TIME society

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Just Topped $100 Million

More than 3 million people have donated

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Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge broke the $100 million mark Friday as people around world continue to dump ice on their heads and donate to the ALS Association to help combat Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” ALS President and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

The $100 million in donations came from more than 3 million donors who have contributed since the challenge went viral in late July. The ALS Association raised only $2.8 million in the same period last year.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a social media phenomenon, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans including many celebrities and political figures. Some have speculated that it might forever change the way charities approach fundraising.

TIME society

Artist Hid $16,000 Worth of Gold on a Beach, and You Have to Find It

Single gold ingot.
Single gold ingot. Anthony Bradshaw—Getty Images

Starting today, it's finders-keepers.

There is about £10,000 ($16,000) worth of gold bullion buried in the sand on a beach in England as part of an innovative public art installation. Oh, and starting today it’s finders-keepers.

German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried the bars in the sand of Outer Harbour beach in Folkestone, England as part of the Folkestone Triennial, a public art project. The mad dash to uncover the buried treasure will begin this afternoon when the tide goes out, and if you find one of the gold bars, it’s yours.

But how, some might ask, is giving away free gold a work of art?

Lewis Biggs, the Triennial curator, told The Guardian that the art piece is about what the lucky few will do with the gold, rather than about the precious metal itself: “Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby’s? Or do you keep it on the mantlepiece because you think it is going to be worth more later?”

Claire Doherty, the director of the group who commissioned Sailstorfer’s piece, told The Guardian that the beauty of the project is that it will endure even after all the gold is found, sold or displayed: “A lot of people won’t admit to having found one even if they have. Would you?”

 

TIME Laws

Why It’s Legal for a 9-Year-Old to Fire an Uzi

Gun Show Held At Pima County Fairgrounds
People shoot their guns at the Southwest Regional Park shooting range near the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz. Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

Questions after the death of a shooting instructor

The deadly shooting in which a nine-year-old girl accidentally killed her firing range instructor with an Uzi on Monday is the kind of incident that seems almost inconceivable. How can someone so young be allowed to fire such a high-powered weapon? The answer: Because she was accompanied by an adult.

“I think you’ll find that state laws provide for those under a certain age, usually 18, to shoot when under adult supervision or instruction,” says Michael Bazinet, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Youth shooting sports are generally extremely safe activities, enjoyed by millions of Americans.”

Bazinet says he knows of no federal legislation that restricts minors from shooting range activities, leaving it up to the states and the ranges themselves to determine who’s too young to shoot.

Bullets and Burgers, a shooting range in the Arizona’s Mojave Desert where the incident took place Monday morning, allows children as young as eight to shoot as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Under Arizona law, minors as young as 14 can shoot at a range without adult supervision.

The fatal shooting occurred about 10 a.m. Monday morning when Charles Vacca, a 39-year-old firearms instructor, was demonstrating how to fire the gun. The nine-year-old, whose name hasn’t been released but was accompanied by her parents, can be seen taking an initial shot in a video released by authorities. Vacca then appears to switch the gun to automatic. The video shows the gun recoiling as it points toward Vacca, who was shot in the head according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. (That portion is not seen in the video.)

Vacca was pronounced dead Monday evening.

Below is the video released by police, and while it does not depict the moment of the shooting, it may still be disturbing to some viewers; caution is advised.

TIME society

Portland Plans Tiny Houses for the Homeless

Homeless in the Pearl
A person walks by the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 4, 2013. Don Ryan—AP

Designed to give residents greater privacy and independence than traditional shelters, the micro homes may persuade people who currently live in Portland's "tent cities" to relocate to the sturdier structures

With an estimated 2,000 of its residents sleeping under bridges, on streets and in empty lots in a variety of makeshift shelters, the city of Portland, Oregon, is on a quest to provide more safe housing for those without a permanent address. Thinking beyond typical dorm-style shelters, it has launched a task force that will meet September 4th “to assess the viability of using tiny homes as a potential for housing houseless people,” says Josh Alpert, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Mayor Charlie Hales. Alpert hopes the first batch of homes will be ready for occupancy by late February 2015.

The mayor’s office began looking into the idea of micro homes in June after housing advocate Michael Withey presented an idea to the city council based on designs by architecture firm TechDwell. Alpert says he envisions a pilot program in which up to ten structures are erected on four separate city-owned lots. The idea is to establish the micro communities in various neighborhoods “so that no one area is feeling overburdened,” Alpert adds.

TechDwell

The tiny houses will be selected through a request-for-proposals process and will hinge on two key factors: cost and the ability to meet city and county building codes. Tim Cornell of TechDwell, who has already met with Alpert to discuss his prototype, says he can deliver micro homes that sleep two people and have bathrooms and kitchens built-in for $20,000 each. His FlexDwell prototype (shown at right) measures 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep and features a sloped ceiling that is 12-ft. high in front. Made of prefab materials available at Home Depot and Lowe’s, it includes two sleeping pods joined by a kitchen, bathroom and eating area. To save space, the bathroom shares a sink with the kitchen. “We could have them built on-site in 45 days” after an order is placed, Cornell says.

Because the tiny houses offer dwellers more privacy than big shelters, they may appeal to people who are reluctant to give up the sense of independence that comes from living on the street. The micro homes could also be cheaper than temporary emergency shelters, which cost up to $16,000 a year and lack plumbing.

“If there is a potential to get even one person off the streets, it’s worth trying,” says Alpert. “Simply having a roof over their head may enable them to springboard into finding a job.”

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

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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.

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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!

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