If there’s one thing Americans have problems with, its the idea that the government could be spying on them. Grab your tinfoil hats, folks, because the Pentagon admitted to sending out spy drones over your backyard. Yea, the Pentagon claimed that the flights were “rare and lawful,” but flights have included search and rescues, floods, fires and National Guard exercises. When it comes down to it, we just don’t have the laws to regulate that sort of activity now.
If you thought the car you drove in high school was old, you should see the two Vietnam-era planes the U.S. is using to fight ISIS right now. Why? They’re cheaper than fighter jets, and goodness knows the U.S. spends enough on cool new toys. The planes originally were retired in the 90s. They brought these planes back from the 60’s; who knows, they may be bringing Woodstock back next.
After watching South Korea and North Korea team up to play some “war games,” North Korea was feeling a little left out and fired a missile into the ocean last Thursday. While North Korea tossing around a few missiles in a fit of rage isn’t totally unheard of, the Thursday launch probably happened because of tightening U.N. sanctions on their nuclear program. It’s doubtful, though, that North Korea could even get a nuclear missiles very far.
When I was in school, they were required to let students out if the building didn’t have running water for water fountains; that isn’t the case for nearly half of Newark, New Jersey’s public schools. Students at the public school better bring a water bottle, because the schools’ water was found to have lead in it. No sign of when the schools will be addressing the issue, but if it’s anything like Flint, public outcry will make it sooner, not later.
Snapchat and all of its selfie filters have been all the rage recently, so naturally Facebook jumped on the trend with their recent purchase of MSQRD. This purchase is not terribly surprising, since Facebook has been known to purchase existing software, like Instagram and WhatsApp, as opposed to developing their own applications in-house. To me, selfie filters seem like more of a fad than anything substantial, however it appears that Facebook will not be taking any chances.
If you have ever wanted to like and share Facebook posts in stunning 360-degree VR picture, then you are probably pretty ecstatic right now. Facebook, owners of Oculus VR, will allow Samsung Gear VR wearers to like and share posts within the headset. The Samsung Gear VR is partnered with Oculus, so this move makes perfect sense. Users of Samsung Gear VR are also be able to 360-degree videos that are posted to Facebook.
Video game players around the world can now import games straight from Amazon’s Japanese marketplace. Until Amazon.jp made this move, gamers would have to import games and game merch through sites like PlayAsia. This move by Amazon has the potential to damage sites that focus on video game imports from Japan, however this move helps consumers greatly and attaches a trusted western company to Japanese game importing. There are, however, some limitations to the international importing. Foreign Nintendo games will still not work with North American consoles, and some Japanese items still say that international importing is unavailable.
Plans to travel to Rio while pregnant? Sit back down with that heating pad.
It seems like our Facebook feeds are perpetually inundated with friends having babies. Feeling left out? At least you’ll be able to jet to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Pregnant women: stay home! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a travel advisory saying women who are pregnant should “consider not going to the Olympics.” The C.D.C. said the precautions were necessary “because Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman is linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and miscarriage.” Manage to grab one of the male athletes going for the gold this summer? You need to be careful, too; the CDC recommended, “If you have a male partner who goes to the Olympics, either use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of your pregnancy.”
The Zika Virus: Coming To A Bar Near You?
“I’m safe,” you think. “I’m not going to Rio and I don’t know anyone who is. No way that Zika thing is headed my way.” Really guys, it’s time to not be over-confident. Zika is spreading to new countries, according to the World Health Organization. It noted local transmission has now been reported in 31 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The UN health agency also said there is increasing evidence that a spike in disturbing birth defects and neurological problems are caused by Zika, which is mostly spread by mosquito bites.
Sharapova Suspended for Performance-Enhancers
As Justin Beiber would say: “Maria, why you gotta play me like that?” Really, Maria Sharapova, why? The Russian tennis super-star has been suspended from the game after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. It’s called meldonium: not approved by the FDA in the US but is used across the world to help regulate metabolism. It has, though, also repeatedly shows an increase in endurance performance of athletes. Sharapova’s attorney told CNN said the tennis player took the drug regularly for 10 years. Her defense? She was taking it for actual medical reasons: in 2006, tests revealed that “she had some immune deficiency, abnormal EKG results, diabetes indicators, low magnesium and asthenia.” Why the investigation, then? the drug’s label says the normal amount of time someone should take it is a matter of days to weeks. People are now trying to figure out why Sharapova’s doctor continued to prescribe the drug for years.
Green Juice? Oh KALE No!
It’s Saturday morning and you’re trying to get over a hangover. Please, Golden Throne That Is The Fridge, please say my roommate has leftover cold pizza… ew, green juice? Don’t worry, that reaction and general hatred of the juice is warranted, after all. Your daily green juice may even be making you fat. The stealth sugar lurking in “healthy” foods—green juices, whole wheat bread (yes, whole wheat), Greek yogurt with fruit, granola, almond milk, coconut water, marinara sauce, and condiments like ketchup and fat-free balsamic vinaigrette—can increase calories and fat, FAST. And if the taste and the price of these green juices isn’t enough to make you shed a tear, these same sugars may do the same; sugar leads to spikes and dips in blood sugar, leading to depression, the inability to focus, fatigue, gas, bloating and inflammation.
Golden State Warriors smashing NBA records
With 19 games left in the NBA regular season, the Golden State Warriors (57-6) are on pace to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ NBA-best record of 72-10. The 2014-2015 NBA champions have already surpassed those Bulls (44) in setting the NBA record for most consecutive home wins (46). Led by last year’s MVP and frontrunner to repeat, Steph Curry has broken his own NBA record of 286 made 3-pointers in a season, hitting 304 with 19 games left.
USWNT wins SheBelieves Cup in preparation for the Summer Olympics
The United States women’s soccer national team (USWNT) won the inaugural United States-hosted SheBelieves Cup after going 3-0-0 in the tournament that featured four of the top five ranked women’s national teams in the world, including England, France and Germany. The champions continued their dominant start to 2016, winning all nine of their matches this year. The USWNT will look to continue their success in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Brazil, where the four teams could meet again.
NCAA March Madness is almost here
Get ready to fill out your NCAA March Madness brackets for your office pool — college basketball’s season-end tournament is right around the corner. The annual round-robin tournament is made up of 68 teams – 31 of whom receive automatic bids for winning their conference tournament taking place this week. The participants are announced and seeded accordingly during Selection Sunday on March 13, and start play two days later.
MLS kicks off, looks to increase popularity in the U.S.
After 12 weeks off, the Major League Soccer (MLS) season kicked off last Sunday (March 5). All 20 teams opened their season on Sunday, highlighted by the defending champion Portland Timbers defeating last year’s runner-up Columbus Crew 2-1. However, ESPN’s featured game saw a 33 percent decline in viewership compared to last year’s opener. Still lacking top-class competition and popularity in the U.S., the MLS might not see an increase in fandom until the likes of Swedish superstar forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Portuguese superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo come over, as rumors claim could happen in the following two years. For now, the MLS can only boast players that are at the end of their careers, including Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, English midfielder Steven Gerrard and Brazilian midfielder Kaka, as well as possible future stars, such as Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco and American forward Jordan Morris.
Have No Fear, Game of Thrones Fans
In case you haven’t heard, Sir George Martin died at the age of 90 this Wednesday morning (March 8). While the internet was mourning the death of the producer who gave the Beatles their big break, many Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter users were panicking for different reasons. According to the Independent, thousands of people believed George R.R. Martin, the author of the popular Game of Thrones series, was the one to have passed away. The writer reassured his fan base that he was, indeed, still alive. So relax. The end of Wind of Winters is coming.
Dr. Luke and Kesha’s Legal Battle Gets a New Twist (Maybe)
Rumors have been floating around about Sony possibly shortening its contract with Dr. Luke, the producer of pop sensation Kesha, as a result of sexual assault allegations. Dr. Luke denied the rape allegations as well as the contract termination rumors, and his attorney stated the producer had a great relationship with Sony. Sony hasn’t said a word about it.
What the Heck Is A Zingle?
Former 1-D musician Zayn Malik dropped his new single, “Like I Would,” Thursday morning (March 9). A mixture of club beats and trippy rhythm, “Like I Would” is comparable to hits such as “Can’t Feel My Face,” by The Weeknd. Twitter users have been buzzing about the “zingle.” It will surely creep into all of your Pandora stations several times each day in the weeks to come.
We May Know Who Banksy Is
Data miners at Queen Mary University of London may have discovered the real identity of Banksy, the mysterious street artist through a process called geographic profiling, which is used by police to track criminals. The researchers analyzed certain sites where Banksy created street art, and many of the sites were associated with a man named Robin Gunningham, who Daily Mail hypothesized was Banksy back in 2008.
History of Magic in North America Series Is Getting Major Criticism
J.K. Rowling has been working on a four-part series about the history of magic in the U.S., and her portrayal of Native Americans as the original witches has many people upset. Of course, people took to Twitter to vent. Users criticized her creation of a new term, “Animagi” (people who can transform into animals at will) instead of using the existing term, “skin walkers,” as well as classifying all Native American tribes into one group.