5. People who gave the pope too much credit for saying very little. An Italian journal has published an interview with Pope Francis, in which he insists that the Church has had too much of an obsessive focus on gays and abortion and needs to work on being more welcoming. This has led a lot of people to get excited and declare Pope Francis VH1's Best Pope Ever. But let's not get carried away, like the pope in his hand-me-down 1984 Renault 4. Talk is cheap, and Pope Francis is a theologically conservative pope who doesn't support women's equality in church leadership, legal rights for gay couples, or reproductive rights. He's your standard issue pope, guys. In that context, saying "let's not talk about those things" seems like an opportunity to shy away from important changes the church could make, not the heroic act of a moderate. His car is pretty cool, though.
4. House Republicans. House Republicans passed a bill yesterday that would cut $4 billion in food stamps, a bill that even Republican moderates called too drastic, a bill that is likely to die in the Senate, and if it doesn't will be vetoed by Obama. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a food-assistance program used by about 1 in 7 Americans, and the number of Americans relying on it has gone up since the recession began in 2008. The new bill would mean a 5% overall decrease in funding for the program, which would be made up for with stricter regulations, including drug testing for food stamp applicants. Since there's no chance of it becoming law, the bill basically serves no purpose other than to send a message to Americans that House Republicans think they are lazy. Have we considered shutting down House Republicans instead of the whole government? Just a thought.
3. The Koopa Troopa who finally took down Hiroshi Yamauchi. Hiroshi Yamauchi, the 85-year-old one-time president of Nintendo, died this week, taken down not by Bowser or another worthy foe, but by a simple Koopa (er, pneumonia). Yamauchi transformed Nintendo from a playing card company into a videogame powerhouse, and died the 13th richest man in Japan. His sudden passing was a reminder to value every moment of your journey through the Mushroom Kingdom, because you never know when you might slip and fall into a fiery pit of lava.
2. Scientists, who did nothing to publicize the fact that our guts can generate their own booze. A Texas man has finally been diagnosed with Gut Fermentation Syndrome, after five years of walking around completely sloshed without knowing why. An overgrowth of yeast in his belly may be to blame for the fermentation of food into booze that led him to have a blood alcohol level five times the legal driving limit—without ever taking a drink. It took 24 hours of observation to finally get doctors to believe this man wasn't just secretly an alcoholic. While generating your own alcohol does seem like a good way to get drunk on the cheap, I can imagine it would be difficult to convince people of your condition, especially if you were slurring the words "Not drinkin', just makin' beer in mah belly."
1. The bad guys with the guns. A number of innocent bystanders, including a child, were shot last night, as at least two bad guys with guns entered a place you probably think of as safe and opened fire. Police have not yet apprehended the responsible bad guys, perhaps because they are overwhelmed in a city that has suffered from a deadly rise in gun violence over the past several years. Neighbors fear there are more bad guys with guns out there and that no one is safe. The bad guys were not available for comment, because they were too busy spreading fear and making us question where our society went so, so wrong.
(by Shira Rachel Danan)