Whether you need a break from the family or want to dazzle them with what’s what in current internet news, enjoy this early Thanksgiving special edition of Weekend Reads! Can air travel get worse? (Yes.) What are you going to binge watch over the holiday? (Everything.) And how can you let your loved ones know you’re safe? (Social media, obviously.)
I know what you’re thinking: you’re stressed over the holidays and making plans and seeing family, and you somehow want to make that process worse, right? Like, making your flight feel more like you’re livestock being herded? Well, you’re in luck! United recently outlined their Basic Economy Class in which you don’t get your seat until you check in, you board last, you can’t upgrade or change flights, and you can’t bring any overhead carry-on bags. But you still get to sit on a seat! At least for now! You have to wonder if at some point we’ll ever stand up for ourselves when it comes to air travel concessions, but when you consider that the alternatives are sitting in a car in traffic or taking a train…yeah, I guess we’re stuck with it. Get your flight in now, because these great new features kick in December 1st.
Trying to get away from the family this weekend with some binge watching? Or want to find something everyone can enjoy? Vulture has a great list of everything you can watch — whether it’s streaming or on actual TV — and you’re sure to find something good. Want to watch 600 episodes of The Simpsons, that will take you well past Thanksgiving? You can on FXX. You can’t go wrong with a Parks and Rec marathon, or every Thanksgiving episode of Friends, or some newer options like Speechless and The Crown. Or watch Sherlock and The Man in the High Castle to get ready for the upcoming new seasons of each. Or finally watch The Americans so I can stop asking why no one watches The Americans. It’s truly a time to be thankful when it comes to good television, and now that you’ve got some free time, show your appreciation by stuffing your face with food and settling down into a nice couch cushion.
If you’re a regular reader of Weekend Reads, you know that we’ve been talking a lot about the ups and downs of social media recently. Spectacles: up! Fake news: down! But one overlooked component is Facebook’s Safety Check feature, where people can let their loved ones know they’re safe in the event of an attack or natural disaster. It’s been invaluable for people needing to check in during times when information can be scarce, and it’s working in tangent with some of Facebook’s other projects, like their internet-providing drones. Safety Check is still being refined, but it’s just another show of how integrated social media is in our lives. If it’s helped you know that a loved one is safe, it’s just another thing to be thankful for.
Have a fun, safe Thanksgiving, everybody!