TIME Basketball

Watch a Michigan State Fan Propose to a Reporter on Live TV

"I believe we're getting a proposal here"

Points for effort?

A Michigan State fan interrupted CBS Sports reporter Allie LaForce during a live broadcast on Saturday to, well, propose marriage. LaForce was reporting on that afternoon’s Michigan State-Duke game when the man tapped her arm, got down on one knee and pretended to offer a ring.

“I’m sorry, yes can I help—,” she says as he kneels, followed by a quick “Okey dokey! I believe we’re getting a proposal here.”

LaForce, who is married, laughed it off and asked her on-air team about their thoughts. One replied: “I think we should call your husband.”

The proposal didn’t quite work out. And hours later, his team was eliminated from the Big Dance.

Read next: 31 Arrested in Kentucky After Wildcats Fall in Final Four

TIME Television

Watch Common and John Legend’s Hilarious Lip-Sync Battle

They went way, way back

Surprising everyone, and maybe each other, the face-off between Common and John Legend on Spike’s Lip Sync Battle included big hair and bigger clothes, as both performers transformed into classic stars.

Common came first, dressed as Lionel Richie to lip sync to “All Night Long (All Night)” – wearing the hair, that shirt, those pants. Not to be outdone, Legend put on a pair of pants himself with a spin as MC Hammer on his “U Can’t Touch This.” .

Naturally, the audience loved it. Co-host (and Legend’s supermodel wife) Chrissy Teigen loved it. Co-host LL Cool J said to Common, after, “What?! You had Lionel Richie breakdancing. I love it.”

Lip Sync Battle had other battles, too: the Oscar-winning duo also faced off earlier in the episode, pitting the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” against Juvenile’s “Slow Motion.” And Dwayne Johnson fought – and won – against Jimmy Fallon, with a one-two of “Shake It Off” and “Stayin’ Alive.”

This story originally appeared on People.com

TIME society

This Is Why Easter’s Date Is Always Different

Way Of Cross Procession Moves Across Brooklyn Bridge On Good Friday
Spencer Platt—Getty Images Members of the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn lead the Way of the Cross procession over the Brooklyn Bridge on April 3, 2015 in New York City.

It all depends on which calendar you follow

Easter, the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is observed on the first Sunday after the “Pascal Full Moon” (the first full moon of spring) following the spring equinox. That day always occurs on March 21, according to a decree by the early Christian Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582.

Therefore Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. That is also why Easter and church holidays leading up to that day, like Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are referred to as “moveable feasts.”

But the Eastern Orthodox churches did not adopt the Gregorian calendar method of determining Easter’s date and instead follows the Julian calendar, a solar calendar adopted by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. The Julian calendar is 13 days ahead of the Gregorian calendar, meaning “the Orthodox Easter celebration usually occurs later than that celebrated by Protestants and Roman Catholics,” according to Encyclopedia Britannica. “The Orthodox tradition prohibits Easter from being celebrated before or at the same time as Passover.”

TIME Culture

‘Madam, I’m Adam’: Meet the Reigning World Palindrome Champion

His name is actually Mark, though his brothers have been known to call him Kram

Eat poop tea.

When he was a kid, Mark Saltveit would sit in the car with his two young brothers, bored silly during 500-mile drives on family trips. Eventually he and his siblings turned to palindromes to pass the time. They had learned about these delightful strings of wordplay in school, a row of letters that read the same backwards as forwards. Poop, to the grade-school boys, was of course the consummate example. And when they worked out “Eat poop tea,” they felt like the Albert Einsteins of palindromy—until they realized that it didn’t quite work.

“We were crushed,” laughs Saltveit, now 53, as he recalls the cruel realization that the actual mirror image would be Eat poop tae. But during a bout of insomnia during his 20s, he remembered how he had filled the hours in the family car. Saltveit broke out the dictionary and embarked on what would become his life’s work. Within hours, he had written his first palindrome, at a length that most people couldn’t achieve in a month, or maybe ever. He called it “The Brag of the Vain Lawyer:”

Resoled in Saratoga, riveting in a wide wale suit, I use law, Ed. I, wan, ignite virago, tar a snide loser.

Within three decades, he would become the reigning world palindrome champion.

Saltveit is the star of a new documentary short that filmmaker Vince Clemente is hoping will inspire people to pay for making the feature-length version, as he follows the world’s leading palindromists up to their showdown at the next world championship in 2017. A Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial stages of A Man, a Plan, a Palindrome went live this week. The short debuted in March at—where else—the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, an annual gathering of people who like to debate whether puzzles are better solved using .3 mm or .7 mm lead in mechanical pencils.

“I am drawn to niche worlds. I feel that they need to be explored,” Clemente says. “If you are a palindromist, you are an artist and a genius. There is no doubt. The amount of skill that goes into each one is beyond calculation. Sure, when one is done anyone could look at it and say, ‘Duh, that was easy.’ And I think that is a sign of great artistry.”

Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

In a rare cultural moment, some of the world’s greatest palindromists have just been given the Hollywood treatment — even if palindromes aren’t even mentioned in the film.

These men are the stars of The Imitation Game, which tells the story of the mathematicians who unraveled Nazi codes during World War II. Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard), plays a background character in a biopic that focuses on Alan Turing, but he is the stuff of palindrome legend. Taking a break from his work, Hilton puzzled out the above palindrome over five hours. The skills these men brought to code-breaking, says Saltveit—who may know more about the cultural history of palindromes than any other living person—are the same skills one needs to mentally run through all the possible letter combinations that might build out a grammatical, coherent sentence in opposite directions.

“The amazing thing about Peter Hilton is he did this all in his head,” Saltveit says. “But that was his gift. That’s why he was famous even among the code breakers, because he had that ability.”

Constructing a palindrome starts with the middle, Saltveit explains. In the case of Hilton’s famous work, that was:

never prevents

That leaves a “ts” dangling on one end that must become “st” at the end of a word on the other. So one runs through all the words they can think of that end in “st”—last, vast, past, amast. When Hilton decides that a fast jibes well with never prevents he then knows he has to work with this:

a fast never prevents a fa

And on he goes, running through his mental Rolodex of words that being “fa,” until he has created the deceptively straightforward three-sentence masterpiece, without so much as a pencil or a piece of paper.

As an avid student of palindrome history, Saltveit was bequeathed rare copies of the journals of British mathematician and word-artist Leigh Mercer, who died in 1977. While people don’t generally know his name, they’re probably familiar with his most famous palindromic creation:

A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

In the journals, it’s clear that he also worked from the middle outward. On one page, Saltveit says, is this revealing fragment:

Panama, a man a p

Saltveit, of course, used this same method when he took home the world’s first World Palindrome Championship title.

He and the other few but proud souls who can call themselves true palindromists (pronounced pal-IN-droh-MISTS) gathered in Brooklyn, New York in March 2012. Each was called to the front of a ballroom at the Marriott, in front of about 700 or so eager audience members, and given a choice of three challenges: write a palindrome that contains an x and a z; write a palindrome about someone who has been in the news in the past year; or write a palindrome about this competition.

They were given 75 minutes to craft up to three palindromes off-stage, as the audience was entertained with other wordplay. The winner was to be decided by audience vote. Each attendee had a little sign they could use to convey their approval or disapproval: It read “huh?” on one side and “wow!” on the other.

Saltveit, who is also a freelance writer, stand-up comedian and editor of the Palindromist magazine, was going up against the likes of cartoonist Jon Agee, who Saltveit describes as the only person to ever make money off this art. Agee was and is a formidable foe, a man who understands how to balance the ridiculous and sensical in just the right measure. He is the author of this book and its famed, eponymous palindrome:

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A great palindrome, in Saltveit’s estimation, is a little weird. It should be basically grammatical and follow some rules of natural language, but more important is telling a story or creating an absurd image in the reader’s head. Take this example, he says:

Enid and Edna dine.

“It’s a perfectly good palindrome. There’s nothing flawed with the English. It’s just boring,” he says. Now tweak it just a little bit, swap a verb and a name, and you’ve got this:

Dennis and Edna sinned.

That’s basically the same palindrome, he says, “but it’s a heck of a lot more interesting.” Much like this one:

Sit on a potato pan, Otis.

“There’s no such thing as a potato pan and nobody has ever told anybody to sit on a pan anyway. So the absurdity of it is its strength,” Saltveit explains. “You’re almost kind of showing off how far you had to jump to make this work, like you really had to push yourself to heroic bits of cleverness to pound your way through. And that’s the trade-off, versus being smooth. You can be too smooth.”

So when Saltveit sat down for his 75 minutes, he started with the already silly, vivid phrase trapeze part. Like other palindromists, he keeps his own “dictionary,” a collection of tens of thousands of mirror-image fragments that he encounters in daily life—reading every sign, advertisement and text message forwards and backwards. Sometimes, in fact, he so busy inverting letters that he neglects to read them forwards at all. It can become so distracting that he makes himself stop for a time.

When he emerged with the six other contestants, Saltveit revealed a palindrome that—in its charming, barely sensible senselessness—could not be beat:

Devil Kay fixes trapeze part; sex if yak lived.

The “wow!” signs sprung into the air. “The audience went for the dirty one, which is not surprising,” says Saltveit. “I threw in a y just to show off.”

Part of what Clemente’s documentary seeks to record is the training that Saltveit and other palindromists are already doing in advance of the 2017 championship, with about two years left on the clock. In Portland, Ore., Saltveit is already running himself through timed trials, asking his wife to throw him a topic—any topic—and seeing what he can come up with. (I asked him how she felt about this hobby of his. “I was completely open about my palindromy before the marriage.”) Unlike most palindromists, Saltveit also has a personal trainer who has crafted a regimen of progressive exercises designed to increase the blood flow to his brain.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who professes to love words not donating a few dollars to see what else these brains get up to—and whether Saltveit can defend his title. There is a rich history of palindromes to weave into the tapestry. Saltveit has traced their origins back to the Hellenistic era, when people stood in the shadow of the world’s first library and stumbled across these magical, symmetrical strings of letters that they believed must be the blessings of god and the curses of demons. As God tells Moses from the burning bush when a man dares to challenge his identity, in what is a word-unit palindrome in Hebrew: I am who I am.

“There’s so much more to explore and share,” says Clemente. To donate to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page here.

TIME Bizarre

New York Town Doesn’t Love ‘Nightmare’ Lucille Ball Statue

The people of Celoron, N.Y feel the bronze statue is an eyesore

Lucille Ball fans in Celoron, N.Y., which is just outside of Jamestown, aren’t feeling much “love” for a statue of the comedienne in her hometown.

The bronze sculpture looks so unlike the I Love Lucy creator (we’re thinking it’s something about the teeth… and the eyes… and the face) that Lucy Lovers actually think it does her a disservice. An especially vocal fan, who, according to Yahoo, wishes to remain anonymous, started a Facebook group to advocate for the statue’s removal. “The people of Celoron have erected this horrible statue of Lucy in her hometown,” the Facebook page reads. “It is a nightmare. We want them to replace it.”

The mayor of Jamestown, which is home to the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy, told the Jamestown Post-Journal that it would cost the city between $8,000 and $10,000 to have Poulin re-cast the statue, and the city refuses to use tax dollars to do so.

“We’d like to work with the original sculptor,” Mayor Scott Schrecengost said, “and wish he would stand behind his work enough to step up and fix it for free.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME animals

Dog Lovers Come to Aid of Stray Mutt Bludgeoned and Left for Dead

Theia was victim of botched "mercy killiing" but is now on the road to recovery

A stray dog in Moses Lake, Wash. overcame incredible odds after being hit by a car, bludgeoned and left for dead—and now well-wishers have paid for much-needed surgery thanks to a crowdfunded campaign.

Theia, a bully breed mix, was believed to be hit in the head and left in a ditch as a “mercy killing” after her car accident, but wandered away hungry and covered in dirt, with injuries to her jaw, legs and sinus cavities. She has been temporarily taken in by Sara Mellado, whose friend posted about the dog on Facebook, and who brought Theia to the veterinary teaching hospital at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman for treatment.

Charlie Powell, the public information officer at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, calls the injuries to her head “very consistent with wounds that we see when people try to humanely euthanize a dog—they will routinely miss the brain and hit the sinuses.” Unable to breathe through her nose, she struggles to keep her mouth open when she puts her head down to sleep and needs surgery to fix her nasal passage.

Mellado started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the surgery that has raised nearly $24,000 as Friday afternoon, more than double the needed amount. Powell says Mellado will donate the excess to the hospital’s Good Samaritan Fund, which paid for the dog’s initial treatment.

Theia will get her operation at WSU on April 21, and if all goes well, she’ll hopefully find a new, loving home after that. Powell says there has been a “tremendous outpouring of people who want to adopt this dog.”

TIME viral

Watch This Snowboarder Get Hit in the Head by a Chairlift Because He Was Using a Selfie Stick

Fail.

A snowboarder in Japan wanted to show off his sweet skills — so, naturally, he took a selfie stick onto the slopes. As the above video shows, though, he wasn’t quite able to pull this off.

Not paying attention, the snowboarder gets clocked squarely in the head by a moving chairlift while trying to snap the perfect selfie. The above video repeats this moment several times and even slows it down so we can truly understand what happened.

This isn’t even a lesson about why you shouldn’t use a selfie stick. It’s mostly just a helpful lesson about paying attention to your surroundings.

Read next: How the Selfie Stick Is Killing the Selfie

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME society

Waitress Tracks Down Customers Who Left $1,300 Behind

Kantessa Smith used Facebook to find them

ABC 9 reports that a Georgia waitress who found an envelope with 13 $100 bills while cleaning tables returned the money to the owners, whom she tracked down via Facebook.

Kantessa Smith, a waitress at Country’s Barbecue in Columbus, Ga., told ABC 9 that she reviewed the restaurant’s security cameras with her manager to find footage of the couple and posted zoomed-in pictures on Facebook, asking followers if they could identify the two.

Sure enough, the post went viral this week, and made its way to the couple, who returned to the restaurant to claim the money.

TIME

France Just Banned Ultra-Thin Models

"Barbareschi Sciok": Italian TV Show
Ernesto Ruscio—Getty Images Isabelle Caro attends the Barbareschi Sciok Italian TV Show at La7 Studios on March 5, 2010 in Rome, Italy.

Using a model who has a BMI under 18 could result in jail time

France has become the latest country to ban excessively skinny models from working in the ultra-chic country’s fashion industry, joining Israel, Spain and Italy.

According to Reuters, the French legislature voted for a bill Friday the declares: “The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor.”

Fashion agencies that are discovered using models with a BMI under 18, which is approximately 121 pounds for a 5 ft., 7 in. model, could face up to six months of jail time and a fine of 75,000 euros ($82,000).

The bill, which requires models to have a medical certificate vouching for what the government deems a healthy BMI, was paired with another recent bill that bans pro-anorexia websites that offer “thinspiration.” The legislation is an attempt to stop the idealization of the dangerously thin and, perhaps, curb anorexia.

The bill is the latest piece of an ongoing effort to try to stamp anorexia out of the fashion industry. In 2007, French fashion model Isabelle Caro posed for a shocking anti-anorexia campaign before succumbing to the disease, dying at 28.

But some are loudly protesting the legislation of “healthy” weight, noting that thinness does not always connote disease.

“When you look at the criteria behind anorexia, you can’t look only at the body mass index when other criteria are also involved: psychological, a history of hair loss, dental problems,” Isabelle Saint-Felix, the head of France’s National Union of Modeling Agencies, told AFP. “It’s important that the models are healthy, but it’s a little simplistic to think there won’t be any more anorexics if we get rid of very thin models.”

Model Lindsey Scott told Cosmopolitan that she was a healthy college athlete whose BMI was under 18 in college—she weighed 108 pounds at 5 ft., 8 in.—but she has also known people with disorders who may have a “so-called healthy” BMI.

“Perhaps they should have doctors check for signs of anorexia and bulimia instead of making assumptions based on weight,” she said. “Having a bunch of tall, thin, pretty, potentially healthy teenagers cram cupcakes for two weeks and fill themselves with fat injections until they’re runway-ready might sound like a great idea for a reality show, but really, is forcing some models into a thicker body type that may not be natural for them the best way to solve a health problem?”

But according to French health minister Marisol Touraine, “This is an important message to young women who see these models as an aesthetic example.”

Read next: How the Average American Man’s Body Compares to Others Around The World

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

Watch The Rock Crush Jimmy Fallon With His Lip-Sync Cover of ‘Shake It Off’

The Rock's got moves

Lip Sync Battle, the Tonight Show sketch turned Spike TV show, premiered last night and featured a thrilling throwdown between Jimmy Fallon and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The Rock, fresh off his fantastic Saturday Night Live hosting gig, opened the show with a spirited take on Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” The Furious 7 star put his massive frame to use while shaking it off to the music and in a move straight out of the WWE taunting playbook, wagging his finger in Fallon’s face.

The best part of the performance might be the realization that there is no way The Rock got this good at this song without engaging in a lot of Taylor Swift car karaoke. Of course he’s not the only celebrity caught singing along to the earworm. (Check out TIME’s list of the six best celebrity covers of “Shake It Off.”)

Round two featured Fallon tackling Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” with a full choir, while Johnson delivered a dazzling, hip-swiveling version of the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive.”

 

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