TIME animals

Important: Stephen King Has a Corgi and You Need to Drop Everything and Look at Her

Her name is Molly but he refers to her as the Thing of Evil

The other day, international literary icon Stephen King shared a photo with his 4.3 million Facebook fans. It was a photo that would change absolutely everything. Absolutely everything. Behold:

Yes, that is Stephen King, reigning master of horror, holding his adorable pet corgi. Her real name is Molly, but he likes to refer to her as the “Thing of Evil.”

Here is the story of Molly. King first introduced her in December, when he showed her as a tiny pup chewing on a Santa hat. So festive!

A few months later, in February, King shared a picture of a then four-month-old Molly showing that she seriously knows how to chill.

No seriously, she is so good at chilling.

In April, we learned that Molly spends her days dreaming up wicked schemes.

Then, in May, the author revealed Molly’s true nature as both a Thing of Evil and also a ferocious hunter.

We also got a glimpse of Molly’s fitness regimen.

In June, we found out that Molly is also a really skilled destroyer of inanimate objects.

Oh, and for the record, King did not decide to get a corgi simply because they are the stubby-legged, fluffy-butted darlings of the Internet. He revealed in a Throwback Thursday photo that he had a corgi named Marlowe back in 1995:

A few of King’s literary characters have even been corgis: Horace in Under the Dome and Daisy in The Regulators.

TIME Business

New Bubble Wrap Has Bubbles You Can’t Pop

Bad news for people who find it cathartic to pop the stuff

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sealed Air, the original seller of bubble wrap, is rolling out new version of bubble wrap with bubbles that do not pop and that takes up less space in online retailers’ storage centers.

According to the article,Traditional Bubble Wrap ships in giant, pre-inflated rolls, taking up precious room in delivery trucks and on customers’ warehouse floors. One roll of the new iBubble Wrap uses roughly one-fiftieth as much space before it’s inflated.”

Talk about sucking the air out of a room, right?

 

TIME politics

Watch a 93-Year-Old Man Sing a Campaign Song He Wrote for Hillary Clinton

"Don't dilly-dally / Let's all start a rally"

YouTube user Katie Miller has uploaded a video of a 93-year-old man named Jerry Rosenblum, who lives in Santa Monica, California, singing a campaign song he wrote for Hillary Clinton at Silvercrest Senior Citizens Residence, where she is a volunteer.

Sample verse:

So don’t dilly-dally
Let’s all start a rally
Don’t hesitate
She’s the one you should choose
No one else can fill her shoes
Give her your vote, and you won’t sing the blues

The kicker: “And maybe some day when you’re old and gray, you’ll vote for Chelsea.”

As Miller wrote in the YouTube description, “A year ago he composed a campaign song for Hillary, recorded it on a ‘compact disc,’ and mailed it to her campaign team. He sadly never heard from her… Regardless of your political views you have to admit Jerry is the cutest and deserves a chance to meet Hillary.”

(h/t Digg)

TIME Food & Drink

This Graphic Shows How Many Hot Dogs It Takes to Win the Nathan’s Eating Contest

Nathan's Hotdogs
George Heyer—Getty Images Crowds outside Nathan's Famous hot dog stand on Coney Island, New York City, circa 1955

They scarf down a lot more than they used to

According to Nathan’s Famous lore, the first Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest took place the very year the hot dog stand on New York’s Coney Island opened in 1916. The story goes that it began when four immigrants were trying to determine who was the most patriotic by scarfing the dogs. But there’s no proof that there was an organized contest until the 1970s– as the press agent Mortimer Matz told the New York Times and Nathan’s then acknowledged. So our tally of how many hot dogs it took to win the contest begins in 1972, when Nathan’s started keeping records. That year’s winner, Jason Schechter, ate 14 wieners—a number that’s puny by today’s standards. Current record-holder Joey Chestnut won his title by noshing a whopping 69 in 2013.

For your awe-filled—or vomit-tinged—enjoyment, scroll down to see how many frankfurters have been consumed by the winners of every Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest between 1972 and 2014. As for why the thing is at Nathan’s at all, here’s how TIME explained the importance of Nathan Handwerker’s beachside joint in 1960:

The spiritual home of the U.S. hot dog —and the world’s largest hot dog stand—is Nathan‘s Famous on Brooklyn’s Coney Island. To Nathan‘s gaudy green and white stands each summer flock many of the millions of visitors to Coney, gobbling up more than 200,000 hot dogs (at 20¢ each) on a weekend. Summer or winter, Nathan‘s never closes. Its customers have braved blizzards just to reach a Nathan‘s hot dog: it is a regular last stop for many early-morning survivors of Manhattan’s cafe society.

TIME Television

Watch Hannibal Buress’s Ridiculously Terrible Shark Week Promo

"I don't want to have a fancy shark costume because I want people to be able to relate to me"

The hilarious beacon of human perfection known as Hannibal Buress stopped by Conan Wednesday night, where he revealed that he’ll be using Discover Channel’s Shark Week to promote his new show, Why? With Hannibal Buress.

Buress explains to Conan that he’s really trying to “get the shark audience. They’re very passionate.” He then was kind enough to share one of his pre-recorded advertisements, which is probably the worst advertisement of all time, featuring the worst shark costume of all time.

“It was deliberate, Conan, to have a horrible shark costume,” Buress explains, “because I don’t want to have a fancy shark costume because I want people to be able to relate to me.”

He further clarifies this concept: “It’s like millionaires that drive Priuses. Because that’s a garbage car.”

Read next: The People and Animals With the Best Shark Costumes for Shark Week

TIME States

Why This July 4th Will Be The Biggest One Yet

The numbers don't lie

As Americans prepare to toast the Founding Fathers and the spirit of 1776, the American Pyrotechnics Association has estimated that this year’s sales of sparklers, cones, fountains and other “backyard” fireworks could exceed $725 million, a record for this category of fireworks.

But that’s not the only dazzling number to expect for this July 4th. From purchasing 700 million pounds of chicken to spending $1 billion in beer, Americans will celebrate their independence on a larger scale than ever this year.

 

TIME movies

5 Fan Theories About Back to the Future So Absurd They Might Be True

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Universal Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox star in Back to the Future

Finally, an explanation for why Jennifer looks so different in the second movie

On July 3, 1985, Michael J. Fox skateboarded into the American imagination as Marty McFly, the guitar-shredding teenage hero of Back to the Future. The trilogy, released over the course of five actual years but time-traveling back and forth across three centuries, has aged relatively well in the ensuing years. It’s now remembered not only as a feel-good family romp through the space-time continuum but also as a reflection of American fears and values in the mid-1980s.

The films’ complex narratives were clever enough to require occasional mental somersaults to track, but they also left fans with questions. How does Marty’s girlfriend, Jennifer, magically morph, between the first and second installment, from having Claudia Wells’ body to having Elisabeth Shue’s? How could Marty’s parents not have recognized their teenage son as the mysterious, hunky Calvin Klein who so memorably influenced their young lives?

Thankfully, there are as many amateur conspiracy theorists as there are questions about Back to the Future. And now that we know director Robert Zemeckis has no plans to reboot the franchise, their speculation is truly all we’ve got. Here, in honor of the time machine’s 30th birthday, are some of the best theories that attempt to connect the three movies’ unconnected dots.

George McFly knew Calvin Klein was his son. Many viewers have questioned why, if the time-traveling Marty (who introduced himself as Calvin Klein) played such a pivotal role in his parents’ revised origin story, George and Lorraine don’t think it’s strange that their son is his spitting image. But so many fans believe that George did recognize his son that there is a lengthy thread on Reddit, called “George McFly Knew,” dedicated to proving it.

The theory suggests that George, more than Lorraine or Biff, would have been open to the possibility of time travel because he was a major sci-fi fan. Marty left a trail of anachronistic breadcrumbs—playing “Johnny B. Goode,” mentioning Vulcan from Star Trek and ordering a Pepsi Free—that George might have been able to gradually recognize throughout the years. George would have had an incentive to keep the knowledge to himself because he didn’t want to interfere with his son’s efforts to ensure he married the girl of his dreams. It’s even suggested that the book George publishes at the end of the first movie is based on his son’s secret time travel.

Doc Brown was attempting to commit suicide the first time he tested the time machine. Early in the first movie, when Doc Brown asks Marty to film his first attempt at using the DeLorean as a time machine, Doc has just finished talking about how many of his inventions have failed to work. He admits that he’s never tested the machine before, yet he puts his beloved dog Einstein in the passenger seat and stands, next to Marty, directly in the path of the speeding vehicle.

Some theorists posit that Doc was ready to give it all up—his own life and those of his closest friends—if his most important invention failed to take off. He also knows that the villains casually referred to as “the Libyans” are after him for plutonium, and his fate may as well be sealed already. Other theorists point to additional markers of Doc’s compromised mental state, including the morbid possibility that when he said he cut his head attempting to hang a clock in the bathroom, he had actually been trying to hang himself.

Marty McFly actually dies in Back to the Future II, but Doc Brown travels back in time to save him. The theory here goes that Doc accidentally altered the space-time continuum, facilitating an alternate future in which Marty is killed in the tunnel while attempting to steal the sports almanac from Biff. Learning of these fateful consequences, Doc gets there just in time to throw Marty a line to save him from colliding with Biff’s car. How else would Doc have known to show up at the exact right place and time if not for some future revelation?

The trilogy is a metaphor for sexual reproduction. There is very little rhyme or reason as to why Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, who wrote the screenplays, would make a movie that served as a metaphor for reproduction. But many fans have noticed that, even if only coincidentally, the entire narrative has much in common with a birth narrative. The flux capacitor looks not entirely unlike a pair of ovaries and fallopian tubes connected to a uterus. The time machine requires that a man (or a dog) enter it in order to begin the process. And the events cooked up throughout the course of time travel yield—or birth—different versions of people in the future. To cap this one off, the process is supervised by a doctor, Doc Brown.

Jennifer looks different in the second and third installments because Marty accidentally made a minor change to her parents’ futures when he went back in time. When Marty travels back to 1955 and starts interfering with the chain of events that led his parents to fall in love, he sees his siblings and himself beginning to disappear from a family photo. It’s explained that if George and Lorraine never fall in love and get married, then the McFly children will disappear from the future. Fans have applied the same logic to the significant metamorphosis Jennifer undergoes between the first and second movies. In reality, we know the role was recast from Claudia Wells to Elisabeth Shue because Wells, whose mother had fallen ill, declined to reprise the role.

But fans of the trilogy attempting to fit the change squarely within the film’s narrative found a clean way to do so: by suggesting that something Marty did in 1955 interfered with the lives of Jennifer’s parents enough to change Jennifer’s physical appearance. Rather than acknowledging the recasting in the movie, however, the second movie merely starts with a replay of the final scenes of the first, reshot with Shue as Jennifer.

TIME animals

Watch Jimmy Kimmel Give the World’s Ugliest Dog a Makeover

“A cross between Honey Boo Boo and a hooker”

Quasi Modo may have risen to fame as the newly crowned “World’s Ugliest Dog,” but Jimmy Kimmel still wanted to help Quasi out. After all, being named “World’s Ugliest” anything isn’t exactly the highest praise.

So Kimmel, with the help of celebrity stylist Carson Kressley, gave Quasi a full makeover, complete with a new hairdo and outfit to create a look that Kimmel describes as “a cross between Honey Boo Boo and a hooker.”

And even if the look may be a little too high-maintenance for Quasi Modo’s owners to keep up, at least the dog got to feel like a “regular Elle Macpherson” for a day.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME photography

See the Best Vintage Photos of People Stuffing Their Faces With Hot Dogs

On July 4, the hot dog reigns supreme

On the 4th of July, Americans will eat approximately 150 million hot dogs. According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, that’s enough to stretch across the continental U.S. more than five times. A disproportionate number of those wieners will be consumed on Coney Island in New York, where competitive eaters at Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest will attempt to best Joey “Jaws” Chestnut’s record of 69 hot dogs on the men’s side and Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas’ feat of 45 on the women’s side.

Here, in honor of America’s favorite tubes of miscellaneous meat and the eaters who enjoy them—competitively and recreationally—is a collection of photos of Americans stuffing their faces with hot dogs.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Denmark

The Danes Are Going to Complete a Karmic Circle by Recycling Urine Into Beer

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Getty Images

Talk about perfect, self-sustaining systems

Danish music festival organizers are offering attendees a simple way to help the environment. And that’s peeing.

Roskilde, the largest music festival in Northern Europe, is held every year in Zealand, Denmark, the Guardian reports. This year’s 100,000 expected attendees won’t just be rocking out to the likes of Florence and the Machine and Pharrell, though. They’ll be contributing to an operation called “From Piss to Pilsner.”

“The huge amount of urine produced at festivals was having a negative impact on the environment and the sewage system,” Leif Nielsen from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) said. Now organizers are hoping to use that pee to fertilize barley used to brew beer.

Festival-goers are being encouraged to pee into a metal trough next to a sign that says, “Don’t waste your piss. Farmers can turn it into beer again.” The urine will then be funneled into special holding tanks and finally spread as a fertilizer over malting barley used to brew beer. The DAFC hopes to collect around 25,000 L of urine from those attending, the Guardian reports.

By 2017, attendees will be drinking beer made from ingredients fertilized by the pee gathered this year, organizers say. Insert your favorite taste-of-beer joke here.

[Guardian]

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