1. TODAY IN SPORTS FAILS. The men’s figure skating short program appears to have clinched the gold medal in the competition for most anxiety-provoking Olympic event. First, a Russian skater fell. Then, an American skater fell. Watch this Russian skater manage not to fall. She’s 2. Here’s an analysis of which teams have the best local fan bases. The Patriots didn’t make the list. Neither did the Celtics. The fantasy sports craze is getting crazier. Spoiler: fantasy sports are not real. You know what female sports fans really (almost definitely don’t) crave? A sports bar with pink walls. And a Texas sportscaster airs his feelings on the possibility of the NFL’s first openly gay player. With the Sochi Games underway, there has been a lot of criticism about Russia’s treatment of gays. But what about the persecution of “gingers” in the UK?
2. SOMEONE NEEDS TO RESCUE THE CHILDREN OF FLORIDA. Florida is a disaster, particularly if you’re a kid or anywhere near a school. First, a school board member went on an inexplicable rant involving 9/11 and “secret codes.” Then came news of a child-sex sting involving an Orlando strip club, candy bars, the Internet, Valentine’s Day, flavored vodka and a McDonald’s Happy Meal. You know what you shouldn’t do when visiting your alma mater? Tackle someone. In the cafeteria. Meanwhile, the Florida NRA is lobbying for the right of kids to bear arms. The imaginary kind. The move comes as the result of a Maryland boy having been punished for brandishing a Pop-Tart chewed into the shape of a gun. I haven’t tried doing that, but it doesn’t sound easy.
3. SNOW DAZE. It’s crazy out there. While Boston braces for impending doom, much of the country has already descended into chaos. Britain wasn’t even spared. And while they never get much done no matter how pleasant the weather is, bad weather really brings the wheels of government screeching to a halt. Luckily when you’re not busy making laws and lobbying for things that should never become laws, you have much more time for important things. Like Instagram. Grownups are now continuing their long run of unsuccessful efforts to be cool with creative snow-related announcements. How do school superintendents make the difficult decision of whether to give kids the day off? There are a bunch of factors involved. Ever have a kid ask you why it’s snowing and not sleeting or icing? Read this so you don’t have to make up an answer again. Is all this crazy weather normal? Is it global warming? Maybe it’s global weirding. Whatever it is, people are getting sick of it. Even Al Roker is pissed. Try closing your eyes and imagine a Boston that looks more like this and less like this. (h/t Reddit)
4. WAR ON VALENTINE’S DAY. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Maybe your big plan is to propose to a woman who is far more educated than you will ever be? Why not pop the question with a chocolate diamond? If you can’t afford to celebrate with a $30,000 dinner, maybe you’d enjoy a slightly less expensive bag of conversation heart candies? There are billions of them. Not all Necco heart sayings have stood the test of time, but the company itself has. If you’re a kid in Connecticut, don’t bother buying all kinds of candy. It’s probably banned. If you live in one Georgia county, you don’t even have to worry, because Valentine’s Day is cancelled. The war on Valentine’s Day isn’t just a Georgia and Connecticut thing. Schoolchildren in Kyrgyzstan are suffering as well. Oh and your beloved, hard-working representative in Congress? Don’t bother trying to send them any flowers tomorrow. Maybe instead you can just send one of these terrible cards. The good news is this: In about 24 hours, CVS can begin stocking its shelves with Christmas decorations.
5. ALSO … Linking to another website doesn’t constitute copyright infringement, which is good because I’d be in deep trouble if it did. Facebook is adding new gender options to reflect the changing times. I guess the moral of this story is that you have to be careful of what you say online, because Canadians are everywhere. In a move that could create an instant monopoly on terrible customer service, Comcast announced plans to buy Time Warner. But why? Here’s an explanation in just one sentence, plus six charts. And when? Probably sometime between 10 am and 5 pm. Should you be scared? Maybe. A math formula shows why the merger should be blocked. If Comcast buying Time Warner means even a chance of getting some Pat Kiernan in Boston, I’m all for it. The New York Post is no stranger to accusations of incompetence. But featuring two innocent runners on the front page with the headline “Bag Men” was bad, even by their “standards. The fallout from that mix-up continues. You’ve watched The Sopranos. You’ve heard about BridgeGate. We know New Jersey has a corruption problem. But why? Speaking of corruption, yesterday the once-beloved former mayor of New Orleans was convicted of accepting bribes. As if one Denmark zoo killing a defenseless giraffe named Marius wasn’t bad enough, there’s now talk of another Denmark zoo killing off another giraffe. And guess what? This one is also named Marius. This really begs the question: are all Danish giraffes named Marius? Beginning next month, Boston’s Government Center T station will close. Until 2016. How will you survive? By walking. Pet owners need to be more careful not to light their dogs on fire. Stephen Colbert stole a microwave from Bill O’Reilly’s green room. You can buy it. Lil’ Kim is pregnant, so we’re months away from the arrival of the baby that I will forever be calling Lil’ Lil’ Kim. Kickstarter might be a useful vehicle for funding the purchase of a video showing a mayor smoking crack. But it is most definitely not meant to be used as a means to fund the purchase of your $8 burrito.
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