1. The week’s best photojournalism

    In some of the week’s most moving images, an astronaut peeks out from a spaceship, a collie keeps watch, and more


  2. The week’s best photojournalism

    In some of the week’s most memorable images, a horse kicks up dirt, a man plummets toward the sea, and more


  3. The week’s best photojournalism

    In some of the week’s most moving images, women string together flowers, a boy takes comfort in a kitten, and more


  4. Here comes the Kentucky Derby

    Friday kicks off the 140th Kentucky Derby, and trainers, owners, and race fans alike are flocking to Churchill Downs in anticipation of horse racing’s marquee event




    Moving from Zuck to Jobs
    Aaron Sorkin, the snappy writer behind The Social Network, officially signs on to pen a Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple innovator. [Death & Taxes]

    Relentless strumming
    A Texas guitarist breaks the world record for longest guitar solo, surpassing the previous record of 24 hours and 18 minutes. [TIME]

    Seeing-eye horses
    The Illinois Senate approves a measure allowing miniature horses to accompany people with disabilities. [The Daily What]


    Extreme chaperoning
    Two Colorado moms chaperoning a high school prom were so disgusted with the “dirty dancing” they witnessed that they reportedly sprayed teens with Lysol and called the girls “sluts” and “whores.” [The Stir

    Google goggles
    A new report says that Google’s much-hyped augmented reality glasses won’t be nearly as cool as they appear in their promo video. [New Scientist]

    Indulging a friend
    A New York man implores his friend to shoot him in the leg so he can “see what it feels like.” The friend complies, and is charged with reckless endangerment. [Newser]

    For more winners and losers see: Good day, bad day: May 15, 2012


  7. After the shocking and very public death of the racehorse Eight Belles — euthanized after breaking two ankles on national television at the 2008 Kentucky Derby — the racing industry promised Congress that it would tighten its safety standards. But an investigation by The New York Times found that horses continue to die at an alarming rate amidst rampant drugging and loose regulation. Here, a guide to the disturbing revelations

    1. It’s still common for racehorses to die on the track
      The Times found that 3,600 horses have died while racing or training at government-regulated tracks over the last three years. On average, 24 horses die at American racetracks every week. And while many animals die in low-tier races, plenty are killed during big-money contests such as the Kentucky Derby. You don’t see humans snapping their legs off running in the Olympics, says Dr. Rick Arthur of the California Racing Board. “But you see it in horse racing.”
    2. Drugging is a huge part of the problem
      After the death of Eight Belles, the industry enacted a ban on anabolic steroids, but that didn’t end the problem of drugging. To this day, theTimes reports, trainers “illegally pump sore horses full of [such] painkillers to mask injury.” Since 2009, trainers at U.S. tracks have been caught trying to cheat by drugging horses 3,800 times. And, since very few horses get tested, that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. Trainers have been known to try everything from Viagra to cobra venom to cancer drugs to give horses an edge or to mask injuries.
    3. Many horses shouldn’t be racing in the first place
      It’s the misuse of legal therapeutic drugs, especially painkillers, that “pose the greatest risk to horse and rider,” according to the Times. With drugs masking their pain, these animals often run harder than they should, so when accidents happen, injuries can be catastrophic. Researchers in California found that as many as 90 percent of the horses that break down on the track had pre-existing injuries. “We need to be able to pick up on those minor injuries,” UC Davis veterinary medicine professor Susan Stover tells the Los Angeles Times
    4. Better regulation would save lives
      The Times found that in 150,000 U.S. races from 2009 through 2011, the rate at which an animal was reported to have broken down, gone lame, or been transported off the truck by van was 5.2 per 1,000 starts. At Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto that rate was 1.4 per 1,000 starts. A Woodbine executive tells the Times that Canada’s attitude towards medication is not as permissive as America’s. In England, where drugs are also more tightly regulated, the breakdown rate is half that of the U.S.  

  8. A farmer, with his horses in tow, takes a break outside a pub at the Ballinasloe Horse fair in Ballinasloe, Ireland. The annual fair, one of the oldest of its kind in Europe, attracts up to 100,000 people eager to buy, sell, and peruse the ponies.

    More amazing photos from this week


  9. Mucho Macho Man (or 3M) is a horse with a story to tell. He was considered dead at birth and did not move for ten minutes before springing to life. His trainer, Kathy Ritvo, received a heart transplant in 2008 and is a rare female trainer in the famous Kentucky Derby. In the race’s 136 runnings, only 14 female trainers have had horses in the Derby, and no woman has ever had a winner.

    Check out more photos of the other contenders headed for the starting gate on Saturday.