TIME celebrity

21 Things You (Maybe) Didn’t Know About Justin Bieber

They grow up so fast

Justin Bieber turns 21 years old today, but it seems like he’s been around forever. But how well do you really know the Biebs? (If you’re a responsible grownup, we’re betting, not as well as you think you do.) Read these 21 facts about the Canadian pop sensation, and you’ll be a Belieber in no time.

1. He’s the first solo artist to have four Top 40 singles before even releasing an album.

2. He is the youngest artist to have five number-one albums in the U.S.

3. He delayed the start of his Jan. 7, 2013 concert in Salt Lake City, Utah, because he was visiting a 7-year-old girl with leukemia in the hospital.

4. He likes the movie The Notebook.

5. In its review of Bieber’s 3D concert film and documentary, Never Say Never (2011), New York Magazine described him as “a bland, pious, profoundly unthreatening little Furby of a pop idol.” The film grossed nearly $100 million worldwide.

(MORE: How the Internet Made Justin Bieber a Star)

6. Smallville and Friends are his favorite TV shows.

7. He loves Disneyland, and has visited it on a romantic Valentine’s Day date with former main squeeze (and Disney star) Selena Gomez and to perform at the 2011 Disney Christmas Parade.

8. Jeremy Bieber, his father, is a former MMA fighter.

9. T.G.I. Friday’s is Justin’s favorite restaurant. Sorry, Tim Hortons.

10. He likes the cereals Cap’n Crunch Berries and Frosted Mini-Wheats.

11. His haircuts have cost up to $750, one gossip publication claims. That’s one thing he and John Edwards have in common.

12. While R&B singer Usher famously helped launch Bieber’s career, he did initially turn him down, which meant the youngster was free to consider a partnership with another singer — Justin Timberlake — until Usher watched his videos and had a change of heart.

13. He and Kanye West are bros. Kanye teamed up with Wu Tang’s Raekwon for a surprisingly palatable version of Justin’s hit “Runaway Love.”

14. With more than 35.1 million followers, Justin became the most-followed person on Twitter on Jan. 21, 2013 — beating Lady Gaga. Now he boasts more than 60 million, but Katy Perry now holds that title with over 65 million. He still has more Twitter followers than the population of his native Canada. We can see why:

15. If he could do any other job, he would be an architect.

16. His favorite word is #swag. Or at least we think so because he uses it constantly.

17. His favorite website is FreeTypingGame.net

18. He has a fair number of tattoos for a 21-year-old, including: an owl and the word “Believe” on his left arm, a crown and Roman numerals on his chest, a bird on his hip and Jesus tattoos on ribcage and his left calf.

19. Before he hosted Saturday Night Live in 2013 (and apologized for smoking pot), his first appearance on the show involved performing in a “Church Lady” sketch with comedian Dana Carvey. Carvey debuted the character on SNL in 1986 — eight years before Bieber was even born.

20. In his backstage dressing room, he has been said to request three packages of white lo-rise tube socks—one in size XS and two in size L—as well as one XS mens white crew neck T-shirt and one in size L, according to The Smoking Gun.

21. His favorite sandwich is tomato and mayo on Wonder Bread.

This article was first published on March 1, 2013, and the statistics in the piece have been updated.

TIME Bizarre

5 Penetrating Facts About Sword Swallowing

These tales are hard to swallow

On the last Saturday of every February, sword swallowers gather at Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums throughout America to commemorate World Sword Swallower’s Day. It’s a sideshow so dangerous there are only a few dozen full-time professionals, according to trade association Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI). The society claims sword swallowing takes 3-10 years to learn, though some say they mastered it in six months. We talked to five professionals about how it’s done and how it has almost killed them.

Beginners practice using wire coat hangers.

“Most people start with a coat hanger stretched out in the outline of a sword,” says Todd Robbins, 56, a sword swallower who has lectured about the history of sideshows at Yale. Beginners also use paint brushes, spoons and knitting needles to desensitize their gag reflexes.

Here’s how Dan Meyer, 57, Tampa, Fla.-based SSAI president and former America’s Got Talent contestant whose personal record for swords swallowed is 21, describes the technique at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting:

“When I put the sword in my mouth, I will repress the gag reflex in the back of the throat. Then I have to go behind my Adam’s apple, my prominentia laryngea, behind the voice box, the larynx, down about through the crichopharyngeal sphincter, up in the upper part of the mouth here. Then down into the esophagus, repress the peristalsis reflex, [muscular contractions] that swallow your food. From there relax the esophageal muscles, relax the lower esophageal sphincter, and slip the blade down into my stomach, repress the wretch reflex in my stomach.”

Below is an X-ray of Meyer swallowing one at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 5, 2013, for a Discovery Channel Canada show:

You can thank sword swallowers for the endoscope.

Dr. Adolph Kussmaul is said to have used a sword swallower to develop the rigid endoscope, a medical device with a light and a camera that often travels through a patient’s throat, in 1868.

Turns out non-surgical procedures are a breeze for people like Robbins, who says, “I had to have an endoscopy done, and normally they knock the person out and have to intubate them, but since I was a sword swallower, [the doctor] just handed [the endoscope] to me.”

Sore throats are a common side effect.

So says a 2006 study of 46 sword swallowers (40 men) published in the British Medical Journal, which found dire injuries like intestinal bleeding, perforations to the pharynx and esophageal lacerations are more likely to plague performers with elaborate routines, too many consecutive shows or who use multiple swords, especially unusually-shaped ones. Co-written by Meyer and British radiologist Brian Whitcombe, it won an Ig Nobel Prize, awarded annually by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine at Harvard University for especially imaginative scientific achievements. (Meyer accepted the award at the university’s Sanders Theatre and then swallowed a sword on stage.)

Case in point, Meyer punctured his esophagus after setting a world record for swallowing two swords simultaneously underwater and once punctured his stomach swallowing five swords, which caused fluid build-up around his heart and lungs. Robbins once had a neon sword, which lights up the chest, break inside of him. And Natasha Veruschka, a belly-dancing sword swallower in New York City, says she chugged heavy cream and rum to soothe her throat after she accidentally swallowed a sword covered with little barbs that made it painful to remove.

The “oldest, longest performing” sword swallower is said to be 79.

Unlike the aforementioned performers, Jim Ball of Oakley, Kansas, says he has avoided life-threatening injuries by sticking to a “kind of conservative” routine, swallowing a Japanese samurai sword about once a month (though throughout his life, he has swallowed bayonets, cavalry sabers, and a stove poker). Raised by parents who were professional sword swallowers, he entertained fellow Army soldiers by swallowing rifle cleaning rods. If you’re wondering what it’s like to swallow a sword, especially for the first time, he says, “it feels like accidentally swallowing a piece of ice.” Nowadays, he’s teaching his college-age granddaughter how to do it.

Some started doing it to overcome childhood demons.

While Ball, Robbins and Veruschka learned sword swallowing from growing up around sideshow performers or seeking them out at shows, Meyer described his younger self as a “shy wimpy kid” with “social anxiety,” often picked on by bullies, who tried sword swallowing after a near-death experience with malaria inspired him to take risks and fear nothing. New York-based freelance writer Ilise Carter, 40, whose stage name is “The Lady Aye” says when she learned, “I was a recovering bulimic, but I eventually decided the only way to combat your fear is to go straight through it. You [develop] a great connection to your body, and the audience’s positive reaction has made me a much stronger person in general.”

TIME celebrity

President Barack Obama: ‘I Loved Spock’

'I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute,' the president said

President Barack Obama, whose affect has often earned him comparisons to Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, paid tribute to the Star Trek star, who died Friday morning at age 83.

Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.

I loved Spock.

In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.

Read next: This Is How the New Spock Said Goodbye to the Old Spock

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrity

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Leonard Nimoy

From his personal heroes to the pranks William Shatner would play on him

Leonard Nimoy, known for his role as “Mr. Spock” on Star Trek, died Friday morning at 83, his family confirmed. Here, a few fun tidbits you might not have known about the actor and his role on the hit sci-fi show.

• During the filming of Star Trek, William Shatner would repeatedly steal Nimoy’s bicycle during lunch breaks to get to the front of the commissary line, he said in an interview.

• Spock’s Vulcan greeting, the three-pointed hand gesture, was inspired by the Hebrew letter “shin,” which he saw men use as a blessing during a synagogue service he attended with his father as a young man.

• The Boston native once said the worst job he ever had was selling newspapers in the city in the winter.

• On the subject of heroes, he once cited actor John Garfield (nominated for an Oscar for Body and Soul and Four Daughters). He also especially admired Meryl Streep for her performances in Sophie’s Choice and The Deer Hunter.

• His favorite artist was Vincent Van Gogh. Nimoy said he identified with the artist when he was a struggling actor because they both believed “they had something to offer” and “wanted to give it.” He did a one-man film play about the artist.

Read next: This Is How the New Spock Said Goodbye to the Old Spock

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TIME Food & Drink

Taco Bell Wants to Know If You’d Eat These Cap’n Crunch Icing-Filled Donut Holes

taco bell capn crunch milk icing donut holes
Taco Bell

The chain started testing the treat this week

Taco Bell is now selling warm donut holes covered in Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries cereal and filled with “milk icing,” a spokesperson tells TIME. The test began Thursday in Bakersfield, Calif., and the pastries are available in packs of two for $1.00, four for $1.69 or 12 for $4.49.

At first glance, they will probably make you think of milk and cereal snack bars. There are more mouth-watering photos over at the food blog FoodBeast, which first reported the story.

The Associated Press reported this week that big food companies like Taco Bell are trying out more “hipster” menus, looking for ways to “feel out changing tastes and cozy up to new customers, particularly those in their 20s and 30s.”

Read next: Now You Can Pig Out on Bacon-Wrapped Pizza Crust

TIME viral

These Amazon Reviews of #TheDress Are Amazing

The debate over whether the dress is white and gold or blue and black continues

On Thursday night, a BuzzFeed post “What Colors Are This Dress” sparked a worldwide debate over one very basic question. It started as a simple question on Tumblr, then became hashtag #TheDress, and pretty soon, high profile figures such as Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Rob Lowe and a member of Congress were offering their two cents. Even Adobe touted its software as a way of answering the question before U.K. fashion brand Roman stepped forward to settle the matter.

By mid-morning Friday, the Amazon.co.uk listing for “Roman Women’s Lace Detail Bodycon Dress Royal Blue” had been flooded with more than 140 snarky customer reviews inspired by the Internet meme. Here are funniest ones:

Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon
Amazon

Read next: This May Be Why You’re Seeing the Dress as White and Gold

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TIME animals

Here Are the Best Memes From the Llama Chase

"Llama Drama!"

Two llamas were briefly on the loose in a Sun City, Ariz. retirement community Thursday afternoon before they were lassoed by authorities—a story that has lent itself to countless headlines from “llama drama” to “llow speed chase” and “llamas on the lam.”

Livestreams showed men running to capture the animals as they galloped along sidewalks and green lawns for about an hour, Arizona’s ABC 15 reports. The black llama was captured first, while the white llama managed to keep sprinting until it was eventually lassoed and put in the back of a pickup truck. The names and owners of the llamas have yet to be released.

While the chase is over, the memes are still streaming in, including a fake Twitter account @SunCityLlamas, a music video, and a “Which Runaway Llama Are You?” online quiz. Here are some of our favorite memes and jokes that have emerged on Twitter:

And one alpaca joke:

Read next: Quiz: Is Your Dog Crazy?

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrity

This Is Beyoncé’s Workout Routine

Enjoy this video of the star sweating to "Eye of the Tiger"

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Let's Move! #GimmeFive @michelleobama 💪

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Beyoncé recently posted a sped-up video of her workout routine on Instagram that will make you sweat just from watching it.

The video is pegged to her friend Michelle Obama’s “#GimmeFive” challenge, which celebrates the fifth anniversary of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to raise awareness about active, healthy living and combat obesity in the United States.

It is not the pop star’s first promotion for “Let’s Move.” In 2011, she adapted her song “Get Me Bodied” into “Move Your Body,” a music video meant to inspire kids to dance to stay fit. Shortly after, she made a surprise appearance at a New York City public school and led the students in a routine.

TIME Science

Check Out the Mars Rover’s New Selfie

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A composite of dozens of images taken by its robotic arm

NASA pieced together the Mars rover Curiosity’s latest selfie of the Martian landscape from dozens of images taken by its robotic arm throughout January 2015. Showcasing the “Mojave 2″ site of the planet, the frames that make up the picture of the rover were taken Jan. 14 of this year.

“Compared with the earlier Curiosity selfies, we added extra frames for this one so we could see the rover in the context of the full Pahrump Hills campaign,” according to a statement by rover team member Kathryn Stack from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

TIME viral

Watch a 2-Year-Old Sing the Cutest National Anthem Ever

It's a slam dunk

Trent Harris, the two-year-old son of Cincinnati Bengals long snapper Clark Harris, recently performed the Star Spangled Banner at the Southern Boys Basketball game in New Jersey. His rendition of the national anthem is a slam dunk in our book — especially when it comes to cuteness. Just look at that little blue blazer and button-down shirt! Listen closely, and you will hear the audience chuckle when he sings the part about “bombs bursting in air.”

Nicknamed “SuperTrentendo” by his football player dad, the youngster got props from his proud parents on Twitter. From mom, dancer and choreographer Jessica Harris:

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