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Slug shorts out huge section of Japan’s high-speed railway
A large chunk of Japan’s high-speed rail network was brought to a standstill, delaying about 12,000 passengers, because of a slimy character – a roughly 1-inch-long slug, according to reports. The gastropod slithered its way into an electrical power device installed near the tracks on May 30, causing the power to fail on two lines...
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New York Post
4 bodies, including 2 infants, found near Texas border
FBI probing grim discovery as White House continues to put blame for border crisis squarely at feet of congressional Democrats
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CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
What Do You Do When No One Takes You Seriously?
Andrew Yang leaned toward me inside his 2020-campaign headquarters, as he compared federal economic policy to baking muffins. He suggested that his progressive 2020 rivals, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, want to change some ingredients and try again. Yang wants to start from scratch instead.“The recipe’s not working; this tastes like shit,” Yang said, talking quickly. “Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to make this recipe less shitty,’ it’s like, ‘You know what? Maybe I’m going to bake something else and stop trying to salvage this shit-muffin!’”He broke out laughing.“I’ve never used that metaphor,” he explained excitedly. “That’s new!”Yang, a first-time candidate known mostly for his proposal to give every American a universal basic income of $1,000 a month, is himself new to this whole running-for-president thing. When potential voters watch the first Democratic presidential primary debates next week, arrayed before them will be a former vice president, four U.S. senators, a former governor, a congressman, a mayor, and two people that, polls show, most Americans have never heard of: Yang and Marianne Williamson.All together, the eight other politicians who will be onstage next Thursday night—to say nothing of the 10 more that will face off the night before—have about 150 years of experience as elected officials. Yang and Williamson have zero. Neither candidate has ever held public office at any level. Each is running the kind of against-the-odds, quixotic campaign that in years past would be easy to dismiss, laugh off, or just plain ignore. But Donald Trump is president, his seemingly out-of-nowhere 2016 victory having served as equal parts apocalypse and inspiration for left-leaning political novices across the country to shoot their shot. And the Democratic Party, four years after its campaign apparatus incited a grassroots revolt by appearing to anoint a favored front-runner as its nominee, is now welcoming all applicants with open arms.So Yang, a 44-year-old entrepreneur, and Williamson, a 66-year-old best-selling author of spiritual self-help books, will have the same platform in Miami to make their case for the presidency as former Vice President Joe Biden, three-term Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and the rest of the Democratic field. Yang and Williamson share a view that the United States is fundamentally in decline and in need of transformative policies to right itself. Yang sees a mounting economic crisis caused by automation that has already displaced millions of American workers. “These changes are going to get bigger and more disruptive,” he told me. “We’re in the third inning of what experts are calling the fourth industrial revolution—the greatest economic transformation in the history of our country.”To Williamson, the problems run even deeper. “Our country has devolved,” she told me over coffee recently, “from a democracy to a veiled aristocracy.”Each of them cleared the deliberately low bar that the Democratic National Committee set for inclusion in the first debates: They secured donations from more than 65,000 individuals across the country, and they reached 1 percent in at least three national or early-state polls.[Read: ]The DNC isn’t apologizing for its debate rulesThe criteria elicited concern among party insiders that the debates, spread out over two nights to accommodate 20 contenders, would degenerate into a substance-free circus. The rules also prompted predictable criticism from the candidates who struggled to make the cut, none louder than Montana Governor Steve Bullock, the most prominent Democrat excluded from the first round of debates. Bullock’s campaign accused the DNC of making a “secret rule change” that blocked him from qualifying, and he ran an ad in which a supporter called the decision “horseshit.” Yet when viewed from another perspective, the rules announced in February were refreshingly democratic. Whether by design or not, they created a dynamic in which a traditional political résumé was neither necessary nor sufficient to qualify for the debates. Sitting senators, governors, and congressmen were not guaranteed spots simply by virtue of their position, and it was, as Yang put it to me, “possible for a citizen, through the will of the people” to achieve a measure of parity with the party’s biggest stars.“It was the greatest coup for us that the DNC put that goal out,” Yang told me.In his sparsely furnished campaign office, just south of Times Square, a handful of young, mostly male campaign staffers were getting ready to jump on a conference call the DNC was holding about the debate rules. On the tables were surplus supplies of the “Yang Gang”’s counter to Trump’s red MAGA hats: blue baseball caps emblazoned, in all caps, with the word MATH. Situated in this retail hub in the heart of Manhattan, Yang’s headquarters happens to be surrounded by the very businesses—a McDonald’s around the corner, a Starbucks and a Pret a Manger at either end of the block—whose jobs, he said, are most threatened by automation. Yang’s style is unfiltered but not unguarded; he’s funny—and yes, somewhat nerdy—without being vitriolic.TK (David Williams)Yang’s campaign, centered on his proposal to provide every American adult with a universal basic income of $12,000 a year until they’re eligible for Medicare, has attracted support from young progressives, a fair amount of libertarians, and despite his disavowals, even some white nationalists. He’s drawn thousands to his rallies across the country and inspired meme-filled Yang Gang anthems on YouTube. Yang blew past the 65,000-donor mark in March and told me he’s already closing in on the 130,000-contributor threshold the DNC set for its debates in the fall. He regularly hits 1 percent—and occasionally a bit higher—in the polls, and while he’s not threatening Biden’s front-runner status, Yang consistently registers in the top half of the crowded Democratic field, ahead of more established names like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Julián Castro, the former federal housing secretary; and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.[Read: The city that’s giving people money]Yang’s website features an eclectic mix of 104 policy proposals, among them Medicare for All; term limits for members of Congress and the Supreme Court; statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.; a call for “empowering MMA fighters” and to pay NCAA student athletes; “free marriage counseling for all”; and the elimination of the penny. (He’s also come out against male circumcision.) But the centerpiece—indeed, the entire premise of Yang’s candidacy—is his embrace of a universal basic income, or what he calls the “freedom dividend.” (“It tests well on both sides of the aisle,” he told me of the branding.)It is Yang’s answer to what he sees as the biggest, and most inevitable, threat facing the American economy, and a large part of the reason that Trump was elected in 2016: automation. The retail sector, call centers, fast-food chains, the trucking industry—all those job engines will be crushed in the coming years by advances in technology, Yang said, necessitating not only a government rescue of displaced workers but a reorientation of the federal safety net. By 2030, he told me, 20 to 30 percent of all jobs could be subject to automation: “No one is talking about it, and we’re getting dragged down this immigrant rabbit hole by Trump.”[Read: The quiet ways automation is remaking service work]The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang grew up in upstate New York. He completed degrees in economics and political science at Brown before going attending Columbia law school. After a brief stint in corporate law and the failed launch of a celebrity-focused philanthropic company called Stargiving.com, he helped build and then ran a test-prep business that was eventually sold for millions to Kaplan, the industry giant. Yang used the earnings to start Venture for America, a nonprofit that recruits and trains would-be entrepreneurs to launch their own start-ups. There, in the 2010s, he said he realized just how big an economic challenge the country faced, and how unprepared it was to meet it.“I realized that our work was like pouring water into a bathtub that has a giant hole ripped in the bottom. And the hole was just getting bigger,” he told me. Yang said the loss of 4 million manufacturing jobs in swing states that Trump won—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa, among others—largely explains his victory. “When Donald Trump became president, I took that as a terrible signal that our society had already progressed to a point where tens of millions of Americans were desperate enough to vote in a narcissist reality-TV star as president.”CaptionEven if voters believe that Yang has correctly diagnosed the nation’s chief problem, it may be a leap for them to see him as the candidate best suited to fix it. Yang told me he decided to run for president after determining that no one else in the Democratic field, including progressive stalwarts like Sanders or Warren, was likely to pick up the banner of universal basic income. “Speaking bluntly,” he told me about his decision, “a lot of the advice I got was that this was a terrible idea.”Yang told me he was surprised not by the level of support he’s received, but where it’s coming from. “I thought I was going to be the younger, fresher Bernie. But instead I’m something else,” he said. Yang expected to do well among voters closer to his age and perspective, and he has, but even as Democrats have moved steadily left, his push for a universal basic income has met resistance from some of the progressives he thought would embrace it. If his hope was to outflank Sanders and Warren, so far it hasn’t happened.A selling point of universal basic income is that it’s a simpler, less prescriptive way of assisting people than the complex web of welfare and anti-poverty programs the government presently runs. And by granting it to everyone, regardless of income, Yang hopes to inoculate the idea against expected criticism from conservatives that it’s just an enormous government handout to the undeserving poor. Under Yang’s proposal, people currently receiving food stamps or other welfare benefits would have the choice of receiving cash instead, but they wouldn’t get $1,000 a month on top of the assistance they already receive.This feature, along with Yang’s insistence that cash go even to the super-wealthy, has generated criticism on the left. “It has a good chance of making low-income people worse off, and it has an especially good chance of wasting significant resources on people who don’t need it,” says Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (Bernstein served for two years as chief economist in Barack Obama’s White House to Biden, one of Yang’s rivals, but he has not endorsed anyone in the 2020 race.)Yang would pay for his “freedom dividend” with a new value-added tax modeled on those that are common in Europe. But liberals see sales taxes as disproportionately hitting poor people, who spend a higher share of their income on food, clothes, and other necessary living expenses. “We don’t want to hand cash to people with one hand while taking it away with the other,” says Rakeen Mabud, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.Yang insisted his plan would “leave no one worse off.” But his response to criticism about his particulars was simply to say that even universal basic income wasn’t a cure-all. “This policy,” he told me, “is not meant to solve everything for everyone.”Unlike Yang, Williamson is not running on a single, signature proposal. She has gone further than other candidates in backing reparations for African Americans, calling for the disbursement of $200 billion to $500 billion over 20 years on projects devoted to “economic and educational renewal.” Yet she is a more conventional outsider candidate. One of her ideas, borrowed from the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns of former Representative Dennis Kucinich, is for the establishment of a federal Department of Peace.Williamson told me she saw Trump’s election as a blaring siren that the political establishment had ignored a revolution building underneath its feet. “The American people are not stupid. They know the game is rigged. They know we’re screwed,” she said. “The crying out for change was itself legitimate. Obviously they got the wrong kind of change agent. They got a con artist.”Williamson, also unlike Yang, has run for office once before: In 2014, she made a bid for the open Los Angeles–area House seat vacated by the longtime Representative Henry Waxman. She finished fourth out of 16 candidates, with 13.2 percent of the vote.She told me the idea to run for president first came to her—as it did for Yang—shortly after Trump’s 2016 victory, but that it took her a year and a half to “process” it. Her daughter asked, “Why do you need this?” The author of more than a dozen books, including the best sellers Return to Love and Healing the Soul of America, Williamson has been a frequent TV presence as a guest of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Maher.Tk (Susan Walsh / AP)“I’m not looking to make a fool of myself at this point in my life,” she said. “I’m aware of the inevitable humiliation, the inevitable mockery, the inevitable mean-spiritedness, the inevitable bad pictures.” Williamson has moved to Des Moines to stake her claim on the Iowa caucuses; she stumbled into controversy last week, issuing an apology for calling vaccine mandates “draconian” and “Orwellian.”Her built-in fan base likely helped position her to make the first debates. But she was closer to the cut-off than Yang was. When we met a few weeks ago, she had just passed both the donor and polling thresholds. “I’m in!” she exclaimed as we sat down.Whether Yang or Williamson can advance beyond the novelty phase of their candidacy may depend on their performance in the first debates, and whether there’s enough space for two more über-liberal candidates in a Democratic field that has already cut off much of the running room on the left. Their bids are premised, at least in part, on the “anything is possible” notion of the Trump presidency, and the ever-present constituency for nonpolitician, anti-establishment candidates. But neither Yang nor Williamson started out with the advantages Trump had. Neither is a household name, and both lack Trump’s larger-than-life personality.And for Democratic voters in particular, Trump’s performance in office may serve as a warning against gambling on a political rookie. The question that most stumped Yang and Williamson was not about their analysis of the nation’s problems, or even their proposals for solving them. It was why they, above and beyond their 20-plus rivals for the Democratic nomination, were best equipped to lead the country. Both pivoted back to Trump and their other rivals rather than making an affirmative case for themselves.Each candidate will get another chance on Thursday night, but answering that question before a national audience may prove to be their biggest challenge.
World Edition - The Atlantic
Knitting site bans support for Trump on its platform
CNN.com - RSS Channel
Raspberry Pi 4
The fourth incarnation of the wonderful Raspberry Pi is upon us. A faster quard-core CPU, up to 4GB of RAM, gigabit ethernet and dual HDMI outputs are the upgrades; there's USB-C too, but just for power. The CPU boost is a big deal, say early users, but dual-4k displays and 4x the RAM bring it squarely into the realm of everyday desktop computing. Still $35; the 4GB model is $55. Seriously look at this. True Gigabit Ethernet speed on Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 3B: 94MB/sRaspberry Pi 3B+: 285MB/sRaspberry Pi 4B: 930MB/s pic.twitter.com/WWWIFcDpoV — Ben Nuttall (@ben_nuttall) June 24, 2019 Raspberry Pi 4 is here! A tiny, dual-display desktop computer, with three RAM variants to choose from, and all the hackability you know and love. On sale now from the familiar price of $35: https://t.co/d9iwVidexm #RaspberryPi4 pic.twitter.com/4fll4gx1Ax — Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) June 24, 2019 Raspberry Pi 4 is here! Set mine up and here it is, streaming iPlayer pic.twitter.com/FXm4yOFVSF — Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) June 24, 2019 Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
G20 nerves hit Europe stocks; dollar slips to three-month low
European stocks stumbled and the dollar hit three-month lows on Monday as hopes waned for progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks at this week's G20 meeting and fears of an escalation in Iran tensions flared up.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Lewis Hamilton: F1 governance must change after ‘ugh’ French Grand Prix
• British driver says teams must not be allowed to shape rules• Hamilton admits race in France was not exciting to watchLewis Hamilton has revealed he is unimpressed with how Formula One is being run and says its governance must change.Speaking after his dominant victory at the French Grand Prix, Hamilton said Formula One teams – who have their own vested interests – should not be allowed to frame the sport’s regulations after he was present for discussions over new plans for 2021. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood reflects on sobriety, Mick Jagger's 'superhuman' recovery from heart surgery
If there’s anyone who could strut around on stage 11 weeks after heart surgery at the age of 75, it’s Mick Jagger. Ronnie Wood, 72, said, “The doctors said they’ve never operated on an athlete at 75 before — we had a really good laugh about that."
Sport
Pompeo says he discussed Gulf maritime security with Saudi king
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on Monday he had discussed heightened tensions in the region with Saudi Arabia's King Salman during a meeting in Jeddah.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
4th & Monday: Brett Favre is coming back! It's all happening. Oh, wait ...
#FavreWatch made a brief -- and unexpected -- return last week. But, sorry sports fans, but Brett Favre is not considering an NFL return.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Iran threatens 'crushing response' to US drones as Pompeo arrives in region
Pompeo spoke as he left Washington for Saudi Arabia.        
USATODAY - News Top Stories
The Assumptions Employees Make When They Don’t Get Feedback
“If I’m not causing problems, I must be doing fine.”
Harvard Business Review - Ideas and Advice for Leaders
Obsessed with 'Fleabag', 'Big Little Lies' or 'Chernobyl'? Dip into these summer reads
Can't get enough of your favorite Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO series? These books will scratch the itch.
NBC News - Breaking News & Top Stories - Latest World, US & Local News
The Energy 202: Ex-EPA engineer says Wheeler is misleading Congress about car rule
The EPA disagrees.
Politica
Bill Gates claims his ‘greatest mistake’ was not beating Android
Bill Gates has spoken candidly about his regrets as the leader of Microsoft, most particularly the company's attempts to build a dominant mobile OS. As reported by The Verge, during an interview at venture capital firm Village Global, Gates said "the...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
Futures edge higher with trade talks in focus
U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, with investors hoping that the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks will help de-escalate a trade war that is damaging the global economy.
REUTERS
NIH Director Francis Collins Has a Plan to Help Eliminate “Manels”
NIH Director Francis Collins said that he will no longer serve on manels. Here’s why
TIME - powered by FeedBurner
Mickey and Minnie speak Thai in retro cartoon short "Our Floating Dreams"
If you haven't seen them already, do check out Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. They're delightfully retro and great under-five-minute escapes. The latest one, Our Floating Dreams, has Mickey and Minnie speaking Thai! (Likecool) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Enter to win an iPad Pro or save big on refurbished iPads
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven't upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have plenty of speed left over for gaming or streaming video (which both look great on the liquid retina display). Not to mention great new features like Face ID and a magnetic Apple Pencil mount which also charges up that peripheral. The second reason? If you're feeling lucky, you could get one for free. Sign up below and you'll be eligible for a free iPad Pro, plus an Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. That's everything you need to make this versatile piece of hardware your new workstation. No need to wait for your lucky number to come up, though. As new iPads hit the market, there are tons of refurbished models popping up. Here are a few of the greatest hits we found from Apple's tablet line, all priced to move: iPad There's nothing like the classics. The flagship tablet in Apple's fleet is still the perfect size for a range of uses, including gaming and live chat. Even the older 2012 models pack plenty of storage for photos and video, and the iPad 5's screen was a definite step up that showed off the possibilities of its 8MP iSight camera. Apple iPad 5 9.7" 32GB WiFi Space Gray (Certified Refurbished) Apple iPad 3 9.7" 64GB WiFi Black (Refurbished) iPad Mini When the Mini was released in 2012, it was seen as the perfect traveling companion. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Chandler Thornton: The Republican Party has a toxic problem, and it's time to fix it
Racist ideologies are trying to infest mainstream movements.
Politica
England’s refusal to be bullied by Cameroon cannot hide concerns
Phil Neville’s players showed their appetite for battle and cool heads but improvements will be needed against NorwayThe good news is that, offering a welcome redefinition of grace under pressure, England refused to be bullied by Cameroon’s absurdly depressing antics in Valenciennes on Sunday.Retaining their poise and refusing to be provoked into retaliation, Phil Neville’s side won their fourth game out of four, scored three goals and kept another clean sheet. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
When soccer teams from El Salvador and Honduras met 50 years ago, it really was a war
In 1969, El Salvador and Honduras met in a soccer series that was said to have sparked a four-day war - the ramifications of which are felt today.
Sport
The Sports Report: Dodgers win third straight walk-off game
Howdy, my name is John Cherwa and if you’ve been reading this newsletter for the last two weeks, after today you should feel like you are Indiana Jones surviving the Temple of Doom. The good news is that Houston Mitchell will be back tomorrow. Standing O’s are acceptable at this point. What a way...
Sport
Did, as Gov. Gavin Newsom suggests, Texas make San Francisco's homelessness crisis worse?
Facing what feels like the first real crisis of his new administration — and in the midst of stalled efforts in Sacramento to do something about it — Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken aim at something new when asked about California’s homelessness problem: Texas. Specifically, Newsom accused the Republican-led...
Politica
Today: Trump Is Open to Iran Talks
After coming to the brink of launching a retaliatory strike on Iran last week, President Trump says he’s open to holding talks with Iranian leaders with no preconditions. TOP STORIES Trump Is Open to Iran Talks President Trump, who says he made an eleventh-hour decision last week to call off a...
Politica
Racing! Say goodbye to a Santa Anita meet you'll never forget
Horse racing newsletter
Sport
In Russia, he was a famous snowboarding daredevil. In L.A., he was randomly killed
Dmitry Koltsov spent most of his life with two feet planted on a board. His ability to pull off precise tricks and flips while vaulting through the air on a snowboard earned him a place on the podium at Russian championship meets and international competitions. Friends said his daredevil nature...
Sport
As first debate nears, Democratic National Committee is still wrestling with demons of 2016
Struggling presidential hopefuls won’t be the only ones looking for redemption as the Democratic debates get underway in Miami this week. Their host — the Democratic National Committee — is anxious for it, too. The Democratic Party enters this primary season haunted by demons. In the last presidential...
Politica
What's Coming and Going From Netflix the Week of June 24, 2019
Can’t wait for Spider-Man: Far From Home to hit theaters on July 5? Get your summer spidey-fix this week with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Wednesday), the highly acclaimed animated feature from 2018. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and critics loved it. I, of course, have not seen it and…Read more...
Lifehacker
Legal Dispensaries in LA Demand Regulators Crack Down on Unlicensed Pot Shops
Heavily taxed and closely regulated legal dispensaries are being undersold by outlaws who flaunt the law.
Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business.
Keep Your Brand Weird: How Austin Inspires Advocates
Don't be afraid to let your freak flag fly.
Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business.
Which current players belong in a different era of the NFL?
Blake Bortles can’t keep a starting job in 2019, but he could’ve been MVP in 1969. Trent Richardson was an All-American running back during a prolific career at Alabama, but he’ll probably be best remembered as an NFL Draft bust. Richardson lasted only three seasons in the NFL, despite being drafted third overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2012. He averaged 3.5 yards per carry in Cleveland and then 3.1 yards for the Indianapolis Colts after he was traded during the 2013 season. Browns legend Jim Brown turned out to be right when he described Richardson as an “ordinary back” on draft day. But maybe the problem is that Richardson came to the NFL about 50 years too late. If he had been in the NFL in the 1960s, Richardson could’ve had a Jim Brown-esque career. The combination of power and speed that made Richardson a star at Alabama would’ve been significantly more effective in the NFL back when defensive tackles weighed less than 250 pounds. For that matter, there’s probably a long list of NFL busts who would’ve dominated if only they had access to a time machine. The NFL of 2019 is much different than it was in 1969. The emphasis on passing has meant more speed on the field, and the evolution of linemen has produced gigantic players on both lines. There’s a good chance some of the best players from the 1960s would still be productive now, but there’s an even better chance that most players today would be unstoppable then. So which players who aren’t stars in today’s NFL would be MVP if they traveled back, say, 50 years? Let’s take a stab at it: Blake Bortles, QB, Rams Bortles would still be the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars if he knew how to avoid big mistakes. Since he entered the league five years ago, he’s thrown an NFL-most 75 interceptions. In Jacksonville, Bortles bounced passes off feet and helmets, he didn’t have much regard for the line of scrimmage, and his growing list of bloopers and turnovers eventually got him jettisoned from the team. If Bortles could’ve played a few decades earlier, his turnover issues and 80.6 career passer rating probably wouldn’t be a big deal. Instead, he was born in 1992, which means he plays when interceptions are much more unacceptable. In 2018, no player threw more than 16 picks, and there were 22 starting quarterbacks with a passer rating over 92. Yet Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda threw 42 (!) interceptions as a member of the Houston Oilers in 1962 and was still an AFL all-star. Bart Starr led the NFL with an 89.9 passer rating in 1969. And during an era when Fran Tarkenton pioneered the idea of a dual-threat quarterback, Bortles would’ve thrived. For all his faults as a passer, Bortles is an excellent runner — his career 6.3 yards per carry average is one of the best a quarterback has ever had. In another time, he’d be a 6’5, 236-pound destroyer capable of running through and over defenders, or passing over them. It’d be the closest thing to a real life CLARENCE BEEFTANK. It hasn’t all been bad for Bortles in today’s NFL. He threw a franchise-record 35 touchdowns for the Jaguars in his second season, and he led the team to the AFC Championship Game in January 2018. Jacksonville was happy enough with his play to give him a three-year, $54 million extension that offseason. One year later, the Jaguars were lousy again and decided — or realized the obvious — that the contract was a mistake and cut ties with Bortles. Now, he’s a backup quarterback for the Rams. Bortles wouldn’t have made the same money in the 1960s, but he’d have a way better chance of having Hall of Fame aspirations. John Ross, WR, Bengals John Ross’ inability to stay healthy would presumably be a problem no matter the decade. But even when the top-10 draft pick has been on the field, he’s been pretty terrible. Knee and shoulder injuries cost him most of his rookie year, and he failed to catch a single pass when he was on the field. While Ross got more playing time in 2018, he only caught 21 passes for 210 yards — despite getting targeted 58 times. No player in the NFL had a lower catch percentage and no receiver got a lower grade from Pro Football Focus. So far his record-breaking speed hasn’t translated into game-breaking plays for Cincinnati, and he was even reportedly on the trading block at one point. Whoowee — he’d be soooo fast 50 years ago, though. It’s hard to judge exactly how much faster Ross would be than everyone else because the NFL Combine didn’t start providing officials times and measurements until relatively recently. Logically, he’d be fast as hell. Players in the NFL are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever. That makes it all the more impressive that Ross is the record holder in the 40-yard dash. Still, his 4.22-second speed might be comparable to Olympic-level speed in another era. Cowboys receiver Bob Hayes was a world-class track athlete who won gold in the 100 meter at the 1964 Olympics with a then-record time of 10.06 seconds. His speed made him a dynamic receiver and punt returner who was so dangerous that teams were forced to develop zone defenses to contain him. Would Ross be faster than that? It almost feels disrespectful to consider it, so let’s just say that even if he weren’t, he’d at least be in a similar tier of uncoverable speed. Hayes led the NFL in touchdowns in his first two seasons with 13 each. If Ross could stay healthy and actually, ya know, catch the ball, he could shred defenses too. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Raiders Not too long ago, Burfict was one of the best linebackers in football. It’s why he got a three-year, $32.5 million contract extension from the Bengals after a spectacular 2016 season. Then his play dropped off a cliff. Burfict struggled through concussions and was one of the worst linebackers when he was on the field in 2018. He was released by Cincinnati after the season and joined the Raiders on a one-year deal. But ask anyone what Burfict is really known for and they’ll talk about his reckless disregard for safety. He’s racked up over $4.5 million in fines over the course of his career and has been accused before of attempting to purposefully injure his opponents. That’s a problem in today’s NFL — especially when the league is trying to combat backlash about the sport’s impact on the human brain. No matter how many times the NFL punishes Burfict with the hope that he’ll dial it back, he just keeps on being a danger. That kind of player used to be celebrated. Even as recently as one decade ago, ESPN would showcase the most violent tackles of the week in a Monday Night Football segment called “Jacked Up!” Rewind another four decades earlier and mean, vicious defenders were some of the most revered players in the sport. Dick Butkus was a 6’3, 245-pound mountain of intimidation for the Bears who went to eight Pro Bowls in his nine seasons in the NFL. His various nicknames listed at Pro Football Reference include “The Animal,” “The Enforcer,” “The Maestro of Mayhem,” and “The Robot of Destruction.” Burfict would be right at home in a time like that when he could knock someone’s head off and get cheered for it. Not to mention the fact that his lackluster pass coverage would matter much less in an era without high-octane offenses led by coaches like Sean McVay and quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately for him, the best linebackers now can control their aggression and cover from sideline to sideline. Bud Dupree, LB, Steelers The word “sack” didn’t even exist in football vernacular until Rams legend Deacon Jones started using it sometime around the late 1960s or early 1970s. Jones played before sacks became a recorded stat in 1982, but football historians think he accumulated about 173.5 — third all-time — during his career. Jones was a 6’5, 272-pound terror on the field. He made eight Pro Bowls between 1964 and 1972, and was an easy choice for the Hall of Fame. Since then, sacks have become an increasingly vital part of slowing down pass attacks in the NFL. Offensive tackles have had to hone their pass-blocking ability, and rushing the passer has become a refined art. Sacking quarterbacks in the NFL is hard and teams pour resources into finding the few humans capable of pulling it off. For that reason, Bud Dupree only managing 20 sacks in the four seasons puts him dangerously close to bust territory. As a first-round pick, the expectation was that Dupree would have nearly double that sack total by now. Transport a below-average pass rusher like Dupree to a time when offenses were just learning how to deal with scary defensive linemen and you could expect destruction. Dupree is 6’4, 269 pounds — similar in size to Jones — and probably wouldn’t have much trouble putting up Deacon Jones-type numbers back then. Basically any running back In the last 12 years, 11 quarterbacks have been named MVP. The last non-quarterback to win the award was Adrian Peterson when he cracked 2,000 rushing yards in 2012. When the Associated Press first started awarding the MVP award in 1957, running backs won five times in the first nine years. Considering the way offenses continue to phase out rushing attacks, you can probably expect quarterbacks to monopolize the award for the foreseeable future. Last season, teams averaged 237.8 passing yards and 114.5 rushing yards per game. In 1969, those averages were 177.5 passing yards and 122 rushing yards per game. That means there are fewer and fewer stars at the running back position today. There aren’t many roster spots to go around and the running backs who can actually earn carries are really, really good. They’re almost always productive members of the passing game, too. Remember when I said Richardson might’ve been amazing if he played 50 years ago? All the guys in the NFL now are way better than he is. LeGarrette Blount averaged only 2.7 yards for the Lions during the 2018 season. But put him against defensive tackles who don’t even outweigh him and he’d go on a rampage. So would other bruising types like Leonard Fournette, Latavius Murray, and Chris Ivory. Every running back in present day probably would.
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How Heroes' comic-book universe got too big for TV
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or just a TV hit that flew too close to the sun and notoriously flamed out?There, up in the sky … is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or just a TV hit that flew too close to the sun and notoriously flamed out? When it launched in 2006, Heroes was a fantasy drama with an unusually international outlook for a US network show. Centred around a fateful eclipse that gifted oblivious civilians around the globe with preternatural talents, it disguised its pulpy superhero origin stories with questing new age philosophy (“What is the soul?” pondered the opening narration of the premiere). This was an X-Men knock-off framed as an aspirational TED talk, offering a refreshingly normcore take on long-existing comic-book mythologies.For mid-2000s audiences already primed by the cryptic world-building of Lost, this was moreish stuff. Even if the populous cast initially seemed a little diffuse – what was the connection between Japanese office drone-turned space-time manipulator Hiro and clairvoyant NYC artist Isaac? – it meant that the plot was always barrelling forward, flipping through its grab-bag of settings and storylines before any of them could outstay their welcome. As well as the overarching mystery of the eclipse itself, Heroes introduced other symbolic chew-toys such as a recurring mysterious helix and a nifty mantra beamed from the future: “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” That gave fans plenty to ponder while they awaited the next episode (or “chapter” as the show’s slightly self-regarding terminology would have it). To the credit of creator Tim Kring and his team of writers, they kept this cosmic plate-spinning going for the 23 chapters that comprised season one. The finale also did an impressive job of bringing its scattered troupe together to avert an apocalypse heralded by brain-consuming supervillain Sylar. The climactic battle featured fights, flights, an unexpected twist and a moving moment of sacrifice. What more could you want? Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
UPDATE 2-Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars Entertainment for about $8.5 bln
Eldorado Resorts Inc has agreed to buy Caesars Entertainment Corp for about $8.5 billion in cash and stock, as it looks to build scale to take on competition from larger companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Chernobyl Blu-ray announced and available for pre-order now
TL;DR: The hit television five-part miniseries Chernobyl is now available for pre-order from Amazon, releasing on July 29, 2019.  The massive television phenomenon Chernobyl will be hitting Blu-ray and DVD on 29 July, 2019. Pre-orders are live from today and you can pick up the unmissable series for £14.99 on DVD or £19.99 on Blu-ray from Amazon.  Created by Craig Martin, the show explores the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion in 1986, and stars Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård. Through the guise of a historical docudrama, the show captures the horrendous aftermath of the most catastrophic nuclear accident in history.  Read more...More about Blu Ray, Chernobyl, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Solo, and Shopping Uk
Mashable
The 'biggest protest since the fall of Communism' in Prague
Tens of thousands of Czechs took to the streets of Prague on Sunday, taking part in what its organizers described as "the biggest protest since the fall of Communism."
CNN.com - RSS Channel
ING Bank: Bullish cryptocurrency markets are negatively impacting the US dollar
The cryptocurrency markets are on fire and major financial institution ING has taken notice, going as far as predicting the latest bull run could negatively impact the value of the US dollar. “Strong commodity (and cryptocurrency) prices, plus sharply falling US dollar hedging costs should keep the dollar on the soft side this week,” warned ING‘s global head of strategy Chris Turner in his latest foreign exchange analysis. Turner’s right: the price of the DXY index – which measures the performance of the US dollar against a basket of international currencies – has struggled to find momentum moving into the new week of trade.… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Bernie Sanders to unveil plan to forgive $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, reports say
To fund his massive loan forgiveness plan and public investment in higher education, the Vermont independent will push for a new tax on Wall Street.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Amid donor screening concerns, sperm bank industry is "buyer beware"
A New York City sperm bank faces multiple lawsuits, claiming it did not properly screen its donors for genetic diseases. The sperm bank industry is expected to be worth more than $5 billion by 2025, but some families say they're learning troubling information after the fact. Anna Werner reports.
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Jay Bilas claims college programs don't 'produce' NBA players. John Calipari disagrees
In a press conference after the NBA draft, Kentucky coach John Calipari answered Jay Bilas' opinion that college programs do not 'produce' NBA talent.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Martin Truex Jr. repeats at Sonoma NASCAR race
Dominant performance for Joe Gibbs Racing
Sport
Greater Manchester considers taking back control of bus network
Mayor Andy Burnham wants city region to be first in UK to use London-style powersGreater Manchester could become the first city region in the UK to take back control of its buses after a report recommended refranchising its vast and fragmented network.The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said he hoped to use the powers to build a London-style integrated transport system that puts passengers’ needs ahead of the interests of private bus companies. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Iran says U.S. cyber attacks failed, hints talks are possible
Iran said on Monday U.S. cyber attacks on its military had failed, while also hinting that it could be willing to discuss new concessions with Washington if the United States were to lift sanctions and offer new incentives.
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Cameroon is allowed to get upset without having to answer to your kids
Not every negative incident is a referendum on the women’s game or a bad example for little girls. Cameroon came into its women’s World Cup round of 16 match against England as serious underdogs. The Indomitable Lionesses knew that they’d need to play their absolute best, and have a couple of lucky breaks go their way, to advance in the tournament. Instead, several big refereeing decisions went against them — a questionable backpass and two VAR reviews. The Cameroonians felt hard done by the referees, visibly showed their frustration, and appeared to lose their composure completely by the end of the match, when they put in a series of overzealous and dangerous tackles. England are headed to the quarterfinals after getting the job done against Cameroon.Watch the full game highlights with our 90' in 90" ⬇️ #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/NFrzYQIyiE— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 23, 2019 Lost in all of this is that England is through to the World Cup quarterfinals. That’s not something you would know from a glance at the English press, though. An entire country’s worth of journalists and media outlets had little time for celebration of its team’s 3–0 victory, opting instead to devote all their energy to shaming Cameroon for being upset. Monday 24th June 2019Newspaper back pages feature SHAMEFULDISGRACEFUL #Cameroon #FWWC #England #WomensWorldCup2019 pic.twitter.com/HdAdwCh9ue— ⓒⓕ (@cfbcity) June 23, 2019 The full headlines on the game stories may be even more sensational, from the Guardian’s: Cameroon’s shameful performance descends into playground farce To the Telegraph’s: The Cameroon team’s disgraceful VAR protests have damaged the reputation of women’s football English journalists also ranted at Cameroon manager Alain Djeumfa at his press conference. Rather than ask questions, they took the opportunity to berate Djeumfa, telling him that his team shamed the sport of football and that his players were bad role models for children, while also accusing him of ordering his players not to give interviews. It seems that footballers getting pissed off at a match not going their way can’t be simply left at that. Not when there are women to shame for failing to uphold the high ideals of sport, and more importantly, failing to be good role models for little girls. After the match, England manager Phil Neville — who is apparently incapable of having a 30-second conversation with his daughter — wondered aloud if Cameroon might have ruined the sport for millions of young women. “This is going out worldwide. I didn’t enjoy it, the players didn’t enjoy it. My players kept their concentration fantastically, but those images are going out worldwide about how to act, the young girls playing all over the world that are seeing that behaviour. For me, it’s not right. My daughter wants to be a footballer and if she watches that she will think: ‘No, I want to play netball.’” The men’s game is, of course, not held to this standard. Dirty tackles, abuse of the referee, and general disrespect for the laws of the game are fairly standard at all levels of men’s soccer across the world. But don’t take my word for it, take it from ... Phil Neville! Apparently it did not bring the entire sport of football into disrepute when he intentionally fouled players hard. In the 2018 documentary The Feud — Ferguson vs. Wenger, Neville recalled a match in which him and his brother Gary played dirty to intimidate an Arsenal player. “They had a young Spanish winger called Jose Antonio Reyes and we literally kicked him off the park,” Neville said. Men’s football also found a way to go on after “The Battle Of Nürnburg,” a 2006 World Cup match in which 16 yellow cards and 4 reds were shown. Later in that tournament, French midfielder and current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane delivered a headbutt to Marco Materazzi after the Italy defender muttered a few unpleasant words about Zidane’s family. Rather than chastise Zidane for disgracing the sport, we’ve decided to memorialize this moment. Literally. Where have I been? Had no clue there was a Zidane headbutt statue pic.twitter.com/vLlNP2npKu— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) January 4, 2016 Men do catch criticism for misbehaving on the pitch. Luis Suárez, for instance, was rightfully taken to task for biting opponents on three separate occasions. But Suárez was never accused of damaging the reputation of the entirety of men’s football, nor was he ever told to think of all the little boys who might go play cricket instead after seeing his disgusting display. Leaving aside this double standard for a moment, the circumstances that might have led to Cameroon becoming so emotional about calls going against them should also be explored and placed in the proper context. Most of Cameroon’s players are not full-time professional footballers, and this was the biggest match almost all of them will ever play in. The team was completely inactive in 2017, and the federation scheduled just one friendly match in 2018. Cameroon has gotten to this point despite many of its players having little to no opportunities to improve as footballers or advance to the professional level. If England had lost this match, its players would have returned to a league growing in both quality and financial muscle. Each member of the squad is a full-time professional making a living wage playing the game, and most will receive significant raises in the immediate future. Cameroon’s players are not as lucky. Many will go home to, as Cameroonian journalist Njie Enow describes it, an “underfunded domestic championship staged in appalling conditions.” In such a context, the emotions of the Cameroon players are perfectly understandable, but it should still be noted that the Indomitable Lionesses were not actually hard done by. Given that the VAR decisions appeared correct and the referee let a few big transgressions go mostly unpunished, the Cameroonians weren’t justified in their indignation. If they believe the game was officiated in a manner that was unfair to them, they are wildly incorrect. And as Nigerian-English-American footballer Chioma Ubogagu noted, while Cameroon deserves more empathetic coverage, most of the players’ actions on the pitch were inexcusable. But the problems with the discussion around Cameroon aren’t the criticisms of their behavior. One major issue is the complete failure to contextualize why Cameroon might be more emotional than the English press would consider “normal” or “acceptable.” The other is assigning Cameroon more responsibility to act a certain way than we’d ever burden a misbehaving men’s team with. They did not, as Neville and a half-dozen papers put it, damage the reputation of women’s soccer as a whole. The women’s game will move on past this one match and continue to grow, even while players behave in ways that self-appointed arbiters of morality deem distasteful. Women are allowed to get pissed off at times. They shouldn’t be forced to first consider the message it might send to children. The Cameroon women’s national team does not have a responsibility to you, A Father Of Daughters, to raise your kids for you. And if, for god knows what reason, you do feel compelled to criticize women for getting pissed off, it’s probably worthwhile to consider why they might be so angry.
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Busta Rhymes vs. Banjo Kazooie
In the vein of Biggie the Tank Engine, but significantly worse. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Team USA embraces "crazy" growth of women's soccer worldwide
As Team USA defends its championship title, a record number of viewers points to the growing popularity of women's soccer around the world
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Samsung 4K TVs, De'Longhi coffee machines, Bosch power tools, Philips Hue systems, and more on sale for June 24 in the UK
Another week, another set of amazing deals. With the heat set to soar in the coming days, now couldn't be a better time to kit out your garden, and we've got the deals to help.  Get your garden looking its best with a robust mower, or a powerful pressure washer.  If you're still sceptical about the British summer, we've also lined up a great selection of deals to keep you happy at home. Highlights include a sharp set of Morphy Richards knives, down to £24.99 from £79.99, and a Samsung 4K Ultra HD TV, down to only £497 from the £809 list price — that's over £300 in savings.  Other deals include discounts on big brands such as Bosch, Samsung, Sony, De'Longhi, and more. There's everything from dazzling swimming pools, sharp 4K TVs, and intelligent home lighting systems.  Read more...More about Swimming Pool, Mashable Shopping, Samsung Tv, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals IMAGE: AMAZON £38 £22 OFF (37%) £60 Sony SRS-XB10 Compact Portable Wireless Speaker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £89.99 £60.01 OFF (40%) £150 Sony SRS-XB31 Portable Wireless Waterproof Speaker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £14.39 £12.60 OFF (47%) £26.99 VEENAX PS10 Bluetooth Mini Speaker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £17.99 Etekcity Bluetooth Body Fat Scales -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £54.99 £15.00 OFF (21%) £69.99 Fire 7 Tablet, 16 GB, Black -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £14.99 £18 OFF (55%) £32.99 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - 3 Months -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £20.99 £9 OFF (30%) £29.99 Tile Pro with Replaceable Battery -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £15.99 £8.00 OFF (33%) £23.99 Yankee Candle Large Jar Scented Candle - Home Sweet Home -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £34.99 £17 OFF (33%) £51.99 Bosch PST 700 E Compact Jigsaw -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £46.99 £18.00 OFF (28%) £64.99 Bosch PushDrive Cordless Screwdriver -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £37.99 £12 OFF (24%) £49.99 Philips Hue Home Automation Smart Bridge 2.0 -- See Details IMAGE: £29.99 £5.00 OFF (14%) £34.99 Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £10 OFF (20%) £49.99 Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £497 £312.99 OFF (39%) £809.99 Samsung 50-inch Dynamic Crystal Colour 4K UHD HDR Smart TV -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £345 £354.99 OFF (51%) £699.99 LG 49-inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £279.99 £170 OFF (38%) £449.99 De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM 4200.S Bean to Cup -- See Details IMAGE: Mashable £44.95 £45.04 OFF (50%) £89.99 De'Longhi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Jovia Coffee Machine -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £24.99 £55 OFF (69%) £79.99 Morphy Richards Accents Knife Block -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £34.97 £31.02 OFF (47%) £65.99 Breville High Gloss Toaster -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £119.98 £30.00 OFF (20%) £149.98 ECOVACS DEEBOT M82 Robot Vacuum -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £159.99 £140 OFF (47%) £299.99 Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £99.99 £18 OFF (15%) £117.99 INTEX 28202UK Metal Frame Pool - 304 x 76 cm -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £139.99 £30.01 OFF (18%) £170 Intex AK SPORTS 775237  Metal Frame Pool - 366 x 76 cm -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £64.99 £35 OFF (35%) £99.99 Intex 28272 Metal Frame Rectangular Pool - 300 x 200 x 75 cm -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £95 £34.99 OFF (27%) £129.99 Kärcher K2 Full Control Home Pressure Washer -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £71.99 £28 OFF (28%) £99.99 Yard Force 130Bar 1800W High-Pressure Washer with Accessories -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £107.20 £42.79 OFF (29%) £149.99 WORX 20V MAX Cordless HYDROSHOT Portable Pressure Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £72.99 £27 OFF (27%) £99.99 Bosch Rotak 32R Electric Rotary Lawnmower -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £159.99 £70 OFF (30%) £229.99 Bosch UniversalRotak 550 Electric Rotary Lawnmower -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £27.50 £6.50 OFF (19%) £34 Bosch ART 26 SL Electric Grass Trimmer with Cutting Diameter -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £17.39 £4.60 OFF (21%) £21.99 Intex Beanless Bag Chair -- See Details
Mashable
Should contraception be sold over the counter? AOC and Ted Cruz aren’t actually allies on this.
Republicans and Democrats divide -- starkly -- over the details.
Politica