United by llamas, divided by dress colors

Feb 27, 2015

Just as quickly as we found ourselves bound together by our collective fascination with a low-speed llama chase (which seemed darn popular at 26,000+ shares), we were torn apart again by a nonsensical debate over what colors are this dress (which got over twice that amount at 67,000+ shares). "Team #BlackLlama. And Team #blackandblue," tweets Honolulu Civil Beat's Gene Park, tying it all together; that makes us wonder whether a correlation exists between which llama you liked and which colors you saw. But before we get into that divisive discussion, though, let's talk llama drama.

The loosed llamas allegedly were on their way to animal therapy (no joke) when they escaped their trailer (leaving one comrade llama behind, we hear tell). "This story has three bylines per llama. Mind blown," reacts Guardian's Alberto Nardelli, after reading the Washington Post write-up. "Thanks, OLlama," cracks WaPo's J duLac. Which of course led to a necessary Post graphic that revealed llamas are literally everywhere (3,600 shares). "Wait! Who just has random #llama data floating about?" demands MarketWatch's Mark DeCambre. Deadspin wins for really committing to the double-L joke with the headline "Llamas On Llam Llose Llawmen" in which they shared a video of the entire pursuit set to "Yakety Sax" (10,600 shares). "Sign of the alpacalypse?" quips Johnny Kane at Fox Sports. BuzzFeed's Joanna Borns was totally on fleek here (don't hurt us!) by following up with the glorious quiz "Which Runaway Llama Are You?" (15,000 shares). The story ended happily, though, with the white llama beginning its whirlwind press tour with CNN.

But then #thedress happened. We're told it began with a young folk singer in Scotland, who uploaded its picture accompanied by a plea to outsiders to help settle a debate over its color combination. "DUST OFF MY PULITZER BITCHES," commands Business Insider's Hunter Walker. What ensued can only be described as viral chaos. "What Color Is This Goddamn Dress?" one Gawker headline screamed (45,000+ shares). BuzzFeed posted a poll, and people overwhelmingly seemed to feel it was gold/white, but the blue/black faction doubled down on their opinion. The police had to weigh in.

Release the takes! VICE asked a color vision expert, and that solved exactly nothing. "WHY DID IT CHANGE COLOUR FOR ME AND WHY CAN'T A DR EXPLAIN IT," Alex Miller there wants to know. Best line was from the vision expert (and we quote): "Now I'm going to spend the rest of my life working on this ... I thought I was going to cure blindness, but now I guess I'll do this." In one delicious display of Wired-splaining, here's the science of why no one agrees on the color of this random dress (40,000+ shares). "Because we are @wired, we called scientists about the dress," announces editor Joe Brown. BuzzFeed one-upped that with a couple of follow-ups: "Because we are @BuzzFeedNews we asked a first-hand source AND neuroscientists," crows app editor Stacy-Marie Ishmael.

We know which color it actually is (it's available for purchase online!) but we won't spoil it for you.

Now that we've spent quite enough time on that, it might surprise you to know there's actual news breaking, too. There was a victory for Net Neutrality (which made the two trending stories above seem just a tinge more absurd) when the F.C.C. classified broadband Internet service as a public utility, and sore loser Verizon decided to call that imposing "1930s rules on the Internet" (8,000+ shares). Missouri auditor and candidate for governor has died in an apparent suicide, prompting Tony Messenger with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to pen a haunting reflection on the short political life and times of Tom Schweich. The maker of one of the world's most expensive drugs is avoiding billions of dollars in U.S. taxes by booking profits overseas.

Also, Speaker John Boehner blew kisses at a reporter and Sen. Jim Inhofe sought to disprove climate change by throwing a snowball onto the Senate floor, but now we're veering into the ridiculous again. Happy House of Cards binge-watching!

About the author

Writes the @MuckRackDaily & runs #muckedup chat. Creator of #100helpfuldays. I can haz media tips? kirsten@sawhorsemedia.com

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