Links for the weekends…enjoy it.
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On Video, Chicago Police Shoot Man At Grand-State Red Line Station After He Was Moving Between Cars – CBS Chicago
- On Video, Chicago Police Shoot Man At Grand-State Red Line Station After He Was Moving Between Cars CBS Chicago
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Director Leigh Whannell reveals the connection between his version of The Invisible Man and the source material.
It was in 1897 when H.G. Wells--known as the father of modern science fiction--published his novel The Invisible Man. In that book, a scientist named Griffin discovers a way to render himself invisible while experimenting with the refraction of light. Already an unstable personality, Griffin becomes even more unhinged through his work and decides he wants to use his invisibility to enact a literal “Reign of Terror” upon England.
The sociopathic, narcissistic aspects of the character, along with the name Griffin, were retained when director James Whale (Frankenstein) brought a faithful version of Wells’ novel to the screen in 1933 as one of the original Universal Monster movies. In the film, however, Griffin (played brilliantly by Claude Rains) does not just want to subjugate his homeland, but the entire world.
In writer-director Leigh Whannell’s new update of the classic tale, the Invisible Man’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) ultimate plans for his optic technology remain a mystery, but in the movie he uses them for one reason: to destroy the life of Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), the woman who summons the courage to escape his clutches after three years of an abusive, domineering relationship that left her traumatized and shattered.
The name of the Invisible Man is, once again, Griffin, and in our video interview below, Whannell tells us that he did refer back to both the novel and Whale’s 1933 film for inspiration.
“I did (go back) a little bit to the original source material,” Whannell explains. “I tried to avoid all the subsequent iterations of any invisibility, any movies. I avoided all that, but I did go back to the source material, the novel and the original film.”
Whannell says that aside from using the name Griffin as a nod to the original, he found the source material insightful in other ways: “There's a reason why characters stick around for a long time,” he explains. “There's something about them that resonates with the popular imagination. We want that power. We want to be invisible. It's a superpower. It's like the power of flight."
He adds, "That's what I took from the book, and the way I kind of shoehorned it into my story was to say that this individual is a malignant narcissist. He was already that way. So you give that personality this power, what's going to happen? This is not someone who became a monster through invisibility. This is someone who was a monster.”
Making his version of Griffin already a deeply disturbed personality, with the power of invisibility only enhancing what was already there, draws a direct connection to Wells’ book and the 1933 film. And calling the character Griffin only solidified that. “Yeah, that was definitely interesting to go about that way and wanting to have that nod,” says Whannell. “With all the character names, nothing is offhand. ‘Cecilia’ means blind. So that was something that I wanted to get into the script, and all the character names have some meaning towards who they are in the movie.”
The Invisible Man is out in theaters now.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye
- Hilary Duff asks Disney to move Lizzie McGuire reboot to Hulu instead of Disney+ The Verge
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THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Shares A Heartfelt Message As Filming Wraps On His Upcoming Sequel
While plot details are virtually nonexistent, Gunn did previously reveal the film's massive star cast, which will feature the likes of Idria Elba (Avengers: Infinity War), Margot Robbie (Birds of Prey), Viola Davis (Fences), Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad), Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad), John Cena (F9), David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Nathan Fillion (The Rookie), Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), Sean Gunn (Avengers: Endgame), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), amongst others.
With filming done, there is always a possibility the film may ultimately be moved up, but considering scheduled reshoots and the recent box office underperformance of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), the studio may opt to keep some distance between the two projects.
As for Gunn, after wrapping The Suicide Squad, it's likely he'll be pulling double duty soon enough as he'll essentially have to concurrently work on post-production for this film at WB while also working on pre-production for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at Marvel Studios, with that film expected to commence principal photography by the end of this current calendar year or early next.
And that’s a wrap on #TheSuicideSquad. My father died two weeks before we started filming and my dog died two weeks before the end. It was a hard, hard time in my life and yet the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had making a movie. The professionalism, talent, compassion and kindness of this cast and crew inspired me every day. Thanks to everyone involved in this film, in every stage of development, in every department - I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for you all. You are why I make movies. ❤️
A post shared by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on
The Suicide Squad, also known as Suicide Squad 2, is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team Suicide Squad.
The Suicide Squad features:
Director: James Gunn
Idris Elba in an undisclosed role
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
John Cena in an undisclosed role
Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang
Joaquín Cosio in an undisclosed role
David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man
Nathan Fillion as Arm-Fall-Off-Boy
Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg
Mayling Ng as Mongal
Flula Borg as Javelin
Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher
Storm Reid in an undisclosed role
Pete Davidson as Blackguard
Michael Rooker as Savant
Sean Gunn as Weasal
Juan Diego Botto in undisclosed role
Alice Braga in an undisclosed role
Steve Agee as King Shark
Tinashe Kajese in an undisclosed role
Peter Capaldi in an undisclosed role
Julio Ruiz in an undisclosed role
Jennifer Holland in an undisclosed role
Taika Waititi in an undisclosed role
The Suicide Squad hits theaters August 6, 2021
There isn't much else to go on, but considering his casting warranted reporting, it seems that he may have a relatively important part to play in the Caped Crusader's next theatrical outing.
He joins a cast headlined by Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse), who will star as the titular Dark Knight, with an all-star supporting cast that will feature Golden Globe-winner Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) as Commissioner James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz (Big Little Lies) as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Golden Globe-nominee Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, Golden Globe-nominee Andy Serkis (Black Panther) as Alfred Pennyworth, Golden Globe-winner Colin Farrell (The Gentleman) as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, newcomer Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, 2x Golden Globe-nominee John Turturro (The Night Of) as Carmine Falcone and Golden Globe-nominee Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern) as Gil Colson.
Plot details are being kept locked away at Arkham Asylum for now, but the film is rumored to be a loose adaptation of the popular DC Comics Batman stories The Long Halloween and Year One.
Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Mattson Tomlin (Little Fish). Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Greig Fraser will be behind the camera.
The Batman hits theaters June 25, 2021.
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He's being officially described as a "charming relic of the witcher Golden Age, Vesemir is the oldest and most experienced witcher in our series." A survivor of the Massacre at Kaer Morhen, which nearly exterminated the witchers, Vesemir is "fiercely protective of the remaining few, whom he sees as an endangered community who can find glory on 'the Path' slaying monsters."
Bodnia is the latest new face on the season two cast, joining Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) as Nivellen, Yasen Atour (Young Wallender) as Coen, newcomer Agnes Bjorn as Vereena, Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders) as Lambert, Thue Ersted Rasmussen (F9) as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl) as Lydia and newcomer Mecia Simson as Francesca.
Netflix also recently revealed the directors for the upcoming eight-episode season - Stephen Surjik (Daredevil, The Punisher) will helm episodes 201 and 202, Sarah O'Gorman (Cursed; Jamestown) will helm episodes 203 and 204, Ed Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom; Doctor Who) will helm episodes 205 and 208 and Geeta Patel (Meet the Patels; Marvel's Runaways) will helm episodes 206 and 207.
Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) will, of course, return to headline the cast as Geralt of Rivia with the show's two leading ladies, Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust) and Freya Allan (Gunpowder Milkshake), who will reprise their roles as Yennefer of Vengerberg and Ciri of Cintra, respectively.
Other returning players include Joey Batey (Knightfall) as Jaskier, MyAnna Buring (Kill List) as Tissaia, Tom Canton (Good Karma Hospital) as Filavandrel, Lilly Cooper (Peterloo) as Murta, Jeremy Crawford (Titans) as Yarpin Zigrin, Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks) as Cahir, Mahesh Jadu (Marco Polo) as Vilgefortz, Terence Maynard (Cursed) as Artorius, Lars Mikkelson (House of Cards) as Stregobor, Mimi Ndiweni (Black Earth Rising) as Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierrseson (Judy) as Istredd, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Hunter Street) as Dara, Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter) as Triss Merigold and Therica Wilson Read (Young Wallender) as Sabrina.
Based on the best-selling fantasy series, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.
The Witcher features:
Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia
Freya Allan as Princess Ciri
Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg
Jodhi May as Queen Calanthe
Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as King Eist Tuirseach
Adam Levy as Mousesack
MyAnna Buring as Tissaia de Vries
Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla Vigo
Therica Wilson-Read as Sabrina Glevissig
Emma Appleton as Princess Renfri
The Witcher season two premieres 2021
Person presumed to have coronavirus lives in Washington County and works at Lake Oswego elementary school – KGW.com
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A QUIET PLACE PART II Poster Honors The Fallen As Tickets Officially Go On Sale; Plus First Clip Released
Additionally, the studio has announced a double feature fan event that will allow the biggest fans to watch both films in one night, including the brand new entry two days before its theatrical launch! Get all the details below:
PARAMOUNT PICTURES ANNOUNCES A QUIET PLACE DOUBLE FEATURE FAN EVENT IN ADVANCE
OF A QUIET PLACE PART II OPENING
Fans will have the opportunity to experience the original and the sequel back-to-back in advance of the opening
of A QUIET PLACE PART II
HOLLYWOOD, CA. (February 28th, 2020) __ Paramount Pictures today announced that on Wednesday, March 18th, it will be offering fans of A QUIET PLACE the chance to relive the original film in select theatres and be the first to go beyond the path and experience the next installment, A QUIET PLACE PART II before it arrives in theatres nationwide, Friday, March 20th.
Tickets for the double feature go on sale today, as ticketing launches nationwide for A QUIET PLACE PART II at https://www.aquietplacemovie.com/
Tickets can also be purchased at the box office at participating locations. The start time for the double feature is 7:00PM local time at participating locations, with the sequel beginning at 9:00PM local time. This double feature will be presented exclusively in DOLBY CINEMA and Premium Large Format theatres only.
Additionally, A QUIET PLACE Double Feature fans will receive an exclusive 11x17 collectors print, created especially for this one-night event, while supplies last.
Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are set to headline the feature, reprising their roles from the previous installment, while Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) join the cast in mysterious new roles. John Krasinski will also appear in the film, albeit in a cameo capacity.
Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) brave the unknown in "A Quiet Place Part II.”
L-r, Marcus (Noah Jupe), Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) brave the unknown in "A Quiet Place Part II."
L-r, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) brave the unknown in "A Quiet Place Part II."
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
A Quiet Place Part II features:
Director: John Krasinski
Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott
Cillian Murphy in an undisclosed role
Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott
Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott
Djimon Hounsou in an undisclosed role
A Quiet Place Part II hits theaters on March 20
Hot on the heels of wrapping Snake Eyes earlier this week, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have enlisted Chis Bremner (Bad Boys for Life; National Treasure 3) to write their upcoming live-action M.A.S.K. movie, which has F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton; The Fate of the Furious) set to direct.
M.A.S.K., which stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, was originally launched in 1985, as both a toy line and an animated series, and followed an elite strike force that fought against an evil organization known as V.E.N.O.M., a.k.a. the Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem.
Further details are currently unavailable.
- NFL analyst Tony Romo agrees to $17M per year to stay at CBS New York Post
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He joins cast that will also feature Diane Lane (Man of Steel) as Senator Jennifer Brown, Imogen Poots (The Art of Self-Defense) as Hero Brown, Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) as Agent 355, Juliana Canfield (Succession) as Beth, Marin Ireland (The Irishman) as Nora, Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men) as Mariette Callows and Timothy Hutton (American Crime) as the U.S. President.
The upcoming series, which has Eliza Clark (Animal Kingdom) attached as showrunner, will takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event has killed every male mammal save for one lone human (Schnetzer) and his capuchin monkey.
Wall Street Closes Worst Week Since Financial Crisis Amid Coronavirus Fears | NBC Nightly News – NBC News
- Wall Street Closes Worst Week Since Financial Crisis Amid Coronavirus Fears | NBC Nightly News NBC News
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Wall Street Closes Worst Week Since Financial Crisis Amid Coronavirus Fears | NBC Nightly News – NBC News
- Wall Street Closes Worst Week Since Financial Crisis Amid Coronavirus Fears | NBC Nightly News NBC News
- Unpacking Wall Street's Worst Week Since the Financial Crisis Schaeffers Research
- Dow Drops 800 At Open, Extending Worst Week Since Financial Crisis | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC MSNBC
- Intensifying Coronavirus Fears Put Wall Street on Track for Biggest Weekly Loss Since Financial Crisis Yahoo Lifestyle
- Carnage on Wall Street, but some companies thrive or recover Japan Today
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- Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent | TheHill The Hill
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Elsewhere, Lena (Katie McGrath) continues to work with Lex and makes more progress toward turning Non Nocere into a reality.
"The Bodyguard" - (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-PG, V) (HDTV)
LENA MOVES FORWARD WITH NON NOCERE - Lex (guest star Jon Cryer) tasks Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) with protecting Andrea (Julie Gonzalo) from an anti-tech extremist, but his nefarious purpose goes beyond merely keeping Andrea alive. Meanwhile, Lena (Katie McGrath) moves forward with Non Nocere, with Lex's help. Gregory Smith directed the episode with story by Lindsay Sturman and teleplay by Emilio Ortega Aldrich & Chandler Smidt (#514). Original airdate 3/8/2020.
Check out the photos below and click the thumbnail to view in hi-res!
Season four showed that truth, justice and the American way are stronger than fear and hate, as Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) stopped Lex Luthor’s anti-alien campaign with the power of the press, no cape required. As the world returns to normal, some things will never be the same now that Lena (Kate McGrath) knows Kara’s secret and the Monitor has arrived on Earth 38! Watch, like Leviathan, as new dynamics and relationships unfold for Supergirl and her friends and colleagues as their adventures continue in season five!
Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl
Mehcad Brooks as James 'Jimmy' Olsen/Guardian
Chyler Leigh as Alexandra 'Alex' Danvers
David Harewood as J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter
Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor
Jesse Rath as Querl Dox/Brainiac 5
Nicole Maines as Nia Nal/Dreamer
Azie Tesfai as Kelly Olsen
Andrea Brooks as Eve Teschmacher/Hope
Julie Gonzalo as Andrea Rojas/Acrata
Staz Nair as William Dey
Erica Durance as Alura Zor-El
Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor
Supergirl returns with a brand new episode on March 8
- Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax’ POLITICO
- John King calls Trump Jr 's coronavirus claim 'fearmongering' CNN
- Donald Trump Jr. just said something unreal about Democrats and the coronavirus CNN
- Donald Trump’s war on coronavirus is just his latest war on truth The Guardian
- No time for partisan politics when we're threatened with a pandemic | TheHill The Hill
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LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: Ray & Nora Get Hitched In New Photos For Season 5, Episode 6: “Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac”
It also looks like there will be one very special guest in the episode as Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) returns as an Encore, but unlike the others that have been wreaking havoc across the timeline, it looks like he'll only be around to walk his daughter down the aisle.
"Mr. Parker's Cul-De-Sac" - (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-14, V) (HDTV)
FAMILY AFFAIR - Ray (Brandon Routh) plans a date night for him and Nora (Courtney Ford), but all goes awry when an Encore shows up making the team think on their feet and create a lie to keep the Encore at bay. While trying to fool the Encore, Ava (Jes Macallan) learns what Sara (Caity Lotz) was really doing while she was away and confronts her. Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Constantine (Matt Ryan) make a deal to work together, which will benefit both of them. Meanwhile, Rory (Dominic Purcell) is upset when he gets negative comments about his book, so Zari (Tala Ashe) helps track down who the critic is, and Rory gets more than he bargained for. Nick Zano and Olivia Swann also star. Ben Bray directed the episode written by Keto Shimizu & James Eagan (#506). Original airdate 3/10/2020.
Check out the photos below and click the thumbnail to view in hi-res!
After defeating the demon Mallus by cuddling him to death with a giant stuffed animal named Beebo, the Legends are ready to ease off the gas. Sara and her team join Ava Sharpe and the Time Bureau to help clean up the last few remaining anachronisms. The job seems straightforward enough until Constantine arrives to inform them that, in solving one major problem, they have created another, much larger one. When the Legends let time crumble in order to release and defeat Mallus, the barrier between worlds softened. History is now infected with "Fugitives" - magical creatures from myths, fairytales, and legends. Having been expelled throughout time by people like Constantine, these Fugitives are now returning to our world in droves and making a real mess of things. As the Time Bureau is distrustful of and ill-equipped to deal with magic, the Legends must team up with everyone's favorite demonologist to set history back on track.
Brandon Routh as Dr. Ray Palmer/The Atom
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary
Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Charlie
Tala Ashe as Zari Tomaz
Jes Macallan as Ava Sharpe
Courtney Ford as Nora Darhk
Amy Louise Pemberton as Gideon
Ramona Young as Mona Wu
Nick Zano as Dr. Nate Heywood/Commander Steel
Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave
Matt Ryan as John Constantine
Adam Tsekhman as Gary Green
Legends Of Tomorrow returns with an all-new episode March 10
Pretty rich woman!
Julia Roberts plunked down a whopping $8.3 million for a stunning San Francisco home, RadarOnline.com confirmed.
The Erin Brockovich star snapped up a 6,245 SQ. FT. classic revival shingled residence in the exclusive Presidio Heights neighborhood.
According to documents obtained by Radar, Roberts’ trust purchased the home on December 12, 2019.
The Oscar winner’s new home has a stunning “1000+ bottle wine room” the Sotheby’s website claimed.
The north bedroom in the home has a spectacular view of both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges.
Designed by Architect Sylvain Schnaittacher and built approximately 1907-1908, Roberts’ San Francisco home has five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.
Local news reports claim that she frequently spends her October 28 birthday in San Francisco, getting away from Los Angeles for the celebration.
The multi-millionaire also owns a palatial home in Malibu and a co-op in the West Village in Manhattan.
Scroll through the gallery for more details about Julia Robert’s luxurious new home.
The post Pretty Rich Woman! Julia Roberts Buys $8.3 Million San Francisco House appeared first on RadarOnline.
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In this episode of The Brain Food Show, we are looking at the difference between a number of things, kicking it off with the difference between hardwood and softwood…. which you’d think you already know, but we’re guessing for most, you don’t actually know the difference.
We also have a brief message from a sponsor, Skillshare. Help support this show and learn a lot of interesting new skills, as well as TWO MONTHS FREE using the following link https://www.skillshare.com/brainfood
Up next we dive into a bunch of “difference betweens” such as the difference between fruits and vegetables, green and black tea, various types of olive oils, brown and white eggs, etc. as well as a slew of interesting tips on optimizing ripeness schedules on bananas, including a way to keep your bananas at the perfectly ripe stage for approximately a week, instead of the two seconds or so that happens naturally.
On another note, if you could do us a huge favor and rate and review this show in whatever podcasting platform you’re using (including hopefully giving us some feedback related to the new format), we would be extremely grateful. Thanks!
(You can also discuss this episode and view references on The BrainFood Show forum here.)
You can also find more episodes by going here: The BrainFood Show
Legendary Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg was “shocked” when his daughter, Mikaela Spielberg, told him about being a porn star but she says she stands by her family after revealing her secret career.
RadarOnline.com exclusively learned that her dad was “shocked when Mikaela told them. They had no idea she was doing it,” the source said.
Steven and Kate Capshaw adopted Mikaela, now 23, as a baby and the source said they will always stand by her.
“They love her and support her, but they were completely stunned and are really embarrassed by it.”
Mikaela revealed she wasn’t handling the pressure of going public with her secret porn career news alone.
“I see a therapist, I do the work, can some of y’all say you do the same?” she posted.
And she was just as defensive of her family after she was hit with negative comments on social media.
“I’d stand by my family like they stood by me during all this chaos any day of the week and that’s the tea,” she wrote on her now-private Instagram page.
Scroll through the gallery for more details about fallout from Steven Spielberg’s daughter’s secret porn career.
The post Steven Spielberg ‘Shocked’ By Daughter’s Secret Porn Career appeared first on RadarOnline.
A new startup called Notivize aims to give product teams direct access to one of their most important tools for increasing user engagement — notifications.
The company has been testing the product with select customers since last year and says it has already sent hundreds of thousands of notifications. And this week, it announced that it has raised $500,000 in seed funding led by Heroic Ventures.
Notivize co-founder Matt Bornski has worked at a number of startups including AppLovin and Wink, and he said he has “so many stories I can tell you about the time it takes to change a notification that’s deeply embedded in your stack.”
To be clear, Bornski isn’t talking about a simple marketing message that’s part of a scheduled campaign. Instead, he said that the “most valuable” notifications (e.g., the ones that users actually respond to) are usually driven by activity in an app.
For example, it might sound obvious to send an SMS message to a customer once the product they’ve purchased has shipped, but Bornski said that actually creating a notification like that would normally require an engineer to write new code.
“There’s the traditional way that these things are built: The product team specs out that we need to send this email when this happens, or send this SMS or notification when this happens, then the engineering team will go in and find the part of the code where they detect that such a thing has happened,” he said. “What we really want to do is give [the product team] the toolkit, and I think we have.”
So with Notivize, non-coding members of the product and marketing team can write “if-then” rules that will trigger a notification. And this, Bornski said, also makes it easier to “A/B test and optimize your copy and your send times and your channels” to ensure that your notifications are as effective as possible.
He added that companies usually don’t build this for themselves, because when they’re first building an app, it’s “not a rational thing to invest your time and effort in when you’re just testing the market or you’re struggling for product market fit.” Later on, however, it can be challenging to “go in and rip out all the old stuff” — so instead, you can just take advantage of what Notivize has already built.
Bornski also emphasized that the company isn’t trying to replace services that provide the “plumbing” for notifications. Indeed, Notivize actually integrates with SendGrid and Twilio to send the notifications.
“The actual sending is not the core value [of what we do],” he said. “We’re improving the quality of what you’re paying for, of what you send.”
Notivize allows customers to send up to 100 messages per month for free. After that, pricing starts at $14.99 per month.
“The steady march of low-code and no-code solutions into the product management and marketing stack continues to unlock market velocity and product innovation,” said Heroic Ventures founder Michael Fertik in a statement. “Having been an early investor in several developer platforms, it is clear that Notivize has cracked the code on how to empower non-technical teams to manage critical yet complex product workflows.”
Malika Haqq is shutting down rumors about her post-pregnancy plans.
On Tuesday, February 25, Khloé Kardashian’s BFF shared a photo on her Instagram account of her and plastic surgeon, Dr. Jason Diamond.
Alongside the photo she bragged about her plans after giving birth to her son.
“Stopped by just to see my fav @drjasondiamond and I’m fully book for my post pregnancy makeover,” she captioned the post. “I can’t wait!”
To her surprise, viewers of the post concluded she would get work done on her body and critiqued her for the possible move, but Haqq quickly set the record straight.
“These comments are hilarious! Dr. Diamond specializes in the face,” she wrote, clarifying her surgeon’s specialty. “He’s so elite it would take you 4 months to get an [appointment] with him. Relax ya mind, I won’t be getting a facelift. Lol.”
Then Khloe’s bestie took the opportunity to respond to individual comments made regarding her postpartum makeover.
When one of her followers begged her, to not “get that surgery,” and to “try working out,” she replied, “Lol wait who said I was getting surgery?! I don’t need it. Never have boo boo.”
“Folks love to jump to conclusions,” she said in response to another comment. “My makeover doesn’t require surgery but to each their own.”
“Where did I say surgery? Didn’t happen,” she wrote to a third user. There are many “ways to enhance & improve that don’t require surgery,” she added.
In yet another comment, she clarified that she is not at all affected by the rumors. “Assuming doesn’t hurt me at all. I guess it just gives folks something to do.”
Though the parents-to-be are excited about their bundle of joy, Haqq revealed she was single for the entire pregnancy.
“Relationships don’t always work out the way we would hope but between love & friendship we have created a baby boy that will be here very soon,” Haqq wrote alongside a photo of her and O.T, 32, at her baby shower.
“I’ve been single the last 8months but I am in no way alone. OT and I have attended every doctors apt and over all loved on our son together while anticipating his arrival,” she continued.
“My priority over the past few months has been to nurture and protect my unborn child. Our baby would not be who he is without his father and I thank God for the spirit that grows inside of me. Only thing that matters, we are Baby Flores parents,” Haqq concluded.
The post Malika Haqq Slams Critics Of PostPartum Makeover: ‘Folks Love To Jump To Conclusions’ appeared first on RadarOnline.
Syfy has ordered a Day of the Dead television series, adapting the third film in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead franchise.
Day of the Dead, a landmark film in the zombie genre, is set to rise again as a Syfy television series.
Syfy, the NBCUniversal cable channel, has made a 10-episode series order for Day of the Dead, which will serve as a serial adaptation inspired by zombie genre inventor George A. Romero, specifically the 1985 third entry in his Night of the Living Dead film franchise. A production of Cartel Entertainment, the series will have Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas as writers/showrunners. They are joined by executive producers in Cartel’s Stan Spry, Jeff Holland and Drew Brown, along with HiTide Studios’ Robert Dudelson, James Dudelson and Jordan Kizwani. The series is planned for a premiere in 2021.
The early plot details of Syfy’s Day of the Dead – describing it as an “ode to Romero’s famous flesh-eaters” – will focus on six strangers thrust together in an attempt to survive the first 24 hours of an undead invasion. Pertinently, Romero’s 1985 film focused on survivors of said undead incursions, barely surviving in a Florida bunker. Yet, the film focuses on inter-personal conflicts (notably between the civilians and their military overseers), as well as a Dr. Frankenstein-type scientist whose experiments to render the zombies docile yields success with one undead subject in particular, which he names “Bub” (Sherman Howard). Indeed, the film may have deviated to the realm of schlock from the dramatic elements of its immediate predecessor, 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, but it was a key step in the evolution of the zombie genre.
Interestingly enough, Romero’s original Dead continuity is still kicking, despite the fact that the visionary passed away back in 2017. Having launched with genre-defining 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, the series continued (amidst notable brand confusion with opportunistically-titled “of the Dead” horror offerings,) with 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead, 2005’s Land of the Dead (a film often mistaken as being a sequel to director Zack Snyder’s powerful 2004 Dawn remake), 2007’s Diary of the Dead, 2009’s Survival of the Dead, all of which Romero wrote and directed, with two more entries, Road of the Dead and Rise of the Dead, currently in the pipeline with new personnel. On an even more curious note, Day of the Dead itself has been remade twice in the realm of film, once in 2008 and again in 2018 as Day of the Dead: Bloodline.
Syfy’s Day of the Dead series order is mirrored by the cable channel’s similar 10-episode order for fellow genre offering The Surrealtor, a series following the coffee-is-for-closers exploits of realtor Nick Roman, whose elite team of ghost hunters are specifically tasked with scaring away spirits from lowering property values. That series will arrive under the purview of showrunner George Olson, who’ll be joined by executive producers Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron.
It will be interesting to see how Day of the Dead translates to television, especially for Syfy, who last focused on the zombie genre with the irreverent five-season 2014-2018 run of Z Nation. While the genre’s most prominent example, AMC’s The Walking Dead, may not be the ratings juggernaut it once was, it’s still a profitable enough venture to justify not one, but two spinoff shows and developing TV movies. Consequently, this new series will have quite a task ahead in terms of bringing something compelling and original.
That is the extent of the details for now, but will certainly keep you updated on Syfy’s Day of the Dead TV series as the news arrives. In the meantime, those who are unacquainted can check out the trailer for 1985's Day of the Dead just below!
Well, a new season of Jersey Shore is upon us, and while the premiere episode might have been largely drama free, the coming weeks promise some major developments.
At least that's what we think. Like, eventually we will get to see Mike Sorrentino get released from prison ... right?
That's something Shore fans have been awaiting for several months, of course.
But sadly, we're in for some developments that have been much less eagerly anticipated.
Take for example, the retirement of Snooki ...
... of the return of 24.
Yes, as you may have heard Jenni Farley is back together with Zack Carpinello, otherwise known as 24 in reference to his youth.
Actually, 24 is 25 now, however, it doesn't appear that his nickname has been updated.
But hopefully, everything else about this guy has changed since last we saw him.
Jenni broke up with Zack last year after he groped Angelina Pivarnick and tried to arrange a threesome -- all of which was documented by MTV cameras.
But eventually, Carpinello wore down Farley's defenses and she welcomed him back into her life.
JWoww celebrated her 34th birthday this week, and Zack took to Instagram to sing her praises.
“You are amazing in so many ways,” Carpinello wrote.
“Because you are a great mother. Because of your passion for what you believe in," he went on.
"Because we are always honest with each other. Because you laugh so much more than others see. Because we share so many of the same qualities.”
If you thought he was gonna stop there, you don't understand how badly this dude effed up last year.
“Because you know your value,” Zack wrote.
“Because you are authentic. Because integrity means a lot to you,” he continued.
“We are so special together. Because we grow together every day. Because you are my best friend. Because our love is incredible. I love you more than anything,” he finally concluded.
Jenni was bit more succinct in her reply writing simply, “I love you.”
For the most part, she's been pretty tight-lipped about her love life recently, but she has defended Zack on a few occasions.
“Again, you saw a glimpse in my relationship on TV when we were 6 weeks in and you haven’t really seen it since,” she wrote on Instagram when they first gor back together.
“I would never accept anything but greatness by my side and that’s what 24 proved … to be everything I needed when I thought I didn’t need anyone,” she added.
We're guessing this season of Shore will leave some fans questioning Jenni's definition of grestness, but that's a conversation for another time.
For now, we'll just wish JWoww a happy birtnday, and all the best with 24.
First off, they are fully remote; founders selected to participate in the program chat with advisors via video chat. Second, Pioneer is largely looking at companies that aren’t companies yet, framing themselves as more of a “startup generator” than an accelerator that aims to help entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley zero in on exactly what kind of startup they want to build.
Earlier this month, I wrote about the accelerator, which is helmed by former YC partner Daniel Gross .
My interview with Gross had some interesting longer bouts I didn’t have space to include, so I’m including the salient bits here. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
TechCrunch: Remote work seems to have its challenges; how have you overcome some of the humps of being a remote accelerator?
Daniel Gross: My overall view is that remote can replace the majority of real-world interaction. But there’s less inertia, if that makes sense, and so I think you can build real rapport and real relationships through a group video chat on the internet, but it will require much more thinking and effort around it than if you were just meeting up in the real world.
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Compilation Video From A Wildlife Camera Set Up By A Tree Fallen Across A Creek To See All The Animals That Utilize It
SpaceX has won the launch contract for NASA’s 2022 mission to explore the mineral-rich asteroid known as Psyche, the space agency announced today, including launch services and other mission-related costs valued at $117 million — remarkably low for a mission of this scale.
The Psyche mission will use a falcon Heavy rocket which will launch from Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Located between Mars and Jupiter, the Psyche asteroid is made of the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet and represents a fragment of one of the earliest building blocks of our solar system.
NASA is hoping that the exploration of Psyche will yield to clues about the history of the evolution of terrestrial planets through the examination of Psyche’s own proto-planetary material.
The space agency’s Psyche mission includes two two secondary payloads: The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers, which will study the atmosphere on Mars and the Janus mission, which will study binary asteroids.
“With the transition into this new mission phase, we are one big step closer to uncovering the secrets of Psyche, a giant mysterious metallic asteroid, and that means the world to us,” said principal investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University in Tempe, in a statement when NASA announced that it was approving the mission.
Pasadena, Calif.’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be the overall manager for the mission including system engineering, integration, testing and mission operations. The spacecraft’s propulsion chassis is a high-power solar electric rig provided by Maxar Space Solutions.
This announcement clears the way for Phases D, E, and F of the Psyche mission — the final official phases before launch.
As we wrote last year:
Phase D will begin in early 2021, and includes the final manufacturing and testing of the spacecraft along with the planned launch in early 2022.
Phase E will happen as soon as Psyche’s exploratory craft hits the vacuum of space, NASA said. It’ll cover the deep space operations of the mission and the collection of data for science. NASA expects Psyche will arrive at its eponymous asteroid on January 31, 2026 after buzzing Mars in 2023 (two years before Elon Musk predicted the first human astronauts would arrive).
Instruments on the Psyche craft will include a magnetometer designed to detect and measure the remnant magnetic field of the asteroid. A multi-spectral imager will be on board to provide high-resolution images to determine the composition of the asteroid (how much is metal versus how much is a silicate). The craft will also include a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer to detect, measure and map the asteroid’s elemental composition, and a new laser technology that’s designed for deep space communications.
It's not really a secret that Jim Bob Duggar keeps Amy away from his kids, even though they're her cousins. He's a toxic, controlling douchecanoe.
But now, fans are wondering -- or at least hopeful -- if one major life milestone has set things right and softened Jim Bob's stance.
Somehow, Amy Duggar King is the "black sheep" of the Duggar family. Not notorious child-molester Josh, but sweet cousin Amy.
The 33-year-old hasn't really done anything deserving of exclusion except not be a diehard member of a fundamentalist cult.
But in Jim Bob Duggar's eyes, the fact that Amy chooses to be part of the real world instead of an insular fringe community makes her dangerous.
After all, if his adult children see that Amy is a good person even though she watched TV and associates with normal people, they might want to, too.
Obviously, Amy's pariah status has only ever gone so far.
The only times that the Duggar children are seen associating with Amy have been in group settings, but they do get to hang out.
Apparently, this dates back to when Amy was a child and never allowed to be alone with her cousins, lest her non-Duggar-ness rub off on them.
(Again, and we won't joke about this, but Amy was not the relative who should not be alone with family members)
There's a degree of palpable absurdity to the extent of Jim Bob's ban.
For example, Amy is next door neighbors with Joy-Anna Duggar, but if they hang out together, it's never posted to Instagram.
She associates with Jill and Derick Dillard despite Derick's ongoing feud with Jim Bob.
But maybe things are changing enough for Amy to hang out with her cousins without a supervisor.
Until very recently, Amy didn't even engage in the favored Duggar passtime of popping out babies as quickly as you can come up with J-names.
But last October, that changed when Amy welcomed her first child with her husband, Dillon.
Precious baby Daxton is adorable. But is his cuteness enough to mend fences in the family?
If you look at the Duggar family's social media ... it's certainly possible.
"We loved spending time with little cousin Daxton King!" the Duggar family's Instagram expressed weeks ago.
The post noted: "It’s hard to take turns when you’re holding a baby that is so precious and CUTE!!"
"You’re doing an incredible job as a new mommy @amyrachelleking!" the post praised.
"We can’t wait to snuggle with sweet Dax again," the caption concluded, "and watch him grow!"
Now, it's possible that this post was just a false flag -- propaganda to make things appear more harmonious than they are.
So much of the Duggar brand is focused upon making them appear less extreme and cruel than they actually are.
This is because the whole point of the show -- aside from further enriching Jim Bob -- is to make their fundamentalist lifestyle seem palatable.
It could be that Daxton is a crucible who is bringing the extended family closer together. Only time will tell if all of this good will is just for show.
An Exclusive Look Inside Flash #750 from C2E2 – and the Story That Will Change the DC Universe (If They Let It) SPOILERS
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CBS is bidding aloha to one of its longest-running shows.
The network has announced that Hawaii Five-0 will come to an end after 10 seasons, confirming its final episode will air on Friday, April 3.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to a hit franchise that carried on the legacy of the original with such distinction, while establishing its own signature style,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment.
Continued this statement:
“From episode one, HAWAII FIVE-0 has been a huge success for us. Thanks to the amazing talents of the producers, writers, cast and crew, it has played a key role for a decade on our schedule and helped establish our powerhouse Friday night.
'We cannot be prouder of its quality and longevity and are thankful for the passionate fan devotion it inspired.”
The drama's series finale will be two hours long, CBS added.
The show was one of the first reboots of the past decade, paving the way for an endless array of sitcoms and dramas that are continuations or reimaginings of past franchises.
The original Hawaii Five-0 aired from 1968 through 1980 and starred Jack Lord as Honolulu detective Steve McGarrett.
The current series, which featured Alex O'Loughlin as McGarrett, will end up running for nearly as long as its predecessor: 10 seasons vs. 12 for the first version.
“For 10 seasons, Alex, Scott and the rest of the talented FIVE-0 cast have brought fans exciting adventures in a spectacular tropical paradise,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios.
“We specifically want to thank Peter and the incredibly talented production team for 10 years of consistently outstanding television. The drama has been a great success for the Studio and Network, and as a global franchise for our company.
"We’re pleased to give it a big sendoff and that viewers will have the opportunity to say goodbye to their favorite characters as the final season wraps."
The CBS TV Studios series scored a huge domestic syndication deal early in its run and has aired in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Scott Caan, Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath, Beulah Koale, Katrina Law, Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun, Kimee Balmilero and Chi McBride round out its main cast.
“HAWAII FIVE-0 has been such a blessing to me and all of the people who have worked on this incredible show,” said Peter M. Lenkov, Executive Producer.
He elaborated as follows:
“I truly learned the meaning of ‘ohana’ as the viewers embraced us and the people of Hawaii welcomed us with the privilege to film on their shores.
"I am forever indebted to the creative genius that was Leonard Freeman who gave us such a beautiful story to begin with.
'And my eternal gratitude to our cast, led by our hero Alex O’Loughlin, the writers, the production team, our CBS ohana, and most importantly YOU, the fans, who allowed us to come to work with pride and made our series such a success. Mahalo.”
With its finale, Hawaii Five-0 will have produced 240 episodes.
It premiered back on September 20, 2010.
In the two-hour finale, recurring cast members James Marsters (Victor Hesse), William Sadler (John McGarrett) and Mark Dacascos (Wo Fat) will all return.
“This show has been pretty much every waking moment for the last 10 years of my life,” said series star Alex O’Loughlin, concluding:
“Everywhere I go on this planet, in every language, I am McGarrett to all these people. What we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished, it’s extraordinary. I can’t really put words to express my level of gratitude.
"I’m just glad to have been a part of this, a part of history, and I’m going to miss it. And to the fans, I don’t know how to thank you guys. Thank you for following us the way you have.
"I’m going to miss you. Aloha.”
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The “Sent via Superhuman iOS” email signature has become one of the strangest flexes in the tech industry, but its influence is enduring, as the $30 per month invite-only email app continues to shape how a wave of personal productivity startups are building their business and product strategies.
I had a chance to chat with Superhuman CEO and founder Rahul Vohra earlier this month during an oddly busy time for him. He had just announced a dedicated $7 million angel fund with his friend Todd Goldberg (which I wrote up here) and we also noted that LinkedIn is killing off Sales Navigator, a feature driven by Rapportive, which Vohra founded and later sold in 2012. All the while, his buzzy email company is plugging along, amassing more interested users. Vohra tells me there are now more than 275,000 people on the waitlist for Superhuman.
Below is a chunk of my conversation with Vohra, which has been edited for length and clarity.
TechCrunch: When you go out to raise funding and a chunk of your theoretical user base is sitting on a waitlist, is it a little tougher to determine the total market for your product?
Rahul Vohra: That’s a good question. When we were doing our Series B, it was very easily answered because we’re one of a cohort of companies, that includes Notion and Airtable and Figma, where the addressable market — assuming you can build a product that’s good enough — is utterly enormous.
With my last company, Rapportive, there was a lot of conversation around, “oh, what’s the business model? What’s the market? How many people need this?” This almost never came up in any fundraising conversation. People were more like, “well, if this thing works, obviously the market is basically all of prosumer productivity and that is, no matter how you define it, absolutely huge.”
Marvel’s C2E2 X-Men Panel – Preview Art for X-Men, X-Force, Wolverine, Cable, Children of the Atom, X-Factor, More
Marvel revealed pages from upcoming X-Men comics at the X-Men panel at C2E2 Friday. We've got photos of the previews and all the other slides Marvel is showing off at the panel (except the newsworthy ones we plan to break out into their own articles). It's almost like you're right there at the show… except with a far lesser chance of contracting the coronavirus from a comic book creator that doesn't wash their hands or cover their mouth when they cough.
First up, some pages from March's X-Men #8, by Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar, with a cover by Leinil Francis Yu. The Brood will be involved here.
Next, a tease for the previously known Giant-Size X-Men remake:
And Marauders #9, by Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli, with a cover by Russell Dauterman, with a tease that Forge will join the team.
Some Excalibur covers:
Some art from X-Force #9:
And a cover for June's X-Force #12:
X-Force writer Benjamin Percy also talked about Wolverine, but didn't say anything about his dicks. The cover-up continues! He did say the Wolverine ongoing will switch between a few issues of the drug crime story and a few issues of vampire stuff, with artists Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic switching back and forth. Here's some art from Wolverine #4:
When Gerry Duggan talked Cable, he mentioned the Space Knights (of ROM fame) will be joining the book, along with some other surprises. Here's some Phil Noto preview art:
On Hellions, Hickman revealed that his response to Zeb Wells' pitch for the book was: "why?" The same could be asked of a lot of X-traneous Marvel Comics, so maybe don't open that Pandora's box, Hickman!
Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang plan to tell a story about fans who become X-Men in Children of the Atom. Hopefully they spend all their time trying to get into the business of the sex lives of the older X-Men, as all true fans do.
Hey look, preview art from X-Factor by Leah Williams and David Baldeon! Two of our faves!
That's all for the previews… which means it's announcement time! Will Marvel announce a big X-event? Check back soon! That will deserve its own article.
Bleeding Cool ace reporter David Pierce is on hand at the Marvel X-Men panel at C2E2, sending us breaking news. Jordan White is hosting the panel with Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Tini Howard, Benjamin Percy, Vita Ayala, Leah Williams, and C.B. Cebulski in attendance. Pierce has already nailed the most important story of the weekend, asking several x-writers point-blank about how many dicks Wolverine has. Keep an eye on our C2E2 news page and keep checking back for updates as we learn what's in store for the greatest franchise in comics!
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Coparents of the year!
On Thursday, February 27, the parents of three chaperoned Samuel Affleck as he celebrated with his pal at the Pacific Palisades Village Center in Brentwood, California.
In photos obtained by RadarOnline.com, the pair, both 47, are seen walking alongside their eight year old. In other shots, Affleck is playing around with his mini-me while the Elektra star seems preoccupied with her phone.
Readers know the former lovebirds have been able to maintain a friendship even after putting an end to their 10-year marriage, but the decision to call it quits is something that still upsets the Batman actor.
Affleck — who has admittedly struggled with alcohol abuse over the years — confessed that his addiction led to the downfall of his and Garner’s relationship.
“I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart,” he said amid a candid interview with The New York Times. “My drinking, of course, created more marital problems. he continued before admitting, “The biggest regret of my life is this divorce.”
Although things did not work out with the actress, Affleck still cares deeply about her and is grateful to have had kids with her.
“Our marriage didn’t work, and that’s difficult,” he said. “Both of us really believe that it’s important for kids to see their parents respect one another and get along, whether they’re together or not,” explaining why he and Garner are able to coexist.
“It’s important for my kids to know that I respect and care about Jen and she treats me the same way,” the actor told the publication. “I have a lot of respect and gratitude toward her. And I wish her the very best.”
Check out the gallery for more.
The post Jen & Ben Reunite For Son’s Birthday After Actor Admits He Regrets Their Divorce appeared first on RadarOnline.
The past two years have seen a lot of ups and downs for Ronnie Magro.
And while all that turmoil might be good for Jersey Shore ratings, we imagine it's beginning to take a toll on Ronnie's psyche.
Most of the drama, of course, has had to do with Magro's tempestuous relationship with Jen Harley.
At first, Shore fans were primarily on Ronnie's side, as Jen seemed to be the primary aggressor.
You might recall the 2018 incident in which Harley dragged Magro with her car during an altercation in a parking lot.
Despite that fight and several other violent incidents, the parents of 1-year-old Ariana remained together.
That is, until October of last year, when Ronnie was tased and arrested after allegedly assaulting Harley inside a Los Angeles rental property.
In the aftermath of that incident, Harley pressed charges and got a restraining order against Magro.
Ronnie still might be facing major legal repercussions for his actions, but it seems he got a major legal break this week when two of the more serious charges against him were dropped.
According to a new report from Radar Online, prosecutors in Magro's case have agreed to drop charges of brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon and making criminal threats.
“The facts and circumstances relating to the arrest and charging of Ronnie were exaggerated and actually incorrect,” Ronnie’s attorney, Scott Leemon told the site.
“The City’s Attorney agreed with us and dismissed 2 of the pending charges against Ronnie," he added.
"They agreed that these allegations were baseless and made up. We are hoping further investigation will yield similar results.”
Of course, it's a little early for Ronnie and his legal team to start celebrating.
He's still facing prison time in connection with charges of corporal injury to a spouse or intimate partner, willful child endangerment, false imprisonment, and two counts of resisting arrest.
Both Ronnie and Jen wisely decided not to comment on the pending case in recent weeks.
Fortunately, if there Instagram posts are any indication, it appears that Magro and Harley are still broken up.
Let's hope the split is permanent this time.
Here are all the Star Wars easter eggs and references we found in The Clone Wars season 7 episode 2, "A Distant Echo."
Emotions run high as the Bad Batch clashes with Captain Rex in "A Distant Echo." The Clone Wars is filled with inventive aliens and technology, both brand-new for the show and adapted from the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy on which it is based. Many of these things are making a grand return in the final season of the animated series.
In the second episode of The Clone Wars season 7, we meet the denizens of Skako Minor, aliens that ride giant flying lizards. And the Confederacy of Independent Systems’ plan is revealed in full. As part two of a four-episode arc, things are just getting started for the Bad Batch.
Here are all of the easter eggs and references we found in "A Distant Echo":
The sign outside the barracks says "med 6" in Aurebesh, the alphabet used by the Star Wars galaxy. Aurebesh letters are mostly a 1:1 match for English, so it’s possible to translate with a guide to the symbols (or if you’ve memorized them). This word might indicate the prefab room was once used as a medical bay instead.
Note that the new canon also uses a ‘fake Aurebesh,’ English letters stylized to look a bit like the in-canon script. In the barracks and throughout the episode, you’ll see the real deal.
Outer Rim Sieges
The Republic’s name for the coordinated effort to quell the Separatists near the end of the war, the sieges included action on planets such as Felucia and Mygeeto, as seen in Revenge of the Sith. The campaign was first mentioned by name in that film and would prove to be the last major offensive of the war before the extermination of the Jedi and the rise of the Galactic Empire.
Walkers, Gunships, and Fighters
In the hangar at Fort Anaxes, you can spot several iconic Clone Wars-era vehicles and starships. These include the LAAT/i troop carrier, the AT-TE walker (precursor to the Imperial AT-AT), and the ARC-170 starfighter, flown by elite clones.
Padmé Amidala and the Senate
Padmé takes time from her busy senate schedule to call her husband during the war. Their brief conversation refers to her business in the Senate, which will later inadvertently aid Emperor Palpatine’s appointment in Revenge of the Sith. The show’s proximity to the film also means that Padmé is probably pregnant at this time, unbeknownst to Anakin.
There are multiple posters in the episode, in the barracks and the Bad Batch's ship, for what seems to be a movie called “Space Battles.” They are a wink-nudge at Star Wars itself and maybe an homage to George Lucas’ love for classic movie posters.
Bad Batch trooper Wrecker lifts a Gonk droid as part of his exercises on the way to the team’s mission. Introduced in A New Hope making its signature “gonk” noise in the belly of a Jawa sandcrawler, this model of droid is technically called the GNK Power Droid. One particularly goofy story out of Legends continuity comes from a reference book called The Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide, which said some Gonk droids were part of a door-to-door evangelist cult.
Skako Minor is introduced to the new canon in this episode, but the planet was actually first introduced as "Skako" in Legends novel Cloak of Deception by James Luceno. That book takes place a little less than a year before the events of The Phantom Menace. The planet is located in the Core region of the galaxy.
The team encounters members of the Poletec species on Skako Minor, one of two sapient species on the planet. The dragonlike creatures they ride and worship are called keeradaks.
- Elizabeth Warren Has Won Black Activists. She’s Losing the Black Vote. The New York Times
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As coronavirus concerns continue to spread, more and more closures and cancellations of highly trafficked areas and events have been announced. Now you can add concert tours by Green Day and BTS to that list.
On Thursday, February 27, Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong announced on Instagram that the band’s upcoming shows in Asia have been halted “due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus.” The statement noted, “We know it sucks,” and that the shows will be rescheduled.
Meanwhile, pop superstar group BTS announced that four shows in their home base of Seoul have been canceled as the number of people infected with the virus there has continued to grow.
In a message from its management company and translated from Korean, “We regret to announce that the BTS Map of the Soul tour, originally scheduled to be held on April 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Olympic Stadium, has been cancelled.”
It said the coronavirus outbreak, a WHO-designated global health emergency, “has made it impossible” to do the shows “at this time.” The decision was made based on “the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests as well as our artists and the dire impact a last-minute cancellation may have on guests from overseas, production companies and staff.”
Check out this Radar gallery to learn more about what has already been cancelled and closed around the globe, as the world reacts to the growing crisis.
The post Canned! Coronavirus Chaos Causes Shutdowns Around The World appeared first on RadarOnline.
Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Marie and her mother Erika van Olphen are on the search for their cousin who has gone missing.
Phil Tate — who suffers from dementia and diabetes — was seen on February 25 at the Westmont Village retirement facility in Riverside, California.
The reality star, 33, claims he was also spotted three separate times at the Mission Grove Shopping Center on Wednesday, but hasn’t heard anything since.
A Silver Alert has been activated by the California Highway Patrol, a missing persons report has been filed with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and according to van Olphen, “Both the Riverside [Sheriff’s] Department and the Police Department have been searching tirelessly for the last 48 hrs.”
The VPR star and her mother have also used social media in their search for Tate.
“My mom and I are here in London feeling helpless,” Shay said in her Instagram Story. “We still haven’t found him, so anyone in the Riverside area, please keep your eyes out.”
van Olphen wrote, “He is not from the area so he will definitely be confused and disoriented. I will continue to report this all on here because the power of social media is SO insane, I never know who might see this and be able to provide ANY information to help.”
Tate’s family also released a statement to PEOPLE about their thoughts regarding Tate’s sudden vanishing.
“We are sad, scared and desperate to find Phil as he has been suffering from dementia in the last year and is unfamiliar with the area where he was reported missing,” the family told PEOPLE. “Phil currently resides on a ranch and loves the outdoors more than anything so he is most likely to be found in open land rather than the city, but anything is possible at this point and we are keeping open minds during our search. We love our Phil and just want him back home with us. If you think you have any leads, big or small, please contact 911 as the Riverside Sheriffs Department and the Police Department are working around the clock on this investigation.”
The post ‘VPR’ Nightmare: Scheana Marie Begs For Help As Relative Goes Missing appeared first on RadarOnline.
- Marine general orders removal of Confederate items at bases New York Post
- Confederate-related paraphernalia must be removed from all Marine installations, commandant orders CNN
- Top Marine official bans Confederate-era paraphernalia at all Corps bases worldwide USA TODAY
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He's fantastic from start to finish here, and uses this series to effortlessly prove that he's leading man material ahead of this August's The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Mackie takes the groundwork laid by Kinnaman during that first batch of episodes and successfully builds on it to make Takeshi a continuously compelling and exciting presence. This time, he's joined by a supporting cast which includes strong turns from Luke Cage star Simone Missick and Renée Elise Goldsberry. Chris Connor gets more to do this time as Takeshi's helpful A.I., but his subplot doesn't add much to the series, and instead proves to be a mostly irritating distraction which doesn't really pay off until the final few episodes. Will Yun Lee also gets quite a bit more screentime as the original Takeshi, and while we won't delve into what that entails here, we can safely say that he's every bit as excellent as Mackie and a welcomed addition to season two.
Altered Carbon remains somewhat convoluted, and takes its time heating up. Going with eight episodes was the right move, though, and the overall story is a mostly satisfying one, even if it feels a little lacklustre in places. However, those of you anxious to see the first season's dangling plot threads followed up on will be happy, and we end up with what proves to be an emotional and satisfying conclusion. The only problem is that such a strong focus on picking up with what's come before means that some of the newer additions - such as Lela Loren's Danica Harlan - underwhelm (in terms of villains, this second season definitely disappoints).
When it comes to action, the show still delivers in a big way, and there are plenty of incredible fight scenes and gun battles to enjoy. That doesn't really make up for a plot that fails to take full advantage of its premise, though, and this second season of Altered Carbon is nothing if not inconsistent in terms of quality. Some episodes are fantastic, while others are entirely forgettable, and while delving into this world's past is fun in some ways, it's frustrating that more time isn't spent exploring what made the first season so great: the ramifications of swapping bodies and essentially living forever. It's certainly addressed, but not in an overly meaningful way.
The mystery this year is nowhere near as strong, and there are too many forgettable characters to ensure that it makes a long-lasting impact. Overall, it's another enjoyable enough experience, but it already feels like Altered Carbon's premise is wearing thin, and while the door is open for the series to continue, it's hard to say how desperate you will be for that to happen after this season.
Anthony Mackie and Will Yun Lee's stellar performances save this often underwhelming second season of Altered Carbon, and while it remains enjoyable and exciting viewing, the series might now benefit from a reboot.
The only 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days topic hotter than whether Yolanda is definitely being catfished is Big Ed Brown.
He is the first to admit that he hasn't been honest with Rosemarie. In a new sneak peek, he reveals yet another secret he's been keeping.
Big Ed Brown is a 54-year-old photographer. HIs girlfriend, Rosemarie, is a much younger woman.
Ed has not been entirely honest with her. For example, he told her that he is 5'2" tall.
In reality, he is 4'11" in height. A small omission, in the grand scheme of things -- especially on 90 Day Fiance.
He has Klippel Feil Syndrome, a congenital condition in which two or more of his upper vertebrae are fused, reducing his height, neck, and mobility.
28 years ago, Ed went through an agonizing divorce after only two years of marriage.
He admits that he was unfaithful. He regrets that he cheated.
The only good thing that came out of that marriage is his daughter, a beautiful 29-year-old woman named Tiffany.
Tiffany is several years older than Ed's current lady love, 23-year-old Rosemarie.
In this sneak peek clip, Ed is packing for his trip to see Rosemarie in person.
Among other things, he is bringing candy and toys for Rosemarie's child, a boy named Prince.
Having already raised his adult daughter, Ed is preparing for his new role in Rosemarie's 4-year-old son's life.
But, as he confesses to his friend, he has been holding back something important.
"Well, she already wants another child," Ed tells his buddy. "She wants a girl."
"And I haven't told her this," he confesses, "I don't want to tell her this, but I want to get, like, nipped."
"I have been keeping a few things from rose," Ed tells the confessional camera. "One is my height. I'm four-eleven, not five-two."
"I don't want any more kids," he reveals. "I want to get a vasectomy, but I don't want to tell her."
"I'm already going to take on a 4-year-old kid," Ed tells his pal.
"But then to have another child on top of that," he says, "it's just overwhelming."
Age is a factor. If Ed were to, right this minute, have a baby with Rosemarie, he would be 70 years old when that kid is old enough to drive.
"Other than Prince," he tells the camera, "I'm not ready to have more kids."
That may be the end of that quote, but it's not the end of Ed's unfortunate omissions.
During the first 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days trailer, we all saw Ed confess to the camera that he does not believe in love.
That's fine -- some people are cynical. Some people are aromantic and do not experience romantic feelings or attraction.
But it's something that Ed absolutely should have told Rosemarie if it's true, even if he finds a sweet way to frame it.
Big Ed may wash his hair with mayonnaise and keep secrets, but he seems to be a likeable (if dishonest) dude.
No matter what fans think of him, he won't be regarded as this season's monster.
That dishonor falls to alleged serial abuser and rapist Geoffrey Paschel, whose criminal record and list of accusers stretch back for decades.
Fans who have read up on the old and the recent allegations against Geoffrey feel that he belongs rotting in prison, not finding "love" on TV.
In contrast, Ed is a guy who has been unlucky in love and is hoping for his second chance.
Don't blow it, Ed!
An iPhone app built by controversial facial recognition startup Clearview AI has been blocked by Apple, effectively banning the app from use.
Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the startup “violated” the terms of its enterprise developer program.
The app allows its users — which the company claims it serves only law enforcement officers — to use their phone camera or upload a photo to search its database of 3 billion photos. But BuzzFeed News revealed that the company — which claims to only cater to law enforcement users — also includes many private-sector users, including Macy’s, Walmart and Wells Fargo.
Clearview AI has been at the middle of a media — and legal — storm since its public debut in The New York Times last month. The company scrapes public photos from social media sites, drawing ire from the big tech giants that claim Clearview AI misused their services. But it’s also gained attention from hackers. On Wednesday, Clearview AI confirmed a data breach in which its client list was stolen.
TechCrunch found Clearview AI’s iPhone app on an public Amazon S3 storage bucket on Thursday, despite a warning on the page that the app is “not to be shared with the public.”
The page asks users to “open this page on your iPhone” to install and approve the company’s enterprise certificate, allowing the app to run.
But this, according to Apple’s policies, is prohibited if the app’s users are outside of Clearview AI’s organization.
Enterprise certificates are issued by Apple to allow companies to build and approve iPhone and iPad apps designed for internal company use only. It’s common for these certificates to be used to test apps internally before they are pushed out to the App Store. Apple maintains a strict set of rules on use of enterprise certificates, and says they cannot be used by consumers. But there have been cases of abuse.
Last year, TechCrunch exclusively reported that both Facebook and Google were using their enterprise certificates for consumer-facing apps in an effort to bypass Apple’s App Store. Apple revoked the tech giants’ enterprise certificates, disabling the infracting app but also any other app that relied on the certificate, including their catering and lunch menu apps.
The app was labeled as “beta” — typically a pre-release or a test version of the app. Besides this claim, there is no evidence to suggest this app was not used by Clearview AI customers.
Clearview AI chief executive Hoan Ton-That told TechCrunch: “We are in contact with Apple and working on complying with their terms and conditions.”
A brief analysis of the app through network traffic tools and disassembly tools shows it works largely in the same manner as Clearview AI’s Android app, which was discovered by Gizmodo on Thursday.
Like the Android app, a user needs a Clearview AI-approved username and password to use the app.
As previously documented, Amy Roloff may not be totally on board with her move away from the farm just yet.
But the Little Peoplem Big World matriarch has now been it extra clear online:
She is all in on fiance Chris Marek!!!!
This has been clear for years, of course, as Amy and Chris have seemed like a very content couple ever since they got together.
And it was made officially clear in September when Marek proposed to Roloff -- and she said yes!
“I’m excited, I’m so surprised, I’m thrilled!” Amy told People Magazine at the time, adding to the publication:
"I never in a million years thought I’d be getting married again, but I also hoped for it! Now that it’s happening, I couldn’t be happier or more excited."
Amy has never been shy about how much she loves Chris or how grateful she is that he came into her life.
But the TLC personality just seems extra excited over Marek these days; partly because they're actually engaged, of course, and partly because she can really use his help around the house!
On Thursday, Amy gave Instagram followers a peek inside her brand new home... along with a peek at her very handsome husband-to-be, about whom she had the following to say:
"I think my babe looks pretty good in a work belt!"
AWWWW, how cute, right?
You can check out the very first photo featured on this page and see if oyu agree with Amy's assessment.
"I’m so thankful for all the big and little projects Chris is doing on the new house, including putting my new office desk together,' Amy added in her caption. "I couldn’t do all of this with out him.
"Babe, you’re the best."
Amy, as you likely know by now, sold her portion of Roloff Farm to ex-husband Matt last year.
She subsequently moved into a house about 15 minutes away.
And while she's excited for this new beginning, Amy has also been candid about missing the farm and the residence she called home for so many previous decades.
Thankfully, she has Marek by her side during the transitioon.
In a Valentine's Day tribute to Chris earlier this month, Amy made us burst with joy when she wrote the following:
He makes me laugh, my heart pitter patters when I’m with him-think of him, I’m stronger, he keeps me on my toes, he loves me, helps me be a better me, enjoy just hanging out with him and of course, there’s love.
I love this man. He loves me.
What else is there to even say, right?
And and Chris will be getting married in 2021.
Until then, we're sure she'll keep us updated with tales about Chris and their life together, along with photos and updates on her house.
We'll also get to see Amy in action on the small screen once again.
Here's what fans can expect when Little People, Big World returns:
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C2E2: Oni Press Put Webcomics Savage Beard of She Dwarf, Hell Was Full and Frankie Comics Into Print
Amanda Bynes Posts Disturbing Video About ‘Terrifying Experience’ Looking At Photos Of Herself Online
Cry for help?
Amanda Bynes posted a disturbing video where she spoke about her ‘terrifying experience’ looking at photos of herself online.
The 33-year-old actress’ face tattoos and nose ring were prominently displayed in the video she shot talking about her “self-worth” during her troubled times.
“Whenever I see a paparazzi photo the majority of time, I look nothing like myself,” Bynes said in the video.
The former Nickelodeon star explained her unhappiness with the shots.
“I’m talking 16 chins face looks completely different and it’s an all-around terrifying experience to look myself up on-line quite honestly. I’m about to cry just thinking about it,” she explained.
“But I wanted to post this video, so people know I’m just like you. I want to look my best,” she continued.
The Easy A star claimed the pictures were doctored. “Of course, I can take an unflattering shot but the amount of unflattering shots that I see online I know that my photos are being photoshopped,” she said.
“I don’t look like that in the photos I take of myself or when I look at myself in the mirror,” she insisted.
Scroll through the gallery to watch Amanda’s latest video rant.
The post Amanda Bynes Posts Disturbing Video About ‘Terrifying Experience’ Looking At Photos Of Herself Online appeared first on RadarOnline.
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There are two episodes remaining in Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor, and fan theories about who will receive Pilot Pete's final rose are bouncing around social media non-stop.
Usually, by this point in the proceedings, anyone who's dying to know how the rest of the season plays out can find reliable Bachelor spoilers all over the internet.
But this year, producers have done a better-than-usual of keeping a lid on the outcome -- no easy feat, considering the show wrapped months ago, and all it takes to spoil the finale is something as minor as Peter being spotted grabbing a cup of coffee with his new boo.
Chris Harrison has been promising a twist ending and "the most dramatic finale ever" for months now, but he says that every season.
Still, the beefed-up secrecy surrounding this season's ending has led to speculation that we might really be in for a surprise.
And many viewers are convinced that Peter will wind up with a woman who is not one of his final three contestants.
First, there were rumors that Peter hooks up with Hannah Brown -- but those died around the time that reports of Brown getting a second chance as Bachelorette began to surface.
The other most persistent claim holds that Peter is dating Julie LaPlaca, a Bachelor producer whom he met on set.
Photos of Peter and Julie enjoying one another's company at social events have been circulating non-stop, but as many have pointed out, these two have now worked together on two shows and known one another for over a year.
It makes sense that they would occasionally hang out.
Adding to the suspicion is the fact that Peter has kept quiet about the rumors ... until now.
Yes, he finally addressed the Julie situation in conversation with Entertainment Tonight -- unfortunately, he didn't reveal much.
"A lot of people think it's Hannah Brown now coming in. Possibly Jules LaPlaca, who knows. There's so many choices!" Weber said about this season's final episodes.
"[There are] so many theories out there right now. It's kind of crazy to hear," he added. "We'll see."
Obviously, Peter is playing this one close to the vest, which is one of his job requirements.
So we're not terribly surprised that he refuses to confirm or deny the LaPlaca report
"Julie is an amazing, talented producer. Far be it for me to ruin anything towards the end of the season. But... seems much ado about nothing to me," Harrison said. "Unless I just don't know, which is possible."
Harrison went on to joke that the idea of a Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant is "horrifying" for a number of reasons.
"Clearly that’s not what we’re there to do. That’s not the story we’re trying to create," he explained.
"I think it’s a wild story. But maybe it’s just crazy enough to be true!"
From there Rob Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, picked up the torch and ran with it, effectively killing the Peter and Julie speculation.
"Well, I hate to get in the way of a good rumor, so I’m not going to confirm or deny about whether he ends up with a producer!" he said.
"I don’t know how we’d ever top that though! But, it is crazy. What we’ve seen about the finale over the years is that the 'finale' is really on that night when the show goes live," Mills added.
There’s a lot of craziness, it’s a roller coaster, but I would say even now the roller coaster hasn’t ended, and it won’t end until after After the Final Rose."
Well, that's a nice try, Rob, but this rumor refuses to die.
Looks like we'll have to wait until March 9 to see what becomes of Peter's love life.
And if he winds up single in the end, maybe he should consider dating Julie -- apparently, the whole world wants to see them together!
We must say it seems as though Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are already starting to adjust to their life as commoners because they just found themselves in one of the most relatable and unfortunate situations.
Yep, they're getting cut off financially!
That's right, Canada is set to stop providing security support for the duo when they step down as members of the royal family "in the coming weeks," according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced Thursday that the protection they've been providing Meghan, Harry and their son Archie with since last year will officially cease in March.
We can only imagine how big the bill must be for that level of security.
The RCMP said in a statement:
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to re-locate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances."
"As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as needed basis."
"The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status."
Although Canada will soon pull their funding, the family of three will still be protected by the UK police, even while in Canada.
Which, BTW, is all thanks to taxpayers!
But if Meghan and Harry wish for a higher level of protection (and I'm sure they will) the responsibility is now on them.
The couple shared a statement regarding this news on their Sussex Royal website:
"It is agreed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to require effective security to protect them and their son."
"This is based on The Duke's public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess' own independent profile and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years."
Meghan and Harry announced shocked the world earlier this year by saying they are stepping down from their royal duties.
However, they're not officially non-working royals until the widely speculated date of March 31.
Until then, the family is reportedly spending their last few regal weeks together in London.
They are set to attend the annual Commonwealth service on March 9, per the Queen's wish, as one of their last official engagements.
Still, we hope they appreciate and enjoy their final days as royalty while emotionally preparing for dun, dun, dun... the real world!
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Who are the most frugal celebrities? Which famous men and women choose to live a humble lifestyle despite the glitz and glamour of Hollywood? Radar has a list of the celebs who are considered to be the most frugal in the business.
So many celebrities are known for their extravagant lifestyles. From flashy cars to giant mansions, the extravagance comes with the business. But the following celebs threw all that by the wayside for a simpler life. Here is a list of the most frugal celebrities.
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June Shannon lives, folks!
In the most basic sense of this word at least.
Following several months of dangerous, troubling and irresponsible behavior that has alienated the long-time reality star from her family, Mama June makes an actual appearance on the first extended trailer for From Not to Hot.
And she's a sight for eyes that are about to feel sore.
Previously, WeTV teased the upcoming season of this program by implying that the feud between June and her daughters was phony.
It wouldn't be difficult to still push that argument, considering the new season will be entirely based on Shannon's downfall and the impact it has had on her loved ones...
... but at least this new sneak peek gives us an actual look at these people in emotional action.
In the preview featured here, June comes face to face with daughters Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon during what appears to be an intervention.
We don't mean this in an insulting sense, but more in a sense that gives fans an idea of just how far Shannon has fallen... she looks rough.
She looks like someone who has been drinking non-stop and doing a lot of drugs with her awful boyfriend, Geno Doak.
These two have seemingly been on downward spiral since they were busted for crack cocaine possession last year in March 2019.
In perhaps our favorite part of the trailer, Lauryn refers to Doak as a "piece of sh-t."
Following this the arrest, Jo "Doe Doe" Shannon claims to the camera in the promo that June is "not in a safe place," and that Doak has "such a hold on her."
She then makes it clear that her mission is to track June down in Alabama and bring her home.
"Mama said nothing's ever gonna come between us," Alana says at one point. "I don't even know who she is anymore."
Coming together for the aforementioned intervention, a tearful Mama June confronts her daughters, insisting to the camera:
"Nobody knows what the real story is."
How fortunate for her that she now has a reality show, in desperate need of ratings, on which she can tell is, right?!?
Mama June: From Not to Hot | Family Crisis returns to WeTV on Friday, March 27 at 9 p.m. ET.
Here is what you can expect from it, based on the official synopsis:
The fourth season of 'Mama June: Family Crisis' premiering Friday, March 27 at 9pm on WE tv, follows the Shannon family trying to cope with the fallout of Mama's arrest, drug addiction and dysfunctional relationship with boyfriend Geno.
Leaning on each other for strength and support, the family struggles together to maintain hope for June's healthy return
June's daughter Lauryn ("Pumpkin") and husband Josh have taken custody of June's youngest daughter Alana ("Honey Boo Boo") and are raising her along with their adorable toddler Ella — a ray of sunshine oblivious to the chaos unfolding around her.
June's sister Joanne ("Doe Doe") is determined to find June and separate her from Geno, who the family believes is a bad influence.
Jennifer, June's nemesis and wife of June's ex-boyfriend "Sugar Bear", is eager to step into the spotlight vacated by June, winning a major magazine cover contest showcasing her own "not to hot" transformation.
However, when Alana starts acting out on social media Jennifer decides it's time for her and Sugar Bear to step up and demand full custody of Alana.
Throughout the season there are many joyous family moments: Alana's return to high school and budding comedy career, Ella's unforgettable baby pageant debut, and breakthrough family therapy moments with Dr. Ish that help them move forward together in a healthy way.
However, constantly lurking in the background is the frightening decline of their family matriarch — as June faces legal problems, physical deterioration, money issues and suspected abuse from the partner she refuses to abandon.
Will June finally hit her rock bottom and seek professional help? Can she return to the family as the "old June" they all miss terribly?
Can love and belief in each other get them through a family crisis that is all too relatable to thousands of American families?
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Last year, teen rapper Danielle Bregoli got into a physical fight with Woah Vicky. Even getting owned on camera has not dampened her fighting spirit.
Now, Disney star Skai Jackson has taken out a restraining order against the infamous Bhad Bhabie ... after she publicly threatened her life!
Skai Jackson is a 17-year-old actress, YouTuber, and author.
She is particularly well known for her work on Disney.
16-year-old Danielle Bregoli, who rose to fame after roasting Dr. Phil and demanding to physically fight his audience, is a young rapper.
Going by the moniker Bhad Bhabie, she has been breaking music records and making quite a name for herself.
On Thursday, February 27, Skai filed a restraining order against Danielle in a Los Angeles County courthouse.
The reason was that, two days earlier, Bhad Bhabie had gone on Instagram Live and warned Skai "I will literally kill you."
Danielle's reason for unhappiness was that she accuses Skai of trying to "get all up" with her boyfriend, who is reportedly 20-year-old NBA YoungBoy.
She accused Skai of using a finsta -- a fake Instagram -- to attempt to smear Danielle and snag YoungBoy Never Broke Again for herself.
"She's moving sneaky," Danielle accused. "Don't go post on your fake page."
In the courthouse filing, Skai described fearing for her life after Danielle's threats.
"The harassment has caused me to be fearful of leaving my house by myself, and lack of sleep," Skai describes.
Danielle also allegedly messaged her four months ago that she wanted to physically fight her. Yikes.
"I'll dog you," Danielle warns Skai in private messages contained in the court filing.
"What is the issue now? I haven't even said nothing about you," Skai replies.
Skai continues: "Don't need any drama in my life. I'm good. If you heard/seen something it's old. Ain't nobody said anything."
Danielle then replies: "Shut your scary ass up... Imma get to you... Hide... That's all Imma tell you... HIDE."
TMZ reports that the judge has granted Skai Jackson's request for a restraining order.
Danielle Bregoli is ordered to stay at least 100 feet away from Skai, her home, and her workplace.
Additionally, Bhad Bhabie is forbidden from contacting or messaging Skai in any way, shape, or form.
Of course, these two were not the only ones who got into a beef over this, well, beef.
See, before the order was handed down, Danielle went to the Instagram page of Skai's mom, Kiya Cole.
She warned the woman to "get a hold of" Skai's alleged finsta.
Kiya replied: "Let me tell you something little girl! I'm definitely not the one to be played with!"
"Don't come on my damn page with your trashy negativity!" she admonished Danielle.
Kiya, Skai's mother, then wrote: "How about you just put your address or phone number in my DM"
"And I will gladly have this conversation with your mother!" she told the 16-year-old rapper. "I'm not having it."
This is unfortunately where Danielle's mom got involved, writing: "Oh listen to you preach."
"Tell your daughter to stop speaking on mine and you think you are calling my daughter Ratchet?" she said. "Remember I come from New York too."
In response to the drama, Danielle took to Instagram to flex using her career accomplishments.
"You can try to hate me for responding to bulls--t with more bulls--t," Danielle begins.
She explains: "but that’s just who I am and I don’t apologize for none of it."
"I been in this fake ass hollywood world for 3 1/2 years now and I’ve done ALOT when the whole world said I couldn’t," Danielle points out.
"But I refuse to become as fake as hollywood is," Bhad Bhabie insists.
"Y’all can play around on your finstas," she writes, "but I’ll always say what’s on my mind as cuz that’s who I am."
"Go get your restraining order," Danielle concludes. "Imma go get checks."
That's some sound clapback ... but maybe not as good as just not threatening someone's life in the first place, right?
Right now, aspects of their alleged feud remain up in the air, such as why Danielle is so convinced that Skai is her romantic rival.
For the record, it would be illegal for 20-year-old YoungBoy to date either underage girl in the state of California.
He is, ironically, too old.
The search for Echo continues, as the Bad Batch and Anakin Skywalker go on the offensive. Our review of The Clone Wars season 7 episode 2...
This Star Wars: The Clone Wars review contains spoilers.
The Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 2 Review
The second episode in the Bad Batch arc digs deeper into characterization and world-building, especially that dramatic irony The Clone Wars overflows with. Executive producer Dave Filoni and his writing team have an ear for dramatic irony, and the Prequels are a rich field for it. Most people with even a casual understanding of Star Wars know that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader, so the Anakin in The Clone Wars is always operating under that shadow. His dialogue isn’t always much better than the stiff proclamations in the Prequels (and is perhaps, intentionally, meant to evoke them and the classic sci-fi serials George Lucas based his epic on). It’s also mostly effective. This Anakin is mercurial and charming, warm to his friends and ruthless to his enemies. He’s a Jedi who knows he’s a hero.
Anakin’s pitch-perfect dynamic with his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi gives “A Distant Echo” a strong opening. The Jedi and the Bad Batch are on their way to Skako Minor, the planet clone trooper Echo’s signal might be coming from. Rex and the Bad Batch hope to rescue Echo from the droid army’s clutches, even if everyone on the team isn’t even sure Echo is still alive. But beforehand, Anakin needs to take a quick phone call.
At this point in the timeline, he’s married to Padmé Amidala, who is doing her own kind of fighting in the Galactic Senate. Their secret call provides some nice visual language: the two are separated by the ladder up to a bunk, as if in reference to the way the war itself is keeping them apart. When Obi-Wan nearly catches them, we’re treated to tension that works on both a character level and a galactic level.
Anakin and Obi-Wan squabble, and the audience knows they’ll one day fight in the battle that leaves Anakin “more machine now than man.” But for now, the conflict between them is almost playful. Anakin is clearly a smooth liar, his casual deception far more effective and charming than Rex’s. And Obi-Wan, while playing the role of the teacher catching a student where he shouldn’t be, isn’t clueless. He knows, through the Force or common sense, that Anakin is talking to Padmé, and he’s comfortable enough in his own judgment and authority to joke about it. Basically, the dynamic between the two Jedi is great.
Padmé also gets some fun, if brief characterization here, chiding Anakin for perhaps surprising but fitting naiveté. He expected a siege to be over sooner, while she knows everything in war and politics ends up more complicated than it might have appeared at first.
The group’s arrival on Skako Minor segues the episode into a classic Star Wars monster scene, and it’s a beautiful one. Fluting aliens and space dragons are both just so much fun to watch, space fantasy taken at its most literal in the joyous creativity of the Star Wars galaxy. It’s a pet peeve of mine when fantasy creatures don’t look like they could hold up their own weight. These dragons’ wings pass the test; both the sound design and the animation make them sound heavy, and the proportions are a nice mix of hawk and lizard.
The droid designs in this episode are also visually interesting and intimidating, if sometimes bordering on the edge of being too busy. Battle droids are basically cannon fodder, so pitting the Bad Batch against a greater variety of droids and more heavy-hitting models like the Super Battle Droids keeps the action scenes varied.
The Bad Batch continue to strictly adhere to their rather goofy roles. Hunter, their leader, is the only one who hints at having simmering opinions he hasn’t yet shared. Especially compared to Anakin and Obi-Wan, it’s hard to get a sense for these clones as allies and friends rather than just a group thrown together by their circumstances. Surely their interpersonal dynamic is more complicated than simply completing missions, but that's not really displayed convincingly. The dialogue doesn't do these clones any favors, either. The Bad Batch clones themselves are the least interesting thing about the Bad Batch arc.
Perhaps the second most interesting conversation in the episode is between Anakin and Rex. Anakin is forced to be the peacekeeper between the clones and ends up talking to Rex about what Echo’s potential survival means to him. Rex is willing to fight the Bad Batch on Echo’s behalf. Anakin talks him down. Meanwhile, the whole conversation seems like a commentary on ones Anakin and Obi-Wan will have later. After all, Rex is turning against his own allies for a chance to save a person he cares about, just as Anakin will later turn against Obi-Wan in an attempt to save Padmé.
Overall, this was a solid episode. Echo’s story is compelling, doubly so because Rex is clearly so invested in it, and the Rex-Anakin dynamic contains a lot to unpack in a relatively brisk format. The presence of the camera isn’t as artful in “A Distant Echo” as it was in “The Bad Batch,” but overall the direction is so unobtrusively good that it doesn’t matter.
In total, the return of The Clone Wars has been a pleasant surprise. Even knowing what’s coming, the reveal of Echo’s fate is suspenseful. I just wish the Bad Batch themselves weren’t so goofy.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER Set Photo Reveals Propaganda Posters Featuring The New Captain America
As you can see below, a new photo from the set of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier reveals that the U.S. Army is sharing posters of the new Captain America, but it's not Sam Wilson wielding the shield.
The government is clearly being open about the fact it's no longer Steve Rogers in the costume, and they've even named John Walker as the new Cap on these propaganda posters. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, it makes sense that Captain America being "back" would be a big deal, especially as there's a chance Steve Rogers is remembered as a criminal.
However, it's hard to believe Steve didn't somewhat redeem himself in the eyes of the public during those five years after "The Snap," and they must know that he suited up to go toe to toe with Thanos when Iron Man his final stand. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier definitely needs to explain why the world wasn't mourning Cap in Spider-Man: Far From Home, though!
Check out the posters below:
Regardless, The Raid writer Adam G. Simon has now revealed that he pitched a movie starring the vigilante to Marvel Studios which would have pitted Frank against Nick Fury set to an Eminem soundtrack.
His take would have picked up with a Punisher "completely aware of the threat superheroes and villains pose to mankind." As a result, "Frank has to go gunning for the person who he feels is responsible for the innumerable civilian casualties, the one who started it all by organizing these weapons of mass destruction to come together. Nick Fury."
"The twist is that Frank is being used, he spots the double-cross early at the end of act one," Simon continues. "From that point on, we have a 3:10 to Yuma situation. Frank and Fury on the run from everyone, heroes and villains. It’s 3:10 to Yuma meets Leon by way of The Winter Soldier."
Hit the "Next" button below to check out the best Easter Eggs,
references, and cameos from season 2 of The Punisher!
Amazing Spider-Man #129
When Russo finally breaks out of the hospital he's being kept in, the villain forces her through a door with the number "129" emblazoned on it. This has to be a reference to Amazing Spider-Man #129, the classic issue which introduced Frank Castle as one of the wall-crawler's foes.
The Punisher later got his own series, of course, but this is a nice way to pay homage to where the character originated from.
A Happy Ending
Daredevil may not be getting a fourth season but at least we (sort of) know that Matt Murdock got a happy ending. Season two of The Punisher is presumably set after the events of that show's third batch of episodes and Frank namedrops the Man Without Fear when he tells Karen Page that she shouldn't throw what she has with him away because she's chosen to come and track him down.
Season two of The Punisher features a lot of newly created characters but Amy Bendix has been taken straight out of the pages of the comic books. She first showed up in 1994's Punisher: War Zone #24 as a child who witnessed the vigilante taking out some criminals before vowing to keep that a secret.
In the show, however, she's been aged up and doesn't really have much in common with her comic book counterpart.
Assault On Precinct 13
Episode three might just be the best instalment of season two and it's clearly meant to be a homage to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. Frank and Amy end up being trapped inside a sheriff's office and are forced to team up with the local cops as the villainous John Pilgrim closes in.
There are some cracking action scenes and the tension is high from start to finish and it feels like a love letter to that classic movie.
Sergeant Brett Mahoney
Just like Karen Page, another character from Daredevil's world makes an appearance in The Punisher in the form of Sergeant Brett Mahoney. He's become something of a constant in these shows and was introduced in Marvel Comics Presents #1 back in 2007.
This familiar Easter Egg crops up almost immediately when Frank is referred to as "Pete," a pseudonym he also used in season one.
This is, of course, a reference to the name he's frequently used during his comic book adventures and that surname comes from "Castilogne," his family's original Italian name before they moved to the states. If you're not familiar with the source material, this may have been lost on you!
Episode ten features a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's classic "Fortunate Son," a song which is obviously closely associated with the Vietnam war. In the comic books, that was originally the war Frank fought in before returning home to see his family slaughtered by gangsters.
The season's big bad - John Pilgrim - may appear to be an original creation at first glance but he shares a lot in common with a Punisher villain called The Mennonite.
That character was an Amish farmer rather than a devout Christian but the similarities are clear enough to see and the changes made do actually make a lot of sense.
When Billy Russo wakes up, he claims not to have any memory of the fight with Frank that landed him in the hospital. Now, Marvel has faced a fair bit of backlash since it became clear that this version of Jigsaw wouldn't be as hideously scarred as his comic book counterpart but we do at least get a reference to his moniker.
Billy's doctor tells him that he has to "put together the jigsaw" and that's about as good as it gets throughout the entire season!
Another familiar face in this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Turk shows up here and is caught right in the middle of Frank's feud with the Russians when the vigilante threatens the hapless gunrunner into becoming his liaison with them. They part ways on relatively good terms but this could be his final appearance on the small screen.
Stan "The Man" Lee never made a physical appearance in these Netflix TV shows and there's obviously no sign of him throughout The Punisher season two. However, at the end of the finale, a message comes up on screen reading, "In Loving Memory Of Stan Lee."
We'll presumably see something similar when Captain Marvel is released in theaters this March.
Continue reading below to check out all the officially
released stills from The Punisher season two!
SEASON 2, EPISODE 2
PHOTO CREDIT: Cara Howe/Netflix
PICTURED: Ben Barnes, Floriana Lima, Amber Rose Revah
SEASON 2, EPISODE 7
PHOTO CREDIT: Cara Howe/Netflix
PICTURED: Jason R. Moore, Amber Rose Revah, Jon Bernthal
The first new series announcement from Marvel Comics out of C2E2 is a new Silk ongoing written by Maureen Goo with art by Takeshi Miyazawa. Created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, Cindy Moon's last solo ongoing ended in 2017 after running for 19 issues. The character has been co-starring in the various Agents of Atlas mini-series of late, including the newest, Atlantis Attacks. The new Silk series will launch in July, as revealed at Marvel's Artists' Extravaganza panel at the show.
This is only the beginning of the comics announcements we're expecting from C2E2 this weekend, so stay tuned.
The post Silk Gets an Ongoing Series at Marvel by Maureen Goo and Takeshi Miyazawa – #C2E2 appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.
Two out of seven charges have been dropped against Ronnie Ortiz-Magro in his domestic violence case.
RadarOnline.com readers know the Jersey Shore star, 34, is facing seven misdemeanor charges following an alleged domestic violence incident with on-again-off-again girlfriend Jen Harley in Los Angeles.
On October 4, cops responded to a call about “a battery in progress,” where Ortiz-Magro allegedly physically attacked his ex girlfriend, 32, and locked himself in the house with 1-year-old daughter Ariana Sky, while carrying a knife.
The day of the attack, police arrived at the former couple’s AirBnB, busted through the door and tased Ortiz-Magro before placing him in handcuffs.
A restraining order was placed and lifted a week later and the MTV star was charged with corporal injury to a spouse or intimate partner, brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon, willful child endangerment, false imprisonment and two counts of resisting arrest and criminal threats.
Now, prosecutors have agreed to drop the weapons and criminal threats charges.
“The facts and circumstances relating to the arrest and charging of Ronnie were exaggerated and actually incorrect,” Ronnie’s attorney, Scott Leemon told a site. “The City’s Attorney agreed with us and dismissed 2 of the pending charges against Ronnie. They agreed that these allegations were baseless and made up. We are hoping further investigation will yield similar results.”
In December 2019, Harley posted a quote that indicated her life is free from drama since her breakup. “A break from someone will either make you realize how much you truly miss/love them or how much peace you have without them.” The quote read.
“Nothing but Peace baby,” she wrote as a caption.
But in a shocking turn of events, Ortiz-Magro filed a restraining order against Harley this January. In the complaint, the reality star insisted he was “viciously” assaulted by Harley “while he was sleeping.
Still, amid the domestic violence case, he was asked not to contact Harley.
His plan to negotiate a plea has since been halted. Radar previously reported, Ortiz-Magro’s attorney said Harley recently made “monetary demands” to settle a potential civil case that she planned to file against his client. This new development, he said, “has further complicated plea negotiations in this case.”
The post 2 Charges Dropped In ‘Jersey Shore’ Star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro’s Domestic Violence Case appeared first on RadarOnline.
- Trump urges South Carolina Republicans to vote for Bernie Sanders New York Post
- These are the democratic socialists backing Bernie Sanders CNN
- CNN polls: Bernie Sanders holds big leads in California and Texas ahead of critical Super Tuesday vote CNN
- Bernie Sanders Can Beat Trump. Here’s the Math. The New York Times
- Opinion | A rule in the fine print could give Bernie a yuuuge smile on Super Tuesday Washington Post
- View Full Coverage on Google News
- Microsoft drops Cortana consumer skills in new Windows 10 update The Verge
- Windows 10 is about to get its biggest change yet TechRadar India
- 5 ways to make Windows 10 more secure Fox News
- Microsoft is neutering Cortana TechSpot
- New Windows 10 update: Microsoft tries again to fix Search bugs ZDNet
- View Full Coverage on Google News
There have been a number of iterations of that team in the comic books over the years, with their first appearance coming in the late 1960s when Roy Thomas and John Buscema introduced the group as Marvel's version of the Justice League. Members included heroes like Hyperion, Nighthawk, Power Princess, and the Whizzer.
A more recent version of the Squadron Supreme has been made up of characters from alternate universes, something that would fit into a show like Loki seeing as he's travelling through time and realities. General "Thunderbolt" Ross has also assembled the group as the Squadron Supreme of America, but we're not anticipating seeing that version of the group in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Needless to say, this is just a rumour for now, and we probably won't get any sort of confirmation for some time to come. It's still early days on Loki, but with shooting currently taking place in Atlanta, perhaps we'll get lucky and see some set photos featuring members of this superhero team.
What do you guys think?
Hit the "Next" button to take a look at the characters
we're hoping to see make an appearance in Loki.
A creation of Kieron Gillen's during his stellar Journey Into Mystery run, Ikol was the soul of Loki - the original, villainous version who died during Siege - trapped inside a magpie.
He served as a confidant of sorts to the young God of Mischief and was ultimately revealed to be pulling the strings to ensure he could return to the land of the living. Seeing as we're getting something of a role reversal in Loki, what if it's the heroic version from Avengers: Endgame who tries to guide his villainous 2012 counterpart into doing the right thing in this series?
Karnilla has a storied history with Loki and has actually helped him battle Thor on a number of occasions now. However, she's often done so in a bid to protect the love of her life, Balder (who just so happens to be Thor and Loki's brother).
Now serving in a more heroic capacity, Karnilla calls Nornheim, the province where the Three Norns, the Goddesses of Destiny live, her home. It's easy to imagine Loki wanting to use them to protect his destiny, so don't be surprised if these two end up crossing paths in the Disney+ series.
Another of Gillen's creations, Leah hails from Hel and was the loyal servant and handmaiden to Hela. In the comics, she had something of a love/hate relationship with the young God of Mischief and eventually grows into an adult to become an ally to the Young Avengers.
Regardless of whether we get to see Kid Loki in this series, there's a lot that can be done with this character - even if she does end up undergoing some sort of reinvention for television.
Verity Willis is a relatively new creation and just so happens to be the granddaughter of the keeper of the Casket of Ancient Winters. After being imbued with powers courtesy of a magic ring as a child, she gains the ability to be able to see through any lie or illusion, something which makes her an interesting foil to Asgard's greatest trickster.
They met during a speed dating night and an unlikely friendship soon followed. Thing got complicated after that, but as love interests go, Verity could be a fun character to use as part of this series.
Thori is a hellhound the God of Mischief met in Hel and after freeing him, they became unexpected allies. Able to speak and a big fan of murder, Thori now serves a new master - Thor - and is one of the most memorable parts of Jason Aaron's Thor run.
You might think that this would be too weird for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Marvel Studios is clearly taking some risks moving forward and it would be awesome to see this pooch appear here before eventually finding his way to fighting alongside Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder.
Sylene is Loki's daughter from another Earth and seeing as Marvel Studios will soon be exploring the concept of a Multiverse (not to mention the ramifications that come with time-travel), her making an appearance here might make sense. That's particularly the case if Loki winds up travelling forward in time in what is believed to be a time-hopping adventure for the villain.
Like her father, she's a full-blown baddie, and it would certainly be interesting to see the God of Mischief match wits with his daughter in an alternate future if some sort.
Of course, if the plan is to introduce what would essentially be a female version of Loki, why not just go with Lady Loki? The God of Mischief took this form after Ragnarok when he stole Sif's body and there are already rumblings that the villain will undergo this transformation at some point.
It would be a cool thing to see happen, and if Tom Hiddleston is using this series to say goodbye to Loki, it's great to know that the iconic comic book character can live on in another form.
Loki's been a busy man over the years and it was in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man that we learned he also had a human daughter called Tess. Unfortunately, an ancient being known as Morwen ended up finding her way back into our realm and possessed Tess due to her Godly blood.
Morwen is a pretty obscure villain, but someone who might make an interesting foe for the God of Mischief. Loki having a daughter would also be pretty fascinating to explore, especially if we potentially get to see more of her down the line.
Mephisto making his MCU debut is something that should have happened long ago, and with this shared world seemingly heading down a slightly more horror-inspired route in Phase 4, Loki would definitely be a fitting place to introduce...Hela's replacement?
Hel is going to need a leader and the character could easily be rebooted to fill that void. Either way, Loki and Mephisto have always had something of a fascinating relationship, and if he were to be given a role here, that could easily tie into WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
We've talked about Kid Loki a lot throughout this post, and while his world was definitely filled with some amazing supporting characters, he too was pretty damn awesome.
Adapting the version of the character from the comics could be a little tricky as his origins were more than a little complicated, but if Loki is indeed travelling through time in the show, he could always cross paths with his younger, slightly less evil self! That would make for a fun couple of episodes and if he's a permanent addition to the MCU, that would be no bad thing.
Which of these characters would you most like to see in Loki? Are there any other great suggestions we've missed? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
GDC’s top sponsors continue to pull out of attending the San Francisco gaming conference. Today, Amazon announced it would no longer be sending employees to the event.
In an update, the team shared that they would instead be hosting a “global online event” to share news that they had been planning to detail at the conference.
Amazon Game Tech is a “diamond partner” at the Game Developers Conference this year, a designation that signifies sponsors “who play an integral role in the success of GDC,” the conference says on its website. At this point, the only diamond partners who have not officially withdrawn are Intel, Nvidia and Google.
Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, Unity and Epic Games have all pulled out of the conference over concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, Amazon joins them.
TechCrunch has reached out to the other remaining sponsors at the event.
As pointed out by @beccahallstedt, the red companies have officially pulled out.
Wouldn't be surprised if Google, Amazon, Intel, and Nvidia also pull out. pic.twitter.com/C81LomyM0L
— Xavier GDC (@XCK3D) February 27, 2020
With the next version of Windows 10, coming this spring, Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant will lose a number of consumer skills around music and connected homes, as well as some third-party skills. That’s very much in line with Microsoft’s new focus for Cortana, but it may still come as a surprise to the dozens of loyal Cortana fans.
Microsoft is also turning off Cortana support in its Microsoft Launcher on Android by the end of April and on older versions of Windows that have reached their end-of-service date, which usually comes about 36 months after the original release.
As the company explained last year, it now mostly thinks of Cortana as a service for business users. The new Cortana is all about productivity, with deep integrations into Microsoft’s suite of Office tools, for example. In this context, consumer services are only a distraction, and Microsoft is leaving that market to the likes of Amazon and Google .
Because the new Cortana experience is all about Microsoft 365, the subscription service that includes access to the Office tools, email, online storage and more, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the assistant’s new feature will give you access to data from these tools, including your calendar, Microsoft To Do notes and more.
And while some consumer features are going away, Microsoft stresses that Cortana will still be able to tell you a joke, set alarms and timers, and give you answers from Bing.
For now, all of this only applies to English-speaking users in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., most of the productivity features will launch in the future.
Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” music video was shot on an iPhone. [Just Jared]
Salma Hayek is beautiful, but the dress is a wreck! [Go Fug Yourself]
BTS is bigger than Taylor Swift, just saying. [LaineyGossip]
Nicolas Cage has a new girlfriend! It’s all happening! [Dlisted]
Meghan McCain doesn’t think Mike Pence should be the Coronavirus Czar. [Pajiba]
A very good long-read about modern weddings, the wedding industrial complex, feminism, money and good taste. [Jezebel]
Unexpected star has a Donald Trump campaign poster in his bedroom. [Starcasm]
Mike Bloomberg lied about gay marriage. [Towleroad]
Helen Mirren wore a glittery Dolce & Gabbana in Berlin. [RCFA]
Olly Murs has lost some serious weight! [OMG Blog]
— Spotify (@Spotify) February 28, 2020
End Game Interactive CEO Yang C. Liu has a refreshingly straightforward description of what he and his co-founder Luke Zbihlyj are up to: “We’re just building games. And to be honest, we don’t know what we’re doing.”
Despite this self-proclaimed ignorance, End Game has just raised $3 million in seed funding from an impressive group of investors: The round was led by the game-focused firm Makers Fund, with participation from Clash of Clans developer Supercell, Unity CEO David Helgason, Twitch COO Kevin Lin, Twitch VP Hubert Thieblot, Danny Epstien and Alexandre Cohen of Main Street Advisors and music executive Scooter Braun.
Liu told me that he and Zbihlyj got their start by building websites tied to existing games, such as PokéVision, a site for finding Pokémon in Pokémon GO. However, they were inspired by the success of simple, browser-based multiplayer games like Slither.io to create games of their own — first Zombs.io, then Spinz.io, then Zombs Royale.
Altogether, End Game says its titles have attracted more than 160 million players, with 1 million people playing in a single day. Zombs Royale, in particular, seems to have been a hit — the battle royale game (where a single map can pit up to 100 players against each other) was one of 2018’s most Googled games in the United States.
Liu said the team’s success convinced them to focus their efforts on game development: “Do we want to make products that people simply use, or games that people think about out when they’re going to school, or going to work, or dream about?”
Zombs Royale was supposedly built in less than four weeks, but Liu said that after its launch in early 2018, the team spent most of the year maintaining and scaling the game. Then 2019 was all about building a team and creating the next game, Fate Arena, a title in the new Auto Chess genre that’s supposed to launch on PC, mobile and other platforms soon.
Liu noted that unlike End Game’s previous work, which featured simple 2D art (“On Zombs Royale and Spinz, I did the art, and it’s terrible”), Fate Arena will feature a “3D, high-fidelity art style.”
But even as the company’s games start looking a little less primitive, the goal is still to develop and iterate quickly. Liu said he hopes to fund “many tries” at building other cross-platform, multiplayer games with this seed round.
“We pride ourselves on rapid experimentation,” he said, adding that the key is “not biting off more than we can chew. We design [our games] to scale from the beginning. We don’t necessarily need to be World of Warcraft, where you need to make 100 quests as the baseline. We’re focused on games with a small starting point that can scale into something much bigger.”
Supercell Developer Relations Lead Jaakko Harlas made a similar point in a statement included in the funding announcement:
Many companies are quick to point out how fast-moving they are. Then you come across a team like this and realize what being lean and moving fast really means. Yang, Luke and the team have already shown that they can ship accessible games that showcase a real flair for fun, and we look forward to supporting them in their quest for the next big hit game.
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
All around, this has been a tough week. The coronavirus is spreading and worry is running high as infections mount. In economic terms, global markets were repeated declines last night (domestic results here), and the U.S. indices are off again this morning.
There’s been plenty of bad news to read, even in our private market, startup-focused world. Yesterday the impact of COVID-19 on earnings became more apparent, bringing what has, for months, been an external concern to domestic technology companies. The problems are now. The past week’s market collapse into correction territory hasn’t helped,.
But the story so far has largely been public-market focused and with good reason: You can see the public markets contract in real-time. It’s far harder to see into the shifting dynamics of the private market. Today, however, we are going to try, all the same, by digging into some preliminary venture capital data.
I realize that the last few days have been awful. So, at the end of this piece, I’ve excerpted a quote from a recent interview I held with the CEO of Smartsheet, Mark Mader, about tech cycles, downturns, and getting through tough times. It’s perhaps useful today as the downward trend appears to continue.
Let’s start with a brief reminder of how elevated stock prices remain and what that means for tech multiples, and then look at early February VC results from the U.S., China and Europe. With that, in Sanskrit: अभिमुखी करोति.
Before we dig into the venture capital data, a reminder that, even with recent declines, we’re still in warm waters as far as tech valuations go.
For months now, this has been a conversation on Twitter: the theory that the @KensingtonRoyal Instagram account was quietly buying bot-followers in small amounts very gradually so that the account would always be the “most followed” royal IG account. It became a thing almost as soon as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex started their @SussexRoyal IG in 2019, and Meghan quickly showed the world how adept she was at that Instagram-inspo/impactful social media life. She was producing unique (and often exclusive) content for the SussexRoyal IG, and the account quickly amassed millions of followers. But no matter how good the Sussex content, the KensingtonRoyal account still managed to stay *just* ahead in follower numbers. Just a random social media happenstance or something more nefarious??
Well, Caity Weaver at the New York Times did a lengthy investigation and it is, in a word, hilarious. She literally interviewed dozens of social media experts and professional social media trackers, all to figure out the likelihood of Kensington Palace quietly buying bot-followers to boost their follower numbers to be just above the Sussexes. The piece is really long and detailed, and if you already have a NYT subscription, you should definitely just read the piece here. First, she gets into the history of how the Sussexes started their IG account and how their content was far superior to the Cambridges’ content even in the beginning (the Sussexes began their IG on April 2nd, 2019).
Though Meghan was by no means a global star before her marriage, she had maintained an active and successful personal Instagram account, its profile buoyed by her regular role on a moderately popular American cable legal drama. That account boasted around 2 million followers before its deletion following her engagement (not far from the approximately 2.27 million followers @KensingtonRoyal had when the engagement was announced). Some data:
From its very first post, Harry and Meghan’s new Sussex account was distinct from @KensingtonRoyal — and seemed unmistakably the work of an Instagram veteran. It established a signature color palette (royal blue) and typography (a hybrid of caps-locked roman and lowercase italics). These kinds of personalized elements were absent from @KensingtonRoyal.
According to data provided by CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool that, like Instagram, is owned by Facebook, nine of the 10 most-liked posts ever shared by either @KensingtonRoyal or @SussexRoyal showcase some combination of Harry and Meghan (and/or their son). The single outlier is an image of William and Kate’s two eldest children taken on Princess Charlotte’s first day of school in 2019. (It came in eighth.)
Data generated by the media monitoring software Cision, which tracks online media mentions, found that, from the date of the announcement of Harry and Meghan’s engagement in November 2017 to January 2020, Harry and Meghan received vastly more global online attention than did William and Kate. (Recall, too: They crushed them in Google searches.)
(William and/or Kate did receive more online attention than Harry and/or Meghan on a handful of dates, such as: the day Kate wore a green gown to the BAFTA awards ceremony, out of step with the event’s unofficial all-black dress code to express solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct; the period immediately before and after the birth of William and Kate’s third child; and their daughter’s first day of school.)
Thus it is perhaps not surprising that, from the date of the @SussexRoyal debut until Harry and Meghan’s bombshell announcement this past January, @SussexRoyal’s Meghan-and-Harry-centric posts received more total likes than @KensingtonRoyal posts centered on Kate and William. According to CrowdTangle data, the Sussexes came out around 13.5 million likes ahead. Of course, on Instagram, likes are only one measure of engagement. Another is comments. Harry and Meghan won that by an even bigger margin: In the same time frame, their account received more than double the number of comments that @KensingtonRoyal did, despite @KensingtonRoyal laying claim, perpetually, to hundreds of thousands more followers.
Weaver then discusses the “interaction rate” and suggests that the Sussexes have always had the higher interaction rate with their followers, comment numbers and “likes,” nearly double that of Kensington Royal. It took about six weeks for SussexRoyal IF to get 8 million followers. It took KensingtonRoyal more than four years to get to that number. It was the creation of the SussexRoyal IG that seemed to create quite a stir in the KensingtonRoyal IG followers:
Before Harry and Meghan’s account existed, @KensingtonRoyal might gain something like 1,000 followers on an average good (but not astronomically good) day. But between Jan. 1 and March 31 of last year, its following shrank by nearly 10,000 accounts. The creation of @SussexRoyal seemed to reinvigorate it — and then some. On May 12, the day @SussexRoyal posted a photo of Meghan’s hands holding newborn Archie’s cute tiny baby feet, the account of Archie’s aunt and uncle, @KensingtonRoyal, gained more than 42,000 followers. This despite the fact @KensingtonRoyal had posted no content, as well as the fact that the Sussex post was in honor of a holiday few in Britain were observing: U.S. Mother’s Day.
Then comes the analysis of just how KensingtonRoyal could be purchasing bot followers, and how it’s unlikely that they are buying them en masse, by the tens of thousands, for bulk follower numbers on a daily or weekly basis. It’s far more likely they are getting some kind of service which gives them bot followers a thousand on week, 900 the next week, and on and on. One social media expert spoke about how public figures and politicians are doing this to manipulate public opinion, and, regarding mass-bot purchase, “most people leveraging fake followers these days — especially at the behest of well-resourced groups or individuals — are being very careful to avoid suspicion, detection and deletion.”
TL; DR version: The Cambridges are petty clout-chasers spending Charles’ money to buy Instagram followers so they’ll still look special and important even though Harry and Meghan are clearly more popular and interesting.
9 of the combined 10 most popular posts ever shared by Will & Kate's Insta or Harry & Meghan's Insta are about Harry and Meghan. Yet, no matter how many followers Harry & Meghan got, for nearly a year, they could never quiiiite seem to reach Will and Kate https://t.co/8kFkSbPExF pic.twitter.com/Ud3Pfca9ic
— Caity Weaver (@caityweaver) February 27, 2020
Prince Harry is back in London today. He was in Edinburgh a few days ago for an event with Travalyst, the eco-tourism site (?) he introduced last year. And today’s event is for another ginger-prince brainchild: the Invictus Games, which are happening in The Hague in May. Harry has been doing photo-ops and stunts for his signature event for months already, and today, Jon Bon Jovi joined him at Abbey Road Studio. This was what Harry was promoting with his Instagram a week ago – Bon Jovi, with the Invictus Choir, recording a version of the song “Unbroken” to benefit the Invictus Games.
Harry looked cute in his blue shirt and what looks like simple black pants (I don’t think they’re jeans). Jon rocked his leather coat, because of course he did. Harry is looking very trim these days, right? Healthy eating, clean living, lots of walks with Meghan and Archie.
Jon and Harry even did the Beatles-walk across Abbey Road.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) February 28, 2020
— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) February 28, 2020
After being inspired by hearing stories of US veterans with #PTSD, @jonbonjovi wrote the song Unbroken, which was first released last year in support of the film, ‘To Be Of Service’. Jon wrote to The Duke last year to offer the re-record of the song for @weareinvictus pic.twitter.com/GiJf7aCzGZ
— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) February 28, 2020
Photos courtesy of Getty.
Earlier this week, I saw a headline about Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s wedding anniversary and I had this weird gossip sixth-sense feeling that their split was imminent. It was the strangest thing! But this is not an announcement of their split. If anything, they seem very happy at the moment? Or performatively happy. Gisele decided to do an Instagram Q&A with fans yesterday and she was asked about Tom, her kids, her stepchild and where she and Tom are going to live now that they’ve sold their Brookline mansion and will likely be moving to another state. Some highlights:
How it feels being a “stepmom” to Jack, Tom’s son with Bridget Moynahan: “I don’t like the word ‘stepmom’. I like the word ‘bonus mom’ because I feel like it’s a blessing in my life. I feel so lucky that I got to have an extra wonderful little angel in my life.”
On spending time with the kids: “I think we just try our best to be present with the kids when we are with the kids,” she shared, stressing the importance of being “fully there with them” and “really listening to them…I think it’s not so much [about] the amount of time. I think it’s the quality of time. I think what’s really important as well is the energy that is around the children,” she said, explaining how she and Brady are “constantly giving them kisses and hugs” to ensure that they feel appreciated. “I think they really see how much we love each other and how much we support each other.”
On communication with Tom: “We never raise our voices. We never have arguments. We just talk things over if we have any issues.”
Where will she & the family live this year? “I would love to know where I’m going to be living this year but I don’t know that yet. But hopefully somewhere nice. And wherever my husband is happy playing, so we will see.”
Tom is moving into free agency at the moment, so he’ll be able to sign with any NFL team who wants him, although there are currently some issues with everybody’s contracts because the Players’ Union and the NFL are, like, renegotiating terms currently? But once the union issue is completed, Tom will be able to sign to a different team. And it will probably need to be a different team, because no one in Boston seems to think that Patriots Organization wants him back. But who knows.
As for what she says about being a bonus mom… I find it creepy when it’s LeAnn Rimes, but at this point, with Gisle specifically, I think everyone is used to it. Bridget was probably peeved about it in the beginning, but I totally buy that Bridget, her husband, Tom and Gisele have all found a way to successfully co-parent and provide two really loving homes for Jack.
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I can’t believe it's been 11 years since we devoured this delicious cake after we came home from our wedding. Happy anniversary love of my lifey!!! Thank you for making life so sweet! Te amo ❤️❤️❤️ Não acredito que já faz 11 anos desde que devoramos esse bolo delicioso quando chegamos do nosso casamento. Feliz aniversário amor da minha vida !!! Obrigada por tornar a vida tão doce! Te amo!
A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on
Photos courtesy of Instagram.
Jordan Peele is magnificent. After the financial, critical and awards success of Get Out, Peele could write his own ticket, anywhere, anyhow. He used his new-found clout to do the following: produce the Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman (a Spike Lee Joint), bring back Twilight Zone (with a diverse cast), write and direct Us (starring a mostly black cast), executive produce the Oscar-winning short Hair Love, executive produce Lovecraft Country and Hunters, executive produce a docu-series on Lorena Bobbitt, and now, produce and cowrite an updated version of Candyman, then hand the script off to a black woman to direct. Jordan Peele is an incredible human being.
Candyman (2020) is based on the same Clive Barker story from the 1992 horror film, which I have never seen because I’m a scaredy cat. I thought I would be too scared to see Us, but I managed to watch it finally (I had to fast-forward through a few scenes). The gist of the story is that if you say “Candyman” five times in a mirror (??), the Candyman will truly come and find you and use his hook on you and just murder you in a horrific way. He can only be seen in a mirror’s reflection? Okay. Well, in the updated version – written by Peele, Clive Barker and Win Rosenfeld – is about a young artist played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who becomes obsessed with the “myth” of the Candyman and his obsession basically reopens the Candyman portal and Candyf–ker starts killing peeps again. Nia DaCosta directed the film. It’s out in June – a summer slasher movie. Come for the gore and stay for the creepy rendition of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name.”
This is going to be one of those that I can’t watch, sorry! But I will continue to support Jordan Peele and all of his peeps in any way I can. Vanity Fair also had a nice write-up on the backstory of deciding to do a sort-of sequel and how controversial the original film was, but how Peele loved the original as a kid.
The more I hear about the music industry, the more nefarious and predatory it sounds. I think there’s so much more going on behind the scenes that we’re not hearing about because artists are scared. Look at what has been happening to Kesha, who was legally forced to pay her abuser and has been standing up to him in court for years. The point is to show artists, specifically women, that it’s futile to fight back. JoJo is a music artist who first hit it big with the soulful hit Leave (Get Out) in 2004 when she was just 13. She was the youngest solo artist to have a number one hit, but her career faltered when her label refused to release her new music after her second album. She was being manipulated and controlled by the men running the label, who put her on a 500 calorie a day diet.
JoJo was eventually released from her contract after a legal battle, she signed with Atlantic for a while and now she has her own label and is in a partnership with Warner Music. She has a new interview with Uproxx ahead of her upcoming tour. I was so moved by her story of what she went through. She got emotional at times recounting how bad things were for her. Here’s some of what she said and the video is below.
Her label threatened her acting agent
I started to hear of other artists having very serious problems with Blackground, the label, and then a person who worked there, before they left, said to me ‘you need to abandon ship before it sinks.’ Then when I started doing movies between my first and second albums, people at the label were not happy about not getting a percentage of that. Men were sent to my film and television agent’s office to intimidate him. My agent was like “woah this is not what I signed up for.”
She had to fire her mom and it sounds like she was on her own after that
My mom [who was my manager] outwardly hated the industry, wanted to pull me out from it. I wanted to just work and put out music. So I let go of my mom as my manager because it became unhealthy for her. That was the hardest thing of my life up until that point, [firing my mom]. The most devastating experience of my life. It was horrific, the response. This industry is not meant for people with a sensitive soul.
Her label refused to release her third album
It would appear that I was on hiatus, but I was making albums. I just didn’t understand where the lack of follow through was coming from. We had such success. [The label] had burned a lot of bridges with different distribution companies. I saw people that opened for me coming up in their careers and surpassing me. I really wanted to put something out.
Her label put her on a 500 calorie a day diet
I thought that maybe it was the way that I looked because when I was 18, the president of the label sat me down and told me he wanted me to “look as healthy as possible.” I ended up getting put with a nutritionist that had me on a 500 calorie a day diet. I was on these injections that made you have no appetite. I was like “let me see how skinny I can get. Maybe then they’ll put out an album. Maybe I’m just so disgusting that no one wants to see me in a video.” I am speaking for every woman in this industry. Your image and your weight is up for conversation.
After that JoJo started drinking a lot and getting out of control. She said that seeing her father as an addict helped her kick drugs and alcohol. Her dad died of his addiction in 2015. JoJo worked really hard to get out of her contract, which she signed when she was 12. Even though the label didn’t have an office and wasn’t functioning, lawyers told her the contract was ironclad and there was nothing she could do. She used complicated legal means to eventually get out of it and worked hard to claw her way back. She had to re-record all her original songs in order to release them on streaming services! Those albums did very well on iTunes and she recouped her investment.
I was so impressed by JoJo’s commitment to her music and by all she’s been through. She said “I went from feeling like a disempowered child to feeling like a capable woman.” You can see her music videos on her YouTube channel and here’s her interview with Uproxx. Her dog is adorable and I wish we saw more of him.
photos credit: Getty and via YouTube
In 2018, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set a deadline: Snuff greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030 to keep warming from creeping past 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold beyond which lie the worst consequences of an overheated planet. Technologically, the scientists pointed out, we have the tools to make such a drastic clamp-down happen, but we’ve struggled to put them to work.
The past two years have provided an especially dire preview of what may come if we don’t. In 2019, wildfires flared in southern California and eastern Australia, destroying homes and habitats. And already 2020 has seen more fires Down Under, massive flooding in the Southeast, and Antarctic temps hitting close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in February—accelerating melting and pushing up sea levels worldwide.
In the US, 2019’s proposed Green New Deal, the brainchild of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Edward Markey (MA), presented the most ambitious climate blueprint to ever cross lawmakers’ desks. The resolution—inspired by both FDR's sweeping 1930s social and economic safety net and modern, groundbreaking climate policies in progressive states like California—called for a transformation of energy, economic, and social structures. The grand plan aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions by switching to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, while providing a safety net for displaced workers, increasing the efficiency of buildings, and decarbonizing agriculture and manufacturing. Recognizing that climate change often hurts low-income communities the most, it also addresses income inequality through goals like providing training opportunities for a new wave of green jobs.
Washington has not yet answered the GND’s call to action. Bills that would advance objectives like making buildings more efficient and curbing emissions have sputtered, the US has no federal renewable-energy target, and the current administration has overwritten emissions-reduction efforts like former president Barack Obama’s plan to phase out coal.
The state level, however, is a different story. In the absence of a federal mandate, local governments and institutions are stepping up. “Since the Green New Deal, we've seen more [state] governments put forth more policies,” says Ben Beachy, Director of Sierra Club's Living Economy Program. At least 20 states have adopted, or are considering, a 100 percent renewables requirement for electric utilities, according to a report last year from EQ Research, and 100 cities have done so, too. A few governments, including those representing Maine, Los Angeles, and New York City, branded their policies as Green New Deal avatars. In others, the influence is more covert.
As states pursue fixes tailored to their individual priorities—from phasing out coal-fired power to getting more electric vehicles on the road—the GND doctrine is gaining momentum, climate policy experts say. State initiatives can light the way for the specific federal policies needed to realize Green New Deal goals, such as electric vehicle rebates or a carbon tax, says Rob Klee, a professor at the Yale School of Environmental Studies and a former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “To me that’s exciting; it’s showing the potential to create a functioning government and policy that actually works.”
These are the climate policies, fixes, and initiatives that could help each state gain ground on Green New Deal goals—or get a boost if a national effort gets underway.
Scroll through, or use the links below to jump to your state:
ALABAMA could weather extreme temps
In September 2019, amid a “flash drought” that saw the mercury reach 103 degrees in some parts of the state, Auburn University earned a $3 million grant to fund an unusual climate program. An interdisciplinary team of researchers will educate graduate students about climate resilience and then send them into communities to apply what they know. That could include showing farmers how to switch to heat-tolerant crops such as less-thirsty strains of corn or helping emergency-response workers prepare for especially high temps. Gearing up for sweltering times is key in this poor, hot state: The EPA estimates that in 75 years, Alabama will annually endure 30 to 60 days above 95 degrees, compared with about 15 days today. By 2060, extreme temperatures will claim 760 additional lives each year, by some estimates.
ALASKA could retrain for renewables
Alaskan temperatures have risen more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 50 years, which is twice the pace of much of the world. The rapid warming puts many of the state’s ecosystems at risk; for example, thawing permafrost along the coast threatens homes, and vanishing sea ice makes it increasingly difficult for Inuit communities to hunt for primary food sources like seals and polar bears. The simplest way to reduce the 586,000-square-mile state’s 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (among the highest per capita in the nation) would be to transition from oil to alternatives like wind. But state and federal lawmakers continue to reject proposals to do so. Senator Lisa Murkowski, for instance, advocates carbon capture and new nuclear power plants—expensive and controversial prospects. Regional environmental groups like the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition are pushing for an Alaskan version of the Green New Deal, which would provide retraining for thousands of fossil-fuel workers to ensure a “just transition” to jobs in solar, wind, and other renewable sources.
ARIZONA could slash electricity costs
Despite the Southwestern state’s vast solar potential (the industry already supports some 7,500 jobs) and higher-than-average warming (temperatures have risen 3.2 degrees over the past century), Senator Kyrsten Sinema was one of only three Democrats to reject the federal GND resolution. A 2018 state ballot measure to adopt a renewables target of 50 percent by 2030 also failed. Yet, incentives from a GND could speed sluggish compliance with a 2010 mandate aimed at tamping down rising electricity demand. That directive from utility regulator Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) requires utilities to achieve 22 percent energy savings by 2020 by, among other things, offering rebates on energy-efficient lightbulbs, HVAC systems, and smart thermostats. The Grand Canyon chapter of the Sierra Club, Mi Familia Vota, and other groups have urged the ACC to extend the target date to 2030 and up the goal to 35 percent. “I think it’s helpful to have a Green New Deal out there for communities who are thinking about doing something” to rein in climate change, says Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter.
ARKANSAS could go big on carbon farming
Agriculture is the Natural State’s largest industry (there are 49,346 farms there) and research out of the University of Arkansas shows that all that acreage could play a big role in offsetting emissions by pulling carbon from the atmosphere into the ground. The practices that reduce greenhouse gases, such as planting cover crops and going easy on tilling, also enhance soil health and help retain moisture, which can help farmers withstand more-intense droughts as climate change worsens. Arkansas has been a locus of experimentation in so-called carbon farming for several years: In 2017, Microsoft struck a deal to buy carbon-offset credits from four rice farmers. But among state policymakers and officials, there’s been little effort to encourage farmers to adopt the practices, which could be achieved through incentives like technical assistance from the state’s Department of Agriculture. This southern story isn’t without its bright spots, though: Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan has signed onto the national Climate Mayors coalition, and the city’s Energy Action Plan sets a target of 100 percent clean power for municipal operations by 2030 and citywide by 2050.
CALIFORNIA could boost building efficiency
The Golden State’s commitment to reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2045 inspired the Green New Deal. One of the hallmarks of its plan, which tackles the challenge of reining in emissions in the nation’s most populous state, is its focus on climate-minded building. In 2018, lawmakers passed a measure to take steps to require that homes and commercial buildings—California’s second-largest climate polluter, after transportation—consume 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Much of those gains could be achieved by swapping out natural-gas-powered stoves and heaters for electric versions. To help households make the transition, the California Public Utilities Commission approved $50 million to invest in electric-everything buildings for low-income residents in the central San Joaquin Valley. In April 2019, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a plan to make similar retrofits to commercial buildings and homes by 2050. The effort would also create a zero-emissions transportation network to encourage residents of the famously car-dependent city to use public transit, scooters, and other low-carbon ways of getting around.
COLORADO could make homes greener
Buoyed by the GND resolution and the election of Governor Jared Polis—who wants to switch the state to 100 percent renewables by 2040 and cut emissions 90 percent below 2005 levels by 2050—green-minded lawmakers and environmental groups like Conservation Colorado successfully pushed several broad carbon-cutting bills in the state legislature in spring 2019. One measure, which Polis signed this past May, establishes new energy-efficiency standards for air conditioners, lightbulbs, and other power hogs; the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates the effort could avoid 3 million metric tons of carbon pollution over 15 years. But the city of Boulder has gone further, declaring a climate emergency in July 2019, and committing to going fully renewable by 2030 and slashing greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The centerpiece of the effort: replacing natural-gas furnaces in homes with electric heaters powered by renewables like wind and solar.
CONNECTICUT could go big on wind
The Constitution State, with its 618 miles of Long Island Sound shoreline, is awhirl in wind, and a recent piece of legislation aims to harness a lot more of it—and turn Connecticut into a regional hub for gusty offshore wind power. Under a 2019 law signed by Governor Ned Lamont, the state will increase its capacity from 300 to 2,300 megawatts by 2030, enough to run about 1 million homes. The buildout, along with a new effort to swap public buses and other parts of the state’s vehicle fleet for zero-emission models, aims to help meet a 2018 goal to slash emissions 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030, while providing new opportunities for economic development.
DELAWARE could capture even more sun
As one of 25 states and territories in the US Climate Alliance, a coalition that will adhere to the goals of the Paris Agreement, the “small wonder” state is drawing up a crucial plan, due in December 2020, to achieve a 26-to-28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2025. About 2.8 percent of the state’s electricity already comes from solar, a large step toward its target of 3.5 percent in the same time frame. Its pioneering Green Energy Grant program grants, established back in 1999, have funded more than $54.3 million in renewable projects, all of which has increased installed solar capacity from 8.6 megawatts in 2010 to more than 100 megawatts in 2019. A separate program, the Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, gives grants to local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to fund efficiency upgrades like better insulation and weatherstripping.
FLORIDA could get residents off the beach
South Florida’s imminent inundation from sea-level rise makes national headlines—about 2.4 million people live within 4 feet of the high-tide line. After replacing Rick Scott, who was widely criticized for his lack of action on climate, new Governor Ron DeSantis has managed to push the state forward. In August 2019, he hired the first climate resilience officer and persuaded the legislature to allocate $5.5 million to help local governments plan for sea-level rise. Most action is occurring at the local level already, but one community’s solution can become another community’s problem. In Miami, for example, social-justice advocates are working to help low-income residents in Little Haiti, which sits on higher ground, withstand “climate gentrification” as wealthier people retreat from beachfront property. Efforts include preserving existing affordable housing and advocating for new low-income projects. The Miami City Council recently adopted a resolution to study climate impacts on housing and potential solutions, including how to manage taxes so residents can stay in their homes.
GEORGIA could protect crops from extreme weather
Economic hardship from climate change is expected to hit Georgia especially hard. According to a 2008 study, a 2007 drought caused $1.3 billion in losses, including $92.5 million in peanut crops—a preview of what’s to come as prolonged dry periods become more frequent and severe. The number of dangerously hot days is increasing, and sea levels are rising an inch per decade, faster than much of the rest of the East Coast, eroding beaches and flooding low-lying areas. In the absence of government action, researchers at three universities created the Georgia Climate Project, which aims to develop an economically beneficial and socially equitable path to carbon neutrality in the Peach State. To do that, says Kim Cobb of Georgia Tech, advocates must “decouple the conversation from the national-level, tit-for-tat mudslinging-fest” and instead focus on local benefits. In May 2018, the project published a “road map” that laid out priorities, including girding the coast; helping farmers increase resilience to weather extremes with strategic crop choices; and identifying and protecting the state’s at-risk, low-income communities. It remains to be seen whether officials will turn the project’s ideas into actual policy.
HAWAII could gird its shorelines
Mindful that the Aloha State’s celebrated Waikiki Beach could be underwater in 20 years, the Hawaiian legislature might soon accelerate its ambitious target of going 100 percent renewable by 2045. House bill 1487 creates a pilot project to buffer Honolulu’s shoreline against sea-level rise and storms by expanding parks and establishing emergency access routes; it also requires the state to study the feasibility of a carbon tax. In September 2019, Hawaii issued “climate equity” recommendations that call for the most-vulnerable communities to be identified, protected, and made part of climate policy decisions. To speed an all-out switch to renewables, the state must also upgrade the grid with devices called smart inverters; the tech helps smooth out energy spikes and dips to provide consistent power around the clock.
IDAHO could go deeper into geothermal
State lawmakers held their first-ever meeting on climate change in March 2019, two months after Governor Brad Little acknowledged that warming is, indeed, happening. So far, they have only called for more research, but Boise is blazing its own path. City officials are expanding its geothermal system, which now powers 92 residences and businesses downtown (some six million square feet) with 177-degree water circulating through more than 20 miles of underground pipes. The build-out, which will involve adding 10 million to 15 million more gallons of hot water a year, is part of a plan to transition to all sustainable power by 2035. If it succeeds, Boise will be the only Idaho city to run solely on renewables.
ILLINOIS could retrofit more homes
The Green New Deal owes its call for climate action that helps lift people out of poverty in part to this state’s 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition regards as a model for how nationwide climate legislation should work. In addition to a standard raft of new energy standards, the law also set aside $5 billion for programs to help households improve insulation and make other efficiency upgrades. The measure will create 7,000 new retrofitting jobs each year and cut $4 billion in energy costs for Illinois families. Under the law, the state now also provides training for solar installation, and gives priority to those with low incomes and the formerly incarcerated. The measure also helps low-income families purchase solar systems.
INDIANA could afford to quit coal
According to an October 2019 report from a Hoosier State task force set up to develop new energy policies, keeping the state’s aging coal plants running for another 30 years would cost customers $20 billion more than switching to renewables. Environmental organizations such as the Hoosier chapter of the Sierra Club, however, are doubtful that the task force’s findings will do much to rally support for GND-like measures, given the resistance among state lawmakers. Still, utility companies are eyeing an eventual switch to renewable sources like solar and wind. In November, the Indiana Public Service Company announced it will go coal-free within a decade—though, it’s also asking for permission to raise rates to help pay for the effort.
IOWA could keep renewable installers working
Between June 2018 and May 2019, 50 inches of rain—the most precipitation in a 12-month period since record-keeping began in 1895—drenched Iowa. Yet state officials are rolling back climate-mitigation measures already on the books. A law passed by the legislature in spring 2018 capped the cost of energy-efficiency programs and lifted green-power requirements for municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Environmental groups say the move will likely increase the state’s emissions and spur layoffs of energy auditors, insulation installers, and other workers in the efficiency industry. One bright spot is Iowa City, whose action plan aims to snuff emissions 45 percent by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050. Among the proposals to get there: expanding the city’s carbon-grabbing and street-cooling tree canopy with up to 10,000 saplings, creating community solar projects, and encouraging energy-efficient construction by rebating a portion of building permit fees in exchange for green updates.
KANSAS could help farms go green
Across the wind-whipped Great Plains, market forces are driving GND-like programs more than policy mandates. Kansas—which gets 36 percent of its power from wind, more than any other state—is Exhibit A in how to grow a renewables industry in a hostile political climate. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran voted against the GND resolution, but an increasing number of farmers and ranchers are boosting their income by leasing some of their land to wind developers. Some agriculturalists are also beginning to manage fields so that they suck more carbon from the atmosphere—another item on the GND to-do list. These types of soil improvements, such as alternating cash crops with carbon-sequestering cover crops like radishes and wheat, help offset emissions while improving farmers’ bottom lines: A new program pays them to manage for carbon, and harvestable cover crops can boost income.
KENTUCKY could retrain its miners
Before the Green New Deal was a glint in Edward Markey’s and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s eyes, a group in the Bluegrass State was cooking up the “Empower Kentucky” plan. Crafted in 2017 by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a justice advocacy group, the blueprint emphasizes energy efficiency, renewables, and placing a price on carbon dioxide pollution to discourage industrial emissions—all while helping miners find work in other professions. Now comes the hard part: implementation. The group worked to restore full funding for the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund (the coal tax that supports it was slashed by 55 percent for 2019), which provides medical benefits and monthly assistance.
LOUISIANA could safeguard shoreline communities
In mid-2019, Louisiana issued an ambitious plan—the first of its kind in the US—to help people at risk from rising sea levels, hurricanes, and high-tide “sunny day flooding” relocate from coastal areas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has funded the first phase, which identifies and offers buyouts to the most vulnerable residents in six Gulf-adjacent parishes, where a combination of swelling oceans, erosion, and sinking land (called subsidence) is already eating away at the ground. On Isle de Jean Charles, 80 miles from New Orleans, relocation is already underway under a previous HUD-funded effort, though only about half of residents have opted to move so far. The next (and as-yet-unfunded) phase of the plan will also help those who choose to stay by elevating homes, relocating urban centers, and altering transportation routes to bypass flood-prone areas.
MAINE could retrain its lobstermen
In Maine, it’s not fossil-fuel workers who need help, it’s lobstermen, who have watched their catches migrate north to cooler waters. In 2019, lawmakers passed a measure to establish the state’s own version of the Green New Deal aimed at lifting up lobstermen and other workers while torpedoing climate pollution. The law created a task force to craft a strategy for boosting renewables—especially offshore wind and solar, which could help the state, one of sunniest in New England, hit its ambitious target of 45 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 and an 80-percent dip by 2050—while creating good jobs and ensuring low-income households have access to affordable solar power. “We know these climate-change solutions are coming, and we want to make sure workers are at the table, so we make sure they support working people,” says Andy O’Brien, a spokesman for the Maine AFL-CIO. The law also includes a provision that about a quarter of jobs during construction of grid-scale renewables, such as a large solar array, go to workers enrolled in an apprenticeship program. The trainees include former lobstermen, military veterans, and recent graduates.
MARYLAND could get going on a renewable switch
The Old Line State, where sea-level rise could cause $19 billion worth of damage by 2100, has some major climate culprits: vehicles, the military, and six coal-fired power plants. Governor Larry Hogan has unveiled a clean-energy plan, but it favors building small “modular” nuclear plants and using carbon-capture technology to limit emissions from natural gas plants—decidedly un-GND-like solutions. Lawmakers have also floated a proposal to charge a fee on fossil-fuel imports as a means to fund renewable alternatives. Climate activists favor a more aggressive approach: a full-on energy switch by 2023; renewables training for fossil-fuel workers, people of color, and those in marginalized communities; and a reduction in pollution from military installations and aircraft. It’s a tall order. The state is striving to deliver on a 2016 promise to cut emissions 40 percent below 2006 levels by 2030. “We want to keep pushing because we’re absolutely one of the most vulnerable states,” said David Smedick of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club. “We are really susceptible to sea-level rise, and we are already seeing property at risk.”
MASSACHUSETTS could become more resilient
The Pilgrim State recently set aside a big pot of money—more than $2.4 billion—much of which to help communities gird against inland flooding, rising seas, and extreme weather. Through the Municipal Vulnerabilities Preparedness program, towns from Acton to Worcester have received grants to craft adaptation and resilience plans, restore wetlands to help soak up floodwaters, plant trees, replace culverts to improve drainage, and other projects. As of February 2020, 82 percent of communities had enrolled, according to the Governor Charlie Baker’s office. Now, he wants to up the ante: The administration’s proposed budget for 2021 would provide millions more for resilience efforts. In January, Baker called for upping the state’s climate target to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, from a current goal of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “Time is not our friend,” the governor said during his January 22 State of the Commonwealth speech.
MICHIGAN could speed its renewable switch
Fresh leadership has thrust Michigan to the forefront of state climate action. Newly elected Attorney General Dana Nessel entered the fray specifically to stop a project to restore a section of Enbridge’s aging Line 5 oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, out of fears of a spill that would foul Lakes Michigan and Huron. And new Governor Gretchen Whitmer—one of a handful of gubernatorial candidates who campaigned on climate action in the wake of the GND—quickly created an Office of Climate and Energy and signed up the state to heed the Paris Agreement’s call for reducing emissions. Meanwhile, in a separate undertaking up north, the Upper Peninsula Power Co., which charges some of the nation’s highest electricity rates, plans to deliver energy from a new solar array within two years. Once running, it will boost its solar capacity by 50 percent and, ultimately, lower costs for customers.
MINNESOTA could help homeowners go green
While statewide initiatives inspired by the Green New Deal have faltered in the legislature (they’ll try again in the new session), several Minnesota cities have stepped up their own efforts to take on climate culprits. St. Paul, where 60 percent of total emissions come from buildings, has a draft climate plan that calls for swapping natural-gas heating units for electric ones. To help tackle the 30 percent of emissions that come from transportation, officials are gearing up to trade the current fleet of police cruisers for electric vehicles. Across the river in Minneapolis, a new rule would require an energy audit when a home is sold, with the idea that buyers will be inspired to make efficiency upgrades like installing better insulation and weatherstripping around doors and windows. Meanwhile, the state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, has vowed to go carbon-neutral by 2050.
MISSISSIPPI could beat the heat
Despite the specter of rising sea levels along the Gulf Coast, lingering effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and flooding in the Mississippi River Delta in 2018, the state has done little to address climate change. New Governor Tate Reeves, elected last November, has said he sees no need to take action, and has called the GND a “disaster.” But that doesn’t mean Magnolia State residents wouldn’t stand to benefit from a federal program. GND-fueled investment could provide relocation help for poor residents in the most at-risk flood areas (like Long Beach on the coast, and Vicksburg and Natchez on the Mississippi River) and help hospitals prepare for a potential spike in heat-related illnesses. The state faces some 90 days a year with a heat index of 105 degrees F in the coming decades, high enough to cause deadly heat stroke. Funds could also go toward retraining workers in the state’s oil and gas industry, which employs about 60,000 people.
MISSOURI could update more buildings
In a state that stands apart for its coal dependency—only Texas consumes more, according to the Energy Information Administration—St. Louis is doubling down on slashing emissions. A centerpiece of its blueprint is improving its buildings, which generate 77 percent of the city’s greenhouse gases. The Mississippi River town has already added weatherstripping, LEDs, updated HVACs, and other changes to three municipal structures, achieving Energy Star certification; with 2018 grant money from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge, the city will expand the program to structures in the private sector. St. Louis has also tweaked its building code to further increase efficiency: The requirements mandate that owners of structures larger than 50,000 square feet track and report their energy and water consumption each year, the first step toward curbing such use; those who don’t comply can be fined. Energy advocates consider the measures some of the strongest in the Midwest.
MONTANA could invest in carbon farming
Montana’s congressional delegation opposes the GND, but the resolution has emboldened local advocates to push for stronger climate protections. In February 2019, a group of local students and residents associated with the Sunrise Movement held a rally outside Senator Steve Daines’s office in Bozeman calling for a localized Green New Deal focused in part on the agriculture industry, which occupies 65 percent of the state’s land and contributes $4 billion to the economy each year. The idea involves working with ranchers and farmers to manage land in ways that draw more carbon dioxide from the air and into flora and soils, such as planting perennial crops that are superstars at sucking up CO2. The group is also pushing the state to upgrade buildings with better insulation and more-efficient appliances, and to expand alternative transportation options.
NEBRASKA could prepare for severe rains
Nebraska endured a bitter reminder of the ravages of climate change in spring 2019, when severe flooding inundated 2,000 homes, destroyed bridges, damaged $800 million worth of crops and livestock, and wrecked an Air Force base. Climate scientists say warming likely made the “bomb cyclone” worse than it otherwise would have been—excess humid air above seas turbocharges cyclones—and University of Nebraska analysis has warned of looming threats to the state’s economy, environment, and citizens. But Nebraska is one of only a handful of states that has not created its own resilience plan. That leaves local communities to take on the challenge themselves. One bright spot is state climatologist Martha Shulski’s outreach efforts; she is working with municipalities to help them prepare. The town of Bellevue, for example, has constructed rain gardens to help absorb runoff from parking lots, streets, and rooftops during downpours. Others are designating “heat shelters” to give the elderly and poor a cool place to go when temps spike.
NEVADA could run more on solar
While Nevada’s elected officials overwhelmingly opposed the Green New Deal, their constituents appear to be warming to the idea of climate action. According to a January 2019 poll by Colorado College, 74 percent of Nevada voters view climate change as a serious problem—a 16 percent jump since the last such poll in 2016. Las Vegas, known more for its excesses than its governance, has emerged as a leader in the state, which happens to boast some of the highest solar-energy potential in the nation: As of 2016, Sin City, which also happens to be the country’s fastest-warming burgh, runs all government buildings on 100 percent renewable power.
NEW HAMPSHIRE could finally ramp up its renewables
Under Governor Chris Sununu, a frequent target of environmentalist dismay, the Granite State has lagged behind its New England neighbors in climate action. Most recently, Sununu pulled out of the 11-state Transportation and Climate Initiative. New Hampshire has had a plan on the books since 2005 but could use a Green New Deal-style renewables surge, advocates like Environment New Hampshire say. The state boasts significant wind, hydropower, and biomass resources but has struggled to capitalize on them. In 2018, Sununu issued an “all-of-the-above” energy plan that still included fossil fuels, and, in February 2020, the 448-megawatt Merrimack coal-fired power plant announced it would stay open through at least 2024. But the tide might be turning: Sununu has convened a task force to explore how the state can tap into the stiff winds off its shores.
NEW JERSEY could make offshore wind happen
According to one recent study from Rutgers University, the Garden State will see a full foot of sea-level rise by 2030. State officials view offshore wind development as key to lowering emissions and boosting economic development. In fact, harnessing ocean breezes is a centerpiece of the new Energy Master Plan, which aims for 100 percent clean energy by 2050. After years of false starts, the blueprint, which echoes a November 2019 executive order, calls for firing up 7,500 megawatts by 2035, enough to juice 3 million homes. (That’s more than double the previous goal of 3,500 MW.) Still, the state has no offshore turbines now, so meeting the target will require a rapid buildout. Last June, the state approved what will be one of the largest such projects in the US, the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind development, which will sit 15 miles off the coast near Atlantic City. New Jersey is also working with other Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to tamp down emissions from the transportation sector, and is part of a 25-state coalition (that tally includes Puerto Rico) that’s agreed to adhere to the Paris Agreement.
NEW MEXICO could retrain coal workers
In spring 2019, new Governor Michele Lujan Grisham signed the landmark Energy Transition Act, which echoes the Green New Deal’s call to provide a safety net for fossil-fuel workers sidelined by the renewables revolution. When the San Juan Generating Station, the state’s largest polluter, closes in 2022—along with the nearby coal mine that feeds it—$20 million in workforce-training funds will help ease the pain of lost jobs; another $20 million will go to San Juan County to help offset reduced tax revenue. “We’re going to lead the country in investments in technology and renewable energy,” Grisham says. But critics note that even as New Mexico—the second-fastest-warming state in the US—weans itself off coal, it will continue to rely on oil and gas revenues from the Permian Basin, which produces more than 4 million barrels of crude oil a day and is a major emitter of the greenhouse gas methane.
NEW YORK could revamp more buildings
NYC has its very own Green New Deal, with its most iconic building at the center. Buildings contribute 70 percent of the Big Apple’s emissions, but the Empire State Building is leading the way on efficiency updates. Retrofits of the 102-story prewar tower include resealed windows and elevators that capture the energy generated during drops to help power ascents; the tweaks amount to a 38 percent reduction in its consumption. Following the Empire State’s lead, the city council passed a law this past year requiring about 50,000 large structures (above 25,000 square feet) to slash pollution from heaters and other outmoded systems by 40 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. Property owners will have to install things like power-sipping lights, upgraded heating and cooling systems, and better insulation. The upgrades, which should create about 20,000 jobs, are estimated to cost about $4 billion, though owners will recoup some through energy savings. The law dovetails with an ambitious statewide effort, which, in addition to its own raft of building-efficiency updates, will focus on switching to clean energy—a move that could net some 212,000 new jobs in the Empire State.
NORTH CAROLINA could maintain its solar momentum
North Carolina is a climate leader in the sunny South, boasting more solar infrastructure than any other state in the region and ranking second nationwide. But the state is poised to backtrack: Its solar tax credit expired in 2015, and only one wind farm has gone up, despite ample potential. A Green New Deal would help spur expanded solar and wind development while also creating new jobs, or so say the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and other environmental advocates. Governor Roy Cooper supports a renewables renaissance and, in October 2019, the state Department of Environmental Quality unveiled a plan that calls for accelerating “clean energy innovation, development, and deployment.” The goal: Cut greenhouse emissions from the power sector by 70 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and make the state carbon-neutral by 2050. An online portal will allow the public to track the effort’s progress.
NORTH DAKOTA could double down on wind
Some North Dakota lawmakers oppose climate action, and the Green New Deal, so strongly that they came close to banning wind farms in 2017. Rep. Kelly Armstrong has dubbed the GND “ridiculous” and warned it “would end North Dakota’s economy as we know it.” But despite elected officials’ antipathy toward GND principles, the state’s private sector is embracing emissions-slashing renewable development. One of the nation’s four most blustery states, North Dakota produces 25.8 percent of its power from wind. The wind industry employs between 3,000 and 4,000 people, and as prices continue to fall, the potential in the region is as vast as its zephyr-swept plains. “That’s not because of any kind of government intervention,” says Scott Skokol of the Dakota Resource Council. “If anything, the government is an inhibitor of the industry rather than something that’s fostering it.”
OHIO could finally tap into renewables
The Buckeye State remains heavily reliant on coal and natural gas, and ranks No. 6 in state greenhouse gas emissions. Ohio officials have largely ignored the Green New Deal and climate action in general, despite considerable green-power potential in the state. For example, turbines could produce about 55,000 megawatts, yet almost no new wind development has occurred since 2014. Cleveland, however, is forging its own path. Mayor Frank Jackson committed to cutting the city’s emissions by 80 percent (by prioritizing projects like 70 new miles of bike lanes) and going 100 percent renewable (see: plans to install solar panels atop Progressive Field) by 2050. The lakeside burg also hopes to plant 50,000 trees, a project that will absorb carbon dioxide while creating more walkable neighborhoods and, they hope, a healthier population; cut residential and commercial energy use by 50 percent and industrial use by 30 percent; and keep 50 percent of discarded food and other types of waste out of methane-belching landfills by 2030. The efforts have earned Cleveland an A grade from the Carbon Disclosure Project, making it among the 7 percent of towns to receive the top score.
OKLAHOMA could work out energy storage
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe is one of the nation’s loudest climate-change skeptics, but the state is nonetheless pursuing at least one Green New Deal tenet: a renewable-energy ramp-up. That’s because, in the Sooner State—one of the top four wind producers in the country, with more than 30 percent of its power generated by zephyrs—it’s good for business. Already about 7,000 Oklahomans work in wind, the state’s dominant renewable resource, more than natural gas and coal employ combined. The state is also working to solve the central problem with wind and solar: storing energy for times when the wind isn’t blowing and/or the sun isn’t shining. In July 2019, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and NextEra Energy Resources announced a 700-megawatt hybrid wind-and-solar project that features state-of-the-art battery storage to even out lulls. Excess energy from peak production times tucks into the battery to fill in gaps. The facility, which will be the largest such project in the country, will create about 300 new construction jobs and up to 15 operational ones.
OREGON could expand green infrastructure
In 2018, Portland voters approved an innovative ballot referendum that will create a “clean energy fund.” The 1 percent tax on major retailer profits should generate between $30 million and $70 million annually, according to the community coalition that led the effort, which will support a range of GND-like efforts. Those include job training for workers to transition to the renewables industry, green infrastructure projects like planting trees and rain gardens that capture stormwater runoff, and regenerative agriculture—a conservation-minded way of farming and ranching that, among other things, keeps livestock moving to avoid overgrazing, uses cover crops to keep fields sucking up CO2 between regular plantings, and adds compost to fields to improve soil health. At least half the revenue is earmarked to support such projects in low-income areas and communities of color. Statewide climate efforts in 2019 weren’t quite as successful: In June, Republican lawmakers left the state to prevent Democrats from having the quorum they needed to pass a bill that would have demanded emissions cuts from businesses.
PENNSYLVANIA could manage floodwaters
Like other East Coast states, flooding is one of the biggest threats Pennsylvania faces—though not from sea-level rise. In the case of places like landlocked Pittsburgh, heavier downpours are the danger. Pittsburgh United’s Clean Rivers Campaign has come up with an innovative solution: It’s working to secure public investments in green infrastructure—rainwater gardens to absorb intense storms, for example. The projects aim to reduce flooding in some of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods while creating jobs, and could provide a model for other cities facing similar risks. The effort reached a milestone last year, when the mayor’s budget included funding to complete the design for the Four Mile Run green infrastructure project, which will absorb rainwater from parts of five neighborhoods and help reduce the amount of sewage flowing into rivers when systems overflow during storms. Stormwater that once rushed across pavement will instead route to a new surface channel built to mimic the path of historic streams and handle some of the overflow.
RHODE ISLAND could harness the wind
The tiniest state in the union faces an outsize climate threat from sea-level rise, but few residents have the means to prepare for it: Rhode Island has the highest poverty rate in New England. With the aim of stimulating the economy and creating green jobs through renewables growth, it recently began working on its own version of the Green New Deal. Representatives from the fishing and farming industries, climate scientists, energy experts, and social justice advocates are studying the state’s climate risks and economic challenges and opportunities. For example, on the opportunities side of the ledger, Rhode Island has largely untapped offshore wind resources; about 95 percent of its wind potential lies at sea, yet breezes provide only about 0.5 percent of the state’s power. Renewables advocates hope the group’s efforts will see the state’s estimated 70 megawatts of land-based wind potential and 25 gigawatts of offshore resources finally developed.
SOUTH CAROLINA could capture the sun
The Palmetto State has some of the choicest renewable resources in the South: Nearly every square meter gets hit by almost 5.4 kilowatt hours of solar radiation each day. Yet only about 1 percent of the state’s power comes from the sun, though several new projects are underway. Climate advocates with the Coastal Conservation League point out that efforts could have been much farther along if the government had made good on a promise former Governor Mark Sanford’s administration made more than a decade ago to achieve a modest 5 percent emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. This year, lawmakers passed a bill that aims to change that; it removes a 2 percent cap on generation from home solar panels served by Duke Energy and other utilities, a step that industry analysts said is vital for the nascent industry and could incentivize more residents to invest in panels. Crucially, the act, which received bipartisan support, frames the effort as economic development more than climate action. “There wasn’t a robust discussion of ‘we need to reduce emissions.’ It was ‘we need to lower bills and encourage clean energy,’” says John Tynan, executive director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina. “We have to find a way to advance clean energy that’s characteristically South Carolina.”
SOUTH DAKOTA could build out more wind
South Dakota takes advantage of some of the windiest conditions in the US and now has sufficient turbines online to produce more than 1,218 megawatts of power—enough for 1.2 million homes. While elected officials have opposed the Green New Deal as government overreach that would hurt farmers and ranchers, native tribes have pushed forward. The Rosebud Sioux erected the first commercial turbine on tribal lands back in 2003. Now, six tribes are collaborating on the Oceti Sakowin Power Project, which will be the biggest renewables effort on tribal land. Leaders expect it will create at least 500 much-needed jobs during construction and 30 permanent ones for some of the poorest populations in the country. While these efforts were well underway before the GND resolution, climate justice advocates say they illustrate the importance of its call to use solutions like renewables development as a tool for lifting people out of poverty.
TENNESSEE could ditch nuclear
In a state that has embraced a controversial vision on climate (case in point: Senator Lamar Alexander’s “New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy” relies on nuclear power, which the GND’s framers oppose), Nashville is kicking up some GND dust. City Council member Freddie O’Connell wants to create the “Green New Deal of the East” and, last June, Music City’s leaders unanimously passed a measure that puts its government on a schedule to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2041. Nashville’s gasoline-powered vehicle fleet will switch to electric models by 2050, and the city will adopt new green building standards, including energy-efficiency retrofits, for at least 12.5 percent of its municipal offices by 2032.
TEXAS could protect against floods
Austin, a longtime progressive outlier in the conservative Lone Star State, is one of the few cities to outright endorse the Green New Deal. In May 2019, the city council also directed staff to explore what a climate-resilience plan for the flood-prone burg would look like. Like Houston, which endured record inundation from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the capital will need to focus on stormwater infrastructure upgrades to sweep away excess rainfall from roads and homes. The blueprint officials create could provide a model that other cities in conservative states can follow, according to Cyrus Reed, conservation director for the Sierra Club’s Lone Star chapter. The efforts run in stark contrast to a continued oil rush in the Permian Basin. Meanwhile, wind-power companies hurry to squeeze what’s left of federal tax incentives for renewables development.
UTAH could speed its renewable switch
In Utah, which ranks fifth among states with the fastest-rising temperatures and struggles with poor air quality, the legislature passed a bill in March 2019 that creates a new program to help municipalities reach 100 percent renewable power. Communities can opt to partner with the state’s largest utility, Rocky Mountain Power, which will coordinate efforts for the switch and provide all the necessary supply and infrastructure updates. At least 12 municipalities have taken advantage of the opportunity, including Salt Lake City, Moab, Park City, and Summit County. In the process, Salt Lake will cut its carbon emissions in half, and will “create a replicable roadmap for others across the country,” Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a statement. Officials were responding in part to lobbying from young people in the Sunshine Movement, but the measure also gained the support of free-market advocates who see the expansion of renewables as key to the state’s economic development.
VERMONT could shake off nuclear
Famously progressive Vermont is a case study in the difficulty of achieving lofty climate goals. While the Green Mountain State pledged back in 2005 to cut emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2028 and 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, the state’s emissions are now 16 percent higher than they were in 1990. That’s partly because it has proved difficult to entirely replace a shuttered nuclear plant, which provided about half the state’s electricity, with renewables. Despite a doubling of solar generation between 2016 and 2018, the state has struggled to build enough new facilities to fill the gap. Instead, they’ve wound up importing hydropower from Canada. But the biggest culprit are vehicles: Cars and trucks are responsible for some 40 percent of emissions. In the 2020 legislative session, lawmakers are mulling a bill, the Global Warming Solutions Act, that would establish mandatory emissions cuts across all sectors, including transportation, of 26 percent below 2005 levels in the next five years. In addition, the bill gives specific attention to the impact of climate change on the state’s rural communities.
VIRGINIA could fund efficiency upgrades
Arlington, a wealthy D.C. suburb, is leading the way on climate action. In 2017, the city became the first in the country to receive the LEED for Communities Platinum certification for its programs, which include providing rebates on power-sipping appliances and free expert advice for homeowners on efficiency upgrades like insulation or weatherstrips for windows. Local entrepreneurs have also set up a solar and electric vehicle charger co-op; members leverage their purchasing power and get discounts on installation of either solar panels, a level-2 EV charger, or both. Statewide, more than 50 groups, including the Sierra Club, the Richmond Food Justice Alliance, and Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, are pushing toward key GND objectives: switching to 100 percent renewables, retraining displaced fossil-fuel workers, making efficiency upgrades to residential and commercial buildings, prioritizing clean and affordable transportation, and investing in local agriculture. A bill to turn much of that wish list into a reality quickly stalled in the last legislative session, but supporters continue to build momentum for the effort.
WASHINGTON could fund low-income home updates
The state legislature, at the urging of governor and former presidential candidate Jay Inslee, passed the most ambitious clean-energy bill in the country in 2019. The measure calls for Washington, which now gets 10 percent of its power from coal, to ditch fossil fuel by 2025, become carbon-neutral by 2030, and achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Low-income communities get “energy assistance,” meaning that utilities will have to help fund the weatherization of homes and other efficiency improvements, with a goal of aiding 60 percent of eligible customers by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050. The new law also requires that utilities ensure that low-income neighborhoods have the same access to new energy projects, such as wind facilities or electric-vehicle charging stations, as wealthier ones do.
WEST VIRGINIA could keep miners working
In West Virginia, where coal is still king, per capita carbon emissions are among the highest in the country, and state and federal lawmakers have resisted climate action at almost every turn. All the while, the repercussions of global warming are coming home to roost, in the form of a 5-to-10 percent increase in precipitation in some regions by the middle of the 21st century. So environmental and social-justice groups are taking a bottom-up approach to dealing with the coming crisis, working to help displaced coal workers retrain for other occupations, such as coding and renewables installation, and find jobs. (As of 2018, 12,253 West Virginians worked as coal miners, compared with 20,925 in 2009, according to yearly figures from the West Virginia Coal Association.) Solar Holler, for example, has been retraining displaced workers—some former miners, some miners’ sons and daughters—in solar installation since its founding in 2013.
WISCONSIN could train a green workforce
Under a new GND-like initiative in Milwaukee, supporters like County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde hope to see an influx of jobs in solar installation, efficiency upgrades, and other climate-change-fighting work. The swing could help many of the city’s black residents rise above the poverty line, where 30 percent of that community currently resides. The local task force in charge of the push promised to conjure a Green New Deal “with teeth” that will reduce emissions by 45 percent of 2010 levels by 2030.
WYOMING could harness more wind
In the coal-rich Cowboy State, where Senator Mike Enzi recently called the Green New Deal a “pipe dream,” the only effort that has been palatable among elected officials is carbon capture of emissions from coal plants—an idea at direct odds with the GND’s call to put an end to fossil fuel use. Governor Mark Gordon has asked lawmakers to commit $10 million for a pilot project that would trap 75 percent of pollution from such facilities. And in March 2019, he signed a bill that further encourages keeping coal plants open by requiring owners to look for new buyers before closing such facilities. Still, the blustery plains have attracted renewable-energy developers—there’s already 1,410 megawatts of wind power up and running—but environmental groups say officials could do far more to harness the GND’s promise of a new energy economy. “It’s all talk and no action,” says Jeremy Nichols, climate-change campaign manager for WildEarth Guardians. Job training and other aid would ensure a soft landing for fossil-fuel workers, “but transition is still a dirty word in Wyoming,” he says.