An openly gay basketball player? Next thing you know, there will be openly clever ScuttleButton puzzles.
Only not this week.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
A youth smokes crack in the Manguinhos slum in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. A crack epidemic is one factor contributing to the sharp rise in crime committed by Brazilian minors.
Credit Felipe Dana / AP
Wallace Aparecido Souza Silva (from left), Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos and Jonathan Foudakis de Souza were arrested this month for allegedly gang-raping an American tourist and beating her male companion in Rio de Janeiro. An alleged accomplice, arrested later, was reported to be 14 years old.
In Rio de Janeiro, tourists are drawn to Copacabana for its wide beach and foliage-covered cliffs. But a month ago, not far from the tourist hub, an American woman and her French male companion were abducted. She was brutally gang-raped; he was beaten.
Perhaps what was most shocking to Brazilians, though, was the age of one of the alleged accomplices: He was barely in his teens.
"Why? That's what you ask yourself," says Sylvia Rumpoldt, who is walking with a friend at dusk by the sea in Rio. "It's horrible. It's criminal energy."
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 4:04 pm
For Jason Collins, coming out just might prove a winning career strategy.
Before this week, the NBA center seemed like just another second-tier professional athlete, slouching toward retirement while still in his 30s. But all that changed overnight when Collins acknowledged he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine published Monday.
On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.
Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous segments including the aftermath of sudden, tragic events, the decision to sign up for food stamps and the pros and cons of massive open online courses.
There's word that a Scottish cruise line has taken out an insurance policy in case of a beastly disaster. Jacobite Cruises is now insured against damage from the Loch Ness Monster.
"We see it as keeping in line with good business practice," Freda Newton, managing director of Jacobite Cruises, tells The Scottish Sun. "There is so much going on — people have tried to hunt the Loch Ness Monster, people have tried to capture it. We just don't know what could happen. It's prudent."
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:44 pm
The fact that Matt Pond has dropped the vestigial "PA" from the end of his moniker has more to do with geography than sound. On this episode of World Cafe, we learn why the singer-songwriter (and former Philadelphian) has moved around so much — it's all for love.
Pond does tell host David Dye what hasn't changed: his always likable voice and an ability to write heartfelt songs with melodies that stick.
We physicists are all romantics. Don't laugh; it's true. In our youth we all fall deeply in love. We fall in love with a beautiful idea: beyond this world of constant change lies another world that is perfect and timeless.
This eternal domain is made not of matter or energy. It's made from perfect, timeless mathematical laws. Finding those exquisite eternal laws — or better yet, a single timeless formula for everything — is the Holy Grail we dedicate our lives to.
Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:50 pm
The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.
Fast times on the Champs-Elysees: People walk past a McDonald's on one of Paris' most storied avenues. But it's not just McD's that has caught French interest: Fast food now accounts for the majority of restaurant spending in the country.
When it comes to culinary matters, France, in many minds, is synonymous with fine dining. So it might surprise you that, for the first time, sales at fast food chains have overtaken those at traditional restaurants in the country that gave us the word gastronomie.
As they inspected an underground storage pool near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose (4th from left) and other officials wore protective suits and masks. Radioactive water stored in some of the pits has leaked.
If this guy actually lost his life savings playing "Tubs Of Fun," that's sad. And if the game was rigged, that's fraud! Also, I think that banana is offensive.
But I find it almost entirely impossible to believe this is actually a dude who carries this item around with him all the time, perched on top of a baby stroller. This comes from the local news in Boston, and it appears to be presented seriously, but it looks like a segment from a satirical news broadcast, no?