TIME Diet/Nutrition

Consumer Reports Says Pregnant Women Should ‘Avoid All Tuna’

Standards For "Dolphin-Safe" Tuna Label Upheld In Federal Court
Cans of tuna are seen on a shelf August 12, 2004 in a grocery store in Des Plaines, Illinois. Tim Boyle—Getty Images

A new report analyzes the mercury levels in fish

In a new analysis of government data on mercury levels in fish, Consumer Reports suggests that pregnant women should “avoid all tuna” — particularly if it comes in a can.

Earlier this summer, the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration suggested that women who are pregnant, want to get pregnant, or are breast feeding should eat up to 12 ounces of fish a week. While fish can be a good source of proteinand provider of nutrients, Consumer Reports released an article Thursday warning vigilance given the high mercury level in many fish, including tuna.

“We’re particularly concerned about canned tuna, which is second only to shrimp as the most commonly eaten seafood in the United States,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, in a statement. “We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna.”

While Consumer Reports identified 20 seafoods that can be eaten safely several times a week, the report reads:

“Consumer Reports disagrees with the recommendations from the FDA and EPA on how much tuna women and children may eat. (We don’t think pregnant women should eat any.) We also believe the agencies do not do enough to guide consumers to the best low-mercury seafood choices. To make decisions easier for consumers, our chart below gives advice about good low-mercury choices.”

The federal agencies and Consumer Reports agree that childbearing women and small children should avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish due to mercury levels.

[Consumer Reports]


This Map Shows When 2 People Play the Same Song at the Same Time

Spotify Serendipity

Created by the company's first media artist in residence

The music-streaming service Spotify unveiled an online map called “Serendipity” on Thursday that shows when people in different cities are listening to the same song at the exact same time — or at least within a tenth of a second of each other — regardless of the city, timezone or hemisphere.

The project, based on real-time data, was created by interactive artist Kyle McDonald, the company’s first media artist in residence.

“There are so many ways we’re connected to each other, but sometimes we forget, or we just can’t see it,” McDonald said on Spotify’s blog. “In person, it’s easy to see the features we share, or when we share stories in online discussions. But we’re also connected in more ephemeral ways, and we can extract these relationships with new tools. Even though listening to music can be a very private experience, I wanted to see how often this experience is shared.”

Check out Serendipity here.

TIME Opinion

The Secret to a Viral Ad? Just Make It Really, Really Terrible On Purpose

Latest culprit: A so-bad-it's-good ad for a mall


Unless your wifi has been down, chances are high that you’ve already seen a truly awful ad for Missouri’s East Hills Shopping Center — complete with off-pitch singing, singsong chanting about “boots and pants,” fluorescent green words and clothing so synthetic that it’s one lit match away from bursting into flames.

It’s so bad, it’s good. But… is it too good to be true?

“Please don’t debunk this for me, I need to have faith in something during these trying times,” my friend Jordan wrote on Facebook, voicing the collective prayer of the snark-loving people of the internet as they click the video’s play button over and over and over again. (Actually titled “Terrible Mall Commercial,” the spot has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.5 million times in less than three days.)

While the commercial is, in fact, a real back to school ad for the Missouri mall, the man who made it knew exactly what he was doing.

“The whole time we pitched this idea we said, ‘maybe it will go viral.’ And it did,” Suddenlink Media’s Chris Fleck told a local FOX affiliate. Mr. Fleck said. “If you can entertain and get your message in, you’ve accomplished your goal. I just love that it’s getting this much response. That’s what commercials do, they get response.”

And this isn’t Fleck’s first rodeo. Here’s a spot in which Cecil Myers of Cecil Myers Mitsubishi raps his way into your heart:

“If you talk to [Meyers], he’ll tell you that I made him famous,” Fleck said.

This begs the question, is something that is terrible on purpose still terrible? Has this ad, sparkling as the bedazzled jeans it promotes, lost its luster?

“It makes me feel like throwing my computer out a window, or inventing a time machine and destroying ARPANET,” my friend Jordan said upon finding out.

The Mad Men of the digital era have been creating intentionally bizarre ads, made to go viral, for years. Rhett and Link, the ad duo behind the 2011 hit for Ojai Valley Taxidermy, even got a TV show on IFC entirely about creating strange local commercials for small businesses.

But while ad producers might be calculating, the local businesspeople who actually star in this particular breed of ads maintain a sweet sincerity.

Real East Hill Mall tenants starred in the back-to-school spot, and they don’t appear to be in on the irony when they’re touting their purchases by chanting “backpacks, backpacks, come get your backpacks.”

“It’s insane — the fact that it was even on YouTube is crazy to me,” Tyson “boots and pants” Huff-Garza told FOX 26. “It’s super funny, very cheesy and gets the point across.”

And that sincerity is just what differentiates the “so bad it’s good enough to Gchat to all of my friends” ads, from the “so bad it’s boring enough to close the YouTube tab after ten seconds” ads.

We might all be pawns, but you have to appreciate that craft.

TIME Crime

Grand Jury to Be Convened in Eric Garner Chokehold Death

Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by police last month


A special grand jury will be convened to determine whether or not to charge police officers in the July chokehold death of a Staten Island man, District Attorney Daniel Donovan announced Tuesday.

A cellphone video of the incident shows deceased Eric Garner, 43, saying “I can’t breathe” after a New York Police Department officer later identified as Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold. Such a move is banned by the NYPD although permitted under state law. Officers were attempting to arrest Garner on suspicions of selling single cigarettes outside of a store. The medical examiner’s office ruled Garner’s death a homicide.

“I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of [Eric Garner's] death to a Richmond County Grand Jury,” said a statement released by Donovan’s office to SILive. “Yesterday, the Court granted my application for the impaneling of an additional Grand Jury and I intend to utilize that Grand Jury sometime next month to begin presenting evidence on this matter.”

The special grand jury would have to unanimously vote to indict either Pantaleo or another officer. No witnesses have been named.



TIME politics

Watch John McCain Dance The Robot Like No Politician Has Danced The Robot Before

ABC, we have your next cast members for Dancing with the Stars.


If there was ever a case for Dancing With the Stars: Politicians Special, it was Saturday night’s Apollo in the Hamptons benefit, where showstoppers John McCain and Chris Christie could have danced all night. And if you’re watching the above video of McCain doing the robot with an in-awe Jamie Foxx, you’ll wish they had.

While the Senator pulled off stellar Mr. Roboto moves, getting most literally down in front of high rollers ranging from Bon Jovi to Harvey Weinstein to AmEx CEO Ken Chenault.

Christie, meanwhile, went a little more Electric Slide/Chicken Dance fusion.

“Christie really held his own,” Jack Nicholson told the Post. “I told him, as he walked back to his seat, ‘Governor, you can’t let New Jersey down.'”

Apparently Apollo in the Hamptons is the event of the season. Last year, Foxx reportedly got Colin Powell to sing “Blurred Lines.” While that magical moment wasn’t caught on video, at least we have the former Secretary of State’s DWTS audition tape to make up for it:

TIME Argentina

3 of Pope Francis’ Relatives Killed in Car Crash

Pope Francis Visits South Korea - Day Five
In this handout image provided by the Committee for the 2014 Papal Visit to Korea, Pope Francis attends a Mass for peace at Myeong-dong cathedral in Seoul, South Korea Handout—Getty Images

The pope's 8-month-old and 2-year-old grand-nephews were killed in Argentina accident

Three members of Pope Francis’ family were killed in a car accident in Argentina Tuesday, CNN reports, including his 8-month-old and 2-year-old grand-nephews and their mother.

A Cordoba police spokesperson told news outlets that the pope’s nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, crashed into a truck on the highway at 12:30 a.m. Bergoglio is currently in the hospital under serious condition.

The Pope’s spokesperson said he was “profoundly saddened” by news of the accident, BBC reports.

On a flight back to the Vatican from South Korea Tuesday morning, the Pope had been lightheartedly discussing his own mortality with the press, saying he expected to be in “the Father’s house” in some two or three years.


TIME Crime

California High Schoolers Plotted Mass Shooting, Police Say

South Pasadena police arrested two teenagers after high school officials received a "credible threat" of plot


Two teenage boys in South Pasadena, Calif. have been arrested after plotting to gun down “as many students as possible” on their first day back at high school, police said Tuesday.

Police made two arrests after “learning that two South Pasadena High School students were plotting to kill three staff members and as many students as possible with firearms,” according to a statement provided by the South Pasadena Police Department (SSPD)

After school officials were informed of a “credible threat” of a potential violent act, they immediately contacted the SSPD, Superintendent Geoff Yantz told parents and students in a statement available on the PTA’s Facebook page.

Police obtained warrants to search both students’ houses and found enough evidence to prompt an arrest. While one suspect was arrested without incident, police had to force entry into the second home and capture the student after he tried to run away from officers.

Yanz assured parents that the police “have the situation under control,” and psychologists and counselors will be available to offer support to students and staff.

“This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior. It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy,” Police Sergeant Brian Solinsky said in the statement. More information will be announced at a news conference at 10 a.m. local time.

Some students posted thanks to the SSPD on their Facebook pages. “I might have died on Thursday if it weren’t for this,” one commented on the police’s statement. “Thank you.”

Incoming freshman Owen Carlson told KTLA 5, “School starts on Thursday, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be talking about it.”

TIME Gadgets

A Built-In Roku TV Is Coming Soon

The Roku 3 television streaming player menu screen featuring Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, and Redbox Instant is shown on a television in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2013.
The Roku 3 television streaming player menu screen featuring Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, and Redbox Instant is shown on a television in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2013. Bloomberg/Getty Images

Available in September

Roku is working to streamline the video streaming process.

While consumers have long been able to use a Roku box to watch streaming internet TV on their screens, the company announced Tuesday that it will bring the screen to the Roku, with its first ever built-in smart television available in stores come September.

The Saratoga, Calif.-based company is working with Hisen and TCL to create a line of Roku-powered TVs that offer streaming options from thousands of apps — including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and music sites apps like Pandora — just like the box version. According to Roku’s site, pre-orders are available on Amazon.

The 32-inch to 55-inch TCL Roku televisions will be available for between $230 and $650. Hisense will be offering four different sizes, ranging from 40″ to 55″, although prices have yet to be announced.

TIME viral

This Is How Many Ice Bucket Challenge Videos People Have Posted on Facebook

Celebrity Sightings In Philadelphia - August 14, 2014
R&B singer, songwriter and producer Tank takes The Ice Bucket Challenge and challenges his friends Gilbert Carrasquillo—GC Images

Hint: It's more than two million.

UPDATE August 18 2014, 6:22 PM

If you thought that the only thing on your Facebook Newsfeed right now was videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads, that’s because the only thing on your Facebook Newsfeed right now is videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.

Facebook told TIME a whopping 2.4 million unique videos related to the Ice Bucket Challenge have been posted on the social media site. As of August 13, there were 1.2 million — a figure that has doubled in just five days.

Most of us know about the Ice Bucket Challenge as a way to raise awareness for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. People have been challenging everyone from their grandpa to Bill Gates to either dump a bucket of ice water over their head or donate $100 to an ALS-related charity. The movement has raised more than $12 million for the ALS Association since July 29, compared to $50 in the same period last year.

(LIST: The 27 Best Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges)

How it spread

Facebook’s Data Science team found that the Ice Bucket Challenge’s spread was structured around Boston.


“Each line [in the map below] represents at least 10 connections between nominators and nominees for the challenge,” Facebook told TIME. “Many attribute the challenge to former Boston College baseball player, Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, which could explain the concentration in Boston.”

Frates’ disease took the athlete’s ability to speak and move his limbs, so he challenged people in his social network with the help of the song “Ice, Ice Baby” on July 31. It went viral from there.


Facebook found that more than 28 million people have discussed the Ice Bucket Challenge on the site — ranging from posting videos to liking related statuses, between June 1 and August 18.

Although the challenge was linked to ALS in July, Facebook’s data shows that it was being discussed weeks before. The WSJ reports that it actually got a humble start on the professional golf circuit, when golfers would douse themselves with ice water to get other golfers to support pet charities.

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