TIME Television

Saved by the Bell’s Dustin Diamond Seeking Redemption in Bell Biopic

"Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid" New York Premiere
Dustin Diamond attends the "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on January 24, 2011 in New York City. Jim Spellman—WireImage

The actor who played Screech is looking for a redemption story — but will Behind the Bell be it?

Dustin Diamond, best known for role as Saved by the Bell’s “Screech,” doesn’t understand why he has such a bad reputation.

Like why fans believe he’s actually the aggressive guy they saw on reality show Celebrity Fit Club. (“It was scripted on my end,” the 37-year-old tells TIME. “I had to outdo Gary Busey! I didn’t think the fans would think of everything being real.”)

Or why they were turned off by his self-released and allegedly staged adult film, pleasantly titled Screeched — Saved by the Smell. (“Paris Hilton made $14 million for her sex tape . . . As an opportunist, I thought I could easily fake it and get a stunt double,” he said. “But people just ran with it. Everyone has a sex tape, but I was making porn. And I wasn’t, it wasn’t me. My conscience is clear.”)

And then there was his book, Behind the Bell, that claimed to provide salacious details about cast hookups and drug abuse that even Diamond now admits were embellished. (“They gave me a ghostwriter who just talked to me for a few hours here and there on the phone” and then came up with a false, final manuscript he was “powerless” to change, although he did pose for the cover, Diamond says. While he didn’t say what the book got wrong about other cast members’ stories, he said that he never called anyone a douche-nozzle or had a sexual relationship with NBC Vice President of Children’s Programming, Lisa Mancuso, who died of cancer years before the book’s publication.)

But now, Diamond is ready for redemption, which he hopes will come in the form of the upcoming and unauthorized Lifetime biopic based on Behind the Bell, premiering Monday. Diamond says the film isn’t based on the “nasty and negative” lies told by his ghostwriter, but on Diamond’s own clarifications. Viewers will be “surprised” by the film, Diamond says. And apparently Diamond will be, too — because in spite of his Executive Producer title, Diamond admits that he hasn’t “actually read the script or seen the final product.” Or been on set, for that matter.

When informed that the teaser shows Diamond’s character punching someone in the face while shouting “I’m not Screech!,” he was surprised, because that incident, he says, never happened.

“No one who is writing this was there,” says Diamond, revealing his first signs of concerns over the film, to which he signed on in a hands-off capacity. “I didn’t talk to [the writers] really, so how did they research? I’m going to watch with very nervous hopes . . . if they butcher it and get it completely wrong, I’m just going to film a documentary of just me talking about the errors.”

All this uncertainty might be why Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Bell’s Zack), Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie) have all exhibited disappointment in Diamond and complete disinterest in watching a dramatized version of what they remember as a positive experience. A spokesperson for Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) responded to an email request for comment with a brusque single-word punctuated response of, “Nope.” Lark Voohries (Lisa), meanwhile, tells TIME that she will be watching because the movie’s release “was flattering all around, you know, that the excitement lives on.”

While Diamond and Voohries have kept in touch and worked together on independent film projects, Diamond says he hasn’t heard from the rest of the cast since he was 16, which was more than 20 years ago. Diamond was only 11 when filming of Saved by the Bell began, which socially isolated him from his mostly 14-year-old cast-mates.

“Some of [the cast] would go out to a bar or a restaurant, and I wasn’t invited,” Diamond says. “And at that age it hurts. And it was like, what am I? I haven’t earned my place?”

Diamond, however, says there are no hard feelings. “No one holds on to a grudge over two decades.” But, depending on the backlash from the Lifetime film, Diamond said that “maybe reaching out to the cast members after all this time would be a good thing.”

TIME Food & Drink

9 Surprising Uses For Bacon in Honor of International Bacon Day

international bacon day 2014
Getty Images

A meaty round-up

August 30 is the 14th annual International Bacon Day, a holiday which should be celebrated by waking up, making yourself some nice sizzling strips of bacon and spending the day properly appreciating all things bacon. And I mean all things.

Here are 9 uses for the comfort food that take bacon fanaticism to a whole new level:

Air Freshener

Want to keep that delicious bacon smell lingering long after breakfast? Now you can, with bacon-scented air freshener.

Toothpaste

This bacon-flavored toothpaste allows you to “practice oral hygiene [and] satisfy cured meat cravings” at the same time, according to its website.

Prayer

The patron saint of bacon is believed to be St. Anthony the Abbot, who was a healer and used pork fat to treat skin diseases.

Landscaping

Who knew bacon could be so picturesque? Photographer Carl Warner is known for his photographs of food landscapes, and he once made a world entirely out of bacon.

Vodka

According to its website, Bakon Vodka is “Pure. Refreshing. Bacon.” It even has a list of recipes, including a BLT Martini.

Shaving Cream

Here’s some bacon shaving cream, for all the guys out there who want their faces to smell like bacon.

Perfume

But don’t worry girls, you can wear eau-de-bacon as well with this bacon perfume.

Lube

For couples who want to incorporate bacon in the bedroom, here’s some bacon lube that “is sure to have the bacon lover in your life squealing with pleasure.”

Coffin

And for the truly die-hard bacon fans out there, here is the bacon coffin you’ve all been waiting for.

TIME animals

Florida Man Says He Ate 15 Threatened Tortoises and Planned to Eat 11 More

A gopher tortoise. Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute—Reuters

An officer found him in the woods, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Wildlife authorities say a Florida man confessed to killing gopher tortoises, a threatened species, for their meat.

On Facebook, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote that a member of the public tipped them off to tortoise shells that were being dumped in the woods in Citrus County, north of Tampa. Officer Thomas Reid went to the woods and found a container with 11 live tortoises. He stayed there until the man showed up, confronting him when he started to move the reptiles into a truck.

“The man told Reid that he had killed 15 gopher tortoises and dumped the shells in the woods and that he had caught the 11 that were in the container and was planning on eating them,” according to the Facebook post.

The officer freed the 11 reptiles. No word on whether the man was making turtle soup.

(h/t Reuters via WFTS Tampa Bay)

TIME NextDraft

Google’s Secret Drone Delivery Program and Other Fascinating News on the Web

August 29, 2014

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1. Let’s Just Wing It

My kids are much more amazed by snail mail than email. When I was kid, my friend Mordy used to live next to an old Pony Express stop, and we’d talk about the time and effort that must have gone in to delivering a package by horseback. There’s always been something magical about the process of getting an item from point A to point B. And it keeps getting faster; from next month, to next week, to next day. And now we want to get transit time even closer to now. The notion of receiving a package via a small aircraft seems almost ludicrous. But many big companies are totally serious about dropping a delivery at your doorstep via small, autonomous flying machines. (Now we just need a team of robots to get it from the front door to the couch.) The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal takes you inside google’s secret drone-delivery program.

+ WaPo shares some of the philosophy of Google’s Project Wing: “Think of the mom stuck at home with two sick kids, the hiker who’s met a poisonous snake, or the farmer out in the field with a sick animal. It could also open up new models for sharing goods rather than owning them — who needs a power drill for more than eight minutes a year?” For my sake, I hope these drones are strong enough to carry a power drill and someone who knows how to use a power drill.

2. Laptop of Doom

“Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers. Best to do it next to the air-conditioning.” Foreign Policy on what they found inside an Islamic State’s terror laptop of doom.

+ The U.K. has raised its terror threat level to severe.

+ Is waterboarding torture? The Islamic State seems to think so.

3. Weekend Reads

“Whenever a musical number comes on we all get up to sing and dance. People here have no inhibitions. We don’t have to worry about our kids feeling embarrassed by us.” Buzzfeed’s Alex French on the “boomers who want to spend their golden years with access to 11 a.m. happy hours, thousands of activities, and no-strings-attached sex.” (Eat your hearts out, Millennials). Seven days and nights inside the world’s rowdiest retirement community.

+ “Of all Motorola’s inventions, none were as transformative as the cell phone. A request from Orlando Wilson, Chicago’s police chief from 1960 to 1967, provided the impetus. Violent crime in the city was surging. Wilson wanted his patrol officers out of their cars and on foot, but he didn’t want them on the street without a way to stay connected.” Chicago Magazine on the rise and fall of a once dominant company: What Happened to Motorola?

+ “Almost 40 percent of the world’s population lives in countries, primarily in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Persian Gulf, where abortion is either banned or severely restricted.” So the abortion wars are getting more local. Down to individual homes. From NYT Mag: The Dawn of the Post-Clinic Abortion.

+ When people find out that I’m the nation’s first and only full-time barbecue editor, they tell me it sounds like the coolest job in the world. Then they ask me about my cholesterol.” From Texas Monthly: Confessions of a Fat Bastard.

4. Just Say Novorossiya

As tanks and soldiers crossed the border from Russia, Vladimir Putin compared Ukrainian soldiers to Nazi invaders in World War II and addressed remarks to Novorossiya or “New Russia, a politically loaded term used by the separatists for the part of eastern Ukraine that they want to become part of the Russian Federation.”

+ Quartz: The invasion of Ukraine, in maps, satellite photos, and video.

5. Can You Read Me Now?

A study out of UCLA found that kids who spend a lot of time in front of screens are less adept at reading the emotions of others. “Sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.” (Sidenote to my kids: The human emotion I’m trying to convey is Get the hell off the damn iPad.)

+ Syndicated from Kottke: “A plan used to be simple: you would agree to meet someone at a certain time and place and then you would meet them there and then. Now, a plan is subject to all sorts of revisions because “cellphones make people flaky as #%@*“.

6. Shabbat, Shalom

Where does the time go? It turns out that question is not rhetorical. The time goes into your job. According to Gallup, an average “full-time workweek” clocks in at about 47 hours a week.

+ 80% of Americans took a week’s vacation in 1976. Just 56% will in 2014.

7. Asked and Answered

If you want to maximize the odds of catching a foul ball, where should you sit in the ballpark? Where is America’s deadliest intersection? How do they make designer dogs? Find these answers and more in Time’s Answers Issue: Your guide to everything you didn’t know you need to know.

8. Commander in Chef

He is the ultimate first family insider. The president spent five hours at his apartment to celebrate his last week as a bachelor. And it all started when he stole their Cheetos. Meet the the Obama’s Foodmaster General.

+ NatGeo: Should we be eating like our ancestors?

9. What Does David Chase Know?

During the past week, the Internet has been obsessed with the identity of Hello Kitty, and the current health status of Tony Soprano. In Vox Todd VanDerWerff argues that both stories are “actually about the exact same thing: authorial intent.” It could actually be about something else: It’s more fun to talk about Hello Kitty than than Ebola.

+ I’m guessing something similar also played a factor in our nearly instant national obsession with Obama’s tan suit.

10. The Bottom of the News

“I thought he was pretty damn nice, because I thought I was gonna get fired.” The Daily Beast on Paul Shaffer’s life with Letterman.

+ Seventy-five percent of Ikea’s catalog is computer generated imagery (which means it probably lasts a lot longer than the real thing).

+ Bad news for tennis fans: Grunting may actually help players play better.

+ Take a look at the trailer for Jon Stewart’s directorial debut. Spolier alert: It’s not a comedy. Like, really not.

+ MSN Messenger is shutting down. Why’d I even bother reserving usernames for my grandkids…

nextdraft

TIME viral

We Hope to One Day Be as Young, Wild and Free as This Chihuahua Enjoying a Neck Massage

Looks like somebody got a head-start on Labor Day Weekend

+ READ ARTICLE

What’s this? Oh, you know, just a chihuahua making great use of a neck massager. This right here is some next-level relaxation.

 

TIME society

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Just Topped $100 Million

More than 3 million people have donated

+ READ ARTICLE

Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge broke the $100 million mark Friday as people around world continue to dump ice on their heads and donate to the ALS Association to help combat Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” ALS President and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

The $100 million in donations came from more than 3 million donors who have contributed since the challenge went viral in late July. The ALS Association raised only $2.8 million in the same period last year.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a social media phenomenon, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans including many celebrities and political figures. Some have speculated that it might forever change the way charities approach fundraising.

TIME Internet

All Your Favorite Pop Songs, Rewritten as Brilliant Shakespearean Sonnets

Thanks to a new Tumblr called Pop Sonnets

In the perfect blend of high-brow and low-brow, a delightful new Tumblr is taking Top 40 hits and rewriting them as sonnets. Everything is fair game, from current chart-toppers (like “Problem” by Ariana Grande and “Rude” by Magic!) to old favorites (like “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees).

Ever wonder what Taylor Swift and Beyoncé would sound like in iambic pentameter? We hadn’t either, but now we can’t get enough.

Here are some of our favorites:

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Read more of these brilliant sonnets on Tumblr.

TIME Family

Mom Says Her Facebook Rant Got Her Child Expelled from Preschool

A mother named Ashley Habat was upset that her son’s preschool, Florida’s Sonshine Christian Academy in Florida, didn’t give her enough warning about school picture day. So, like many people do when they’re upset, she took to Facebook to vent.

“Why is it that every single day there is something new I dislike about Will’s School?” the post read, according to Jacksonville, Fla. news outlet WJXT-TV. “Are my standards really too high or are people working in the education field really just that ignorant.” She also tagged Sonshine Christian Academy in her post.

Will was expelled the next day, she claims. WJXT-TV reported that a letter of dismissal said that Habat’s “relationship with Sonshine did not get off to a very good start the first day of school . . . You utilized social media to call into question not only the integrity but the intelligence of our staff.”

“I was in shock,” Habat told WJXT-TV. “Why would you expel a 4-year-old over something his mom posts on her private Facebook page only people on her friends list can see?”

TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: Aug. 22 – Aug.29

From Michael Brown’s funeral and a cease fire in Gaza, to swarms of locusts in Madagascar and the US Open Tennis Championships, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Science

This Is the Coolest Vine From Space We’ve Seen Yet

Reid Wiseman, a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS), shared a timelapse video on Vine of the moment when the Cygnus cargo carrier spacecraft, which carried supplies to the ISS, was released via robotic arm.

Wiseman sent the first Vine from space in June, a glimpse of the terminator line “separating the sunlit side of the Earth from the nighttime areas,” according to NASA.

“We’re just lucky to live in this day where, when I take a photograph with a camera… we can email it straight into our Twitter feeds, and it just makes it so much easier to share this experience,” he told TIME last month. “It’s almost just become a little collateral duty of ours, so you don’t even think about it through the day, it’s so easy.”

WATCH: Around The World in 90 Minutes with Reid Wiseman

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