TIME

Bad Lip Reading Retells The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as an Absurdist Musical

“I know you stole my yellow fanny pack”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I is striking box office gold this holiday week but it’s the trilogy’s second installment, Catching Fire, that has a new retelling from the ventriloquists over at Bad Lip Reading. In this version, the drama is driven not by President Snow’s sadistic murder games but by stolen fanny packs, pet iguanas and Peeta’s shocking admission that he’s a druid.

With numbers like “I Sing When I Eat Fruit” and “Smack Your Doctor,” the video reimagines the Katniss-Peeta-Gale love triangle as a batty musical. It may not make any sense, but then again neither does pitting 24 children against each other in a fight to the death.

TIME psychology

Reading Harry Potter Provides Clues to Brain Activity

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Researchers have identified the magic going on inside our brains while we read

Scientists have been using Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to work out what happens in different parts of the brain when people read and connect words with the ideas behind them.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pennsylvania performed scans on the brains of eight people as they read the ninth chapter of the first book in J.K. Rowling’s famous series.

Leila Wehbe, a graduate student who conducted much of the research, told CMU’s News site that the chapter is about Harry’s first flying lesson. “It turns out that movement of the characters — such as when they are flying their brooms — is associated with activation in the same brain region that we use to perceive other people’s motion,” she said.

Scientists said their research could eventually reveal what’s happening in the brains of people who struggle to read and people with dyslexia.

TIME Social Media

Flintstones to Lance Armstrong: 8 of the Best Letters to the Editor

People can get really mad and mildly amusing

Reading a letters page in a British newspaper will quickly reveal that you can never predict what will get a reader’s stiff upper lip quivering. In no particular order, here’s TIME’s pick of the best letters to the editor ever.

It’s not all bad though, whatever Harry says. Here’s how Dinah used to put world events in context.

Phil writes in to highlight the pitfalls of modern technology.

Jasmin reminds us all of the powerful effects of home schooling.

Joey emails in to complain about sports commentators overdoing it.

Another reader remains pretty impressed with Lance Armstrong’s achievements.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Britain without someone getting angry over the correct use of the English language.

But it’s not just Brits who write in. Here’s our favorite example from the Washington Post, from one reader who was concerned with defending the reputation of The Flintstones.

TIME On Our Radar

TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2014

TIME's photo editors and renowned photography experts select the 27 photobooks that defined 2014

In 2014, photobook collecting continued to thrive with even more photographers than ever breaking traditional formats and leveling the hierarchy of traditional publishing platforms by taking on all aspects of controlling and presenting their own work via self publishing.

This was made even more evident when many of TIME’s editors selected the same books for this list, leading to the decision of highlighting, in addition to the 26 books presented here, one book that we felt stood out amongst the rest: Peter van Agtmael’s Disco Night September 11, which, not only, is an incisive and searing look at the state of America, still caught in maelstroms of war and its aftershocks, but also a distinctly original presentation of documentary work.

Van Agtmael self-published Disco Night September 11, like many of his contemporaries featured here, some of whom turned to crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter to set new records for support, encouraging artists to re-consider the photobook as a primary medium to share their message.

With peers and colleagues around the globe, we sought out to discover new titles and emerging artists presented at events such as the New York Art Book Fair and Offprint Paris, among countless other emerging fairs.

In this gallery, we spotlight the best photobooks of the past year as chosen by photographers and photography experts from around the world and, of course, by our photo editors at TIME. This is not a comprehensive list. Instead, these are personal choices made with the agonizing rule of selecting just one photo book for 2014 in its entirety.

Once again the selection confirms that many of us still enjoy being transfixed, or transported, by an encounter with a singular vision. After all, the pleasure and quiet thrill that one gets sitting down with a good book — especially one that pushes the boundaries of the format — simply can’t be reproduced in mere ones and zeroes.

TIME animals

Nathan the Bloodhound Wins the National Dog Show for His Best Thanksgiving Ever

Nathan, Bloodhound (Best in Show, Hound Group Winner)
Nathan the bloodhound, winner of Best in Show at the 2014 National Dog Show Steve Donahue—SeeSporRun Photo

This is his biggest win yet

A 4-year-old bloodhound named Nathan took home the title of Best in Show at the 2014 National Dog Show on Thursday.

First, Nathan bested his fellow comrades in the hound category, then he beat out Freda the French bulldog and Bogey the samoyed to take home the top prize, PEOPLE reports. This is the biggest win so far for Nathan, who has been competing in dog shows since he was six months old.

But Nathan’s win wasn’t the only big news at this year’s show: another contestant — a miniature pinscher — escaped from its owner, dashing his chances at becoming a champion this time.

[PEOPLE]

Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME Uruguay

Watch Uruguay’s President Give This Homeless Man Money During a TV Interview

"I want you to be President forever!"

Correction appended: Nov. 27, 2014, 2:25 a.m. E.T.

Uruguayan President José Mujica was talking to journalists in the capital Montevideo on Tuesday night when a homeless man asked him for some change.

“Give me a coin of yours, Pepe,” the man said.

“Look, brother,” replied the President, “I don’t have a coin but don’t cry!”

Mujica then handed the man a 100 peso bill.

The man shouted, “I want you to be President forever!” to which Mujica replied, “No, no … You’re crazy!”

The footage aired on Uruguay’s Teledoce TV channel.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated that President José Mujica gave a homeless man a $100 bill. He gave the man a 100 peso bill.

TIME animals

Watch a Slow-Motion Video of a Turkey on a Treadmill

No, it’s not running away from your fork

Animals on treadmills are having a moment today. But where “Munchkin the Teddy Bear” treads that moving belt in the name of cuteness, this turkey trots for science. Thomas Roberts, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, spends his days watching turkeys run on treadmills, as Chris Duffy writes for Digg, to help “scientists understand how to build more efficient robots, to understand neuromuscular disorders, and to design better prosthetics for humans.”

Turkeys, which can reach speeds faster than six miles per hour, work well as research subjects due to their size and anatomy. And if you shoot in black and white and slow down the footage, as Duffy did here, they almost look like something out of an abstract art house film.

Dr. Roberts recently appeared on Duffy’s podcast, You’re the Expert, in which a team of comedians attempts to guess, à la 20 questions, what a professor studies. In addition to Roberts (who, yes, to answer one comedian’s question, studies something that rhymes with “smiology”), the show has featured academics who study sand, fish noises and canine cognition.

Now, for the million-dollar question: Does Roberts eat turkey on Thanksgiving? He does. “I just don’t think about it,” he admits.

Listen to the full episode below:

TIME Food & Drink

A Bartender at the Buccaneers’ Stadium Got Caught Selling Colored Water As Alcohol

Liquor bottles on bar shelves
Stuart Gregory—Getty Images

Introducing the latest cocktail rage: H-2-O

One tequila with a splash of intrigue, please.

The bartender at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium was reportedly caught serving flavored water as alcohol, local NBC affiliate WFLA reports.

A conversation recorded by a man named Troy Sykes purportedly exposed the offending bartenders with pouring water from a decorative bottle of booze after Sykes ordered tequila.

“That whole thing is full of water,” Sykes is heard saying on the recording. “Can I see that bottle? Do you service that to people?” he asked, and the bar served it to him. The phone recording also captures the manager explaining that “every liquor” that is sold at the bar is put on display in the back.

“All full of water?” Troy asked.

“Um hmm,” she responds in the recording.

An alcohol industry attorney told WFLA that it is illegal to serve water from an alcoholic beverage bottle that has a label on it.

The stadium concessions vendor, Aramark, said that “what occurred was an honest mistake,” and that Sykes was immediately refunded.

[WFLA]

TIME Internet

This Mash-up of Kanye West and Sam Smith Was Meant to Be

Smith can’t tell you nothing, and West is not the only one

The first brilliant take on Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was the brainchild of Zach Galifianakis, who brilliantly (and inexplicably) lip-synced the song while gyrating on a tractor. The second comes courtesy of Carlos Serrano, whose SoundCloud page is a tiny universe of creative mash-ups. Serrano layered West’s 2007 Grammy-nominated song over Sam Smith’s heart-wrenching ballad “I’m Not the Only One” to surprisingly successful results.

The simple piano melody and lilting strings of Smith’s track imbue the rap song with a sense of calm and resignation not found in the original. Does it work thematically? It’s definitely a stretch. One song is about money and bravado, and the other, about the victim of an unfaithful partner. But no matter, because the mash-up is all about the sonic blend.

Serrano’s mash-ups of TLC and Haim, The Notorious B.I.G. and Ellie Goulding, and Rihanna and Daft Punk are also worth a listen. The best musical marriages are often the least expected.

Should Kanye West be Person of the Year? Vote below for #TIMEPOY

TIME movies

14 Thanksgiving Movies and TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now

Rocky
United Artists

Remember when Mr. Bean and Monica from Friends got their heads stuck in turkeys? We do, too

If you don’t want Thanksgiving to end, then grab a turkey drumstick for a snack and feast your eyes on these holiday-themed movies and TV shows that we’ve drummed up — highlights of what’s available to stream online via Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or Amazon’s Instant Video section.

Movies

Bean (1997): In what’s arguably the best depiction of stuffing a turkey in recent movie history, the hapless Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) looks for his misplaced watch in a turkey that has already been stuffed, and is then found bumbling around the kitchen with the bird stuck over his head.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973): The gang gathers around a ping-pong table as Snoopy carves the turkey for the Peanuts version of this tradition. Charlie Brown keeps up the tradition of missing the football.

Rocky (1976): Paulie (Burt Young) throws the Thanksgiving turkey out the window in a rage, so Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Adrian (Talia Shire) bust out of there and go to a nearby ice skating rink where they start to get to know each other.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947): The film features footage shot during the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. According to Turner Classic Movies, Santa Claus, played by Edmund Gwenn, “was given the task of riding in the actual Santa Claus float during the parade and climbing to the top of the Macy’s marquee. The crowds were not aware at the time that it was Gwenn waving to them.”

Brokeback Mountain (2005): Tense Thanksgiving dinner scenes spark fights over carving the turkey and watching football — acts that have been analyzed (here and here) as symbols of masculinity.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987): Steve Martin is a businessman scrambling to get home for Thanksgiving after a snowstorm delays his flight in this John Hughes farce. John Candy plays a pesky salesman who tags along for the ride.

The Ice Storm (1997): Another film that involves a storm hitting around Thanksgiving, this family drama stars Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, and Christina Ricci.

Home for the Holidays (1995): Fun fact: It supposedly took 64 turkeys to shoot this Thanksgiving flick, directed by Jodie Foster.

House of Yes (1997): Guy introduces fiancée to his eccentric family over the holiday, including a sister who reenacts JFK’s assassination with pasta and sauce.

ThanksKilling (2009, 2012): Sometimes watching a movie that’s so bad it’s funny can be a great way to bond. For instance, consider these two films, one about a homicidal turkey that hunts college kids, and another that features characters described as “Flowis the rapping grandma” and “Rhonda the bisexual space worm.”

TV

(In case you can’t stand to be sitting with your relatives for the length of a feature film)

The West Wing (“Shibboleth,” Season 2, Episode 8): White House press secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) has to figure out which of the two live Thanksgiving turkeys left in her office is more photogenic for the president to pardon.

How I Met Your Mother (“Slapsgiving,” Seasons 3, 5, 9): This day of thanks is also a day of getting slapped in the face for Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). However, the HIMYM team apologized for the martial arts-themed “Slapsgiving 3,” because it was considered racist.

Gilmore Girls (“A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving,” Season 3, Episode 9): Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) have four Thanksgiving dinners to attend — and there’s some college admissions drama thrown in the mix.

Friends (“The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks,” Season 5, Episode 8): The cast reminisces on the time Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Monica (Courtney Cox) both got their heads stuck in turkeys in dramatic ways — memorably, Monica’s is even wearing sunglasses.

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