TIME viral

This 7-Year-Old Black Belt Could Seriously Mess You Up

We do not recommend messing with her

This is Mahiro, and at age 7, she has already earned her black belt in Kanku Dai karate. At first glance, you might think she looks “cute” or “sweet” or “adorable.” But realistically, she could beat up your entire family.

TIME Bizarre

Woman Calls Police Because There Aren’t Enough Sprinkles on Her Ice Cream

It's officially summer

The West Midlands Police in England have released a clip of a woman who called their emergency line 999 to complain about getting an ice cream that did not have enough sprinkles on it. She complains that an ice cream man has “put a bit on one side and none on the other.”

Police in general have been releasing recordings of the most bizarre, blatantly not urgent, phone calls to shed light on the people who are jamming emergency lines — between one about a prostitute not being attractive enough and a rant about undercooked waffles.

TIME apps

Instagram’s New Features Will Turn You Into A Photography Pro

Instagram

The app added 10 features that will give smartphone photographs a more professional look

Instagram added a slew of new editing features Tuesday that go beyond the scope of an ordinary filter, giving photos taken on your humble smartphone a professional veneer.

With a new update, phone photographers will be able to edit their photos to incrementally alter brightness, saturation, contrast, warmth, shadows, sharpness, filter strength, and more.

Instagram’s blog explains the specifics of how to use the tools, which are unlocked when you tap a wrench icon that appears at the point of filter selection.

“All of us [at Instagram] are kind of photo geeks, but we’re trying to bridge the gap between being a photo geek and the rest of the world,” Peter Deng, director of product at Instagram, told Mashable of the new tools, which have been in the works for just under six months. “Instagram’s always been about taking these tools that were previously inaccessible … and making them accessible for free for everyone that uses Instagram.”

TIME Crime

Florida Judge Deals Out Justice With His Fists

Lady Justice will want to keep the blindfold on for this video

It took less than 30 seconds for a public defender and a judge to take a courtroom dispute “out back” and settle the disagreement mano a mano.

Closed-circuit camera footage shows a debate about “docket sounding” escalating into openly stated desires to beat and bludgeon one another. “You know if I had a rock I would throw it at you right now,” Judge John Murphy says to public defender Andrew Weinstock.

“You know what? I’m the public defender, I have a right to be here,” replied Weinstock.

“I said sit down,” the judge says. “If you want to fight let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.”

Moments later the two men walk off screen and presumably out back, where cursing and loud pounding noises can be heard from inside the courtroom. Public Defender Blaise Trettis told Florida Today that Murphy grabbed Weinstock and punched him in the head.

Only the judge returns from the scuffle winded. “I will catch my breath eventually,” he says. Applause from those in the courtroom can be heard.

Public Defender Blaise Trettis told Florida Today “I hope it’s not a reflection on Judge Murphy’s really outstanding legal career,” Trettis said, adding, “If it’s true, you know, I think it’s really an uncharacteristic, isolated incident.”

 

TIME Internet

Behind Creepypasta, the Internet Community That Allegedly Spread a Killer Meme

Two pre-teen girls have been accused of attempting to murder their friend in tribute to a Creepypasta figure called Slender Man

First they were called chain emails, and they were sent by people like your weird aunt who always wore a Big Dog t-shirt.

An online version of physical chain letters, chain emails propagated hoaxes and urban legends by convincing people they would either receive a monetary reward for forwarding the emails, or that they would fall on bad luck if they didn’t. As the web grew, chunks of copy-and-pasted text proliferated outside of emails, on message boards and Usenet groups and social networks, eventually becoming an integral part of the Internet’s history. Now, one viral urban legend kept alive by copy and pasting has allegedly driven two 12-year-olds in Wisconsin to try to kill their friend.

Chain emails in the 1990’s resonated with readers the same way that modern “clickbait” headlines do now: Appeal to a reader’s emotional side, and they’re far more likely to share whatever it is you’re peddling. Tell them something terrible will happen to them if they delete it, or that sharing a feel-good story about a blind dog will make them a better person, and suddenly you have a viral sensation. Chain emails were one of the first vehicles for web virality. And aside from vicious spammers and people who tried to convince you to hand over your bank account information, they were (and are) mostly harmless.

Around 2006, viral copy-and-pasted text was coined “Copypasta” by the online community 4chan, and began splintering into different genres. Copypasta’s most popular genre is Creepypasta, bits of copy-and-pasted text that convey scary stories and unsettling urban legends. Creepypasta writers take popular urban legends—remember the legend of Bloody Mary?—or create entirely new subjects and fashion online stories with the intent to totally freak out the reader. They’re basically short, shareable user-generated ghost stories that can focus on anything from the especially gruesome, like murder and suicide, to the creepy and otherworldly, like aliens and zombies. The most popular hangout for writers of this genre is the Creepypasta Wiki, where they can trade stories and connect with each other.

Creepypasta hit peak popularity with a 2010 New York Times story, but it still lives on. Popular Creepypastas include Ted the Caver, stories about a man spelunking a mystery cave, and Lavender Town Syndrome, a series about a fictional town that tried to cover up mass child suicides. Slender Man, who is arguably the most well-known Creepypasta character, is the reason the two Wisconsin 12-year-olds allegedly attempted to fatally stab their friend: in order to pay tribute to him.

Though Slender Man originated on online forum Something Awful, the majority of tales about him live on the Creepypasta Wiki, where the two girls reportedly discovered him. There are so many that the Wiki no longer accepts new stories about him. And now that Creepypasta has been thrust into the spotlight for horrifying reasons, the owners of Creepypasta.com have released a statement addressing the attempted murder.

In the statement, admin “derpbutt” (yep, that’s the name he uses) says he tried to nudge Slender Man out of the community, but not because he thought it was dangerous:

I’ve been trying to encourage writers here to break out from the serial killers and Slenderman cliches that tend to overrun the Creepypasta fandom, though my motivation was less that I believed Slenderman was harmful (the Jeff the Killer fangirls and spin-offs, I did find somewhat troubling – I’ve mentioned before that I feel romanticizing serial killers is not really something I feel comfortable with promoting via publishing all the Jeff love stories and self-inserts that people tried to submit; the only Jeff spin-off I did let through was one that I felt had a decidedly non-romantic view) but more because I view this website as a place for people to become better writers and readers

A Creepypasta Wiki administrator who goes by the username Sloshedtrain also chimed in with a blog post called “Fiction, Reality, and You.”

“This wiki does not endorse or advocate for killing, worship, and otherwise replication of rituals of fictional works,” Sloshedtrain wrote. “There is a line of between fiction and reality, and it is up to you to realize where the line is. We are a literature site, not a satanic cult.”

TIME Crime

Police: Thieves Steal $15,000 Worth of Legos

Could the popularity of the Lego movie cause an uptick in crimes involving the plastic building blocks? Last month at Toyworld, a massive toy store north of Melbourne, Australia, robbers removed the store’s glass door panes, and went to town

Last month at Toyworld, a massive toy store north of Melbourne, Australia, robbers removed the store’s glass door panes, walked in, removed a CCTV hard drive, and stole $15,000 worth of Lego kits in two separate raids with the help of an escape van, according to police, AAP reports. In the thefts, Legos were the only goods taken—specifically, Lego Technics, the brand’s robotics line, and Lego City toys.

The professionalism of the operation suggests that the theives could be “could be part of a syndicate that are specifically targetting Lego,” according to Australia’s 3AW Radio. In fact, there’s a rash of Lego crime going on, and not just because the Police Building Kit is apparently on a lunch break. Legos are highly portable and easily resold, plus they’re more popular than ever as of late—the Lego Movie has earned over $400 million worldwide.

Either the robbers are capitalizing on a trend for commercial toys to profitably break the law in the Lego black market, or they were just inspired by the movie to create their own version of Legoland. And if it’s the latter, can we really blame them?

TIME celebrity

SNL’s Kate McKinnon Shares the Secret to a Flawless Justin Bieber Impression

File this advice away for the next time you want to go as the Biebs for Halloween

When Kate McKinnon plays Justin Bieber on Saturday Night Live, she somehow manages to simultaneously nail it while also completely overdoing it. The result is always delightful and ridiculous. When she appeared on Conan last night, he decided to ask just how she manages to pull it off.

“What’s the key to inhabiting Justin Bieber?” Conan asks. “How do you become Justin Bieber?”

She ponders this question for a moment, then thoughtfully replies, “It’s looking like a puppy who just piddled and is sort of sorry about it.”

McKinnon has also had the privilege of meeting him in real life, so she’s gotten a chance to absorb his essence. “He’s very beautiful to look at,” the SNL performer says. “He has the swagger of a gang leader with the face of a member of the Sistine Chapel.”

In case you’ve yet to see her Bieber impression, check out this clip about four minutes in:

 

TIME celebrities

Brad Paisley Took a Very Unimpressed Selfie With the Westboro Baptist Church

Members of the extremist church was picketing his concert Sunday

Country singer Brad Paisley is an equal opportunity selfie-taker.

Before a Kansas concert Sunday, the country singer decided to take a picture with members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who happened to be protesting outside. Paisley, 41, posted the image to his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages along with the caption: “Westboro Baptist Selfie!! Or west-Burro(ass) selfie. Hopefully they can hear the show out here. We’ll play loud.”

The photo has almost 238,000 Facebook likes and counting two days later. Many fans have posted messages of support for Paisley and ridicule of the extremist group.

The church wasn’t as sure that Paisley was mocking them:

https://twitter.com/WBCSays/status/473815847740641280

The Westboro Baptist Church has protested other country stars, including Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift.

 

TIME celebrity

Watch Jimmy Fallon and Ricky Gervais Try to Slip “Spanx” and “Squeegee” into Casual Conversation

A very inappropriate Richard Gere joke is the cherry on top

Ricky Gervais dropped by The Tonight Show Monday and was lucky to have the opportunity to play “Word Sneak,” a game that requires players to seamlessly slip in five secret words. The goal is to keep the other player from knowing what your words are, but of course, the game usually just devolves into a fit of giggles. (See: Bryan Cranston playing the same game last month.)

One of the words on Gervais’s list is gerbil, so he references an old urban legend involving Richard Gere and some inappropriate gerbil-related activities. Fallon doesn’t seem to catch this reference, but Questlove sure does.

Anyway, enjoy the cacophony of laughter as Gervais and Fallon hilariously stumble through the conversation.

TIME online

Myspace’s Brilliant New Marketing Strategy: Reminding You How Awkward You Were in Middle School

Courtesy Myspace

Once the most popular social network on earth, Myspace has sunk to new lows to lure you back

Like an obsessive ex who just can’t let go, Myspace is sending emails to people who haven’t logged in since the aughts to remind them of the good old days. And like anyone who pines for the past –the social network had more than 300 million users (70 million of them in the U.S.) in its heydey — Myspace hasn’t forgotten a single moment you spent together.

First of all, it kept your pictures (shudder), all 15 billion of them. Remember that time you and your best friend wore matching Fall Out Boy crop tops and took mirror selfies? So does Myspace. To help refresh your memory, it’s been including a snap or two in emails begging folks to give it one more chance. You’ll have to log back in to get a better look at photos from your ill-spent youth and delete them.

Myspace isn’t just trying to win you back by assaulting you with nostalgia, though. It’s changed and grown too. Really. The site that Rupert Murdoch famously paid $580 million for back in 2005, then dumped in 2011 for a paltry $35 million, is now partly-owned by Justin Timberlake. Claiming the world’s largest digital music library, it feels more like Spotify or Pandora than its one-time rival Facebook.

That’s great and all, but the vintage pics need to go, ASAP.

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