The White House's top pastry chef is leaving — and it's all Michelle Obama's fault. Bill Yosses, who has baked for both President Obama and President Bush, is leaving because the first lady has "piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health." He's heading to New York to educate children about nutrition and be closer to his husband.
In an interview with The New York Times, Yosses appropriately called the decision "bittersweet." When the Obamas entered the White House in 2009, Yosses was ordered to create smaller deserts with less sugar and to use healthier ingredients, like fruit purée. He credits his baking transformation to Michelle's tips:
"She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the 'Mom-in-chief' would do," he said. He called her "definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness." [The New York Times]
Yosses will leave his post in June. A successor has not yet been named.
Ann Arbor resident and big-time sneakerhead Matt Neal never expected a hobby could end up saving his life. But with two failing kidneys, the 26-year-old stumbled upon a solution: He could trade his limited-edition Yeezy Boost 350s for a new kidney.
Neal's offer, which he posted to a Facebook sneakerhead group on Thursday and then to his own timeline, started entirely as a joke, he told The Ann Arbor News. To his surprise, strangers actually started getting in touch, many of whom didn't even care about rocking Kanye West's Adidas sneakers, which are going for hundreds of dollars on eBay.
"A lot of people have been getting in contact with me to get tested!" he wrote on a Facebook thread Thursday. "I can't believe the love and support I'm getting from random strangers."
Neal started dialysis two years ago after his Berger's disease led to kidney failure. A healthy kidney from a Type B positive donor would last him up to 15 years. He's on the waitlist at University of Michigan Hospital, and is encouraging potential donors to get tested through that facility. But now that he's seen an outpouring of support, he recognizes the potential he has to help other patients, too.
"Now that I've gotten the world's attention, I would like to raise awareness about organ donation," Neal said.
Praise Yeezus. Julie Kliegman
Two men in Washington, D.C., were fatally shot Friday night, bringing the city's 2015 homicide count to 105 so far. That's the same number the nation's capital saw in all of 2014, The Washington Post reports.
"We face complex challenges, which is why I stand here not to give you half-truths or oversimplified answers," Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said Thursday, when she launched a $15 million plan to address the city's 40 percent increase in homicides over the same period in 2014. She said there's not just one reason for the spike, but suggested an increase in synthetic drugs and a small number of repeat violent offenders are possible contributing factors, The New York Times reports.
The mayor's announcement was interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters, who took issue with her pledge to place more police officers in the city's most violent neighborhoods. Julie Kliegman
Six people are going to spend the next year of their lives locked inside a tiny dome — for science. The isolation experiment, which started Friday, is NASA's latest and longest attempt at evaluating what interpersonal conflicts would be like during a trip to Mars, which is expected to take one to three years.
Based in Hawaii near a barren volcano, the team will live in isolation together with almost no privacy, Engadget reports. They'll survive in cramped living quarters on basic foods — we're talking canned tuna and powdered cheese.
— Engadget (@engadget) August 30, 2015
So, who are these brave souls voluntarily participating in the worst possible Hawaiian vacation? A French astrobiologist, A German physicist, and an American pilot, soil scientist, architect, and a journalist. Technically, team members are allowed to leave the dome on occasion, but not without donning spacesuits first. Julie Kliegman
When Darren Goforth, a white deputy officer, was ambushed and fatally shot Friday night, allegedly by a black man at a gas station outside Houston, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman wasted no time in linking the incident to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests of police brutality.
"We've heard black lives matter; all lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter too," Hickman said Saturday. "At any point where the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated cold-blooded assassination of police officers happen(s), this rhetoric has gotten out of control."
Firearms-related deaths of law enforcement officers in 2015 are down from the same period last year, Reuters reports.
Hickman called the shooting of the 10-year veteran "unprovoked." Deputies arrested 30-year-old Shannon Miles on Saturday. Julie Kliegman
British neurologist and author Oliver Sacks died at 82 on Sunday, months after being diagnosed with terminal eye cancer, The New York Times reports. Sacks was a practicing doctor and a professor of neurology at New York University.
He was also well-known for his best-selling books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars. Awakenings, his autobiographical account of treating patients with encephalitis lethargica, a condition that renders people motionless, was later adapted in an Oscar-winning film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.
In February, Sacks wrote about his ocular melanoma diagnosis and confronting his mortality in a touching Times op-ed:
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure. [The New York Times]
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is gaining ground on Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Iowa, which will hold the country's first caucuses Feb. 1. The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Saturday shows Sanders just 7 percentage points behind Clinton's 37. She's lost a third of her Iowa support since May.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is rumored to be considering a campaign, took 14 percent out of the 404 likely caucus voters polled.
On the Republican side, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson sits in second at 18 percent to Donald Trump's 23 percent. Only 29 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers said they'd never vote for Trump, a figure that's halved since May. Julie Kliegman
On Saturday, New Orleans residents commemorated the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people and cost $151 billion in damage across the region.
"We saved each other," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told dignitaries at a memorial for the unidentified and unclaimed dead, The Associated Press reports. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."
Residents and activists gathered for speeches and a parade in the city's Lower 9th Ward at the site of one levee that had broken. In Mississippi, also hit hard by Katrina, coastal church bells rang out to remember one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history.