this is pretty cool
July 11, 2014

It's intergalactic bling: the Hubble Telescope has captured images of two elliptical galaxies coming together to create a "necklace" of young stars that extends for 100,000 light-years.

The two galaxies are both three times wider than the Milky Way, in a cluster known as SDSS J1531+3414. "We were surprised to find this stunning morphology, which must be very short-lived," Grant Tremblay of the European Southern Observatory said. "We've long known that the 'beads on a string' phenomenon is seen in the arms of spiral galaxies and in tidal bridges between interacting galaxies. However, this particular supercluster arrangement has never been seen before in giant merging elliptical galaxies."

Watch a video describing the merging of galaxies below. --Catherine Garcia

you better sit down for this
12:57 a.m. ET
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Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Chipotle has released its top secret guacamole recipe — which just so happens to be nearly identical to 99.9 percent of all other guacamole recipes.

Chipotle's version calls for 2 ripe Hass avocados, 2 teaspoons each of lime juice and chopped cilantro, one-quarter of a cup of finely chopped red onion, half of a finely chopped jalapeño, and one-quarter of a teaspoon of kosher salt. After making sure your avocado feels "squishy yet firm," all you have to do is coat the cut up avocado in lime juice, season, mash, then fold everything together. That's it! Maybe next week they’ll enlighten us and share how they shred their cheese. Catherine Garcia

Golden Years
12:33 a.m. ET

David Letterman is talking a lot about his retirement, which makes sense since he only has a handful of shows left. President Obama has almost two more years left, but on Monday's Late Night, Letterman still asked him about his future plans. No dice. But dominos, maybe. Some Late Show guests, like Steve Martin, go with the darkly comic when it comes to Letterman's retirement, but Obama was cheerfully goofy.

"I was thinking you and me, we could play some dominos together," Obama said. "We can go to the local Starbucks and, you know, swap stories." It's worth noting that this is apparently what the president thinks "real people" do, and maybe he's right. Things get a little sappy at the end, but Letterman did elicit from Obama that he's planning to take a month off after leaving office. Well, it's something. —Peter Weber

The Dream of the '90s is alive on Fallon
12:09 a.m. ET

It's Monday, and if you're feeling a little nostalgic for the '90s, or the last time you were around the campfire with two romeos and a guitar, but you also want to laugh, Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon have your fix. On Monday's Tonight Show, Black and Fallon recreated the video for Extreme's "More Than Words," in, shall we say, period costume. The idea may have been to do a straight re-enactment, but Black is probably incapable of not clowning a bit, and what fun would that be anyway? Get your nostalgia on below. —Peter Weber

healthy choice
May 4, 2015
Jesse Grant/Getty Images

By the end of 2016, Panera Bread plans to remove at least 150 artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, and sweeteners from its soups, sandwiches, salad dressings, and several bakery items.

The chain will discontinue using ingredients like fat substitutes and propylene glycol, a preservative used in deodorant and e-cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports. While a lot of food products will be affected, some offerings, like soda, will still have artificial ingredients. The company's chief executive officer, Ron Shaich, said Panera is trying to "give people a simple, easy Good Housekeeping seal-of-approval kind of approach to it."

Panera Bread has been planning to drop the ingredients since 2012, and has already stopped using the artificial sweetener sucralose and titanium dioxide, which is used to make mozzarella cheese whiter. Catherine Garcia

This just in
May 4, 2015

Papua New Guinea was rocked by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake Tuesday, which hit 80 miles south of the town of Kokopo at a depth of 40 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

After the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves up to 3 feet were possible within 186 miles of the epicenter, The Associated Press reports. The country's National Disaster Center said it had not heard any reports of damage from residents, and acting director Martin Mose said the center was sending a message to villages near the coast to "take extra precautions in case a tsunami is generated." Papua New Guinea is on the Ring of Fire, where earthquakes often strike, and this quake was centered in the same area as two weaker ones that took place last week. Catherine Garcia

caught on camera
May 4, 2015
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Last summer, everyone was doing the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research — including one California police officer now charged with disability fraud.

Prosecutors say that a video posted online in July showed Pasadena police officer Jaime Robison, on disability for a lower back injury, lifting up a five-gallon bucket filled with ice water and pouring it over the head of another officer. Robison has been charged with four counts of insurance fraud, and prosecutors say that because she allegedly inflated her injuries, she cost the department up to $117,000, the Los Angeles Times reports. Prosecutors also think she exaggerated an injury in 2012 so she could collect over a year's worth of disability pay.

Robison pleaded not guilty on Friday. If she is convicted of all four charges, she could face up to six years and four months in county jail. Catherine Garcia

fancy fashion
May 4, 2015

Everyone who attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala goes with one goal: To turn heads. With this year’s theme being “China: Through the Looking Glass,” celebrities, socialites, and those who could spend thousands to get in showed up to the gala on Monday night wearing rich golds, fiery reds, and bold patterns. Here are just some of the more extravagant looks. —Catherine Garcia

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