July 31st, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Mash-up: Ryan Lochte's mom spills

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Panetta to al-Assad: 'Get the hell out now'

In an exclusive interview with CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has some pointed words for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose country's civil war is growing bloodier by the day:

I'm sure that deep down Assad knows he's in trouble and it's just matter of time before he has to go. I would say if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you better get the hell out now.

iReporter witnesses whale rescue

Click on the photo to watch Finnur Andresson's video of the rescue.

CNN iReporter Finnur Andresson in Iceland hurried out this morning with his camera when his photo club said he should to drive down to Krossvik because many whale sightings were occurring. As he began to take photos, he says the whales went wild and started to swim toward the shore when a whale watching boat approached closer to them.

"All of them turned back, but three to four whales continued to swim to shore (and became stranded)," he said. "I rushed to where they were stuck and then I saw two men in their waders come up. They went immediately to try to pull the whales out to sea. After the rescue, people cheered and everyone was very happy with this achievement. They are clearly the heroes of that day!"

Swimming star's mom spills

If you think you're going to marry U.S. Olympic swimming star Ryan Lochte, you need to know a little more about him. What better source than his mother?

Is today's popular music art?

CNN's Todd Leopold asked the question: "Has the gimmickry of pop music artists like Lady Gaga gone too far? Have we become numb to the emotion and the power of music? The stuff used to be about something, dammit, not a soundalike drone of manufactured robots, lip-synching amid falling tinsel.


Thousands of CNN.com readers have been only too happy to reply. Here are just two:


Image is not the problem. You will never be able to separate image from music; bands from the '60s had the same amount of image as bands of today. A good band creates what's cool. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Elvis, oozed the image of that era.

The real problem is we have less than half a dozen no-talent producers creating the entire Top 40. They use a formula to create music, not creativity. Record companies control what music we hear, and they only market music from these hacks since execs like formulas; there's no risk in a formula.

Record companies are the problem, not image.


My my – the rose-colored glasses sure are fitting.
Between 1967 and 1976 you had such "well-crafted music" as:
David Soul
Sean Cassidy
The Archies
Rick Dees
Debby Boone
Wayne Newton
Tony Orlando and Dawn
Engelbert Humperdinck
Paul Anka
etc., etc., etc.
Seriously – spare us the "back in the day" nostalgic idiocy.

Daily freak-out: Texas-size beehive

An exterminator in Pasadena, Texas, called it a "mountain of hell," but he agreed to help homeowners Adam and April Ybarra tackle their bee problem - for free, CNN affiliate KHOU reports. Claude Griffin of Gotcha Pest Control knew the few bees he was seeing on an outside wall were only a hint of what was waiting for him under the siding. Watch if you dare.

On the horizon: Romney returns to U.S., Obama returns to Ohio

Mitt Romney returns to the United States after a trouble-plagued weeklong tour of Great Britain, Israel and Poland. President Barack Obama will return to Ohio for the second time in less than a month. He'll visit Akron and Mansfield; Mansfield's General Motors plant shut down as part of the Obama-sponsored bailout of the company in 2009.

August 1 anniversaries

MTV's Downtown Julie Brown

1944 - Anne Frank makes her final entry in her diary. The Nazis discover the Frank family in their Amsterdam attic hiding place three days later and send them to concentration camps.

1944 - The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation of Poland begins.

1981 - MTV debuts.

2007 - The I-35W bridge collapses in Minneapolis, Minnesota, killing 13 people and injuring 145.

August 1 birthdays

  • "Bridges of Madison County" author Robert James Waller, 73

    Giancarlo Giannini

  • "Casino Royale" actor Giancarlo Giannini, 70
  • "Gangsta's Paradise" rap artist/actor Coolio, 49
  • "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes, 47
  • "Cosby Show" actress Tempestt Bledsoe, 39
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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    Other than nominating Lochte for Ugliest Man Alive Award 2012, I'm just not going to worry about any of this. I'm just going to lay in here in the air conditioning and not worry about anything. Everything will be okay.

    July 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    He's not the ugliest man alive; that award goes to Grampa Philmypockets that lives at the end of the block. Ew!

    July 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Hey, what was wrong with "Ballroom Blit z"?

    July 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      The problem with music started when the F.C.C. Relaxed the rules and let companies like Clear Channel buy up over 1000 radio stations. It's almost impossible for local acts to get air time in their own markets with a program director sitting in Texas and programming the same music for every station they own. Classic rock stations play only the old hits of Artists like Fogerty and the Doobies and all the new music they do doesn't get heard. I remember an interview with Don Henley of the Eagles and he said it took too much money to get new music played and only a band like the Eagles could afford to really do it and they probably won't do it again.

      July 31, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I listen to an Alternative station; they just started back up after a year off the air because, of course, some conglomerate bought their station and changed the format.
      They are at the beginning of the FM spectrum, and they play a *lot* of new music; I couldn't be happier, trust me!
      It is sad that new artists cannot get there stuff out there; luckily, that's where You Tube comes into play.
      Otherwise, new artists wouldn't have half the chance they do now, which is half the chance they had even a decade ago...

      August 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    lmfao @ banasy, and i thought you were gona say someone entirely different! lol

    July 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      You haven't *seen* Grandpa Philmypockets; he's always playing pocket pool, and he's flat-out creepy...his eyebrows look like a great horned owl...grumpy old geez!

      July 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      His last name is Philmeyer, but for the reason I stated above, the kids call him what they do.
      Just creepy and hoo-boy ugly...

      July 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Toad 390

    Children not back to school yet?

    July 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Nah, just having a little fun.
      Join us, Toad 390?

      July 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Lochte seems like this isn't "his time".

    It's how you handle winning and/or losing that defines you at Olympics.

    Lochte will learn for next time and Phelps shows us why he is the "Olympic Champion of all Time" and it wasn't just his humility winning but his grace when not:)

    July 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dazzle ©

    The next time I go to Europe I want to visit the aMAZEme book store. @banasy-I think every neighborhood has creepers like yours. When I was very little we lived in Boston and there was one in our neighborhood. I was forbidden to even look at his house. He was sitting on a park bench one day and had a basket of kittens so of course I was smitten and wanted to see the kittens. When I walked over toward him, he had a newspaper on his lap and lo and behold he was playing more than pocketpool when he picked up the newspaper. I looked at it and ran home. My big brother was able to do his best to explain to me what that thing was. He didn't rat me out to the parents but the last time we were together we laughed a lot about it.

    July 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dazzle ©

    @banasy, Jethro Tull, I never made that connection. I totally forgot about the kittens when I saw that thing. My mom passed away a few years ago but I went to visit her with my daughter and gave her a handwritten letter enti tiled. Things I never told you and this was on it. She was shocked but touched that I would do that. Now my daughter has a trad i tion that on my birthday I get Things I will always tell you. She likes to watch when I read it making sure I don't do the eye roll or bite my lip. You have girls so you know what those lists can be like but at least its open and honest with no fear.

    July 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What a lovely tradition...
      And...you? Eyeroll?
      Can't imagine *that*!
      I would like to start a tradition like that, but given what my older one thinks, maybe not so much, lol!

      July 31, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |