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Choco Taco Resurrected!

from The New York Post

Choco Taco lives! Klondike looks to bring back treat ‘in the coming years’

By Caitlin McFall

Klondike’s Choco Taco
Klondike, which has engaged with its customer base on social media, encouraged Choco Taco fans to try other frozen treats they offer. Klondike Bar

Klondike officials on Wednesday said they would look to bring back the apparently beloved Choco Taco “in the coming years” after facing uproar over its removal.

“We know this is disappointing — we’ve heard our fans, and we’re hoping to bring this favorite treat back to ice cream trucks in the coming years,” the ice cream dessert maker said in a tweet

The message was a direct response to one heartbroken customer who said she had been looking all over in her “area and surrounding cities” for the last of the Choco Tacos but had come up short.

“Absolutely heartbreaking,” she wrote.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on August 5, 2022 by Editor

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Shapiropalooza

from InsideHook

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been for Rock Concert Promoter Peter Shapiro

Shapiro just published a new book about a life in music bookended by the Grateful Dead

BY EVAN BLEIER 

Peter Shapiro raging it with fellow fans.“Sometimes you have to leave it all on the field,” Shapiro (right) says. / C. Taylor Crothers

A day after the Fourth of July in 2015 at Soldier Field in Chicago, the core four members of the Grateful Dead who carried on following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995 — Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart — ended their time together as a working band during the final show of that summer’s Fare Thee Well tour.

Peter Shapiro, who had the trajectory of his life change after seeing the Dead as a film student at Northwestern in March of 1993 at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois (about 25 miles away from the band’s final show in Chicago), had organized Fare Thee Well and was in attendance as the final encore of the night, “Attics of My Life,” closed out the tour and ended an era.

Shapiro chronicles his journey from the Rosemont Horizon in ’93 to Soldier Field in ’15 in his new book The Music Never Stops: What Putting on 10,000 Shows Has Taught Me About Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Magic, which was just released today. Co-authored with the assistance of longtime friend and Relix editor-in-chief Dean Budnick, The Music Never Stops chronicles how Shapiro, who owns the nationwide Brooklyn Bowl franchise as well as the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, and was the owner of the legendary jam band proving grounds Wetlands in NYC’s Tribeca, went from Grateful Dead follower to Grateful Dead organizer by sharing his story through the lens of 50 concerts, including acts ranging from U2 and Phish to The Roots and Jason Isbell, from the last three decades.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on August 4, 2022 by Editor

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Rickrolled Whiners

from UPROXX

Everybody Gets Rickrolled, Even The Director Of Rick Astley’s Infamous Video: ‘It’s The Worst Thing’

by DERRICK ROSSIGNOL

rick-astley-never-gonna-give-you-up-video-full.jpg
YOUTUBE

Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” has perhaps the most famous music video ever, or at least the most famed of the internet era thanks to the famous bait-and-switch “Rickroll” prank. The gag, which involves sharing links that unexpectedly lead to the video, has led to the 1987 visual being one of the most-viewed music videos in YouTube history. Simon West, the video’s director, says that even he’s been Rickrolled and he’s not a fan.

In an interview with Metro, West — whose directorial credits also include movies like Con AirLara Croft: Tomb RaiderBlack Hawk Down, and The Expendables 2 — noted it’s happened to him “three or four times.” He said, “People are sensitive to it [but] people who know me really well know that I’m not gonna go ballistic. But when it happens, it’s the worst thing! You think they’re gonna send you a cool video about surfing or something and up it comes.”

On a related note, the US Open Of Surfing kicked off this weekend at Huntington Beach Pier, so here’s a video from that.

[ click to continue reading at UPROXX ]

Posted on August 3, 2022 by Editor

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Vin Scully Gone

Posted on August 2, 2022 by Editor

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Go to copyright jail, go directly to copyright jail.

from artnet

A Version of Monopoly Featuring a Graffiti Artist’s Mural Has Sparked a Fierce Legal Drama Over Copyright

The artist says including a photo of his mural in the game constitutes copyright infringement.

by Eileen Kinsella

Image via discovercentralma.com
OG Slick’s mural in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In the battle between an artist and a corporation behind niche editions of the board game Monopoly, nobody is playing around.

The Rhode Island-based game-maker Top Trumps USA Inc. (TTUI) is seeking a proactive judgement from a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts validating its use of a mural by Richard Wyrgatsch II, better known to his fans as OG Slick, in its Worcester, Massachusetts city edition of Monopoly.

Wyrgatsch painted the mural as part of the 2018 POW! WOW! festival in Worcester as a riff on the classic 1960s “Smiley Face” icon that was itself created by another Worcester native, Harry Ball.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Editor

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Electric Bus

from The New Yorker

The VW Bus Took the Sixties on the Road. Now It’s Getting a Twenty-first-Century Makeover

Once, it sparked dreams of community and counterculture. What’s gained—and lost—when flower power is electrified?

By Jill Lepore

The new version of the VW bus, the Buzz, is about plugging in, not dropping out. Illustration by Klaus Kremmerz

In 1976, at the tail end of the Ford Administration, hippies no longer hip, Sue Vargo and Molly Mead decided that they wanted to drive to the Florida Keys in a Volkswagen bus. They were best friends, in their twenties, living in a women-only commune in Massachusetts: muddy boots, acoustic guitars, mercurial vegetarians. They bought a beat-up VW bus, circa 1967, red and white, with a split windshield, a stick shift that sprouted up from the floor like a sturdy sapling, a big, flat, bus-driver steering wheel half the size of a hula hoop, and windshield wipers that waved back and forth—cheerful and eager, like a puppy—without wiping anything away. The bus had no suspension. “You just bounced along,” Vargo said, bobbing her head. “Boing, boing, boing.”

This year, Volkswagen is bringing back the bus—souped up, tricked out, and no longer bouncy—as the ID. Buzz. “ID.” stands for “intelligent design,” and “Buzz” means that it’s electric. It might be the most anticipated vehicle in automotive history. Volkswagen has been teasing a return of the classic, iconic, drive-it-to-the-Grateful-Dead bus for more than two decades. (I’m one of the people who’ve been counting the days.) The company keeps announcing that it’s coming, and then it never comes. Finally, it really is coming, and not only is it electric but it can also be a little bit psychedelic, two-toned, in the colors of a box of Popsicles: tangerine, lime, grape, lemon. It’s on sale in Europe this fall and will be available in the United States in 2024. (One reason for the wait is that Volkswagen is making a bigger one for the U.S. market, with three rows of seats instead of two.) Volkswagen expects the Buzz, which has a range of something like two hundred and sixty miles, to be the flagship of a fast-growing electric fleet. The C.E.O. of Volkswagen of America said that the demand for the Buzz in the U.S. is unlike anything he’s seen before. “The Buzz has the ability to rewrite the rules,” Top Gear reported in April, naming it Electric Car of the Year.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on July 21, 2022 by Editor

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In Praise of GWAR

from The Daily Beast via MSN

The Heavy Metal Band Showering Fans With Blood and Semen

by Nick Schager

There has never been, nor will there ever be, anyone like GWAR, the metal outfit hailing from Richmond, Virginia, who dress up as space barbarians, act out all manner of onstage obscenity, and spew their audiences with fake blood, semen, and other sticky bodily fluids. For the past four decades, GWAR has carved out a wholly unique niche in the music industry, serving as a nexus point for those who love horror movies, science fiction, fantasy, comic books, superheroes, Dungeons & Dragons, punk, and headbanging. They’re the mutant manifestation of every geeky thing in modern American popular culture, and their legacy of gonzo anti-establishment satire, pornographic performance-art pyrotechnics, gory tongue-in-cheek violence, and absurdist mania are all lovingly celebrated by This is GWAR, a non-fiction introduction to a band that long-time member Danielle Stampe (aka Slymenstra Hymen) refers to as “a joke with no punchline.”

As laid out by director Scott Barber’s (The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story) fun-loving documentary (July 21 on Shudder, following a limited theatrical release beginning July 16), GWAR was the byproduct of a meeting of two idiosyncratic—and, for a time, kindred—minds. In 1980s Richmond, Hunter Jackson was an aspiring and unconventional artist at Virginia Commonwealth University and his efforts to create an out-there cinematic spectacular at The Dairy—a former milk factory that had transformed into a de facto home for artistic collectives, including Hunter’s own Slave Pit—led to an encounter with David Brockie, the lead singer of on-the-rise punk band Death Piggy. By this time, Brockie was already a local celebrity thanks to his theatrics, such as providing audiences with pinatas filled with quarters, candy and cat shit, and he immediately took to Hunter and, in particular, the bizarre movie costumes he and his Slave Pit comrades were creating. One night, Brockie asked to borrow those get-ups to pose as his own opening band, dubbed “Gwarggh,” and a perverse phenomenon was born.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on July 17, 2022 by Editor

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Canvas Find

from AP

Van Gogh self-portrait found hidden behind another painting

(Neil Hanna via AP)

LONDON (AP) — A previously unknown self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh has been discovered behind another of the artist’s paintings, the National Galleries of Scotland said Thursday.

The self-portrait was found on the back of Van Gogh’s “Head of a Peasant Woman” when experts at the Edinburgh gallery took an X-ray of the canvas ahead of an upcoming exhibition. The work is believed to have been hidden for over a century, covered by layers of glue and cardboard when it was framed in the early 20th century.

Van Gogh was known for turning canvases around and painting on the other side to save money.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on July 13, 2022 by Editor

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CarPay

from Benzinga

Why This Apple Analyst Thinks Future Of CarPlay Is In Payments

by Shanthi Rexaline

Apple, Inc. 

AAPL+1.23%+ Free Alerts announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June an improved version of its CarPlay. An analyst at Loup Funds is of the view the future of CarPlay is in payments.

Mobile Commerce Is Future Feature: Mobile commerce is likely to be a future feature on CarPlay’s roadmap, analyst Gene Munster said in a note. The new user interface, the analyst said, will allow developers to add payments into CarPlay for purchasing fuel at gas stations.

Explaining how this would help Apple earn money, the analyst noted that the current App Store terms of service allow the company a 15-30% take rate for in-app purchases of digital goods. Physical goods are monetized through Apple Pay, which has a take rate of less than 0.5%, he noted.

[ click to continue reading at Benzinga ]

Posted on July 10, 2022 by Editor

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The Original Heavy Metal Madman

from The Critic

A madman’s guide to Wagner

You don’t have to be crazy to enjoy Wagner, but it helps

by Philip Hensher

The German composer Richard Wagner wrote seven operas in his mature style. I’ve been going to see them in live performances for the last forty years or so – my very first was Die Walküre at English National Opera in 1983, I think. I knew most of them quite well before that. The BBC, rather astonishingly now, had devoted ten weeks to showing the famous 1976 Bayreuth centenary Ring on TV, act by act; the summer before I went to university in 1983, I splashed out on what I still think is the greatest of all opera recordings, Carlos Kleiber’s Tristan and played it into the ground.

Still, there is no substitute for seeing the things live, in the theatre. Since then I’ve seen all of them repeatedly, brilliantly performed and directed, and some really awful evenings, too. Once I saw Siegfried twice on two successive evenings, the first in Berlin and then (a friend phoned me while I was at Tegel airport with the offer of a ticket) at Covent Garden. (The Berlin dragon cost hundreds of thousands and reduced the audience to fits of laughter; the London one, in Richard Jones’s inspiration, was a pumpkin on a stick, whose destruction proved unexpectedly horrible).

I’m quite a hopeless Wagnerian. I’m never very good at remembering the names of singers I’ve seen, for instance. I’ve seen so many ridiculous whims of producers that I’m more or less immune to them, though a previous ENO Götterdämmerung did rouse me to proper booing. Booing is traditionally part of Wagnerian appreciation – the museum at Bayreuth fondly displays the whistle a patron brought to express his rage at the 1976 Ring, engraved with the date of us. I very much enjoyed, a few years ago, when in Leipzig the truly ancient Siegfried was evidently so shellshocked by his reception at the end of the first act that he took his second-act bow pushing the charming 20-something singer of the Woodbird in front of him, like a human shield.

[ click to continue reading at The Critic ]

Posted on July 9, 2022 by Editor

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James Caan Gone

from Deadline

James Caan Dies: ‘The Godfather’ Oscar Nominee, ‘Brian’s Song’ & ‘Elf’ Star Was 82

By Erik Pedersen

James Caan, the tough-guy actor who scored an Oscar nom as mafioso Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and an Emmy nom for playing NFL running back Brian Piccolo in Brian’s Song, among a host of big film and TV roles including Elf and Las Vegas, died Wednesday night in Los Angeles. He was 82. His family confirmed the news on Caan’s Twitter page but gave no other details.

After a decade in the business, Caan shot to fame in the early 1970s with back-to-back signature roles. He earned an Emmy nom as the real-life cancer-stricken Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo in ABC’s Brian’s Song, alongside Billy Dee Williams as fellow Bears running back Gale Sayers. The heart-rending tale of the hard-forged friendship among the NFL’s first interracial roommates was the most-watched TV movie ever at that point, with a 32.9 rating/48 share and went on to win five Emmys including Outstanding Single Program – Drama or Comedy.

Francis Ford Coppola Honors His ‘Godfather’ Star James Caan: “Will Never Be Forgotten”

In a 2011 interview with the Television Academy Foundation (watch it here), Emmy-winning Brian’s Song screenwriter William Blinn said: “Jimmy’s Jimmy. He always had a cockiness, a confidence. Very competitive. Edgy, in the best sense of the word. But he’s a guy with all the pluses and minuses you can have.”

[ click to read full article at Deadline ]

Posted on July 7, 2022 by Editor

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Sonny Barger Gone

from Deadline

Sonny Barger Dies: Hells Angels Founder, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Actor & Rolling Stones Nemesis Was 83

By Greg Evans

Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger (2004) AP Images

Sonny Barger, the notorious founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, author, ex-convict, occasional Sons of Anarchy actor and one of the bikers who provided the violent, bloody security at the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont concert, died of Wednesday of cancer. He was 83.

Barger announced his own death in a pre-written message subsequently posted today on his Facebook page: “If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing. I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, i’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends.

Barger, long the public face of the notorious and frequently outlaw Angels, was a founding member of the club’s Oakland, CA, chapter.

Barger had written six books, including his autobiography Hell’s Angel — The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, in which he put the blame for the disastrous Altamont concert squarely on the Stones. The Angels had been hired by the band to provide security, a decision the Stones would regret: The bikers beat audience members with billiard sticks, punched and knocked out Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin and attacked (in self-defense, they claimed) a pistol-wielding 18-year-old Stones fan named Meredith Hunter. One of the Angels stabbed and killed Hunter but was acquitted after claiming self-defense.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on July 1, 2022 by Editor

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Mr. Rogers’ Rides

from The Drive

Parked in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Fred Rogers Taught Us About Cars

Though rarely center stage, automobiles played a quiet but crucial role on the iconic children’s TV show.

BY JOE LIGO

Despite growing up in a wealthy family and being taken to school by the family driver in a Cadillac, Fred McFeely Rogers—known as Mister Rogers to most of us —never appeared to have developed a taste for exotic or expensive things. As the nationally-known host of the PBS children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and perhaps one of the most universally adored public figures in the country, Fred’s personal life was strikingly modest. He seemed the least likely person you’d expect to be interested in cars.

And yet: take a wider view, and his program showed children that the automobile is a fixture in modern American life over the second half of the 20th century, introducing them to everything from seat belts to automated car washes to early EV efforts. Fred Rogers himself wasn’t much of a gearhead, but he knew just as much as anyone how much emotion can be wrapped up in a car, quietly maintaining a 1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe over the decades that had been given to him by his parents. 

In reality, a survey of the 900+ episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood indicates that Fred understood there are lots of kids (and adults) who love anything with wheels. So with help from the invaluable NeighborhoodArchive.com and a few phone calls with Rogers’ former producer Margy Whitmer and former co-star/company PR rep David Newell, let’s dive into the automotive world of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Posted on June 29, 2022 by Editor

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Queen Bubbles

from The New Yorker

The Gospel According to Mavis Staples

A legendary singer on faith, loss, and a family legacy.

By David Remnick

Mavis Staples sings with a group of people in her youth.
Staples once considered stepping away from singing to become a nurse. Her father said, “Don’t you know you’re already a nurse?”Photograph by Steve Schapiro / Corbis / Getty

Mavis Staples has been a gospel singer longer than Elizabeth II has worn the crown. During concerts, sometimes, she might take a seat and rest while someone in her band bangs out a solo for a chorus or two. No one minds. Her stage presence is so unfailingly joyful—her nickname is Bubbles—that you never take your eyes off her. Staples sings from her depths, with low moans and ragged, seductive growls that cut through even the most pious lyric. She is sanctified, not sanctimonious. In her voice, “Help Me Jesus” is as suggestive as “Let’s Do It Again.” When she was a girl, singing with her family ensemble, the Staple Singers, churchgoers across the South Side of Chicago would wonder how a contralto so smoky and profound could issue from somebody so young.

She is eighty-two. While singers a fraction of her age go to great lengths to preserve their voices, drinking magical potions and warming up with the obsessive care of a gymnast, she doesn’t hold back. Time, polyps, and a casual disdain for preservation have conspired to narrow her range and sand down her old shimmer, but she is not about to hum lightly through a rehearsal. A little ginger tea and onward she goes. Singing is what connects her to the world.

Sly, sociable, and funny, Staples reminds you of your mother’s most reliable and cheerful friend, the one who comes around with good gossip and a strawberry pie. Her cheeks are round and smooth; her hair is done in a copper bob; her resting expression is one of delight. “She is a ray of sunshine,” Bonnie Raitt, her frequent touring companion, said. “She’s never cranky. She has an abiding belief in God and His plan and believes the world is moving toward a higher and more loving world.” Staples has spent the past few decades lending her voice to a startling range of collaborators: Prince, Arcade Fire, Nona Hendryx, Ry Cooder, David Byrne. Anyone who has something to say, she’ll help them say it, in an inimitable gospel voice. One collaborator, Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco, said, “All day long, Mavis is having a good time. She’s excited about making music and just being alive. I hope I have that energy when I’m her age, but the truth is I don’t even have it now.”

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on June 28, 2022 by Editor

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No way! I didn’t know there was a ‘porn trilogy for Nintendos’.

from Vanity Fair

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.

The porn trilogy for Nintendos. Atari games from the 1980s. Pristine nostalgia, potentially worth millions, gone in a night. 

BY JUSTIN HECKERT

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.
ILLUSTRATION BY QUICKHONEY.

He tries his best to forget about the safe. But when he has a few free minutes and is cleaning the pins of old Nintendo cartridges with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips, a little piece of him dies every time he thinks about how he could’ve been so naive. When he ran the place, he would man the counter from a swivel chair next to the cash register, a can of Diet Coke by the keyboard of his desktop computer, his palms at the edge of a Super Mario World mouse pad. He’d lined his shelves with Pokémon and PAC-MAN figurines, Sonic the Hedgehog plushies, T-shirts and stickers with the store’s logo, dog-eared stacks of GamePro and Nintendo Power, and a feng shui of other games. Drawers nested all sorts of controllers smothered in black cords. Until he was forced to sully the store by putting jail bars on the windows and installing security cameras out front, Trade-N-Games had been lighthearted in spirit and charming in its accentuations. He’d wanted customers to experience what it had been like to be part of the video game generation that had discovered Nintendo and Sega. He had wished to replicate for people that feeling that usually disappears as they settle into adulthood. There’s a “great buys” bargain bin and a giant glass collector’s case.

A placard above the employee gate by the desk reads NINTENDO REPAIR AVAILABLE HERE. The AS SEEN ON YOUTUBE sign he’d taken down. He’d had a kind of philanthropic hubris as an owner and collector, someone who never gave a second thought to keeping his legendary game collection a secret. He’d gladly let YouTubers film in the back; he would even open the safe back there and show them, item by item, his Louvre. Other collectors had rare games, sure, but in the back room of his store, and especially in the safe, he was proud to own 10,000 of what he described as “cherry” copies—his preferred term for virgin condition. The cardboard on his Super Nintendo games was still crispy, as collectors like to say. His Sega Genesis and Master System games were as pristine in their clamshells as if they had been hanging from the racks at KB Toys.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on June 27, 2022 by Editor

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Marram Montauk

from InsideHook

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World

Marram Montauk merchants in vibes, waves and s’mores. You will leave relaxed and recharged, whether you like it or not.

BY TANNER GARRITY

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World
Read McKendree

I left my balcony door open both nights at Marram Montauk last week, with only a screen and a shade separating my room from the roar of the surf. If there’s a better white noise machine than the East End on a misty weeknight I’d love to hear it. Sleep arrived gently, like just about everything else at the monastic, four-star retreat, which recently reopened its doors for the 2022 season after some light renovations.

Before there was Marram there was Atlantic Terrace, a yellow, family-run motel with a shuffleboard court. It was built in the 1960s — a time when the year-round population of the town was less than a grand, the town was only serviced by New England local news stations, all shops were closed on Sundays and interested buyers could purchase a home in town for $12,000…at Macy’s in Herald Square.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on June 22, 2022 by Editor

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Longest Home Run Ever

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Editor

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NYFU FWD

from One Sports

Exclusive: Behind New York Fury’s quest to build a new era in Valorant

Always moving forward.

BY WANZI KOH

Valorant New York Fury 2022
Credit: New York Fury

The New York Fury is ready to create a new era for its organization, unveiling a brand new Valorant roster ahead of VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers. Built around former Version1 in-game leader Chad “Oderus” Miller, the team plucked talent from Evil GeniusesFaZe Clan, Rise, and Soniqs.

The North American team, formerly known as Andbox, is part of the NYXL organization, which fields championship-winning teams in the Overwatch and Call of Duty League.

That winning legacy is one it’s looking to carry over into Valorant. In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, NY Fury General Manager Matt “Warden” Dickens talks about how the new roster came together and their goals moving forward.

[ click to continue reading at One Sports ]

Posted on June 5, 2022 by Editor

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Lido Gone

from AP

Show’s over for famed cabaret show at France’s Lido

By JADE LE DELEY

PARIS (AP) — It’s the end of an era for the famed Lido cabaret on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

Amid financial troubles and changing times, the venue’s new corporate owner is ditching most of the Lido’s staff and its high-kicking, high-glamour dance shows — which date back decades and inspired copycats from Las Vegas to Beirut — in favor of more modest musical revues.

Dressed all in black, dancers staged a protest Saturday on the broad sidewalk in front of the Lido — and then performed a dance routine to a cheering crowd, kicking their long legs high to a traditional cabaret song.

They handed out leaflets to passers-by on the Champs-Elysees Avenue, who lamented the Lido’s fate and warmly applauded the performance. Dancers from the Moulin Rouge came to support Lido staff, and notably its historic Bluebell Girls dance troupe.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 28, 2022 by Editor

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Book Blobs

from Inside Hook

Why Do All Books Suddenly Look the Same?

The ubiquitous “blob” cover is a combination of content, design and, yes, clickability

BY TRISH ROONEY

covers of the vanishing half, detransition baby, untamed

Why are all books so abstract? / Getty, Riverhead Books, One World, Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book

You probably already know what the hottest new fiction book of the day looks like — without even seeing it. Picture electric blues, earthy greens, maybe pops of pinks and splashes of red blended together. While a plain white font announces the title, perhaps the swirling cursive of the author’s name is mixed into the pattern itself. 

This is the modernist book cover of 2022 — or “the blobs.” There are a few very prominent titles that share this aesthetic: The Vanishing Half, a story about the lives of two Black sisters by Brit Bennett, with a cover design by Lauren Peters-Collaer; and Detransition, Baby, a novel about queer parenthood by Torrey Peters, with a cover design by Rachel Ake Kuech. But there are many titles. Many more “blobs.” It’s become a joke online; where people notice that even packages of beef jerky are starting to look like New York Times Bestsellers.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 24, 2022 by Editor

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AC GOOD BAD

from Vox

The air conditioning paradox

How do we cool people without heating up the planet?

By Umair Irfan


A woman fans her child with a sheet of paper as a fan sits idle amid a power outage during a heat wave in Jacobabad, Pakistan, on May 11. Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The world is now 1.1 degrees Celsius — 2 degrees Fahrenheit — warmer on average than it was at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. But baked into that seemingly small change in the average is a big increase in dangerous extreme temperatures. That’s made cooling, particularly air conditioning, vital for the survival of billions of people.

The devastation of extreme temperatures is playing out right now in several places around the world. A gargantuan heat wave over India and Pakistan, where 1.5 billion people live, is now in its third week. Just 12 percent of India’s population has air conditioning, but even those people are suffering. The heat has triggered power outages, created water shortages, and killed dozens, although the true toll may not be known for weeks.

[ click to continue reading at Vox ]

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Editor

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Dead Planes

from ABC 15

The Boneyard: World’s largest airplane graveyard is in Tucson, Arizona

By: Kari Steele

What happens to our nation’s militarized aircraft when it’s time to toss it? Welcome to the largest aircraft graveyard in the world, The Boneyard!

See all of the cool planes and space aircraft in the video above!

The Boneyard is formally known as the 309th AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group). An AMARG is a boneyard facility for all excess military and government aircraft. Planes, jets, helicopters, and space shuttles belonging to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NASA are processed here. Another role of AMARG is to convert fighter jets into aerial target drones.

[ click to continue reading at ABC 15 ]

Posted on May 13, 2022 by Editor

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Go Go Gonzo!

from The Washington Post via MSN

The gonzo journalist who forever changed political campaign coverage

by Jason Vest

It was presidential campaign reporting unlike anything seen before. The reporter made it clear: He had no desire to join the permanent Washington press corps, or ever cover politics full time, and indeed he never did. He was contemptuous of Democratic centrists and unabashed about a sitting Republican president’s depravity, and said so in prose that sounded like a punch-drunk H.L. Mencken spoiling for a bar fight. (“A treacherous, gutless old wardheeler who should be put in a goddamn bottle and sent out with the Japanese current,” he said of Dem presidential aspirant Hubert Humphrey. And the incumbent in the White House? “A drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and the head of giant hyena … the dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise.”)

This is the unmistakable prose of the late Hunter S. Thompson, who had high hopes that a one-off gig covering national politics 50 years ago — really a sop from his editor at a music magazine — might help him go from journalist to novelist. He already had two nonfiction bestsellers under his belt, one of which he’d reported out over years as an embed, covering an outfit at least as amoral as any in Washington: the Hell’s Angels.

But if the Washington political establishment, including the press, thought the assignment was going to merit only a couple of magazine pieces, they had another thing coming. Thompson influenced a new generation of political correspondents, says Peter Richardson, author of the newly published “Savage Journey: Hunter S. Thompson and the Weird Road to Gonzo,” a consideration of Thompson’s literary influences and influence.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on May 10, 2022 by Editor

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Voyager Station

from CNN

Inside the space hotel scheduled to open in 2025

by Francesca Street, CNN

Space hotel designs: Orbital Assembly Corporation is planning to build Voyager Station and Pioneer Station, two space hubs in the sky. Click through the gallery to see Oribital Assembly’s renderings depicting what what life among the stars might look like.

Waking up in a chic hotel room with a view of the solar system could be the future of travel, at least if space company Orbital Assembly has anything to say about it.

The US-based company has revealed new information and concepts for its space hotel idea, designs for which have been orbiting since 2019.

Originally premiered by Californian company the Gateway Foundation — and then called the Von Braun Station — this futuristic concept consists of several modules connected by elevator shafts that make up a rotating wheel orbiting the Earth.

The project is now being overseen by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a space construction company that cut links with Gateway.

Orbital Assembly is now aiming to launch not one but two space stations with tourist accommodation: Voyager Station, the renamed original design, is now scheduled to accommodate 400 people and to open in 2027, while new concept Pioneer Station, housing 28 people, could be operational in just three years.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on May 3, 2022 by Editor

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Metasimple

from InsideHook

This Is the Simplest Way to Explain the Metaverse

We can do it in three words — while some experts provide larger context and clear up some major misperceptions.

BY KIRK MILLER

A person wearing a VR headset, an imagined present/future of the "metaverse"
The “metaverse” will not be confined to bulky headsets, say the experts / Iryna Veklich

Ask someone today what the metaverse is and you’re bound to get a confused look. Or a wrong answer.

That was the conclusion reached earlier this year by the market research firm Ipsus, which conducted a series of surveys to determine what we did and did not know about the so-called “metaverse.”

Their results? While nearly two in five (38%) of Americans said they are very or somewhat familiar with the metaverse, there were “significant differences” by age and by the presence of children in the household: It was as high as 53% for those with children, and also 53% of respondents aged 18 to 34. From there, it went down to 45% of those aged 35 to 54 and just 20% for those ages 55 or older who were familiar with the term. 

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on May 2, 2022 by Editor

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No Switch Hitters

from PC Magazine

Nintendo Reminds Us Not to Hit People, Smash TVs When Playing Switch Sports

Joy-Con wrist straps are an essential accessory for this game, as is lots of free space.

By Matthew Humphries

Wii Sports caused many an injury to bodies and televisions back in 2006, and Nintendo is warning parents in an attempt to avoid a similar situation with Switch Sports.

Nintendo Switch Sports went on sale today and offers a range of motion-controlled sports to play. This inevitably sees you swinging a Joy-Con around vigorously, which can be a serious hazard to anyone standing or sitting nearby. Bruises, black eyes, and smashed TVs are all signs you’re really enjoying the challenge, but Nintendo would like to avoid them if possible.

[ click to continue reading at PC Mag ]

Posted on April 29, 2022 by Editor

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Poisonous Green Books

from National Geographic

These green books are poisonous—and one may be on a shelf near you

A toxic green pigment was once used to color everything from fake flowers to book covers. Now a museum conservator is working to track down the noxious volumes.

BY JUSTIN BROWER

still life of green books stacked
After bookcloth became a popular and affordable alternative to leather for bookmaking, publishers began releasing volumes in a range of colors, including emerald green. PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA HALE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Libraries and rare book collections often carry volumes that feature poisons on their pages, from famous murder mysteries to seminal works on toxicology and forensics. The poisons described in these books are merely words on a page, but some books scattered throughout the world are literally poisonous.

These toxic books, produced in the 19th century, are bound in vivid cloth colored with a notorious pigment known as emerald green that’s laced with arsenic. Many of them are going unnoticed on shelves and in collections. So MelissaTedone, the lab head for library materials conservation at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware, has launched an effort dubbed the Poison Book Project to locate and catalogue these noxious volumes.

To date, the team has uncovered 88 19th-century books containing emerald green. Seventy of them are covered with vivid green bookcloth, and the rest have the pigment incorporated onto paper labels or decorative features. Tedone even found an emerald green book on sale at a local bookstore, which she purchased.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Editor

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A Million Little Corals

from WIRED

A Million Little Pieces: The Race to Rebuild the World’s Coral Reefs

Nearly half of these ocean ecosystems have been wiped out since 1950. One man is on a mission to reverse that—by speed-growing coral in hyperefficient nurseries.

by ROWAN MOORE GERETY

The Race to Rebuild the World's Coral Reefs | WIRED

LISA CARNE WAS swimming through a bed of seagrass in northern Belize when she saw a hunk of elkhorn coral lying loose on the sandy bottom. She paused to look at it. With its rich amber color and antler-like branches, the fragment seemed alive despite having broken off from its mother colony. A professional diver, Carne was struck with an idea: What if she picked this up and moved it to a patch of dead reef? What if she did it over and over again? Could she help the reef recover more quickly?

Carne kept thinking about the fragment as she finished up her dive. The reefs close to her home, near Laughing Bird Caye National Park, in southern Belize, had recently been decimated by a hurricane. When she returned home, she sat down at her computer and started searching online for anything she could find on reef restoration.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on April 18, 2022 by Editor

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Move Over Mundi

from Vanity Fair

Will This Warhol Become the Most Expensive Artwork Ever Sold?

When one of the pop artist’s famed portraits of Marilyn Monroe goes to auction next month, some observers think it could fetch up to half a billion dollars. What is it about this particular work that gives it such potential to break the market?

BY NATE FREEMAN

Image may contain Advertisement Collage Poster Marilyn Monroe Steven A. Cohen Kenneth C. Griffin Human and Person

One morning in Rockefeller Center this month, Jeff Koons waltzed through the Christie’s front atrium, where his Balloon Dog (Orange) was installed in 2013 prior to hitting the block. Koons currently holds the distinction of world’s most expensive living artist, but on this brisk day, he was a mere viewer, there to see a work that soon seems destined to go for many multiples of the $58.4 million that shiny steel canine fetched at auction. Staffers of the auction house, owned by French billionaire François Pinault, whisked Koons into the small, chapel-like room where he could get a full glimpse at Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, one of five portraits of Marilyn Monroe made by Warhol in 1964, at what was widely considered to be the peak of his creative output. Hitting the block in less than a month on May 9, it has an estimate of $200 million, the highest ever placed on an artwork prior to auction.

“Two hundred is a huge benchmark. It’s the highest reported estimate ever, it’s the highest estimate ever put on an artwork,” said Alex Rotter, the Christie’s chairman who’s overseeing the sale. “Could we have set more? You could always say more.”

Many are indeed saying more, making the $200 million mark seem not like the estimate—but the jumping-off point. Several dealers, advisers, auction specialists, and Warhol experts who I spoke to recently believe that, if the right tech billionaires, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, Asian foundations, or pandemic-enriched shipping magnates go head-to-head during the bidding, the work could hammer as high as $500 million, making it the most expensive artwork of all time—a marker currently held by Salvator Mundi, a rendering of Jesus Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that went for $450 million in 2017.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on April 14, 2022 by Editor

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Mamet Uncensored

from The Wall Street Journal

David Mamet Is a Defiant Scribe in the Age of Conformity

The playwright won’t play along with woke signaling, talismanic masking or deference to petty tyrants.

By Barton Swaim

ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN

Back in the 1980s and ’90s, innumerable films, TV documentaries and history textbooks instructed us that the 1950s were years of conformity and conventionalism: “The Donna Reed Show,” McCarthyism, “The Organization Man,” TV dinners. In fact, the ’50s were a time of extraordinary artistic creativity, boundless technological innovation, original thinking in politics, intellectual diversity in journalism and higher education, new energy in religion, and enormous progress in race relations. What the ’80s and ’90s mistook for conformity was a naturally evolved cultural solidarity—something nearly everybody, on the left and the right, longs for now.

An informed observer of present-day America might reasonably conclude that our own decade—at least among the educated and advantaged classes—is far more imbued with the spirit of conformism than the ’50s were. Corporate managers and military leaders parrot nostrums about diversity, inclusion and sustainability that few of them believe. Museums and orchestras studiously avoid programming that might offend ideologues. Reporters and producers in the mainstream press seize on stories—or ignore them—solely because that’s what everybody else in the press is doing. Large majorities in wealthy cities dutifully comply with public-health restrictions they know to be largely ineffective, mainly because refusing to do so would invite the ire of friends and neighbors complying with those restrictions for the same reason.

Maybe America’s deciders and describers (to use Nicholas Eberstadt’s phrase) aren’t the independent-minded lot they think themselves to be.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 9, 2022 by Editor

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Bet on Ice Cream in the first.

from People Magazine

Michelle Pfeiffer Bought Her Iconic Scarface Sunglasses for Just $3

By Bianca Brutus

Who says timeless style has to cost a mint? Not Michelle Pfeiffer!

The Scarface star told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning that her says her iconic cat eye sunglasses from the film cost only a few dollars. 

The actress, 63, posted a still from the film on Instagram in January, revealing that the sunglasses were originally a drugstore purchase. 

When asked by Seacrest about the “epic” post, Pfeiffer gave more information on the shades while appearing on Live with Kelly & Ryan to promote her upcoming Showtime series The First Lady.

The sunglasses were purchased for “probably for $3,” she explained. But unfortunately, when it comes to function (as opposed to fashion), you get what you pay for: “I kept them, but they kind of fell apart over time,” she said. “They were cheap.”

[ click to continue reading at People ]

Posted on April 8, 2022 by Editor

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Trapping Fish With Giant Penises

from Nautilus

The Genius of Fishing with Tidal Weirs

Native and non-native scientists have come together to counter overfishing with an ancient practice.

BY KATA KARÁTH

GONE FISHING: A fishing weir in the Micronesian state of Yap. The “arrow” of stone walls traps fish at high tides. When the tide ebbs, fishermen go to work. Photo courtesy of William Jeffery.

Seen from the air, the Micronesian state of Yap is a jewel-green archipelago of dense forests patched with taro fields, fringed by mazes of mangroves, and trimmed by coral reefs. And, fanning out from the wrack lines into the turquoise shallows like a frill of beaded tassels is a geometric design of rock structures that are shaped like arrows, beech mushrooms, or penises. The Yapese call these structures aech, and they are tidal fish weirs, one of the world’s most common Indigenous mariculture tools.

“Our aech is called Aechwol because of its luck,” says Thomas Ganang, whose family has owned for generations an aech near the village of Gachpar, off the eastern shore of Gagil-Tamil Island; in Yapese, “wol” means “luck.” “Whatever fish I catch inside the aech is a sign of luck. So it’s an ‘aech with good luck.’” Ganang, who is 66, fondly recalls how, when he was still a boy, his father, Laman, took him to the faluw—a traditional men’s house in Yap—to teach him everything about fishing, including how to use aech.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on April 7, 2022 by Editor

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The New Unreal

from TIME

Inside Epic’s Unreal Engine 5—and What It Means for the Future of Gaming, Movies, and the Metaverse

BY ANDREW R. CHOW

For years, the 3D software development tool Unreal Engine has powered some of the biggest video games on the market—from Fortnite to Valorant—as well as television shows like The Mandalorian and even Porsche engineering. On Tuesday, Epic Games showed off the public release of Unreal Engine 5, the engine’s first major update in 8 years.

The company promises that the new updates to Unreal Engine 5 will make it the bedrock for the next generation of Web 3 developments—from metaverse experiences to movies, and of course, video games.

Unreal Engine is the second-most widely used video game engine, trailing only Unity, and is known for its depth of features and visual quality. Unreal Engine 5 augments those strengths, giving its users hyper-intricate 3D detail, facial realism, and large-scale world building. Its release opens the door for Disney to create a live Mandalorian video game that looks nearly as real as the show does, for example, says Kim Libreri, the CTO at Epic Games.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on April 5, 2022 by Editor

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