Web Hostess Live: The latest from the Web

May 01, 2014

A weekly chat about the best ways to kill time online. Our Web Hostess, Monica Hesse, sifts the Internet so you don't have to, searching for meaning, manners and the next great meme.

Afternoon, everyone. I'm told there are rampant chat cancellations today, but we're still here, and ready to go at 2.

Why were all of the other chats cancelled today?

 I have no idea -- must be coincidence. We soldier on!

What happened today on washingtonpost.com? The chat schedule on the front page shows 4 of the 6 scheduled chats as canceled.

Would you all feel better if I did a quick walk-through of the newsroom to make sure my colleagues are still alive?

Why were there so many today?

Fine. It was me. I did it. I have taken over the Washington Post.

Have you seen this yet? It is the online version of the Great Gatsby NES game. It is ridiculously awesome.

In order to fulfill my duty as host of this chat, I just played this game for 10 minutes to ascertain that it works. It works.

April's gentle rains have pierced the drought of March right to the root.

Who else saw the pictures of the Baltimore landslide?

Apropos of nothing: I really like the idea of this web tool, designed to transform difficult decisions (about which apartment to buy, whether to movie, etc) into numerical processes. Hat tip to Slate, which had a nice article on it.

What is this? I read the article, downloaded the companion pdf (I could only stand about five pages of it), but still can't really define what 'normcore' is.

Here's the original -- or one of the earlier, anyway -- articles about normcore. It's basically: cool, trendy people buying clothes from places like Kohls or JC Penneys, as a rejection of the constriction of high-priced fashion. But it's only called "normcore" when a cool, trendy person is doing it. When a regular person is doing it, it's just called "getting dressed in the morning."

Maybe someone here has a better definition?

I'M certainly not going to work today, and I bet that's where the other Post columnists and chatters are, too. We're lucky to have Cupcake, so stop complaining.

"We're lucky to have Cupcake, so stop complaining."


I'll probably get this sewn on a shirt at some point in my life.

I will be grateful when this Donald Sterling fiasco blows over, I am really sick of seeing his picture online.

But we've only barely entered into the territory of speculating who is going to buy the Clippers, and which new owner would result in the sweetest irony given Sterling's racism.

the in the news listing above this column: S, Korean ferry, Rob Ford, Sinn Fenn i.e. Gerry Adams arrested for 40 year old murder, Putin, Donald Sterling. What a rouges' gallery!

I think you mean "rogue," not "rouge?" Though I really do like the idea of a gallery of ladies blush.

A Minnesota family are driving in the countryside. Suddenly an animal crosses the road in front of the car and runs away into the forest. After an hour one brother says: "It is a fox!". After another hour a second brother says: "No, it is a wolf!". After a third hour the father replies: "You kids stop fighting back there!"

Wait. Wait, I don't get it. Is the joke that people from Minnesota don't talk much? Is the joke that they're slow-witted? I think this joke goes over my head because I don't typically think of "silent" being a Minnesota stereotype. Or maybe it's because my relatives who live there are very chatty.

According the the Solar Institute (SIDC) of the Royal Observatory in Brussels, what was the cause and extent of the reported global warming from 1959-2002. What has been the cause of global cooling after 2003? What is the global forecast through 2024? Google it. Read, understand, win a Pulitzer.

Maybe you can just summarize for us here?

Or rather, "Cast members from Downton Abbey bumming around on set during their downtime."

OK, that was funny. I said HA.

Apparently, I've been normcore since birth.

If any of you ever come visit Normal, Illinois, we can all go to this place which is, I swear, where the bulk of my clothing was purchased as a child.

Not to bring down the mood, but Wow. Video of teenagers slowly realizing they're about to drown.

Obviously, non-Korean speakers won't understand what's being said in the video. It's hard to tell if this is truly teenagers realizing they're going to drown, or if was taken earlier in the disaster, before people realized what had happened. You hear laughter in the background at several points, and kids horsing around.


What do you think of the posting of this video? Is it disrespectful? Does it enhance your understanding or change your feelings about what happened? FYI, the student's father provided the video to the media.

Good question. Mostly dry until it's wet with a chance of nobody knows. "When weird machine style attacks begin to involve devices that do not have a human user who might be coherent enough to notice that something is amiss, they will proceed in stealth." We are under cyber attack! PIS

Is this Siri?

Isn't working. Can't access.

It works for me, when I click on the link. If it doesn't work for you, just Google "SomethingPop."

You'll get it.


Suddenly seeing why other chats might have been cancelled -- I'm having some technical difficulties here. Stand by. Submit as usual. Talk to yourselves.

Hmm... the version I saw had English subtitles. Will try to find.


I just flip a coin when I can't make a decision (or I'm indifferent about either approach)!

Which is a pretty good decision-making tool, because even if you think you feel neutrally, your reaction to the flipped coin will probably tell you something about how you really feel.

Playing this 'till you're back.

The Beethoven of hold music. (I'm back, and then not back again -- the screen freezes every time I try to do something useful, like click on a link or post a question).

Sorry, guys. I'm defeated by technology today. Even a reboot didn't seem to solve the problem. I'm going to log off early, and hope for better luck next week.

In This Chat
Monica Hesse
Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

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