Skimm for January 30th
"A–hole Brown" -- How Comcast labeled a client's cable bill after he tried to cancel part of his service. The name is not correct.
Areeeeee youuuuu readyyyyy?! It's time for Super Bowl XLIX. The Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Go.
It's number 49. Two teams, one Katy Perry, and too many pigs in a blanket.
Sunday at 6:30pm ET at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. Watch it go down on NBC, or on NBC's live stream if you're willing to chance buffering.
You go Glen Coco...but, more than 110 million people are expected to tune in for this one. That's more than a third of the US population. And legacies are on the line -- the Seahawks are the first defending Super Bowl Champs since, well, the Patriots in the 2000s. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is aiming to become the youngest QB in history to win two Super Bowls in a row. The current record-holder? Patriots QB Tom Brady.
With puppies. The 11th Annual Puppy Bowl will be on Animal Planet from 3-5pm ET, and the paws are out. Expect an epic matchup between teams Ruff and Fluff.
Welcome to Deflategate. The NFL's been looking into whether the Pats intentionally deflated footballs to make them easier to grip in the rain during the game that got them to the Super Bowl. More than a few have heard all they ever want to hear about deflated balls in their lifetimes. Others can't get enough of them. TBD on what all this could mean for the Brady Bunch. PS: this isn't head coach Belichick's first 'Gate, either.
Get ready for cupcakes and unicorns and sparkles. Katy Perry is coming at you like a dark horse. Lenny Kravitz will show up at some point.
Ad Bowl is back. And it's expensive. As in, 30 seconds will set you back $4.5 million. The spoilers? Victoria's Secret models will be there. Budweiser's going to make you cry into your crudite. Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel struggle with tech in a BMW. And "Avocados from Mexico" and "Mophie" battery phone cases bought their first spots, because you love guac and your phone's never charged. Gotcha.
Not talking about your artichoke dip. The spread is the expected difference between the teams' final scores. If you ask Vegas, it looks like the Patriots are favored to win. But just barely. So Seattle fans, don't get your fleeces in a bunch.
Tom Brady…QB. Mr. Gisele Bundchen. If the Pats come out on top, he'll be one of just a handful of QB's (like legends Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw) to take home four Super Bowl rings.
Legion of Boom…Not a video game. The nickname for the Seahawks' Defensive Backs, which have been considered the best in the NFL for years.
Marshawn Lynch…Running back. Nickname: "Beast Mode." Likes: Skittles. Dislikes: the media. Played the silent game with reporters for years, until the NFL started fining him. Now, he sometimes says insightful things like "yeah" and "nope."
Richard Sherman…Cornerback. We all remember him from last year as the self-proclaimed "best corner in the game." No one's really challenging him on that. Could get a Super Bowl ring, and a baby on Sunday.
Both teams were the No. 1 seeds in their conferences. The last time they faced off was years ago, and the Seahawks won by one point. This could get really good.
That takes me back. A whole three years ago, President Obama and Congress cut a last-minute deal to increase the debt ceiling (Hint: the limit that the US is allowed to borrow). Not raising it would have been a big deal. The agreement allowed an increase in the debt ceiling (which Obama wanted) in exchange for automatic spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit (which the GOP wanted). Things have picked up since way back in 2011 -- federal deficits, gas prices, and unemployment are all down...and Obama's approval ratings are up. So yesterday, Obama announced he's done with the spending cuts. On Monday, he's expected to call for an additional $74 billion in spending on things like the military and domestic programs. While many Republicans are down with the increased military spending, they aren't agreed on how to pay for it. Insert fight here. And speaking of, yesterday the newly-Republican Senate passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline (massive oil pipeline, also a massive political headache). Obama has promised to veto the bill if it comes to his desk and yesterday's vote brings it one step closer.
I'm good with Disney from afar. A measles outbreak that started at Disneyland has now spread to multiple US states. In case you need a refresher since the US thought it eliminated measles fifteen years ago, it's a very contagious respiratory disease that includes fun symptoms like a fever and coughing, followed by an all-over body rash. California now has 79 confirmed cases, and Arizona has seven. But AZ is also tracking 1,000 other people, including almost 200 children, who may have been exposed to the virus. Great timing, since the Super Bowl's going down near Phoenix this weekend. Phoenix area officials are asking those who may have been exposed to stay at home for a while if they haven't been vaccinated.
A gas explosion at a children's hospital in Mexico that killed a woman and two children. The explosion, which leveled part of the hospital, happened when a hose burst from a truck delivering gas to the hospital. Dozens more were injured, and officials are still looking for other people who may be trapped in the debris.
Dartmouth is a little different these days. Yesterday, the college's president announced a ban on hard liquor and fraternity and sorority pledging, among other things. Dartmouth's Greek Life -- the very institution that inspired "Animal House" -- has been under a not-so-flattering spotlight in recent years, with multiple reports of sexual assault and binge drinking. Aside from banning hard alcohol and pledging, students will now have training on preventing sexual assault. Meanwhile, UVA is having some Greek Life drama. Still. The national heads of 16 sororities are asking girls not to attend frat parties at UVA this weekend. Many sorority members are not pleased, and suggesting that telling women to stay home isn't the way to solve sexual assault on campus.
Might as well be in China. This week, China's Internet restrictions -- aka the "Great Firewall" -- went from tight to tighter. China has heavily censored the Internet in the country, but a lot of people have been using virtual private networks (VPNs) aka companies that help work around China's blocks. This week, the Chinese government targeted VPNs, making their services almost impossible to use. Meaning now, hard-core revolutionary types like graphic designers, small business owners, and students are having trouble getting onto sites they rely on. More than a few people have pointed out this crackdown could stifle innovation at a time when China's economy is showing signs of slowing down.
If you liked "Serial," this will draw you in. An LA Times crime reporter follows a detective in a real-life murder investigation in suburban Los Angeles. Come for the suspense, walk away understanding more about crime in America.
Ready, set, hike. Share our Super Bowl guide with all of your friends who will be watching. Aka everyone. Game time.
Skimm'bassador Anne Marie Szmajda (Tuscaloosa, AL); Skimm'bassador Sara Flanagan (Vancouver, Canada); Skimm'bassador Keri Strucher (Atlanta, GA); Skimm'bassador Margo Swomley (Denver, CO); Skimm'bassador Meg Parker (Miami, FL); Martha Gregory (Summit, NJ); Erin Loeb (New York, NY); Liz Smiley (Toronto, Canada); Lauren Rosnick (Washington, DC); John David Pinto (New York, NY); Rachel Jaye Brooks (Winston-Salem, NC); Shane Malloy (Rye, NY); Lindsay Albright (San Diego, CA); Phoebe Steinfeld (New York, NY); Sarah Cassidy (Pelham, NY); Alexandra Taliaferro Perry (Atlanta, GA); Tucker Virtue (New York, NY); Cory Berg (Washington, DC); Talia Kasher (New York, NY); Christine McCord (Cincinnati, OH); Natalie Lord (Washington, DC); Sarah Schroede (Milwaukee, WI); Beata Teixeira (Princeton, NJ); Yael Navon (Richmond, VA); Peter Pena (Aguanga CA); Bailey Hatch (Chicago, IL); Hayley Seifert (New York, NY); Jean Moore Edwards (Saint Helena, CA); Pat Macdonell (Lake Oswego, OR); Kathryn Taylor (Greenville, SC); Lauren Camanzo (New York, NY); Amelia Barnett (Boston, MA); Betsy Appleton (Nashville, TN); Brenda Craig (Hudson, OH); Kristina Redd (Phenix City, AL); Kenzie Fell (Ada, OH); Joey Kuhn (New York, NY); Bonnie McHeffey (New York, NY); Alex Snider (New York, NY); Melissa Kaiser (Las Vegas, NV)
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