Free stuff
July 1, 2014

On tour last year, They Might Be Giants recorded a live, song-by-song re-creation of their first album, a self-titled 1986 record known as the "pink album." They are calling the new album, creatively enough, First Album Live — and more to the point, they are giving it away. You can pick up a free copy by clicking the link below, or if that doesn't work, following the instructions at their website.

The band — John Flansburgh and John Linnell and their backup players — describe this as a "gift for our loyal audience," but also "an effort to introduce more people into the world of TMBG." They would really like you to download it — and if you're a fan, it's worth the small effort. The first album isn't as great as their sophomore record, 1988's Lincoln, or their breakthrough classic, Flood (1990), but it's clearly TMBG in all their quirky splendor, and there are some good songs (listen to "Number Three," for example).

They Might Be Giants "was met with raves from critics" in 1986, the band explains, but it "seemed destined to settle comfortably into the Miscellaneous T section within a number of months" — until they got some videos on MTV. And here's where the album came from, according to the Johns:

They Might Be Giants had been performing in downtown NYC clubs and had become a fixture on the East Village scene where performance art and music flowed together in a vivid late night club scene. In those earlier years, the band was making recordings for their Dial-A-Song service and their demos were actively passed around town. [TMBG]

Thanks to Boing Boing for the tip.

This just in
3:27 p.m. ET

Los Angeles police fatally shot a homeless man Sunday after the man "forcibly grabbed" an officer's gun, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

Offering an update Monday on the fatal shooting, Beck said forensic evidence — including an examination of the officer's gun, and a review of footage captured by police body cameras — was "indicative of a struggle over the weapon." However, Beck would not comment on whether the altercation justified the use of deadly force, saying only that an investigation was underway.

"This is an extreme tragedy," he said.

Coming Soon
3:18 p.m. ET

Already finished with House of Cards season 3? Never fear — Netflix has plenty of new shows on the horizon. Today, the streaming service announced the premiere dates for three new shows (and one returning favorite):

Between (May), a sci-fi drama about a small town beset by a mysterious disease that kills everyone over the age of 21

Sense8 (June 5), a sci-fi drama about eight strangers who suddenly develop an inexplicable mental link

Orange is the New Black (June 12), the third season of the acclaimed dramedy about a women's prison

Wet Hot American Summer (July 17), a sitcom prequel to the cultishly beloved movie of the same name

The new shows will join a roster of already announced 2015 programs that includes Bloodline (March 20), Daredevil (April 10), and Grace & Frankie (May 8). Set your binge-watching calendars accordingly.

speedread
3:06 p.m. ET
iStock

It's time to step up your fruit game, and we don't mean honing those Fruit Ninja skills. According to Time, the healthiest foods to eat are fruits. Specifically bananas, which top the list with their potassium goodness and mood-lifting properties. They're also one of the few foods that boast all six major vitamin groups, including vitamin B6, which scientists say makes you smarter. 

Unsurprisingly, the rest of the list of 50 largely consists of vegetables and proteins. But never fear, a healthy life isn't an entirely ascetic life: Red wine clocks at No. 50. Read the full list at Time.

This is incredible
3:05 p.m. ET

A skydiving instructor successfully rescued a man who suffered a midair seizure while skydiving, rendering him unconscious.

Christopher Jones, who suffered the attack, posted the video to YouTube on Sunday, describing it as the "scariest moment" of his life. Jones underwent the seizure while skydiving from 12,000 feet in Australia, and he was unconscious and free falling for 30 seconds.

Sheldon McFarlane, Jones' instructor, pulled Jones' ripcord around 4,000 feet, according to the video's description. At 3,000 feet, Jones regained consciousness and safely landed on the ground.

"Part of our training is to look after students," McFarlane told The Guardian. He added that if he hadn't been able to reach Jones, his parachute would have automatically deployed. Check out Jones' video below. —Meghan DeMaria

Coming Soon
2:54 p.m. ET

Have you managed to avoid joining Orphan Black's sizable cult of viewers? Then you're likely to be baffled by the first trailer for the sci-fi drama's third season, which doubles down on the thorny, conspiratorial narrative with a brand-new new set of male clones:

Orphan Black's third season will premiere on BBC America on April 18.

Oh, Canada
2:02 p.m. ET

At last, police have identified two men who built a 30-foot tunnel in Toronto that was discovered in January.

Toronto police spokesman Victor Kwong told Toronto's CP24 that the space was created as a "man cave." "It is simply two guys who just wanted to dig a cave," Kwong told CBC News. "That really is what our investigation has led to... They just wanted to dig a cave to hang out."

During the investigation of the tunnel, police found a gas-powered generator, food and drink containers, and a sump pump. Police said the tunnel was not built with criminal intent and is not a threat to Toronto residents. No charges were filed, and police told CBC News the men, who are in their 20s, were "very apologetic" for building it.

Quotables
1:24 p.m. ET

In a Cavuto on Business segment, Fox News host Dagen McDowell lamented college students' choice to "study poetry" — even though McDowell herself has a college degree in art history.

McDowell's statement came during a discussion of the "Corinthian 15," a group of students who declared a debt strike against their for-profit school, Everest College, a part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc. The students are refusing to pay their federal loans, claiming that their degrees led to low-paying jobs or unemployment, thanks to a lack of government oversight and "bogus job-placement statistics," Newsweek reports.

McDowell didn't agree with the debt forgiveness proposal, suggesting the students should have known what their loans entailed. "Why does anybody think it's a good idea to take out $200,000 in debt and then go study poetry?" McDowell said during the show. But as Because Finance is Boring has discovered, McDowell's art history degree from Wake Forest University would cost roughly $188,480 today. Check out the Cavuto on Business segment, including McDowell's remark, in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

This just in
12:47 p.m. ET
iStock

For the first time ever, Hollywood is lagging behind China in monthly film revenue.

In February, Chinese theaters made $650 million in box office sales, while the U.S. only made $640 million, according to research firm Entgroup. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Lunar New Year movie sales helped China beat the U.S., along with the rest of the world.

In China, February's top-grossing film was The Man From Macau II, followed by Dragon Blade. Before February, China's biggest box-office month was July 2014, with $580 million in box-office sales, due in large part to the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

The boy who cried nukes
12:35 p.m. ET
Pool/Getty Images

The Israeli Prime Minister is going to give an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, where he will argue that the U.S. should cease its negotiations with Iran, because it is very close to developing a nuclear weapon, which would pose an unacceptable risk to Israel. Here are previous occasions in which Netanyahu has given similar warnings, compiled by Murtaza Hussain at The Intercept.

1) In 1992, then-member of parliament Netanyahu warned that Iran was 3-5 years from assembling a nuclear weapon, a threat that must be " uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S. "

2) In his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism, Netanyahu warned that Iran was "five to seven years at most" from assembling a nuclear weapon.

3) In an address to a joint session of Congress in 1996, Netanyahu warned that the "nuclearization" of Iran was "getting extremely close," and only the U.S. could stop it.

4) In 2009, Netanyahu warned a Congressional delegation visiting Israel that, according to "our experts," Iran was 1-2 years from assembling a nuclear weapon.

5) In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, Netanyahu warned that Iran was likely less than a year from assembling a nuclear weapon. (Recently Al Jazeera reported that Israel's intelligence service sharply disagreed with this assessment at the time.)

elections
12:25 p.m. ET

Via The Washington Post and Reddit comes a handy little graphic that succinctly visualizes how gerrymandering — when political districts are unfairly mapped to manipulate elections — can have such a significant impact:

(Washington Post)

Of course, in real life, gerrymandered districts often look far more convoluted than the simplified ones in option three. For a look at some of the most ridiculous districts in the country — "crimes against geography" — click here.

See More Speed Reads