The future arrived. It's kind of lame.

Muck Rack Daily

The future arrived. It's kind of lame.
January 1st, 2019 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

Welcome to 2019!

Here are a few stories to cuddle up with today while you indulge in your New Year’s Day good luck tradition of choice. We’re counting on a lucky bowl of black-eyed peas.


Party like it’s 1923

First up, the good news. It’s public domain day, and as Anne Quito writes at Quartz, it’s a “bountiful” one. Check out all the books, songs, films, and other works entering the public domain today, including Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room.

“And here is @xanalter reporting on how Tuesday’s Public Domain party will affect the bottom lines of publishers and literary estates,” tweets Sarah Weinman. In her piece, New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out, Alexandra Alter of The New York Times also explains what it means for readers. Notes Glenn Fleishman, “Very good piece in the NYT about the coming public-domain entry of 1923. This story focuses largely on the works that will be re-published or put out by publishers who didn’t have the rights previously, rather than rediscovery.”

Meanwhile, Frida Garza, writing for Jezebel’s Pictorial, explains why she’s Looking Forward to The Great Gatsby Fanfiction Boom of 2021. That’s when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel enters the public domain, and, as she writes, “Given how much I did not enjoy Gatsby, fan fiction can really only improve on the original material. The idea of a literary universe in which Gatsby is less of a dingus really fills me with joy.” 

Your dystopian future has arrived

And now...well, it’s a new year, but things are still pretty petty and ridiculous.

For starters, as Michael Brice-Saddler of The Washington Post reports, Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. Neighbors say there’s not (131,000+ shares). Yes, that’s the story about how “Trump gets fact-checked by Obama's neighbours and the @washingtonpost,” tweets Philip Crowther.

What happens when you go beyond ‘no comment’? Also at The Washington Post, Paul Farhi notices, The White House has no response - at all - to many media questions. Jason Kint says it’s a “full column on what is actually an important perspective.” Farhi himself tweets, “You don't say: The White House has no response — at all — to news media inquiries (a story that exists, in part, for the kicker).” Meanwhile, Sean Reilly points out, “It's not just the White House.”

Here’s a comment, though: Strategic Command apologizes for tweet about dropping bomb, reports AP News.

Dan Bloom of the Mirror writes about London’s New Year’s Eve celebration, Sadiq Khan trolls Theresa May with blatant anti-Brexit fireworks. The phrase “London is open” was spoken in Spanish, Polish, French, Romanian, German and Italian as the £2.3m taxpayer-funded fireworks kicked off. Jamie Wareham notes, “We've also completely blown our no deal planning money on the display too #WorthIt.”

So at this point, it probably goes without saying, but as Josh Greenman reminds us, “The future arrived. It's kind of lame.” Specifically, he’s referring to Simon Romero’s story in The New York Times, which finds Arizonans attacking self-driving cars with rocks and knives. Cecilia Kang headlines it, “Local man attacks robot.” Claudia Koerner observes, “In the most Chandler, Arizona, thing ever, residents got pissed at self-driving cars after one nearly hit their kid playing in a cul-de-sac.” Yes, “It's 2019 and your dystopian future has arrived right on time,” tweets Will Bunch.

Also pissed: the Steelers’ Antonio Brown, who missed practices and the Cincinnati game after a dispute with Ben Roethlisberger, as Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette report for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That’s right — his absence had nothing to do with a knee injury. Instead, during a routine walk-through practice, Brown got into a disagreement with Roethlisberger and then threw a ball at him.

And Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast writes, Louis C.K.’s Leaked Set Reveals He’s Still a Piece of Sh*t. Fallon sums up the general sentiment on Twitter: “BYE!” 

News round-up:


Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: Forget puny magnums — the largest bottle of champagne is equivalent to 40 bottles and can serve 240 glasses. What’s it called?

Answer: That’s a Melchizedek. If you’re looking for a little hair of the dog today (or a lot), check out all your champagne bottle options here.

Congrats to…Well, several of you (Dan Tynan‏, Margo Howard) were familiar with the Jeroboam (a measly 24 glasses). Lorraine Berry‏ “could have sworn it was Methusalah, but it’s actually Rehoabam (sp?).” (Nope: 48 and 36 glasses, respectively.) Diane Young‏ was closest with her answer, Nebuchadnezzar (120 glasses). But no one was thinking quite big enough, and maybe it’s for the best, considering giant champagne bottles can explode for seemingly no reason.

Your question of the day for today is...On January 1, 1976, Danny Finegood and a few of his college buddies altered the iconic “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles to say what?

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!

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