What's hot this Wednesday

"The El Chapo of Octopuses?tweets Minnesota Public Radio's Madelyn Mahon of the daring Octopus who slipped out of an aquarium tank, crawls across floor, escapes down pipe to ocean (at 13,000+ shares already). "SHARKTANK REDEMPTION," crows Monica Hesse with the Washington Post, and she's not the only one who invoked that reference. 
  • "Can't wait for Pixar's reboot of 'Shawshank Redemption' starring an octopus instead of Tim Robbins," predicts Ciara O'Rourke, a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism. 
  • "Get busy swimmin' or get busy dyin'," quips Huffington Post's Hilary Hanson.
  • "But no proof that Inky made it to Morgan Freeman," observes WaPo's Dan Zak.
There were plenty of other takes on this daring decampment, as well:
  • The Guardian cleverly headlined this story "Octopus legs it to freedom."
  • "Je suis Inky," announces Andrew Hawkins at The Verge
  • Freelance journalist Matt Haber declared Inky his "Spirit mollusk." 
  • Also at The PostKaroun Demirjian points out, "Octopi: They don't just pick the outcomes of World Cup matches. They also stage prison breaks." 
  • Gawker's Melissa Cronin offers a slightly more morbid reaction: "The end is nigh, the animals return to the sea, repent ye sinners."
  • And perhaps the best comes from Maya Shwayder with Deutsche Welle: "Today, we are all this octopus, who looked around at his life situation and said, 'F**k this.'"
Also, we feel it is our duty to alert you to the fact that another octopus, Blotchy, still remains captive. "Free Blotchy," Star Tribune's Allie Shah sounds the alarm.
 
Back to your regularly scheduled politics. The New York Observer endorsed Donald Trump for president, which was a big surprise to absolutely no one, but they did manage to somehow crowbar in the phrase "the nattering of the cognoscenti" into the discussion. "This endorsement of Trump (the publisher is his son in law) reads like the Pyongyang Times backing Kim Jong Un," argues analyst Jeff Greenfield. At least one reporter has already quits over the paper's Trump relationship. Meanwhile, the New York Daily News went with Hillary for their endorsement, calling her a "superprepared warrior realist," so at least we can't accuse them of overwrought language. "Daily News editorial isn't just an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, it's a non-endorsement of Bernie Sanders," notices Jennifer Epstein at PoliticoThe New York Times also takes note that mothers of black victims have emerged as a force for Hillary, too. "'I know this is your first holiday without your baby. Thinking of you,' Clinton wrote to Sandra Bland's Mom on XMas," reports Amy Chozick. On the other hand, Jeff Merkley just became the first sitting senator to endorse Sanders for president.
 
And then there was that time Ted Cruz defended a ban on dildos. "Imagine Cruz arguing at the Supreme Court against the right to 'stimulate one's genitals.' History missed out," laments David Corn at Mother Jones. "So I get to moderate the comments on this piece today," proudly proclaims Jenny Luna, also with MJ. Back in the present, however, it looks like Cruz will block Trump on a second ballot at the GOP convention. WaPo's Rebecca Sinderbrand underscores that
"per a hard count, right now Cleveland is definitely looking like first ballot or bust for Donald Trump." Perhaps that's why Trump appears to have buried the hatchet with Megyn Kelly at Trump Tower. "Peace in our time?" jokes CNN's Brian Stelter. Still, Trump really needs to answer for all those fake Albert Einstein quotes he's tweeted--"probably because the real Einstein was an antiracist one-world socialist," theorizes Matthew R. Francis.

In news just breaking, viral video shows Russian SU-24 fighters harassing a U.S. Navy destroyer over the Baltic Sea. We'd also like to point out to you that tonight we'll watch the last game ever played by Kobe Bryant, who is either basketball's greatest hero or its greatest villain. Plus, regulators are weighing banning Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for at least two years.

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