Whether or not you have any interest at all, you have probably heard by now that Princess Kate Middleton is in labor. It’s a strange symptom of the world we live in that 1) the news of Middleton’s royal pregnancy is so ubiquitous that even passing contact with the internet will likely result in you knowing this, and that 2) of all the news items we could be forced to hear about, the royal birth is the one that the market/collective conscious has chosen. For those who can’t handle it, the Guardian has created a button on their page to remove all Kate Middleton/royal baby content, but for the rest of us, here are five news items that are more worthwhile than the latest member of the British royal family:
1. North Koreans are getting refrigerators! Not all of them, but the best civil servants are getting rewarded with a fancy box of coldness. However, the electrical grid in North Korea isn’t reliable enough for the fridges to preserve food, so the appliances are used mainly as pure status symbols, and store items that don’t need to be cold, such as books.
Why this is more important than Kate Middleton going into labor: this story reminds us that: 1) The North Korean government has control over things as minute as possession of personal appliances. 2) North Korea is so economically weak that it can’t sustain an electric grid that would support refrigerators, and 3) People in North Korea didn’t have refrigerators already.
2. Indian airline GoAir announced that it would employ only female flight attendants because they weigh less than men and the change will save them $4 million annually.
Why this is more important than Kate Middleton on the verge of delivering a royal baby: It reminds us that 1) institutionalized sexism is still widely accepted and 2) flights burn a tremendous amount of fuel.
3. Someone invented hand-held ice cream. The delightful morsels are coated in flavored skin that protects one from the all too familiar “ice cream on the hands” phenomenon.
Why this is more important than Kate Middleton bringing a beautiful baby into the world: Because 1) you are never going to meet that baby, but you might one day enjoy some hand-held ice cream. Also, 2) the future of food might involve things like vitamin skins instead of packaging (the motivation for this ice cream innovation), and it might be 3-D printed.
4. A woman was given an emergency C-section after she and her father were struck by a bolt of lightning.
Why this is more important than Kate Middleton becoming the most watched new mother ever: because this story involves a birth AND lightning! Top that Middleton! Also, the baby is allegedly named “Little Flash Gordon.” There will be pressure on Middleton to match that with a British superhero name for her child, but sources close to the royal family say that this is unlikely. Or, at least I’m sure they would if anyone asked.
5. People are still dying in violent clashes in Egypt, climate change threatens the Iberian lynx, an earthquake in China killed at least 54 people, and John McCain called for Stand Your Ground Laws to be reviewed.
Why any of this is more important than Kate Middleton going through an extremely public labor: because the Iberian lynx is bad-ass.