TIME viral

David Lynch Plays Trumpet in Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Putin

Exactly what you'd expect from the director

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As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge makes its way around the globe, it was only a matter of time until it eventually came around to director David Lynch. Naturally, the man who brought us Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and Elephant Man interpreted the fundraising and awareness-raising exercise in a very David Lynchian way.

Challenged by Laura Dern (who starred in his film Wild at Heart) to dump iced coffee over his head, the director dumped a double shot of espresso into a bucket of ice water and proceeded to play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the trumpet until someone drenched him with the jumbo iced Americano. It was an odd cinematic moment that still managed to makes more sense than Mulholland Drive.

Lynch made the video a two-for-one deal, as he was also nominated for the stunt by The Leftovers star Justin Theroux. Still soaking from the original dousing, Lynch had another bucket dumped on him, disappointingly with just plain old ice water.

As water dripped down his face, Lynch passed the nomination forward. To Vladimir Putin.

MORE: Matt Damon Uses Toilet Water for His Ice Bucket Challenge

MORE: Superman Proves He’s Superman By Hardly Wincing During The Ice Bucket Challenge

TIME viral

Toddler Completes Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Dora the Explorer

Your move, Dora.

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By now, it seems just about everyone – celebrities, politicians, dogs — has participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge, the massively viral phenomenon raising money for ALS research. (The ALS Association says it has now raised more than $90 million to combat the disease.)

You might be a little sick of watching videos of people dumping water over their heads, but we recommend taking 45 seconds to watch the one above, uploaded by YouTuber Mike Weber. It features an adorable 2-year-old named Ashley who dons a pair of goggles and gamely completes the challenge. She nominates a few members of her family, and then also nominates Barbie and Dora the Explorer.

Your move, Dora.

TIME viral

Superman Proves He’s Superman By Hardly Wincing During The Ice Bucket Challenge

Henry Cavill and Amy Adams get doused multiple times

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On the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, multiple buckets and trash cans of ice water were dumped over Henry Cavill — who was in his Superman costume — and Amy Adams (Lois Lane).

The video is part of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” a viral fundraising effort that has raised nearly $90 million by encouraging people to dump ice water over their heads on camera or donate $100 to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research (or both, as lots of celebrities have done).

In the video, Amy Adams said she was nominated by actor Darren Le Gallo and challenged her siblings to do it next.

TIME Opinion

How to Reclaim the F-Word? Just Call Beyoncé

Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
Beyonce performs onstage at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Beyonce’s brand of empowerment isn’t perfect, but her VMA performance on Sunday accomplished what activists could not: She took feminism to the masses.

Militant. Radical. Man-hating. If you study word patterns in media over the past two decades, you’ll find that these are among the most common terms used to talk about the word “feminist.” Yes, I did this — with the help of a linguist and a tool called the Corpus of Contemporary American English, which is the world’s largest database of language.

I did a similar search on Twitter, with the help of Twitter’s data team, looking at language trends over the past 48 hours. There, the word patterns were more simple. Search “feminist,” and you’ll likely come up with just one word association: Beyoncé.

That’s a product of Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, of course, in which the 33-year-old closed out the show with an epic declaration of the F-Word, a giant “FEMINIST” sign blazing from behind her silhouette.

As far as feminist endorsements are concerned, this was the holy grail: A word with a complicated history reclaimed by the most powerful celebrity in the world. And then she projected it — along with its definition, by the Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — into the homes of 12 million unassuming Americans. Beyoncé would become the subject of two-thirds of all tweets about feminism in the 24 hours after her appearance, according to a data analysis by Twitter, making Sunday the sixth-highest day for volume of conversation about feminism since Twitter began tracking this year (the top three were days during #YesAllWomen).

“What Bey just did for feminism, on national television, look, for better or worse, that reach is WAY more than anything we’ve seen,” the writer Roxane Gay, author of the new book, Bad Feminist, declared (on Twitter, naturally).

“HELL YES!” messaged Jennifer Pozner, a writer and media critic.

“It would have been unthinkable during my era,” said Barbara Berg, a historian and the author of Sexism in America.

Feminism may be enjoying a particular celebrity moment, but let’s just remember that this wasn’t always the case. Feminism’s definition may be simple — it is the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, as Adichie put it — and yet its interpretation is anything but. “There was only about two seconds in the history of the world in which women really welcomed [feminism],” Gail Collins, The New York Times columnist and author of America’s Women once told me in 2010, for an article I was writing about young women and feminism. “There’s something about the word that just drives people nuts.”

Over the past 40 years in particular, as Berg explains it, the word has seen it all: exultation, neutrality, uncertainty, animosity. “Feminazi” has become a perennial (and favorite) insult of the religious right (and of Rush Limbaugh). In 1992, in a public letter decrying a proposal for an equal rights amendment (the horror!) television evangelist Pat Robertson hilariously proclaimed that feminism would cause women to “leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

Even the leaders of the movement have debated whether the word should be abandoned (or rebranded). From feminist has evolved the words womanist, humanist, and a host of other options — including, at one point, the suggestion from Queen Bey herself for something a little bit more catchy, “like ‘bootylicious.'” (Thank God that didn’t stick.)

It wasn’t that the people behind these efforts (well, most of them anyway) didn’t believe in the tenets of feminism — to the contrary, they did. But there was just something about identifying with that word. For some, it was pure naiveté: We were raised post-Title IX, and there were moments here and there where we thought maybe we didn’t need it. (We could be whatever we wanted, right? That was the gift of the feminists who came before us.) But for others, it was a notion of what the word had come to represent: angry, extreme, unlikeable. As recently as last year, a poll by the Huffington Post/YouGov found that while 82 percent of Americans stated that they indeed believe women and men should be equals, only 20 percent of them were willing to identify as feminists.

Enter… Beyoncé. The new enlightened Beyoncé, that is. Universally loved, virtually unquestioned, and flawless, the 33-year-old entertainer seems to debunk every feminist stereotype you’ve ever heard. Beyoncé can’t be a man-hater – she’s got a man (right?). Her relationship – whatever you believe about the divorce rumors – has been elevated as a kind of model for egalitarian bliss: dual earners, adventurous sex life, supportive husband and an adorable child held up on stage by daddy while mommy worked. Beyoncé’s got the confidence of a superstar but the feminine touch of a mother. And, as a woman of color, she’s speaking to the masses – a powerful voice amid a movement that has a complicated history when it comes to inclusion.

No, you don’t have to like the way Beyoncé writhes around in that leotard – or the slickness with which her image is controlled – but whether you like it or not, she’s accomplished what feminists have long struggled to do: She’s reached the masses. She has, literally, brought feminism into the living rooms of 12.4 million Americans. “Sure, it’s just the VMAs,” says Pozner. “She’s not marching in Ferguson or staffing a battered woman’s shelter, but through her performance millions of mainstream music fans are being challenged to think about feminism as something powerful, important, and yes, attractive. And let’s head off at the pass any of the usual hand-wringing about her sexuality — Madonna never put the word FEMINIST in glowing lights during a national awards show performance. This is, as we say… a major moment.”

It’s what’s behind the word that matters, of course. Empty branding won’t change policy (and, yes, we need policy change). But there is power in language, too.

“Looking back on those early days of feminism, you can see that the word worked as a rallying cry,” says Deborah Tannen, aa linguist at Georgetown University and the author of You Just Don’t Understand, about men and women in conversation. “It gave women who embraced [it] a sense of identity and community — a feeling that they were part of something, and a connection to others who were a part of it too. Beyoncé’s taking back this word and identifying with it is huge.”

Bennett is a contributing columnist at TIME.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. A former Newsweek senior writer and executive editor of Tumblr, she is a contributing editor for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s foundation, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

TIME viral

Matt Damon Uses Toilet Water for His Ice Bucket Challenge

He hoped to draw attention to the widespread lack of clean water around the world

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When nominated by his pals Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Matt Damon faced a bit of a dilemma.

The challenge requires participants to either donate money toward amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research or dump water over their heads (or, as many celebrities have done, both, helping the campaign raise about $80 million.) Damon was down to contribute to a good (and massively viral) cause, but didn’t want to waste clean water, as he’s the co-founder of Water.org, a non-profit dedicated to providing safe water and sanitation in the developing world.

Damon’s solution to this conundrum? Just use toilet water — and also consider the video an opportunity to raise awareness about the lack of clean drinking water across the globe.

“This is truly toilet water. I’ve been collecting it from various toilets around the house,” he says as he fills his bucket. ” For those of you like my wife who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the West is actually cleaner than the water that most people in the developing world have access to.”

Then he dumps the toilet water over his head and nominates George Clooney, Bono and Tom Brady. We have a feeling those guys will just use regular water though.

TIME viral

‘Winter Is Coming': George R.R. Martin Does the Ice Bucket Challenge

A Song of Ice (Bucket Challenge) and Fire

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George R.R. Martin took a quick break from killing off all your favorite people in Westeros to add to the ever-growing collection of celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge videos. That’s the trend in which people dump ice water over themselves and post the proof on Facebook or donate to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. Many stars have done both, and the campaign has raised about $80 million so far.

After being nominated by Neil Gaiman (who he deems a “bastard”) and a few other people, Martin parks himself beside a pool and declares, “God help us all! Winter is coming!” Then some friends dump ice water on him and he emits a sound that can really only be described as a squeal/yelp hybrid. Then he hops into the pool and makes a bunch of Game of Thrones references.

Overall, the whole thing is much less of a bloodbath than we expected.

 

TIME viral

Get “Happy” With This American Sign Language Performance of Pharrell’s Hit Song

This video gives new meaning to the term "happy campers."

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Pharrell’s “Happy” is the song that keeps on giving (and giving and giving and giving).

Whether it’s watching adorable kids dance to the catchy tune, listening to an acoustic version, checking out the full choir treatment of the track or watching Weird Al Yankovic’s take on it, it’s hard not to smile when you hear the song, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. While a “Happy” overdose may be setting in, there’s one more take on the chipper tune that you’re going to want to check out.

In a new video posted to YouTube, campers and staff from the 2014 Deaf Film Camp put a new spin on the song by performing it in American Sign Language (ASL). Produced by campers and staff at Deaf Film Camp — a two-week summer program for deaf and hard-of-hearing teens interested in filmmaking — their joyful take on the song gives new meaning to the term “happy campers.”

MORE: The 2014 VMAs: The Good, the Bad, the Beyoncé

MORE: Let’s Go Crazy: Prince to Release Two New Albums In September

TIME viral

Little Girl and Tibetan Mastiff Are Best Friends

The Tibetan Mastiff is a gentle giant

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While Internet users seem to love watching videos of small dogs having fun instead of working (or twerking), today Simba the Tibetan Mastiff proves that big dogs deserve attention, too.

If you aren’t familiar with the Tibetan Mastiffs, the breed dates back to around 1100 BC in China, according to the American Kennel Club. The dogs, who are known for their loyalty and protectiveness, are massive animals that can stand over three feet high and weigh well over 100 pounds.

So if you are a little girl, a Tibetan Mastiff could easily look more like a mountain than a playmate. In this video uploaded to Facebook by Lin Zhihong, Simba proves that the whole “gentle giant” thing can be a reality. In the clip, Simba lets his tiny little friend Weiwei clamber all over him while he sweetly sits there and puts up with anything the little girl dishes out. It’s an adorable reminder that big dogs can be all heart.

MORE: What Life Is Like for America’s Most Famous Panda Cub

MORE: Black Cat Interrupts Barcelona Game

TIME viral

This Video of a Tiny Hamster in a Tiny Mansion Is Hugely Adorable

If you love watching tiny hamsters eat tiny burritos, then you'll love this clip

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Whether it’s Tumtum and Nutmeg or Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice, the joy of seeing tiny animals act like people is universally appealing.

In the wake of viral video Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos and hit sequel Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Pizzas, YouTube hamster fanatic and tiny food enthusiast April’s Animals has released a follow-up that you have to see, featuring a tiny hamster living in a tiny mansion. It’s two minutes of adorableness as a tiny rodent sleeps in a tiny bed, sits in a tiny chair, and uses a tiny bathtub before eating a giant strawberry with its tiny little hands.

It’s a much-needed cute break for when the news cycle gets you down, and you have watched all of Beyoncé’s VMA performance. Twice.

MORE: What Life Is Like for America’s Most Famous Panda Cub

MORE: This Italian Beach Says ‘Si, Per Favore’ to Dogs

TIME Business

You Know Things Have Gone Too Far When a Samsung Galaxy Challenges an iPhone to the Ice Bucket Challenge

#Brands being #Brands

Some people are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS. Others are dumping buckets of ice water over their head to raise awareness for their social media profile. Samsung, for instance, dumped a bucket of ice water over a waterproof Galaxy S5 to bash Apple’s non-waterproof iPhone.

Brands, amiright? Always finding a way to latch onto the latest viral trend…

Chili’s had a more subtle approach to the challenge:

And Ronald McDonald had the most confused, failing to mention donations and nominating all “redheads”:

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $80 million for ALS research since July 29.

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