Texting is Tacky. Calling is awkward. And email is old. Somebody—part-app, part-social engagement experiment—allows you to send a friend a messages not directly, but to another Somebody user nearest him or her. This user (stranger) then acts as your stand-in, verbally delivering your message with the friend to whom you with to communicate. Why be direct when you have can somebody do it for you?

This week the Internet’s collective mind was blown when Sanrio, the makers of Hello Kitty, confirmed that “Hello Kitty is not a cat.” A staple within global popular culture, and the focus an art + fashion retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum in October, Kitty is actually named Kitty White with a full back story. She is a Scorpio. She loves apple pie. She is a twin. And she is the daughter of George and Mary White. Life as we know it will never be the same.

When it comes to social advocacy, creative leverage and innovation is critical to make a market splash. A campaign in support of the World Animal Protection, does just that with a life-size, 3-D printed, elephant-shaped petition in Amsterdam. With each online signature, the out-of-home setup prints a portion of the animal embedded with the signer’s name in a special font called Elephont. To take engagement a step further, supporters worldwide can view the printer at work via live-feed video on the campaign site.

Abercrombie + Fitch logo-adorned apparel on the outs as teens continue to shift away from showy brand-centric fashion to cheaper, unmarked pieces that can they can use to express individual style. Accordingly, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has made a bold move and decided to remove the prominent logo from their gear after reporting their shares fell as much as 8.5 percent on Thursday, the tenth straight decline in quarterly same-stores sales. According to Chief Executive Mike Jeffries, “In the spring season, we’re looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing.” #TeensRunRetail

This week Facebook announced a new targeting feature that enables advertisers to reach people based on the network connection — 2G, 3G or 4G — they most often use when accessing Facebook. For advertisers, targeting by mobile network type will mean the option to choose creative that will run smoothly on any given device and connection speed, and for consumers, a less frustrating brand experience for users with slower connection speeds. Right time, right people, right creative. Success.

College students everywhere rejoice with the announcement of Taco Bell’s latest promotion in support of their Dollar Cravings Menu offering the chance to win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of FREE TACO BELL! [Insert a choir of angels singing here.] All you need to do is find one of eleven everlasting dollar bills put into circulation nationwide. To date, four have been released in MI, IL, TN and CA. Odds of winning are 1 in 2.4 Billion. Road trip????

Burning Man, the cultural event held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, kicked off this week with around 70,000 people expected to show. The event is either celebrated or criticized for the overall culture of the event. The event has been held annually since 1986, which is especially unique for a cultural event. The amount of self expression and the challenge to be self reliant have allowed the event to grow every year. We would love to hang out on the playa, but the 3 day drive might be a bit much. 

The city of Portland, OR is nearing approval to create tiny home communities on public land to help lessen the homeless community. The project is receiving support from all parties involved. These tiny homes would have small rent and allow people to have a place to call home that won’t break the bank. As for the aesthetics of the homes, planners are hoping to make small homes that fit the Portland feel. This is cool stuff and we hope other cities follow suit. 

Instagram hopes to change the shaky videos uploaded to its app with the introduction to Hyperlapse, an app that allows users to create seamless time-lapse videos. The developers behind this new app have tried, and succeeded, at making a simple and easy-to-use app that anyone can use. Tracking shots can be set up in less than a minute versus traditional time-lapse set ups. Thanks again Instagram, for allowing us to all be photographers.

Four years after Prince announced that “the Internet is over,” he releases a new album featuring a song named after the #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin meme. It seems Prince may be taking back what he said through the use of a song after realizing the Internet is definitely not dead or dying. Prince’s band announced his new album Monday on Good Morning America. Love him or hate him, you have to admit, he is unique.

Ever growing its empire, Amazon has purchased the online broadcasting service for video games, Twitch. This acquisition will allow Amazon to grow its online original content and enter into the video gaming world. The opportunity also exists for Amazon to enter into the service and create product tie ins, although Twitch will still operate under its own name. We’re eager to see where this partnership goes.

Today, social media drives brand transparency and a user-generated content crisis can quickly make or break a brand. A bakery chain from the UK, Greggs, recently addressed a social calamity head-on with speed, humility and humor. The social real-time response connected with outraged fans in an approachable and accessible manner, tipping the scales quickly and surely in favor of the brand. #winning

There is more where this came from. Mashable has a collection of “shower thoughts” submitted by people. Some actually are really hilarious/thought provoking.

While most people dread the end of summer, many Minnesota residents count down the days until the end of August because it means it’s time for the Minnesota State Fair. While the Miracle of Birth barn, concerts, and the butter sculptures are just a few of the fair highlights, arguably the best part of the twelve day event is the food. With over 70 different foods offered on a stick and choices like deep-fried candy bars, fair food is something you only get to enjoy once a year. The 2014 fair comes with 6 new food vendors and 28 new food options, including chocolate desert salami, hot toasted waffle ice cream sandwiches, and beer gelato. Choices for picky and adventurous eaters alike.

DERP (Digital Ecologies Research Project) is setting a new standard for social research. A collaboration of Imgur, Reddit, Twitch, Fark, and the Stack Exchange, DERP seeks to provide a pipeline for transparent and publicly accessible data projects, with a focus on user privacy and responsible data usage. The goal is exploration for the betterment of the Internet at large. So while the possibilities are huge, we say that the way they are doing it is even better.

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