What in the World—Week of April 3

UFC and WWE team up

Two of the heavyweights of combat sports entertainment are teaming up to take on the world. Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, and World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed on Monday that they are combining to form a new parent company worth $21 billion.

The two faces most associated with each brand will stay with the new company: UFC’s Dana White remains president of that company, while Vince McMahon becomes executive chairman of the new entity. Ari Emanuel, Endeavor CEO and one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood, will become chief executive of the new, still-unnamed company.

By putting together UFC and WWE, Emanuel and McMahon are “betting that traditional TV companies and video-streaming giants will continue to pay top dollar for the rights to show live events—including scripted and unscripted fights,” reported The New York Times.

Amsterdam’s unwelcome message for young British men

The Dutch city of Amsterdam has begun an anti-tourism campaign of sorts. British men 18 to 35 searching terms like “pub crawl,” “stag night,” and “cheap hotel,” could get served an ad telling them to “stay away.” The advertising, which may be extended to other groups, is part of a larger campaign by the city to clean up its reputation as a decadent party-town.

The ads targeting young British men—who have a reputation for being “nuisance tourists”—ask if they are “coming to Amsterdam for a messy night,” followed by scenes of a young man staggering in the street and ending up in jail. The complaints about British party-tourists is a longstanding one; nearly a decade ago, Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan invited then London mayor Boris Johnson to come see for himself what they get up to.

“They are dressed as rabbits or priests and sometimes they are not dressed at all. I’d love to invite him to witness it,” he said at the time.

There’s a new shape in town

Designers have a new shape to work with, after the confirmation of a 13-sided two-dimensional shape called the “hat.”

What makes it a shape versus any random squiggle? Math. The hat is an aperiodic monotile, meaning it can be used to tile a surface without its pattern ever repeating. It’s a polykite shape, consisting of eight kites connected at their edges.

Once considered only theoretical, a team of mathematicians confirmed its existence last month. “You’re literally looking for like a one in a million thing. You filter out 999,999 of the boring ones, then you’ve got something that’s weird, and then that’s worth further exploration,” Chaim Goodman-Strauss, one of the mathematicians who worked on the project, told the New Scientist.

“And then by hand you start examining them and try to understand them, and start to pull out the structure. That’s where a computer would be worthless, as a human had to be involved in constructing a proof that a human could understand.”

Adidas backs off BLM logo fight

Adidas performed a quick U-turn last week after initially launching a court action to stop Black Lives Matter from trademarking a yellow three-stripe design for branded merchandise.

On Monday, Adidas said it wanted to stop BLM Global Network Foundation’s application for a trademark because BLM’s design “incorporates three stripes in a manner that is confusingly similar,” to the logo Adidas has used since 1952, and that people seeing BLM merchandise with the design are “likely to assume” that they are affiliated or sponsored by Adidas.

But by Wednesday, Adidas had reversed course. “Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson, without offering an explanation. Reuters, however, reported that the change stemmed from fears that the trademark objection could be misinterpreted as criticism of BLM’s mission.

Google providing more ad transparency

Google has introduced new options for people to learn about the ads they see across the its platforms, including search and YouTube.

The new Ads Transparency Center will let users search for ads from brands, find out where they ran, when the ads last ran, and in what format. “We’re committed to protecting our users by creating a safer, more trustworthy and accountable ad experience,” said Alejandro Borgia, Google’s director, product management, ads safety, in a statement.

The new service options follow last year’s launch of My Ad Center, which lets consumers choose the types of ads they see, like some, and block others, but didn’t provide information about the advertisers.

“The launch of Google’s Ads Transparency hub seems very… late,” said The Verge. “This is something Meta has been doing for years, as Facebook first launched its Ad Library in 2019.”

David Brown