TIME Food & Drink

An Answer to the Question You’ve Been Too Afraid to Ask: What the Heck Is Gluten?

Plus: is being gluten-free really that good for you?

If you had a quarter for every time you heard someone talking about gluten lately, you’d probably have enough money to buy yourself an entire gluten-free pizza or something.

Clearly gluten — and talking about gluten and debating the merits of a gluten and then talking about gluten some more — is the cool thing right now, so if you don’t actually know what the heck gluten is, you’ve probably been too embarrassed to ask. But don’t worry! The folks of AsapSCIENCE have created this handy explainer video to break it all down, beginning with what gluten is and why some people aren’t eating it.

Spoiler alert: if you don’t have Celiac disease and you don’t suffer from symptoms like cramps or diarrhea after eating gluten, there’s no real health benefit to going gluten-free. In fact, there are even some risks to cutting it out. We can only assume that the fad will eventually fade out, leaving the gluten-free life to those who actually need to be living it.

TIME viral

Watch the Boy Whose Cat Saved Him From a Vicious Dog Adorably Reflect On the Incident

"She's a hero!"

Yesterday we shared a video of a valiant cat effectively saving a little boy’s life by intervening when a dog attacked him in his driveway in Bakersfield, California.

Now, we invite you to enjoy this interview with the boy, Jeremy Triantafilo. Though the four-year-old handles the attention with aplomb, he mostly seems like he just wants to chill out with his cat, who he deems “a hero.

TIME Fast Food

Your Chipotle Burrito Will Now Come With a Side of Literature


Want a dollop of self-examination with your burrito bowl?

Eating at Chipotle solo is an experience many of us share. Even Jonathan Safran Foer—the acclaimed novelist of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—does it. The vegetarian author was sitting down at a Chipotle one day when he realized that he didn’t bring any reading material with him, nor did he have a smartphone. So he decided to fix that problem by putting his own writing on the restaurant tableware.

Well, his own writing, plus stories from literary lights like Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and Michael Lewis. “I bet a shitload of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences,” Safran-Foer wrote to Chipotle’s CEO Steve Ells. “They could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text.” Hence the fiction and non-fiction tales being printed on Chipotle cups and bags. Rather than proselytizing for carnitas burritos, which he doesn’t consume, “What interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing,” the novelist told Vanity Fair.

Safran-Foer writes a “Two-Minute Personality Test” that prompts the burrito-eater with a series of evocative and rather uncomfortable questions (that you might not want to think about while eating). Toni Morrison contributes a writerly romance described in a prose poem. Michael Lewis writes about our experience of time (as he and the reader eat a burrito, presumably).

Reading while eating is great and all, but it has to be the right kind of literature for the food. Magazine articles—great. Postmodern flash fiction experiments? Probably not so much. Grapes of Wrath doesn’t describe a snack, after all.


Offensive Advertisement Uses Bloody Images of Malala Yousafzai to Sell Mattresses

Free The Children Hosts Debut UK Global Youth Empowerment Event, We Day At Wembley Arena
Malala Yousafzai attends as Free The Children hosts their debut UK global youth empowerment event, We Day at Wembley Arena on March 7, 2014 in London, England. Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather has apologized for the incident

Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist who rose to prominence after the Taliban shot her in the head in 2012, has become an international symbol. Previously, though, the teen’s name and visage had been used to represent education, women’s rights and bravery. Now, she has been used in an attempt to sell mattresses.

Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather created an illustration for Indian mattress company Kurl-On, featuring a sequence of cartoon images depicting Malala getting shot in the face point-blank then tumbling downward onto a mattress. “Bounce Back,” the advertisement’s text says.

The ad, which has not run in any paid media, understandably sparked ire as it began to spread across the web. In the meantime, Ogilvy & Mather has apologized for it.

“We deeply regret this incident and want to apologize to Malala Yousafzai and her family,” Rachel Ufer, a senior partner and spokeswoman for Ogilvy, said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “We are investigating how our standards were compromised in this case and will take whatever corrective action is necessary.”

The poster was part of a series of related advertisements which also featured Mahatma Gandhi and Steve Jobs, but the one depicting Yousafzai attracted the most attention.

We’ve reached out to Kurl-On for comment and will update when we hear back.

TIME celebrity

Lance Bass Recreates That Singing Fish Everybody Used to Have On Their Mantel

Sure, Lance. You do you

Last night, Lance Bass paid a visit to the Tonight Show to help carry out a viewer’s suggestion that Jimmy Fallon have somebody come on the show to recreate Big Mouth Billy Bass. You know, that electronic fish that everyone had up on their walls and mantels in the late ’90s for some reason.

We can only assume that when Fallon first received their request, he spent hours crafting an algorithm to determine who’d be the best person for this very important job. Then, he probably realized that Lance Bass was the obvious choice because his name is already Bass, plus he is comfortable with singing (because of his ‘N Sync days) and being up high (because of his astronaut days).

And so Lance Bass very gamely took on the challenge, flopping around on a mantel on national television. He did a respectable job — but good enough to ward off burglars? Maybe not quite.


TIME Internet

This Website Will Give You Your Fortune in Emoji


Can someone please begin manufacturing these?

Sometimes, emojis can express for us what words simply cannot. This usually applies to text messages, but now, it also applies to fortune cookies, which somehow makes perfect sense.

Coder Luke Karrys created a little emoji-fortune generator, because why not? Each fortune comes with a textual explanation, but you should definitely feel free to interpret your fortune as you see fit.

Once you get your fortune, you can either share it on Twitter or keep going until you get one that truly speaks to you. But really, they should all speak to you. For example:


Yeah, now that you mention it, I should definitely be repeating more expressionless saxophones.

TIME World

PHOTO: Pope Floats

Pope Francis Balloon
A balloon flies past Pope Francis during his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 14, 2014. Tiziana Fabi—AFP/Getty Images

A wayward balloon got between the Pope and a photographer today

A pink balloon managed to get right in-between Pope Francis and a photographer at St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, setting up this perfectly-timed shot.

TIME NextDraft

The Genetically Modified Foods Debate and Other Fascinating News on the Web

May 14, 2014


1. The Mod Squad

The debate over the labeling of genetically modified foods affects a lot of people, and a lot of food — about 60-70 percent of processed foods contain GMOs. People on one side of the debate want labels on foods and argue that they have a right to information. People (and corporations) on the other side argue that their position is supported by science, and that labels would imply that people should be worried when there’s no cause for concern. As Molly Ball explains in her very interesting piece in The Atlantic: “Both of these lines may be true as far as it goes; what the debate comes down to is politics.” was being made with cow’s milk.

2. Live Like a Refugee

The number of people who have been forced from their homes due to violence has hit its highest number in 20 years. In Syria, 9,500 people are forced from their homes every day. And in Nigeria, 3.3 million have fled their homes (due in large part to Boko Haram).

+ Syrian children were given cameras to show what life in the world’s second largest refugee camp looks like.

3. Disaster in a Coal Mine

“This was not an accident, it happened because not enough is ever done to protect workers … The government is complicit in these deaths, in our tragedy.” As the Turkey mine disaster’s death toll rises, there is an increasing level of anger and violence on the streets.

4. A PhD in STFU

In the past five years, there has been a surge in the number of graduation speakers who have been protested, withdrawn their names, or had their invitations revoked. It can make sense to disagree with the politics of a speaker. But does it make sense to shut that speaker up? The Internet was supposed to herald in an era of unfettered discourse and free speech. But it seems like this is becoming the era of silencing those with opposing opinions.

+ Smith College President Kathleen McCartney: “I want to underscore this fact: An invitation to speak at a commencement is not an endorsement of all views or policies of an individual or the institution she or he leads…I remain committed to leading a college where differing views can be heard and debated with respect.” That was in response to her school’s commencement speaker dropping out.

5. History’s Most Consistent Storyline

A new global survey resulted in some very disturbing numbers when it comes to the worldwide levels of antisemitism. (The numbers are even worse for Muslims.) An amazing number of people were unaware of the Holocaust — “66% had either not heard of it or didn’t believe the historical accounts were accurate.”

6. War Games?

“The catalog of the walking dead also includes zombies that come from outer space; those deliberately created by Frankensteinian bio-engineers; and humans that have been invaded by a pathogen that turns them into zombies.” FP with an unusual exclusive: and the troubling implications of the EU’s new right to be forgotten. Europeans want the right to be forgotten online and most Americans freak out if they’re forgotten for five minutes.

+ “Could your town’s mayor spark a police investigation into your activities that ends with town cops rifling through your mobile phone, your laptop, and the full contents of your Gmail account—all over an alleged misdemeanor based on something you wrote on social media.” Pretty much. Ars Technica: How a mayor’s quest to unmask a foul-mouthed Twitter user blew up in his face.

8. The Ocarina of Time(clock)

Videogame producers utilize music to keep you engaged, increase your achievement, and give you the energy to make it to the next level. So maybe you just found your ideal work soundtrack. (Up until now, this newsletter was being typed to the tunes of Zelda. I’m kicking it up to Call of Duty for the next few items.)

+ Aside from being entertained by the brothels and beheadings, how does George R.R. Martin stay focused when he’s writing Game of Thrones? “I actually have two computers: I have the computer that I browse the Internet with that I get my email on, that I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine not connected to the Internet.”

9. A Piece on Shit

“The mechanics of the disease are still not well understood. Some experts believe that fecal matter leaks out of your colon and travels through your lymphatic system into your writing. Others think it’s figurative. But those distinctions matter little when you are looking at a page of your own writing and seeing shit.” Andy Bobrow explains how writing for the TV show Community cured him. “Five years ago, shortly after my beautiful daughter’s third birthday, I was diagnosed with advanced SWS – Shit Writing Syndrome.”

10. The Bottom of the News

A cat in Bakersfield may have saved a kid’s life when it chased away a
vicious dog
. And in doing so, the cat reminded us once again why the Internet was invented.

+ Whatever happened to roller skating?

+ Eighteen ways to say awesome.

TIME Internet

Kim Jong Un Takes on the Capitalists in New Video Game

With additional assistance from the North Korean leader's best friend, Dennis Rodman

Other video games let you experience life as a cat, but now you can pretend to be a dictator.

Atlanta-based Moneyhorse Games created a side-scrolling video game that will be available soon for PCs and mobile devices. It features North Korea’s Kim Jong Un gallivanting through forests on unicorn and dashing through the streets of Pyongyang, battling U.S. paratroopers and eventually setting fire to an American flag.

Oh, and of course, Kim Jong Un’s noted bestie Dennis Rodman will be involved.

As the Guardian points out, this game — simply titled “Glorious Leader!” — could trivialize the very serious accusations against the dictator’s regime and the many perceived problems within the secluded nation. Moneyhorse Games CEO Jeff Miller told the Guardian that the company hopes to “carefully walk the line of satire without being an apologist for the regime.”

(h/t The Daily Dot)

TIME animals

Las Vegas Police Track Down Escaped Large, Predatory Cat

A large cat was out of its cage and on the prowl for chickens in a Las Vegas residential neighborhood Wednesday morning

Who let the cats out?

A large predatory cat escaped from its cage in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning, running loose in a residential neighborhood and sending local police on a cat hunt.

The cat, reported to be either an Ocelot or an Africa Serval, was tracked down and put back in its cage, the local ABC affiliate reports. But not before it jumped into a nearby woman’s yard and killed one of her chickens.

An African Serval can stand as tall as 3 ft. and weigh 40 lb.0, and an Ocelot is usually between 10 and 18 inches, weighing up to 40 pounds. No details were given about the cat’s owner, or why the feline wanted to bust loose so badly.


Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser