Before we get into details, let’s set a rule: leave Gen Z alone! I’m of the opinion that every generation is equally annoying, and my generation is neither more annoying than generations before it nor less annoying. When people seethingly reference how things used to be, what they really mean is they are too shy to admit that they like scrolling through social media.
That said, according to TikTok, if anyone is unnecessarily angry it’s Gen Z. Decide for yourself after reading today’s Inverse Daily, which, in addition to analyzing the #angertest trend tearing through TikTok, walks you through an ancient city. See? Time is a flat circle.
In response to the pathologization of anger in 1986, one researcher “published a test that tried to incorporate more of the multifaceted manifestations of anger,” writes Inverse science reporter Nick Keppler. “Thirty-five years later, that clinical tool has begat #angertest, a new TikTok trend, in which users boast their scores of an online questionnaire version of the assessment, with the backing of a droning electric bass line.” I mean, how else would you want to proclaim to the world that you’re pissed? A twinkling marimba certainly wouldn’t cut it.
Based on the TikTok hashtag, which had racked up 17.1 million views at the time of writing, you might start to believe that the world’s current batch of 18-24-year-olds are especially angry. But you’re also probably aware that “many new generations have seemed more angsty to the ones that preceded it,” writes Keppler.
Studies on millennials and zoomers do indicate a generational expectation shift — empathy seems to be down and entitlement seems to be up, leading to “chronic disappointment and issues with hostility and conflict.”
You can blame the internet if you’d like, but both the internet and anger are laminated in a little silver lining. Despite empathy supposedly taking a backseat, additional studies point to increased social awareness in millennials and Gen Z, thanks to the “flood of information from social media” that centers topics like “environmental sustainability, and systematic racism.” That said, you probably shouldn’t look to TikTok for the right way to deal with anger.
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NASA is literally looking into the past. On Wednesday, the agency announced that it had opened one of the last remaining samples from the 1972 Apollo 17 mission. The sample identified as 73001 was initially collected in December 1972 by astronauts in the Moon’s Taurus-Littrow Valley.
Sample 73001 is the lower half of a two-part sample, but its counterpart 73002 was already cracked into by 2019. 73001 met a slightly different fate because it was vacuum sealed and “the team wanted to fine-tune plans to capture Moon gasses from the vacuum tube,” writes Inverse editor Mike Brown.
The images of sample 73001 being freed from its 50-year-old home are amazing speckles of our great history with the Moon, but nothing could beat seeing the powder unlidded in person. “Juliane Gross, the deputy Apollo sample curator, likened the experience of being one of the first to see the soil as being like ‘a kid in a candy store,’” writes Brown.
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Okay, forget NASA. With virtual reality’s help, we can all look into the past.
“When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, the Roman city of Pompeii — and many of its residents — were buried under layers of volcanic ash,” writes Inverse card story editor Jennifer Walter. “The volcanic matter preserved much of Pompeii’s remains.”
It wasn’t exactly a “you had to be there” moment, but the famous and catastrophic eruption has been a sticking point for researchers after “almost two millennia,” writes Walter. The enduring appeal of ancient Pompeii can perhaps best be exemplified by researchers’ recent efforts to take a Pompeii house and put it in a thoroughly 2022 headset.
“In a new study in the journal Antiquity, researchers recruited five participants to view their VR reconstruction of the House of the Greek Epigrams, a building known for its elaborate frescoes,” writes Walter. The study authors tracked their participants’ eye movements as they journeyed to the past, information the authors hope to use to “understand how architecture appealed to the senses [...] in the ancient world,” writes Walter.
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Weekend sendoff: The VFX industry is trapped in a downward spiral
Right now, Hollywood’s visual effects industry is more of a horror than a rom-com. VFX companies are closing by the handful, no matter how prestigious they are, no matter how long they’ve lived. “How could so many high-profile companies regularly working on movies that bring in billions of dollars fail?” writes entertainment reporter Drew Turney. “It’s simple: the VFX industry, engaged in a lose-lose race to the bottom, is fundamentally broken.”
This weekend, while preparing for the Oscars on March 27, you should take some time to read Turney’s feature on the VFX industry’s no-win spiral. In the long-read, Turney pokes holes through the industry’s tattered sails, discussing its decades-old issues with money, mass layoffs, and widespread worker burnout.
Ultimately, there’s no existing “magic solution” to any of these problems, writes Turney, “not even Netflix’s deep pockets — but a good first step would be for producers and directors to take the time to understand the art form.”
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- On this day in history: On March 25, 1960, American World War II pilot and NASA test pilot Joseph A. Walker “flew the first NASA flight,” indicates NASA’s website. Walker was able to boost a North American X-15 aircraft up to Mach 2 at 48,630 feet. Eventually, Walker became the first civilian to fly into space, as well as the first person to enter space twice.
- Song of the day: “Do The Astral Plane” by Flying Lotus.