TIME society

Behold, the World’s Largest Collection of Harry Potter Memorabilia

Rebecca Blackwell—AP

No word whether Guinness World Records sent an owl to notify him

Guinness World Records has recognized a lawyer’s Harry Potter memorabilia collection as the largest in the world at 3,097 pieces.

Menahem Asher Silva Vargas of Mexico City has spent 15 years amassing magic wands, toy figurines, and Hogwarts scarves inspired by the J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books.

“My salary, my bonuses … it all ended up here,” he told the AP.

MORE: This Discovery Brings Us One Step Closer to Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak

MORE: Harry Potter Theme Park Previews Gringotts-Themed Ride

MORE: Harry Potter Stamps Apparently Not American Enough

TIME Business

Jeff Goldblum Is Simultaneously Hilarious and Creepy in New GE Ad

All that is missing is his maniacal laugh from Jurassic Park

Actor Jeff Goldblum strips down for an eccentric General Electric ad promoting an LED lightbulb that can be switched on and off with a smartphone app. Watch him paint a self-portrait and play piano shirtless in a hot tub in this spoof of cheesy infomercials that’s directed by comedy duo Tim & Eric (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim). All that is missing is his maniacal laugh from Jurassic Park.

MORE: Long Live the Lightbulb

MORE: A Brief History of the Lightbulb

MORE: The Matrix‘s Agent Smith Returns…To Pitch G.E. Products

TIME viral

Here’s a Supercut of Men Telling Bad Guys to “Let Her Go” in Action Movies

One of the greatest cinematic cliches of our time

The damsel in distress is one of Hollywood’s best-known (and most sexist) cliches, and the folks over at Huffington Post noticed one little phrase most commonly associated with that role: “Let her go.” Male protagonists utter these words, often in a low, even voice paired with a determined stare, to get the bad guy to free the beautiful lady. This is often followed by a frantic kiss and then a firefight and maybe a small to midsize explosion.

They put together the above supercut to show just how often heroes say this phrase, featuring scenes from movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and Men in Black. The full list of movies is here.

 

TIME Internet

#FeelingNuts Viral Challenge Gathers Steam After Hugh Jackman Takes Part

Hugh Jackman is getting the balls rolling on a viral testicular cancer awareness campaign

An online “crotch grab challenge” started by a testicular cancer awareness group in the United Kingdom received a viral boost Wednesday from Hugh Jackman, who tweeted a picture of himself taking part.

The challenge requires participants to hold their crotch and then share a photo of themselves online. It appears to be one of the first health-minded social media campaigns to take off after the colossally successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Check One Two group, founded in 2012, has gradually gained traction online since launching the “crotch grab challenge” in August, with Jackman’s tweet likely to set off a new round of virality.

The X-Men star tweeted a photo Wednesday morning of himself and three other men holding their private parts and lifting their arms in greeting toward the camera in what looks to be a gym.

Hugh Jackman nominated Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Strahan and Ricky Gervais, who shortly afterward tweeted a photo of himself completing the challenge in August.

Will Arnett also participated at the end of August.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $100 million and may have ushered in a new era of online fundraising and social awareness. Unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, however, Check One Two’s crotch grab challenge doesn’t ask participants to contribute money.

Check One Two says on its website that its aims are “1. Spread awareness far and wide of #feelingnuts in funny, ball grabbing and pant dropping ways” and “2. Educate men and the women in their lives about how to check their nuts for testicular cancer.”

TIME celebrity

You’ll Never Guess Who the ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ Is

ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 12
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Randy Holmes—ABC via Getty Images

Be careful if you're about to Google this celeb

Jimmy Kimmel has been named the world’s most dangerous celebrity… to search for online.

Computer security company McAfee says that the late night host is the most dangerous famous person people can search online this year: Google “Jimmy Kimmel” and you have a 19% chance of winding up on a website that has tested positive for viruses, spyware or malware.

Other dangerous celeb searches include Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springsteen and Britney Spears, said the company. “Cybercriminals love to take advantage of our interest in celebrities for malicious means,” it said.

Kimmel responded to the honor on Tuesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He said he could not believe a kid who played the clarinet and carried a briefcase in junior high school grew up to become the most dangerous celebrity of 2014:

TIME viral

People on Twitter Are Replacing Parts of Movie Titles With ‘Ebola’

Not everyone sees the funny side

Twitter users have reacted to the news of America’s first confirmed case of Ebola by inserting the virus’s name into their favorite films, with the hashtag #ReplaceMovieTitleWithEbola trending on the social network.

Health officials confirmed Tuesday that a patient in Dallas has the disease, which has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives in West Africa and brought several nations to the brink of collapse. Alongside various expressions of concern and sympathy, a bizarre game emerged on social media.

Of course, not everyone saw the funny side.

TIME NextDraft

More About The White House Intruder and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 30, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Running Down a Dream

You see the men in dark suits and sunglasses listening to secret messages through their their earpieces, and you wonder at the near-magical tools being deployed to protect the Commander in Chief. It’s like a forcefield; a layer of security that is beyond your understanding, so advanced that no modern tactic could pierce through its multiple layers of techno-complexity. The most talented people in the most powerful nation are protecting the country’s most valuable person. But then some guy with a knife jumps a fence and runs across the lawn and makes it deep into the White House before being tackled, and your science fiction movie sense of security morphs into something that looks more like a scene from Home Alone. From WaPo: The White House fence-jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known.

+ Vox: How a man was able to run through the front door of the White House with a knife.

+ ABC: 6 Secret Service safeguards breached by White House intruder.

+ And the intruder “could have gotten even farther had it not been for an off-duty Secret Service agent who was coincidentally in the house and leaving for the night.” (Let’s make sure that guy gets paid time-and-a-half…)

2. Is That a Yes?

In reaction to the rise of sex crimes on college campuses, California Governor Jerry Brown signed country’s first affirmative consent law. According to the new law, “Consent can be conveyed by a verbal ‘yes,’ or signaled in a nonverbal way, but lack of resistance or objection cannot constitute consent.”

+ Slate: Consensual Sex? There’s an app for that.

3. The Polite Protest

Hong Kong leader CY Leung has indicated that China will not give in to the demands of protestors and demanded that the street rallies stop immediately. But with a holiday coming Wednesday, the protests could get bigger than ever.

+ Free fabric fresheners, signs apologizing for any inconvenience, and other things you’d only find at a Hong Kong protest.

+ NY Mag: After Hong Kong, Instagram isn’t just for brunch photos. (From Ferguson to Hong Kong, the Internet has turned photos into the international language.)

+ Buzzfeed: A 15-step guide to understanding why Hong Kong has erupted in protest

4. New Money

Ebay is spinning off PayPal and setting up an epic Internet payments battle. While the split had been pushed by Carl Icahn and other large investors, today’s move probably has as much to do with the announcement of Apple’s payment system and the rise of Stripe.

5. The Horatio Ratio

“From the beginning, selling the self-made dream to those who hoped to live it was a lucrative business itself. In a country where everyone thinks he’s bound to be a millionaire, you can make a fortune selling the secret to making that fortune.” Slate’s John Swansburg on the self-made man; the story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

6. Online Confrontations

“Amanda is now a fat, happy mom in the suburbs and I’m still terrified of her. I know this because, for this story, I started contacting her on Facebook Messenger. I soon developed a Pavlovian response to the Facebook pop. It made my hands shake and my heart race. Sometimes I buried my face in my palms for two breaths before I checked the message.” From The Atlantic: Confronting My Cyberbully, 13 Years Later.

7. Scene Stealers

Netflix and the Weinstein Company came up with a plan to simultaneously release the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on the big screen and small screen? But the people who own the big screens don’t think that’s such a great idea.

+ Why do so many people watch HGTV? (Oddly, that’s not a rhetorical question.)

+ It is “slow compared only with normal broadcast timetables. It runs not at the warp speed of narrative drama but at the rate of actual experience. It is not scripted or heavily edited; it is more concerned with movement than with tension, contrast, or character.” The iconic example of Slow TV is a seven-and-half hour recording of the exterior of a train as it travels along the countryside. From The New Yorker: Slow TV is Here.

+ If GoPro has its way, we’ll all be recording Slow TV (along with the action videos they’ve become known for). Someone definitely believes in GoPro’s promise. The company is currently worth nearly $12 billion. (That makes the Kodak Instamatic strapped to my head worth at least a couple million.)

8. Simple Twist of Phrase

“With five competing rivals, the pace of Dylan references accelerated.” NPR shares the odd story of a group of scientists who have been competing to sneak the most Bob Dylan references into their research papers.

9. The Mars Bar

“If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel.” From Aeon: Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future. There’s something about making huge money in technology that makes people want to live forever and move to Mars. Most of of us will be lucky if we make Moon money.

10. The Bottom of the News

Do you read the fine print when accepting online access agreements? Probably not. And neither did the Londoners who unwittingly agreed to hand over their first born child for Internet access. (Or maybe they read the agreement and thought it seemed like a reasonable deal.)

+ How Bill Murray went missing during Letterman’s first episode. (He had a good excuse.)

+ Finally, a wearable technology that shocks you when you’re bad. (Oh who are they kidding? Bill Murray invented that too.)

+ Does your car really need a tune-up?

nextdraft

TIME Culture

Watch Mindy Kaling and Elmo Dance Together

It's a cuteness explosion

Mindy Kaling stopped by Sesame Street Tuesday to help Elmo teach kids about a new vocabulary word: enthusiastic. It turns out that both Kaling and Elmo are enthusiastic about dancing. Watch the Mindy Project star break it down with your favorite fuzzy monster.

TIME society

World-Famous Violinist Joshua Bell Performs in Union Station

Joshua Bell performs in Union Station in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2014.
Joshua Bell performs in Union Station in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2014. Tessa Berenson

In 2007, Bell posed as a street performer in the Metro, and nobody noticed him. Today, he made sure everyone did.

At first glance, Joshua Bell’s violin performance in Union Station in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon bears no resemblance to his famous subway performance seven years ago.

In 2007, as part of a social experiment for a Washington Post magazine article by Gene Weingarten, the renowned violinist posed as a street performer in the Metro to see if hurried commuters could recognize beauty in their midst. He wore a baseball cap, stood by the escalators in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station in D.C., and opened his violin case for tips. (The case, by the way, that normally houses his multi-million dollar Stradivari violin.) To make a long story short: almost no one noticed him.

Today, Bell is once again playing in a train station, but this time he’s made sure people will notice. His publicist Jane Covner said that it was supposed to feel “impromptu,” but there’s nothing spontaneous about this. The performance was publicized; there’s a designated area for press marked off with red velvet ropes, and there are chairs and microphones set up where Bell performs. People begin arriving over an hour before he’s due to play, and by 12:30, there are hundreds of spectators packed into the main hall of Union Station, sitting on the hard floor, trying to squeeze close to the front along the edges of the room, and some even climbing on construction scaffolding to see over the mass of people.

Compare this to the scene in the train station seven years ago, when in his piece about the stunt, Gene Weingarten lamented, “There was never a crowd, not even for a second.”

Today Bell is playing with nine students from the National YoungArts Foundation to promote an upcoming HBO special entitled “Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass” and his new Bach album out today. So while 2007 was, according to Weingarten, an experiment in “context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste,” today was all about Bell. His documentary, his album, his performance, his celebrity.

Weingarten took the stage first, appraised the hundreds, possibly thousands of people waiting patiently for Bell—some of whom had traveled from well outside the city to come see him play — and said, “This is a lot better than the first time. A lot better, trust me.”

Better, that is, because people were actually paying attention. This performance is “a do-over for the people in Washington,” Covner said. “Not a do-over for [Bell].” And some of those Washingtonians agreed. Weingarten asked for a show of hands how many people in the audience were some of the “morons” that passed by Bell in 2007; four hands went up. “We accept your apology,” Weingarten deadpanned.

Finally, Bell and his accompanists take the stage. They begin with the first movement of the Bach violin concerto. After the 2007 performance, Weingarten wrote, “There are six moments… that Bell finds particularly painful to relive: ‘The awkward times,’ he calls them. It’s what happens right after each piece ends: nothing. The music stops. The same people who hadn’t noticed him playing don’t notice that he has finished. No applause, no acknowledgment.”

Today, after first movement, the station echoes with booming applause, whoops and cheers. Bell beams as he says, “This is more like it!”

Then, looking out at the impressive crowd, he says, “The only thing I regret is we don’t have an open violin case for tips this time.” (Last time, he made a total of $32.17.)

But how can this performance really be seen as a redo of the last one? Yes, it’s in a train station (albeit a much finer one than L’Enfant Plaza), but the 2007 performance was about whether true artistry could be appreciated without fanfare in ordinary spaces. And while Union Station may not be a grand concert hall, today people came knowing they were going to experience something beautiful, which itself defeats the entire question Weingarten initially posed: “In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”

So today’s performance was not a redo; it was a reimagining. Bell didn’t like the answer he found last time, so today he created a different one. He wanted to prove that art could transcend, if only you give people a little nudge.

“I think the whole idea is that if you give people a chance to listen to music and let them concentrate, then it means something,” Bell told TIME afterwards. “And this shows even in a train station that people can be totally focused.”

Finally, almost a decade later, Bell got the answer he was looking for when he first donned his baseball cap and descended into the Metro.

“I thought of it as closure,” he says. “It was a perfect end.”

Then he laughs: “I don’t see myself ever doing this again.”

TIME viral

This Video Captures Everything Wrong With Overblown Tech Hype

Ever heard of the MyBook?

Forget about the Apple Watch. What about the MyBook?

Never heard of it? In spoof video above, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone drops hints at, as an interviewer describes it, a “secret tablet-sized object you had in your hand at Disrupt?”

“My book?” Stone asks.

“The MyBook!” And that’s all it takes for the fanboys to being hyping up the most mysterious and disruptive product on the market.

Influential angel investor Ron Conway is behind the funny video launching One City, an initiative that asks tech companies to invest in their own communities. This pitch-perfect spoof touts a program that partners companies with schools, and it hilariously captures the zeitgeist surrounding tech products and begs the question: “What if schools were the next big thing in tech?”

 

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