A man working for an English language learning center in Utah says he was fired after writing a blog post about homophones, which his boss complained made their school "associated with homosexuality."
Tom Torkildson had worked at the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo for three months when he wrote about homophones — words that sounds the same but have different meanings, like "through" and "threw" and "be" and "bee." Torkildson wanted the English language learners to grasp this concept early on, and although he told The Salt Lake Tribune that he "knew the 'homo' part of the word could be politically charged," he still posted the lesson.
A few days later he says he was fired by his boss and the school's owner, Clarke Woodger. Woodger told the Tribune that he fired Torkildson for going "off on tangents," but he does think the lesson was too complex for anyone just starting to learn English. "People at this level of English...may see the 'homo' side and think it has something to do with gay sex," he said.
Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon has announced that the school will ban hard alcohol. The news comes after a number of reports about sexual assault at universities across the U.S.
The hard alcohol ban will take effect in the spring term, and both consumption of and possession of hard alcohol with a proof of 30 or higher will be forbidden. Social events on campus will also require bartenders and bouncers.
Hanlon also announced that Dartmouth will develop a "mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program" this fall, The Dartmouth reports. Specifics about the program "have yet to be determined."
In his announcement Thursday, Hanlon threatened to remove fraternities and other student groups that fail "to elevate and not denigrate the Dartmouth experience."
A recent survey found that "the only thing people hate more than the government is their internet provider" — and it turns out the feeling may be mutual.
When a customer in Spokane, Washington, tried to cancel his family’s Comcast subscription, The Hill reports, he found his first name was changed on his next bill from "Ricardo" to "Asshole."
— People magazine (@peoplemag) January 29, 2015
Comcast has reportedly apologized to the Browns, saying the incident is "completely unacceptable and inappropriate" and that the company is "conducting a thorough investigation."
The family is not sure how it happened, either. Ricardo's wife, Lisa, reports that they had been polite throughout the long and frustrating struggle of trying to get out of their contract. "It could have been that person was upset because I didn't take the offer," she said.
A medical marijuana retailer in Seattle wants to cash in on this year's "super bowl."
Solstice is offering 12,000 joints in a "12th Pack" promotion for the Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. The promotion is only available to medical marijuana users.
Washington's King 5 News reports that employees are working 'round the clock to fill the 12th Pack orders, creating 180 to 220 joints in eight-hour shifts.
And for Seattle residents who aren't medical marijuana users, Solstice hopes its "Seahawks Blend," which is used to make the 12th Pack, will be available for recreational marijuana users in Washington state by next season.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura “won $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit last year against the estate of the late Chris Kyle,” the Dallas Morning News reports, but the former pro-wrestler still hasn’t gotten over the so-called American Sniper’s claim that he punched Ventura out in a bar for allegedly saying the Navy Seals “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 29, 2015
Ventura, himself a former SEAL, denied the whole incident. Kyle's publisher HarperCollins subsequently removed the part of American Sniper where the story appeared, and the scene doesn’t appear in Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster film adaptation of the book.
“A hero must be honorable, must have honor,” Ventura said, referring to Kyle. “And you can't have honor if you're a liar. There is no honor in lying.”
The lawsuit against Kyle’s estate is in the midst of an appeal. It seems, however, that Ventura’s boycott is having little influence on moviegoers. American Sniper has grossed more than $200 million domestically and set new box office records for the month of January.
The Federal Trade Commission has banned the alleged owner of a "revenge porn" website from posting nude photos or videos of women without their consent.
Craig Brittain allegedly posted photos of nude women online and charged them to take them off the website. Under the FTC settlement, Brittain will have to destroy all images and other personal information from the women.
According to the FTC, Brittain obtained the photos through anonymous submissions. The complaint also alleges that Brittain offered a "bounty system" that gave $100 or more for photos of specific people.
"This behavior is not only illegal but reprehensible," Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "I am pleased that as a result of this settlement, the illegally collected images and information will be deleted, and this individual can never return to the so-called 'revenge porn' business."
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch on Thursday continued his brilliant, silent protest of the NFL's requirement that players speak with the media or face stiff fines.
"All week I told ya'll what's up," he said. "And for some reason, ya'll continue to come back and do the same thing." After briefly explaining that he doesn't care what the media says about him, Lynch spent the rest of his designated time shooting down questions, offering non sequitors, and checking his phone to see if he could leave.
Here's the video, via SB Nation. —Jon Terbush
Feta has been around in Greece since the eighth century B.C.E., but its name is actually borrowed from an Italian word that means "slice."
That's just one of the 24 facts about cheese name origins in this week's List Show video from our sister site, Mental Floss. Author John Green explains a number of strange cheese names in the video — for some reason, Green notes, "there's something about the name 'American cheese' that's just a little more appetizing" than calling it by its other names, "factory cheese" and "rat trap cheese."
To learn more about the origins of cheese names, check out the Mental Floss video below. —Meghan DeMaria
Ted was one of the biggest surprise hits of 2012, grossing nearly $550 million worldwide with the simple, raunchy tale of an adult man and his unapologetically profane teddy bear. Given the first movie's success, it's no surprise that the trailer for Ted 2 packs in plenty of gross-out gags:
What is different about Ted 2 is the impressively star-studded cast. New cast members include Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Amanda Seyfried, as a lawyer saddled with the name Sam L. Jackson. (The actual Samuel L. Jackson is not, unfortunately, billed as a cast member.) Can Ted 2 live up to the box-office highs of the original? We'll find out when it hits theaters this June.
On Thursday, a gas tank truck, reportedly connected to the hospital kitchen, exploded due to a leak in the hose. The blast collapsed 30 percent of the building, injuring at least 54 people, including 22 children, and trapping others inside, ABC News reports. The Mexico City Mayor says at least 7 are dead.
Residents in the densely packed, lower-middle class neighborhood reported hearing the blast and seeing a plume of smoke and fire. People reportedly ran into the building to help save at least 8 babies from the nursery. The hospital is dedicated to maternity and child care. —Lauren Hansen
La situación está grave! Los servicios de emergencia locales y federales continúan trabajando en el punto! pic.twitter.com/MIKgXZS6En
— Adrián Rubalcava (@AdrianRubalcava) January 29, 2015
At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, protesters from the group Code Pink berated invited speaker Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's national security advisor and secretary of state, with chants of "Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes." The demonstration really got under the nerves of committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said, "I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration."
When one member of Code Pink protested, McCain, doing his best Dirty Harry impersonation, growled, "Get out of here you low-life scum!" Watch the whole exchange below. —Ryu Spaeth