1. STEP ONE: BEHAVE BADLY; STEP TWO: FLEE. After days of violent protests in the country’s capital, ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych has fled the country. His presidential compound, complete with not just a golden toilet but also a private zoo, is now home to those protestors who spent recent months opposing his rule. While Yanukovych looks to escape having to face the music, another bad actor is about to have to do just that. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug kingpin who earned the title “Public Enemy No. 1,” was arrested after more than a decade on the lam. Guzman had 43 vehicles, 16 houses, and trap doors under each of his many bathtubs. He was a legend. Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin, aka Public Enemy No. 2, explained why he is leaving public life. And it only took him 5,000 words! Here’s some background, in chart form, on Baldwin’s long history of saying very idiotic things very publicly.
2. IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY. AND HOW YOU SAY IT. Does America like the idea of “a British guy debating American cultural issues”? Not if the British guy is Piers Morgan, apparently. CNN announced it will end Morgan’s primetime show. Maybe it’s not that Morgan is British, but just that he isn’t the right kind of Brit. How about this British guy? Or this one? The NFL is expected to enact a new rule in March, penalizing any player for using the “n word” on the football field. (How this isn’t already a rule remains a mystery.) On the field, a single word will soon get you a 15-yard penalty. But what are the penalties for a statement of the 140-character variety? It depends. If your tweet is deemed terrorism, you could be in deep trouble. Why doesn’t anyone respond to your emails? Maybe people don’t like you. More likely, you’re just doing it wrong. You can explain anything with donuts. Even social media.
3. PSEUDOSCIENCE IN AISLE 4. Centuries ago, it was thought that to cure rabies, you needed only a plucked chicken anus to suck the disease out of the ailing victim’s wound. This weekend, WBUR re-aired a 2013 Radiolab piece about rabies. (Listen. It’s fascinating.) We’ve moved past chicken anuses, but pseudoscience is hardly a thing of the past. Where can you buy chocolate that promises to strengthen your immune system, a concentrate to improve your blood, and tea that will heal your heart? Whole Foods. Sometimes, there is evidence to back up these claims. Often, there is not. Is the supermarket chain you know best for its high prices and gleaming towers of produce becoming the country’s largest snake oil retailer?
4. BOSTON OLYMPICS. A minor but embarrassing technological snafu marred the opening ceremonies in Sochi. But Russia repeated the same malfunction in the closing ceremonies, showing that the country not known for being able to make fun of itself just might be turning a corner. In the final Olympic medal count, it was Russia on top with 33 medals. (It’s a lot easier to make fun of yourself when things are going well.) Now that the focus is off of Sochi, we can start focusing on Boston as a potential Olympic venue. Depending who you ask, bringing the Olympics to Boston in 2024 is either a wonderful idea or a horrible idea. (There’s also a third group that wants the Olympics in Boston, but not until 2026.) Assuming we do see a Boston Olympics, what would the closing ceremony entail? I mean, aside from the Dropkick Murphys. A few ideas ...
5. ALSO … Two brothers who co-own a South Boston business really don’t get along. Their weekly dustups include threats with scissors, wooden rulers being employed as weapons, and good old-fashioned spitting in the face. If you’re caught being a homosexual in Uganda, you’ll face a 14-year prison sentence. A conviction of “aggravated homosexuality” will land you behind bars for life. The Gardner Museum heist isn’t the state’s only unsolved art mystery. The FBI has reopened its investigation into the 1975 theft of three paintings from Amherst’s Mead Art Museum, one of which remains missing. Just when you thought the “selfie” trend had reached its peak and that surely there would be a reprieve, now comes a new trend: ugly selfies. Feel like you’re in a dead end job where you don’t get enough respect? At least you’re not a monkey in Pakistan.
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