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End Times Update 5/22: John Mulaney, Billy Porter, and UFOs

One clone's perspective on pop culture.

Each week one of Popdust's disposable clones — grown in a vault deep beneath the Mojave desert — is exposed to the outside world through a relentless feed of news, pop culture, and social media.

The arduous process accelerates their dissolution back into an amorphous clone slurry. But before they go, they leave behind a document of what they've absorbed and what they've learned — a time capsule preserving a single moment in the slow-motion collapse of civilization. We call these, End Times Updates...

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Culture Feature

Why Do Gwyneth Paltrow's Vagina-Scented Candles Keep "Exploding?"

Is it normal for a candle to come with this many warnings?

When you get a new candle, what's the first thing you do?

Obviously, like any responsible candle owner, you immediately check the safety instructions to make sure that you're observing all necessary protocol to avoid a violent explosion of flames — before locking it in your candle safe. But it turns out that not everyone is like us. There are some dangerous individuals out there who are buying candles without the understanding that they are essentially deadly weapons.

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Culture Feature

In Hollywood Breakup Ritual, Ben Affleck "Trashes" Ana De Armas

In a mysterious Hollywood custom, a cardboard cutout of Ana De Armas was placed in ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck's trash.

For decades scholars from around the world have been studying the minutiae of social life within the unspoiled and oft-misunderstood culture known as "Hollywood."

The strange locals we have come to know as "celebrities" defy our understanding with their alien customs — moving in with estranged spouses, joining cults, drinking blood. And yet we are constantly reminded how much these exotic and beautiful creatures are "just like us."

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Culture Feature

Which GOOP Products Keep Gwyneth Paltrow Looking So Sexy at 48?

None of GOOP's products are likely to keep you young, but they all help to prevent Gwyneth Paltrow from ever aging.

GOOP

There's no denying it: Gwyneth Paltrow looks good.

And she celebrated that fact on her 48th birthday by sharing an image of herself with her seven million Instagram followers wearing nothing but her "birthday suit." Approaching 50, the mother of two looks better than most of us ever will. Covering herself just enough to skirt Instagram's community standards, Paltrow shows off every inch of her toned, glowing skin. But what is her secret?

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MUSIC

Your House Can Smell Like Erykah Badu's Hoo-Hah

The neo-soul singer is one-upping Gwyneth Paltrow's intimate-smelling candles.

First, Gwyneth Paltrow wanted to sell us a candle that smells like her vagina (which has since sold out).

Now, R&B legend Erykah Badu is giving Goop a run for their money with her own rather intimate scent, soon to hit the market. It's called "Badu's Pussy," and it's a fragrance intended to smell just like, well, the singer's lady bits.

Since first emerging with her jazzy soul music in the '90s, Badu has become known for her offbeat, at times even occultish aura. But the magic doesn't stop at her spellbinding lyricism. "There's an urban legend that my pussy changes men," Badu told 10 Magazine. "The men that I fall in love with, and fall in love with me, change jobs and lives." Now you, too, can be charmed by the wizardry of her hoo-hah.

According to 10, the scent will be sold in incense form, ensuring that all of your meditation sessions and dinner parties will have the perfectly musky aroma of Badu's crotch. But how to achieve such a distinct odor, you ask?

"I took lots of pairs of my panties, cut them up into little pieces and burned them," Badu added. "Even the ash is part of it." No big loss, though; Badu has been going commando for quite some time. "The people deserve it!"


I wonder if Badu's Pussy will come in a perfume form. I'm sure the strangers I share my morning commute with on the subway would appreciate me smelling like such enchanted genitalia. You can buy the incense from Badu's new online store, launching February 20.

The greatest threat to the human race has always been our own bodies.

Our vulnerability to infectious diseases has caused the greatest calamities in recorded history, from the Black Plague to the astounding threat still posed by the common flu. But behind each health catastrophe is a story of blind greed or hubris, with humans spreading diseases due to rampant consumption, ecological destruction, or just plain ol' bureaucracy. Such is the case with the coronavirus, which, despite emerging in humans only recently, has made historic disruptions to everyday life. The World Health Organization recently declared the virus a pandemic, in addition to being a global emergency.

Luckily, we have movies to turn to in times like these to educate us on how to survive (and prevent) a global pandemic. So what can we learn from virus outbreak movies?

1. Contagion

Contagion is an especially relevant thriller that follows the global spread of a deadly virus, along with researchers' attempts to contain and cure the disease. As the plot progresses across several lines of perspective, we witness the mass social disorder caused by the pandemic.

But the real twist comes at the end, when we see the virus' source [SPOILER]: A bulldozer plows through a Chinese jungle, which disturbs a bat that infects a pig, which is then handled by a chef who doesn't wash his hands before shaking hands with Gwyneth Paltrow, who is Patient 0. So the lesson here is that the virus is entirely humans' fault for engaging in deforestation, and also wash your f*cking hands.