Selfie Fiasco for the Russians
Russian soldier Alexander Sotkin, 24, took social media TMI to an extreme when he shared an Instagram picture that revealed his location in eastern Ukraine. This insta-pic showed an armored personnel carrier and military encampments in the background. As of now, this selfie has supplied the most telling proof of Russia’s support of Ukrainian rebels —which also potentially implicates them in the downing of MH17. On one of the captions, Sotkin typed, “Sitting around, working on a buk, listening to music”—and latest reports have indicated that a “Buk” missile system downed MH17. Not good news for the Russians.
Toad Jokes Incense Chinese Censors
Within the past week, a frenzy of toad-inspired jokes comparing former Chinese president Jiang Zemin to a giant inflatable toad have been surfacing all over the internet, setting off angered Chinese censors. As of now, “toad” is one of the most censored words on “Sina Weibo,” a Twitter-like Chinese social media website. As ridiculous as this sounds, it turns out that these toad jokes are pretty subversive, according to journalism professor King-wa Fu: “The netizens in China have created new terms, jokes, and humor to try to communicate with others because they can’t directly talk about the issue that they want to discuss.”
MH17 Recovery Mission Finally a Go
The international investigating team reached the MH17 wreckage site on Friday despite sounds of mortar fire heard in distance in eastern Ukraine. The team of 70 experts has recovered human remains and belongings in what has unfortunately been a delayed rescue mission due to ongoing fighting between pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian government. Although the site is generally undisturbed, danger still looms: during Saturday’s mission, 10 Ukrainian paratroopers were reported killed less than 15 miles from the crash area.
Fugitive Tortoise Caught by Police
If you thought tortoises were laid-back and sluggish, you haven’t met Clark, the 150-pound tortoise who was found by LAPD making a run for it on the streets of East Los Angeles. Due to his large center of gravity, it took two police officers to nab the runaway reptile. Locals turned to Facebook in the wake of the crazy events, one woman disclosing that she had seen Clark on her lawn “eating grass and moving at a fast clip.”
NASA 2020 Rover to Investigate Life on Mars
This week NASA revealed its ultimate goal concerning the new 2020 Mars Rover that is currently in the works. NASA is almost sure that the Red Planet can sustain life and hopes to know for certain with the 2020 rover. According to NASA, the rover, which will take off in 2020 (as you might guess), will test the soil for organic material and collect samples to bring back to Earth; this will help experts ascertain whether the ground is safe for human contact.
Louisiana “Dead-Zone” Still Huge
On Monday, a team of local scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium released new findings reporting that this year’s “dead-zone”—a low-oxygen, high-nitrogen nutrient wasteland—stretches 5052 square miles across the Louisiana coast. A “dead-zone” lacks sufficient oxygen to sustain marine life, and thus, becomes a generally unpopulated (and useless!) area of water, caused by Midwest agricultural run-off. Although the dead-zone is 800 miles smaller than last year, it is by no means a substantial improvement: engineers set a goal in 2001 to reduce the dead-zone to 1,991 square miles, with not much progress to show for.
Jindal Goes to Mexico
Bobby Jindal traveled to the Texas-Mexico border on Monday to observe the immigration situation regarding unaccompanied minors from Central America. Although Jindal claims that the trip to Texas is in the interest of Louisiana, it is clearly also a high-profile visit meant to garner visibility—and undoubtedly support from Immigration Hawks—for an upcoming presidential campaign.
LSU Running Back gets No. 18
And the No. 18 goes to LSU running back Terrence Magee! Hailing from Franklinton, LA, Magee was rewarded the kingpin jersey after a season in which he scored 8 touchdowns and ran the ball 86 times for 626 yards.
No. 18 became a tradition when Matt Mauck led LSU to the national championship in 2003, and since then, all top-dog players get to sport the jersey. Congrats Terrence—18 suits you!