1. Chris Brown dresses as Arab stereotype for Halloween
Demonstrating an uncharacteristically tone-deaf approach to both public opinion and general decency, Chris Brown donned a turban, a robe, and a bandolier for what The Washington Post dubs an "Arab terrorist" Halloween costume. Opinion is split on whether Brown and four of his friends, who wore similar costumes, are supposed to be members of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or another terrorist cell. Opinion is not split on whether Brown's outfit was wildly offensive.
2. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian don Batman and Catwoman costumes
In other Halloween news: At a Miami Beach party, lovebirds Kanye West and Kim Kardashian made an earnest (if unconvincing) bid to co-star in the next Batman reboot when they showed up dressed as the Dark Knight and his frenemy Catwoman. The Huffington Post reports that the duo arrived, with Batmobile-like subtlety, in a gold Lamborghini.
3. Rihanna offers $250 "Diamonds Executive Platinum Box" for new CD
Good news, hardcore Rihanna fans: For a mere $250, you can purchase the "Umbrella" singer’s upcoming album Unapologetic in a limited "Diamonds Executive Platinum Box" edition — which, while actually a box, does not feature actual diamonds or platinum. The AV Club offers a full account of the set’s contents, which includes a unisex T-shirt, a copy of a handwritten note from Rihanna to her fans, and — perhaps most thrillingly — stickers.
4. William Shatner’s "Shatoetry" iPhone app released
Former Star Trek star and Priceline spokesman William Shatner has launched an iPhone app known unpoetically as "Shatoetry" — which allows users to craft their own voice messages using his sonorous baritone. The Los Angeles Times reports that the app lets users break up their carefully crafted poetry with Shatner’s "iconic pauses." Not yet known: Whether the app’s word list includes "KHAAAAAANNNN!"
5. George Clooney is distant cousin of Abe Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis may play Abraham Lincoln in an upcoming film, but George Clooney can do the method actor one better: He’s related to Abe. According to Reuters, Ancestry.com has confirmed that Clooney is the "half-first cousin five times removed" from the 16th president. Ancestry.com did not divulge how many degrees separate Abraham Lincoln from Kevin Bacon.
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- 10 things you need to know today: December 19, 2014
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