TIME Last Week Tonight

Watch John Oliver Use Free Lunch to Remind Fashion CEOs That Sweatshops Are Bad

Extremely cheap meat, anyone?

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his gimlet eye on fashion (a.k.a. fun you can buy).

Americans buy roughly 64 items of clothing per person per year, according to Oliver. That fashion habit comes thanks to the low prices available at fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara and Forever 21 — nationwide outfitters that, according to Oliver, allow “Midwestern tweens to dress like fortysomething alcoholics attending the funeral of a Tel Aviv nightclub owner.”

But there’s another dark side to cheap clothing, according to Oliver. When H&M sells a dress for $4.95 — which Oliver notes was 7¢ more expensive than a DVD of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — and yet the CEOs of H&M and Zara are some of the richest men in the world, it’s clear something is awry. On Last Week Tonight, Oliver took fast-fashion companies, including Walmart and Gap, to task for the fact that sweatshops and child labor are still commonly used to manufacture high-street clothing.

Then, for a lesson in manufacturing oversight, Oliver kindly sent extremely cheap lunches of indeterminate origin to the CEOs of fashion companies that employ cheap labor.

Read next: John Oliver: ‘Thank F–k There Weren’t Camera Phones’ When I Started Out

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Race

Calm Restored in Baltimore as the City Awaits the Funeral of Freddie Gray

Hundreds visited a local funeral home to pay their respects

Freddie Gray’s body lies in state on a city fault line.

To the west of Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, where a wake was held Sunday for the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in police custody, is Loyola University and largely white and affluent surrounding neighborhoods. To the east are Winston-Govans and Richnor Springs and Kenilworth Park—all low-income, predominantly black neighborhoods.

On Sunday, Gray’s body was at a nexus of those two Baltimores. The funeral home is located on York Road, a north-south corridor that almost neatly divides those starkly different areas of the city. Gray, who was black, died in police custody on April 19 after he was arrested a week earlier near Gilmor Homes, a public housing complex. Gray ran from police after he “made eye contact” with officers and was eventually detained. Video taken by bystanders shows police dragging Gray into a police van. An autopsy later showed that Gray died from a severe spinal injury.

The incident has joined those in Ferguson, North Charleston, Cleveland and New York—all instances in which police use of force incidents against black men have been called into question. On Saturday, protests over Gray’s death briefly turned violent when Baltimore police arrested 35 protesters after businesses were vandalized and police vehicles damaged. Officials blame a small group of people from outside the city for the violence. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at least one of those arrested was from outside of Baltimore.

But on Sunday, Baltimore remained largely quiet aside from several dozen demonstrators lining York outside the funeral home where hundreds of family and friends paid their respects. Some stood in the street for hours holding cut-out cardboard signs that read “We Will Remember Freddie” in black marker while urging passing cars to honk in support.

Joseph Capista, a lecturer at Towson University who helped organize Sunday’s demonstration, said he hoped Gray’s death would be a tipping point for the city.

“We live in an antebellum society in terms of racial justice,” Capista said, adding that he believed police behavior differed depending on the neighborhood. Policing in white neighborhoods, he said, is often more respectful on the whole than in poorer black ones.

A number of protesters were concerned that Baltimore—nicknamed “Charm City”—was being treated unfairly in the media after the trouble on Saturday.

“Baltimore was not out of control,” said Karen DeCamp, a director at the Greater Homewood Community Corporation, a nonprofit advocacy organization, who was demonstrating outside the funeral home. “Baltimore was not burning. A very small number of people made some trouble, and it was completely blown out of proportion.”

While there was no violence Sunday, there was still anger. Patrices Kelly, 40, who lives in West Baltimore and was watching demonstrators Sunday, said she wanted both the mayor and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts to step down.

Kelly said she was “angry as hell,” and “frustrated” at city officials’ response. “We just want to do something about it.”

Several miles away, Baltimore’s mayor convened a press conference at the Bethel A.M.E. Baptist Church alongside about a dozen religious and community leaders. Rawlings-Blake said that a “small group of agitators” turned otherwise peaceful demonstrations violent on Saturday, calling their actions “unacceptable.”

“We cannot and will not let a minority of incendiary individuals exploit the honorable intentions of those trying to exercise their rights,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said he saw “tremendous restraint” on the part of the Baltimore police Saturday.

On Monday, Gray is set to be buried at the New Shiloh Baptist Church in the neighborhood of Mondawmin. The fault line of York Road will remain for now.

TIME White House

Russian Hackers Read Some of Obama’s Email, Report Says

The hackers did not access any highly-classified information

Russian hackers read some of President Obama’s personal emails when they breached White House computer systems last year, according to a new report.

The New York Times, citing unnamed senior American officials, reports that hackers accessed the email archives of government officials who work in the White House and communicate with the President. Through those archives, hackers were able to see officials’ correspondence with Obama.

The hackers did not access any highly-classified information or breach the servers that connect to Obama’s Blackberry, according to the report.

The hackers are suspected to be connected with the Russian government, according to the report.

Read more at The Times

TIME Nepal

Aftershocks Rattle Nepal as Quake Toll Passes 2,500

Saturday's earthquake was the worst to hit the South Asian nation in more than 80 years

(KATHMANDU, Nepal) — Shell-shocked and sleeping in the streets, tens of thousands of Nepalese braced against terrifying aftershocks Sunday while digging for survivors in the devastation wrought a day earlier by a massive earthquake that ripped across this Himalayan nation and killed more than 2,500 people.

Acrid, white smoke rose above the nation’s most revered Hindu temple, where dozens of bodies were being cremated at any given time.

Aid groups received the first word from remote mountain villages — reports that suggested many communities perched on mountainsides were devastated or struggling to cope.

Landslides hindered rescue teams that tried to use mountain trails to reach those in need, said Prakash Subedi, chief district official in the Gorkha region, where the quake was centered.

“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls,” said Matt Darvas, a member of the aid group World Vision. “It will likely be helicopter access only.”

Read more: See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake spread horror from Kathmandu to small villages and to the slopes of Mount Everest, triggering an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make their summit attempts. At least 18 people died there and 61 were injured.

With people fearing more quakes, tens of thousands spent the day crowding in the streets and the night sleeping in parks or on a golf course. Others camped in open squares lined by cracked buildings and piles of rubble. Helicopter blades thudded periodically overhead.

Crows screeched as the ground shook with the worst of the aftershocks — magnitude 6.7. Panicked residents raced outdoors.

“We don’t feel safe at all. There have been so many aftershocks. It doesn’t stop,” said Rajendra Dhungana, 34, who spent the day with his niece’s family for her cremation at the Pashuputi Nath Temple in Katmandu. “I’ve watched hundreds of bodies burn. I never thought I’d see so many … Nepal should learn a lesson from this. They should realize proper buildings should be built. There should be open spaces people can run to.”

Nepal authorities said Sunday that at least 2,430 people died in that country alone, not including the 18 dead in the avalanche. Another 61 people died from the quake in India and a few in other neighboring countries.

At least 1,152 people died in Kathmandu, and the number of injured nationwide was upward of 5,900. With search-and-rescue efforts far from over, it was unclear how much the death toll would rise. Three policemen died during a rescue effort in Kathmandu, police spokesman Komal Singh Bam said.

The city is largely a collection of small, poorly constructed brick apartment buildings. But outside of the oldest neighborhoods, many in Kathmandu were surprised by how few modern structures collapsed in the quake.

Read more: How Shoddily Constructed Buildings Become Weapons of Mass Destruction

While aid workers cautioned that many buildings could have sustained serious structural damage, it was also clear that the death toll would have been far higher had more buildings caved in.

Aid workers also warned that the situation could be far worse near the epicenter west of Kathmandu. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered near Lamjung, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu.

As planeloads of supplies, doctors and relief workers from neighboring countries arrived at Kathmandu’s airport, thousands of Indians lined up outside in hopes of gaining a seat on a plane returning to New Delhi.

One of those fleeing, 32-year-old tailor Assad Alam, said he and his wife and daughter were leaving with heavy hearts.

“It was a very difficult decision. I have called this home for seven years. But you have to think about the family, about your child.”

The earthquake was the worst to hit the South Asian nation in more than 80 years. It destroyed swaths of the oldest neighborhoods of Kathmandu, the capital, and was strong enough to be felt all across parts of India, Bangladesh, China’s region of Tibet and Pakistan.

Nepal’s worst recorded earthquake in 1934 measured 8.0 and all but destroyed the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.

Rescuers aided by international teams spent Sunday digging through rubble of buildings — concrete slabs, bricks, iron beams, wood — to look for survivors. Because the air was filled with chalky concrete dust, many people wore breathing masks or held shawls over their faces.

Hundreds of people in the western Kalanki neighborhood nervously watched the slow progress of a single backhoe digging into the rubble of the collapsed Lumbini Guest House, once a three-story budget hotel frequented by Nepalese.

Police officer RP Dhamala, who was coordinating the rescue efforts, said they had already pulled out 12 people alive and six dead. He said rescuers were still searching for about 20 people believed to be trapped, but had heard no cries, taps or noises for a while.

Most areas were without power and water. The United Nations said hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley were overcrowded and running out of emergency supplies and space to store corpses.

Most shops in Kathmandu were closed after the government declared a weeklong period of recovery. Only fruit vendors and pharmacies seemed to be doing business.

“More people are coming now,” fruit seller Shyam Jaiswal said. “They cannot cook so they need to buy something they can eat raw.”

Jaiswal said stocks were running out, and more shipments were not expected for at least a week, but added, “We are not raising prices. That would be illegal, immoral profit.”

Read more: Your City Might Not Be Ready for the Big Next Earthquake

The quake will probably put a huge strain on the resources of this impoverished country best known for Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people, relies heavily on tourism, principally trekking and Himalayan mountain climbing.

With Kathmandu airport reopened, the first aid flights began delivering aid supplies. The first to respond were Nepal’s neighbors — India, China and Pakistan, all of which have been jockeying for influence over the landlocked nation. Nepal remains closest to India, with which it shares deep political, cultural and religious ties.

India suffered its own losses from the quake, with at least 61 people killed there and dozens injured. Sunday’s aftershock was also widely felt in the country, and local news reports said metro trains in New Delhi and Kolkata were briefly shut down when the shaking started.

Other countries sending support Sunday included the United Arab Emirates, Germany and France.

After the chaos of Saturday — when little organized rescue and relief was seen —efforts were more orderly on Sunday as rescue teams fanned out across the city.

Workers were sending out tents and relief goods in trucks and helicopters and setting up shelters, said disaster management official Rameshwar Dangal.

Mukesh Kafle, head of the Nepal Electricity Authority, said power was restored to main government offices, the airport and hospitals.

The earthquake also damaged several landmarks, including the nine-story Dharahara Tower, built by Nepal’s royal rulers as a watchtower in the 1800s and a UNESCO-recognized historical monument. It was reduced to rubble, and there were reports of people trapped underneath.

The Kathmandu Valley is listed as a World Heritage site. The Buddhist stupas, public squares and Hindu temples are some of the most well-known sites in Kathmandu, and now some of the most deeply mourned.

___

Associated Press writers Muneeza Naqvi and Tim Sullivan in New Delhi contributed to this report.

TIME White House

Watch Obama Perfectly Nail a Key and Peele Skit at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

He got some help from Luther, his anger translator

The highlight of President Obama’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday was when Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele made a surprise appearance as Luther, the President’s anger translator.

Playing a character he originated on the sketch comedy show, Key “translated” Obama’s mild-mannered speech into an angry rant, warning the audience to “hold on to your lily-white butts.”

At one point, when Obama was discussing Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, Key interjected, “Khaleesi is coming to Westeros.”

But by the time he started talking about climate change, Obama let himself get riled up. That was Luther’s cue: “With all due respect sir, you don’t need an anger translator, you need counseling.”

On his way out, he shared a moment with Michelle Obama, during which they seemed to agree the President was “crazy.”

TIME White House

Watch the Funniest Jokes From the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

President Obama and Cecily Strong crack wise in Washington

For 364 days of the year, Washington, D.C. is about as funny as daytime C-SPAN.

But for just one night, the White House and the journalists who cover it put aside their differences, put on their tuxes and gowns, and come together for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Celebrities, journalists, and politicians gathered Saturday night for the annual dinner sometimes known as “nerd prom”—an event so popular there’s even a documentary on Washington’s biggest night.

It’s a chance for the President to relax and crack a few jokes of his own. And in case they fall flat, he is followed by a bit from an actual comedian (this year it was Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong, in the past it’s been other big names like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.) And Keegan-Michael Key made a surprise appearance as Luther, Obama’s anger translator, a character from his Comedy Central show Key & Peele.

Here are the funniest moments from the night.

Obama’s best jokes:

1) On Joe Biden: “The fact is, I feel more loose and relaxed than ever. Those Joe Biden shoulder massages are like magic. You should try one. … Oh, you have?”

2) “Advisers asked me, ‘do you have a bucket list?’ And I said, well, I have something that rhymes with ‘bucket list.’ … Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. New Climate regulations? Bucket.”

3) On how tough it is to be president: “It’s no wonder people keep pointing out how the presidency has aged me… John Boehner’s already invited Netanyahu to speak at my funeral.”

4) On Obamacare: “Today, thanks to Obamacare, you no longer have to worry about losing your insurance if you lose your job. You’re welcome, Senate Democrats.”

5) On the Republicans: “Dick Cheney says I’m the worst president of his life time. Which is interesting, because I think Dick Cheney is the worst president of my lifetime. What a coincidence.”

6) On Hillary Clinton: “I have one friend—just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year, and now she’s living out of a van in Iowa.”

7) On his bro-mance with Biden: “We’ve gotten so close that in some places in Indiana they won’t serve us pizza anymore”

8) On the weather and the media: “The polar vortex caused so many record lows they named it MSNBC.”

9) On the possibility of a Bernie Sanders campaign: “Apparently some people want to see a pot-smoking socialist in the White House. We could get a third Obama term after all.”

10) Luther, Obama’s anger translator (played by Keegan-Michael Key) on Hillary Clinton’s campaign: “Khaleesi is coming to Westeros”

Cecily Strong’s best jokes:

1) On the mood in the room: This is “a chance for all of you to unwind, relax, and laugh as soon as you notice someone slightly more powerful than you is laughing.”

2) On C-SPAN: “To some viewers watching at home on C-SPAN, hello! To most viewers watching at home on c-span: meow!”

3) On the location: “‘It is great to be here at the Washington Hilton’—is something a prostitute might say to a congressman.”

4) On the media guest list: “BuzzFeed is here, but I can give you a listicle of 17 reasons why they shouldn’t be.”

5) On Brian Williams: “What can I say about Brian Williams? Nothing, because I work for NBC.”

6) On Serial and The Jinx: “Sarah Koenig must be so pissed about the Jinx—its like Serial, but with an ending.”

7) On the President’s absence from Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack: “Paris is so beautiful—Mr. President, you should really think about going there sometime.”

8) On Sen. Tom Cotton: “Tom Cotton is a Senator, and not a rabbit from an old racist Disney cartoon.”

9) On the 2016 Republican race: “Marco Rubio makes Mitt Romney seem relaxed on the air. I just hope he gets comfortable in front of a camera before he has to go on to endorse Jeb Bush.”

10) On Rand Paul: “Rand Paul announced he’s taking over the family’s not-being-president business.”

11) On Obama’s graying hair: “Your hair is so white now, it can talk back to the police.”

12) On what Obama and Madonna have in common: “You’ve both given this country so much, but in a year-and-a-half you gotta stop.”

TIME Nepal

10 Dead, More Missing in Quake-Triggered Avalanche on Everest

An unknown number of people were missing

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake in Nepal swept across Mount Everest on Saturday, killing at least 10 climbers and guides, slamming into a section of the mountaineering base camp, and leaving an unknown number of people injured and missing, officials said.

The avalanche struck between the Khumbu Icefall, a notoriously treacherous area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp where most climbing expeditions prepare to make their summit attempts, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The avalanche plowed into a part of base camp, a sprawling village of climbers, guides and porters, flattening at least 30 tents, Tshering said. With communication very limited at Everest, it was not immediately clear how many of those injured and killed were at base camp, and how many were elsewhere on the mountain.

An official with Nepal’s mountaineering department, Gyanendra Shrestha, said the bodies of 10 people had been recovered and an unknown number remained missing or injured. Their nationalities were unclear as climbers described chaotic attempts to treat the injured amid fears of more landslides and aftershocks that continue to rattle the region. Chinese media reported a Chinese climber and two Sherpa guides were among the dead.

Hundreds of climbers — ranging from some of the world’s most experienced mountaineers to relative novices on high-priced, well-guided trips — make summit attempts on Everest every year. At times, when the weather is agreeable, dozens of people can reach the summit in a single day. But high winds, brutal cold, difficult terrain and massive avalanches can hit the mountain with no notice. Hundreds of people have died on the mountain over the years.

“Right now, it is pretty chaotic and we try to help those injured,” Danish climber Carsten Lillelund Pedersen wrote in an email to Danish news agency Ritzau.

Norwegian climber Teodor Glomnes Johansen told a newspaper in Norway that people at base camp were working on saving lives.

“All those who are unharmed organize help with the rescue efforts. Men, women and Sherpas are working side by side. The job right now is to assist the doctors in the camp here,” Glomnes Johansen told Norway’s VG newspaper.

Carsten Lillelund Pedersen said that he and a Belgian companion were at the Khumbu Icefall, at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,500 feet), when the earthquake hit.

He said a steady flow of people were fleeing the base camp for more secure areas down the mountain.

Local reports in China said an amateur team encountered an avalanche on the north slope of the mountains at an elevation of more than 7,000 meters (22,965 feet) and safely retreated to a lower camp.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck around noon Saturday about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, almost one year after the deadliest avalanche on record hit Everest, killing 16 Sherpa guides on April 18, 2014.

The 2014 deaths occurred at the Icefall, where the edge of the slow-moving glacier is known to crack, cave and send huge chunks of ice tumbling without warning.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, with more than 800 climbers during the 2013 spring season.

Following the 2014 disaster, guides accused Nepal’s government of not doing enough for them despite making millions in permit fees from Western mountaineers who attempt to scale the Himalayan peaks. The guides protested by refusing to work on the mountain, leading to the cancellation of last year’s climbing season.

TIME Nepal

Hundreds Dead as 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nepal

The damage stretched across the country

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck central Nepal on Saturday morning, damaging buildings in the country’s capital, Kathmandu, and sending tremors across northern India, Bangladesh and as far afield as Pakistan. At least 1,805 people were killed, the Associated Press reports.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located about 50 mi (80 km) northwest of Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which said the quake struck Nepal just before noon at a shallow depth of only about 9 mi (15 km) belowground.

More than 6.6 million people are in the area affected by the earthquake, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Bangkok.

“I thought I was going to die,” photojournalist Narendra Shrestha tells TIME. “It was horrifying. How did I get out of this? This is my lucky day.”

Read more: See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

In Kathmandu, residents congregated on streets and other open areas as the USGS reported a series of powerful aftershocks. Buildings and temples collapsed, and roads across the city were cracked open by the quake. Kathmandu’s historic Dharahara tower—a nine story tall structure dating back to the 19th century—was brought down by the earthquake, with at least 50 people reportedly trapped in the rubble.

Read more: How Shoddily Constructed Buildings Become Weapons of Mass Destruction

An avalanche near Mount Everest triggered by the earthquake killed at least 10 people, and buildings were reported to have been damaged across parts of northern India near the country’s border with Nepal.

“We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now,” Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal told the BBC.

The U.S. is sending a disaster response team to Nepal and has released an initial $1 million to the country, and British authorities have been in close contact with Nepal over disaster relief.

Speaking to Reuters, Krishna Prasad Dhakal, the deputy head of Nepal’s embassy in New Delhi, said: “Hundreds of people are feared dead and there are reports of widespread damage to property. The devastation is not confined to some areas of Nepal. Almost the entire country has been hit.”

With the arrival of nightfall in Nepal, rescue workers struggled to find the most vulnerable people with no place to sleep as forecasts show the temperature dropping to 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the capital, and likely far colder in higher altitudes, the Guardian reports.

In New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation, Indian television reports.

Nepal’s capital is located in the earthquake-prone Kathmandu Valley, where the last major disaster occurred in 1934. Then, nearly 11,000 people died when a magnitude 8.4 earthquake struck Nepal and the eastern Indian state of Bihar, which borders the Himalayan country.

Read more: Your City Might Not Be Ready for the Big Next Earthquake

TIME remembrance

The Best Sports Writing of TIME’s Richard Corliss

TIME's late movie critic also wrote, beautifully, about the games

TIME movie critic Richard Corliss, who passed away on Thursday night, was also our best sportswriter. He only dabbled in sports professionally, but truly loved the games. Corliss was especially passionate about baseball, and his beloved A’s, whom he first started following as a boy in Philadelphia, when the team played at Connie Mack Stadium before moving west.

Corliss didn’t spend much time in our midtown offices; he was too busy attending screenings and writing, so prolifically, and so beautifully, at all hours. But on occasion, he’d pop by my desk and talk baseball. The sports talk show hosts on WFAN, the New York City radio station, really got him going. I’d always exit these conversations wondering how a man who was so productive, who had encyclopedic knowledge of so much, possibly found the time to focus on Joe Benigno.

Whenever Richard did write about sports, he brought the same lyricism and breadth that were staples of his film criticism. He’s a writing hero, word-for-word one of the best, if not the best, to ever work at TIME.

I wish I could write sentences like Richard. And I wish he was still here to talk baseball. We could have a nice chat these days about my Mets. But this year, I’ll be keeping special tabs, in my heart, on Richard’s A’s.

Here’s a sampling of his work in sports.

A Beautiful Season For Baseball: The Great Times and Bad Breaks of 2012
October 14, 2012

Corliss reflects on the first round of the 2012 baseball playoffs:

Upsets galore! Perennial losers vaulting to the top! All-stars benched and no-names turned into heroes! Games so close that anxious fans bite their nails down to the knuckle! One future Hall of Famer who breaks a 45-year-old record for batting supremacy, and another who breaks his ankle and must be carried off the field! Wild melodrama that obliges sportswriters to end every sentence fragment with an exclamation point!

Read the entire article here

A Film Critic On the World Cup – You Call That Football?
July 10, 2010

In the great soccer debate, I’m on both sides. As a fan of “American” sports, I confess that I don’t get soccer. The spectacle of alpha males running around, falling down, pretending to be hurt and, all in all, achieving very little — um, when I was in school, that was called recess.

Read the entire article here

Cat ‘N’ The Pat
February 2, 2004

Corliss previews the Super Bowl XXXVIII coaching matchup between Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and John Fox of the Carolina Panthers:

In pro football, the real game is on the sidelines. There the head coach paces, barking orders into his headset, congratulating or chastising a player, wearing a sociopath’s stern face as he silently prays he’ll be baptized by a tub of Gatorade in the final minute of a winning game. The coach is a chess demon, planning dozens of gambits that depend on whether his quarterback throws for a big gain or gets sacked. He is a video-game whiz kid, and the playing field is his Grand Theft Auto Vice City. He is a field marshal and, sometimes, a counselor—General Patton and Dr. Phil. The quarterback may be the glamour boy, but the coach is the star. The TV camera knows this: during a game it follows Bill Parcells, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, as avidly as if he were J. Lo with her back turned.

Read the entire article here

My Team: The Oakland A’s
October 10, 2003

Every true sports fan is a manic depressive. When our team wins, we’re in heaven; when they lose, we reach for a kitchen knife and stare meditatively at our radial artery. And there is usually more agony than ecstasy. Susan Sontag defined science fiction as “the imagination of disaster”; she might have been describing the mind of a sports fan. We try to live by the old Ukrainian proverb — “Expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed” — but for that ray of hope with which we lash ourselves each spring, then see glimmer turn to tumor as the season plods downward for six months.

Read the entire article here

The Summer Olympics: Gold Medal Grudges
September 11, 2000

A short history of the grudge match: The Hebrews invented it. Cain was the first winner, but God disqualified him on the grounds of poor sportsmanship. Abel was awarded the gold posthumously.

A longer history of the grudge match: The ancient Greeks invented games as a way of allowing men to fight one another without all that messy killing. Sport was literally a lifesaving idea: I hit you, you hit me, and an impartial observer determines who wins. (This became known as boxing.) I insult you, you trip me and the rest of the clan decides who played dirty better. (This became known as politics.)

Read the entire article here

Baseball: Dream Of Fields
August 22, 1994

Corliss imagines that the 1994 baseball strike ends quickly:

Fans packed the stadiums on the first day of the “second season.” Atlantans heralded the return of Greg Maddux by ringing the pitcher’s mound with roses; the Montreal faithful threw small packets of money (Canadian money, but still . . .) toward their low-paid, first-place stars; and a few of Philadelphia’s famously cranky spectators actually applauded their own team. In Kansas City, Vince Coleman was greeted with affectionate firecrackers; Cleveland stalwarts shied welcome-back corked bats at Albert Belle.

Read the entire article here

Going, Going, Not Quite Gone
June 13, 1994

Corliss explains baseball’s offensive explosion

This spring, baseball has been bustin’ out all over. Home runs have increased 26% over last year; runs batted in are up 11%. And a cluster of young stars threatens to smash offensive records set when George Burns was still in Little League. Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. is on a pace to hit 65-plus homers. So is Frank Thomas, the Chicago White Sox’s baby-faced behemoth. Thomas scored 59 runs by June 1, a record, and Toronto’s Joe Carter set an April standard for rbi’s. Even pencil-necked pipsqueaks are crushing the ball.

Read entire article here

Not Again!
November 22, 1993

Corliss writes on Notre Dame’s 31-24 win over Florida State.

If Rodney Dangerfield had 109 heads and weighed 11 tons, he would be the Florida State University football team. F.S.U. has won 10 games or more six years in a row; it is undefeated in its past 11 bowl games; it gobbles up most opponents like Homer Simpson at an all-you-can-eat restaurant. Yet for years the Seminole team had the reputation of a pigskin bridesmaid because it somehow managed to find a way to lose to those cross-state behemoths at the University of Miami. Even the F.S.U. press book repeats the phrase “can’t win the Big One,” like a mantra. It’s meant ironically but still reveals an open psychic wound.

Read the entire article here

The Last Shall Be First
October 28, 1991

In the American League championship, the Twins shrugged off Toronto in a five-game series that for most TV viewers was overshadowed by a sorrier sporting spectacle on Capitol Hill: the Senators vs. the dodger. Truth to tell, the AL snoozathon didn’t need the Clarence Thomas hearings to upstage it; a church social could have done the job. Here, after all, were two teams from above the timber line playing in domed stadiums of spaceship sterility on synthetic carpets that made the games look like Brobdingnagian billiards. Only one contest was close all the way. Only one rooting interest tickled fans’ fancies: seeing the Twins earn their spot in baseball’s unlikeliest finale.

Read the entire article here

Just Like In The Movies
February 26, 1990

Corliss on Buster Douglas’ upset of Mike Tyson

Two rounds later, Douglas returned the punishment, and then some, to Tyson: an uppercut followed by a sturdy combination that felled the champ. Another slow count could not save Tyson. He rose to all fours, grabbed for his mouthpiece and pathetically placed its end between his teeth, like a dazed dog with an old toy.

Read the entire article here

MONEY Internet

Ten Years of YouTube Is More Than Just Kylie Jenner Challenge Videos

YouTube started 10 years ago with a simple video from a zoo. A decade later, some have described it as “the most valuable storytelling outlet our planet has ever seen.”

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