- Late Night Antics 7:15am ET
You've all seen one — the sometimes aw-inducing, usually awkward marriage proposal at some public event. The guy (it's almost always the guy) colludes with the organizers of the concert/sporting event/TV show to give him a spotlight to ask his sweetheart to marry him in front of a large audience. On Tuesday night's Late Night, Seth Meyers and two "audience members" turn this high-stakes romancing on its head. It's much more pleasant to watch than the real thing. --Peter Weber
- Finally 6:56am ET
In potentially great news for migraine sufferers, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a plastic headband-like device that purports to not just treat but also prevent migraines, without using any medication. Instead of drugs, the "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation" (TENS) headband delivers a small electric current through an electrode on the forehead. The electricity stimulates the trigeminal nerve, tied to migraines. Belgium's STX-Med makes the battery-powered tiara, called Cefaly, which is now available in the U.S. with a prescription. STX-Med describes how it works in greater detail in the video below. --Peter Weber
- Late Night Antics 6:24am ET
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud (possibly) said, poking fun at the idea (he popularized) that everything is based on subliminal, often phallus-based signals. But you can smoke a cigar. Why, Jon Stewart asked on Tuesday night's Daily Show, are "such serious people in America so seriously sad" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. After all, he noted, Crimea isn't "really part of our strategic or fossil fuel–type interests."
The answer, Stewart decided, is that conservatives think Russia's aggression makes America look weak. He showed some video clips of Republican pundits to bolster his assertion. "As you know, we have a foreign policy that is focused primarily on comparative penis size," he concluded. After discussing Crimea for a while, Stewart brought it back to subliminal urges — Russian President Vladimir Putin, he suggested, is driven by his own yonic fears. --Peter Weber
- Late Night Antics 5:32am ET
On Tuesday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a gift for history geeks. In a gameshow he called "The Weakest Lincoln," Stewart pitted guest Judge Andrew Napolitano against Abraham Lincoln (played by Jessica Williams) in a duel of Civil War trivia, judged by actual academic historians. The segment was clearly devised as a way to politely truth-squad Napolitano, a Fox News contributor and Lincoln critic, but that doesn't make it any less funny, or interesting. --Peter Weber
- Watch this 4:51am ET
Science celebrity (and accomplished astrophysicist) Neil deGrasse Tyson is making waves with his reboot of Cosmos, the celebrated TV series originally hosted by Carl Sagan. Tyson went on The Colbert Report to discuss the new Cosmos, and why he felt the need to reprise the series, but their discussion turned into a trial of science. Stephen Colbert asked Tyson why he argues that we don't have to present both sides of every scientific theory — "Don't you want to be fair and balanced?" he asked. "That would be a waste of everyone's time," Tyson responded:
When different experiments give you the same result, it is no longer subject to your opinion. That's the good thing about science: It's true whether or not you believe it in. [Colbert Report]
The audience cheered, and so did thousands of science teachers. Then they laughed, because Colbert's retort is, predictably, spot-on perfect. --Peter Weber
- Quotables 4:27am ET
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in self-imposed exile in Russia, insisted Tuesday that he is still the leader of Ukraine. Acting President Oleksandr V. Turchynov disagrees, arguing in Wednesday's New York Times that when the Russia-backed "Yanukovych crossed the line and unleashed gunfire against his own people... he lost his legitimacy as the president."
But beside denouncing Yanukovych as "a dictator who had been groomed for the role of a puppet ruler" controlled by Russia's Vladimir Putin, and darkly warning that further military incursion will create a bloody crisis and "put an end to the global security system," Oleksandr makes a bolder claim: Putin has already lost Ukraine, and with it his last hope to "prevent the final demise of the Soviet empire." He continues:
We choose Western standards and reject this neo-Soviet imperialism. We will no longer play the game of "older and younger brothers." Moscow must understand what we discovered at the Maidan in Kiev: The use of force will backfire and, more often than not, yield the opposite of what was intended. Ukraine and Russia are two sovereign states, and the Ukrainian people will determine their path independently. [The New York Times]
- Burning questions 2:57am ET
Bill O'Reilly has some questions about President Obama's interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns: Was appearing on the awkward-is-funny, absurdist talk show a worse idea because of Vladimir Putin, or because of Abraham Lincoln?
O'Reilly noted that Obama filmed the Funny or Die video two weeks ago, before Putin invaded Ukraine, but said that the president needs to be aware "of how his enemies perceive him." (Presumably he means Russia here, not Fox News.) "It looks like Putin believes the president is a lightweight, will a comedy video counter that?" O'Reilly asked.
On top of that, he added, sending the president himself to tape web-only comedy series to promoted the "dubious" Affordable Care Act smacks of desperation. "All I can tell you is, Abe Lincoln would not have done it," he added — which, I think we can all agree, is true. Whether that's because we're a deeply divided nation and "serious times call for serious measures," as O'Reilly argued, or because Lincoln wasn't very funny, didn't know what a video was (much less the internet), and didn't have ObamaCare to defend... well, that's another question.
The White House is pleased that Obama's Between Two Ferns appearance sent a horde of young people to HealthCare.gov. But Obama-joking-while-Putin-pillages is also the focus of Kathleen Parker's column in Wednesday's Washington Post, so whether you think Obama's PR stunt was brilliant or disastrous, you'll probably hear about it until the 2014 midterms. --Peter Weber
- This just in March 11
Republican David Jolly won a special election in Florida's 13th District in a widely watched race that has been seen as a bellwether for the 2014 midterms. Jolly won 48.5 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted, according to the Associated Press, defeating Democrat Alex Sink, who had run an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010.
The race attracted a lot of money for a congressional contest — more than $11 million — as well as high-profile surrogates like former President Bill Clinton. In the coming days expect to see Republicans touting Jolly's victory as evidence that ObamaCare — a hot-button issue in Florida — will be an albatross for Democrats in the midterms and possibly cost them the Senate.
- Crime and punishment March 11
It's one thing for Mariska Hargitay to catch fictional rapists in her role as Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU. But Hargitay is taking things a step further with her work to help law enforcement catch real-life rapists.
At a press conference in Detroit today, Hargitay spoke on the problem of untested rape kits, an issue about which she is also producing a documentary. During the conference, Hargitay voiced her support for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's push for legislation to clear Detroit's backlog of untested rape kits.
"To me, this is the clearest and most shocking demonstration of how we regard these crimes," Hargitay said. "One would assume that if someone endures a four- to six-hour invasive examination, that that evidence would be handled with care."
In 2004, Hargitay also founded the Joyful heart Foundation, which provides support to victims of sexual crimes. Here's hoping her star power will help Worthy's office gain the resources it needs to test the backlogged kits.
Watch Hargitay's moving, tear-filled speech here:
- This just in March 11
More than 4.2 million people have enrolled in new health insurance plans through ObamaCare's state and federal marketplaces since they went live in October, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. Of that total — which runs through the end of February — about 943,000 enrollees signed up last month alone. The administration and health-care experts are expecting a major spike in enrollments this month as people race to get covered before the March 31 deadline to have insurance or face a fine.
Among the enrollees, 25 percent are in the crucial 18- to 34-year-old age bracket, a percentage that rose in February and is expected to rise once again this month as young procrastinators finally get around to picking insurance plans. Meaning, that dreaded death spiral — which was already something of a fantastical fear — is even less likely to happen.
And importantly for supporters of the health-care law, the ballooning enrollment figures will make it that much harder for GOP critics to keep championing an ObamaCare repeal. At this point, anyone calling for repeal is by extension trying to strip 4.2 million people, and counting, off their new health insurance.
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
- Watch The Daily Show and Judge Andrew Napolitano play 'The Weakest Lincoln'
Subscribe to the Week