To understand the mass hysteria around The Dress last week, you can't compare it to other memes. You have to compare it to political events like #Ferguson, which are its diametrical opposite. Except in one way.
The next time you call someone (or something) your "spirit animal," consider this. The phrase became common only recently, and it went from Indian myth to internet meme in just a few years. The history of its sudden explosion in popularity is fascinating ... and Megan Garber tells you the whole story at The Atlantic.
Is touchy-feely environmentalism a new opiate of the people? Why are we paying rent to Bill Gates? Is reality incomplete? Marxist cultural commentator Slavoj Žižek, the most dangerous philosopher in the west, unravels it all for Liz Else.
Why was quicksand a major peril in 1960s movies, but suddenly no longer scary in the 1990s? In an entertaining essay for Slate, Dan Engber explains how quicksand is getting sucked out of pop culture - but reinvented by scientists.
In this excerpt from her book The Breakup 2.0, media studies professor Ilana Gershon explains the rituals around breakups on social networks. To defriend or not defriend? What about creating a warning ringtone for your ex?