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Updated: 5 min 39 sec ago

Remembering Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the slain WDBJ7 journalists

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:59am

Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were in the middle of a live news broadcast when a gunman fatally shot them in Virginia on Wednesday morning

The WDBJ7 news team was at Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake, a reservoir community about 50 miles southeast of Roanoke. Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, head of the SML Chamber of Commerce, when a half dozen shots broke out. Gardner was shot in the back and is currently in surgery.

Parker was 24; Ward was 27.

We love you, Alison and

— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015

Alison Parker

Parker grew up in the area and is a former WDBJ7 intern. The James Madison University graduate previously worked at WCTI NewsChannel 12 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, according to a bio on the station's website Read more...

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Super fun teachers sing 'Les Misérables' parody for new school year

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:59am

The end of summer is sort of like going to prison for stealing a loaf of bread just to feed your family

With that in mind, teachers in Des Moines, Iowa greeted the new school year with a version of "One More Day" tailored to the specific perils of going back to school

"Every student will survive," they sing, marching to the front of the auditorium with a flag. "I hope they will survive."

Encouraging stuff!

Harry Potter re-imagined as the villain of a horror movie is unexpectedly bone-chilling

Stolen pug is absolutely delighted to be reunited with her human

The trailer for Banksy's Dismaland is as grim as you'd expect

Become one with your dog through this terrifying makeup tutorial Read more...

More about Viral Video, Flash Mob, Watercooler, Videos, and Les Mis Rables

YA author Nicola Yoon on diversity and her new novel, 'Everything, Everything'

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:55am

If you thought your reaction to pollen was bad, imagine being allergic to literally everything.

That's the premise of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. The novel tells the story of 17-year-old Madeline, who is allergic to the outside world. Because of her health, Madeline has been stuck inside her house for her entire life.

See also: 9 YA Books to Read If You Loved 'The Fault in Our Stars'

Talk about cabin fever.

"If you’re really trying to protect your child, I do think the best way to help your kid and protect them against the world is to let them be in it," says Yoon. "Everyone needs learn how to be alone, how to cope with disappointment, how to defend themselves." Read more...

More about Books, Interview, Diversity, Entertainment, and Social Good

Harrowing video of WDBJ7 news crew shooting ignites debate about autoplay

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:53am

A live video of the shooting of a TV news reporter and a cameraman in Virginia spread rapidly across social media on Wednesday, enabled by the "autoplay" function on Twitter and Facebook and fueling a debate about how to avoid violent content in media stories

The video, in which reporter Alison Parker interviewed Vicki Gardner, head of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, was interrupted suddenly by the sound of gunshots. The video does not show anyone being shot but includes screams and a brief view of the gunman looming over the camera

See also: Tragic news video is showing up more in Facebook's News Feed Read more...

More about Facebook, Twitter, Business, and Media

The McWhopper mashup that almost happened

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:46am

All of your burger mashup dreams were about to come true, then dashed in a matter of moments

On Wednesday, Burger King took out full-page ads in both the New York Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers asking McDonald's to call a truce on the "burger wars." BK wants to join forces to sell a one-day-only McWhopper burger at a special pop-up location in September. All proceeds would benefit nonprofit Peace One Day, reports the New York Times.

Image: Burger King

See also:
The McDonald's Secret Menu: Stop dreaming, start ordering

Burger King explained in its open letter ad to McDonald's that it's time to bring attention to International Peace Day on Sept. 21, which was established by the United Nations in 1981. BK argued that if the two giants in the burger wars can come together for the common good, surely the rest of us can follow their example. The company even proposed a location (Atlanta, Georgia, midway between the two companies' headquarters) and launched a Read more...

More about Advertising, Burger, Mcdonalds, Social Good, and Nonprofit

Google presses start on Twitch competitor YouTube Gaming

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:45am

UPDATED Aug. 26 1:06 p.m. ET: Google informs Mashable that the two mobile apps are viewing experiences only, meaning they don't stream content from the device you're using them on.

On the subject of updating the console apps to support streaming, Google's spokesperson had this to say: "We're interested in delivering streaming apps for consoles, but we have nothing to announce right now."

YouTube Gaming is finally good to go.

After a promising soft launch during the annual E3 trade show, Google is pressing start on its game-streaming competitor to TwitchYouTube Gaming allows for both game streaming and — based on the list of supported encoders — live video streaming as well. There's a chat interface, video archiving (via YouTube, naturally) and all sorts of other features that regular streamers should be familiar with. Read more...

More about Google, Youtube, Entertainment, Gaming, and Tech

Otherworldly 'Alien Butt Spider' photographed in China

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:45am

If you thought your parents' nicknames for you were bad, take a moment to consider the Alien Butt Spider.

The arachnid, a type of orb weaver native to much of China, was recently photographed atop a flower in the Chinese province of Sichuan.

See also: These nightmare-inducing spiders are causing people in Britain to panic

Image: People's Daily Online

As you might guess, the spider got its flattering nickname from the "alien face" on its backside. The two black "eyes" are meant to trick predators into believing the spider is larger than it actually is.

Someone tell Mulder and Scully about this.

More about China, Photography, Spiders, Watercooler, and Pics

Has Stephen Hawking solved a huge black hole mystery?

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:45am

Stephen Hawking may have just solved one of the most vexing mysteries in physics — the "information paradox."

Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that the physical information about material gobbled up by a black hole is destroyed, but the laws of quantum mechanics stipulate that information is eternal. Therein lies the paradox.

Hawking — working with Malcolm Perry, of the University of Cambridge in England, and Harvard University's Andrew Stromberg — has come up with a possible solution: The quantum-mechanical information about infalling particles doesn't actually make it inside the black hole. Read more...

More about Stephen Hawking, Physics, Us World, Black Holes, and Space

'Angry Birds' maker Rovio plans to refocus on games after layoffs

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:12am

Angry Birds maker Rovio announced Wednesday that it's laying off up to 260 people, a result of the company trying to do "too many things" in the last few years.

The restructuring, according to Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala, will allow the company to focus on three core projects: "creating magnificent gaming experiences," "producing an amazing animation movie" and "delighting our fans with great products."

See also: 6 games for when you’re ready to level up beyond 'Candy Crush'

The only department immune from the layoffs are the teams in the United States and Canada working on Angry Birds: The Movie, which is being produced by Sony Pictures. The film is due out next year. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Mobile Games, Angry Birds, and Rovio

Tourist complains about lack of bears at Yellowstone, bears probably don't care

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:12am

Isn't it just like bears to ignore the hopes and desires of national park visitors who have paid thousands of dollars to come to see them?

While some may say that bears are autonomous animals oblivious to their role in entertaining humans, at least one tourist disagrees. A Redditor shared a photo of a comment card for the Yellowstone National Park Lodges, on which the tourist explained how disappointed they were.

See also: Visitors in Lake Tahoe are taking too many bear selfies

"Our visit was wonderful but we never saw any bears," the visitor wrote. "Please train your bears to be where guests can see them." Read more...

More about Travel, Watercooler, Conversations, Travel Leisure, and Bears

Harry Potter re-imagined as the villain of a horror movie is unexpectedly bone-chilling

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:11am

Remember how the Sorting Hat almost stuck Harry in Slytherin at the start of his first year? Well, maybe it had the right idea after all.

The trailer above shows The Boy Who Lived in a completely new (and disturbingly effective) light as some sort of demonic, murdering cross between Voldemort and that creepy kid from The Omen.

See also: 'Harry Potter' combined with Wiz Khalifa's 'See You Again' may make you cry

Created by comedy YouTube channel BloodBlitz, "Harry Potter: The Boy Who Kills" combines creepy music with clever editing. Be warned, though — after you've watched it, you might not be able to look at Harry in quite the same way again. Read more...

More about Uk, Harry Potter, Viral Video, Voldemort, and Film

Istanbul castle restored, now looks like SpongeBob SquarePants

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:07am

Not all restoration attempts are welcome

Take for example, the hilariously botched Ecce Homo or, for some, the restoration of Istanbul's Şile Castle.

See also: 21 Happy Faces Hiding in Your Stuff

Image: hurriyet daily news

Sure, the old castle appeared to be crumbling to pieces, but some critics think the ongoing facelift has turned the historical landmark into a towering homage to SpongeBob.

In Şile, restoration of the @SpongeBob castle was

— Çağlar Lale (@caglale) August 26, 2015

Sile Castle, Istanbul @FacesPics

— Arda Akay (@ardaakay) August 26, 2015

More about Pics, Watercooler, and Weird News

Hunted albino children from Tanzania find new life in New York

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:06am

This summer, five children made a big move from their homes in Tanzania to the United States. This move saved their lives.

In parts of Africa, people with albinism are hunted for their body parts, which can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market for their supposed magical powers. Emmanuel Rutema, Kabula Masanja, Pendo Noni, Baraka Lusambo and Mwigulu Magesa were no exception. Men broke into homes in the middle of the night to dismember the children and sell their limbs to witch doctors to use in potions.

In New York, the kids were given new prosthetic limbs and new hope. The Global Medical Relief Fund and founder Elissa Montanti brought the children to the charity's home on Staten Island. The children, ages 5 to 17, have been in the U.S. since June and will return to safe houses in Tanzania once they can properly use their new limbs Read more...

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'Star Trek Beyond' cast remembers Leonard Nimoy with group Vulcan salute

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:35am

He lived long and prospered — and now he's being remembered and honored by the new crew of the USS Enterprise.

For the past several weeks, the cast of Star Trek Beyond has joined forces with the charity fundraising platform Omaze to raise money for a series of worthy causes. By donating, fans get not only moral satisfaction, but also a chance to win a walk-on role in the film.

See also: Idris Elba officially joins the cast of 'Star Trek Beyond'

The campaign's final week comes bundled with a special video that highlights one of the cast's fallen comrades: original Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy, who died in February at the age of 83. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Movies, Television, Star Trek, and Film

Jeremy Corbyn's women-only train carriages idea is getting slammed

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:26am

Labour Party leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn sparked a big debate on Wednesday by proposing women-only train carriages to tackle the problem of sexual harassment.

#Womenonlycarriages was primarily a vehicle of outrage on Twitter with Corbyn's comments made their way into the news cycle, but then turned into a wider discussion on women and violence. Corbyn said he would consult with women on what they think about the idea and he would propose a 24-hour hotline to report harassment

See also: London Tube urges women to text reports of sexual harassment

Labour leadership rivals Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham jumped on Corbyn's comments to the Independent about his proposals Read more...

More about Uk, Sexual Harassment, Us World, Labour, and Jeremy Corbyn

Stolen pug is absolutely delighted to be reunited with her human

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:10am

This is what pure canine love looks like.

According to this video description from the Essex Police Department in the U.K., Kate Witham was worried sick about her missing pug Lola, when she received a call from the police saying they had recovered a pug that was thought to be stolen at the scene of an arrest. But it wasn't until she arrived at the Harlow Police Station that she knew.

"I had been so worried about Lola since she went missing so when I got the call from the police I was over the moon," she told the Essex Police. "As soon as I saw her, her little tail went into overdrive and I instantly knew it was her. I am just so happy to have her back." Read more...

More about Cute Animals, Watercooler, Videos, and Pugs

Samsung Tab S2 tablets get pricing and ship dates

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:03am

Samsung's new Tab S2 tablet is thinner and lighter than its key rival, the Apple iPad Air 2, and now it’s ready to engage in battle in the U.S. market. On Wednesday, Samsung announced pricing and availability for the 9.7-inch and 8.0-inch tablets.

Preorders for the new slabs starts today, with arrival set for September 3. The larger Tab S2 will start at $499.99 for the 32 GB model (Wi-Fi only) and the 8-inch tablet will list for $399.99. Both come in black, white and gold. Samsung will also sell Wi-Fi and LTE versions through, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, T-Mobile and Verizon, which may be the only one with the white model. Each features a microSD slot to upgrade storage. Read more...

More about Tech and Mobile

Gmail to automatically add events to Google Calendar for business users

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:02am

Google Apps users, take notice: Gmail and Google Calendar will start working together, with Gmail automatically adding travel-related events to your schedule, the company announced Tuesday

Whenever an email that contains flight, hotel, restaurant, or any ticketed event information lands in your Gmail inbox, it will be automatically added to your Google Calendar, check-in times and flight numbers included. Furthermore, if you receive an email that changes an existing event, that event will also be automatically changed in Calendar

See also: Slack can now send you Google Calendar alerts

The feature will be enabled by default (both on desktop and mobile Calendar), but users can choose to turn it off or delete individual events that were automatically created. The events will be visible only to the owner, even if the calendar is shared with someone else Read more...

More about Google, Gmail, Google Calendar, Tech, and Apps Software

Even in 2015, the iPod Shuffle retains its quirky charm

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:00am

Apple’s iPod Shuffle is an anachronism at best in 2015, and yet, it possess a strange charm

When Mashable was sent barrage of new iPods for review, it wasn't the updated iPod Touch which interested me; it was the decidedly un-updated iPod Shuffle. I never cared much for the Shuffle, but there was something strangely appealing about this blue iPod.

See also: The new iPod touch is the best iPod ever, but who needs one?

Except for a few color changes, Apple hasn’t updated the Shuffle since 2010, making it one of the oldest things the company sells. It hasn’t had a meaningful update since the iPhone 4 was new. Read more...

More about Gadgets, Apple, Reviews, Ipod Shuffle, and Music

Irish pubgoers flock to rescue cat dangling from 2nd floor window

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 8:47am

LONDON – Although cats are normally among the more suave members of the pet world, they do occasionally manage to spoil their image by doing something that's just plain dumb.

See also: Unexpected cucumber scares the crap out of this cat

A perfect example of this type of feline stupidity was captured recently outside a B&B in Wexford, Ireland, when Linda O'Brien filmed a stranded moggy hanging by its front paws from a second storey window. Read more...

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