TIME

George Harrison Memorial Tree Destroyed by Beetles

Peter Carrette Archive Collection
Musician and former member of 'The Beatles' George Harrison attends a press conference to launch the new book by Derek Taylor 'Fifty Years Adrift' at the Sydney Opera House on November 30, 1984 Peter Carrette Archive—Getty Images

Much to the delight of wordplay fans

In a terrible case of irony, a tree planted in memory of Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Los Angeles has been destroyed by literal beetles.

The pine tree was planted in Griffith Park in 2004 in honor of the musician and avid gardener, who resided in LA at the end of his life.

But don’t fret. According to the LA Times, “Except for the loss of tree life, Harrison likely would have been amused at the irony. He once said his biggest break in life was getting into the Beatles; his second biggest was getting out.”

No date has been set for the replanting of a new memorial tree.

[LA Times]

TIME NextDraft

Why Things We Want Don’t Make Us Happy and Other Fascinating News on the Web

July 21, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Happy Trails

Fame. Money. Multiple partners. Sounds good right? Abd Al-Rahman III was an absolute ruler in 10th century Spain, where he had all that and more. And yet, according to his own writings, he wasn’t all that happy: “I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.” The NYT’s Arthur C. Brooks looks at a series of studies and finds that the things many of us want don’t necessarily lead to happiness. I’d like to sign up to be a participant in one of these studies.

+ The Atlantic argues that polyamorous people handle certain relationship struggles better than monogamous people do. “Bill says watching his wife have sex with another man induces compersion — basking in the joy of a partner’s success.” (I’m pretty happy when my wife gets retweeted.)

2. The Bitter Trail

“What exactly are they trying to hide?” That was one of the questions President Obama asked as the international call for better access to the remains of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 grew louder. Meanwhile, a Russian general suggested that there were Ukrainian fighter jets close to the plane just before it was hit.

+ A deal has been reached with the rebels to hand over the black box, and a train holding the bodies of the victims has finally started to roll. Here are the latest updates on the story.

+ Nate Silver: Should travelers avoid flying airlines that have had crashes in the past?

+ Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge made last minute travel changes that kept him off both doomed Malaysian Airlines flights.

3. No Justice, No Cease

As U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrive in Cairo to urge a Middle East ceasefire, the death tolls continued to rise. More than 500 Palestinians have been killed, and 25 Israeli soldiers have been slain since the ground offensive began.

+ The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont on the children frozen in fear: “In most wars I have covered, you encounter one of the combatant parties, often both, but in Gaza, where death falls from the sky, those fighting are largely invisible except for the impact of their weapons. The result is that you see a war in Gaza through the prism of the suffering of the victims — a conflict in which those willing to offer an organizing rationale are absent.”

+ New Republic: The explosive, inside story of how John Kerry built an Israel-Palestine peace plan — and watched It crumble.

+ Buzzfeed: Jewish and Arab people are posing together in inspiring photos saying “We refuse to be enemies.”

4. You Can’t Get Off the Canvas

ProPublica has a report on a new kind of browser tracking tool called Canvas. It works sort of like cookies, except you can’t turn it off. Meet the online tracking device that is virtually impossible to block.

5. I’ll Show You Minecraft

“Minecraft is a game about creation, yes. But it is just as much a game about secret knowledge.” Robin Sloan on the secret of Minecraft. Amazingly, nothing about the game seems like a secret to my eight year-old son and his friends. Every party turns into a Minecraft party.

+ Maybe all this video gaming will pay off. The Verge takes you inside the life of a pro gamer.

+ And The Economist shares a chart that details just how lucrative video game prize pools have become.

6. Game Saving

Jon Michaud in The New Yorker: “My grades were mediocre, and my parents were worried about my prospects. I didn’t know it, but I was simply waiting for the right game to come along — a game in which there were no winners or losers. That day finally arrived in the spring of 1979. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that Dungeons & Dragons saved my life.” Most of my 1979 was spent on a beach waiting for Bo Derek to jog by…

7. Face Saving

Facebook has launched a feature that enables users to save links, pages and events for later reading. But the company’s much bigger initiative is the introduction of a buy button. Can Facebook and Twitter move you closer to the transaction without chasing you away from their services?

+ Shakira just became the first the person to reach 100 million Facebook likes. Here’s the WSJ on how she got to be the Queen of Facebook.

8. A Homeric Binge

Along with a new site design, The New Yorker has opened its archives on stories published since 2007. (You can find my stories rejected by The New Yorker since 2007 on my blog.) Longform has a list of their 25 favorite unlocked New Yorker stories.

+ When you’re done reading those stories, you can binge on some episodes of The Simpsons. Well, 552 episodes to be exact. FXX is about to redefine the meaning of a series marathon.

9. One-Way Ticket to Ride

“These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.” It’s been 45 years since humans walked on the moon and returned to Earth. Here was the speech prepared to be delivered in the event that the men were stranded on the moon.

10. The Bottom of the News

Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest person, has an idea. He thinks you should only work three days a week. (This works better if you’re not being paid by the hour.)

+ New at Banana Republic: The Startup Guy Collection. In my experience, that just includes undershorts and equity.

+ In 2004, the odds were 500-1 that Rory McIlroy would win the British Open within the next decade. His dad took those odds and made the bet, and won it yesterday.

+ At long last, cake you can spray out of a can.

nextdraft

TIME technology

This Robot Would Very Much Like to Play a Game of Connect Four With You

Game on

+ READ ARTICLE

When the singularity finally hits and artificial intelligence takes over everything, at least we know some of the robots will know how to have a good time — like this Connect Four-playing bot, programmed by MIT student Patrick McCabe.

Users can choose between four levels of difficulty and can even ask for a hint if needed. Head over to McCabe’s website for a detailed breakdown of how the machine works. In the meantime, watch here as the bot beats McCabe in the first round — and even taunts him a little bit before clinching the game.

TIME nation

Sheriff Replaces Jail’s Orange Jumpsuits Because Orange Is The New Black Made Them Too “Cool”

Inmates wearing a mix of orange and striped jumpsuits are lodged in a cell at the Saginaw County Jail, Friday, July 18, 2014, in Saginaw, Michigan Jeff Schrier / The Saginaw News /MLive.com – AP

Now inmates at a Michigan county jail wear black and white stripes

A local Michigan sheriff is afraid that Orange Is The New Black, the hit Netflix series about female prisoners, has made orange jumpsuits a popular fashion statement. So now inmates at Saginaw County Jail have to wear black-and-white striped jumpsuits instead of orange ones, according to The Saginaw News and MLive.com.

“Some people think it’s cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail with wearing all orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public,” Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel told The Saginaw News and MLive.com. “We do have our inmates out sometimes doing work in the public, and I don’t want anyone to confuse them or have them walk away.”

MORE: Princesses in Prison: Watch a Very Entertaining Mashup of Frozen and Orange Is the New Black

MORE: REVIEW: The Dark Optimism of Orange Is the New Black Season Two

TIME Viral Videos

This Dad Break Dances with His Daughter When He Gets Home from Work

Fair warning: This video may also get Ke$ha stuck in your head

+ READ ARTICLE

When you’re a toddler, there isn’t much that is more exciting than having one of your parents come home from work. One Kentucky family decided to make the occasion even more joyful by staging nightly daddy-daughter dances in their drive way.

For the last few weeks, when Justin Price gets home after a day at work, he parks his truck, cranks up Ke$ha’s and Pitbull’s “Timber” and starts dancing with his two-year old daughter, Malli. The video, posted by Price’s wife, Chessi, shows a sweet and celebratory dance-off complete with some solo twerking and synchronized fist-pumping that will make you want to throw down with your own dad.

MORE: Reporter Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Angela Merkel in This Cringe-Worthy Video

MORE: WATCH: Weird Al Makes Fun of Every College Fight Song

TIME dancing

This Video of an Old Man Dancing Will Brighten Your Day

Forever young

The elderly man in this video may need two canes to walk, but he doesn’t need them to dance.

The user who uploaded this video to Facebook, Edgard Eleuterio Daza, gave it a short and sweet caption that sums the whole thing up pretty well: “Eternamente joven.”

Translation: forever young.

TIME Food & Drink

This Sweet Invention Dispenses Cake from a Can

Think microwaveable cake batter

Looking for a way to binge on baked goods without the wait-time of actually baking?

Two Harvard students are working to patent Spray Cake, which releases cake batter out of a dispenser that works like a whipped-cream can. The accelerant in the can releases air bubbles inside the batter, eliminating the need for baking soda and baking powder so the confection is ready to eat almost instantly. It takes 30 seconds to bake a cupcake in the microwave, and only one minute to bake a full cake.

John McCallum, a junior and the brains behind Spray Cake, came up with the idea as a final project for his freshman year Science and Cooking class. It was his soon-to-be girlfriend, Brooke Nowakowski, who saw its potential: “He was just like, ‘Cool. Lab project,’ ” she told The Boston Globe. “But I thought it could go somewhere.” And she argues it’s good for weight control because, “You can simply pull it off the shelf, make one cupcake, then put it back in the fridge” — which won’t take nearly as long as it took Kristen Wiig’s character in Bridesmaids to make a single cupcake for herself:

 

TIME viral

Dog Steals Baby’s Toy and Then Repents by Showering Her With Gifts

It's so comforting to see them make amends

+ READ ARTICLE

When this dog named Charlie decided to help himself to his human sister’s stuffed animal, he made her cry, because obviously. That was a pretty rotten thing to do. Charlie seems to realize this pretty quickly, because he attempts to apologize to her by bringing her a series of new toys. The remorse he feels is quite palpable.

Note: the music in this video gets to be a bit much, so we recommend muting it and adding your own soundtrack. We recommend a classic apology track, like Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”:

(h/t BuzzFeed)

 

 

TIME World

Watch The Queen’s Guard Perform The Game of Thrones Theme Song

Part of changing the guard at Buckingham Palace

+ READ ARTICLE

A YouTube user captured the moment recently when the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace played the theme song from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.

According to the British Monarchy’s website, the music played at the Changing of the Guard “ranges from traditional military marches to songs from films and musicals and even familiar pop songs.” (h/t Rolling Stone)

MORE: Hodor from Game of Thrones Launches Thrones-Themed DJ Tour

WATCH: This Game of Thrones Cover Brings Winterfell to The Bayou

WATCH: This 80s Remix of The Game of Thrones Trailer

TIME Music

Weird Al’s New Song Makes Fun of Your Lame Celebrity Name Dropping

Your dentist accidentally sneezed on Russell Crowe? You stayed in the same hotel as Zooey Deschanel once? Weird Al is not impressed

+ READ ARTICLE

Well, “Weird Al” Yankovic is making good on his promise to release eight new videos in eight days. His latest is a southern rock style tune that takes aim at all the shameless name droppers who think having some tertiary connection to a celebrity makes them cool.

You once threw up in an elevator next to Christian Slater? You know Paul Giamatti’s plumber? You have the same birthday as Kim Kardashian? Weird Al is begging you to stop with these lame claims to fame.

Okay, we’re kind of guilty of this behavior. Sorry to let you down, Weird Al.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser