Smartphones appear to be more addictive than we all thought: A new survey released Monday found that 47 percent of U.S. adults would not be able to make it 24 hours without one, and four out of five would rather give up alcohol or chocolate in order to get their phone back.
Smartphones ranked below the internet and hygiene when it came to importance in a person's life, but beat out television and coffee. Ninety-one percent said their phone is as important as deodorant and their car.
When it comes to Millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, things become even more bleak: 96 percent said their smartphone was more important than a toothbrush and deodorant. No wonder they turn to their phones; they don't have the ability to smell.
When asked about annoying phone behavior, 38 percent of respondents said they were most perturbed when someone checked their phone while driving, and 15 percent said they dislike when someone talks loudly on the phone in public.
Of course, because this survey was conducted by Bank of America, several of the questions were about mobile banking. You can read the entire survey here.
NASCAR on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of businesses to speak out against Indiana's controversial new religious freedom law that critics fear could permit discrimination against gays and lesbians.
"We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance," the auto racing organization said in a statement, adding that it was "disappointed" in the legislation and would "continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events."
Facing a mounting backlash, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) on Tuesday said his state would clarify and "fix" the law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Archaeologists have discovered a medieval hospital cemetery beneath the Old Divinity School at St. John's College in Cambridge, and they've unearthed skeletal remains from more than 400 medieval burials.
The findings are described in the latest issue of the Archaeological Journal. The archaeologists, who are part of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, believe the burial grounds contained about 1,300 burials. In a statement from the University of Cambridge, the archaeologists describe the skeletons as "almost perfectly preserved," despite being underground for centuries.
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The bodies were from the medieval Hospital of St. John the Evangelist and date back to the 13th to 15th centuries. The archaeologists believe the cemetery was built to serve the poor, because most of the burials lacked coffins and personal items.
The team's statement notes that the cemetery's existence has been known to researchers for years, but they had no idea how large the burial ground actually was until the recent excavation.
Misao Okawa, the world's oldest person, died on Wednesday of heart failure, officials from her nursing home announced. Nursing home employees told NBC News that Okawa had recently begun eating less than normal, and they were concerned for her health.
Okawa, who lived in Osaka, Japan, was declared the oldest living person by Guinness World Records in 2013. She celebrated her 117th birthday in March. Okawa was married at 21 and had three children, three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
"She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep," Tomohiro Okada, an official at the nursing home, told The Associated Press. "We miss her a lot."
Gertrude Weaver, a 116-year-old woman living in Arkansas, is now the world's oldest living person.
In a low-key ceremony in The Hague on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority formally joined the International Criminal Court. Joining the ICC allows the Palestinians the right to pursue war crimes charges and other legal actions against Israel, which isn't part of the ICC, but also opens Palestinian militants to prosecution by the international tribunal.
The PA has dropped early plans to file its own charges against Israel, but the Palestinians plan to support a preliminary investigation by the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, into allegations of war crimes by Israel in land recognized by the United Nations as belonging to the State of Palestine. That investigation will take time. "I don't want to disappoint our people," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki told Voice of Palestine radio on Wednesday, "but the ICC procedures are slow and long and might face lots of obstacles and challenges and might take years."
On Tuesday, President Obama lifted a ban on U.S. weapons sales to Egypt that he had imposed after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, general turned president, overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. The unfreezing of arms deliveries and purchases is widely seen as driven by the U.S. need for allies in the tumultuous Middle East and as a win for Sisi, who has done little or nothing to address the concerns about Egypt's democracy that Obama cited when initiating the ban, says Peter Baker at The New York Times.
But "Obama's decision does include elements that may irritate Mr. Sisi," Baker adds:
Until now, Egypt and Israel were the only countries permitted to buy American arms by drawing credit from future foreign aid. Mr. Obama said he would halt that for Egypt, barring it from drawing in advance money expected in the 2018 fiscal year and beyond. He will also channel future military aid to four categories — counterterrorism, border security, maritime security, and Sinai security — rather than give Egypt broad latitude to decide how to use it. [New York Times]
That will, among other things, make it easier for the U.S. to cut off military aid in the future.
Josh Gad's house is a funhouse-mirror version of most homes with young children, he told David Letterman on Tuesday night's Late Show. Gad, who voiced the snowman Olaf in Frozen, said his daughter is the one who is no longer enthralled with the Disney blockbuster, and he is still a fan. When his daughter starts talking about how much she loves Big Hero 6, he points out that Frozen is paying for her house and private school, Gad joked. "We love Olaf in this house."
Which led to an odd discussion about how much Gad earned from the movie. "The thing made a couple of billion, and I made a couple of thousand," Gad said. Letterman protested that surely he was joking, to which Gad replied "no, they actually paid me very well" — while shaking his head to signal they didn't. "I love you Disney, I really do," he added with a laugh, when Letterman called him out on his mixed signals. "They actually really took care of us," he added, somewhat cryptically, before confirming that Disney is making a Frozen sequel. Smart move, Gad. —Peter Weber
Ignore the premise of this bit on Tuesday night's Tonight Show — science shows that if you sing lullabies in the voice of Bob Dylan, kids will fall right asleep (not sit upright in terror) — but do watch to see Ethan Hawke and Jimmy Fallon compete to do the better Dylan impersonation. (Spoiler: Fallon.) And parents, even if you can do a better Dylan, don't try this at home —Peter Weber