TIME World

Here’s How a Germanwings Pilot Reassured Scared Passengers the Day After the Crash

A Germanwings Airbus A320 is seen at the Berlin airport, March 29, 2014. An Airbus plane of the same model crashed in southern France en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, on March 24, 2015 police and aviation officials said.
Jan Seba—Reuters A Germanwings Airbus A320 is seen at the Berlin airport, March 29, 2014. An Airbus plane of the same model crashed in southern France en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, on March 24, 2015 police and aviation officials said.

A woman on board explains a pilot's heartfelt message

The morning after Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps—before any real details were known about the state of the plane or co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’ mental state—Britta Englisch hesitantly stepped onto a Germanwings flight from Hamburg to Cologne.

As soon as she walked onto the plane, she and the other passengers were personally welcomed by the pilot, who assured them that he’d get them to their destination safely. Englisch praised the dedicated pilot and crew on Germanwings’ Facebook page Wednesday night, and her heartfelt post has since gone viral—accumulating some 300,000 likes in less than two days.

“This flight was the morning after the crash—at this time no details were known and everything was mere speculation,” Englisch, who lives in Hamburg, tells TIME via email. “Logically it was pretty clear to me, that Germanwings might have been the safest airline at that morning—they doublechecked every plane and pilots and crew were free to choose if they were feeling able to fly or not. Nevertheless I had this feeling in my stomach. Feelings are not logical, are they?”

But her worry subsided after the pilot personally welcomed people as they boarded the plane. “If someone made an uneasy impression, he talked to them,” says Englisch, a PR manager at Stage Entertainment.

After boarding was complete, rather than going into the cockpit, the pilot took a microphone and began to address his passengers.

“He introduced himself and his crew, talked about how he felt—that some of the crew knew someone on the plane, that he also had a slight uneasy feeling not knowing what happened,” Englisch recollects. “[The pilot continued that] he and the crew are there voluntarily, that the company didn’t force anyone to be on duty that day, that he double-checked the plane this morning. [He said that] he has family, kids and a wife who he loves, that the crew has loved ones and [that] he’ll do everything to return safely to them every evening.”

For a moment everyone was silent.

“No one was checking his phone for the last time or reading the papers,” Englisch says, noting that that is unusual for a commuter flight full of businesspeople. “And then everyone applauded.”

Englisch didn’t intend for her post, supporting the grieving airline, to gain so much attention.

“It was just one post amongst thousand others and it was meant to say thank you to the pilot for not hiding in the cockpit but letting us be part of his feelings.”

Here is her post:

Read next: Here’s What We Know About the Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Food & Drink

New Line of Sriracha Snacks Will Be the ‘Real Deal’

Sriracha Ordered By Department Of Public Health To Hold Shipments For 35 Days
Scott Olson—Getty Images Bottles of Sriracha hot chili sauce

Hummus, croutons, and chips to be flavored with the original Huy Fong Sriracha

In the coming months, lovers of the red rooster will be able to buy Huy Fong Foods Sriracha hummus, croutons, tortilla chips, potato chips, and actual Sriracha spice to season your own food with, Yahoo reports.

Thought some of these items already existed? Not quite.

While companies like Lays have created snacks with Sriracha flavoring, any true hot sauce connoisseur knows that there is only one true Huy Fong Sriracha — which recently partnered up with Pop! Gourmet Foods.

“McCormick does a Sriracha seasoning, but it’s not Huy Fong,” Pop! founder and CEO David Israel told Yahoo. “With us, you’re getting the real deal.”

The official Sriracha seasoning will be available April 20.

The two companies already rolled out Sriracha popcorn earlier this year.

[Yahoo]

TIME Television

Empire’s Taraji P. Henson to Host SNL

Cookie fans, rejoice

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Empire’s standout character Cookie, will host Saturday Night Live on April 11.

Shoes. Will. Be. Thrown. (We hope.)

SNL announced that Mumford & Sons will be the musical guest. The sketch show also said that Michael “Birdman” Keaton will return for his third hosting gig on April 4, when Carly Rae Jepson will make her musical guest debut.

TIME politics

Watch John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

Tans were discussed

Members of Congress including House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came together to read mean tweets about themselves on video to promote Wednesday’s 2015 Radio & Television Correspondents Association Dinner.

Spoiler alert: Fake tans were discussed.

“Um… @NancyPelosi looks like a tub of orange sherbert right now on CSPAN,” Pelosi read one, before ad-libbing: “Was I standing too close to John Boehner?”

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.24.03 AM

The video then cuts to Boehner reading a tweet stating that he “Looks like an angry Oompa Loopa. I presume he bribes his constituents with promises of chocolate and Gobstoppers.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 10.04.44 AM

The twitterverse can be so cruel. Luckily Boehner was able to keep it together:

TIME Food & Drink

16 Bizarre Fast Food Items That Are Ridiculously Over the Top

The biscuit taco has nothing on these strange food fusions

Taco Bell announced it was retiring the beloved waffle taco this week, but in the same breath revealed a new piece of fast-food fusion: the biscuit taco. But America isn’t the only country trying its hand at fast food experimentation — strange food mash-ups premiere regularly around the world. But not every attempt at food fusion is successful. Here are 16 different international fast food items that don’t just cross the line — they race across it at a breakneck speed.

  • Pizza Hut Hong Kong: Flying Fish Roe Salmon Cream Cheese Pizza

    If you’re a crust person, get ready for an unexpected surprise. One bite of this pizza’s edge will unleash an oozing cream cheese and fish egg combination in your mouth. The pie itself is topped with scallops, crayfish, clams and shrimp. You know, just your usual pizza toppings.

  • Burger King Japan: Windows 7 Whopper

    bk_poster091014_01
    Burger King Japan

    For the launch of Windows 7 in 2009, Burger King offered a Whopper with 7 patties, which is just too many.

     

  • Pizza Hut Middle East: Crown Crust Pizza

    For some inexplicable reason, Pizza Hut Middle East stuffed mini cheeseburgers and chicken tenders into the crust of its Crown Crust pizza.

  • Pizza Hut Australia: Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza

    Burgers aren’t the only sandwiches to get stuffed into a pizza crust. Pizza Hut Australia’s hot dog stuffed crust is exactly what it sounds like and comes with free mustard and ketchup drizzle.

  • Japan: Kit-Kat Sandwich

    First Kitchen

    Many people love Kit-Kats, but the candy bar looks slightly unappealing when garnished with whipped cream and orange peel between two slices of white bread. Japanese fast food chain First Kitchen offers the strange creation for a mere 220 yen ($1.81).

  • McDonald’s Japan: Gracoro Burger

    McDonald's Japan

    During select winters at certain locations, McDonald’s has been known to roll out the McRib in America. During some seasons in Japan, McDonald’s offers the Gracoro Burger — which has a breadcrumb-crusted patty made out of macaroni, shrimp and a creamy white sauce.

  • Pizza Hut Korea: Star Edge Pizza

    Real as it is terrifying, this pizza comes topped with surf and turf (shrimp, calamari, bacon, steak and sausage) and is surrounded by a crust packed with dessert creams (cranberry or cinnamon apple nut and cream cheese filling).

  • Burger King Japan: Kuro Pearl Burger

    Kuro Burger
    Burger King Japan

    Burger King went to the dark side. This curious creation comes with black cheese (dyed with bamboo charcoal) and a black bun. You’ll also find squid ink in the onion-garlic sauce.

     

  • Pizza Hut Singapore: Double Decker Pizza

    At first, a double decker pizza sounds like just the right amount of decadence, but after reading the ingredient list, you’ll realize no one needs a second layer of turkey and ham rolls topped with mango mayonnaise.

  • Wendy’s Japan:Premium Lobster & Caviar Burger

    Wendy's Japan

    In 2012, Wendy’s premiered this luxe burger, which comes complete with lobster claw and a sprinkle of caviar.

  • McDonald’s Switzerland: McGrillschnägg

    Pig on pig: The Swiss “burger” consists of a curiously shaped pork sausage curled on a potato pancake patty and topped with bacon.

  • KFC Korea: Zinger Double Down

    Fried chicken are the new buns?

    As a KFC Korea spokesperson told Bloomberg, “The new Zinger Double Down King was created for consumers with a hearty appetite and a fondness for meat.” The promotional menu item, currently available in Korea, includes a beef patty topped with bacon, barbecue and white pepper sauces that is sandwiched between two fried chicken fillets.

  • KFC Philippines: Double Down Dog

    In January 2015, customers clamored to get their hands on this special promotion, which is basically just a hot dog wrapped in a fried chicken bun.

  • Wendy’s Japan: Foie Gras Burger

    Wendy's Japan

    For just $16, customers could indulge in a square burger topped with goose liver and truffles. “We think the fast-food market here is ready for something different,” CEO Ernest Higa told Bloomberg in 2011.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts China: Dried Pork and Seaweed Donut

    Dunkin' Donuts China

    This delightful creation proves you don’t have to choose between sweet and savory.

  • Burger King Japan: Pumpkin Bomb

    Burger King Japan

    America isn’t the only country that gets into seasonal pumpkin spice blends. The Pumpkin Bomb comes stuffed with bacon, a nut sauce and 10 slices of fried kabocha pumpkin.

TIME Crime

Man Arrested After Revealing Hiding Spot on Snapchat

FRANCE-US-IT-INTERNET-SECURITY-SNAPCHAT
LIONEL BONAVENTURE—AFP/Getty Images The logo of mobile app "Snapchat" is displayed on a tablet

Police: "Always remain humble, my friends"

A man was successfully evading arrest for burglary until he sent friends a Snapchat that revealed he was hiding in a cabinet during a police search.

Just as the Somerset, Maine, police were wrapping up what they thought was an unsuccessful search, they received phone calls from people who followed the alleged thief, Christopher Wallace, 24, on Snapchat. According to the police, Wallace shared very specific details about his hiding place in his message.

“A search of the kitchen cabinets turned up some food, some pots and pans, and also a pair of feet,” the police explained on its Facebook page. “The pair of feet just so happened to be attached to a person, and that person was Christopher Wallace. He was removed from the cabinet, and placed under arrest.”

This was Wallace’s second social media gaffe of the day. Earlier Wallace posted to Snapchat that he had returned to his house after weeks on the lam. He allegedly stole a propane cook stove and cast iron wood stove from a campground in January, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Also arrested was 20-year-old Erika Hall, the police’s Facebook explains, for the following: “Hindering apprehension, because…well…let’s put it this way, when the police ask you multiple times if someone is in the house, and you answer repeatedly that they are not in the house, and that you have not seen said person in ‘weeks’, you’re just going to get arrested. That’s how it happens.”

Moral of the story? “Always remain humble, my friends.”

TIME Food & Drink

5 Amazing Kraft/Heinz Food Mashups That Need to Happen Right Now

Kraft macaroni and cheese products on the shelf at a grocery store in Washington
Jonathan Ernst—Reuters Kraft macaroni and cheese products are seen on the shelf at a grocery store in Washington, May 3, 2012.

Including one you've probably tried before

Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Co announced a merger on Wednesday that would make it the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world. After executives stop high-fiving over projected revenues of roughly $28 billion, we have a few ideas for how the new company can make the most of this blissful new union. Here are five product mashups we hope the newly formed Kraft Heinz Co. creates with its infinite supply of condiments and snack foods.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Bagel Bites
BYOL — Bring Your Own Lox

(Kraft:Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Heinz: Bagel Bites)

Kraft Macaroni and Ketchup
This treat caters your inner 8-year-old.

(Kraft: Macaroni & Cheese, Heinz: Ketchup)

Oscar Mayer Wiener and Heinz Baked Beans Lunchables
Perfect for any camping trip.

(Kraft: Oscar Mayer Wieners, Lunchables; Heinz: Baked Beans)

Claussen Pickle Relish
This would be the perfect new addition to Heinz relish.

(Kraft: Claussen Pickles, Heinz: Sweet Relish)

Heinz 57 Flavors of JELL-O
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it?

(Kraft: JELL-O, Heinz: 57 Sauce)

TIME Social Media

Here’s J.K. Rowling’s Perfect Tweet About Dumbledore’s Sexuality

The author often tackles LGBT issues in the wizarding community on social media

Whether she has 896 pages or 140 characters, J.K. Rowling always finds room to spout infinite wisdom.

On Tuesday, a fan tweeted to the social media-friendly writer to ask about Dumbledore being gay, which was revealed after Rowling finished the Harry Potter series. “I wonder why you said that Dumbledore is a gay because I can’t see him in that way,” Ana Kocovic said.

Rowling’s response was short, sassy, and spot on:

The fan responded positively to Rowling’s answer:

This isn’t Rowling’s first time talking about LGBT issues in the wizarding community on Twitter. When a fan asked if Hogwarts was a safe place for LGBT students in December, Rowling responded by tweeting an image made by the Youth Project, based in Nova Scotia:

TIME Smoking

These 4D Ultrasound Photos Show How Fetuses Respond to Their Mothers’ Smoking

See the difference between smokers and non-smokers

A group of researchers have released 4D ultrasound photographs that show the impact smoking during pregnancy has on fetus movement in the womb.

Dr Nadja Reissland, Durham University

The top row shows fetuses of smoking mothers and the bottom row represents those of non-smokers.

The study, out of Durham University in the UK, found that the fetuses of women who smoke have higher rates of facial touching and mouth movement — normally there would be a declining rate. This suggests that fetuses who are exposed to cigarettes have a delayed development in the central nervous system.

“These results point to the fact that nicotine exposure per se has an effect on fetal development over and above the effects of stress and depression,” lead researcher Dr. Nadja Reissland said in a release.

The study looked at 20 fetuses, four of which had mothers smoking an average of 14 cigarettes per day. Although researchers say that a larger study is needed to confirm the results.

Conclusion: Maybe don’t take your pregnancy health advice from Mad Men.

TIME viral

Watch This Guy’s Brutally Honest Reaction When He Learns He’s Going to Be a Dad

"Oops"

Well, here’s a change of pace from the typical warm and fuzzy baby announcements that make their way around the Internet.

In the above video, a woman surprises her partner by having him open up a refrigerator that contains beer bottles with handwritten labels like “Daddy’s Beer” and “Oops.” His crestfallen reaction is a little too real.

The father-to-be clarified on Youtube, “This was unexpected and came as quite the shock, but I am very excited about this!”

Still, this definitely isn’t one for the grandkids.

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