TIME celebrities

Chris Pratt’s Ice Bucket Challenge Video May Be the Best Yet

Ooga-chugga, ooga-chugga, ooga-ooga-ooga-chugga


Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt added himself to a long line of celebrities–from Conan O’Brien to Bill Gates–who have participated in the trendy-though-highly-debated publicity stunt that raises money and awareness for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease by getting people to dump buckets (or other containers) full of freezing water over their heads.

Accepting a double challenge from both Disney CEO Bob Iger and Actor Vincent D’Onofrio, Pratt explains on camera that he’s going to do things “slightly different.” Eyes a’twinkle, he produces a tiny bottle of Blue Ice Vodka, which he dispatches quickly. For the second challenge, he begins to gulp down a bottle of Smirnoff Ice.

Much to our comic delight, however, forces gather to thwart Pratt’s plans to avoid getting wet and chilled to the bone–as you’ll see in the video below.

TIME space travel

NASA’s Hubble Finds Supernova Star System Linked to Potential ‘Zombie Star’

The two inset images show before-and-after images captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of Supernova 2012Z in the spiral galaxy NGC 1309. The white X at the top of the main image marks the location of the supernova in the galaxy. NASA

Thankfully, there are no brains anywhere around this particular zombie

Less like The Walking Dead and more like The Floating Dead: Astronomers believe they have identified the remnants left from an exploded white dwarf, otherwise known as a “zombie star,” about 110 million light-years from Earth.

Images like this one, shot with NASA’s Hubble Telescope, reveal the onset and aftermath of a “weaker” supernova, which happens when something changes in the core of a star and sets off a nuclear reaction.

The discovery of one of these less robust supernovas is a rare find in the world of interstellar study, and can help “to measure vast cosmic distances and the expansion of the universe,” said Rutgers University scientist Saurabh Jha, who’s part of the team that put together findings on the zombie star for Thursday’s edition of Nature.

TIME Theater

Andrew Rannells Will Replace Neil Patrick Harris in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Andrew Rannells
Andrew Rannells attends the "Violet" Opening Night at American Airlines Theatre on April 20, 2014 in New York City. Chance Yeh—Getty Images

The "Book of Mormon" star will attempt to fill the "How I Met Your Mother" actor's giant platform shoes starting Aug.17

Broadway megahit Hedwig and the Angry Inch has announced that Tony nominee and Book of Mormon star Andrew Rannells will take over as its title character,

Entertainment Weekly reported Thursday that Rannells will replace current star Neil Patrick Harris as the transgender singer from East Berlin whose onstage persona flits from risqué to funny to poignant in the much-acclaimed revival of the John Cameron Mitchell/Stephen Trask-penned tale. The former Doogie Howser M.D. puts his wig back on the shelf on Aug. 17.

Rannells already has plenty of Broadway clout, having earned a Tony nomination as Elder Price in 2011’s Book of Mormon. But he’s probably best known at this point for his recurring role on HBO’s Girls, as the snarky gay friend/roommate/ex-boyfriend of Lena Dunham. John Cameron Mitchell, who originated the role of Hedwig, was also a recurring character on Girls.

This also won’t be Rannells’ first time occupying Hedwig’s skyscraper-high heels, EW reported. The actor previously played Hedwig in a 2001 production in Austin, Tex. the same year the movie version won the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival. So don’t try and tear him down.

Hedwig took home Tony Awards Sunday for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor for Harris, and Best Featured Actress (Lena Hall).

TIME world cup 2014

This Is How Much U.S. Soccer Players Make at the World Cup

Italy v USA - International Friendly
Clint Dempsey celebrates the opening goal during the international friendly match between Italy and USA at Luigi Ferraris Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Genoa, Italy. Valerio Pennicino—Getty Images

The glory of taking part in the world's largest soccer tournament isn't the only prize for U.S. soccer players named to the 23-person squad going to Brazil. A trip to the later rounds could mean a big payday, too

U.S. players who make the final World Cup squad will receive at least $76,000 each from U.S. Soccer, Sports Illustrated reports.

That’s just the starting point, however, for determining an individual athlete’s earnings at the competition. If the team manages to progress into the later rounds of the tournament, players like Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley could be in for a big payday, while those who don’t make the 23-person roster could get far less.

Read more at Sports Illustrated.

TIME Education

Salaries of Public-University Presidents Rocket Despite Spiraling Student Debt

The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University Denis Jr. Tangney—Getty Images

A new report by the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies finds that salaries for the top 25 highest-paid public-research university presidents have swelled in recent years despite the growth of student debt and various faculty disenfranchisement issues

While salaries for the top 25 highest-paid public-research-university presidents have swelled in recent years, student debt and faculty-disenfranchisement problems have grown, says a new study.

A report released on Sunday by the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) looked at how that inflated pay correlated to dwindling funds allocated to student scholarships, and a trend toward more part-time adjunct-professor positions, which do not require benefits and other forms of compensation.

From 2009 to 2012, executive compensation at public research universities increased 14% to an average of $544,554, while compensation for presidents at the highest-paying universities increased by a third, to $974,006.

“Administrative spending outstripped scholarship spending by more than 2 to 1 at state schools with the highest-paid presidents,” the report says.

Marjorie Wood, one of the study’s co-authors, told the New York Times that “high executive pay obviously isn’t the direct cause of higher student debt, or cuts in labor spending. But if you think about it in terms of the allocation of resources, it does seem to be the tip of a very large iceberg, with universities that have top-heavy executive spending also having more adjuncts, more tuition increases and more administrative spending.”

The five top-paying schools listed by the IPS were Ohio State University, Penn State, the University of Minnesota, University of Michigan and University of Washington, crunching data from Chronicle of Higher Education, American Federation of Teachers and Institute for College Access and Success.

The Chronicle’s recently released stats showed that presidents’ base pay, already in the six-figure range, was often only a small part of their “total compensation” for the year.

“From FY 2006 to FY 2012, spending on nonacademic administration rose 65%, much faster than spending on scholarships in the top 25,” says the report.

In 2012, student debt across the country hit $1.2 trillion. But student debt at the colleges with highest-earning presidents grew at a 13% faster rate than the national average, partly because higher executive pay translates into less funding available for scholarships, the study says.

Lack of benefits, shaky job security and inadequate pay for adjunct professors have also become an issue of growing concern, illustrated starkly in separate papers by Service Employees International Union, The Coalition on the Academic Workforce and U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, cited in the IPS report.

The study was particularly critical of university boards of trustees, which determine how to pay the president.


Sterling: I Made a ‘Terrible Mistake’

The Los Angeles Clippers owner apologized for racist comments that landed him a lifetime ban from the NBA, calling them a "terrible mistake" but also claiming that he was "baited" by his ex-girlfriend into making them


Updated 7:12 a.m. ET on May 12

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling expressed contrition about racist comments that landed him a lifetime ban from the NBA, calling them a “terrible mistake” in his first interview since the scandal erupted.

“Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again,” Sterling told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air Monday.

Sterling sought forgiveness during the interview, but also seemed to imply he had been lured into making the comments by his ex-girlfriend.

“When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that,” Sterling said. “I don’t know why the girl had me say those things.”

When Cooper asked, “you’re saying you were set up?” Sterling responded: “Well yes, I was baited. I mean, that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don’t talk about people.”

The remarks are Sterling’s first public comments since TMZ published a recording last month of him criticizing his ex-girlfriend for bringing black people to Clippers games and being public in her friendship with NBA legend Magic Johnson. That led NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million for the comments, which Silver condemned as “deeply offensive and harmful.” Silver has vowed to force a sale.

The NBA’s Advisory/Finance Committee met on May 1 to discuss how to force a sale. A bevy of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Magic Johnson, have been floated as possible owners.

When Cooper asked Sterling why he had dragged his feet on a public apology for nearly two weeks, Sterling responded that he was “emotionally distraught.”


TIME Cancer

Scientists Use Patient’s Immune System to Kick Cancer

Through a technique known as adopted cell therapy, doctors replicated a woman's own immune cells in the lab, then released them into her bloodstream. The tumors began melting away

Scientists are making strides in a new cancer treatment that manipulates patients’ immune systems into going to war with malignant growths. The therapy, which could apply to a wide range of cancers, offers a silver lining for patients who have been diagnosed with melanomas in the the lungs, bladder and gastrointestinal tract.

In a study recently published in Science by the National Cancer Institute, under the National Institutes of Health, doctors “sequenced the genome” of a 43-year-old woman named Melinda Bachini, who had been struggling with a type of cancer that had not responded to chemotherapy, the New York Times reported.

Through what is called “adopted cell therapy,” Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg and colleagues involved in authoring the study “identified cells from her immune system that attacked a specific mutation in the malignant cells. Then they grew those immune cells in the laboratory and infused billions of them back into her bloodstream,” said the Times.

Rosenberg told the Times that through the process, the tumors began “melting away.” He added, “It’s the first time we have been able to actually target a specific mutation in the immune system,” Rosenberg told NBC News.

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