TIME viral

Musician Unfazed By Butterfly Landing on Face Mid-Performance

Flutist somehow manages not to freak out when the bug lands on her forehead during a performance

Chicago-based flutist Yukie Ota handled a challenging distraction during her performance like a true champion on Monday at the Carl Nielsen Flute Competiton in Odense, Denmark. A butterfly landed on her face and she barely looked up.

While most people would react to any critter (beautiful wings or no) landing smack atop their forehead by quickly melting down, Yukie Ota barely blinked, and finished out the piece with poise and grace, with an expression that said, “Butterfly? What butterfly?”

To top it all off, she evidently advanced to the next round.

In their report on the story, NPR enlisted the help of a Smithsonian Museum of Natural History curator to figure out what on earth drew the butterfly to the performer’s face at that moment. The expert’s answer: the bug likely was attracted to the saltiness of her sweat under the bright lights of the stage. Nope. No pressure at all.

[NPR]

TIME space

Scientists Find Giant Black Hole Inside One of the Tiniest Known Galaxies

Artists view of M60-UCD1 Black Hole
Artists view of M60-UCD1 Black Hole NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a

According to NASA, it's one of the densest known galaxies, with 140 million stars fitting inside its 300-lightyear diameter

NASA said Wednesday that astronomers have found one of the smallest known galaxies ever using the Hubble Space Telescope–but the mini-discovery came with a surprising twist. The tiny galaxy has a massive black hole at its center, nearly five times the size of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Inside the galaxy, at least 1 million stars are visible to the naked eye, according to a NASA press release. To put that in perspective, consider that from Earth we can only see about 4,000 stars in the night sky. The galaxy reportedly has a diameter 1/500th of the size of ours, with 140 million stars that fit inside. Astronomers think the galaxy is proof that “dwarf galaxies” are parts of larger galaxies that were broken up by collisions with other galaxies.

“We don’t know of any other way you could make a black hole so big in an object this small,” University of Utah astronomer Anil Seth said in the NASA statement. Seth is the lead author of an international study on the dwarf galaxy published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

TIME Football

Chicago Bears Defend Brandon Marshall Over 2007 Assault Allegations

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014. Scott Boehm—AP

“Brandon has the full support of the Chicago Bears"

Correction appended, Sept. 18

The Chicago Bears are standing behind receiver Brandon Marshall, after a Los-Angeles based attorney cited Marshall’s allegations of abuse from 2007 as a way to more widely criticize the NFL’s handling of players who have been charged with assault.

“Brandon has the full support of the Chicago Bears,” general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. “We were aware of his personal background when we traded for him in 2012 and equally aware of the tremendous efforts he made to bring positive changes in his life and in the lives of all the people around him.”

Marshall was arrested in 2007 after an incident with his former girlfriend Rasheeda Watley, who had already accused him of domestic violence on numerous occasions. Marshall has since insisted he never hit his ex-girlfriend and has been undergoing treatment for borderline personality disorder.

On Wednesday, attorney Gloria Allred said the NFL failed in the way it dealt with allegations against Marshall and called for a new approach to handling cases of abuse — as a way to urge the NFL to adopt a new process for handling violence.

The Bears’ reaction differs to the Cardinals and Panthers, both of which deactivated players on Wednesday after abuse charges surfaced.

Correction: The original version of this story included a photograph depicting a different Brandon Marshall than the Chicago Bears receiver.

TIME Football

Arizona Cardinals Act Swiftly After Player Arrested for Domestic Assault

Jonathan Dwyer's booking photo following his arrest for domestic abuse at the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office on Sept. 17, 2014. Maricopa County Sheriffs Office

Running back Jonathan Dwyer was deactivated after his arrest Wednesday on suspicion of aggravated assault in an incident that reportedly occurred in July

Updated 9:19 a.m.

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was released from jail Thursday morning after he posted bail following an arrest on domestic violence charges, the Associated Press reports.

The Cardinals deactivated Dwyer from all team activities Wednesday following the arrest. Dwyer was reportedly arrested at the Cardinals training facility on suspicion of aggravated assault. The Cardinals said in a statement Wednesday they will “continue to closely monitor” the incident.

The incident Dwyer was arrested for occurred in July and allegedly involves a woman and an 18-month-old child, Phoenix police said in a statement, but investigators reported the incident last week. The details of the relationship between Dwyer and the victim are not immediately clear, though police said the two lived together.

The Cardinals’ immediate response to the 25-year-old’s arrest stands in stark contrast to the widely criticized handling of other player assault allegations in the last few weeks by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league teams.

[AP]

TIME Military

Airmen No Longer Required to Say ‘So Help Me God’ During Oath

Untited States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony
United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, May 29, 2013. Craig F. Walker—The Denver Post/Getty Images

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously," the Air Force Secretary said in a statement

The U.S. Air Force said Wednesday that enlisted members and officers are permitted to omit the phrase “so help me God” from their oaths if they so chose. In a statement Wednesday, the Air Force said it arrived at the decision after consulting with the Department of Defense General Counsel; last week an airman who was prohibited from re-enlisting until he uttered the phrase threatened to sue if the Air Force did not change their policy.

“We take any instance in which Airmen report concerns regarding religious freedom seriously,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in a statement. “We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure our Airmen’s rights are protected.”

The change will go into effect immediately and enlistment instructions will be adjusted within the coming weeks.

TIME Canada

Rob Ford Has Cancer

Toronto Mayor Ford participates in a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough in this file photo
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford participates in a mayoral debate in Scarborough, Ontario, on July 15, 2014 Fred Thornhill—Reuters

The Toronto mayor has said he won't seek re-election amid health problems

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, his doctor said Wednesday.

Dr. Zane Cohen of Mount Sinai Hospital confirmed that Ford has a rare cancer that will be treated with chemotherapy, CTV reports. Ford is expected to make a complete recovery. Cohen said the mayor is in “some pain still” but that doctors are working to manage it.

Ford was initially hospitalized last week after complaining of intense abdominal pain and had been diagnosed with a tumor, but further details of his condition couldn’t be confirmed until a biopsy was conducted. Ford, who drew global headlines when he admitted to doing crack cocaine, said last week that he won’t be seeking re-election.

[CTV]

TIME NFL

Adrian Peterson’s Mom Says Critics ‘Don’t Know His Heart’

Palestine running back Adrian Peterson, right, smiles after signing a national letter of intent to play football for Oklahoma on Feb. 4, 2004, in Palestine, Texas. At left is his mother Bonita Jackson, and at center is his brother, Jaylon Jackson.
Palestine running back Adrian Peterson, right, smiles after signing a national letter of intent to play football for Oklahoma on Feb. 4, 2004, in Palestine, Texas. At left is his mother Bonita Jackson, and at center is his brother, Jaylon Jackson. David Branch—Tyler Morning Telegraph/AP

“People are judging him, but they don’t know his heart"

Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson never intended to hurt his four-year-old son when he beat him with a tree limb, his mother said Wednesday, in her first interview since news of the abuse allegations broke.

Peterson’s mom Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle that Peterson is “not a perfect man by any means,” but that she’s proud to be the mother of a 29-year-old son she says is a loving person.

“For the most part he is trying hard to be a good parent, he’s working at it,” said Jackson, 50. “People are judging him, but they don’t know his heart. This was never his intent.”

Jackson said in the interview that she and Peterson’s father were both “big disciplinarians” when their children were young, and that she used belts, her hands, and switches—which Adrian Peterson reportedly used on his four-year-old—to get her kids in line.

“I don’t care what anybody says,” Jackson said. “Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes.”

[Houston Chronicle]

TIME NFL

Panthers Player Latest to Get Benched for Domestic Violence

Defensive lineman Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers looks on from the sideline during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh.
Defensive lineman Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers looks on from the sideline during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. George Gojkovich—Getty Images

Greg Hardy was previously allowed to participate in NFL games, despite his domestic violence conviction

The Carolina Panthers said Wednesday that defensive end Greg Hardy will be placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list, effectively banning him from playing with the team until the domestic violence case against him is resolved.

The NFL Players Association said Hardy had taken a “voluntary leave of absence” from the team. Hardy was convicted of assaulting an ex-girlfriend over the summer, but had been allowed to play in NFL games since the 2014 season began. Hardy is appealing the conviction.

The league has been under close scrutiny in recent weeks for its handling of the revelation that star running back Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee unconscious. Rice was initially suspended for just two games until publication of a video of the assault sparked outrage and led the Baltimore Ravens to cut him and the league to suspend him indefinitely.

TIME Companies

Uber to Military Veterans: We Want You

German Court Bans Uber Service Nationwide
In this photo illustration, a woman uses the Uber app on an Samsung smartphone on September 2, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Adam Berry—Getty Images

The on-demand car service announced a new program aimed at providing economic opportunities to those who serve in the military

Uber announced a new program Wednesday that aims to get 50,000 military service members, veterans and spouses to enlist as drivers for the on-demand car service. Over the next 18 months, UberMILITARY will enlist drivers from the military community in an effort to “empower them as entrepreneurs and small business owners,” according to an Uber blog post.

Uber says its drivers’ flexible schedules could be of benefit to veterans working transition back into civilian life. The company also says the program could help members of the service community and their families combat the unique challenges they face, including high levels of unemployment and frequent relocation. Military spouses move an average of eight times over a 20-year career, while veterans under 25 face an unemployment rate of 21.4% (the national unemployment rate is 6.1%).

To achieve its goal, Uber is enlisting the help of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who will serve as the chairman of UberMILITARY’s advisory board. In a joint op-ed published by Politico Magazine Wednesday, Gates and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that “UberMILITARY is a reflection that high-quality service, an unparalleled commitment to safety and the leadership potential inherent to small business entrepreneurship are values shared by those who have selflessly served our country.”

TIME Congress

Senator Seeks to Cancel NFL Tax-Exempt Status Because of Redskins Name

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins
A Washington Redskins helmet sits on the grass during a preseason football game between the Redskins and Cleveland Browns at FedExField on August 18, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. TJ Root—Getty Images

Sen. Maria Cantwell announced the upcoming legislation at a press conference hosted by the Change the Mascot campaign

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Tuesday that she would soon be introducing legislation to end to the NFL’s tax-exempt status because of its refusal to pressure the Washington Redskins to change the team name.

“The NFL needs join the rest of America in the 21st century. We can no longer tolerate this attitude towards Native Americans,” Cantwell, a member and former chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said Tuesday. “This is not about team tradition; it is about right and wrong.”

Cantwell joined tribal leaders and lawmakers at a press conference on Capitol Hill hosted by the Change the Mascot campaign. It’s been a year since the Oneida Indian Nation launched the Change the Mascot ad campaign against the Washington Redskins. On Tuesday, the campaign announced they would continue pressing the NFL to get urge Redskins owner Dan Snyder to reconsider the Washington team’s mascot and call on other team owners to join the effort to get the name changed.

In an open letter being sent to every NFL team owner, the Change the Mascot campaign says “the league is promoting this racial slur with the resources of every team, including yours, which makes it a league-wide crisis.” The letter continues, “If owners like you finally stand on the right side of history and publicly demand action, the NFL can and will change the team’s name.”

The coalition calling for a name change has grown over the past year, with lawmakers including President Obama speaking out against the Washington team’s name. Broadcasters and publications have agreed to not use the term. And earlier this summer a federal agency canceled the team’s trademark because of its use of a racial slur, though the Redskins organization has appealed that decision.

Through it all, however, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said repeatedly he will not change the team’s name or mascot. “I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country,” Dan Snyder wrote in a letter to fans last October.

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