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    Dashcam Video Appears to Show Terrifying Rocket Attack in Mariupol

    A dashcam video uploaded to YouTube yesterday appears to show part of the deadly rocket attacks on Mariupol that killed as many as 30 people.

    City officials told Reuters that rebels fired rockets from long-range GRAD missile systems. In addition to the 30 people killed, 83 were injured.

    [Image via YouTube | h/t Uproxx]


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    Report: Gunman and Victim Both Dead After N.Y.C. Home Depot Shooting

    Shots were fired inside the Home Depot at 40 West 23rd Street in Manhattan on Sunday. According to accounts on social media, the store has been evacuated and police have arrived on the scene.

    Police say two people have been shot, according to ABC7. One of the victims appears to be an employee.

    The shooter reportedly opened fire near the second floor cash registers.

    Update, 3:25 p.m. – A police source told the New York Daily News that the shooter shot another man in aisle 12 of the store and then shot himself.

    Update, 3:37 p.m. – ABC7 reports that the shooter's victim is in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital.

    Update, 3:50 p.m. – "One employee shot another in lighting, right behind me," Instagram user @samdwyer wrote in a caption on one post from the scene. "I ran outside through the back with other employees. Maybe 6 shots fired. Screaming. Overheard employees say 'Calvin shot montag,'" he wrote for another.

    Update, 4:15 p.m. – The Daily News and ABC News are reporting that both the shooter and his victim have been pronounced dead. According to a source, the shooter, a 31-year-old man, was found dead at the scene; his victim, a 38-year-old Home Depot employee, according to the New York Post, was pronounced dead at Bellevue.

    Update, 4:40 p.m. – DNAinfo reports that the shooter was a Home Depot employee and the victim his manager.

    [Image via Twitter/@PaulineEvansNY]


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    Greek Conservative Spokesman Concedes Defeat to Anti-Austerity Left

    After exit polls showed left-wing coalition Syriza handily winning Greece's parliamentary election on Sunday, a senior minister with the country's ruling center-right party publicly admitted defeat, the Associated Press reports.

    "We lost," said Health Minister and New Democracy spokesperson Makis Voridis. "The extent of that result is not yet clear."

    According to the BBC, exit polls showed Syriza winning between 36 and 38 percent of the vote compared to New Democracy's 26 to 28 percent, a projection that would give the leftists 150 of the 300 seats in Greece's parliament. The official results will be finalized on Monday.

    Before the election, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras promised to renegotiate with Greece's creditors to end the country's unpopular austerity policies, measures imposed as a condition of billions of dollars of bailout loans following the European debt crisis.

    "Democracy will return to Greece," Tsipras told reporters while casting his ballot on Sunday. "The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity."

    [Image via AP Images]


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  • 01/25/15--13:45: Land Dog Meets Sea Dog
  • Seals are the dogs of the sea, as dogs are the seals of the land. This Tumblr user understands that. This video shows a meeting between one such sea dog and a land seal.

    What happens when a land dog meets a sea dog? Not a lot, really, but it's nice watching these two dogs (of the land and sea, respectively) hang out.

    However, as fun as it is seeing these dogs meet (on the land, it so happens), it's important not to get it twisted: Land seals belong on the land and sea dogs belong in the sea.


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    Somebody Totally Prank Called That Nerd David Cameron

    A prank caller posing as the head of Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency was able to get through to prime minister maker of very serious phone calls David Cameron on Sunday, The Guardian reports.

    The prankster identified himself as GCHQ director Robert Hannigan. The Guardian reports that government officials say that the conversation was very brief, and no sensitive information was discussed.

    Someone also got their hands on Hannigan's personal cell phone number, and called it. What even is going on over there?

    "Following two hoax calls to government departments today," a government spokesperson told The Guardian. "A notice has gone out to all departments to be on the alert for such calls."

    [Image via Twitter/@David_Cameron]


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    Burger King Screws Up Woman's Order, Hands Her $2,600 at Drive-Thru

    Ugh, Burger King messed up a New Hampshire woman's order again this week, putting a $2,631 cash drop in her bag instead of the Spicy Crispy Chicken Jr. and sweet tea she asked for.

    Janelle Jones first noticed the mistake—which is just so typical—when she was driving home and saw there was no food in her bag, just a couple bank deposit bags and a $100 bill.

    And no, Jones didn't try to keep the money. From the Associated Press:

    [Husband] Matthew Jones says the couple briefly considered keeping the money, which they certainly could have used. But he says he and his wife are Jehovah's Witnesses, and that "Jehovah sees everything."

    After she returned the cash, the store's manager offered Jones five free meals, which, with her luck, will probably all be stupid diamonds or something.

    [Image via Shutterstock]


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    Yale Police Officer Allegedly Held Charles Blow's Son at Gunpoint 

    New York Times columnist Charles Blow says his son, Tahj, was leaving the Yale campus library this weekend when police officers held him at gunpoint because he "fit the description" of a burglary suspect.

    Blow tweeted about the alleged incident Saturday, writing, "So, my son, a 3rd year chem major at Yale was just accosted - at GUN POINT - by a Yale policeman bc he "fit the description" of a suspect...He was let go when they realized he was a college student and not a criminal ( he was leaving the library!) He's shaken, but I'm fuming!"

    A Yale spokesperson reportedly confirmed that police stopped a student Saturday but did not address the gunpoint allegations or refer to Tahj by name.

    According to a university spokesperson, Yale police responded to emergency calls Saturday from undergraduates in Trumbull College. "Several students reported that an individual had just entered their rooms under false pretenses, pretending to be looking for someone."

    The spokesperson states in an email that students at the College had been victims of a burglary that week and "a person matching the physical description of the individual, as well as the story of "looking for someone" has been seen several times in the college."

    On Saturday night, students called police and described the suspect as a tall, African-American, college-aged student wearing a black jacket and a red and white hat, the spokesperson states.

    "This was the description that Yale police used as they converged on Trumbull and attempted to track down the suspect. During the efforts to locate and detain the suspect, a Yale College student, who closely matched the description of the suspect, was briefly detained and released by Yale police."

    The real suspect was reportedly later captured in a nearby building and has been charged with multiple felonies.

    The campus police department is conducting an internal review into the incident, the Yale Daily News reports.

    [image via Wikipedia]


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    During an interview on ABC Sunday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough apparently dropped the first name of the last American hostage held by ISIS—a woman whose name was kept secret for almost a year-and-a-half.

    It came out when George Stephanopoulos asked McDonough if there was "any information" on the 26-year-old woman, who was kidnapped along with several members of her humanitarian aid group in August, 2013.

    In his answer, McDonough referenced "Kayla's family." Her name had previously been kept private, her family says, "for her own safety."

    McDonough's gaffe was reportedly first noted by ABC's Jon Williams and later picked up by The Politico, which redacted the name from the report at the request of the White House.


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    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    The blizzard set to hit New York City this week may be the worst on record yet, but there will never be storm reporting as dramatic and spectacular as that which followed the Blizzard of 1888.

    New York City history site My Inwood reproduced the New York Herald's cover of the March storm, which shut down the city for days with two feet of snow and 85-mph winds.

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    When public transportation shut down, hundreds of people escaped from Brooklyn by crossing the East River on an ice floe. Dock owners began charging people to use the ladders, where the Herald reported, "This fee was insisted upon even when some of the victims were in danger of drowning."

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    Trains full of people were trapped without food, or, it seems, manners: when the railroad company sent the trapped passengers a meal, "It was greedily taken by the men, who acted in the most selfish manner."

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    Around 200 people died, many of them frozen, and hospitals were deluged with "a ghastly procession of wounded men and women."

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    Even worse, "gorgeously attired young men of fashion" were forced to take shelter on the Bowery alongside actual tramps.

    All night the lodging house dormitories were crowded with snow bound dandies who scratched and grumbled and tossed about on the hard pallets in the ill smelling cubbyholes. And wonderfully comical scenes took place at the breakfast tables, where waiters were paralyzed with astonishment at demands for napkins and finger bowls. Many of the ten-cent lodging houses raised their price for a cot to fifty.

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888

    "How the Tempest Howled": New York's Terrifying Blizzard of 1888


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    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    After a short night of restless sleep, it appears that forecasters are still predicting the end of the world in the Northeast this evening. If you haven't panicked yet, you have several hours to do so before it's too late. Hug your children. Hoard booze. This is not a drill. Here's what you need to know to make it through the storm.

    The Storm

    Today: Snow will likely fall lightly throughout the Northeast this morning, building in the afternoon to accumulations of one to three inches by early evening and wind gusts as high as 30 miles per hour.

    Tonight: The heaviest snowfall and strongest wind will likely begin tonight, accumulating a foot or more of snow in New York City at a rate of two to three inches an hour, with accompanying winds of up to 40 miles per hour.

    Tomorrow: Heavy snowfall could continue all the way through Tuesday, accumulating another foot of snow in New York City and north. By Tuesday the Northeast might be buried in record snowfalls—as much as three feet in Boston, two feet in New York, and a foot in Philadelphia.

    Warnings

    Blizzard warnings are in effect from the eastern coast of New Jersey through Maine, with all of the major cities (Newark, New York City, Hartford, Providence, Boston, Portland).

    A blizzard occurs when sustained winds of 35 MPH or greater create blowing snow that drops visibility down to one-quarter of a mile or less, for three consecutive hours. A blizzard is essentially a sustained whiteout that can be disorienting and lethal if you're caught outside unprotected and unprepared.

    There are so many warnings and advisories in effect that it would be impossible to list them all. You can see a map and a full, current list at weather.gov.

    Snowfall Accumulations

    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    Here are the latest snowfall accumulation forecasts from the National Weather Service, valid as of 5:00 AM EST. (See for yourself at the NWS site or its Enhanced Data Display.)

    • New York City: 18-24 inches
    • Boston: 24-36 inches
    • Providence: 24-36 inches
    • Philadelphia: 10-14 inches.

    The NWS still expects a huge swath of 20 to 30+ inches of snow from New Jersey through Massachusetts and up into Maine, with the heaviest snowfall totals likely falling along a stretch from northeastern CT and RI up into eastern Massachusetts. If predictions hold true, it wouldn't be out of the question for someone in eastern Mass. to hit three feet with this storm.

    Here's a closer look at the very heavily populated stretch of land from Newark to Boston:

    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    Now, The Weather Channel—which is going wall-to-wall for the duration of this storm, and is streaming its broadcast live on weather dot com—is surprisingly conservative on accumulations this time around (the NWS is usually the conservative one), predicting around 18" in NYC and "two feet or more" in eastern Massachusetts around Boston.

    Travel Advice

    Don't.

    School Closures

    New York City public schools are open today, though after-school programs are cancelled; many other area schools are closed. Tomorrow, school will be closed, unless you live in that one district that just refuses to close; in that case, you'll have a two-hour delay and deal with it.

    Airport Delays and Cancellations

    Your flight is cancelled. Don't even bother. 2,142 cancellations today...

    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    ...and 1,975 cancellations tomorrow.

    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    All United flights from Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Logan, and Philadelphia on Tuesday have been cancelled. Even Wednesday will still be a pain.

    How the Storm Might Change

    As I mentioned yesterday and every time we deal with a nor'easter, there is an ugly bust potential whenever we have this kind of a storm. A small jog to the east in track will pull the heaviest snows east, which could result in dramatically lower accumulations in places like central New Jersey and the New York City metro area. Last night's European model brings the low closer to land, which produces heavier snow over more people, while the GFS pulls the low a little bit farther east—bringing the snow a little farther east, too.

    Now, the difference between a foot of snow and a foot-and-a-half of snow is negligible when you can't drive or walk in either, and the winds are still going to allow conditions to reach blizzard intensity for several hours tonight and tomorrow morning. Prepare for and expect the worst from this storm, but keep in mind that any change in track will likely result in lower snowfall totals.

    Power Outages

    You need to be prepared for extended power outages as a result of the wind and weight of the snow on lines and trees. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food and water to last you and your household moochers...er, family...at least a couple of days. Make sure you have prescription medication, gas in your car, cash (cards do you no good if the power is out), and enough blankets to keep your warm through the cold winter. Fill your bathtub and buckets with water so you can wash your hands and flush your toilets as needed.

    Don't use generators or grills indoors, as that's the best way to die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, it sounds patronizing to say, but don't leave candles unattended, especially if they're free-standing candles and not jar candles (where the flame is partially enclosed by glass).

    No Name!

    Winter storms are not named. The Weather Channel assigns names to winter storms as part of a social media marketing campaign. When you mention "Juno," you're participating in the proliferation of Big Weather. Think before you hashtag.

    The only acceptable names for this storm are "Blizzard of 2015, "Thanks Obama," and "UGH."

    Records

    New York City might see a top-ten snowfall event out of this storm. Here are the top-ten snowstorms recorded in New York City (Central Park) since the station began operating in the late 1800s (snowfall totals are under "Value," in inches):

    What You Need to Know About Today's "Crippling" Blizzard: Monday Update

    Take it easy and be careful shoveling and removing the snow tomorrow. Even though the snow won't be as heavy as it is in warmer storms, you can still injure or heart attack yourself if you strain too hard while shoveling or using a snow blower.

    The Vane will feature another post on the Winter Storm Thanks Obama later tonight. Stay warm.

    [Images: Tropical Tidbits, NWS, xmACIS2]


    You can follow the author on Twitter or send him an email.


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    Excuse Me Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles: Pipe Down! 

    Rowdy homeroom crew Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles were spotted dining together at Craig's in Los Angeles this weekend, because they are friends. Page Six reports that the well-known threesome was "being loud and throwing olives at people walking by."

    In fact, the entire Page Six report is that 2015 breakfast club Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles were "laughing, having an amazing time, being loud and throwing olives at people walking by."

    Laughing?

    Having an amazing time?

    Being loud?

    Throwing olives at people walking by?

    Excuse me modern brat pack Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles: this is a fancy restaurant for adults only please pipe down!

    Page Six provides no more information about the famous trio's wild night, but Party of Three Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles will undoubtedly hang out in a similar capacity again. Which respected dining establishment will Jennifer Lawrence (the Funny one), Adele (the Sexy one), and Harry Styles (the Direction one) terrorize next? Heaven knows.

    If you see Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, and Harry Styles all together, like they usually are, drop us a line at allie@gawker.com.

    [Photos via Getty]


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    Lena Dunham Explains at Length How She Confused Lil Jon and Lil Wayne

    Millennial actress Lena Dunham recently "deleted Twitter" because she is "trying to create a safer space for herself emotionally." Now, Instagram is her choice of platform for sharing her thoughts with the world. Today, Dunham explains at length on the photo-sharing platform the non-racist way she confusing Lil' Jon with Lil' Wayne.

    Dunham's Instagram Crash moment began here, when she shared this list of celeb spottings at Sundance, creating the sense that she is "famous" but also "just like you and your friends":

    Rapper Lil' Wayne, who appears on this list, is not at Sundance. Had she seen, maybe, rapper Lil' Jon? Dunham clarified the mistake, deploying wacky hashtags to indicate the light-heartedness with which she was taking the silly goof-up:

    Caption:

    Lil Jon IS in Utah say sources (aka instagram comments.) And yes, we wrote him onto our list as Wayne. As Jenni says, blame is on the aaaaaltitude#blameitontheaaaltitude #redeye #amiawake?

    In the same spirit of carefree and unconcerned nonchalance, Dunham elaborated several hours later with an anecdote relating the exact events of the confusion:

    Caption:

    This layover in Atlanta is a great time to tell you Jenni & I know the difference between Lil Wayne & Lil Jon. Wayne could lick me like a lollipop and is beloved by Nicki. I met Jon when he generously created a Rock The Vote video and he was a delight. When we got of the plane in Park City Jenni said "I saw Lil—" and I shrieked "WAYNE!?" and added him to our celeb list. End of story. PS This is Wayne's (ex?) girl Dhea who will be my blizzard fashion inspiration. PPS I can always trust my gang of Internet friends to go hard and that's why I 😍 you and you make me crazy

    Dunham considerately includes photos of each musician with her post, as if to say, but c'mon, you can see how we'd get mixed up.

    The matter was slightly confused by a third, quickly deleted followup (below, left) that was replaced by something unrelated (below, right):

    Lena Dunham Explains at Length How She Confused Lil Jon and Lil Wayne

    We'll keep watching Lena Dunham's Instagram to learn more.

    Top photos: Getty


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    Ex-Fox News Employee Commits Suicide Outside of News Corp. Headquarters

    A man who reportedly worked for a Fox affiliate in Austin, Texas, killed himself this morning in front of Manhattan's News Corporation building, which contains the Fox News headquarters.

    A law enforcement official told the Wall Street Journal that Phillip Perea shot himself in the chest around 9 a.m. after he handed out fliers about how Fox News "ended [his] career."

    News of the shooting was apparently broken by Geraldo Rivera.

    Just hours before committing suicide, Perea tweeted a link to to a YouTube series he'd apparently created called "The American Workplace Bully: How FOX News Ended My Career."

    Perea claims in the video that "managerial bullying"—which he blamed on Fox News—led to him being fired from his job as a promotions producer for KTBC in Austin. According to a recording he provided to the Austin Chronicle for an unrelated story, Perea was suspended from KTBC by General Manager Michael Lewis in May for using inappropriate language and not following directions. Clips from that recording appear to be the same ones at the start of the YouTube video embedded above.

    Several other of his recent tweets were aimed at Fox News.

    Perea was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later. A suicide note and a gun were recovered at the scene, according to the WSJ.

    [Image via AP]


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    Vatican Adopts Balloons as Symbols of Satan's Power

    Yesterday, the Catholic Church released hordes of colorful balloons in St. Peter's Square, a gesture meant to symbolize the triumph of Satan's power over life on earth.

    Traditionally, the church released doves on the last Sunday in January to celebrate peace. Last year, Satan, fed up with this blatant and ongoing assault on his sensibilities, sent black predator birds to ruthlessly slaughter the innocent doves as they floated above horrified onlookers. The Catholic church, duly chastened and put in its place, released only balloons this year, as if to bow their head before Lucifer and humbly say: "All power is yours. Our prayers are but fanciful toys in your mighty hands. No matter how much we may beseech our god to protect us from your wrath, we know in our heart of hearts that all that stands between us and ignoble death is your whim. Have mercy upon us, Lord of Darkness. We worship you above all."

    Satan's next scheduled public appearance will be during the entirety of the Super Bowl halftime show.

    [Photo: AP]


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    Don't forget: Gawker is trying out a new publishing system where we post less often to the front page. Happening across the blogs: Defamer Hollywood Mystery: Did Chris Martin Hit a Paparazzo With His Jeep? | Newsfeed Co-op Chaos! Crazy Photos of Empty Shelves and Packed Lines at Markets | TKTK Bloomberg Is the Worst Place to Workhttp://gawker.com/how-to-read-ga...


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    Help Us Create a Before and After Picture of the Northeast Blizzard

    Big blizzard '15 is here and while outside might look quaint now, we're promised up to three feet of snow in parts of the Northeast. If you're home, go take a quick photo of your best, snowy view and share it with us. And then after tomorrow's dreaded pileup, take another shot and send us that one, too. We'll put them all together into a post-blizzard gallery.

    The photo above, my "before" shot, is from the fire escape outside my bedroom window. Your turn.


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    There's Always Someone Who Wants to Bring Back Firing Squads

    The death penalty is slowly losing prominence in America. Botched executions and problems with the supply of drugs has made lethal injection harder to carry out. Still, states are determined to balance out this trend with sheer bloodlust.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the state of Wyoming is considering a bill to reinstate the firing squad as the backup method of execution, in the event that the state can't carry out a lethal injection. These sorts of proposals do happen with a certain amount of regularity in our nation's more... frontier-oriented states, but this one sounds more serious than most.

    Legislation that passed the state Senate this month on a 17-12 vote would authorize a firing squad in Wyoming if lethal injection can't be performed in a timely manner, or if it is deemed unconstitutional...

    In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead said he is open to signing the firing-squad bill if it clears the state House, where it is expected to encounter more opposition than in the Senate.

    Wyoming does not have any prisoners on death row, thank god. As long as that remains the case, feel free to pass all the embarrassing frontier justice laws you want, you fucking yahoos. Anything that keeps these dangerous legislators distracted can only be considered a net positive.

    [Photo of Iran in 1953 and/ or Wyoming in 2015: AP]


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    Should Wikipedia Depict Muhammad? How Editors Responded to Charlie Hebdo

    Wikipedia's entry on Muhammad was first published on November 8, 2001. It was eleven sentences long. Over the next few years, several thousand new words were added and edited, but it wasn't until 2005 that an image of Muhammad was attached: A 16th-century painting depicting the Islamic prophet. Two hours later, the painting was pulled down. The next day, the original uploader reinstated the art, along with a note for the editor who'd removed it: "Pls. explain yourself."

    Things would go on like that for a while.

    Islam traditionally, though by no means universally, frowns on pictorial depictions of its prophet. Since the fatal shooting of 10 cartoonists and two police officers at the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo—which had on several occasions published pointedly offensive cartoons of Muhammad—debates about news outlets' responsibilities have raged in editorial meetings and in columns and articles.

    But they've got nothing on Wikipedia. "The Free Encyclopedia" has an entire FAQ page dedicated to the issue, complete with detailed instructions on how to block all of the encyclopedia's Muhammad images from appearing in your browser. Over the years, the Muhammad article's "Talk" page—the public venue where editors discuss how to make a given article adhere more closely to Wikipedia's guidelines—has become so rife with heated arguments that it now comes with a warning: "Important notice....Discussion of images, and of edits regarding images, MUST be posted to the images subpage."

    Today, that image-specific subpage is home to 26 pages of discussion, each tens of thousands of words long. In 2008, a letter-writing campaign to Wikipedia about Muhammad depictions merited coverage in the New York Times.

    The site's community of editors can be a squabbling, neurotic bunch of nit-pickers and obsessives, and it's tempting to dismiss their spats as inchoate arguing for the sake of arguing—much of the time, that's exactly what it is. But its outcome is important. Wikipedia is the seventh-most popular website on the internet, and the first source most web-savvy people check when they're catching up on a particular subject or trying to recover some since-forgotten piece of trivia. Even if you don't go directly, you'll usually wind up there—Wikipedia pages are at the top of so many Google searches it often feels as though the site is an extension of the search giant, if not vice versa. More than newspapers, or explainer sites, or its leather-bound predecessors, the free encyclopedia is the source people turn to for assimilating new facts about the world around them. Its editors have the keys to one of the world's greatest tools for disseminating knowledge, and despite all that inchoate squabbling, they often do a decent job of handling it.

    Reading an argument launched two days after the Charlie Hebdo shooting is a good introduction to the culture of Wikipedia discussion—and a window onto a set of arguments about religion and speech that are increasingly finding home on the internet. On one side, a group of editors stands firmly behind using images, citing "Neutral point of view," a central tenet of Wikipedia, as its defense. To censor themselves for the sake of those who find Muhammad images offensive, they argue, would be to sacrifice the neutrality that makes Wikipedia what it is. On the other, a lone dissenter argues that depicting Muhammad isn't "neutral" at all; it's actively anti-Islamic. After several paragraphs of the matter-of-fact rhetoric that is the Wikipedia editor's native tongue—neutered, polite, and absolutely convinced of its own correctness—each group is even more entrenched in its position than it was when it started.

    Emin Čamo, an editor who identifies himself as Muslim, and who appears to have created a Wikipedia account solely to argue about Muhammad pictures after the shooting, raises the issue: Wikipedia shouldn't show the prophet, he says, if not for the sake of sensitivity, then to avoid another Charlie-style attack. This is the same logic several news outlets appeared to use in their Charlie shooting.

    It sounds more logical that a website which focuses on making articles from a neutral point should know that having a successful policy requires a certain amount of respect towards religious, social and similar traditions. Also considering that these depictions have caused a lot of riots within the Muslim World, do you not think that this is violent propaganda? Since it ,consciously, is hurting the adherents of Islam. Furthermore, images, unlike links and claims supported by evidence, do not affect the article itself at all, rather I'd say they are useless in this context. Regarding Muhammad though, they're not just useless, they're also offensive. So I think the smart move in the end of the day would just be to remove the pictures. Just a thought.

    Next, Amatulić, an editor whose user page advertises an adherence to "Precisionism"—one of the dozens of codified Wikipedia philosophies, each with its own name and associated dogma, that have multiplied like pre-Nicaean Christian theologies since Wikipedia's founding—counters with the argument that Wikipedia should never be censored.

    Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group. That is a policy. The subject here (Muhammad) is treated with respect. Plenty of Muslims have no problem with the images...No matter what you put in an article, you will always find somebody who will be offended by it...You clearly haven't reviewed any of the archived discussions on the matter...All of what you say has been discussed before. If you have any new arguments to offer, you are welcome to present them.

    Emin Čamo retorts by going ad hominem, referring—probably not unjustly—to "the arrogance of the editors on Wikipedia."

    Actually the matter of the fact is, the arrogance of the editors on wikipedia is too big for a normal discussion. I find it a great hypocrisy and contradiction due to your previous statements (which I will mention) how Muhammad is now depicted right at the beginning of the page. All that Muslims asked was not to depict Muhammad, and yet everybody including wikipedia, which is meant to maintain it's neutrality, does it.

    Then, two more editors weigh in to accuse Čamo—again, not unjustly—of an apparent desire to tailor an encyclopedia that's supposed to be for everyone to the preferences of a particular group.

    Ok, we have heard your opinion. Be aware that Wikpedia is WP:NOTAFORUM. We do not change articles to please adherents of a religion (any religion) and we certainly do not change articles just because someone feel offended.

    "I am a Muslim myself, and I find the depictions of Muhammad offensive...." Nobody cares; being unoffended isn't a right. You are given instructions at the top of this page on how to prevent the images form being displayed when you are browsing this site. Your views and opinions do not apply to anyone else.

    And so on.

    In the end, Emin Čamo was no match. Wikipedia, like another famously male-dominated and insular internet community, will always take the side of "free speech" when it's pitted against "sensitivity"—even when it's unclear that "free speech" and "sensitivity" are really what's at stake.

    Not without near-daily bickering, the Muhammad page currently displays a calligraphic representation of the prophet in its most prominent image slot, with several illustrations of the man himself below. This can be seen as a concession to those who'd rather not see Muhammad images at all—and indeed, Wikipedia's most zealous "anti-censorship" crusaders would like to have the calligraphy exorcised in favor of a picture—but Wikipedians have accepted it as the status quo. As an erudite and moderate editor named Elmo iscariot puts it:

    Anti-censorship atheist here. I quite like the calligraphy in the infobox, because it illustrates the most common means of representing the subject. Visual illustrations also exist, and excluding them from Wikipedia for the sake of a religious injunction would be unacceptable, but the calligraphic representation immediately grounds the subject in his own context, which is what the infobox illustration should seek to do. We have to resist censorship of images that some groups would like to suppress, but that doesn't mean we're required to put those images in every place they could possibly go.

    As an aside, it's worth noting one bizarre and apparently short-lived solution to the controversy: Photoshop. Currently, under "Childhood and early life," a circa-1315 illustration of the prophet setting the black stone in the Kaaba shows his face and body in full. But editors have also submitted uncanny versions of the same work—now hosted on various international Wikipedia sites—in which his features are digitally removed.

    Should Wikipedia Depict Muhammad? How Editors Responded to Charlie Hebdo

    Compared to earlier disputes, the recent blowup was tame. In December 2011, a month after the first time Charlie Hebdo's office was attacked over Muhammad cartoons, the question of depicting the prophet reached Wikipedia's highest echelons.

    Theoretically, the site's editorial operation has no hierarchy. Anyone with internet access can update an article in whatever way they see fit, and it's up to the community to reach a consensus on what stays. (See an early version of the Muhammad page that refers to him as a "notorious pedophile" whose followers "preach murder terrorism and polygamy" for the pitfalls of this approach.) If an argument gets big enough, however, there are mechanisms in place to officiate it.

    One such mechanism is the Arbitration Committee, an elected board of volunteers that heard the Muhammad case in 2011. Also known as ArbCom, the committee functions as a kind of Supreme Court for Wikipedia disputes: Its first members were appointed by Jimmy Wales himself, and when it reaches a decision—often after months of deliberation—that decision is considered final. Last week, the male-dominated current incarnation of ArbCom made headlines when it preliminarily decided to topic-ban a group of feminist editors after a dispute over Gamergate.

    ArbCom's proceedings over Muhammad are astonishingly lengthy and arcane, full of Wiki jargon and references to past fights. (One section header: "Ongoing RfC on adopting as guideline part of the WMF resolution dealing with controversial material, namely the principle of least astonishment.") For all the bluster and gravitas, however, the decision wasn't particularly far-reaching: one editor was banned for a year, others were reminded to play nice next time they got into a disagreement, and the community was asked to come to please, please find a reasonable consensus. (ArbCom is meant to resolve conduct disputes, not to decide on the content of Wikipedia pages, so it's not surprising that it avoided prescribing a solution.)

    The community is asked to hold a discussion that will establish a definitive consensus on what images will be included in the article Muhammad, and on where the images will be placed within the article. As with all decisions about content, the policies on verifiability and the neutral point of view must be the most important considerations. The editors who choose to participate in this discussion are asked to form an opinion with an open mind, and to explain their decision clearly. Any editor who disrupts this discussion may be banned from the affected pages by any uninvolved administrator, under the discretionary sanctions authorised in this decision. The decision reached in this discussion will be appended to this case within two months from the close of the case.

    Four years removed from that plea for peace, the infighting continues. Three days after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, an editor named Andrew J.Kurbiko removed the calligraphic image, replacing it with a 15th-century portrait. "Its logical step to show His face after lastest (sic) Paris events," he argued. "Is consistent with the policies of Wikipedia. everyone has a face."

    Kurbiko's image was up for just over an hour before another editor removed it.

    [Image via Wikipedia]


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    Both Sides Never: The Partial Narrative of Björk's Breakup Album

    To hear her tell it, Björk struggled to keep her relationship with artist Matthew Barney alive. Toward the end, she fretted over how and when to approach him. If she had any fault, it was feeling too much, being too invested in their relationship, trying too hard. Barney was closed-off, distant, fatalistic, and moody. He abandoned her and their child together, and betrayed his own heart.

    This is what I've gleaned from Vulnicura, Björk's highly personal, just-released ninth solo studio album. Per her explicit statement, Vulnicura chronicles the end and aftermath of her relationship with Barney, which lasted more than a decade. The album's songs are chronologically ordered, labeled "nine months before" to "11 months after" (the last three songs have no such timestamp but seem to continue on the subject of the outcome). On Vulnicura, Björk presents herself as a saint (check out the fuzzy halo around her on the album art work) and a superhero ("How will I sing us out of this sorrow / Build a safe bridge for the child out of this danger?" she wonders on "Family"). We don't get any sense of what she contributed to the breakup—what we're privy to are her reactions to his shortcomings. Vulnicura is ostensibly a warts-and-all purging of emotion, except it turns out that the only warts we actually get to see are Barney's.

    And that bugs me. It's one thing to write an angry love song—feeling wronged and powerless and spiteful is a pattern of emotions that many people experience at some point, for however long—but it's another thing to write nine. As more details amass over the course of Vulnicura, Björk's accountability becomes a glaring omission. Vulnicura is emotional and raw, but that's nothing new for Björk's work (when you read "emotional," I hope you pronounced it "uh-eeeee-MO-shun-uhhuhhul" in your head). Vulnicura's narrative, when it is intelligible, relies on the me-good-him-bad trope that suggests a lack of perspective and ensures a lack of depth.

    Vulnicura is Björk dabbling in the medium of the break-up album, which sounds more tantalizing on paper than it functions in practice. When I think about the history of breakup albums, the ones that I admire achieve humanity through the admission of fault, the acknowledgement that just as it takes two people to build a relationship, it takes two people to dismantle one. Think "River" on Joni Mitchell's Blue ("I'm so hard to handle I'm selfish and I'm sad / Now I've gone and lost the best baby / That I ever had I wish I had a river / I could skate away on"). Think back to the truth bombs on Marvin Gaye's acidic Here, My Dear (from "Time To Get It Together": "I've been racing against time / Trying my best to find my way / Change our world in just one day / Blowin' coke all up my nose / Gettin' in and out my clothes / Foolin' 'round with midnight hoes / But that chapter of life's closed"). Even someone as self-righteous as Kanye West saw fit to admit, "I know I did some things but that's the old me" (from 808 & Heartbreak's "Heartless").

    In contrast, we have the whiny one-sidedness of Coldplay's Ghost Stories. Though it's not an album, an even worse portrayal of celebrity uncoupling could be found in Katy Perry's toothless 2012 documentary Part of Me. In that, her breakup with Russell Brand was portrayed as a result of his negligence. We get the sense that he has stopped visiting her on tour, they have an off-camera conversation, she cries in her dressing room, and then sucks it up and performs anyway. And after slaying the dragon, Perry continues to perpetuate her own heroism by sharing her lopsided story with the world so that everyone can shake their heads at what an asshole Brand was to her. A narrative is a powerful weapon if you hold it right.

    I absolutely hate how much Björk reminds me of Katy Perry right now, especially because Björk has repeatedly proven capable of examining her own flaws throughout her career—Vespertine's "Unison" ostensibly tells the story about how Björk had to get over herself ("Born stubborn, me / Will always be…") to enter this relationship with Barney in the first place.

    It seems particularly irresponsible to tell a story so one-sidedly when we know exactly whom she is talking about. Now: Maybe Matthew Barney is just a fucking dick. Maybe he treated Björk like shit, letting their time together taper off in a manner that felt like an assault—apathy translated to cruelty somewhere along the line of communication. Maybe during the last nine months of their relationship, this person that Björk loved for more than 10 years transformed while Björk remained Björk. Maybe. Seems unlikely, but either way Vulnicura isn't offering answers.

    That alone seems fishy—throughout the album Björk prides herself on her communication aptitude ("What is it that I have / That makes me feel your pain? / Like milking a stone / To get you to say it") and yet she is unmistakably withholding from us. Singer-to-audience is a different dynamic than lover-to-lover, sure, but I think part of what we're supposed to be impressed by here is a depth that just doesn't exist. Vulnicura is a cursory purging that is less vulnerable than it lets on.

    That is particularly detrimental to an album that's consistently impenetrable. Vulnicura favors visceral hooks over melodic ones—few will find themselves able to get down to a 5/4 time signature, fewer will be able to remember a single tune from the album's especially difficult and meandering second half, but most people experience a breakup at some point. For 2011's Biophilia, Björk developed an app that served to explain its consistently baffling contents, song-by-song; on Vulnicura the key in is universal experience (with bouquets of emotionally on-the-nose, cinematic strings strewn about, for good measure).

    Björk is less interested than ever in writing pop songs (two of nine Vulnicura tracks have what could be deemed a chorus), which is a shame because her great gift is the ability to be accessible and alien at the same time. Vulnicura is largely lacking the payoff of Björk's most challenging work—we get some self-conscious beauty (album opener "Stonemilker" turns slowly in the mirror to show off its gorgeousness and finishes with a minute-long coda of weeping strings), we get an honest-to-goodness bridge once (in "Lionsong"), but we also get a lot of melodic tangents, beats generated alongside former FKA twigs collaborator Arca that are too subdued to leave much aesthetic impression, and lyrics that are either agonizingly banal ("I wish to synchronize our feelings") or just impossible to make heads or tails of ("I am fine-tuning my soul / To the universal wavelength / No one is a lover alone / I propose an atom dance").

    If it were fashion, Vulnicura just wouldn't be wearable. How many people who rushed to praise this work last week when Björk sopped up its leak with a digital rush-release will still be listening to it in a month? A week? Tomorrow? Who in their right mind would elect to listen to "Notget" over even the weakest Homogenic track ("Immature," in my estimation, and there's another one that just happens to be brimming with humility). This entire project is worth experiencing precisely once if for nothing else than to soak in Björk's idea of a break-up album (and "Stonemilker" is legitimately lovely, even if its jogging beat is reminiscent of "Chariots of Fire"), but it is indulgent on practically every front. As a diehard Björk fan, I see how we got here and in my infinitesimal way, I encouraged the indulgence with my patronage. At and around her peak (Homogenic), it felt like each project was an entry into the depths of her imagination, and being allowed in felt like an honor. Now I'm not so sure whether the communication breakdown described at the beginning of Vulnicura was more of a cause of her relationship's demise or a symptom of a bigger problem.


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    Porn Star on Drake's Thirsty DMs: "The Whole Thing Was Cringeworthy"

    Drake is the gooberest cool rapper on Earth, and the following story will only further cement his goober legend. Last night, in an interview with a Miami sports radio station, Mia Khalifa—the number one ranked porn star on Pornhub—told a story about someone who is almost definitely Drake sliding into her Instagram DMs, to send her a series of enthusiastic messages she described as "so cringeworthy."

    Khalifa was asked by host Brian Papa which celebrity men had personally contacted her since her sudden rise to fame. After initially demurring, Khalifa said that she was hit up by a famous man whose name... rhymes with "rake." She then begins to cackle before gathering herself to say that the "rake" man's DMs were "so cringeworthy." "The whole thing was cringeworthy," she reiterates.

    Papa then jokes that the man they both non-verbally agree is Drake probably sent Khalifa a photo of himself "lying on the bed, shirtless, kinda sad looking"—a cutting Drake caricature if there ever was one—to which she responds, in between laughter, that the radio host is "halfway there."

    So, which man whose name rhymes with "rake" tried to fuck Mia Khalifa via Instagram DM? Could it be Blake Shelton? Maybe Jake Gyllenhaal?

    Or...

    Yes.

    Long live the Goober Prince.


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