Browsing articles from "April, 2017"

It’s Not Just Hollywood Writers Who Lose Out During A Strike

Apr 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on It’s Not Just Hollywood Writers Who Lose Out During A Strike

Hollywood writers will go on strike Tuesday if negotiations with producers fail. That would seriously hurt the blue-collar workers who make up most of the jobs in TV and film production.

Author Uses Humor To Shed Light On Feminism, Race, The Internet

Apr 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Author Uses Humor To Shed Light On Feminism, Race, The Internet

Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Scaachi Koul of BuzzFeed about her new book of essays, cheerily titled One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None of This Will Matter.

President Trump’s First 100 Days, In Photos

Apr 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on President Trump’s First 100 Days, In Photos

President Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking to a joint session of Congress.

Gabriella Demczuk


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President Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking to a joint session of Congress.

Gabriella Demczuk

When Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, he started forcefully laying out a plan for his first 100 days that included full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain “terror-prone regions” and the lifting of “roadblocks” to let “infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward.”

“I’ve asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on Day 1 to restore our laws and bring back our jobs,” Trump said in November. “It’s about time.”

The administration touted higher numbers of laws signed into effect and executive orders than previous administrations, and it successfully appointed a Supreme Court justice to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat. However, Trump struggled through challenges to several of his cabinet appointees, questions about his personal conflicts of interest, several stumbles from his press secretary, and an ongoing investigation into Russia’s potential interference in the November election.

Republicans hoped he would bring unity to the party, but even with a majority in Congress, they narrowly managed to delay a government shutdown on Friday, and only until May 5.

“I think the president is learning that the all-powerful position of the presidency is not the end-all,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

As the 100 day marker passes this weekend, here is a look at some of the major events that have transpired in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

Republicans clap after Congress completes the tally of Electoral College votes, officially electing Donald Trump as President on Jan. 6.

Gabriella Demczuk


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The end of the 114th United States Congress (left) and the start of the 115th United States Congress (right).

Gabriella Demczuk


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Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller talks on the phone next to a bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Jan. 4.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Then Vice President-elect Mike Pence, left, shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before speaking on repealing Obamacare, right, during the weekly House GOP meeting.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Gabriella Demczuk

Ret. Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for Defense Secretary, spoke to senate on Jan. 12, testifying that Russia was a major threat to the U.S. “I’m all for engagement,” Mattis said, “but we also have to recognize reality in terms of what Russia is up to.”

Gabriella Demczuk


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Some of Trump’s appointees include (clockwise from top left) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

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Gabriella Demczuk

CIA Director nominee Mike Pompeo broke with the president-elect, opposing waterboarding as a form of torture. In his hearing on Jan. 12, Pompeo also said he had confidence in the current U.S. intelligence program and said he agreed with their findings that Russia had tried to interfere in the elections.

Gabriella Demczuk


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A view of the Washington Monument during the 2017 March For Life on Jan. 28. Thousands of people flocked to the National Mall for the anti-abortion rights rally, which has been an annual event for more than 40 years.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Gabriella Demczuk

Detained travelers are released amid cheers at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., on Jan. 28. Trump’s executive order on immigration — which temporarily bars citizens from seven largely Muslim countries, as well as all refugees, from entering the U.S. — sparked protests in airports and public spaces across the country.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Jan. 31 to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees: Georgia Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin.

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Protestors demonstrate outside the Supreme Court as President Trump announces Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Denver, as his nominee to fill the vacant seat of Antonin Scalia.

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First Lady Melania Trump visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Sarah Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Feb. 15.

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Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of the House Intelligence committee, speak to the media on March 15 about the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

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Democratic female representatives, right, wore white, a symbol of the early suffragettes, at Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks with his aides before the Senate Judiciary committee hearing to consider nomination of Rod Rosenstein to deputy Attorney General and Rachel L. Brand to associate Attorney General on March 7.

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks on the Affordable Health Care Act during a press conference at the Capitol on March 9. “This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare. The time is here; the time is now. This is the moment,” said Ryan.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, speaks alongside other Republican representatives at a press conference on the American Health Care Act on March 17. Republicans were unsuccessful in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, though they continue to push changes to it.

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Former Senator, now Attorney General, Jeff Sessions’ office being renovated to make way for newly appointed Sen. Luther Strange.

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On April 3, Senate Democrats voted against ending debate on Gorsuch’s nomination on a near party-line vote, leaving Republicans shy the 60-vote hurdle required by Senate rules to move on to a final confirmation vote. So Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used the power of his position to change the rules of the Senate — to lower that threshold to end debate from 60 to 51 votes.

Gabriella Demczuk


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Chairman Chuck Grassley, left, and fellow Republican Senate Judiciary members speaks on April 3 on the vote to move the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Senate floor. The Supreme Court building, center, is seen from the wing of the Senate while Senators vote Judge Gorsuch on April 7. Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, administers the judicial oath for Judge Gorsuch on April 10.

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President Trump signs executive orders on tax reform alongside Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., at the Treasury Department April 21.

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President Trump signs executive orders on tax reform alongside Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., at the Treasury Department April 21.

Gabriella Demczuk

Chief strategist Steve Bannon was removed from his role on the National Security Council months after he was elevated to the position. Ivanka Trump became an unpaid government employee in March. Press Secretary Sean Spicer made an ill-conceived reference to Hitler in April. White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway raised ethics concerns in March when she endorsed Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.

Gabriella Demczuk


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A display case at the Walter Reed Medical Center showcases photographs of presidents past and present. President Donald Trump awarded a purple heart to U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alvaro Barrientos on April 22.

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Gabriella Demczuk is a freelance photojournalist based in Washington, D.C. She covers politics for the New York Times, CNN and NPR.

‘Paradise Lost’: How The Apple Became The Forbidden Fruit

Apr 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on ‘Paradise Lost’: How The Apple Became The Forbidden Fruit

Left: Title page of the first edition of Paradise Lost (1667). Right: William Blake, The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1808 (illustration of Milton’s Paradise Lost)



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This month marks 350 years since John Milton sold his publisher the copyright of Paradise Lost for the sum of five pounds.

His great work dramatizes the oldest story in the Bible, whose principal characters we know only too well: God, Adam, Eve, Satan in the form of a talking snake — and an apple.

Except, of course, that Genesis never names the apple but simply refers to “the fruit.” To quote from the King James Bible:

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

“Fruit” is also the word Milton employs in the poem’s sonorous opening lines:

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste

Brought Death into the World, and all our woe

But in the course of his over-10,000-line poem, Milton names the fruit twice, explicitly calling it an apple. So how did the apple become the guilty fruit that brought death into this world and all our woe?

The short and unexpected answer is: a Latin pun.

In order to explain, we have to go all the way back to the fourth century A.D., when Pope Damasus ordered his leading scholar of scripture, Jerome, to translate the Hebrew Bible into Latin. Jerome’s path-breaking, 15-year project, which resulted in the canonical Vulgate, used the Latin spoken by the common man. As it turned out, the Latin words for evil and apple are the same: malus.

In the Hebrew Bible, a generic term, peri, is used for the fruit hanging from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, explains Robert Applebaum, who discusses the biblical provenance of the apple in his book Aguecheek’s Beef, Belch’s Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections.

“Peri could be absolutely any fruit,” he says. “Rabbinic commentators variously characterized it as a fig, a pomegranate, a grape, an apricot, a citron, or even wheat. Some commentators even thought of the forbidden fruit as a kind of wine, intoxicating to drink.”

A detail of Michelangelo’s fresco in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel depicting the Fall of Man and expulsion from the Garden of Eden



Wikipedia

When Jerome was translating the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” the word malus snaked in. A brilliant but controversial theologian, Jerome was known for his hot temper, but he obviously also had a rather cool sense of humor.

“Jerome had several options,” says Applebaum, a professor of English literature at Sweden’s Uppsala University. “But he hit upon the idea of translating peri as malus, which in Latin has two very different meanings. As an adjective, malus means bad or evil. As a noun it seems to means an apple, in our own sense of the word, coming from the very common tree now known officially as the Malus pumila. So Jerome came up with a very good pun.”

The story doesn’t end there. “To complicate things even more,” says Applebaum, “the word malus in Jerome’s time, and for a long time after, could refer to any fleshy seed-bearing fruit. A pear was a kind of malus. So was the fig, the peach, and so forth.”

Which explains why Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco features a serpent coiled around a fig tree. But the apple began to dominate Fall artworks in Europe after the German artist Albrecht Dürer’s famous 1504 engraving depicted the First Couple counterpoised beside an apple tree. It became a template for future artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, whose luminous Adam and Eve painting is hung with apples that glow like rubies.

Eve giving Adam the forbidden fruit, by Lucas Cranach the Elder.



Wikipedia

Milton, then, was only following cultural tradition. But he was a renowned Cambridge intellectual fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, who served as secretary for foreign tongues to Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth. If anyone was aware of the malus pun, it would be him. And yet he chose to run it with it. Why?

Applebaum says that Milton’s use of the term “apple” was ambiguous. “Even in Milton’s time the word had two meanings: either what was our common apple, or, again, any fleshy seed-bearing fruit. Milton probably had in mind an ambiguously named object with a variety of connotations as well as denotations, most but not all of them associating the idea of the apple with a kind of innocence, though also with a kind of intoxication, since hard apple cider was a common English drink.”

It was only later readers of Milton, says Applebaum, who thought of “apple” as “apple” and not any seed-bearing fruit. For them, the forbidden fruit became synonymous with the malus pumila. As a widely read canonical work, Paradise Lost was influential in cementing the role of apple in the Fall story.

But whether the forbidden fruit was an apple, fig, peach, pomegranate or something completely different, it is worth revisiting the temptation scene in Book 9 of Paradise Lost, both as an homage to Milton (who composed his masterpiece when he was blind, impoverished and in the doghouse for his regicidal politics) and simply to savor the sublime beauty of the language. Thomas Jefferson loved this poem. With its superfood dietary advice, celebration of the ‘self-help is the best help’ ideal, and presence of a snake-oil salesman, Paradise Lost is a quintessentially American story, although composed more than a century before the United States was founded.

What makes the temptation scene so absorbing and enjoyable is that, although written in archaic English, it is speckled with mundane details that make the reader stop in surprise.

Take, for instance, the serpent’s impeccably timed gustatory seduction. It takes place not at any old time of the day but at lunchtime:

Mean while the hour of Noon drew on, and wak’d/ An eager appetite.”

What a canny and charmingly human detail. Milton builds on it by lingeringly conjuring the aroma of apples, knowing full well that an “ambrosial smell” can madden an empty stomach to action. The fruit’s “savorie odour,” rhapsodizes the snake, is more pleasing to the senses than the scent of the teats of an ewe or goat dropping with unsuckled milk at evening. Today’s Food Network impresarios, with their overblown praise and frantic similes, couldn’t dream up anything close to that peculiarly sensuous comparison.

It is easy to imagine the scene. Eve, curious, credulous and peckish, gazes longingly at the contraband “Ruddie and Gold” fruit while the unctuous snake-oil salesman murmurs his encouragement. Initially, she hangs back, suspicious of his “overpraising.” But soon she begins to cave: How can a fruit so “Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,” be evil? Surely it is the opposite, its “sciental sap” must be the source of divine knowledge. The serpent must speak true.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost.

But Eve is insensible to the cosmic disappointment her lunch has caused. Sated and intoxicated as if with wine, she bows low before “O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees,” and hurries forth with “a bough of fairest fruit” to her beloved Adam, that he too might eat and aspire to godhead. Their shared meal, foreshadowed as it is by expulsion and doom, is a moving and poignant tableau of marital bliss.

Meanwhile, the serpent, its mission accomplished, slinks into the gloom. Satan heads eagerly toward a gathering of fellow devils, where he boasts that the Fall of Man has been wrought by something as ridiculous as “an apple.”

Except that it was a fig or a peach or a pear. An ancient Roman punned – and the apple myth was born.

Nina Martyris is a freelance journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.

Fresh Air Weekend: ‘Veep’ Executive Producer; ‘Hourglass’; MLB’s Rick Ankiel

Apr 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Fresh Air Weekend: ‘Veep’ Executive Producer; ‘Hourglass’; MLB’s Rick Ankiel

Dani Shapiro examines her long-time marriage in the memoir, Hourglass.

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Dani Shapiro examines her long-time marriage in the memoir, Hourglass.

Random House

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

‘Veep’ Executive Producer On Making A Show About The ‘Craven Desire For Power’: The HBO series is now in its sixth season. Producer Frank Rich also writes a column for New York magazine about the intersection of politics and popular culture.

‘Hourglass’ Exposes The Fissures That Develop In A Long-Term Marriage: Dani Shapiro’s new memoir dramatizes the dizzying ways a lifetime passes, loops around, speeds up and sometimes seems to stand still. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls it an incisive and charged work.

For Baseball’s Rick Ankiel, Losing His Pitching Ability Led To An Unusual Comeback: Ankiel entered the major leagues in 1999 as a gifted pitcher, but one day suddenly lost that gift. He talks about his pitching demons, his troubled childhood and his way back to baseball.

You can listen to the original interviews here:

‘Veep’ Executive Producer On Making A Show About The ‘Craven Desire For Power’

‘Hourglass’ Exposes The Fissures That Develop In A Long-Term Marriage

For Baseball’s Rick Ankiel, Losing His Pitching Ability Led To An Unusual Comeback

Reading The Game: Stardew Valley

Apr 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Reading The Game: Stardew Valley

Life in 16 bits — complete with chickens and monsters — in Stardew Valley.

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Life in 16 bits — complete with chickens and monsters — in Stardew Valley.

ConcernedApe

For years now, some of the best, wildest, most moving or revealing stories we’ve been telling ourselves have come not from books, movies or TV, but from video games. So we’re running an occasional series, Reading The Game, in which we take a look at some of these games from a literary perspective.

It was my daughter Parker who picked up Stardew Valley first. She’s 13, smart, beautiful, furious, funny, clumsy as a newborn giraffe. She loves videogames the way I love videogames, but loves none of the videogames I love — not the shooty ones or the dark ones or the violent ones.

Stardew Valley is something different. The game is essentially a farming simulator — you grow crops and sell them, tend animals and make cheese from their milk or mayonnaise from their eggs. You fish sometimes, talk to the people who live in town, deal with the magical apple monsters who have taken over the town’s community center and demand tribute in the form of a hundred small quests. It exists like an indie re-incarnation of Harvest Moon, the game which introduced the world to farming sims in the 1990’s, and there’s an entire generation of gamers who love it unreservedly just for that — for being a polished new version of something they loved like crazy-go-nuts back in the day — but on the surface, it’s a game that doesn’t seem to have a lot going on.

Reading The Game: Bioshock Infinite

Reading The Game: Shadow Of Mordor

Reading The Game: The Flame In The Flood

It drove me crazy the way Parker played. I would watch from the couch as she wandered aimlessly around her small, cluttered house or doodled around her asymmetrical mess of a farm — her movements a kind of digital Brownian motion born of a hundred distractions. She would water two or three plants, then run off to chase her dog, come back, water a little more, go look at butterflies or just leave. Go off onto the paths that run between her Kawaii Farm and Pelican Town a couple screens away to pick flowers, talk to people or poke through their trash cans.

“Parker,” I said to her, frustration putting an edge on my words. “What are you doing?”

And she looked up at me and said, “Just playing. You want to try?”

So I did. I made a farm of my own — Butcher Holler — and the two of us played side-by-side for two in-game years. The core of Stardew Valley’s story is simple: You are an office drone, just tappy-tapping away at your computer day after day, year after year until, finally, it all becomes too much. You walk away, get on a bus and travel to the farm that your grandpa left to you years ago in Stardew Valley.

And look, I’ve had my fair share of cubicles. I know that urge to pack it all up and move on. I took Grandpa’s offer seriously. He’d left me a farm, but it was a disaster. And it was up to me to whip it into shape.

So I cleared the land. I tilled the soil. I figured out which seeds had the highest return on investment and planted them in neat rows for easy watering. Parker, meanwhile, tended a tiny patch of strawberries and collected flowers. She went down to the beach and picked up shells, but refused to fish even though it was the most effective method for earning money in the early weeks of the game. She showed me the sewer where the monster lives, and the mines which were full of treasure. She didn’t like going down into the mines because she’d freak out whenever something attacked her and, also, she’d lost her sword somewhere, or sold it, or given it away.

So instead, she followed behind the children, Jas and Vincent, and told me how Jas’s parents were both dead. How Penny teaches them at the museum because there’s no school in Pelican Town and how Alex, the jock, is a lot sadder than he seems because his father was an abusive drunk and his mom died, and now he lives with his grandparents but doesn’t like to talk about it. I asked her how she knew all this and she told me, “I talk to them.”

In winter nothing grows, so I ground my way through the mines, clearing them level by level, while Parker redecorated her house and made friends with mopey Abigail with the purple hair and a wizard who lived in the forest. Spring came again. My farm was large. The chests in my house were overflowing with gold ore and rubies from the mine. One afternoon I called Parker over to show her how much you can make on a good haul of melons and corn. “See?” I said. “Look at that. That’s one day’s work.”

And she scoffed. “Sure,” she said, “but who loves you?”

Relationships in Stardew Valley are expressed in bars full of hearts. I had two with Linus, the homeless guy who lived in a tent on the way to the mines and who I would occasionally give food to. Most of the other people in Pelican Town probably didn’t even know my name.

Then Parker loaded up her game. Pulled up her social screen. It was overflowing with hearts. Everyone loved her.

Stardew Valley’s story gives you only what you want from it. What you get out of the experience depends heavily on what baggage you’re carrying when you first climb on that bus and take the long ride to the coast.

Our games tell two very different stories: Hers is a tiny soap opera full of love, tragedy and sewer monsters; mine a how-to manual on maximizing profit in a small farming community. For me Stardew Valley is a game of control — of small goals and constantly accruing rewards. It is about the comfort of simplicity and repetition, season following season and harvest following harvest. It is not without story the way I play it, but my version of it is a singular story, about a man who walked away from the modern world and came to his grandpa’s farm in a town with only four TV channels.

Parker comes to it differently. She is a 13-year-old girl, the between-iest thing in the world. And for her, Stardew Valley is a life simulator — a pixelated, primary-colored safe space where she gets to practice being a grown up. Here, she can turn her coddled pet chickens off for the night when tending to them becomes a drag, and make connections with people who are bound and bordered by the parameters of a game that is so much easier to understand than the lawless chaos of the real teenage world. She knows secrets about Stardew Valley that I never will, because to her, it’s a map to a world she is just beginning to understand, while for me, it’s a spreadsheet of a system I understood all too well.

Neither way of playing is right. Neither one is wrong. It’s just life, rendered in 16 bits and full of chickens and monsters. And it never ends. Every season gives you a new chance to start over. To do things differently.

Which, wizards and sewer monsters aside, is maybe the most magical thing about it.

Jason Sheehan knows stuff about food, videogames, books and Starblazers. He is currently the restaurant critic at Philadelphia magazine, but when no one is looking, he spends his time writing books about giant robots and ray guns. Tales From the Radiation Age is his latest book.

Is Facebook Real Life Or Is It Just Fantasy?

Apr 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Is Facebook Real Life Or Is It Just Fantasy?

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer “radical empathy” and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.


Dear Sugar Radio | Subscribe

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Today the Sugars tackle two separate problems related to how we use the Internet in modern relationships. First, a woman is having an “emotional affair” with a former college friend through messages on Facebook. The problem is, both her and the college friend are married. Should she leave her husband for this man, or is she just “living a lie online”?

In the second letter, a woman is endlessly comparing herself to her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend — which is made easily possible through Instagram and Facebook. How do you stop when it’s so easy to do?

Dear Sugars,

In January, an old college friend reached out to me out of the blue. I had not spoken to him or seen him for over 20 years. Back in college, we were nothing more than acquaintances with mutual friends. So when he reached out to me via Facebook message, I was kind of shocked.

Since January, we have spoken almost every day while at work. We are both married, him for five years, me for 17. He has no children, I have two. The bulk of our conversations have been very sexual in context, sometimes downright hot and heavy. We have exchanged a few explicit photos as well. During our conversations, I suddenly became alive again. I felt energized that someone I have not seen or spoken to for over 20 years is telling me he wants me. He said his biggest regret from college was not pursuing a relationship with me. What 42-year-old woman wouldn’t like that little spring in her step from something like this? There was even one message where he told me he loved me and he had real feelings for me. I said the same to him.

A Wanderluster And A Wandering Eye

One of our last messages this week was unbelievable. He told me I was so cute and funny and how he cared for me. I felt like I was on cloud nine. The following day we had a very short exchange, and I reached out to him that night to ask him a question. Turns out that was a bad thing, as he and his wife were looking at something on Facebook at that moment. He said he told her I was an old college friend, which isn’t a lie. But she doesn’t know the extent of our relationship.

One thing I need to mention is that, this time last year, my husband and I were on the verge of divorce. I found out he had cheated on me. We went through therapy, and are in a much better place now. I love my husband with all my heart, and he is the father of our kids. But am I in love with him is the bigger question. I am not confident I can have the same hot and heavy conversations and fantasies with my husband as I do with my college friend.

My college friend today told me that he cannot have “issues” with his wife and needs to tone things down with me. I feel distraught. I have strong feelings for him. I feel like a teenager who just broke up with her boyfriend, even though I know I shouldn’t. My parting words to my friend today were, “I guess I’ll talk to you whenever.” His response back was, “We’ll talk.”

I just don’t know what to do. I am living in this fantasy world that isn’t reality, but it has turned my world upside down. I have had visions of us leaving our spouses and being together. I am now left dealing with the self-inflicted ramifications of this long-distance, Facebook message love affair. How dumb, I think to myself.

Dear Sugars, what do you think of this mess I have gotten into?

Signed,

Torn

Steve: The Internet is just a tool, but the reason we seek attention from others is because there’s some underlying sense of deprivation. Torn, what you’re telling us is you felt dead in your marriage, and this online flirtation made you alive again. Having kids and complicated lives wears you out. But this is a fantasy world, and it is extraordinarily destructive to your life, to the relationship you have with your husband, and to the family that you have built. You need to address the real issue in your relationship, which is that you need to feel alive again.

Cheryl: Part of being in a long-term, monogamous relationship is, you don’t have the thrill of checking Facebook and having some guy you knew 20 years ago telling you that you’re awesome. It feels like a high. The digital world makes possible instances where someone from your past resurfaces, and you believe yourself to be in love with somebody who you don’t have to contend with in any real-world way. It is a fantasy that’s destructive, but it can be instructive. Maybe your needs can’t be met anymore by your marriage. But the best thing is to find out if that is the case, to forget about this online relationship, and to deal with your life.

Listen To The Podcast

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Follow the Sugars on Twitter @dearsugarradio.

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Follow the Sugars on Twitter @dearsugarradio.

Jennie Baker Photography/Courtesy of WBUR

Steve: Where relationships go wrong is when couples do not talk to one another about what’s going on in their lives. That is your job now, Torn. You need to let your husband know, “I have been engaged in this emotional affair, and it hasn’t gone anywhere physical, but here’s how it makes me feel.”

Cheryl: Torn, there’s no way around the fact that you are living a lie online, damaging not just your marriage and your life, but also his. Deceit, fantasy, and betraying the people closest to us never leads us to where we want to be in our lives.

Dear Sugars,

I have been with my sexy, funny, creative and wonderfully ambitious partner for five years. After a few years of some extreme ups and downs in the beginning, I can say that we are very happy and have both loved building our life together. Despite my contentment and hope for the future, I find myself chasing after the woman he was with before me via the Web. I look at her Facebook and Instagram profiles multiple times per day. I find myself wanting to emulate her looks and lifestyle (as much as anyone can perceive online), and the resulting jealousy and discomfort sometimes influences my behavior in terms of how I craft my appearance.

The funny thing about this habit is that I do not know this woman, and I never did. We had seen each other on brief occasions while my partner and I were just friends. No matter how many times I have told myself that what she, like everyone else, posts online is often a teeny, tiny fraction of an individual’s happiest times in life, I still cannot help checking up on this woman and finding myself envious of her in a variety of ways.

My partner was with this woman when we began seeing each other covertly. They soon broke up, and we have been together ever since. Does my continual chasing after this woman online mean that I still have something left to resolve about his betrayal of her? Or is she simply an easy target for my own insecurity? My heart is broken because I have compared myself so much to this woman over time that I fear I am losing my true sense of self in the process. How can I let go of these feelings of inadequacy and these impulses to find out what she is up to?

Yours,

Struggling to Find Self

Cheryl: I think that this woman is an easy target for these feelings of inadequacy and jealousy, and I also think it’s no small coincidence that Struggling to Find Self was the other woman.

Steve: The psychological equation is, “I took away this man from this woman. I know that wasn’t the right thing to do, and I feel guilty about it. So as punishment for that guilt, I will actually figure out what it is like to be in her shoes.” You are obsessed with this woman, and that is going to drive you crazy.

That means you have to stop, but you will only stop once you start to answer the questions of why you’re doing this. What do the fantasies of this woman’s life represent to you? People have the tendency to say, social media is meaningless and just a distraction. That’s not true. Anything we become obsessed with has deep meaning.

For This Relationship, It's Judgment Day

Cheryl: It’s connected to the fact that girls and women in this culture are taught to measure themselves against each other. There’s no question that a piece of this is about that competition. And of course, there is no healthy equation you can make when you compare yourself to the people your lover used to love. Sometimes the answer is just as simple as saying, “I’m not going to do this today.” You need to say no to yourself, and you’ll be the better for it.

You can get more advice from the Sugars each week on Dear Sugar Radio from WBUR. Listen to the full episode to hear from more people struggling with relationships and the Internet.

Have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugarradio@gmail.com and it may be answered on a future episode.

You can also listen to Dear Sugar Radio on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app.

People Are Reporting Criminal (Space) Aliens To New ICE Hotline

Apr 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on People Are Reporting Criminal (Space) Aliens To New ICE Hotline

People are prank calling President Trump’s new office to report illegal “criminal aliens” — just not the type of “aliens” President Trump had in mind when he created the office.

Ever since the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office opened earlier this week, people have taken to Twitter to encourage calling and reporting extraterrestrials to the office’s hotline.

President Trump called for the establishment of VOICE in a speech to a joint session of Congress in February, “to serve American victims.” Trump said the effort was to provide “a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests.”

Spotlight On Migrant Crimes Drums Up Support For Trump's Immigration Dragnet

The VOICE office was created as a part of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which itself is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

“All crime is terrible, but these victims are unique – and too often ignored,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement.

The office says it’s not a hotline to report crimes, only for victims to gather information on things like “immigration custody status of illegal alien perpetrators of crime” and “the immigration enforcement and removal process.”

Critics and Trump opponents view it as an attempt to demonize all immigrants and say it’s racist.

ICE isn’t happy about the prank phone calls.

An ICE official emailed a statement to Fusion:

“I hope you won’t dignify this group with the attention they are seeking. But if you choose to do so…this group’s cheap publicity stunt is beyond the pale of legitimate public discourse. Their actions seek to obstruct and do harm to crime victims; that’s objectively despicable regardless of one’s views on immigration policy.

The VOICE Office provides information to citizens and non-citizens alike regardless of status, race, etc., whose loved ones have been killed or injured by removable aliens. VOICE provides access to the same information you and other reporters are already able to obtain. Yet this group claims it’s somehow racist to give the same to victims of all races and nationalities? That is absurd.

Further, openly obstructing and mocking victims crosses the line of legitimate public discourse. VOICE is a line for victims to obtain information. This group’s stunt is designed to harm victims. That is shameful.”

Despite the Trump administration’s drawing attention to crimes committed by people in the country illegally, there isn’t much evidence to suggest a prevalence of criminal activity among immigrants.

NPR’s John Burnett noted earlier this month that social research “dating back [about a century] has consistently found there is no link between immigrants and criminality.”

Justice Department Warns 'Sanctuary Cities,' With Grant Money At Risk

A study published online in 2013 said antisocial behavior — including committing crimes — “among native-born Americans was greater than that of immigrants.” Researchers found that “immigrants were significantly less likely to take part in violent antisocial behaviors as compared to native-born Americans.”

But modern research on arrest rates and immigrants is still limited, Burnett notes.

“So far, the research is not finding that the undocumented is offending or being rearrested at rates that are any different from the U.S.-born population,” Bianca Bersani, a criminologist at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, told him.

Trump Warns Of Potential ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea

Apr 28, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Trump Warns Of Potential ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” President Trump said on North Korea, in an interview with Reuters. Trump is seen here at the White House Thursday.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images


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“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” President Trump said on North Korea, in an interview with Reuters. Trump is seen here at the White House Thursday.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

President Trump says that while he would like to resolve the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program diplomatically, it will be hard — and there is a potential for a major clash with the Asian nation, Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

“There’s a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea, absolutely,” the president told the news agency.

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” Trump said.

Asked whether he sees Kim Jong Un’s regime as his biggest international concern, Trump replied, “Yes, I would say that’s true, yes. … North Korea would be certainly that.”

The president’s warning comes as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells NPR that the U.S. does not “seek a collapse of the regime” in North Korea — and that the Trump administration is open to holding direct talks with North Korea, as long as the subject is the winding-down of the renegade country’s nuclear weapons program.

Providing insights into how he sees the Korean Peninsula, Trump told Reuters that he wants South Korea to pay for the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system the U.S. recently sent to the country, and he said that he thinks China’s President Xi Jinping wants to help resolve the ongoing Korean crisis.

“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it,” Trump said. “He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.”

He added, “With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”

During the interview, Trump “suggested that he wants to stay on China’s good side, in order to get its help with North Korea,” NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing. “He’s just the latest U.S. president to bash China on the campaign trail, only to change his tune once in office.”

On the subject of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, Trump said:

“He’s 27 years old, his father dies, took over a regime, so say what you want but that’s not easy, especially at that age. You know you have plenty of generals in there and plenty of other people that would like to do what he’s doing. So I’ve said this before and I’ve, I’m just telling you, and I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit. I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do.”

“As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational.”

The topic of Trump’s own arrival in office also came up in his talk with Reuters, ahead of the president marking his first 100 days in office.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump said. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

Every Time I Die’s Bleak And Beautiful Love Letter To Buffalo

Apr 28, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Every Time I Die’s Bleak And Beautiful Love Letter To Buffalo

Every Time I Die’s Low Teens is fierce and emotionally wrought, the kind of album made when faced by mortality. Vocalist Keith Buckley’s then-pregnant wife was hospitalized and their daughter was forced into a premature birth. Everyone’s okay now — it was awakening not just for Buckley it seems, but also for the long-running band, whose heavy music has always been pulled this way and that, taking detours into metalcore, pop-punk, post-hardcore and post-whatnot. But Low Teens focuses the band’s desperation.

“Map Change” is the album’s fervid closer, searingly melodic as it sways and swaggers between urgent Converge-style hardcore and an arena-sized chorus. Buckley, in particular, gets to show off his vocal range, singing with new eyes, “Chaos is drawn to silence like life is drawn to death.”

“This video is our love letter to Buffalo in all its bleak glory,” Buckley tells NPR. Fist fights, strip clubs, abandoned churches, bingo halls, joyrides on chop-shopped cars, police dog training, drug use, high school wrestling — Kyle Thrash directs this stark portrait of the band’s New York hometown and the place where Buckley’s daughter was born. It’s a remarkably intimate video that’s neither damning or sympathetic, just honest, with the song’s breakdown synced to a beautifully shot line dance.

Low Teens is out now via Epitaph. Every Time I Die goes on tour this summer, including dates with Taking Back Sunday in July and August.

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