He grins, he fumes, he fights — and through it all, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dances his way in and out of preposterous situations. That's the premise of a video that has become popular in China and reportedly sparked a protest from North Korea.
Citing "a source in China," the Chosun Ilbo reports that "the North feels the clip, which shows Kim dancing and Kung-Fu fighting, 'seriously compromises Kim's dignity and authority.'"
The newspaper says that after North Korea asked China to stop the video from spreading, "Beijng was unable to oblige."
In the video, Kim's face is superimposed onto a kitchen sink's worth of videos, in scenes taken from everything from viral dance videos and TV shows to the vaudevillean action film Kung Fu Hustle.
In one segment, Kim pirouettes in a dance studio — before being hit with a kick delivered by President Obama. Other world leaders also make appearances, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
And while a couple of sequences make fun of Kim's fascination with weaponry, we'll note that the video doesn't accuse the North Korean leader of not having rhythm.
The Chosun Ilbo says the video is the work of "a Chinese man surnamed Zhang from Suzhou who reportedly studied at Kyonggi University in South Korea."
It's been a long time coming — nearly a half century. But the world is finally close to gaining a new weapon against a growing problem: drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Over the past few decades, TB has quietly evolved into dangerous forms that can't be stopped with traditional antibiotics. Now nearly a half million people around the globe are infected with these deadly strains of the bacteria.
Curing drug-resistant TB takes up to two years. It costs thousands of dollars in developing countries and hundreds of thousands here in the U.S. Even then, patients in poor places have only about a 50 percent chance of surviving.
By contrast, regular TB is relatively easy to stop. Curing an infection takes only a few months. And drugs cost about $20.
Now in an experimental test, a new combination of three drugs — two old and one new — was better at clearing up drug-resistant TB than current treatment regimes, scientists reported Monday at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.
The trial was small. It included only 26 people with drug-resistant TB and 181 with regular TB. And the trial lasted only eight weeks.
But the results were promising. They suggest that the experimental therapy could cure tough TB infections in about four to six months, scientists from the nonprofit TB Alliance said at the conference.
The new treatment is called PaMZ, after the three antibiotics used: moxifloxacin, pyrazinamide and PA-824 (the experimental drug).
In the study, 71 percent of the people treated with PaMZ had no identifiable TB bacteria in their sputum (the mucus from the lungs) after two months of therapy. By contrast, only 38 percent of those given the standard therapy had cleared the bacteria after two months.
But here's the key finding: Patients with drug-resistant TB did just as well with PaMZ as those with regular TB.
"This all points to the new regimen being better than the standard therapy," Dr. Mel Spigelman of TB Alliance told The Scientist.
Since the trial ended after eight weeks, Spigelman and his colleagues still don't know if the drug cocktail actually wipes out drug-resistant TB in the long haul. So it will be years before it's approved and available.
But the positive findings are a step in the right direction. And now Spigelman and his colleagues can start a larger, longer trial with the new drug cocktail.
The Federal Communications Commission says it's writing rules for the Internet to preserve the status quo.
To quote the FCC website: "The 'Open Internet' is the Internet as we know it." Open, in part, "because it treats all traffic that flows across the network in roughly the same way."
Some people fear Internet providers could change the flow by charging more for certain businesses, but it's a complicated issue.
And "net neutrality" is not a scintillating term, as even the man who coined it admits.
"You know I kind of agree it's boring; there's some power in sounding boring," Tim Wu says.
A professor at Columbia Law School, Wu happens to be running for lieutenant governor of New York. But he's best known for coining the term "net neutrality."
"Ultimately you judge a phrase not by whether it sounds great the first time you hear it, but whether it seems to stick around," Wu says. "And like it or not, net neutrality has stuck around."
Another advocate for net neutrality is Tim Karr, who says people wonder whether he's talking about tennis in Switzerland.
Get it? Net, neutrality, tennis, Switzerland?
Well, Tim Karr — of the organization Free Press — says there are lots of metaphors to explain net neutrality.
You've probably heard this one, for instance — the highway.
"What the Internet service providers are proposing to do is that they want to set up a fast line and a slow lane on the Internet," Karr says. "They want to have a fast lane for the few companies that can afford their tolls and they want a slow lane for the rest of us."
Here's another: Picture a fully clothed man in the shower.
Needless to say, he gets very, very wet before he turns down access to the Internet.
A few more metaphors we've heard:
The airplane: If the Internet is a passenger jet, then charging different rates for different kinds of Internet use would be like charging for first class, business class and coach.
Star Wars: The FCC can use its powers (the Force) for good or evil.
Phone Company vs. Cable TV: The Internet we have now is the phone company, which doesn't control what content is carried over its wires. What we could end up with is the Internet as cable TV company, which controls content as well as access.
The Supermarket: The Internet is your grocery store. Companies that pay for faster access are like product manufacturers, paying for more prominent placement in the store, like space on an end cap.
The Barbershop: The Internet is the barber shop. Paying more for faster access is like paying to cut in line for a haircut.
But Berin Szoka, president of the think tank TechFreedom, says we should avoid metaphors altogether.
"The beauty of the Internet really is that it defies metaphor. It is constantly evolving. It's hard to put that in a box," he says.
Szoka argues that metaphors are biased. Even "net neutrality," he says, is biased against Internet providers. He prefers "open Internet."
Well, whatever you call it — Tim Wu — coiner of "net neutrality" says you can't control what catches on.
"That's what I learned in life. You just throw things like spaghetti and see if anything sticks," he says.
Ah, spaghetti, you can't beat a good food metaphor.
Have a good metaphor for "net neutrality"? Tweet it to us @NPRAllTech.
We're in San Francisco this week, and despite an exhaustive search, we have yet to find anywhere serving a Rice-a-Roni sandwich. We're told the next best thing is the Menage A Trois from Ike's Place.
It gets its name from the fact it's chicken bathed in three sauces — barbecue, honey mustard and honey — and three cheeses: cheddar, pepper jack and Swiss.
Seth: If I only had three wishes I might wish for this sandwich three times.
Ian: The sandwich so good they named a sex thing after it.
Miles: Did you get this on the Sandwich Encounters section of Craigslist?
We ate the Menage in Dolores Park, overlooking San Francisco. I don't think it's overstating things to say everything here is better than everything everywhere else.
Peter: Honestly, watching you guys eat that sandwich is the only ugly thing I've ever seen in San Francisco.
Ian: San Francisco is so weird. How is it the guy who invented Facebook is a billionaire and the guy who invented this sandwich is not?
Miles: Can anyone arrange a meeting with venture capitalists about my new start-up, Just Buy Me More Sandwiches?
Miles: This city is so liberal, even their sandwiches are an affront to God.
Peter: Yeah, c'mon, it's barbecue sauce and Eve, not barbecue sauce and Steve.
[The verdict: This sandwich showed up on a lot of Best Sandwich in San Francisco lists, and even with that hype, it didn't disappoint. Go get one.]
Sandwich Monday is a satirical feature from the humorists at Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
The Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to former patients of a gynecologist who used a small camera to secretly film examinations, in one of the the largest sexual misconduct settlements involving a physician.
The Baltimore-based hospital is settling a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women and at least 62 minors; more women will likely register with the suit.
From member station WYPR, Christopher Connelly reports:
"Dr. Nikita Levy saw more than 12,000 patients over the decades he spent working at Hopkins. But in February of 2013, Levy was fired after a fellow employee reported suspicions he was taping patient examinations. He committed suicide 10 days later. "Investigators ultimately recovered more than a thousand secret videos and hundreds of photographs of patients."
The Baltimore Sun has this quote from the plaintiffs' lead attorneys:
"When learning of Dr. Levy's behavior, our clients were extremely distraught. They felt a great breach of faith and trust. They felt betrayed. Now, with this proposed settlement, we can begin the process of healing our community."
The hospital's administrators issued a statement acknowledging the settlement and saying that the money for the settlement will come from insurance.
"It is our hope that this settlement—and findings by law enforcement that images were not shared—helps those affected achieve a measure of closure," the statement reads.