Friday News Bites: Ferguson Updates, Leonard Nimoy + More

Happy Friday, Unicorns. It’s time for your (favorite?) weekly round-up of politics, science, entertainment and other newsy bits from around the interwub. Let’s get started.

You’ve likely heard by now that actor and director Leonard Nimoy passed away last Friday, age 83. Tributes are appearing everywhere, but I’ll just link to this lovely story about his 1968 letter to a biracial girl asking for advice.

Also, Seinfeld actor Daniel von Bargen died this week at age 64. From the sounds of it, he’s had a troublesome past couple of years, but the official cause of death seems to be related to illness.

Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy was killed in Dhaka last Friday when two men with machetes attacked him and his wife. Rafida Ahmed Bonya, his wife, remains in critical condition.


Scientists have confirmed (again) that amassing CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is causing raised temperatures worldwide.

P-Mag Favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson was in my home state of Montana on Wednesday, where he talked about climate change, space exploration, and other science-y matters at Montana State University. I didn’t get to go, but apparently it was one of his largest audiences.

Galapagos tortoises are finally having babies again, now that island caretakers are controlling the rat population. This story is about a month old, but still — baby tortoises!

The BJU International Journal of Urology studied 15,000 different penises and came up with an average size. Cue your best “motion in the ocean” jokes.

“Science”-minded DEA agents are claiming that Utah will have perma-stoned rabbits if they legalize medical marijuana in the state.

A picture of a rabbit sitting next to a bong.

Well, the bunnies might also eat all the weeds in your yard, so… Win for everyone? Ha.

In Other News:

America! Where you can be convicted of your own murder: The city of Cleveland has decided that 12-year-old Tamir Rice is to blame for being shot by police this past November. Surprise, surprise.

The Justice Department’s probe into the Ferguson police department reveals more systemic, Constitution-violating racism, and they also tolerate an environment that includes the sexual harassment of female officers.

The Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESPLERP) filed a lawsuit against the attorney general of the state of California in an effort to decriminalize prostitution:

Together, they claim that enforcement of prostitution laws violates their constitutional rights to privacy, free speech, substantive due process right to earn a living, and freedom of association. They are asking for a declaration that California’s prostitution statute is unconstitutional, an order prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the prostitution statute, and attorney fees.

After trying to hold funding for Homeland Security hostage by tying it to an Immigration Bill, the U.S. House Republicans lost. Because we shouldn’t be rewarding toddlers throwing a tantrum just because they are the loudest voice in the room.

… She said, not editorializing at all.

On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in four same-sex marriage cases. Don’t fail us now, Notorious R.B.G!

Meanwhile, the Slovenian Parliament has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. They are (so far) one of the few Eastern European countries to do so.

In Entertainment:

Catwoman is officially bisexual. High-five for representation!

The upcoming HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief claims that Tom Cruise had Nicole Kidman’s phone tapped shortly before the end of their marriage. (Also, do check in with your writers who cover this documentary, just in case any mysterious black vans have started following them. Ahem.)

An Adventure Time movie is in the works! Ready your cosplay for the premiere now?

Also, ready your bladder: AMC and Regal theaters will be marathoning Marvel movies in advance of Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s release.

You can now buy yourself a Left Shark onesie. Happy early Halloween!

Kelly Osbourne has left E! Fashion Police, allegedly as a reaction to Giuliana Rancic’s racist comment about Zendaya’s hair.

Downton Abbey will have one more season before it comes to a close. The sixth season will air in the UK this September.

And finally… Luther is coming back, y’all! YESSSS.

Until next time, 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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