TIME Record

Sixth-Grade Business Maven Sells 18,107 Girl Scout Cookie Boxes

Girl Scout Cookie Record
Girl Scout Katie Francis pulls her wagon full of boxes of cookies in the snow through a neighborhood in Warr Acres selling cookies in Oklahoma City, Feb. 6, 2014. Doug Hoke—AP

Katie Francis sold a mere 12,428 boxes last year. Thankfully, she turned things around in 2014

An Oklahoma City sixth grader crumbled all previously held records by selling a whopping 18,107 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

Last year, Katie Francis sold a paltry 12,428 boxes. Thankfully she turned things around this year. In the seven-week sales period, which ended Sunday, Katie took the strategy of “asking everyone she met to buy,” the AP reports. Come rain or shine or sleet or snow. And according to a local Oklahoma City television news outlet, she wants to make it to 20,000 by the end of the month. Katie’s lifetime goal is 100,000 boxes of cookies.

The last record was set in the 1980s by Elizabeth Brinton, who sold 18,000 boxes of cookies.


TIME Television

From the Black Eyed Peas to Battlestar Galactica: Every Single Pop Culture Reference Ever on The Office

John Krasinski, Co-Star of NBC's Hit Show "The Office," Does His Holiday Shopping at The Grove - December 8, 2005
John Krasinski, co-star of NBC's hit television show "The Office" Chris Haston / NBC / Getty Images

Introducing the handy guide to all the show's cultural references, organized by year

Anyone who’s watched more than an episode or two of The Office knows that the characters — especially boss Michael Scott — like to make pop culture references. But until you see all of these references catalogued and organized in one place, it’s easy to miss just how influential pop culture was on the show’s humor and overall aesthetic — and just how abundant the references really are.

That’s where The Office Time Machine comes in. Created by digital artist and director Joe Sabia, the website lets you plug in any year and view a compilation of every pop culture reference from that time period. According to Sabia, throughout the series’ nine seasons, there are around 1,300 references to TV shows, movies, celebrities, catchphrases, holidays and more. The project, which took him a year and a half to complete, intends to “to advocate for copyright reform and highlight the importance of fair use in protecting creators and their art.

On the site, Sabia explains that he also hopes to highlight just how much we rely on culture:

The Office is relatable (and hilarious) because it borrows so much from culture, and people get the references. Culture is society’s collected knowledge, art, and customs. It’s what surrounds us and unites us, and it allows us to collectively laugh at a joke in The Office about Ben Franklin or M. Night Shyamalan. Culture, simply put, is the seasoning in a meal.

Here are a few of the compilation videos:

Sabia’s catalog is impressively comprehensive, though there were a few references he was unable to pinpoint:

So if you’re able to identify any of those, he’d love for you to contact him. Then, maybe you two could enjoy a Battlestar Galactica marathon followed by a rousing debate over whether or not Hilary Swank is hot.


An Unhappy Customer Sues Prostitute for Failing to Complete a Sex Session

The prostitute told the court she attempted to return the man's phone and money but he refused to accept them Jutta Klee—Getty Images

But his demand for $70,000 is brusquely dismissed in court

A New Zealand man who felt that a sex worker violated the country’s Consumer Guarantees Act by not completing a sex session with him has had his ensuing law suit shot down in court.

The customer and the prostitute — identified as Mr N and Ms N in court documents — had been involved in a two-month sexual arrangement when their last encounter ended in a quarrel at a brothel in February 2012. Ms N said she had attempted to return Mr N’s money and a mobile phone he had given her to set up their weekly meetings, but he refused.

Mr N then sued for $70,000 in compensation and damages, claiming that Ms N had “gained unjust enrichment” and violated consumer laws.

An infuriated Justice Peter Woodhouse dismissed Mr N’s claim, calling it a “sinister use of the court’s processes.”

“Not only am I satisfied the proceedings are frivolous but I also believe they are vexatious,” the judge said.

A doubly unhappy ending for Mr N in this case, it seems.


TIME NextDraft

All About Supertaskers and Other Fascinating News on the Web

March 24, 2014


1. The Task Masters

If you are talking on a cellphone, your driving is impaired. If you are trying to finish a project for work, its quality won’t be nearly as good if you allow yourself to be distracted by incoming tweets and Facebook status updates. Allowing your mind to shift back and forth between tasks means that each individual task will suffer. You can’t multitask. Unless you can. Researchers have found that a small percentage of us can actually be effective while doing several things at once. And that’s in part because of a “unique blend of attention, memory, and resistance to distractions.” Meet the Supertaskers.

+ The rest of us ordinary-taskers are busy with our tasks; one of which is telling people how busy we are. (That’s my favorite multitask: doing something and complaining about it at the same time.)

2. Liquified

“Tiny amounts, whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures and even be lethal. A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.” That’s how the NYT’s Matt Richtel describes the flavorful and colorful chemical cocktails that are used to fill e-cigarettes. How dangerous are these liquid blends? We don’t really know. So far, e-cigarettes and e-liquids are excluded from federal regulation.

3. The Mystery

“Malaysian Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and none of those on board survived.” That was the opening line of a text message sent to the relatives of passengers who boarded the still missing plane more than two weeks ago. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a press conference to announce that the plane almost certainly went down “in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth.”

+ Last night, CNN’s Don Lemon and his latest cast of “experts” spent about ten minutes explaining a theory that suggests the plane could have flown for many miles in the shadow of another plane to avoid radar detection. They then spent the next twenty minutes debunking that ridiculous theory. And on and on their coverage goes. (Thankfully, Lemon did not reintroduce his question about the possibility of the plane being sucked into a black hole). This nonstop (and often absurd) coverage brings up an interesting question: Will CNN ever stop covering Flight MH370?

+ CNN keeps covering this story because the ratings are good. Why do people keep watching? Slate’s Emily Yoffe takes a crack at explaining why our brains just cannot let this mystery go.

4. Paper Trail

“Behind the door, a room opens up as big as a supermarket, full of five-drawer file cabinets and people in business casual. About 230 feet below the surface, there is easy-listening music playing at somebody’s desk. This is one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government — both for where it is and for what it does.” Representative Gladys Noon Spellman of Maryland once remarked: “It is not conceivable to me that all of this is not automated.” Thirty-four years and more than $100 million later, the work done in “the cave” is still done by hand. WaPo takes you underground and into the weird world of the Office of Personnel Management: A sinkhole of bureaucracy.

5. Old Man and the C Plus Plus

“‘You must be the token graybeard,’ said the CEO, who was in his late twenties or early thirties. “‘I looked at him and said, ‘No, I’m the token grown-up.” New Republic’s Noam Scheiber on: The Brutal Ageism of Tech. (I’ve found the key is to keep your avatar looking young.)

6. Rush to Judgement

After only two sessions (including one when defense lawyers were barred from entering the courtroom), an Egyptian court sentenced more than 500 people to death.

+ In Ohio, officials refused a killer’s request to donate organs to his family members because he wouldn’t be able to recuperate in time for his execution.

7. The Baristocrats

Over the weekend, my friend Rob went to a cupping event. That’s when a bunch of folks get together to slurp, smell, and describe coffee. Coffee has become the thing. And now, a group of tech investors hope they can turn Blue Bottle into the Apple of coffee. (Full-cup disclosure: I know the folks involved in Blue Bottle and I’m wired out of my friggin’ mind right now.)

8. Gutter Guards

The great ones used to make twice as much as NFL players. You knew their names and they appeared in Sports Illustrated spreads. That was back in the day. Here’s Priceconomics on the rise and fall of professional bowling. (There’s no doubt that the fall of bowling — and the fall of parenting — can be traced back to the advent of the gutter guard.)

9. Reality Check

“What they don’t tell you about reality shows is that the people are real, but the situations are totally not.” From XOJane: I work as a writer for reality shows — here’s the deal. (Who’s gonna believe something written by someone who writes reality shows?)

10. The Bottom of the News

A single quote “inspired no fewer than five op-eds, several think pieces and take-downs on various local blogs, hundreds of tweets and Instagram photos.” What was the quote? “New Orleans is not cosmopolitan. There’s no kale here.”

+ BBC: What medieval Europe did with its teenagers.

+ Extreme Badminton.

+ I guess everyone likes a good mystery.


TIME freaky

Horrifying Clown Stalks New York Borough

They all float. And when you're down in Staten Island, you'll float too

A terrifying demon clown is stalking the streets of Staten Island, waving green and yellow balloons at the innocents who dare to photograph him.

Witnesses describe the monster as bald, with a very white face, wearing a yellow suit with a puffy white collar. He has a nose redder than the fires of hell, and he wears giant red shoes over his hooves.


Unless this is all just a desperate viral stunt by bored locals, visitors to New York City should be sure to avoid the “forgotten borough.”

Abandon all hope, ye who enter Staten Island.

TIME Accident

Man Uses Miso Soup To Fight Raging House Fire

Getty Images

Fire extinguishers have a new competitor

Miso soup isn’t just a prelude to sushi dinners. It is also a hero.

A Hawaii man quelled a quickly moving house fire, caused by a laundry room electrical shortage, by dousing the flames with the broth, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports. That bought him some time to grab a garden hose and extinguish the flames, reducing it from $200,000 in damage to $10,000.

The so-called superfood edamame has some catching up to do.

[Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

MORE: Firefighter Puts Out a Fire Using Beer


TIME Internet

These Photos Show How Heroin, Cocaine and Oxycodone Change Your Appearance Over Time

And they'll haunt your dreams

Rehabs.com found that one of the most successful ways to raise drug awareness is to show substances’ harrowing impact on a user’s face over time. As a follow-up to its viral faces of meth info-graphic, Rehabs.com has expanded its scope to show the extent at which oxycodone, heroine, and cocaine wreaks havoc on bodies:

By Rehabs.com. See full report here

TIME Environment

Take a Tour of Alaska’s Stunning, Eerie Ice Caves With This Video Shot Using a Drone

So happy we're watching this while we're inside where there's heat

One of the great things about drones is they can explore remote, inaccessible locations, like the gorgeous ice caves in Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier. This video, “Bigger Than Life,” bills itself as the “first documented drone flight through ice caves” and captures stunning views using a GoPro camera and a quadcopter drone. See? Drones are good for so much more than just delivering your Amazon purchases.

TIME Internet

This Quiz Tests Your Internet Abbrev. Knowledge

LMK how you do

Some people speak in a foreign language made up entirely of acronyms, while others think FML might be shorthand for female. Luckily WPromote published a helpful quiz to Visual.ly to test where you fall on the internet abbreviation spectrum:

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

OMG: oh my god, BRB: be right back, LOL: laugh out loud, TTYL: talk to you later, JK: just kidding, NP: no problem, LMFAO: laughing my f****** a** off, WTF: what the f***, POV: point of view, TMI: too much information, EOD: end of day, DL: down low, FML: f*** my life, MILF: mom I’d like to f***, DND: do not disturb, ROFL: rolling on floor laughing, LMK: let me know, IMHO: in my humble opinion, GMAB: give me a break, AFK: away from keyboard, TCB: taking care (of) business, TYVM: thank you very much, SMH: shake my head, EAD: eat a d***, WOW: world of warcraft, HTML: hypertext markup language, LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl (or look at me post), MMS: multimedia messaging service, CSS: counter-strike: source, WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get, MMORPG: massive multi-player role-playing game, LARP: live action role play, ASL: age sex location, WYWH: wish you were here, GNOC: get nude on cam, MOS: member (of the) opposite sex, FTF: first to find, BTDT: been there done that, FBTW: fine be that way, LAB: life’s a bitch

TIME society

Teenager Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself Because He Wasn’t Satisfied With the Quality of His Selfies

Getty Images/Lonely Planet

Okay, this whole selfie craze is actually becoming a problem

You know those friends you have on Facebook or Instagram who seem like they could possibly be addicted — truly addicted — to taking selfies? Well, for most people, that compulsion is relatively harmless, but for 19-year-old Danny Bowman, it reportedly led to an attempted suicide.

The British teen spent up to 10 hours each day taking photos of himself on his iPhone, the Daily Mirror reports. The addiction became so debilitating that he dropped out of school and retreated into his home for six months.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die,” Bowman told the Daily Mirror. “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

He nearly overdosed on pills, but his mother intervened and helped keep him alive. Bowman’s case is extreme, yes, but psychiatrists are beginning to consider selfie addiction as a serious mental health issue.

Maybe we should all just stop taking selfies and solely use our smartphones for the truly important things, like pretending we’re texting to avoid saying hello to people.

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