The internet was a dramatic mess this week. Highlights: OceanGate’s Titan, ‘Flat Places’, Dearica Hamby, the WNBA expands, Jimmy Butler, Offset v. Bobbi Althoff, ‘Love is Blind’, Morgan State, Bedbugs in Paris, and Jon Romano.
It is happening, longer form articles about the demise of OceanGate’s Titan are coming out! Susan Casey, author of The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean, tells the story of Titan beginning in 2015. Two years before the Titan was built, OceanGate’s former CEO Stockton Rush, “had lowered a one-third scale model of his 4,000-meter sub-to-be into a pressure chamber and watched it implode at 4,000 psi, a pressure equivalent to only 2,740 meters.” The test, a resounding failure, was reported by the company as a success that “demonstrates that the benefits of carbon fiber are real.” The hubris of Rush and OceanGate continued until the Titan’s implosion on its last descent, a catastrophe years in the making.
My love of flat places is new. Until I traveled to South Dakota, I found “flat landscapes alienating.” Flat places were “bleak, boring, even terrifying, because there’s nowhere to hide, and everyone can see you for miles. There’s no landmark to fix your gaze upon, and this makes it difficult to orientate yourself.” I drove from Michigan to South Dakota, and as the landscape got progressively flatter and flatter, I found “myself becoming weightless,” as Noreen Masud describes The lands we are from shape us. Throughout this piece, Masud uses her love of flat places to reflect on her childhood in Pakistan that is “full of painful nothing, [and] left a flat landscape inside my head.”
WNBA player Dearica Hamby has filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former team, the Los Vegas Aces and the WNBA over her treatment during pregnancy. The Aces and their head coach Becky Hammon have already received disciplinary action from the league for mistreating Hamby based on former allegations.
This spring “the league announced that Aces head coach Becky Hammon would be suspended two games for violating the league’s respect in the workplace policies. In addition, the Aces had their 2025 first-round pick stripped over promises of impermissible benefits in connection with negotiations regarding Hamby’s contract.”
Hamby, however, claims in her lawsuit the investigation that led to the sanctions “did not result in any tangible remedy to me. Moreover, I do not believe the investigation sought to uncover the truth about my allegations that I was discriminated against for being pregnant, and I believe the Respondent WNBA, LLC failed to properly investigate my claims as a form of retaliation for my public statements.” I hope Hamby gets the closure she seeks.
The WNBA is officially expanding! The Golden State Warriors and WNBA announced that the Bay Area will have its own WNBA team starting with the 2025 season. It is the first league expansion since the Atlanta Dream were added in 2008. This comes as “there have been renewed calls to expand in recent years as the league’s popularity has grown. The WNBA will continue to discuss adding a second expansion team.” Hopefully we get more teams soon!
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler once again trolled the NBA’s media day, showing up with straightened hair and multiple new face piercings, a deviation from his normal appearance. Of the look, Butler stated “I’m very emotional right now. This is my emo state and I like this. This is me… This is how I’m feeling as of late.” We have all been there.
Until this past week, I had never heard of Bobbi Althoff, “the latest TikToker who’s gained fame for her intentionally awkward and dry as hell podcast interviews.” Her most recent interview with Migos rapper Offset “has people singing his praises for turning the entire conversation on its head with his magnetism, quick-wit and downright hilarious personality.”
The whole interview is great. Towards the end, when Offset has just about had it, he tells Althoff that, “You need a little bit of seasoning. You ain’t got no seasoning, you like a plain piece of chicken on the thing, you pull it off, and then you serve the dish. You need some motherfucking seasoning, man. Damn!” Lol.
I love a good shitty reality dating / romance show, but this season of Netflix’s ‘Love is Blind’ IS NOT IT! In the show, couples meet and potentially get engaged through a series of blind dates where they literally cannot see each other—individuals are in separate pods, and can only hear each other’s voices. Only once a couple gets engaged do they finally set to meet in person. While in previous seasons, there has been at least one couple to root for or that seems like a good match, none of the couples this season feel compatible.
A reality TV show is always going to be filled with drama, but “there’s something different about this season. Maybe it’s because Aaliyah, this year’s most compelling romantic hero, went home early that this season seems more interested in petty drama than it is in romance.” In addition to the pure drama for drama’s sake, one of this season’s cast members, Tran Dang, who was not closely followed by the show is suing its production company for “claiming she was sexually assaulted by her former fiancé Thomas Smith during the filming of Season 5” and “alleges false imprisonment and negligence.”
For the first time in its history, Morgan State University has canceled or postponed its homecoming festivities due to a shooting Tuesday night injuring five people, including four students. Homecoming plays an important part in the social and cultural fabrics of HBCU’s like Morgan State: “[It] is more than a football game. It represents an opportunity to see familiar faces and new ones. The day has traditionally offered the promise of a safe space where Blackness is celebrated and where strangers become immediate family.It represents an opportunity to see familiar faces and new ones. The day has traditionally offered the promise of a safe space where Blackness is celebrated and where strangers become immediate family.” I hope the students receive support.
Bedbugs took over Paris fashion week and the fallout is a mess. Throughout the week, “videos of the alleged pests crawling all over metro seats, rumors swirling of buyers fleeing their hotels after the insects were found, content creators posting videos of their bug bites, and reports of them surfacing at Charles de Gaulle airport sending the glitterati into a frenzy.” Emmanuel Grégoire, Paris’s Deputy Mayor, has said “no one is safe.” As all of the rich and famous return to their home countries, there is the very real fear that they will spread the bedbugs far and wide and US cities New York and Los Angeles in particular could see infestations of their own.
TikTok and Twitter were highly concerned and confused this week when a video of mass shooter Jon Romano made the rounds on social media. Romano brought a gun to his high school Columbia High School in East Greenbush, NY on Feb. 9, 2004, when he was 16 and shot at several students, and employees. No one was killed. For the shoot, Romano “served 16 years in prison and was released in 2020 (just in time for a global pandemic). During that time, Jon was able to reflect on his actions and has since tried to become an advocate for preventing gun violence.” While advocating for the prevention of gun violence is important, people have raised concerns about a “school shooter to influencer pipeline,” and are angry that Romano has been released and many “ppl with nonviolent crimes are still incarcerated.”