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Old time medicine
May 20, 2014

Pop quiz: what is bright blue, has barely changed in the past 450 million years, and sells for $15,000 per liter? Answer: horseshoe crab blood, which is used to make sure injected drugs aren't contaminated with bacteria. Hank Green explains below. So cool! --Ryan Cooper

Quotables
3:24 a.m. ET
G.N. Miller–Pool/Getty Images

New York prison worker Joyce Mitchell confessed to helping inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NBC News reports, drawing from documents obtained through a freedom of information act. Her confessions, made June 7, 8, and 10, contain some pretty lurid details.

Mitchell told state and federal investigators that she had smuggled Matt and Sweat in contraband and agreed to pick them up after their escape "because I was caught up in the fantasy." She knew, she said, that after the escape, Matt was going to kill her husband, Lyle, whom the inmates called "the glitch." She sent sexually explicit photos of herself to Sweat, she said, but only had sexual contact with Matt.

That started in April, Mitchell said, when she and Matt were alone in the prison tailor shop, where both Mitchell and her husband worked. "It startled me, she said. "He kissed me with an open mouth kiss. I didn't say anything because I was scared for my husband, who also works for the facility."

At Matt's request, she later performed oral sex on the inmate and "also groped his genitals in several instances, using a large prison coat to disguise their activities," The New York Times summarizes, citing the same statements from Mitchell. NBC News provides more detail: "Matt would come to her desk wearing a big coat in which he had cut a hole so that Mitchell could touch his genitals."

Mitchell told investigators that she "enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me and the thought of a different life," but got ill from worry as the escape neared, ultimately going to the hospital instead of picking Matt and Sweat up in her Jeep with supplies, as planned. Matt was later killed, Sweat captured. "I know I had agreed to help them escape and run away with them, but I panicked and couldn't follow through with the rest of the plan," Mitchell said. "I really do love my husband and he's the reason." Peter Weber

The Daily Pre-Showdown
2:15 a.m. ET

Sometimes at the beginning of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart obliquely brings up some conversation he had with the audience before the show. And now that Stewart's long run is ending, Comedy Central is pulling back the curtain a bit, posting a short highlight reel of Stewart's warm-up banter before the show begins. In the Q&A sessions featured in the video below, Stewart fields questions about his New Jersey game reserve, hummus, and whether he will return to stand-up comedy after he leaves The Daily Show (it sounds like 'yes').

And then somebody asked him about his "worst or funniest mistakes as a rookie on one of your first shows." Stewart started out philosophically, insisting that he never considers any flubs mistakes, but then he told this story:

We did do, my second week of doing a talk show at Paramount, we did a Hitler sketch.... We thought this would be really funny... that Hitler had just been in hiding, and was now coming out to do the talk show circuit. So I just said, "Ladies and gentlemen, unbelievable guest tonight, you know, I can't believe it: Adolf Hitler." And he comes out dressed as Hitler, with the mustache, and he does this [Nazi salute] to the crowd, and you can imagine, the crowd is like, "Booooooo! Boo Hitler! We don't like Hitler!" So we throw to commercial — two seconds later, the stage managers goes, 'There's a phone call for you.' Paramount executives in Los Angeles had been watching it and, like, literally said, "We will cancel you tonight if you don't pull that." [Stewart, Daily Show]

If you've never seen a taping of The Daily Show, this is probably the closest you're going to get, at least in the Jon Stewart era. Watch below. Peter Weber

Revolting
1:06 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Late Tuesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) filed a "motion to vacate the chair," a parliamentary measure seeking to unseat House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). In his motion, Meadows accused Boehner of having "endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making" and using "the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker."

Meadows should know — he was briefly stripped of his chairmanship of a House subcommittee after voting against a measure Boehner backed, being reinstated only after fellow House conservatives caused a ruckus. But he says he isn't sure he will ever try to bring his motion to a vote, intending it more as the "impetus to have a discussion, a family discussion," among House Republicans about "how we can make sure that every voice, every vote matters."

The move is extremely rare but not unprecedented. In March 1910, Rep. George Norris (R-Neb.) tried to oust Speaker Joe Cannon (R-Ill.), but failed after a two-day marathon session that ended with Cannon himself moving to declare his chair vacant and winning the vote when it failed to pass. Cannon was reputedly much more domineering than Boehner, but the failed coup did succeed in greatly curbing his power in the House. As Meadows is surely aware. Peter Weber

last night on late night
12:20 a.m. ET

Harry Potter, the fictional boy wizard, turns 35 on July 31. To wish him an early happy birthday, and scar any Harry Potter fans watching The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon had Simon Pegg on to imagine the mess that would be a 35-year-old inebriated Ron Weasley. "Drunk Ron Weasley" draws pretty heavily from the Dudley Moore school of drunk Britons, but Pegg's "10 points for Gryffindor!" ad-lib is pretty good. Watch the debauchery and shattered childhood dreams below. Peter Weber

election 2016
July 28, 2015
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The top 10 Republican presidential candidates, as determined by Fox News polling, will still appear on stage for the prime-time Aug. 6 debate in Cleveland. But thanks to a modification to its rules announced Tuesday evening, Fox News will allow all of the second-tier candidates to participate in the happy hour debate earlier that evening, at 5 p.m. ET. Previously, only candidates polling at 1 percent or greater were allowed in the 5 p.m. debate.

The change in requirements means that you can watch former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina, ex-New York Gov. George Pataki, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) face off against Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Rick Santorum, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, according to Politico's tally. The nine Republicans competing for air time with Donald Trump from 9 to 11 p.m. are Jeb Bush, Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.), Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Rand Paul (Ky.)

The "kid's table" debate will also be moderated by lower-profile moderators, Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum. The later one will feature Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace. Peter Weber

Whatever You Say
July 28, 2015
Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Mark Cuban — billionaire, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks — has weighed in on the 2016 election, and he's giving two thumbs up to Donald Trump.

According to Cuban, Trump is "probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time," although apparently that has nothing at all to do with Trump's actual politics and everything to do with his bombastic personality.

"I don't care what [Trump's] actual positions are," Cuban clarified. "I don't care if he says the wrong thing. He says what's on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years."

More important than anything? Okay, if you say so!  Jeva Lange

Deflategate
July 28, 2015
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The NFL issued a 20-page statement Tuesday announcing that it would uphold the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after he was found "at least generally aware" of team employees tampering with game balls during the 2015 playoffs. The NFL originally suspended the star signal-caller back in May after a league-commissioned report found "credible evidence" that he was involved in the scheme.

The NFL said its decision was based in part on the fact that Brady destroyed a cell phone he used the week of the Patriots' January 18 playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, The New York Times reports, during which it is alleged members of New England's staff deliberately deflated Patriots footballs to make them easier to grip. The cell phone apparently contained potentially incriminating evidence in the form of texts between Patriots staff members that seem to suggest Brady was aware of team employees adjusting the air pressure in footballs. Brady has consistently denied knowledge of tampering, and appealed his original suspension in June, which set the stage for the league's ruling Tuesday. Kimberly Alters

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