APP:

Who’s Down

TV:

“Jessica Jones”  

  
    

In a phrase: Or who just doesn’t want to hang with you.

Where to find it: Google Play Store, Apple App Store.

 

If you are not feeling socially ostracized enough in the harsh world of social media, you should probably look into this app. It’ll do the trick. Essentially, users who have been invited (Strike 1: invite-only policy) can either set their status as down or not down. If you’re down, the idea is that your friends will see that that’s the case and invite you in on their plans. Another option is for you to specify what you’re down for, so other people can attempt to jump in on your idea.

The obvious drawback to this app’s existence is that it totally cheats you out of lying to get out of hanging out with a person you definitely don’t want to hang out with but who has asked you like five times if you’re free. In the old world, you could’ve just said, “Sorry dude, not feeling up to it,” and then go hit the bars with a couple of friends and untag yourself in the photos afterward. Now, though, you either have to hang out with this (perhaps truly awful) person, stay in completely or perhaps, tell her straight to her face. Yikes.  

 

In a phrase: At long last, a real superhero.

Where to find it: Released on Netflix Nov. 20.

 

Everyone’s beginning to get antsy about all of those November Netflix releases, and with good reason. First, there are few pleasures in life better than stealing away from your extended family for three or four hours during the holidays to binge-watch some quality tube. More importantly, however, there are actually some pretty good shows on the horizon, the best of which may be the surprising new Marvel hero concept “Jessica Jones.”

Based on an American Marvel comic, the show features a tough, smart heroine, Jessica Jones (duh),  played by Krysten Ritter. At the beginning of the season, Jones struggles with her career switch from superhero to private investigator. In the background, however, Jessica must also negotiate trauma resulting from a past abusive relationship. Due to this willingness to explore deeper issues, the show has been critically praised thus far. It may very well be a good viewing candidate for you this Thanksgiving dinner.

 

In a phrase: Underwear street parties in NYC.

Where to find it: NYC for now, but the movement’s spreading.

 

Looping is very difficult to explain, and I doubt you will fully understand this description until you have watched some videos online. Alas, I will try. Last spring, Matthew Silver and Fritz Donnelly decided to start organizing “adult play-times” in NYC, and they are still continuing today. Essentially, people strip to their undies and run around and wrestle each other like wild animals.

The founders say that this “looping” helps people cope with stress, though I’d be inclined to say that it is more of a performance art. Either way, it’s clear that everyone is not totally on board with the movement — police have been trying to shut sessions down due to lewdness and disturbance of the peace. On the other hand, I suppose it may allow for a healthy expression of inner angst and give adults permission to play. You be the judge: To loop or not to loop? That is the question. 

 

In a phrase: No more long, lonely drives.

Where to get it: Just now being test-piloted by Toyota.

 

Ever since I saw “I, Robot,” I knew this day was coming — the day when robots not only replace low-wage labor, but when they also start replacing our friends. Toyota is currently working on creating such a thing: a four-inch-tall robot that can talk to you, compute tons of data quickly and accurately and can fit in your cup holder.

Kirobo Mini is designed to read emotions, speech patterns and even gestures. In the immediate future, the hope is simply that Kirobo will entertain you enough to where you won’t fall asleep at the wheel and drive your car off a cliff. Eventually, however, scientists hope that the little guy can be used to collect better data on people: Most people do, after all, spend a lot of solitary time in their car doing weird shit (we’ve all belted Adele at least three or four times). If this doesn’t scare you already, keep in mind that Kirobo Mini would just be the first of its kind to go in cars. Conversational, emotion-reading robots have existed for decades. All I’m saying is, they better program the “Three Laws of Robotics” right this time.

{{tncms-asset app="editorial" id="7a1653aa-84c9-11e5-b368-f7065fa815f1"}}