TIME viral

Watch Jordan Journalists Get into a Huge Brawl and Flip a Table on Live TV

They had a disagreement about the civil war in Syria.

AP Photo/Seven Stars Television via AP video

Two journalists in Jordan got into a heated discussion of the ongoing civil war in Syria Tuesday, flipping over and tearing apart the table in the studio. The Associated Press reports that it all started when Mohammad al-Jayousi “accused” Shaker al-Johari “of supporting the Syrian rebels” and al-Johari “accused” al-Jayousi “of taking money for supporting Assad.”

Here is how the brawl played out on the satellite TV talk show Seven Stars, per video uploaded to YouTube by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI):

(video h/t JPost.com)

TIME celebrities

Mariah Carey Mariah-fies David Letterman

"Me. I am Dave. The Magnificent Crooner."

Mariah Carey visited the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday and tried to show the host how to “Mariah-fy” his name, using TIME’s Mariah Carey Album Title Generator.

Unfortunately, the singer had a little bit of trouble, losing the link, but she told Letterman his album title: “The Magnificent Crooner.”

TIME Videos

Watch Gluten-Free People Struggle To Explain What Gluten Is

Jimmy Kimmel asks people in L.A.: what is gluten?

Back in January, Girl Scouts of America announced that in addition to Samoas, Tagalongs and Thin Mints, they were going to offer gluten-free cookies to customers. It is part of a nationwide dietary trend to avoid gluten and foods that traditionally contain gluten like wheat bread, cookies, and pasta.

While some people need to avoid gluten for medical reasons (celiac disease, wheat allergies, etc.), others choose to do so for other health or fitness reasons. TIME labeled the gluten-free movement #2 on its top 10 list of food trends back in 2012 and, as the trend continues, restaurants and food manufacturers are eager to cash in by offering alternatives to gluten-based products. Even Dunkin Donuts — the cathedral for those of us who choose to worship the holy trinity of fat, sugar and gluten — is offering gluten-free baked goods.

But what exactly is gluten?

Hoping to answer that question, Jimmy Kimmel sent a camera crew to a park in Los Angeles to ask people who admit to choosing a gluten-free diet to ask: “What is gluten?”

MORE: NextDraft: How The FDA Defines Gluten-Free and Other Fascinating News on the Web

MORE: Can Frozen Food Companies Make TV Dinners Cool Again?

TIME animals

France Is Spending 3 Million Euros to Save These Hamsters

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Getty Images

These guys are adorable AND symbolic

The French pride themselves on their superior cultural life, the je ne sais quoi that’s kept them synonymous with glamour, effortlessness and savoir-faire. That ineffable French-ness extends to all citizens, including, of course, Europe’s last wild hamster—alternately known as the European hamster or the Great Hamster of Alsace.

Alsace’s regional authorities have launched a program to save the little rodents from extinction, pledging 3 million euros to encourage farmers to grow alfalfa (which the hamsters apparently have a very strong preference for), and thereby encourage reproduction.

This isn’t the first time the government’s had to step in to save the species: In 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled that France hadn’t done enough to protect the Great Hamster, threatening to impose fines of up to $24.6 million if France didn’t adjust its agriculture and urbanization policies.

Naturally, the hamster’s cause is symbolic of a larger struggle. As The Guardian wrote in 2011, “the humble hamster has come to symbolise the battle against urban sprawl and monocropped maize, which now occupies more than 80% of the Alsace plain.” All this for a 10-inch ball of fur that hibernates 6 months out of the year and spends the majority of its life alone. But they’re so cute!

TIME

Rooster Attack Leads to $20,000 Settlement on Long Island

The family of a girl who was injured by the bird on a trip to the petting zoo brought the suit.

A Long Island town agreed to a $20,000 settlement with the family of a girl who was injured by a rooster at a petting zoo in town, CBS New York reports via Newsday.

Kaylie Weiss received lacerations on her face from a rooster at the petting zoo in Smithtown’s Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve in 2011.

A judge still needs to sign off on the settle, which was approved by the Smithtown Town Board Tuesday night.

[CBS New York]

TIME viral

Dear Abby Finally Addresses the Nation’s Twerking Epidemic

MTV EMA's 2013 - Show
An alternative view during the MTV EMA's 2013 at the Ziggo Dome on November 10, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Gareth Cattermole—Getty Images for MTV

Abby, you're probably getting trolled and we don't even care

In an era of advice columns tackling tough questions from people who fantasize about “group sex with old, obsese men,” it’s nice to see that Dear Abby has stayed relevant.

In her latest bit of advice to a (probably trolling) reader, our dearest of Abby’s clarified that no, twerking isn’t a dangerous drug. Instead, it is merely a dance fad.

A “Troubled Mom,” with enough internet savvy to email Abby but not enough to Google, wrote:

DEAR ABBY: I’m the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about “twerking.” I have never heard of it and now I’m worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to “tripping,” “getting high” or “catfishing”?

My 17-year-old is supposed to go to Princeton next year on a sports scholarship, and I’m afraid “twerking” will derail him from his charted path. Thank you for any advice you may have. — TROUBLED MOM IN CONNECTICUT

As Deadspin pointed out, apart from the catfishing reference, the biggest giveaway that this letter is probably a lie was the fact that Princeton doesn’t give sports scholarships.

Still, Abby gave the questioner a very sincere response about how, “The ‘twerking’ your son was referring to is a dance move recently made famous by Miley Cyrus — in which the dancer (usually female) gyrates in a provocative, semi-squatting position that involves thrusting hip movements.”

Thanks, girl.

TIME Science

Watch This Spider Cartwheel His Way Across the Desert

This lil' dude is more athletic than you

Arachnophobic? Don’t watch this video.

German scientist Ingo Rechenberg discovered a new, acrobatic species of huntsman spider in the Erg Chebbi region of Morocco, according to a recent study authored by biologist and spider expert Peter Jäger. When threatened, the little arachnid (Cebrennus rechenbergi) actually flips itself out of harm’s way, earning itself the name “the flic-flac spider”. Though not strictly a biologist himself, Rechenberg works in the related field of bionics—the application of biological methods and systems to the study and design of engineering. As such, he’s developed a robot that mimics the flic-flac spider’s odd locomotion.

TIME NextDraft

How Robot Cars React to Road Accidents and Other Fascinating News on the Web

May 7, 2014

nextdraft_newsfeed_v2

1. Programmed to Kill

So an autonomous car is cruising through an intersection when suddenly, a split-second decision needs to be made. A collision is unavoidable, so the software on the car must decide to either hit a Volvo SUV or a Mini Cooper. How does it decide? I’m not sure, but it definitely pays to befriend as many auto software engineers as you can. From Wired: The robot car of tomorrow may just be programmed to hit you.

+ The future of driving: Cameras all over your car.

+ Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams was involved in a hit-and-run while doing a live radio interview. And he’s not a bad play-by-play guy.

2. A Senior Moment

The number of Americans who will be 65 or older will double over the next four decades. And we’re not alone. Much of the developed world is getting even older. (Procter & Gamble’s 1985 acquisition of Metamucil is looking more and more prescient.)

+ “You’d think that as modern-day scientists, they’d be more objective, more dispassionate about their subject — possibly even a little cold-blooded — but really they are just like everyone else: they want to delay death.” The researchers racing to figure out ways to make us live even longer.

+ We know you’ve fallen and can’t get up: Researchers want to keep the elderly safe with radar that tracks everything from location to heart rate.

3. Did Putin Pull Out?

In what looks like a significant policy shift, President Vladimir Putin says Russia has pulled its troops away from Ukraine’s border. But are there any signs that the troop movement is actually happening?

+ Telling the story in photos. What the hell is going on in Ukraine?

+ “As of July 1st, there will be no swearing in movies and theatrical productions or from the concert stage.” David Remnick on Putin’s Four Dirty Words.

4. Captivity

“They are not thinking of Twitter, where the captivity is the cause of the day, nor of the campaigns on the streets of Lagos for a more competent and less callous government, nor of the rallies in front of Nigeria’s embassies worldwide, nor of the suddenly ramped-up coverage by international media, nor of how this war will engulf even those who are only just beginning to hear about it, nor of those who, free for now, will someday become captives. They are perhaps thinking only that night is falling again, and that the men will come to each of them again, an unending horror.” The New Yorker’s Teju Cole on Nigerian schoolgirls in captivity.

WaPo: 8 questions you want answered about Nigeria’s missing schoolgirls.

+ MoJo: Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria for years. Why did we just start to care?

+ British GQBoko Haram: Sons of anarchy.

5. Alibaba(booey)

Alibaba handles more business than any other e-commerce player. It’s also a search engine. And a bank. And its about to have one of the biggest IPOs of all time. So it’s a reasonable time to want a clear answer to this question: What is Alibaba?

+ Many investors have been anticipating this IPO for years. That’s especially true for Yahoo.

+ There are some truly extraordinary things for sale on Alibaba.

6. A Bundle of Oy

The average U.S. cable subscriber gets a whopping 189 channels. How many of those do they actually watch? About seventeen.

+ It could be worse. You could still be paying for your AOL dial-up account.

7. The Simple Life

“Could everything that made the lifelong bachelor so unique, so stubborn, so confounding, so wonderful — a life rooted in rejection of instant communication — be allowing his killer to get away with it.” There’s been one unsolved killing in Montgomery County this year. And it might be unsolved in part because the victim lived an offline life.

8. You Are Amped

“On average, one coffee shop opened in New York every three days.” So if you are looking for serious coffee in New York, you can find it everywhere. (Decaf clinics are the new methadone clinics.)

9. The Other Next Draft

Michael Sam just won the Arthur Ashe courage award for becoming the first-ever out gay NFL prospect. Next, we’ll find out if he actually gets drafted.

+ Rafael Nadal can’t seem to win his 14th grand slam title. Maybe because tennis has a 13th-major curse. If you get to 13, you’re doing all right…

10. The Bottom of the News

Two-thirds of Americans say that they would put themselves in danger to retrieve a stolen phone.

+ Nine percent of Americans think aliens may have hijacked Flight 370. (At least CNN knows the size of its target market.)

+ Four hedge fund guys out-earned every Kindergarten teacher in America.

+ What does a million bucks get you in a Luxury RV? (It’s a lot cheaper to have your head examined.)

+ And it’s time once again for Japan’s annual baby crying contest.

nextdraft

TIME animals

Stick to Foodstagramming: Poachers May Be Following Your Safari Pictures

Geotagged safari pictures might be leading poachers directly to their prey

You might want to limit your Instagram activity to your brunch excursions. It turns out that geotagging the endangered rhinoceri you saw on Safari on has far darker connotations than letting your social media following know where you got that breakfast burrito.

A photograph tweeted by Eleni de Wet, a branding and marketing company owner in South Africa, suggests that geotagged photos are leading poachers directly to their prey:

While this image has only recently been making its rounds online, conservationists have been concerned about the dangers of geotracking for some time.

In a 2012 interview with the Sunday Times, a marketing representative of South Africa’s National Parks explained how poachers are using basic technology to kill endangered species. The method is to send a young couple on safari with a GPS-enabled smartphone, which they use to take a photo of the rhino,” Marc Reading said. “The exact co-ordinates are attached to the picture, allowing poachers to come in after dark and track the animal.”

The concern has also been raised by marine life enthusiasts who worry that taking a picture of a fish could make it a target of aquarium enthusiasts.

While technology can be a good thing for the preservation of wild animals—drones have been used to track poachers—it also has a darker side.

(Quartz)

TIME Science

Now There’s an Insect Named After a Harry Potter Character

PLOS One

Hint: those scary soulless guys

The Natural History Museum in Berlin let the public vote on a name for a newly discovered species of wasp in Southeast Asia that eats cockroaches, and the name Ampulex dementor was chosen.

In the Harry Potter series, “dementors” are prison guards that can suck out a person’s soul with just a kiss, so naming the insect after those creatures is “an allusion to the wasps’ behavior to selectively paralyze its cockroach prey,” according to a report by the researchers published in PLOS One at the end of April.

Known for moving in a “typical running and jumping behavior, the red-and-black wasp stings the cockroach in one of its “neural nodes” which allows it to drag “prey in running mode into its nest, just like a zombie,” the ballot given to museum visitors said. Sounds like a pest, alright.

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