The Parking Ticket, Pokémon, Morning Wood Edition 

Volume. 22

By: Kate Wells | Photos: Tom Froese


RoboCop a Plea. A 19-year-old British man has cracked the code to one of life’s biggest annoyances – fighting useless parking tickets. The Stanford University student created, “the world’s first robot lawyer.” The program works by figuring out whether an appeal is possible through a series of simple questions, and then guides the offender through the appeals process. Since it was launched 21 months ago, DoNotPay has fought 250,000 cases and won 160,000. That is over $4 million in parking tickets appealed – a similar amount to what law students will still owe on their loans after said robot takes their jobs.

Exercise-achu. What Michelle Obama has been trying to achieve for the last six years with her Let’s Move campaign, Nintendo did in one week with Pokémon Go. The augmented reality game requires users to walk, run and even jump – a foreign experience for the masses only accustomed to engaging only their thumbs. With over 7.5 million downloads and climbing, the road to the end of obesity may be paved with Pidgies. CEO John Hanke claims that’s just what the game’s makers were hoping for, but we have a feeling live action movies, increased sales and water cooler domination were higher on the list than public health.

Under the see. Humans may not be able to fly (yet), but they can officially see underwater. This incredible phenomenon was witnessed not in an X-Men movie, but in the Moken people of Thailand, a group of “sea nomads” who live almost completely disconnected from land. A visiting researcher observed that children who dive to the deepest depths of the ocean to collect food are able to see beneath the surface without any apparent disruption to their vision. Further observation showed that their sea-bound lifestyle had caused the kids’ pupils and lenses to develop similar to a seal or dolphin – able to widen and contract dramatically dependent on their environment. The best part? Any child, with practice, can master this ocular ability. The worst part? Human eyes lose their adaptability with age, so – like the ability to eat without gaining weight or drink without a hangover – this super power is not available to adults.

Up and at 'em
. Here’s an explanation for one of life’s little (Eds. note: size doesn’t matter!) mysteries: what exactly is nocturnal penile tumescence – otherwise known as ‘morning wood’ – and why does it happen? First of all, the street name is wildly misleading as scientists say these erections can occur anywhere from three to five times throughout the night. And while many like to believe they are attributed to naughty dreams, scientists scoff at the notion, as spontaneous erections have also been observed in the womb. The most likely explanation is that during waking hours the male brain emits an anti-erection chemical to keep them from springing up during socially inappropriate times, but during REM sleep this inhibiting factor goes away. So, like snoring and drooling in your sleep, erections are just an embarrassment you’ll have to deal with. Sometimes life is hard.