This just in
July 28, 2014

Facebook isn't the only site experimenting on its users. OkCupid revealed Monday that it has been conducting experiments on its users, too.

In a blog post on OkCupid's website, the company's cofounder Christian Rudder explained a few of the experiments the dating site recently ran on unassuming users. One experiment included a special "Love is Blind" day in which photos were removed from users' profiles, while another told users they had a higher match percentage than they had in reality (in that experiment, the users affected by the experiment were notified afterwards).

While social networks experimenting on their users may seem like risky move, Rudder was unapologetic about OkCupid's studies. "Guess what, everybody: If you use the Internet, you're the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site," Rudder wrote. "That's how websites work."

As for the results of the experiments? OkCupid found that people were more likely to respond to others' messages when their profile photos were removed, and those conversations went deeper. Once the photos were re-added, however, the conversations dropped off. "It was like we turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight," Rudder wrote.

In the other study, in which couples were told they were a great match instead of a bad one, Rudder found that the power of suggestion is real, with couples being more likely to send messages to matches when their compatibility rating appeared to be high.

"OkCupid definitely works, but that's not the whole story," Rudder wrote. "The mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth." Meghan DeMaria

Second chances
1:14 p.m. ET

While the NFL and Tom Brady failed to reach a settlement on Monday, that still meant that Jane Rosenberg — the courtroom sketch artist who became infamous after her unconventional sketch of the usually handsome Patriots quarterback went viral — had to show up for work and get a drawing done.

However, while today's sketch captures less of the surreal qualities of the original, it still expresses Rosenberg's signature style.

Rosenberg told CBS that in the days leading up to Monday's anticipated second-chance sketch, she "had sleepless nights" with Tom Brady on her mind. "It was a nightmare," she said.

Before Monday's appearance in court, Rosenberg also showed CBS her practice sketch of Brady, in which he looks decidedly less like he's melting:

"I don't like knowing people are really watching what I'm doing," Rosenberg told CBS. She added to the New York Daily News that even doing her practice sketch was hard. "I still found him very hard to draw — from a photo as well. Something subtle goes on with his eyes."

Sweet dreams, Rosenberg. It's all over — for now. Jeva Lange

1:00 p.m. ET

Disgraced wrestling star Hulk Hogan sat down with Good Morning America on Monday for his first interview since WWE terminated his contract in July over a racist rant. He was caught calling his daughter's then-boyfriend the n-word in an old tape brought to light by Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media.

"I'm not a racist, but I never should have said what I said," Hogan said, reiterating an earlier apology. "It was wrong. I'm embarrassed by it."

He connected his use of the slur to the area he was raised in.

"People need to realize that you inherit things from your environment," he said. "And where I grew up was south Tampa, Port Tampa, and it was a really rough neighborhood, very low income. And all my friends, we greeted each other saying that word."

Hogan also divulged that he was suicidal in 2007, when the secret tape was believed to be filmed. Watch his full interview below. Julie Kliegman

12:08 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The NFL and Tom Brady failed to reach a settlement Monday in the ongoing Deflategate controversy. After just minutes of talks in court, Judge Richard Berman sent everyone home, saying he will make a ruling in the case by Friday, but potentially as early as Tuesday, CBS reports.

In May, the New England Patriots quarterback received a four-game suspension after an independent report suggested he was likely involved in the team's deliberate tampering with footballs during the 2015 playoffs. Brady appealed his suspension and maintained he was unaware of any foul play on his team.

Lest you assume this national nightmare will finally end once Berman announces a decision, rest assured both sides have appeal options that will likely keep the scandal afloat for the foreseeable future. Julie Kliegman

11:28 a.m. ET
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Whenever hordes of giddy fans camp out in a parking lot, there's a solid chance One Direction is somewhere nearby. But Harry Styles wasn't anywhere to be found at the Georgia church where crowds gathered in their cars and RVs Saturday night and into Sunday morning — it was former President Jimmy Carter the masses wanted to see.

When Carter, 90, announced in August that the cancer in his liver had spread to his brain, he stayed firm on his commitment to teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church. The first Sunday afterward, more than 800 people waited in line to see the former president.

The crowds have only grown bigger since. People are driving hours and hours — and some are even flying — to make it to the church parking lot before 12:01 a.m. Sunday, when seat assignments in the pews are awarded. The line this Saturday was already a half-mile long by 9 p.m., The Washington Post reports.

"We're gung-ho people!" Pat Schroeder, a 93-year-old who roadtripped the 14 hours from Illinois with her kids, told the Post. Julie Kliegman

everything are actually the best
11:18 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As Obama continues to campaign for Congress' support for the Iran nuclear deal, he spoke to Jewish-American publication The Forward's editor-in-chief Jane Eisner about the deal, Israel's safety, and accusations of anti-Semitism.

But then Eisner broke out the tough questions for the president — what's his favorite flavor of bagel?

THE PRESIDENT: I was always a big poppy seed guy.

Q: Poppy seed.

THE PRESIDENT: So the poppy seed bagels at H&H Bagels — which somebody told me they closed —

BEN RHODES: They closed.

Q: It's closed, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Which is shocking.

RHODES: My school was a block from H&H bagels.

THE PRESIDENT: I mean, I would walk down from —

RHODES: Columbia.

THE PRESIDENT: — Columbia just to get H&H bagels on Saturdays or on the weekends.

Q: And what do you like on a poppy seed?

THE PRESIDENT: Just a schmear.

Q: Just a schmear.

THE PRESIDENT: Lox and capers okay, but generally just your basic schmear. [The Forward]

There you have it. Read the rest of the interview over at The Forward. Jeva Lange

Into the wild
11:18 a.m. ET

President Obama should be prepared to survive just about anything after his trip to Alaska this week. While Obama is technically visiting The Last Frontier to talk about climate change, he's also going to make a quick detour to the Alaskan wilderness with survivalist Bear Grylls for an upcoming episode of NBC's Running Wild with Bear Grylls, set to air later this year. Obama will become the first-ever president to receive a "crash course in survival techniques" from Grylls, The Wrap notes.

Plenty of celebrities, from Kate Winslet to Channing Tatum, have appeared on the NBC show, in which Grylls takes a star on a wilderness adventure meant to both test and teach them. The specific challenges Obama will face as he ventures into the wild with Grylls remain unknown, though in a previous episode of Running Wild featuring guest star Michelle Rodriguez, Mediaite notes that Grylls went so far as to drink the celebrity's urine.

Dealing with congressional Republicans might look pretty easy after this. Becca Stanek

trump stumps
11:18 a.m. ET
Jason Davis/Getty Images

Republican grandstander Donald Trump is more than happy to attack his fellow Republicans on Twitter, Instagram, the campaign trail, and live television. But running attack ads? Heavens no!

Speaking to CNN in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump said he'd like to avoid attack ads during the primary election. "I just want to talk about my accomplishments. I'm not looking to attack anybody," he said. "I would rather have positive TV ads. Absolutely."

He also explained that so far, he hasn't felt the need to run any television ads at all, because he gets so much news coverage already: "It is all news, all the time, all Trump, all the time," he said. So the self-proclaimed billionaire is "saving a lot of money" by holding off for now. Bonnie Kristian

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