TIME viral

This Is What It Looks Like When The Queen Photobombs Your Selfie

One is amused

An Australian field hockey player was minding her own business, talking a selfie at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, when her picture was photobombed by the Queen. As in, Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

AND she was smiling.

This wasn’t the Queen’s first time embracing millennial photobomb culture, either:

Royals. They’re just like us.

TIME space

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Takes Selfie to Mark First Year on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- spent exploring the Red Planet.
NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- spent exploring the Red Planet. NASA/JPL

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will complete its first Martian year on June 24th. The rover took a ‘selfie’ to commemorate its 687-day stay on the Red Planet — Earth days, that is.

Curiosity made some groundbreaking findings in its first “year” on the planet. In Aug. 2012, Curiosity succeeded in its main mission, to determine if Mars ever harbored the environment to support microbial life. The Curiosity rover drilled into the Martian Gale Crater, in the Yellowknife region, finding a former lakebed containing what NASA called “essential elemental ingredients for life.”

This spring, the rover spent its time collecting sandstone samples in Windjana, an area south west of the original Bradbury Landing site. The rover will continue moving south west towards Mount Sharp, its final destination.

TIME movies

VIDEO: Space Aliens Meet iPhones in an Exclusive Clip from Earth to Echo

Unlike E.T., today's aliens want to use the phone to do something other than call home

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The idea that aliens might choose to communicate with Earthlings via our technology is far from a new one. It’s in movies from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Contact, and — sort of — in real life, as the choice to send vinyl records on the Voyager space explorer shows. But none of the people involved in those stories had something that almost everyone has today: a cell phone.

The upcoming movie Earth to Echo, out July 2, changes that. A bit of family-friendly sci-fi in the E.T. vein, it’s about a group of friends who — after receiving strange cell phone messages — suspect that something fishy is going on in their neighborhood, right before the area is to be bulldozed for a highway construction project. And, as the exclusive sneak peek above shows, the kids at the center of the story are more than proficient when it comes to their phones.

The phones are also how first contact takes place—as seen in a second clip, below—and how some of the movie’s scenes are presented, mixing a found-footage style with the first-person GoPro aesthetic.

The idea that cell phones would ruin the plots of older movies isn’t a new one — for example, the entire plot of Home Alone could have been avoided if Kevin could call his folks at the airport — but not everything is messed up by constant communication. As Earth to Echo shows, sometimes the cell phone is the plot.

TIME World Cup

German Chancellor Takes Victory Selfie With World Cup Player

The German national team beat Portugal 4-0 Monday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated her country’s World Cup win against Portugal Monday by taking a selfie with team striker Lukas Podolski.

Merkel watched Germany’s 4-0 victory and Thomas Muller’s hat trick in person, having traveled to Salvador, Brazil on Sunday to watch the Monday matchup.

Merkel visited the team’s locker room after the game to offer her congratulations and pose for pictures.

Team Germany’s next match comes Saturday, when it will face Ghana.

TIME Internet

WATCH: Woman’s Hair Catches Fire as She Tries to Get in a Selfie

Definitive proof that vertical videos are terrible -- and dangerous

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Avid smartphone users already know that recording videos vertically instead of horizontally is gauche — or call it “Vertical Video Syndrome”). Now we’ve learned that technique can be incredibly dangerous. This clip shows a guy filming a video selfie at a restaurant and his friend across the table attempting to lean in (no, not that kind of Leaning In). In the process, her hair grazes a candle and catches fire, and everyone freaks out because a part of her was just on fire.

Now, if only this man had simply tilted his phone and recorded a horizontal video, none of this would have happened.

TIME celebrities

Brad Paisley Took a Very Unimpressed Selfie With the Westboro Baptist Church

Members of the extremist church was picketing his concert Sunday

Country singer Brad Paisley is an equal opportunity selfie-taker.

Before a Kansas concert Sunday, the country singer decided to take a picture with members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who happened to be protesting outside. Paisley, 41, posted the image to his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages along with the caption: “Westboro Baptist Selfie!! Or west-Burro(ass) selfie. Hopefully they can hear the show out here. We’ll play loud.”

The photo has almost 238,000 Facebook likes and counting two days later. Many fans have posted messages of support for Paisley and ridicule of the extremist group.

The church wasn’t as sure that Paisley was mocking them:

The Westboro Baptist Church has protested other country stars, including Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift.

 

TIME World

These Selfies Atop Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer Statue Beat All Other Selfies

Time to pack it up and go home, everybody

Your bathroom mirror selfies are about to look even sadder than usual when you see these crazy epic selfies taken from the top of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

Photographer Lee Thompson managed to obtain special permission to climb to the top of the statue while in Rio covering the World Cup, he explains in a blog post on The Flash Pack. Though we doubt anyone would give him a hard time, he got a bit defensive about the whole selfie craze and offered this explanation:

To some, taking pictures of yourself is considered vain, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity taught me that the selfie is a powerful medium through which we can share our perspectives, inspirations and personal stories with the world at large. It’s not about funny mugshots with scenic backdrops or daredevil stunts. It’s a way to mark the moment and say, “I was here”.

Check out the video Thompson and his colleague took during the process:

 

TIME space

See If You Can Find Yourself in NASA’s #GlobalSelfie

It's probably the biggest selfie ever.

NASA created this giant selfie of Earth using selfies of individuals sent in from around the world. Can you spot yourself? It’s like the ultimate version of Where’s Waldo.

TIME Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden Appears in New Selfie With Glenn Greenwald

Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras have been reunited.

Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, posted on Facebook Thursday this selfie of the four of them. This was, according to Greenwald’s own accounts, the first time that Snowden was in the same room with the two journalists who helped bring his story to the world. The last time the three of them were together was for their first meeting in Hong Kong last year.

The selfie was presumably taken in Moscow, where Snowden arrived in June after disclosing documents about the inner workings of the National Security Administration, though it could’ve been taken elsewhere as Snowden lives in an undisclosed location.

The documents Snowden disclosed revealed the NSA was collecting cellphone metadata from hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and snooping on nations considered allies of the U.S.

Greenwald recently said on Charlie Rose that he was going to Russia for a joint interview with Snowden.

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