TIME celebrity

Jon Stewart Admits He Wants to Rip Off Benedict Cumberbatch’s Clothes

And he's smart, to boot

Benedict Cumberbatch visited The Daily Show last night to promote his upcoming movie, The Imitation Game, about British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. And while the bulk of the conversation focused on Cumberbatch’s experience playing the role, Stewart found it difficult not to add his voice to the chorus proclaiming the actor totally swoon-worthy.

While Stewart does tell Cumberbatch he’d like to rip his clothes off, he admits that his motive is to profit off the fortune they could fetch on eBay. He warns the actor that the fate of humankind might be in his hands. “If you were to go on the Internet and oil up your backside and bear it in a Kardashian-like pose,” he cautions, “this planet could end.”

Perking up at the observation that the actor is as smart as he is handsome, Stewart sighs, “I guess it would be the wrong time to ask you to marry me.” Cumberbatch, who announced his engagement to actor Sophie Hunter two weeks ago, looks at his watch. “You’re a bit late.”

Read next: Benedict Cumberbatch Tries to Get Jimmy Fallon to Say ‘Booty’

TIME language

Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year Is ‘Exposure’

Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the Ebola virus.
Getty Images

The editors found their inspiration by connecting the big new stories of the year

Ebola. Ferguson, Mo. Ray Rice. ISIS. Data breaches. Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence. The editors and lexicographers at Dictionary.com see all these people and places that drove the news in 2014 connected through a single word: exposure, their pick for 2014’s word of the year.

In making their choice, the editors are drawing on the word’s many layers of meaning. Exposure can define the condition of being exposed to harm, in the form of a virus like Ebola or hacks that compromise consumer data. Exposure can refer to publicity, the good kind that made the ALS ice bucket challenge so successful or the bad kind that resulted in Donald Sterling selling the L.A. Clippers. Exposure can mean bringing something to light, like the details of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown or the video of Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee in a casino elevator. It can even operate on two levels, like when private selfies that expose a naked body are exposed to the public.

“This year was full of important stories and really somber events. There was the Ebola outbreak. There was ISIS. The stakes felt really high, and we wanted to reflect that in our selection,” says Senior Editor Renae Hurlbutt. “The word circles around these two themes of visibility and vulnerability, which were at play in all of the top news stories in 2014.”

Ebola is the obvious headliner that justifies “exposure” and first drew them to the word, but the Dictionary.com editors also wanted to capture the way controversial events had, less simply, exposed attitudes and opinions about big issues like race and violence in America. “Exposure was really a catalyst for a lot of these feelings of tumult and upheaval,” Hurlbutt says.

To choose the word, the editors started scouring headlines in September, using Google Trends (which shows volumes of searches for certain words or phrases over time) and mining their own data to see which words spiked into the public consciousness. This “year end exercise,” the editors say, helps their lexicographers decide which words need to be updated and provides a pool of candidates for word of the year. But in the end, the winner that goes in the word-of-the-year envelope is an editorial choice, unlike outlets like Merriam-Webster, which bases their yet-to-be-announced “WOTY” almost exclusively on lookup statistics.

“It’s us putting a marker in the ground every year that we can eventually look back on and think about,” says Dictionary.com Director of Content Rebekah Otto. Dictionary.com got into the word-anointing game in 2010, about 20 years after the modern trend began, in part because the now 19-year-old company had recently launched a blog to bring their staff into a dialogue with the public. This selection follows change (2010), tergiversate (2011), bluster (2012) and privacy (2013).

“The calendar is a comfortable way to mark and honor the passage of time,” Otto says. “That’s a big part of why we choose a word of the year.”

Also on the editors short list were borders, disrupt, wearables and bae. Borders had roots in Ukraine. Wearables, the editors say, felt early (and might be a better candidate for 2015). Disrupt was a word they wanted to represent an array of stories but felt the associations with startup culture would eclipse everything else. And bae was a buzzword that didn’t have the weight or broadness they were looking for.

“The things that happened in 2014 and the multiple meanings behind exposure just were so in sync,” says CEO Michele Turner.

On Nov. 17, Oxford declared vape as their word of the year. And there are more yet to come. In the meantime, here’s a video Dictionary.com made to commemorate their choice.

Dictionary.com’s 2014 Word of the Year from Dictionary.com on Vimeo.

TIME Body Image

Watch Little Kids React to a Realistic-Looking Barbie Alternative

"She looks like a regular girl going to school."

The dolls kids are used to playing with are often nipped and tucked to have impossibly big eyes and a ridiculously small waist. So when Nickolay Lamm presented a Pennsylvania class of second graders with his Barbie alternative, his newly created Lammily doll which has the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman (according to CDC data) rather than an anatomically impossible mutant, he didn’t know how they were going to react.

Most of the kids thought the doll, available for purchase Wednesday, looked kind of familiar.

“She looks like my sister!” one girl exclaimed, smiling. “She kind of looks like my aunt Katie,” said another.

“She looks like a regular girl going to school.”

“She looks like she would help someone if they were hurt.”

“She’s not like other dolls… she looks real.”

That reality check didn’t prove to be a bad thing. When presented with a blonde and busty Barbie, the children said that they’d rather have the one who, if real, “would be able to stand.” A very apt observations, considering previous research showing Barbie wouldn’t be able to lift her head fully if she were an actual human.

Of course unrealistic looking dolls are still very popular whether it’s Barbie or the Monster High collection with their mini-skirts and platform-heeled thigh-high boots. In 2012, researchers asked 60 girls, ages six to nine, to choose one of two paper dolls: one dressed in a tight “sexy” outfit and the other wearing a “fashionable” but loose and covered up outfit. Sixty-eight percent of the girls wanted to look like the sexy doll and 72% thought she would be “more popular” than the conservative looking paper doll. That study had a limited sample size, and paper dolls are no match for 3D toys, but the results are an indication of how difficult it is to change cultural trends.

But perhaps after a decade during which dolls have gotten ever more racy, perhaps parents and kids are ready for an appealing alternative to the bug-eyed, wasp-waisted creatures that now populate the girls aisle. At least that’s what Lamm is betting on.

Read more about the Lammily doll — and her strange accessory packs — here.

Read next: Mattel Apologizes for Making Barbie Look Incompetent in Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer

TIME Body Image

The New ‘Normal Barbie’ Comes With an Average Woman’s Proportions — and Cellulite-Sticker Accessories

"I wanted to show that reality is cool," says the creator of the Lammily doll

Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 3.57.10 AMIt’s a month before the holidays and you’re grappling with a serious toy buyer’s dilemma: 0n the one hand, you kind of just want to get your kid a Barbie; on the other hand you’d rather not perpetuate the peddling of anatomical ideals that are so impossible to achieve — and impractical. (Were Barbie human, she’d have to walk on all fours because of her tiny feet and because she would only have room for half a liver.)

That’s why graphic designer turned toymaker Nickolay Lamm created the Lammily doll — what the Barbie would look like if she actually had the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman’s body (based on CDC data). And brown hair. (She also comes with a sticker-extension pack, complete with cellulite, freckles and acne, but we’ll get to that later.)

What started as an art project in July 2013 became available for purchase and delivery Wednesday. “Parents and their kids were emailing and asking where they could buy the ‘normal Barbie’ — but they didn’t exist,” Lamm, 26, tells TIME. And so he decided to crowdfund his creation, raising $501,000 for his $95,000 target goal. “To be honest, I knew it was either going to bomb or blow up, there was no in between,” Lamm says.

Lamm also created a video that transforms a Lammily doll into a Barbie to really get his point across:

“I wanted to show that reality is cool,” Lamm says. “And a lot of toys make kids go into fantasy, but why don’t they show real life is cool? It’s not perfect, but it’s really all we have. And that’s awesome.”

But real proportions and movement weren’t enough. Before putting the $24.99 dolls on sale — 19,000 dolls are going to backers, but 25,000 more are ready to be shipped before the holidays — Lamm decided to take things a step further.

Enter the $5.99 sticker-extension pack, available in January. Lamm says it took four months to find the proper sticker material, that gives the doll’s face acne, freckles, moles and the ability to blush:

Lammily
Lammily
Lammily

Lamm also decided to include scrapes and bruises. “Some people were like ‘Oh my God,’ as if I’m promoting domestic violence or something,” says Lamm, before assuring TIME that that was far from his intention. “Look, we all get boo boos and scratches. Life isn’t perfect, we all sometimes fall down but we get back up.”

Lammily

Lamm’s aunt recommended he add scars, he says, “because, you know, some kids have scars and are really shy about them.”

Lammily

But then there’s the cellulite and the stretch marks:

Lammily
Lammily

Unleashing a doll with stretch marks on the Internet is basically asking for trouble. But Lamm insists that it came from a sincere place, and that some people will welcome the option. “Demi Lovato even tweeted about it,” he says:

“You know, people were saying this whole project was a joke from the beginning, so I have no doubt some people will take it as a joke,” Lamm says. “But I hope there are enough people who believe what I believe. I think 25% to 30% will think the stickers are stupid and the rest will think it’s good.”

The Lammily will have other fashion options in January:

Lammily

“This is the doll people have been waiting for,” Lamm says. Stretch marks and all.

See More: Watch Little Girls React to the Realistic Barbie Alternative

Read next: New GoldieBlox Doll Takes Aim at ‘Barbie’ Beauty Standards

TIME technology

See How Terrifying the World’s Tallest Roller Coaster Is Going to Be

This four-minute animation gives you a front seat view as the terrifying 'Skyscraper' climbs 570 ft before plummeting through loops, dives and spins

Plans for what will be the world’s tallest roller coaster were unveiled Monday in Orlando, Florida.

‘The Skyscraper’ is part of Skyplex Orlando and features a 570 ft climb before dropping its riders into spins, loops and dives. It will open to thrill-seekers in 2017, the Independent reports.

Riders will be flung over angles more acute than 90 degrees and tumble into several barrel rolls.

“Skyscraper will not only take riders higher than ever before, but also introduce one thrill right after the next – there’s no ‘down time’ on this four-minute coaster experience,” president of U.S. Thrill Rides, Michael Kitchen, told the Orlando Sentinel.

For those not brave enough to be launched down the coaster but who still want a piece of the action, there will be an observation deck 535 ft above the ground.

[Independent]

TIME celebrities

This Is What Guy Fieri Would Look Like If He Went All Normcore With His Hair

You better hope he keeps those peroxided tufts

Sometimes it’s hard to separate celebrity chef Guy Fieri from his spiky blonde hair and trademark blonde goatee. But that didn’t stop one Twitter user from trying.

To remind you, here’s Fieri as the world knows him.

And now here’s Fieri without the two things that make him Fieri, in a consummate Photoshop makeover by @gewqk.

Hm. We never thought we’d say this, but the punk-dad look can stay.

TIME viral

This Might Just Be the Most Absurd Music Video Since ‘Gangnam Style’

The song is called "Chick Chick" and we have Chinese singer Rong "Rollin" Wang to thank for this

South Korean rapper Psy set the bar pretty high for totally absurd yet totally hypnotic music videos that become global phenomena with his 2012 smash hit “Gangnam Style.” It’s just going to be really tough for anyone to beat that — but it looks like one singer in China is trying.

Seriously, it’s gonna be tough. The “Gangnam Style” video has 2.1 billion views. Let that sink in.

But anyway, this valiant effort comes from Chinese pop star Rong “Rollin” Wang for the song “Chick Chick.” The video features women in sexy bird costumes line dancing, many animated farm animals, and men wearing nothing but tiny white shorts, knee socks and animal masks. Also, a whole bunch of chicken sounds.

So far, the video has racked up 6 million views, so it has a long way to go until it matches “Gangnam Style” levels of world domination. But it certainly has the raw materials.

TIME Television

Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner to Star in Amy Poehler’s New Hulu Comedy

In a new series called Difficult People

—You can shout the news to New York City, pedestrians! Billy Eichner will star in Amy Poehler’s new comedy series for Hulu!

The company announced Tuesday a series called Difficult People, which will star Eichner and comedic writer and performer Julie Klausner, with whom he collaborates on Billy on the Street — a show that largely involves shouting pop culture trivia to people on the street.

In case you’re not familiar with the very funny Klausner yet, here’s her appearance as “the cat whisperer” in this Funny or Die short.

“This hilarious series follows Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as best friends and struggling comedians in New York City who can’t figure out why they aren’t likable,” Hulu Head of Originals Beatrice Springborn wrote on the company blog. “Klausner wrote the pilot and will also serve as an executive producer for the series alongside Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Dave Becky (Louie).”

Hulu is working in collaboration with Universal Cable Productions. Shooting will begin early in 2015.

Now to celebrate, let us watch Poehler and Eichner sing carols to innocent bystanders:

TIME celebrity

The 6 Best Celebrity Versions of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs on stage at CBS Radio's second annual We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Los Angeles. Todd Williamson—Invision/AP

From Steve Carell to Kelly Clarkson, famous people just can't stop won't stop grooving to this song

If you keep finding yourself singing “Shake It Off” quietly (or loudly) to yourself at weird times, you’re definitely not alone. It seems nobody can get Taylor Swift’s ultra-catchy hit out of their heads — and that includes a whole bunch of celebrities.

And so, to honor the recent TIME cover star, here’s a look at some of those celebrities proudly belting the unshakeable hit. Some of these people are professional singers performing polished covers, others are just amateur vocalists proudly showing their love for Tay-Tay.

Steve Carell

In an appearance on ABC’s Popcorn with Peter Travers, the actor was asked what music has been playing in his head. He responded without missing a beat.

Kelly Clarkson

At a concert in Buffalo, N.Y., Clarkson treated fans to a soulful, gospel version of the song.

Kendrick Lamar

In a radio interview with The Fader, the rapper — whose respect and admiration for Swift has been documented — launched into an impromptu “Shake It Off” sing-along. (He later free-styled over the song’s beat.)

Barack Obama (kind of)

No, the President of the United States didn’t actually sing “Shake It Off,” but it sounds like he did thanks to some clever editing by the folks at The Tonight Show.

Meghan Trainor

She’s best known for her hit “All About That Bass,” but this time, Trainor grabbed a ukelele and performed a mellow but still totally catchy cover.

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa didn’t actually sing, but she did channel Swift and recreate the music video with an astonishing attention to detail. A bunch of other celebrities — including Anderson Cooper, Sofia Vergara, Emma Stone and even Tay herself — make appearances in the spoof video.

Taylor Swift herself

Because, well, obviously.

TIME Thanksgiving

Tiny Hamsters Enjoy a Tiny Thanksgiving Meal in the Name of Cuteness

Featuring the world's tiniest rolling pin

Mice have been used in many studies that measure the effects of tryptophan, an amino acid in turkey that’s commonly associated with post-feast drowsiness. But why should mice have all the amino acid-induced fun? This video of a hamster Thanksgiving poses a highly scientific question (what happens when tiny rodents eat tiny holiday dishes) and delivers the shocking empirical results: They nibble stuff really adorably.

The YouTube channel behind the video, HelloDenizen, has produced several riveting case studies of hamsters’ eating habits. In one video, a hamster battles competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest. In another, the balloon-cheeked rodent takes on miniature burritos while a nervous chef looks on, eager for approval.

If our portion sizes were anywhere near this small, we might not have to unbutton our pants at the table. But human-sized stomachs demand human-sized slices of pie.

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