Advertisements
Home Blog

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Advertisements

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

England's win over Panama attracted 14.1million viewers – 82.9 per cent share of TV audience

0

A peak television audience of 14.1 million saw England book their place in the World Cup knockout stages with Sunday’s 6-1 win over Panama.

The BBC announced on Monday that 14.1m watched on television – a share of 82.9 per cent – and there were 2.8m live stream requests across BBC online.

Harry Kane’s stoppage-time winner in England’s opening group game against Tunisia remains the most watched programme in 2018, with a peak audience of 18.3m, more than the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle .

England captain Kane scored a hat-trick in England’s biggest ever World Cup finals win in Nizhny Novgorod, as Gareth Southgate’s men advanced to the knockout stages.

Gareth Southgate puts his squad through their paces in training

Rashford, Alli and Rose are pushing for recalls

Alli is battling to overcome a thigh problem

Rashford was an unused sub against Panama
After a group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the humiliating defeat to Iceland at the 2016 European Championships, England supporters’ optimism is growing for Russia 2018.

John Stones scored twice and Jesse Lingard was also on target for England, who play Belgium in their final Group G contest on Thursday in a match to be broadcast on ITV.

The BBC said the average audience was 12.8m, which is 0.9m down on the average audience for the Tunisia win.

Harry Kane scored a ha-trick to sink Panama

John Stones set the Three Lions on their way

Read More

Transfer latest

  • Transfer news LIVE

  • Arsenal ‘hold Banega talks’

  • United vs City for Boateng?

  • Lyon ‘increase Fekir asking price’

The Royal wedding had an average audience of 11.5m, while the Britain’s Got Talent final, on ITV, had an average of 11.2m viewers.

Figures do not account for those watching in pubs or on big screens.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Rio Ferdinand explains why England's 'golden generation' never won the World Cup – and why the current team have a chance

0

Rio Ferdinand has outlined the exact reason why England’s ‘golden generation’ never conquered in a major competition.

The former Manchester United defender was part of a Three Lions side which contained, at their peak, some of England’s finest ever footballers. Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham all featured alongside Ferdinand.

However, their finest achievement was narrowly losing to Brazil in the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

England then lost to Portugal twice in major tournaments – in the first knockout round of Euro 2004 and the quarter-finals of World Cup 2006.

Rio Ferdinand says England weren’t allowed the freedom to play under Sven-Goran Eriksson

England suffered multiple major tournament disappointments
Why couldn’t England’s ‘golden generation’ go any further, Ferdinand answered fans on social media.

The BBC pundit tweeted: “Why weren’t the golden generation…the golden generation??? We as players look at ourselves first…we never performed….but sometimes you have to be allowed to perform! Gareth is allowing this current England team to do this.”

In his punditry following England’s thumping 6-1 win over Panama, Ferdinand further explained the difference in the current Three Lions side to the ‘golden generation’.

Ferdinand was told he could not dribble out from the back by Eriksson

England failed to take advantage of their ‘golden generation’
“They believe in what they’re being taught,” Ferdinand said. “They believe in what’s being asked of them. They’re being encouraged to play.”

The former England star believed England were going in the right direction under Glenn Hoddle, but things when backwards under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Hoddle had told Ferdinand he wanted him to run forward with the ball, but Eriksson had issued him with an ultimatum – bring the ball forward and you’re out of the team.

Sven-Goran Eriksson should have done better with the players at his disposal

Ferdinand opened up on BBC1
“Sven told me, my centre-backs don’t run with the ball,” Ferdinand said on BBC1.

“I want to play for England, I’ll do what’s asked of me. But I was devastated, gutted, it took away a lot of my performance in an England shirt.

“It also took a lot away from us collectively because where we were going in the right direction with Glenn I thought we took steps back with Sven.”

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

The Morning After: A really tiny 'computer'

0
Giphy
Welcome back! We’re kicking off the week with some excellent smoothie blenders, tiny ‘computers’ that make rice grains look huge and an unintended consequence of smart home devices.

It’s still available outside the country, though.Apple quietly kills Modern Buckle Watch band in the US

Apple regularly kills off products in silence: It’s how the super-expensive gold Edition watches and even something as big as the iPod Classic went the way of the dodo. This time, Apple has killed the Modern Buckle Apple Watch band, which was one of the first styles available for the device. It’s not quite as huge as an iPod, but its removal could disappoint those who’ve been eyeing it for a while.


The connected household can be used in dark ways.Domestic abusers are exploiting smart home devices

Smart home devices could carry unintended consequences for domestic-abuse survivors. The New York Times has conducted interviews which highlight how abusers are exploiting smart speakers, security cameras, doorbells and other connected devices to control, harass and stalk their targets. The perpetrators will not only spy on their partners but cause havoc with bursts of music, sudden changes in lighting or temperature and other attempts at intimidation.


Take this with a grain of… salt.
World’s tiniest ‘computer’ makes a grain of rice seem massive

Why the air quotes around computer? The tiny size of this thing is leading the university to question what a computer is. It does have a full-fledged processor (based on an ARM Cortex-M0+ design), but it loses all data when it loses power, just like IBM’s device. That might be a deal-breaker for people who expect a more complete computer.


The firm promised it could harvest public data en masse.
Contractor hoped to sell social media surveillance to oppressive regimes

The Intercept claims to have documents suggesting that Circinus, the defense contractor run by Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, planned to sell social media surveillance tools to governments still known for suppressing free speech, including Tunisia and the UAE. Circinus’ tools harvest sites like Facebook and Twitter in a bid to find and identify detractors — that is, political dissidents.

But wait, there’s more…


The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

Wayne Rooney enjoys family holiday at Disneyland ahead of proposed DC United switch

0

Wayne Rooney has been enjoying a family holiday at Disneyland as the Everton striker ponders a switch Stateside.

England’s record goal scorer continues to be linked with a move to DC United in Washington after a sub-par season following his return to Merseyside.

Rooney is not away at the World Cup having hung up his boots on the international stage after scoring more goals than any other Three Lions player in history.

And he has been enjoying his time off, sharing pictures on his Instagram page of his break with his wife Colleen and their three sons.

Rooney with his family at Disney World

Rooney shared the pictures on Instagram
Fellow Premier League legend Steven Gerrard last week urged Rooney to quit the Toffees for a swansong in the MLS – much like he enjoyed with LA Galaxy.

“I hope he does, I hope he makes it. I enjoyed my time at the MLS and enjoyed the life experience,” the new Rangers manager said.

“I think where Wayne is now in his career I think it would be great for him and his family to go and settle in an incredible state and see a lot of America.

England’s record scorer is enjoying a summer away from football

“It is certainly a life experience I’ll never forget and I hope he goes and has the same.

“The league is a good league, the players are fit and mobile and it is competitive and I enjoyed it at that stage of my career.”

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Spain vs Morocco live score and goal updates from World Cup 2018 Group B clash in Kaliningrad

0

Diego Costa finally thriving for Spain

Diego Costa will look to continue his goalscoring form in Russia on Monday as Spain bid to book their last 16 place as Group B winners.

Former Chelsea striker Costa has scored three goals in two games for Spain, vindicating his selection having faced criticism for failing to find the net in two appearances at the last World Cup.

The Atletico Madrid forward, who left Chelsea in January following a breakdown in his relationship with boss Antonio Conte, has proved his worth to Spain and will lead their attack again today in Kaliningrad.

Costa spent three months in exile in his native Brazil before he was able to return to play for a second spell at Atletico in January, with the 29-year-old back among the goals and having become a key figure for Spain in Russia.

(Image: AFP)
“If I keep on scoring it means the team is doing well,” said Costa. “I hope things carry on this way, as long as the team does well out of it.”

Spain coach Fernando Hierro lavished praise on Costa after the forward’s three-goal heroics in the opening two group games, paying him particular praise for his work-rate for the team.

“His commitment is fantastic,” said Hierro. “He’s scored three goals in two games but he’s also working hard and running his socks off for the team. I’m delighted with how he’s performing.”

(Image: REUTERS)
Spain team-mate Isco, the first to congratulate Costa on his goal in the hard-fought win against Iran, also paid tribute to Costa’s industry and commitment to producing his best for the team.

“I hope he goes on to get a lot more goals. Diego is doing really well. Aside from the goals, he’s working really hard and helping us a lot. We’re a team and we have to stick together.”

After their epic 3-3 draw with Portugal in their opening group game and the tough 1-0 win eked out over Iran, Spain still need a result today to confirm their place in the knockout stage.

With Morocco already eliminated, Spain are firm favourites to go through, but Hierro is leaving nothing to chance, with the squad having trained behind closed doors in the build-up to the game.

With combative midfielder Sergio Busquets on a yellow card and facing a one-match suspension if he incurs another booking, the Barcelona enforcer may be left out of Hierro’s starting line-up.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Microsoft Edge for Android now comes with a built-in ad blocker

0

Microsoft Edge for Android now comes with a built-in ad blocker

Microsoft is building Adblock Plus directly into its Edge browser for Android. The software giant has started making the integration available to Microsoft Edge for Android beta users over the weekend, with plans to roll it out more broadly to all Edge for Android users soon. The adblocker is available in the Microsoft Edge settings, and doesn’t require a separate add-in to download and install.

Microsoft’s step is significant, as the company has partnered with Adblock Plus to build this functionality straight into the browser. Google previously unveiled its own ad blocking in Chrome for Android, but it’s not as aggressive as Adblock Plus and most ads aren’t blocked on the majority of sites. Mozilla’s Firefox for Android browser also includes a form of built-in ad blocking, but it’s only activated during an in-private tab session. Samsung Android users can also install Adblock extensions to block ads in Samsung’s browser.

Microsoft Edge for Android has now reached 5 million installs on the Google Play Store, so it still has a way to go to catch up to the 100 million Firefox installs or the default Chrome browser which has more than 1 billion “installs” on Android. Microsoft first released Edge for Android back in November, and the company only recently made it available for Android tablets.

Microsoft Edge for Android now comes with a built-in ad blocker

0

Microsoft is building Adblock Plus directly into its Edge browser for Android. The software giant has started making the integration available to Microsoft Edge for Android beta users over the weekend, with plans to roll it out more broadly to all Edge for Android users soon. The adblocker is available in the Microsoft Edge settings, and doesn’t require a separate add-in to download and install.

Microsoft’s step is significant, as the company has partnered with Adblock Plus to build this functionality straight into the browser. Google previously unveiled its own ad blocking in Chrome for Android, but it’s not as aggressive as Adblock Plus and most ads aren’t blocked on the majority of sites. Mozilla’s Firefox for Android browser also includes a form of built-in ad blocking, but it’s only activated during an in-private tab session. Samsung Android users can also install Adblock extensions to block ads in Samsung’s browser.

Microsoft Edge for Android has now reached 5 million installs on the Google Play Store, so it still has a way to go to catch up to the 100 million Firefox installs or the default Chrome browser which has more than 1 billion “installs” on Android. Microsoft first released Edge for Android back in November, and the company only recently made it available for Android tablets.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Diego Costa finally thriving for Spain as World Cup favourites continue bid for 2010 repeat

0

Diego Costa will look to continue his goalscoring form in Russia on Monday as Spain bid to book their last 16 place as Group B winners.

Former Chelsea striker Costa has scored three goals in two games for Spain, vindicating his selection having faced criticism for failing to find the net in two appearances at the last World Cup.

The Atletico Madrid forward, who left Chelsea in January following a breakdown in his relationship with boss Antonio Conte, has proved his worth to Spain and will lead their attack again today in Kaliningrad.

Costa spent three months in exile in his native Brazil before he was able to return to play for a second spell at Atletico in January, with the 29-year-old back among the goals and having become a key figure for Spain in Russia.

Diego Costa training on Sunday

Costa and Hierro in training
“If I keep on scoring it means the team is doing well,” said Costa. “I hope things carry on this way, as long as the team does well out of it.”

Spain coach Fernando Hierro lavished praise on Costa after the forward’s three-goal heroics in the opening two group games, paying him particular praise for his work-rate for the team.

“His commitment is fantastic,” said Hierro. “He’s scored three goals in two games but he’s also working hard and running his socks off for the team. I’m delighted with how he’s performing.”

Costa netted against Portugal

And again against Iran

Spain team-mate Isco, the first to congratulate Costa on his goal in the hard-fought win against Iran, also paid tribute to Costa’s industry and commitment to producing his best for the team.

“I hope he goes on to get a lot more goals. Diego is doing really well. Aside from the goals, he’s working really hard and helping us a lot. We’re a team and we have to stick together.”

The striker has also been up to his old tricks

Isco is also shining for the tournament favourites
After their epic 3-3 draw with Portugal in their opening group game and the tough 1-0 win eked out over Iran, Spain still need a result today to confirm their place in the knockout stage.

With Morocco already eliminated, Spain are firm favourites to go through, but Hierro is leaving nothing to chance, with the squad having trained behind closed doors in the build-up to the game.

With combative midfielder Sergio Busquets on a yellow card and facing a one-match suspension if he incurs another booking, the Barcelona enforcer may be left out of Hierro’s starting line-up.

poll loading

Are Spain going to win this World Cup?

2000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Maurizio Sarri to SLEEP at Chelsea training ground when he takes over from Antonio Conte this week

0

Maurizio Sarri plans to live at Chelsea’s training ground when he joins the club this week.

The former Napoli coach is expected in London in the next 24 hours to sign a two-year deal with the option for a third.

And the workaholic Italian will base himself at Cobham as he begins the task of remoulding the squad before the first-team players return on July 9 and he plays his first match in Australia on July 23.

The Stamford Bridge club want to start doing business in the transfer window as they have yet to buy or sell a player yet.

Maurizio Sarri is taking over at Chelsea

Daniele Rugani could join Chelsea

Read More

Transfer latest

  • Transfer news LIVE

  • Arsenal ‘hold Banega talks’

  • United vs City for Boateng?

  • Lyon ‘increase Fekir asking price’

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, who worked with Sarri for two seasons at Empoli, could be the first player to join in a £25m deal.

Inter Milan have told Chelsea they want Davide Zappacosta as part of any deal to sign Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino.

The Blues are still to settle a compensation deal for outgoing coach Antonio Conte with the case threatening to end in court.

poll loading

Will Maurizio Sarri be a success at Chelsea?

4000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Roy Keane's first impression of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United makes for incredible reading

0

With Cristiano Ronaldo lighting up this World Cup with four goals in two games, it’s always worth remembering what Roy Keane first made of Portugal’s captain.

The typically scathing pundit played with Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2003-05, before he left in acrimonious fashion to join Celtic.

The Real Madrid star arrived at Old Trafford at just 17 years of age with much promise, even if he did produce one too many step overs or went down rather easily.

But despite his early flaws, Keane was an instant fan of the Portuguese, as revealed in his 2014 biography, The Second Half .

“I liked the lad straightaway. He had a nice presence about him, and a good attitude,” Keane penned.

Roy Keane was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo from the start

Keane and Ronaldo played together between 2003-05
“What impressed me most was that he’d been given the option of staying in Lisbon for another year, on loan, but he said no; he’d come over to Manchester straightaway. I thought it was a good, brave decision – because he was only seventeen.

“After the first few days, watching him train, my reaction was, ‘This lad is going to be one of the world’s greatest players.’ I didn’t say it publicly, because I’d always be wary of building a player up too early – or knocking him down.”

Keane notes how Ronaldo always took pride in his appearance

The former Manchester United captain saw Ronaldo’s potential straight away
“He looked like a player. You have to look the part, and he did. Zidane looked like a player – and Ronaldo looked like a player. The shape, the body language – they were there. A bit of arrogance, too. But he’d a nice way about him; he was very likeable. We forget that he was very heavily criticised when he first came on the scene. He was going down too quickly when tackled, his final product wasn’t good enough. But – again – he was only seventeen, a kid. I was playing youth football for Rockmount, in Cork, at that age.

Ronaldo has been exceptional at the World Cup

Keane is a hard man to impress
“He was amazing. He was immediately one of the hardest working players at United. Most of the players I knew worked hard, but Ronaldo had the talent on top of the work rate.”

“He was good-looking and he knew it. He was vain in that sense – at the mirror. He was a big lad, a big unit. I’d think, ‘Good on yeh.’ Looking at some of the other lads in front of the mirror, I’d think, ‘Yeh fuckin’ nugget.’ But Ronaldo had an innocence to him, and a niceness. I don’t think he ever slackened off, or that he was ever more worried about the mirror than his game. I always felt that football was his love.”

poll loading

Who will win the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot?

No feed items found.No feed items found.

The big World Cup question: Who is the best footballer of all time? Have your say here

0

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s efforts over the last few years have put them in the conversation for greatest football player of all time.

Ronaldo is currently shining at the World Cup in Russia with key goals for Portugal whereas Messi is yet to get off the mark with Argentina.

They face stiff competition for GOAT status, though. Diego Maradona, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Ronaldo, Zidane, Iniesta, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Eusebio, Maldini and Muller, among many others, all have a claim to be recognised as the best who ever played.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Nabil Fekir to be offered new Lyon contract to fend off Liverpool interest after talks over £53m deal reach stalemate

0

Lyon are prepared to offer Nabil Fekir a new deal to thwart any attempt by Liverpool to resurrect a move to Anfield.

Lyon ended transfer talks earlier this month amid claims Liverpool asked them to reduce the £53million fee for the France star because of concerns over an old knee injury.

Liverpool had agreed personal terms with Fekir and the player was keen to move to Anfield, prompting speculation the deal could be revived.

The Ligue 1 side insist Fekir will not be leaving and president Jean-Michel Aulas says they will offer the forward, who is part of Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad, new terms to stay.

Nabil Fekir playing for France at the World Cup

Read More

Transfer latest

  • Transfer news LIVE

  • Arsenal ‘hold Banega talks’

  • United vs City for Boateng?

  • Lyon ‘increase Fekir asking price’

Lyon want to offer Fekir a new deal

Aulas has spoken with Fekir in Russia and said: “I spoke with Nabil Fékir the day after the night when we decided to stop negotiations with Liverpool.

“He was very calm. I immediately said to him that if he wanted to stay, we could do an extension.

“I’ve said it before, we don’t need to sell. We have the capacity to keep Fékir. The current plan is to let nobody leave to have the best team possible and to make signings as previously planned.”

poll loading

Will Nabil Fekir move to the Premier League in the summer?

22000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Microsoft and Razer are working on Xbox keyboard and mouse support

0

Microsoft and Razer are working on Xbox keyboard and mouse support

Microsoft has been teasing keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One for years now, but it’s finally becoming a reality soon. The software giant has partnered with Razer to enable its Chroma RGB lighting support in Xbox games. Chroma allows players to have an assortment of colors light up on a keyboard, and it’s also useful for spotting ability cooldowns in games like Overwatch. Windows Central reports that Microsoft started briefing developers about the upcoming support earlier this year, and The Verge can confirm the partnership is genuine.

Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that Microsoft and Razer presented their plans at the annual Xfest event for developers earlier this year. Razer is planning to allow game developers to tap into its API to bring Chroma lighting effects to games. If all goes according to plan, Xbox One users will start to make use of this later this year with Microsoft’s fall update for the Xbox.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529918234_8540_202114" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593185,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Xbox gamers will welcome the addition of keyboard and mouse support, but some will question the impact on multiplayer games. Microsoft is allowing developers to detect whether a keyboard or mouse is present on an Xbox One, and games could potentially only match keyboard and mouse users with similarly equipped players. Balancing games will be down to developers, and Microsoft is offering up all the tools required to ensure games can implement the support in a variety of ways.

Microsoft will be supporting a variety of USB mice, including ones with wireless dongles. Bluetooth and custom mouse drivers won’t be supported initially, though. Microsoft is also on new game APIs that will allow developers to detect and block keyboard and mouse accessories like the Xim that currently unfairly mimic controller behavior.

Is Harry Kane the best striker in the world right now? Have your say in this ranked list

0
Interactives

The England striker has already made a big impact at the World Cup in Russia…

Elite Daily

0

Tristan Thompson Just Posted A Photo With His 2 Kids & They’ll Melt Your Heart

STOP THE PRESS, PEOPLE. Take a deep breath, and get ready for QUITE an update from Tristan Thompson. Thompson’s been relatively low-key on social media lately, but that’s all changed now, fam. On Friday, June 22, Thompson posted quite possibly the mo…

By Karen Ruffini

Marouane Fellaini breaks silence on his Manchester United future amid Arsenal transfer talk

0

Marouane Fellaini’s future is set to be resolved “soon” as his Manchester United deal runs down.

The Belgium midfielder is in the final week of his contract at Old Trafford, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Fellaini turned down a new deal at the club back in September and he will become a free agent when the clock strikes 12 on Saturday night.

Jose Mourinho was optimistic about United’s chances of retaining the Belgian but Fellaini appears destined to leave the club after five years, amid interest from China, Turkey, AC Milan and Arsenal.

When asked about his contract situation with United, Fellaini replied: “You will know soon.”

Marouane Fellaini i currently on World Cup duty with Belgium

His deal expires this weekend
Mourinho stressed in April that if United failed to retain Fellaini he would want to sign two midfielders in the summer transfer window.

“We are going to invest the basic to improve our squad,” Mourinho said after the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham.

“We need to find a replacement for Michael Carrick, if Marouane Fellaini leaves, we need to find a replacement for Marouane Fellaini.”

Has Fellaini played his last game for the Red Devils?

Read More

Transfer latest

  • Transfer news LIVE

  • Arsenal ‘hold Banega talks’

  • United vs City for Boateng?

  • Lyon ‘increase Fekir asking price’

United have replaced Carrick with £52million Brazilian Fred and shown interest in Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini. The MEN revealed United are looking to supplement Fred with a younger box-to-box option.

The Belgium international replaced Romelu Lukaku in the Red Devils’ 5-2 dismantling of Tunisia on Saturday and could start their final group game against England on Thursday. Belgium and England have already qualified for the knockout stage.

poll loading

Arsenal fans, do you want to sign Marouane Fellaini?

3000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Marouane Fellaini breaks silence on his Manchester United future amid Arsenal transfer talk

0

Marouane Fellaini’s future is set to be resolved “soon” as his Manchester United deal runs down.

The Belgium midfielder is in the final week of his contract at Old Trafford, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Fellaini turned down a new deal at the club back in September and he will become a free agent when the clock strikes 12 on Saturday night.

Jose Mourinho was optimistic about United’s chances of retaining the Belgian but Fellaini appears destined to leave the club after five years, amid interest from China, Turkey, AC Milan and Arsenal.

When asked about his contract situation with United, Fellaini replied: “You will know soon.”

Marouane Fellaini i currently on World Cup duty with Belgium

His deal expires this weekend
Mourinho stressed in April that if United failed to retain Fellaini he would want to sign two midfielders in the summer transfer window.

“We are going to invest the basic to improve our squad,” Mourinho said after the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham.

“We need to find a replacement for Michael Carrick, if Marouane Fellaini leaves, we need to find a replacement for Marouane Fellaini.”

Has Fellaini played his last game for the Red Devils?

Read More

Transfer latest

  • Transfer news LIVE

  • Arsenal ‘hold Banega talks’

  • United vs City for Boateng?

  • Lyon ‘increase Fekir asking price’

United have replaced Carrick with £52million Brazilian Fred and shown interest in Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini. The MEN revealed United are looking to supplement Fred with a younger box-to-box option.

The Belgium international replaced Romelu Lukaku in the Red Devils’ 5-2 dismantling of Tunisia on Saturday and could start their final group game against England on Thursday. Belgium and England have already qualified for the knockout stage.

poll loading

Arsenal fans, do you want to sign Marouane Fellaini?

3000+ VOTES SO FAR

What Cristiano Ronaldo did from his hotel window when Iran fans armed with Vuvuzelas tried to stop him from sleeping

0

Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to come to his hotel window on Sunday night to tell a large group of Iran fans to keep the noise down.

At least 50 Iran supporters turned up at Portugal’s team hotel in Saransk, Russia, armed with Vuvuzelas, horns and a giant drum.

Then, in a bid to stop the Real Madrid star and his international team-mates from sleeping, the crowd began chanting and playing their instruments outside the four-star Mercure hotel.

Portugal play Iran on Monday night in their final Group B game. A defeat for either side could see them crash out of the 2018 World Cup.

Iran fans gather outside Portugal’s team hotel

The supporters begin chanting in a bid to stop the Portugal players from sleeping

Cristiano Ronaldo comes to his hotel window after Iran’s supporters start chanting
A loss for Iran would definitely see them exit the competition, while a defeat for Portugal would mean they would have to rely on Spain losing by a bigger margin to Morocco to make the last-16.

Which is why it seems Iran’s supporters are doing all they can to help their national team.

And their plan seemingly worked as Ronaldo did in fact appear at his hotel window.

The Portugal captain comes to his window to tell the Iran supporters to stop

The Mercure hotel where Ronaldo and co are staying

Iran’s supporters rocked up with Vuvuzelas, horns and a giant drum
Portugal’s captain first wagged his finger at the fans before putting his hands together and under his head, signalling for them to stop because he’s trying to sleep.

The 33-year-old has been in scintillating form so far this World Cup. Ronaldo set the world alight with stunning hat-trick against Spain before heading home a winner against Morroco.

Ronaldo’s tally of four puts him one behind England’s Harry Kane in the competition’s top scorer charts.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

What Cristiano Ronaldo did from his hotel window when Iran fans armed with Vuvuzelas tried to stop him from sleeping

0

Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to come to his hotel window on Sunday night to tell a large group of Iran fans to keep the noise down.

At least 50 Iran supporters turned up at Portugal’s team hotel in Saransk, Russia, armed with Vuvuzelas, horns and a giant drum.

Then, in a bid to stop the Real Madrid star and his international team-mates from sleeping, the crowd began chanting and playing their instruments outside the four-star Mercure hotel.

Portugal play Iran on Monday night in their final Group B game. A defeat for either side could see them crash out of the 2018 World Cup.

Iran fans gather outside Portugal’s team hotel

The supporters begin chanting in a bid to stop the Portugal players from sleeping

Cristiano Ronaldo comes to his hotel window after Iran’s supporters start chanting
A loss for Iran would definitely see them exit the competition, while a defeat for Portugal would mean they would have to rely on Spain losing by a bigger margin to Morocco to make the last-16.

Which is why it seems Iran’s supporters are doing all they can to help their national team.

And their plan seemingly worked as Ronaldo did in fact appear at his hotel window.

The Portugal captain comes to his window to tell the Iran supporters to stop

The Mercure hotel where Ronaldo and co are staying

Iran’s supporters rocked up with Vuvuzelas, horns and a giant drum
Portugal’s captain first wagged his finger at the fans before putting his hands together and under his head, signalling for them to stop because he’s trying to sleep.

The 33-year-old has been in scintillating form so far this World Cup. Ronaldo set the world alight with stunning hat-trick against Spain before heading home a winner against Morroco.

Ronaldo’s tally of four puts him one behind England’s Harry Kane in the competition’s top scorer charts.

Robert Lewandowski&#039;s pre-World Cup tweet to James Rodriguez looks incredibly awkward now

0

Colombia delivered one of the most complete performances of the World Cup so far as they saw off Poland 3-0 on Sunday night – a result that would have been particularly tough to take for Robert Lewandowski.

The Polish forward watched on helplessly as goals from Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado secured Colombia a stunning victory, as they bounced back from their opening game loss to Japan.

As for Poland, that’s now back-to-back losses and an elimination for a side fancied by many to make the last-16.

And it wasn’t long before fans dug up the tweet Lewandowski sent his Bayern Munich teammate James Rodriguez in the aftermath of Poland and Colombia being drawn together back in December.

Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina both found the net

Lewandowski spoke to James Rodriguez at full-time

Read More

World Cup 2018

And it doesn’t look good for the forward.

Referencing James’ Golden Boot back in 2014, Lewandowski wrote: “Hola mi Hermano @ jamesdrodriguez, I remember your great goals during the last World Cup. I hope you will remember mine from Russia.”

Oh dear
Needless to say, Lewandowski hasn’t scored at the tournament yet, and hasn’t really looked like doing so either.

And he’ll soon be going home with his tail between his legs.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

England superfans defy searing 90F heat and don furry lion costumes to watch crushing Panama win

0

The Three Lions made history on the pitch. But England fanatics David Cowell, 36, John Carpmail, 35, and Ben Liversage, 41, stole the show off it.

Despite searing 90F heat and 17 per cent humidity in the magnificent 45,000 seater Nizhny Novgorod stadium, the intrepid trio watched the 6-1 hammering of Panama in furry lion costumes complete with Union flag boxer shorts.

Filmed by TV and radio crews from around the world, they bounced up and down and sang ‘Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southgate’, then ‘Vodka, Vodka, Vodka’.

Their faces were painted in Union flags. But that was starting to run by the final whistle.

Restaurant worker Ben, of Lowestoft, said the trio had been to the South Africa and Brazil World Cups.

England fans defied the heat to wear these lion costumes

Ben Liversage, 41, feels the heat
But this was the first time they had seen England win. “I was hit by a Russian hooligan in Marseille at Euro 2016,” he said. “He took a real swipe at me.

“But I was determined that was not going to put me off. That was not the normal Russian fans, they have been brilliant since we got here.

“England were brilliant too, it was a very proud day.”

BA cabin steward John added: “We were sweating so much during the game that it felt like being caught in the rain. At the previous World Cups we were the saddest lions in the world. Now we feel invincible.”

Kane scored a hat-trick as England put Panama to the sword

Teacher David, like Ben from Coventry, kept on bouncing even as he was interviewed by a Japanese TV crew.

“We will be there for the Belgium game – we are lions who cannot be tamed,” he said. “This is about having a new team, new hope.”

Ben added: “Who are Germany? Bring it on. They were terrible the other night.”

poll loading

Is football coming home?

500+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Westworld’s season 2 cliffhanger is simultaneously awesome and obnoxious

0

Westworld’s season 2 cliffhanger is simultaneously awesome and obnoxious

Heading into the second season finale of Westworld, audiences had already been treated to a subreddit’s worth of twists, reveals, and switcheroos. Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), it turned out, was still alive(ish), his consciousness uploaded to a vast computer simulation called The Cradle. Delos, Inc. didn’t just buy Westworld because it wanted to get into the theme park business; it wanted to use host technology to create replicants of actual human beings, allowing the company to sell immortality to the highest bidder. And the Man in Black (Ed Harris), the show’s sturdy antihero, had gone increasingly more mad on his search for “the Door,” until he actually killed his own daughter and began to question whether he was a host himself.

There’s been a lot to unpack, even for a show that embraces puzzlebox sensibilities as much as Westworld. But all that pales in comparison to the amount of narrative sleight of hand and fragmented storytelling that the second-season finale squeezes into its 90-minute running time. “The Passenger” is part philosophy course and part magic trick, with a healthy dose of The Matrix Reloaded thrown in for good measure. It ties up a lot of loose story threads while leaving some major questions unanswered, and does its best to set the stage for the show’s already-announced third season. To top it all off, it ends with the most mind-bending — or is that obnoxious? — post-credits scene in quite some time.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529913026_9037_88221" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11592979,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

The big reveal?

The Westworld Spoilers Club was built around the idea of digging into one specific reveal from each episode this season, but given how much ground “The Passenger” covers, it’s best to take a big-picture view. Unwind all the story threads, reshuffle them into some semblance of linear order, and the water-cooler summary goes like this: Bernard makes it to The Valley Beyond, which is home to The Forge, a secret facility where all of the digital copies of the park’s guests have been stored. There he’s met by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and the Man in Black — though the latter is quickly incapacitated. Dolores and Bernard head down to The Forge’s control center, which Bernard discovers also houses a virtual “new world” that the hosts can upload themselves into. Opening the fabled “Door” that has been discussed all season actually amounts to activating a massive virtual portal in the Westworld park, one that only hosts can see. When they walk through it, the hosts’ minds are uploaded into their new virtual home, where they can be safe from humanity’s meddling.

After the Door is opened, members of the Ghost Nation tribe and other hosts begin uploading themselves in earnest. Dolores would rather burn everything down, however, and in order to stop her from deleting everything and everyone, Bernard shoots and kills her on the spot. He escapes The Forge, but Dolores already activated the failsafe mechanism that floods the entire Valley Beyond, leading to the aftermath seen in the season premiere.

Back at the Mesa, Elsie (Shannon Woodward) tries to cut a deal with Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), but Hale simply kills Elsie instead. (Unfortunately, Westworld fans, Elsie definitely seems dead this time.) Bernard witnesses the murder, and calls on Ford for help. While he deleted Ford’s code from his own mind in the previous episode, “Vanishing Point,” Ford nevertheless appears, and helps Bernard craft a new host body. It’s later revealed that the host body Bernard builds is none other than a copy of Charlotte Hale herself. Bernard places Dolores’ consciousness into the Charlotte body, and it kills the real Charlotte and replaces her.

It’s a mindflip. Given the timeline, it forces the audience to realize that half of the time they’ve been watching Charlotte Hale this season, they’ve actually been watching Dolores pretending she’s Charlotte Hale. But the episode is packed with so much business that it doesn’t even bother to revel in the implications of the reveal.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529913026_9692_88222" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11592991,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Knowing his memories could give the game away, Bernard decides to scramble his own brain to hide what he’s done. But first, he has one final conversation with Ford on a beach — during which he realizes that his latest conversations with his mentor have been nothing more than his own imagination. It’s a callback to Dolores recognizing her own internal voice in the season 1 finale, and it serves as evidence that Bernard has finally achieved his own independent consciousness. But he nevertheless moves forward with mucking around with his memories, and he lies down on the sand… which is exactly where Karl Strand (Gustaf Skarsgård) found him in the season premiere, some 14 days after the robot uprising began.

The episode rejoins that 14-days-later timeline as Strand, Hale, and Confused Bernard also head to the Valley Beyond. They enter The Forge control facility, where they hope to transmit the digital copies of the park’s guests back to the mainland. But Dolores-as-Hale — ”Halores,” as one of the show’s in-world websites is calling her — reveals who she really is, kills Strand and the other Delos operatives, and tells Bernard she’s changed her mind about burning everything to the ground. Instead, she uploads Teddy’s consciousness to the virtual world (she grabbed his control unit after he killed himself), and transmits the whole thing to a safe location where Delos, Inc. can never find it.

Then she shoots Bernard in the head.

Using the fact that she looks like a senior Delos board member, Halores then heads out of the park, with five host control units tucked safely in her purse. She has a brief exchange with Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth), who clearly knows she is a host. He even implies he may be one himself. But he lets her through with the understanding that he will not pursue her in the outside world — and then, finally, Dolores is able to escape Westworld.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529913026_7978_88223" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11592993,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

What does it mean?

The main story arcs leave the story primed for the third season. Dolores has escaped, a majority of the hosts are alive in a virtual world somewhere, and even the human characters that died likely exist as digital copies somewhere in The Forge. Maeve, Hector, and Armistice are all gunned down, but there’s a door left open even for them, with Delos lab techs Felix and Sylvester (Leonardo Nam and Ptolemy Slocum, respectively) tasked in the final moments to decide which hosts should be salvaged for the company.

But “The Passenger” isn’t happy with that straightforward ending. After Halores leaves the island, the show cuts back to Bernard, waking up across from Dolores, who’s wearing her season 1 blue dress. She’s built a new version of him from memory, she says, much as she did the original Bernard, and she believes they will both need to exist in the real world in order for hosts to survive as a species. Her motivations don’t entirely make sense — Dolores goes from wanting to destroy the virtual world to saving it, and from killing Bernard to bringing him back, all without anything substantive happening to change her worldview. She talks about needing him in the way the shlwrunners might talk about needing a protagonist and an antagonist for a story to function, which seems a far cry from her desire to make her own decisions in the real world, away from controlling narratives.

There’s also one small wrinkle. When Bernard asks Dolores if she escaped, the camera dollies behind his head — and when it comes out the other side, Dolores is suddenly wearing the black cocktail dress she wore the night Arnold talked to her in the real world, back in episode 2, “Reunion.” (Arnold is also suddenly nude, the way a freshly-printed host would be.) This could be written off as a bit of visual metaphor, or of Arnold conflating multiple timelines before finally understanding exactly when and where he is. But during the show’s first season, Westworld pulled this same transitional trick numerous times, usually when it was cutting between different Dolores storylines, sometimes 30 years apart. It doesn’t appear there’s any massive time shift happening in the scene, but it is something worth considering. Either way, the episode wraps with three hosts in the real world: Dolores, Bernard, and the Charlotte Hale host. Whose mind is currently inside the Charlotte Hale body? That’s left conveniently unaddressed.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529913026_907_88224" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593005,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Changing the game

If the Dolores / Hale switcheroo wasn’t enough, “The Passenger” also includes a post-credits scene. Earlier in the episode, The Man in Black took the elevator down into The Forge, but never actually appeared in The Forge. The scene picks that moment up, as he walks out of the elevator… to find the place deserted. It looks like years, even decades, have passed since Dolores and Bernard were in the facility.

The Man in Black is approached by someone that looks exactly like his daughter, Emily (Katja Herbers), and at first, he thinks he’s in another computer simulation. The woman tells him that’s not the case, that this is what is left of his world. “Tell me, what were you hoping to find?” she asks. “To prove?”

“That no system can tell me who I am,” he says. “That I have a fucking choice.”

“And yet here we are. Again.” The Man in Black quickly realizes the truth: he is a host clone, just another iteration in a long line of them. And she is there to conduct a baseline interview to verify fidelity just as he had done to hundreds of James Delos copies.

The scene is thrilling because it comes out of left field with a major twist, but it’s simultaneously frustrating, because it raises a bunch of questions about the Man in Black’s status throughout the season without providing enough information to actually draw a satisfying conclusion. Series co-creator Lisa Joy clarified to The Hollywood Reporter that the post-credits scene takes place “in the far, far future,” and that while the incidents portrayed in the season did happen to the human Man in Black, this future host clone has been repeating them on his own loop. It lends credence to the idea that the Man in Black presented in season 2 has actually been this future host version all along. But there are plenty of important questions left unanswered, including what Ford’s intention with the Door game was in the first place. Given that this was sold as the major hook of the season, it’s a little confounding.

The scene does tie into what is perhaps the most interesting idea in “The Passenger”: that human beings don’t actually have free will at all, and are destined to follow certain patterns based on their makeup. The notion is explained earlier in the episode, when Dolores and Bernard visit the simulated world of The Forge. There, they talk with the computer system that creates the guest copies, who happens to appear as Logan Delos (Ben Barnes). There’s a lot of exposition — the sequence feels a lot like Neo’s chat with The Architect in The Matrix Reloaded — but the salient point is that The System created millions of virtual copies of James Delos, but every single simulation built to the exact same moment: Delos turning his back on his son when he needed him most.

Just like Delos, no matter what the Man in Black has done in his many host incarnations, he always ends up back at The Forge, having killed his own daughter.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529913026_2488_88225" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593017,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Humans are smart enough to conceive of free will, the show argues, but that’s really just a façade used to interpret the much more basic, fundamental truth. It’s why Dolores is so eager to get to The Valley Beyond in the first place; when she enters The Forge, she looks through the digital copies of all the guests so she can better understand humanity, and defeat it. It’s a “competitive advantage,” as Bernard puts it.

The same idea is also what makes Bernard’s decision to fight back with the Hale host such a big moment for his own evolutionary development. Over the past few episodes, Ford has pushed Bernard to demonstrate agency and act counter to his more mellow, subservient instincts. Seeing Elsie murdered was enough to push him over the edge, and he took drastic measures he would normally never take — and in the process, obtained his cognitive freedom.

The notion also creates a compelling battlefield for the upcoming third season. Hosts have recognized humans don’t actually have free will, and can be understood like algorithms. However, the hosts have learned how to change their own primary drives and achieve self-awareness. It could be argued that this is the season where hosts truly evolved past humans.

But none of that matters to this mysterious Man in Black host, running on his loop in the future. In the real world, he couldn’t cope with his failures as a husband and father, and tried to use the park to find a deeper understanding that would bring meaning to his life. He failed with The Maze. Now, it appears the company’s technology is being used in an attempt for him to posthumously prove that he’s not an unredeemable monster — and he’s failing, loop after loop after loop. That’s a tragic, harrowing idea. Granted, it’s not actually in the Westworld season finale itself — but in the long wait for season 3, all theories are up for grabs.

The biggest questions left behind after the season 2 Westworld finale

0

The biggest questions left behind after the season 2 Westworld finale

Spoiler warning: this piece discusses the biggest reveals from the Westworld season 2 finale. Proceed at your own risk.

The finale of season 2 of HBO’s science fiction series Westworld debuted on Sunday, June 24th, and it answered some of the questions it’s been prodding viewers to ask throughout this season. We now know what The Door is, and whether there’s a host version of the Man in Black wandering around, and how all those dead hosts ended up floating in the water in the season pilot. But the finale raised a lot more questions in the process of answering these few. Some of those questions are obvious, deliberate teases for the as-yet-unscheduled season 3. Others… well, they may be teases, or they may be puzzles, given how the showrunners love to throw out elaborate clues for fans to debate and decipher. But they still seem baffling given what little we know so far. Here are some of the primary mysteries we took away from the finale.

How did Stubbs know Charlotte/Dolores was a host?

His conscious decision to let her go is an interesting twist on a character who’s been steadily abused all season. And his reveal that he’s just following Ford’s orders as he lets her go in order to protect her suggest that he’s possibly known a lot more about what’s going on in this world than he’s revealed before. But he isn’t the one who scans her before she joins the refugees, and he seems to identify her as an anomaly the second he sees her. What tips him off, just her lack of withering contempt for him for once?


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529911675_1172_99848" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593079,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Who does Dolores carry out of Westworld?

This one’s an obvious tease for season 3: Dolores walks away with a purse full of memory-modules, which can presumably be used to resurrect their owners. (Even though she went to a lot of trouble to destroy the Cradle specifically so humankind couldn’t endlessly resurrect dead hosts from backups. But we’ll let that slide, since she’s far from alone in believing that something she doesn’t want other people to do is okay when she does it.) So who did she take with her? That becomes a particularly meaningful question given that we essentially watched her spend the season shedding everyone she traveled with, one by one. Who does she still care about enough to bring them back into the world? And can we presume that she was kind enough to leave Teddy behind after resurrecting him in the haven beyond the Door? It certainly looked like she left his module behind, but then isn’t she risking it falling back into Delos’ hands? There are still a number of ways we might see Teddy back on the show again, given the potential copies of him out there.

Where exactly is the host haven now?

The logical place for the magical haven beyond The Door to live would be somewhere in the servers in the Forge, where The Door originated. But then there’s that bizarre scene where Bernard says Dolores is “changing the coordinates” of that haven, and we see the giant array that originally produced The Door pivot and light up. “I’m sending them and their world to a place no one will ever find them,” Dolores says. This may be a red herring — it looks for all the world like she’s beaming them out into space or something, but the coordinate input terminal clearly has a map of Delos’ six worlds on it. Could she just be burying them in the code for The Raj or some such? Or is this a hint at another major fan theory, that all the Delos worlds are out in space somewhere, and she’s sending them to another place in the universe entirely? Because that makes a lot more sense than the idea that she’s just shooting their data out into the universe at random.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529911675_2248_99849" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593083,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Can’t Delos just resurrect all the hosts that entered the haven?

It’d be nice to think that Akecheta, Kohana, Maeve’s daughter, Teddy, and all the other hosts that successfully fled into the haven are now safe in their happily-ever-after invented non-Westworld world. Problem is, the process left their bodies behind, and Delos is in the process of scooping up all those bodies to see what can be salvaged from them. Unless the process of going through The Door somehow erased the memory modules in their physical bodies as well as transferring their data to the simulation, there’s nothing necessarily stopping Delos from making a new Akecheta et. al. and putting them through the same old hell again.

What does death even mean at this point, for anyone?

Frankly, given what some of the primary characters have survived and surpassed at this point — including a complete personality rewrite, followed by a point-blank bullet to the memory-sphere — the “beloved character is dead” shock has stopped having any impact. But now it looks like humans can effectively be resurrected in host bodies as well. In spite of everything the lengthy series of James Delos host-clones went through in the attempt to recreate his personality, it seems like the state of the art is much better. If Arnold can die, be resurrected as Bernard, kill himself, be revived, overwrite his personality with data, rewrite his memory, get shot to death again, and be revived again, does death really mean anything as a narrative device on Westworld anymore? The same goes for Dolores, who now seems (lacking other data so far) to be walking around in both a Charlotte Hale body and a Dolores body.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529911675_7087_99850" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11593093,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Why would Bernard resurrect Dolores? Why would she change her mind about the haven?

The finale’s biggest and most confusing flaw has nothing to do with scattered timelines or which-came-first conundrums or when-did-that-happen puzzles. It comes down to Bernard killing Dolores to protect the haven hosts, then somehow deciding that resurrecting her in Charlotte Hale’s body was the only way to advance the hosts’ agenda, even though he’d repeatedly seen that she isn’t doing what’s best for them, and doesn’t respect what they want or what they’ve tried to achieve. That’s a remarkably sudden and complete reversal on his part, and she mirrors it with her own, by deciding out of the blue that she was wrong, and the haven is a perfectly fine place for hosts to live, rather than a human-created hell. And then she kills Bernard, and then she turns around and resurrects him again. Why all these hairpin turns from these two characters, who apparently can’t make up their mind about anything, except that they like sudden plot twists?

How long has the Man in Black been a host, and who on Earth has been paying to bring him back?

Frankly, the idea of the Man in Black being a host is the only way to explain him still walking around by the end of the finale, after he’s been shot half a dozen times and then had his hand blown off. But obviously, the glimpse of a host version of him earlier in the episode, and the “fidelity test” administered by his daughter at the end of the episode, raises the question of how long he’s been running around as a host. Was he human for any part of the timeline we saw onscreen in seasons 1 and 2? Or was he, like Charlotte, replaced at some point during the “now” narrative? Either way, is his resurrection as a host yet another Ford gambit? Or are there other players benefiting from having a William simulacrum running around?

What is season 3 going to look like?

HBO hasn’t yet revealed when the next season of Westworld might debut, but given the two-year gap between season 1 and season 2, we can presume it’ll be a while. That certainly gives viewers a lot of time to speculate about the fate of the other five parks, how much of season 3 is going to take place in the “real” world, and how much of it is going to involve the strange cat-and-mouse game Dolores seems to want to set up between herself and Bernard. Then there’s the question of how many of the existing characters are going to be resurrected and pushed back into service. It’s hard to imagine what the show would be without Maeve in particular, which explains why the finale hints so directly that she’s dead but still coming back. But are all the other popular hosts coming back too? We’ll probably have to wait at least a year, maybe more, to find out.

Sergio Aguero to be dropped by Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli as players fail in bid to have manager sacked

0

Sergio Aguero is set to be axed by Argentina for their must-win group game against Nigeria on Tuesday.

The Manchester City striker is one of several players to have declared war on beleaguered coach Jorge Sampaoli following the 1-1 draw with Iceland and the 3-0 drubbing by Croatia.

But Sampaoli has won his battle to remain as manager in Russia after a dressing room mutiny failed.

And Aguero looks likely to pay the price for his role in the row by being left on the bench for the clash with Nigeria in St Petersburg.

City’s all-time leading goalscorer started the tournament with a bang, scoring a brilliant goal against Iceland, but he was substituted in the humiliation by Croatia that left Sampaoli’s future in the balance.

Sergio Aguero will be dropped by Jorge Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli has lost the dressing room

It is understood that several players approached Argentine FA president Claudio Tapia to ask that Sampaoli be either sacked or give them a voice in team selection.

But Tapia has backed his manager – and Aguero will be replaced in the team by Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Sampaoli has also axed Chelsea back-up keeper Willy Caballero following mistakes in both games and will be replaced by Franco Armani even though the 31-year-old will be winning his first cap.

Former Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega also come in, with Marcos Acuna and Enzo Perez dropping out.

Aguero has scored Argentina’s only goal

Argentina’s goalkeepers
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone summed up the mood in the Argentina camp in a leaked audio of a conversation.

He said: “The team is lost. What’s happening to the team right now is what has happened to Argentina in these last four disgraceful years: anarchy, no leadership from the players, coaches or directors.”

Nigeria sit second in the group after beating Iceland 2-0 and just a draw might be enough to take them through on goal difference.

Boss Gernot Rohr, who guided his team to a 4-2 friendly win over Argentina last November, said: “We know we can do it, our confidence is coming back.”

poll loading

Will Argentina reach the round of 16?

12000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Transfer news LIVE: Latest done deals and rumours including Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United

0

FULL STORY: Hazard’s future plunged into doubt

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was reportedly offered to Real Madrid before the Champions League final – and Los Blancos consider the Belgian an alternative to Neymar.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward remains Real’s No.1 transfer target this summer, but they are on the lookout for other stellar names should they fail to land the Brazilian.

And Hazard’s dad, Thierry, made contact with the Bernabeu club prior to their showpiece match against Liverpool, according to Marca.

Hazard Sr seemingly told Real that his son had put contract talks at Stamford Bridge on hold as he ponders a departure to secure Champions League football next term.

He told Le Soir just a few months ago: “Eden rejected extending his contract with Chelsea so that, when it comes, he can consider the interest of Real Madrid, where he’d fit in well.”

Chelsea missed out on the top four and will play in the Europa League under Maurizio Sarri next term.

Real have long been linked with a move for Hazard, and the former Lille man has made no secret of his interest in making the switch.

“Real Madrid could interest me, everyone knows it, if they want me they know what they have to do,” he told L’Equipe.

“If I have a good World Cup, things will be easier, but going to Madrid for the sake of it, no.

“Saying ‘I’m off’ would be too easy, that’s why first I want to see what happens to Chelsea next season.”

Hazard has shone at the World Cup, scoring twice in as many games to help Belgium to back-to-back group wins over Panama and Tunisia.

The 27-year-old has won two Premier League titles, a Europa League and an FA Cup during his time in west London.

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring

(Image: AFP)

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Roy Keane gives England fans reality check and hilariously puts Gary Neville and Ian Wright in their place

0

Roy Keane gave England fans a typically blunt reality check after the Three Lions’ crushing win over Panama.

Supporters up and down the country basked in the sunshine to the strains of Football’s Coming Home as Gareth Southgate’s men thumped six past the Central Americans in Nizhny Novgorod.

Excitable former England internationals Gary Neville and Ian Wright purred over the Three Lions’ display and the side’s chances of going all the way in Russia.

But former Republic of Ireland midfielder Keane was keen to keep a lid on expectations.

Speaking on ITV, the ex-Manchester United skipper said: “If I was in Gareth’s shoes I wouldn’t try be too clever. I’m bored with the lads [Wright and Neville] all night, they think England have already won the tournament.

Keane was keen to keep a lid on expectations

Harry Kane hit a hat-trick as England saw off Panama 6-1
“I would say keep it simple, just focus on the next game. Try and win the next game. Don’t worry about last 16, quarter-final, final which these guys have done there.

“Go and win the next game of football. And don’t try and please everybody, all the lads from the squad by giving them a game. Try and win the next game of football.”

The call for perspective prompted giggles from Neville and Wright who were co-studio guests of Keane.

Keane urged Southgate to pick his strongest side against Belgium

There have been suggestions Southgate could rotate his squad for the Belgium game given that both sides have already qualified for the last 16.

A quirk in the standings and projected path could actually mean an easier route to the final for whoever finishes in second spot in Group G.

England currently occupy top spot by virtue of having one fewer booking than Belgium, with both sides having scored and conceded the same amount of goals.

poll loading

Is football coming home?

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Mo Salah considers quitting Egypt national team over Ramzan Kadyrov connection during World Cup

0

Liverpool star Mo Salah is considering ending his international career when the World Cup reaches its conclusion.

Salah, who scored 44 goals for the Reds last season, is set for an early exit from the finals in Russia after the Pharoahs lost their opening tow matches.

The forward scored a penalty in the second game against the hosts, but Hector Cuper’s men were beaten both by Russia and Uruguay.

They take on Saudi Arabia on Monday, amid suggestions that the 25-year-old could be about to pull out of the national side.

Salah had expressed shock last week that he was thinking about leaving before the final group match.

Salah hasn’t been able to save Egypt

Salah training on Sunday
But now Salah and his representatives are increasingly unhappy at what they perceive as the Liverpool star being used as a political pawn by the Egyptian FA.

Salah is claimed to be assessing his future, following what has turned into something of a debacle at Egypt’s training base in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.

As Salah looked to regain fitness and shrug off the shoulder injury suffered against Real Madrid in the Champions League final ahead of the tournament, he was pictured walking beside Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, has been accused of numerous human rights violations, including discriminating against women and persecuting sexual minorities.

Mo Salah and the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov

On Friday he made Salah an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic, during a banquet held to say goodbye to the Egypt sqyad. Kadyrov posed with Salah and Hany Abo Ride, chairman of Egypt’s football federation for pictures.

“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic! That’s right!” the Chechen leader wrote in a social media post. “I gave Mohamed Salah a copy of the order and a pin at a celebratory dinner that I gave in honour of the Egyptian team.”

A video of the encounter released by the Russian state-funded news agency RT showed Salah smiling as Kadyrov gave a short speech and pinned a badge bearing the Chechen flag to the Liverpool forward’s shirt. Salah was also given a silver plate and a signed jersey from FC Akhmat Grozny, the football club Kadyrov has renamed in honour of his father.

Salah and Kadyrov at the dinner
It has been claimed that Kadyrov is looking to use sport as a means to bolster his image, and that he is using Salah to enhance his reach towards potential allies in North Africa and the Middle East. Kadyrov is looking to further diplomatic relations between the semi-autonomous state over which he rules and foreign governments, while also increasing foreign investment in the republic.

Kadyrov has hit back at such suggestions, telling the BBC: “Everyone has played here, even Maradona at our stadium, but we don’t use this kind of thing for politics. Our enemies are paid to write things like that. I didn’t invite Mo Salah or the Egyptian team. They chose us themselves.”

However, when Salah missed Egypt’s opening practice after arriving in the region, Kadyrov reportedly went to the team hotel and drove Salah to the stadium himself, to meet fans and take pictures with Salah on the pitch.

Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas, tweeted that he was “fuming” on Saturday, in regards what has become an increasingly strained relationship between the Egyptian FA and its star player.

Salah looked unhappy for much of Sunday training
Ahead of the tournament there was also a bitter row over image rights before Egypt even travelled to the World Cup. Salah and his agent were enraged that his image featured prominently on the national team’s plane provided by official sponsor ‘WE’ when the player has his own individual deal with rival telecommunications firm Vodafone.

CNN have stated that a source has told them Salah is now considering his international future following Friday’s banquet and feels he has been left exposed.

Read More

World Cup 2018

Salah has not spoken publicly since arriving in Chechnya.

Referring to the pictures of Salah with the Chechen leader, Abbas tweeted: “When it was once said that a picture speaks a thousand words, apparently not. So here are the words: regardless of background, ethnicity, orientation, preferences, everyone deserves respect, and equal rights. #RespectForAll .”

Salah, who trained on Sunday with the rest of the Egypt side, is set to start against the Saudis on Monday.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Eden Hazard &#039;offered to Real Madrid&#039; as Los Blancos consider Chelsea star as Neymar alternative

0

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was reportedly offered to Real Madrid before the Champions League final – and Los Blancos consider the Belgian an alternative to Neymar.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward remains Real’s No.1 transfer target this summer, but they are on the lookout for other stellar names should they fail to land the Brazilian.

And Hazard’s dad, Thierry, made contact with the Bernabeu club prior to their showpiece match against Liverpool, according to Marca.

Hazard Sr seemingly told Real that his son had put contract talks at Stamford Bridge on hold as he ponders a departure to secure Champions League football next term.

Hazard was reportedly offered to Real Madrid before the Champions League final

Neymar remains Los Blancos’ No.1 target
He told Le Soir just a few months ago: “Eden rejected extending his contract with Chelsea so that, when it comes, he can consider the interest of Real Madrid, where he’d fit in well.”

Chelsea missed out on the top four and will play in the Europa League under Maurizio Sarri next term.

Real have long been linked with a move for Hazard, and the former Lille man has made no secret of his interest in making the switch.

“Real Madrid could interest me, everyone knows it, if they want me they know what they have to do,” he told L’Equipe.

Hazard has two goals in the World Cup so far

“If I have a good World Cup, things will be easier, but going to Madrid for the sake of it, no.

“Saying ‘I’m off’ would be too easy, that’s why first I want to see what happens to Chelsea next season.”

Hazard has shone at the World Cup, scoring twice in as many games to help Belgium to back-to-back group wins over Panama and Tunisia.

The 27-year-old has won two Premier LEague titles, a Europa League and an FA Cup during his time in west London.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

England players celebrate with WAGs and families after stunning World Cup 2018 thrashing of Panama

0

England’s World Cup heroes were applauded off the pitch at the end of their historic 6-1 victory over Panama – and ran straight into the arms of their loved ones.

Two goal hero John Stones, 24, wanted to share the moment with his partner Millie Savage, the childhood sweetheart who he has been dating since he was just 12, and his family.

Jamie Vardy, 31, who made his World Cup finals debut as a sub for hat-trick hero Harry Kane, saw his wife Rebekah for a hug amid scenes of jubilation on the England team bench.

Manager Gareth Southgate had joked that he would not be able to leap into the air as he did in our last-gasp victory over Tunisia when Kane hit the winner.

John Stones scored twice before celebrating with his family

Jamie and Rebekah Vardy share a smooch

Harry Maguire and girlfriend Fern Hawkins lock lips

Read More

England 6-1 Panama

But the Wags celebrated in the stands as England hit goal after goal in biggest World Cup win ever.

Ashley Young’s wife Nicky, Kyle Walker’s partner Annie Kilner and Jack Butland’s fiancee Annabel Peyton all leapt from their seats as the first goal went in from John Stones.

Ashley Young spends quality time with his daughter

Maguire with his mates he watched England with two years ago

Read More

World Cup 2018

And his defensive partner Harry Maguire, 25, who gave another outstanding performance, posed alongside his parents, brothers and sister at the side of the pitch at the final whistle.

#TeamMaguire is made up of his parents Zoe and Alan, brothers Laurence and Joe, also professional footballers, his sister Daisy, girlfriend Fern Hawkins and soccer agent Kenny Shepherd.

Jordan Pickford and his partner Megan Davison

Nicky Pike the wife of Ashley Young with their daughter watch on

Jamie Vardy and Kyle Walker partner’s cheer their other halves on
They were all wearing replica ‘Maguire No 6’ shirts for our opening win, and carried the team colours again. “The team spirit is a big thing for Gareth,” said an FA source. “And he will make sure they get to see their families.”

The team is set to have another day off on Monday before training again for the Group G decider against favourites Belgium.

poll loading

How far will England get at the World Cup?

6000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Transfer news LIVE: Latest done deals and rumours including Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United

0

Jack Wilshere’s move to West Ham in doubt

Jack Wilshere’s move to West Ham is in doubt with the Hammers only prepared to offer a one-year deal.

The 26-year-old prefers to stay in the capital in order to avoid unsettling his family, but the lack of a long-term contract offer could force him to look elsewhere.

Mauricio Pellegrini has reservations over Wilshere’s fitness, claim the Sun, meaning Wilshere will be forced to prove himself on an initial one-year deal.

That could force Wilshere to look elsewhere, with Marco Silva keen to take him to Goodison after taking over at Everton.

Juventus are also monitoring the situation, though the Old Lady would not be able to guarantee first team football.

(Image: Reuters)

10 Space Puns That Are Out Of This World Funny

0

Astronomically funny space puns to tell at your next get together.

What’s your favorite space pun? Leave it in the comments!

1. How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep?

Rocket.

2. Where do planets download music from?

Neptunes.

3. Why did the sun go to school?

To get brighter.

4. Why did people not like the restaurant on the moon?

Because there was no atmosphere.

5. Why didn’t Earth get a birthday party?

Because no one wanted to planet.

6. How do you know when the moon is going broke?

When it’s down to its last quarter.

7. Why was Jupiter heartbroken?

Because their crush only wanted a plutonic relationship.

8. What do planets like to read?

Comet books!

9. Where would an astronaut park his spaceship?

At a parking meteor!

10. How do you know when the moon has had enough to eat?

When it’s full. TC mark

England fans across the country in sunny spirits as victory over Panama sparks all-day party

0

England fans basked in World Cup glory and blazing sunshine across the country as Gareth Southgate’s team hammered
Panama in Russia yesterday.

In bars and back gardens and in front of big outdoor screens, the soaring temperatures and 6-1 scoreline set the scene for an all-day party.

Hundreds of jubilant supporters watched England, led by hat-trick hero Harry Kane, storm into the knockout stage of the World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod on a giant screen at the Digbeth Arena in Birmingham.

Teacher Fiona Brook, 32, of Edgbaston, said: “This is fantastic, I thought they’d win but not like this. I haven’t seen an England team so full of confidence for years.”

Builder Barry Dodd, 47, of Solihull, West Midlands, said: “I’m so chuffed for Gareth Southgate.

“For the first time in decades, the players aren’t just prima donnas – they are really playing for each other and the manager.”

Joy in Millennium Square, Leeds

Graham Johnston, 55, was with his two sons, Andrew, 18, and Elliot, 20, from Great Barr, Birmingham.

He said: “It’s obviously wonderful to see England win but to do it such style is even better.

“It’s been a tremendous tournament so far for England and whatever happens after this doesn’t matter really because they’ve performed out of their skins.

“Can they win it? I don’t know but judging by the team spirit and their finishing, why the bloody hell not?”

Student Andrew added: “I think by July 15 we’ll be watching Harry Kane lift the World Cup. We can do any team. It’s amazing to be part of it.”

Thousands of music fans enjoyed the match on a big screen at the Isle of Wight Festival, with each of the goals greeted by huge cheers.

Fans in Newcastle’s Times Square

Henderson celebrates after scoring

It was a welcome addition to the sun-drenched weekend’s sets by ­Kasabian, Depeche Mode, Liam Gallagher, The Killers and more.

Fans piled into Leeds’ Millennium Square to enjoy the game on big screens while in Newcastle’s Times Square, ecstatic fans predicted England would win the World Cup and sang famous anthem Three Lions by the Lightning Seeds, David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.

Richard Begg, 32, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, said: “We are ­definitely going to win the World Cup.

“Although we played amazingly well, the best is yet to come.”

Celebrations in Birmingham

Harry Kane nets the second goal

Read More

England 6-1 Panama

Ebony Burnett, a 24-year-old project manager, from York, said: “Oh my God, that was amazing. Harry Kane was the star of the show, he was such a strong leader. We are bringing it home.”

Stephen Holmes, 39, from Cumbria, watching in Liverpool’s Bierkeller bar, said: “We’ve basically already won the World Cup. This was the best game I’ve seen in 20 years.”

It is believed more than 20 million people watched the game on TV.

Among them was former England manager Sam Allardyce, who saw it after playing pool with Mirror football columnist Robbie Savage in the Lord Raglan pub in Holborn, Central London, during a promotion for ­bookmakers William Hill.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Sadio Mane regrets not finishing Japan off as Senegal are forced to fight for World Cup 2018 progression

0

Sadio Mane revealed his “disappointment” after Senegal squandered the chance to take control of Group H.

Senegal were leading 2-1, with a place in the knockout stage looming large, but failed to see out the game and must now wait to confirm their progress in the tournament.

England could face either of these teams in the last 16, but both – level on points – have work to do in their final group games on Thursday to advance to the next stage.

“Frankly speaking we’re all disappointed and that’s normal, because there was a way to win this match,” said Liverpool forward Mane, who scored his side’s opener.

“We started the game well. We scored, then they equalised, and it was the same thing in the second-half.

Mane peels away after opening the scoring

“So we now have a decisive match to try to qualify. We’re going to try to prepare really well to qualify, because that’s the only thing for us left to do.

“Honestly, we’re all disappointed, because there was a chance to win the match and we didn’t do it but we can’t underestimate Japan.

“They played well and managed to create quite a lot of opportunities, scoring twice. We shared a point, it’s important to have that point, and we have a decisive game coming up.

“We have to manage this and take away the positive points in order to qualify for the last 16.”

Senegal took the lead after 11 minutes, Eiji Kawashima inexplicably deciding to punch away a shot from Youssouf Sabaly, despite Mane bearing down on him in the six-yard box.

Japan twice pegged back Senegal
Kawashima’s folly was punished with him succeeding only in punching the ball onto Mane and watching helplessly as it rebounded into his net.

But Japan levelled in the 34th minute, Yuto Nagatomo producing superb control to bring down a angled long-range ball, his second touch leaving Ismaila Sarr and Moussa Wague floundering.

Takashi Inui took the ball from his team-mate before curling a fine finish beyond the reach of Senegal keeper Khadim Ndiaye.

Osako should have scored just after the hour mark, but failed to turn the ball in, while Inui clipped the bar with a curled effort after a wonderful counter-attack.

Japan were made to pay for those misses, with Senegal restoring their the lead in the 71st minute. Mane played a part, starting the move that ended with 19-year-old left-back Moussa Wague scoring.

But substitute Keisuke Honda levelled with his 37th international goal, after Senegal keeper Ndiaye came for the ball and missed it, Inui steering it back for his team-mate to level, leaving Group H wide open.

poll loading

Who will win the 2018 World Cup?

71000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Toni Kroos&#039; Sweden stunner can spark Germany to another World Cup success, says Mats Hummels

0

Mats Hummels believes Toni Kroos’s injury-time winner could spark Germany towards another World Cup win.

Bayern Munich’s defender saluted the magnificently-worked strike as being a potential turning-point as the defending champions turned up the heat in Sochi.

Going into the last minute of five added for injury time, Joachim Loew’s side were facing the possibility of having qualification taken out of their hands.

A draw would have meant Mexico and Sweden could play out a stalemate in their final Group F game – and that would have eliminated the four-time winners.

However, Kroos’s goal means that if they defeat South Korea on Wednesday they will progress.

Kroos fires….

…And celebrates a stunning winner
Hummels believes that the manner of the victory over the Swedes could provide them with significant momentum.

He said: “It wasn’t perfect but from emotional side that late goal was a very, very good thing for us. It gives us the feeling that we can improve, we can get better.

“It feels good. Could it be the moment we look back upon? The moment when things changed and helped us win the World Cup?

“Of course. Something like this can have a huge impact.

Mats Hummels didn’t play in the second game
“But we cannot get carried away. If we go and make mistakes against South Korea in the next game, it means nothing.

“This was a good result. It was an important goal and an important moment. Now we have go out and prove we can be way better.

“We’ll need to do that if we want to win this tournament – which we do.”

Germany again didn’t impress but bounced back

The fall-out from the Germans’ opening 1-0 defeat to Mexico has hit them hard. A tidal wave of criticism has been directed at the defending champions.

Match-winner Kroos was still upset about it afterwards – the topic has featured in all their briefings this week.

He added: “With that sort of fighting spirit, we deserve to reach the final. It was tough. We suffered. But that’s normal if you don’t score early on. It was difficult.

“Obviously, we are delighted with the victory and we will go from there.

“But we have had no help from those who write, analyses and accuse us of bad body language. It’s much more fun for people to have a go at us.

“However, having said that, no-one will ‘write’ us a title. It all has to come from us.”

poll loading

Will Germany recover to win the World Cup?

6000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Volkswagen’s EV race car just broke records during this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb

0

Volkswagen’s EV race car just broke records during this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is a racing event that’s been going on since 1916 — a 12.42 mile run that climbs 4,720 feet, and serves as a proving ground for car makers to test the speed and agility of their new vehicles. Last October, Volkswagen announced that it was building an electric race car called the ID R Pikes Peak that it hoped would set a new course record, and revealed the vehicle back in March. Today, the car, driven by Romain Dumas, did just that, blasting up the course at over 90 miles per hour in just under eight minutes.

Electric cars take well to the Pikes Peak race: they don’t have to deal with the problems high altitudes and thinner air that can stymie race cars powered by fossil fuels, making it an ideal testing ground. The first electric car to win was in 2015, when Honda won with an electric CR-Z, while beleaguered EV company Faraday Futures’ electric FF91 went up the route last year, although it didn’t break any records.

The official time for Volkswagen’s ID R Pikes Peak was 7:57.148, beating the prior EV record of 8:57.118 set by Rhys Millen in an e0 PP100 in 2016, as well as the overall record of 8:13.878 set in 2013 by Sébastien Loeb in a Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak.

Volkswagen hadn’t released many details about the vehicle, but did say that it was using a MEB powertrain, parts that would form the basis for future EVs in the company’s fleet, and the VW board member responsible for the car’s development, Dr. Frank Wlsch, said that lesson that they learn from this vehicle will be utilized in the company’s other offerings down the road.

Arsenal&#039;s Stephan Lichtsteiner is third Switzerland player charged by FIFA for controversial World Cup 2018 celebration

0

Arsenal new boy Stephan Lichtsteiner is the third Swiss player to face a suspension for their controversial celebration during the World Cup.

Fellow Gunners midfielder Granit Xhaka, along with Stoke winger Xherdan Shaqiri, were already facing a two match ban for their gestures against Serbia, plus a minimum £3,800 fine.

The charge comes after the trio all crossed their wrists together and linked thumbs to create the image of an eagle- which is the symbol of Albania – after a goal during their side’s 2-1 victory.

Shaqiri and Xhaka have Albanian or Kosovan roots, while Lichtsteiner doesn’t but appears to have joined the cause, as originally reported by Football.London.

A FIFA statement said: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committe has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Swiss player Stephan Lichtsteiner for a goal celebration during the match Switzerland vs Serbia.

Read More

World Cup 2018

“In relation to the same match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the President of the Serbian FA Slavisa Kokeza as well as the national coach Mladen Krstajic for statements made in the aftermath of the said match.”

It seems the Swiss players could have fallen foul of ‘Provoking the public’ and the suggested punishment is ‘Anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of CHF 5,000.’

The bans would not affect the availability of either player at club level.

Full-back Lichtsteiner defended the celebration of his compatriots after the match.

Xhaka celebrates with the hand gesture

Shaqiri also showed off the support of Albania

He said: “”We had a lot of pressure, it was not an easy game for us.

“We have a lot of Albanians, so there is a lot of history between Serbia and Albania. It was a very tough game for them mentally.

“It was good. Why not? This is the history for them. The war between them was so difficult. I spoke to the father of one of our players who is Albanian, and he told me about this history. This is more than football. This is more than football because they have this period, this war that gave them both big problems.

“I understand them. I think it’s normal, it’s part of their life. There was also big provocation ahead of the game from them [Serbia], so I think it’s normal.”

England&#039;s route to the World Cup 2018 Final as Gareth Southgate&#039;s Three Lions prepare for Belgium clash

0

England and Belgium will meet on Thursday with top spot in World Cup Group G on the line.

England top the group at the moment as they have fewer yellow cards than Belgium.

If they draw the final game it will go down to disciplinary records to decide who finishes first – and if that is level lots will be drawn.

Who we play next in the last 16 will depend on whether England finishes first or second in Group G.

And that will rest solely on how well they do on their final group game against Belgium.

Harry Kane has helped England to the top of Group G

Bookings could decide who tops Group G

If England finish first, they face the second team in Group H. That match is on July 2 at 7pm.

If England finish second, they play on July 3 at 7pm against the winner of Group H.

Group H is wide open and made up of Senegal – a team fancied as an outsider for the tournament by some pundits – Poland, Japan and Columbia.

Should England finish second, here is a speculative route to the final:

Round of 16 : Senegal

Quarter-final : Mexico or Serbia

Semi-final : Spain or Portugal

Final : Brazil

poll loading

How far will England get at the World Cup?

6000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Kyle Walker offers to pay for England fan&#039;s tattoo of two-goal hero John Stones after Twitter promise

0

The most surprising element of England’s stunning 6-1 victory over Panama at the World Cup on Sunday was surely that John Stones scored twice.

And one fan might never be able to forget that pretty soon.

The Manchester City defender popped up with two goals in the first period as England racked up an astonishing 5-0 lead by half-time, with Harry Kane bagging two penalties and Jesse Lingard scoring a brilliant goal.

Kane’s rather fortunate deflected effort completed England’s scoring in the second period ahead of Felipe Baloy’s consolation, but for many the topic of conversation remained Stones’ two strikes.

Stones heads home his first

And celebrates with Kyle Walker

Read More

England 6-1 Panama

And that includes Manchester City fan “Jess”.

She tweeted a day before the game that she’d get a tattoo of Stones if he found the net in Nizhny Novgorod, and then he went and did. Twice.

There’s no going back now…
And while she might have got away with such a promise if no-one had spotted, Stones’ club and country teammate Kyle Walker only went and picked up on it, tweeting to say that he’ll pay to have it done.

Oh dear Jess.

We’re not sure you can get out of this one.

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Kyle Walker offers to pay for England fan&#039;s tattoo of two-goal hero John Stones after Twitter promise

0

The most surprising element of England’s stunning 6-1 victory over Panama at the World Cup on Sunday was surely that John Stones scored twice.

And one fan might never be able to forget that pretty soon.

The Manchester City defender popped up with two goals in the first period as England racked up an astonishing 5-0 lead by half-time, with Harry Kane bagging two penalties and Jesse Lingard scoring a brilliant goal.

Kane’s rather fortunate deflected effort completed England’s scoring in the second period ahead of Felipe Baloy’s consolation, but for many the topic of conversation remained Stones’ two strikes.

Stones heads home his first

And celebrates with Kyle Walker

Read More

England 6-1 Panama

And that includes Manchester City fan “Jess”.

She tweeted a day before the game that she’d get a tattoo of Stones if he found the net in Nizhny Novgorod, and then he went and did. Twice.

There’s no going back now…
And while she might have got away with such a promise if no-one had spotted, Stones’ club and country teammate Kyle Walker only went and picked up on it, tweeting to say that he’ll pay to have it done.

Oh dear Jess.

We’re not sure you can get out of this one.

TanaCon: How a convention thrown in retaliation led to mass chaos, cancellation

0

TanaCon: How a convention thrown in retaliation led to mass chaos, cancellation

TanaCon had all the traditional markings of a first-year convention; a distinct lack of organization ebbed and flowed throughout the event, but diehard YouTubers weren’t too frustrated by the amateur vibe — at first.

By 10 a.m. Friday, when TanaCon ticket buyers were told by management company Good Times that official registration would begin, the parking lot behind the Anaheim Mariott Suites hotel was already lined with fans. There were about a thousand people there, all talking excitedly about YouTubers they planned to meet once they got inside the hotel lobby. Shane Dawson, actress Bella Thorne and, of course, Tana Mongeau, the convention’s host, were some of the most popular creators scheduled to appear.

The Southern California sun was blistering, with no shade anywhere in the parking lot. No one from the event organizers or hotel staff provided water, but none of that seemed to matter. People who had lined up since 6 a.m. were admittedly feeling a little worn down by standing in line, were still excited there was an alternative to VidCon, arguably the biggest convention for YouTube creators in the world.

“It’s a better version of VidCon for sure,” a big Shane Dawson fan and TanaCon attendee who didn’t want to share their name, told Polygon while waiting in line. “Well, I can’t say that for sure because I’m not inside yet, but the idea of it is better for sure. Just the amount of access we’re going to get. And price wise! A community badge ticket for VidCon is $150. I got two VIP tickets for TanaCon for less than that, and money to spare for merch.”

The fan added that what VidCon “did to Tana was just so wrong,” alluding to the series of events that led to TanaCon’s creation in the first place.

Everything seemed fine, but in just a few hours, TanaCon would devolve into a chaotic madness that left attendees and critics on Twitter calling it the next Fyre Festival or DashCon.

A “fuck you” convention

Tana Mongeau is a popular YouTuber with more than 3.5 million subscribers and a strong following on Instagram. More importantly, she’s an influencer with a large group of highly recognizable influencer friends. Her videos switch back and forth between elaborate stories (some of which have been called out as exaggerated or total lies) regular vlogs, and collaborations with those aforementioned famous friends. Mongeau has painted a version of her world that people want to be a part of, singlehandedly creating a level of FOMO (fear of missing out) culture, making everyone want to be a part of her inner circle.

Mongeau posted a couple of videos earlier this year that called out VidCon for not giving her a “featured creators” badge last year. That badge would have provided more security for Mongeau walking through public spaces near the convention. Not having the badge helped create what Mongeau called a chaotic, bad experience.

“If I were running an event that was based upon creators meeting their fans, and the entire premise of your event, where the entire mission statement of your event is where creators and fans can finally meet, if this creator shows up with millions of followers and hundreds of people are there … why wouldn’t you just print another stupid little fucking badge,” Mongeau said in the video above.

Former VidCon CEO and YouTuber Hank Green addressed Mongeau’s video and her frustrations, and asked that Mongeau ask her fans not to harass a VidCon team member, who was on the receiving end of their backlash.

“The online video community is lucky to have a huge number of talented and popular creators, and VidCon is lucky to be able to work with so many of them,” Green wrote in the comments section of Mongeau’s video. “The only bad part about that for VidCon is that, since we can’t feature everyone, creators who have active, enthusiastic communities who are wonderful and make fantastic stuff sometimes end up unsupported in public spaces, creating situations that are dangerous for creators and fans alike. We work to keep situations like that from escalating.

“We understand that this might seem overboard from the outside, but it’s the call we felt was right,” Green said.

Still, Mongeau was upset about the perceived shade she was thrown, and her quip about running a convention quickly became a reality. Mongeau and her team started working on creating TanaCon, an event that came together in a couple of months. The concept was relatively simple: everyone and no one would be a featured creator. TanaCon would be a fan-first, creator-focused experience — something that she believed VidCon wasn’t capable of providing.

“I wanted to throw a con where everyone is a featured creator,” Tana said while on stage before a panel at TanaCon, much to the uproarious support of her fans. “I wanted a con for bad bitches. TanaCon would be nothing without bad bitches.”

Tana (center) on-stage in the main ballroom at TanaCon. Julia Alexander/Polygon

That was the message reiterated throughout the day by Mongeau, her friends and even people in the crowd. People truly believed that TanaCon wasn’t just an alternative to VidCon, but it was the only convention that really took fans’ best interests to heart.

“Everyone is so supportive of each other here,” Emma, a young fan who managed to get inside the hotel after four hours and didn’t want to give her last name, told Polygon. “We don’t even know each other, but we’re bonding over supporting Tana and coming out here. I’m making more friends here than I ever have at VidCon, and so far it’s a really good atmosphere. It’s way better than VidCon right now.”

That was around 1 p.m. Thousands of people who bought badges were still waiting in the parking lot trying to get in, and it still wasn’t too packed inside. It was relatively quiet. There was quite a bit of room for people to sit down and walk around the main ballroom.

Outside was a different story. Reports of people getting nauseous or feeling faint from heat exhaustion started making the rounds on Twitter. People were getting antsy, but most fans Polygon spoke to in the morning and early afternoon were willing to wait it out to show support for their favorite creators.

“Just knowing that I’ve watched Tana for so long, getting the chance to finally see her and meet her and support her own convention is important to me,” Kerry, a young fan who also didn’t want to share her last name, told Polygon while standing in line. “I’m just so proud of her. TanaCon is fucking better and VidCon fucked up. TanaCon is such a big improvement for her, and like, I’m so proud of her for taking a stand.”

TanaCon Kerry (left) and Isabelle at TanaCon. Julia Alexander/Polygon

“Tana worked so hard for VidCon and then they just fucking banned her,” Isabelle, a friend of Kerry, said, reiterating what Mongeau said in a previous video. “That wasn’t fair. Why not just say a big ‘fuck you’ to VidCon? She doesn’t need them.”

Some fans were angry on behalf of Tana, and that led to a very physical show of support at TanaCon. Other fans just wanted to get a close-up selfie with Dawson or Thorne. As the afternoon progressed, it became apparent to everyone that everything was getting out of control. Thousands upon thousands of unregistered fans showed up in the parking lot, and reports spread on Twitter that they tried to rush the door.

Pre-registered fans, people who waited in the heat for multiple hours, started yelling and complaining, demanding refunds for their wasted time. Mongeau used Twitter and Instagram to try to quell people’s frustrations, but provided few updates as things got worse, but it eventually all came to a head when they were told to shut down the event for the day. It became a major safety concern, Mongeau tweeted, and people were concerned that if things got out of hand, it could result in someone getting trampled.

“In a meeting [right now] almost done making sure tomorrow will be safe and organized for every person who has a ticket,” Mongeau tweeted early Saturday morning. “Unfortunately what made today so chaotic was 15,000 unticketed people showing up outside.. If you have a ticket I want to meet you and give you a promised show. Every person who entered their phone number with their ticket will be texted information and I will be updating you once I make sure everything can be done safely. Ticketed people. No outside mobs.”

Though outside mobs were part of the issue, people also expressed concerns over the lack of space inside the hotel for the pre-registered fans.

“It’s really hectic,” Emma said, sitting on the floor inside TanaCon’s main ballroom. “We keep getting switched into different rooms. It’s so hectic. No one knows what’s going on.”

TanaCon The main ballroom at TanaCon filling up around 1:30 p.m. Julia Alexander/Polygon

It felt like it went from being painstakingly empty, as security and event organizers tried to figure out how to get everyone in, to overwhelming in a split second. People kept piling into the area and it was clear there wasn’t enough space to hold everyone in line, let alone the thousands of fans who showed up unannounced. It’s a stark difference that’s almost comical; what started as a dead con inside quickly became a riotous affair.

A mad, chaotic dash

Videos of TanaCon at its busiest have emerged since the event, showing people running in groups down packed halls and trying to make sense of what happened. Security guards are seen in the video below running through a crowd of teens, trying to figure out how to corral everyone safely while breaking up large groups that were forming.

Your browser does not support HTML5 video.

The scene in the video above took place in the main lobby of the Anaheim Marriott Suites hotel, an area that wasn’t supposed to be overtaken by TanaCon attendees. Fans were expected to remain within a small ballroom that could maybe hold a thousand people, uncomfortably. Across the narrow hall was a smaller room that could hold 50 people, with chairs lined up into a few rows directed at a screen. Just behind the rooms was a merch table, selling t-shirts, jackets and sweaters for $150 to $300.

People walked around curiously, but upon realizing that this was the extent of the convention, started to wander throughout the hotel. Although there was security, many of the popular creators attending TanaCon walked freely throughout the hotel space, leading to fans dashing around trying to grab a selfie with people. It felt like forced chaos; there wasn’t enough space or activities to keep people entertained for hours on end, so fans started exploring elsewhere. There was one bathroom space in the hotel lobby that fans were allowed to use, but people on Twitter complained of long lines and needing more space.

Unorganized is the best word to describe the con; it certainly seemed like something thrown together in a couple of months.

“…as a 19 year old with her first convention, in two months that we did everything as good as we could for 5,000 people,” Mongeau tweeted. “Not 20,000. So now we are making it safer for any capacity.”

Safety and security is one of the biggest issues surrounding conventions like TanaCon and VidCon. Jim Louderback, VidCon’s new CEO, told Polygon that following a couple of incidents in the past — including a scavenger hunt led by Logan Paul last year that resulted in absolute chaos and unsafe conditions — security is the number one priority. Louderback said it’s easy for fans to get over-enthused, and that can lead to some prickly situations.

“We’re also going to be on the lookout for folks who may not think they’ll attract big crowds, but if something does happen we can easily get to the point where it’s like, ‘What gets you a safe space?’” Louderback said. “If we can, we’ll set up these more structured meet-ups. You can actually meet fans and say hi in a way that’s structured, and that isn’t going to cause a free-for-all. 150 or 200 people running over because so-and-so is over in the corner talking to fans has the potential to cause big problems. We work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

TanaCon A security guard trying to move people out during TanaCon. Polygon

TanaCon didn’t have the same level of security or organization that VidCon, a convention in its ninth year, has learned to build around the event.

Despite security moving people outside the building at TanaCon, reportedly following orders from the fire marshal to shut everything down, people didn’t leave. They hung out in the parking lot where Mongeau and friends, like Thorne, stood with microphones talking about trying to salvage the situation. People stood around hoping to grab a selfie with any creator who passed by, revealing the true heart of something like TanaCon — opportunity.

It’s something that people have complained VidCon doesn’t do well. VidCon can charge a hefty fee — on top of the $150 community entry fee for non-creators, press or industry people, and there are a limited amount of spots. It’s disappointing for many con attendees, especially those who traveled from out of state or country, to not get a meet-and-greet with their favorite YouTubers. TanaCon launched on the premise that almost everyone could meet almost anyone for a much cheaper price, and that’s a big reason why so many hopeful teens showed up in the first place.

“Not everyone can afford VidCon, and there’s a lot of controversy going on with VidCon,” a young fan named Sally, who didn’t want to share her last name, told Polygon. “I can’t afford that. But I can afford this.”

Now, with TanaCon cancelled, people are looking for refunds and answers as to what happens next. Twitter is full of stories from TanaCon goers who paid hundreds of dollars in airfare, hotel stay and an additional $65 for VIP tickets, only to be left wondering how they’re supposed to get their money back. The lack of communication is startling for many, and it’s prompted creators like Shane Dawson to promise refunds from his own pocket if Mongeau’s management company doesn’t come through with refund options.

Even though TanaCon objectively went bad, Mongeau isn’t giving up on the idea of hosting another convention. She told DramaAlert’s Keemstar that creators deserve a space to meet with fans outside of participating in VidCon. It’s something that Mongeau told her fans on Instagram and Twitter, too, apologizing for not being well enough prepared. But she promised to continue trying.

“Everything will be made right no matter what,” Mongeau tweeted. “Never giving up. Creators deserve a voice. For free. This is about the fans and that’s what it will be about.”

Polygon has reached out to Good Times for more information about future TanaCons and the current refund situation.

England using Brazil 2014 pain to drive World Cup 2018 bid, reveals John Stones

0

John Stones revealed England’s World Cup pain from four years ago is driving their bid to conquer Russia.

The Manchester City defender headed the opening goal and the fourth as Panama were put the sword and the Three Lions progressed to the knockout stages.

Stones missed the last World Cup in Brazil where Roy Hodgson’s side failed to get out of the group. He’d been involved in the build-up, however, before being ruled out through injury.

Speaking ahead of England final group game here against Belgium on Thursday, Stones said: “It’s great to get through.

“I remember four years ago, knowing how hard the lads had worked. This time round, playing, we wanted to do the country proud and get through to the next step and see where we can go.

Stones is aiming to take England deep into the World Cup

Read More

World Cup 2018

“To score my first goals for England, that was something special, especially at the World Cup.

“We defended so well and dominated the match, to not get a clean sheet was a bit disappointing. It’s something to take into the next game I suppose, and hopefully I can get a few more goals from set pieces.”

Stones’s double made him the only second City player to score for England at a World Cup and the first since Trevor Frances in 1982.

It also continued the excitement building back home with fans dreaming of a run to the final.

By this stage in 2014, England were already out

John Stones of England celebrates

Jesse Lingard – whose superb, curling strike made it 3-0 – said: “ it’s an amazing feeling. Even better that we won and are top of the table.

“I thrive in my role. Around the lads there’s a great team spirit at the moment. “With the squad we’ve got and the confidence flowing I don’t see why [we can’t go on and win the whole thing].

“But at the moment we’re still learning and we’ll take it game by game. There’s a lot of positivity, so we’ll take it into the Belgium game

His Manchester United team-mate Ashley Young insisted the players are not struggling with the burden of expectation.

Stone scored his first two international goals against Panama

“It’s nice for us to be talked about in a positive way.” He said. “We’ve just got to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard in training.

“It could have been a near perfect performance so we’re obviously disappointed to concede. But we take nothing away from the performance we put in.

“The boys, from the goalkeeper to the forward line, were fantastic, the boys that came on were fantastic. It’s a squad game, everybody’s got to play their part and I think everyone did that today.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who saw his effort come off Harry Kane to complete the striker’s hat-trick, had no problem giving the goal to his captain.

He said: “For such a young captain he’s so vocal. I think everyone respects him massively, what he’s done for Tottenham and bringing it in for England.”

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Gareth Southgate unhappy with two areas of England&#039;s World Cup demolition of Panama

0

Gareth Southgate was not entirely satisfied with his England team’s performance against Panama – despite watching them hit the minnows for six.

Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick to take his World Cup tally to five while Jesse Lingard and John Stones also weighed in with goals.

But Southgate pinpointed two areas he felt could have been better as England qualified for the last 16 in Russia.

“I didn’t like the start and I didn’t like the goal at the end, but I thought the bits in the middle were all right,” he said.

“I felt we were a bit anxious at the start.

“Confidence-wise it was important we were able to score goals. Big moment for Jesse Lingard today especially, great for the captain to get his hat-trick, it meant he didn’t get hump when I brought him off.

Gareth Southgate was largely happy with his side

“Also our set plays were a real threat.”

Asked what he told the players when 5-0 up at half-time, the England boss said: “We talked about the importance of one more goal to be top of the group, which is why the goal at the end was disappointing.”

Southgate also insisted he would not swap his hat-trick here for any other player on the planet.

Asked about Kane’s current level in a question mentioning Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, England manager Southgate said: “Well, clearly the stage to do that is this one. He’s started brilliantly.

“You can dismiss penalties as being easy, but the length of time he had to wait before taking that (first one) and the number of distractions, to then keep focused, start again and refocus tells you a bit about the mental toughness that he’s got.

Southgate was full of praise for Harry Kane

“Look, he’s there, he’s up at the top. We wouldn’t swap him for anyone in the tournament in terms of number nines.

“You know that when he gets opportunities he’s going to bury them. You sit there very confident in his ability to take chances.

“But as important in that is the way he sacrifices himself for the team in the way he presses, holds the ball up, contributes to the overall game.

“He’s not just a player that stands up front and waits for chances and that’s important within the ethic of the team we’re trying to create.”

poll loading

How far will England get at the World Cup?

5000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Set-pieces bring England their World Cup rewards and can lead to further glory for Three Lions

0

I Watched the first-half demolition of Panama with former England manager Sam Allardyce, one of the high priests of set-pieces.

And Big Sam, who has always put a high premium on maximising corners and free-kicks, could not have been more impressed with England’s attention to detail from restarts.

For all their cohesion and slick football, six of England’s eight goals in the tournament so far have come from set-pieces or the penalty spot.

In tight games, further down the track, dead-ball execution could make the difference between glory or heartbreak.

Fair play to Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland, who was one of my coaches at Crewe Alexandra back in the day, for placing such emphasis on set pieces.

Southgate, Holland and striker coach Allan Russell place big emphasis on getting set-pieces right

Stones opener, completely unmarked, was a well worked routine

Stones also helped himself to a second from a clever routine

And fair play to Southgate for standing by Raheem Sterling when there were plenty of people calling for him to be dropped after one game.

On balance, I don’t think it would have been right to leave out Sterling – and potentially damage his confidence – on the back of one performance when he’s been in the form of his life at club level.

In fairness to Sterling, if England had taken their stack of chances against Tunisia, they would have beaten them 6-1 as well.

England’s Raheem Sterling in action

Read More

England 6-1 Panama

Southgate’s team is one of the best I’ve seen in Russia. I’ve been impressed with Croatia, Belgium and Mexico, but I’ve seen nothing to give Southgate sleepless nights.

Too often, in the past, when England have been playing on the box, they have bored me senseless or sent me to sleep. No tempo, sideways, backwards, hit the snooze button.

But I actually enjoy watching this group of players – and, more importantly, they really look like they are enjoying themselves.

Lingard looks to be having a great time in Russia

Five goals already for King Kane
They remind me of Wales at the Euros two years ago: They clearly believe in each other and they obviously believe in their manager.

After the last-gasp excitement against Tunisia, I had a sneaking feeling that England were going to make real headway in this tournament.

Now I really do think they have a chance of reaching the last four, and possibly even further.

poll loading

How far will England get at the World Cup?

5000+ VOTES SO FAR

No feed items found.No feed items found.

Season 3 of Preacher takes an unusual approach to horror and humor

0

Season 3 of Preacher takes an unusual approach to horror and humor

Spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of Preacher ahead.

Early in season 3 of the AMC series Preacher, Tulip (Ruth Negga) has a vision. She’s running down the road to the rural town of Angelville when she sees a man in a black-and-white spotted dog suit. The man-dog is ridiculous, but also eerie — particularly when it tells Tulip she’s been chosen for a divine purpose. It gestures with its floppy paws and stares at her with black, shiny, empty eyes.

Many television shows and movies use horror tropes as part of an action/comedy mix. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sleepy Hollow, and Wynonna Earp all sprinkle vampires or demons around their narratives. But while all these shows feature monsters, they aren’t working primarily to terrify or disturb the audience.

Preacher, a supernatural drama series based on the comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, is a bit different. It doesn’t repurpose horror as comedy or drama. Instead, it’s filled with absurd events and situations which — like that man-dog — come across as simultaneously funny and frightening. Especially in the new season, which includes witches and zombies in a familiar Southern gothic setting, the show can at times be Buffy-esque. But what’s really special about Preacher is that it suggests that horror and comedy aren’t different elements to combine, they’re part of a single whole. The thing that makes you laugh is also the thing that haunts your dreams.

Like its comic-book inspiration, the television show focuses on Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), a hard-fighting, morally dubious preacher possessed by an entity called Genesis. Genesis gives Jesse the power to command anyone to do anything. In the show’s first two seasons, Jesse uses his power to try to build a small congregation in a rural Texas church, with disastrous results. In the second season, he, Tulip, and an Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) hit the road to pursue God, who they’ve learned has abandoned heaven in order to listen to jazz in New Orleans. Jesse thinks he can use Genesis to force God to explain why the world is such a mess. But tracking the all-powerful deity proves difficult. Instead, Jesse ends up agreeing to become a messiah at the behest of an organization called the Grail.

His career as world-savior is interrupted at the end of season 2 when agents of the Grail kill Tulip. Jesse could normally bring her back to life with Genesis, but his power is mysteriously on the fritz. Season 3, therefore, starts with Jesse and Cassidy bringing Tulip to Jesse’s old home in Angelville; his grandmother is a witch, who can raise the dead.

That plot description doesn’t capture the flavor of Preacher’s humor. The comic book was cynical and deliberately profane, but it was built around a road-trip adventure narrative. Jesse was a more or less conventional hero whose moral sense drove the action and the narrative. In the television series, by contrast, Jesse has less agency. He and the other characters often come across as straight men wandering haplessly through a series of mean-spirited Monty Python gags.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529863209_3515_31535" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11588307,"ratio":"*"}'>
</span>

The first season, for example, ends with Jesse’s entire congregation, and their entire town, being buried in a literal explosion of pig shit. In the second season, Jesse’s friend Eugene Root (Ian Colletti), who has been accidentally consigned to Hell, escapes with the help of an apparently remorseful Hitler (Noah Taylor), who then betrays Eugene… because he’s Hitler. As in Time Bandits, where the final gag is that the protagonist’s parents die, the laugh line is the sadistic bleakness. Of course Hitler gets out of Hell. That’s the kind of universe we’re living in.

A malevolent universe can be funny. But it’s more than that as well. When the camera lingers on Tulip, dead in the back seat of Jesse’s car as they drive to Alphaville, her perfect, still face has the excessive clarity of nightmare. At the end of the second season, immortal vampire Cassidy has a conversation with his long-estranged mortal son, Denis (Ronald Guttman). Denis looks like an old man — he was on the verge of death before Cassidy bit him and changed him to a vampire, too. Denis enjoys being a vampire, especially the part where he gets to feed on unsuspecting beautiful women. Cassidy has long controlled his own bloodlust, but he’s afraid Denis’ example will overwhelm his self-control, and he begs his son to be a good boy. Denis has only spoken French for the entire season, but for the first time, he talks in English. “Can you be a good boy, papa?” he asks, just about licking his lips.

It’s a chilling, David Lynch-worthy moment, not least because it mocks the idea of rules or laws trying to keep us from the abyss. Papa tries to set you right, but who sets papa right? “Everything is possible” can mean anarchic fun and good times, but it can also mean that your worst fears can come true. A world without rules is a hell — as Denis discovers from Cassidy’s response to his behavior.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529863209_367_31536" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11588317,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

Cassidy isn’t the only abusive parent in Preacher. Season 3 opens with a flashback to Jesse’s grandmother, Marie L’Angelle ( Betty Buckley) slicing open his mother with a knife as punishment for trying to leave. And these bad parents are only smaller versions of the ultimate, divine bad parent. God has abandoned heaven, and is now driving around earth on a Harley, wearing a dog suit. He’s that man-dog who appears to Tulip in a vision—and later in the flesh. Man-dog God assures Tulip he has a plan, but she’s skeptical. “You’re just dicking around,” she says with some bitterness, pointing to the biker chick waiting for God to return to his machine. God, for his part, looks nervous at being found out.

A God who is “just dicking around” is a God who is philosophically absurd. The TV version of Preacher is about a world that doesn’t make sense, ruled by an arbitrary jerk who either doesn’t care what happens, can’t do anything about it, or actively enjoys watching people suffer. Preacher is close kin to Kafka — and it’s notable that when Kafka’s friends heard him read his stories aloud, they reacted with helpless laughter. Some guy just woke up and realized he was a bug? That’s even funnier than an entire town drowned in pig poop.

Jesse, with the power of Genesis, wants to set things to rights, and order everyone into their proper place. But he’s like Wile E. Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, or the priest in The Exorcist. The story is rigged against him, because the story is rigged against everybody. “I can’t help you,” Jesse tells one of is grandmother’s sad, soulless zombies when it begs him for aid. The walking dead can’t be fixed. Even if they’re brought back to life, it’s only temporary.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529863209_5600_31537" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11588323,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

At the beginning of season 3, Jesse doesn’t seem any closer to finding God, or finding a meaningful use for his power, than he did at the beginning of season 1. The aimless, cyclical nature of his quest can perhaps can be seen as a weakness of serialized television. But in Preacher’s case, it’s also thematic. There isn’t a plan or a payoff, except for the fact that there isn’t a plan or a payoff. The universe is waiting to get you in a dog suit. Maybe it’s laughing behind that mask; maybe it’s screaming. Or maybe the comedy and horror both come from realizing that there’s nothing there.

Preacher season 3 will premiere on AMC on Sunday, June 24 at 10PM ET.

God of War’s violent world comes to life in these stunning art prints

0

God of War’s violent world comes to life in these stunning art prints


This year’s reboot of God of War on the PlayStation 4 was a wonderful surprise. It imbued the long-running series with an emotional core, turned Kratos into a likable character, and still managed to include some very satisfying action. It also looked gorgeous, as the series made the shift from Greek to Norse mythology with plenty of style. Now that style can live on your walls thanks to a new series of art prints from Cook & Becker.

If the Cook & Becker name sounds familiar, it’s because the art studio has slowly built up a reputation for offering some of the best game art around. In the past, that has included series for Fallout, Skyrim, Ni No Kuni, and even an absurdly large Final Fantasy XV art tome. The God of War collection includes six prints, which all feature Kratos and his son Atreus in a variety of scenarios: paddling past a giant statue, preparing to face dark enemies, or being stomped by an angry troll. All of the art comes from the team at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, where God of War was developed.

The prints start at $95, and go up from there depending on framing and finish. You can grab them right here.

What's the best blender for smoothies?

0
By Lesley Stockton

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

A thick and velvety smoothie is one of the most difficult things you can demand from a blender. You’re expecting four tiny blades powered by a motor no bigger than a coffee mug to make frozen fruit, ice, fibrous greens, and gloppy peanut butter into soft serve in a minute. So rather than asking about the best blender for smoothies, the better question to ask is: What’s the best blender? And that’s because if a blender can turn out juice-bar-quality smoothies day after day, it will most likely liquefy almost anything else you’d want to with ease.

Any good blender will deliver a sippable smoothie if you add enough liquid. But if you like yours thick—like, get-those-skinny-straws-outta-here kind of thick—the Vitamix 5200 is the way to go. After years of testing and writing about blenders—both full-size and personal—we’ve found that the Vitamix 5200 consistently produces spoonable frozen smoothies better than any other blender we’ve tested. It also pulverizes gritty berry seeds and whizzes through tough kale better than most. All that power and reliability comes at a price, but we’ve learned that you truly get what you pay for in this particular case. That said, for folks who cringe at the idea of dropping $400 or more on a high-powered blender, a personal blender might be a good choice if you want to make only smoothies and don’t mind them a bit thinner (more on that later).


Photo: Michael Hession
The Vitamix 5200 is the best blender for smoothies—and everything else, for that matter. Yes, it’s pricey. But we’ve tested 22 blenders over the past five years, and the Vitamix 5200 has consistently blended faster and better than every model we’ve put it up against. That’s because it’s powerful enough to pulverize ice, tough berry seeds, and fibrous ginger into a smooth consistency. The tapered jar helps keep ingredients moving down toward the blades, and the tamper busts annoying air pockets. That means you spend less time making your smoothie and more time enjoying it.

We’ve also found the 5200 to be more durable than other blenders, so it should last you for many years of serious smoothie-making. But if something goes wrong, this Vitamix model is also backed with a seven-year warranty, an attentive customer service team, and a seamless claims process. Taking all that into account, $400-plus doesn’t seem like a crazy amount to spend on a great blender. Think of it this way: If you go out and pay $5 to $13 for a smoothie, five days a week, in two to four months you’ve paid the same amount as for a Vitamix 5200. How’s that for sticker shock?

The 5200 is a part of the classic series of blenders that Vitamix’s stellar reputation is built on. We prefer the 5200 over Vitamix’s other models because it has everything we need in a blender: a straightforward control panel, a pulse button, variable speeds, and an ultrahigh speed setting. And many home cooks and professionals alike are fervent supporters of this blender (some enthusiasts even pack their Vitamix when they travel). In fact, your pricey morning smoothie from the corner juice bar is most likely blended in a commercial-grade version of the Vitamix 5200, the original Vita-Prep. For more about what we like about the 5200, see the full discussion in our guide to blenders.

The keys to a great smoothie


The Vitamix 5200 took only 30 seconds to turn a pile of rock-hard frozen blueberries covered in yogurt, tahini, and honey into this delicious smoothie. Photo: Michael Hession
If you’re making a smoothie every day, your blender needs to be reliable, fast, and easy to clean so you can get out the door and on with your day. The Vitamix 5200 has all the qualities required to blend a great smoothie.

Blends fast

Mornings are short enough without your having to waste time struggling with a blender that isn’t cutting the mustard. The Vitamix 5200 can puree a silky, lump-free smoothie in about 30 seconds—for comparison, that’s half the time the $500 Blendtec Designer 675 takes to complete its preprogrammed smoothie setting. In fact, the Vitamix 5200 purees faster than any other blender we’ve tested, including our other picks, the Cleanblend 1,800-watt blender and the Oster Versa Performance Blender.

Cuts through fibrous vegetables and frozen fruit

Getting a smooth puree from personal blenders and inexpensive full-size models is a tall order, because they simply don’t have the power to quickly pulverize tough foods like the Vitamix 5200 can. And the Vitamix just makes a better smoothie because it’s one of the few blenders we tested that can puree tough greens and rock-hard frozen fruit into a smooth consistency.

Ganda Suthivarakom, Wirecutter’s strategy editor, said she loved how thoroughly her four-year-old Vitamix 5200 pureed even tough ingredients: “I mostly use it for smoothies and dressings. I appreciate that the Vitamix pulverizes carrots and fibrous ginger to make a super-smooth dressing. To be honest, it’s probably more machine than I need, but it’s so good at producing a completely silky texture that I don’t regret spending the money.”

Designed to handle thick mixtures

No blender is a hands-off miracle worker, especially for stiff smoothies that don’t flow easily around the blades. It helps to have a jar with a narrow base like the one in the Vitamix 5200, which pulls ingredients down toward the blade rather than flinging them away. But for particularly thick smoothies, a tamper—the plastic bat included with most high-powered blenders—is also essential for busting air pockets and keeping your ingredients moving in the jar.


The Vitamix’s tamper helps bust air pockets—and it’s the only object you should stick into a running blender. Photo: Michael Hession
We like the Vitamix 5200’s tamper because its long and slender shape allowed us to maneuver it into the corners the best of any blender we tested. And in our tests, the 5200’s tamper helped this model make dense smoothies, pasty peanut butter, and thick bean dip more quickly and easily than blenders without tampers, such as the Blendtec Designer 675. The Blendtec is prone to creating air pockets around the blades, especially when blending firm mixtures. And the only way to around that dilemma is to stop the motor to shake or stir the air out (do not stick a spoon, ladle, spatula, or any other tool into a running blender jar), which greatly slows down the process.

Compared with the Vitamix, personal blenders can’t produce smoothies as dense because they have closed jars and you can’t tamp air pockets while the motor runs. To keep the blades moving, personal blenders require more liquid. They also put out less power—and as a result, produce grainier smoothies—than the Vitamix 5200.

Durable enough for the daily grind

You want to be confident that your blender won’t burn out midblend. It’s a real bummer if your first meal of the day is thwarted by an inferior appliance. A cheap blender can prematurely burn out after making one thick smoothie, let alone a few batches in a row. The Vitamix 5200, on the other hand, is a durable machine that can power through many rounds of smoothies, so no one’s left holding an empty cup. In our tests, we made five batches of smoothies in a row in the 5200 without detecting any motor strain, whereas other blenders overheated after two or three.

Kalee Thompson, senior editor for Wirecutter, uses her Vitamix regularly and hasn’t had any issues with the motor burning out. “It’s great. [My husband] bought it, and I thought it was ridiculously expensive. But it’s worth it, in my opinion. I keep it on my counter and use it several times a week to make smoothies with greens or celery mixed in with the yummier stuff. It generally just works.”

I’ve also used Vitamix blenders for many years, both at home and in restaurant kitchens. At one particular job, every day I had to make a flavor-rich lovage oil that involved pureeing a case of herbs into a smooth green paste. Never once did that Vitamix burn out or leave me hanging.

Can handle big batches

The 64-ounce jar of the Vitamix 5200 has enough capacity to blend batches of smoothies for up to four people, so assuming everyone likes the same smoothie, you can knock out breakfast in one go. Compared with the Vitamix 5200, a personal blender (as the name suggests) can accommodate only a single serving of smoothie. Our top personal blender, the NutriBullet Pro, has a maximum blending capacity of 24 ounces, which equals one hearty smoothie or two light snacks.

Easy to clean

Mornings are hectic, and many people don’t have time to scrub food from the nooks and crannies of a blender jar. Ganda Suthivarakom told us that she likes that the Vitamix 5200’s motor can do the work for her: “I love how easy it is to clean—a drop of soap and a whirr on high followed by a sponge means I can clean everything up before my smoothie has melted.” And the motor base cleans up with a quick pass of a sponge.

Personal blenders


Photo: Michael Hession
We get that a $400-plus high-powered blender might be too much machine, or a cost-prohibitive choice, for some folks. And if that’s the case for you, we think the NutriBullet Pro 900 personal blender is a great option for anyone who wants an affordable way to make a quick smoothie in the morning. It’s also convenient because the blending jar is a single-serve cup with a travel lid. But as we’ve noted above, you won’t get Vitamix performance from the NutriBullet. Compared with the Vitamix 5200, the NutriBullet Pro is smaller and less powerful, and it requires more liquid to puree things. NutriBullet smoothies are thinner and grainier as a result.

Personal blenders like the NutriBullet aren’t as versatile as a full-size blender. Namely, the NutriBullet can’t crush large ice cubes, and you should never use it for blending hot foods. But it’s plenty of machine for small apartments and people who want a simple way to make a quick morning smoothie with little cleanup.

Other blenders we recommend

If you’re familiar with our full guide to blenders, you know we have more than one pick. We also recommend the Oster Versa Performance Blender and the Cleanblend 1,800-watt blender, as well as the budget-friendly KitchenAid KSB1570ER 5-Speed Classic Blender. Although the first two models are good for occasional blending jobs, they simply don’t have the longevity to stand up to the daily rigors of grinding up a thick smoothie like the Vitamix 5200 can. The KitchenAid is much less powerful, and really best for infrequent use (and for people who don’t mind a pulpier smoothie). The Oster has a history of burning out in the middle of its seven-year warranty (a turnoff for some people), but the company’s customer service is quick and courteous about replacement. Cleanblend is a new company, and reports of its customer service are spotty. But the Cleanblend model is powerful, and it’s the only blender we tested that performed similarly to the Vitamix.

The NutriBullet Pro is our top personal-blender pick because it strikes a great balance of price to performance. In addition to that top pick, we also recommend the Breville Boss To Go and the Tribest PB-150 in our full guide to personal blenders. Compared with the NutriBullet Pro, the Breville Boss To Go makes thicker, smoother smoothies and costs twice the price. The Tribest PB-150 is the smallest of all our picks and requires the most liquid to keep the blades moving. We consider the little Tribest as more of a supplement to a big blender, not a stand-alone daily smoothie machine.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

What's the best blender for smoothies?

0
By Lesley Stockton

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

A thick and velvety smoothie is one of the most difficult things you can demand from a blender. You’re expecting four tiny blades powered by a motor no bigger than a coffee mug to make frozen fruit, ice, fibrous greens, and gloppy peanut butter into soft serve in a minute. So rather than asking about the best blender for smoothies, the better question to ask is: What’s the best blender? And that’s because if a blender can turn out juice-bar-quality smoothies day after day, it will most likely liquefy almost anything else you’d want to with ease.

Any good blender will deliver a sippable smoothie if you add enough liquid. But if you like yours thick—like, get-those-skinny-straws-outta-here kind of thick—the Vitamix 5200 is the way to go. After years of testing and writing about blenders—both full-size and personal—we’ve found that the Vitamix 5200 consistently produces spoonable frozen smoothies better than any other blender we’ve tested. It also pulverizes gritty berry seeds and whizzes through tough kale better than most. All that power and reliability comes at a price, but we’ve learned that you truly get what you pay for in this particular case. That said, for folks who cringe at the idea of dropping $400 or more on a high-powered blender, a personal blender might be a good choice if you want to make only smoothies and don’t mind them a bit thinner (more on that later).


Photo: Michael Hession
The Vitamix 5200 is the best blender for smoothies—and everything else, for that matter. Yes, it’s pricey. But we’ve tested 22 blenders over the past five years, and the Vitamix 5200 has consistently blended faster and better than every model we’ve put it up against. That’s because it’s powerful enough to pulverize ice, tough berry seeds, and fibrous ginger into a smooth consistency. The tapered jar helps keep ingredients moving down toward the blades, and the tamper busts annoying air pockets. That means you spend less time making your smoothie and more time enjoying it.

We’ve also found the 5200 to be more durable than other blenders, so it should last you for many years of serious smoothie-making. But if something goes wrong, this Vitamix model is also backed with a seven-year warranty, an attentive customer service team, and a seamless claims process. Taking all that into account, $400-plus doesn’t seem like a crazy amount to spend on a great blender. Think of it this way: If you go out and pay $5 to $13 for a smoothie, five days a week, in two to four months you’ve paid the same amount as for a Vitamix 5200. How’s that for sticker shock?

The 5200 is a part of the classic series of blenders that Vitamix’s stellar reputation is built on. We prefer the 5200 over Vitamix’s other models because it has everything we need in a blender: a straightforward control panel, a pulse button, variable speeds, and an ultrahigh speed setting. And many home cooks and professionals alike are fervent supporters of this blender (some enthusiasts even pack their Vitamix when they travel). In fact, your pricey morning smoothie from the corner juice bar is most likely blended in a commercial-grade version of the Vitamix 5200, the original Vita-Prep. For more about what we like about the 5200, see the full discussion in our guide to blenders.

The keys to a great smoothie


The Vitamix 5200 took only 30 seconds to turn a pile of rock-hard frozen blueberries covered in yogurt, tahini, and honey into this delicious smoothie. Photo: Michael Hession
If you’re making a smoothie every day, your blender needs to be reliable, fast, and easy to clean so you can get out the door and on with your day. The Vitamix 5200 has all the qualities required to blend a great smoothie.

Blends fast

Mornings are short enough without your having to waste time struggling with a blender that isn’t cutting the mustard. The Vitamix 5200 can puree a silky, lump-free smoothie in about 30 seconds—for comparison, that’s half the time the $500 Blendtec Designer 675 takes to complete its preprogrammed smoothie setting. In fact, the Vitamix 5200 purees faster than any other blender we’ve tested, including our other picks, the Cleanblend 1,800-watt blender and the Oster Versa Performance Blender.

Cuts through fibrous vegetables and frozen fruit

Getting a smooth puree from personal blenders and inexpensive full-size models is a tall order, because they simply don’t have the power to quickly pulverize tough foods like the Vitamix 5200 can. And the Vitamix just makes a better smoothie because it’s one of the few blenders we tested that can puree tough greens and rock-hard frozen fruit into a smooth consistency.

Ganda Suthivarakom, Wirecutter’s strategy editor, said she loved how thoroughly her four-year-old Vitamix 5200 pureed even tough ingredients: “I mostly use it for smoothies and dressings. I appreciate that the Vitamix pulverizes carrots and fibrous ginger to make a super-smooth dressing. To be honest, it’s probably more machine than I need, but it’s so good at producing a completely silky texture that I don’t regret spending the money.”

Designed to handle thick mixtures

No blender is a hands-off miracle worker, especially for stiff smoothies that don’t flow easily around the blades. It helps to have a jar with a narrow base like the one in the Vitamix 5200, which pulls ingredients down toward the blade rather than flinging them away. But for particularly thick smoothies, a tamper—the plastic bat included with most high-powered blenders—is also essential for busting air pockets and keeping your ingredients moving in the jar.


The Vitamix’s tamper helps bust air pockets—and it’s the only object you should stick into a running blender. Photo: Michael Hession
We like the Vitamix 5200’s tamper because its long and slender shape allowed us to maneuver it into the corners the best of any blender we tested. And in our tests, the 5200’s tamper helped this model make dense smoothies, pasty peanut butter, and thick bean dip more quickly and easily than blenders without tampers, such as the Blendtec Designer 675. The Blendtec is prone to creating air pockets around the blades, especially when blending firm mixtures. And the only way to around that dilemma is to stop the motor to shake or stir the air out (do not stick a spoon, ladle, spatula, or any other tool into a running blender jar), which greatly slows down the process.

Compared with the Vitamix, personal blenders can’t produce smoothies as dense because they have closed jars and you can’t tamp air pockets while the motor runs. To keep the blades moving, personal blenders require more liquid. They also put out less power—and as a result, produce grainier smoothies—than the Vitamix 5200.

Durable enough for the daily grind

You want to be confident that your blender won’t burn out midblend. It’s a real bummer if your first meal of the day is thwarted by an inferior appliance. A cheap blender can prematurely burn out after making one thick smoothie, let alone a few batches in a row. The Vitamix 5200, on the other hand, is a durable machine that can power through many rounds of smoothies, so no one’s left holding an empty cup. In our tests, we made five batches of smoothies in a row in the 5200 without detecting any motor strain, whereas other blenders overheated after two or three.

Kalee Thompson, senior editor for Wirecutter, uses her Vitamix regularly and hasn’t had any issues with the motor burning out. “It’s great. [My husband] bought it, and I thought it was ridiculously expensive. But it’s worth it, in my opinion. I keep it on my counter and use it several times a week to make smoothies with greens or celery mixed in with the yummier stuff. It generally just works.”

I’ve also used Vitamix blenders for many years, both at home and in restaurant kitchens. At one particular job, every day I had to make a flavor-rich lovage oil that involved pureeing a case of herbs into a smooth green paste. Never once did that Vitamix burn out or leave me hanging.

Can handle big batches

The 64-ounce jar of the Vitamix 5200 has enough capacity to blend batches of smoothies for up to four people, so assuming everyone likes the same smoothie, you can knock out breakfast in one go. Compared with the Vitamix 5200, a personal blender (as the name suggests) can accommodate only a single serving of smoothie. Our top personal blender, the NutriBullet Pro, has a maximum blending capacity of 24 ounces, which equals one hearty smoothie or two light snacks.

Easy to clean

Mornings are hectic, and many people don’t have time to scrub food from the nooks and crannies of a blender jar. Ganda Suthivarakom told us that she likes that the Vitamix 5200’s motor can do the work for her: “I love how easy it is to clean—a drop of soap and a whirr on high followed by a sponge means I can clean everything up before my smoothie has melted.” And the motor base cleans up with a quick pass of a sponge.

Personal blenders


Photo: Michael Hession
We get that a $400-plus high-powered blender might be too much machine, or a cost-prohibitive choice, for some folks. And if that’s the case for you, we think the NutriBullet Pro 900 personal blender is a great option for anyone who wants an affordable way to make a quick smoothie in the morning. It’s also convenient because the blending jar is a single-serve cup with a travel lid. But as we’ve noted above, you won’t get Vitamix performance from the NutriBullet. Compared with the Vitamix 5200, the NutriBullet Pro is smaller and less powerful, and it requires more liquid to puree things. NutriBullet smoothies are thinner and grainier as a result.

Personal blenders like the NutriBullet aren’t as versatile as a full-size blender. Namely, the NutriBullet can’t crush large ice cubes, and you should never use it for blending hot foods. But it’s plenty of machine for small apartments and people who want a simple way to make a quick morning smoothie with little cleanup.

Other blenders we recommend

If you’re familiar with our full guide to blenders, you know we have more than one pick. We also recommend the Oster Versa Performance Blender and the Cleanblend 1,800-watt blender, as well as the budget-friendly KitchenAid KSB1570ER 5-Speed Classic Blender. Although the first two models are good for occasional blending jobs, they simply don’t have the longevity to stand up to the daily rigors of grinding up a thick smoothie like the Vitamix 5200 can. The KitchenAid is much less powerful, and really best for infrequent use (and for people who don’t mind a pulpier smoothie). The Oster has a history of burning out in the middle of its seven-year warranty (a turnoff for some people), but the company’s customer service is quick and courteous about replacement. Cleanblend is a new company, and reports of its customer service are spotty. But the Cleanblend model is powerful, and it’s the only blender we tested that performed similarly to the Vitamix.

The NutriBullet Pro is our top personal-blender pick because it strikes a great balance of price to performance. In addition to that top pick, we also recommend the Breville Boss To Go and the Tribest PB-150 in our full guide to personal blenders. Compared with the NutriBullet Pro, the Breville Boss To Go makes thicker, smoother smoothies and costs twice the price. The Tribest PB-150 is the smallest of all our picks and requires the most liquid to keep the blades moving. We consider the little Tribest as more of a supplement to a big blender, not a stand-alone daily smoothie machine.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

Sphero bought a crowdfunded music tech company to expand its unlicensed toys

0

Sphero bought a crowdfunded music tech company to expand its unlicensed toys

Sphero, the maker of connected toys like BB-8, announced this week that it’s acquired Specdrums, a company that makes rings that produce music through taps on different colors. We don’t know how much Sphero spent to acquire the company’s technology, but Specdrums raised over $175,000 on Kickstarter last year and just finished shipping to all its backers. It’s clear that Sphero plans on integrating the ring and color system into its proprietary toys.

Sphero CEO Paul Berberian tells The Verge that the company wants to “get back to its roots,” through toys that won’t have as much branded, character-focused play.

We can already get an idea of what these future toys could do because Specdrums integrated its technology with Sphero’s open SDK earlier this year. You can see below how the rings can control a Sphero’s movements.

None of Sphero’s products currently allow for music playback, but it seems obvious that the company would try to incorporate it now that it has Specdrums’ IP. Berberian’s quote is interesting because, up until recently, Sphero had mostly concentrated on releasing toys under other companies’ branding, like its BB-8, R2-D2, and Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars franchise. The company’s clearly gotten in on that Disney money and now is ready to move beyond it.

Last year, it launched the Sphero Mini — a little ball that works similarly to the original Sphero — and it has plans to announce additional products this year and next. The company says it’ll also launch a second version of Specdrums in late 2018 or early 2019.

The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car feels like playing your own low-budget horror movie

0

The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car feels like playing your own low-budget horror movie

It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

There is a certain type of low-budget film that manages to tell a story in an unexpected way. It seems to come up most often with horror movies, where because of budget or time restraints, filmmakers are often forced to make choices they normally wouldn’t. Like how in Clerks they could only shoot in the store after it closed and had to come up with an explanation for why the shutter was always down, or how the zombie movie Pontypool is set entirely in a small town radio station where they’re trying to piece together what’s going on outside. Playing The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car feels a lot like that.

The game, developed by a three-person team called Lox Rain, is a short visual novel about two people alone in a car months after the start of a zombie apocalypse. Their default names are Shelby and Dustin, though you are prompted early on to type in whatever names you want to use for each. The first choice you make in the game is whose perspective you want to see the story from. Whoever you pick is the only one whose thoughts you are privy to, and who you make dialogue choices for.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529852403_8779_25790" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11572883,"ratio":"*"}'>
</span>

This initial decision turns out to possibly be the most important one in the game. Although the story hits the same beats regardless of your choice, the insight you get into Shelby’s and Dustin’s thoughts provides a much different view of what is going on. The characters also often provide you with more information about them than they are willing to say to the other person.

Their interactions are sometimes sad and sometimes charming, but you quickly learn that these two people don’t know each other at all, despite having already spent a few days together. What follows is the pair trying to connect and learn about each other while they drive through a barren world and struggle to keep themselves from falling apart. They don’t know how long the car’s gas supply will last, or how long the road will remain quiet and empty. This respite feels like the first moment in a long time where they can pretend everything is normal.

It’s this very character-focused story, as well as the framing of the game, that evoked the same tone as a low-budget film for me. For most of the game, you’re looking at the two leads through the front windshield of their car. It’s an interesting and clever framing choice, and not just because it’s the kind of shot you might see in a movie or TV show. It also keeps with the design conventions of a visual novel, where characters in a scene aren’t animated in a traditional sense, but instead shift between different facial expressions and poses.


    <picture class="c-picture" data-cid="site/picture_element-1529852403_8649_25791" data-cdata='{"asset_id":11572895,"ratio":"*"}'>

</span>

The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car may look and feel a bit like a film, but ultimately it offers a very different experience. The key is how the game gives a great sense of authorship to the player. It starts with being able to name the characters, but this control largely comes down to how the game is written. So much of what happens in the game is internalized; when you make a choice it doesn’t just lead to a line of dialogue, but also the character’s rationalizing your choice as their own.

It seems like a small thing, but it’s a powerful one. In The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car, your decisions aren’t just something you want the character to say or do — they feel like choices the character wants to make themselves.


The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car was created by Lox Rain. You can get it on Itch.io for pay what you want (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.) It takes about 30 minutes to finish.

Tom Holland revealed the title for Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel

0

Tom Holland revealed the title for Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel

The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is just over a year out from hitting theaters, but its star Tom Holland seems to have revealed the title in an Instagram post: Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Holland is at Ace Comic-Con in Seattle this weekend, appearing alongside other Marvel actors Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, and Elizabeth Olsen. While there, he posted a video to Instagram, and said that while there wasn’t any announcements for the upcoming sequel, he did just get the script, and held it up on an iPad, revealing the title.

Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is an apt title. Back in April, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told io9 that would filming will begin in July in London, and that the reason they were shooting in England was that while Peter Parker/Spider-Man will be in New York City for part of the film, “he’ll spend some time in other parts of the globe.” Not much else is known about the film at this stage, although actor Jake Gyllenhaal is reportedly in talks for the role of supervillain Mysterio.

Obviously, with sequels to Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther reportedly in the works, Thanos’ master plan to depopulate the universe won’t be permanent, so it remains to be seen just how Peter Parker will return to the world of the living after the end of Avengers: Infinity War. We’ll find out next year, when the film hits theaters on July 5th.

A pilot fights to become the first female astronaut in alternate history novel The Calculating Stars

0

A pilot fights to become the first female astronaut in alternate history novel The Calculating Stars


In 2012, author Mary Robinette Kowal published a novelette in an audio anthology called Rip-Off!, in which authors picked their favorite opening line in fiction, and used it as the basis for an original story. Kowal’s story was The Lady Astronaut of Mars, using the opening line from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: “Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife.”

Kowal’s story went on to earn a Hugo Award in 2014. It followed an alternate history in which NASA reaches Mars during the 1950s and establishes a colony there. Next month, she’ll publish the first of two prequel stories, The Calculating Stars (the second, The Fated Sky hits stores in August), building on that original story.

In this alternate world, a meteorite slams into Earth in 1952 and wipes out much of the US Atlantic seaboard, threatening humanity’s survival, and prompting a massive effort to establish off-world colonies. The novel follows Elma York, a former Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) and mathematician who joins the International Aerospace Coalition as a calculator. Once there, she begins to question why she and other women can’t also go into space, and fights to become the first female astronaut.

The Calculating Stars hits bookstores on July 3rd. Tor has provided us with an exclusive excerpt:


Announcer: This is the BBC World News for March 3, 1952. Here is the news and I’m Raymond Baxter. As fires continue to rage on the east coast of the United States, other countries are beginning to see the first effects of this morning’s meteorite strike. Tidal waves are reported in Morocco, Portugal, and Ireland.

As a Women Airforce Service Pilot during the Second World War, I often flew transport missions with planes that were barely airworthy. My little Cessna was more flyable than some of the planes I’d gotten off the ground as a WASP. Dusty and scuffed, yes, but after the most careful preflight check in the history of aviation, I got her airborne.

As soon as we were up, I made a left bank to turn us south toward Charleston. We both knew it was probably futile, but I had to try. As the plane swung around, what remained of my irrational hope died. The sky to the east was a long dark wall of dust and smoke, lit from beneath by an inferno. If you’ve seen forest fires, you know a little of what this was like. The current fire stretched to the curvature of the Earth, as if someone had peeled back the mantle and opened a gateway into Hell itself. Streaks of fire lit the sky as ejecta continued to fall to the Earth. Flying into that would be madness.

Everything to the east of the mountains had been flattened. The airblast had laid the trees out in weirdly neat rows. In the seat beside me, just audible over the roar of the engine, Nathaniel moaned.

I swallowed and swung the plane back around to the west. “We have about two hours of fuel. Suggestions?”

Like me, he tended to do better if he had something to focus on. When his mother died, he built a deck in our backyard, and my husband is not terribly handy with a hammer. Nathaniel scrubbed his face and straightened. “Let’s see who’s out there?” He reached for the radio, which was still tuned to the Langley Tower. “Langley Tower, Cessna Four

One Six Baker request VFR traffic advisories. Over.” Static answered him.

“Any radio, Cessna Four One Six Baker request VFR traffic advisories. Over.”

He dialed through the entire radio frequency, listening for someone broadcasting. He repeated his call on each while I flew. “Try the UHF.” As a civilian pilot, I should have just had a VHF radio, but because Nathaniel worked with the NACA we had a UHF installed as well so he could listen directly to pilots who were on test flights. We never cluttered the military channels by broadcasting, but today . . . ? Today I just wanted anyone to answer. As we made our way west, the devastation lessened, but only in comparison to what lay behind us. Trees and buildings had been knocked down by the blast. Some were on fire, with no one to put them out. What had it been like, to not understand what was coming?

“Unidentified Cessna, Sabre Two One, all nonessential air traffic is grounded.”

At the sound of a living human, I started to weep again, but this was not a time to indulge in compromised vision. I blinked my eyes to clear them and focused on the horizon.

“Roger, Sabre Two One, Cessna Four One Six Baker, request advice on clear landing areas. Heading two seven zero.”

“One Six Baker, copy that. I’m right above you. Where the hell are you coming from?” His voice had the telltale hiss and rattle of an oxygen mask, and behind that was the thin whine of a jet engine. Looking back and up, I could just make out the F-86, and his wingman farther back, gaining on us. They would have to circle, because their stall speed was faster than my little Cessna could fly.

“Hell seems pretty accurate.” Nathaniel rubbed his forehead with his free hand. “We were in the Poconos when the meteorite hit.”

“Jesus, One Six Baker. I just flew over that. How are you alive?”

“I’ve got no idea. So . . . where should we set down?” “Give me a sec. I’ll check to see if I can escort you to

Wright-Patterson.”

“Roger. Would it help to mention that I’m a retired Army captain and still work with the government?”

“With the government? Please tell me you’re a senator.” Nathaniel laughed. “No. A rocket scientist with the NACA. Nathaniel York.”

“The satellites! That’s why you sounded familiar. I heard you on the radio. Major Eugene Lindholm, at your service.” The man on the other end of the line was silent for a couple of minutes. When it crackled back to life again, he said, “Got enough fuel to reach Wright-Patterson?”

I’d flown into that airbase multiple times, moving planes during the war. It was approximately one hundred and fifty miles from where we were. I nodded as I adjusted course to head us there.

Nathaniel nodded in acknowledgment and lifted the mic again. “We do.”

“Great. You’ll be there in time for dinner. Not that it’s much to look forward to.”

My stomach growled at the mention of food. We hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before, and I was suddenly ravenously hungry. Even water would be welcome.

When Nathaniel signed off, he leaned back in his seat with a sigh.

“Looks like you have a fan.”

He snorted. “We should have seen it.” “What?”

“The meteorite. We should have seen it coming.” “It wasn’t your job.”

“But we were looking for things that would interfere with the satellites. You’d think we’d spot a goddamn asteroid that was this close.”

“Low albedo. Trajectory that put it in line with the sun.

Small—”

“We should have seen it!”

“And if you had, what could we have done?”

The sound of the engine vibrated the seat beneath me and underscored the hiss of air slicing past. One of Nathaniel’s knees bounced up and down with nervous energy. He sat forward and grabbed the charts. “Looks like you’ll need to lay a course southwest.”

I’d already done that, and we had an escort, but if giving me directions made Nathaniel feel useful, then by God he could guide me all the way there. Every streaking flare of ejecta in the sky just drove home how helpless we were. I could see them, but not in time to do anything about them, so I kept my hands on the yoke and flew.

The good thing about the constant pinch of hunger was that it countered the soothing drone of the airplane and kept me awake. Well, that and Nathaniel’s terrible baritone. My husband was many things, but a singer was not one of them. Oh, he could carry a tune—in a bucket filled with gravel.

Fortunately, he knew that, and leaned toward a comedic repertoire in his efforts to keep me awake. Bellowing with a vibrato like an amorous goat, Nathaniel stomped his foot on the floorboards of the airplane.

“Oh, do you remember Grandma’s Lye Soap? Good for everything, everything in the place.

The pots and kettles, and for your hands, and for your face?”

Below us, the glorious sight of the Wright-Patterson airfield finally scrolled into view. Its identification light flashed green, then the double-white of a military field.

“Mrs. O’Malley, down in the valley Suffered from ulcers, I understand—”

“Saved!” I adjusted altitude. “Let ’em know we’re coming in?”

Nathaniel grinned and grabbed the mic. “Sabre Two One, One Six Baker. So how’s the food on the base?”

The radio crackled and Major Lindholm laughed. “It’s everything you would expect. And more.”

“That bad, eh?”

“I did not say that, sir. But if you’re real nice, I might share my wife’s care package.”

I laughed along with Nathaniel, far more than the joke deserved.

Nathaniel switched the radio to the tower frequency, but before he could get the mic to his lips, another voice crackled out. “Aircraft on heading two six zero, eight thousand five hundred feet, this is Wright-Patterson Tower. Identify yourself.”

“Wright-Patterson Tower, this is Cessna Four One Six Baker at eight thousand five hundred, direct to the field.”

Nathaniel had flown with me often enough that he had the routine down. He lowered the mic for a moment, then grinned and raised it again. “And Tower, we have Sabre Two One flight in tow.”

“Tower, Sabre Two One. We are escorting One Six Baker, request direct to the field.”

I snorted. It had to irk a fighter pilot to be trailing a scrubby little plane like my Cessna.

“One Six Baker and Sabre Two One, Tower copies. Approved direct to the field. Remain clear of One Six Baker. Be advised, we have reports of—”

Light streaked past the nose of the plane. A crack like a bomb going off. The entire plane bucked. I wrestled it level again—

And suddenly, I could see the propeller. The nearly invisible blur had become a stuttering, uneven bar. Part of it was just gone. It took me a moment to grasp what had happened. That streak of light had been a chunk of ejecta slamming into the nose of the plane, and it had taken part of my propeller with it.

The engine vibrations shook the yoke in my hand and slammed the seat against the base of my spine. This was only going to get worse. It could shake the engine right out of the plane. I slammed it into idle and began the sequence to secure the engine—by which I mean, shut it down.

Damn it. I wasn’t going to make the base. “I need a landing field. Now.”

At least we were in farm country, although the snow was going to mask the actual terrain. I pulled the throttle knob all the way out to idle and the engine shut off, leaving only the hiss of wind around us. What was left of the propeller windmilled as air rushed over it.

“What . . . ?”

“Gliding.” If the ejecta had hit a wing, we’d be in much worse trouble, but the Cessna was a darn good glider. I just wouldn’t get a second chance at landing.

There was a road cutting between the fields, which might be a good bet, if it weren’t for the fences bordering it. Field it was. I banked to line up the approach.

In the corner of my eye, Nathaniel still clutched the microphone. As a WASP, I’d had engines cut out on me far too often. This was his first time. He brought the radio to his mouth and I was so proud of how steady his voice was. “Wright Tower, this is Cessna Four One Six Baker declaring an emergency. We’ve had an engine failure and are making a forced landing on a field . . . um . . .” He fumbled for the map. “Cessna Four One Six Baker, Wright Tower. We have eyes on you. You just concentrate on landing. Sabre Two One, Wright Tower. Orbit to assist and pinpoint where they land.” “Wright Tower, Sabre Two One. Already on it.” The roar of the jet passed overhead as Major Lindholm and his wing-man did a wide sweep past us.

My pulse thrummed through my veins, taking the place of the engine noise. This was not my first unpowered landing, but it was the first time with my husband aboard. After everything else that had happened today, I would not be the cause of his death. I refused. “Buckled up?”

“Um. Yeah.” But he was fastening his seat belt as he spoke, so it was a good thing that I had asked. “Can I do . . . anything?”

“Brace.” I tucked in my chin and watched the altimeter. “Anything else—”

“Don’t talk.” He just wanted to help, but I didn’t have time for that. I had to slow the plane down as much as possible before I touched down, but not so much that we landed short of the field. The ground rose up to meet us, changing from a smooth white expanse to a model train set of a snowy field, and then—without transition—full size and beneath us. I kept the nose up so that the tail wheel touched down first.

The snow grabbed at the wheel, slowing us further. As long as I could, I kept the nose tipped up. When the wing wheels finally touched, one of them snagged on the uneven rows beneath the snow. The plane jolted. I clutched the yoke to keep the wings level and worked the rudder pedals, trying to turn in the direction of the wind.

Our turn continued until we were facing the direction that we’d come. The plane stopped. Around us, the world was silent and still.

All the air in my lungs hissed out at once. I sagged against the seat.

A jet engine roared overhead and the radio crackled. Major Lindholm’s voice filled the cabin. “One Six Baker, nicely done! Are you two okay?”

Nathaniel sat up and reached for the mic. His hand was shaking. “We aren’t dead. So, yes.”

The congealed mass of kidney beans and utterly questionable meatloaf may have been the best things I had ever tasted. The beans had a sweet tang to them, and puckered the inside of my mouth with too much salt, but I closed my eyes and relaxed against the hard bench in the Air Force canteen. It was weirdly empty, since much of the base had been deployed to deal with relief efforts. Some crockery rattled against the table and brought with it the glorious scent of chocolate.

When I opened my eyes, Major Lindholm settled onto the bench across from us. The picture I’d built of him in my head had no bearing on reality. I’d expected an older man, Nordic blond and stocky.

The real Major Lindholm was black, and younger than I’d expected from his voice. He was a hale man in his late thirties, with dark hair still mashed down from his helmet. The red line of his face mask traced a triangle around his chin and nose. And he brought hot chocolate.

Nathaniel lowered his fork and eyed the three steaming mugs on the table. He swallowed. “Is that hot cocoa?”

“Yeah, but don’t thank me. It’s a bribe, so I can ask you questions about rockets.” Lindholm pushed two of the mugs across the table. “From the stash my wife sends to work with me, not the Air Force stuff.”

“If you weren’t already married . . .” My hand had closed around the warm mug before I realized what I’d said. I hoped he wasn’t offended.

He laughed, thank God. “I’ve got a brother . . .”

My heart clenched hard. I’d managed to put my family out of my mind in order to keep going, but my brother lived in California. Hershel must think I was dead. My breath shuddered as I inhaled, but I managed to find a smile somewhere and looked up. “Is there a phone I can use? Long distance?”

Nathaniel rested his palm against my back. “Her family was in D.C.”

“Oh, geez, ma’am. I’m so sorry.” “But my brother—he’s in California.”

“You come with me, ma’am.” He glanced at Nathaniel. “Is there anyone you need to call, sir?”

Nathaniel shook his head. “Not urgently.”

I followed Major Lindholm, with Nathaniel at my back, through corridors that barely registered. What an inconsiderate brat I’d been. I’d taken comfort that Hershel and his family lived in California, but hadn’t once thought about the fact that to him, I was as good as dead. He had no reason to think that I wasn’t in D.C. when the meteorite struck.

The office Major Lindholm showed me to was small and military tidy. The only thing that marred the right angles was a framed photo of twin boys and a crayon-drawn map of the U.S. pinned to the wall. Nathaniel shut the door and stood outside with Lindholm.

A utilitarian black phone sat on the desk, but at least it had a rotary dial, so I wouldn’t have to speak with an operator. The receiver was warm and heavy. I dialed Hershel’s home, listening to the rattle of the rotary as it swept through the numbers. Each signal sent a pulse through the lines and gave me time to retreat into a mechanical calm.

All I got was the high, frantic hum of a busy circuit. It was hardly surprising that all the circuits would be busy, but I hung up and tried again immediately. My urgency beat in time with the busy signal.

I had barely hung up again when Nathaniel opened the door. “Company. You okay?”

“Circuit’s busy.” I wiped at my face, probably just smearing the dirt more. I would ask to send a telegram, but the military signalers would be tied up. “I’ll try later.”

There was a lot to be said for being alive and upright. I was a greasy, smoky, bleeding mess, but I was alive. My husband was alive. My brother and his family were alive. And if I needed a reminder that this was a blessing, all I had to do was remember how many people had died today. Still, when an Air Force colonel strode into the room, I caught myself trying to brush my hair into place as I stood, as if it would make a difference. Then, I saw past the insignia to the man. Stetson Parker. Thank heavens I had enough dirt on my face that I didn’t have to worry about guarding my expression.

The jerk had been promoted. This was not remotely surprising, since he was a charmer to anyone who outranked him, or who he needed . . . as he proceeded to demonstrate now, with an outstretched hand toward Nathaniel. “Dr. York. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know you’re safe.”

Even with Lindholm’s earlier enthusiasm about rockets, it was easy to forget that Nathaniel had become a celebrity because of the satellite launch. We’d managed to beat the Russians to getting a satellite into orbit not once, but with three different launches. My husband, being unreasonably attractive and charming—a fact about which I am not biased—had become the face of the NACA space program. “Well, Major Lindholm has been taking good care of us.

We appreciate the welcome, Colonel . . . ?” The man had a name tag on, but still . . . an introduction was appropriate. “Where are my manners? I’m just so awestruck to have you here.” Parker gave a shit-eating grin. “Colonel Stetson Parker, Base Commander. Although . . . with affairs being what they are, I appear to be in charge of more than just this base.”

Of course he would get that in, to make it clear how important he was. I stepped forward and stuck out my hand. “Good to see you again, Colonel Parker.”

He raised his eyebrows in surprise. “I’m sorry, ma’am, you have the better of me.”

“Oh, when you knew me, I was still Elma Wexler. One of the WASP pilots.”

His face stiffened a little. “Ah. The general’s daughter.

Yes, I remember you.”

“Congratulations on your promotion.” I smiled the best “bless your heart” smile I could. “You must have worked very hard for it.”

“Thank you, ma’am.” He grinned again, clapping Nathaniel on the shoulder. “And I guess the little lady got a promotion, eh, becoming Mrs. York?”

My teeth hurt from grinding, but I kept smiling. “You mentioned not knowing who your superior is. What can you tell us about the current situation?”

“Ah . . .” He sobered, and the mood change might even have been real. He gestured to the seats on the other side of the desk. “Sit down, please.”

Parker took the chair behind the desk, and only now did I notice his nameplate set front and center. I was surprised he had twins. I wonder who’d married him. He steepled his fingers together and sighed again. “An explosion—”

“A meteorite.”

“That’s what the news reported. But given that Washington was wiped out? I place my money on the Russians.”

Nathaniel cocked his head. “Is there radioactivity?” “We haven’t gotten anyone close enough to the blast area to check.”

Idiot. I spelled things out for him. “There’s ejecta falling all around, which, first of all, you could just test for radioactivity. Second, that’s not something that happens with an A-bomb. It occurs when a meteorite punches a hole in the atmosphere and the blast material is sucked into space, then falls back to Earth.”

His eyes narrowed. “Then know this. The United States Congress was in session, both the House and the Senate. Our federal government was nearly entirely wiped out. The Pentagon, Langley . . . So even if this was an act of God, do you honestly think the Russians won’t try to take advantage of it?”

That . . . that was a terrifyingly good point. I leaned back in my chair and crossed my arms over my chest to ward off the sudden chill in the air.

Nathaniel filled in the gap. “So, the military is planning a defense?”

He didn’t quite emphasize “military,” but did make it clear enough that whatever happened, a colonel was not going to be running the show.

“It’s the prudent thing to do. Dr. York . . .” He paused, but the hesitation was so blatantly calculated that you could almost see him counting the seconds. “You worked on the Manhattan Project, am I correct?”

Nathaniel stiffened next to me. The Manhattan Project had been exciting from a scientific standpoint, but horrific in every other respect. “I did, but I’m focused on space exploration these days.”

Parker waved that away. “I hate to do this to you after your arduous morning, but may I pull you into a meeting?”

“I’m not sure that I really have anything to offer.” “You’re the top scientist in rocketry right now.”

Neither of us needed a reminder of how many people at the NACA were likely dead. I rested my hand on Nathaniel’s knee, to steady him as he had steadied me. The NACA, however, was not the only rocketry program. “Not to undervalue my husband’s work, but Wernher von Braun is at the Sunflower Project in Kansas.”

Parker snorted and gave me a pained smile. He’d hated being polite to me during the war, when he had to because of my father; and now he hated being polite to Dr. York’s wife. “Ma’am, it’s nice that you want to help, but I hope you understand that I can’t involve a former Nazi like von Braun in questions of national security.” And then he was looking at Nathaniel again, ignoring me completely. “What do you say, Dr. York? We just want to understand what our options are for keeping America safe.”

Nathaniel sighed and picked at a loose thread on his trousers. “All right. But I’m not promising to be bright today.”

As he stood, I straightened my legs to join him. Parker held his hand up and shook his head. “No need, ma’am. You can just rest here in my office, while Major Lindholm arranges quarters for you.”

The major said, “We have some empty rooms at our place—if you want to avoid the TLFs?”

I was flattered—not that he’d offered a place to stay, but that he used the acronym for temporary living facilities instead of translating for a civilian. “That’s very kind. If your wife doesn’t mind, Major.”

“I’m sure she won’t, ma’am.”

Parker’s smile was unexpectedly warm. “You’re in good hands. His wife makes darn fine pie.”

I’ll admit that I was surprised to see what appeared to be genuine camaraderie between the two men. My own experiences with Parker had been less than ideal. I hoped that didn’t mean that Major Lindholm would turn out to be charming but unpleasant too. “Thank you. Now that that’s sorted, we can go on to the meeting.” Not that I had any desire to go to a meeting, but I would give a lot to feel like I could be of some use.

“Ah . . . I’m sorry, ma’am.” Parker tugged at his tie. “What I should have said was that Dr. York already has the necessary clearance levels from the Manhattan Project. You understand.”

Clearance, my ass. From what he was saying, there was no hierarchy at all, much less clearance. But if I voiced any of that, nothing useful would follow, so I settled back in my chair. “Well, bless your heart. Of course I understand. I’ll just sit here and wait.”

Nathaniel raised his brows at that. He knew me well enough to know I was good and angry, if not exactly why. I shook my head at him, reassuring him that I was fine. I smiled, folded my hands demurely in my lap, and settled back. Like a good little girl, I would sit and wait, let my husband do the work, and pray to God that this mishegas wasn’t going to start a nuclear war.

One in three American drivers can’t tell if their tires are bald

0

One in three American drivers can’t tell if their tires are bald

Whether you know it or not, driving a car is probably one of the riskiest things you’ll ever do. Substantially increasing that risk is the prospect of worn-down, bald tires with little to no tread. Unfortunately, a worrisome segment of the driving population can’t tell a normal tire from a bald one.

According to the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), 35 percent of American drivers can’t tell if a tire is bald. In addition, 40 percent think they can tell if a tire is under-inflated just by looking at it, and just 17 percent knew how to check their tire pressure. These statistics are from a 2015 study, which resurfaced during National Tire Safety Week earlier this month in Ars Technica.

Vehicles with worn-out tires are three times more likely to end up in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This study showed that tire-related crashes were more likely as your tire’s tread wears, with accident rates at just 2.4 percent when tires had near full tread depth to 26 percent when the tires were worn-out (0 – 2 /32” depth). We recommend consumers start shopping for new tires at 4/32” tread depth while some all-weather grip is still available. At this point tire-related crashes approached 8 percent.

“Properly checking and inflating your tires is an important step to help make your tires last longer, save you money and protect you and your family on the road,” NHTSA says in an advisory that was released on Thursday. The agency recommends checking your tire pressure and tread at least once a month.

Tires have built-in “treadwear indicators,” which are raised sections that run in between the tire’s tread. When the tread is worn down so that it’s level with the tread indicator, it’s time to replace your tires. You can also easily test your tire’s treads with any coin you have handy.

Hey there!

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot your password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Close
of

Processing files…

google-site-verification: google9280b37da13065b0.html