TIME History

You Can Now Own a Vial of Winston Churchill’s Blood

Sweat, toil and tears not included in the sale.

Looking for the perfect present for the history buff who has everything? A vial of Sir Winston Churchill’s blood is going up on the auction block.

Churchill famously said he had nothing to offer but “blood, toil, tears and sweat” and now some of that blood is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder by Duke’s Auctioneers on March 12.

The blood was collected when Churchill was in the hospital for a fractured hip in 1962. Typically vials of blood are discarded when they are no longer medically necessary, but the nurse who collected it, an apparent fan of the former Prime Minister, received special permission to keep the vial. Upon the nurse’s death, it was bequeathed to a friend who decided to sell the historical medical waste to mark the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death.

The market value of the vial “is a very difficult thing to estimate,” Timothy Medhurst, an auctioneer and appraiser at Duke’s, told the New York Times. The vial is “the most poignant and unique memorabilia we’ve ever had,” he adds, saying that the blood sample “is the closest you can get to Churchill.”

Keeping all that in mind, he expects the blood to sell for at least 1,000 GBP ($1,550 U.S.) The blood will be sold together with a signed declaration by the nurse detailing the circumstances in which she acquired it.

TIME Comedy

Vanessa Bayer: This Is What Haim Should Do On Tour with Taylor Swift

NBCUniversal Events - Season 2014
Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images Vanessa Bayer, "Saturday Night Live" at Boa Steakhouse, West Hollywood, in 2014.

Meet Janessa Slater, the woman who almost made Drake cry

When Vanessa Bayer isn’t cracking people up with her impressions of Miley Cyrus and Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, she can be found moonlighting as media coach Janessa Slater on Sound Advice. On the Above Average web series that Bayer created with her brother, Jonah, PR expert Janessa Slater sits down with artists like Drake, offering helpful advice about things like how to set up a good JDate profile and whether he should change his name. The interviews, which have included artists like TV on the Radio, Demi Lovato, The Wanted and Tegan and Sara, are uncomfortable and hilarious.

With a new season of Sound Advice kicking off on March 12th on Above Average, TIME talked to Bayer about the series:

TIME: Are the artists in on the joke?

Vanessa Bayer: Yes. We try and have them watch episodes before they do it. We always improvise a lot, so we don’t always show them the questions in advance. Sometimes we will write responses for them, if they want to use them, but they don’t have to. Sometimes we don’t show them anything unless they want to see it, but because we improvise so much it’s not always useful for them. It just depends what the bands want. A lot of what ends up in the final cut is the improvised stuff, because that tends to be funnier.

Some of the bands are really good actors, then, because sometimes they stare at you like you’re completely insane.

I know! Sometimes that’s very off-putting for me because I know that they’re acting, but still. One thing that I think is great about this series is that it shows how great these bands are. They’re so funny, they’re such good actors, they have these skills beyond what you see when they’re performing music. Obviously music is a really good skill, but they are also able to do all this comedy stuff. It’s interesting for my brother and I and our director, Pete Schultz, who writes some of the questions, too, we put these questions together and then we see the band and we get nervous to say these things to them. One episode was with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, who are in this band The Both — we were so excited to meet them, because we are all such huge fans. The first question was about them being on Social Security and I was so nervous to say it! Of course, they were such good sports about it. My brother said he almost ran out of the room because he was so nervous about it, but I’m the one who actually had to say it!

Your interviews can get uncomfortable in a way that reminds me of Larry David. Is that intentional?

That’s sorta the vibe we’re going for. One thing I have to say about the bands is that they will all respond differently. Some will just stare at me, but others will get really involved. Like Sara Bareilles was really aggressive with me, which was so funny. Some bands will joke back and will improvise with me. Even when they know what the questions are, even if we give them a suggestion of a response, they decide what they think of me. A lot of bands have multiple people and none of them will like me, except for one. Or it’s just a difference in how they are playing it where one will be more accepting and the other won’t be. It’s interesting because it shows the different personalities of the band members, even when they are acting. The TV on the Radio one was so fun to do because they were up for anything and they responded so well when I told them which different member of 90210 they were like and I told one of them that he was Jim Walsh, which is the dad.

Rumors are circulating that Fun. are breaking up. What would Janessa would tell them?

I love those guys. We did our first Sound Advice with them. I think that little French weirdo Jack will be fine, because he’s got that high school side project. That little singer will be great because he’s got pretty good hair and stuff. And Andrew, he’s my guy, he’s the one that will become the millionaire.

Haim is going on tour with Taylor Swift. How would Janessa advise them?

Maybe Haim can try parting their hair on the side to look a little less hipster, because Taylor Swift isn’t really like that. Four girls is a lot, so maybe they should add a fifth girl — like Janessa — to the crew, because while Haim sings and plays instruments and people love Taylor, who’s the person who is really going to bring the crowd out? They should add Janessa because she has a lot to offer as far as beats, lyrics, style and accessories.

Do you think Miley Cyrus will ever come to Sound Advice?

That’s my dream. We’ve reached out to her and she’s been really nice about it, but I think she’s one of the busiest human beings in the world. Another dream guest is Heart, because I love them so much and I sing Heart in karaoke all the time and I really want to show that to them. That’s not the only reason why I want them, though. I just love them.

What do you get out of a web series that you don’t get on SNL?

On SNL you get to do a bunch of different characters, which is really great, but on this web series I get to do one character, and that’s really fun. As the series progresses we get to find out more about Janessa and her ex husband Darren. I do some writing on SNL, too, but on the web series we write it all. It’s been fun digging into this very big mess of a woman.

TIME Television

The Bachelor Watch: Fireworks in the Fantasy Suites

Denton Hanna—ABC

It's down to the final three!

Welcome back to The Bachelor where we join gentleman farmer Chris Soules on his journey to find love. At this point in his mission: possible, Chris has winnowed his herd of potential wives to three contenders — Whitney, the fertility nurse, Kaitlyn the dance instructor and rap enthusiast, and Becca, who is a chiropractic assistant and a practicing virgin. The only reason to bring that up at this point is that tonight Chris is taking all three women to Bali for some alone time in the infamous Fantasy Suites. Since Chris made out with exactly everyone on the show, there’s little doubt that he will jump at the opportunity to jump at the women in privacy. As he doesn’t know Becca’s status, all eyes are on her and the inevitable Fantasy Suite invite.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelor:

Kaitlyn: Chris announces his first date with Kaitlyn by saying, “she’s definitely a person I can see having in my life,” which sounds simultaneously ominous and vague. Chris takes her to a temple for what Kaitlyn dubs “a spiritual moment.” But who cares about that when a monkey mounts Chris’ head and then pees on him! Life on the farm has trained him well, though, because Chris is surprisingly chill about a monkey urinating on him. (We can all agree that Bachelor Brad would have punched a monkey for doing that.) Kaitlyn must really be in love, because she doesn’t make him change his shirt or anything before making out with him. He changes his shirt before dinner for sanitary reasons, and that’s when Kaitlyn tells him that she’s feeling vulnerable. Chris responds that he’s “extremely excited” and one can only assume he is talking about the Fantasy Suite. He hands her the card and the key and she agrees to forgo her individual room. Their Fantasy Suite has a bathtub filled with flowers arranged in a heart shape, which inspires Kaitlyn to tell Chris that she is falling in love with him, and he says he is falling in love with her too. While on most seasons of The Bachelor that would be a jaw dropping admission, Chris probably says that to all the ladies.

Whitney: When Chris visited Chicago, Whitney told him that she was falling in love with him. Then her sister ruined it all by refusing to give her blessing to their union, because at the time Chris was still dating three other women. For their reunion, they go on a boat ride in the Indian Ocean and drink and make out and flat-out canoodle, while Whitney spends a lot of time apologizing for her sister (whose behavior does not merit an apology). After jumping into the ocean and kissing in the water, Whitney interviews that she thinks she’s going to marry Chris. Chris has some concerns, though. Namely, he’s not convinced she wants to leave her rewarding job in Chicago for farm life in Iowa. He tries to tell it like it is: there’s nothing in Arlington, nothing to do there at all, nada, zip, zero. (Dude, the Chamber of Commerce is going to have words with you. Four-letter ones.) Whitney doesn’t care, because she is ready to go from making babies to having babies, and she can do that in Arlington. Chris nods his approval. Isn’t it nice that Whitney is willing to give up her career without even asking Chris to give up his other two girlfriends? They make out, and he interviews that he’s falling in love with her. He hands her the Fantasy Suite card and she says something like, “I’ve thought a lot about this … and let’s do it. Check please!” Chris takes her to a much nicer Fantasy Suite than the one he took Kaitlyn to.

Becca: As everyone but Chris knows, Becca has decided to wait until marriage to have sex — and to wait until the Fantasy Suite to tell Chris that factoid. For their date, Chris take Becca on an agricultural tour of rural Bali, because: farmer. Then they hit up a temple and meet a local soothsayer who tells them that they should “make love.” Becca dies laughing, but not for the same reason that Chris does. Chris interviews that he is falling in love with her. (See? He does say that to all the ladies.) After their romantic day spent making out in streams and looky loo-ing at temples, Becca is starting to feel things for Chris. Chris is starting to express some concerns about Becca, specifically the fact that she has never been in love. They have a big talk, but the most Becca can manage is that she “thinks” she’s falling in love with him, but she doesn’t really know because she’s never been in love before. Then Chris hands her the Fantasy Suite card and Becca hems and haws and Chris lets loose with a few nervous giggles. She finally agrees to spend some time alone with him. The cameras follow them into the Fantasy Suite, and while Chris interviews about looking forward to new “intimacy,” Becca finally tells him she’s a virgin. He lets out a disappointed sigh, tries to keep a straight face, takes a deep breath and says, “I respect that,” but his voice rises on the last word like a question. Then she admits that she may not be waiting for actual marriage. Girl, do not lose your virginity on national television. Seriously, that’s like the first rule of Girl Club.

The Morning After: Chris stares contemplatively at the ocean and expresses his doubts about Becca. It’s not about her virginity, though, pinky swear. Becca hasn’t said she loved him and expressed some doubts about moving to Arlington, which is a dealbreaker for Chris. (Bachelor lesson: If we learned nothing from Britt, it’s to lie convincingly.) Chris loves all three women and isn’t sure what to do, so he cries in his hotel suite and stares into the middle distance while using the soaking pool. Then he does the only logical thing and calls in a wingman, which he is contractually obligated to do to justify the expense of flying Chris Harrison to Bali. Chris and Chris have some Chris time and Chris listens patiently as Chris explains that he is falling in love with Becca even though she isn’t in love with him yet and isn’t willing to move to Iowa yet. Then Chris time is over and Chris goes back to staring into the middle distance.

The Rose Ceremony: The Bachelor decides to desecrate Bali’s most sacred temple with their Rose Ceremony, because they can. They all wear color-coded Balinese clothing and Chris Harrison tells everyone to refrain from kissing for the next 30 minutes or so, if they can contain themselves. Chris stares at the three women he spent the last three nights with standing next to each other and breaks out in a cold sweat. Then he calls Becca aside and Whitney and Kaitlyn share some side-eye, because they think he is kicking Becca to the Balinese curb. Becca and Chris sit down for a tête-à-tête, and Becca immediately declares that she’s falling in love with him, which is a nice save. While they are gone, Kaitlyn interviews that she feels bad for Becca, but is really excited too, because she can’t wait to meet Chris’ family and is excited about their future. Uh oh. Kaitlyn is going to get kut for being happy. Sure enough, Becca and Chris return, holding hands. Kaitlyn goes wide-eyed as she realizes her mistake. Chris apologizes for the delay and picks up a rose. He hands it to Whitney, who happily accepts it. The second rose goes to Becca. Kaitlyn nods, because she knew that was coming. She rolls her eyes and lets Chris walk her out, clearly out of contractual obligation more than interest. She won’t make eye contact with Chris as he apologizes. He hugs her, and she’s like, whatever. He mumbles about following his heart, and she is trying not to cry while also undoubtedly relieved at not having to move to Iowa.

Next Week: The Women tell all!

Read next: Michael Sam, Patti LaBelle, Suzanne Somers Join Dancing With the Stars

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME viral

This Puppy’s Devotion to a Broom Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

Watching him squeeze the cleaning tool through the dog door will make you feel even worse about slacking off on chores

If Monday is getting the best of you, and you find yourself out-of-sorts and struggling to make it through your inbox, then let this 10-week old Dutch Shepherd puppy help you get through the day.

In this video YouTube video, a little dog named Tex struggles to solve a big problem. The adorable fluffball must have watched a few too many Disney films, because this puppy really wants to help clean house. (What’s next, tying a ribbon in his owner’s hair?)

To get in on the housecleaning action, he grabs the broom and heads inside until troubled strikes: The pup quickly realizes that the broom will not fit through the doggy door. Luckily, Tex is a clever little dog whose helpfulness is only matched by his resourcefulness.

After solving that problem, the only question left is whether Tex’s housecleaning services are for hire.

TIME Television

Watch John Oliver Take Elected Judges to Court

Is it right that judges must run for election to win a term in office?

John Oliver took viewers to court on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight to have a little chat about the judiciary.

Oliver’s interest in the subject was ignited when Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying a ruling by a federal judge that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Moore, who has a long history of defying federal law when they conflict with his religious beliefs, said that under his interpretation of the law, federal law had no bearing in Alabama.

As Oliver pointed out, that is not exactly correct as the U.S. Supreme Court’s job is to strike down laws that are unconstitutional. However, Moore’s actions spurred Oliver to take a closer look at the role of the elected judiciary in the United States, which is second only to Bolivia in the size of its elected judiciary.

While some judges in the U.S. are nominated and confirmed, others, especially at state level, must run for election to win a term in office. To illustrate the occasional wackiness that transpires in judicial campaigns, Oliver showed a series of jaw-dropping commercials that judges run during their campaigns in the hopes of appealing to voters. (The judge who named his son “Justice” is especially uplifting.)

The problem with an elected judiciary, according to Oliver, is that when it comes to judging people, the right decision is sometimes unpopular and unpopular decisions and elections are uneasy bedfellows. In fact, academic studies have shown that judges change their behavior in election years issuing harsher sentences to appear tough on crime. In Oliver’s opinion, that is unfair. Legal rulings, he said, should not be based on popular opinion but on rational jurisprudence.

For Oliver, though, that’s not the most unsettling aspect of elected judges. That is reserved for judges who ask for and receive campaign donations from lawyers — lawyers who will then try cases in front of those judges.

TIME animals

These Red Pandas Frolicking in the Snow Will Remind You Everything Is Going to Be OK

Best snow day ever

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden knows how to warm your heart on even the coldest day.

The zoo posted a video of its two resident red pandas frolicking in the snow and their glee is almost enough to remind snowbound residents to go outside and play instead of watching The Shining again.

The video was taken by zookeeper Lissa Browning and shows Lin, a 2-year-old female, and Rover, a 9-year-old male, cavorting in their snow-covered pen. Red pandas are used to cold weather as they are natives of the Himalayas and it’s clear they love romping in the snow.

As people continue to dig out from the winter storms that have buried much of the Midwest and East Coast of the United States in snow, this video serves as a good reminder that winter can actually be fun.

Read next: See Photos of Endangered Species from the 1960s

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TIME viral

This Tribute to ’80s Teen Movies Will Make You Yearn for Simpler Times

From The Breakfast Club to Weird Science to Risky Business

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, YouTube creator Robert Jones put together an incredible tribute to ’80s teen films, including Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink and so much more.

Jones didn’t just stick to the John Hughes oeuvre. He included coming-of-age clips from Teen Wolf, Revenge of the Nerds, The Goonies, Heathers and Better Off Dead and soundtracked it all with “Don’t You (Forget About Me),’ Simple Minds’ nostalgic anthem from The Breakfast Club.

With clips from Dirty Dancing, Risky Business, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and One Crazy Summer, this tribute will give you some great ideas for refreshing your Netflix queue.

Read next: Molly Ringwald Talks About the Most Embarrassing Part of Filming The Breakfast Club

TIME Music

Blur Is Releasing Their First New Album in 12 Years

The band also released a new song, "Go Out Now"

Blur surprised fans this morning by announcing that they will be releasing their first new album in 12 years.

The Brit-pop band, best known for songs like “Blue Jeans” and “The Universal,” came out of presumed retirement today when they made the announcement at a press conference that their eighth album, The Magic Whip, is due April 27. It is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon now.

Blur rose to fame in the early ’90s alongside other swoon-worthy bands like Oasis and Pulp who were part of the wave of British alt-pop bands sailing onto U.S. airwaves. Unlike Oasis, though, Blur hadn’t officially broken up nor had they released any new music in years; instead, they toured the festival circuit playing their greatest hits. But today, in a press conference hosted by famed BBC presenter Zane Lowe, live-streamed on Facebook, the band’s singer Damon Albarn admitted that the band needed to return to the studio: “I really felt at the end of the last gigs that that was it. There was no way we could do another gig without another album.”

Albarn described their new album’s sound as “urban” and said it drew on the work created by David Bowie in Berlin in the mid-70s. The first track from The Magic Whip is a dark synth-heavy track called “Go Out,” which bodes well for the band’s evolution.

The band also tweeted out the first look at the album’s cover art:


TIME Television

Watch Will Smith Perform ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ on the Late Show with David Letterman

And he tries to get David Letterman to do it too

Will Smith may be more of an actor than a rapper these days, but when he’s out promoting a movie, he seems like he is always happy to drop a few verses on an always-appreciative audience.

On Wednesday night, he stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman and showed off his still-fresh skills with some solid bars of his old-school rap classic, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” with Paul Shaffer and the Late Show band backing him up.

This latest walk down memory lane comes a few weeks after Smith beatboxed “It Takes Two” with Jimmy Fallon over an iPad app on The Tonight Show.

See the full clip below:

TIME viral

Watch Michelle Obama Slow Dance With Big Bird

The First Lady gets yelled at by Billy Eichner for a good cause

Billy On The Street with First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird, And Elena!!! from Funny Or Die

Michelle Obama slow danced with Big Bird in a grocery store because comedian Billy Eichner told her to do it.

The First Lady is trying to get the word out about the Eat Bright campaign that puts Sesame Street characters on fruits and vegetables to encourage young children to make healthier food choices. For some reason this publicity push lead to FLOTUS standing in the produce section of a supermarket next to Big Bird and Billy on the Street fan favorite, Elena, playing a rapid-fire round of a game called “Ariana Grande or a Carrot?” while Eichner screamed at them. (The answer by the way, is carrot.)

It’s an impressively odd video that is incredibly fun to watch, if slightly hard to process. That said, it’s sad to know that their is now video evidence that the First Lady can’t name all the characters from the Facts of Life.

Read next: Michelle Obama: ‘Turnip for What?’

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