TIME society

Hundreds of Strangers at This Starbucks Paid for Each Others’ Coffee for a Day

TEA
Chai tea from Oprah Winfrey is available in hot and cold servings at Starbucks. Chicago Tribune—MCT via Getty Images

Remember that ho-hum movie with Kevin Spacey, Pay It Forward? Well it sort of happened in real life in Florida

A Florida woman started what became a chain of goodwill Wednesday. Around 7 a.m. she ordered an iced coffee at a drive-through Starbucks in St. Petersburg and offered to pay for a caramel macchiato for the stranger behind her. He, in turn, paid for the person in the car behind him.

And so it went.

378 people participated in the “pay it forward” chain until around 6 p.m., when customer 379 declined to participate in the experiment. The barista, Vu Nguyen, believes the last customer didn’t understand the concept, according to the Associated Press.

Way to be a downer, Stranger No. 379.

[AP]

TIME society

Say Cheese!

Darko Vojinovic – AP

Don't...Move...

What have we here? An outtake from a Jurassic Park movie? Nope, just some perfect timing. A visitor takes a picture at an exhibit called “Dino Park” at Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday.

TIME society

The Most Well-Rested and Sleep-Deprived Cities in the World

The Marunouchi district of Tokyo, Japan. Getty Images

Based on data crunched by Jawbone, a fitness tracker

The title of the world’s most well-rested city goes to Melbourne, Australia, whose residents log an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes of sleep per night, the Wall Street Journal recently reported, based on data obtained from Jawbone’s UP, an electronic wristband that tracks sleeping and movement patterns.

The city that sleeps the least, though, isn’t the city that never sleeps—it’s Tokyo, Japan, where residents get an average of 5 hours and 44 minutes of sleep. (New Yorkers sleep an average of 6 hours and 47 minutes per night, not too far behind Melbourne residents.)

Meanwhile, Brisbane, Australia takes two crowns: the city with the earliest average bedtime (10:57 p.m.) and the city with the earliest average wake-up time (6:29 a.m.). Residents of Moscow, Russia, wake up the latest with an average time of 8:08 a.m.

TIME Television

Watch Conan O’Brien Take the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge

It might be the best one yet

+ READ ARTICLE

Conan O’Brien is the latest high-profile star to take on the ALS ice-bucket challenge — and outdoes everyone in the process. That’s because he seemed to have misunderstood the whole point of the ALS campaign.

“Apparently if I get ice water poured on my head, ALS will then pay me $100. That’s a pretty sweet deal,” said O’Brien as he looked into the camera.

In the video featured on Thursday night’s episode of Conan, the late-night host stood in a black T-shirt and gray shorts as a staff member poured the ice-cold water onto his head.

“Whoa! Wow that was cold!” gasped O’Brien. Someone off-camera then explained that he had to donate money in addition to completing the challenge. He jokingly fired back: “I pay? Why would I do both?!”

O’Brien, of course, did end up donating to ALS. But not before he revealed a hilarious trick of his own. Watch the video to find out.

TIME society

Mark Zuckerberg Accepts Chris Christie’s Ice Bucket Challenge

And nominates Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg and Reed Hastings

Mark Zuckerberg became the latest celebrity to take on the ALS “Ice-Bucket Challenge” on Wednesday after being nominated by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Looking into the camera, Zuckerberg then nominated Bill Gates, Facebook colleague Sheryl Sandberg, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to take on the challenge within 24 hours or to donate $100 dollars.

The video, which was posted on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, shows him in a tight blue T-shirt and dark pants as he pours a bin filled with cold water over his head.

His reaction? “That was really cold.”

TIME society

Millennials’ Worst Nightmare Realized When Fake Security Guard Fines People For Taking Selfies

Apocalypse Instagram.

+ READ ARTICLE

New Yorkers reacted to a sign recently placed in Central Park declaring it a “Selfie-Free Zone” Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight as you’d expect they might: They took selfies with it.

In the latest edition of Jena Kingsley’s YouTube series, the prankster put on a security uniform and informed people that their selfies were punishable by a $50 fine. And some of the filter-loving photo takers were not pleased with the supposed de Blasio New York policy.

But even though the video just aims to poke fun at our cultural selfie craze — “Can you imagine what our pics are going to look like to our children and grandchildren?” Kingsley asks TIME — it hits a little close to home. Some institutions are at war with selfies. They have been banned at some school graduations, in clubs, and a New York law now prohibits direct contact between the public and tigers or other big cats as more and more men make “tiger selfies” their profile pictures on online dating sites.

Is this parody really a look into a post-selfie future? Sparrow face while you still can!

TIME society

Chris Christie Did the Ice Bucket Challenge And Here’s Video Proof

He nominates Jimmy Fallon, Mark Zuckerberg, and Cory Booker to take the plunge next

Chris Christie, New Jersey’s governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, became the latest high-profile figure to participate in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” Tuesday evening. That’s the Facebook trend in which people post videos of themselves getting doused with ice water, then nominate others to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS research.

In the video posted to Christie’s Facebook page, he’s seen grinning as two of his children, Patrick and Bridget, do the honors. He nominated New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D), Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to complete the challenge next.

Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert Kennedy, nominated President Barack Obama to do the challenge, but a White House spokesperson said he will just give money. Other influencers who have completed the challenge include Martha Stewart, Matt Lauer and Lance Bass.

TIME society

Roald Dahl Fans Are Not Pleased With This Creepy New Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Cover

Penguin

Penguin says it's meant to highlight the 'light and the dark aspects' of the work

This week, Penguin Books released a new cover of the Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Exciting news for fan of this classic novel, right? Eh, not so much. Reactions across the web were largely negative, with fans deeming the cover inappropriately sexualized and reminiscent of JonBenét Ramsey. Others even thought it was a spoof.

But some people appreciated the cover’s creepiness because the book itself is, of course, pretty dark.

Penguin explains its design in a Facebook post:

Publishing for the first time as a Penguin Modern Classic, this design is in recognition of the book’s extraordinary cultural impact and is one of the few children’s books to be featured in the Penguin Modern Classics list.

This new image for CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY looks at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald Dahl’s writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects of life, ready for Charlie’s debut amongst the adult titles in the Penguin Modern Classics series.

Some people have speculated that the girl on the cover is meant to represent either Veruca Salt or Violet Beauregarde, though according to the BBC, that’s not true.

Either way, this art is a pretty puzzling choice, but at least the publisher didn’t put Johnny Depp on the cover.

 

TIME Culture

Study: Society Flourished When Humans Got Less Manly

128583565
A model of Peking man (Homo erectus pekinensis), who lived 1-2 million years ago Getty Images

Does lower T lead to higher tech? Research links decrease in manly traits to an increase in sophisticated toolmaking in early humans

Some anthropologists now believe that advanced human behaviors like toolmaking only developed when early humans evolved to have lower levels of testosterone than their ancestors, according to a new study published in Current Anthropology.

“All of a sudden, in the archeological record, culture and advanced technology suddenly becomes more widespread. And at that time we also see a decrease in testosterone,” said the study’s lead author Bob Cieri, a graduate student at the University of Utah. “Before 50,00 years ago, there were brief flashes of advanced behavior and artifacts, but they’re not persistent and widespread.”

Cieri measured the browridge of different human skulls, which indicates the level of testosterone in the skeleton. Heavier brows and longer faces indicate more testosterone, and more rounded heads indicate less testosterone, according to Stephen Churchill, the Duke professor who supervised Cieri’s work. Cieri measured 13 human skulls that were more than 80,000 years old; 41 skulls between 10,000 and 38,000 years old; and over 1,200 20th-century skulls from different ethnic populations. He found that the modern skulls had substantially more rounded features and less heavy brows than the early skulls, indicating a drop in testosterone between our early ancestors and modern humans.

Cieri says the decrease in testosterone levels could be attributed to the rise in the Homo sapiens population, which meant that people had to be nicer to each other because they were living in closer quarters. “If population density starts increasing, not only are there more people in your immediate environment that you have to get along with, but all land would be occupied with human groups,” he explains. “You wouldn’t just go across to the other side of the valley to hunt bison by yourself, you’d go to the other side of the valley and maybe make a treaty with the other people who live there.”

It’s important to note that these early humans didn’t yet have “culture” as we know it — they were still hunter-gatherers, Cieri says, but they were much less aggressive about it. But he thinks this lowering of testosterone led to more cooperation between people, which laid crucial groundwork for cultural advances thousands of years later.

So if you’re still worried about low T after reading TIME’s recent cover story, “Manopause?!,” consider that a little less T isn’t always a bad thing.

TIME Opinion

You’ve Come a Long Way Daddy

Girl playing outside in the summer
Brian Braiker

A new book asks whether fathers matter. And this dad wonders why we're still asking that question.

Do fathers matter? On the face of it the question is a preposterous one. You might as well be asking “Are friends important?” or “Who needs trees, anyway?”

But Do Fathers Matter? happens to be the title of a new book by author and award-winning science journalist Paul Raeburn. And while the title seems to indulge in a bit of trolling, it turns out the book does a nice job of filling in a few gaps no one completely realized were gaping.

Science has historically focused only on the mother’s role in child-rearing. Raising children, after all, is women’s work, right? It’s a cliche that has taken root in modern society but biologically, this is simply not the case.

Raeburn points us to the titi monkey as an example: “Titi monkey fathers provide food for their offspring and follow mothers around all day, so that whenever the babies are not nursing the fathers can carry them on their backs,” Raeburn writes. “The father carries his infant 90 percent of the time.”

The baby monkeys, in return, are very attached to their fathers. Human fathers, while maybe not quite as dedicated, remain the most committed mammalian fathers of any species on Earth, Raeburn goes on to tell us (tantalizingly leaving open the prospect of some kind of reptilian Superdad.)

Look no further than the latest ad by Cheerios, which comes with its own hashtag: #HowToDad. In it a father of four gives his only mildly-grating manifesto for manly parenting — which lives in the Venn diagram sweet spot between being “awesome” and “responsible.” We’ve come a long way from Mr. Mom.

But science hasn’t been keeping up. The result is a body of knowledge that fails to take into account half of the child-rearing populace. I personally can’t fault science for spending an inordinate amount of time looking at ladies, but it’s not very scientific at the end of the day: A 2005 survey of 514 studies on adolescent and child psychology, for example, revealed that almost half of the research ignored fathers. Only 11 percent made fathers the exclusive focus, Raeburn tells us.

To be fair, there’s been some progress: Before 1970 less than a fifth of scientific studies about parental bonding took dad’s role into account. And minor though it is, Raeburn mines the progress well. One takeaway is that we dads have an impact on our babies before they’re even born.

A bit of context. Here is what progressive fatherhood looked like in 1986: “We were well prepared for natural childbirth, which means that no drugs can be given to the female during delivery. The father, however, can have all he wants,” joked Bill Cosby in his book “Fatherhood.” If only that were true.

“Research is showing that a father’s environment, his behavior and even his appearance can have a substantial effect on fetal health,” Raeburn writes. “And on the health of his grandchildren.”

Good lord. Even my appearance? Let me now use this public forum to apologize now to my grandkids for last year’s mustache and afro combination that I rocked for a solid six months.

Fortunately for my kids I also do the dishes on the regular. A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, found that fathers who perform household chores are more likely to bring up daughters who aspire to careers in business, legal and other professions. I am dying for a corollary study to conclude that mothers who shout at the TV during football games and spend a lot of time in the tool shed raise boys that are more likely to go into ballet instruction.

But the research, conducted at the University of British Columbia in Canada, does dovetail with other findings that suggest girls who grow up in the presence of warm, supportive fathers tend to begin puberty later and are less inclined to engage in high-risk sexual behavior than daughters of absentee dads.

This “absentee” word hits home for me. I have been separated from the mother of my kids for nearly five years, a significant chunk of their lives. As a single father with joint custody I see my girls every day, including days when they don’t stay at mine, and am incredibly grateful for it. But I worry all the time about the impact of the breakup on my kids. So I am hyper vigilant.

I take heart in much of Raeburn’s book, not just because I like to cook and find doing dishes therapeutic. He points to one study that found that, while both parents play with children the same amount of time, Dad is — for lack of a better word — the fun parent. Father’s play is “more physical and idiosyncratic,” and babies tend to like it.

“Physical and idiosyncratic” is a diplomatic way, at best, to describe the dance parties I instigate at the breakfast table. Babies (and 6-year-olds) may like it, but the day is coming when my daughters become teenagers and “idiosyncratic” becomes “idiotic.” Oh how I will delight in embarrassing them, though.

It turns out Dad’s play is important when it comes to learning too, providing a critical boost to language development. Premature infants from disadvantaged families had higher IQs if fathers played with them and helped care for them, Raeburn writes. Studies have found that fathers are more likely to stretch their young children’s vocabularies. I can certainly boast that I’ve introduced a few four letter words into my girls’ verbal arsenal.

I’ve interviewed my daughters in this space before, so I thought it might be interesting to see what they had to say about the very question posed in Raeburn’s title: Do fathers matter?

Unfortunately, today got away from us. We woke up early and cuddled while we watched “Little Shop of Horrors” together — not entirely age-appropriate, but hey!, I’m idiosyncratic. Then it was time for breakfast (Waffles! Bacon! Plums! No screens!), then showers. I took them to get a birthday present before a friend’s party. After that it was playground time and swings and a water balloon fight and more swings followed by tears over a lost earring and much consoling and hugs and, finally, dinner.

I guess in the middle of all that I forgot to ask them if their father mattered.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,408 other followers