One man's art is another man's cruelty to animals.
The $45 million Aspen Art Museum is coming under fire for an art installation it has planned for this weekend's grand opening. Desert tortoises with iPads mounted on their backs will wander around the gala, displaying images of local ghost towns on the tablets. The pictures were actually taken by the tortoises during recent trips to the ghost towns.
— 7NEWS Denver Channel (@DenverChannel) August 6, 2014
Critics have started a petition to stop the "barbaric" project, and it has already been signed by 1,000 people. Aspen resident Lisbeth Oden said she was disturbed by the photo she saw of a tortoise with an iPad; she used to work with tortoises and learned about the sensitivity of their carapaces. "To have anything attached to them is just not right," she told The Denver Post. "It is exploitation of animals for human enjoyment."
The museum is defending itself; spokeswoman Sara Fitzmaurice says that the tortoises were saved from an irresponsible breeder who had them living in harsh conditions. She also said the tortoises will be moved to educational and conservation facilities after the exhibit closes on Oct. 5, and that in the meantime they are being closely monitored by a veterinarian. That vet, Dr. Elizabeth Kremzier, released a statement supporting the project: "In my opinion, the tortoises have adapted well to their new habitat, and the iPads have not interfered in any way with their natural behavior." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.
In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was none too thrilled Saturday with the protesters who blocked his way into California's Republican convention the day before:
The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2016
Leave it to Trump to make an off-color joke about the incident once he made it inside the hotel Friday.
Jimmy Fallon has been singing bits and pieces of Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" on The Tonight Show for days. On Friday, he and actor Paul Rudd took the obsession to its natural conclusion, creating a shot-by-shot remake of the '80s music video. The end result is sufficiently goofy. Take a look below. Julie Kliegman
Hundreds of activists stormed Iraq's parliament building Saturday in support of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had accused Iraqi politicians of corruption, CBS News reports.
The demonstrators climbed over blast walls in Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses most of the country's ministries and foreign embassies, after parliament couldn't reach quorum to hold a session. The protesters broke furniture, chanted, and waved Iraqi flags.
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all officers to undergo anti-bias training, The New York Times reports.
"We have nothing to hide," Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. "These are the actions of a few."
The messages, which disparaged blacks, Latinos, South Asians, and LGBT people, were found as part of an investigation into a rape charge against one of the officers.
The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:
— Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) April 22, 2016
Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms.