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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.

TIME Meme

The Origins of Slender Man, the Meme That Allegedly Drove 12-Year-Olds to Kill

Enthusiasts Enjoy Comic Con As It Opens In London
Yasmin Ouard poses as Slenderman from the series Mobile Hornets ahead of the MCM London Comic Con Expo Dan Kitwood—Getty Images

The mythology behind the meme that allegedly inspired two 12-year-old girls to attempt murder

A pair of 12-year-old girls allegedly tried to stab their friend to death Saturday, apparently to prove their loyalty to an Internet urban legend known as “Slender Man.” Following Monday’s initial court proceedings, in which one of the accusers conceded her actions were “probably wrong,” many people have been left wondering about the Internet meme that led two girls to attempt to kill their friend.

Slender Man is an urban legend who was born and bred on the Internet. The thin and faceless figure was first created by Eric Knudsen — better known by his online persona Victor Surge — in 2009, according to web culture database Know Your Meme. Knudsen concocted the character as part of a “paranormal pictures” photoshop contest hosted on The Something Awful forums.

Knudsen and others who embraced the Slender Man mythology crafted it as a mysterious, suited creature with a lanky form, tentacle arms, and propensity to stalk and torment seemingly random children. Slender Man’s victims are often portrayed as being plagued by a “Slender sickness”—resulting in paranoia, nosebleeds, and nightmares—before taken to the woods to be murdered.

The Slender Man stories proliferate on various online forums. Slender Man is the subject of alternate reality games, wiki pages and numerous Slenderblogs. There’s also a series of YouTube videos that follow the Slender Man myth in Blair Witch-esque short films. The channel has 379,000 subscribers; the videos been viewed more than 73.5 million times. The legend has even inspired fan art and cosplay:

The two accused pre-teens told police that they felt as if they had to “kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him,” the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports. While one of the girls was surprised by the suggestion to kill, she was also “excited to prove skeptics wrong and show that Slender Man really did exist.”

The girls apparently found Slender Man lore on CreepyPasta, a site which encourages readers to spread creepy stories. CreepyPasta gave its condolences to the families in a statement Tuesday morning, but it argued that “most people don’t watch Hannibal and turn into serial killers.”

TIME fashion

These Are the World’s Oldest Pants

German Archaeological Institute

5,000 years old and still in fashion.

Jeans may have been invented in 1873, but these trousers beat that date by a long shot. A pair of wool pants was recently discovered in a graveyard in western China’s Tarim Basin dating back to around 3,300 years ago. They’re the oldest pants archaeologists have ever found—though they look like they might fit in quite well at Anthropology.

The ancient pants were created for horse-riding, and it shows in the design. They feature straight fitting legs (no bell-bottom here) and a wide crotch with a sewn reinforcement, plus elegant bands of patterned decoration. Rather than the modern method of cutting down large pieces of fabric, the early pants were woven on a loom in precisely-sized segments to form the final garment, like nomad couture.

The find “supports the idea that trousers were invented for horse riding by mobile pastoralists,” University of Pennsylvania China expert Victor Mair tells Science News. So if pants were invented to ride horses in China 5,000 years ago, what excuse do we have for creating crop-tops?

TIME celebrity

Scrubs Besties Donald Faison and Zach Braff Reunited This Week And Sang “Guy Love”

Then afterwards they rode off into the sunset on their scooters

Some people will probably argue that Zach Braff’s new film Wish I Was Here is only worth seeing for the reunion of one of TV’s greatest best friend duos, J.D. and Turk (Zach Brach and Donald Faison) from Scrubs.

Those people might be right. At a screening in Austin this week, Braff decided to bring along Faison, who co-stars in Wish I Was Here and who’s been his bestie ever since their Scrubs days.

First, they took a selfie:

Reunited and it feels so good. #austin #wishiwashere

A photo posted by Zach Braff (@zachbraff) on

Then they treated the crowd to a spirited rendition of “Guy Love,” a song from the sixth season of Scrubs which is obviously all about their beautiful bromance:

For reference, here’s the original:

Chocolate Bear and Vanilla Bear, together forever.

(h/t BuzzFeed)

TIME Crime

‘Slender Man’ Internet Meme Inspires Two 12-Year-Olds To Attempt Murder

The two girls are accused of luring their friend into the woods and stabbing her 19 times, to prove their loyalty to a fictional character made popular by an online urban legends forum

Two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wis. were charged as adults Monday for the attempted first-degree intentional homicide of another 12-year-old. Police say the crime was inspired by the horror mythology of Slender Man, an urban legend that gained wings as an online meme.

The victim, also 12, was found Saturday collapsed on the sidewalk, suffering from 19 stab wounds, after she had managed to crawl out of the woods. She had been invited to one of the accused killer’s house under the guise of a birthday sleepover. According to police, however, the attackers had been planning her murder for months as a tribute to the fictional character Slender Man.

The victim was rushed to the hospital when found and was in serious but stable condition Monday.

The pre-teens discovered Slender Man on urban legend wiki Creepypasta. The character has inspired art, a YouTube mockumentary, cosplay, and an alternate reality game.

According to online mythology, Slender Man is a tall, faceless, figure who stalks, abducts, and psychologically terrorizes people—particularly children. One of the girls allegedly told police that they believed they were acting as Slender Man’s “proxies” by killing their friend to prove their loyalty. They were then planning to run to what they believed was Slender Man’s nearby mansion.

“It was weird that I didn’t feel remorse,” one of the girls reportedly told police.

According to Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, if the girls are moved to juvenile court, the maximum penalty would be incarceration until 25 years of age.

[Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel]

TIME Crime

Serial Dine And Dasher Gets 5-Year Sentence For Faking Seizures To Get Out Of Paying Bill

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Handcuffs Getty Images

It's finally time to pay the tab

Andrew Palmer was really good at his hobby. Unfortunately, his hobby was faking seizures to get out of paying his tab at Baltimore’s finest dining establishments.

It was a crime that Palmer committed again and again, year after year, earning himself quite a reputation around town, eventually becoming known by police and paramedics. Once people caught on to his scheme —restaurants started posting his picture on their walls — he was arrested multiple times. However, Palmer was wily and made sure that the bills he wracked up were never over $100. The maximum sentence for crimes under that cut-off is 90 days, For some reason, that was a price Palmer was willing to pay, again and again. According to the Baltimore City Paper, since 1985, Palmer has been arrested more than 80 times, and convicted more than 40, but he kept on dining and dashing. “I said, ‘We have to get this guy more than 90 days. That just doesn’t faze him,'” Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Richman told the Baltimore Sun.

His long crime spree may have finally drawn to a close on Friday, though, when District Judge Theodore B. Oshrine handed down a five year sentence for his latest caper, where he was charged with leaving an unpaid $89 bill on the table at a restaurant last fall. Palmer received the sentence of five years when prosecutors successfully argued that while his crime was under $100, it was also under $1,000. By designating the crime as “under $1,000″, the judge was able to dole out a stiffer penalty. Public defenders are appealing the verdict.

Palmer was sentenced to 5 years in prison, plus a five-year suspended sentence that will kick in if he repeats his bad behavior during his three year probation period.

[Via Baltimore Sun]

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TIME Crime

Man Arrested For Throwing Cheeseburger At Pregnant Woman

Bloomberg / Getty Images

And he's not the first

A Florida man turned himself in to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announcing, “I have problems.” The man has problems, and no cheeseburger is one. Anger management is another.

23-year old Taylor Allen Stephens was arrested for throwing a cheeseburger into the face of a pregnant family member and then shoving her to the ground during an argument on May 23rd. He fled the scene after the incident, but eventually returned to face the consequences of his crime.

Stephens turned himself into the police where he was charged with aggravated battery against the woman, after a witness corroborated the victim’s account.

This is not the first time that a Florida man has assaulted a woman with a cheeseburger. In 2008, a man was charged with domestic violence for shoving his cheeseburger into his girlfriend’s face. In 2011, another Florida man was charged with a misdemeanor for throwing a cheeseburger at a car in a McDonald’s drive thru. Police found a “large spot of ketchup measuring 6 inches by 6 inches on the side of the victim’s vehicle and cheeseburger pieces on the hood” that could be traced back to the culprit.

[Via NWFDailyNews.com]

MORE: Man Arrested for Attacking Wife with Sandwich

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TIME

New Mexico Forecast: 100% Chance Of A Grasshopper Storm

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Weathered and rusted thumbs down sign post Getty Images

Nope

If you live in New Mexico, you may want to invest in a serious umbrella. Or consider moving to another state.

A few nights ago, the National Weather Service noticed a mysterious mass moving around on the radar around Albuquerque, NM. It looked like rain, but it wasn’t raining. They thought their equipment was on the fritz and even called in a repairman, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The strange masses were detected for four straight nights about 1,000 feet over Albuquerque, according to the National Weather Service, but it wasn’t an equipment malfunction. Nor was it a UFO nor a Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs flying cheeseburger situation. Turns out, it was the stuff of nightmares: a giant swarm of grasshoppers.

Chuck Jones, a local meteorologist, went hiking in West Mesa, New Mexico, where the radar clusters first appeared. “As soon as you walk toward the first volcano out there, there’s tens of thousands of them,” Jones told the Albuquerque Journal. “You can hardly take a step without being concerned about crushing them.”

The apocalyptic swarm may have missed their chance to make this year’s Passover holiday that much more realistic, but they have been making a steady appearance in Albuquerque for the last few nights and wreaking havoc on residents’ gardens. According to the AP, last year’s monsoon season paired with a relatively dry winter created the ideal environment for the grasshoppers to multiply, hatch and populate our nightmares.

While grasshopper storms are horrifyingly Biblical, they still have nothing on this mosquito tornado photographed in Portugal.

[Via The Oregonian]

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TIME Crime

Thieves Nab 13,000 Diapers From North Carolina Non-Profit

The diapers, collected by the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, were set to be delivered to needy families in the Durham area

A rash of diaper thefts swept through North Carolina over the weekend.

Like a scene straight out of Raising Arizona, 10,000 and 13,000 diapers were stolen from the Durham-based Diaper Bank of North Carolina, a charitable organization that provides diapers to needy families, the non-profit’s statement Facebook page reported Monday.

“That is a full week’s supply for hundreds of babies in our community!” the Facebook post says.

The organization’s founder and executive director Michelle Old discovered that diapers were missing when she went to pick up a delivery that had been prepared for a local homeless shelter. Old told the Associated Press that the bulk of the missing diapers were in sizes four and five.

“We already struggle and usually are low on those [sizes], but they completely took every diaper,” Old said.

A church group met at the Diaper Bank on Saturday and helped wrap over 6,000 diaper packages for delivery, Old told the AP. At that point, she said, all the shelves were full.

“A couple of people, since hearing about this, have contacted us and say they have been approached in the downtown area with people selling our diapers. Our tags are still on them,” she said.

The Diaper Bank is currently asking for donations of either cash or diapers to replace the missing goods. The organization, which launched in 2013, has covered some “112,133 bottoms” with diapers over the past 11 month, according to a counter on its website.

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