Skimm for December 17th

Skimm'd in our Skimm Day PJs

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Embrace the YES!" -- Johns Hopkins University accidentally sent acceptance emails to hundreds of rejected or deferred applicants. After they'd already embraced the no.

THINGS PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT

RUSSIA

THE STORY

The Russian ruble is channeling Chumbawamba and got knocked down.

WHAT'S THE DEAL?

Russia's currency has been very sluggish recently, and yesterday it fell 20% — its biggest tumble in 16 years.

WHY IS IT FALLING?

As punishment for Russia's meddling in Ukraine, the US and EU have been sanctioning Russian industries hard. This means less trade activity, which has led to international investors grabbing their money. Meanwhile, Russia's valuables aren't as valuable. Oil -- a key Russian export -- has taken a huge price dip. Earlier this week, Russia hiked up interest rates to try to encourage people to put money into Russian bonds and curb the ruble's fall. So far nyet so good.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Russian President Putin's been rolling his eyes at Western sanctions and saying 'we don't need you.' This proves him wrong. Now, the country's headed towards a recession. Meaning even though Putin was just named Russia's "Man of the Year" for the 15th time, he better bring out the horse again or the 16th time could be up for grabs.

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Russia is a top world power, so its economic situation isn't isolated. The ruble's fall will affect any country with a stake in Russia's economy. Meanwhile, yesterday President Obama said that he's not done hitting Russia with sanctions.


PAKISTAN

THE STORY

Yesterday morning, Taliban gunmen attacked a Pakistani military school in the northwestern city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed, most of them children.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Seven Taliban gunmen stormed through the school and immediately started shooting. The attack lasted eight hours. The victims include 132 students.

THIS IS HORRIFIC. EVEN FOR THE TALIBAN.

The group said the attack was in retaliation for continued military offensives against it. But the Taliban has been terrorizing Pakistan for years, and has especially targeted students. The group has a long war on education, and strongly opposes girls going to school. Two years ago, it famously attacked activist, and now Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, when she was on her way home from school in northwestern Pakistan.

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This was one of the deadliest attacks in the group's history. The Pakistani military is now ramping up its offensive against the Taliban.

REPEAT AFTER ME...

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU HAVE A CALL YOU REALLY WANT TO CANCEL…

So sorry, my meeting's run over. Seth Rogen and James Franco are saying that a lot lately. Their latest movie, "The Interview," which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korea's Kim Jong-un, is thought to be the reason for the ongoing cyber attack against Sony Pictures. Yesterday, Rogen and Franco canceled all of their related media appearances. And Sony told theaters they didn't have to show the film, after new threats were made by the group claiming responsibility for the hack. At least one chain has taken the studio up on its offer. But the fun for Sony doesn't stop there. Also yesterday, the studio was hit with two class-action lawsuits from former employees for failing to protect their data from getting leaked online. These former employees say Sony knew for years that it was vulnerable to this kind of attack, and didn't do anything about it. The lawsuits don't specify how much they're looking to get from Sony. But one said the company should definitely pay for identity theft monitoring services for at least five years.

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR iPHONE WANTS YOU TO UPDATE TO THE NEW iOS…

Controversial proposition. Yesterday, a federal jury handed Apple a big win in a class-action lawsuit that's been going on for 10 years. The issue? That Apple once made a software update that made it impossible to play iTunes music on non-Apple devices. Gasp. The lawsuit's plaintiffs said this unfairly drove up the price of iPods (ah, memories). Apple said 'wrong' -- the update included much-needed security improvements that happened to make it incompatible with the sad, average MP3 player (lookin' at you, Zune). Lucky for Apple, the jury agreed, and spared it what could have been a $1 billion payout to millions of customers. iWin.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT…

Pennsburg, PA. Yesterday, a man suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her family members was found dead in the woods in the Philly suburb. Police believe he took his own life. Bradley William Stone was an Iraq War vet and was believed to suffer from PTSD. He was suspected of going to three different locations to kill the victims, before hiding out in the woods.

WHAT TO SAY TO THAT FRIEND WHO'S ALWAYS SHARING ARTICLES ON FACEBOOK…

Don't believe everything you read.

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR ONLY CARDS ARE 'DICK CHENEY' AND 'TASTEFUL SIDEBOOB'...

Time to sit out a round and do a little online shopping.

THING TO KNOW

D'Angelo: As in the throwback R&B artist. Known for such classics as "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" and "Lady." And for this. You're hearing about him because he's got a new album for the first time in 15 years. And he dropped it Beyonce-style.


SKIMM GIFT

It's cold and we want the beach. Ain't no beach like a Bali beach. Click here to get to the towel.

SKIMM LIFE

It's here, it's here! Happy National Skimm Day! As is the tradition of our ancestors, today is for sharing. And sharing a lot. We like to say thank you with party favors (read: swag is up for grabs) so get started. Here's your own referral link *|REFERURL|* to send anyone who needs the #SkimmLife. Or you can get all fancy and share with our snazzy invite page. Competitive streak? Watch your count, make it rain. Happy holidays!

SKIMM BIRTHDAY

Skimm'bassador Michelle Tarangelo (New York, NY); Skimm'bassador Ashley Olsson (Chapel Hill, NC); Skimm'bassador Shira Gaffney (New York, NY); Kalypso Longinotti-Buitoni (Boulder, CO); Sarah Kushner (New York, NY); Karishma Jhalani (India);  Meghan Gaffney (New York, NY); Kenny Kiser (Minneapolis, MN); Stephanie Belcher (Atlanta, GA); Brooke Bagby (Houston, TX); Kelley SparacinoBecky Schatz (Washington, DC); Berlyn Boswell (New York, NY); Ali Laumann (Barrington, IL); Katie Forbes (Greenlawn, NY); Jessica Whyte (Orangeville, Canada); Maggie Meagher (St Andrews, Scotland); Nikki Kaul (Charlottesville, VA); Colleen Ellsworth (Worcester, MA); Gina Originario (San Francisco, CA); Laura Marcontell (Atlanta, GA); Justine LePino (Armonk, NY); Kelly Hires (Washington, DC); Stephanie Belcher (Atlanta, GA)

Congratulations! Welcome to theSkimm life.