interesting choice of words
May 19, 2014
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

With new entries like "hashtag," "selfie," "unfriend," and "tweep," it may seem like the update of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary's 11th edition was spearheaded by a middle schooler. In fact, it takes a dedicated team of observers to find frequently used words out in the world and some senior editors to decide what makes the cut.

On Monday, Merriam-Webster announced the addition of 150 new words to its flagship dictionary, The Associated Press reports. At least one is rather obscure: "Yoopers," a nickname for native and longtime residents of the Michigan's Upper Peninsula, near Lake Superior. "People up here, we really do have our own identity and our own culture," Steve Parks, a Yooper who fought to get the word in the dictionary, told The Associated Press. "We're a really hardy bunch.... You have to be very resilient to live up here."

Other new terms in the update include "fracking," "hotspot," "e-waste," "spoiler alert," "dubstep," and "baby bump." Merriam-Webster didn't add these words for the sake of sounding hip, insists editor at large Peter Sokolowski. "One of the most important things we have to watch is the trendiness of language, so we don't want to put a word in that will then have to come out," he told the AP. "We want to make sure a word is here to stay." Catherine Garcia

Airline Tragedies
1:28 a.m. ET

At least 142 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of an Indonesian military transport plane that crashed Tuesday in a busy neighborhood of Medan, the country's third-largest city, including the remains of the 122 people on the C-130 Hercules aircraft and 20 people on the ground. Air Force Marshal Agus Suprianta said that along with 12 military personnel, the plane was carrying members of their families.

This is the sixth Indonesian Air Force crash in the past decade, and its recent history with commercial airlines isn't much better, The New York Times reports. You can watch an Associated Press report on the crash below. Peter Weber

you can't make this stuff up
1:15 a.m. ET

A northern California woman experienced an intense three days, beginning Thursday when she delivered a baby in the middle of a forest and ending Saturday when she started a wildfire in order to be rescued.

Amber Pangborn, 35, was driving to her parents' house when she started to go into labor, NBC News reports. She decided to take a back road in the Plumas County National Forest, and wound up giving birth, then running out of gas in a remote area without cell phone reception. Pangborn said she survived by drinking the tiny bit of water she had with her and eating some apples. By Saturday, Pangborn was afraid she and her daughter, Marisa, would die, so she used a lighter and hairspray to start a brush fire. "The whole side of the mountain caught on fire," she said. "I was looking at Marisa and was like, 'I think Mommy just started a forest fire.'"

Pangborn's plan worked, and she was found by members of the U.S. Forest Service, who came racing to the quarter-acre blaze. Pangborn and her baby were taken to separate hospitals, and were expected to be reunited Tuesday. Although not everyone will approve of Pangborn starting a fire in a drought-stricken state, her mother, Dianna Williams, thought it was a great idea. "I'm elated and the baby's beautiful," she told NBC affiliate KCRA. "I'm glad that she's a smart kid. She's always been smart." Catherine Garcia

Highbrow Emo
12:41 a.m. ET

If all you know about Justice Antonin Scalia's blistering dissents last week is his whimsical use of "jiggery-pokery" and "pure applesauce" (ObamaCare) and his accusation that he and his colleagues are a "threat to American democracy" (same-sex marriage), you want to know more, but you don't like reading long legal documents, the band Coheed and Cambria is at your service.

In the song below, posted to Funny or Die, the band takes some of the more poetic parts of Scalia's dissents on gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act and spin them into a ballad for two acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass, a shaker, and two singers. Never has so much disappointed anger sounded so lovely.

If listening to nearly 4 minutes of prog balladry is too much, Daniela Lapidous at McSweeney's has distilled Scale's gay marriage dissent into a haiku:

You're not a poet,
Kennedy. And by the way,
Democracy’s dead. [McSweeney's]

She created remarkably evocative haikus of the other three dissents and Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion, too, and you can read them all at McSweeney's. Peter Weber

Not funny
12:39 a.m. ET

In totally justifiable lawsuit news, Paris Hilton is reportedly planning on suing the Egyptian television host who set up an elaborate prank that tricked the socialite into thinking the plane she was traveling in was crashing.

Hilton was in Dubai when Ramez Galal, host of Ramez in Control, invited her to go on a sightseeing plane. Hilton says she had no idea that it was all a gag — the plane was under the control of a stunt pilot, who shut off the engines and took the aircraft into a nose-dive. Footage from inside the plane shows an obviously terrified Hilton screaming and crying, surrounded by actors who are playing along with the "joke" that the plane is about to crash.

TMZ reports that Hilton is "furious" over the stunt, and has contacted her lawyers, who said she has a case for emotional distress. She no longer wants to get on airplanes, and said the prank was even worse than it appears on tape, with the plane nearly hitting the water. Watch the video below, and get ready to feel sympathy for Paris Hilton. Catherine Garcia

investigations
June 30, 2015
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, three cables that deliver internet service to Sacramento, California, were cut in what was likely a coordinated attack.

The FBI is now investigating the case, with special agent Greg Wuthrich of the Bureau's San Francisco division saying the incident could be the latest in a string of cuts that have happened in the San Francisco Bay area over the past year. The cables were severed in Livermore, 40 miles east of San Francisco, at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, Reuters reports. While repairs are underway, there is no estimated time for when internet service will be back up.

Wave Broadband spokesman Mark Peterson said only suburban areas of Sacramento have been affected by the outage. Wave is a customer of Level 3 Communications and Zayo Group Holdings Inc., the companies that own the cables. Catherine Garcia

This just in
June 30, 2015

Firefighters in Greeleyville, South Carolina, are battling a blaze at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, a black church that was set on fire 20 years ago by members of the KKK.

The Mount Zion AME Church is located about an hour away from Charleston. The cause of the fire is not yet known. Mark Keel, chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, told The Post and Courier that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and other federal agencies have been notified and are on their way to the scene.

This is the seventh black church in the south to catch on fire in recent weeks, with at least three cases known to be arson. Catherine Garcia

taking a stand
June 30, 2015
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington returned a $100,000 gift after the donor asked that the money "not be used to support transgender girls," the organization said.

The group was "thrilled" when they first received the donation, which would have provided financial support for 500 scouts. Once the donor sent a follow-up note with the request, the money was returned, and a new fundraising campaign was launched on Indiegogo, using the hashtag #ForEVERYgirl. "Girl Scouts empowers every girl regardless of her gender identity, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity [and] sexual orientation," the group said in a campaign video. "Every girl deserves access to a safe, friendly environment where she can stand up for what she believes in and be proud of who she is."

The message worked; in less than 24 hours, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington raised enough to replace the $100,000, and then some. Catherine Garcia

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