Buffalo Bills Hire the First Female NFL Coach
The Bills welcomed the NFL’s first, full-time female coach, Kathryn Smith, on Wednesday night via Twitter. Smith, the Bills said in an announcement, “has been working in a football administrative role and assisted the assistant coaches for years.” She’s entering the role with 14 seasons under her belt, 7 of which were under the Bills’ head coach, Rex Ryan. Last year, Jen Welter joined the Arizona Cardinals as an assistant coach for a summer internship with the team.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch Has Only One Year to Get a Lot Done
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, familiar to New Yorkers as the former Eastern District US Attorney, has just one year left of her term under President Obama to tackle her to-do list. And according to the colleagues and friends who spoke to New York Magazine for this profile, she usually gets what she sets out for. [New York Magazine]
Sarah Palin Blames Son’s Domestic Violence Arrest on Obama Not Supporting Troops
Sarah Palin, whose son was nabbed Monday for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face, blamed President Obama and a lack of support for vets suffering from PTSD for her son’s issues. “It makes me realize more than ever it is now or never for the sake of America’s finest that we have a commander-in-chief who will respect them,” she told press. “It’s a shame that our military personnel even have to wonder if they have to question if they're respected anymore. It starts from the top." [Washington Post]
If Sarah Palin’s Wordy Trump Endorsement Was a Hip-Hop Song
While the internet continues to have fun with Palin’s rambling endorsement speech for Donald Trump, WNYC’s The Takeaway wondered what so many of us were thinking: what would it sound like set to some dope beats? Imagine no more, because they’ve got your answer. [The Takeaway]
De Blasio Donor Forks Over Cash Just as Client Wins Festival Permit
The organizers behind Coachella Music Festival will host a festival in Randall's Island. They originally wanted to host it in Flushing Park but their application was rejected after local opposition. This story uncovers how their lobbyist acted as an intermediary for $19,250 in donations to Mayor Bill de Blasio in the four days leading up to the his client getting the permit. [NYT]
Millions in Student Debt Forgiven Under Obscure Federal Law
How can you make $164 million in student loans vanish? By using a previously little-known federal law that may forgive your debt if you can prove your school committed fraud while trying to recruit you — by lying about post-graduation earnings, for example. This Wall Street Journal report details how thousands of students have already used the loophole to make their loans go away, including 1,300 Corinthian College students who owed $28 million. [WSJ]
10% of College Graduates Think 'Judge Judy' Is on the Supreme Court, Report Says
Nearly 10 percent of surveyed college graduates believe that Judith Sheindlin, better known as “Judge Judy,” serves on the Supreme Court, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The report also found that almost 40 percent of college graduates didn’t know that Congress has the power to declare war and 60 percent had no idea how to amend the Constitution. [CNN]
R. Kelly Talked to GQ About His Childhood Sexual Abuse and the Allegations Against Him
Journalist Chris Heath’s interview with R. Kelly in GQ Magazine left a lot of people stunned and impressed with how directly, and repeatedly, Heath questions Kelly on the video that, years ago, many people believed showed Kelly engaging in sex acts with a very young girl. Kelly also talks to Heath about his own experience being sexually abused as a child and how he forgave his abuser because sees it as “a generational curse going down through the family.” In notable contrast to Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview of El Chapo, for which the drug kingpin was allowed final review of the story before it was published, Heath’s no-holds-barred interview with Kelly had no restrictions or preconditions. [GQ]
Amazon’s Delivery Drones Will Function Like Horses, Rather Than Cars, Company Says
Amazon Prime Air, the delivery drones the company is in the process of developing, will have all kinds of bells and whistles that will answer government and consumer concerns, says Paul Misner, its VP for global public policy. The drones will have “sense-and-avoid technology” making them more akin to a horse who can avoid collisions than a driverless car, said Misner. And they won’t be noisy, with sound dampening technology. The drones will weigh 30 pounds and carry packages weighing up to five pounds, he said. [Quartz]
The Taliban Likes the “Serial” Podcast
In an interview with Stephen Colbert, “Serial” podcaster Sarah Koenig explains the work behind her latest season about Bowe Bergdahl and says that the Taliban listens to her show and they actually like it.
A New Planet May Be Lurking at the Edge of the Solar System
With Pluto dead and gone, the scientist who played a role in killing off the planet says there could be a new one that they’re calling “Planet Nine.” The discovery has a mass about five to 10 times as that of the Earth and is 20 times farther away from the sun than Neptune. Researchers haven’t yet observed the new planet directly, but say their findings are based on the orbits of other dwarf planets and small objects. [Washington Post]
Could the Psychological Effects of Space Travel Bring Peace to the World?
Some entrepreneurs working to make space travel available to regular folks — who have at least $200,000 to burn — are pushing the out-of-this-world experience as more than a thrill ride with an epic view. Private space travel may be dangerous, but, they claim (with backing from some psychologists) that seeing the earth from space delivers a kind of spiritual epiphany that changes your perspective on humanity forever. [Fast Company]
Researchers Have Discovered the World’s Largest Prime Number
The world has a new largest prime number, and it has more than 22 million digits—roughly 5 million more than the previous record holder. The number starts with 300376, ends with 43651, and is known in mathematical shorthand as M74207281. Mathematicians have already admitted that the discovery does not have any practical use. [NBC]
This column was compiled by DNAinfo reporters Camille Bautista, Jeanmarie Evelly, Emily Frost, Gwynne Hogan, Noah Hurowitz, Ewa Kern-Jedryshowska, Carolina Pichardo, Irene Plagianos, Eddie Small, Rachel Holliday Smith, Gustavo Solis, Danielle Tcholakian and Shaye Weaver.