1. Mr. Sulu will be openly gay in the next Star Trek movie.
Ever since the Gene Rodenberry days, Star Trek has been known for its spirit of diversity and openness. (See Kirk and Uhura giving television its first interracial kiss in a 1968 episode of the original series.) The tradition continues in Star Trek Beyond, in which Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu will be an openly homosexual character. According to John Cho, who plays Sulu in the movies, writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin made the choice as an homage to George Takei, who played Sulu in his original incarnation and is an outspoken activist in the LGBTQ community. We know Sulu’s not a Vulcan, but still to that we say: Live long and prosper.
2. There’s a legit petition to rename fire ants “spicy boys.”
Because, you know, there aren’t any actual causes we need to be worrying about. A fellow calling himself “pupperg small” has started a petition on Change.org called “Rename Fire Ants to Spicy Boys!!!” and is exactly what it says on the tin. In it, pupperg calls for… someone?… to change the official name of fire ants, the scourge of picnics everywhere, to “spicy boys.” The people he plans to send the petition to? Barack and Michelle Obama, plus Mark Zuckerberg. As of this writing the petition has more than 27,000 signatures, because people are idiots. Only 7,803 left to go!
3. NASA’s Juno probe has entered orbit around Jupiter.
We may not have sent a human outside of Earth’s orbit in a long while, but mankind is sending plenty of robotic representatives. The latest is Juno, a probe that NASA launched five years ago that has finally reached its destination: the orbit of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. The probe will study the makeup of the gas giant and try to figure out what makes it tick. But perhaps the best part of the whole thing is NASA scientists’ over-the-moon reactions. “Juno sang to us, and it was a song of perfection,” said Rick Nybakken, the project director, adorably.
4. An elephant in Thailand got a prosthetic leg.
Mosha the elephant’s story was pretty sad—when she was seven months old, she stepped on a landmine and lost her right front leg. Awww. She wouldn’t have been able to survive without a prosthetic, on account of elephants are very heavy and three legs wouldn’t have been able to properly take her weight. Fortunately, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation have been making Mosha a series of prosthetic limbs as she grows. The latest version allows her to walk around more easily than ever. Yay! The surgeon who designs and fits her prosthetics says that Mosha gives her a little trunk salute each time she gets a new leg. So polite.
5. Nivea created the most bizarre ad campaign of all time.
Nothing says “Take care of your skin!” like a shitting seagull, right? Right? Ugh. Legendary adman John Hegarty took the occasion of the Titanium Grand Prix advertising awards to call out one particularly egregious competitor: Nivea’s sunscreen guerilla marketing campaign, which involved a robotic, remote-controlled seagull “pooping” sunscreen on children at a beach. No, we’re not kidding. A video for the campaign features a voiceover about the bird “dropping its load” on beachgoing kids to give them “their first fun sunscreen experience.” Yeah… Fun.