Links and ledes trending today
"Kirstie Alley is trending because America can't read," announces Dave Briggs with NBC Sports, all because sleepy people are misreading a New York Times headline that read "Christie Ally Expected to Plead Guilty in George Washington Bridge Lane-Closing Case" (3,500 shares so far). "Kirstie Alley at the center of Bridgegate? And no, it's not the Wildstein diet," teases Bumper DeJesus with the New Jersey Star Ledger. The reaction from Ms. Alley herself: "And THIS is how rumors once again get started...jeez...hasn't even been a week since my last accusation..." In all seriousness, here's how the actual scandal unfolded, c/o the Star Ledger's Ted Sherman. Colleague Steve Politi recommends, "If you need to catch up, here’s our excellent Bridgegate timeline. The hammer drops today."
Other news breaking big today: After the Freddie Gray autopsy report was given to Baltimore prosecutors, the prosecutors found probable cause to file criminal charges in Gray's death, which has been ruled a homicide by state's attorney (3,900+ shares and climbing). "By filing criminal charges vs @BaltimorePolice, @MarilynMosbyEsq is showing #Baltimore that no one is above the law," tweets TechRepublic's Alex Howard. "Stunning from B'more State Attorney Marliyn Mosby. Six officers charged in Gray's death. Warrants issued for arrests," details Washington Post's Marcia Davis. Elsewhere at WaPo, The Fix's Philip Bump notes, "This shouldn't be as surprising as it is."
In the U.K., the general election is heating up, or as Sky News just framed it in a song, the General Affection (14,000 shares). "I laughed and now I feel a little bit ill," admits Jamillah Knowles at Reuters UK. On that subject, The Guardian weighs in with its official endorsement: "Britain needs a new direction, Britain needs Labour" (4,000+). Also, the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains incapacitated with suspected spinal injuries after the air strike (2,050+). R&B legend Ben E King has died at 76, with tributes being paid to this "sweetest, gentlest and gifted" singer. With the "fight of the century" just a day away, Deadspin reminds us that this is how Las Vegas protects Floyd Mayweather from accusations that he has a history of abusing women (4,700+). "I have zero invested in the fight, but after reading this, I officially hope Mayweather's block gets knocked off," concludes journalist Brian Heater.
And then there's how-old.net, a site clearly designed by a sadist for masochists (280,000 shares and rising). "[ignores how-old.net] [ignores how-old.net] [ignores ho I AM NOT 44, YOU STUPID WEBSITE," comes the reaction from Ian Froeb at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after trying how-old.net. "Rude AF," complains BuzzFeed's Johana Bhuiyan. Mona Chalabi with FiveThirtyEight registered a similar reaction. "brb, killing self," announces Mike Isaac with the New York Times. "This site seriously just told me I look 50 years old it is a jerk website," declares colleague Daniel Victor. "OK Microsoft is straight up trolling my sister and the plastic baby here," insists The Verge's Tom Warren. "Being a zombie really ages you," concludes Mashable's Peter Pachal, after some experimentation. "Is it OK for me to be offended that How-old.net nailed it?" asks CNET's Lindsey Turrentine (the answer is yes, Lindsey, because we're offended for the same reason). "I put my face in how-old.net and all I got was a thick fog carrying a low, deep voice telling me to accept my own mortality," jokes Justin Ling at Vice. Here's the story behind the demo, by the way. Oh, and click on how-old.net if you have no regard for your self esteem.