TIME Music

Go Behind the Scenes With Nico & Vinz at The Tonight Show

TIME chats with the Afro-Norwegian duo, best known for their summer hit "Am I Wrong," before their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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Though you may not recognize their names (yet), their tune is definitely recognizable — Nico & Vinz‘s single “Am I Wrong” is currently sitting at number one on the Top 40 airplay chart.

Earlier this week, TIME caught up with the Afro-Norwegian duo as they headed to the NBC studios to rehearse with the Roots before their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

In their down time, the pair both constantly have earphones on, often singing out loud or dancing to a silent rhythm.

“I’m listening to some sketches we did in Norway, songs,” says Vincent “Vinz” Dery during a short car ride, chuckling. “Listening to ourselves.”

But even given the high stakes, neither appeared nervous. “We’re kind of confident because the chemistry between us is great onstage,”says Nico Sereba, the other half of the duo. “I mean, we’re playing with the Roots, which is one of the best bands in the world.”

In the video above, Nico & Vinz sit down backstage before the show to discuss their unique sound and how they balanced work — as high school substitute teachers — and music.

But be warned: their catchy, upbeat song will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

TIME Business

Take a Ride on The Newest Record-Breaking Wooden Roller Coaster

Goliath, the Six Flags Great America ride, takes wooden coasters to new heights and speeds

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It may not be as tall as some steel roller coasters out there, but Goliath at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill. brings the fear factor to another level.

“It’s really, really intimidating to get on something that looks like it’s made of toothpicks,” says TIME’s Deputy Culture Editor Sam Lansky, who went on the ride not once, but twice.

Goliath, with its 180-foot drop at 85 degrees and top speed of 72 miles per hour, broke three world records for wooden coasters.

Not breaking a sweat yet? Take a look at the video, then see if you think you can handle going on the ride yourself.

TIME Culture

Up in Smoke: The Rise and Fall of Big Tobacco

"According to this survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette," is just one of the phrases we no longer hear in commercials

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Earlier this week, a $27.4 billion deal was announced that will merge two of the largest American tobacco companies, Reynolds American and Lorillard.

The deal comes at a time when cigarette smokers are at a steady decline. Even so, Marlboro still makes some lists of most valuable brands in the world.

And while it’s hard to remember the days when Camels were advertised as the most preferred cigarettes by doctors, a small segment of the industry is quickly growing: e-cigarettes.

Above, take a quick look at the history of America’s complicated relationship with the addictive habit.

TIME Music

Go Behind the Scenes of TIME’s Coney Island Photo Shoot With Jack Antonoff

The guitarist talks about the inspiration behind his latest musical project, Bleachers

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Jack Antonoff isn’t timid when it comes to his wardrobe.

“I like to feel like a 7-year-old who’s allowed to dress themselves for the first time or something,” says the musician, who is profiled in the new issue of TIME.

It seems like a pretty spot-on description for the 30-year-old musician behind Bleachers — who rose to popularity as the lead guitarist of Fun. — as he nonchalantly played games and buckled himself into rides at Coney Island’s Luna Park during a recent photo shoot for TIME.

Though there’s a palpable nostalgia in Bleachers’ debut album Strange Desire, Antonoff explains that the record isn’t all about lingering in the past — it’s about looking toward the future.

“I feel like I think about that all the time — how to push on, how to not leave too many of the pieces in the past, how to not take too many of them with you and become strange,” Antonoff says, chuckling.

In the video above, take a behind-the-scenes look at Antonoff’s shoot with photographer Geordie Wood and hear more about the inspiration behind the album.

TIME Innovation

A Look Inside the Home That Made “Life Easier” for a Marine Veteran Who Lost All His Limbs

From moving cabinets to remotely activated light switches, the home is designed to support a life of independence

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Retired Marine Sergeant John Peck lost all of his limbs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2010.

After he was once pronounced dead, spent three months in coma, and went through years in recovery, he came to live in a home built by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Peck worked with the foundation to design a home tailored to his individual needs. With high-tech features such as moving cabinets, tablet-controlled lighting and an automated shower, his house is an example of how smart homes can enable those who are disabled to be more self-sufficient.

“The house can’t really solve your problems, it can help make your life easier,” Peck said.

In the video above, Peck gives TIME a tour of his home – and shares his passion for cooking.

The former marine, who dreamed of becoming a chef ever since he was 12-years-old, is now re-learning how to cook, thanks to a prosthetic arm, an accessible cooktop and a relentless determination.

“The first time I cooked a meal in this house, it took a while. I made leek and potato soup,” Peck said. “It was definitely interesting to be able to make stuff and not need help.”

TIME 2016 presidential election

Romney: How Republicans Will Take Back the White House

Romney criticized Clinton's response to Bergdahl's release and expressed confidence that a Republican will take back the White House in 2016

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After hosting a high-profile summit over the weekend that included many Republican presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss politics within the G.O.P. and the 2016 election.

When asked by host David Gregory what he would do if he were a presidential candidate running against Hillary Clinton in 2016, Romney pointed to Clinton’s past political record as her weakness.

“I think you have to consider what’s happened around the world during the years that she was secretary of State,” Romney said. “And you have to say it’s been a monumental bust.”

Romney also referred to Clinton’s comments regarding the exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, in which she said the released Taliban leaders did not pose a threat to the U.S.

“And she came back with a clueless answer,” Romney said. “She was clueless.”

According to Romney, those points will be “the foundation of how a Republican candidate is able to take back the White House.”

TIME Television

Neil deGrasse Tyson Looks Back at Cosmos

The host looks back on 13 weeks of science

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Sure, the galaxy is still here, but Cosmos is over. The 13-episode reboot of the classic science docu-series came to a close on June 8, and the home video version is already available today, June 10. Host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stopped by TIME’s studios to look back on what the show accomplished — and it was immediately clear that, even when the show’s cameras aren’t rolling, he’s still very much “on.” Asked to count to ten to check his microphone, he counted down instead, noting that, “In ‘the universe’ we count down, because that’s how you launch rockets. Counting up to a number is pointless.”

Though the show had received a fair amount of attention for its head-on approach to hot-button scientific topics like evolution and climate change, Tyson shrugged off any notion that those issues were “controversial.” They’re just science, he said, and there’s nothing controversial about them.

“If you want to have a controversial conversation with people of different philosophical stripe from you, start with the science and then take it from there,” Tyson said. “Abraham Lincoln founded the National Academy of Sciences, tasked with advising the executive branch — the White House — and Congress on all the ways in which the discoveries of science may influence the running of the state, in an attempt to improve the health, the wealth and the security of all its residents. Lincoln was a Republican, last I checked. His brethren are not behaving consistent with his intent.”

Instead, what viewers should be focusing on is the growing popularity of science. In the show’s finale, Tyson made the point that it’s important to expand the group of people who are involved in the sciences, and he says he’s optimistic about that happening.

But don’t count on another Cosmos to help it along any time soon. The original Cosmos was 13 episodes, as is the more recent version, and Tyson says that it should be seen as more of a documentary than a normal TV show that comes in multiple seasons. Because the show tries to present a unified vision of our place within the universe, it’s not so easy to just create episodes that focus on different scientific topics — and that wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing anyway, since the content needs to be “digested” more than the average TV content does.

“We’re all flattered that people are thinking [about a Season 2] but it’s not clear that this was the kind of content you want to rattle off one year after the next,” he says. “If some years down the line after my life has recovered, maybe. But I’d like science to be shared by all. If someone else came up and wanted to host it, I don’t have any ego invested in the visibility that hosting Cosmos brought to me.”

In the mean time, Tyson is looking forward to a vacation, and to returning to the academic and family roles that got “bulldozed” to make way for TV. Asking him whether he’d be up for another TV gig is, he says, like asking someone who just gave birth when she wants to have another kid. “I’ve never been female, but I’m imagining,” he says, “that that’s when you get punched in the face.”

TIME Television

VIDEO: Eddie Huang on Why Fresh Off the Boat Uses Racial Slurs

Chef, writer, and Fresh Off the Boat producer Eddie Huang explains how he portrays his Asian-American experience in the upcoming ABC show

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In the same way chef Eddie Huang was resolute in naming his new ABC show Fresh Off the Boat, he was also adamant about using the word “chink” in the show’s pilot.

“I never, never once thought about not using the word, because that was the word that was said to me,” Huang says. “And there’s no other word that will get the reaction that that word got out of me.”

It’s reflective of Huang’s visceral approach in addressing some of the hardships he faced as a Taiwanese-Chinese-American kid growing up in Orlando. The show, part of ABC’s 2014-2015 lineup, is based on Huang’s New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name.

As the first network television show in 20 years to be centered around an Asian-American family, Fresh Off the Boat has drawn comparisons to Margaret Cho’s 1994 All-American Girl. Though Cho’s show was canceled after one season and criticized for stereotyping and depicting Asian customs as “weird and alien,” Huang is quick to acknowledge its role in paving the way for Fresh Off the Boat.

“I’m honored to be compared to Margaret Cho, because she’s a pioneer,” Huang says. “It’s important to compare and contrast, but recognize that everything is different and that 20 years ago, she was dealing with a whole different set of circumstances.”

What Cho attempted was like “trying to play mahjong on King Arthur’s table,” according to Huang. But today, Huang says he feels empowered to depict his personal experience in an authentic manner, starting with things like reclaiming the term “fresh off the boat” and including the word “chink.”

“Now, I feel like in many ways, we’ve broken the table, and said, ‘We don’t want it. We want a folding table, and we want to play mahjong on this table’,” Huang said. “I do feel like ABC is letting us work on a new table. It’s not that same Round Table that we’ve been forced to fit in our whole lives. They’ve really taken the reins off and let us do our thing.”

Huang stopped by TIME’s studio over the weekend while he was back in New York City to train a chef at his Taiwanese restaurant, Baohaus. In the video above, he talks about including violence in the show, the Fresh Off the Boat cast meeting his parents and how he feels about Asian fusion.

TIME Television

Cosmos Writer Ann Druyan Talks Sexism in Science, Saving the World

Plus: an exclusive look at Ann Druyan and Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing Carl Sagan's legacy, from the 'Cosmos' making-of documentary

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The 13-episode arc of the revamped version of Cosmos — this year’s take on the classic 1980 Carl Sagan docuseries — draws to a close on June 8. But, as Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow and a writer, producer and director of the new Cosmos, tells TIME, there’s still a long way left to go — both in the field of science, and in the world.

With respect to the big picture, Druyan says that she was surprised that negative response to the show’s forthright discussion of controversial topics like evolution and global warming was so “limp.” Cosmos has “torqued the zeitgeist,” in her words, making science seem cool and worth talking about. (Seeing astronomer Jan Oort trending on Twitter was a highlight of her experience this season.) But there’s work to be done, she says.

“I’m really optimistic. I was born that way, but I also feel that there’s so much reason to hope,” she says.

And there’s work to be done on a human scale, too.

One of the scientists featured in the finale will be Vera Rubin, an astronomer whom Druyan describes as a personal hero. Rubin, as Druyan relates in the video above, couldn’t even get an application for graduate school because she was a woman; she went on to make important discoveries about dark matter.

Druyan experienced a lesser version of that same bias in her own life, but that’s another thing she’s optimistic about. “I certainly experienced a huge amount of sexism. I was very lucky to have a valiant champion in Carl Sagan, who didn’t have that kind of attitude, but I remember routinely being dismissed, interrupted — I’d say something and people at a meeting would turn to Carl or someone else and say, that was a really great idea you had,” she says. “One of the reasons I’m so optimistic is I have seen major changes in that blindness and so many other forms of blindness in my lifetime, and some of the most optimistic people couldn’t have anticipated them.”

Cosmos, she hopes, will be a way to convince girls and boys to keep opening science to different kinds of people. That’s why the show is structured the way it is: relaying the stories of the lives of scientists rather than just their discoveries. “So many of the stories of the heroes of knowledge that we tell in the series were people who were written off because they were too poor or because they were female or for other reasons. The community of science has a lot to answer for because for so long it was so exclusive,” she says. “It’s only in recent times that it’s changed.”

The Cosmos team has provided TIME with a first look at the Cosmos making-of documentary special feature that will come with the Blu-ray of the show, which will be released June 10:

TIME Qatar

Qatar Remains Quiet About Its Role in Bergdahl Release

The Qatari government remains reluctant to give details about its involvement in the release of the American soldier freed by the Taliban

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While Qatar’s top English newspaper boasts headlines such as “Obama thanks Qatar for assistance as Taliban free American soldier,” it’s still unclear exactly what role the Qatari government played in the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Qatar’s foreign minister Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah was reluctant to go into much detail, according to CNN. “In any case, when Qatar takes on such a task of mediation, it bases that on a basic principle of our foreign policy, and that is the humanitarian consideration,” Attiyah said, after explaining that he was not prepared to talk in-depth about the prisoner release.

The Qatari government has also not addressed what might be the bigger question at hand: how it intends to contain the five Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom, who will be held in Qatar under undisclosed circumstances.

 

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