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super bowl laugh-time show
August 6, 2014
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Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and... Weird Al Yankovic? Some of the funnyman's diehard fans believe he should join the ranks of music's biggest acts by playing the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX — so much so that they started a petition on Change.org. Perhaps even more surprising? The online document has already garnered more than 8,000 supporters.

The fervor surrounding the long-time parody artist began when his 14th album, Mandatory Fun, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts last month. Featuring riffs on hit songs like "Blurred Lines" and "Royals", the album sold 104,700 copies in its first week.

Per the petition, the big advantage to having Weird Al perform the much-hyped gig is that the artists of the songs he parodied could join him onstage. "The theatrics alone would be a hilarious and a welcoming change," the petition continues, "and draw a wider audience of fans that typically would not tune into the championship game or half-time show."

We'll have to wait and see if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell agrees. We already know Patton Oswalt does. Kimberly Alters

zingers
1:04 a.m. ET

It's a badge of honor to be insulted by Don Rickles, and Mr. Warmth dished it out to Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on Tuesday's The Tonight Show. After telling Questlove that the "barber convention needs him," he congratulates Fallon on "the big crowd — 12 people" in the audience and admits he never really liked him. Of course, Rickles also accuses Fallon of faking his broken finger for laughs ("tomorrow night, come out with your neck wrapped") and ends the bit with the most backhanded of compliments regarding The Tonight Show's success. Watch the insults fly in the video below. Catherine Garcia

70 years later
August 4, 2015
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On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing about 66,000 people and injuring 69,000. Tens of thousands more suffered from radiation disease in the years after.

To mark the 70th anniversary, Public Radio International has created a sobering app that shows users the extent of damage that would take place if the same bomb was dropped today in their town or anywhere else in the world. The team behind the app used several reports, including "The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" prepared by the Manhattan Engineer District and "The Effects of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki" by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, to ensure its accuracy. Visit PRI's website to use the eye-opening app. Catherine Garcia

uber drama
August 4, 2015
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At least four Uber drivers cited by police at Los Angeles International Airport have serious criminal records that would make them ineligible for a taxi permit in the city, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The men have been convicted of child exploitation, manslaughter, driving under the influence, and identity theft, court records show. The information was presented to a city official by a representative of the taxi industry, as the Los Angeles City Council looks into whether it should assert jurisdiction over a new permit process that would let Uber and other app-based ride companies legally pick up passengers at LAX, the Times reports. The Times was able to independently confirm the records were accurate. "These are cases that reinforce the need to have this kind of dialog," Councilman Paul Krekorian said. "They're very good examples of why it's important."

The taxi industry is against the permit process, saying it's unfair because Uber drivers are held to a lower standard than licensed taxi drivers. Uber's chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said drivers cannot work for the company if they have been convicted of any felonies or violent or sexual crimes in the past seven years, and said that while "every system of background checks that is available today has its flaws," Uber's "stacks up well" against the taxi industry's. Catherine Garcia

a candidate scorned
August 4, 2015
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In a blistering statement released Tuesday night, Rick Santorum's communications manager made it clear the campaign wasn't thrilled that Fox News is not including seven of the GOP presidential candidates in its prime-time debate Thursday.

"The idea that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female Fortune 50 CEO, and the three-term Senator from South Carolina due to polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous," Matt Beynon said in a statement. There are 17 Republicans in the race, and Fox decided to limit its debate to just 10 candidates, determining the final roster by looking at the average of five recent national polls.

Beynon saved some of his ire for the Republican National Committee as well, saying: "While Fox is taking a lot of heat, the RNC deserves as much blame for sanctioning this process. They should not be picking winners and losers. That's the job of the voters." Santorum and the other six candidates who didn't make the cut — Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Jim Gilmore — have been invited to attend a 5 p.m. ET debate, four hours before the prime-time event. Catherine Garcia

work perk
August 4, 2015
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This is a major work perk: Netflix announced Tuesday that it will offer employees unlimited maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child's birth or adoption.

In a statement, the video streaming service's chief talent officer, Tawni Cranz, explained that parents can return part-time, full-time, or work and then take time off as needed. "We'll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay," she said. "Each employee gets to figure out what's best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences."

The company believes that its employees should "be free to figure out their own work-life balance as responsible and accountable adults," Wired reports; Netflix already offers unlimited time off to all employees. Catherine Garcia

gaffes
August 4, 2015
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Jeb Bush learned a valuable lesson on Tuesday: Don't go off script, and if you do, don't say that women's health programs aren't worthy of being fully funded.

While speaking to 13,000 people at a Southern Baptist convention in Nashville, Bush said that Planned Parenthood should be cut off from federal funding, and then went a step further by stopping mid-sentence to qualify his remarks and question government support for women's health programs in general, Politico reports. "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women's health programs," he said. "If you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine organizations, community health organizations that exist, federally sponsored community health organizations to provide quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues."

Not long after his remarks were made public, Hillary Clinton tweeted to Bush: "You are absolutely, unequivocally wrong." Bush quickly posted a statement online saying he "misspoke," and tried to clarify his comments. "There are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women's health organizations that need to be fully funded," he said. "They provide critical services to all, but particularly low-income women who don't have the access they need. I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood.” Bush has had to explain other blunders in recent weeks, including his statement in July that "workers need to work longer hours." Catherine Garcia

This just in
August 4, 2015
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On Tuesday, Fox News announced the official line-up for its prime-time Republican debate on Thursday.

Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) all qualified, with Fox saying the roster was determined based on an average of the five most recent national polls.

The seven Republican candidates who did not make the list — Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, and Rick Perry — will be invited to a separate debate at 5 p.m. ET., four hours before the main debate starts. Catherine Garcia

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