1. Countdown to Sochi With just three days until the Olympic Games begin, final preparations are underway, including the mass executions of stray dogs. You would think they might have done this sooner, just to avoid the mental image of slaughtered puppies so close to this event watched by people the world over. We can at least give President Putin points for not making the dog-executing an Olympic event. A tiny town in Maine is putting its weight behind a single Olympian who grew up skiing to and from school. Check out the more than forty Olympians from New England set to compete in Sochi. You might not be lucky (or brave) enough to attend the Olympics in person. But you can experience Sochi vicariously, which may well be the best way to experience it.
2. Sometimes, America not so beautiful. How did the #BoycottCoke Twitter hashtag come about? Here’s how: Coca-Cola ran a Super Bowl ad called “It’s Beautiful.” The ad featured two things that really put a subset of crazy people over the edge. First, it had people singing “America the Beautiful” in languages other than English. Gasp! And then, as if that wasn’t enough, it showed gay dads. Not just one gay dad but two of them! But an Atlanta news anchor wasn’t having any of the outrage. She reminded viewers: “The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say ‘give me your English-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses.’” If Jay Severin were still around, this would be exactly the type of story over which he would get himself fired all over again. In other news destined to keep conservative talk show hosts awake at night, women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke is running for Congress.
3. Grave-digging, ear biting and blood drinking. A day in the life of a Maine grave-digger. Spoiler: It’s not as glamorous as you might imagine. Think the Super Bowl party you got dragged to was bad? It probably was, but just be grateful you left with all your body parts intact. So you’ve probably heard about this guy who allegedly survived more than a year adrift at sea by drinking turtle blood and eating raw fish. But is that even possible? Apparently yes, with a little luck.
4. Move over, Molly. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death left three young children fatherless, and an Australian newspaper printed the most reprehensible tabloid headline in recent memory. More than 70 bags of heroin were found in the apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman died this weekend. The NYPD has launched an “intense hunt” for Hoffman’s dealer. New York City is awash in cheap heroin. In Massachusetts and elsewhere, police carry Narcan, a drug that can instantly save someone from an overdose of opiates.
5. Also ... Would it make sense to give cars a way to signal “Sorry”? How about a way to signal, “I’m sorry you’re such a jerk”? CBS has ordered a pilot for a new TV series co-produced by our own Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The lead designer of Barbie is defending the doll’s insane proportions. Here’s a video that will make you want to avoid masturbation. And forests. And war! RadioShack is closing 500 stores, which raises the question: RadioShack still has 500 stores? (No word if any of the eight Boston RadioShack stores are slated to be among those closed.) If you’ve been following the Woody Allen sexual abuse allegations, the last paragraph of this 1976 People Magazine article is worth reading. Facebook is celebrating its 10th birthday with the launch of a feature that let’s you relive the last 10 years of your own life, provided you lived them on Facebook, and provided you want to relive the last 10 years of your life. Here’s a hand-drawn history of the company that launched from a Harvard University dorm room. Sick of seeing the predictable photos of weddings on your Facebook feed? These are a nice departure from the norm. There are now 10 candidates vying to be the next governor of Massachusetts. But only one of them looks like he belongs on the pages of a Lands End catalog. OMG, it’s going to SNOW tonight. Do you have 10 extra loaves of bread and enough diet Coke for a small army? If not, you’re screwed.
Five@Five is a new feature that you can expect on this blog every weekday at 5 p.m.