Magnitude 6.3 quake strikes east of Luganville, Vanuatu: USGS
A quake of magnitude 6.3 struck 64 kms east of Luganville on the coast of Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu, on Wednesday at a depth of 123 kms, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:53 am

Sam Fender, hot sauce and SXSW
The Brits Critics' Choice winner shares his tour diary from the South By Southwest festival.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:31 am

Andy Cohen to Receive GLAAD Media Award From Sarah Jessica Parker
Andy CohenAnd the mazel of the day goes to Andy Cohen--again! The host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live--the first out gay host of an American late-night talk show, and new dad is set to...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:25 am

Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe and More to Perform at Lollapalooza 2019
Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, Janelle MonaeGet ready, Ariana Grande fans! The 25-year-old singer is headed to Lollapalooza. That's right! The music festival announced its lineup for this year's concert series on Wednesday....

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:19 am

Sophie Turner Lives Her Best Life While Chugging Wine at a Hockey Game
Sophie Turner, Laughing, Hockey GameReason #829 why we want Sophie Turner to be our BFF? This. The Game of Thrones star spent her Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City for a hockey game between the New...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:17 am

How The OA Became Netflix’s Most Mysterious Show

I can’t really tell you much about The OA. Netflix has asked journalists to not reveal certain plot points before the second season of its mind-bending serialized drama premieres on March 22—but even if it hadn’t, there’s just so much about this show that remains so mysterious.

Like what I’m looking at, right now, in a small screening room on the eighth floor of Netflix’s Hollywood offices, seated next to its co-creator and star, Brit Marling. From our perch on a black leather couch, we watch this season’s dizzying seventh episode in its entirety. This is “QC,” or quality control—one last check to make sure every frame and cue is just as Marling wants it, the last step before it gets beamed onto television screens in millions of living rooms. After years of writing and starring in independent films, the reach of the streaming platform that distributes her vision remains bewitching to her. It’s something she brings up again and again: just how big it is, especially when the work, to her, is so intimate.

She turns to Blake Holland, who worked on the show with her, and shakes her head. “This is the power of group storytelling,” she says. In one scene, her character, who calls herself “the OA,” which stands for Original Angel, takes a bath and remembers being underwater in a traumatic childhood incident. They had tried many complicated visual effects to show the OA shifting from her present–day experience into memory, and eventually settled on just changing the color of the water to the blue that she remembers from her childhood. It’s a subtle but powerful trick. “It feels like the way you move through memory,” Marling says, satisfied.

She and her co-creator, Zal Batmanglij, exhaustively developed the world of the show before selling it, resulting in a multiple-network bidding war; it’s disorienting, now, to hear her talking offscreen about cuts and visual effects. They feel like such earthly concerns, while Marling, an ethereal presence in the role of a woman with divine gifts, seems so thoroughly not of this world. Neither is her show.

The first season of The OA opened with a tantalizing premise: A young woman, Prairie Johnson (Marling) returns home to her adoptive parents nearly a decade after disappearing. When she left home she was blind; now she can see. She rounds up a band of teenage boys from her neighborhood, along with a middle-aged teacher from their school and—like a suburban Scheherazade—tells them a tale over many nights of how, after a brush with death as a child, she spent years imprisoned in an under-ground bunker by a scientist obsessed with studying people who had survived near-death experiences. Eventually, she and her fellow captives discovered a series of kinetic movements, like a modern dance sequence, that, when performed together, could transport them to other dimensions.

If this sounds weird, well, it is. Viewers were divided on the show; some critics read it as another fantastical puzzle box for fans to solve, like Stranger Things or Westworld, and indeed, the show spawned endless -message-board threads unpacking its seemingly unsolvable plot. But The OA is earnest as it lays out its mythology, like it’s daring you to reconsider how much magic might be possible in the real world.

The second season takes more risks, picking up in the alternate reality that the OA and some of her friends have arrived in, and introducing a new mystery that pushes the show into noirish territory, threading the supernatural and the divine into an old-fashioned potboiler. It also features inter-dimensional travel, a mansion that drives people insane, a sinister augmented-reality video game and a giant talking octopus. The first time I watched the episode with the octopus, I didn’t get it. The second time, I still didn’t get it, but the sight of that octopus made me burst into tears for reasons I couldn’t entirely explain.

The OA
Nicola Goode—Netflix

In the airy Silver Lake writers’ room where Marling and Batmanglij sit for an interview, there are sheets of fabric covering whiteboards where the two have done a post-mortem recap of the second season, which I’m not supposed to see. “Before it reaches the world, we ask: What were the risks we took that landed, and which ones didn’t?” Marling tells me.

“It’s never the ideas themselves,” Batmanglij says. “They exist in some other space, and they’re perfect. But sometimes in the translation of the ideas, there’s a lack of clarity.” That’s what they’re trying to identify, in what Batmanglij calls the “unpasteurized” space before the show comes out and hordes of fans and critics start reacting to it.

Batmanglij and Marling met at Georgetown University, where they both studied. They went on to work together on well-received independent films including Sound of My Voice and The East—both written together, starring Marling and directed by Batmanglij. Their work is at turns dreamlike and anxious, particularly about the ways in which magnetic people wield influence.

The second season of The OA turns that lens on Silicon Valley, home to so many tech lions who have been credited with changing the world. One key story line involves a tech mogul (played by Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser) who has possibly nefarious aims.

“Have you seen those photos from the ’40s where people are smoking in a movie theater?” Batmanglij asks. “I think that’s how we’re going to look back at this era. In every public space, everyone has their head down on their phone. Including me.”

As they conceived of the second season, they were fascinated by San Francisco. “It’s the epicenter of technology, and has been since the Gold Rush, but it’s also a peninsula surrounded by water and huge old-growth trees,” Marling says. “We liked the idea of a narrative in which we were inside both those spaces and absorbing both of their intelligences.”

This tension—between the new and the ancient, the synthetic and the natural, the earthly and the divine—is in the DNA of the show. In the first season, a scientist was studying people who believed, rightly or not, that they had supernatural abilities; in this season, tech plutocrats may be trying to exploit them. Marling tells me she read about Maasai warriors in Africa who, when separated, would dream of one another in a particular geographical location, then wake up, start walking and eventually find each other there. “Why don’t we believe in that, but we believe in texting?” she asks. “Why do most of us hear that, cross our arms and say, ‘Ah, but did they really? Was there a white male scientist with them? How was this measured?’ We want empirical proof, and yet we send each other 1s and 0s through space all day and we just believe.”

As an Angeleno who has a collection of crystals and has visited more than one energy healer, this line of thought resonates with me—but it turns out my personal views might be wackier than either of theirs. “A lot of people dub our work as New Age,” Batmanglij says. “But for some reason, they don’t dub Stan Lee’s work that way. I don’t understand how our story can be so bonkers, but Captain Marvel isn’t. A lot of the ideas in The OA that seem outlandish are just normalizing as the years go by.”

“It only scares us,” Marling says, “because we are shamed into accepting that the only valuable intelligence is that of the Excel spreadsheet.”

Back at Netflix, as we are leaving the screening, Marling and I start chatting-—it’s meant to be just a few minutes, before we go across town to the writers’ room—but we end up talking for nearly an hour: about the development process; about how streaming services have upended the parameters of genre and form that have defined film and television for decades; about how the first season was about how trauma lives in the body; about the way science and spirituality sometimes seem like different vocabularies to describe the same phenomena; about why her show’s radical sincerity made it such a polarizing viewing experience; and about all the things that her show both does and does not say. This conversation doesn’t feel like an interview. It feels forensic: like two people interrogating why a thing works the way it does, even though she’s the one who created it and all I did was watch it. I want to understand her intentions in making this show—about what she was trying to say. But Marling insists that I have it backward: the more she told this story, the more the story had to say to her. It was more like receiving the story than anything else, she says. I believe her.

I record that conversation on my phone. But when I get home, I can’t open the audio file; it just won’t play. I try moving it onto my computer. I try to convert it, to edit it. Nothing works.

You could say my phone just glitched, and maybe it did. But to me it feels like there were other, invisible forces at play—like the purpose of that conversation was for us to really see each other, not for me to write an article. I know that sounds New Age. But Mercury’s in retrograde. Some mysteries aren’t meant to be solved.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:14 am

The Big Bang Theory Originally Rejected Kaley Cuoco Because She Was Too Young
The Big Bang TheoryPlugged in The Big Bang Theory fans know the tales of the original pilot. Things were different. Penny wasn't there, but Katie, played by Amanda Walsh, was. Turns out Kaley Cuoco, who went on...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:06 am

London Harry Potter studio tour expands with Gringotts Bank
Run by goblins and boasting secure vaults guarded by a dragon, Gringotts Bank is where witches and wizards come to store their money and treasures in the magical world of Harry Potter.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:05 am

Will Nikki Bella Ever Stop Saying "Yes" to More Work? The WWE Superstar Has a Lot to Consider
Nikki Bella Total Bellas 410Even big-time wrestling stars need a break sometimes! This clip from Sunday's upcoming season finale of Total Bellas catches Nikki Bella during a rare moment of calm--she's...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:00 am

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? Season 4 Trailer Is Full of Fights, Babies and Pissed Off Families
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? Season 4If you thought the drama ended for Colt Johnson and Larissa Dos Santos Lima when 90 Day Fiancé season six wrapped--think again. The controversial couple is back in front of the cameras for 90...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:00 am

Tyler Henry Sees a Hot "Hookup" in Carson Kressley's Future & Now We're Blushing!
Carson Kressley Hollywood Medium 405Tyler Henry might have a future in reverse matchmaking. Assuming Carson Kressley takes his advice, anyway. The clairvoyant has some thoughts about Carson's next romantic endeavor in...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 11:00 am

The Office's Phyllis Smith and Leslie David Baker Reunite: See What the Cast Has Been Up to
Phyllis Smith, Leslie David Baker, Netflix's premiere for The OA Part II, It's a very Dunder Mifflin reunion! The Office alum Phyllis Smith reunited with former co-star Leslie David Baker on Tuesday at the red carpet premiere of Netflix's The OA Part...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 10:53 am

Everything We Know About Stranger Things Season 3: The Fashion, the Monsters, the New Love?
Stranger Things, Season 3Stranger Things season three--or Stranger Things 3 if you will--dropped its first trailer featuring everything you love about the show: 1980s fashions, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) using her...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 10:35 am

The Leonardo DiCaprio Dancing Meme You’ve Been Waiting For Is Here

Leonardo DiCaprio is starring in another period piece and the full trailer is here.

Naturally, the gifs and memes of the star in a suit and slicked-back hair have already begun.

Since you know you wanted it, here's a GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio dancing in #OnceUponATimeInHollywood. pic.twitter.com/lgsdGOFe2u

— Bill Kuchman (@billkuchman) March 20, 2019

The star’s latest role is in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, co-starring with Brad Pitt, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino. DiCaprio is also reuniting with his The Wolf of Wall Street love interest, Margot Robbie, in the film, which premieres in July.

Taking place in 1969, the movie is sure to feature of a lot of classic DiCaprio dancing, only made more popular in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street and in footage from the actor at concerts.

The Twitterverse is missing no beats.

I live for Leonardo DiCaprio ugly dancing in movies pic.twitter.com/f8kBTK3GOf

— tony survived space (@carxlinv) March 20, 2019

Here are some more of the best tweets highlighting the already-iconic Leonardo DiCaprio dance moves.

All aboard the Leonardo Dancing Cinematic Universe! #OnceUponATimeInHollywood pic.twitter.com/Ie6rzZOAwS

— David Allen (@eastwoodmcfly) March 20, 2019

I AM BEING ATTACKED! I will be shocked if this isn't one of my favorite films ever. Margot and Leo reunited?!?! Leo dancing?! #OnceUponATimeInHollywood pic.twitter.com/FKPdZ8TI83

— Lauren Bradshaw (@flickchickdc) March 20, 2019

I live to see Leo dancing. Can't wait! pic.twitter.com/qZxPqblOUS

— Papá Belzebú (@PBelzebu) March 20, 2019

 

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 20 Mar 2019 | 10:31 am

Kit Harington sought therapy after Jon Snow's death
The death of Jon Snow on "Game of Thrones" was tough on some viewers, but sounds to have been even rougher on the man who played him.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Mar 2019 | 10:15 am

Will Kristin Cavallari Show Another Uncommon James Employee the Door? Hear Jay Cutler's Advice
Kristin Cavallari Very Cavallari 204Last week's cocktail party fiasco might have consequences, and Kristin Cavallari is trying to decide exactly what they'll look like. In this clip from Sunday's new Very...

Source: E! Online (CA) - Top Stories | 20 Mar 2019 | 10:00 am

'The Act' spins deadly mother-daughter story into Hulu series
"The Act" offers the second dramatization of the ill-fated relationship between Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard in two months, and it's easily the better of the two. Yet while this Hulu limited series captures the unsettling con game played by the mother, be forewarned that replicating these events can be as off-putting as the actual characters.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:54 am

Katie Price denies being abusive outside West Sussex school
The reality star is accused of being in a "verbal altercation" with her ex-husband's girlfriend.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:52 am

Tyler Perry helps grieving family
Last week, a Georgia family thought they might lose their home after their mom was shot to death outside a bank. Now, thanks to celebrity Tyler Perry, they will keep their home and more.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:46 am

Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, The Killers among Woodstock 50 lineup
Rapper Jay-Z, singer Miley Cyrus and rockers The Killers are among the stars booked to perform at an event marking the 50th anniversary in August of the Woodstock festival, one of popular music's most historic moments.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:40 am

Open that door? Netflix explores choose-your-own horror, romance
A Netflix Inc experiment that began with viewers picking a movie character's breakfast cereal may expand to letting the audience choose the best on-screen date or the safest path to escape an ax murderer.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:35 am

R. Kelly returns to social media for daughter's birthday
R. Kelly had been silent on Twitter for months, but returned late Tuesday with a special message.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 20 Mar 2019 | 9:23 am

National Portrait Gallery drops £1m donor
The Sackler Trust, under scrutiny over money it gets from an addictive opioid drug, withdraws its donation.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 8:51 am

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer talks about the new series and why she loves Villanelle.
Jodie Comer discusses why she may never get a role like Villanelle again and why she's surprised Killing Eve has been so popular.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 8:38 am

The Specials: Neville Staple releases knife crime song
Neville Staple has remixed A Message To You Rudy after the death of his 21-year-old grandson.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 7:52 am

Fireman Sam: 'No stereotype problem' in show, says creator
Creator David Jones defends the show after a fire officer said it puts women off joining the service.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 7:32 am

Killing Eve's Jodie Comer among RTS winners
The British actress beats co-star Sandra Oh to be named best female actor at this year's awards.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 7:11 am

Emily Maitlis becomes Newsnight's lead host
Emma Barnett also joins the presenting line-up after the departure of Evan Davis to BBC Radio 4.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 6:46 am

Spring arrival: Public to capture new season in words
The public is being asked to contribute entries to a national nature diary documenting the arrival of spring.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 4:37 am

£36 iPhone XR ad criticised
Advertising body criticises a Black Friday promotion for iPhones, following complaints from the public.

Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 20 Mar 2019 | 4:12 am

These 25 Songs Were Just Added to the National Recording Registry

The National Recording Registry has released its annual group of additions to the list — and there is definitely something for everyone. The 2018 class ranges from groundbreaking music by Ritchie Valens and Nina Simone to a musical theater number and a hip-hop album.

Recordings added to the collection are chosen for being “aural treasures worthy of preservation because of their cultural, historic and aesthetic importance to the nation’s recorded sound heritage,” the U.S. Library of Congress said in a press release on Wednesday.

Such treasures include the 1968 original Broadway recording of “Hair,” the song from the musical of the same name, Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 single, “September,” and Neil Diamond’s classic 1969 single “Sweet Caroline.”

“The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in the press release.

All but one of the 25 additions are from the 20th century. The recordings must be at least a decade old; the most recent addition is Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint. Cyndi Lauper’s Grammy-nominated debut solo album from 1983, She’s So Unusual, also made the list.

Musical recordings aren’t the only kind added to the registry. The speech former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy gave following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is also included, bringing the registry to a total of 525 recordings.

Here are all the songs in the 2018 class of additions to the National Recording Registry:

Yiddish Cylinders from the Standard Phonograph Company of New York and the Thomas Lambert Company (c. 1901-1905)

“Memphis Blues” (single), Victor Military Band (1914)

Melville Jacobs Collection of Native Americans of the American Northwest (1929-1939)

“Minnie the Moocher” (single), Cab Calloway (1931)

Bach Six Cello Suites (album), Pablo Casals (c. 1939)

“They Look Like Men of War” (single), Deep River Boys (1941)

“Gunsmoke” — Episode: “The Cabin” (Dec. 27, 1952)

Ruth Draper: Complete recorded monologues, Ruth Draper (1954-1956)

“La Bamba” (single), Ritchie Valens (1958)

“Long Black Veil” (single), Lefty Frizzell (1959)

Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Vol. 1: The Early Years (album), Stan Freberg (1961)

GO (album), Dexter Gordon (1962)

War Requiem (album), Benjamin Britten (1963)

“Mississippi Goddam” (single), Nina Simone (1964)

“Soul Man” (single), Sam & Dave (1967)

“Hair” (original Broadway cast recording) (1968)

Speech on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)

“Sweet Caroline” (single), Neil Diamond (1969)

Superfly (album), Curtis Mayfield (1972)

Ola Belle Reed (album), Ola Belle Reed (1973)

“September” (single), Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)

“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (single), Sylvester (1978)

She’s So Unusual (album), Cyndi Lauper (1983)

“Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set” (1996)

The Blueprint (album), Jay-Z (2001)

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 20 Mar 2019 | 3:00 am

Publishers sue Peloton for using songs by Katy Perry, Rihanna, Timberlake, others
Publishers representing the writers of songs by Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood and hundreds of other artists sued Peloton Interactive Inc on Tuesday, accusing the maker of video-streaming stationary bicycles of copyright infringement.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 19 Mar 2019 | 10:05 pm

Stadia, Google’s Big Push Into Video Games, Could Change Everything About How We Play

Google has officially announced a major new effort in the video game world — and it might just change the future of the roughly $135 billion industry.

Speaking at the annual Games Development Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Stadia, a long-rumored cloud-based games streaming service. Unlike with a traditional video game console or computer, which processes a game locally as it’s being played, Stadia games are processed in the cloud, with the action beamed instantaneously to players over the Internet. Google promises a lag-free experience, as long as you have a fast enough Internet connection.

“We are starting our next big challenge: building a game platform for everyone,” Pichai said. “I think we can change the game by bringing together the power and creativity of the entire community, people who love to play games, people who love to watch games, and people who love to build games.”

Launching sometime later this year, Stadia gamers play on devices they already own, with controllers they already own (though Google also announced its own Stadia controller). “There is no box,” Google Vice President Phil Harrison, a former Sony and Microsoft executive, said. “The data center is your platform.”

Google and partners made it clear that, with Stadia, Google is doing more than simply testing the deep waters of the video game industry. Rather, Stadia is a full-bore effort to fully compete in the industry in four big ways. With Stadia, Google is openly competing as a platform against the industry’s largest players: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Thanks to close integration with Google’s YouTube, Stadia will also compete against massive streaming services like Twitch. It will go up against enormous games distribution juggernauts like Steam and the upstart Epic Games Store. Finally, the announcement of a new first party game studio potentially puts them in competition with other large publishers like EA and Activision Blizzard. And even if it fails, Stadia will most likely change the video game industry forever.

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and now Google

Stadia’s biggest impact will depend on how the largest console makers — Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo — will react to Stadia’s presence. The streaming service comes at a pivotal time in gaming. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are thought to be in their waning months as rumors and confirmations have swirled for the past year about the consoles’ official successors.

One facet that Google harped on over and over again for Stadia was its flexibility as a platform. It promised that it could grow with the changing times. When Google initiated Project Stream, which offered a limited number of players access to Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey through its Chrome browser on the day of the game’s launch, it said that it streamed the game at a resolution of up to 1080p and up to 60 frames per second. During Tuesday’s presentation, Google Vice President Majd Bakar said that Stadia, at launch, will support up to a 4K resolution, eventually with capabilities to output up to 8K and 120 frames a second.

Google said the disconnected nature of Stadia allows it to upgrade over time at the server level, rather than users needing to upgrade their own box. “We have built our platform to scale up with the infrastructure,” Bakar said.

Additionally, since the games will live on Google infrastructure, rather than individual home consoles, Harrison said that there wouldn’t be a need for downloads, updates or patches with the games on Stadia. “We wanted to reduce the friction between getting excited about a game and playing a game,” he said. “With Stadia, this waiting game will be a thing of the past.”

Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Xbox boss Phil Spencer have said that both companies are working on hardware for the future, which many believe will be released next year. The possible features of both boxes remain largely unknown, but if they lack the possibility of experiences like Stadia, Google may have already leapfrogged the competition before the next console generation cycle even begins. (Of course, it remains unclear how many top-tier games will be available on Stadia, and gamers tend to go where the good games are.)

Sony and Microsoft each have released platforms that directly stream games to consumers from their respective consoles — Sony rolled out PlayStation Now in 2014 and Microsoft announced Project xCloud last October. It’s clear both companies have long seen the writing on the wall of the future of consoles, but it’s unclear how far out they have built an infrastructure that could support a console-less future. Google’s existing data infrastructure and expertise could give the company a big advantage here.

“If you think about it, there are a lot of barriers for users to play high-end games,” Pichai said. “Beautiful graphics really need high-end consoles or PCs. And games don’t have instant access.”

Targeting Twitch

Also in Google’s crosshairs: streaming services like Twitch. Google and partners showed off extensive integration between Stadia and YouTube. In one example, a viewer could be watching a stream of a multiplayer game, and join a live queue to play in the very same game as the streamer.

The Stadia controller, which pairs with whatever device is streaming Stadia over Wi-Fi, also is tied in directly into YouTube, featuring a dedicated button that sends whatever you’re playing to your YouTube profile.

Today’s presenters mentioned those who “love to watch games” as often as those who loved to play. It’s clear that Google has an eye out for the massive streaming market that has exploded in recent years.

Storming Steam’s Castle

The words “Stadia store” were only mentioned once by Harrison, without further elaboration, but it hinted that there would soon be a completely separate place from the traditional game marketplaces where players could buy their games.

Although Stadia games seem to be completely separate from the usual understanding of “PC games,” the fact that they will be playable on desktops and laptops appears likely to make this mysterious Stadia store a competitor to Steam.

Over the past several years, Steam has become a juggernaut for PC gamers and where the majority of games are purchased. That monopolistic hold over the medium was shaken late last year when Fortnite developer Epic Games announced the Epic Games Store, putting the most popular game in the world on it.

Stadia’s entry promises to turn the once-monolithic PC games market even more on its head. Google’s hefty presence has the possibility of upending how players think about PC games and where they are acquired.

Google the Games Developer

Finally, Tuesday’s announcement puts Google in competition with other game development and publishing studios. Harrison unveiled Stadia Games and Entertainment, describing it as “Google’s own first-party studio.”

Though the details were light, besides announcing its new head Jade Raymond, multiple game concepts designed in-house were shown.

It seemed as though the studio would vie for partnerships with other development studios, but create plenty of its own games as well. That could turn Google into an AAA games studio in competition with the likes of Activision and EA.

Win or lose, change is coming

Google’s presentation left an enormous number of questions unanswered, many of which Harrison promised to address this summer. Among the unknowns: Stadia will clearly require users to have speedy Internet connections, but access to high-speed broadband is unequal across the U.S. Google hasn’t announced a price for the service, either. And other companies (though none with the clout of Google) have tried and largely failed to offer a similar service.

Then there’s the matter of which games Stadia will offer. It’s a new platform, and developers haven’t had much time to create games for it yet. Id’s Doom Eternal and publisher/developer Ubisoft were mentioned during Google’s event, but gaming services can live or die on their launch titles. Still, Google’s decision to announce Stadia at the Game Developers Conference — to an audience largely made up of industry insiders and developers — was no doubt a strategic move to build excitement among the very people who will build the games that could potentially lift the platform to success.

“Today, our industry captivates over 2 billion players from all around the world,” Harrison said. “At the center of that community, its beating heart, are the game developers. The people in this room who create the most incredible game experiences that delight players with engrossing stories, characters and worlds through a dazzling display of technology, artistry and magic.”

Even if Google’s Stadia isn’t an immediate hit, it could change gaming forever. By promising a game-streaming future, free from download times and the need for lots of local processing power, Google has set the bar even higher for what future gamers will expect. The promise of “instant access” is a hope for many gamers, and it’s exactly what Google says is coming. The largest players in the game industry were surely watching today. If they weren’t already hard at work on the diversity, flexibility and performance that Google has promised, they certainly are now.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 7:44 pm

The First Glimpse of the New BTS Dolls from Mattel Does Not Disappoint

Back in January, news began to circulate that the K-pop supergroup BTS would be partnering with Barbie-maker Mattel for a line of dolls. This week, Mattel took to social media to share the first glimpses of what that collaboration might look like.

There were two images. The first: a look at the seven dolls lined up on stage in silhouette. And the second image, posted on Tuesday: a close-up of the corner of a lip, and a dimple. The result: fans immediately identified which of the seven members of the group the doll was supposed to be — the rapper and group leader RM, real name Kim Nam-joon — and went wild about the apparent attention to detail and life-like resemblance visible in just this tiny snippet.

Mattel confirmed in response to comments on their tweets that the doll line will be dropping this summer with “retailers around the world.” And as for playing with them? The dolls will have “11 points of articulation with fully poseable arms, legs, hands and feet,” the company clarified.

No more dreaming. Something big's coming… 💜 #BTSDollsOfficial #BTSxMattel pic.twitter.com/pANsDMgrrD

— Mattel (@Mattel) March 18, 2019

We’ll be sharing the #BTS love with retailers around the world this summer. 😍💜

— Mattel (@Mattel) March 18, 2019

You can call him an artist, you can call him an idol… 💜 #BTSDollsOfficial #BTSxMattel pic.twitter.com/2rVdAcJWkH

— Mattel (@Mattel) March 19, 2019

HIS DIMPLE 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/tAZzN3eBeI

— 하나 (@hannasshi_) March 19, 2019

Yasss take all my money !!!! 💸💵💰💳 pic.twitter.com/DBWbv0ULbm

— NinaBear🐻💖(rosi🌷) (@RosiVelasquez14) March 19, 2019

BTS is continuing a successful year after they made history topping the Billboard 200 album chart and appeared at this winter’s Grammys, recently announcing the release of a new album Map of the Soul: Persona on April 12 and making their Saturday Night Live debut on April 13.

 

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 4:25 pm

Bearded Man Who Went Viral for Noteworthy Post Malone Dance Gets Shock of a Lifetime

Take a lesson in having fun from Mike Alancourt, the bearded dancer who performed on Monday for the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The 43-year-old went viral after a video from his dance class at 1 Vibe Dance, a studio in Jacksonville, Fl., impressed the world earlier this month. The video, featuring Alancourt and two women dancing to Post Malone‘s “Wow.,” reached 23 million views in total on Instagram, DeGeneres said. Will Smith and Post Malone both shared the video on their accounts — Post Malone’s reposting alone earned 6.5 million views.

“Honestly, I just love dancing so much. I have such a good time in the video,” Alancourt told DeGeneres after finishing his routine. “I think that’s what people were connecting to, and apparently, 23 million people just wanted to have a good time with me for a minute.”

DeGeneres surprised the dancer with a video from Post Malone himself personally inviting Alancourt to his performance in Arizona on Sunday. “I love your moves,” the artist said. “It would be fun to have you.”

With that rhythm and choreographic precision, it’s no surprise that DeGeneres had to invite him on her show.

Watch the full video of Alancourt’s surprise from Post Malone below.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 2:18 pm

Kristoff St. John died of heart disease
Actor Kristoff St. John, who appeared on the CBS daytime soap opera "The Young & the Restless," died of heart disease, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 19 Mar 2019 | 2:09 pm

Gwyneth Paltrow wanted to reinvent divorce with her 'conscious uncoupling'
Gwyneth Paltrow didn't expect the backlash over the "conscious uncoupling" of her marriage with Chris Martin.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 19 Mar 2019 | 2:06 pm

About that Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt movie poster
Leonardo DiCaprio got people talking about his new movie with Brad Pitt, but probably not in the way he envisioned.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 19 Mar 2019 | 1:46 pm

Wendy Williams reveals she's living in a sober house
Wendy Williams got incredibly candid during her show Tuesday about her struggle with addiction.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 19 Mar 2019 | 1:04 pm

'Toy Story 4' will embark on adventure to save a new character
Your favorite gang of toys is back, and the latest adventure looks like the most action-packed yet.

Source: CNN.com - RSS Channel - Entertainment | 19 Mar 2019 | 12:21 pm

Even Obama Wasn’t Important Enough to Know This Huge Game of Thrones Secret

In the business of secret-keeping, the world’s most adept may include the entire cast and crew of Game of Thrones. The show’s twists and turns are so classified that even former U.S. President Barack Obama wasn’t permitted to know the truth about Jon Snow’s death.

In an interview with Variety, Kit Harington, the actor behind the iconic Lord Commander, explained the pressure he felt when his character was killed off in the show’s fifth season. “When you become the cliffhanger of a TV show, and a TV show probably at the height of its power, the focus on you is f—ing terrifying,” he said.

Public interest in Jon Snow’s death was piqued to the point of no return. Variety reports that Obama himself couldn’t help but ask: Would Jon Snow come back to life? The President asked the question to then-CEO of of HBO, Richard Plepler, during a state dinner. But just like the rest of the nation’s viewers, the President would have to wait until the next season to find out. “Mr. President, even your security clearance isn’t high enough to give you the answer to that,” Plepler said.

Obama’s love for Game of Thrones is well-documented. In 2016, he filmed a video for Buzzfeed that encouraged Americans to register to vote. One activity more difficult than registering, the President said, was naming every single Game of Thrones character that had died — and despite his avid viewership of the show, he couldn’t name them all.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 11:40 am

Don’t Call Queenie a ‘Black Bridget Jones.’ This Book Is So Much More

The literary world has a problem with labels. Take Queenie, marketed as a “black Bridget Jones,” and therefore belonging to a genre you might reasonably expect to know. You would be forgiven for approaching Queenie as a tragicomic story of womanhood, updated for the Tinder age perhaps, with a black body occupying a space already familiar to its white predecessors.

But that would be to profoundly underestimate this debut novel, which tells a far deeper story than the one it has been compared to. Candice Carty-Williams, a young Londoner, has a flair for story-telling that appears effortlessly authentic. Her title character is a woman you both know and cannot forget. Queenie’s life is in meltdown, and as she goes through a miscarriage, a breakup and the loss of her home and her job, the depression and dysfunctionality that once lurked in her world rise to overtake it.

It’s a haunting downward spiral. Carty-Williams manages to engage the head and the heart, plunging the reader into Queenie’s descent, while simultaneously helping us unpack it. The atmosphere is unsettling. Queenie’s South London neighborhood is shifting beneath her feet, gentrification pushing out the markers of her Caribbean-heritage community, a metaphor for the fragility of her life.

This is the fertile heart of Carty-Williams’ writing: complex dynamics of interracial friendship, of the gaps that exist between generations, layered with the specific intricacy of a Jamaican immigrant family and the blurring boundaries of workplace relationships, are spun into an entertaining seam. Queenie’s best friend Kyazike brings nonchalant humor, while her grandparents offer complicated affection.

But above all it’s Carty-Williams’ treatment of love and sex that darkly elevates her story. Queenie’s substitution of sex for intimacy, her broken body image, her vulnerability to the hurtful racial fantasies presented by white male partners and her battle with trust are all painfully real. Moments of awakening — which unfold at a sexual health clinic, in the back of a car, in an office toilet — are all the more touching for their grotty familiarity.

Carty-Williams has taken a black woman’s story and made it a story of the age. She has taken our jokes, as black British women, and made them accessible without demeaning them by translation. She has normalized the gaze of a person whose angst is filtered through an endless tussle with identity — and made her someone that anyone can recognize.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 11:26 am

The Sesame Street Desert Island Challenge Has Sparked Heated Debate

Sesame Street’s Twitter account opened up the week by posing a burning question to the internet: who would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Whether you want Cookie Monster, Elmo, Grover, or Oscar the Grouch to help you survive when you’re marooned says a lot about your perspective on the events of life.

“The whole adorable lot” is not an acceptable response, so suffice it to say that people got ruthless with their opinions on the characters from the iconic show for kids.

Weighing in on this debate requires knowledge of what each muppet could bring to the table when it comes to an extreme test of the human spirit.

You’re stuck on a deserted island and you can pick one of these Sesame Street friends to come with you. Who are you picking and why? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/bGjF7Bx5Xo

— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) March 18, 2019

pic.twitter.com/hDIhmXJahs

— New York City FC (@NYCFC) March 18, 2019

Some chose Oscar for his resilience.

Oscar. He's the only one who knows how to live off of trash in rugged conditions… which makes him the only survivalist of them all.

— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 18, 2019

Some celebrities like Paul F. Tompkins and Joss Wheedon felt Elmo was the only companion who could make the grade.

Ever heard of Super Grover, you idiots? He’s gonna get stuff DONE. Planes will see him in his cape and Roman helmet or whatever it was. He’s ENTHUSED. He’d do all the cooking for sure. Also will provide a good amount of food when you kill/eat, not like scrawny #Elmo https://t.co/bEutULhpoe

— Joss Whedon (@joss) March 18, 2019

Elmo is the ONLY choice.

Grover: too anxious

Cookie Monster: would go through cookie withdrawal & who even knows what his sober personality is

Oscar: anyone who chooses Oscar should be on a watchlist https://t.co/dmKLvZszKg

— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) March 18, 2019

Gauntlets were thrown.

This is 100% Cookie Monster.

Elmo is way too loud.
I don't need Oscar's negativity in my life.
If worst comes to worst, Cookie Monster is better eating. https://t.co/emBJTNTniV

— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) March 18, 2019

Rules were broken.

Breaking the rules. Picking ANIMAL. https://t.co/CNPxSbS1eL

— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) March 18, 2019

Ground was stood.

Just to be clear, I am WAY too cute and adorable to get stuck on a deserted island.

— Grover (@Grover) March 18, 2019

Cookie Monster — He’s the reason I have dad bod. https://t.co/uCwmWlpUvs

— Alex Plitsas (@alexplitsas) March 19, 2019

Words were not minced.

Oscar's Debbie Downer act would get tired real quick. Elmo is simply too stupid, would accidentally kill himself somehow with a coconut then I'm alone on the island. Cookie Monster would blow through our food in a day and we'd have to eat bugs for weeks.

Grover's great. Grover. https://t.co/IWfLFn3464

— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 19, 2019

Who would you want with you?

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 19 Mar 2019 | 9:53 am

American fans eagerly expect Meghan and Harry's baby
Fascination, pride and the best soap opera in the world have many Americans eagerly awaiting the impending birth of Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle's first child.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 19 Mar 2019 | 6:17 am

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in rehab following stroke
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis has been discharged from a hospital to a rehabilitation center in Memphis, Tennessee, two weeks after suffering a stroke, his publicist said on Monday, quoting his doctor as saying Lewis is expected to fully recover.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 18 Mar 2019 | 11:21 pm

Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara resigns as AT&T probes 'mistakes'
Kevin Tsujihara has resigned as the head of Warner Bros as one of Hollywood's most powerful studios investigates a report that he improperly helped an actress obtain roles at the studio.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 18 Mar 2019 | 4:13 pm

Louis Vuitton pulls Michael Jackson-themed items from collection
French fashion house Louis Vuitton has pulled Michael Jackson-themed items from its 2019 summer menswear collection following a documentary about alleged child abuse by the late pop star.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 18 Mar 2019 | 2:56 pm

Jorah Mormont Explains Why He’s ‘Basically Supportive’ of Jon Snow and Daenerys’s Love

If there’s anyone who’s been a figure of unrequited love on Game of Thrones, it’s been Ser Jorah Mormont, who will do anything for his queen, Daenerys Targaryen, despite seeing her romantic interludes with others.

So it’s fairly significant that the Westerosi knight (or rather, Iain Glen, the actor who plays Jorah) has weighed in favorably on her latest romance with none other than Jon Snow.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Glen shared that he thinks that Jorah has now made peace with never being seen as a viable romantic partner for Daenerys.

Sir Jorah Mormont of house friendzone pic.twitter.com/zmJi2G7CYH

— não vou ter pena (@fabituitou) March 16, 2019

“I don’t know what people perceive,” Glen said. “But in my mind, there was a significant shift when he lost her love and made this journey to try and win it back; once he won her favor again and was in her orbit. Of course, there has always been a profound love there but him wanting a reciprocal physical love has gone and he was just happy to be with her.”

He also said that he believes that Jorah generally approves of Daenerys and Jon being together.

“He believes in Jon Snow like a lot of people do and has gotten to know him in their travels together last season,” he said. “He thinks he’s a good match with Daenerys best interests in mind. It’s a complicated emotion, but I think he feels that they would be a good unification and he’s basically supportive.”

With Jorah’s blessing, here’s to watching how Jon and Daeny’s romance plays out in the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, which premieres on April 14.

Source: Entertainment – TIME | 18 Mar 2019 | 2:19 pm

Dick Dale, surf guitar pioneer, dies at 81
Dick Dale, who became known as "king of the surf guitar" with a twangy rapid-fire, reverb-heavy sound that he said recreated what he heard in his head while riding the waves, has died at 81, his former bass player Sam Bolle told Reuters.

Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 18 Mar 2019 | 12:53 am