An essential roundup of the week’s buzziest topics of varying importance and consequence
The memes are selling themselves
An NFT (“non-fungible token”) is a digital asset that represents something unique, including GIFs, songs, and videos. It’s verified using blockchain technology, in which a network of computers record and authenticate transactions. NFTs have technically been around since the mid-2010s, but the technology gained traction in 2017 with CryptoKitties, a site that allowed people to buy and breed virtual cats with cryptocurrency. Now they’re making headlines because the first purely digital NFT sold by Christie’s—Beeple’s digital collage “Everydays — The First 5000 Days”—just fetched a record-breaking $69.3 million at auction (as if we needed further confirmation that yes, this is the bad place.)
Cuomo is not my daddy
Remember last year when #Cuomoforpresident was trending? Or worse, when Buzzfeed dubbed him a #Daddy? Perhaps we can take the recent revelations of sexual misconduct and assault—as well as the horrific, heartbreaking nursing home scandal—as a learning lesson. I know we were all desperate for answers and leadership and comfort but let’s please raise our standards for our dream presidential candidates—and more importantly, the objects of our thirst. The Gothamist jumped the gun by accidentally publishing an article entitled, “Governor Andrew Cuomo Resigns.” It has since been removed, but we hope to reread that headline soon.
Scientists want to put sperm bank on the moon
Life insurance has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, with the pandemic increasing sales for some firms by double digits. The earth is fragile and mortality is on all of our minds, scientists maybe more so than most. They are thinking about the bigger picture—human extinction. Researchers from the University of Arizona have proposed a global insurance, a modernized version of Noah’s Ark. At the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference they proposed a doomsday vault of 6.7 million sperm samples to be sent to the moon for safekeeping. How they will be acquiring donors was unspecified in the presentation. Perhaps one day, you will be able to look to the moon and know that your sperm or the sperm of your loved ones is up there, safe from the horrors of our world.
Andy Warhol’s satirical cookbook up for auction
For those of us angry or confused about the recent explosion of NFTs, there is no reason to panic. There are still enormous amounts of cash at play with old-fashioned, tangible goods. A rare copy of Andy Warhol’s self-published satirical cookbook, Wild Raspberries, will be hitting the auction block at Bonhams New York. The book, which came about just before Pop art legend’s rise to stardom, was a collaboration with interior decorator Suzie Frankfurt. Frankfurt’s absurd recipes were written in calligraphy by the artist’s mother, Julia Warhola, with ample, deliberate misspellings. Only 34 color editions are said to be in existence, as a sort of self-promotional Christmas gift for friends and clients. The book is expected to sell for $30,000 to $50,000.
Adam Driver makes the case for chunky, white turtleneck sweaters
Lady Gaga tweeted a photo of herself and Adam Driver on the set of House of Gucci, and the Internet was moved by their aesthetic cross between ’80s silhouettes and chalet style. One observer likened it to, “the last photo a once-wealthy orphan has of their parents who died in a car accident in Aspen.” The film—directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by Roberto Bentivegna—is in full swing, on location in Rome and the Italian Alps. In her first feature role since A Star Is Born, Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci, who’s portrayed by Driver.
House of Gucci, which is based on the book by Sara Gay Forden, follows Reggiani and Gucci’s marriage through its famous end—Gucci’s assassination by hired hitman. Reggiani was accused, imprisoned, and released for good behavior in 2016. The film is set to air in late November. Until then, an eager audience will settle for meme-worthy glimpses: a cable-knit turtleneck here, a fur hat there, to generate buzz and anticipation.