Small Talk Ammo: Jurassic Park is Old, BYO Toilet to Korea, and The World’s Oldest Cat

Small Talk Ammo: Jurassic Park is Old, BYO Toilet to Korea, and The World’s Oldest Cat
Welcome to Small Talk Ammo, a new Primer feature designed to keep your weekend social interactions easy.

Twice a month, we'll provide a bevy of ideas behind compelling headlines, stories, facts, tips, and tricks to help you nail the many various social interactions you'll encounter. Equipped with this information, you should be able to deftly navigate any conversation, no matter the subject or company.

  1. Ah summer! Warm weather, cookouts, fireworks, and… annoyingly high gas prices. Analysts say Americans are now spending 7% of their income on gas, a statistic that is up from 5.5%, last year. So maybe try to carpool to the beach?
  2. One of the most interesting facts to come out of the recent summit in Singapore between the United States and North Korea was that Kim Jong-Un traveled with his own toilet. Why would he do this? Has he done it before? Is there any historical precedent for other world leaders going to such great lengths? Slate addresses all of these questions and more.
  3. If you adopted a kitten in 1988, would you expect to be throwing him a birthday party, 30 years later? Probably not. However, that is the reality for a woman in England and her feline friend, adorably named “Rubble”. At 137 in human years, it makes Rubble the world’s oldest cat.
  4. Before you celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, maybe take a moment and learn a thing or two about the history of the holiday. For example, did you know that Mother’s Day predates it by several years? You may be surprised at how recently the day, which retailers coined a “Second Christmas for Men,” became a federal holiday.
  5. We’ve known for a while that the Wonder Woman sequel would take place in the 1980s and this week, we received official word about the film’s title and a returning character!
  6. Watching twelve clocks tick for over 14 years sounds impossibly dull and pointless but what if I told you, that in doing so, physicists further confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity? Set your alarm because it’s true.
  7. If you’ve ever lost sleep or confounded your friends with thoughts of how invasive internet advertisements manage to find you no matter where you go or what you do, tech public policy expert Chris Yiu ran down 14 of the ways these digital gremlins manage to track you like binary big game hunters.
  8. Believe it or not, Jurassic Park and its groundbreaking special effects stomped their way into theaters 25 years ago this month. This rundown from The Conversation articulates many of the ways in which the film’s achievements represented a seismic shift for the entire industry. (Fun fact, to give you some perspective on the history of magical movie visuals: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was already 25 years old when Jurassic Park was released.)
  9. The world lost a wonderfully sharp, gifted, compassionate, and compelling human being with the passing of Anthony Bourdain. And as as we’re celebrating his many varied contributions to the world, Lifehacker honored Bourdain by compiling many of his best insights concerning everything from punctuality to faking it (as well as stuff like how to make a better burger).
  10. It might be summer in the northern hemisphere but your heart still needs to be warmed by this story of a Canadian’s children’s hospital, 75,000 finger puppets, and the kindness of strangers.
  11. Social Trick:
    Do you struggle to remember things? Once upon a time, so did USA Memory Champion Nelson Dellis. But now he’s offered up five tricks tailored to ensure you’ll never again forget something important, which are perfect for when you inevitably meet someone new or try a different barbecue recipe, this summer.
  12. While we still haven’t quite confirmed whether or not the red planet was ever home to green, cape-wearing shapeshifting superheroes, the Curiosity rover recently did find some rather compelling evidence that organic life may have once existed on Mars. It’s the most interesting goop you’ll read about, all week!
  13. The World Cup kicked off in Russia on June 14 and you may have noticed that the United States is not among those countries participating. How and why did this happen? It has to do with a dearth of young talent, a lack of time, coaching, and Trinidad & Tobago.
  14. Nobody likes being stuck behind slow-moving pedestrians focused on their phones rather than footspeed. But what can be done about it? In Xi’an, China, the answer is “create a special lane for these zombies of the sidewalk”.
  15. 35 years after deserting the Air Force, an American officer has been located and apprehended in California. The mysterious story involves top-secret clearance, classified systems, presumed abduction, fraudulent passports, the former Soviet Union, and it is absolutely fascinating.
Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an artist and writer living in Virginia. He channels most of his enthusiasm into making things for his online art shop, Artness! by Justin Brown. You can keep up to date with him, his worldly adventures, and his dogs by following him on Instagram and on Facebook