For those who have everything
July 13, 2013

Jessica Mindich, owner of Jewelry for a Cause, "gives lethal weapons gorgeous second lives, says For her Caliber Collection ($150 and up), she worked with Newark Mayor Cory Booker to develop the concept of using the brass and steel salvaged from guns seized and shell casings collected by the city's police. Mindich's team turns the metal into cast bracelets, cuffs, and cuff links, each embossed with a gun's serial number and the word "Newark." Mindich has pledged to donate a fifth of the proceeds to a gun buyback program, and she hopes to soon bring the concept to other high-crime cities.
The Week Staff

1:57 p.m. ET

A team of Swiss scientists has finally discovered the answer to a mystery close to their hearts: the reason Swiss cheese has holes.

The scientists at Agroscope, an agricultural research center, found that the holes are the result of hay inside the milk used to make the cheese, rather than from bacteria, as scientists previously believed.

The researchers explained to The Guardian that small bits of hay can fall into traditional milk buckets, which cause holes in the cheese. Most modern cheesemaking techniques don't use traditional buckets, which eliminates the hay bits.

Before the new study, most scientists believed a 1917 study arguing that the holes were caused by milk bacteria releasing carbon dioxide during Swiss cheese production. But recent developments also side with the Agroscope team's findings — in the last 10 to 15 years, Swiss cheese has had fewer holes, as traditional milk buckets have been replaced by sealed milking machines. Meghan DeMaria

1:13 p.m. ET
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

FIFA President Sepp Blatter spoke publicly about the organization's corruption scandal for the first time at the organization's annual congress in Zurich on Thursday, the New York Times reports. The U.S. Department of Justice indicted several FIFA members Wednesday, including two vice presidents.

Blatter was not implicated in the report, but said he knows soccer fans hold him responsible "for the actions and reputation of the global football community."

"We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time," Blatter continued. "If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it. But it must also fall to me to be responsible for the reputation of our entire organization, and to find a way to fix things."

Blatter said he still plans to run for re-election. Julie Kliegman

12:50 p.m. ET
Pool/Getty Images

The Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Daily Item issued an apology Thursday for printing a letter to the editor that called for President Obama's execution on Memorial Day.

Lewisburg resident W. Richard Stover, author of the letter, wrote that it was "time to rise up against an administration who has adequately demonstrated their gross incompetence." Stover adds that the needed "regime change" has "previously been accompanied by execution by guillotine, firing squad, [or] public hanging." Stover's letter was critical of Obama's handling of the ISIS situation in Iraq and the fall of Ramadi.

In its apology Thursday, the Daily Item said there was "no excuse" for its printing the letter. "We should have recognized that the final two metaphorical paragraphs of the Ramadi letter were inescapably an incitement to have the chief executive of our government executed," the newspaper wrote. "They should have been deleted."

The Daily Item also admitted its staffers' shortcomings, adding that the reason the letter was published was that "no bells went off when the editor handling the letter read it and placed it on the opinion page." Meghan DeMaria

Coming Soon
12:38 p.m. ET

It's only May, but this year's wannabe Oscar contenders are already jockeying for buzz. The first trailer for Edward Zwick's Pawn Sacrifice — a biopic of chess legend Bobby Fischer — shows off star Tobey Maguire in a trailer that recalls last year's Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game:

Pawn Sacrifice focuses on Fischer's legendary 1972 match against Boris Spassky — arguably the most famous game in chess history. "It's a war of perception," says the trailer. "A poor kid from Brooklyn against the whole Soviet empire." But as the pressure builds, Fischer begins to snap, eventually leading to his well-publicized reclusion.

Pawn Sacrifice hits theaters in September. Scott Meslow

We all scream for ice cream
11:28 a.m. ET

Ben & Jerry's wants ice cream lovers to know their dessert isn't the only thing in danger of melting. They announced new flavor Save Our Swirl, or SOS for short, to draw awareness to December's UN Climate Summit in France. There, global leaders are expected to work toward establishing a universal climate change agreement.

The flavor combines raspberry ice cream, marshmallow and raspberry swirls, and dark and white fudge ice cream cones.

"We created a flavor to bring attention to this historic issue and to send out our own SOS for our planet," the company said in a news release Wednesday.

Ben & Jerry's is also encouraging fans to sign activist group Avaaz' petition to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Julie Kliegman

it's getting hot in here
11:20 a.m. ET

Parts of India are in the grips of a brutal heat wave that has risen to a hellish 117 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas. Some 1,100 people have died from causes related to the heat wave, which is expected to continue through next week.

It's gotten so bad that asphalt roads are literally melting, as captured here by The Hindustan Times' Sanjeev Verma, in New Delhi: Ryu Spaeth

beep boop
11:11 a.m. ET
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

If you're a young, technologically inclined person in America, you probably have an opinion on the highest-stakes competition currently dominating the national conversation: Plants vs. Zombies. Lucky for you, so does one of the politicians vying for your vote to be the next president.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), best known as a polished Ivy League debate champion beloved by the far-right Tea Party wing and one of the many Republican candidates for president in 2016, is also a huge video game nerd, The Daily Beast reports. In fact, the senator is so enthralled by the likes of Super Mario Brothers and Centipede that he denies himself a game console "because if I had one, I would use it far too much."

Apparently, Cruz's current vices include Plants vs. Zombies, Candy Crush, and The Creeps!, all of which are playable via smartphone. But gaming is a family affair in the Cruz household, with the senator telling the Beast that he and his daughters "curl up and play games," which drives his wife Heidi "crazy." Seeing as President Obama famously gave up his own addiction — smoking — at the urging of the First Lady, perhaps Mrs. Cruz will have similar luck should her husband win the nation's highest office. Kimberly Alters

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