Friends: they're so STUPID. Texting you garbage that doesn't make sense, like, "lol idc 143" and "Fjrthbjhjkgh 7&&." Then again, as the New York Times points out, sometimes when friends text you gibberish, it's not because they're drunk or sitting on their phone; it's because they're having a stroke.
If you're looking to break into petty thievery, remember that it's always a good idea to case your mark. For instance, if you're mugging people, you don't want to run into a damn Ultimate Fighting bruiser. Likewise, if you're snatching cellphones in Uganda, you probably want to make sure that the person whose property you're after doesn't have one of the most horrifying illnesses in modern history:
Patrick Swayze, like other media and entertainment personalities, opted to work through his treatment for pancreatic cancer. The Times got the first interview with Swayze since his diagnosis, and reported he's working 12-hour days on his TV show, has restored some healthy bulk to his physique and missed less than two days work. But it also indicates Swayze's doctors are still battling his disease, which kills 95 percent of patients within five years. The actor couldn't help but sound a contradictory note amid the Times' reverentially upbeat story:
I guess there are probably two camps on this story, about an Indian reality show star who will have her reaction to a cervical cancer diagnosis broadcast around the entire subcontinent. Some feel that Jade Goody, a British woman on the Big Brother-esque reality program Bigg Boss, should have had her tearful reaction to the news she received over the phone kept private. Others, like me, feel that these are the few moments when reality television actually feels like, well, reality. Remember when Danny's mom passed away on Real World: Austin? It was terribly sad and awkwardly on camera, but it also transformed Danny from complete drunken buffoon into actual, sympathetic person. I'm not saying that he needed his mother to die in order to become "real," rather that we on the on the other side of the glowing box can be pretty jaded-we forget that, beyond the silly feather ruffling and preening, these really are people with lives and mortality and family. It's a bitter little pill to swallow, sure, but I think it lends an air of legitimacy to a landscape that is, for the most part, lacking in that department. Well, except for Beauty and the Geek which is sweet and lovable and all about feelings and makes me happy. That show is pure gold. But these other ones, especially this Bigg Boss where I hope Ms. Goody makes a speedy and full recovery and that maybe she's helped raise awareness for vigilance in detection and prevention, shouldn't be at fault, in my opinion, for airing these difficult moments. Reality show "stars" (contestants? participants? guinea pigs? victims?) may mostly be signing up to have their drunkenest hot tub kadoodle flicker on their horrified parents' television set, but once in a while something true and difficult and all-too-relatable will happen and you remember that, despite all the silliness and Jell-O shooting and gonorrhea having, in the words of High School Musical, we're all in this together. And that's a good thing. (Also you should really just read the article because it's sort of crazy and reads like a book about magic. India!)
Martin Bashir, the current Nightline broadcaster, just announced that he has a "potentially life-threatening" brain tumor. Bashir, who made his name with big, probing, salacious TV interviews of Princess Diana and Michael Jackson, said that he plans to "get on with his life" and continue working. In that, he is hardly unique; among many cancer victims, the urge to continue with one's career is a powerful one. And that goes double for those in entertainment and the media, where many personalities are so intimately tied to a very public line of work.