Especially in recent years, headlines move so fast that sometimes it’s easy to forget about them. Something that seemed like a major story only a couple months ago quickly become forgotten when we move on to the next big thing.
I mean, do you still remember the incident with passenger that was dragged out of United Airlines? How about the news of detention facilities on the US-Mexico border? It’s not even just headlines, there are even entire trends that come and go.
If some of these stories have slipped out of your mind, it’s understandable. Our attention spans are definitely not very long, and with all the frequent change that happens in our lives, it’s almost necessary to move on to keep up with what’s happening.
However, every once in a while, I’ll randomly remember something from a while back. Have you ever suddenly remembered a news story or trend that happened a long time ago and think, “what happened to that?”
Retro Report has created a series of mini documentaries that cover these bygone news topics, with a bit of historical context, and they do a great job of answering that question. They usually cover the topic in detail as to what happened, and then also discusses what’s been the latest developments with that story, or how it ultimately concluded.
One of the stories that I recently watched was a story about Biosphere 2, which I’ve linked down here.
To give you an abridged version, a group of participants was supposed to be holed up inside an enclosed biome and had to try to be self sufficient. The story was that this would be an experiment that could determine how well humans could survive in deep space. However, within a short time it was plagued with scandals surrounding the experiment conditions, as well as internal conflict within the group of participants.
Since then, nothing similar has been attempted.
I think that’s too bad. Even though the original experiment turned out badly, I still think that there’s a lot of value in learning how people could live or create a self-sustaining environment.
We’re closer than we’ve ever been to exploring space, and in a previous article, I’ve discussed how NASA has plans to go to the moon again. Something like this would be incredibly useful in providing the data on what they may need to do in order to keep crews alive on the moon.
Aside from reminding us of stories that we’ve forgotten, Retro Report also done a good job of highlighting stories that have gotten distorted over time. A great example of this is a video they did on the Mcdonald’s hot coffee lawsuit.
I think most people have heard about this before: a lady spills hot coffee on her lap and wins a couple million dollars for her trouble. It’s held up pretty much as the poster child of frivolous lawsuits.
However, Retro Report does a good job detailing what actually happened. Many customers had previously either complained about or been burned by the temperature of their coffee, which was way hotter than what’s typically expected. The resulting burn was so bad that she actually got 3rd degree burns and had to get surgery to fix the skin around her groin area.
However, most of the details got lost in the subsequent reporting, and it almost became a joke to many people.
Videos like these show that there’s actually quite a lot to learn from giving some of the stories a second look with the benefit of hindsight. Typically, we’re only concerned about stories as they’re breaking, but we don’t really remember to go back and read about its full conclusion. The stories typically just fade away as we get distracted by a new piece of breaking news.
Knowing the full story has huge implications as we can tell from the Mcdonald’s scenario – it can even completely change the way we view an incident.
They’ve got a ton more videos like these, and I’ve been watching them non-stop for a couple days now. I would highly recommend their channel and the content that they put out. They really do remind us to not just chase after the latest headlines and approach the news with more of a high-level perspective.
Link to channel here.