbing heat. They’re durable and can be reused. And according to a new study in Nature Communications, they can also...

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Now We Know What the Biggest Climate Fights Ahead Will Be

The veepstakes is over. Let the analysis begin!

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Trump’s Border Wall Is the ‘Biggest Threat’ to U.S. Southwest Wildlife, Government Emails Reveal

We really don’t need another reason to hate U.S. President Donald Trump’s stupid border wall, but here’s a new one anyways. Documents the U.S. Centre for Biological Diversity obtained from the Fish and Wildlife Service through public records requests reveal how the border wall construction is harming critical habitat for...

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One of the Most Timely Novels of the Year Is About Black Women in the 1880s Hunting Zombies

The world can be utterly bleak nowadays. A government that seems to actively hate health and science, an economy ruled by a handful of lying billionaires, and continued state-sanctioned violence against Black people have ushered in a modern dystopia. But as I finished Deathless Divide, Justina Ireland’s stellar follow up...

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The Night Stalker Was a Vampire Horror About the Power of Stating the Obvious

A protagonist’s utter unawareness about the supernatural danger they’re dealing with can oftentimes make horror-thriller films that much more enjoyable to watch. But there are times when all you want to see is a hero with a head on their shoulders who, when confronted with the reality that there are...

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All the Big Winter (Streaming) Blockbusters of 2020

Black Widow. Wonder Woman 1984. Fast and Furious 9. No Time to Die. These were meant to be some of the big winter blockbusters of 2020. And yet, none of them have been released yet. We all know why — the novel coronavirus — but in the place of those...

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8 Annoying Movie Ghosts Who Make Us Go ‘BoooOOOOoooo’

Most ghosts are scary — that’s generally what they’re known for — but some ghosts are more like pests. They barge into your life and instead of giving you nightmares, they give you headaches, so much so that you’d almost rather be spooked instead. Let’s look at some of the...

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The Death of Bon Appétit Is Proof Media Companies Have No Idea What Makes Videos Work

There are a zillion reasons why I have been mourning the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. The one that hurts most is that the slow, drawn-out death of one of the most joyful YouTube channels on the internet could have easily been prevented.

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Everything Seemed to Just… Stop

Are you a frontline worker dealing with new stresses or irresponsible management? Is working (or not working) from home starting to take a psychological toll? How are you coping with reopening? Submit a story using this Google form or send me an email with the subject line “My Covid Story” and...

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Why Are There Roaches Inside My Computer?

There are some things that belong in a computer. Wires, chips, whirring mechanical doodads — what most of us would think of, sensibly, as “hard drive stuff.” Absent from this list — absent from most lists, except those dealing with repugnant, six-legged disease vectors — are cockroaches. A cockroach in...

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