TIME Pictures of the Week

Pictures of the Week: Oct. 17 – 24

From the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius and a fatal shooting at the Canadian War Memorial, to a pair of white lion cubs in Serbia and Darth Vader on the campaign trail, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME celebrities

Madeleine Albright Out-Burns Conan O’Brien on Twitter

Conan O'brien wearing a muscle suit and Madeline Albright speaking at the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards
Conan O'brien wearing a muscle suit and Madeline Albright speaking at the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards (2) Getty Images

The TV host and former Secretary of State exchanged jokey barbs over Halloween costume ideas

It started as a joke, but we’re hoping it could lead to a full-on Twitter war for the ages. Conan O’Brien tweeted his Halloween costume idea on Thursday:

The image of the red-headed comedian dressed up as the first female Secretary of State was funny enough, but then Albright hit back at O’Brien saying that she, too, was mulling a celebrity costume:

Albright 1, O’Brien 0.

And it looks like this social media brawl may expand, as Conan implied:

TIME society

10 Terrible Excuses People Actually Used to Skip Work

Don't we all wish we could say "woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it"?

A new national survey by CareerBuilder.com and Harris Poll reveals the most suspicious excuses for blowing off work. They are:

  1. Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  2. Employee’s plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.
  3. Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  4. Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  5. Employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
  6. Employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was.
  7. Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
  8. Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
  9. Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
  10. Employee accidentally got on a plane.

The poll, conducted online between ­­Aug. 11 to Sept. 5, 2014, surveyed 3,103 workers and 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

TIME royals

Can You Tell the Difference Between a Royal and a Dummy?

See your favorite members of the royal family and their wax dummy duplicates, which were unveiled at Madame Tussauds in New York City on Oct. 23

TIME World

This Powerful Cartoon About the Ottawa Shooting Is Bringing Canada to Tears

It's been called the perfect tribute to a fallen soldier

An editorial cartoon has touched Canadians who were affected by the shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa yesterday.

Chronicle Herald‘s cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon drew one of the memorial’s bronze World War I soldiers offering a hand to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the 24-year-old reservist who was killed, as a soldier kneels by his side:

“That’s the part that touched me – the feet,” Ian Thompson, associate publisher of the Chronicle Herald, said in a statement.

The illustration prompted an emotional outpouring on Twitter:

TIME Music

This Is Bette Midler Covering TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’

Yes, seriously.

On Nov. 4, Bette Midler will release her first album in six years. It’s called It’s The Girls and features covers of songs by famous girl groups, ranging from The Boswell Sisters to TLC. Yes, that TLC. Listen here as she offers her take on their 1995 classic, “Waterfalls.”

Yeah, we don’t really what to say either.

TIME Food & Drink

Fill Your Life With Whimsy and Wonder By Turning Your Ice Maker Into a Candy Dispenser

Little did you know you were living an unfulfilled life

Think about your life. Happy? Fulfilled? Just imagine how much better things would be if candy came out of your ice maker.

Reddit user Deric Peace shared his brilliant frozen candy dispenser with the world — and for that we must say thank you. Because there’s something magical about the idea of candy streaming from your refrigerator — both for lifestyle and for pranks. Oh, just think of the pranks.

Although we must ask, would the gross factor having unwrapped candy sit in your ice box outweigh the wonderful factor of being able to place your bowl of ice cream under the dispenser and press a simple button for toppings?

TIME World

7 Famous People Who Surprised Us by Speaking Chinese

Mark Zuckerberg busted out some Mandarin in a recent Q&A in Beijing--here are some more people who have unexpectedly impressed with their language prowess

When Mark Zuckerberg gave a Q&A in Mandarin Chinese, the Facebook founder left his audience of Beijing college students—and the rest of the world—stunned and impressed.

Zuckerberg, who was visiting Tsinghua University after being appointed to its board, said he began studying Chinese in 2010 because his wife, Priscilla Chan, comes from a Chinese background. When he was planning to propose, he even asked his Chan’s mother in Chinese for her daughter’s hand in marriage. Some are speculating that Zuckerberg’s Chinese—clunky and off-tone, but nonetheless capable—is also a way to win over the Chinese government, which has blocked Facebook among other American social media networks.

Here are some of the famous people who have surprised us through their dexterity with a language so challenging for English-speakers to learn, the U.S. Defense Language Institute ranks it as most difficult (alongside Japanese, Korean and Arabic).

Vanessa Branch

The British actor shocked audiences when she began speaking fluent Chinese during an episode of Entourage and in the film Suburban Girl. Branch also starred in a Chinese feature film called Milk and Fashion. The film’s director told the Shanghai Daily that she was “the first non-Asian Hollywood actress to star in a Chinese-speaking lead role.” Branch learned the language while studying at Middlebury College, where she double majored in theater and Chinese, she told Arude Magazine in an interview.

Kevin Rudd

Australia’s former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd majored in Chinese at the Australian National University of Canberra, and then continued his studies in Taiwan. He has delivered speeches in fluent Chinese and also conducted Q&As in Chinese. The humble politician once told an interviewer that his “Mandarin is really bad, and it’s getting worse and worse.” And yet he still managed to conduct the entire interview fluently with excellent pronunciation.

Mark Rowswell (Dashan)

The Canadian performer known by his Chinese stage name, Dashan, isn’t that well known in the West. But he’s a household name in China known for his acting, comedy and hosting gigs done in his native speaker level Mandarin. Rowswell learned Chinese as a student at the University of Toronto before moving to Beijing to study at Peking University. He rose to stardom after performing a skit in Chinese on CCTV’s 1988 New Year’s Gala, a Chinese television broadcast viewed by nearly half a billion people.

Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover

Hoover is the only U.S. president to be proficient in Chinese, which he learned after he moved to China with his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, after they graduated from Stanford, according to the Hoover Association. They lived there for nearly two years while Hoover worked as a mining engineer. The future First Lady was more fluent than her husband, and when they moved into the White House, they occasionally conversed in Chinese if they didn’t want others to hear them.

Mira Sorvino

Golden Globe winner Mira Sorvino hasn’t spoken Chinese on camera, but the Mighty Aphrodite Oscar-winner studied the language at Harvard, where she majored in East Asian Studies. In August, Sorvino said on her Reddit AMA in response to whether she was still fluent in Chinese that “It’s mamahuhuda. Which means ‘so so’ or ‘half-horse, half-tiger.'”

Lou Jing

The half-black, half-Chinese singer sparked a nationwide discourse on racism in China after competing on Go! Oriental Girl, a Chinese reality TV singing competition. Jing, who was born and raised in China, spoke and sang in perfect Chinese, flooring people who assumed she wasn’t actually from China. Dubbed the “Chocolate Girl,” she took the stage after being eliminated to tell audiences not to judge her by her skin color: “I think I’m the same as all the girls here, except for my skin color,” she said. “We share the same stage, and the same dream.”

TIME celebrity

Watch Jessica Lange Sing a Haunting Cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Gods and Monsters’ on American Horror Story

All while wearing an awesome feather boa

First, American Horror Story: Freak Show actress Jessica Lange sang a delightfully bizarre rendition of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” On this week’s episode, though, she took on something a bit more modern.

The 65-year-old actress, in character as Freak Show manager Elsa Mars, sang Lana Del Rey’s 2012 hit “Gods and Monsters.” The whole thing, of course, has a totally haunting, spooky vibe. For comparison’s sake, here’s Del Rey’s music video:

We’ll be curious to see what Lange covers next on the show. Maybe the writers will throw us a total curveball and have her cover “All About That Bass.” You never know.


TIME society

This Map Shows What Your City’s Talents Are

Michael Hitoshi—Getty Images

Do you fall into your city's stereotype, or are you a standout?

On Tuesday, LinkedIn published a series of maps that break down which cities are specially skilled in certain areas, based on the skills and locations listed on user profiles.

New York City is filled with finance professionals, for example, while Miami residents are experts in travel; San Francisco is packed with computer whizzes, while Houstonians love oil and gas. Many cities, according to LinkedIn, do in fact fit their stereotypes: others include Nashville and music, or Los Angeles and entertainment.

What’s also interesting is a look at some the cities’ other top skills. Cheyenne, Wyo., for example, is the nation’s least populous state, yet has a significant number of people skilled in emergency response services; Mobile, Ala., is particularly known for worker safety; and residents of Portland, Maine love arts and crafts.

LinkedIn also analyzed Western European cities, yielding a somewhat surprising result that the majority of European cities’ top skills are in the computer fields.

Check out the U.S. and Western Europe maps below:


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