The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 19 Sep 2014 04:17:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Home Page Posts from THE WEEKFri, 19 Sep 2014 04:17:00 -0400Jon Stewart gets lazy, roasts Joe Biden (plus Shakespeare and Michael Che)</P><p>Vice President Joe Biden is the Democrats' answer to Republican complaints that the left is too politically correct. Jon Stewart started out Thursday night's <em>Daily Show</em> by approvingly noting Biden's passionate defense of women in domestic violence situations. But "it is important to remember," he added: "As Joe Biden giveth, Joe Biden taketh away." Just this week, Biden used both the phrases "the Orient" to refer to Asia and "Shylocks" to refer to greedy bankers &mdash; a Shakespearean reference that prompted Stewart to shake his fists at the Bard in anger.</p><p>"It's like Biden hasn't been out of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:17:00 -0400What's this robber's weapon of choice? A banana</P><p>Orange you glad it wasn't a gun? Philadelphia police say a man robbed a convenience store earlier this week while pretending a banana stuffed in his sweatshirt was a weapon.</p><p>The robbery took place Tuesday in the East Parkside neighborhood, <em>The Associated Press </em>reports. On Wednesday, police posted video of the robbery, hoping it would help catch the suspect. On the tape, the man is shown entering the convenience store, and then standing (rather patiently, actually) in line. When it's finally his turn, he grabs a very green banana from the counter near the cash register, quickly tucks it away into...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaFri, 19 Sep 2014 04:11:00 -0400NBC: Chris Christie didn't know about or order George Washington Bridge closure plot</P><p>A nine-month federal investigation into Bridgegate &mdash; the traffic-snarling closure of lanes on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, as apparent political retribution toward the mayor of Fort Lee &mdash; hasn't found any evidence that Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) ordered the lane closures himself or knew about them beforehand, NBC 4 reports, citing unidentified federal officials.</p><p>The Justice Department investigation is ongoing, but if the final report exculpates Christie, "that's good news for him," Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist polling organization, tells NBC. "The...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:09:00 -0400Mortuary student told to park her hearse elsewhere</P><p>Can't a woman drive her hearse in peace? Samantha Kidner, 18, is a mortuary student whose ultimate dream is to run a funeral home with her twin sister. But for now, her more immediate goal is to be able to park her car at her own apartment complex.</p><p>Kidner lives at The Lorenzo in Los Angeles, and said she has been told by management that she cannot park in the lot like everyone else. "They don't want it on the property at all," Kidner told ABC7. Kidner is disabled, and has a handicapped placard, but the complex won't budge, saying that residents find the hearse "creepy."</p><p>Their solution? Kidner...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaFri, 19 Sep 2014 03:47:00 -0400The world's population could grow to 11 billion by 2100</P><p>Using a "probabilistic" statistical method, researchers have determined that the world's population will most likely hit 11 billion by 2100.</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The world's population is now expected to hit 11 billion by the end of the century:</p>&mdash; brad plumer (@bradplumer) September 18, 2014</blockquote></center><p>Researchers from several universities and the United Nations Population Division have concluded that a previous prediction by the UN &mdash; that the population would level off in the second half of the century &mdash; is wrong. In fact, by using their new statistical...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaFri, 19 Sep 2014 03:14:00 -0400Study finds that antidepressants quickly change the brain's structure</P><p>A new study published Thursday in the journal <em>Current Biology</em> found that antidepressants work faster than previously thought, despite the fact that it usually takes patients at least two weeks to report any changes in mood.</p><p>More than 1 in 10 U.S. adults use SSRIs, which block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain; commonly prescribed SSRIs include Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, and Paxil. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Germany used an MRI machine to look at the gray matter of participants who took SSRIs and those who didn't, and using the images to create 3D maps of certain neural...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaFri, 19 Sep 2014 02:16:00 -0400Here's how British newspapers are celebrating Scotland's vote to stay in the UK</P><p>On Thursday, after weeks of high drama, Scottish voters opted to stay a part of the United Kingdom. The consequences of Scottish secession would have been big and unpredictable, and British leaders had done some serious last-minute barnstorming to support the "No" side. So on Friday morning, British newspapers signaled England's relief that their neighbors to the north hadn't jumped ship. Here's a roundup of some of the major English and Scottish newspapers' front pages for Friday morning. <em>--Peter Weber</em></p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The United Kingdom is safe. @Telegraph front page: 19th September 2014</p></blockquote></center> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 19 Sep 2014 01:27:00 -0400Darrell Hammond is back at Saturday Night Live</P><p>Live from New York, it's Darrell Hammond: The former <em>Saturday Night Live </em>cast member is taking over announcing duties for the show, following the August death of Don Pardo.</p><p>Hammond, 58, had the longest tenure on the show &mdash; 14 years, from 1995 to 2009. Known for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Regis Philbin (among dozens of others), he also had to impersonate longtime announcer Pardo on occasion. "I sat in for Don when he had laryngitis several times over the years," Hammond told <em>USA Today</em>. "He was a lovely person. When he passed, they wanted me; it felt right for me to...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaFri, 19 Sep 2014 00:53:00 -0400'No' side wins the Scotland independence vote, after referendum that shook the UK</P><p>The Scotland independence referendum &mdash; the big project of Scotland's regional Parliament under First Minister Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party &mdash; has come up far short, with the "No" side winning a big victory in Thursday's referendum. This comes after a campaign that for a time had scared the markets, and the entire British political system, over the potential consequences of Scottish secession.</p><p>With 26 out of 32 local government areas now reporting, the No side leads with 54.3 percent of the vote, against the Yes campaign with 45.7 percent. In the 26 areas that have now...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric KleefeldFri, 19 Sep 2014 00:36:00 -0400The 'No' campaign is comfortably ahead in Scotland's independence referendum</P><p><strong>Update:</strong> The "No" side has won the referendum, according to the BBC's official projection.</p><p>The vote count is still going on in the Scotland referendum &mdash; but with a clear lead for the "No" side, against independence from the United Kingdom.</p><p>With 24 out of 32 local government areas now reporting their votes, the Yes side has 1,102,788 votes, for only 45.8 percent, compared to the No campaign at 1,305,388 votes, for 54.2 percent.</p><p>The areas that have reported have spanned a number of rural areas, all the way up to the biggest city of Glasgow, and a great variety of towns and smaller cities...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric KleefeldFri, 19 Sep 2014 00:05:00 -0400Sierra Leone orders residents to stay home for 3 days to combat Ebola</P><p>Sierra Leone has instructed its six million residents to stay home for three days, starting Friday and ending Sunday, in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola.</p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>A three-day curfew to try to stop the spread of Ebola comes into effect in Sierra Leone</p>&mdash; BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 19, 2014</blockquote></center><p>During that time, volunteers will visit homes to try to find victims who haven't been to a doctor yet, and to also distribute 1.5 million bars of soap and brochures on preventing infection. They are expected to find several new patients...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaThu, 18 Sep 2014 23:17:00 -0400Study: Dogs can be pessimists, too</P><p>You may think your four-legged friend is the happiest canine on Earth, but University of Sydney researchers say that dogs can in fact be pessimistic.</p><p>The Australian team trained dogs to touch a target after hearing two different tones. One tone meant they would be given milk, a treat, while the other tone meant water would be served. Once they had those rules understood, new tones were introduced between the pitches. The researchers posited that if a dog kept hitting the target, it was likely because he was optimistic and thought it would eventually lead to the reward of milk. The dog who stopped...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaThu, 18 Sep 2014 22:24:00 -0400Senate votes 78-22 in favor of Obama's plan to arm Syrian rebels</P><p>On Thursday night, with a 78-22 vote, the Senate approved President Obama's plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels to fight against ISIS.</p><p>The proposal was added as an amendment to a spending bill that will keep the government operating on Oct. 1, the beginning of a new fiscal year, <em>Reuters </em>reports. Following the vote, Obama said he was glad that a majority of Democrats and Republicans supported the legislation. "I believe we're strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together," he said.</p><p>Supporters included 44 Democrats, 33 Republicans, and one Independent, while nine...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Catherine GarciaThu, 18 Sep 2014 21:15:00 -0400Kansas Democrat wins fight to get taken off the ballot in Senate race</P><p>In a very odd kind of victory for Democrats, U.S. Senate nominee Chad Taylor of Kansas has just won a unanimous decision from the state Supreme Court &mdash; to have his name taken <em>off</em> the ballot.</p><p>The underfunded Taylor dropped out of the race two weeks ago, and filed a notice to have his name taken off the ballot &mdash; thus potentially clearing the way for Independent candidate Greg Orman to have a clear shot at defeating incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. However, Kansas Secreatry of State Kris Kobach (R) then ruled that Taylor had to remain on the ballot. Kobach maintained that Taylor...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eric KleefeldThu, 18 Sep 2014 18:01:00 -0400Is it true that elephants never forget?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Elephants are incredible creatures. The largest land mammals on earth, they show a wide range of behavioral and emotional patterns in their up-to-60-year lifespans. They grieve over the bodies of dead herd members, and can even recognize their own reflections in a mirror. And, of course, there's that old saying: "Elephants never forget." While it may be an exaggeration, there's more truth to the adage than you might realize.</p><p>In the wild, an elephant's memory is key to its survival &mdash; and its herd's. Each herd has a matriarchal structure, with one older female in charge. When younger males...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Sean HutchinsonThu, 18 Sep 2014 17:10:00 -0400Larry Ellison steps down as Oracle CEO</P><p class="p1">Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison said Thursday he is stepping down as chief executive of the company, effective immediately. Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, who previously served as co-presidents for the company, will both become CEOs, while Ellison will remain on board as executive chairman.</p><p class="p1">"The three of us have been working well together for the last several years, and we plan to continue working together for the foreseeable future," Ellison said in a statement.</p><p class="p1">The 70-year-old Ellison founded the behemoth software company in 1977 and has been the only CEO in its history. With an estimated...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jon-terbush" ><span class="byline">Jon Terbush</span></a>Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:34:00 -0400