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As amazing as it is to be flying through the atmosphere in a giant metal tube, air travel can be a rather tedious endeavor. Between the tight seating, the fact that there always seems to be a problem with the air conditioning, and the presence of screaming babies, it’s pretty rare to have a flight that is truly comfortable. Well, Netflix is launching a new initiative that will at least allow you to binge your favorite shows as you’re flying coast to coast.
Netflix will use their mobile device encoding technology to make Netflix accessible for air travelers without completely choking often unreliable in-flight wifi. According to Engadget, users won’t be able to use the 4K HDR stream like at home, but the available service could compare with the 250Kbps of “DVD quality.” At this point, the major question is how they’ll be able to provide access to an entire plane full of people, but the allure of the binge-watch is certainly intriguing, to say the least.
At this point, no official airline partners have been named, but as with most things with the streaming behemoth, there’s no way that this doesn’t include the major organizations. The rollout is supposed to begin in 2018, so adjust your travel schedule accordingly.
After single-handily (like a demon clown jiggling a disembodied arm) floating a weak summer box office like it was attached to a collection of red balloons, the inevitable has happened — New Line Cinema is officially moving forward on the second-half of IT. With that news comes the official release date for the continuation of the story of the terrorized denizens of Derry, Maine. The kids from the first movie will be all grown up and ready to rid their sewers of Pennywise the Clown on September 9th, 2019.
That doesn’t mean the young versions of Richie, Bill, Beverly and the rest won’t be in the sequel. Various reports have stated that most, if not all of the cast from the first film will show up in some flashbacks in the next movie.
Now that we have that comforting news out of the way, we have ample time to prepare for the next round of promotional stunts involving real-life scary clowns that will naturally be trying to one-up the strange happenings around the release of the first movie. Where will they go from here? Two red balloons tied to sewer grates? Clowns wandering the streets? Clowns looking for jobs entertaining children? What?!
It’s safe to say that Terminator Genisys was one of the more disappointing sequels of recent memory. While fans of the Terminator franchise were anxious to see the series return, the widely panned film proved to be a critical and commercial failure. Following the film’s release, star Emilia Clarke made it clear that she had no interest in returning to the franchise, and it would seem that the franchise is done with her as well.
According to a new report, the next Terminator film will completely ignore the existence of Genisys. The Terminator Fans spoke with Arnold Schwarzenegger at an event in the UK where the star of the franchise explained that not only would the film have a different name than Terminator 6, it would also ignore the jumbled events of Genisys completely (sorry, fans of Matt Smith). Schwarzenegger also said that unfortunately Robert Patrick would not be involved, so fans of T-1000 should temper their expectations.
As frustrating it is for canon sticklers, this is probably the right move for the series. With producer James Cameron and star Linda Hamilton both returning to the franchise, there is a chance that the Terminator films could actually be good again.
After a Sunday filled with tweets from Donald Trump decrying the protests across the NFL, which he helped galvanize, CNN is reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly isn’t pleased with his boss. Again. The report states that Trump went off-script at the Alabama rally in which he called for NFL owners to fire protesting NFL players that are protesting, punctuating the point by saying: “get that son of a bitch off the field.” This led to more disappointment from Kelly, who, according to the report “voiced his concern on the matter.”
This latest reported frustration from Kelly follows his disagreement in Trump saying there were “many fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally which led to one counter-protester being murdered. It also comes after Trump’s off-the-cuff UN speech that was full of incendiary remarks, promising North Korea a violent end and calling Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man.”
Trump, however, is calling the report “fake news.” In a series of tweets made just after the report was released on Monday, he spoke for Kelly, saying the two men were in agreement on the matter of NFL players protesting against police brutality.
There is still no word on whether Trump understands why the players are protesting (police brutality). In July, he called for police to be “not too nice” to suspected criminals, and his administration has also proposed cuts to domestic violence programs. Police officers are more likely to be killed on domestic violence calls than any other domestic call.
Over the weekend, Politico reported that Jared Kushner had set up a private email account in order to deal with transition business ahead of the inauguration, and he used the account to communicate with soon-to-be White House officials like Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Kushner’s attorney claimed that nothing of substance was in these emails and said that most of them came from others accidentally messaging Kushner’s private account instead of his White House email. Surprising no one, Jared’s wife, Ivanka Trump, also used a private email account for government work, even before she was officially a White House employee:
The documents show that on February 28, Trump — identifying herself as Ivanka Kushner — emailed Linda McMahon, the administrator of the United States Small Business Administration, from a personal domain. At the time, Trump was operating inside the White House in a nonofficial capacity. She wrote that she wanted McMahon’s agency and her staff to “explore opportunities to collaborate” on issues related to “women’s entrepreneurship.” She copied on the correspondence the government email addresses of two other federal employees, Dina Powell and Julie Radford.
Ethics experts say that while it would be a couple weeks before Ivanka officially joined the White House, she likely could have had a White House email account (as her chief of staff Julie Radford, mentioned above) at that time. Further, Ivanka sent the emails while sitting in on several meetings her father was holding at the White House. Other experts are saying that more needs to be learned to find out if Ivanka and Jared Kushner were actively trying to subvert official rules or if their violation was incidental.
According to a White House spokesperson, there is nothing to this story, and Ivanka made sure to only email official White House email accounts in order to make sure that email records were not compromised in any way.
Lock them up?
Look, we hit peak pumpkin spice years ago. When people legitimately thought Durex made pumpkin spice condoms without any inkling of irony, we should have shut it down. But, it continued and now there are pumpkin spice fries at McDonald’s in Japan. Whoever came up with that is the Oppenheimer of the culinary world. But, we may finally have the hero we need to displace the ubiquitous fall flavoring, and it is maple pecan.
On September 21, Starbucks unveiled the Maple Pecan Latte, a “warming blend of signature espresso and steamed milk combined with notes of maple syrup and pecan, and finished with a colorful autumn topping.” Orange sugar. A colorful autumn topping is orange sugar. Joining Starbucks in the effort to push maple is Dunkin’ Donuts, who started serving both hot and cold maple pecan coffee options this month.
And it goes beyond drink launches. The Chicago Tribune published data from Technomics Menu Monitor and “mentions of maple as a flavor in nonalcoholic beverages on menus are up 86 percent this year over last Pumpkin mentions, on the other hand, are down 20 percent.”
However, it seems premature to predict a full fall flavor coup. Despite the fact that pumpkin spice supply outpaces demand among consumers, the people who make the demands are a loyal bunch who roll hard for the fall flavor. Maple is good. Pecans are good. Together, they are wonderful. But, people literally spent days watching a livestream of a pumpkin on a nest as part of the PSL launch this year. Who does that? Die-hard fans.
Also, the hype about a new flavor or drink unseating pumpkin spice lattes comes up every year. I don’t see many of us chugging tumeric lattes, do you? As with all things, time will tell, but Maple Pecan best not get too comfortable… yet.
Don Hertzfeldt’s 2015 animated short “World of Tomorrow” is a nearly perfect piece of moviemaking. First of all, it’s short, and as someone who’s spent the better part of a week at a film festival, sitting through two-and-a-half hour slogs, brevity is appreciated. But World of Tomorrow packs a lot into its 17-minute run time. It’s funny (“Wiggle wiggle wiggle”), devastating (“It is easy to get lost in memories”), beautiful (“I am very proud of my sadness because it means I am more alive”), and thought provoking (“Now is the envy of all of the dead”). It’s a beautiful exploration of the nightmare that is existence, and was rightly nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars (and wrongly lost to “Bear Story“).
In other words, “World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts” (which premiered at Fantastic Fest) has a lot to live up to. Amazingly, and to Hertzfeldt’s immense credit, it’s (almost) as good.
Emily Prime (the little girl from the first film) is still an adorable moppet, and in “Episode Two,” she’s joined by a third-generation clone, Emily 6, who needs Emily’s memories to make her complete. If it sounds impossibly complex, well, it is. But it works, because the time-travel sci-fi elements are explored through the mindset of a child. Emily Prime keeps “World of Tomorrow,” both the original and the sequel, grounded, and her juvenile innocence breaks up the exposition. I don’t want to say too much about where “Episode Two” goes, partially because it’s worth experiencing yourself, but also because I’m not entirely sure I know what happened. That’s my one (very) minor knock.
The first “World of Tomorrow” is elaborate, but never feels convoluted; “Episode Two” is denser and harder to follow. In a post-screening Q&A, Hertzfeldt explained why: Emily Prime is voiced by his niece; he followed her around while they played to record the dialogue. She was four years old in “World of Tomorrow;” in “Episode Two,” she’s a little older, a little more self-aware, and her babbling narratives are more conceptually impenetrable. This leads the film, which goes inward (think Inside Out meets the glitches of Wreck-It Ralph) where “World of Tomorrow” went outward, to some weird places, like Triangle Land and the Bog of Reality (“That is a glimmer of hope. Put it back”). But the abstraction also leads to stunning statements on the human condition.
“Am I dying? I feel beautiful.”
But again, that’s a minor complaint. “Episode Two” is, in typical sequel fashion, bigger, bolder, longer (although only by a few minutes), and most of all, a worthy successor to one of the best movies, be it short or feature-length, of the 21st century. I can’t wait for my clone to watch both parts in 600 years.
“World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts” should be released later this year. “World of Tomorrow” is available now on Netflix.
On Sunday, President Trump unleashed what he undoubtedly views as the freshest version of his travel ban yet. There have been so many incarnations, it’s hard to keep them all straight, but this one will be an “indefinite” (rather than a “temporary”) order that bars most travelers from seven countries — Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen — from entering the U.S. In the process, Trump accomplished two big goals: (1) Sticking it to Kim Jong-un; and (2) Adding a few non-Muslim majority countries in an attempt to ward off the legal argument that this is a religious ban.
However and for the time being, legal arguments won’t have to be made, at least not at the Supreme Court level, for the justices have cancelled the scheduled October 10 hearing that would have weighed the constitutionality of the order as a whole. The New York Times notes that the court may take the case up again, or it may not, but SCOTUS asked attorneys on both sides to submit new briefs on the latest ban revisions by October 5:
The justices asked the parties to address “whether, or to what extent, the proclamation” may render the case moot. The court also asked for briefings on a question not addressed in the proclamation, concerning the earlier ban’s suspension of the nation’s refugee program. That suspension is scheduled to expire next month. On that question, too, the court asked the parties to explain whether the issue would soon be moot.
What does this mean? The Supreme Court may have effectively decided to never hear arguments on the case (by deciding that it’s moot), which would place the burden on the White House concerning appeals court decisions on previous versions of the ban. However, it’s hard to imagine that the Trump administration wouldn’t request for SCOTUS to vacate these rulings. And this court has been friendly toward Trump’s bans in the past — letting a recent version to temporarily go into effect and allowing Trump to bar most refugees from entering the U.S. — so any request to vacate would probably be granted.
However, it’s also likely that the court has decided to simply let the newest version of Trump’s ban kick up some dirt and lawsuits, which will beg for further Supreme Court action with a focus on his newest targeted restrictions against the seven disfavored countries (with some additional scrutiny on Venezuela and Iraq). This is all so exhausting, and the justices might simply want to rest up before that storm arrives. And it will.
(Via New York Times)
Dramatic arrests as people are being forcibly dragged from Senate finance hearing on Graham/Cassidy pic.twitter.com/wDtyxTq4CI
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) September 25, 2017
Throughout the GOP’s repeated attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with legislation that will cover fewer and fewer people, there have been several common threads, which include CBO scores that inevitably show how disastrous these bills would be and how unpopular the GOP plans are compared to Obamacare. However, the Graham-Cassidy bill nevertheless continues to approach a vote — despite John McCain possibly killing its chances last week — and protesters are taking to the hallways of Capitol Hill in a replay of a June scenario that saw chaos outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.
Protesters, some from the group ADAPT, interrupted the Senate Finance Committee’s scheduled hearing concerning the bill. The protesters lined up in the halls of the Capitol for hours before the hearing was scheduled to begin.
As the hearing was called to order by Sen. Orrin Hatch, protesters began chanting, “No cuts to Medicaid. Save our liberty.” Sen. Hatch tried to bring order to the hearing and threatened to end it if the audience did not calm down.
This did not sit well with some on the Senate Finance Committee.
Soon enough, the Capitol Police began dragging (literally in several cases) people, including those in wheelchairs, out of the Finance Committee hearing.
While this was happening, Sen. Bill Cassidy was seen yawning, perhaps waiting for the disruption to stop so he can get back to talking about the Jimmy Kimmel test.
Anonymous GOP Committee staffers — who were slightly more aware of the optics of the situation — reportedly said, “this is not good” while surveying people in wheelchairs being arrested by police for voicing their desire to keep health insurance.