Michelle Obama, ‘Stardew Valley,’ and Disney’s Garbage: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today we have a profile of Michelle Obama’s social media team, an endorsement of the word “y’all,” a video game about farming, and story about Disney’s unique solution for waste management.

The Atlantic ‘s Vann R. Newkirk II argues that the word “y’all” should receive official recognition by English linguists, as it fills an important role in the english language that the formal speakers cannot properly convey.

Americans have created their own ingenious solutions to provide the proper plural context. “You guys” seems to be the most dominant, with “you all,” “youse,” “you-uns,” or even “yinz” popping up in different local contexts. The Brits have “you lot.” Trinidadian Creole uses allyuh, which from its construction seems related to “you all.” And then there’s our precious gem, “y’all,” a staple of both Southern English and African American Vernacular English (AAVE), which either spun from or spun off Southern English itself.

The Verge has a profile on Michelle Obama’s social media team, who has used Vine and other platforms to extend the White House’s influence to young, trendy places it’s never gone before.

“This group of five Viners… they had 41 million followers between them,” says Eric Waldo, a five-year veteran of the Department of Education who now spearheads the Reach Higher campaign. “And after we put out videos with them, suddenly kids knew what we were talking about. We had kids coming in here saying, ‘I saw the video King Bach did.’ That’s incredible.”

Vulture has an interview with Eric Barone, who spent four years making Stardew Valley, the farming video game that has recently taken the PC gaming world by storm.

Usually, the concept of “immersion” brings to mind epic games like the GTA or Morrowind series. They’re immersive because your character is small and the world is large. Neither the Harvest Moon games nor Stardew Valley are particularly big, geographically, so the sense of immersion feels different, and needs to be approached differently as a developer. A sense of depth is accomplished in part by lavishing the game with visual richness.

Atlas Obscura wrote a piece about the Automated Vacuum Collection system, a pneumatic trash system that could transport garbage directly from public trash cans to a garbage dump. They tried it in exactly two places, one of which was Walt Disney World.

Invented in Sweden in the early 1960s, the system involved depositing trash into a series of underground pneumatic tubes that would then rocket the garbage to a central sorting area. At the time, this represented the cutting edge of trash collection technology.