Friday News Bites: Llaw-breaking Llamas, Oscar Post-Match, Net Neutrality + More

We have a rather jumbo-sized Friday News Bites this week, but am I glad I didn’t write this post before news about the Great Llama Chase of 2015 broke. Let’s get started.

Oscars Post-Match

The 2015 Academy Awards were a bit of a mixed bag, hosting and winners-wise, but they also came with a side of political commentary.

John Legend correctly pointed out that there are more black men in correctional facilities than there were enslaved in 1850.

Screenwriter Graham Moore’s “Stay Weird” speech on the surface appeared to be for LGBTQ kids, but a closer look implies that is not exactly the case.

And Patricia Arquette started out with a good thing — a call for equal pay for women — and then had an intersectional fail backstage while elaborating on her comments. (In case you missed it, here’s our own April talking about Arquette’s speech.)

Then she further clarified and somewhat removed her foot from her mouth. Sorta.

And then Giuliana Rancic said something hella racist about Zendaya’s hair, but she did appear to offer a sincere apology, saying that it was not her intent that matters.

If you’ve ever wondered how Oscar voting works, here’s a video explaining the process[Auto-loads]


NASA’s Europa Mission may “consider ways that a Europa mission could search for evidence of alien life in the plumes of water vapor that apparently blast into space from Europa’s south polar region.”

Feeding babies foods with peanuts appears to prevent later nut allergies, according to a newly released British study.

And in another study, marijuana is shown to be considerably safer than alcohol, tobacco, and a variety of other drugs.

Apparently it wasn’t rats who mainly spread the Black Death, but… gerbils? GERBILS!

More “black holes” — AKA giant craters — are appearing in Siberia, and researchers are trying to determine their cause.

Researchers at Cambridge University and the Weitzmann Institute in Israel are working on a way “to craft egg and sperm cells out of skin from two adults of the same sex.” So that’s cool for same-sex couples who would like children to share their genetics.

Younger women are hesitant to say they are having a heart attack, for fear of being labeled hypochondriacs. Know the signs, and look for a doctor who does not dismiss your concerns.

Here’s a good interview with P-Mag favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri (R) asked, in all seriousness, if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam. These are the kinds of people allowed to make laws. -sigh-

President Obama swiftly vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill that was earlier approved by the House and Senate. The House does not appear to have enough votes to override his veto, and as a resident of one of the states where this pipeline would have been, I say, GOOD.

The FCC officially approved Net Neutrality as a thing to be protected, and it looks like it was none other than John Oliver who really tipped the debate.

But here’s my new favorite little activist: a 9-year-old girl is using Lent as a reason to contact Congress about marriage equality, and she’s going to write one letter per week advocating for others. Fight the power, Shouty!

In Other News

Bill O’Reilly is under scrutiny for his reporting on the Falklands War. [sarcasm font] And we’re soooo surprised. [/sarcasm font]

Not everything has a statute of limitations: In Germany, a 94-year-old man has been charged with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder, on allegations he served in the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp.

Turkish men staged a protest in Istanbul, wearing short skirts in solidarity after the death of a female student:

The brutal death of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan on 11 February provoked a widespread reaction on social media — which has unusually translated into physical action.

Ms. Aslan died after reportedly fending off a bus driving attempting to rape her. She was beaten and stabbed before being dumped in a riverbed, where her body was eventually discovered.

Arthur Conan Doyle did not write that “lost” Sherlock story you’ve been hearing about. Well, probably.


A little less than one week before the Parks and Recreation series finale, the show’s co-executive producer and writer Harris Wittels was found dead from an apparent drug overdose. He was 30 years old.

At Pajiba, Dustin Rowles has rounded up some information on Wittels’ background and the events leading to his death.

Draven Rodriguez, the New York high school student whose lasers and cats senior photo spread across the internet earlier this year, has committed suicide. My heart goes out to his family.

Ben Woolf — lately best known as Meep on American Horror Story: Freak Show died after being hit by a car last Thursday. He was 34.

Former America’s Next Top Model contestant Mirjana Puhar was among those killed in a triple homicide on Tuesday. Along with 21-year-old Puhar, 23-year-old Jonathan Cosme Alvarado (Puhar’s boyfriend), and Jusmar Isiah Gonzaga-Garcia, 21, were killed. Police have a suspect in custody.

In Entertainment

Praise the TV gods! Jason Biggs will not be in Season 3 of Orange is the New Black.

Apple is soon releasing multi-cultural emoji. Don’t fuck this up, White People™.

An owl cafe is coming to London! Owls freak me out up close, but I still think this cool.

And finally… the story that amused us since Thursday afternoon… LLAMAS ON THE LLAM!

This is exactly the sort of thing Twitter was made for.

See you next week, friends.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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