TIME radio

Serial Podcast Gets Season 2

Sarah Koenig
Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of Serial Meredith Heuer

"Between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season"

Serial, the most popular podcast in the history of podcasts, will return to give listeners one story, told week-by-week, with its just-announced second season.

“This American Life funded the bulk of Season One, but for Serial to continue, it needs to pay for itself,” staffers wrote on their website Wednesday, about one week after first asking listeners to donate. “Today, we have good news: between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season.”

Reporter and executive producer Sarah Koenig told TIME earlier this year that her team “want[s] to keep it going and the idea is that we will, if people seem interested in it.”

The producers don’t know when the season will air, nor what that story will be, probably because they still don’t know how their first story will end. The inaugural and current season of Serial is investigating the 15-year-old murder of Maryland teenager Hae Min Lee.

“I’m still reporting,” Koenig recently told the New York Times. “I said it’s not my responsibility to make a perfect ending. I do want a solid ending that is based in my reporting. But I don’t feel a responsibility to make it the kind of entertainment that you would get on some TV drama.”

TIME Music

Rihanna Teases New Music on Instagram

Rihanna
Rihanna Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP

It's been two years since the last Rihanna album

Rihanna returned to Instagram earlier this month, and now she’s getting ready to return to music. The singer’s upcoming eighth studio album has been the subject of many rumors — will it drop on Black Friday? Or next year? — and she has been mostly mum on details, tweeting Tuesday that “ANY news about #R8 will be delivered directly from me!!!!”

To assure fans that the record is coming, Rihanna posted a quick taste of what she’s up to in the studio on her Instagram. “Ain’t none of this promised,” she sings in a brief clip from a song that may or may not appear on her first record since 2012’s Unapologetic. In a fourth quarter that’s been relatively light on major divas, let’s hope she’s not referring to hopes about a 2014 release date. Check out the preview below:

TIME Transportation

5 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Travel More Tolerable

A light-hearted guide to making holiday travel more bearable

Traveling with 41 million people around Thanksgiving is tough, but there’s plenty you can do ahead of time to avoid losing your mind. Below are five steps to take before you even leave for the airport — some of them practical advice about beating the lines and avoiding a mess at the airport, and some of them just involve watching old YouTube videos.

Listen to George Clooney. George Clooney’s frequent-flyer character in Up in the Air delivers a memorable and practical lesson to Anna Kendrick in this Oscar-nominated film. “Never get behind people traveling with infants,” he said. “I’ve never seen a stroller collapse in less than 20 minutes.” Look for people who pack light and won’t hold up the line. If you can, avoid checking your bags — Clooney’s character says that travelers waste 35 minutes per flight waiting for luggage.

Don’t have children. Children require attention and energy. They also cost you extra money and, while they may be tiny humans, they unfortunately cannot be stored in the overhead bins. If you already had children, play the Quiet Game with them. If they’re too old to fall for the Quiet Game, ask them what Taylor Swift would do. Taylor Swift would probably want them to behave. If your children do not care about Taylor Swift, perhaps you should spend Thanksgiving thinking about the job you’re doing as a parent.

Figure out what Thanksgiving foods you can carry on a plane. The TSA wants you to know that they’ve “seen just about everything” when it comes to security checkpoints, so the agency has put together a helpful list of items that can’t go in a carry-on bag. Cranberry sauce, jellies, jams, dips and spreads can’t come through security. Pies can, however, even if they’re gooey inside, though they could be subject to additional screening. (If your pie isn’t gooey inside, make better pie.) Turkeys can also come through the checkpoint either cooked or raw, as long as they’re packed with no more than five pounds of dry ice and aren’t dripping, KSDK reports.

Prepare your entertainment. If you’re looking for movies to a watch as you travel, 22 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and A Most Wanted Man (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last leading role) recently came out on DVD and Blu-ray. A number of notable movies hit Netflix earlier this month, too, including Snowpiercer, Chelsea Peretti’s delightfully weird comedy special, and the seasonally appropriate Happy Christmas (starring Anna Kendrick). Perceptive travelers may point out that the Wi-Fi on planes, trains and buses doesn’t always support Netflix streaming, but that’s okay — you’ll need something to keep busy after you storm away from the dinner table and lock yourself in your childhood bedroom.

Take some love advice from SNL. Speaking of childhood bedrooms: last year the ladies of Saturday Night Live (plus Jimmy Fallon) delivered an important message — when you bring your significant other home for the holidays, there’s a good chance you may have to “do it on [your] twin bed.” Before traveling, you may be interested in revisiting Lil’ Baby Aidy’s crash course in how to get it on without the weirdness.

TIME Autos

Honda Faces a $35 Million Fine for Not Reporting U.S. Injury and Death Claims

Japan Honda Air Bag Death
A man walks past a Honda model on display at Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo on April 25, 2014. Koji Sasahara—AP

The violation could be one of the biggest in history

Honda Motor Co. could face a $35 million fine for failing to report more than 1,700 claims of death or serious injuries from the past 11 years, according to a summary of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) review.

The company said it under-reported the incidents between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2014 because of “inadvertent data entry or computer program errors,” Bloomberg News reports.

“The audit identifies difficult facts where we did not meet our obligations,” said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, on a conference call with reporters.

Honda reported only 1,144 serious injury claims during the period. The omissions came to light partly because of recent investigations into air-bag recalls by Takata Corp. Honda said that eight of the unreported cases involved Takata air-bag inflator ruptures and that the NHTSA was aware of them.

A former NHTSA administrator told Bloomberg that Honda will “absolutely” get a $35 million fine, which is the maximum civil penalty for violating the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act. (Car companies face $7,000 in fines per day per violation.)

“It’s quite shocking Honda would behave this way,” consumer-safety advocate Joan Claybrook said. “They’ve put their company reputation at risk.”

The NHTSA audit is ongoing.

[Bloomberg]

TIME movies

Christian Bale ‘Jealous’ That Ben Affleck Gets to Play Batman Now

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals
Christian Bale attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at The Royal Opera House on Feb. 16, 2014 in London, England Karwai Tang—WireImage/Getty Images

"I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour," Bale said

You’d think that after three movies with the comic-book character that Christian Bale would be ready to let go of playing Batman. Bale thought that too, but he recently admitted he was feeling “jealous” that Ben Affleck was cast as the caped crusader for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“The fact that I’m jealous of someone else playing Batman … I think I should have gotten over it by now,” he told Empire magazine.

Bale says he hasn’t spoken with Affleck about the role, but he has emailed him with advice.

“I’ve got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, ‘Oh go on… Let’s do another,'” Bale said elsewhere in the interview. “So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour.”

[Huffington Post]

TIME Theater

An Unseen Arthur Miller Play Will Debut in 2015

Miller wrote it as a movie, but the country's political climate kept it from happening

A previously unseen play from the late Pulitzer-winning playwright Arthur Miller will debut next year.

Miller, who passed away in 2005, wrote The Hook originally as a movie, but it never came to fruition after Hollywood executives pushed Miller to make communists the villains, the BBC reports. One of Miller’s best-known plays, The Crucible, allegorically criticizes the red scare during the years of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activitees Committee, framed during the 17th century Salem witch trials.

The Hook is set in 1950s New York and follows a dockworker who encounters corruption.

“Miller was a man of extraordinary integrity,” director James Dacre said. “He was absolutely determined to depict the work as it was rather as other people demanded he describe it.”

It will premiere at the Royal & Derngate theater in Northampton, England, in June of 2015. Then, it will move to the Everyman Theater in Liverpool in July.

[BBC]

TIME celebrities

6 Things John Green and Taylor Swift Could Have Discussed on the Phone

What are the bestselling author and pop star talking about?

YA literature and pop superstardom collided Monday when John Green and pop (née country) sensation Taylor Swift synced up over the phone. Green took to Twitter, from the set of the film adaptation of his book Paper Towns, to let his 3 million followers know about the exchange.

It’s no secret that the two are fans of each other’s work. When Swift’s album 1989 was released, Green blogged about listening to it when he should have been paying attention in meetings. Swift responded that he was her favorite author. And so began the social media love fest. But what could the two be discussing? Here are some theories:

He’s asking her to contribute to the Paper Towns soundtrack. The film starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne will hit theaters in June of 2015. Acts like British crooner Ed Sheeran and rising pop star Charli XCX contributed to The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack this year, but perhaps Green is hoping to bring some even bigger guns on board this time — like a certain TIME magazine cover star.

They could be interviewing each other. Magazines sometimes put celebrities together to see what happens. That’s basically the whole premise of Interview magazine. The New York Times also just sat down with authors Gillian Flynn and Cheryl Strayed to talk about their books’ film adaptations. Maybe Swift and Green hopped on a call to share their insights on teenagers? With his book sales and her record sales, they certainly know how to tap into America’s youth.

They’re discussing movie roles. Swift likes a challenge, so after dominating the music industry, maybe she’s setting her sights on Hollywood. Paramount has signed actress and filmmaker Sarah Polley to adapt Green’s Looking for Alaska, but no one has been cast as the blonde, beautiful and enigmatic Alaska yet. Or perhaps Green was so impressed with Swift’s brief appearance in The Giver that he’s asking her to make a different cameo in the film.

Taylor wants another friend. The star is famous for making new besties and entertaining them in style. Tavi Gevinson, Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, Karlie Koss and even Kendrick Lamar are in Swift’s social circle. So given their mutual admiration, why not add Green to the list? Maybe she invited him over to make pie.

They’re talking about Serial. The Serial podcast is the most popular podcast in the history of podcasts, so why couldn’t the author and the pop singer be among its 1.5 million fans? Maybe Swift can’t stop thinking about the call from Nisha. Maybe, like reporter Sarah Koenig, Green is dwelling on the selective use of phone call records in the murder case. Most important of all, what’s a Best Buy? What makes its Buy the Best?

He’s trying to get her back on Spotify. Perhaps Green has discovered that, since 1989 came out he can’t get work done listening to anything else. Green can likely afford Swift’s music, but maybe he’s concerned about the next generation of novelists who are unable to experience the joys of crafting great fiction while “Wildest Dreams” plays softly in the background. “But Taylor, Beyoncé just put her last album on Spotify, why can’t you do the same? Think of the children!” Green pleads. “Oh John,” Swift laughs. “Would you like it if people could read your books for free?”

Read next: Taylor Swift Defends Albums as ‘Art’ at the American Music Awards

TIME Music

Idris Elba Wants to Release an Album Inspired by Luther

"I'd like to dissect the idea of someone who has to deal with so much darkness"

Idris Elba loves playing the titular role on the BBC crime show Luther so much that he’s planning to record an album about it.

The actor said he’s working on songs inspired by police detective John Luther and the demons he battles, RadioTimes reports. The album’s working title is Murder Loves John.

“I’d like to dissect the idea of someone who has to deal with so much darkness,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. “That could create some really good songs … and definitely an interesting mood, musically.”

It’s not the first time Elba has released music. He just released Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela, a collection of songs inspired by his role as Nelson Mandela in 2013’s Long Walk to Freedom.

[RadioTimes]

TIME movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer to Debut This Weekend

You'll have to go to a theater to see the Episode VII trailer starting Black Friday

The trailer for the new Star Wars movie is coming soon, but you won’t get to watch it from your computer screen while munching on Thanksgiving leftovers — you’ll have to actually get out of the house and pay money to see it.

This Friday, the 88-second trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII will debut before movies playing at 30 different theaters across the country, according to Lucasfilm. While The Verge points out that the choice to show in a few select cities around the U.S. won’t reach the same audience as an online trailer would, Thanksgiving weekend is established as a huge weekend for moviegoers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will feature several original cast members (including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) reprising their iconic roles, hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

TIME Music

Hear a Previously Unreleased Tegan and Sara Song from So Jealous X

Tegan and Sara in 2005.
This is what Tegan and Sara looked like in 2005. Jim Cooper—AP

Hear the demo of "When I Get Up" exclusively on TIME as the band celebrates the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough album, So Jealous

Canadian duo Tegan and Sara cracked Top 40 last year with the buoyant dance-pop single “Closer,” but it was a decade ago that the band made perhaps its most important breakthrough. Their fourth studio album, So Jealous, saw them impact U.S. radio (thanks to “Walking With a Ghost”), get covered by the White Stripes (hear their take on that very song) and tour with bands such as the Killers. Artistically, So Jealous was also when the respective songwriting styles of Tegan and Sara started to take shape — Tegan’s urgent power-pop leanings, Sara’s darker and more introspective material.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of So Jealous, the band is re-releasing a deluxe edition of the album on Dec. 23 (just in time for Christmas). So Jealous X includes a hardcover book of never-before-seen photos and reflections as well as a bonus disc of remixes, covers and previously unreleased demos.

“When I Get Up” is one of those demos, although it’s a song hardcore Tegan and Sara fans will recognize — the band played it live for years. It never made final cut for the record, but now, Tegan’s sparse, home-recorded track is premiering exclusively on TIME ahead of its inclusion on So Jealous X. As demos tend to be, it’s a little rough around the edges — but there’s a warmth and rawness that make the song about life on the road all the more vulnerable.

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