TIME Science

Scientists Name New ‘Punk Rock’ Snail After The Clash’s Joe Strummer

Five new species of Alviniconcha snails were identified using DNA sequences. Shannon Johnson—MBARI

Alviconcha strummeri lives life to the extreme.

Correction appended: Dec. 16, 2014

Alviconcha strummeri is a snail with serious attitude.

These snails live in the deep sea near thermal vents 11,500 feet under water and their golf ball-sized shells are fully spiked. It’s no wonder the scientists who discovered them were reminded of mohawk-wearing, leather-clad punks.

“Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” said Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Specifically, they named him Joe Strummer, after the leader of iconic British rock band The Clash. Strummer isn’t the first punk legend to have a species named for him: Sex Pistol John Lydon and members of The Ramones have had species of extinct trilobite named after them. In fact, an exhibition of “Heavy Metal And Punk Fossils” opened at Oslo’s Natural History Museum last year.

Plenty of non-rock celebrities have had species named for them, too. There’s a lemur named for Monty Python comedian John Cleese, a small parasite named after reggae legend Bob Marley and a species of whale named for Moby Dick author Herman Melville. The practice is an easy and humorous way for scientists to draw attention to their discoveries. “This gets people excited about science,” Johnson said. “Otherwise, people might not see these snails.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated how deep these snails live under water. The correct distance is 11,500 feet.

TIME movies

Watch Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Star in a Fake Movie Trailer From Annie

MoonQuake Lake is sure to be fantastic

If you haven’t seen the Annie since the 1982 original film came out, you may not remember that Annie’s beloved Daddy Warbucks takes her to a movie. In the updated version of the musical, before the movie starts, Annie is treated to a trailer for the upcoming sure-to-be blockbuster, Moonquake Lake.

Kutcher tweeted about the upcoming young adult romance earlier this month:


The film stars Mila Kunis as a child of the moon who falls in love with earthling Ashton Kutcher in an intergalactic Romeo & Juliet meets Twilight story about lovers who are truly star-crossed. The trailer also features a shrieking mermaid and Rihanna as a space wolf or some other creature sure to inspire many a “Rihanna what big teeth you have” joke.

Sadly MoonQuake Lake isn’t a real film, but it is a real song by Sia and Beck.

TIME celebrities

Lindsay Lohan Just Released an App Called ‘The Price of Fame’

Look out, Kim Kardashian!

Lindsay Lohan has teamed up with Space Inch game developers to get her own piece of Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood by releasing her own app, Lindsay Lohan’s Price of Fame.

According to a press release, the game is “designed as a parody on celebrity culture and paparazzi,” which reveals that La Lohan is now self-aware enough to poke fun at her own place in pop culture. Much like Kardashian’s wildly successful celebrity culture app, Lindsay Lohan’s Price of Fame lets players act like world famous professional celebrities by creating an avatar that can purchase outfits, accessories, toys and even pets.

“I love this game and am happy to be part of it. It’s so much fun!” said Lohan, who recently filed a lawsuit against the makers of Grand Theft Auto for allegedly incorporating her likeness into the game. She will undoubtedly love Lindsay Lohan’s Price of Fame even more if the game earns even a fraction of what Kardashian’s app has brought in. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is estimated to bring in $200 million annually, with $85 million of that reportedly going to Ms. Kardashian herself.

TIME Music

Nicki Minaj Drops NSFW ‘Only’ Video With Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown

See the provocative new offering from The Pinkprint

Hot on the heels of her latest collaboration with Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj dropped a brand new video for her The Pinkprint track, “Only.”

After being criticized for using what some saw as Nazi imagery in her last video, for her latest work, Minaj teamed up with Hannah Lux Davis for a David Fincher-esque romp through a sex dungeon. In the NSFW clip, Minaj is 50 shades of dark and sexy in leather and lace, dominating rappers Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Drake and everyone else in the local S& M club.

Minaj is center stage as the men lay down their complimentary (and objectifying) verses at her leather-clad feet. It’s not just Minaj’s attire and attitude that are intimidating, though; even when up on a pedestal, Minaj still spits out tongue-twisting rhymes faster than anyone else on set. The song is a talent contest between the rappers. As Brown says, “If you lame and you know it, be quiet.”

The Pinkprint is out Monday.


Tech Tips To Keep Your Kid’s Belief in Santa Alive

Christmas tree surrounded with gifts
Tom Merton—Getty Images

"Don't Stop Believin'"

It’s that time of year! There’s a chill in the wind, bells in the air, eggnog on the menu and a strong probability that your kid will pick up The Truth About Santa on the mean city streets or in a first grade classroom.

Yes, Virginia, there is a chance that some December you’ll send your child to school and have his beliefs in Santa crushed right out of him by some truth-speaking sibyl spreading the gospel of disbelief on the lower school playground. While preschoolers and kindergartners are usually insulated from these malicious magic-busters, because most of the tiny tikes still believe that Jolly Old Saint Nick keeps track of who’s naughty and nice in some massive Google doc at the North Pole, first or second graders are a different story. When kids leave the cots of kindergarten, the ranks of the True Believers start to thin.

As much as some parents (myself very much included) want to keep the magic of the season alive, kids these days are a wily lot, seemingly born with a natural sense of skepticism about anything that’s not plugged into the World Wide Web. Luckily, there’s technology that can help parents keep even the savviest youngsters believing in Santa just a little bit longer.

Reindeer cam

In a holiday twist on the internet classics of corgi cams, pitbull puppy cams, and sloth cams, this handy website shows a steady stream of Santa’s reindeer just chilling out in their barn at the North Pole. Youngsters can watch the reindeer eat, drink and be merry while preparing for their big night pulling Santa’s sleigh. They can even wait for Santa to make a live appearance at regularly scheduled times.

Watch here: Reindeercam.com

North Pole Radio

iHeartRadio just launched a new radio station hosted by DJ Santa Claus playing Christmas favorites all day long. Between Vince Guaraldi classics and modern twists on carols, Santa and his elves provide commentary between songs. Plus, there’s a call-in phone number (929-BIG-ELF1) for kids to leave their Christmas requests, which Santa will be playing and responding to all month long.

Listen here: North Pole Radio

Kringl App

This one blew my kid’s mind last year and I fully plan on using it again. This free app uses your phone’s video camera to superimpose Santa into your very own living room in just a few quick steps of technological magic. You simply open the app and follow the directions that include filming for a few seconds, applying some easy-to-operate effects and you suddenly have indisputable proof that Santa exists. (Just don’t ask me how it works!)

More info here: http://www.kringlapp.com/

Norad Santa Tracker

For more than 50 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and its ominous-sounding predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s Christmas Eve flight ever since a local media ad encouraged children to call Santa directly, but misprinted the number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. The rest is history. Now, kids around the world can follow Santa’s flight on NORAD’s website, which has been translated into eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese. There’s also a mobile version, a holiday countdown, games and daily activities.

Watch here: http://www.noradsanta.org/

Portable North Pole

This website is awesome, but it does require an ability to stomach uploading personal information. Enter some details about your child (first name, age, city, Christmas wish) and Santa will deliver a personalized message that will bring a smile to your kid’s face. I have done the free version for the last three years, but fudge my son’s birth date, don’t upload a photo, and don’t enter credit card information. The result is a video that is magical enough—filled with elves, Christmas cheer and Santa reporting on your child’s behavior and relaying your little one’s Christmas wish while giving a tour of his North Pole workshop. It may be more magical with more information, but no one has stolen my kid’s identity yet. Sadly, there are enough scammers out there that we all need to be careful.

More information here: Portable North Pole

Call Santa

There are several ways to have Santa remind your child to stay on his good side until Christmas. There’s the Calling Santa app, the Parents Calling Santa app and the Video Calls with Santa app all of which let kids have a little chat with the Big Man himself. But again, be careful with your personal information. These apps probably work best on younger children who are less likely to question Santa’s internet connection. There’s also Christmas Dialer, which you can use to deliver a message from either Santa or one of his elves. A pre-recorded message is free, but premium ones cost money. This also works for unsettling your grown friends who might be wondering why an elf will be watching over them each night.

More information here: ChristmasDialer.com

Google Santa Tracker

The search giant has launched its annual Santa Tracker, which, like NORAD, maps Old Saint Nick’s Christmas Eve travels. The site is also acting as a digital advent calendar unlocking new games and activities each day as we countdown to Christmas.

Watch here: Google Santa Tracker

@Santa Twitter

For the truly tech-savvy kid, Santa is tweeting @Santa and there’s no doubt he’s in touch with what’s hot with kids these days.

TIME Pop Culture

You Can Now Buy Nick Offerman’s Wooden Emojis

All proceeds go to the Children's Defense Fund

A few weeks ago, Nick Offerman stopped by Conan’s late night talk show to sell his hand-crafted wooden emojis, for when you care enough to text in high-quality oak. As Offerman said, it’s a “more old-fashioned, more personal, more American mode of communication.”

While the commercial started out as a joke, Conan knew a good thing when he saw it and teamed up with Tilt.com to produce a limited run of the high quality, yet highly impractical, emojis and sell them with all proceeds going to a great cause — the Children’s Defense Fund.

The first batch sold out quickly, but in the great capitalist tradition, Conan is producing a second batch of the world’s heaviest emojis for charity. For $100 you can send someone you love an extremely heavy Smiley Face, Heart Eyes, The Wink, The Cat or the always popular Pile of Poo. For $300 you can send your loved one a pine-based emoji sentence sure to warm the cockles of their heart (or their fireplace, if they choose to use them as kindling). If hand-crafted whimsy isn’t enough to entice you to open your wallet, purchasers will also receive Andy Richter’s official “Certificate of Reluctant Philanthropy,” sure to impress both your parents and potential dates.

Head to Tilt now to wrap up that Christmas shopping with wooden emojis for all.

TIME Television

Sons of Anarchy Watch: Out With A Bang

SONS OF ANARCHY -- "Red Rose" -- Episode 712 -- Airs Tuesday, December 2, 10:00 pm e/p) -- Pictured: (L-R) Kim Coates as Tig Trager, Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, Tommy Flanagan as Chibs Telford. CR: Byron Cohen/FX
From left to right: Kim Coates as Tig Trager, Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, Tommy Flanagan as Chibs Telford in Sons of Anarchy FX

And also a whimper

The series finale of Sons of Anarchy aired last night and there was just one question on everyone’s minds: Can Kurt Sutter land this thing? Over the last seven seasons, Sutter, the show’s writer, creator and occasional star, has guided fans through murder, mayhem and madness and made us fall in love with a band of rogues. Each season, Sutter more or less delivered with the typical seasons-long mix of nuanced beauty mixed in with some real clunkers, but could he end the series with a graceful bang? Can he give fans a satisfying finale for the haunted antihero Jax Teller?

(Personal theory: Jax leaves Charming in his dust and Sons of Anarchy is just the prequel to Raising Arizona and Jax becomes Leonard Smalls, the motorcycle mercenary for hire, saving babies from kidnappers, with a “Mama Never Loved Me” tattoo on his arm.)

Needless to say, spoiler alert: The following contains many details about the series finale of Sons of Anarchy. Don’t read it if you don’t want to know what happened.

The show opened with Jax (Charlie Hunnam) lying in bed next to his ex-wife and baby mama Wendy (Drea De Matteo). He holds his sons, checks his guns and heads out the door and into battle. First stop: the storage unit where he burns his past, including photos of Bobby Elvis and his father’s writings. Then it’s off to the garage for some light paperwork before swinging past the graveyard on this maudlin victory lap. He stops at Opie’s grave to leave his Sons rings for his fallen best friend before leaving his wedding ring and a kiss on Tara’s tombstone.

At SAMCRO HQ, the club decides to break with long racist tradition and patch in a new member: T.O. (Michael Beach a.k.a. Al Boulet from ER) becomes the first black member of the Sons of Anarchy. It’s a nice box for Sutter and/or Jax to check off on his way out the door.

Wendy is still clueless about the fact that her world is collapsing around her. She is just ready to take the boys to Nero’s farm — which is not a euphemism, but could be. Nero (Jimmy Smits), on some level, knows what happened to Gemma, but wants Jax to confirm it before he can begin to grieve. He can’t even look Wendy in the eye when she asks if he’s heard from Gemma.

The show is filled with scenes of the Sons taking care of business, but it all seems like a moot point, just filling time while Sutter makes sure all his plot points have been resolved before the big denouement. To wit: the Sons meet with Tyler about taking over guns from Marx. Their meeting is interrupted when Connor, the Irish man they were tasked with finding, opens fire on them, giving Sutter one more chase scene to film. It was no French Connection, but there’s no doubt that Sutter had a lot of fun filming the vintage GTO tear through a plastic baby doll warehouse chased by SAMCRO. The scene ends with all four bikes wiping out after a dump truck cuts them off and Connor getting away.

After the chase, the club heads back to HQ, so Jax can have a final man-to-man talk with his VP, Chibs (Tommy Flanagan). Jax reminds Chibs that he flat-out murdered another club president and then lied about it, so the other charters voted to send Jax to “meet Mr. Mayhem,” which is club lingo for death. As Chibs tears up, Jax passes the mantle and the onus of club leadership to him, making Chibs promise to do what he asks, which is still TBD.

Then the complicated Irish subplot continued. This late in the game, does it really matter? Guns, death, gun running, etc. For those who need to know: The Sons shifted their business from the IRA to Connor who is willing to work with gun runners of any color or creed or gang affiliation. The most memorable part of their business dealings came when Jax killed an IRA King. When called on it, he smirked, “My old man tried to sever that tie years ago. Better late than never.”

Back at the garage, Jax is all business. He tells Nero that he is giving the house and business to Wendy to sell. He wants her to take the kids and leave Charming. When Nero tried to play dumb, Jax turned his big blue eyes on him and they had a teary-eye off, telepathically communicating everything. Only actors of their caliber could have made this scene work, because in lesser hands it would have looked like a playground staring contest. With Hunnam and Smits, though, it was all emotion. Jax apologized to Nero, explaining that when it came to Gemma, “I did what I know how to do,” proving that he’s reached the acceptance stage of his grief. Jax made Nero promise that his sons would leave Charming, so they don’t become like him. Jax wants his boys to know the real him — a criminal and a killer. He wants them to hate the thought of him. When Wendy arrived with the boys for the much-discussed farm trip, Nero quickly put on his sunglasses to cover his tears. Jax hugs his sons tight, and said goodbye.

Jax went to make his confession to District Attorney Patterson (CCH Pounder, reprising her role from last season). He thanks her for trying to help Tara and then tells her what really happened to his wife. Jax informed Patterson that Gemma is in Oregon with Unser, which is technically true. Jax then promised that by the end of the day the violence in Oakland and Stockton would be over. When she asks what happens at the end of the day, he shrugs, “The bad guys lose.”

Back at SAMCRO HQ, Chibs does what he promised. He’s fully crying as he votes for Jax to “Meet Mr. Mayhem.” The club joins him voting Jax to his death. Meanwhile, Jax continued to make the most of his last day on earth by killing Charlie Borasky and August Marks in quick order with the help of a magical homeless woman (?) who handed him a grotty blanket and left behind a meal of bread and wine — so much symbolism! We will leave it to Media Studies PhD students to decipher.

In the back of some warehouse, Jax cut the President patch off his cut and gave it to Chibs and Chibs made Tig his VP. All the big burly motorcycle men were crying as Jax nods that he is ready to go. Chibs pulls a gun and aims it at Jax. But instead of shooting his president and friend in the head, he shoots Happy in the arm. They plan to tell everyone that he pulled a gun on them and escaped. Jax hugged everyone close as he made his farewells. Tig gave him the weirdest smile (naturally) and Chibs held on to Jax for a hug and a kiss and some intense eye contact. Then Jax hopped on his father’s bike and rode off, promising his club that he’s “got this.”

As Jax hit the road, the Sheriff put out an APB for him due to the many, many homicides he’s committed that day. Jax goes to talk to the wall where his father died. He wasn’t quite done talking when the Highway Patrol spotted him. He lazily fired off a few warning shots before taking off down the road while the cop gave chase. More and more cops join the chase as Jax headed west. As the road got bumpy, there were a dozen police officers chasing Jax. He smiled when he saw the semi-truck headed towards him.

In a move (over-) wrought with symbolism, Jax threw out his arms in a motorcycle crucifixion, the driver yelled, “Jesus!”, and Jax ran headlong into the truck, which was driven by the man (Michael Chiklis) who drove Gemma to Oregon. As the chase ended and Jax dead, Sutter squeezed in one last piece of religious symbology as a crow flew by, and a meal of bread and wine appeared on the side of the road.

It was a bit of a headscratcher of a finale. It checked off most of the boxes and gave fans not exactly the ending most of us wanted, but one that works for the most part. But in the spectrum of series finales was Sons of Anarchy more Lost or Breaking Bad? Only history (and Twitter) will decide.

TIME Television

Len Goodman Is Leaving Dancing with the Stars


The show's head judge is taking some much-deserved time off

Brace yourselves, dance fans: Len Goodman is leaving Dancing with the Stars.

The beloved (if grumpy) head judge, who is the most senior member of the judiciary on Dancing with the Stars, told reporters that he will depart the show next year. Goodman, who is also a judge on the UK version of the popular dancing show, Strictly Come Dancing, has tired of schlepping back and forth between judges panels on both sides of the Atlantic. “Next year, I’m not going to do the flying backwards and forwards – I’m not going to do the American show… I’ve got to have a bit of time off,” Goodman explained.

“I’ve got my wife, I’ve got my son, my mother is still alive and she’s in hospital – I’ve had virtually no time to go and visit her,” he said Monday. “So, I just need a bit of time off to get on with a normal life. And it was either Strictly went or the American one went or the tour went. … I’m doing the spring one when I go out there … and that’s going to be my last one. Dancing with the Stars, next year is their 10th year … so I think that’s a nice place to stop.”

American dancing fans will still be able to see Goodman when the show returns this spring, but then he will be taking a break from DWTS while still serving on Strictly Come Dancing‘s panel. Goodman assured the world that fellow judge Bruno Tonioli will continue assessing paso dobles, cha chas and sambas on both Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

To make up for the Len-shaped hole in the judges panel, last season the show brought former pro Julianne Hough back to the show as a judge. The former pro proved herself almost as tetchy as the head judge, even when it came to judging her brother, Derek Hough. Still, the only appropriate replacement for Goodman is Grumpy Cat herself — not that she needs the money.

TIME Television

Watch SNL’s Un-Aired Sketch About Ferguson

Two morning anchors try and keep up light, fluffy dialogue in the face of the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson

Saturday Night Live released an unaired sketch from this week’s episode and it’s a doozie.

In the sketch, two Ferguson-area morning anchors — one black, one white, played by Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson —are faced with sustaining their upbeat, inane chatter in the wake of the protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the death of teenager Michael Brown. Their patter is filled with uncomfortable slips of the tongue and clear race divides that only get worse when guest chef Daryl Wilson (played by host James Franco) stops by to cook up a healthy meal.

While the sketch is uncomfortable and difficult to watch, it’s a shame that it was cut from the episode. Comedy has a long history of turning a lens on difficult situations and challenging people to think about events and circumstances we would rather avoid.

The SNL sketch also bears a striking similarity to NBC’s decision to focus on the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree rather than show the streets surrounding the building, which were filled with protestors angered over the grand jury’s decision not to indict a white NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner.

[H/T Uproxx]

Read next: Watch Tina Fey Joke About Bill Cosby Rape Allegations on SNL in 2005

TIME Television

The Simpsons Christmas Couch Gag Is Here

Complete with an obvious Frozen reference

Twas almost the night before The Simpsons holiday show, and Springfield is covered in mountains of snow. At long last, the preview is here, filled with yetis, Smithers and some tiny reindeer.

The Simpsons are headed straight for their couch, and every creature is stirring including reindeer, a yeti and maybe a mouse.

The children aren’t nestled anywhere near their beds, stuck in detention and jazz band instead.
Marge is headed to the check-out lane, while Otto is taking a hit off a candy cane.

Homer is working in a dashing elf cap, but he wants to go home for a long winter’s nap. Patty and Selma face off in town square and, yes, an obligatory Frozen reference is there.

The stockings are hung, a Festivus pole is there, and Groundskeeper Willie flies through the air, volleyed by polar bears drawn with great care.

Tune in to The Simpsons this Sunday at eight, if you set your clock now you won’t be late.

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