Robert Mills says his work as an autopsy technician is more a calling than a job.On a rainy Tuesday morning, Aug. 12, just after 7 a.m., the lifeless, contorted bodies of seven men of assorted ages and races lie separately on steel carts within the autopsy suite at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).One man with a mangled motorcycle helmet still strapped to his head, had on a dark gray work shirt with an “Utz” tag sewn into it. Another man was clad only in a hospital gown. While a third man was dressed in stylish knee length shorts and a baggy short sleeved designer shirt, most exposed areas of his skin inscribed with various tattoos.Each of them with a story most of us — outside their circle of friends and loved ones — will never know.Yet, many of the stories of the state’s deceased, those who perish in the wake of empirical violence and mayhem or under suspicious circumstances, are often the burden of the state’s 12 autopsy technicians.“We take it home, it’s personal you know? It could easily be one of our family members,” said Robert Mills who has worked in the OCME for six years and performed the same work in Georgia for 13 years. “No family is left alone, we are part of that family when their loved one comes through that door,” Mills added.What Mills alludes to is the reality that autopsy techs (whose entry level salary is $23,584) are not only responsible for all aspects of performing postmortem examinations, they are also charged with the often heart wrenching work of interacting directly with the loved ones of the deceased. Mills and his colleagues call this task, “working the desk.” Those duties include assigning cases to the techs “working the floor” (performing autopsies), assisting families, funeral homes and law enforcement via phone and in person and releasing the deceased to funeral homes.Indeed, the spiritual and emotional work of the state’s autopsy techs takes a toll. But the list of physical duties in the performance of their job is formidable.The techs perform lodox (X-ray) and CT scans, advise doctors and alert them to specific scenarios, maintain the sanitation of equipment and the autopsy suites, stock and monitor supplies and equipment, among myriad other duties.And then there is the actual performance of the autopsy. Watching Mills perform the gruesome and grueling work of eviscerating a body (which they most often do autonomously without a doctor’s supervision) is at once fascinating and horrifying. They remove all the organs and obtain fluids for toxicology, trace bullet paths, mark exit wounds, remove projectiles (like bullets), to name a few elements of the procedure.The task is inherently wrought with peril for the autopsy techs. Last week, the examination of a 24-day-old infant with meningitis, compelled several of them to take an antibiotic known as “Cipro” (Ciprofloxacin).They are under the constant threat of exposure to a variety of potentially deadly diseases and viruses like meningitis, hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The recent ebola scare in West Africa (which was contracted by two Americans who have subsequently been brought to the United States for treatment) that has dominated news reports has been a frightening reminder of the danger inherent in their jobs.“What we’re doing is a high risk job; it’s like working at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). At the end of the day we really don’t know what a person comes in here with,” Mills said.“The techs are looking to be treated at an equal level, to be treated as if we are PA’s (pathologist assistants) because in the long run we are the doctor’s eyes…they are relying on us. We do it all from the beginning to the end,” Mills added.Although the state’s 12 autopsy technicians argue they are woefully underpaid (attorney J. Wyndal Gordon is representing the group pro bono) and not treated with the respect they deserve given the importance of their job; they assert that they perform it with a high level of professionalism and maintain that the work they do is more than a paycheck for them.“We want the family to know that we’re not here just for money purposes, we’re here to serve and help families (find) closure, their pain is our pain,” Mills said.“And that’s something people need to realize. What we do for a living, working with flesh, is a God-given ability; we’ve been chosen to do this.”
Day: September 1, 2019
Dr. John L. HudginsAlmost a month ago as I stopped for my morning 7/11 coffee in Baltimore County, Inoticed several young people sitting outside the store. As I got my coffee (actually chocolate) a Black woman police officer came in and had a brief discussion with the person behind the counter, an elderly White woman. As I was leaving, a young White male officer had joined the Black female officer and they were discussing trespassing with the youngsters. One young man was quite persistent with the questions; “What have I done? How am I trespassing? As the two officers attempted to explain the situation, another officer, a Black male corporal, arrived. He walked past the first two officers into the store, talked with the cashier and came out confronting the young people (actually two Black males and a White female). The first young man persisted with the questions. The Black male officer became agitated and said, “You need to get off the premises before I throw your ass in jail.” Next, he slammed the questioner against the wall, placed handcuffs on him and forced him into the back seat of his patrol car and drove away. The other two officers simply watched.A few weeks ago a video was released showing a Baltimore City Police officer attacking a Black male at the corner of Greenmount and North avenues. Apparently there were some words between the officer and the male leaving a store. The officer appears to push past other officers and commenced to beating the man. This action was caught on the city police camera. The officer was a Black male.A Baltimore County police officer in Randallstown chased down a young Black man who he thought had thrown rocks at his home and choked the young man to death. The officer was a Black male.Earlier last year as his fellow officers watched and sought shelter, a Baltimore City Police officer shot and killed his girlfriend from an upstairs window as she pleaded for help. The officer was a Black male.A few years ago as I left class at Coppin State University, an unmarked police car followed a young man in a jeep onto the campus. Two officers (plain clothes) were in the car, a White male and a Black male. The Black male, a rather large individual proceeds to almost pull the young man from the jeep and briefly searched it. He then called a Black woman officer to search the female passenger. Interestingly the White male officer stepped back and simply watched the whole occurrence. When apparently nothing was found the officers got into their cars and left. Word is the young man had come to campus to pick up his mother after class.For the last few months our attention has been focused on the tragic, probably malicious shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. by a White police officer. We have noticed the many parallels across the country where White police officers have been brutal and homicidal especially toward Black males. Ironically if the police officer had been a Black male, most of us would not have heard of the shooting/homicide.During slavery there were a few Black males who became overseers, a job normally reserved for poor Whites. These chosen Blacks were often as brutal if not more brutal than their White counterparts. They were apparently chosen for their strength, their obedience and their insensitivity to the suffering of other Blacks who also were enslaved.During the twentieth century many police departments including Baltimore had desegregated by adding Black police officers. These officers were restricted to policing in the Black community and were not allowed to arrest Whites. My understanding is that in Baltimore they also were not even assigned patrol cars. This desegregation came in many cases after much protest and political action on the part of the Black community. The feeling at the time was that Black officers in police departments would be more sensitive and concerned about issues affecting the Black community including White police brutality against Black citizens. Because of this feeling the assumption was often made that Black police officers were generally better for the African-American community.This history often gave Black police officers a pass when it came to issues involving police behavior in the African-American community. Thus the misbehavior by Black police officers was ignored by the White community (why should they care) and the Black community pretended that it did not happen. In time African Americans gained political control of many of the larger cities with Black mayors, Black City Council majorities and yes, Black police chiefs. In too many cases these advances meant very little in terms of police behavior in the rank and file, poor and working class Black communities. In many cities like Baltimore the police departments remained controlled by the White ranking officers even with a Black police chief. The Black police chief was almost symbolic as the majority White police department was controlled by the very White ranking officers. It is likely that some of these hierarchies encouraged and expected maximum application of force by Black police officers against the Black community. The Police color became “blue” and Black officers were expected to fall in line much like the Black overseers during slavery. This took place despite the rampant racism and discrimination they themselves experienced within these departments.Today the African-American Community must demand fairness and civility not only from White police officers but all police officers. It is likely that a significant amount of the 5.7 million dollars paid in police brutality cases by the city of Baltimore involved Black police officers. Black police officers should no longer get a pass when it comes to abusive behaviors in the Black community. In true fashion, they rarely if ever commit such atrocities in the White community. If anything Black police officers should be held to a higher standard in providing protection for the Black community. The expectation to protect and to serve should not stop at White middle class neighborhoods. Black police officers should take the lead in providing high quality non abusive services to the communities of their families, relatives, church members, former classmates and fellow travelers in what continues to be an often very racist society. They should be an active part of the solution. They must not be a major part of the problem and be allowed to take shelter under the cover of their skin, a skin which they in too many instances demonstrate that they do not cherish and in some cases even hate. Obviously there are many good, professional, caring and concerned Black police officers everywhere. The thugs however should be sent packing away from inflicting harm and abuse in the African American Community.Dr. John Hudgins is associate professor of sociology at Coppin State University.Follow the AFRO online and on Facebook for opportunities for citizens to share their encounters
On Feb. 28 at 9 p.m., the Tom Cunningham Orchestra will be performing a three hour set of early Swing music, 1930-36, including selections from Benny Goodman, The Dorsey Brothers, Jimmie Lunceford, the Boswell Sisters, and others. The location is the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Boulevard. Adult admission is $18.For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 571-572-3356.
Fatoumata Diawara will perform April 17 at the BlackRock Center for the Arts.Malian singer- songwriter, Fatoumata Diawara, will perform, 8 p.m., April 17, at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Md. Tickets are $15-$26. Call (240) 912-1058 or visit www.blackrockcenter.org to purchase tickets.
Baltimore Chief CIrcuit Judge Alfred Nance Steps DownBaltimore Chief CIrcuit Judge Alfred Nance Steps Down
BALTIMORE (AP) — A longtime Baltimore judge who was facing possible expulsion has stepped down.Baltimore Chief CIrcuit Judge Alfred Nance. (Courtesy Photo)A spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan says Baltimore Chief Circuit Judge Alfred Nance submitted his retirement effective Friday.The Baltimore Sun reports the Maryland Court of Appeals was set to decide whether Nance should be punished for remarks he made during criminal trials two years ago.In October, the state Commission on Judicial Disabilities found Nance made disparaging and demeaning comments that undermined the integrity of the court. The panel recommended that the state’s high court strip Nance of his elected post before he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.Nance’s attorney declined comment to the newspaper.Nance joined the bench in 1998 and earned a salary of $154,000.___Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com
Anees Abdul-RahimAbdul-Rahim’s Facebook page lists him as founder and director of the Al Tawhid Counseling Network. He attended the HBCU, Lincoln University in Pa., and graduated from Essex Community College in Maryland. Nick MosbyMosby served on the Baltimore City Council from 2010 to 2016. He was appointed by Mayor Catherine Pugh to his current 40th District Delegate seat once occupied by Barbara Robinson (who moved on to the Maryland Senate), when Pugh’s previous appointee Gary Brown Jr., was indicted on campaign finance violations. Mosby ran unsuccessfully to be Baltimore mayor in 2016. He is a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and Tuskegee Institute, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He is married to Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Melissa WellsWells, a longtime community advocate in the 40th, is a labor leader, who is a member of the Baltimore Washington Building Trades Unions. She is a financial security specialist. Frank M. Conaway, Jr.Conaway was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates representing the 40th in 2006. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and in 2014, he was the first Maryland legislator to sponsor a bill to require body-worn cameras for police officers. Conaway holds a B.A. degree in business administration from Sojourner-Douglass College. He produced dozens of controversial YouTube videos on subjects ranging from the Book of Revelations, to Rubik’s Cube, and peddled several of his books, allegedly using the mailroom of Baltimore’s Municipal Post Office. He resigned from that job in 2014 and the videos were taken down. He is a member of the Conaway political family. Sarah MatthewsMatthews, a native of the South side of Chicago, has established herself as a neighborhood activist in Bolton Hill. She is a former member of the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee. She has run unsuccessfully for several Baltimore elected offices over the years. Timothy MercerMercer, a contractor has run unsuccessfully for multiple Baltimore elected offices. Latia HopkinsHopkins is a political organizer, who has worked on several Democratic campaigns around the state. She is a graduate of Frostburg State University in Western Maryland, where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, and Law and Society, as well as a Masters degree in Education. She is the Mid-Atlantic regional director for Young Democrats of America. Terrell Boston-SmithBoston-Smith began working as youth community organizer when he was a student at Baltimore City College High School. He pursued higher education as an undergrad at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and graduate student at Baruch College, City University of New York. He served as campaign manager for Del. Cory McCray’s successful run for the 45th House of Delegates seat and was political director for Brian Frosh’s successful campaign for Maryland Attorney General. He is a member of the Boston political family of Baltimore. By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, email@example.comLarge swaths of the 40th Legislative District of Baltimore City are plagued by poverty and violence (both epicenters of the 2015 uprising, Mondawmin and Penn North are in the 40th). However, it is also the home of venerable Druid Hill Park, four institutions of higher education (Coppin State University, Baltimore City Community College, the University of Maryland School of Law and the University of Maryland at Baltimore), some of the most aesthetically beautiful neighborhoods in the city, as well as some of the most historically significant Black communities. Here is the most complete list available of Black candidates vying for the three seats to represent the 40th in the Maryland House of Delegates. All the candidates are Democrats.Clockwise from top left: Frank Conaway Jr.; Nick Mosby; Westley West; Melissa Wells; Latia Hopkins; Timothy Mercer; Anees Abdul-Rahim; Terrell Boston Smith. (Courtesy Photo) Westley WestWest, is Pastor of Faith Empowered Ministries, at 1900 Walbrook Ave., in West Baltimore. He gained some notoriety as an activist during the uprising of 2015.He ran unsuccessfully for Baltimore City Council in 2016.
AFRO Exclusive First Daughter is First Woman to Pastor Historic Mt AraratAFRO Exclusive First Daughter is First Woman to Pastor Historic Mt Ararat
By Rev. Dorothy S. Boulware, AFRO Managing EditorWith one movement, history is made in myriad ways with the announced retirement of current pastor, the Rev. Dr. Charles E. Coger and the appointment of his daughter, the Rev. Myeskia Coger Watson as the first woman, and only the sixth pastor of 122-year-old Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.When she ascends the pulpit, Dec. 2, to preach her first sermon as pastor-elect, she will stand in awe of the fact that she also preached her initial sermon when she was 19, in the same place.“I am honored and humbled,” Rev. Watson told the AFRO. “It’s amazing to be in this place at this time and I’m so grateful to God.”The Rev. Myeskia Coger Watson is setting the standard as pastor-elect for Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, where her father, the Rev. Dr. Charles E. Coger, currently pastors.Courtesy photoIt is a place she initially resisted when her father was appointed pastor, because she had nothing but love and affection for what had been their home church for her entire life until that point.“I told my family I was not leaving New Psalmist and I was so glad I was 18 and could drive myself,” she said. “I loved New Psalmist and I thought it would be my church forever.”But she loved and supported her parents’ ministry at Mt. Ararat, something she continues with this new move.“We’ve been helping out for about four years now,” Rev. Watson said, in the light of health challenges her father has met with great success, with the help of the Lord. “And in the past two, we’ve been preaching on Sundays and conducting Wednesday Bible studies,” she said. So, the transition is expected to be as smooth as a transition can be.Rev. Watson is not new to being a pastor since she was blessed to establish her own congregation, Living in Love Ministries, which she has led while helping out at Mt. Ararat.“We are still in ministry with ‘Living in Love’ and are anticipating what God will do as we go forward together,” she said.As are the members of Mt. Ararat, some of whom have been in the fellowship for many years.One of them is Deacon E. Lee Lassiter, who counts his membership in decades, at least five.“I share the excitement and optimism of other members of Mt. Ararat as the church moves forward under new leadership,” he said, adding, “expanding our tradition of lifting up and serving God and meeting the needs of the people.His historical view is rich.“Each of Mt. Ararat’s pastors has stressed sound doctrine, spiritual and physical growth, sacrifice and service in interest of furthering God’s work on earth,” Deacon Lassiter said. “We are on the brink of moving to higher heights in all these areas under Pastor Watson’s leadership.”He recalled that Mt. Ararat was the first African-American church to move into the Mondawmin area and that it became and remains a kind of religious “flagship.”“Proclaiming itself ‘The End of Your Search for a Friendly Church,’ Mt. Ararat opened its doors at the current site the first Sunday in February 1955 with a small band of courageous members still on board,” according to the church’s website. But it was not to remain small.“It drew members from all denominations simply because it was the only of its kind,” he said. “And I’ve been blessed to witness the positive impact on and service to the city’s religious community and the community surrounding the church.”With no disagreement from the Rev. Dr. A.C.D. Vaughn, who is marking the moment and happy to see history being made.“I’m going to be excited every time I drive down Gwynns Falls Parkway and see Myeskia’s name on the marquee,” the long time pastor of Sharon Baptist Church said.“Not just the first time, but every time.”Known as the “Baptist Bishop,” Rev. Vaughn said the appointment of Rev. Watson is a sign of hope for other women in the ministry, especially Baptist women.“These women have worked hard in other vineyards, some for little compensation; they’ve prepared themselves professionally and academically,” he said.“It’s only fair they be given equal opportunity to pastor within the denomination in which they’ve grown up and learned ministry.”Rev. Vaughn said Rev. Watson had done a “massive job of ministry” in assisting her father and being supportive of his ministry, and was thus deserving of this opportunity for leadership.“The day of the woman is here and everyone might as well realize it,” he said.“The women need to know that this is no longer impossible for them. And in that Rev. Watson is setting a standard.”
Cameron Dallas Has a Record Deal Social Media Star Partners With ColumbiaCameron Dallas Has a Record Deal Social Media Star Partners With Columbia
Social media sensation Cameron Dallas has signed a recording contract in partnership with Columbia, Variety has learned. A top influencer, the 23-year-old boasts 20.8 million followers on Instagram, 16.5 million on Twitter and 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube and starred in the 2016 Netflix series “Chasing Cameron.”As recently as last week, Dallas was spotted on the Los Angeles campus of Sony Music, of which Columbia Records is a subsidiary. Meetings with label brass about the direction of his music were on the agenda, according to sources.A California native, Dallas first came to prominence in 2012 on Vine and eventually grew a following that landed him among the top stars of the now defunct Twitter platform. On Instagram, he currently holds an A grade and is ranked 93rd by social media metrics site Social Blade. Columbia Records is one of the oldest labels in the U.S. and is home to such superstar acts as Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Beyonce and John Mayer.Dallas is the latest signing under new Columbia chairman Ron Perry, who joined the company in January. Other recent arrivals include Diplo and “The Four” alum Zhavia, who appears on “Welcome to the Party” from “Deadpool 2” alongside Diplo, French Montana and Lil Pump. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety
Osmo Teams Up With Disney to Let Kids Animate MickeyOsmo Teams Up With Disney to Let Kids Animate Mickey
Popular on Variety These animations are then integrated into interactive scenes, where kids can tap on characters to have them move. Osmo CEO Pramod Sharma admitted during a recent interview with Variety that the company isn’t quite ready to give kids full-blown animation tools just yet, but said that the company wanted to eventually move in that direction.“Osmo Super Studio Mickey Mouse & Friends” is available for $19 for anyone who already owns a Osmo base. A kit including the base and the book costs $79. Versions featuring Disney princesses and Pixar characters are scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. Augmented reality app maker Osmo has teamed up with Disney for a new line of character-driven animation sets dubbed “Osmo Super Studio.” First in line to be released is “Osmo Super Studio Mickey Mouse & Friends,” which allows kids to draw Mickey Mouse characters and then have them get animated by an iPad.Osmo Super Studio is based on the same technology as other Osmo sets: A dedicated iPad stand with a clip-on mirror allows the iPad’s front-facing camera to monitor what’s happening on the table in front of the device. Osmo apps then analyze those visuals, and incorporate them into game play and more.In the case of the Super Studio, children place a special sketch book with prepared shapes in front of the iPad. The app then allows them to pick certain scenes, and instructs them to use the book and a special dry-erase marker to draw characters, which subsequently appear on the screen.Osmo uses a couple of interesting tricks to make these hand-drawn characters come to life: The app may for instance instruct kids to draw an ear first, and then a hand, which makes it possible for the app to identify individual body parts. That information is then used to animate characters, or populate a scene with hand-drawn flowers and butterflies. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Paula Faris to Launch Podcast on Faith for ABC NewsPaula Faris to Launch Podcast on Faith for ABC News
The first season of ‘Journeys of Faith’ will feature ten episodes, posting every Wednesday. Episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher and the ABC News app. ABC News has in recent months placed new emphasis on podcasting, which has gained new interest from a variety of media companies as consumers flock to the format. Pew Research found in July that 44% of Americans ages 12 and older said they have ever listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital survey data, while 26% said they have listened to a podcast in the past month, compared with just 9% in 2008.ABC News in late March launched a podcast called “Start Here,” a twenty-minute session hosted by Brad Mielke that taps ABC News personnel to offer insight on events shaping the world. The Disney-owned news outlet has experimented with new kinds of digital audio for a few years, launching an ABC News audio channel on the ABC News app about three years ago.Faris in July said she would leave her roles on “The View” and a co-anchor on the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” to focus on doing stories of greater consequence. “This is a passion project of mine so I’m incredibly involved in the process,” she said. “It’s a new venture and the team helping put this together has been incredible – we’re all learning together and committed to its success.”Booking guests for the venture has been easy, she added. “I’m finding there’s a real hunger to talk about one’s personal faith.” Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The podcast has conjured up memories from her past. “I’m going back to my college radio days, so it’s been a treat. I’ve long maintained that TV can be cumbersome to produce – it’s a lot of effort from many, for a few moments on screen,” she said. ” In the audio space, especially in the podcast format, there’s something so intimate about the medium and the conversations you’re able to have. Come as you are, don’t worry about your exterior. We’re talking about the interior: matters of your heart and mind.”She is eager to speak to people of different beliefs. “We’ll speak with those practicing Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Atheism,” she said, adding: “This podcast is an opportunity to listen and learn from one another – respecting that faith is the core and foundation for so many, yet no two faith journeys look alike. I hope listeners will also be encouraged and inspired by the stories.”Faris wants listeners “to feel like they’re a fly on the wall and right there in the room with us.” Subsequent episodes will be released on Wednesdays. The first season will feature ten. Paula Faris recently served as one of the co-hosts on ABC’s “The View.” Now she’s about to examine a different kind of perspective.The ABC News journalist will launch a new podcast, “Journeys of Faith,” during which she will interview influential people and talk to them about how they’ve used faith and spirituality at crucial moments in their lives. The first three episodes will be released Wednesday, November 14 and feature interviews with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts; country-music artists Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and political commentator Ben Shapiro. Other first-season guests who have been slated include Kellyanne Conway, Tim Tebow, Reza Aslan, Sam Harris, Marla Maples, Sherri Shepherd and Melissa Joan Hart.“My faith is my rock and foundation. It’s been the glue of my marriage when I wanted to walk, it’s grounded me in triumph, and carried me through tragedy. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it, and I know there are so many who feel the same way,” Faris said via an email exchange. She added: “In covering news and sports the better part of 25 years, I know firsthand we just don’t talk to our interviewees about their faith. Tell us about your latest project. Tell us about that controversial statement you made. Tell us about that game-winning catch. But, just don’t tell us about God, Allah or Jesus, etc. There’s no mainstream media platform that’s giving people the platform and opportunity to talk about what they believe and why they believe it. That is, until now.”
Altice Partners With Devialet for HighEnd Smart SpeakerAltice Partners With Devialet for HighEnd Smart Speaker
Popular on Variety Cable operator Altice wants to take on Sonos and other smart speaker makers with a Hi-Fi product of its own: Altice announced a new speaker called Altice Amplify Wednesday that combines audio technology developed by luxury smart speaker maker Devialet with Alexa-powered voice control.Altice customers will get Amplify for $399, while the company will charge non-customers $499. Subscribers to the company’s Altice One triple play product will also be able to rent the speaker for $10 a month. Altice Amplify will be available on Amazon.com as well as in Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink retail stores some time later this year.Altice Amplify will pack 2 long stroke Diamond woofers, designed by Devialet, and a 19v, 7.5 A peak amp, according to specs released by the cable company Wednesday. It also comes with 6 far-field microphones that are supposed to work even with a TV turned up — which is exactly how the company envisions its customers to use the device: Amplify users will be able to control their Altice One set-top box with voice commands.To be fair, the latter will also be available with a regular Echo speaker, or any other smart speaker with Alexa built-in. So why is Altice confident that consumers will pay between $400 and $500 for the device? Much of that comes down to the audio system, which has been designed by Devialet. That company is competing on the smart speaker market from the high end, with products costing anywhere from $1100 to $3000. Compared to that, the Altice Amplify could be considered a steal — provided that consumers will trust their cable company to be an arbiter in high-end audio. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Also out this week is The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal. The novel is the second in a series about an alternate America where the trajectory of the planet is changed when a meteor crashes into Washington D.C. in 1960. The first installment, called The Calculating Stars show that with Earth set to become inhospitable to humans due to the fallout of the meteor, humanity colonizes the moon. Now, in The Fated Sky, astronaut Elma York must grapple with if she can leave behind her husband for a mission to Mars that could save humanity. Or it could just get her killed.Aphrodite V #2This a new graphic novel from Bryan Hill and Jeff Spokes is fascinating. A biomechanics woman living in near-future L.A., Aphrodite V follows the title character as she seeks to stop an evil machine. She teams up with a human that doesn’t trust androids but can they learn to trust each other enough to stop the bad guys?Entertainment BuzzAnd just because I can’t help myself, a little bit of adaptation news. Apple has officially signed off on turning Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels into a television series. Good luck to them, because there are exactly zero* women in the first book and only one in the second.*There is one walk-on role but she says one line and is never heard from again in the book.Science Fiction in all its forms has become such a part of our society and bridged the gap from niche genre to pop culture phenomenon. There is something for everyone if you dig deep enough. The Wailing Blade is a great new comic series. There are a ton of amazing Sci-Fi TV shows to binge right now. Observe the best eclipses in Sci-Fi history too. You’ll find something you love in the world of Science Fiction for sure right here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Honestly, this is the best week of the year to kick off a science-fiction round-up. One of the most prestigious award ceremony in the genre — the Hugo Awards — were held on August 19 at the World Science Fiction Convention in downtown San Diego. Winning a Hugo Award is a major feather in any sci-fi/fantasy author’s cap, as the winners are chosen by a vote of the fan community. It’s like the MTV Video Music Awards, or the People’s Choice Award, only good.News RoundupThis year, women won in nearly every category. Out of seventeen categories, women took home trophies in fifteen of them. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the evening belonged to N.K. Jemisin, who made Hugo history when her novel The Stone Sky took home the win for Best Novel. The book is the third in her Broken Earth series, which means Jemisin has now won Best Novel for every single installment of this saga!Other major winners included Martha Wells novella All Systems Red, Suzanne Palmer’s novelette The Secret Life of Bots, and newcomer Rebecca Roanhorse, who not only took home the award for Best New Writer but also Best Short Story for Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience. On the graphic novel side, Monstress author Marjorie M. Liu and artist Saga Takeda respectively took home awards for Best Graphic Story and Best Professional artist. AdChoices广告Reading RecommendationsIf you’re looking for new cuts of sci-fi to read as summer fades into fall, the genre has you covered. This week’s new releases include an alternate American Civil War and an alternate universe where space colonization is a reality. The Black God’s DrumsFirst up is Djèlí Clark ‘s debut novel. Set in New Orleans in a steampunk version of the American Civil War, readers follow a girl called Creeper who creeps (zing!) abroad an airship. From the description:“Creeper plans to earn Captain Ann-Marie’s trust with information she discovers about a Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums. But Creeper also has a secret herself: Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, speaks inside her head, and may have her ulterior motivations. Soon, Creeper, Oya, and the crew of the Midnight Robber are pulled into a perilous mission aimed to stop the Black God’s Drums from being unleashed and wiping out the entirety of New Orleans.”The Fated Sky Netflix Axes ‘The OA’ Sci-Fi Series After 2 Seasons‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Becomes Mostly Harm… Stay on target
So here’s the rundown for Natasha’s polished and sleek undercover ensemble:Lounge Fly Widow Bag – $30, Beigne Short Rain Jacket – $90, Dark Wash Skinny Jeans – $25, Brown Kneehigh Combat Boots – $44, Classic Gold/Brown Aviators – $10, Bracelets, Necklace, Etc. – $33This total package is about $230, but you are buying items you can use every day and recycle. These are all things you can bring into your life to let your Geekness show anywhere. This amount is if you need absolutely everything. You probably have a few items to start so that number will trickle down.View as: One Page Slides1. 2. 3. 4. Need some inspiration? We’ve seen so many amazing cosplayers this year so I’m sure you’ll find one you want to tackle one from FanExpo in Boston, C2E2 in Chicago, or Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. Follow all our cosplay galleries here and give one a try. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Any good pair of dark wash blue jeans with a fitted leg will suffice. Mine are American Eagle’s Ne(X)t Level high-waisted jeggings and they are currently $25 on sale.I’ve had these old riding boots for eight years and have cycled them through many different cosplay outfits. When choosing things like shoes think about where else you can use them and who else you can use them for. Plus, they are just super stylish. There is zero shame in closet cosplay. Add to your daily wardrobe and your con one at the same time. The pair I’m recommending are Cambridge’s kneehigh lace-up combat boots ($44) and much closer to the pair Widow wears in the movie. Photos: Best Cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con 2019Photos: Best Cosplay From Anime NYC 2018 I truly believe cosplay is for everyone and fully support what makes you feel good in your character. But as much as I love it, it can be a costly hobby. I’m fortunate that I get to work with and have gotten to know some of the best in this space of the Geek community. That being said, you can cosplay too and on a budget. All you need to start is on staple piece of the character and you build around that.For me with this Natasha Romanoff look started with the bag from ThinkGeek. This completely chic Black Widow Lounge Fly bag is actually a bag I use on a daily basis. This is because I need a bit of Nat with me to keep me strong. This purse is just enough Natalia for fans to recognize it and understated enough to be a day to night bag. It’s plenty big enough to carry all the essentials of your spy life. Multiple IDs, dossiers, golden gauntlets, lipstick, and sunglasses. Plus it’s an absolute steal right now at $29.99.AdChoices广告 Stay on target The devil is in the details. I’m more of a gold gauntlet gal then the modern black MCU version for Natasha. There is a really brilliant store on Etsy (MagicMarvels) that makes the most accurate versions of both I’ve ever seen. They are bundled with her S.H.I.E.L.D. ID badge and patch. You also get the arrow necklace Nat rocks in Winter Soldier, as a nod to Hawkeye. I wear it sometimes alongside my sterling silver Widow bead from What’s Your Passion Jewelry.The sunglasses tie the look together, and in the world of espionage, you need a killer pair to blend in. These are JOOX Classic Aviators in shiny gold with a brown gradient. There are slick and only $10. I was lucky enough to get the jacket from an amazing UK cosplayer, Ashley-Rae Ridsdel-Brown. It fits like a glove and is absolutely perfect. But there are decent replicas still available in the wild. Bonanza has one for $90. Like I said you are going to have to spend a little on at least one good item for your character. A well-constructed jacket is a great investment piece. And this is a look you can actually wear whenever. Totally reusable.
Mario Kart 7 on 3DS will have a steering wheel peripheralMario Kart 7 on 3DS will have a steering wheel peripheral
Is anyone starting to get a feeling of deja vu? The Wii went through a period of offering a lot of white plastic peripherals, some licensed, others just there to grab your cash as part of a gaming bundle. Now it seems like the 3DS is going the same way.We’ve already seen the right analog stick cradle that is being released to support Monster Hunter 3G. At least that has a genuinely useful purpose and (hopefully) fits unobtrusively around your 3DS. But now the release of Mario Kart 7 will see a steering wheel peripheral made available too. That’s right, a steering wheel for your portable gaming unit to sit inside.When Mario Kart Wii was released, a steering wheel made sense as you were holding a motion controller anyway, so why not make it into a steering wheel. On the 3DS though, it just sounds like it will be adding bulk and not much purpose.Although not made by Nintendo, it has been officially licensed by them for Hori to manufacture and distribute. I assume your 3DS will sit inside it and Hori is placing larger L and R buttons on the wheel to allow for more comfortable control. You then tilt your 3DS to steer your kart.I think I’m going to give this peripheral a miss. I like to keep my portable devices portable, and intend on losing many hours to Mario Kart 7 while out and about. Having to carry a wheel peripheral in my bag just doesn’t sound appealing to me.Read more at Andriasang
Warner Bros May Tackle American Attack on Titan RemakeWarner Bros May Tackle American Attack on Titan Remake
Our international popular culture is already inundated with Attack on Titan. There’s the manga, of course. Then there’s the anime, which is about to debut its second season, two live-action movies, a live-action TV spinoff, video games, and a high school manga AU. What’s another adaptation?According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is negotiating to get the feature rights for Attack on Titan, which could pave the way for a live-action, Western film based on the popular manga property.If the rights are secured, the plans will be handed over to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman.For the uninitiated, Attack on Titan, by Hajime Isayama, is a post-apocalyptic story of a group of humans who live behind walls in fear of titans–giant, humanoid beings that devour humans. The bulk of the story follows a boy named Eren as he comes to learn the secrets of the titans and learns to fight them. That’s the basic premise, anyway. The plot is dense and full of conspiracies, government corruption, deception, friendship, potatoes, and tragedy. It’s also incredibly violent, which you can imagine from the story of giant, misshapen cannibals.A film adaptation of Attack on Titan could be welcome just based on the action alone, which involves a lot of kinetic, fast-paced, acrobatic combat. A competent action director can do wonders with the material.Plus, it’s an anime adaptation that wouldn’t fall prey to Ghost in the Shell-style whitewashing, since only one of the main characters is supposed to be canonically Japanese.The problem here lies in how Attack on Titan is structured, which utilizes slow narrative pacing to drag itself out and extend its own story. This is common in serialized manga, but it doesn’t translate well to screen. The show didn’t tweak any of this, so whoever would work on the film would need to do some heavy lifting to fit any of the arcs into two hours. Who knows if it could be done at all? The first live-action film in Japan did well, but the second did not.Either way, it’s just a deal to secure the rights, which means that a movie could be a few years away. We’ll keep you posted on any updates. Stay on target The Best Anime On HuluThis Might Be Attack On Titan’s Goriest Moment Of The Series So Far
Chromebooks just outsold Macbooks for the first timeChromebooks just outsold Macbooks for the first time
Macbooks may be sleek and sexy, but they’re not moving as fast as the competition any more. They’ve been surpassed by Chromebooks for the first time ever.According to IDC latest report on the state of the PC business, Chromebook shipments surpassed Macbook shipments for the first time ever. IDC analyst Linn Huang confirmed to The Verge that the pegged Apple’s shipments for the first quarter of 2016 at around 1.78 million. Total Chromebook shipments clocked in at nearly two million.It’s not exactly an apple-to-apples comparison, of course, because most Chromebooks sell for a whole lot less money than even the cheapest Macbook. Their users also tend not to be very concerned with running native apps like iTunes on their computers (at least their portable ones). There’s also more than one company churning out Chromebooks: Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Google themselves. Really, at this point it’s pretty much just Apple and Microsoft who aren’t making Chromebooks.To some, like our own editor James, Chromebooks are still a bit like Bigfoot. You hear lots of stories, but you’ve never actually seen one in the wild. They’re obviously popping up somewhere, though, if IDC’s figures are anywhere close to being accurate. Schools continue snapping them up in bulk because they’re cheap, easy to manage, and it’s really, really unlikely that they’re going to get infected with any kind of malware.IDC’s next report will be particularly interesting to see. Now that Google has announced that Chromebooks will soon have access to all the apps in Google Play, they’re going to become an even more attractive option for laptop shoppers.
Metal Gear Solid V has an adorable birthday Easter eggMetal Gear Solid V has an adorable birthday Easter egg
Metal Gear Solid V is full of Easter eggs. We’ve uncovered another one that we want to share, but of course, if you like surprises, you probably shouldn’t read any further on. You were warned!The other day I was catching up with my best friend, whose birthday I had missed due to a work trip. She told me it was okay because she had the best surprise party ever. I was a bit miffed, because I wasn’t even invited to said party! Sure, I was out of town, but whomever was organizing it may not have known. Then she told me who threw the party for her: her crew back on Mother Base.So, you know how you put your birthday in the beginning of MGSV? Well, it’s so they can throw you a big surprise party on your special day! My friend was playing on Monday, September 7 when she got a call during a mission to return to base. It was urgent. She showed up and immediately heard the sound of gunshots followed by what seemed to be fireworks. Then a rock guitar riff started to blare.Her crew back on base came out with a big ol’ cake (with the Diamond Dogs logo), singing their version of “Happy Birthday.” Ocelot even tossed her a cigar, which Miller quickly took away (this actually changes depending on who’ve you recruited). It’s a ridiculously sweet setup and something only Kojima would dream up.Sadly, my friend doesn’t stream games so she didn’t get a chance to record it, but I found this version from YouTuber I xhypnotik. Even if you don’t play the game, just give this a watch.Sadly, I’ll have to wait til January to get my own surprise party from the Diamond Dogs.
Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange decides its customers should help pay for 65Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange decides its customers should help pay for 65
There are a plethora of financial rules in place the regulate how banks can handle your money, but an unregulated digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin is the wild west of personal finance. The popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex was attacked on August 2, resulting in the loss of $65 million in Bitcoin. Bitfinex has decided to “generalize” the losses across all its users by taking 36% of their money. Seems a lot like stealing.Bitfinex shut down last week following the hack, issuing a series of cryptic updates on its investigation. Now, the site is on the verge of re-launching with limited functionality. When users log into their Bitfinex accounts, they will see that a whopping 36.067% of their money is gone. That’s what Bitfinex is taking from every account to cover the losses, ensuring that everyone on the platform will have lost the same proportion of their money. It’s like being asked to help pay for the theft of a stereo from someone else’s car just because you were parked in the same lot at the time.The price of Bitcoin took a huge hit following the hack.Many users are understandably enraged over this move. Many of them lost no Bitcoins in the initial hack when they checked their balance before the reshuffling. Now, they’re out a substantial sum. In some cases, users are reporting tens of thousands of dollars lost to Bitfinex’s socialized loss scheme. It’s possible that Bitfinex is on the verge of insolvency following the hack, and this move might be a last ditch effort to avoid a Mt. Gox-style collapse.In place of the 36% loss, Bitfinex is giving each user a BFX token with a value of their total loss. It’s essentially an IOU from Bitfinex that is tradable on the blockchain. The company promises to explain in detail how the BFX tokens will work, but for now they’re completely worthless. Users who are not happy with this setup probably have little recourse as they’d lose a lot more than 36% of their money if Bitfinex goes out of business.Maybe, just maybe, Bitcoin was a bad idea.
Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack is Two Mega Men in OneAzure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack is Two Mega Men in One
Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Pretty much all of Inti Creates’ catalog on Nintendo Switch consists of throwback shooter-platformers. Mighty Gunvolt Burst channels Capcom’s forgotten classic Mega Man while Blaster Master Zero straight-up is a successor to that retro series. But I get the sense that the Azure Striker Gunvolt series, a spiritual continuation of the team’s work on the Mega Man Zero series, might be the closest to the team’s heart. The leap from 3DS to Switch may not have as clean or affordable as it could have been, but the Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack duology is still a great, non-Zelda fit on Switch.This Striker Pack collects the two games of the Azure Striker Gunvolt series, originally released on Nintendo 3DS in 2014 and 2016. The first clue to me that Inti Creates really cares about this series is how much original lore they’ve ginned up for it. Azure Striker Gunvolt takes place in a world full of “Septimals,” people with mutant-like abilities who therefore face X-Men-esque persecution.AdChoices广告Both games are chock of full of sharp portraits of anime characters emotionally explaining to each other about corporate intrigue and faith and how to use powers responsibly. There’s also all this business about Hatsune Miku-style vocaloid spirits or something? I honestly couldn’t keep up. Fortunately, having both games on one pack lets you immediately resolve part one’s cliffhanger or easily get some background context before jumping into the mechanically superior part two.While Azure Striker Gunvolt’s plot is dense and slow, its gameplay is immediate and accessible. Like a good Mega Man (more of the X or Zero variety) you run left to right shooting at robot enemies while avoiding perilous traps all before fighting a colorful boss bot. “Azure Striker” is just a synonym for “Blue Bomber”. You have some amount of freedom to decide in what order you would like to tackle the game as well as how challenging you want the reward system to be. Playing on easier difficulty barely gave me enough resources to craft the cooler gear enhancements.Gunvolt the game’s biggest twist on Mega Man formula is Gunvolt the playable character’s electrical powers. While shots do a little damage, their real purpose is to tag enemies. Tagged enemies are then vulnerable to a powerful homing electrical field. GV’s field can also pull off stunts like pushing magnets or slowing descent down twisty caverns. But you can’t overuse it. An exhausted shield takes way longer to recharge.You can quickly recharge manually but that takes away from valuable zapping time. You can also tag enemies multiple times to make them more vulnerable to a single shock, but again that requires skillful maneuvering and time management on your part particularly against bosses. You have to execute constant quick decisions. Overall, it’s a very expressive and satisfying shooting system, especially as the HD rumble crackles in your hands.Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 also features a second playable character named Copen. Debuting in the first game as a regular human who hates Septimals like Gunvolt with religious fervor, Copen instead uses his robot suit to dash into enemies and tag them before unleashing his hovering robot drones. Both characters also have unique sets of super moves, although I still prefer Gunvolt’s giant lightning sword. Copen demands a more technical style of play that’s welcome after playing the entire first game as Gunvolt, who basically plays the same in the sequel.Beyond the fancy shooting, Azure Striker Gunvolt also has the classic level design you’d expect from a son of Mega Man. Along with bad guys to blast each stage has a particular gimmick, whether it’s anti-slipping power-ups in an ice level, activating different colored lights to nullify security lasers, or using your electrical field to kill swarms of bees. Gimmicks tend to overstay their welcome a little bit, more so in the first game, but they are clever and fun to replay for better scores. The sequel reuses levels across the two characters, and maybe has fewer levels overall, but Copen’s gameplay differences do substantially change how you approach a stage.Azure Striker Gunvolt 1 and 2 were nice looking 3DS games. The SNES-style sprites had a lot of detail and character. And they look a little more fluid on Switch thanks to the bump up to 60 FPS. But the presentation overall still seems like a glorified 3DS game. The disappointing grainy interface seems strange considering Inti Creates’ previous Switch games avoided this low-resolution issue despite having similar retro handheld origins. Also, there’s no easy way to hop between games without restarting entirely. The whiff of laziness stinks even more once you consider the $40 price on both Switch and 3DS.From what I can tell based on my hazy understanding of the story, the Azure Striker Gunvolt franchise could definitely continue. So maybe Inti Creates is just testing the demand for the series on Switch. And I’m totally cool with games of 3DS style and scope coming to its handheld successor. I just hope that the next time Gunvolt strikes Switch he brings a little more production value along with his inventive levels and lightning guns.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. The Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack collects both games in Inti Creates’s Mega Man X/Zero-esque shooter-platformer series.2. Run and gun and zap your way through inventive stages to fight colorful boss robots.3. Both games are chock full of anime lore about super-powered Septimal people and the corporations that control them.4. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 features a second playable character, Copen, with a whole new gameplay style.5. The core games are great, but the low-resolution production value reminds you these are glorified 3DS games on Switch. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 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