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Sunday Reads: The Infamous Suicide Bridge, Lizardman Finances and Kanye as a NoFap Leader

You know what’s nice to hear? That famous “Lizardman” whom you’ve probably seen in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is doing pretty well for himself, financially speaking. Gone are the days where sideshow freaks are forced to live in poverty. Dude has spent an estimated 650 to 700 hours getting tattooed, and now he gets to choose between events to be paid to attend, just being himself and swallowing swords and shit. Pretty decent trade-off, if you ask me. 

Must Read

Saving Lives at the Edge of the Bridge of Death
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, New Mexico, has one the highest bridge suicide rates per capita in the country. But with few answers and even fewer resources, the town is hoping the burgeoning field of “emotional architecture” — a movement that seeks to calm, engage, energize, uplift and empower through the thoughtful design of buildings and public works — can help prevent jumpers from taking their lives. READ MORE

The Week in Features

The Man Behind the Pumpkin Mask
You’ve undoubtedly seen him, either on TV or YouTube: A man, dressed in a black leotard and wearing a pumpkin over his head, dancing rhythmically (and mesmerizingly) to Halloween house music. But do you know where Dancing Pumpkin Man comes from, and how he was able to take the internet by storm? Quinn Myers tracked down Matt Geiler, the man behind, um, Dancing Pumpkin Man, to find out how a happy, goofy guy who anchored the 10 o’clock KXVO newscast in Omaha transforms himself into an online sensation.

Why So Angry?
Kienan Robert, aka Poofesure on YouTube, has built a budding empire as the angriest gamer on the video site by yelling unintelligibly at his TV screen and throwing Wii controllers across the room. It’s a shtick you might think would attract an equally angry viewership. Eddie Kim, however, says that in his case at least, it has the exact opposite effect: The outbursts help him find his zen.

Yeezus the NoFap Jesus
Kanye West, as a result of his new religious phase and recently released anti-porn album, Jesus Is King, is a NoFap guy. Well, that’s the connection being made by members of NoFap, the grassroots internet movement for those who abstain from masturbating. To these young men, the message is clear: Stop jerking off and you too could become “a worldwide celebrity, musician and business mogul with a net worth of over $240 million (according to Forbes).” But is Kanye’s recent turn to chastity and Christianity endearing him with more sinister groups as well?

Five Things We Learned This Week

  1. Like it or not, squirt is mostly pee. It comes from the bladder, exits out through the urethra and contains all the same ingredients as urine so… yeah.
  2. Eating decades-old bubble gum won’t kill you. Correction, it didn’t kill Brian VanHooker when he popped a piece from a 30-year-old pack of baseball cards. Judging from his experience, though, we don’t recommend it.
  3. There’s a war between flossing diehards and water-pick disciples over whose method of removing debris from their chompers is best. Can you guess who’s right?
  4. Those X-rated video games advertised on porn sites are real. We know, we talked to both a guy at a studio who makes erotic games, and the founder of a website dedicated to cataloging and reviewing them.
  5. In Terminator: Dark Fate, the future is female. Sure, Arnold is back for another round as the T-800, but the latest entry in the Terminator franchise belongs to it’s female heroines.

Quote of the Week

Here’s something the founders of Tinder, Grindr and the like probably didn’t anticipate: What happens when teachers see their students on dating apps. It’s a generally acknowledged but frequently ignored ethical norm that teachers shouldn’t date or have sexual relationships with their students. But the presence of apps and social media in both parties’ lives can mean that these decisions are brought to the fore more often than ever before.

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…