TIME Television

Conan O’Brien’s Cameo in Sharktopus Vs Pteracuda Is Spectacular

Hey Conan: Gross.

+ READ ARTICLE

Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda is coming.

Syfy is continuing it’s manifest destiny to be the destination for must-see, must-mock, made-for-TV movies with the very dramatic film produced by gore master Roger Corman and featuring talk show host Conan O’Brien. While the movie (event?) doesn’t air until August 2nd, fans don’t need to wait that long to see O’Brien’s spectacularly gruesome cameo, which in true Corman fashion is both horrifying and hysterical.

The clip was unveiled last night on Conan, when Corman stopped by to help promote the film, and while O’Brien’s part is just a cameo, it will undoubtedly be collected on listicles of Best Cameos Ever for years to come.

If you dare to watch, be forewarned it’s truly violent, patently disgusting and darkly humorous. That said, the clip brought the <em>Conan</em> studio audience to its feet for a well-deserved standing ovation. It’s just too bad that they only give out Oscars for films released in theaters.

MORE: The 64 Best Seconds of the Sharknado Trailer—Ranked!

MORE: Perfect Storm: The Genius of Sharknado

TIME technology

Hero Builds a Genius Machine That Can Fill 100 Water Balloons in a Minute

The Kickstarter campaign to fund it has already earned more than $100,000

Some people turn to Kickstarter for dumb ideas that clearly will not help anyone. (We’re looking at you, potato salad guy.) But other people, like this father of eight from Texas, use the crowdfunding site to raise money for something that could ACTUALLY ALTER THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY.

Say hello to Bunch O Balloons, a contraption that solves a very real problem about water balloons: they’re so much fun, but they take forever to fill. No longer! This device will easily fill and tie 37 balloons in 20 seconds flat. You simply attach it to a hose and give it a gentle shake once the balloons are filled. Already tied, they’ll then drop right into a bucket below.

Creator Josh Malone set out to raise $10,000 to begin manufacturing this invention — and now, having raised more than $100,000, he’s clearly surpassed that goal.

This contraption will be especially handy if you’ve got sneaky pets who tend to pop your water balloons:

Now you’ll be all, Who cares? Give me just a minute and I’ll have 100 more where that came from!

TIME India

An Indian Boy With 260 Teeth Just Got 232 of Them Pulled Out

Indian Boy Gets 232 Pulled
Indian dentists operate on Ashik Gavai at JJ Hospital in Mumbai on July 22, 2014, AFP/Getty Images

Doctors said the operation was "really fun"

A boy in India endured a six-hour operation Monday to remove 232 teeth that grew as a result of a rare medical condition. Now, Ashik Gavai, 17, has 28 teeth left—four fewer than most adult mouths.

17-year-old Gavai had been suffering from composite odontoma, a condition in which a benign tumor forms in the mouth, causing additional teeth to grow as well. In Gavai’s case, a molar tooth in his lower jaw had grew hundreds of smaller teeth. Gavai’s doctors at J.J. Hospital in Mumbai couldn’t initially remove the growth deep in Gawai’s jaw with normal surgical tools, so they opted for a “basic chisel and hammer” before more delicately removing teeth one-by-one. His doctors called their operation a “world record,” and are planning to submit it to Guinness World Records.

“I have never seen anything like it in all my years of practice,” Sudanda Dhiware, head of the hospital’s dentistry department, told the Washington Post. “We were so excited by it. And it was really fun for us to be able to extract them all, one by one.”

The condition doesn’t normally result in teeth as plentiful as Gavai’s — Dhiware said medical literature shows that a maximum of 37 teeth have been extracted in the past.

Gavai, who comes from a poor family of cotton growers hours outside of Mumbai, had noticed swelling along his jaw months before his operation. But local doctors were unable to fix his condition, and his family didn’t have enough money to seek immediate, proper treatment. Fearing that Gavai’s puffy cheek may have been cancer-related, his family went to a state-run hospital, where they obtained funds through a program offering financial support to poor patients.

Gavai is currently recovering from his grueling surgery, and his doctors are hoping that the condition doesn’t reoccur—which it could, if a bit of tumor, even microscopic, remains.

[Washington Post]

TIME viral

Watch a Toddler Learn He Can Rally an Entire Summer Camp With His Cuteness

All he has to do is wave his hands in the air

+ READ ARTICLE

When this 15-month-old boy stood in front of a crowd, he quickly realized that his charisma and charm could be leveraged quite easily. He claps, the people clap. He raises his arms, the people raise their arms.

Next step: complete world domination.

TIME viral

This Is What It Looks Like When The Queen Photobombs Your Selfie

One is amused

An Australian field hockey player was minding her own business, talking a selfie at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, when her picture was photobombed by the Queen. As in, Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

AND she was smiling.

This wasn’t the Queen’s first time embracing millennial photobomb culture, either:

Royals. They’re just like us.

TIME society

These Awesome Photos of People Emerging From a Water Slide Capture the Essence of Summer

Krista Long

Simply titled “I Love Summer,” this series of high-speed photographs focuses on the specific — and, it turns out, highly captivating — experience of bursting out of a water slide.

Krista Long, a clinical social worker from Des Moines, Iowa, came up with the idea for the series last summer after spending time with her kids at a local pool. She found herself entertained for hours watching people emerge from the water slide, one by one, each with comically distinct facial expressions and body contortions. As a photography enthusiast, she began to think, Hey, this would be a great subject.

“I love how people’s emotion right before they splash down is either total excitement or fear or cringing,” Long says. “So I just really wanted to capture that moment.”

Capturing that moment, however, took a healthy dose of trial and error. After plenty of goof ups, Long eventually learned how to get her framing and timing just right. She also learned how to use Photoshop to add a black background, making the subjects and the water droplets stand out.

Ultimately, what Long says she hopes to convey here is that fun, carefree feeling so many of us enjoy in the longer, lazier days of summer.

“We just came off of the worst winter, and I know in many areas of the United States it was horrendous,” Long says. “It was so cold, it was so frozen, it lasted forever. I just thought, you know what, this really does capture just how wonderful it is to be enjoying summertime.”

Below are some of our favorite shots. Head over to Flickr to see more.

Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long
Krista Long

 

TIME viral

Meet the First Viral Snapchat Stars

Snapchat stars Jerome Jarre and Shonduras pose in a Snapchat Shonduras

The secret to how some Snapchatters earn $100,000 for a week's work and stand out in a medium that is all about disappearing

Three twenty-something guys, armed with smart phones and a neon yellow soccer ball, are scrambling in different directions in a crowded New York City Whole Foods. Shaun McBride just maneuvered around bandana-wearing Chris Carmichael to score a “goal” into a shopping cart, and now they have to escape before getting caught by startled shoppers or, worse, security.

“I got the shot!” says Jerome Jarre, breathing heavily outside of the grocery store. It is 30 minutes before the beginning of this month’s World Cup final, and they have to finish their Snapchat Story before the game starts. Together, the trio has an audience of almost 2 million people, and pockets of the fans have gathered around Union Square to take pictures of the social media personalities.

They are among the first viral stars of Snapchat, a popular mobile app created in 2011 on the premise that friends would send each other photos, videos, and doodles that would self-destruct in 10 seconds or less. Unlike Instagram or Vine, it wasn’t built to be a sharing platform to broadcast creative content to the masses but to be shared intimately with acquaintances. But Snapchat has grown up fast and now large companies are trying to reach its audience and are handing some of its most loved users six-figure paychecks to do it.

Building a Staying Following on a Disappearing Medium

When Jin Long Shi, 14, saw on Snapchat that his favorite social media celebrities were just a few blocks away, he ran out of his apartment — only stopping to buy them a box of Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts — to watch them shoot. “Before this, I didn’t know you could have followers on Snapchat and create stories, I thought you just used it to take selfies and send funny things to friends,” Shi says.

Shi came primarily for Jarre, 24, who describes himself as an “outgoing Borat Frenchman.” His creative niche is slapstick and playing pranks on strangers. Jarre gained his celebrity from his 6-million follower Vine account, but he has recently transitioned his focus primarily to Snapchat after downloading it a month ago.

“Why would Christophe Colomb go to America? Why would we go to the moon? It’s fresh, anything can happen there,” he says.

Jarre, who has 1.2 million Snapchat followers, says that the new medium is building his portfolio from 6-second videos to 2-minute narratives and increasing his followers. (Snapchat launched a Story feature in October that allows users to create a longer narrative that is displayed to all of their friends, rather than directly send to select followers, that lasts a 24-hours and can be viewed multiple times.) After 18 months on Vine, he had accumulated 800,000 Instagram followers. After three weeks on Snapchat, that number grew 1.3 million. Jarre shared his Story statistics, showing his zany narratives — “that always end with a positive message” — get viewed upwards of 1.1 million times and screen grabbed upwards of 43.9K times:

Snapchat story data shows how many people viewed and taken a screenshot of a user's content.
Snapchat story data shows how many people viewed and taken a screenshot of a user’s content. Jerome Jarre

“It’s the most viral platform ever because people need to screenshot, share, and talk to their friends,” Jarre says. “Because it is disappearing in 24-hours, they have to tell their friends or else no one will see it… There’s an insane word of mouth power. That’s how Shaun gained his followers from scratch.”

Shaun McBride, whose “Shonduras” Snapchat account has more than 140,000 followers, is known by brands, social media celebrities and agencies as a Snapchat pioneer. The 27-year-old snowboard sales rep from Ogden, Utah is a self-proclaimed member of the “Facebook generation,” and he didn’t have a social media presence at all until his six sisters, who are in high school and therefore Snapchat’s key demographic, pressured him into making a Snapchat account in November.

McBride’s Snapchat specialty is turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, and often silly, with detailed finger doodles over pictures. This caught on with his sisters’ friends and soon their entire high school had requested to follow him. He started getting notifications that his photographs of silly scenarios, like pictures of dogs he turned into Disney princesses with Snapchat’s drawing tools, were getting screen-shot hundreds of times. McBride says that when he would send out prompts to followers, asking them to send in a picture of a quarter in exchange for a personalized drawing, “Thousands of people sent me pictures of quarters. I spent the whole day snapping them back because I didn’t want to be rude. I was like, is this for realz?”

Snapchats by Shonduras

How to Engage With Snapchat Followers

As McBride’s following grew from hundreds to tens of thousands, he began building a presence on other social media sites so that his fans could see his content even after it disappeared. This is when his work started getting picked up by media outlets and companies (including Taco Bell, Disney, and MLS) began reaching out to work with him. That’s one of the ironies of Snapchat celebrity: It depends on screengrabs from other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

“Snapchat is not like Twitter and Facebook, it’s not about likes, it’s not about followers,” Snapchat spokesperson Mary Ritti says, noting that the app doesn’t even track the number of Snapchat friends people have.

“Maybe it’s just a too cool thing,” says Molly Mitchell (Snapchat name: biggie_molls), who does marketing at men’s short-shorts company Chubbies. “Snapchat is the hipster of the social media world. It’s elusive and you need someone else’s commonplace app to purvey its content.” Mitchell gained brief Snapchat celebrity after she created an Instagram account chronicling the Snapchats she sent her friends of her relationship with her boyfriend.

Over the four hours of storyboarding and shooting their 86-second World Cup Snapchat, Jarre, McBride, and Carmichael discuss the possibilities of posting videos of their stories on YouTube.

Carmichael, (Snapchat name: ChrisCarm), keeps a Tumblr to showcase his comic book-esque Snapchat stories, which often end on cliffhangers. “My theme is that my bandana talks to me, and it’s my mentor,” Carmichael, 27, says. “It takes me on an adventure. A big story that is never ending.”

A panel from one of Carmichael’s Snapchat stories ChrisCarm

Since the medium is still young, Snapchat users are working together to find the best way to engage with fans. One of McBride’s first collaborations was with Boston-based Michael Platco (Snapchat name: mplatco), who doodled on red gloves to have a cross-country boxing match. They asked fans to Snapchat in who they wanted to win, so that they would have influence over the match.

Snapchatters Shonduras and Mplatco sent their followers disappearing photos of them boxing Shonduras and Mplatco / Snapchat
Followers sent Shonduras and Mplatco Snapchats to indicate who they wanted to win the boxing match.Shonduras / Snapchat

Shortly after the boxing match, which ended in a draw, Disney flew McBride to Disneyland and Platco to Disneyworld to simultaneously launch the theme parks’ Snapchat accounts in their first-ever paid Snapchat gigs. Since then, Platco has worked with food site GrubHub and “Harry Potter” fan site MuggleNet. (He is very active in the Snapchat-Harry Potter market, which does, in fact, exist).

Snapchat prowess has also led to full-time office jobs. Dasha Battelle (Snapchat name: dabttll) is known for her stylus-free, intricate artwork, which helped land her a job on Mashable’s visual storytelling team.

Good Snapchatting Pays Off… Literally

Just as companies pay top social media users for their Instagram and Vine abilities, they are starting to shell out cash to those who “get” Snapchat. And for good reason. The popular communication tool has a stronghold on a very young, obsessive and viral-savvy demographic of potential buyers—although the company doesn’t disclose figures, it has an estimated 30 million active monthly users, 71% of whom are under 25.

Compensation ranges widely. Consulting can pay up to $150 an hour and although Snapchatters and companies wouldn’t publicly disclose specific payments, two top Snapchat users said that the most coveted stars now earn anywhere from $1,500 a day to more than $100,000 for a week’s work for a company. That’s in the ballpark of what influencers on other social platforms are getting paid. Marcus Johns told Business Insider that a Vine ad campaign paid off his college tuition, and advertisers have sent influential Instagram users on fully paid trips around the world to Instagram events from their accounts.

Some companies have been hesitant to invest in Snapchat since the branded content doesn’t have a permanent afterlife, as it would on Instagram. But Vayner Media founder Gary Vaynerchuk, a leading social media adviser, thinks discounting Snapchat is shortsighted.

“Why anybody thought that a disappearing piece of content isn’t valuable is insane to me,” says Vaynerchuk, explaining that before technology existed to record television shows, the content within the commercial breaks disappeared. “Last time I checked, when I’m listening to a car commercial on Z100, that sh-t disappeared.”

Vaynerchuk and Jarre co-founded GrapeStory, an agency that pairs top Vine, Instagram, and now Snapchat users including McBride with companies. Sour Patch worked with GrapeStory and Logan Paul, a social media leader, to launch its Snapchat account in early July, and Sonic will use another top user to launch its account in August.

When McBride walked around the grounds of DisneyLand in a Mickey Mouse hat that read “Shonduras” over Memorial Day weekend, he thought that Snapchat had the potential to supplement some of his income as a fun side business and creative outlet.

“This month, I hope to make more than I did last year in my real job,” he says. “It’s insane.”

TIME NextDraft

How to Beat Procrastination and Other Fascinating News on the Web

July 23, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

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.

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