Trying to get respect as a woman in the rap game is a respectable endeavor until you decide to go and take things to a very weird, Nazi-ish place. See how Nicki Minaj did just that on today’s BDC Now, and read more about a rocket-powered bike, the other umbrella revolution of 2014, the plight of local news on a slow day, and why dogs are still the best animals ever.
There isn’t really a definitive guide to how soon is too soon when referencing massive human tragedy, but there are some widely accepted guidelines. For example, most people would probably say that it’s too soon make a music video that’s largely reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Nicki Minaj does not seem to be one of those people. Her new song, “Only,” targets the haters who say she slept her way into her rap career or who only talk about her because of her physical attributes. It’s a powerful message about a woman getting respect in the hip hop community, but it’s hard to see that message clearly when the song’s music video looks like it’s straight out of a Third Reich propaganda film. Something tells us an homage to Hitler’s reign isn’t the only way Minaj and video director Jeff Osborne could have gotten the message across.
I Like to Ride My Bicycle (At Normal Speeds, Please)
We swear that sometimes people do things just to say they did them. This is one of those times. A guy named Arnold Neracher designed a rocket-powered bike, a guy named Francois Gissy got on it, and then they shot the thing off. Gissy hit 207 miles per hour, which is a crazy and impressive speed for a car, let alone a bicycle. It’s pointless. No one wants to go that fast on a bicycle. Anyone who has gone down a steep hill without touching the brakes knows that once you top 40 miles per hour, speed is just varying degrees of terrifying. Gissy should just be grateful he didn’t accidentally turn his handlebars to the side. We’ve gone over our own handlebars at much slower speeds and it did not end well.
2014 Is the Year of the Umbrella
There are plenty of candidates for the biggest story of 2014, but none of them are as unexpected as the revolution in the umbrella industry. There have been umbrellas designed to look like origami that have Bluetooth tracking capabilities and aerodynamic designs. There have been umbrellas that look nothing like umbrellas and use air to repel water. There have even been protests in Hong Kong named after umbrellas. And now this: There is an umbrella that can literally stand on its own two feet. The “Stay-brella” has two short prongs that stick out from the bottom of the handle, helping to keep your umbrella upright and virtually eliminating the umbrella stand. With the way 2014 has been, we kind of expected people to be focused on bigger problems than umbrellas, but hey, at least something in the world is improving.
Dogs Are Still The Best
It should come as no surprise that dogs are both snuggly, loving companions and expert crime fighters, but you probably didn’t know that, when it comes to detecting explosives, dogs are better than any technology man has come up with. National Geographic’s Ashleigh DeLuca sat down with author Rebecca Frankel to discuss Frankel’s new book, “War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love.” In the interview, Frankel talks about how the United States spent billions of dollars on technology to help detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), but our four-legged friends bested that new technology anyway. And it’s not even close. The top detection devices found about 50 percent of IEDs. Bomb-sniffing dogs found 80 percent. So just keep doing you, dogs, and no animal will be able to take your crown.
Another Satisfied Dollar Store Customer
Sometimes the world has no mercy for the local news. When it’s just another Thursday in Dayton, Ohio with unremarkable weather, reasonable traffic, and no crime to speak of, a reporter like Lauren Clark has to go to the local dollar store and act like some confusion over a child’s toy actually qualifies as news. It’s a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless. Clark put together two minutes of video on a mother who was upset when she bought a toy wand labeled “Evilstick” for her 2-year-old daughter and found the wand to contain an image of a girl cutting her wrist with a knife. We’re sure the Dayton community appreciated Clark’s effort, but the story is over as soon as you see the toy’s packaging: The girl-cutting-her-wrist-with-a-knife wand is intended for children ages 3 and up.