Living Large
March 13, 2014

The book publishing industry, a notorious slouch when it comes to emerging trends on the internet, is not going to let this Tumblr thing come and go without earning a buck or two. Chronicle Books, based in San Francisco, has announced on — where else? — Tumblr that it is accepting submissions for its Great Tumblr Book Search.

The winner will receive $300 worth of Chronicle books and a "feedback session" with a Chronicle editor, while the Tumblr itself will be "considered for publication." Lest you think that last reward sounds like not much of a reward at all, Martin Rouse at Melville House points out that Chronicle did agree to publish last year's winner:

Paul Laudiero’s Sh*t Rough Drafts (based on his Tumblr of the same name) will be published on April 15th, and is available for pre-order on Amazon — clear evidence that he has #madeit and is #livinglarge. [Melville House]

The industry has had a spotty record converting popular internet sites into publishing gold, mostly because it is charging for something that everyone can get for free. However, there have been some successful crossovers, including Stuff White People Like and the recent Humans of New York. Our nominee for the next Great Tumblr Book is the NYC Crying Guide: The Best/Worst Places to Cry in New York City.

Germanwings Crash
8:20 a.m. ET

German investigators announced Friday that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings plane, had intentionally hidden his medical condition from his employer. The news comes after a report that Lubitz had spent more than a year receiving psychiatric treatment after suffering from a "serious depressive episode."

Investigators searched Lubitz's home and found a ripped-up doctor's note that authorized Lubitz to take time off from work due to an illness. The investigators added that they did not find "any indication of a political or religious" nature in the home, nor did they find a suicide note.

The investigators are looking into Lubitz's family background as well as a potential history of psychological problems, including depression.

Lubitz is believed to have intentionally crashed a Germanwings plane in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board.

This just in
8:05 a.m. ET

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has announced that he won't seek re-election next year.

Reid told The New York Times that his decision to retire was not due to his demotion to Senate minority leader after November's midterm elections. The announcement comes after Reid suffered an eye injury in January after an exercise accident.

Reid, who has led Senate Democrats since 2005 and has served in Congress for more than three decades, told the Times, "I want to be able to go out at the top of my game."

In a farewell video, Reid says that being the Senate's minority leader is "just as important" as being majority leader. "It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country," Reid says. He even gets in a dig at Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, advising him not to be "too elated" over the news, because he'll still be around to push Democratic ideas for months to come. —Meghan DeMaria

This just in
7:44 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate approved a GOP-led budget at 3:28 a.m. Friday in a 52-46 vote.

The budget seeks to reduce the federal deficit to zero within a decade and includes a repeal of ObamaCare. The vote comes after the House passed a similar budget blueprint on Wednesday. Both chambers face an April 15 deadline to hash out a final budget.

The New York Times notes that of the 52 votes in favor of the budget, not one was from a Democratic senator. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, meanwhile, were the only Republicans not to vote in favor of the budget.

too many dursts
2:25 a.m. ET

Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst is here to remind you that he is not, in fact, accused murderer Robert Durst.


A photo posted by Limp Bizkit (@limpbizkit) on

Durst — the one whose band once released an album called Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water — posted a photo on Thursday showing him in a gray sweatshirt that reads "NOT ROBERT." In case that didn't get the point across, he captioned the photo, "I am NOT ROBERT." Unfortunately, there wasn't a follow up picture of Durst — the one who was caught on tape during filming for the HBO documentary The Jinx saying he killed people — wearing a sweatshirt that said "I am NOT FRED."

Durst — the one who famously declared he "did it all for the nookie" — likely posted the photo in response to The Associated Press getting the Dursts confused and erroneously reporting on March 16 that "an arrest warrant was issued for the former Limp Bizkit frontman." AP issued a correction, but the damage was already done: The nation once again was talking about Limp Bizkit.

1:48 a.m. ET
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Before he dies, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he plans to give away his entire $800 million fortune.

Prior to donating it all, Cook will make sure that his 10-year-old nephew's education is paid for, he told Fortune. He did not say which charities he will be giving money to, but he has spoken publicly about his support of human rights and equality and the need to stop HIV/AIDS and climate change, The Guardian reports. In 2012, Cook donated $25 million to Stanford to build a new children's hospital and $50 million to Project Red.

paying their respects
1:20 a.m. ET
Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

There are so many people waiting in line to view the coffin of Singapore's late leader Lee Kuan Yew that officials are asking mourners to stay away and instead visit community tributes spread out across the island.

Lee died Monday at the age of 91, and his funeral will be held on Sunday. The line to get into the Parliament House to see Lee stretches for several kilometers, with wait times as long as 10 hours, The Associated Press reports. By late Thursday, close to 150,000 people had already viewed Lee's coffin, and officials were passing out water so people would stay hydrated in the heat. Those who came out to pay their respects said they had no problem standing in the hot sun. "I'm not afraid to wait," Idy Leong told AP. "Even waiting for 8 hours, I'll still want to wait. Ten hours, I'll also want to wait."

Late Night Antics
12:58 a.m. ET

What happens when you take Jimmy Fallon, add five wax figures of Jimmy Fallon, and throw in some Beach Boys music? You get a rather bizarre — and kinda dark — Tonight Show sketch. If you can get through the clip without singing along to "Barbara Ann," I salute you. —Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads