The Ultimate Playlist Of Banned Wedding Songs

A year ago, we linked to FiveThirtyEight’s Ultimate Wedding Playlist, featuring the most requested songs to be played at weddings. But every bride and groom who hires a DJ has a song or two, or more, or an artist, or an entire genre that they ask specifically not be played. Those songs have been compiled in a new list, and the ones that rose to the top are perfectly understandable.

Oddly enough, a few songs on this list are the MVPs from last year’s list! “Happy,” “Shout” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” are just a few of the most popular songs that also appear on DJs’ rosters of banned songs. Either those songs have gone out of style overnight, or, more likely, their popularity has made them polarizing. If you’re making demands of a DJ, you don’t need to ask him or her to avoid playing Bulgarian death metal — that’s probably a given — but you need to speak up about “Single Ladies” now or it’s going to get a rotation.

Read more about songs banned from wedding playlists and see a longer version of the song list at FiveThirtyEight.  

Home Assistant Calls 911 During Domestic Dispute

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico responded to an emergency call Sunday night that was placed by a home assistant device, believed to be Amazon Echo’s Alexa. A crisis negotiation team and a SWAT team were also sent to the home after the deputies assessed the situation.

Eduardo Barros was house-sitting with his girlfriend and her daughter Sunday night at a residence in Tijeras, some 15 miles east of Albuquerque. The couple got into an argument and the altercation became physical, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department’s spokesperson, Deputy Felicia Romero.

Barros allegedly wielded a firearm and threatened to kill his girlfriend, asking her: “Did you call the sheriffs?” A smart speaker, which was hooked up to a surround sound system inside the home, recognized that as a voice command and called 911, Romero said.

The woman, who suffered injuries, was traced from the home with her uninjured daughter. Barros was arrested after a standoff lasting several hours. Sheriff’s officers were not sure what kind of device had called 911. Google doesn’t support phone calls, and Amazon doesn’t support calling 911. 

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office can confirm the existence of a call because, Deputy Romero told us, the line was left open and, in addition to the fighting the victim can be overheard in the background saying, “Alexa, call 911,” seemingly unaware that a call had already been made and that calling 911 isn’t enabled on Amazon Echo devices.

We may never know exactly how (or if) Alexa made that call, but one thing is clear, the digital act may have saved someone’s life.

-Thanks, hearsetrax!

(Image credit: FASTILY)

80-Person Human Chain Rescues Ten from Riptide

Two young boys, Noah and Stephen Ursrey, were caught in a dangerous riptide off the beach in Panama City, Florida, on Saturday. Several beachgoers went out to retrieve them and were also caught by the current. Four members of the boys’ family also went out and were unable to return. Other beachgoers took things into their own hands and formed a human chain of around 80 people to reach the stranded swimmers. Jessica Simmons and her husband Derek swam out to the end of the chain to reach the Ursrey family and the others.   

As Simmons paddled, the human chain grew, with 80 people stretching over 100 yards out to the distressed swimmers. Some of them couldn’t swim, Simmons said, but wanted to help and stayed in the shallows. Others stood in water up to their necks, waiting for Simmons and her husband to cover the last few feet so they could pass the swimmers to shore.

“I got to the end, and I know I’m a really good swimmer,” Simmons said. “I practically lived in a pool. I knew I could get out there and get to them.”

What Simmons found at the end of the human chain, she said, was shocking. Ursrey’s mother was exhausted, her eyes were rolling back and Simmons remembered her “drinking so much water” and “telling us to just let her go and save us.” Everyone was exhausted, the waves knocking them under. One by one, starting with the children, Simmons and her husband, along with a few other rescuers, towed the swimmers to the human chain, who then pulled them all to shore.

All ten people were pulled out of the water, and the human chain retreated together. Barbara Ursrey, the boys’ grandmother, suffered a heart attack and was taken to a hospital where she is recovering.

Why Olive Oil is Awesome

For a long time, I thought the only difference between olive oil and standard vegetable oil was the price. But would you ever find yourself dipping bread into plain vegetable oil, even with spices added? Olive oil is special, and Reactions, from PBS Digital, is here to tell us why.

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In this video, we get a chemical explanation for olive oil’s benefits, plus glimpse into the manufacturing process and some advice on using your oil. My advice: Start any meal by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil. After that, it really doesn’t matter what you add, it will be good.

The Woman’s Name on the Declaration of Independence

In the Library of Congress, there’s a 241-year-old document that we celebrate every Fourth of July. Look closer, and you’ll see a woman’s name at the bottom. Mary Katherine Goddard was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but she was the brave printer who made copies for the colonies, and put her full name on the document. That could have gotten her killed if the Revolutionary War had ended differently.    

Goddard was fearless her entire career as one of America’s first female publishers, printing scoops from Revolutionary War battles from Concord to Bunker Hill and continuing to publish after her offices were twice raided and her life was repeatedly threatened by haters.

Yup, she faced down the Twitter trolls of 1776.

In her boldest move, Goddard put her full name at the bottom of all the copies of the Declaration that her printing presses churned out and distributed to the colonies. It was the first copy young America would see that included the original signers’ names — and Congress commissioned her for the important job.

Goddard led a fascinating life in a time when few people considered women capable of running a business. She was a journalist, publisher, printer, postmaster, and patriot. Read more about Mary Katherine Goddard at the Washington Post. -via Metafilter