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The Wild Worlds of Pwnage, Bitcoin, and Viral Zit Videos

Dive into all the secret societies you should’ve read about this week.
March 12, 2016, 10:00pm
Image: Sandra Lee

The best and worst thing about the internet is how it enables us to learn about things we never could have imagined without it. Sometimes the new information it brings us is fascinating, sometimes it's horrifying. But one thing's for sure—when you're standing around in your favorite bar tonight, chatting with your friends, you're only a click away from some of the wildest stories in the world. Check out this week's picks:


The man with the most stolen accounts actually seems like a decent guy. Troy Hunt is the face behind Have I Been Pwned, a website that helps visitors check to see if their personal information is included in data breaches. Hunt has hosted information from Adobe, Snapchat, Ashley Madison, and many other companies that have been targeted in high-profile hacks, but his 10,000 daily visitors aren't angry about it—the site provides a useful service for letting victims know when their data has been compromised.

Nancy Reagan's legacy on AIDS isn't praise-worthy. Hillary Clinton expressed admiration for Reagan's response to the AIDS crisis at her funeral yesterday, then quickly apologized for the comments. Although the late First Lady's stance on the AIDS crisis is well-known in the gay community, the outrage that followed Clinton's remarks presents an opportunity for others to learn more about the history of AIDS, including the Reagans' response and the activist groups like Act Up that forced a national conversation about the disease.

The Blockchain Summit is the most surreal cryptocurrency party you've never heard of. Partying on Richard Branson's private island with a bunch of Bitcoin evangelists sounds like a lot of fun. Coconut cocktails and screeching flamingos might not be what the financial industry needs to get back on track, but it doesn't seem like it's hurting either.

You can admit you're a popaholic. We won't judge. Neither will dermatologist Sandra Lee, a.k.a. Dr. Pimple Popper, who has made a name for herself by posting pimple extraction videos on Instagram and YouTube and conversing with her zit-obsessed fans on Reddit. She's turned the social media obsession with popping into a viable business opportunity, which is fascinating enough—but her story is also worth reading for the descriptions of the pops themselves, such as, "A pale, slippery, oblong object ejected neatly from the skin, like a white edamame bean." It's so gross but so satisfying, just like a good pop.