Time is a flat circle
August 5, 2014
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True Detective's impressive ratings and critical acclaim came, in no small part, from Matthew McConaughey's performance as protagonist Rust Cohle. The character's pessimistic philosophical monologues are one of True Detective's most memorable trademarks, and they'll probably earn McConaughey a Best Actor Emmy later this month.

But as series creator Nic Pizzolatto prepares True Detective's second season, some viewers are accusing him of plagiarizing the very monologues that put his HBO drama on the map. Mike Davis, the editor of The Lovecraft eZine, collaborated with Thomas Ligotti Online founder Jon Padgett to track down similarities between Rust Cohle's dialogue in True Detective and a Thomas Ligotti book called The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. The duo found nearly a dozen instances in which Cohle's dialogue seemed to be cribbed from Ligotti; you can compare them for yourself at The Lovecraft eZine.

"As I reviewed Jon's research, and did more of my own, any doubts I had about plagiarism disappeared," Davis writes. "It became obvious to me that Pizzolatto had plagiarized Thomas Ligotti and others — in some places using exact quotes, and in others changing a word here and there, paraphrasing in much the same way that a high school student will cheat on an essay by copying someone else's work and substituting a few words of their own."

Pizzolatto hasn't responded to the accusations, but he has occasionally acknowledged Ligotti's influence on the show. "I read The Conspiracy Against the Human Race and found it incredibly powerful writing," he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "For me as a reader, it was less impactful as philosophy than as one writer's ultimate confessional: an absolute horror story, where the self is the monster. In episode one [of True Detective] there are two lines in particular (and it would have been nothing to re-word them) that were specifically phrased in such a way as to signal Ligotti admirers." Consider them signaled. Scott Meslow

interesting choice of words
8:01 a.m. ET
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British Prime Minister David Cameron's word choice is not going over so well. In a recent interview with ITV News about the Calais migrant crisis, Cameron used the word "swarm" to describe the "people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain." Criticism abounded. The Labour Party's Harriet Harman responded: "He should remember he is talking about people and not insects." The Refugee Council called Cameron's comment "irresponsible" and "dehumanizing." "This sort of rhetoric is extremely inflammatory and comes at a time when the government should be focused on working with its European counterparts to respond calmly and compassionately to this dreadful humanitarian crisis," the Refugee Council said.

The BBC reports that thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the English Channel this week to reach the UK from Calais, France. Nine people have been killed this month attempting to cross. In response, both Britain and France are beefing up border control and security. The French have sent an extra 120 police to the border and Cameron has emphasized that Britain would not become a "safe haven" for migrants. Becca Stanek

This just in
7:45 a.m. ET
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Bad news for Hillary Clinton: While she holds a massive lead over Bernie Sanders, with 55 percent of Democratic voters saying they'd pick her in the primaries, compared to just 17 percent for the Vermont socialist, Clinton is only viewed favorably by a mere 40 percent of those polled by Quinnipiac University. Fifty-one percent view her unfavorably. That's Clinton's worst rating in the history of Quinnipiac's poll. Cue the Beltway critics:

Only one in three male voters holds a favorable opinion of Clinton. Female voters are slightly more confident, giving Clinton a favorability rating of 47 percent. Jeva Lange

election 2016
7:20 a.m. ET
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Trump scored 20 percent in a new national poll of the GOP electorate, the highest tally received by a single candidate in Quinnipiac University's seven surveys over the last two years. However, 30 percent of Republican voters say there is "no way" they would vote for Trump, which is also the highest figure of any candidate.

Trailing Trump's 20 percent support is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 13 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 10 percent. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio are all at 6 percent, putting them in a four-way tie for fourth place.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains the frontrunner, with 55 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 17 percent. Joe Biden — who has not announced he is running — holds 13 percent. Despite her vast lead, Clinton also scored her worst-ever favorability rating, with 40 percent of voters viewing her favorably compared to 51 percent unfavorably. Jeva Lange

happening now
2:42 a.m. ET

On Thursday, Malaysian officials said they were "almost certain" that the flaperon, a control surface attached to the wing of an airplane, found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean belongs to a Boeing 777 aircraft.

"Our chief investigator here told me this," Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said. That is the same type of aircraft as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Reuters reports, and investigators say that MH370 is the only known Boeing 777 to be missing at this time. The airplane disappeared March 2014 with 239 people onboard as it made its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Catherine Garcia

2:16 a.m. ET
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An investigation by The Associated Press found incredibly high levels of viruses and bacteria from sewage in the water of Rio de Janeiro venues where Olympic and Paralympic athletes will compete next summer.

Over a period of five months, AP conducted four rounds of tests at Olympic sites, and found that none were ready for swimming or boating events. The results consistently showed large amounts of active and infectious human adenoviruses, which can cause respiratory trouble and intense vomiting and diarrhea, with concentrations similar to those seen in raw sewage. At one site that was thought to be cleaned up, Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, there were 14 million adenoviruses per liter to 1.7 billion per liter; for comparison, in Southern California, water officials are concerned when viral counts are at 1,000 per liter. "What you have there is basically raw sewage," marine biologist John Griffith told AP. "It's all the water from the toilets and the showers and whatever people put down their sinks, all mixed up, and it's going out into the beach waters."

Already, some competitors training in Rio have become sick, complaining of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Austrian sailing team has been training for months in the Guanabara Bay, and coach Ivan Bulaja said it "is by far the worst water quality we've ever seen in our sailing careers. I am quite sure if you swim in this water and it goes into your mouth or nose that quite a lot of bad things are coming inside your body." In Rio, most of the waste goes through open-air ditches, down through streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites. Even though Brazilian officials have promised that the water will be safe in time for the games, international experts told AP it's too late to get everything cleaned up. Catherine Garcia

someone didn't think this one through
1:39 a.m. ET

It was supposed to be the "first women's museum in the UK." Instead, it will be dedicated to Jack the Ripper, a madman who brutally murdered prostitutes in London's East End during the late 1800s.

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the former head of diversity and inclusion for Google, was approved to build a "world class" museum in an old building in the Whitechapel district. In documents, architects Waugh Thistleton said the museum would "retell the story of the East End through the eyes, voices, experience, and actions" of women, the London Evening Standard reports. Now that area residents know about the new direction Palmer-Edgecumbe took, they're not happy. "We feel we have been completely hoodwinked and deceived," filmmaker Julian Cole said. "My neighbor thought it was some kind of sick joke."

The museum is set to open Tuesday, and Palmer-Edgecumbe says he's not going to glorify the murderer. "We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper," he told the London Evening Standard. "It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper, but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place." Catherine Garcia

Late Night Antics
1:02 a.m. ET

On Wednesday's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and Jason Segel showed how fast they can think on their feet during a game of "Word Sneak." The premise was simple — both had five different, totally random words they had to work into a conversation as casually as possible. After a rough start (really, "mongeese"?), Segel won the game thanks to the clever way he was able to slip "Gene Shalit" into the discussion — plus, he gets bonus points for cracking up Questlove. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

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