TIME Food & Drink

Chocolate Prices Are Soaring, So Just to Be Safe, Everybody Should Probably Panic

Chocolate Stack
Getty Images

The sweet treat could soon become more of a high-end luxury item

Alright, chocoholics, listen up. (Everyone who just really loves chocolate but would never call themselves “chocoholics” should also listen up.)

Here’s the deal: cocoa prices are surging, which means chocolate is poised to become more of a high-end luxury item, NBC News reports. If costs continue soaring, chocolate could become “like champagne,” says Edward George, head of soft commodities at Ecobank. “Something which is a luxury, but not all of us can afford.”

Last year, prices rose 20 percent, and so far this year, cocoa futures are up 10 percent, largely due to demand from emerging markets. In China, for example, chocolate consumption has tripled over the last four years. We all should have kept quieter about how delicious it is so it could have remained our little secret!

“If prices go up too much (chocolate makers) shift to substitutes and instead of cocoa butter, which gives that melt-in-the-mouth flavor, you can use palm oil, or even cotton seed oil,” George told NBC News.

But, like, no. We would like chocolate to maintain its melt-in-the-mouth qualities but also remain affordable. So if any economists would like to drop their other work and focus on this clearly more pressing issue, that would be great, thanks.

TIME Crime

Couple Steals Car So They Won’t Be Late For Court

Daniel Allan—Getty Images

It didn't go very well

James Manning and Teresa Castillo hit bottom …and then started digging.

The California couple is accused of stealing a car in order to make it to criminal court, where Manning was facing charges of possession of a controlled substance.

According to The Modesto Bee, the police discovered the crime last Friday afternoon, when a car dealership in Redding, California reported that a 2001 Mitsubishi had been stolen from their lot. (Yes, someone stole a 2001 Mitsubushi.) Via the car’s GPS locator, police were able to track the vehicle and surprisingly found it sitting in the Tuolumne County Courthouse parking lot.

Police staked out the vehicle and stopped Castillo when she approached the car. She claimed to have purchased the car for $200 (which is far below the car’s stated Blue Book value) earlier in the day, specifically to make it to Manning’s court appearance in Sonora, CA.

Police tracked down Manning inside the courthouse to corroborate her story, but after questioning, he admitted to having stolen the vehicle. When cops searched the car, they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Castillo and Manning were then booked into Tuolumne County Jail on felony charges of possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.

No word on the outcome of Manning’s initial court appearance or whether he made it there on time.

[Via The Modesto Bee]

MORE: Long-Haired Lady Sues Walmart for Ruining Her Locks

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TIME Science

Science Confirms It: Springtime Is Sexy Time

Getty Images

A scientific study said that human fertility rates are actually impacted by changes in the seasons and weather

Spring is a time of renewal for the Earth—temperatures rising, plants springing forth, the summer ahead. But science says it should also mean a renewal of your sex life.

It’s not just the abundance of all that exposed skin outside; human fertility rates are actually impacted by changes in the seasons and weather, according to scientific study. As Jared Keller writes in Pacific Standard, “the perfect time of year to conceive… is when the sun shines for about 12 hours and the temperature hovers between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.” In other words, right now.

A 2002 study found that there are two seasonal peaks in adolescent sexual activity: the early summertime months and the winter holidays. What’s more, summertime sexy time was more likely to occur between partners who weren’t previously romantically involved.

Slate discovered that those in hotter areas like Miami tend to have more sex than their cold-weather counterparts, though they explain that any pheromones getting released might be denatured by the heat.

We better hurry up and get busy, before it just gets too hot to stay in the same bed as another sweaty human.


A Mrs. Doubtfire Sequel Could Be On the Way, Dear

Mrs. Doubtfire
20th Century Fox

Nothing's official yet, but more than 20 years later, your favorite nanny could return to the big screen


Well, great news everyone. More than 20 years later, Mrs. Doubtfire — the most hilarious and creepy comedy of the 90s — might be getting a sequel.

Fox 2000 is reportedly developing the film, with Chris Columbus returning as the director and Elf writer David Berenbaum handling the script, according to the Hollywood Reporter. And, of course, Robin Williams would star as the ineffable Euphegenia Doubtfire.

A sequel has been rumored in the past, so we don’t know for sure if it will ultimately make it all the way to the big screen this time around. But once Berenbaum was tapped as the scribe earlier this year, the project gained new momentum, according to the Hollywood Reporter. All we know is: if it really happens, we’ll celebrate like this.

Either way, it doesn’t look like Mara Wilson, who played Robin Williams’ youngest daughter, will be in it. She announced on Twitter that she’s simply not interested in being a part of it, but we think it’s really because she’s mad at someone for eating her begonias. That, or she is still recovering after being the victim of a run-by fruiting.

TIME society

How Men And Women Differ When Drawing Up The ‘Perfect Body’

Spoiler alert: They all look like supermodels

In case you needed more fodder for a “depressingly unrealistic body expectations” Pinterest board, lingerie shop Bluebella.com polled 500 men and 500 women to create mashup images illustrating how the sexes differ when it comes to their “perfect body.”

And so began a game of commodifying different celebrities’ body parts to be photoshopped into the super-celebrity body. Here’s the “perfect” woman:


“It’s great to see such a range of ages and shapes,” BlueBella founder Emily Bendell said.

She praised men for picking curvaceous ideals, like Kim Kardashian’s breasts and Michelle Keegan’s “shapely tummy.”

Note: This is how “shapely” is getting defined

Meanwhile, women were progressively throwing out a lifeline to the over-40 crowd. “Who would have thought mother of two in her 40s in Gwyneth Paltrow would come top of the female poll for the best toned tummy?” Bendell asked. “And it is great that in her sixth decade Elle Macpherson is still seen as a style icon by so many women.”

And here is the “perfect” man—one of whom perplexing boasts Harry Styles’ hair:


Totally different.

“What this survey shows,” said Bendell, “is that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.”

TIME viral

Watch the Super Mario Bros. Theme Performed With 48 Wine Glasses, 2 Pencils and a Frying Pan

Game over.

The theme song of the classic arcade game Super Mario Bros. is played using 48 wine glasses, two pencils, and a frying pan in this video produced by Dan Newbie, a computer science student and filmmaker. Sounds like the perfect trick to learn for future dinner parties.

WATCH: Super Mario Bros. Theme Played on Ancient Chinese Instrument

MORE: Parks and Recreation Re-imagined as a Super Mario Bros Game


Joe Biden’s First Selfie Is Just Awesome

Eleven hours after opening the Instagram account @vp, Vice President Joe Biden uploaded a snap featuring President Barack Obama with the caption "Found a friend to join me." He really couldn’t have featured a more prominent guest star

Eleven hours after opening an Instagram account, Vice President Joe Biden uploaded his first selfie.

And what a selfie.

TIME oregon

Long-Haired Lady Sues Walmart for Ruining Her Locks

Lifelong long-haired lady claims a bottle of bad shampoo, "Equate Everyday Clean Dandruff," messed up her mane so bad she had to lop it off. Now she wants $10,000 to make things right

Updated April 17 at 3:49 p.m.

A Portland, Oregon, woman is suing Walmart for $10,000 over a bottle of shampoo she says got her butt-length hair into such a tangled mess she was forced to cut most of it off.

Jennifer Fahey, 30, says she has had waist-length hair since childhood. She claims that within seconds of applying Equate Everyday Clean Dandruff Shampoo to her hair it was so knotted she was forced to cut all but about four inches off.

The lawsuit, which identifies shampoo manufacturer Vi-Jon as a defendant as well, requests $10,000 in compensation for “past, present and future physical and emotional pain and suffering, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment, expenses for replacement hair, along with diminished and lost wages” as well as “loss of life’s pleasure and activities.” The bottle of shampoo, according to The Oregonian, runs about $3.44.

After publication of this story, Walmart said in a statement: “We are sorry to hear about the experience Ms. Fahey has reported, and we are looking into the matter. We have high standards that we’ve set for ourselves and our suppliers, and we are committed to meeting our customers’ expectations.”

[The Oregonian]

TIME Bizarre

The ‘Most Haunted Island’ on Earth Is Now Up for Auction

Poveglia: A Venice Lagoon Island of Sadness and Horror
VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 27: Beds and furniture remain in one of the dormitories in the psychiatric ward of the abandoned Hospital of Poveglia on August 27, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The island of Poveglia, with its ruined hospital and plague burial grounds, is said to be the most haunted location in the world. The area is located within a multi-million dollar piece of real estate but is deserted and off limits to the public. The dark and derelict forbidding shores are only minutes away from the glamour of the Venice Film Festival on the Lido. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images) Marco Secchi—Getty Images

American Horror Story: International Edition

For those who watched American Horror Story and thought, “Gee, it looks like Connie Britton is having a fantastic time, how can I recreate this living experience?”—you’re in luck. To pay off its public debt and appease the European Union’s budgeting guidelines, Italy is auctioning an island off of Venice that just happens to be considered one of the most haunted places on earth! Or as HuffPost puts it, “Like Hell, but in Italy.” Getting driven into madness by ghosts is so much more fun when you get to eat pasta while doing it!

Why should you be afraid of the deserted Venetian island of Poveglia?

For starters, it is deserted. Even though it’s beautiful and incredibly close to Venice, one of the most fannypack and Segway-tour-filled cities in the world. Literally 10 minutes from Saint Marco Square.

Poveglia’s sordid history serves asa good explanation for why no one wants to go there. The 17-acre island became a dumping ground for Europeans dying of the plague. And as the rumors have it, the ghosts of the plagued still haunt the island. Things took a turn for the lighter in 1922 when a hospital for the elderly—thought to be a cover for mental institution—was opened. Cue widely spread rumors of botched lobotomies and a doctor who threw himself to his death from a hospital tower. No doubt a side-effect of getting haunted by the patients he was maiming.

Other fun facts: there’s a local saying that goes “When an evil man dies, he wakes up in Poveglia,” there are rumors that the soil is made 50% out of human ash, and talk that an American TV host was possessed during a recent visit to the island.

Apart from that, though, we’re sure it will make a great spot for a destination getaway.

TIME viral

WATCH: “Rapping Staff Sergeant” Teaches Little Girl How to Take Care of Her New Cast

The most adorable clip you'll watch all day

In a video uploaded by YouTube user Amanda Luhr, a “staff sergeant” appears to be showing a little girl how to take care of the new pink cast on her leg for the next three weeks: “Don’t get the cast wet, don’t stick nothin’ in it ’cause if you did you’re the one who got to deal with it.” We dare you to watch this clip without smiling. (Viral Viral Videos)

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