5. Chris Christie, because half of New Jersey thinks he was personally behind Bridgegate.
Oh, how the mighty have fattened. (Getty)
It wasn't that long ago that everything seemed to be going right for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He was the darling of conservatives across the country, he was a star in the media, and his approval rating in his own state was booming. But the Bridgegate scandal, which for a time seemed to be effectively quashed, may bring him down yet. The scandal, for anyone who doesn't remember, started when high-ranking members of Christie's staff conspired to block traffic on the George Washington Bridge, just to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ for not supporting the governor.
Last week, David Wildstein, one of the key figures in the scandal as well as an ally of Christie's since high school, pleaded guilty to his involvement. Now, he's telling prosecutors everything he knows. Today, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, the other two officials implicated, were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The one thing that's been saving Christie so far is that there's no evidence tying him directly to the scandal. But that may not even matter.
A new poll of adults in New Jersey found that 56% believe he had a personal role in shutting down the bridge. Only 33% said they believe he learned about it after the fact. These numbers are very damning to a man who is still considering a 2016 presidential run. How is a governor supposed to convince all of America he's the right pick when most of his own state thinks he's a crook? Interestingly, the same poll said that 54% of New Jerseyans think he's doing a bad job. That suggests that (at the very least) 2% of the state thinks he did shut down the bridge, but is still doing a good job. I guess that's his base.
4. Boxing fans, because the Fight of the Century was boring.
That terrible fight was Manny Pacquiao's fault, not Floyd Mayweather's. ( @themikefoss) http://t.co/7VXSxunec4 pic.twitter.com/XcDPJ1kbw7
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) May 4, 2015
Millions of people around the world shelled out $100 on Saturday night to watch "The Fight of the Century" on Pay-Per-View. When it was all over, many of those millions wanted their money back. Many viewers new to boxing expected an epic, bloody slugfest à la Rocky or Raging Bull. What they got looked more like a warm-up. Both boxers spent most of the fight dancing around and flinching from each other, and periodically hugging in a strangely intimate way. The majority of punches thrown were glancing and superficial. Neither of them even looked bruised by the end.
The fight, which took five years to put together, was impossibly hyped beforehand. Really, anybody could have predicted this outcome. These are two of the greatest boxers in the world, if not the two greatest, and they didn't get there by letting themselves get hit. Both of them fought very well, and were paid extremely well for it: $120 million for Pacquaio, $180 million for Mayweather. You'd think with all that money, they could have bought some fake blood to make it look pretty.
3. J.K. Rowling, because she's apologizing for 'Harry Potter' again (SPOILERS).
"I said I'm sorry! Please stop leaving dead owls on my porch!" (Getty)
Back in 2007, J.K. Rowling released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the mega-popular, ultra-profitable Harry Potter series. Since then, Rowling has busied herself with smaller projects, both Potter-related and not. And in between, she's been apologizing.
Earlier this year, Rowling apologized for having Hermione end up with Ron instead of Harry. She said it was "wish fulfillment" for her, planned from the early stages of the series, but that she should have abandoned it by the end because it didn't make sense. Now, she's taken to Twitter to apologize again for Deathly Hallows, where she killed off a fan-favorite character.
Today I would just like to say: I'm really sorry about Fred. *Bows head in acceptance of your reasonable ire*
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2015
For anyone not up on their Potter lore, Fred Weasley is (or was) Ron's brother, and the identical twin of George, who lost an ear in the same book. The two were avid pranksters and inseparable, so it was especially heartbreaking when Fred was killed.
I honestly don't know why Rowling feels compelled to keep apologizing for writing choices she made years ago. The books are out there – it's not like she's going to go back and release Special Editions where everything is changed. George Lucas tried that, and look how well it went for him. And speaking of Lucas, Rowling should be happy she's not him. All the fans who used to love him now hate his guts for releasing those prequels (and Greedo's trigger finger) on the world. In contrast, Rowling's fans are still devoted. She receives more goodwill than almost any other author of genre fiction, and yet she still feels like she has to make amends for every little thing. George Lucas never apologized for shit. And when you complain to George R.R. Martin, he just kills another of your favorite characters.
2. Potential Mars astronauts, because the trip would destroy their brains.
Imagine seeing this with your own eyes and not remembering what it's called. (Getty)
In 2004, President George W. Bush announced that mankind would set foot on Mars. Then he dropped it. Still, in recent years, the idea of a manned mission to the red planet has become more and more popular, and more and more plausible. Although Mars One turned out to be a scam, SpaceX and other private enterprises continue to work toward the goal, and NASA is constantly researching it too. Now, however, scientists may have found a much taller hurdle to overcome.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have released a new study on the effects of cosmic rays on the brain. Cosmic rays are a form of radiation originating from deep space. They're omnipresent throughout the galaxy, although Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field absorb most of them, so they don't affect us here. Which is good, because according to this story, they cause permanent brain damage.
The researchers exposed mice to some of the same particles, and found increased memory and learning problems. They predict that humans on a two or three-year mission to Mars would end up suffering from symptoms very similar to dementia. And when you're fending for yourself 140,000,000 miles from home on a planet with practically no atmosphere, you definitely don't want your entire crew to have dementia.
To date, no astronaut has ever had to endure an extended exposure to cosmic rays. Even the International Space Station is still close enough to be protected by the magnetosphere. The scientists behind the UC study aren't hopeful for future Mars missions. Although shielding could be installed into the craft, they say that a dangerous number of the rays would still get through. As Dr. Charles Limoli, one of the authors, says, “There is really no escaping them."
I know Elon Musk wants to die on Mars, but I doubt even he wants to live on it with dementia.
1. Miley Cyrus, because her armpit-dying movement hasn't caught on.
A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on
"Pank" is how Miley Cyrus describes this color. It's sort of a cross between magenta and pink, and it really complements her white cropped tank top. She posted this image on Instagram, possibly to stick it to the haters who criticized her for not shaving her pits a few weeks ago. If there's one thing Miley's good at, it's flaunting something other people made fun of her about. And singing. She's good at that too, I guess.
On Friday, she got together with professional colorist Justin Anderson for a "pit party," and emerged with her pits perfectly panked up. But that was a whole weekend ago, and the Internet has spectacularly failed to fill up with photos of Miley fans having their own pit parties. Around the world, young pits are still drably natural, or even worse, shaved.
Oh well. Maybe Miley's next stunt will catch on in a bigger way. She can't be as influential with everything as she was with smoking pot. She did that on Instagram, and all of a sudden everyone was doing it. States even started legalizing it! Now that's reach.