TIME U.S.

The National Spelling Bee Is Live-Tweeting Itself

National Spelling Bee
Sean Hickey of Grass Lake, Mass. reacts as he misspells his word during round two of the preliminaries at the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Md. on May 28, 2014. Gary Cameron—Reuters

The National Spelling Bee is tweeting words so foreign, they might make a young speller feel "larmoyant" (given to tears or weeping)

The Scripps National Spelling Bee kicked off Wednesday with a live Twitter feed of the battle for spelling supremacy.

The fate of each speller is sealed with a tweet that records the word, its definition and whether the young spellers, ranging in age from 8 to 15, spelled it “correctly,” “incorrectly,” or in one unfortunate competitor’s case, “incorrectly” then “correctly” (he was still eliminated).

Logophiles (lovers of words) can get a sampling of a few stumpers, below. Some are actually not all that tricky.

But most are sprawling, Latinate nightmares.

And what happens after the young spellers are summarily booted out of the competition for a mistake? The organizers tweeted one picture that showed the competition may be tough, but it isn’t heartless.

TIME Food & Drink

Behold: The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Ever Ordered

It cost $54.75. Things have officially gotten out of hand

Some guy named Andrew walked into a Starbucks recently knowing that he’d get a complimentary drink, because as a Gold member of the chain’s loyalty program, he gets one free beverage for every 12 that he buys.

But Andrew, crafty little devil that he is, decided to up the stakes. Why order a boring old 4-dollar Frappucino when he could order any drink that he could possibly dream up? He set out to break the previous known record for the world’s most expensive Starbucks beverage, and it appears he succeeded.

Behold: the Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino, valued at $54.75:

Armed with a 128-ounce glass, Andrew strolled into Starbucks, ready to claim his prize. He got the baristas on his side and they worked as a team to think up the priciest possible concoction, Consumerist reports. He said it was “delicious” but maybe it was the victory that tasted so good rather than the actual beverage, which included 60 shots of espresso. (Yes. Sixty.)

Andrew said he drank about a third of it the first day, and then continued to consume it little by little:

 

TIME animals

Say Hello to the Akron Zoo’s New Baby Snow Leopards

The rare cubs were born last month

After Snow Leopard couple Shanti and Roscoe gave birth to twin baby snow leopards just two years ago, the couple was blessed again with a new pair of fluffy little leopards. The babies — one girl and one boy — were born April 14th.

Considering there are only 4,000 Snow Leopards left in the wild and just 155 in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, the double twins are more than twice as nice. Shanti and her cubs will remain inside until late June for health reasons, but here’s a behind the scenes look at their lives.

TIME

PHOTOS: The Newest Walt Disney World Ride

It's inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opens today and is the latest addition to Walt Disney World. Construction of this family-friendly roller coaster in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, has taken 2-3 years and completes the New Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, the largest expansion in the theme park’s history.

Inspired by the Disney animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, riders traverse into a mine and run into the lovable Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey along the way.

TIME nation

Homeless Teen Becomes Valedictorian of His High School

He never missed a day of high school

This year, a homeless teenager is the valedictorian of First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, TODAY reports.

Griffin Furlong, 18, said he has had to “grow up really fast” since his mother died of leukemia when he was six, and he and his father have lived in homeless shelters throughout his life.

Furlong never missed a day of high school and hopes to attend Florida State. In fact, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $24,000 to help him pay for college in the last six days.

 

 

TIME celebrity

See the Awesome Cover of Amy Poehler’s Upcoming Book

Dey Street Books

But you still have to wait until October to read it

We were glowing with delight and anticipation when we first found out that Amy Poehler was working on a book, but back then it all seemed so hazy and distant. But finally — finally! — we’ve got a title, release date and now, a cover, to convince us that this is really, truly happening.

Poehler’s memoir, Yes Please, is set for an October 28, 2014 release. We know, we know, that feels like it’s so far away. So in the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek at the beautiful cover, which Poehler revealed on the Today show Wednesday.

Maybe if we bribe the publishers with waffles they’ll hurry up and release the book sooner.

TIME animals

This Zoo Is Selling Exotic Animal Poop

Frank Cummins, horticulturist at Binder Park Zoo, holds some of the manure/compost the zoo will have for sale, in Battle Creek, Mich. on May 27, 2014. John Grap—The Enquirer/AP

Michigan gardeners can buy giraffe, zebra, and antelope dung for their soils.

A zoo in southern Michigan is selling truckloads of giraffe, zebra, and antelope manure to gardeners to raise money, The Associated Press reports via the Kalamazoo Gazette and the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Droppings from about 20 different animals at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek have been incorporated into this garden manure, horticulturalist Frank Cummins told Fox 17.

To avoid the transmission of diseases, “We don’t include carnivore or monkey poop,” Jenny Barnett, the zoo’s Director of Wildlife, Conservation & Education, told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

A truck or trailer load costs $30 for people who are not members of the zoo.

 

TIME Bizarre

Man Captures Video of Himself Getting Hit By Lightning

Now what are the chances he can do it twice?

There’s a one in 10,000 chance you will get struck by lightning in your lifetime. What’s the probability of catching it all on video?

While it’s probably more likely for storm chaser Scott Sheppard than most other bystanders, it’s still pretty incredible that he caught himself getting struck by lighting in a storm in South Dakota Tuesday. Luckily he’s doing alright—the bolt hit his arm and then the ground.

Watch the scene unfold in the video above.

(h/t: Daily Dot)

TIME celebrity

Fox News Just Hired Clueless Actress Stacey Dash

14th Annual Lupus LA Orange Ball - Arrivals
Actress Stacey Dash arriving at the14th Annual Lupus LA Orange Ball at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 8, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. Paul Redmond / WireImage / Getty Images

Oh my god we're totally buggin'

Next time you flip on Fox News, you just might find yourself watching Stacey Dash, the actress best known for playing Dionne in Clueless. The network has signed the 47-year-old as a contributor who will “offer cultural analysis and commentary across various daytime and primetime programs,” Deadline reports.

“Stacey is an engaging conversationalist whose distinctive viewpoints amongst her Hollywood peers have spawned national debates – we’re pleased to have her join Fox News,” Bill Shine, Executive Vice President of Programming for the network, said in a statement.

If you’re thinking that Dash isn’t a good choice, well, that’s way harsh Tai.

TIME Crime

Boston Man Breaking Into College Bros’ Homes to Tickle Their Feet in the Night

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Daniel Allan—Getty Images

NOT a laughing matter

A hooded man has been breaking into male students’ homes at Boston College to tickle their feet in the middle of the night, according to Boston PD.

While we could be flip about a super villain by the name of The Tickler —”This is no myth,” Sergeant Michael O’Hara told boston.com, “It’s happening.”—we won’t be. Because it’s legitimately terrifying.

For two years, the Tickler—described as a 5’8″ black male in dark clothing, a hoodie and on special occasions a “Gator-style mask”—has been haunting the campus, hitting up to three rooms in a night. There are no thefts and he’s usually gone by the time giggling has kicked in.

I thought my friend was just trying to annoy me, but I soon realized it wasn’t anyone I knew,” said Daniel Marenzi, who’s feet were targeted in October. “I freaked out and sat up but he was already on the way out.”

[Boston.com]

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