TIME animals

Did New York City’s Mayor Accidentally Kill a Groundhog?

"Charlotte" died after Bill de Blasio dropped it during Groundhog Day ceremony in Staten Island

Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, standard-bearer of the New Left, and now… slayer of groundhogs?

At this year’s Staten Island Zoo Groundhog Day ceremony, Mayor de Blasio fumbled the marmot after a zookeeper placed it in his hands. The animal dropped to the ground, and within a week, it was dead.

The groundhog’s death was only reported Thursday.

It’s unclear whether the death of the Staten Island Zoo’s “Charlotte,” who was standing in for the famed Staten Island Chuck, was actually de Blasio’s fault.

A zoo spokesman told the Associated Press in an interview that the drop was “a complete bungle” and attributed it partly to the zoo handler’s weak placement of the animal in de Blasio’s hands. And a medical examination after the incident showed that there was “no evidence of trauma or pain,” the spokesman said.

But when the animal was found dead on Feb. 9, a necropsy showed the groundhog had died of internal injuries. “We don’t know how the animal suffered the injuries but we don’t think it was from the fall,” the zoo’s spokesman said. “We believe it happened sometime the night before she was found dead.”

Thus, the mystery of the slain groundhog remains unsolved. And we can be sure de Blasio will be closely watched next Groundhog Day, innocent as he may appear.


TIME viral

NFL Player’s Pep Talk With 4-Year-Old Daughter Before She Has Surgery Goes Viral

She has a form of pediatric cancer

Devon Still, defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, has more important things on his mind than football. He posted a video on his Instagram account Thursday morning of him driving his four-year-old daughter Leah to the hospital to get a tumor removed.

“You ready to get this cancer up out you?” Still asks his daughter in the video. She nods.

“Let’s do it,” he replies. “Fist bump.”

Leah has neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that has given her a 50-50 chance of survival, according to ESPN. Many of Still’s teammates took to Twitter today to show their support:

TIME celebrities

Taylor Swift Proves She Totally Gets ‘No It’s Becky’ Tumblr Meme

The "Shake It Off" singer showed off her "no its becky" shirt

When Taylor Swift isn’t shaking off her haters, she spends a lot of time on Tumblr. And the singer, whose new album 1989 drops next month, wants you to know that she is totally in on the joke when it comes to a certain Internet meme about her.

A post featuring a high-school photo of Swift paired with a caption claiming a girl named Becky died from marijuana use made the rounds on the blogging site after one user replied, “pretty sure that’s Taylor Swift.” One poster’s reply — “no its becky” — become a bigger joke than the caption itself, and now Swift has a T-shirt featuring with those very words.

Swift was spotted wearing the shirt Wednesday night, and on Thursday, the pop star showed it off in her own Tumblr post, where she joked about “rethinking the album cover” of 1989. Save it for the deluxe re-release, Taylor.


TIME celebrity

Watch Kirsten Dunst’s Short Film About How Anti-Social Selfies Are

Pics or it didn't happen

In a new short video called “Aspirational,” Kirsten Dunst takes a cynical look at the selfie trend that has altered fan-celebrity interactions and photography around the world.

Directed by Matthew Frost, the clip shows two girls who freak out when they see Kirsten Dunst on the sidewalk.

“Do you want to talk or anything?” Dunst asks as the girls vamp and take seflies with her. “I mean you can ask me a question, or are you curious about anything?”

Nope, they’d rather just pout and turn the camera on themselves, eschewing any actual conversation for the picture that will be sure to get them lots of new “random followers.”

“I’ve already got like 15 likes!” One of them squeals as the clip ends. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but here Dunst and Frost show what’s lost if you do away with words altogether.

TIME viral

Watch a Puppy Return Lost Items to Passengers in Viral Ad for KLM Airline

If only this lost and found service was real

Air travel can be stressful, and misplacing luggage or personal items could be enough to put people over the edge (if someone using a “knee-defender” in the seat behind you hasn’t already).

In a new commercial, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines imagines a perfect world in which a lost and found service at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol uses a beagle named Sherlock to return misplaced iPhones and toys and comfort anxious fliers. The ad has already racked up more than 1.8 million views on YouTube.

Some Internet users thought the puppy was on staff at the Dutch airline and were disappointed to learn that he was only hired for this commercial. In any event, the video might cheer up fliers killing time in the airport if their flights have been delayed or cancelled.

In the past, the airline has gone viral on social media for fueling some trans-Atlantic flights with leftover oil used to cook catfish and promoting a platform in which passengers can view LinkedIn and Facebook profiles onboard and network with one another.

TIME Bizarre

This Exists: Colognes Inspired by Che and Hugo Chávez

Argentinian-born Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. Havana, Cuba, January 7, 1959.
Argentinian-born Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. Havana, Cuba, January 7, 1959. Joseph Scherschel—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The Che scent is "woodsy and refreshing" while the Chávez scent is "softer and fruitier," the AP reports

New in the perfume aisle: the smell of socialism.

The Associated Press reports a Cuban company Labiofam spent over a year working with the French perfumer Robertet to create two new colognes, Ernesto and Hugo, inspired by the Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the late Venezuelan socialist president Hugo Chávez.

According to AP, the Che scent is “woodsy and refreshing” while Hugo is “softer and fruitier” with “hints of mango and papaya.”

Mario Valdes, who led the scent design team, told the AP, “We didn’t want to create propaganda, but rather pay homage to them and help their names endure.”

But creating a Che Guevara-inspired cologne is an ironic way to “pay homage” to the famous Marxist, since many report that he avoided bathing for most of his life. “Woodsy,” maybe, but “refreshing” he was not.

TIME celebrity

These Ads Show Rob Lowe Like You’ve Truly Never Seen Him Before

As in, really ugly and creepy

Well, this is literally the most hideous we’ve ever seen the notoriously gorgeous (and possibly ageless?) Rob Lowe look.

A new ad campaign from DirecTV features the West Wing and Parks and Recreation actor as a few distinct versions of himself. First, there’s him as a DirecTV customer, which is a regular, handsome, gregarious Rob Lowe. But there’s also him as a cable user, which is a disgusting and creepy Rob Lowe (see above) along with a completely hideous Rob Lowe (see below.)

We have to admit that this is some pretty effective advertising. If you’re saying that using DirecTV will make me as hot and youthful as Rob Lowe (even though he’s 26 years older than me), sign me up.



JFK Sign on the Side of a Dallas Tour Bus Sparks Controversy

The sight of the former president's face next to the slogan "Big Things Happen Here," plus the placement of the metal door handle in the middle of his forehead, has been deemed offensive

A Dallas tour company drew criticism after an image of one of its buses featuring a controversial design floated around on social media.

Dallas City Tours’ design consisted of a photo of former president John F. Kennedy with the line “Big Things Happen Here,” which critics said was an inappropriate reference to Kennedy’s 1963 assassination in Dallas, according to WFAA News 8, a Dallas news agency. Critics also found the placement of the metal door handle—in the middle of JFK’s forehead—offensive.

The tour bus conducts four tours each day, and makes several stops along city landmarks, many related to JFK’s assassination. Some viewers found this to be an acceptable explanation of why the former president’s image would appear on the bus.

The owner of Dallas City Tours told WFAA News 8 that the slogan was intended to be on the other side of the bus, as it was in the original design he sent to graphic artists, and that he regrets how the design turned out. The owner said he will cover up the current design while a new one is prepared.

TIME celebrity

Watch Chris Pratt Turn on the Charm in This New SNL Promo Video

The Guardians of the Galaxy star will host the season premiere this Saturday, Sep. 27

Saturday Night Live returns for its 40th season this weekend with Chris Pratt as host.

The gig will bring to a close what was indisputably the Summer of Pratt, thanks to his starring role in Guardians of the Galaxy and, more importantly, his series of impossibly charming and gracious little moments all summer long.

If this new promo video — which stars Pratt and SNL cast member Kate McKinnon — is any indication, it looks like Pratt will do just fine as he kicks off the season premiere, which also features Ariana Grande as musical guest. He totally holds his own alongside the hilarious McKinnon, who mostly just objectifies Pratt, makes him feel “dirty” and then makes him open a bunch of pickle jars.

And hey, if he does as well as we think he will, maybe it won’t feel like the end of the Summer of Pratt as much as the beginning of the Autumn of Pratt. We’d be totally fine with that.

TIME celebrity

Watch Kerry Washington Call Jimmy Fallon’s Bluffs on the Tonight Show

The Scandal star is an expert human lie detector in a game called "Box of Lies"

Last night, Kerry Washington dropped by the Tonight Show and joined Jimmy Fallon for a recurring segment called “Box of Lies.” It’s a game that requires contestants to guess whether or not the other player is lying about the contents of various boxes chosen at random. (Previous contestants include Jennifer Lawrence and Tina Fey.)

The Scandal star turned out to be pretty good at this game and totally ended up besting Fallon — though neither of them are any good at keeping a straight face or stifling their giggles.

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