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The News: Nothing To Calm Down About 😬

How many drug overdoses are unrecognized suicide attempts, what happens when you use your phone like a 10-year-old, and how the Helsinki summit will matter six months from now.

Posted on July 21, 2018, at 7:01 a.m. ET

In this week's episode:

  • On The Lede, Science Editor Virginia Hughes and Reporter Dan Vergano unpack how these two national crises, the rising rates of suicide and the opioid epidemic overlap.

  • In A Robot Took My Job, Business and Tech Editor Venessa Wong talks to Katie Notopoulos about what it’s like to use a smartphone with the parental control settings turned on.

  • What In The World and Calm Down with Hayes Brown get together this week so Deputy World Editor Hayes Brown can tell World Editor Miriam Elder what happened in Helsinki, and what is still going to matter 6 months from now.

  • In honor of World Emoji Day, we took a special look at what New Yorkers think of Apple’s new emojis.

Listen to this week’s episode:

Subscribe to The News on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify!

Check out BuzzFeed’s other podcasts here and you can find transcripts for other episodes here.


The Lede — 00:49

Katie Notopoulos: Our first story begins in the footnotes of medical journals. In research about the opioid crisis, there is often the note “some deaths are inevitably suicides.” Suicide rates are on the rise in the US, up 30% between 2000 and 2016, but suicide by overdose is hard to track. This week on the Lede, Science Editor Virginia Hughes and Reporter Dan Vergano unpack how these two national crises overlap.

Virginia Hughes: So what does the research tell us as of now in terms of how many drug overdoses may have actually been suicides? What do we know about those numbers?

DV: You got to start out by with a little humility. Uh parsing out which ones are suicides and which ones are accidents is tough, everybody acknowledges. Some papers in the last year of suggested there's an undercount of perhaps, you know, 5,000 deaths or so or maybe more that are counted as accidental overdose deaths from opioids rather than intentional ones. Then these are indirect findings. You're 40 times more likely to be counted a suicide, you know, if it's a gunshot wound under identical circumstances, otherwise rather than an overdose. 30 times more if there's a suicide note present, where there's rarely a suicide note.

VH: Right that makes sense. I was struck by one line in your piece where you say I think a recent study said they used the words "profoundly underreported" suicide by drug overdose. So why do you think it matters really? I mean, I could see somebody saying well, you know in a lot of these cases we'll never really know if something was a suicide or just a an accidental overdose. Why does it matter figuring out the difference?

DV: Right. Well, what all this points to is that uh, not only are we terrible at treating people for addiction, but we're also terrible at treating people for depression and other uh psychological, you know problems that lead them to you know, have suicidal thoughts and kill themselves. So you have this overlap of these two things. Um, and people who are suicide prevention experts say if we can get a handle on the mental health problem, we could help a lot more people. Unfortunately when we identify people as uh being addicted to opioids we're not screening them for these mental health problems. We're not getting the help they could use. We could have a lot less people dying, you know, if we actually address both of these problems in an effective way.

VH: Right, because the idea being that you could specifically reach out to at-risk drug users who and potentially give them mental health treatment of some kind.

DV: Exactly. There's a sort of Yin and Yang, there's people who are depressed or have other problems and turned to drug use to sort of self treat themselves and they end up getting more depressed as a result of you know, destroying their lives with this and the two things build on each other. And so you can't solve the one problem without the other, you know, if you treat them, uh for addiction, but they're still depressed, they're depressed. You know, you haven't solved the problem that led him into it in the first place.

VH: Right. To the sort of two sides of the same coin. And I guess that leads to like this other sort of thorny issue of, where is the line really between an intentional suicide and um, you know an accidental overdose? Like what, I could see some people saying like, "well anybody who's using drugs frequently and you know especially drugs like fentanyl with really high overdose rates, and at some level knows the risk of dying, and isn't that sort of a you know, a form may be of of suicide or potential suicide?"

DV: Some people we talked to who have led this kind of life say that, yeah. That it's just a slow-moving kind of suicide, you know, being a hardcore heroin addict. On the other hand we talked to plenty other who want to live. You know, they want to get high, they want to not go into withdrawal, but they don't really intend to kill themselves. Uh, there was an interesting survey. We talked to one expert who you know found that about half of the people who overdosed uh, it was an accident. About a third of them were trying to kill themselves and then the remainder had no idea what they were doing. They might have been somewhere in between. So there's definitely a gray area here, um the kind of thing that you know screening for depression might help get at.

VH: Another really fascinating part I thought of this story is you get into some of the nuts and bolts about how coroners actually figure out if something was a suicide, or try to figure out if something was a suicide. Can you talk a little bit about that? Like you're a corner, there's been an overdose, how do you start, forensically looking at this question?

DV: It's it's not a science, it turns out. Uh, it's an investigation. It's essentially a police investigation. They go to the death scene and they start looking for evidence. Um, that is a suicide note, some record of losses, you know; the girlfriend left them, their boyfriend left them, they lost their job, their family rejected them, something that would point to suicide from social conditions. They look at the number and kind of drugs they took, you know, massive doses of many drugs might point to a suicide. They look for other toxicological things. If somebody is suddenly taking a new drug in huge amounts that they hadn't before, that might point to it. But in the end it really is a judgment call. Even the people I found who do this very seriously and are well respected in the field, you know you say to them, "how do you know?" And they would say "well we've been doing this a long time and things seem to line up with, you know, our results being accurate in terms of which is a suicide and which isn't," but even they had to admit they don't know, you know. You can't go back and ask somebody after they're dead, you know, "what were your intentions?" Especially in something confusing like this where they may know not even known their intentions when they did it.

VH: So one thing that struck me sort of emotionally while we were working on this story Dan is, I think, week after week you've been writing about the opioids crisis and we've been reading about the opioids crisis and most of the stories are very Bleak, and also you start to paint a picture in your mind of what a typical opioids user looks like, you know. It's somebody who was addicted to Oxycontin and probably lives in rural America and there's a lot of economic and policy concerns and it, this story really made me start to think about not just the economic and sort of societal and cultural drivers that go into the opioid epidemic, but that you know, a lot of people have mental health issues—depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD—that that are surely partly genetic that the opioids crisis is not just a societal, political plague or business story. It's really a medical story too, and the idea of like mental health care and medical care for drug users I think is just so important and something maybe we should think about in our ongoing coverage of this issue.

DV: When you cover this you find out that every person's story is different, you know, they are people. They're just people. That's all it is.

VH: And so many

DV: They all have so many of them and all kinds of people, everybody has a different story. Some people withdrawal was hard, some people found it easy. Some people... 20 years, some people's three years and there's... you can't really put them all in a box. They're just as wide and varied as as people everywhere.

VH: Are there any practical things that could be done like policy-wise or at the level of the emergency room that would really help bring this issue into sort of greater awareness.

DV: Right, the clear direction from these kind of findings is that we should be screening people after overdoses for depression and other problems that might lead them to suicide. Uh, we don't. We have them recover. We might put them in a hospital bed for a while, to help them get over the overdose, and then often we just send them on their way without any kind of screening. So I mean this is uh an argument for... once somebody overdoses you need to find out why. Instead of letting them get away. Uh, there's this phenomenon where people recover from an overdose with naloxone and they're angry when they wake up. And First Responders think that that's because they're mad they're suddenly in withdrawal. They're not high anymore. But some people have suggested to us, they're angry because they intended to die and so they're not happy about that. And so if nobody's asking them then we're not going to find out why and not get them the help they need.

VH: Oh, I just got the chills. That's a horrible. Let's say that doctors and hospitals and coroners got a lot better at recognizing suicides. What would that mean for the opioid crisis do you think? Do you think that would possibly put a dent in this national problem we have? Well right now it probably wouldn't because uh, so many of the deaths are from fentanyl, which is killing about 25,000 people it looks like in the latest preliminary statistics, where fentanyl is just tremendously potent; 30 to 50 times more than heroin. And so it is a very dangerous drug. And I think that it probably is causing a lot of accidental deaths where essentially there were you know, 3,000 fentanyl deaths a year in 2012. And now as I said, there's 25,000 a lot of those got to be accidents. That's a huge number. So even if we accurately tabbed it all we still have the fentanyl problem on top of all. What it is is we need better information about the crisis in every aspect. We don't know what's in the drugs on the streets. We don't know who's killing themselves accidentally or intentionally. We don't know the prevalence of mental illness among them. Uh, we don't know where the drugs are coming from exactly. Where you know, is it the dark web? Is it for Mexico? Nobody's exactly sure. So there's just a whole lot of things we need to get a hold of to get our arms around the crisis.

VH: Right so it's basically just yet another piece of evidence to consider why we need better mental health care for, well for everyone in the country, but a particular for these vulnerable, uh drug users.

DV: Very much. The opioid crisis is an x-ray for everything that's wrong with uh medical system, you know, just add opioids to a mental health problems and you got deaths, you know, it's add opioids to anything else, you know to having, late car payments and you got problems. So this is just a way that is sort of sharpens and uh the problem and shows you know where we have shortfalls and how we handle things.

VH: Well, thanks so much for your great reporting on this Dan and I'm sure we'll be hearing lots more from you on this ongoing crisis

DV: You bet.

KN: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

If you want to read Dan’s story, text the word “opioid” to JoJo at 929-236-9577. That’s O-P-I-O-I-D.


Robot Took My Job — 11:45

KN: So usually for A Robot Took My Job, business and tech editor Venessa Wong looks into technologies that are literally taking the jobs of humans. But since I’m in charge this week, I wanted to tell her what I’ve been up to for the past couple of weeks.

Venessa Wong: Katie tell me what you've been up to.

KN: I've turned myself into a ten-year-old... on my phone.

VW: Interesting!

KN: So purely my existence on my iPhone is that of a ten-year-old.

VW: So wait go back. How did you do this?

KN: So as a... I'll be honest kind of dumb stunt, I thought it would be fun to try out for a week what it would be like if I put all the parental controls on my phone as if I was a child.

VW: So how do you make your phone like 10 year old safe?

KN: I definitely had to A) Google "how to turn on parental controls iPhone"

VW: As parents do

KN: Um, it's you know, it's one of these things that's like once you figured out it's actually pretty simple but I just didn't know exactly where the settings lay and there's basically in your settings, there's somewhere in there there's a thing that's, you know called "restrictions" and you can set set it up. So in theory, this would be an adult would set up a special pass code. I just did it for myself because I trust myself, you know. I trust me.

VW: Dangerous proposition

KN: Um, and then you can turn on all these restrictions. So for example, I made it so that I couldn't download any apps that were rated for 12-plus or 17-plus. I could only have the four-plus nine-plus apps. Um, I couldn't I couldn't listen to podcasts with explicit words. So that actually includes the podcast that I used to do for BuzzFeed, Internet Explorer.

VW: Oh my God!

TAPE: I'm excited because we're gonna talk about dick pics today.

KN: I mean, I guess I probably shouldn't anyways

VW: You removed yourself from your own universe!

KN: Yeah, exactly. And I also... a 10 year old is technically not allowed to sign up for Gmail. So I you know, I wasn't using any email, any of these social apps that were you know, you had to be older to sign up for and stuff. So what I ended up left with on my phone was a solitaire game. I played a lot of Solitaire.

VW: That sounds very peaceful and like a good thing for a ten-year-old to do just like, just like playing endless games of Solitaire by themselves, safe from the dangers of the internet.

KN: Exactly! I mean first of all, it was very nice because I basically gave myself like a break from... I don't know from being connected sort of, to work or social media.

VW: Yeah like how many hours are you normally on social media? Like this probably clears up like a giant chunk of the pie chart of your day.

KN: Um, well, so I didn't— I only did this on my phone when I was at work; I still used all these things on my computer so I could actually do my job. Um, I was I did this sort of over a weekend and in the weekday evenings while I was home. And so it's nice. I wasn't checking my work email at night. Um, I wasn't going on Twitter. I wasn't, you know doing all this other stuff. I watched more TV. I went to the gym a little more you know, life was okay. So it's pretty relaxing. I was pretty into it. You know, what 10 year olds have it pretty good.

VW: That sounds blissful. But also, a world without like Twitter and Instagram, but like lots of Solitaire also sounds like a Grandma's life... So it's kind of funny that like a ten-year-old probably also lives like a senior citizen on their phone.

KN: Yeah. That's that's true. What I what I—what the big takeaway that I figured out from doing this was that like there's this hidden secret setting on your phone for all adults to magically turn off all the bad parts and go to this childlike retreat for however long they want. And you can turn off restrictions, all your old apps come right back. So that's nice. It's the secret little like, you know, bubble of childhood on your phone. You don't you know, I know some people go on vacation and they're like, "I'm gonna delete social media while I go on vacation." You don't need to delete it–it's kind of a pain to put back—um

VW: But what if you need like content. Like can you read BuzzFeed? Like can you access the news if you are a 10 year old who is interested in current events?

KN: Well, that's the thing. So the biggest takeaway that I found was that the age ratings on apps are really inconsistent and really confusing and not necessarily that helpful to parents. So I have a bunch of news apps on my phone. There's you know, I have the BuzzFeed News app, the BuzzFeed app, New York Times, CNN, a bunch of other things, and I was looking at their age ratings and they were all 12 plus. Except for Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. So you have to imagine that—

VW: Obviously!

KN: —Somewhere out there there is a kindergartener who is just like really into Sean Hannity and like really like needs to keep up on the the markets. This child will literally be our president one day.

VW: Right! Um, and you know, like we're laughing about that because those are weird outliers, but also there's no reason that those should be any different, you know, there's no reason that Fox News's content on this app is any different than CNN content on its app when it comes to child-approved age ratings right?

VW: So how did that slip through the App Store? Like that's weird.

KN: So I reached out to both of them, uh to both Wall Street Journal and Fox News to ask them, you know sort of what happened. Um, and basically both of them sort of came back and said, "we don't really know we didn't think about it too much." Turned out Fox News actually by the time I had reached out to them about two weeks after I had noticed, they had already changed it. They were like we were doing this regularly scheduled, you know review of our app to you know, redesign a bunch of things and we noticed the age rating was out of line with you know, our other peers in media and we asked Apple to change it. And once I reached out–

VW: How responsible

KN: Yeah exactly! And when I reached out to the Wall Street Journal, they sort of came back and said, "huh we never noticed this. We're going to get it changed too." And you know pretty shortly after they got a changed.

VW: Gotcha. So they weren't trying to like slip through the get some young readers.

KN: Right! So the way that these age ratings are assigned is when you make an app—whether it's a video game, a you know, the BuzzFeed News app, any sort of social app, any kind of app—you go through this standard process for how you actually upload it into the app store for for Apple. And one of those steps is you fill out a questionnaire about adult content and that includes questions like, you know, is there nudity? Is there uh depictions of violence? And then there's even sort of more granular things like is their depictions of tobacco use? Which you know, might happen in a news setting.

VW: Indeed

KN: And you know, you sort of choose "none" sometimes a lot.

VW: Yeah there's a lot of stuff going on in the world that would be like really difficult to explain to a child right now.

KN: Right

VW: The front page of the news every day is like really confusing.

KN: Um, so so that's how uh, an age rating is assigned to an app. They sort of they fill out these questionnaires on their own, and they get automatically assigned an age rating. It must have been that whenever these two apps filled it out, they probably filled out one question slightly different, you know, we don't know what that question was. But basically they just resubmitted the questionnaire and then it was in line. And so that's kind of how these ratings are random. So there's other weird quirks like, you know, American Express's app is four-plus, but you can't be an American Express card holder until you're 18. So there's no point, you know, there's sort of this weird disconnect there.

VW: Unless you get your kids to manage your finances for you on their personal iPhone.

KN: Right you get that the kid who uh was reading the Wall Street Journal.

VW: Yeah, exactly flex those accounting skills!

KN: And then there's other sort of quirky things like... Twitter is rated 17-plus because it doesn't filter any nudity or explicit content, but Facebook is 12-plus but for both of them, you have to only be 13 to join. Facebook does filter explicit content, same with Instagram. Twitter and Tumblr don't so they're 17-plus. So there's this weird disconnect of you know, lots of teenagers use Twitter and Tumblr and it's totally acceptable by those apps' you know terms of service, but they're given a different age rating in the App Store. So if you're a parent, how useful is it to look at the age rating for Twitter, you know? Or if you want your kid to be able to access that, but you want to use those age restrictions.... You can't, you know, you can't pick and choose and say okay no apps for 17-plus except Twitter. So you don't have that flexibility there. So it does become really confusing and hard for a parent to deal with this. Using these restrictions that are baked into the phone is semi useful, but not that useful.

VW: It seems kind of arbitrary. I mean, and obviously based on your experiment a lot of things kind of like slipped under the radar that um, the app developers didn't even intend to or might not have noticed had not been brought to their attention by an intrepid reporter.

KN: Mhm

VW: So like considering this makes absolutely zero sense. It feels like outsourcing parenting to these technology companies through their rating systems is like probably not that great an idea.

KN: Yeah. Experts who work at places that advocate for you know, digital awareness and literacy for for children and parents, their basic advice was a lot of it is parenting. It's talking to your kids. It's making choices based on how you know your kids, what your values are, what you want them to be able to do on their phones or not, you know. It's it's up to the parents really to make these choices. Something like the baked in restrictions... Yes it's a tool, but it should only be one of the tools in your toolbox. The other group of people I talked to were actual parents.

VW: So Katie having experienced your phone as a ten-year-old and having a child yourself, how do you feel like you're going to help navigate this world of like internet and connectivity as like he grows up?

KN: It's funny, we both have uh toddlers who are so young now that by the time you know, they're old enough to have their own whatever the magical device Google helmet that they strap on to their flying car, you know, I I feel very much like, you know, that's a cross-that-hill-when-I-get-to-it, that's... I think the technology is going to be so different ten years out from now that I am not going to be worried about it too much right now.

VW: It's kind of like the technology will be really different but like the kind of weird danger zones of content will still be out there and the trolls will probably always exist and I don't know, like there's a part of me that feels like even though having access to this world of information obviously is like extremely important both to like developing one's knowledge base and also just like socializing these days, it's also... T1here's another part of me that's just like, oh hell no, he's not getting a phone until he's like in high school, and at that point, I'm still gonna have the parental control where I monitor every single tweet that comes through because I'm gonna protect my baby.

KN: Um, you know, I yeah.

VW: Wow that sounded crazy. I hope he never hears that! Sorry honey, it's for your own good.

KN: To read my story on using my phone as a ten year old, text JoJo the world “phone.” Again, JoJo’s number is 929-236-9577. And it’s also in the show notes for this episode!


What In The World — 24:18

KN: Donald Trump sat down with Vladimir Putin and people have been yelling about it on the internet ALL WEEK. So, Today we’re bringing you a What In The World and Calm Down with Hayes Brown mash up. Miriam Elder and Hayes Brown are here to explain to us EXACTLY what happened in Helsinki, and what is still going to matter 6 months from now.

ME: So it's been a hell of a week and I can think of nothing more that we need to then the calming energy of Hayes Brown host of Calm Down with Hayes Brown. Thanks for joining us today Hayes.

HB: Glad to be here.

ME: So what we need to calm down about today is this insane meeting that took place between president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier this week. But what I want to know is what are we really going to remember six months from now. So let's start by breaking down exactly what happened.

HB: So like you said Trump and Putin met in Helsinki. It's the first one on one summit that the two of them have had since Trump came into office, something that Trump and Putin alike have both seemingly wanted since Trump came into office, against the advice of many of Trump's advisors. So it was supposed to be just a one hour session, it went over, far longer. Then they had a press conference, forty five minutes taking questions from US and Russian reporters

Reporter: President Clinton and I could follow up as well. Will you consider extraditing the twelve Russian officials that were indicted last week by US grand jury?

HB: And wow it was a mess.

DT: And even the people involved, some perhaps told mis-stories or in one case the FBI said there was no lie. Somebody else said there was. We ran a brilliant campaign.

HB: I feel like a true taste of what we in the US go through on a near-daily basis to the rest of the world.

ME: So let's talk about the actual meeting. So of course, it was filled with advisors and note-takers and so we have 100% of an idea of what happened inside the meeting is that right?

HB: That is 100% wrong and I feel like that's one of the big things that's going to stick with over time the fact it was just Putin, Trump and their translators. There was no one else in the meeting. No notes were taken. No one really knows what happened which is why we're already starting to see the Russian government is starting to release details of what they say happened the ministry of Defence the other day said that they're willing and ready to start implementing the agreement that Trump and Putin came to when they were talking but no one knows what that could even be.

The Department of Defense has waived off reporters who have been asking about it because they don't have details. And while some Democrats have said that The Interpreter for Trump should testify before Congress to let everyone know what was said some members of Congress including Senator Lindsey Graham have said no the sets a terrible precedent. It will mean that presidents won't be able to sit down one-on-one with their counterparts in the future for fear of those conversations being leaked.

ME: Okay. So take away number one. That the Russian government at least in this case is more transparent than the US government.

HB: Fact that is completely accurate.

ME: So now let's go to the press conference. I remember trying to figure out what was going on. I remember Putin throwing a soccer ball at Donald Trump. But if we're going to take this press conference seriously, what's the one thing you think that we really need to remember?

HB: I think the biggest thing that we need to remember is honestly the vibe and the energy between the two men standing before us. Trump seemed to not really want to talk about the issues that were actually discussed in the room. He didn't want to talk about Syria or Ukraine or cyber cooperation or the various things that Putin did bring up. When Putin was asked questions he talked policy, and Trump when he was asked questions very much did not.

DT: What happened to the server's of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC. Where are the servers? They're missing. Where are they?

ME: The thing that seems to have spun out of the meeting is this idea that Putin proposed, that okay, we'll let investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia, as long as you, America, allow us access to a certain number of US people that we're interested in. And that's turned into a whole thing.

HB: Right? And I think that is one of the other things we're going to really remember going forward is the fact that when asked about it White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said

SS: There was some conversation about it, but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States and the president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front

HB: Like when it really should have just been a clear “no we are not going to have you talk to a US citizen and a former US ambassador in connection with what you say our investigations that are going on in exchange for us talking to these people who were indicted.” It should have been open and shut sort of thing, but it hasn't been and that's going to really stick around

ME: And then obviously the last big thing is probably Trump's lack of confidence in the US intelligence community. So this was a week that saw a lot of flip-flopping. Where do we stand now? Does Trump believe the US intelligence community? And does he believe that Russia hacked the election?

HB: You know what? It's very easy to lose track and as of Thursday morning the White House put out what they thought was a very strong video compilation of times where Trump has said, no, it was Russia who actually did the thing in 2016.

Trump: As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. We have much hacking going on. Well, I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people and other countries. I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and or countries .

HB: Except they didn't seem to take into account and every one of the instances they put in that video Trump hedged super hard. When he was asked directly about this during the press conference, Trump said:

DT: President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be.

HB: The White House put out a written statement that Trump read out and he couldn't help ad-libbing, there's a lot of people out there, after saying it was Russia. So it's very confusing as to what the US government thinks Trump believes because Trump, it’s pretty clear at this point is unwilling to just unequivocally say Russia was the one who meddled in the 2016 election. The government has just been scrambling trying to get him to say trying to get him to say it but he won't.

ME: So I guess the big question that’s hung over Trump’s presidency since day one is why does he love Putin so much? Why'd he have this affinity? So did this this whole meeting give us any insight into that at all. Do we have an answer, why does Trump love Putin?

HB: We really don't and that's really unfortunate. There's been spin. There's definitely been spent from the White House since the meeting took place. One advisor close to Trump has been quoted by, I think it was the New York Times, as saying that Trump refuses to say that Russia was the culprit because it de-legitimizes his election. Except that even before the election, during the debates, he was unwilling to say it was Russia. So that explanation doesn't really hold a lot of water. So we're as far away from figuring out what the truth is as we are from figuring out what Trump and Putin actually talked about during their meeting.

ME: So let's recap: Russia is sometimes more transparent than the US government. That's fine. We learned that Trump might be capitulating to a Russian request to question Americans that Putin is interested in. I'm not calm about that at all.

And the third is that we have no idea if Donald Trump trusts his own intelligence community.

HB: That about sums it up. Yeah, that is, that is the horror show we're living with.

ME: Well, Hayes Brown, I have not calmed down.

HB: Yeah, I kind of dropped the ball on that one, but it is actually alarming so I'm not going to sugarcoat this one.

KN: That was world editor Miriam Elder and deputy world news editor Hayes Brown.

If you’re thinking, “ugh they were so smart and have such great ideas and insights I wish I could follow them and everyone in this episode so I can see what they’re thinking all the time”– You’re in luck! Text JoJo the word ""WHOMST"" -- that's W-H-O-M-S-T -- And once you do, JoJo will send you a list of everyone who appeared on this week's episode.


New Emojis! — 33:13


KN: World Emoji Day was last week, and you know how we feel about emojis here at BuzzFeed. So to celebrate, we sent audio fellow Camila Salazar out into the streets of New York City.

Camila Salazar: I would like to know if any of these speak to you. Like are there any of these that you're excited about, or would definitely use, or like really like?

Wow, these emojis are actually really good.

Oh, that's cute. Aw.

A puppy dog face

Its eyes are kind of teary and its eyebrows are coming down like it's scared.

So it's just it's just like sad like, I wish I wish I could go home!

Yeah, so it's a blue face and it's you know, there's icicles dripping down; very frigid.
Shows that I'm really bloody cold. I'm cold as, cold as... uh bad word. Yeah, get it?
Perhaps someone was ghosted: I would say I would definitely send them this frigid emoji and be like, you know, that's pretty ice-cold.
The parrot, you know, I would definitely use that just to throw someone off.
This will go to my mom because she's the mother. He laid the egg, yeah. There's the Daenerys Mother of Dragons and there's my mother who's mother of parrots.
I like that there's Superwoman and Superman. That's cool. We're in a time where we definitely need some people to step up.
Bald emojis. Do we not have bald emojis?
Oh, I want to make fun of my boss. He's bald. All of these emojis have hair and that'd be an insult to the emojis to compare them.
I appreciate like the older people emojis. My grandmother, she's 97 years old, and she has an iPad. She Facebooks more than I do.
These two have textured hair!
We have an African-American man here with orange hair; a ginger African-American man.
This looks like my father actually like looks almost identical. This looks like my sister actually my older sister.
It makes me feel like there is effort going into people trying to appreciate different cultures and races ethnicities and the different ways that peoplelook.

Thanks!

This episode was produced by the PodSquad! That's Megan Detrie, Alex Laughlin, Camila Salazar, and Julia Furlan. Our boss is Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale, and our music is by Chad Crouch. This week we had a special guest host Katie Notopoulos. And special thank you to JoJo, who, fun fact: once tried wokring in parental control but decided it wasn't for them; they couldn’t keep up with kids' strong emoji game.

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