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• Beyoncé and Jay Z celebrated Blue Ivy’s third birthday with–what else?–rainbow cake and a Frozen-themed party.

• Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will host National Geographic’s first late-night talk show, Star Talk, set to premiere in April.

• A French startup developed a new “smart belt” that will automatically loosen after you’ve eaten too much. It’s called Belty.

• More than 2,000 classic MS-DOS games, including Oregon Trail and Prince of Persia, are now available free online at archive.org.




The late Japanese artist On Kawara never had a problem accounting for time; his art often consisted entirely of the date it was created. His Today series–one part of which is seen below with its storage box–is among his works on display at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum from Feb. 6 to May 13.


‘They don’t say that stuff about Macklemore.’

IGGY AZALEA, rapper, suggesting that people who criticize her for appropriating black hip-hop culture are sexist


Viola Davis

In addition to leading ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder (which returns Jan. 29), the 49-year-old actress stars in the cybercrime thriller Blackhat, hitting theaters Jan. 16.


How did starring in a hacker movie inform your response to the Sony leaks?

I was not surprised! I knew how vulnerable we are to cyberattacks. I’m so careful with what I put out there on Facebook and my emails.

Do you have a secret Facebook account?

No, I just have one. I’m not that sophisticated! I should probably have a secret name when I check into hotels.

You play a lawyer on How to Get Away With Murder. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about law?

That it’s not just black and white and right or wrong. The law is very, very, very gray.

So could you get away with murder?

Definitely not. I’m a person who, if I find $5 on the street, I’m going to run around for the next 20 minutes trying to find the person who owns the $5–and I’ll keep it for the next two years to see if anyone shows up to claim it. Plus, I have a horrific poker face.

How to Get Away With Murder is one of the most racially diverse–and popular–shows on network TV. Have we finally reached a tipping point?

I hope so. America’s changing. Art needs to begin to reflect life. It’s not just black actors or black-themed story lines–it’s human-being story lines with people of color in them. I think [that kind of TV] is here to stay.


• Snapped

“It’s a show that profiles female killers. That fascinates me.”


What happens when artificial intelligence gets too intelligent? That’s the premise of the sci-fi thriller Ex Machina–a buzzy British film opening stateside on April 10–in which a young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), spends a week evaluating Ava (Alicia Vikander), a lifelike robot, above, who becomes all too aware of her identity and the experiment.


Forbidden Foods

Californians recently broke into both celebration and protest when a judge overturned the state’s ban on foie gras, which took effect in 2012. (The controversial delicacy–made from the liver of a force-fed duck or goose–was also briefly banned in Chicago.) But foie gras isn’t the first snack to get slapped with a U.S. consumption penalty.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits Americans from eating the authentic Scottish dish because it contains sheep lungs, which legally “shall not be saved for use as human food.”


Several school districts in California, Illinois and New Mexico banned the snack in 2012 for its fat and sodium content. Presumably, rule breakers get caught red-handed.


Don’t mess with Big Dairy. Wisconsin law prohibits schools, prisons and restaurants from serving the butter substitute unless diners request it by name.


As part of a stunt ordinance passed to court poultry enthusiasts, diners in Gainesville, Ga., are not allowed to eat fried chicken … with anything but their hands. A 91-year-old was even mock-arrested for using a fork in 2009.


Yep, that’s right: Beech Grove, Ind., has banned eating watermelon–in public parks, at least. The ordinance was enacted because tossed rinds were puncturing city garbage bags.


• A photo-based social-networking site created a “belfie stick” to help people take photos of their own backsides.

• U.S. temperatures dipped so low that many public fountains froze completely–even in the South.

• Ellen DeGeneres’ baby-name ideas for Benedict Cumberbatch include Harpsichord and Glockenspiel.

• Singer Sia released a music video starring a 12-year-old girl … dancing opposite 28-year-old Shia LaBeouf. Sia later apologized for its sexual overtones.


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