Social News Daily Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:10:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Test Flight Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:03:35 +0000

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space craft crashed during a test flight this morning. The status of the pilot is unknown at this time.

Gizmodo reports that two pilots were flying in the SpaceShipTwo’s cockpit during the test. The condition of the pilots are not known but two parachutes were spotted over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California shortly after the crash.

The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

According to NBC, this was the first test flight for the SpaceShipTwo in nine months. During that time, Virgin Galactic switched the plane’s fuel mixture to a plastic based mix in order to increase performance. It’s unclear if this new mixture played a part in the crash.

The SpaceShipTwo was scheduled to start Virgin Galactic’s space tourism business. More than 700 people have purchased tickets (for about $250,000) to take the space craft into orbit.

[Image Via Wikipedia]

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Happy Halloween! Check Out These Five Word Scary Stories Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:08:33 +0000

Happy Halloween! Before you put on your costume and hit the streets to fill your bags with candy, check out some of these story on Twitter. The hashtag #ScaryStoriesInFiveWords has been trending this morning as Twitter users share their creepiest tales in 144 characters or less.

OK, so they aren’t exactly scary. But some of them are creative. Here are some of the best Scary Stories in Five Words.

Twitter may not seem like the place for fiction writing but the social media platform does have a growing base of writers. Some authors are even publishing short stories via tweets. You can read R.L. Stine’s new Twitter story, “What’s In My Sandwich,” here.

photo credit: Esteban Cavrico via photopin cc

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Dead Bobcat Hung From Goalpost At Tullahoma High School Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:06:59 +0000

A 16-year-old student has been charged with killing a bobcat in Tennessee. The animal was then hung from the goalposts at Tullahoma High School.

According to JNR, the student, who was not identified, was charged with killing a bobcat out of season. Authorities do not believe that the same student was also responsible for hanging the bobcat.

Tullahoma City Schools director Dan Lawson said in a statement:

“This despicable act does not represent the leadership, citizenry or the vast majority of students at Coffee County High School and Tullahoma High School. We are friends, neighbors, relatives and at time fierce competitors, but that fierce competition leaves no room for cruelty to animals. Nearly every student in Tullahoma and Manchester is disgusted that any innocent animal is used as an object lesson and all are hopeful that our competition is safe, fair and fun!”

This is a disgusting and heinous act, but possibly even more disgusting is the punishment that this student faces. If convicted, they could face a $50 fine. Yes, just $50. For this…

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Doug Markham said that it was up to the school and police to find the student responsible for hanging the animal. That student could also face legal charges.

It’s unclear what the motive was behind this disgusting display of animal cruelty but it may have been a “prank” related to this weekend’s football game. Tullahoma High School will be playing in the annual Coffee Pot Rivalry football game this weekend against Coffee County Central High. Tullahoma’s mascot is a wildcat.

[Image Via Wikipedia]

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Chelsea Handler’s Topless Photo Causes Stir On Instagram Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:44:20 +0000

Last night, Chelsea Handler posted a topless photo to her Instagram account.

The comedian, who was sitting on a horse in the photo, said that she should be able to show her nipples in a photo since it’s OK for a man to do the same. Handler also posted a photo of Vladamir Putin striking a similar pose. When Instagram removed the photo, saying that it violated its terms of service, Handler wrote:

“If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?”

Handler posted the photo again, this time with another message for the photo sharing service:

“If Instagram takes this down again, you’re saying Vladimir Putin has more 1st amendment rights than me. Talk to your bosses.”

Chelsea hasn’t posted the photo again but she did upload an image of Instagram’s message to her account.

If a man posts a photo of his nipples, it’s ok, but not a woman? Are we in 1825?

A photo posted by Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) on

Chelsea Handler isn’t the first celebrity to unofficially join the #FreeTheNipple campaign. Miley Cyrus and Scout Willis have both posted topless photos in protest against nudity laws in the United States. And I have to admit, the whole thing is a little ridiculous. I can’t post the topless photo of Chelsea Handler here because of NSFW, advertising, and internet search guidelines. But if I put a little black bar across Chelsea Handler’s breasts… Everything’s OK.

chelsea handler

What do you think? Should women be allowed to show their bodies in the same way that men can?

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Michael Che: I’m A Victim Of Street Harassment Too Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:10:58 +0000

Michael Che doesn’t really understand street harassment.

After the video “10 Hours of Walking As A Woman In NYC” went viral this week, the SNL cast member posted a sarcastic apology on his Facebook page. The comedian said that he’s “sorry” that these women have to endure compliments and says that he, as a famous person, also experiences street harassment every day.

Che has deleted the post but here’s what the message said:

i wanna apologize to all the women that ive harrassed with statements like “hi” or “have a nice day” or “youre beautiful”. i cant imagine what that must feel like. the closest thing I’ve experienced is maybe when a girl recognizes me from tv and they say things like “AHHHH!! OH MY GOD!! SNL SNL SNL!! TAKE A PICTURE!! TAKE A PICTURE!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! WHATS YOUR NAME AGAIN?! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! WAIT SAY SOMETHING FUNNY!!” but even that is nothing like the harrassment of having a complete stranger tell me to “smile.”

The viral video resonated with a lot of women but it also received a bunch of dismissive comments that echoed Che’s response.

How is calling a woman beautiful harassment? How is giving a stranger a compliment a bad thing? The Hollaback Foundation, which created the video, explains that these are not just innocent comments and that a woman on her way to work is not their personal audience.

Here’s the video from the Hollaback foundation.

Che posted another sarcastic apology for his first sarcastic apology, saying that he shouldn’t get chased with pitchforks simply for stating what’s on his mind.

What do you think of Michael Che’s comments? Do you think the above video shows real street harassment? Here’s another video which addresses the issue from Michael Che’s former Daily Show colleague Jessica Williams.

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Nurse Kaci Hickox Defies Ebola Quarantine, Goes For Bike Ride Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:23:05 +0000

Kaci Hickox doesn’t exactly agree with Maine’s quarantine order. The 33-year-old nurse, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, defied the state’s wishes this morning to go for a bike ride with her boyfriend.

Reuters reports that Hickox was forced to spend three days in a quarantine tent after returning from West Africa. When she tested negative for Ebola, she was taken to her home where she was told to spend the rest of her 21-day quarantine.

Hickox, however, says that the state cannot legally force her to stay at home.

Norman Siegel, Hickox’s lawyer, said: “Since there’s no court order, she can be out in public … Even if people disagree with her position, I would hope they respect the fact that she’s taking into account the fear, which is based on misinformation about the way the disease is transmitted.”

There is no court order requiring Hickox to stay in her home in Fort Kent but Maine Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew said that that could change soon.

Mayhew, who is in the process of filing a court order, said: “We acknowledge that this protocol may go slightly beyond the federal guidelines, although the recent changes are very much more in line with Maine’s approach. We have made the determination that out of an abundance of caution, this is a reasonable, common-sense approach to remove additional risk and guard against a public health crisis in Maine. If an individual who came in direct contact with Ebola patients has returned to Maine and is not willing to avoid public contact and stay in their home voluntarily during the period they are at some risk, we will take additional measures and pursue appropriate authority to ensure they make no public contact.”

What do you think? Do you think Kaci Hickox is putting her neighbors in danger by defying the state’s quarantine order?

[Image Via Twitter]

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Anita Sarkeesian Talks Gamergate On ‘Colbert,’ Stirs Up More Outrage Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:27:24 +0000

Anita Sarkeesian appeared on The Colbert Report last night to talk about Gamergate.

Sarkeesian, author of Feminist Frequency, explained how Gamergate is being framed as a discussion about ethics in journalism but that it’s really just an attack on women.

Sarkeesian said: “Women are perceived as threatening because we are asking games to be more inclusive. We’re asking for games to acknowledge that we exist and that we love games … They’re lashing out because we’re challenging the status quo of gaming as a male-dominated space.”

Colbert played the part of angry fanboy for most of the sketch, but in the end he conceded and asked Sarkeesian if he could be a feminist. That didn’t please some people on the internet. The 8Chan message board quickly filled up with threats against Sarkeesian while others criticized Colbert for taking her side.

For the most part, however, Sarkeesian’s segment was well received.

Check out Anita Sarkeesian’s segment on The Colbert Report.

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Forest Service Warns Against Bear Selfies Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:46:53 +0000

Please, stop taking selfies with bears. That’s the message that the U.S. Forest Service has been forced to tell visitors at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center in South Lake Tahoe.

Taylor Creek attracts a lot of bears during the annual run of kokanee salmon. And with that, it apparently attracts a lot of selfie-loving hikers who want to get a cool shot with a bear.

Lisa Herron, spokeswoman for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, said: “We’ve had mobs of people that are actually rushing toward the bears trying to get a ‘selfie’ photo.”

Read that again. These people are RUSHING TOWARD BEARS. 

Herron said that the problem is getting so bad that officials are considering shutting down the area. For the moment, the Forest Service is just hoping that people will listen to the their “no bear selfie” warning.

Herron said: “It is very possible, yes … It is presenting a safety issue. We are afraid someone is going to get attacked … We are telling people they need to stay on the trails and they need to stay away form the bears. If a bear has a mind to it can run very fast.”

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Operation Game Inventor John Spinello Can’t Afford His Own Operation Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:18:41 +0000

John Spinello, creator of the popular game Operation, is struggling to pay his medical bills.

Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown, a pair of game makers and friends of Spinello, have started an online fundraiser on in an effort to raise $25,000 for the Operation creator’s medical expenses.o

A statement on reads:  “John has had a good life, but has admitted to us that he is struggling to pay his bills and is in need of a medical procedure without sufficient insurance coverage. We launched this Crowdrise fundraiser to call on anyone who has ever played and loved Operation to send John a note and maybe, a monetary gift of appreciation.”

USA Today reports that Spinello created Operation back in 1964. The game has made millions for Milton Bradley but Spinello never got any of that money. He sold the rights to the toy company decades ago for just $500.

It’s pretty sad that Spinello, the man who created a classic game about surgery, is having trouble paying for his own medical bills, but this is not a sad story. This morning, Walsh and Brown reached their $25,000 goal.

The duo left a message: “What can we say? We woke up this morning to $25,200! We can’t thank you all enough. We’re working on a special video thank you coming soon!”


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Ice Cube Appears on Sesame Street, Twitter is Split Down the Middle Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:16:05 +0000

In 1988, gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. released their groundbreaking studio debut, Straight Outta Compton. Its often graphic depiction of crime and violence led to N.W.A. being deemed the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Group’ by major media outlets among the rash of controversy that stemmed from the album’s success. Few would have believed that a quarter of a century later, the same Ice Cube that suggested ‘punk police are afraid of me’ would make an appearance with beloved puppet Elmo on Sesame Street.

However, that’s exactly what has happened. A video posted to the official Sesame Street channel on YouTube sees Ice Cube discussing the word ‘astounded’ with Elmo, before transforming himself into an actual ice cube. It’s far from the first time that we’ve seen the rapper appear in family-friendly entertainment — the films Are We There Yet? and Are We Done Yet? set a precedent in 2005 and 2007 respectively — but it’s certainly evidence of just how varied his career has been.

One of the ways that Sesame Street has managed to stay relevant over the course of its long broadcast history is its use of celebrities and public figures. More than anything else, these appearances do a great deal to keep the show in the public eye and maintain its reputation as a cultural touchstone — and part of the success of that effort is thanks to the huge breadth of culture that the show takes in. The fact that artists as diverse as Yo Yo Ma and Ice Cube could both appear on the show and neither one seem out of place is a testament to how all-encompassing Sesame Street is.

Many have taken to social media to express their surprise and delight at seeing Ice Cube appear alongside Elmo.

However, not everyone was in favour of the appearance. For some, seeing the rapper who featured on songs like ‘Dopeman’ and ‘Gangsta Gangsta’ appearing on a childrens television classic was a little too jarring. Some of his acting roles may have seemed questionable to some fans, but it’s hard to argue against this performance being the furthest away from his early work with N.W.A.

Whichever side of the argument you stand on, it’s difficult to argue that Ice Cube doesn’t do a good job. Just as he looks right at home as the foul-mouthed, irritable police chief in the Jump Street movies, he seems very comfortable in a setting intended for younger audiences. We’ve seen some awful results when rappers try their hand at acting — the less said about Vanilla Ice’s stab at Hollywood, the better — but Ice Cube has proven himself as very capable in a variety of roles. In fact, his great success prompts some potent questions about how the 90s rap scene could have turned out differently.

Do you think Ice Cube did a good job on Sesame Street? Or would you prefer to see him go back to his roots. Let us know in the comments section below, or drop us a line on Twitter.

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