We look at the true legacy of iconic former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry with our panel, including veteran D.C. AFRO reporter James Wright. And Baltimore AFRO reporter Roberto Alejandro shares the details of his recent exclusive interview with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Also, in our “Media Monday” segment, Lamonte Summers, professor of Media Law and Ethics at Morgan State University discusses the burgeoning media feeding frenzy connected to the growing list of sexual assault allegations leveled against Bill Cosby, as well as some of the irresponsible and inflammatory reporting on the death of Marion Barry. All that and more coming up this evening on First Edition with Sean Yoes.
By WI Web StaffWASHINGTON INFORMER — Honoring the 29th anniversary of “Justice for Janitors Day,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmember Elissa Silverman readied to join hundreds of 32BJ SEIU janitors to march downtown during Wednesday afternoon rush hour to protest a non-union cleaning contractor under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for sexual harassment, after settling with the National Labor Relations Board for several federal labor charges.“Without 32BJ SEIU, it’s likely that janitorial workers would remain at the bottom of the working class,” Mendelson said. “This is about decent wages for hard work.”Americans rally nationwide for janitors’ rights. (Courtesy photo)In the mid-1990s, janitors made history when they blocked the Roosevelt Bridge demanding and winning living wages, employer-paid benefits and respect.“Janitorial workers are key behind-the-scenes players in D.C.’s economy,” Silverman said. “It‘s a challenging job for little pay, and I hope this rally will be the start of good faith negotiations that ensure they earn a living wage.”32BJ janitors, who are marching in support of non-union cleaners employed by K&S cleaners employed by K&S Management and Supply, Inc., will soon bargain a new four-year union contract that expires on Oct. 15, 2019. K&S is an aberration in D.C., where the vast majority of offices are cleaned by companies who hold contracts with 32BJ that cover 11,000 workers in the D.C. area and Baltimore.In 2018, K&S violated D.C. Wage and Hour Law by failing to provide workers with paychecks that indicate how much they make per hour. K&S was accused of failing to pay the minimum wage to workers in D.C. Only after workers signed petitions and asked for tenant support did K&S provide corrected pay stubs. It still remains unclear whether K&S management underpaid employees because of their questionable pay stubs.In March, the NLRB found merit in several allegations that K&S violated the law by firing a worker, unjustly disciplining a worker in D.C., as well as committing threats, interrogations and surveillance of workers. Although K&S denied the charges, the company settled and paid over $1,500 in back pay to the discharged employee, an immediate offer for full reinstatement to his job, and posted notices of their actions.“Before I had a union, I had to miss my parents’ funeral and couldn’t see a doctor because my boss threatened to fire me if I took time away,” said Ana Hernandez, a 32BJ member and single mother of three who cleans offices at 701 13th St. NW. “The union is so important because the better wages and benefits allow us to take care of our health and spend more time raising our kids so they aren’t out on the street.”On June 15, 1990, more than 400 janitors in Los Angeles held a peaceful rally after contractors threw out the union, cut their pay to minimum wage and stripped janitors of all benefits. As the workers locked arms to cross the street, they were beaten back by baton-wielding police officers. Thirty-eight marchers were wounded and arrested, and since then, June 15 has been memorialized as “Justice for Janitors Day.” Today, more than 134,000 union janitors nationwide are united to win strong contracts to benefit all communities.With more than 173,000 members in nine states, including 20,000 in the D.C. metropolitan area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers’ union in the country.This article originally appeared in the Washington Informer.
AUBURN, Ala.- The University of Louisville softball team fell 6-2 to No. 19/20 Auburn Saturday in the War Eagle Challenge. The Cardinals (14-7) will wrap up the weekend on Sunday at 11 a.m. (ET) against Mercer. Full Schedule Roster Louisville countered in the top of the sixth. Junior Celene Funke led off with a hit, took second on senior Megan Hensley’s groundout and sprinted home on Ferguson’s RBI single to pull the Cards within a run. Sophomore Danielle Watson (5-5) took the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits and striking out six in 6.0 innings. Matchup History Preview Junior Caitlin Ferguson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Cards at the plate. In their second game of the day, the Cardinals jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first when senior Sidney Melton singled and eventually crossed the plate on Ferguson’s base hit. Next Game: vs. Mercer 3/10/2019 | 11:00 a.m. The Cards threatened to score in the top of the seventh when sophomore Kyra Snyder connected on a leadoff single and senior Madison Cousineau was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, but a strikeout and groundout ended the game. The Tigers answered with a run in the home half of the first when Casey McCracken reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1. Auburn (20-4) pulled ahead with a run in the second when Bree Fornis connected on a two-out triple and an error on the play send her home to make the score 2-1. Auburn 6 – Louisville 2 Live Stats Auburn pulled away with three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Justus Perry walked, a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch moved her to third and scored on an RBI hit by Taylon Snow. McCracken followed with a home run to increase the Tigers’ lead to 6-2. Story Links The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth when Tannon Snow delivered a two-out hit and pinch-runner Carmyn Greenwood scored on a double by Kendall Veach. Auburn’s Makayla Martin (10-2) picked up the win after surrendering two earned runs on six hits and striking out 11 in a complete game effort. Tannon Snow had two hits while McCrackin score a pair of runs and had two RBIs to lead the Tigers at the plate.LOUISVILLE NOTES:• Melton is now on a six-game hitting streak. • Funke is on a five-game hitting streak• Ferguson has reached base via a hit or a walk in nine straight games• Snyder has reached base in six straight games• Funke leads the team with a .361 batting average, 26 hits, 17 runs and six stolen bases Print Friendly Version
Hassell completed his 10th season working with the Louisville baseball program in 2019, having been with the program from 2008-11 and returning before the 2014 season. His first experience at the international level began immediately following Louisville’s fifth appearance at the College World Series. “USA Baseball is something I’ve wanted to be a part of ever since I started my career as an athletic trainer,” Hassell said. “USA Baseball is such a first class organization from top to bottom and I’m so thankful they gave me this chance to work with such a great coaching staff, not to mention what is most likely the next generation of big leaguers.” Hassell worked alongside UofL head coach Dan McDonnell, who served as the manager of the team, during the four-week period that saw the USA CNT compete across North Carolina against Cuba before series in Taiwan and Japan. Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @LouisvilleBSB. Print Friendly Version “Working in college baseball for 14 years has given me so many memories and experiences that I’ll never forget, but having the opportunity to represent the United States and the University of Louisville in international competition is hard to top.” The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team was made up of an elite group of collegiate players from across the country, including a pair of student-athletes from UofL. Reid Detmers and Lucas Dunn competed for Team USA this summer, while Alex Binelas, Michael Kirian and Bobby Miller were all invited to training camp and Gabe Burchell served as the bullpen catcher. Team USA picked up victories in four of its five games in the 8th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series before heading across the globe to Taiwan. There, the USA CNT won two out of three to capture the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series before falling 3-2 in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series to wrap up the summer. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville Associate Director of Sports Medicine Pat Hassell represented the Cardinals on the international stage this summer, working as the athletic trainer for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. Story Links
During the second half of the 1980s, the arrival of the compact disc turned the music business into a money-spinning juggernaut, with the format moving from essentially zero early in the decade to 400 million units produced in 1988 alone. But that explosive growth was driven less by superstars of the era — although Whitney Houston and Guns N’ Roses sold many millions of the high-priced discs — than by people replacing their old vinyl albums and cassettes with a more convenient format.The same syndrome has taken hold with streaming: According to BuzzAngle’s 2017 year-end report, a whopping 51% of songs consumed are from “deep catalog” (music three or more years old), with an additional 12.5% coming from “catalog” (18 months to three years old). Which means that for all the discovery opportunities that a virtually unlimited pool of music can offer, people are using it far more to hear music they already know, or to explore previously untraveled corners of a genre or a favorite artist’s oeuvre. Popular on Variety The distribution executive points to Jai Wolf’s song “Indian Summer” — which was released in 2015 but has taken on new life via multiple syncs, including an Izze beverage campaign and uses in “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” — as an example of how such factors can make a new hit out of an older song (it has nearly 55 million plays on Spotify). Also key are playlists like Spotify’s “This Is” — which combine an artist’s older music with new — and recommendations on streaming services, which represent more frequent and active endorsement than what was available in the physical world. “There are all kinds of ways of rabbit-holing into the platforms now, where one artist leads to another and another, and you can connect the dots musically,” adds the distribution exec. “You didn’t really have that in a record store unless someone told you.” The exec also notes playlist promotion and seasonal opportunities like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day as ways to get classic songs in front of fresh audiences.Just as streaming has broken down barriers between musical genres, it can break them down between eras as well. “If you’re a 14-year-old kid who likes N.W.A or Led Zeppelin but doesn’t know Public Enemy or Cream, there’s a whole world just a click away,” the major-label exec says. “The trick is leading them to it.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 That trend was not lost on new Sony Music Entertainment CEO Rob Stringer. For 28 years, the company has been host to one of the most popular catalog labels in the business, Legacy, which has won multiple Grammy Awards for beautifully curated collections from Sony’s vast repertoire — which includes Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and many others — as well as new releases from heritage artists like Willie Nelson and Earth, Wind & Fire. But in recent months management found the business to be too oriented toward physical releases, and a major reorganization is under way, a source close to the situation tells Variety. By mutual consent, Legacy president Adam Block agreed to step down earlier this year, and several other staffers have or will leave the company.Yet Legacy, which is housed within Sony’s Commercial Music Group under the direction of president Richard Story, is also staffing up in the digital space, with nine new roles and more likely to come. The source tells Variety that the company felt renewed urgency in realizing it did not have sufficient staffers specializing in deep catalog, streaming, marketing and analytics. The insider stressed that the company will continue to release lavish boxed sets and other physical product, but it has moved to correct that imbalance.Promoting catalog on streaming is a dramatically different proposition than pushing physical product, according to a veteran distribution executive. “Format changes have always given catalog a bump,” the executive says. “But what’s different now is the idea of lifetime value — before, you were trying to get people to buy something once, but now you’re trying to get people to keep coming back.”Key to that repeat business is discovery, which is generally discussed in terms of new music but is just as relevant for catalog. “When a song or an artist is featured on, say, [former] President Obama’s Spotify playlist, or in film or TV or in a commercial, it can lead to a big boost in streaming numbers,” says another major-label executive. “For example, [the N.W.A biopic] ‘Straight Outta Compton’ led thousands of people to discover N.W.A and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre’s older cuts.”
Popular on Variety Many of these requests are accompanied by visual feedback. This is especially powerful for recipes: Users can ask for instructions on how to cook dishes, and then get a kind of visual step-by-step guide.The screen also frequently allows touch input, but during a demo given to Variety this week, a Lenovo spokesperson was quick to point out that the device is not meant to be a tablet. This means that there are no on-screen navigation buttons — going back to the home screen still requires you to say “Hey Google, go home.”Left untouched, the Smart Display cycles through a slideshow of photography that will look familiar to anyone who has ever owned one of Google’s Chromecast streaming adapters: Like Chromecast, or Android TV for that matter, the device taps into a catalog of publicly available photos that can be customized via the Google Home app to also include your own photos. After 90 minutes, the screen fades to black, safe for a timer.Speaking of Chromecast: The close integration with Google’s other devices is likely going to be a key differentiator for devices like the Lenovo Smart Display. The display plays nice with other Chromecast-capable devices in your house, making it possible to ask it to play videos on the TV. What’s more, the Smart Display also works as a Chromecast receiver, so you’ll be able to cast audio and video content to it from your phone. Netflix binging in the kitchen, anyone?In addition to making content available via casting, the Smart Display also directly integrates with Spotify, HBO, Google Play Music and YouTube. The latter is another key differentiator to the Echo Show: As a result of a prolonged dispute between Amazon and Google, YouTube is currently not available on the Amazon device.Lenovo’s brief demo this week overall showed a polished experience, but it also revealed a few oddities: The Smart Display uses Google’s Duo service for video calls. But since most people video chat with their phones held horizontally, Lenovo recommends to turn the entire device 90 degrees for video chatting. Afterwards, it has to be turned back — screen rotation for other use cases isn’t supported at launch. Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Show is finally here: Lenovo starts shipping its Smart Display, which combines voice control with a screen for video viewing, to consumers this coming Friday.The Smart Display, which was first announced at CES back in January, is being made available in two sizes: A smaller version with an 8-inch 1280×800 pixel screen is going on sale for $200; $250 gets you a 10-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200. The bigger version also comes with a bamboo back, and features a slightly larger speaker, but the two devices are otherwise identical.Out of the box, Lenovo’s Smart Display supports much of the same functionality as a Google Home speaker. You can ask it for weather, directions, query your calendar and more. The device also supports customized routines. For instance, users can greet it with “Hey Google, good morning” to get a weather forecast, hear about their day’s schedule, get an update on their morning commute and finally launch into some news programming. Also perplexing: The smart Display includes a full-blown web browser, which shows up when browsing recipes via touch input. However, users aren’t able to browse other sites of their choice on the device — a restriction that seems arbitrary, even with the “this is no tablet” disclaimer.Finally, multi-room audio — the ability to play music synchronized on your smart Display and on other Google speakers or devices equipped with a Chromecast audio adapter — isn’t available at launch, despite Lenovo’s previous promises to support this feature. “This is not supported at the moment, but is something we’re hoping to add in the future,” said Google Assistant product manager Bibo Xu via email.The Smart Display is Google’s first attempt to take on the Echo Show, with the help of Lenovo as the hardware manufacturer. The company also announced earlier this year that Sony, LG and JBL would release additional smart display devices in the near future. Google VP Rishi Chandra suggested in an interview with Variety in April that Google may ultimately follow up with its own smart display devices in the future as well. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The company claims 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page views per day. Users are typically Generation Z, or China’s post-millennials, who tune in for a mix of live streaming, gaming, and short-form content.Bilibili considers content under one of two headings: professionally user-generated video (brands and creators who may be remunerated through donations and sponsorship) and user-generated video content.But the mix is changing. The company says it has been a buyer of factual content for the past two years. And it is now increasingly looking to produce and co-produce its own shows. It has worked with National Geographic on “China’s Hidden Kingdoms” and with NHK on the “WHK” anime show. With the BBC it has adapted car-themed men’s lifestyle show “Top Gear” as both a “Borrowed Gear” show and as a fan event which attracted a claimed 400,000 visitors over three days before the premiere of “Top Gear” season 25.China’s authorities have this year fined Bilibili and other streaming companies for content infringements. But the company appears to be finding favor with investors. It is one of the few Chinese tech stocks to have risen this year, from $11.50 at flotation to $14.97 per ADR at the market close on Monday. At that price it is valued at $4.19 billion.Regulators are seeking greater control over live streaming, user comments and user-generated content. Increasingly, that means more self-censorship by the platforms themselves. Executives in Brisbane declined to reveal how many staff are involved in compliance, but they confirmed that the company has teams in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Shanghai involved in filtering comments and content.The company believes that it can minimize such occurrences not jut through real-name registration, but also by requiring users to take a web citizenship test before they can start to feed back into the site. It also operates a graded warning system before users see their accounts suspended. Bilibili, a specialty Chinese video platform best known for animation and games content, is setting out a stall as a viable and attractive partner for international co-productions.A presentation of so-called bullet comments (real-time audience feedback that overlays on-screen content) drew gasps from an audience of executives at the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers in Brisbane, Australia, on Monday. It was unclear whether the intakes of breath were in horror or awe at this glimpse of the future and such huge levels of interaction with video content.Bilibili, which was founded in 2009 and earlier this year earned itself a share listing on the NASDAQ, followed up Monday’s surprising demo with a more select lunchtime presentation Tuesday. Its executives took turns to tout the company’s jaw-dropping numbers and to tease glimpses of its business deals with top-tier international TV groups, including U.K. and Japanese public broadcasters BBC and NHK, respectively, and a six-year corporate relationship with Discovery.
The art of machinima is as old as id Software‘s Quake, and popularized as a form by the popular Red vs. Blue Halo shorts… but we’re hard pressed to think of any machinima as bold, inventive or massive of scope as The Trashmaster, a feature-length machinima movie made entirely within Grand Theft Auto IV using the PC version’s video tools.The trashmaster (nouvelle version nouvelle voix-off !)Uploaded by murakawa. – Discover more gaming videos.Created by Matthieu Weschler, The Trashmaster‘s plot is described thusly:The “trashmaster” divides his time between collecting garbage and cleaning up other forms of trash fouling up New York City’s streets: dealers, small-time criminals… When the dancers in his favourite strip club are mysteriously killed, the trashmaster finds himself hot on the trail of a particularly twisted serial killer. To say that The Trashmaster is an impressive undertaking is an understatement: it took Weschler over two years to make in-game, and it employs a dizzying array of impressive camera angles and cinematic tricks. Unfortunately, the same attention to detail can’t be said of the voice work, which is painfully amateur… and forced me to turn the video off twenty minutes in out of sheer aural disgust. Your mileage may well vary, though.Read more at Rockstar
Alligators Spotted ‘Swimming’ in Road, Climbing Fences in FloridaBaby Dugong That Became Internet Star Dies After Ingesting Plastic Stay on target It turns out big cats are not fans of heavy metal. A hiker said blasting a Metallica song from her phone helped scare off a cougar stalking behind her and her dog during a stroll in Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific Coast.Dee Gallant told Kelowna Now she and her husky, Murphy were walking on a road in Cowichan Valley when she felt “like something was watching them.”The animal started creeping toward them, and Gallant realized it was a cougar when it was about 50 feet away.“It was crouched down, doing that kind of prowl, predator walk that they do — that was when I waved my arms and yelled ‘hey, you stop!’ and it did,” she told the media outlet.Gallant said she had seen cougars in the area before.“Initially I wasn’t that scared, I remember thinking ‘cool that’s a cougar,’ and then it was ‘why is it still there?’ before turning into ‘oh my god it’s coming toward me, I need to make it stop,” she said.Don’t Tread On Me: Vancouver Island woman fends off cougar by blasting Metallica https://t.co/vb30S9M5g6— KelownaNow.com (@KelownaNow) July 28, 2019Gallant was able to pull out her phone and record video of the situation, while yelling at the animal to “get out of here” and calling it a “bad kitty.”When the “bad kitty” didn’t respond, Gallant turned to her phone’s music library to find the most “threatening” song and decided to blast “Don’t Tread On Me” by Metallica.“I thought it was the noisiest thing on my phone that would probably scare it, that was also the messaged I wanted to convey to the cougar,” she joked to Kelowna Now.Luckily, it worked.“As soon as the first notes blared out it ran into the bush,” Gallant said.The cougar is the largest of the three wild cats in Canada and is a formidable hunter, according to British Columbia Conservation Foundation’s Wild Safe BC. They are considered “spot and stalk” hunters and have extremely good vision.Wild Safe BC advises hikers to stay calm when encountering a cougar. “Make yourself look as large as possible and back away slowly, keeping the cougar in view, and allowing a clear exit for the cougar,” the organization posted on its website. “Pick up children and small pets immediately. Never run or turn your back — sudden movements may provoke an attack.”More on Geek.com:Skrillex’s Music Could Help Protect Against Mosquito Bites, Study FindsWatch: Firefighters Rescue 80-Pound Cougar From TreeChild Escapes ‘Serious Injuries’ After Cougar Attack in Washington Park
Holy crap, that final scene. There may not have been a ton of action for most of last night’s Game of Thrones, but that last battle was worth the wait. It was massive, violent and emotionally harrowing to watch Daenerys fly overhead on Drogon, unaware of the weapon the Lannisters now possess. We’ll get to that later, though. There’s an entire show worth of cathartic reunions, foreshadowing and intrigue to get through.While the overall plot of Game of Thrones continues to move at the speed of light, last night’s episode wisely took its time early on. Knowing it would end with nonstop action, it filled the rest of the episode with slower moments hinting at where the story would go from here. (Also, if you were watching on HBO NOW, the episode title was “Game of Thrones 64,” which is hilarious. I bet “Game of Thrones 64” would have required the RAM Expansion Pak.) The best of these moments by far was the long-awaited reunion of the remaining Stark siblings. Arya finally arrived back in Winterfell, only to be nearly turned away at the gate. If you remember all the way back to season one, you know this tends to happen to her. People don’t think she looks the part of a Stark. This time, she handles the situation a lot more calmly, appealing to the guards’ sense of reason. And their desire not to face the wrath of Sansa.The scene where Arya and Sansa meet in the Godswood after years of being apart is easily one of the most emotionally satisfying moments in the entire series. It’s immediately clear that both have changed and hardened since they last saw each other, but they’re still sisters. They’re overjoyed to see each other, which is why Sansa is so desperate to laugh off Arya’s list of people to kill as a joke. She tries to appear accepting of the list when Bran reveals it to be serious, but she’s clearly uncomfortable with the idea. That becomes especially evident when Arya spars with Brienne, in another fantastic scene. This fight even gave the dragon battle at the end a run for its money. Though it was a friendly duel, we got to see the two best swordswomen in all of Westeros go up against each other, and it was just as glorious as we’d all imagined. (And you have to smile at Arya’s response that she was trained by “no one.”)Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner (Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Look closely in that scene, and you can find another parallel to season one. When Arya is fighting Brienne, Sansa looks on growing less comfortable by the second. That could be a callback to the scene all the way back when Arya began her water dancer training with Syrio. As Ned saw his daughter fight, a look of terror slowly took over his face. The same happens to Sansa here. The difference is, where Ned was clearly scared for Arya, Sansa looks to be scared of her. A fact that doesn’t go unnoticed by Littlefinger, who is probably already thinking of how to use this situation to his advantage.If there is anything good to come out of Philosophy Major Bran, it might be that he appears to be one step ahead of everyone else as far as Littlefinger is concerned. When Littlefinger gives Bran the Valyrian Steel dagger that almost killed him, Bran says to him “chaos is a ladder.” Those are the same words Littlefinger spoke to Varys in season three. Bran knows what Littlefinger’s up to. He aims to create chaos so that he can amass power amidst the confusion. Sansa knows that too, to a certain extent, but at this point, only Bran knows about how Littlefinger betrayed their father. And now, he gave the dagger to Arya for reasons that aren’t entirely clear yet. Maybe she’ll use it to kill Littlefinger. Since it’s made of Valyrian steel, maybe she’ll be the one to kill the Night King with it. That would certainly explain why such attention was paid to Arya’s match with Brienne. All that’s certain is that Bran knows things about the future that he’s not sharing with anyone. And that despite being more useful this week, he’s still your obnoxious cousin who went to college and discovered weed for the first time.Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO)Elsewhere in Westeros, Daenerys and Jon Snow are acting much friendlier towards one another. Before mining the dragonglass from under her castle, Jon brings Daenerys into the caves so she can see it. More than it being beautiful, they also find some ancient carvings deep in the caves. It would appear that the Forest Children and the First Men lived together, united to defeat a common enemy: The Night King. The message isn’t lost on Daenerys. They need each other to survive. Daenerys still won’t accept a sovereign northern kingdom, though. Much like Jon once said to Mance Rayder, she encourages him to bend the knee to her in order to save his people. Jon is now in the same position Mance was once, with people counting on him to lead. He knows at least a few bannermen leave if he surrenders to Daenerys. If the North becomes divided again, they won’t have a chance to stop the White Walkers. Even with Daenerys’s army.Their discussion is interrupted by the news that Tyrion’s invasion of Casterly Rock has failed. Not trusting Tyrion to lead a campaign against his own family, Daenerys is ready to storm the Red Keep with dragons and Dothraki. Thankfully, Jon is there to help discourage that course of action. He says if she does that, people will look at her as another tyrant, willing to kill common folk if it puts her in power. He encourages her to show people that she will be a different kind of ruler. She listens, leading to the greatest battle of the season, so far.The entire scene leading up to it, with Jaime and Bronn taking wheat from farmers to bring to King’s Landing, was tense as hell. You knew something was coming, but it still wasn’t quite clear what. Then, you heard the horses and the Dothraki yells. She didn’t, you think. And then you see them, and oh yes she did. It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Dothraki riders face a well-funded group of Lannister soldiers, and it gets even better when you see Daenerys’s true plan. The Dothraki keep the soldiers busy while Daenerys rides Drogon, commanding him to burn the wheat. It’s a much more strategic move than storming the Red Keep directly. Interestingly, Tyrion doesn’t enjoy watching the Lannisters be cut down by the Dothraki hoard. Deep down, he still cares deeply for Jaime. He doesn’t want to watch his brother die.Courtesy of HBOThe drama peaks right at the end of the episode, after Bronn, fires the dragon-killing arrow at Drogon. (No! If Drogon dies, I will NOT BE OK.) Fortunately, it only hit his shoulder. He can’t fly right now, but it looks like he’ll live. Then, as Daenerys is trying to pull the arrow out of her dragon, Jaime sees his chance to win the war once and for all. He charges at Daenerys, as Tyrion futilely begs him to run. It’s funny. The Lannister army fired a weapon from The Hobbit, then Tyrion paraphrased a line from The Fellowship of the Ring. Only instead of “Fly, you fools,” it’s “Flee, you idiot.” When you run out of George R.R. Martin books to adapt, why not pull from the other fantasy author with two R’s in his name? As Jaime charges towards Daenerys, Drogon prepares to roast him alive. Jaime is seemingly pushed out of the way by Bronn, and ends up in the water. The final shot of the episode is Jaime sinking to the bottom.What? Is he dead? Is that how he dies? That armor is heavy, and one of his hands is made of metal. That can’t be easy to swim in. Jaime is also conspicuously absent from the preview of next week’s episode. No. I refuse to believe that that’s how he dies. He’ll survive this, only to die a more gruesome death later, either at the hands of Daenerys or Cersei, depending on what he does after he’s pulled from the water. It would be completely unlike the show to kill off one of its most important characters this way. It’s not a fitting resolution to his story, and it makes no sense for him to be spared dragon fire only to drown to death. He’ll be back. While I’m sure Jaime is not dead, don’t be surprised if the show makes us wait a while before we see him again. Game of Thrones likes to torture us like that.Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO)“The Spoils of War” was a high point for the season. Not only did we see its most spectacular battle yet, for the rest of the episode, but we also had some much-needed time to breathe. It took its time, letting the slower moments live and giving some attention to the smaller family stories. This episode gave the audience everything we wanted: Stark reunions, Littlefinger being called out, Arya being the coolest, and a fight with a dragon. Of course, after all that catharsis, there’s probably a lot of trouble ahead for our favorite characters. Most likely, the writers are giving us a break before they stress us out all over again. Game of Thrones likes to play with our emotions like that.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Game of Thrones’ Director Explains Why Arya Ambushed the Night King’Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Predicts Sansa Stark’s Future Stay on target
MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target Is It Comes At Night Good?Yes – though it may not be what many people are expecting.What does that mean?It looks like (and is being promoted as) as post-apocalyptic thriller in the vein of The Walking Dead or The Last of Us. But it’s actually more of a psychological horror film that at first seems to be a well-made but otherwise boilerplate entry in that genre which pretty quickly reveals itself as something like a deliberate deconstruction of the form. a movie about survivalists (post-apocalyptic or otherwise) where the overriding theme is “You’re probably doomed no matter how well you prepare” and may even be said to go as far as “The guys most obsessed with control and order might be the people you should be most afraid of in that situation.”What Happens?The story takes place an unspecified amount of time into the future where an unnamed, barely-understood viral plague (it appears to be airborne, turns your eyes black and requires the afflicted to be immediately killed and burned) looks to have knocked modern U.S. civilization back down to the frontier/pioneer days. Our main characters are a family consisting of Carmen Ejogo (the mom), Kelvin Harrison Jr (the teenaged son) and Joel Edgerton as the requisite hard-headed no-nonsense micromanaging beardo dad figure who is the designated hero of basically every damn movie like this. Their mostly orderly lives are upended when they opt to take in and work together with another family consisting of a younger couple and their toddler son; which at first seems like a smart arrangement but slowly begins to deteriorate into increasingly uneasy mistrust.Is that really all?Without indulging in spoilers… yes, that’s basically it. It’s a “social order gradually breaking down in isolation” story where the inciting incident is The Apocalypse, but nothing flashy or particularly “new” is happening apart from the conceit of seeing what happens when two standard-issue No-Nonsense Post-Apocalyptic Survival Dads have to go beard-to-beard over increasingly contentious tough decisions.So why does the title make it sound like a monster movie?Because it’s sort of a “deconstruction” of the genre; i.e. it’s using the familiar visuals and filmmaking “language” from post-apocalyptic zombie/monster/killer to tell an otherwise more grounded story. Again, without spoiling: The characters are essentially using the day-to-day chores of survival and preparation not just to stay alive but as psychological distraction – occupying their minds with tasks and schedules, so they don’t go mad from the omnipresent knowledge that they’re living through the End of The World. A plot point is that several of them, despite this, have trouble with insomnia and sleepwalking. It eventually becomes clear that what ‘Comes at Night’ refers not to an entity but to the nightmares, paranoia and dark thoughts that plague them in the hours when there’s nothing else to think about. The horror of their situation becomes more oppressive… and more prone to instigating disruptive potentially tragic actions.Any flaws?It’s pretty short, which is typically a welcome change of pace these days. But once you’ve grasped the basic arc of what’s going on, the characters apart from the teenaged son and the two dads don’t really have much time to establish character depth to hold full interest outside of waiting for the impending poor decision making to rear its head. The lack of almost any “showy” genre elements will probably make it feel slight to some, and the overall effect is more like a slightly longer episode of an anthology TV series like Tales From The Crypt or The Twilight Zone than something more explicitly “cinematic.Is it worth seeing?If you like slow-burning psychological horror that’s built around inevitability rather than twists or jump-scares, yes – though don’t expect anything particularly thrilling (and certainly not uplifting: This is about as bleak as these things get.)
We’re currently living in a post Goat Simulator world, but that doesn’t mean animal “simulator” games can’t still surprise us. Notch — creator of Minecraft — made his own animal simulator, called Cliffhorse, which is obviously about a horse running around some steep terrain. This time around, though, the surprise is that you can only pay for it using Dogecoin. The game, however, is free to download, but if you wish to kick Notch a little money, you can toss him some Doge-based cryptocurrency.The game is described as a very early access title, though Notch built it using Unity in about two hours, so it isn’t a serious venture. Since he gave up on 0x10c a year ago, Cliffhorse is technically Notch’s first game to release since Minecraft. Mojang did release Scrolls, but that was more or less a separate team.According to a post on the Dogecoin subreddit, Notch said the game was inspired by watching a streamer play Skyrim, and kept calling the game “Cliffhorse” due the game’s somewhat notorious horse physics. Fans suggested Notch make Cliffhorse a real thing, so he grabbed a bunch of free assets, dropped them into Unity, and two hours later this new game was born.He made Dogecoin the way to pay for the game to triple the irony of the endeavor — a parody of Goat Simulator, a parody of barebones early access titles asking for money, and asking for a parody of a cryptocurrency.You can grab Cliffhorse over here, but don’t expect too much from it.
Toy Tuesday: The Most Fatal ‘Mortal Kombat’ ToysToy Tuesday: The Best Funko Pops Stay on target Six months after its release, people are still talking about Horizon Zero Dawn. Given how it is one of the best games of 2017, it’s no surprise to see people still praising it. Despite the PS4 exclusive’s popularity, it is only now getting some Funko Pop!s figures. Today, the company announced that a new line of Horizon Zero Dawn-inspired figures will hit stores soon. As expected, every single one of these figures is absolutely adorable.This toy line consists of five figures. One is the game’s protagonist, Aloy, who is holding her signature bow and arrow. There’s also one of Erend, who is Aloy’s friend and Vanguard of the Oseram tribe. The bad guys get representation with a figure of an Eclipse Cultist. And no collection of Horizon figures is complete without machines. There are two Watcher varieties: one with a glowing blue eye, and another with a yellow eye. The latter is a Best Buy exclusive. The figures are expected to hit stores sometime in October.Horizon Zero Dawn‘s upcoming expansion, The Frozen Wild, launches on November 7. That means you can snatch up the Funko Pop!s figures to go along with the DLC. In this DLC, Aloy travels to the northern-most parts of the world. While there, she’ll uncover a new mystery, face off against never-before-seen machines, and learn new abilities. Those who pre-order the expansion from the PlayStation store will get an exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn avatar to use as their profile picture.AdChoices广告Below are images of the upcoming Funko Pop!s figures. Please note that the finalized figures may differ slightly from these pictures. If these toys sell well, we’ll hopefully see more. I’d personally love a Pop!s figured based on a Thunderjaw. I’m not sure how one would make the T-Rex-like machine look cute, but I’m sure Funko can pull it off.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
There have been eleven main Mortal Kombat games. Can you believe it? The 90s were that long ago. Since then the fighting game has become a gory institution as colorful ninjas and sorcerers and special forces agents collide to rip each others’ guts out in wacky martial arts tournaments.But in the past decade Mortal Kombat has gone from just a recognizable violent fighting game to a really good recognizable violent fighting game. And the recently released Mortal Kombat 11 brings the reboot trilogy home with a story mode stretching across all of history and new ways for customizing characters to your liking, with different skills and gear to make the accessible mechanics even more varied and deep.Expensive cutscenes and ancillary (arguably exploitative) side content aren’t worth anything though if your fighting game doesn’t have a solid roster. Fortunately, Mortal Kombat 11 gives you a diverse cast of kombatants on which to unleash your bloodlust. And we’re taking a look at every single one of them. Today’s fighter: Nightwolf.AdChoices广告 ‘Street Fighter V’ and ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Get Ne…‘Mortal Kombat 11’ Kharacter Guide: Shang Tsung Who Are They?Look, classic fighting games aren’t exactly known for their racial sensitivity. Nightwolf, or Grey Cloud, is a noble warrior from the Makota Tribe who frequently interacts with Thunder God Raiden in various visions. Like a whole host of other kombatants, Nightwolf is serving Shinnok as an undead revenant by the time of Mortal Kombat 11.Kombat KhronologyNightwolf was first introduced in Mortal Kombat 3. His menagerie of spirit animal powers paired nicely with that game’s Animality transformation finishing moves. He even taught Animalities to Liu Kang in the awful second live-action movie. Meanwhile, his pet wolf Kiba from the Defenders of the Realm cartoon becomes canon as a move in this game.Koolest KustomizationsMost of Nightwolf’s powers revolve around some sort of animal gimmick. Whether it’s his quick light attack the Rabbit Punch or powerful Rhino Charge shoulder bash. Certain custom moves even summon animal spirits to buff attack or defense with wolf or bear powers, or just launch a ghost hawk at opponents. However, his weapons get plenty of love, too. There are multiple ways to throw the tomahawk and his arrows can call down lighting strikes.How Gross Is The Fatality?If you’re going to make me play as an indigenous stereotype, the least you can do is let me get some revenge against the colonizing white man. Fortunately, Nightwolf’s Fatality doesn’t disappoint in this regard. He chops open your face and rips off the front half of your body, jaw first, so your entrails spill all over the battlefield. Then, with graceful form, he throws an axe dead-center into your heart.Mortal Kombat 11 is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. For more, read our spine-ripping impressions of the game as a whole, learn more about Mortal Kombat’s history with the government, and check out our character guide for the much less violent fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.View as: One Page Slides1/271. Read Our Full Mortal Kombat 11 ReviewRead Johnny Cage’s Guide2. Read Sub-Zero’s Guide3. Read Erron Black’s Guide4. Read Scorpion’s Guide5. Read Liu Kang’s Guide6. Read Raiden Guide7. Read Kitana’s Guide8. Read Kung Lao’s Guide9. Read Cetrion’s Guide10. Read Jade’s Guide11. Read Kotal Kahn’s Guide12. Read Skarlet’s Guide13. Read Noob Saibot’s Guide14. Read Geras’ Guide15. Read Baraka’s Guide16. Read Jax’s Guide17. Read Jacqui Briggs’ Guide18. Read Frost’s Guide19. Read D’Vorah’s Guide20. Read Kabal’s Guide21. Read Kano’s Guide22. Read Cassie Cage’s Guide23. Read Shao Kahn’s Guide24. Read Kollector’s Guide25. Read Sonya Blade’s Guide26. Read Shang Tsung’s Guide27. Read Nightwolf’s Guide Stay on target
Stay on target Living in a cramped New York City apartment, I’ll always appreciate bulky technology that does the courtesy of also doubling as straight-up furniture. If I ever got an arcade cabinet, it would be a cocktail style one that also works as a table. The Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker marries some of the best audio tech with the most beloved named in easy furniture. Geek Pick: Beats Powerbeats Pro Are the Better Apple EarphonesGeek Pick: Galaxy Buds Are Samsung’s Best EarphonesGeek Pick: JBL Endurance Peak Are Excellent Exercise Headphones Geek Pick: Fi Smart Dog Collar Sniffs Out Your PetGeek Pick: Bose Headphones 700 Cancel All the Noise The Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker (not to be confused with a table lamp in the same line) is a foot-long speaker monochrome speaker. The audio quality doesn’t disappoint even considering the $100 price, with both bass and highs impressing our original audiophile reviewer. There’s no Bluetooth connection but you can integrate it with other Sonos speakers and control it through a mobile app through your own home Wi-Fi network. It’s also compatible with music services like Apple Music, Audible, and Bandcamp.You don’t have to use this Symfonisk as a shelf. You can stand it up however you like and just use it as a nice affordable speaker. However, it’s nifty that there is the option to mount this thing on a wall and prop up some books, cups, or other knick-knacks on top of it. You just need to buy Ikea’s hook, or slot it into Ikea’s various rail systems. Anything you pick up off this shelf will feel exponentially cooler while music is playing out of it.For more on the Ikea Sonos Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker check out the extensive review on our sister site PCMag.com. For more cool audio tech check out the Marshall Stanmore II Voice and these cheaper AirPod alternatives.More on Geek.com: