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Posted by Shep McAllister on Gear, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

Domain name registrars might seem like commodities, but ease of use and customer support can vary wildly between different companies, so we want to know which ones you trust the most. So check out the rules below, then head down to the comments to nominate your favorite service.

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Posted by Xeni Jardin

Trump relitigated the 2016 election, boasted about his inauguration crowds, and told other inappropriate fabulisms to a crowd of children at the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree today, because nothing matters anymore.

“The hottest people in New York were at this party. A lot of successful people were there. And I was invited to the party, I was very young...”

As you watch, and read the transcript, remember. The audience is primarily children. Could have been me mis-hearing, but I could swear he mis-speaks, "their road to American sex."

(more…)

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Posted by Xeni Jardin

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis criticized officials at the Pentagon for spending $28 million on forest camouflage-patterned uniforms for Afghan National Army soldiers. Only 2.1% of Afghanistan is covered by forests.

(more…)

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Posted by Xeni Jardin

These videos of a guy in Istanbul playing the piano with his kitty cat are so sweet and genuine. I can't get enough of them.

His name is Sarper Duman. Play him off, keyboard cat.

(more…)

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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

How many times will movies with strong female characters and diverse casts need to absolutely destroy on opening weekend before Hollywood gets the message? This should be the norm for filmmaking going forward, not the exception.

The raunchy R-rated comedy Girls Trip, starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, and Queen Latifah, achieved an incredible A+ audience rating score and racked up a jaw-dropping $30.4 million at the box office. THR points out that Girls Trip‘s haul is “the best start for an R-rated comedy in two years and the best showing for any live-action comedy so far this year. The movie achieved those distinctions because it appealed to an array of audiences: African Americans made up 51 percent of ticket buyers, followed by Caucasians at 38 percent.” Hey, did you know that audiences universally appreciate excellent casting and scripts and women being goddamned hilarious? It’s so funny how that works out!

By contrast, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk also had a strong opening with $50.5 million, but that movie had $100 million budget and wall-to-wall ad campaigns, whereas Girls Trip was a steal with a $20 million budget. This is the summer of leading ladies absolutely owning critical praise and mining box office gold. Hollywood, MORE OF THIS. I want to stop writing about successful badass women-at-the-forefront properties having to prove anything to anyone anymore. (via THR)

  • Wait, what?

     And then the plot, it thickens, after the TSA straight-up denies it had any part in the comics travel ban.

  • Swimmer Michael Phelps raced a shark, or something? I was in the woods all weekend. Someone has to parse this one for me. (via Pajiba)
  • All of the other Funkos can go home forever.

  • This is really, really not a good look for Ready Player One author Ernest Cline, a.k.a. “Nerd Porn Auteur.”

  • A better way to act is to be like Circa Survive guitarist Brendan Ekstrom, who stopped his performance mid-song to alert security after catching sight of a woman being sexually harassed in the crowd. (via The Daily Dot)
  • Every time I think I can’t be more excited for Thor: Ragnarok I am actually incorrect in this assumption.

  • The Pokemon Go Fest was an unmitigated disaster where players could not even play Pokemon Go. I imagine it was a little bit like spending the day as a magikarp, basically just helplessly thrashing around in a field.  (via Polygon)

So what’s on your mind today, my little fishies?

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(image: Universal Studios)

How to Make Pesto From Kitchen Scraps

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:00 pm
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Posted by Claire Lower on Skillet, shared by Claire Lower to Lifehacker

In terms of savory no-cook sauces, it’s hard to beat pesto. You can spread it on bread, toss it with grilled vegetables, drizzle it on fish, or use it as a pasta sauce. Though it’s usually made with fresh basil, it can actually be made with almost any green thing, including kitchen scraps.

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Posted by Ashlee Kieler

Opening your mailbox to a surprise bill of any kind isn’t typically a welcome experience. But when that bill is for thousands of dollars in medical care you once paid significantly less for, it’s even worse. Yet, that’s a scenario happening to more consumers as hospitals continue to contract out emergency room staffing, and one company appears to be driving the majority of costs. 

The New York Times, citing recent research from Yale University, reports that hospitals turning to emergency room staffing company EmCare have are seeing a significant increase in patients’ medical bills.

Often these patients were seeking medical care at an in-network hospital where their insurance was accepted. But instead of having their costs covered, the doctors who saw them were out-of-network, resulting in surprise medical bills.

Related: Why Emergency Rooms Are A Hotbed For Surprise Medical Bills

To make matters worse, the Times reports that much of the care these patients received was considered an expensive level, driving up costs.

While the Times report and the Yale study provide a wealth of information not only on EmCare, but surprise medical billing, here are four things we learned.

1. A Significant Increase

Shortly after a Spokane, WA, hospital switched to EmCare last year in order to fill vacancies on its emergency room staff, the facility began receiving calls from patients about their medical bills.

While the hospital’s most expensive level of care once cost patients $467, under EmCare the price increased dramatically to $1,649, the Times reports.

Overall, the hospital found that after EmCare brought in doctors and took over staffing and billing, the percentage of patients receiving the highest-level billing code — which is the most expensive — rose from 6% to 28%. The facility says it has since taken back control of billing.

“The billing scenario, that was the real fiasco and caught us off guard,” Tom Wilbur, the chief executive of Newport Hospital, tells the Times. “Hindsight being 20/20, we never would have done that.”

2. Not An Isolated Incident

Research released by Yale University Monday suggests that the experience of the Washington state hospital is much like that of other facilities using EmCare.

The study, which examined out-of-network doctor’s bills for one large, unnamed insurance company, found that out-of-network rates for customers of the insurer jumped to nearly 100% after EmCare came on board at their hospitals.

Of the 16 hospitals that EmCare began working in between 2011 and 2015, the researchers found that eight saw out-of-network billing rise quickly.

Likewise, when the researchers looked at a larger sample of 194 hospitals using EmCare the average out-of-network billing rate was 62%.

The researchers’ analysis found that while the average out-of-network billing for a hospital increased from just above 0% prior to EmCare’s entrance, after the number of such bills increased to nearly 80%. At the same time, however, the study found that admissions and highest-level billing codes saw minimal increases.

3. A Small Number Of Contributors

The significant increase in out-of-network billing costs suggest that unlike other emergency room staffing companies, EmCare did not sign contracts with the insurance company dictating prices. If this is the case, doctors are free to bill customers what they want.

While the issue of out-of-network billing is nothing new, the Yale report found that most of these surprise bills were connected to just a few hospitals, not evenly dispersed around the U.S., the Times reports.

Additionally, the report found that most hospitals of the hospitals contributing to out-of-network bills were staffed by EmCare.

For its part, EmCare tells the Times that the Yale study is “fundamentally flawed and dated,” adding that when the company begins work for a hospital, it allows the facility to treat skier patients, which contributes to increases in costs and billing.

The company also notes that it is working to reach agreements with insurers for most of its doctors, a move that could decrease some out-of-network costs.

4. Costs Vs. Patients

The Times reports that EmCare isn’t the only staffing company tied to a rise in out-of-network billing.

When competitor TeamHealth took over the emergency room departments at hospitals, researchers found an increase in out-of-network billing, albeit smaller than the increases tied to EmCare.

Not all of the out-of-network billing blame can be passed on to EmCare and companies like it, the Times reports, as analysts note that many hospitals are benefiting from such arrangements.

The Yale study found that facilities most commonly benefiting from using EmCare and the increase in billing were for-profit organizations.

Additionally, many hospitals contend that by contracting with companies like EmCare they are able to avoid the headaches of billing and scheduling, and can concentrate on other matters.

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Laura Northrup

Foxconn may not be a household name, but the odds are pretty good that you’re reading this post on a device that the company made or assembled under contract for companies like Acer, Dell, and Apple. The Taiwanese company does most of its manufacturing in mainland China, but is considering building a $7 billion factory somewhere in the United States.

The Finalists

Specifically, Foxconn has narrowed its search to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Wisconsin. The Wall Street Journal reports that Wisconsin is the winner, with the company planning an event to announce it as soon as the coming week.

The plant would make very large LCD panels, which are costly to ship over from Asia. (Foxconn acquired the display maker Sharp last year.) The question for the company, though, is what kind of tax and other incentives each state could put together to lure the plant there. Manufacturing the panels in the U.S. needs to be cheaper than making them in Asia and shipping them over.

A Foxconn plant would bring at least 5,000 jobs, and the seven states each have their own programs of corporate tax incentives for large-scale job creators. Foxconn would also need cheap land and power.

The pitfalls of single-employer towns

The Janesville, WI, Gazette mused that while thousands of jobs coming to town would be pretty great, it also has its own pitfalls, like housing shortages and a region coming to depend on a single employer in a volatile industry. Janesville was formerly home to a General Motors plant, and has since diversified its economy.

First and second runners-up

The Associated Press reports that Foxconn will announce the site for the LCD panel plant as well as two smaller facilities in two other states, the purpose of which hasn’t yet been made public.

Most of the negotiations have been secret, but we do know that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whose district is in Wisconsin, has said that he met with company representatives. The AP also notes that President Donald Trump mentioned the possibility during a trip to Wisconsin, telling the crowd that “we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they’re going to give [Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker] a very happy surprise very soon.”

That would be some good news for the governor and for the state, indeed. A factory that hired a minimum of 5,000 people would offset last year’s job losses in manufacturing in that state. For 2016, Wisconsin was down 3,776 manufacturing jobs, despite tax incentives, even as the state added 11,590 private-sector jobs overall.

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Posted by Chris Morran

Now that the Transportation Security Administration has called shenanigans on United Airlines’ claim that folks leaving last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con could not stow their comics in their checked bags, the airline is admitting that it was wrong about this bizarre request being any sort of federal requirement.

In a statement emailed to Consumerist, a rep for United claims that this was all a misunderstanding of TSA policy.

“While TSA is recommending that customers keep their comic books in their carry-on bags, there are no restrictions on packing them in checked luggage,” reads the statement. “We misunderstood TSA’s instructions and regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”

The United statement appears to be referencing this 2016 TSA blog post, where the the agency does advise Comic-Con goers to “Pack items such as stacks of brochures and assorted comic books in your carry-on bag,” because stacks of comics or similar items can trigger alerts in the bag-scanning process, requiring security personnel to check the contents.

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Posted by Kate Cox

Healthcare is the shambling zombie bill that simply will not stay dead. First the Senate was going to have a vote on a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; then it wasn’t. Then the Senate was considering a new proposal; then it wasn’t. Now, there is a vote on a bill tentatively planned for tomorrow, July 25 — but if it seems like nobody actually knows what’s in it, or who supports it, or what’s going on, well, that’s because basically nobody does.

So here’s what we do know.

What’s happened so far?

The House passed its repeal-and-replace plan, the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA), in a narrow 217-213 vote in early May. After that, the Senate’s turn began.

In recent weeks, however, the Senate’s action on healthcare has been madcap at best. The process from the start was largely conducted in secret, leaving everyone else to piece it together from leaks and educated guesses. Eventually, a draft version of the Senate’s plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), became public. Here’s a timeline of what’s happened since then:

June 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) releases draft text of the BCRA.

June 23: After getting a look at the text, hospital, doctor, and public health groups nationwide oppose the bill, saying it makes “unsustainable” cuts to coverage.

June 26: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) comes up with a preliminary score for the BCRA, finding that the bill would likely cause 22 million more Americans to become uninsured than currently are.

June 27: Unable to come to consensus before the July 4 recess, the Senate postpones the vote on the BCRA until July.

July 13: The Senate introduces a new, second draft of the bill, including language that will functionally restore pre-existing condition exclusions to millions of Americans as well as cut Medicaid.

July 14: The health insurance industry itself pens a letter to the Senate saying that its proposal is bad news, calling it “inadequate” and saying that millions will lose coverage.

July 15: Sen. John McCain (AZ) announces that he will be absent from the Senate for at least one week due to a health issue; in response McConnell delays a procedural vote planned for July 18.

July 18: Having determined that the BCRA can’t pass as-is, McConnell instead suggests the Senate should vote on a straight repeal-only measure. Out of the gate, “repeal-only” already has three detractors, seemingly rendering it doomed.

July 19: The CBO finds that a straight-up ACA repeal would cause an additional 32 million Americans to lose access to health insurance.

July 20: President Trump hosts the Republican members of the Senate for lunch and encourages them to vote in favor of a repeal bill, despite its unpopularity and the indefinite absense of Arizona Sen. John McCain, recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. McConnell indicates that he plans for a vote on July 25.

July 21: The Senate Parliamentarian (the person in charge of making sure the Senate follows all the Senate rules) determines that many of the provisions of the BCRA fall outside the scope of what is allowed by a budget resolution.

What are they voting to do?

The vote, tentatively scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, July 25, isn’t actually a vote on the bill itself. Even if it manages to muster 51 votes, it won’t immediately become something that heads up to the White House for a presidential signature.

Instead, the vote is called a Motion to Proceed (MTP). That means basically what it sounds like: If the motion carries, then the Senate proceeds with debate on the bill.

The Brookings Institution has a deep-dive explainer on the Senate’s procedures with a budget resolution, for those who are interested.

The important highlights are that the Senate will need a simple majority — 51 votes — to proceed, and that McConnell can move forward with a “full text substitute” rather than an actual full bill.

If the Senate does vote to proceed, that opens up a 20-hour window of debate, during which point a massive number of amendments can be suggested and rapidly voted on. This period is called the “vote-a-rama,” and if that’s what we end up with, it will indeed seem like a chaotic marathon of suggestions, possibly stretching through the night.

But that “full text substitute” is super important, because…

Nobody actually knows what text the Senate is voting on.

Nobody is entirely sure. At least, nobody who is sure is speaking publicly about it.

Because McConnell can introduce a full text substitute, there are many possibilities for what he might ask his fellow Senators to vote on. It could be:

  • The AHCA that the House passed
  • The first version of the BCRA
  • The second version of the BCRA
  • A version of the ACA repeal bill that the Senate passed in 2015
  • Or something else we haven’t seen yet

As of today, Senate Republicans still don’t know which text they will be asked to consider on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal and others report.

Where do they stand?

In order to proceed, McConnell needs 50 Republican Senators to vote in favor, plus a tie-breaking 51st vote from Vice President Mike Pence. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate, so if more than two are absent, or vote no, the motion cannot proceed.

Politico reports that Republican lawmakers are pre-emptively treating the July 25 vote as doomed, assuming that both Collins and Murkowski are still against it. But who’s against it, and who swings around to being in favor, depends entirely on what proposal the Senate actually ends up voting on.

The cluster of Republican Senators who spoke out against either the BCRA or the repeal-only plan included both hardline conservatives as well as their more moderate counterparts. Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY) were firmly against the BCRA, for different reasons, and were eventually joined by Sens. Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS).

When McConnell then suggested voting on a straight repeal, he drew opposition once again from Collins, this time joined by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).

Due to his recent diagnosis and health care issues, Sen. McCain is not expected to return to D.C. this week. That means if the Senate votes on July 25, McConnell can only afford one Senator peeling off, not two.

Collins appears to be still a firm “no” for whatever the Senate does actually vote on in the end, meaning that if McConnell is to succeed, she can be the only one not to vote in favor.

Paul, meanwhile, has since said that if the Senate votes to move forward with a repeal bill, he will be a yes on the motion to proceed.

Sens. Capito, Heller, Lee, Moran, Murkowski, and Portman are still entirely up in the air as well. Whether or not they will support the measure depends on what measure ends up in front of them, and what amendments McConnell promises can follow in the vote-a-rama.

President Trump is himself with Capito in West Virginia today, both to encourage her to vote in favor of a motion to proceed, and also to give a speech on health care encouraging all Republican Senators to vote in favor of the measure, whatever it actually is.

In his remarks, Trump led by saying that “for the past 17 years,” the ACA, which was passed in 2010 and most provisions of which took effect in 2014, “has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hardworking Americans.”

Trump then chided the Senate Republicans, saying, they “have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare,” and exhorted them to “repeal and replace” the ACA.

What happens next?

In a broad sense, there are three possible outcomes this week.

  1. The Senate votes on the measure; it garners 50 or fewer votes and fails to proceed.
  2. The Senate votes on the measure; it gains 51 or more votes and proceeds.
  3. The Senate once again postpones or decides not to vote on the measure.

If the motion to proceed succeeds, Senators will discuss and negotiate on a whole pile of amendments to try and cobble together a bill. Formally, the Senate then gets its 20 hours of debate, which becomes an all-night vote-a-rama until, as CNN estimates, 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning at which point they are done.

If the motion to proceed fails, however, Senators can either work together to craft a new proposal and try again, or decide that this process is too much of a mess and come back to it later, never, or in an entirely different way (like by introducing a bill that isn’t a budget reconciliation measure).

As to the details, Vox has a handy flowchart outlining the possibilities from here.

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Posted by Ashlee Kieler

Distracted driving comes in many forms, from talking on the phone, to messing with a navigation system, or posing for selfies on the latest social media app. Over the weekend, the latter distraction, combined with another dangerous driving hazard — drunk driving — to claim the life of a teen in California. 

NBC News reports that a 14-year-old California girl was killed Friday evening when her sister, who was allegedly impaired and using social media, crashed a vehicle the teens were passengers in. Another teen was injured in the crash.

The 18-year-old, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, allegedly live-streamed the crash’s aftermath on Instagram.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the 2003 Buick veered onto the right should of a road, when the driver overcorrected, causing the car to swerve across lanes before crashing into a fence and overturning into a field.

Authorities tell NBC News that they are aware of a video posted to social media that was allegedly recorded during and after the crash.

CHP says it is investigating the video and working to determine if recording the footage contributed to the crash.

The video, which BuzzFeed News reports was on Instagram for nearly 19 hours before being deleted, purportedly shows the 18-year-old driver singing to music and flipping off the camera before the footage goes blurry and screams can be heard. The video then shows the driver talking to the camera near what is allegedly her sister’s lifeless body.

“My sister is f—— dying. Look, I f—— love my sister to death. I don’t give a f—. Man, we about to die. This is the last thing I wanted to happen to us, but it just did. Jacqueline, please wake up,” the driver can be heard saying on the video. “I don’t f‑‑‑‑‑‑ care though,” Sanchez continued. “I’m a hold it down. I love you, rest in peace, sweetie. If you don’t survive, baby, I am so f‑‑‑‑‑‑ sorry. I did not mean to kill you, sweetie. Sweetie, I am f‑‑‑‑‑‑ sorry. Sweetie, please, wake up!”

More Distractions

Each day, nine people are killed in vehicles crashes that involve a distracted driver, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With consumers’ reliance on smartphones and chaining technology, the types of distractions are increasing. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now records the number of instances in which drivers are distracted by manipulating handheld devices.

Drivers are counted as visibly manipulating handheld devices if they appear to be using some kind of device to text message, surf the web, check emails, manually dial a number, play games, or use the phone in front of their faces.

“Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds,” according to NHTSA. “At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

While NHTSA’s most recent statistics [PDF] don’t show a significant increase in the number of drivers partaking in this kind of distraction, the decrease from 2.2% to 2.1% between 2015 and 2016 was not considered statistically significant.

Still, young drivers have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.

At the same time, NHTSA found that the percentage of passenger vehicle drivers talking on handheld cell phones decreased from 3.8% to 3.3%.

“You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention,” the agency says on its distracted driving resource page. “Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.”

Reducing Distractions

While NHTSA and the CDC do not break out the number of drivers using social media while behind the wheel, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety contended in 2015 that such distractions are on the rise.

For instance, in Sept. 2015, there were 22,067 Instagram posts under #drivingselfie. A look at the hashtag today shows more than 30,000 posts.

A survey from AT&T also points to an increase in distractive driving related to social media and selfies. According to a 2015 AT&T report, one in five respondents — or 17% — admitted to taking selfies or other photos while driving.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety note that 39 states have taken steps to decrease distracted driving, by enacting laws that ban text messaging for all drivers.

“In order to get people to pay attention while operating a vehicle and to adopt safer behaviors, education must be combined with strong laws and appropriate enforcement,” the group says. “This is the tried and true method to change behavior in order to improve safety.”

What Exactly Is Collusion?

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Patrick Allan

If you’ve even glanced at the news lately, you’ve probably seen or heard the term “collusion” when referring to President Trump’s senior staff being accused of shady dealings with Russia. But what is collusion? And is it actually a crime?

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Posted by Jessica Mason

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, among the angsty spider-persons and tortured men of steel, a different kind of hero broke on the scene. He was big, boisterous and very, very blue. We’re talking about The Tick, of course. The cult hero has been around since 1986 when he was created by a young Ben Edlund at the age of 18. Since then, the character has starred in two television series: the popular animated show from the 90s, as well as a short-lived live action version from 2001. Constantly helpful, positive, cheerful, impervious to pain or failure and neigh-invincible, The Tick is a larger than life character in every way and his antics and earnest joy in (trying) to save the day have endeared audiences for years. With a home on Amazon prime’s streaming service, The Tick is set to burst back into action on August 25 in an entirely new way.

Helmed by Edlund—who returns to the character he created over 30 years ago after writing stints on Angel, Supernatural, Firefly and Revolution, to name just a few—The Tick focuses on Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman), a powerless man haunted by his father’s death at the hands of super-villain The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). As he struggles to understand his father’s death he stumbles on both a deep conspiracy as well as the titular blue superhero, played by Peter Serafinowicz.

Much to his chagrin, Arthur ends up as The Tick’s sidekick and thus their adventures begin. The show is a send up of the superhero genre and with so many heroes already out there, the creators have more than enough material to spoof. Valorie Curry, who portrays Arthur’s sister, Dot, thinks this in the perfect moment for this kind of satire. “This is a wonderful time to have The Tick enter the scene,” Curry said. “The character is someone who’s gonna point out the absurdity of that and laugh at it.” Yara Martinez, who portrays the villainous Miss Lint (so named because her electrical powers tend to malfunction and cover in in lint), also noted that because the Tick isn’t part of or beholden to any greater cannon or cinematic universe that they have much more room to play.

The world of The Tick is much like our own, expect for the fact superheroes have existed for a century or so, none more famous that Superian, an immortal played by Brendan Hines who The Tick reveres as an idol …and who may not know his big blue fanboy exists. But the heart of the story still comes from the human elements, such as the hapless Arthur and Dot. The slightly more grown-up tone of this version allowed for the human characters surrounding The Tick to be much more nuanced and developed. Perhaps the biggest evolution for any character from her previous iterations is Dot Everest.

When Curry first discussed the character with Edlund, they talked about how Dot has always existed as more of a device and the “snarky voice of reason” without much to do but drop dry one-liner. In this iteration however, Dot has evolved as a character with “a huge amount of empathy, a huge amount of compassion,” according to Curry. The fact that female characters can become little more than accessories is something the writers don’t shy away from and try to subvert with Dot. “She’s person that operates from the heart,” Curry said. Dot takes on a role familiar to many women, doing the emotion labor to take care of everyone around her at her own expense, especially her brother. She lost a parent as well and never got to grieve and carries “a lot of anger, resentment and grief. She’s also a person that has always needed to put her needs and her grief and her wounds and her ambitions on the back burner to take care of her brother.” Among the many costumed heroes, Dot is never their damsel or one to be saved and that helps create and emotional core for the show as well as offsetting the humor.

The humor of The Tick doesn’t just come from the silliness of The Tick himself, but from the contrast of his antics to the relative seriousness of the world around him. The show boasts an extensive rogue’s gallery, including Miss Lint and Ramses IV, a ruthless crime boss played by Michael Cerveris. He regards The Tick as first “just a nuisance, then an annoyance and then a big blue obstacle” according to Cerveris. Similarly, the villain Overkill, played by Scott Speiser creates humor simply by existing in the same world as big, boisterous, buffoon like The Tick, while Overkill, as Speiser notes, “doesn’t mind stabbing you in the head if you’re in the way.”

Speiser noted that finding the tone of the show, which is darker than other iterations, was great fun. “The more serious he takes it, the funnier it is,” Speiser added. Jackie Earle Haley felt the same. After playing such iconic dark roles as Rorschach in Watchmen and Freddie Kruger in the latest Nightmare on Elm Street, The Terror was another dark role, even though the show is a comedy. Haley noted: “We felt it was important for certain characters to be grounded” compared to the Tick who is so over-the-top. “We all help earn the ability for The Tick to be funny the whole way through.” Despite the dark elements, Speiser says it’s a family show that kids will love.

Producer David Fury praised Edlund for finding that tone as well as finding the humanity in the cartoonish situation. “[Edlund] recognizes that for The Tick to work in this day and age we need to be invested more emotionally in the characters….they have to be real,” said Fury. Arthur Everest Is dealing with heavy issues including mental health and the death of his parents, which is what “makes The Tick’s presence on the show that much more funny.” Into these mostly normal lives comes this blue hero who never gives up and never stops being a hero. That’s literal as we never see The Tick out of costume. Fury hinted that the mystery of what The Tick himself is will be addressed in the show. Whether he’s in a costume or a robot or something more will be an “ongoing mystery. The Tick is wondering himself, he doesn’t remember,” Fury teased. The freedom of the streaming format has allowed the writer to tell a more serialized and sincere story than other iterations of The Tick. With the first six episodes dropping in August and the second half of the season debuting in early 2018, the audience will get the benefits of binging and the anticipation of a hiatus as well.

Comic-Con audiences got the first taste of the show in a panel attended by the cast as well as “The Tick takeover” installation across from the convention center. Fans were able to watch the premiere episode in the comfort of an exclusive lounge and join The Tick and Arthur on a scavenger hunt to battle the nefarious pyramid gang. The centerpiece of the activation was the animatronic Tick antennae visible from blocks away and which fans could control depending on the mood they chose for The Tick. The installation fit the mood of the Tick, a joyful, helpful force in a messy, grim world both on screen and off.

Jessica Mason is a writer and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon passionate about corgis, fandom, and awesome girls. Follow her on Twitter at @FangirlingJess.

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Posted by Vivian Kane

Note: This article includes major SPOILERS for the movie Split.

Every time I think I’m done caring about M. Night Shyamalan, he drops some gigantic breadcrumb, making sure I’ll follow his career at least a little longer. The latest being that corporeal goddess Sarah Paulson has joined the cast of his upcoming movie, Glass.

I had mixed feelings about Shyamalan’s last movie, Split, which we learned in the last few moments–again, SPOILERS–was a secret Unbreakable sequel all along. It was the closest thing Shyamalan has had to a real return to form in years. James McAvoy’s portrayal of 24 different personalities is incredible. But it’s impossible to overlook the catastrophic clumsiness he displayed in dealing with issues of sexual assault. The sexual and emotional torture of teenage girls felt exploitative and designed to tantalize. When her history of sexual abuse ends up being what saves Anya Taylor-Joy’s Casey, it’s handled so hamfistedly as to read as a “wow, good things can come from rape, too!” morality tale. If you are not excited for a follow-up, no one here will blame you in the slightest.

So why am I? To start, Unbreakable is one of my absolute favorite movies, though much of that may be nostalgia over the role it played in the development of my young self’s film aesthetic. It was the first DVD I ever bought. I’m finding it difficult to let go of that attachment, even though I found the tie-in at the end of Split to be wholly unnecessary.

Also, again, did I mention Sarah Paulson?

I will watch her in anything, and she elevates the quality of anything she’s in.

Next, lacking any details about the new movie (other than that McAvoy and Taylor-Joy are both returning), a look through Shyamalan’s Twitter feed is intriguing. To start:

That’s one hell of an encouraging list of influences.

This tweet also caught my attention:

I don’t want to project too much growth onto a vague tweet, but there are a number of characters from Unbreakable and Split that this could apply to, and if Shyamalan is open to recognizing the ways he should have done better by his (mostly female) characters, I’m interested to see what he does with that.

(H/T Variety, featured image: Shutterstock)

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Posted by Charline Jao

Bob’s Burgers is always a delightful and hilarious watch, but their holiday episodes are definitely something special. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Halloween, or Christmas, the show mixes the weird, totally-gross, and heart-warming in a way only Bob’s Burgers can to tell a story about the Belcher family and some wild shenanigans.

At the show’s Comic-Con panel, creator Loren Bouchard revealed that this year’s Christmas special will be an hour long, saying, “It should feel almost like a little Christmas movie … It’s kind of epic. It’s got an hourlong feel to it.” Even more exciting? Adam Driver, Kylo Ren of Star Wars, is set to guest star.

While Driver’s voice acting credit mainly include video games and The Simpsons, I’m excited to see him do more voice work. He has a really distinctive voice, and prior roles have shown he can be really hilarious and goofy when using it right. Maybe he’ll even get a chance to sing! Remember his “outer … space!” lines in Inside Llewyn Davis? Or this ridiculous Aladdin sketch on SNL? There’s just something about Driver’s voice that lends itself so well to funny songs. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of role they write for him, in what’s sure to be another hilarious and creative Bob’s Burgers episode.

Other announcements EW shared included an upcoming couch gag for The Simpsons, a “completely fan-drawn episode,” and a guest appearance from Thomas Middleditch as “a kid named Alex who hosts Gene for his first sleepover.”

Can it be December already?

(via Nerdist, image: 20th Television)

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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

The stars of Justice League have apparently been called back for some very extensive reshoots, something to the tune of about four weeks for some of the movie’s biggest roles. According to Variety, this has caused some foul-ups with scheduling, as many of the headlining stars are already hard at work on other films. Henry Cavill, for example, is working on the next Mission: Impossible film, and his character calls for him to have a mustache—a decidedly un-Superman physical attribute, no? (I fully expect someone in the comments to drop hella examples of Supes with a mustache, not a beard, so who knows.)

Anyway, Variety states that the production is going to some seriously strange lengths to cover up the fact that they’re basically reshooting a mustachioed Superman: they’re actually removing the mustache digitally in post-production. Think about how much money is being spent to prevent this …

… when in fact they should just be totally doubling down on a mustache Superman. I mean, come on. Look at him. What kind of magical secrets lie trapped between this push broom and the milky white all-American skin underneath? If hairs could talk, I’m sure this hairy caterpillar of a ‘stache would have so many stories to share of alien worlds and secret hideaways in the Arctic. Why, with this mustache, Superman looks like he’d be right at home serving as a guard at Litchfield Penitentiary.

Do you think that Superman’s the kind of guy who notices the foamy mustache when he drinks hot cocoa on those cold, lonely nights in his frozen base? When he cracks open a cold one with the Justice Pals, do you think they’re the kind of friends (co-workers?) who tell him that he’s got a bit of foam on his mustache, or do they just sit there and giggle about it while Batman, the great detective, looks around very confused as to why everyone’s laughing? Do you think that maybe Superman would grow a mustache after Batman tells him he “looks so young” because he wanted to try a new form of psychological warfare against him as part of his ongoing research on How To Kill Literally Everybody On The Justice League? Do you think Barry Allen and Aquaman maybe have a competition going as to who can secretly steal more of Supes’ mustache hairs without him knowing (with the Flash winning by a clear margin because Aquaman keeps just straight up asking)?

Or do you think Wonder Woman is currently hard at work researching the phenomena of how growing facial hair as “rally beards” and such on sports teams can lead to higher morale and team unity and is thus trying to find out how to get everyone on board with growing a beard?

Like.

Yes. I would watch the everloving shit out of that movie. How much do you think they’d end up spending on mustache wax and little tiny combs?

Clearly Cameron Stewart is going the Lord’s work here, important research into a better, brighter, much more … virile Justice League. And frankly? This is the Justice League I want to see.

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Posted by Dan Van Winkle

You may have heard that Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a White House senior adviser because this administration is run like the mafia, is under some scrutiny due to his failure to disclose meetings with Russian officials—including the one he attended with Donald Trump Jr. and then-Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort. He testified to the Senate behind closed doors today and then held a press conference in which he proclaimed his innocence, because why wouldn’t we take him at his word?

I mean, it’s not like the story around what happened between the Trump campaign and Russian officials has rapidly morphed from “there’s nothing there” to “alright, there’s stuff there that we were trying to keep secret, but it’s all OK and above board, we promise.” It’s not like people deeply tied to the financial and real estate industries have ever done anything to hide any shady financial dealings. It’s not like Kushner’s father-in-law, who employs him in the White House, is a well-known huckster who slaps his recognizable name on cheap products to make a buck, had an outright fraudulent “university,” lies way more than any politician, or is only distinguished from your average con man by being born rich enough to convince people he’s actually a successful business man.

It’s nothing like that, so we should just go ahead and believe him, I guess. I mean, he literally said at his press conference, “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” because of course he did. He wasn’t exactly going to come out and confess, so it’s pretty difficult to take him at his word, making the whole exercise effectively useless—except for in providing some excellent meme material. Even if he really did mean what he was saying—and maybe especially—he looked positively furious at his own innocence:

Sincerely, it looks like he spent his ’80s childhood watching all the same movies we did, but he identified with the wrong side every time, and it’s coming back to bite us all:

He also claimed that he took the meeting with Trump Jr., that emails indicated was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” without reading far enough back in that email chain to know that’s what the meeting was about.

Hey, at least his short attention span for reading campaign-related emails could help explain why he’s not aware of anyone who colluded with Russia.

He also mentioned that he’s been completely transparent, and that one we can kind of get behind:

But this defense? Save it. Don Jr.’s a “good buy,” according to Trump, and now this about Kushner. How. Many. Times.

(image: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com)

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Posted by Nick Douglas

On iOS or Android, to type an em dash, you have to hold down the hyphen key until the dash options pop up. The latest iOS 11 beta changes that, autocorrecting three hyphens into an em dash. Two hyphens autocorrect to a shorter en dash, used for number ranges like “10–20 people care about this.”

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