TIME

Here Are The Strange Things Dudes Are Asking on Lulu’s New Messaging Service

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The once women-only app is doing some serious male outreach

Lulu — an app that allows women to rate men as if they were consumer goods, including hashtags ranging from the good (#SelfMadeMan) to the gross (#PornEducated) — has now opened up the lines of communication between female and male users. After three weeks of beta testing, the two-year-old app launched its Truth Bombs feature Wednesday, which allows men to anonymously ask women questions. This feedback just might be what they need to raise their Yelp-like score.

“This is the first time we are doing any messaging,” said Lulu co-founder Alison Schwartz. “How it works is guys can ask an anonymous question or test out a theory they want to test out with women, some sort of query, and then they get instant feedback from millions of girls.”

The new feature pointedly marks the evolving relationship Lulu has with its million-plus male users. When the app launched in Feb. 2013, it was advertised as a secret, ladies-only space to swap information about former male relations. Bros stole glances at female friends’ phones and attempted hacks to see how they were doing. After a slew of Internet backlash (and anti-Lulu petitions) deriding the app for inciting bullying and gender-based double standards, Lulu made the experience more male-friendly in 2014 by having a policy where men had to opt-in and give their full permission to be reviewed. In May, the male-outreach went a step further and Lulu allowed men to check their scores, giving them tips and affirmations. (“Girls love your kissing.”)

And now, men can go straight to the source and ask women questions. But what have the men been asking? During the beta test, these were the most popular questions verbatim (there are some pretty bad typos), some of which led to 2,500 responses, although most questions average 15 replies:

  1. How many guys have you slept with and how old are you… GO !
  2. What age did you loose your virginity?
  3. Do women like abs or arms more?
  4. How frequently do girls masterbate?
  5. Do girls find it attractive if a guy claims p***y is being thrown at him left and right?

Um, woah. Some of these misspelled questions about “loosing” virginity (“Freudian slip?” asked Scwhartz) are just the type of sophomoric musings you’d expect from a dude who gets to anonymously crowdsource information from anonymous women. But when asked how the women were responding to the questions, Schwartz said, “They are meaningfully answering what the guys are asking about. They are trying to be really helpful.”

And there are moderation protocols — “we have designed a product against bullying,” said Scwhartz — to keep things clean, relatively. Although of the 60,000 Truth Bombs that were asked during the three week beta test, averaging some 100 Truth Bombs an hour, only 800 were flagged.

For now, the messaging option is all anonymous and each thread is limited to one guy (the one who posed the question) and millions of female users. Although other men can view the threads, they can’t participate in the conversation.

“But we see on the app that there’s interested in moving to a one girl one guy dynamic,” said Schwartz. Could the next step in Lulu be one-on-one communication, perhaps enabling dating? “Anything is possible, but we would do that in a way that this is very true to Lulu.”

See Also:

This Map Shows What Guys Are Like in Each Major City

Rate The Date Online: Lulu App Lets Women Review Hookups

TIME Bizarre

These Very Weird Portraits Are Actually Alive

Artist Seung-Hwan Oh allows mold to grow on his negatives, distorting the images.

Seung-Hwan Oh is truly dedicated to his photo project, “Impermanence.” To produce his unique portraits, the photographer covers the negatives in light-sensitive emulsion-consuming microbes before immersing them in water. Over the course of months or years the silver halides destabilize and the resulting mold obscures the portraits. For Seung, “this creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral.”

Seung has been working on Impermanence for four years but only has 15 final images to show for his hard work. He is highly selective, and there is a very low probability the mold grows in the way in which he would like. He uses only one out of every 500 pictures he takes.

Impermanence began in 2010 when Seung learned about how fungus threatens to destroy historical film archives. For him, he uses the reaction to “. . . deliver the idea of impermanence of matter applying this natural disaster into my work.” Impermanence is an ongoing project, and can be viewed in full on his site.

TIME Music

Watch Italy’s Famous Singing Nun Cover ‘Like a Virgin’

Sister Cristina Scuccia skyrocketed to fame after her audition for this year's The Voice of Italy, which she later won

Italy’s famous singing nun is out with her debut single: a cover of Madonna’s hit 1984 song “Like a Virgin.”

But don’t expect Sister Cristina Scuccia, an Ursuline nun who won this year’s The Voice of Italy, to sing that she was “touched for the very first time” over the song’s original uptempo dance track. Instead, Sister Cristina, who isn’t afraid to let loose on stage despite what her occupation implies, has transformed the song into an emotional ballad, whose music video features her singing in front of various religious Italian monuments.

“Reading the text, without being influenced by previous interpretations, you discover that it is a song about the power of love to renew people [and] rescue them from their past,” Sister Cristina told Italian newspaper Avvenire.

Sister Cristina skyrocketed to fame when she belted Alicia Keys’ “No One” for her Voice of Italy audition. Her eponymous album is out on Nov. 11.

TIME feminism

Annie Lennox: ‘Twerking Is Not Feminism’

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show
Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus perform during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards Kevin Mazur—2013 Kevin Mazur

The artist explained why she doesn't subscribe to Beyoncé's brand of feminism

After making headlines for asserting that Beyoncé represents feminism “light” last month, singer Annie Lennox expanded on that during an interview with NPR published Tuesday to promote her new album Nostalgia.

“Listen,” Lennox told Steve Inskeep, “Twerking is not feminism. Thats what I’m referring to. It’s not, it’s not liberating, it’s not empowering. It’s a sexual thing that you’re doing on a stage; it doesn’t empower you. That’s my feeling about it.”

Lennox clarified that her comment about “feminist light” figures weren’t directed specifically towards Beyoncé, but rather all sexualized female performers.

“The reason why I’ve commented is because I think that this overt sexuality thrust, literally, at particular audiences, when very often performers have a very, very young audience, like seven years [old], I find it disturbing and I think its exploitative, and it’s troubling,” she said. “I’m coming from a perspective of a woman that’s had children.”

You can listen to the whole interview below:

TIME celebrity

Watch the Nun Who Won Italy’s The Voice Perform ‘Like a Virgin’ in New Music Video

Her debut album is out Nov. 11

The nun who won Italy’s version of The Voice is out with a music video for her single “Like a Virgin.” Her debut album Sister Cristina, out Nov. 11, will feature covers of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Alicia Keys’s “No One” — the song she performed during her audition that went viral, racking up nearly 62 million views on YouTube.

For comparison, here is Madonna’s music video for “Like a Virgin”:

WATCH: Nun Stuns Judges of Italy’s The Voice with Amazing Alicia Keys Cover

WATCH: Nun Wins Italy’s The Voice

TIME Business

Get Ready for Halloween With IKEA’s Spot-On Parody of The Shining

The ad recreates Stanley Kubrick's iconic hallway scene

A month after releasing a mega-popular commercial that spoofed Apple, IKEA is back with a new ad — and this one takes a rather different approach. The commercial pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1980 film The Shining by recreating its iconic (and super creepy) hallway scene.

The video’s creators seem to be pretty big Kubrick fans, as they paid very close attention to detail. They also hid a number of products within the video and launched a social media contest so viewers can spot the items and then win stuff. You know, because #engagement.

TIME celebrity

Watch Kelly Clarkson Cover Sam Smith’s Hit ‘Stay With Me’

Clarkson recently sang at Symphony Park in Charlotte, North Carolina

A clip of Kelly Clarkson singing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is rightfully going viral.

Clarkson performed the hit song at a recent show in Charlotte, North Carolina, telling the audience, “I love this song.”

Other artists who have covered “Stay With Me” recently include Jessie J, Ed Sheeren and Meghan Trainor.

The pop star, who got her big break on American Idol, is expected to release a new album in early 2015. Given that this rendition of “Stay With Me” has been trending on Facebook, perhaps it would make a popular track on the upcoming record. As E! points out, she has already hinted at a possible “special guest.”

MORE: Kelly Clarkson’s Baby: It’s a Girl!

PHOTO: Kelly Clarkson Shares a Very Awkward Family Christmas Photo

Read next: Damian From Mean Girls Made a Hilarious Parody of ‘Stay With Me’

TIME viral

New York Subway Performers Rally for Arrested Musician

The video has almost been viewed 500,000 times

Buskers in New York City planned a demonstration Tuesday on behalf of a fellow subway performer whose arrest for serenading commuters was recorded by protesting bystanders and turned into a viral video, the AP reports.

Adam Kalleen was arrested in an underground station in Brooklyn Friday after he refused a police offer’s request to put down the guitar and go. While the officer said that the 30-year-old needed permission to play, Kalleen and on-lookers said that the MTA does not issue permits.

The video, which has been viewed almost half a million times on YouTube, shows people protesting Kalleen’s arrest for loitering. “You don’t have something better to do? There are people breaking real laws,” someone shouts.

The fedora-wearing busker can be seen singing Neil Young’s “Ohio,” a song written in 1970 by Neil Young about the Kent State shootings, to the chants “F*** the police” from the crowd.

The MTA guidelines state that “artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations” are permitted, although that does appear to conflict with state law that prohibits subway station loitering “for the purpose of soliciting or engaging in business.” Busker advocacy organizations exist to fight for street performers’ rights.

An NYPD spokesperson told the AP that the department is looking into the arrest.

[AP]

TIME Family & Relationships

Watch a Soldier Coming Back From Afghanistan Surprise His Daughter at a Pumpkin Patch

An emotional homecoming captured on video

North Carolina mom Meg Kaplan filmed the moment when her husband surprised his daughter at a pumpkin patch. He was deployed to Afghanistan for 10 months, and the family is stationed at Fort Bragg, The TODAY Show reports. In the video, he sneaks up behind her as she’s posing for the camera and exclaims “Pumpkin Day!” Then she turns around and starts to sob. We dare you to watch this clip and not get at least a little choked up as well.

MORE: #TIMEVets: Exploring the Profound Effects of War on Those Who Serve and Their Families

PHOTOS: 12 Portraits That Illustrate the Pain and Joy of Returning to Civilian Life

TIME Videos

Watch Aziz Ansari Get Ridiculous With Grover on Sesame Street

Silliness is very educational.

Over the years, stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, Katy Perry and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor have all stopped by Sesame Street to help educate the children who tune in to the PBS mainstay, but none of the celebrities have been as flat out ridiculous as Aziz Ansari.

The “cute and fuzzy” Parks and Recreation star stopped by Sesame Street to help Grover announce the Word of the Day. While Ansari tries to figure out the word, Grover wants him to do all sorts of incredibly silly things, like wear a chicken suit and a stovepipe hat so bright even The Cat in the Hat would think twice. Grover even proposes that they announce the word while dangling upside down, but don’t let’s be silly. What’s the word of the day? Watch the video to find out.

 

 

 

 

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