1. The nerds are taking over. Over the last three years, Google has “executed more deals than any company in the world.” And if you don’t believe me, you can Google it. The company that was once all about search is branching out to gaming, infrastructure, home automation, healthcare, and more. Should we be scared? “It’s a tremendous amount of control by one company.” Kids with (regular) glasses will soon find they are not alone. And what better way to take over all aspects of our lives than to take over our bowling alleys? If you tracked your own every move on the Internet, which Google basically already does, what would you learn? On a lighter note, the heartbreaking story of the terrible app people couldn’t get enough of has a happy ending that involves a whole bunch of new (and also terrible) apps.
2. You can never have too many maps. Once upon a time, there was a man in Atlanta who didn’t like the cold. So he made a map to find out where all the nice weather is. (Speaking of Atlanta, a mind-bogglingly catastrophic storm is headed in that direction, according to the National Weather Service. But don’t worry, they handled the last storm without incident.) Here’s a useful map for people who never leave the house. Don’t worry, Google isn’t the best at everything. The best Sochi map was crowdsourced, and it put Google Maps to shame. You know what makes a long flight seem even longer but is still great? A map showing where the plane is. And here’s a map to use alongside it to see if the state over which you’re currently flying might soon legalize pot.
3. All eyes on Sochi. First things first. How many medals has the US won so far? A local skating duo just might be America’s unsung Olympic hope. You can no longer watch Olympic coverage just to monitor Bob Costas’ gross eye infection. But you can definitely watch just to catch a glimpse of these amazing pants or these scary contact lenses. Those amazing pants won’t outshine the neverending array of crazy clothing worn by the amazingly outfitted Johnny Weir. It wouldn’t be the Olympics without some controversy. A Lebanese government official is investigating the possibility of a skier having taken topless photos at a mountain resort. And a Russian figure skater is blaming her racist tweet on hackers. Uh huh. Sure. When they’re not tweeting offensively, figure skaters sometimes fall down. But why? (I’m more curious about why they don’t always fall down.) This collection of photos from Sochi is almost complete. It’s just missing a photo of the airline executive peeing on the fence.
4. That’s a nice vice you have there. What’s the best kind of mob drug bust? One that involves Dunkin’ Donuts. (via @Nextdraft) Everywhere you look these days, there’s another story about heroin. Until we’ve convinced people to stop using the drug, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has one recommendation for how we can try and prevent deaths that result of overdosing on it. You know what must be tough? To be a smoker. If they’re not being cordoned off into strange glass enclosures, we’re kicking them out of restaurants and forcing them to avoid endangering their children’s health. Those guys just can’t catch a break. Maybe it’s time we were nicer. CVS won’t be selling cigarettes anymore, and to make up for the lost tobacco revenue, they’re opening a ton of new in-store clinics where we will have an array of prescription drugs waiting nestled amongst the endless array of holiday themed obesity causing snack under the welcoming glow of flourescent lights. Speaking of prescription drugs, they just might be the gateway to heroin? Real Americans know that the vices we indulge in best in this country are the ones that come stuffed. With cheese.
5. Also … We just don’t make child stars like we used to. Beloved child actress and two-time ambassador Shirley Temple has died. Watch a tribute. Everyone likes to get followed on Twitter. But what about when a dead coworker follows you? How did AOL CEO Tim Armstrong even know about those “distressed babies”? Here’s how. A news anchor mistook Samuel L. Jackson for Laurence Fishburne. Jackson wasn’t enthused. The man many look to for spiritual guidance might also be a new source of snark. Are you in the market for a dog? What about one with two noses. Those mean comments you write on newspaper websites like this one? Keep ‘em coming. If you have never seen it, it’s worth taking a minute to relive an amazing rant against badminton. And finally, the recent news of a giraffe named Marius being fed to the lions at a Denmark zoo prompted at least one deranged reporter to wonder: what does giraffe meat really taste like?
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