TIME NextDraft

How to Beat Procrastination and Other Fascinating News on the Web

July 23, 2014

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1. Read This Later

It’s not pleasant. It leads to more stress. It worsens your health. “Why, then, is procrastination such a common phenomenon? If we don’t particularly want to procrastinate, and it causes us discomfort to do so, why do we persist in doing it?” The New Yorker’s Maria Konnikova tries to answer that question and help you along the road to getting over procrastination. But be forewarned. As one expert explains: “The ironic thing is that procrastinators put off dealing with their procrastination.” So even if you conquer the procrastination, you’ll still need someone to help you get over the irony.

+ Part of procrastination might have to do with a desire to control our use of time. From the WSJ: Why power in the workplace makes people feel they control time.

2. The Dehydration of Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga recently recorded a PSA urging Californians to conserve water. No matter where you live, you might want sing the same tune. The Center for Investigative Reporting explains why the California drought affects everyone. (And I mean everyone.)

3. Fight or Flight Response

The FAA has banned flights in and out of Tel Aviv for the second straight day, while former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg landed at the airport via an El Al flight.

+ “After two weeks of protests and denunciations, it’s time to acknowledge that outrage won’t end the war in Gaza. The most plausible way to stop this cycle of violence is through internationally supervised demilitarization.” Slate’s William Saletan offers an idea for how to save Gaza.

+ Anthony Bourdain interviewed in Blogs of War: “Its impossible to see Gaza, for instance, the camps, the West Bank and not find yourself reeling with the ugliness of it all. The absolute failure of smart, presumably good-hearted people on both sides to find something/anything better than what we’ve arrived at. And the willingness of people to not see what is plainly apparent, right there, enormous and frankly, hideous.”

+ And PRI interviewed Debra Kamin about the bizarre growth in something known as war tourism. (They should only sell one-way tickets.)

4. Pieces of the Puzzle

Collectibles entrepreneur Ted Stanley saw medicine help pave the the way for his son to lead a normal life after a psychotic break and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Earlier this week, Stanley made a “$650-million commitment to fuel the search for mental illnesses’ biological underpinnings.”

5. Bipolar Bear

“It’s obvious, of course, that animals of all sorts suffer from physical pain. It’s also obvious that many animals can be tense, unhappy, anxious, enraged, compulsive, impulsive, sad, depressed, and so on. Still, it’s tempting for many people, even sympathetic ones, to put those words in scare quotes — to see animal ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ as a less intense or consequential version of their human equivalents.” Joshua Rothman on a new book that tackles the topic of mental illness and anguish in animals: See Spot Get Depressed.

+ Don’t think animals can get depressed? Try putting a polar bear into captivity, alone, and in a warm climate from which even an international petition can’t free him. From The Daily Beast: More bad luck for depressed polar bear

6. A Call to Ears

It seems clear that, at least in the near term, we’ll be getting our music via one of the streaming services. That’s why the startups are geting big valuations. And that’s why the big tech companies are getting ready for the ultimate dance off. From Quartz: An epic battle in streaming music is about to begin, and only a few will survive. Of course, you have to consider that as recently as 2007, CDs accounted for 90% of U.S. album sales. Things change fast in the music-tech space. So the winner of today’s battle may not necessarily be the winner of the war (which is just one of the reasons I’m hanging on to my 8 track tapes).

7. To Kale and Back

My wife has me trying out a pretty restrictive diet — less gluten, less sugar, less dairy, less joy — and I’ve responded by upping the portions (often measured by bunches, bushels, or cubic yards) of those foods I’m allowed to consume. So I suppose you can thank us for helping to bring on the great kale shortage of 2014.

+ NPR: Many kids who are obese or overweight don’t know it

+ Somehow that healthier lifestyle we’ve all been living has resulted in an increase in the sales of Doritos. (I blame Colorado and Washington.)

8. The Big Apple

Apple reported another record quarter yesterday and the company continues to be remarkably huge. The best way to understand how huge is to compare one of Apple’s individual units to the total size of another company. Or several other companies.

9. The Toddler Whisperer

“Despite the channel’s massive, sweeping, and somewhat perplexing popularity, no one — neither the toddlers who watch with near-religious fervor and their parents, nor executives deeply embedded in the YouTube ecosystem and its economics — seem to have much of a clue who’s behind it.” From Buzzfeed’s Hillary Reinsberg: YouTube’s biggest star is an unknown toy-reviewing toddler whisperer.

10. The Bottom of the News

“Christie Watson’s kids love eating ice cream. But one recent morning, she saw an uneaten ice cream sandwich sitting on her patio table. When she looked closer, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.” It turned out that the ice cream sandwich didn’t melt. I think the bigger concern is that she has a kid who abandoned an uneaten ice cream sandwich.

+ Every now and then it’s nice to see some courage returning to the reporting business. Lindsey Weber explains why the Kim Kardashian game Is legitimately good.

+ It turns out that Pong was never intended for public release.

+ Kottke: A couple in a kayak gets too close to a whale and then the whale raises them right out of the water. And not just for a moment either. (They seem way to calm for this to be real.)

+ The bad news is that you got fired from SNL after only one season. That’s also the good news.

nextdraft

TIME New York

Bill de Blasio Learns How to Eat Pizza Like a New Yorker…in Italy

New York mayor Bill de Blasio (L) eats a pizza made by Napoli's pizza chef Gino Sorbillo (2nd from L) in Naples, Italy on July 23, 2014..
New York mayor Bill de Blasio (L) eats a pizza made by Napoli's pizza chef Gino Sorbillo (2nd from L) in Naples, Italy on July 23, 2014. Pietro Avallone—Zuma Press

Proof the mayor of the Big Apple can also eat pizza with his hands

New York City is a place famous for welcoming inhabitants of all stripes and persuasions—”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”—but the one thing New Yorkers will not abide, it seems, is a mayor who eats his pizza with a fork.

No New York City mayor—in recent memory, at least—has had his pizza eating style critiqued quite so much as Mayor Bill de Blasio. Within days of his election in January, de Blasio was fending off verbal barbs from irate denizens of the Big Apple after he was caught on camera eating pizza with a fork at a pizzeria in Staten Island. (The Boston-born, Italian-lineage de Blasio later said he was employing the methods of his “ancestral homeland.”)

While on vacation with his family Wednesday in Naples, Italy — that “ancestral homeland” of his — de Blasio was busted again using a fork while devouring an authentic Italian pizza pie. But before your inner Yankee dusts off the old pitchfork, see this photo taken the same day—proof that Mayor Bill de Blasio is fully capable of standing upright while awkwardly wielding a handful of napkins and folding a greasy pizza slice in half before shoving it into his pie hole, like any civilized New Yorker would.

TIME Sports

LeBron James Sends Cupcakes to His Neighbors to Apologize for Causing a Ruckus

A sweet gesture

As soon as LeBron James announced that he’d be returning to his native Ohio, everybody pretty much just went totally nuts. Cleveland Cavaliers reporters (and fans) swarmed his home in Bath Township near Akron, causing traffic jams and general chaos.

LeBron was aware of all this, and to apologize to his neighbors, decided to send shipments of cupcakes.

Each box included six “Just A Kid From Akron Cherry Cola” cupcakes and six “Homecourt Chocolate Chunk” cupcakes from a local bakery, ESPN reports. Both flavors were created specifically for James’ foundation. We’re a bit skeptical about a cherry cola cupcake, to be quite honest, but hey, it was still a nice gesture.

TIME animals

The Purrfect Supercut of Cats in Movies

Featuring furballs from Milo and Otis to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

+ READ ARTICLE

The Argentine-based filmmakerAriel Belziti has graced the Internet with “Supercats!,” a supercut of cats in movies. The clip is filled with your favorite furry Hollywood felines, like “Cat” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the protagonist of That Darn Cat!, Buttercup from The Hunger Games and the poor star of the 1903 classic The Sick Kitten. There’s even a montage of cat-stroking villains and, yes, Garfield is in the mix. To top it all off, the video is soundtracked by The Cure’s “Love Cats”.

The uber-montage of cinematic cats — kittens, furballs and CGI creations — is the perfect clip to watch when you are stuck at work on a summer Wednesday or any other time you need some feline-based escapism.

(h/t io9)

MORE: The Hottest New Exercise Equipment Is a Giant Hamster Wheel…for Cats

MORE: This Website Knows Where Your Cat Lives

TIME celebrity

Jack White Was Not Impressed by the Cubs Game Last Night

More like take me out of the ball game

+ READ ARTICLE

Jack White, the American musician best known as one half of the The White Stripes, was spotted looking as if he was bored and annoyed during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field on July 22.

The Internet has been having a field day over his expression.

A MLB.com post described the scene in the form of his songs. (“Looking to have a baseBall and a Biscuit, Jack White was spotted at Wrigley In The Cold, Cold Night.”)

Hopefully, for his fans’ sake, he turns that frown upside down before his concerts in Chicago tonight, July 23, and tomorrow night, July 24.

TIME animals

Recycle Plastic Bottles in This Machine, and It Will Dispense Food for Stray Dogs

A recycling bin that's good for the earth and its four-legged inhabitants

+ READ ARTICLE

In Istanbul, Turkey, where an estimated 150,000 stray dogs and cats reportedly wander the streets, a Turkish company called Pugedon believes it has come up with a way to feed the animals: “Smart Recycling Boxes,” a machine that dispenses food and water in exchange for recycled plastic bottles, Big Think reports.

The benefits of the vending machine are supposed to be two fold: encourage recycling and feed the city’s strays. Recycling is put on top and food is dispensed out the bottom within easy reach for animals in need. There’s even a water dish attached so users can pour the remaining water from a plastic bottle before recycling it. The recycled bottles are supposed to cover the cost of the food.

The problem of managing stray dogs in international cities most recently came to light during the 2014 Winter Olympics, when stray dogs roamed the street’s of the Games’ host city, Sochi, Russia. When it was reported that some of the Sochi strays were going to be culled, animal rights activists sprung into action to rescue the homeless pups, and even some of the athletes brought them back to the United States.

MORE: 10 Stray Sochi Pups Arrive in U.S.

MORE: Mystery Photo Found In Stray Dog’s Collar Baffles County

TIME celebrity

Chris Pratt Gets Up During Interview to French Braid an Intern’s Hair

Further proving that he's the boyfriend of your dreams

+ READ ARTICLE

A few months back, actor Chris Pratt showed off his admittedly very impressive French braiding skills on Instagram. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Guardians of the Galaxy star got a chance to prove that he’s really the exceptional hairstylist he claims to be. Halfway through the otherwise average interview, an intern came out to put Pratt to the test. He gamely begins to fashion her hair into a braid as he carries on with the interview — and while he says the result isn’t perfect, it looks pretty good to us.

Somehow we just can’t imagine Andy Dwyer being able to pull this off.

TIME Business

Pizza Hut Built a Giant, Real-Life Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pizza Thrower

Comic-Con fans will be able to take turns operating it

+ READ ARTICLE

Some publicity stunts are really, really dumb. Other publicity stunts involve building a 12-foot Pizza Thrower and realizing your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dreams. Thank you, Pizza Hut, for providing the latter.

The chain will debut a massive vehicle, complete with a 16-foot rotating cannon to launch pizzas, at Comic-Con in San Diego, which takes place July 24-27.

Comic-Con goers, who probably owned the toy version seen below, will literally eat it up. Well, metaphorically eat it up. Unfortunately the launched pizzas will be fake.

Pizza Hut partnered with Paramount for Michael Bay’s live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, out August 8.

TIME animals

Whale Lifts Up Kayakers in This Absolutely Terrifying Video

Whale watching

+ READ ARTICLE

Kayakers reportedly paddling off the coast of Argentina recently got the fright of their lives when a whale swam under them and lifted their boat up with its back. The scary moment, which reportedly took place near Puerto Madryn in Patagonia, was captured in a video uploaded to YouTube by user gisela6652 and has been going viral on Reddit in the past day.

Fortunately, the kayakers appear to be okay at the end of the clip, unlike this National Geographic video of a fatal encounter between sea lion pups and a killer whale off the coast of Argentina that boasts more than 12,000,000 views on YouTube.

MORE: Whale Collisions Spark Calls for Ship Speed Limits in Australia

MORE: Japan Is Planning To Resume Whale Hunts

TIME viral

Watch a Little Girl and Her Dad Dance to Ariana Grande’s “Problem”

This will make your day

+ READ ARTICLE

Most little girls ask their dad for a pony, or like, an iPad or another iSomething. But this little girl asked her father for a different gift: the gift of joining her in a choreographed dance to Ariana Grande’s hit song “Problem.”

As you can see, he was game — and the results are pretty adorable.

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