surprise
September 23, 2019

President Trump made a surprise appearance at the United Nations climate summit Monday, but he didn't stick around for long.

Trump was expected to skip the gathering altogether — sure, he was scheduled to speak at a separate event focused on religious freedom and religious persecution, but the president has also never really been in tune with other countries when it comes to climate issues. That said, he showed up, listened to speeches from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (for whom he reportedly clapped), and then left. It all took about 10 minutes.

Though Trump's appearance was brief, it didn't go unnoticed. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly thanked Trump for stopping by, and made what could be considered a veiled challenge to the commander-in-chief. "Hopefully our conversations here today will be helpful to you as you make climate policy," Bloomberg said. The quip reportedly drew a round of applause.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who hopes to challenge Trump as the next Democratic presidential candidate, was quick to weigh in on Trump's appearance. He wasn't all that impressed. Tim O'Donnell

November 30, 2017

When the weather outside is frightful, you're likely to find Christmas music so delightful.

That's the upshot of this analysis from The Economist, which analyzed data from Spotify and found that factors like weather, geographic location, and amount of sunlight affect how much people listen to Christmas music. Indeed, you're more likely to listen to Christmas music during Christmas season when it feels like winter.

The Economist studied the listening habits from Spotify users in 35 countries and in all 50 American states. In the U.S., states with higher levels of religiosity were more likely to listen to Christmas music. But this was not applicable globally. The Economist notes that although Brazil has similar levels of religiosity as Norway and Sweden, only one in 150 listens around holiday time last year in the notably warm country of Brazil was Christmas-themed, while one in six listens in cold Scandinavian countries during December 2016 were Christmas songs.

What really stimulated people's interest in Christmas music was their physical surroundings. Christmas music streaming increased 1.5 percent in the United States for every extra hour of darkness, and increased by 2 percent when it snowed. In 25 countries in the northern hemisphere, the influence of darkness was even more pronounced, as it increased streaming of Christmas music by 3 percent.

While The Economist notes that these changes in weather and environment may just make people more likely to seek out any type of music, they do offer the amusingly striking fact that if America had 20 fewer snow days in the last two months of the year, Mariah Carey would lose about $10,000 in royalties for "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Read the full report at The Economist. Kelly O'Meara Morales

See More Speed Reads