Imagine a film about war. Then, imagine a film about journalists. Somehow, Ex Machina’s Alex Garland fashioned one of the most compelling stories of the year by marrying these unlikely premises. Even more unlikely? He convinced A24 to make an action film. Don’t worry, this is not a souped-up Marvel movie. It’s exactly what you’d expect from our favorite indie studio’s first venture into the action genre: subversive, thrilling, and intrepid.

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Culture News

Multiple Teachers Are Currently Trapped in Quarantine with Matt Damon

The Good Will Hunting star has been locked down in Ireland with his family and multiple teachers since early March

Jason Bourne, Universal Studios

In a recent interview with Irish radio show Fully Charged, Matt Damon revealed the charming circumstances of his family's lockdown in Dalkey, Ireland.

Dalkey is an upscale suburb of Dublin where the Contagion star had arranged to stay with wife, Luciana Barroso, and their three daughters while he was filming The Last Duel with director Ridley Scott and co-star Adam Driver. The couple brought teachers along for the trip to make sure their children stayed on top of their education, but ever since the project was put on hiatus in early March, Damon, his family, and those teachers have all been locked down together.

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Instagram's "Until Tomorrow" Craze Follows the Model of Infectious Diseases

The #untiltomorrow challenge on Instagram actually has a lot in common with the spreading COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Nearly half the population of the US and about a third of people around the world are now under some form of quarantine as part of the effort to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With instructions to remain at home and maintain physical distance between themselves and others—outside of completing essential tasks—people have been driven more and more to the warm embrace of the Internet. With a pandemic spreading outside, digital forms of socializing that avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19 are more essential than ever. But in the case of Instagram, the newest meme challenge to take over the platform shares some things in common with the coronavirus—it's been going viral in more ways than one.

Compared to other viral trends that people simply join for fun, or because a friend called them out to participate, Instagram posts with the hashtag #untiltomorrow work more like an infectious disease. An embarrassing image posted under the hashtag is the most obvious symptom, and it carries with it the contagion. If you interact with one of these posts in the 24 hour period during which they remain active, you will be exposed to the infection, and it won't be long before you're likely to start infecting others.

It works like this: One of your friends will post a goofy, unflattering, or just generally embarrassing photo, tagging one person and including the hashtag #untiltomorrow. After 24 hours they will delete that post, but if you are foolish enough to like the image before that time is up, you will receive a message from your friend explaining that it's your turn. You will be conscripted to post an embarrassing image of yourself with the infectious hashtag and to tag the person who infected you.

So far the #untiltomorrow has been spreading quickly, with over 550,000 active posts as of Thursday morning—compared to 350,000 on Wednesday night. While many people will have a natural immunity to this new contagion (otherwise known as indifference), for the rest of us our only hope is to spread clear and correct information about the danger and to avoid contact with the infected. Maybe stay off of Instagram for a while. There are lots of other ways to spend your time: Go outside, go see a movie, do something with your friends, or...oh wait.

If #untiltomorrow continues to follow the patterns of an infectious disease, it's going to get even more popular in coming days. Of course there are a number of important distinctions between the challenge and an actual infectious disease. For a start, its incubation period is much shorter than COVID-19, and the signs of infection should be immediately recognizable to anyone who has been informed—not to mention it's not going to kill anyone. Still, it will be interesting to see if the hashtag takes over all of Instagram, or if the spread of information will begin to "flatten the curve," causing the challenge to slowly disappear.

While the stakes are nonexistent next to the millions of lives at risk from the coronavirus, the trajectory of the #untiltomorrow challenge should be a reminder to everyone of how quickly infections can spread and to be careful not to contribute to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Charlie Brooker Predicted the Future (Before "Black Mirror")

A group of Big Brother housemates have yet to hear about the spreading viral pandemic...which is the exact premise of Dead Set


Picture this: There's a viral pandemic quickly sweeping across the globe.

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