TIME

The World’s Best Margherita Pizza Comes From Down Under

margherita pizza
Getty Images

No, it doesn't have Vegemite on it

If you’re on a quest to find the best margherita pizza on the planet, don’t bother booking a trip to Italy, which was probably your plan. Instead, get yourself a ticket to Australia.

The results are in from this year’s World Pizza Championship, and the winner is Australian chef Johnny Di Francesco, who owns a restaurant just outside Melbourne. Di Francesco’s family hails from Naples, so at least there’s that. Also, his nickname is apparently “Mr. Pizza,” so you can’t really argue with that.

The competition, held each year in Parma, Italy, defines a margherita pizza as a pie “under 35cm in diameter, cooked in a wood-fired oven and contain only certain ingredients, such as peeled tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt,” according to the Guardian.

Hundreds of pizza-makers from 35 countries entered the championships, but Di Francesco managed to set himself apart. His secret? Italian-imported flour, high-quality buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. That sounds pretty tame, so we assume he’s just unwilling to reveal his real secret.

TIME U.S.

Drone Footage Captures Stunning Aerial Views of New York City

Everything looks so clean from far away

Sometimes the best way to appreciate New York City’s majestic beauty is to take a step back and observe it from afar — or from up high. This aerial footage captured by photographer Randy Scott Slavin, with the help of a drone, lets you explore the city’s busy streets and glittering skyscrapers on a sunny day. It makes you feel like you’re a bird, or like you have a magic carpet or something.

Plus, the city seems so much cleaner and less smelly from this perspective.

(h/t Gizmodo)

TIME Food & Drink

This Billboard for Rabbit Pizza Is Made from Dead Rabbits

A hare-raising stunt

In the walk-up to Easter this weekend, New Zealand pizza chain Hell Pizza, known for its saucy marketing campaigns, has put up a billboard that has stirred controversy among animal rights activists because it is covered in rabbit pelts.

Boasting the tagline “Made from real rabbit. Like this billboard,” the sign advertises a new pie with “smoked wild NZ rabbit, toasted pine nuts, beetroot & horopito relish, cream cheese, rosemary & garnished with fresh spring onions.”

A debate about the appropriateness of the ad is unfolding on Hell Pizza’s Facebook page, where critics say the sign represents animal cruelty and poor taste in general, with the New Zealand Vegetarian Society calling the sign “deplorable”, while another commenter added, “Excuse me but Easter is a celebration of life. Please explain how your billboard and new pizza shows this?”

The chain posted this clarification on Facebook, defending the billboard’s material by arguing that rabbits are “pests”:

The rabbit pizza ad is Hell Pizza’s latest provocative marketing stunt. In the past, the company has mailed out condoms as part of a promotion for its “Lust” pizza and bought a man’s soul.

TIME viral

Here’s Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Singing Pitbull and Ke$ha’s “Timber”

Well, kind of

Hey look, President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton covered “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha! Well, not really, but kind of.

YouTube channel Baracksdubs carefully spliced together clips from the politicians’ past speeches to make it sound like they sang the catchy tune. It’s pretty entertaining, and it really makes you think. In particular, it makes you think about when Obama has said the word “booty” in a speech.

Also, Hillz and B-Rock have almost as much musical chemistry and Pitbull and Ke$ha! Almost.

TIME World

This Is the World’s Most Homoerotic Stamp

Itella Posti

The stamp will be released by Finland's post office later this year

The Finnish postal service revealed 33 new stamp designs this week, and tucked among the winter scenes and autumnal gardens is this: a man’s bare behind, lifted from a design drawn by one of the country’s most prominent illustrators, Touko Laaksonen, known as “Tom of Finland.”

The stamps, which will debut in September, feature three of Laaksonen’s drawings bearing his trademark leather-bound muscle men. The images embody the “confident and proud homoeroticism” of Laaksonen’s work, according to Itella Posti. “The sheet portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself,” Timo Berry, a graphic designer who helped select the art, said in a statement. “There is never too much of that in this northern country.”

The U.S. Postal Service recently said that it will release a new stamp to honor Harvey Milk, the gay rights activist assassinated in San Francisco in the late-1970s. The stamp, which has yet to be revealed, will be dedicated at the White House in late-May. That will make Milk the first openly gay figure on an American stamp.

TIME Crime

Remember Not To Pee On The Alamo

Daniel Athens, 23, was sentenced to 18 months in jail Monday for relieving himself on the limestone facade of the Alamo shrine

A Texas man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for urinating on the Alamo shrine in 2012.

Daniel Athens, 23, is not eligible for parole, and will serve the entirety of this sentence as well as pay $4,000 in restitution, The Smoking Gun reports.

According to the police report, an Alamo Ranger saw Athens in an off-limits area making “the motions of putting his penis back in his pants.” The ranger then discovered a “puddle” on the 25o-year-old shrine.

Athens could have faced up to two years in prison. According to the report, urine can damage the limestone on the landmark.

[The Smoking Gun]

TIME society

This Interactive Map Shows The Most Popular Music in America

The latest data visualization of Americans’ music preferences is a heat map that plays different types of music as it shows which parts of the country like particular genres the most.

The rock and oldies, blues, folk, rock, punk, metal and rap & hip-hop genres seem to have the most universal appeal, according to “The All-American Music Map”, which is based on data from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis through the Martin Prosperity Institute, and state level music preferences from Wikipedia. There’s a full breakdown of city preferences on the website for Movoto, a national online real estate brokerage firm in the Bay Area.

TIME animals

Police Respond to Emergency Call from ‘Heavy Breather’ Who Ends Up Being a Dog

Dog phone
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The canine stole his owner's phone and managed to dial 999

When authorities in Buckinghamshire, England, received a mysterious 999 call from a heavy breather, they arrived at the scene expecting an emergency, since that’s usually how things work.

But there was no emergency, and the heavy-breathing caller turned out to be a dog who’d stolen his owner’s phone, the BBC reports.

“Thames Valley Police arrived and said they’d heard heavy breathing and didn’t know what our emergency was,” said the pooch’s owner, Mary Amos-Cole.

Apparently, police already knew the dog — a two-year-old Belgian Malinois named Leighton — because he has set off Amos-Cole’s burglar alarm several times by tearing around the house. So clearly he has a crush on one (or several) of the police officers and keeps doing things to try and get them to come around more often.

TIME Music

Watch Oprah Make Pharrell Williams Cry

He's still "Happy"

While Pharrell Williams may be known for being happy, Oprah Winfrey made him cry.

The frequently-hatted singer stopped by Oprah Prime for a heart-to-heart chat with the talk show host. The wide-ranging conversation between the two celebrities covered everything from Williams’s humble beginnings to his career trajectory that kept him behind-the-scenes for so long to marriage and fatherhood, including why he named his son Rocket.

But the waterworks didn’t start until Oprah questioned Williams about his big year in music: 2013, a.k.a. the Year of Pharrell when “Lucky” (his collaboration with Daft Punk), “Blurred Lines” (his song with Robyn Thicke), and his own debut solo album, Girls, all topped the charts and made Williams a superstar.

When Oprah showed a clip of people around the world, from Iceland to Malawi, dancing to his hit song “Happy”, Williams burst into tears. They may be tears of joy, but still: Oprah definitely made Pharrell Williams cry.

MORE: Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams Star In Video For “It’s On Again”

MORE: Watch an Adorable Children’s Choir Perform Pharrell’s ‘Happy’

MORE: Should Pharrell Williams be on the 2014 Time 100?

TIME Internet

Here’s How You Can Hide Those Annoying TV Spoilers on Social Media

Social Media Site Twitter Debuts On The New York Stock Exchange
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You no longer have to stress about being a few episodes behind on 'Game of Thrones'

You know that panicky feeling you get when you log onto Twitter or Facebook when you’re an episode behind on one of your favorite TV shows? When you just know somebody is going to be a life ruiner by revealing a major Game of Thrones or Scandal plot point?

Well, thanks to this handy Google Chrome extension called Silencer, you can banish those spoilers from your Twitter and Facebook feeds. It’s simple: once you install it, you type in any keywords that you don’t want to see mentioned. So it’s great if you want to avoid any TV-related status updates, but really, it can be used for anything. Let’s say you don’t want to read any updates about your Facebook friends’ engagements. You can type in things like “engagement” and “He put a ring on it!” and “She said yes!” and “I get to marry my best friend!” so any status updates containing any of these phrases will vanish.

Silencer also offers “Mute Packs” for popular shows like True Blood and Orange Is the New Black so you can automatically filter out any terms related to those programs.

The extension only works for Twitter and Facebook, so you still have to watch out for spoilers on Instagram or Tumblr or, you know, real-life conversations. Luckily, though, you can always avoid those real-life spoilers by simply never talking to anyone, ever.

(h/t Wired)

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