34 things to freak out about immediately

The physical world we think we see doesn’t actually exist but instead is created by our brains on the fly. You are starting to say more and more things your parents once said. Most Americans still expect capitalism to start working any day now. 

Professional tennis player CiCi Bellis, who won a first-round match at this year’s US Open, was born in 1999. Somewhere right now someone is missing a chance at true love because he or she doesn’t have the right app. Somewhere else someone is missing a chance at true love by not looking up from his or her phone. There is no scientific proof that time exists.
In questioning his own sanity for following the mad Don Quixote, Sancho Panza says, “Tell me what company thou keepest, and I’ll tell thee what thou art.”
Someday, probably sooner than we think, there will no longer be African elephants. Or redheads. Or The United States of America.
Goethe said this, after meeting Beethoven: “He unfortunately has an utterly untamed personality, not completely wrong in thinking the world detestable, but hardly making it more pleasant for himself or others by his attitude.” 
There is probably something in the cloud you would not want other people to see. You might think you are above religion but if you were at a booze-less wedding and some dude turned water into wine, you’d worship that. There are probably some people who are haunted by the notion that Vladimir Putin smells great.
It’s possible to win a blue ribbon with a store-bought piecrust. If, as John Prine sang, “Fifty million Elvis Presley fans can’t be all wrong,” what does that say about Miley Cyrus? About Candy Crush Saga? About opium? 
The Earth is a (mostly) spherical body flying through space, so north is not up and south is not down like maps suggest. They were drawn that way by northern-hemisphere mapmakers to align with the North Star, setting in motion centuries of culture bias. To correct for this bias, stand on your head when you use a map.
Some fellow purportedly named James wrote this, which found its way into the New Testament: “Consider how a small fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. No one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” 
Every day we don’t raise the minimum wage is an extra day we deserve to spend working for it in another life. History will show we lived in a time when sports teams had racial epithets for their mascots. 
British and Finnish scientists have successfully converted E. coli into propane. Researchers at North Carolina State University are attaching electrodes to tiny, living hosts to sift through rubble during rescue missions. The hosts? Cockroaches. 
Seventy-five percent of Americans live within 25 miles of a college. Nighty-eight percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a gun dealer. Your favorite sports team probably cheats sometimes. Your favorite band is boring to most people.
Apple, Google, Microsoft and Verizon each have more cash reserves than the United States Government. Foreign investment in Africa is expected to top $80 billion this year, a record. That is the same amount Rupert Murdoch offered to pay for Time Warner. Many Americans secretly suspect communism might actually work. 
You live in a state where a majority of voters have thought Mitch McConnell was a good choice to represent them in the United States Senate for 30 years. Pretty much every city in America has a Ferguson. What if email is really just a video game: the better you do, the more you get to do? What if social networking is just a vast conspiracy to keep narcissists preoccupied?
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s parents were first cousins, which caused him to grow up to have an adult torso but a child’s legs. He stood 4’ 6” tall and spent most of his life hopped up on absinthe and cognac before dying at age 39 but he was one of the most brilliant artists who ever lived. Just some things to keep in mind next time you’re flirting with your first cousin. 
All you need is love, said John Lennon. Love the one you’re with, said Stephen Stills. I’ve got a girlfriend with bows in her hair and nothing is better than that, said David Byrne. All brilliant, all debatable. 
In the future, all journalism will appear in list form.