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Madeleine Albright Out-Burns Conan O’Brien on Twitter

TIME
Madeleine Albright Out-Burns Conan O’Brien on Twitter

It started as a joke, but we’re hoping it could lead to a full-on Twitter war for the ages. Conan O’Brien tweeted his Halloween costume idea on Thursday:

The image of the red-headed comedian dressed up as the first female Secretary of State was funny enough, but then Albright hit back at O’Brien saying that she, too, was mulling a celebrity costume:

Albright 1, O’Brien 0.

And it looks like this social media brawl may expand, as Conan implied:

Madeleine Albright Out-Tweets Conan O’Brien

TIME
Madeleine Albright Out-Tweets Conan O’Brien

It started as a joke, but we’re hoping it could lead to a full-on Twitter war for the ages. Conan O’Brien tweeted his Halloween costume idea on Thursday:

The image of the red-headed comedian dressed up as the first female Secretary of State was funny enough, but then Albright hit back at O’Brien saying that she, too, was mulling a celebrity costume:

Albright 1, O’Brien 0.

And it looks like this social media brawl may expand, as Conan implied:

10 Terrible Excuses People Actually Used to Skip Work

TIME
10 Terrible Excuses People Actually Used to Skip Work

A new national survey by CareerBuilder.com and Harris Poll reveals the most suspicious excuses for blowing off work. They are:

  1. Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  2. Employee’s plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.
  3. Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  4. Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  5. Employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
  6. Employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was.
  7. Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
  8. Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
  9. Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
  10. Employee accidentally got on a plane.

The poll, conducted online between ­­Aug. 11 to Sept. 5, 2014, surveyed 3,103 workers and 2,203 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

Can You Tell the Difference Between a Royal and a Dummy?

This Powerful Cartoon About the Ottawa Shooting Is Bringing Canada to Tears

An editorial cartoon has touched Canadians who were affected by the shooting at the National War Memorial in Ottawa yesterday.

Chronicle Herald‘s cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon drew one of the memorial’s bronze World War I soldiers offering a hand to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the 24-year-old reservist who was killed, as a soldier kneels by his side:

“That’s the part that touched me – the feet,” said Ian Thompson, associate publisher of the Chronicle Herald, said in a statement.

The illustration prompted an emotional outpouring on Twitter:

This Is Bette Midler Covering TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’

On Nov. 4, Bette Midler will release her first album in six years. It’s called It’s The Girls and features covers of songs by famous girl groups, ranging from The Boswell Sisters to TLC. Yes, that TLC. Listen here as she offers her take on their 1995 classic, “Waterfalls.”

Yeah, we don’t really what to say either.

Fill Your Life With Whimsy and Wonder By Turning Your Ice Maker Into a Candy Dispenser

TIME
Fill Your Life With Whimsy and Wonder By Turning Your Ice Maker Into a Candy Dispenser

Think about your life. Happy? Fulfilled? Just imagine how much better things would be if candy came out of your ice maker.

Reddit user Deric Peace shared his brilliant frozen candy dispenser with the world — and for that we must say thank you. Because there’s something magical about the idea of candy streaming from your refrigerator — both for lifestyle and for pranks. Oh, just think of the pranks.

Although we must ask, would the gross factor having unwrapped candy sit in your ice box outweigh the wonderful factor of being able to place your bowl of ice cream under the dispenser and press a simple button for toppings?

7 Famous People Who Surprised Us by Speaking Chinese

When Mark Zuckerberg gave a Q&A in Mandarin Chinese, the Facebook founder left his audience of Beijing college students—and the rest of the world—stunned and impressed.

Zuckerberg, who was visiting Tsinghua University after being appointed to its board, said he began studying Chinese in 2010 because his wife, Priscilla Chan, comes from a Chinese background. When he was planning to propose, he even asked his Chan’s mother in Chinese for her daughter’s hand in marriage. Some are speculating that Zuckerberg’s Chinese—clunky and off-tone, but nonetheless capable—is also a way to win over the Chinese government, which has blocked Facebook among other American social media networks.

Here are some of the famous people who have surprised us through their dexterity with a language so challenging for English-speakers to learn, the U.S. Defense Language Institute ranks it as most difficult (alongside Japanese, Korean and Arabic).

Vanessa Branch

The British actor shocked audiences when she began speaking fluent Chinese during an episode of Entourage and in the film Suburban Girl. Branch also starred in a Chinese feature film called Milk and Fashion. The film’s director told the Shanghai Daily that she was “the first non-Asian Hollywood actress to star in a Chinese-speaking lead role.” Branch learned the language while studying at Middlebury College, where she double majored in theater and Chinese, she told Arude Magazine in an interview.

Kevin Rudd

Australia’s former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd majored in Chinese at the Australian National University of Canberra, and then continued his studies in Taiwan. He has delivered speeches in fluent Chinese and also conducted Q&As in Chinese. The humble politician once told an interviewer that his “Mandarin is really bad, and it’s getting worse and worse.” And yet he still managed to conduct the entire interview fluently with excellent pronunciation.

Mark Rowswell (Dashan)

The Canadian performer known by his Chinese stage name, Dashan, isn’t that well known in the West. But he’s a household name in China known for his acting, comedy and hosting gigs done in his native speaker level Mandarin. Rowswell learned Chinese as a student at the University of Toronto before moving to Beijing to study at Peking University. He rose to stardom after performing a skit in Chinese on CCTV’s 1988 New Year’s Gala, a Chinese television broadcast viewed by nearly half a billion people.

Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover

Hoover is the only U.S. president to be proficient in Chinese, which he learned after he moved to China with his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, after they graduated from Stanford, according to the Hoover Association. They lived there for nearly two years while Hoover worked as a mining engineer. The future First Lady was more fluent than her husband, and when they moved into the White House, they occasionally conversed in Chinese if they didn’t want others to hear them.

Mira Sorvino

Golden Globe winner Mira Sorvino hasn’t spoken Chinese on camera, but the Mighty Aphrodite Oscar-winner studied the language at Harvard, where she majored in East Asian Studies. In August, Sorvino said on her Reddit AMA in response to whether she was still fluent in Chinese that “It’s mamahuhuda. Which means ‘so so’ or ‘half-horse, half-tiger.’”

Lou Jing

The half-black, half-Chinese singer sparked a nationwide discourse on racism in China after competing on Go! Oriental Girl, a Chinese reality TV singing competition. Jing, who was born and raised in China, spoke and sang in perfect Chinese, flooring people who assumed she wasn’t actually from China. Dubbed the “Chocolate Girl,” she took the stage after being eliminated to tell audiences not to judge her by her skin color: “I think I’m the same as all the girls here, except for my skin color,” she said. “We share the same stage, and the same dream.”

Watch Jessica Lange Sing a Haunting Cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Gods and Monsters’ on American Horror Story

TIME
Watch Jessica Lange Sing a Haunting Cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Gods and Monsters’ on American Horror Story

First, American Horror Story: Freak Show actress Jessica Lange sang a delightfully bizarre rendition of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.” On this week’s episode, though, she took on something a bit more modern.

The 65-year-old actress, in character as Freak Show manager Elsa Mars, sang Lana Del Rey’s 2012 hit “Gods and Monsters.” The whole thing, of course, has a totally haunting, spooky vibe. For comparison’s sake, here’s Del Rey’s music video:

We’ll be curious to see what Lange covers next on the show. Maybe the writers will throw us a total curveball and have her cover “All About That Bass.” You never know.

 

This Map Shows What Your City’s Talents Are

On Tuesday, LinkedIn published a series of maps that break down which cities are specially skilled in certain areas, based on the skills and locations listed on user profiles.

New York City is filled with finance professionals, for example, while Miami residents are experts in travel; San Francisco is packed with computer whizzes, while Houstonians love oil and gas. Many cities, according to LinkedIn, do in fact fit their stereotypes: others include Nashville and music, or Los Angeles and entertainment.

What’s also interesting is a look at some the cities’ other top skills. Cheyenne, Wyo., for example, is the nation’s least populous state, yet has a significant number of people skilled in emergency response services; Mobile, Ala., is particularly known for worker safety; and residents of Portland, Maine love arts and crafts.

LinkedIn also analyzed Western European cities, yielding a somewhat surprising result that the majority of European cities’ top skills are in the computer fields.

Check out the U.S. and Western Europe maps below:


 


This Pumpkin Spice Rap Video Confirms That We All Need to Just Cool It With the PSL Jokes

TIME
This Pumpkin Spice Rap Video Confirms That We All Need to Just Cool It With the PSL Jokes

Look, we get it. For whatever reason, it’s fun to mock the seasonal beverage/cultural craze known as the pumpkin spice latte.

So now that there’s a rap video dedicated to the beverage — which you can watch above — it’s time for everybody to just cool it. Girls love to wear sweaters and drink pumpkin spice lattes. Okay. Whatever. We’ve heard it a million times.

Man, as great as autumn is, now I’m kind of excited for winter, when the PSL jokes will finally slow down. But then, before we know it, Starbucks’ “chestnut praline” latte will be the new thing and everyone will start making raps about that. Time really is a flat circle. A flat, green, mermaid-filled circle.

A Belgian Chocolate Company Called ISIS Has Decided to Change Its Name

TIME
A Belgian Chocolate Company Called ISIS Has Decided to Change Its Name

Customers have gone from sweet to sour on a Belgian chocolatier because it has the same name as an Islamist militant group.

The Belgian chocolate maker’s name ISIS is supposed to stand for Italy and Switzerland, where the founder learned how to make chocolate, Reuters reports. Its website—URL “www.isischocolates.be”—says, “Ever since 1923, we at ISIS have been making premium Belgian chocolate with the utmost dedication” and talks about how the company’s chocolates create “unforgettable moments.”

But customers have been calling to say they don’t want to buy the chocolates anymore because the brand, which dates back to 1923, now makes them think of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the chocolatier’s marketing manager Desiree Libeert told Reuters. “We chose ISIS as that was the brand name of our pralines and tablets,” Libeert said. “Had we known there was a terrorist organization with the same name, we would have never chosen that.”

The company will now be known as “Libeert,” the owners’ family name. Hopefully that will make the outrage melt away.

These Are the Hottest College Professors in America

RateMyProfessors.com, a website where college students rank faculty — and mostly bash the professors who give them bad grades — has released its 2013-14 list of the hottest college professors. “A professor who receives a chili pepper is considered ‘hot,’” according to the site’s methodology page for the lists. “Chili peppers are awarded based on the sum of positive and negative (hot or not) ratings.”

Here is the ranking:

  1. David Daniel: Psychology, James Madison University
  2. Paul Evans: Biology, Brigham Young University
  3. Ruth Dellinger: Mathematics, Florida State College at Jacksonville
  4. Thomas Beard: Economics, Auburn University
  5. Barbara Kalvelage: Biology, University of Southern Indiana
  6. Daniel Norton: Communication, Seattle Central College
  7. Corey Manchester: Mathematics & Statistics, San Diego State University
  8. Adrienne Alaie: Biology, Hunter College
  9. Marsha Lindsay: Humanities, Lone Star College
  10. Dana Cantu: English, South Texas College

If your school didn’t make this list, maybe it’s one of the site’s 2013-2014 “highest-rated universities” which is based on a school’s “Professor Average rating as well as its Overall School Rating which is an average of its campus ratings” (and schools that have at least 30 rated professors and 30 campus ratings):

    1. University of Wisconsin – Madison
      Madison, WI
    2. Washington University in St. Louis
      St. Louis, MO
    3. University of Georgia
      Athens, GA
    4. James Madison University
      Harrisonburg, VA
    5. Vanderbilt University
      Nashville, TN
    6. Texas A&M University at College Station
      College Station, TX
    7. University of Texas
      Austin, TX
    8. Texas Christian University
      Fort Worth, TX
    9. Brigham Young University
      Provo, UT
    10. Auburn University
      Auburn, AL
    11. Pennsylvania State University
      University Park, PA
    12. University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, MI
    13. Cornell University
      Ithaca, NY
    14. Emory University
      Atlanta, GA
    15. University of California Santa Barbara
      Santa Barbara, CA
    16. University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, CA
    17. St. Olaf College
      Northfield, MN
    18. University of Dayton
      Dayton, OH
    19. Michigan State University
      East Lansing, MI
    20. Gustavus Adolphus College
      St. Peter, MN
    21. St. John’s University – College of St. Benedict
      Collegeville, MN
    22. North Carolina State University
      Raleigh, NC
    23. Mississippi State University
      Starkville, MS
    24. University of Miami
      Coral Gables, FL
    25. University of Alabama
      Tuscaloosa, AL

These Priests Are Really, Really Good at Tap Dancing

TIME
These Priests Are Really, Really Good at Tap Dancing

Tap-dancing priests Father David Rider, 29, of Hyde Park, N.Y., and Father John Gibson, 28, of Milwaukee, stole the show at a fundraiser for The Pontifical North American College, a seminary in Rome near the Vatican. The clip was shot by Joan Lewis, Rome Bureau Chief of Alabama-based Eternal Word Television Network.

And while the dance-off happened in April, it’s no surprise the video is going viral the same week that Sister Cristina Scuccia, the nun who won Italy’s The Voice, released a music video for her rendition of “Like a Virgin.”

WATCH: Nun Stuns The Voice of Italy Judges with Amazing Alicia Keys Cover

WATCH: Nun Who Won Italy’s The Voice Performs ‘Like a Virgin’ in New Music Video