Things That Matter

What Do You Think? Did This Congressman Fart On Live TV?

Did Congressman Eric Swalwell fart during an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews? Twitter certainly thinks so and #Fartgate has taken political Twitter by storm. The theory appears to have begun when user Andrew Lawrence shared a 5-second clip of the representative with a single caption: “OMFG SOUND ON.” 

Swalwell appears talking as expected, but a couple of seconds in there is an unmistakably loud and distinct fart-like sound. Many believe the hot mic ended up snitching on Swalwell’s bowels but the congressman swears he did not fart. If you think the impeachment hearings are going to damage Trump’s reputation, imagine being known as the congressman who farted. 

#Fartgate was the top trending hashtag on Monday night.

“Chris, so far the evidence is uncontradicted that the president used taxpayer dollars to help him cheat an election,” Swalwell said from the Capitol on Hardball only to be interrupted by a fart sound on live television. 

The audible fart noise sounds so cartoonishly like a fart that it may as well have been a whoopie cushion toy. Most notably in the video, Swalwell seems to acknowledge the toot when he briefly pauses, therefore eliminating the possibility that the noise was added into the video later.  

Reactions on Twitter quickly poured in.

“I heard this live and thought it was my dog. It was not. Turn your sound up. No, really,” journalist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly tweeted.

Some took shot at Swalwell’s excuse for the unfortunate noise mishap.

“Swalwell pauses and flinches at the exact moment someone lightly drags a mug across a desk instead of just picking it up like a regular person What an insane attempt at saving Swalwell,” journalist Tim Pool wrote on Twitter. 

Swalwell says he didn’t even hear the fart. What is the truth? 

Buzzfeed political reporter Addy Baird texted Swalwell to comment on #Fartgate, the congressman denied even hearing the toot. 

“I’m really sorry about this but I have to ask if this was you or someone in the studio,” Baid said in a text to Swalwell. 

Baird told him he looked like he was trying to hold a laugh in during his brief pause. 

“It was not me!!!!!” He wrote back. “Ha. And I didn’t hear it when I was speaking,” adding “I def did not hear it.” 

However, in the age where some politicians cry fake news when confronted with the truth, many users did not believe Swalwell. 

“He paused his speech and ripped one. I can see why he’d not admit to it, but lol to anyone who thinks otherwise,” one user wrote. 

Hardball attempts to clear the air (jajaja). 

While MSNBC did not appear to respond to any of the media’s requests for comment, after deleting a cryptic tweet of the double Spider-man meme, they shared another one. 

“Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists – it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk. Get yours today and let’s get back to the news!” The MSNBC show wrote on Twitter with a link to purchase the mug. 

People weren’t so keen on this theory. The hard ceramic bottom of a mug producing the sound of a fart as it scrapes against a sturdy news desk just did not seem feasible to the Twitter commentariat. 

“A farting coffee mug? Well that’s a new one. When I scrape my mug across the desk it sounds like a mug scraping across the desk,” Will Donnelly tweeted. 

Donelly also conducted a Twitter poll, which received 3,322 votes, asking users who they believe dealt it. 54 percent believed it was Swalwell, 31 percent Matthews, only 15 percent of users polled bought the coffee mug story. 

But Rep. Swalwell still claimed complete and total exoneration.

After Hardball’s tweet, the Democratic representative who is on the House Intelligence Committee and playing a role in the impeachment hearings took to Twitter to mock Trump and also claim victory. 

“TOTAL EXONERATION!” He tweeted — the same words Trump used after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. 

We may never know the truth about #Fartgate and that is so 2019. 

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This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Things That Matter

This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Look out Bad Bunny. There’s another breed of bunny in town that’s taking the internet by storm. A college student in Mexico recently went viral for the oddest thing. He has genetically engineered a strain of rabbits to be the largest in the world.

21-year-old Kiro Yakin has become a viral sensation after internet users have seen him with pictures of the giant bunnies he genetically engineered.

Yakin, a student at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla on the Xicotepec campus, is studying veterinary and animal husbandry. He began his experimentation by breeding two unique rabbit types together. The Flemish Giant rabbit and other, longer-eared bunnies that Yakin happened to notice. As a result, his monster-bunny was born.

According to Yakin, his experimental bunnies grow up to 22 pounds  Flemish Giant, while the average Flemish giant weighs 15 pounds. But make no mistake, Yakin’s bunny experiment was no accident. “It takes an average of 3 to 4 years to reproduce this giant species,” he told Sintesis.

Yakin’s ultimate goal is to breed a rabbit that can grow up to 30 pounds. “I am currently studying genetics to see how to grow this breed of giant rabbits more,” he said.

Yakin, who has had a soft spot for rabbits since he was a child (pun intended), now cares for a whopping fifty giant rabbits out of his parents’ home.

Luckily, his parents are supportive enough of his dream that they support their son (and his bunnies) financially. “I have the financial support and support of my parents to buy food a week for all 50 giant rabbits,” Yakin told Sintesis.

But he also admitted his project has a long way to go. “So far I have not set aside the time or budget that is required to start the project more seriously,” he said.

The only thing that’s preventing Yakin from committing all his time and energy to creating even bigger bunnies is–what else?–money.

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Although he already submitted a proposal to his university to try and expand his research, as of now, he is self-financed. However, Yakin makes a bit of extra cash by selling the giant bunnies to private customers.

His ultimate goal though, is to open up a large, professional farm where he can breed and cross-breed his bunnies to his heart’s content.

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The Census Results Are In And Things Don’t Look Great For California & Other States

Things That Matter

The Census Results Are In And Things Don’t Look Great For California & Other States

Between 2010 and 2020, the United States experienced its second slowest growth rate in history. Although the country’s population has surpassed 331 million people for the first time, several states saw declining population numbers and will see their representation in Congress cut.

Did your state grow between 2010 and 2020? Or will it lose a seat in the House of Representatives? Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. Census data is in and it’s a mixed bag for many states.

Perhaps the biggest news from the census data is that the country’s most populous state, California, will lose a seat in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, several southern states (those that typically vote Republican) will gain representation as Texas adds two Congressional seats and Florida and North Carolina add one each.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s acting director, Ron Jarmin, reported the new state population counts at a virtual news conference. The long-awaited announcement has reset the balance of power for the next decade in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College, where each state’s share of votes is tied to its census numbers.

Other states that will see their representation shift include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and West Virginia, all of which will lose one seat. Oregon, Colorado and Montana will add a seat.

What does this mean for elections moving forward?

This data shows that the nation’s political center of gravity keeps shifting further to the Republican-led South and West. The census release marks the official beginning of the once-a-decade redistricting battles. The numbers released Monday, along with more detailed data expected later this year, will be used by state legislatures or independent commissions to redraw political maps to account for shifts in population.

Meanwhile, Americans continue to move to GOP-run states. For now, that shift provides the Republicans with the opportunity to shape new congressional districts to maximize the influence of their voters and have a major advantage in upcoming elections—possibly enough to win back control of the U.S. House.

But in the long term, it’s not clear the migration is good news for Republicans. Many of the fastest-growing states are increasingly competitive political battlegrounds where the new arrivals —including many young people and people of color— could at some point give Democrats an edge.

Do we know more about the demographic makeup of the country?

Not yet, that data will be released during the second census announcement later this year. The bureau plans to start releasing this information by Aug. 16. This data will also used to guide the distribution of an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal money for Medicare, Medicaid, education and other public services for local communities.

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