With the current state of the world right now it’s hard to avoid falling into a conversation about something mind-bendingly terrible while you’re trying to enjoy your hard-earned pint. But listen up -- the world is still good. Why not gab about the amazing(ly positive) sources of wonder that abound -- Dinosaurs. Babies. Baby dinosaurs. Debate about topics that are fun and won't get a barstool thrown at your head (unless you're that serious about Pokemon).
To help the world keep its few hours of peace and respite within the sacred confines of the bar, we’ve arranged a few talking points that are sure to keep you out of any politically charged bar fights. Make some flash cards.
The new, tiny-armed dinosaur that was found in Argentina
And by tiny arms we mean little bitty limbs and not miniature melee weapons -- but how metal would a T-Rex holding a battleaxe be? (They might not be able to actually hold them on account of the tiny limbs, but anyway…) A new dinosaur very distantly related to the aforementioned T-Rex was discovered in Patagonia earlier this summer and not only does this new kid on the block (sort of) have the arms of a child, but “two-fingered hands”. That thing’s been buried in the earth for millions of years and humankind only just found it -- and we live up here. Imagine what’s in the ocean?
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The Zeus-level virility of Mick Jagger
At 73-years-old, this living legend is adding to his legacy by helping spawn an entire human being that shares some of his rockstar DNA. That brings up the Jagger kid-count to a whopping eight humans (that he knows of, probably). Food for thought -- should he go for 11 and make a football team? Reenact the Sound of Music, with at least one kid benched as an understudy? Actually -- his currently-born children’s ages range from 17 to 45, and frankly, this makes them ripe for a reality show. The person who comes up with the best name for this potential ratings godsend/nightmare gets a drink from the loser.
What should we watch now that Game of Thrones is over?
Yeah, there’s only so many times you can rewatch the show, reread the books, and light candles outside of George R.R. Martin’s mansion in the hopes of calling on the spirit of the written word to possess him to hurry the heck up. Game of Thrones is like the ex who can’t commit; until you’re both ready to take it to the next level, you might as well move on and have a little fun with another prime-time drama. But which? Outlander sure has the gratuitous butts covered (or not, rather), Vikings checks off the old-timey speak and interesting facial hair, and Ballers makes keeping your HBO NOW subscription active until season 7 rolls around worth it. What do you think?
Is discussing your ultimate heartbreak healthier than talking politics?
You can argue that one of the most traumatic moments of your life -- that which brought on tear-stained pillowcases, unread messages, the general feeling of post-breakup malaise, and aversion to the first bars of any Adele song -- is actually more mentally approachable and ripe for conversation than the current state of politics today. Is it actually more healthy to have that conversation rather than one about what the ticker is flashing on every 24 hour news network?
Would you date Graham, the Superhuman evolved to withstand car accidents?
Want to know what an invincible man would look like? Well, he’s no Clark Kent but that doesn’t mean he’s not a total catch. You could argue that Graham will always be there for you; no mobile tin can traveling 60mph into a tree can fell him. Each of his ribs sports its own fleshy airbag to withstand impact. He has knees that bend in every direction (sounds potentially fun). His flat, fleshy face wraps around a giant skull to protect his brain, the part of Graham that will never forget your anniversary. Think about it.
Which Snapchat filters do you actually want to see?
While the doggy ears are amping up to become a modern classic in the science of carefully orchestrated selfies, Snapchat has taught us that the possibilities for morphing your face are truly endless. This app has more up its sleeve, so why is the cat filter not permanent like the dog filter? (It’s clearly a dig at cat people.) How long do we have to wait get one that translates your Snapchat rant into French? How long until we can become the Pokemon we’re trying to catch on Pokemon Go? Gotta be them all.
Speaking of Pokemon GO, is the game old news?
Some dude in Brooklyn is claiming to have already caught them all, and his name’s not Gary Oak. So is it time to shelve that for a while and focus on the future? You can argue that the most exciting things coming this fall are Pokemon Sun & Moon set in the Aloha state, hyped even further by Pokemon GO's punch right in the nostalgia. Have you seen those new starters? Popplio is an adorable seal. If you haven't been in the loop, it's 1) time to invite your one friend that definitely still plays all the new releases out for happy hour to get you caught up so you can 2) rekindle the age old debate. Water, grass, or fire? (Water is the most logical answer, don't kid yourselves).
Slovenia's “DRAGON EGGS” are hatching
Science is insane. Okay, so they're not like, FIRE-breathing dragons, but Olms are aquatic salamanders that were once thought to be baby dragons and immortal, but IRL live for oh, about 100 years. These wriggly guys lay eggs only maybe a couple of times a decade and now in Slovenia, those suckers are hatching in the wild! It's a curious critter, and way more interesting than political animals.
Which is the best throwback game in the mini NES Classic Edition?
With 30 pre-loaded games on this miniature version of the original console, it's not a question of if you'll be getting it, it's a question of ranking. Who can resist the pull of the opening notes of the Super Mario Bros. 2 load screen? Or is Zelda your bag? Maybe you're lamenting the exclusion of Duck Hunt (we kind of are. It was a package deal with Super Mario Bros!). Maybe you had a weird hope that Mother 3 would be on there because we all want that even though it wasn't for the original NES and Mother 3 still taunts us with only unofficial English fan translations. Bare all those intense NES feelings over drinks.
Should you talk about celebrity drama or not?
On the one hand, that’s what they want. But on the other hand, talking about whether you should or shouldn’t talk about it is a pretty good way to talk about it -- there’s a level of self awareness there that puts you in control of the situation. While the dragging of Taylor Swift on Snapchat by Kim Kardashian (and the subsequent very public dancing on the bedazzled grave of her good-girl victim facade) is a very juicy, very in-season piece of gossip-fruit to snack on, it’s also very low-hanging fruit. Should we as a society be talking about how inspired it was watching her shiny it-girl squad getting their perfectly sculpted behinds handed to them one by one when attempting to defend her, or how easy it is to bet that her relationship with the internet’s boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, is totally a publicity stunt? It’s time to hash it out.