Being a Radiohead fan means living your life in a state of constant surprise and confusion. Notoriously press shy frontman Thom Yorke and his ragtag crew of virtuoso musicians appear even more perplexing and mysterious in the age of social media.
That was reaffirmed last weekend when cryptic flyers began appearing in the U.K. Then the band began deleting their social media presence with seemingly no explanation. For many, this was a clear sign that Radiohead was about to drop their ninth album.
Many legions of fans were unconvinced, however. Reddit user InsanityDefinition swore to eat a photo of Yorke if the band’s new album was released this week and recruited others to join in the effort. Lo and behold, Radiohead announced on Friday that they would digitally release a yet-to-be-named album on Sunday.
InsanityDefinition copped up to the error in judgement, detailing how they’d eat the photo on Reddit:
I will personally be printing off an image onto regular paper. The image will probably be from the new singles’ video because Thom looks like a stud in it. Can’t do a regular photo sheet as that may actually be very unpleasant to eat. I’ll probably rip the picture into small, small pieces and combine it with a couple of cups of a soda or some other beverage, as eating a half sheet of paper without anything else may actually prove detrimental to my health.
While this particular redditor is waiting until the new album’s release to go through with the bizarre meal, other fans have already bitten the bullet.
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The words in my reporter’s notebook from the day before my daughter was born say “neo-Nazis,” “many sides” and “repugnant.”
That’s where the political world froze for me on August 14th at around 1 p.m., when I went into what would be 21 hours of labor, followed by three month and a half months of maternal bliss.
In those 90 or so days, I missed approximately 55,541 news cycles—and that’s just inside the White House.
While I was trying to master baby origami (a.k.a. swaddling an infant in the dark on 30 minutes of sleep) and Googling things like “neck cheese,” Steve Bannon left the West Wing, Seb Gorka soon followed, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned. (Note to self: don’t let the government pay for those private jet trips again.)
President Trump appeared to defend a group of neo-Nazis and white supremacists protesting in Charlottesville, Virginia, as “very fine people” and then disavowed them and then didn’t again; got in Twitter spats with a congresswoman over a conversation with a gold star widow; threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea (I have to say, there’s something uniquely disturbing watching the president bait nuclear war whilst feeding a newborn); and ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, struck a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to save it, then killed the deal he had reportedly struck.
Outside the White House, healthcare repeal/reform efforts died at least twice, a tax reform bill passed the House, more than a dozen members of Congress announced they were retiring or otherwise moving on with their lives, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie to become the next governor of Virginia, Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor attacked him over yard waste, maybe, Sen. Luther Strange lost his primary to former Judge Roy Moore.
Speaking of Roy. He was accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old district attorney. Then Al Franken admitted and apologized for groping a radio host during a USO tour, and Rep. John Conyers was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, paid settlement claims but has denied wrongdoing. It’s all part of the chain reaction in the halls of power—from Washington to New York to L.A.—set off by the women who stepped forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of everything from sexual harassment to rape.
Hillary Clinton released a book blaming the election outcome on the Russians, Donna Brazile released a book blaming the election results on Hillary Clinton (full disclosure: I have not read either yet, because of the aforementioned infant).
Natural disasters wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Houston, Texas. The response in Texas was swift, the response in Puerto Rico remains less so.
Man-made disasters also took a toll. In my 90 days of maternity leave, there more than 90 mass shootings—defined as the wounding or killing of four or more people in one incident—not including the shooter, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive. That included the largest such shooting in American history in Las Vegas and one inside a Texas church.
They were each followed by wrenching stories about the victims. Politicians offered thoughts, prayers, and very little action.
Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election rolled on. Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, was charged with money laundering and tax fraud, the world learned the name George Papadopoulos—a former member of Trump’s campaign foreign policy team—who plead guilty to lying to the FBI.
(Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI on my first day back.)
Also on the Russian front, (thanks to reporting from The Daily Beast) we learned just how far Russian trolls went on social media to fuel American political divisions. So that guy Charlie from St. Pete, Florida, in your feed that was posting all these crazy anti-BLM memes? He was actually Sergey from St. Petersburg, Russia.
In response (not really) Twitter doubled the number of characters you can use. Something no one asked for ever.
Speaking of Twitter, the president tweeted about hate groups, his rally in Phoenix, ending the filibuster, the debt ceiling, James Clapper, Fake News, McConnell not doing his job, veterans, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Sen. Bob Corker, Corkers resignation, David Clarke’s new book, the Wall, NAFTA, Mexico, a Mother Teresa quote (on Aug. 27… I know, that one threw me too), a tax reform speech in Missouri, James Comey, Hillary Clinton (of course), Hillary Clinton’s new book, North Korea, DACA, Congress’ role in implementing DACA, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the response to both hurricanes, the criticism of the response to Hurricane Irma, ESPN, chain migration, the kid who mowed the White House lawn, supporting Sen. Luther Strange, blaming Strange for losing, his speech at the United Nations, the earthquake in Mexico, the Emmys, the greatness of Fox & Friends, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy’s healthcare bill, Rand Paul, standing for the national anthem, the NFL, Roger Goodell, John McCain, Nikki Haley, Jerry Jones, Roy Moore, his speech in Indiana about tax reform, welcoming Steve Scalise back to the House, adoration for Sean Hannity, Yom Kippur, FEMA, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello, Rex Tillerson, “Rocket Man,” the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the stock market, Ralph Northam, Ed Gillespie, endorsing Gillespie, blaming Gillespie for losing, CNN, NBC News, Jemele Hill, his tax reform speech in Pennsylvania, National Farmer’s Day, Pakistan, Lou Dobbs, Chuck and Nancy, the Democrats, Tom Marino withdrawing from being the drug czar, CBS, ABC, Frederica Wilson, Niger, his call with the widow of a fallen soldier, wildfires in California, coal miners singing the national anthem, polls showing no one trusts the media, Lavar Ball… and so much more.
In many ways I feel like I’ll never catch up and yet, at the same time, the political world is exactly how I left it.
The tax reform bill is still moving through the legislative process, Obamacare—while weakened—is still the law of the land, and a government shutdown still looms.
Democrats are still scrambling to get their party together after their staggering 2016 election loss, Republicans are still scrambling to get their party together after the staggering 2016 election win.
President Trump remains himself.
Case in point: as I started ramping back up for work this week, he made a joke about Pocahontas while honoring World War II Navajo code talkers… in front of a portrait of noted killer of Native Americans President Andrew Jackson. Also this week: Trump reportedly questioned whether the infamous Access Hollywood tape was real (it is, he apologized for it) and whether President Obama was born in the U.S. (he was, Trump admitted this last year).
Washington (CNN)There was a plant and a cover-up Tuesday at the White House.
The sinkhole, which was first spotted a week ago Saturday following days of heavy rainfall, became a social media sensation, but the first family, staff, reporters and visitors to White House grounds were never in any immediate danger.
“On Friday, May 25, crews excavated an area around the small sinkhole on the north White House grounds. We found an underground void about six to eight inches in diameter, which was likely caused by recent heavy rains that eroded the soil,” park service spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said in a statement Friday evening. “In the coming days, we will plug the void with concrete, fill in the excavated area with gravel and soil, and resod. The excavation confirmed that the sinkhole, which did not grow larger since it was first noticed on May 20, does not pose a risk to the White House.”
Workers dug a nearly waist-deep hole Friday afternoon. The perimeter around the sinkhole, two traffic cones with some caution tape, was expanded to a larger enclosure with orange safety fencing over the weekend. But after more work in the area on Tuesday, the only evidence of the sinkhole was four short wooden posts and a rectangle of slightly greener grass.
“Sinkholes are common occurrences following heavy rain,” the park service noted.
The geology of the White House doesn’t naturally lend itself to sinkholes, said expert Terry West, a professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences and civil engineering at Purdue University.
Most sinkholes, West told CNN, form from cavities in underground limestone, but “the geology at the White House is really not that type at all. It’s more of a sandy clay material that is remnant from when the oceans were at a higher elevation.”
West suspects the sinkhole resulted from previous construction on the lawn. This particular stretch of grass has had its share of disruption over the years; during the Obama administration, the lawn was excavated and under construction for months.
“It would seem to be a sinkhole that would come about by an underground collapse of some sort, would be my best guess. It could be some construction debris that was not very highly compacted and has now begun to settle and fill in with soil around it, but it looks like it’d be more related to man-made activities than to natural causes,” West said.
It could also be the result of a leaky water pipe that caused erosion, West said. There is an in-ground irrigation system on the lawn to keep the grass green.
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Suns owner Robert Sarver thinks young people including his own NBA team cant handle setbacks. Well, maybe Robert Sarver cant handle his own failings
Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris is having a down year and team owner Robert Sarver thinks he knows why: Morris is a millennial.
My whole view of the millennial culture is that they have a tough time dealing with setbacks, and Markieff Morris is the perfect example. He had a setback with his brother in the off-season and he cant seem to recover from it, said Sarver, a 54-year old financier, in comments to the Arizona Republic.
Morris hasnt been happy since his twin brother Marcus was traded to Detroit and Sarver is sure that its a generational thing. And also maybe because Morris has a Twitter account and an iPad.
Continued Sarver, no doubt shaking his wrinkled fist at a nearby cloud as he spoke: Im not sure if its the technology of the instant gratification of being online. But the other thing is, Im not a fan of social media. I tell my kids its like Fantasy Land. The only thing people put online are good things that happen to them, or things they make up. And it creates unrealistic expectations.
Ah, yes, who can forget the good, old days, before social media, when everyone just shared terrible things about themselves. And nevermind that Markieff Morris has only tweeted 3,030 times in 5 1/2 years, an average of just 1 1/2 times a day. Or that his last tweet was not a self-indulgent nazel gaze, but an apology.
Robert Sarver, a man with a Twitter account of his own and part of Americas ever-so-valued middle-aged banker generation, had important things he had to say about the youth of today, factual minutiae be damned. But Sarver was right. Partly.
Its true that Markieff Morris is a millennial. As is LeBron James. And Dwyane Wade. And Tony Parker. And Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Same with Steph Curry, Draymond Green and every single player on the Golden State Warriors roster. Really, almost every player in the NBA is a millennial, save Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan. If Sarver doesnt like millennials or people who are comfortable with technology, he should probably get out of the NBA and instead spend his millions on sponsoring senior golf events or presidential candidates.
The problem might not be with millennials, but with Old Man Sarvers particular group of millennials. He has a bad team, maybe the NBAs worst, and is trying to scapegoat millennial culture. My whole view of old person culture is that they have a tough time dealing with their own failures and instead blame the younger generation. Robert Sarver is the perfect example.
Video of the week
An early 1990s Burger King ad featuring Steph Curry and his father Dell has been unearthed.
Burger King should dig up its old deal with Steph Curry and see if hes still under contract with them. Kids rarely read contracts closely. Its what has kept the NCAA in business for so long.
How did LeBron carry the Cavaliers this week?
LeBron isnt just being asked to carry Cleveland to a championship anymore, hes now being asked to carry the torch in the fight against racial injustice and police violence in America.
This is LeBrons career burden. No one is ever happy with anything he does. Win two rings? Hes still not Jordan. Wear an I CANT BREATHE shirt or speak out about the Tamir Rice verdict? Racism still exists, so he should stop playing basketball. Only LeBron has to deal with this stuff. Unless Ive missed the calls for Damian Lillard to stop playing until the federal government moves on the militia wackos in Oregon.
Quote of the week
All I remember was Kobe telling me that Ive been going to the hole like a light-skinned dude. So Ive got to start doing it like a dark-skinned [dude]. So when I seen the lane opened up, thats all I remember. Jordan Clarkson, on his monster dunk in a win against the Suns on Sunday night.
Two games before that, here was Kobe motivating his teammates in Boston:
Is it any surprise the Lakers reeled off a season-high three wins in a row? Kobe should think about sticking around in the NBA as a head coach with his motivational Light-skinned, dark-skinned, muthafucka coaching philosophy. It really seems to work on the millennials.
1.Golden State Warriors (1)
The Warriors lost their second game of the season on New Years Eve eve, but Steph Curry missed the game with a leg injury. They then beat the Rockets without Curry the next night, making the Warriors a .500 team without their superstar. That winning percentage would be good enough for 7th in the Western Conference. Be very discouraged, Golden States Western Conference foes.
2. San Antonio Spurs (2)
Heres Gregg Popovich commenting this week on the increase in the use of advanced statistics in the NBA: I look at the analytics. Some of it is very worthwhile. Some of it is superfluous poppycock. What a shame that someone who uses terms like superfluous poppycock doesnt like to speak more to the media. Id watch a daily show called Pop on Poppycock.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (4)
Its easy to think that David Blatt doesnt do much with the Cavaliers. And then you read this and realize he does more coaching naked than most of his peers do clothed.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (5)
The Clippers made a big jump up last weeks power rankings, from 14 to No. 5. This week theres only a small jump. Not necessarily because they deserve to move up again, but in honor of Chris Pauls small jump.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (3)
Kevin Durant is out again, this time with a toe injury. Maybe well all get a discount from Nike on the new $225 KD 8s due to faulty design.
6. Atlanta Hawks (6)
For unknown reasons, Dennis Schroder was benched by Mike Budenholzer for two games, including a 14-point loss to the Knicks. Whatever Budenholzer thinks Schroders problems are, lack of toughness definitely isnt one of them.
7. Chicago Bulls (12)
Derrick Rose missed three games with a hamstring injury last week and the Bulls won all three against quality competition in the Raptors, Knicks and Pacers. If any teams are interested in trading for an injury-prone point guard owed $21.3 million next year, give Bulls GM Gar Forman a call.
8. Miami Heat (10)
After Wednesdays home game against the Knicks, Miami plays 14 of their next 16 games on the road thanks to the circus and Madonnas tour coming to AmericanAirlines Arena. This has to be Chris Boshs longest trip away from home since he left his birth planet 30 years ago
9. Indiana Pacers (7)
Jesse Eisenberg grew up in New York City a Reggie Miller and Indiana Pacers fan.
Chances are well never see Eisenberg star in a Spike Lee movie.
10. Toronto Raptors (8)
We all wondered how good the Cavaliers could be when Kyrie Irving was 100-percent healthy and we found out Monday night when Irving scored a season-high 25 points in a blowout victory over Toronto. Thanks for helping us answer our question, Raptors!
11. Dallas Mavericks (9)
Rajon Rondo returned to Dallas on Tuesday night with the Kings and was asked when he knew his stint in Dallas wasnt a good fit. Probably when it was over, said Rondo. Very intuitive, just as you want a point guard to be.
12. Boston Celtics (11)
A real thing that happened in our lifetimes: Celtics fans gave a Lakers player a standing ovation.
13. Detroit Pistons (14)
Remember back in July when John Wall said: Im getting [paid] the same as Reggie Jackson. He didnt think it was fair. And its not. Reggie Jackson is averaging more points per game than Wall. He has a better PER. He has a better field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Jacksons team has a better record, too. Wall was right.
14. Orlando Magic (13)
Back on December 11, the Magic lost to the Cavs by 35. But on Saturday night, they only lost to Cleveland by 25. If this rapid rate of improvement keeps up, Cleveland is doomed come playoff time.
15. Memphis Grizzlies (15)
Matt Barnes returned from his two-game suspension Monday night and played 26 minutes in a win over Portland. It was his first action of 2016, which he hopes will be better than 2015.
Make sure you click that Instagram link to see if things are running smoothly for Matt in the New Year.
16. Houston Rockets (17)
Maybe the kid holding up the phone should have been using it to show Howard a YouTube tutorial on free throw technique. 17. Washington Wizards (19)
The Wizards keep plodding near .500, but they still have plans to make the postseason. Perhaps theyve been inspired to follow the path of the Pride of Washington, D.C.: Dan Snyders casually racist yet playoff-bound football team.
18. New York Knicks (20)
Just when you think the Knicks franchise is close to turning it all around, a player goes and cuts off his man bun.
Now Lou Amundson is just another player. Before he was an entire way of life. What a shame.
19. Charlotte Hornets (16)
The Hornets have lost four in a row, seven of nine, nine of 12, 23 of 40, 66 of 119, 225 of 329 … I can keep going for a while. The point is this: the Hornets arent too good, same as it ever was.
20. Utah Jazz (18)
A Jazz fan who pointed a laser pointer at James Harden in Utahs loss to the Rockets on Monday night has been banned from NBA arenas for a year. There is no defense for shining a laser at an athlete. No defense at all. It is the James Harden of fan acts.
21. Sacramento Kings (23)
22. Portland Trail Blazers (21)
23. Milwaukee Bucks (22)
24. New Orleans Pelicans (27)
25. Denver Nuggets (24)
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (25)
27. Los Angeles Lakers (29)
28. Brooklyn Nets (28)
29. Philadelphia 76ers (30)
30. Phoenix Suns (26)
We have a new biggest loser! When you lose nine in a row, including a loss to the Sixers the day after Christmas, a loss to the Kings on Saturday in which Phoenix gave up 142 points, and then follow that with a 22-point first half against the Lakers the very next day, youre the worst team in basketball. Especially when the Sixers have somehow won three of their last six games. Time to break up the Sixers! Again.