Overnight, the made-for-tv disaster movie Sharknado become a social media sensation. The movie features sharks and tornadoes, how could it not be a hit? BuzzFeed talked with the man behind the movie to get his take on Sharknado's recent success.
Trending In Our News Feeds – Jury to begin deciding Zimmerman trial. The much-hyped trial of George Zimmerman enters its final stage today as the jury begins deciding a verdict, following closing arguments by Zimmerman’s defense. It’s up to the jury to decide whether or not George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. In a major development, Judge Debra Nelson said Thursday the jury could consider a charge of manslaughter in addition to second-degree murder. This raises the chances the jury will convict Zimmerman; a conviction of second-degree murder requires ill will on the part of Zimmerman.
– PolicyMic pundit Gabe Grand tells you about the time the lawyers got down and dirty on the courtroom floor.
– The case isn’t over yet, but there’s already a consensus about the verdict.
Egypt protesters plan massive demonstrations. Both sides in the conflict in Egypt plan to stage demonstrations today, the first Friday of Ramadan. Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi will stage rallies in east Cairo, while his opponents plan on returning to Tahrir Square. While Morsi was not a popular president, many Egyptians do not support the intervention of the military. The BBC reports dozens have died in protests since Monday morning.
– PolicyMic pundit Uchechi Kalu rounds up 20 memes to get you through Ramadan.
Snowden to meet with human rights groups. NSA leaker Edward Snowden invited human rights groups to meet with him in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport today to discuss the U.S.’ efforts to keep him from finding asylum, in a statement posted on Facebook. “In recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the U.S. Government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the statement said. Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have offered Snowden asylum, but is unclear how he will make it to any of those countries.
– Experts weigh in on how Snowden should get out of Moscow.
– The Guardian reveals how Microsoft cooperated with the NSA.
Senate leader Harry Reid threatens “nuclear option.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday threatened to push through a change in voting rules so controversial it is called the “nuclear option,” in response to Republican opposition to President Obama’s cabinet nominees. The nuclear option would change filibuster rules so that cabinet confirmations would not require a supermajority of 60 votes. The change would not affect votes on legislation or judicial appointments. “The American people know the dysfunction we have here. And all we’re asking is let the president have his team,” said Reid. He said he would back off if Republicans confirmed Obama’s seven pending nominations.
– The Washington Post gives you Democrats’ and Republicans’ best arguments in the filibuster debate.
Scientists discover details of distant planet. The Hubble Space telescope has discovered the true color of a distant planet. Scientists believe HD189733b appears deep blue because it rains glass. How crazy is that? While the planet looks like Earth from far away, the similarities end there. HD189733b is a gas giant with scorching temperatures of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Glass rains down through the planet’s atmosphere in winds up to 4,300 miles per hour.
– Wired gives you one awesome space photo every day.
Must Reads From PolicyMic – Every Man Can Learn From Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Tootsie’ Breakthrough (Matthew Rozsa) – In a recently uncovered interview, Dustin Hoffman discusses how his experience making the movie Tootsie forced him to reevaluate his understanding of gender roles. It did the same thing for me.
[5 Mics, 4 Comments, 0 Shares]
10 Albums That Will Make You Love Jazz (Andy Boyd) – Young musicians are challenging assumptions about the nature of jazz, adding stylistic influences ranging from hip-hop to soul, and even electronic music.
[9 Mics, 5 Comments, 26 Shares]
The World’s Most Famous Child Activist is Taking the UN By Storm (Uchechi Kalu, @chechkalu) – This Friday, the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee will present a petition on children’s education to the UN. And she’ll be doing it on her 16th birthday.
[9 Mics, 1 Comment, 204 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – How Finland does everything better than us (Atlantic).
Read the confessions of a 40-year-old intern (Salon).
This former HS teacher gives his peers in Congress a failing grade (Tumblr).
Bros get wasted, girls get tipsy: why boozy talk matters (NPR).
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