More than 70 percent of Muslim-Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance, a higher percentage than that of any other religious group, according to data released by Gallup Friday. On the other end of the spectrum, only 18 percent of Mormons said they approve of the President’s performance.
Overall, the data suggests a sharp religious division. Non-Christians are much more likely to approve of Obama’s performance than their Christian counterparts — minorities of Protestants, Catholics and Mormons approve of the President while majorities of Jewish, Muslim, non-religious, and other non-Christian people do so.
The data also show that most Americans continue to identify as Christians, with approximately 50 percent saying they are Protestant and 25 percent saying they are Catholic.
Obama’s approval rating across all groups stands at 43 percent.
The data, complied from 88,000 interviews, was collected during interviews for Gallup’s daily tracking poll during the first six months of 2014.
A Chinese state broadcaster has labeled the iPhone a “national security threat” to the country. CCTV, a news station whose reports can have wide influence, said that the location-tracking feature on Apple’s popular smartphone could be used to access state secrets, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple has been trying for years to gain a strong foothold in China, where it now generates more than 20 percent of its quarterly sales. The company inked a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the wireless carriers’ 760 million subscribers back in December. At that time, analysts estimated that Apple could sell 20 to 30 million iPhones in China this year alone. Right now, though, the device only has a six percent share of the smartphone market, according to the Journal.
Apple has not yet returned TIME’s request for comment on the matter.
The CCTV report could be given extra credence due to the disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden about mass global surveillance conducted by the U.S. government. According to documents provided by Snowden to the New York Times, NSA hackers created backdoors into products made by Huawei, a major Chinese telcom company, to check for connections to China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The Dallas Zoo hosted a first birthday party for its cheetah Winspear and black labrador Amani. Born three days apart, the two animals have been inseparable since they were two months old. To stay cool in the Texas heat, the two savored a red-white-and-blue popsicle made of “30 gallons of water, 2% milk, and low-sodium chicken broth for flavoring.”Cathy Burkey / Dallas Zoo
(h/t Dallas News)
WATCH: Do Not Bug This Gorilla
This post contains spoilers for season 1 of Masters of Sex, which is the whole point.
Showtime’s acclaimed series Masters of Sex comes back for its second season this weekend — so if all you can remember about the first season is that there was a lot of sex in it, here’s everything you’ll need to remember:
- Everyone saw Virginia naked: And not just the television audience. In a quest to secure funding and recognition for his sex study, Dr. Masters went all-out on his presentation to the staff, providing martinis and live-action video. Though the doctors in the room were comfortable while he discussed male sexuality, his open discussion of female sexuality crossed a line — especially when he showed the video footage he took of Virginia Johnson reacting to orgasm. Though Virginia’s face was never shown, somehow everyone seems to have guessed who that anonymous volunteer was. Libby, Masters’ wife, asked him directly whether the woman was Virginia, but he couldn’t reveal the identity of a study participant.
- Bill really saw Virginia naked: Of course, Libby’s right. That was Virginia, and not just for science: Masters and Johnson are having an affair. At the season’s end, she discovered that he had given her proper credit for her work on the study — and that he wants her to come back, to work with him and presumably more.
- Bill’s not the only contender for Virginia’s affections: Ethan still loves Virginia, and he asked her to marry him and move to California (with her kids, natch) to be with him.
- There’s a new character: After a devastating miscarriage earlier in the season, the pregnant Libby Masters — Dr. Bill Masters’ wife — ended the season going into early labor. We know that the baby made it through, but when the season ended Bill, who was with Virginia at the time, didn’t even know the baby had been born.
- Dr. DePaul has given Virginia a mission: Lillian DePaul revealed that her cervical cancer — the reason for her quest to make pap smears more common — is terminal. She asked Virginia to make sure her work continues after she’s gone, which may be difficult considering her study has no institutional support and she’s unable to attract patients who are wary of a female gynecologist.
- Barton may be in danger: Barton Scully, Bill’s boss, had been considering electroshock therapy to cure him of his homosexual desires, even though his wife Margaret thinks he should try another route. Foreshadowing?
- …But not as much danger as the study is in. After the super racy presentation, Bill was fired from the hospital.
Season two kicks off on July 13.
Think back: to your first high-school dance, to the first time a parent spoke to you like an adult, to the summer it seemed like your friendships would last forever, to getting in the car to drive away after your heart had just been broken. Which song was on the radio?
For someone out there, in a situation similar to that last one, it was “Hero” by the band Family of the Year. And, because that person happened to be one of the music “consultants” on the new movie Boyhood (July 11), that song was also playing at a key moment in the movie’s main character’s life.
“Everything in the movie is attached to something real,” filmmaker Richard Linklater tells TIME. “It all kind of happened in some form or fashion. I wanted the same with the music. I wanted to hear, ‘I just broke up with my girlfriend and I was driving in a car and that song came on the radio and it made me feel like everything was O.K.’ That means something to me, that somebody somewhere had an emotional experience with that song. I didn’t want songs that no one had an opinion about.”
That mission — to populate Boyhood with songs that could stir up emotions — was particularly important given the film’s unusual backstory. Linklater (who also spoke to TIME for this week’s issue) spent 12 years filming the story of his protagonist’s youth, which allowed him to catch young star Ellar Coltrane growing up in front of the camera. Linklater describes the movie as different from anything he’d ever done before, and says the music was no exception. Though he tried it with an orchestral score, that felt too authorial, like adding a voiceover. Instead, he decided, every song heard in Boyhood would have to be something that the characters would actually listen to, in that year and that place in their lives.
“It had to be songs of the time,” he explains. “Music is obviously such an evocative nostalgia or memory trigger, for a place and time. You hear a song and pow! You’re back in eighth grade.”
That’s where the consultants came in. Linklater says that he originally intended to ask Coltrane and his young co-star Lorelei Linklater (the director’s daughter, who plays the hero’s sister) what kids their age were listening to, but found that their tastes were too specific to themselves and not the characters. (He liked Rage Against the Machine; she liked harpsichord music.) So he recruited a few young people — interns, friends of kids of other people — to write narratives about songs that were up for inclusion on the soundtrack, as a litmus test.
“It was fun to get educated,” he says, even about types of music that he wouldn’t ordinarily listen to, like the Cobra Starship song that will take many viewers right back to the summer of 2009. “You look at it from a kid’s point of view and go, hey, if I was this age I would totally love this. Ultimately everything in the movie I do like.”
For the songs that weren’t the soundtrack to real-life moments, Linklater used the characters as touchstones for the songs. For example, the musical aspirations of the protagonist’s father, played by Ethan Hawke, shaped the soundtrack. In fact, many of Hawke’s lines directly address the music they’re accompanied by, from a scene in which he deconstructs a Wilco track to one in which he gives his son the gift of a CD of songs from the Beatles’ post-Beatles solo career.
“For a while I was playing with George Harrison’s ‘What is Life’ [for that scene]. It was a bit on-the-nose,” Linklater says. He ended up with Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run,” which he describes as one of the greatest pop songs ever made. It also captures what he calls “the eternal-ness of all things Beatles” in one of the film’s few moments in which the song playing doesn’t offer a timestamp of sorts, a clue as to which year we’re looking at.
Most of the film’s music was picked after the fact, as the decade-plus of shooting began to come to an end. The logistical advantage of that strategy is clear, as it resulted in what Linklater describes as extreme luck in terms of licensing songs from major artists. (Rap songs proved hard to get because of the complicating nature of samples, he says, and Weezer shut down the use of one of their songs, but otherwise the production scored songs relatively easily.)
There proved to be a strategic advantage too: picking songs more recently allowed Linklater the advantage of knowing which songs would stand the test of time. “You could already look at it from the future,” he explains. “This film is a period film shot in the present.”
For the film’s later scenes, however, the benefit of hindsight was unavailable. Eventually, the consultants’ memories gave way to Linklater’s tastes, his guesses at which songs will hold that power years from now. He recalls that when he was making 2001’s Waking Life he listened to Radiohead’s Kid A and the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin over and over. (Linklater has been a Flaming Lips fan since the ‘80s and their hit “Do You Realize??” appears in Boyhood.) Those albums were new at the time. Over a decade later, hearing them brings him back.
The album that served that function for Boyhood was Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. “I met [Arcade Fire’s] Will Butler last year and I was like, ‘Hey man, you don’t know how much that album occupied the last part of this movie,’” Linklater says. The song “Deep Blue” from that album ended up playing over one of the movie’s closing scenes.
There’s just one exception, one song in the film that will summon no memories for viewers. Linklater is one of the only people in the world who might feel differently, as the song that plays over the end credits is a new track that Jeff Tweedy wrote for the movie.
Studies have shown that musical tastes are mostly set by time Linklater’s story ends, by the age at which boyhood begins to be replaced by the specter of adulthood, the barrier that separated Linklater from his music consultants. The filmmaker was aware of that fact, and that’s part of the reason why he was so careful about the music he used: his character was going through the age at which music has the most power to implant itself in memory. For the young, every song is its own moment. With age the music becomes what Linklater calls undifferentiated. The feelings it provokes are, accordingly, less specific—and thus less useful for artistic purposes.
At the same time, his own experience belies that finding. Linklater’s feelings about the music in Boyhood are extremely specific.
In fact, “Hero,” that song his consultant remembered soothing a post-break-up heart, nearly didn’t make the cut. It was the very last song chosen for the film, and Linklater thought it might be, like the George Harrison song, too much. He changed his mind because it was for a moment that needed a little bit of “too much” in order to work.
“You know when it works,” Linklater says of the music. “That’s the good thing. You know it when you finally crack it.”
It has been a weird week in health news. First doctors said that Justin Bieber might actually save young boys’ lives (the “hip” bowl cut is actually a form of sun protection — skin cancer be gone!), and now scientists out of the University of Exeter are implying that smelling farts could actually prevent cancer, among other diseases.
“Although hydrogen sulfide gas”—produced when bacteria breaks down food—”is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases,” Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.
Although the stinky gas can be noxious in large doses, scientists believe that a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.
Researchers are even coming up with their own compound to emulate the stinky smell’s health benefits.
“‘We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria,” Professor Matt Whiteman, who worked on the study to be published in the Medicinal Chemistry Communications journal, said.
So thank the guy in the elevator. While it might have seemed like the ride from hell, IT MIGHT JUST SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Druids of New York City, break out those robes — the Manhattanhenge Solstice hath returned.
What is Manhattanhenge, you ask? We’ll leave it to the experts—in this case Neil deGrasse Tyson writing for the American Museum of Natural History—to tell you.
Sometimes known as the Manhattan Solstice, Manhattanhenge comes twice a year “when the setting Sun aligns precisely with Manhattan’s street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the boroughs grid,” writes Tyson. “A rare and beautiful sight.”
For prime Manhattanhenge viewing, get as far east in Manhattan as possible with New Jersey still in sight and look west towards the horizon — 14th, 23rd, 34th and 42nd streets are all good bets for catching a glimpse of the phenomenon. On Friday, the full sun will hover over the horizon at 8:24 p.m. On Saturday, the phenomenon will repeat with a half sun on the horizon at 8:25 p.m.
Manhattanhenge gets its name from the way the sun plays on Stonehenge, the pre-historic ring of vertical stones in England’s Salisbury Plain that has mystified archaeologists for generations. Academics and poets alike have tried to deduce the meaning of the Stonehenge arrangement from the way the sun casts over the stones on the Summer Solstice, a guessing game Tyson plays on with a prediction about future archaeologists poking around the remains of our civilization that hits uncomfortably close to home.
“These two days [of Manhattanhenge] happen to correspond with Memorial Day and Baseball’s All-Star break,” Tyson writes. “Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball.”
This hasn’t been the best week for the Daily Mail and its celebrity relationships. Just days after actor George Clooney published a scathing op-ed in USA Today, railing against the Daily Mail‘s “irresponsibility” in publishing a story about his fiancée’s family opposing their relationship on religious grounds, a new celebrity has taken aim at the British publication.
Angelina Jolie is taking legal action against the Daily Mail, reports the London Times, over a video published online, which the newspaper claims shows the actress when she was a heroin user in the late 1990s. The 16-minute video, which was originally published by the National Enquirer, shows the actress walking around an apartment and talking on the phone. The clip was allegedly shot by Franklin Meyer, who claims to have been the Oscar winner’s drug dealer when she was living in New York, according to the Mail’s article, which was published on July 8.
Jolie has dicussed her past drug use in interviews before, but the Times reports that she views the Daily Mail‘s publication of the video as a “gross violation of her privacy.”
Thousands of people in South Sudan are being put at risk by a cholera outbreak, says international aid group Save the Children. Cholera has infected 2,600 people in 9 of the the country’s 10 states, according to the group, leaving 60 dead since cases were first reported in May.
“Save the Children’s feeding clinics are dealing with an influx of severely malnourished children. We urgently need to further funds to provide families with life-saving food supplements,” said Save the Children’s Country Director Pete Walsh in a statement Friday.
The cholera outbreak is tied to an ongoing conflict in the country. South Sudan is home to a long-standing civil war, with the most recent violence escalating in December after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy of attempting to launch a coup.
Aid agencies are struggling to receive needed funding even as the fighting has pushed the country to famine. Save the Children says the seven major international aid agencies operating in the country face closure, currently short an excess of $92 million.
“We are seeing a lot of cases of malnutrition at our treatment centers,” Save the Children Director Francine Uenuma tells TIME. “Children are especially vulnerable.”
Save the Children is working closely with local treatment centers, hoping to develop assessment plans and prevention education. However, with the rainy season approaching, conditions are only expected to deteriorate further. Walsh says that flooded roads will only slow down the delivery of life-saving drugs.
Not only is this puppy really cute, he’s also incredibly compassionate. Watch as he attempts to comfort an older dog who he notices is having a bad dream.
A fireball flew through the Australian sky Thursday night.
The object, approximately the size of a small truck, was debris from a Russian Soyuz rocket, CNN reports. The rocket was launched Tuesday from a base in Kazakhstan.
The fireball was traveling at about 18,000 mph when it flew over Australia, wowing people in Melbourne.Most who saw the fireball assumed it was a meteor, spawning the social media hashtag #meteor.
— Nathalie J. Berger (@najube) July 10, 2014
Even Melbourne’s Lord Mayor joined in by retweeting an image of the fireball.
— Robert Doyle (@LordMayorMelb) July 11, 2014
Twitter user Katharine Nicholson was not so impressed tweeting, “so typical of that #meteor to go to Sydney & Melbourne, but snub #Adelaide.”
“What you are seeing in that fireball is it slowing down really fast. It’s belly-flopping on the world’s atmosphere at 18,000 miles an hour,” Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told CNN.
Fireballs are “not usually seen because most of the Earth is either ocean —or very sparsely inhabited. And of course, if it comes down in the daytime, you may not notice as easily,” McDowell said.
From Israel’s deadly air offensive in Gaza and Brazil’s humiliating World Cup exit to French Fashion week’s modern attitude and a double wedding for wounded Ukrainian paratroopers, TIME presents the best photos of the week.