Sam Sanders

Ashley Nicole Black was four years into a Ph.D. program at Northwestern University when she decided to drop everything and pursue a career in comedy. It was a risk, but it ended up paying off. She's now a writer and correspondent on TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

When the "On Air" lights went dark in NBC's Studio 8H early on Sunday, May 21, Taran Killam didn't realize he had just performed on Saturday Night Live for the last time. Later that summer, after six seasons of his seven-year contract, NBC didn't ask him back.

"It wasn't super negative," he tells NPR's It's Been A Minute. "It was just kind of messy."

A panel at the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists conference in New Orleans featuring White House aide Omarosa Manigault quickly went south after Manigault refused to answer questions about the administration in which she serves.

This amazing kid got to enjoy 19 awesome years on this Planet. What he left behind is wondtacular.

See why we have an absolutely ridiculous standard of beauty in just 37 seconds.

A boy makes anti-Muslim comments in front of an American soldier. The soldier's reply: priceless.

You know it well. The Upworthy headline. That model of building curiosity by keeping the true topic of a story hidden until you click.

Former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper is branching out on his own this year. He'll be launching his own show on Comedy Central this fall in the coveted 10:30 p.m. slot — the same real estate Stephen Colbert and Larry Wilmore previously occupied — and his documentary Jordan Klepper Solves Guns airs on that same network Sunday night.

With barely an Internet whimper, Pepe the Frog, the anthropomorphic cartoon character turned symbol of hate, was put down by his creator, Matt Furie, over the weekend, in a single-page comic strip. The final images were of Pepe dead in a casket, with three former roommates paying tribute by pouring some liquor on Pepe's face and drinking the rest.

When you hear Alana Hope Levinson talk about the death threats she got late last year, in response to a Gizmodo story she wrote railing against "manthreading," she speaks so lackadaisically, you could almost forget how serious it all was.

"I had to alert security at work," she half-jokes, as if that really didn't happen. (It happened.) "Yeah, I mean people were just tweeting at me that they wanted to kill me, and stuff like that."

The numbers, in several cases, are astounding. 350.org, a climate action group, saw donations almost triple in the month after Donald Trump's election. Since Trump's win, Planned Parenthood told NPR it's gained over 600,000 new donors and more than 36,000 new volunteers. And the American Civil Liberties Union has raised more than $80 million since Nov. 8.

There was a time when a whistleblower had to rely on the Postal Service, or a pay phone, or an underground parking garage to leak to the press.

This is a different time.

A renewed interest in leaks since Donald Trump's surprise election victory last fall, and a growth in the use of end-to-end encryption technology, have led news organizations across the country to highlight the multiple high-tech ways you can now send them anonymous tips.

During his campaign and now as president, Donald Trump has made Twitter part of the daily news cycle, with a single early-morning or late-night Trump tweet setting the news agenda for hours, if not days.

For some time, the public has known that Donald Trump does a lot of his tweeting himself, from the account @realDonaldTrump, and from an Android smartphone. But many cybersecurity experts believed that would change once Trump took the oath of office, because White House-approved communication devices are much more secured — and stripped down — than the smartphones the rest of us use.

Oh, 2016.

The year it all went to hell. The year nothing made sense. The year we lost track of reality. The year Merriam-Webster made "surreal" its word of the year.

For many, 2016 hasn't just been awful and strange; it's become its own Debbie-Downer catchphrase. 2016 itself has become its own meme.