"Have I got an investment for you," Bill Gates whispers, his eyes feverish with excitement. Or is it the poop water? Only time will tell.
Magnus Carlsen is the world's best chess player. Still, you think it would take him longer than 79 seconds to beat the world's second richest man.
We live in a world in which wealth is distributed in a wildly unequal way. A tiny few have billions of dollars, while many more have nothing. Though the reactions to this persistent and growing state of inequality span the ideological spectrum, it's fair to say that most people consider it a problem. For the very wealthy—and their sympathizers—extensive philanthropy is often held up as their personal nod to the world's unfairness. These generous philanthropists are considered to be the good ones.
A comedy duo from Montreal known as the Masked Avengers successfully pranked called U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday afternoon. Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel pretended to be Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Ban bought the act, or at least until the duo made a strange crack about Harper's hair.
Somewhere north of 15,000 American children are conservatively believed to be afflicted with Asperger Syndrome, a disorder characterized by obsessive and rigid behavior, poor communication skills, clumsiness, and a lack of empathy and reciprocity. Cases of Asperger's and a related disorder, autism, exploded in Silicon Valley over the past 20 years, according to state-funded outreach workers — an assertion that will come as no shock to users familiar with pedantic, apathetic, tight-lipped and self-serving tech companies. How, exactly, does Asperger's work, and has it had a material impact on how the technology sector relates to its customers? Below, find a quick guide to those questions, and a look at why one of the Valley's most famously infuriating pedants, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is rumored to have it.
Bill Gates is reportedly renting an eight-bedroom South Florida mansion for half a year at $600,000 per month. Yes, the Microsoft co-founder has at least two other homes, but neither of them will put his 15-year-old daughter Jennifer—or her ponies—within striking distance of the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Bill Gates does a lot of good stuff with his foundation these days. But is it all a coverup for his Machiavellian (Zuckerbergian?) ways? A new memoir by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen reveals that Gates contemplated stiffing him because he thought he wasn't pulling his weight... right after he'd been treated for cancer.
• Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods may remain married, after all. Tiger supposedly wants to keep the relationship together because he "wants to go back to being a golf star with major endorsements," and is hoping to convince people he's "a good family man." (Good luck with that.) As for Nordegren, she'd like to make the marriage work for the sake of their two kids and is willing to stick with Woods "even if she and Tiger live together as friends instead of lovers." This all sounds incredibly promising, doesn't it? [People, NYDN]
• Exciting news, Jersey Shore fans: MTV and the cast of the hit show are said to be close to ironing out their differences over pay, and the fist-pumping and fake tanning may return to the air as soon as this summer. [Variety]
• In other Shore news, someone is shopping around naked photos of Jenni "J-Woww" Farley despite the fact that there's very little of her body that we haven't already seen. And Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi thinks of herself as "too classy" to be seen in the vicinity of Jerry Springer. [Radar, P6]
• What's going on with Brad and Angelina? According to one report, the couple did meet meet with a lawyer last week, but it was to do a little estate planning and "protect their children and property in case there's a rift in the future," not because they're actually planning to divorce. Then again a source tells E! that Brad Pitt hasn't been showering much recently and smells "like a wandering homeless person," which probably doesn't bode well. [NYDN, People, E!]