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  1. Yesterday
  2. Goldenvoice has canceled hip-hop fest Day N Vegas 2022, which was set to include headliners SZA, J.Cole and Travis Scott. View the full article
  3. Thank you to everyone who has signed up as a Member or VIP so far — we’re off to a good start becoming less reliant on advertising revenue. Only with your support can we continue not bringing you articles about Machine Gun Kelly smashes glass on face at restaurant, starts gushing blood. Have a great holiday weekend! View the full article
  4. Last week
  5. Rapper Cardi B talked with Zane Lowe about her new single, 'Hot S—,' and what it was like working with Ye. View the full article
  6. R. Kelly's lawyer explains why the R&B artist was put on suicide watch after being sentenced this week to 30 years in prison. View the full article
  7. Last fall, movie director Quentin Tarantino announced that he would auction ‘Pulp Fiction’ NFTs to the public. These NFTs would unlock handwritten scripts and exclusive custom commentary from Tarantino, assets that many fans would like to get their hands on. NFTs are not without copyright issues, however, as Quentin Tarantino swiftly discovered. Movie studio Miramax, which owns most of the rights to the film, sees the plan as a contract breach and copyright infringement. NFT Copyright Battle In a lawsuit filed at a California federal court last November, the movie company accused the director of attempting to cash in on something to which he doesn’t own the full rights. “Eager to cash in on the non-fungible token (‘NFT’) boom, as widely reported in the media, Quentin Tarantino recently announced plans to auction off seven ‘exclusive scenes’ from the 1994 motion picture Pulp Fiction in the form of NFTs,” the complaint read. Despite this legal dispute, the first NFT was put up for auction early this year, selling for over a million dollars. Follow-up auctions were halted soon after but the same can’t be said about the legal battle. After some early mud-throwing back and forth, Tarantino’s legal team asked the court to dismiss the case last month. According to the defense, Miramax’s claims are ungrounded. Tarantino sees the film as a derivative of the screenplay he personally wrote and still holds the rights to ‘Tarantino Only has the Print rights’ This week, Miramax responded to the motion, arguing that the star director misrepresented the facts. While he indeed retained some rights to the screenplay, those rights are rather limited. “Defendants are roughly half right about the rights to Pulp Fiction. As one of the authors of what would become the blockbuster movie, Quentin Tarantino at one point had extensive rights to some elements that ultimately comprised the film.” “But he assigned and transferred virtually all of those rights to Miramax in June 1993, carving out only a specifically enumerated, limited set of ‘Reserved Rights’ far narrower than Defendants’ Motion suggests,” Miramax adds. ‘History Rewritten’ Tarantino is “shockingly” trying to mischaracterize the license agreements by leaving out critical parts, Miramax informs the court. The movie company admits that the director reserved the print publication rights to the screenplay, but not much more than that. The movie studio says that the 1993 agreement clearly shows that it holds virtually all rights to the Pulp Fiction screenplay. The legal paperwork also carved out a section for the distribution of content in new types of media that had yet to be invented. That last past wasn’t mentioned by Tarantino’s legal team. Since NFTs did not exist yet in the nineties, these would certainly qualify as a new type of media, Miramax argues. “Defendants’ arguments rely on an incomplete, misleading factual history of their contractual rights and a strained reading of those limited rights. Put simply, nonfungible tokens, which host and display unique content using blockchain technology, were not (and could not have been) contemplated by the parties in 1993,” Miramax writes. ‘More Infringements’ Whether that is indeed the case is up for the court to decide. However, the movie studio believes that there are plenty of reasons to continue the case. Aside from the screenplay rights disagreement, the NFT sale also used other images and artwork that were directly related to Pulp Fiction. For example, the early artwork on TarantinoNFTs.com featured iconic depictions of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, which have since been replaced with an image of Tarantino himself. In addition, several tweets from the Tarantino NFT team with alleged copyright-infringing material were deleted as well. The tweets are also listed as infringing examples in the legal paperwork. These alleged infringements alone should be sufficient to support a valid copyright claim, Miramax notes. — A copy of Miramax’ objections and response to Tarantino’s motion is available here (pdf). From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  8. Every week the Stereogum staff chooses the five best new songs of the week (the eligibility period begins and ends Thursdays right before midnight). We’ve kicked off a partnership with TIDAL, the global music streaming service that offers the highest sound quality and Fan-Centered Royalties. You’ll find our new Favorite New Music playlist updated weekly here on TIDAL. View the full article
  9. Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup | Getty Images) Google had a pair of high-ranking executives leave this week. The first was Bill Ready, Google's "President of Commerce, Payments & Next Billion Users," who left to become CEO of Pinterest. The second big departure is Javier Soltero, who was vice president and GM of Google Workspace, Google's paid business app, and was the leader of Google Messaging. Both executives made big changes to Google in their nearly three-year stints at the company. Now that they are leaving, it's unclear what the future of their respective products holds. Ready was only at Google for two-and-a-half years, where his highest-profile move was presiding over the disastrous rollout of a significant Google Pay revamp. The new Google Pay app was spearheaded by Ready's payments team, led by another recently ousted executive, Caesar Sengupta. The Google Pay revamp brought an app originally developed for India to the US, where the requirement for phone number-based identity came with a huge list of downgrades: The Google Pay website had to be stripped of payment functionality, the app no longer supported multiple accounts, and you couldn't be logged in to multiple devices. The rollout of the new app was also clumsy. Slowly, over a month or two, users were kicked out of the old Google Pay and had to transition to a new app. The new identity system wasn't backward compatible with the old Google Pay, though, which meant users still on the old app couldn't send money to users on the new app. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  10. Cardi B is turning up the heat this summer with hr latest single, “Hot Shit," a fiery collaboration with Ye and Lil Durk. Listen to it here. View the full article
  11. The last two episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 are here, and Kate Bush has issued her stamp of approval. “Whoooo Hoooo everybody! I just can’t believe it – No. 1 for the third week,” she wrote on her website. “We’re all so excited! In fact it’s all starting to feel a bit surreal.” View the full article
  12. Calvin Harris will release his highly anticipated new album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 on August 5 via Columbia Records. The album is now available for pre-order/save here. Along with the album release date, Harris has dropped the second song from the forthcoming album, “New Money” featuring 21 Savage, today. Timed with the five year anniversary of Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’ this week, Harris revealed the release date for ‘Vol. 2’ on Wednesday when he posted the album trailer revealing the 23 dynamic collaborators featured on the forthcoming album. Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 includes an array some of today’s most exciting artists including: 21 Savage, Dua Lipa, Young Thug, Stefflon Don, Chlöe, Charlie Puth, Pusha T, Shenseea, Tinashe, Normani, Lil Durk, Halsey, Offset, 6lack, Justin Timberlake, Coi Leray, Busta Rhymes, Donae’O, Latto, Pharrell, Swae Lee, Jorja Smith, and Snoop Dogg. Listen to “New Money” with 21 Savage below. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Calvin Harris Releases Next ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol.2’ Single With 21 Savage, “New Money” View the full article
  13. Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Stranger Things 4: Volume 2. Well, it's finally here. Stranger Things 4: Volume 2 — all 4 hours of it — has arrived on Netflix. And boy, was it a lot. There were tentacles, there were guitar solos, and at the end of the day, there was a body count. But were there answers? Earlier this week, we outlined 11 questions we absolutely needed Volume 2 to answer, ranging from which characters would die (gulp) to which fan theories were correct. Now, after finishing all of Stranger Things 4, it's safe to say we got answers for most — but not all — our burning questions. Here's what we learned. SEE ALSO: The escapism of 'Stranger Things' Season 4 just hits different in 2022 1. Is Nancy OK? How did Nancy escape from Vecna's clutches? Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Yes! Nancy (Natalia Dyer) is fine — at least, as fine as she can be after being traumatized by Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) and almost strangled to death by his squelchy, squelchy tentacles. Instead of escaping Vecna's Mind Lair by hearing her favorite song, Nancy is actually released by Vecna himself. Her freedom comes with a price: He gives her a vision of his plans for Hawkins and tells her to pass that message on to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). A more efficient villain may have just killed Nancy as the fourth sacrifice and ended the world right then and there, but Vecna knows we have a 4-hour runtime to kill. So he sends Nancy on her merry way. Honestly, the biggest tragedy of this storyline is not figuring out Nancy's favorite song. Is it Madonna? Bowie? Blondie? The world needs to know! 2. Is Vecna Eleven's father? Vecna, you are not the father. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix No! While Stranger Things 4 never directly denies that Vecna and Eleven are related, as posited by one fan theory, it also never really entertains the question. Plus, a reveal like that would be a perfect bombshell to drop in the finale. Since we don't really hear anything about this theory in these last two episodes, it's safe to say that Vecna is not Eleven's dear old dad. And thank goodness for that. The last thing we need is the Rise of Skywalker-ification of Stranger Things. Sometimes powerful people just aren't related, but their relationships can still be compelling. Case in point: Eleven and Vecna. 3. How will Stranger Things address Will's queerness? Please just let Will be happy. For once. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Very, very subtly. Will (Noah Schnapp) does not explicitly come out in Volume 2, but his romantic feelings for Mike (Finn Wolfhard) have never been clearer. Think about the painting he made for Mike (which he falsely claims Eleven commissioned for him). Think about his assertion that Mike is the "heart" of the party. If that wasn't enough, Will also delivers some pretty heavy-handed lines about how people treat you when they know you're different. At this point, the subtext is basically text. Other characters seem to be catching on to what fans have been picking up on for a while now. The scene where Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) tells Will he'll always support him because he's his brother feels like an indirect acknowledgment of Will's queerness, and an invitation for him to confide in him should he need to. Until further notice, this question remains on the table for Stranger Things 5. SEE ALSO: 28 binge-worthy LGBTQ TV shows to watch 4. Do Joyce, Hopper, and Murray escape Russia? So you've escaped prison. What now? Credit: Courtesy of Netflix They do indeed, but it takes them a very, very long time. Their haphazard escape involves a prison break-out, a helicopter named Katinka, a prison break-in, and a call to the United States Government. After a while though, they're able to make it home. Along the way, Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) finally act on their feelings for each other, and Murray (Brett Gelman) gets to barbecue a whole bunch of Demogorgons. 5. Does Eleven officially have her powers back? Get 'em Eleven. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Seems like it. The Nina Project did its job, and now Eleven is able to lift heavy objects, blow up helicopters, and enter people's minds. That last ability proves extremely useful in these final two episodes, as she's able to confront Vecna as he hunts Max (Sadie Sink) through her memories. Her long-distance superpowers are a handy workaround to the fact that she and her friends are thousands of miles from Indiana. It's a pretty efficient way to join the California crew and the Hawkins party, although it unfortunately gives characters like Mike, Will, and Jonathan very little to do other than provide support. But all of that is just scratching the tip of the iceberg, because now Eleven seems to have the power to bring people back from the dead. Max fully dies for a minute after facing Vecna, allowing the fourth gate to open and destroy Hawkins. However, Eleven is having none of it. She brings Max to life, although not back to consciousness. She's still in a coma, but given how Max was such a pivotal player this season, I'm sure we'll see her again soon. Until then, bringing people back to life seems like a pretty neat skill for Eleven to have in her back pocket. Is there anything she can't do? SEE ALSO: Why the 'Running Up That Hill' scene in 'Stranger Things' is so powerful 6. Why do the Russians have a Demogorgon? Let them fight. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Honestly, it's probably just so Hopper and Joyce's storyline this season could connect in some way to the final act of the California and Hawkins plots. The Russians have a ton of Upside Down monsters, including several that they've experimented on, but we never really learn why beyond "they're the baddies." Having Demogorgons and Demodogs around does allow Hopper and Joyce to fight at least one part of the Upside Down hive mind, proving to be a much-needed help to everyone fighting Vecna head-on. Will we learn more about the Soviet Demorgon program next season? Or has that plot died along with all the Russian prison guards? 7. Why has Vecna returned now? Seriously, what is this guy's deal? Credit: Courtesy of Netflix We still don't know why Vecna waited seven years after being banished to the Upside Down before starting his murderous rampage. At this point, I'm not sure we ever will. However, it's not like Vecna was twiddling his tentacle-y thumbs for seven years. We find out that he created the Mind Flayer and has been attacking Hawkins since the beginning. Perhaps he was just trying to conserve his energy in those early seasons, and it was only when he realized just how powerful Eleven was that he decided to bring out the big guns: teenage murder. SEE ALSO: Who is Vecna in 'Stranger Things' and why is the internet talking about them? 8. Is Ms. Kelly the guidance counselor working for Vecna? Sometimes a clock is just a clock. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Absolutely not. Ms. Kelly (Regina Ting Chen) is nowhere to be seen in these last episodes, shutting down the fan theory that she was an ally of Vecna's. But what about her connection to the murder victims? What about her grandfather clock necklace? What about the ticking sounds when Max spoke to her? The answer to the first question is pretty simple: She's a school counselor, and it's her job to listen to troubled teens. She probably didn't draw a connection between all the victims because she has no way of knowing about Vecna's curse. The clock references like her necklace or the ticking may not be plot-relevant, but they're still tools that help build tension around Vecna. For example, the ticking clock when Max talks to Ms. Kelly after being cursed is a perfect reminder of her time running out — and of the fact that she could see the Creel clock at any moment. 9. Whatever happened to Vickie, Robin's love interest? Good thing this wasn't her only scene this season. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Stranger Things 4: Volume 2 might as well be subtitled Vickie's Return, because she's back! Robin (Maya Hawke) spots her fellow band geek and crush Vickie (Amybeth McNulty) at the War Zone, an army surplus store, with her boyfriend. One Upside Down battle later, Robin and Vickie reunite while volunteering to help Hawkins citizens displaced by the earthquake. Vickie reveals she and her boyfriend have broken up, and she and Robin hit it off right away. Seems like McNulty will be sticking around in a bigger way in Stranger Things 5. Good, that's the star of Anne with an E we're talking about! She deserves this. SEE ALSO: 'Stranger Things' is almost back, so here's your reminder that Hopper should have stayed dead 10. How is the basketball team's Hellfire Club hunt going? Stay away from her! Credit: Courtesy of Netflix The basketball team's Satanic Panic-inspired hunt of the Hellfire Club throws a major wrench into our heroes' plan to defeat Vecna. Jason (Mason Dye) and his squad confront Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Erica (Priah Ferguson) at Creel House, resulting in a full-on fistfight. Jason breaks Max's Walkman, and his interference directly leads to her (temporary) death. So thanks for that, boys. Jason dies when the fourth gate to the Upside Down opens, but his Satanic Panic lives on. In the aftermath of the battle, Hawkins citizens believe that Eddie (Joseph Quinn) and the Hellfire Club caused both the murders and the earthquake. This will surely complicate our heroes' lives moving forward, as Mike, Lucas, and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) were all members of Hellfire. 11. Is Steve Harrington going to die? Bring him home. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Nope, King Steve (Joe Keery), mother of Hawkins, is still alive and kicking! Phew. There were a few moments when I thought he was for sure a goner, like that monologue about his dream family, but he makes it out of the Upside Down in one piece. Unfortunately, we can't say the same of several other characters this season. Jason gets disintegrated by the Upside Down portal. Sorry about your witch hunt, bro. Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) also dies after trying to escape the Nina Project with Eleven. He continues the proud Stranger Things tradition of characters whose names start with a 'B' dying every season: Barb, Bob, Billy, and now, Brenner. Good riddance to him. But of course, the death that people will be saddest about (beyond Max's, which only lasted a minute) is Eddie's. The writing was on the wall for him as soon as he claimed he and Dustin weren't heroes. You knew right then and there that'd he'd do something heroic — and pay the price for it. Eddie was clearly this season's breakout character, with his love for Dungeons and Dragons and his sweet friendship with Dustin instantly endearing him to audiences. And who can forget about his rocking guitar solo in the Upside Down? Extremely metal. He'll be missed in Stranger Things 5. Where do we go from here? What does the future hold? Credit: Courtesy of Netflix Stranger Things 4 ends with a pretty big hint at where Stranger Things 5 will go. Vecna is still alive, and Hawkins is slowly transforming into the Upside Down. Now that the gang's all back together, it's likely that they'll unite to finally take him down, once and for all. The Duffer Brothers have floated the idea of a time jump, so we could be jumping into a very different Hawkins than the one we left. The only thing we know for sure is that Stranger Things 5 will be the show's final outing. So savor this last-ever hiatus between seasons, fans. See you on the other side. All of Stranger Things 4 is now streaming on Netflix. View the full article
  14. Following their last single, “Think Of You,” with Blunts & Blondes, Canadian duo Zeds Dead slow it down considerably with their latest release, “I Took A Ride.” The song is actually a remake/cover of the Caroline Rose original of the same name, released in 2020 on her album Superstar. Zeds Dead add some of their signature house synths and a bouncy rhythm to give the track a more significant house feel, but Rose’s original vocals still carry the track. Listen below. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Zeds Dead Slows It Down On Chill New Single, “I Took A Ride” [LISTEN] View the full article
  15. Besomorph is hardly an artist in need of an introduction. With over 650 million streams across the platforms, Besomorph has secured slots on Spotify’s largest editorial playlists, such as Hype, Main Stage, Bass Arcade, over 5 NMF playlists and up-and-coming Germany-based playlists. His music has been released on the biggest labels and YouTube music channels in EDM such as NCS, Trap Nation, Trap City, Suicide Sheep, CloudKid and xKito to name a few. In addition to that, he has recently been awarded with the YouTube Silver Button for reaching over 100,000 subscribers on his channel. Additionally he has worked together with Riot Games, producing an exclusive remix for their game “League Of Legends”. Now, he’s back with a captivating new single “So Low” featuring a powerful vocal performance from Ryan Curtis. Showcasing a darker arrangement, Besomorph masterfully induces alluring melodies along with emotionally charged lyrics, courtesy of Curtis, to deliver a mesmerizing two minute experience that can’t help but make you want to play it again. Listen below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Besomorph Teams Up With Vocalist Ryan Curtis For Captivating New Single, “So Low” View the full article
  16. San Pacho is having his biggest year yet, with recent releases like “Pride,” (signed to Deadmau5’s Hau5trap) and “Amor,” (signed to Matroda’s Terminal Underground) showcasing the angle he’s decided to approach music and the sonic evolution he’s embarking on at his current state. Now, the young and talented artist is back with an electrifying new single “Trompeta” that weaves the worlds of house music and Mariachi in a seamless fashion. Driven by a punchy tech house bass line and latin-inspired drum grooves, the true stars of “Trompeta” are the beautiful trumpet melodies that ride forefront the whole way through. Here’s what San Pacho had to say about it: “’Trompeta’ is a brand new summer smash from the upcoming house music talent San Pacho. Just fresh off his hit single “Amor” which broke several viral charts, San Pacho is looking to re-enter the charts with this song. Featuring a memorable trumpet chorus, Trompeta jumps right into the signature Pacho basslines and complimenting drum grooves which his fan base have grown to adore.” Listen below! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: San Pacho Blends Mariachi & House with Electrifying Single, “Trompeta” View the full article
  17. Poison had to cancel a show minutes before its stadium set because frontman Bret Michaels was hospitalized for 'an unforeseen medical complication.' View the full article
  18. Enlarge / Smart contact lenses don't work quite this easily yet. (credit: Getty) Since 2015, a California-based company called Mojo Vision has been developing smart contact lenses. Like smart glasses, the idea is to put helpful AR graphics in front of your eyes to help accomplish daily tasks. Now, a functioning prototype brings us closer to seeing a final product. In a blog post this week, Drew Perkins, the CEO of Mojo Vision, said he was the first to have an "on-eye demonstration of a feature-complete augmented reality smart contact lens." In an interview with CNET, he said he's been wearing only one contact at a time for hour-long durations. Eventually, Mojo Vision would like users to be able to wear two Mojo Lens simultaneously and create 3D visual overlays, the publication said. According to his blog, the CEO could see a compass through the contact and an on-screen teleprompter with a quote written on it. He also recalled viewing a green, monochromatic image of Albert Einstein to CNET. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments View the full article
  19. Summertime is here, the Fourth of July is coming up, and that can only mean one thing: We are at peak cookout season. And when it's peak cookout season, there's one thing I want on my plate: a delicious, juicy burger. SEE ALSO: You've got to try homemade air fryer French fries. Here's how to make them. But lots of folks don't have a grill handy, or don't want a cloud of smoke in their small apartment — I live in New York City, I get it — but that doesn't rule out a delicious burger this Independence Day. You can make a pretty dang tasty burger in your air fryer. Yes, really. Now, is it going to be as good as a burger seared on a rip-roaring charcoal grill? Perhaps not. The flavor added by super-high heat and a real fire is hard to replicate. But a good air fryer burger is better than the garden variety burger you'll get at a gas grill cookout. Here's what you need to know. Ingredients1 lb. of ground beef 3 burger buns 3 slices of cheddar cheese 2 Tbsp. soy sauce About 1 tsp each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder A few leaves of romaine lettuce 1 tomato 1 red onion 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar DirectionsPlace the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Then season it generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and soy sauce. Mix to combine evenly. Form the ground beef into three equally sized patties. Press them down so they are at least a touch bigger than the diameter of your buns. The patties will shrink in size as they cook and the goal is to have total bun coverage. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss your buns into the air fryer as it preheats to toast the bread. Once the air fryer is preheated, remove the buns then spray the basket with oil. Add the burgers and air fry for eight minutes. Meanwhile, slice the romaine lettuce into thin ribbons then dress it with the mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Slice the tomato and onion into ultra-thin slices and set aside. When there is one minute on your air fryer, cover burgers with cheese (or not, if you don't want cheese). When finished cooking, let the burgers rest for a minute. Place the thin onion slices on the bottom buns. Put the lettuce and tomato on the top buns. Place each burger on top of the onion-covered bottom bun, then place the top bun on top of the burger. You can also dress with your favorite condiments, such as ketchup or mustard, and enjoy. SEE ALSO: Mexican-style street corn recipe is easy to make in the air fryer. And tasty, too. The detailsThis is a wildly simple recipe. That's the point of an air fryer — it's supposed to make things easy. One thing to keep in mind: Make sure you season the meat well. That is probably the most important step in this recipe. The directions are just rough estimations of how much seasoning to use — I season with my heart. Feel free to swap out garlic or chili powder and add anything you like — onion powder, paprika, cayenne, or any number of seasonings would work, for instance. Just make sure you use enough salt. And I think it helps to boost that salinity with soy sauce or something similar like Worcestershire sauce or Tamari. It ensures there is salty, umami goodness throughout the burger and helps keep it moist. That's the biggest drawback of which you have to be aware. An air fryer is effectively a small, high-powered convection oven, and cooking a burger in any type of oven runs the risk of drying it out. An ideal burger is seared on the outside but juicy and pink in the middle. This recipe does its best to get that result. Depending on your air fryer, you might need only like six minutes of cook time. If you're able, use a meat thermometer and pull your burgers at your preferred temperature. Burger toppings! Credit: Mashable Otherwise, the recipe is straightforward. Toast the buns during the preheat (a favorite trick of mine). Cut, then dress the lettuce. I think this small, extra step adds tons of flavor to the burger. The acid of the red wine vinegar makes each bite a bit sharper, while the mayonnaise adds a little fat to the lean meat. Then cut the tomatoes and onions, add the cheese, and enjoy. Here's how my final product looked. Not bad for an air fryer right? Burgers! In the air fryer. Credit: Mashable Not a bad burger. Credit: Mashable The verdict? It's a good burger. Cooked right, it's juicy and, honestly, probably far better than the burger you get from some hack on the grill at your local cookout. The air fryer gets hot enough and circulates air well enough, that there is something resembling a sear on the burger. The dressed lettuce adds a nice touch and the seasoning in the meat means you get great flavor. If you don't have the time or resources for a charcoal grill, this isn't a bad option for your Fourth of July dinner. View the full article
  20. "It’s an orgasm, not a Fabergé egg. People have them every day." Katy Brand's spectacularly sharp script for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is full of witticisms like this, with every moment fueled by smart discussion of sex, sex work, how important consent and respecting boundaries are to mutual pleasure, and of thinking beyond your own experience. Directed by Sophie Hyde, this wholly sex-positive film is itself as unpredictable in its subtleties as it is powerful in its exploration of compassion, body image, ageism, and outdated social ideas about pleasure. Emma Thompson is characteristically brilliant as Nancy Stokes, a sexually repressed former teacher with naught but a skerrick of self-confidence, who, two years since her husband died, decides to hire sex worker Leo Grande, played by staggeringly talented newcomer Daryl McCormack. We're not told what immediately preceded this decision, but Thompson brings an anxiously self-interrogating energy to Nancy, who's never really thought about her own pleasure or needs — it’s clear her only sexual relationship was devoid of any value for Nancy's desires. McCormack is utterly compelling as the titular Leo Grande, whose self-confidence, compassion, and pride — both in himself and his work — comes through the very first moment he steps through Nancy’s hotel room door. McCormack takes Brand's script and weaves from it a truly charismatic character whose ability to alleviate tension with empathetic finesse is truly exceptional. Leo's emotional intelligence enables him to see that Nancy, full of judgement and inhibition, views herself solely from the outside — a revelation that plays out in several mirror-facing scenes. SEE ALSO: People are more sexually adventurous right now — and more cautious Set over four meetings, the film feels more like a play, contained almost entirely to the walls of the hotel room at The Duffield, yet moving through nuanced stages of each character’s development so seamlessly that an hour and 37 minutes doesn't feel it at all. Credit: Hulu The film champions mutual pleasure as one of the most important elements of sex, making sure each person's needs are heard, understood, respected, and explored. Nancy has never had an orgasm. Not one. It's something she's never prioritised for herself, nor did her late husband. It's also something she actually doesn’t think possible, which is unsurprising, as her one sexual partner seemingly had no interest in asking Nancy what she enjoyed. Thompson plays through this with expert care, having Nancy act out the typical stages of their passionless sexual interactions like clockwork (fake orgasm included) and laugh off what Mashable features editor and Rough author Rachel Thompson might call "unwanted sex" as an acceptable experience. Nancy describes her sex life as having had "no deviation for 31 years." As a result, Nancy's fantasies and desires, which rarely extend beyond "getting it over with," are as limited as her own sex education. What's more, her feelings of shame over asking for what she wants are apparent throughout the whole film. In perfectly deadpan delivery from Thompson, Nancy literally makes a list of "attainment goals," or rather, sex positions she’d like to "get through" in a couple of hours, popping on her reading glasses and frankly announcing each one to a bemused Leo. It's in moments like this that Brand's script is exceptionally funny, amplifying an awkward mixture of Nancy's keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude with the discomfort around her own desires. SEE ALSO: How mutual masturbation can help close the orgasm gap Credit: Hulu The importance of ongoing consent lies at the core of Leo Grande as a truly intimate, deliberate theme. The film does not miss a beat here, with Leo leading by example by taking physical, verbal, and energetic cues from Nancy, asking for consent for every single intimate action, from simply kissing Nancy on the cheek to dancing to an Alabama Shakes song as a means to shake off Nancy’s inhibitions. Leo's expertise in empathetic mood adjustment is refreshingly comforting to watch — and should serve as a tutorial for the audience, to be honest. Nancy also continually asks for consent for physical connection, however she fails to do this for his personal boundaries. It’s here the film makes clear the power of setting boundaries, and the feeling of powerlessness and frustration that comes from having yours disrespected or crossed. Leo communicates his clearly, as does Nancy, however, she crosses his boundaries more than once, persistently coaxing personal information from him and ultimately leaping past one of Leo's most valued parameters: the separation of his professional and personal life, and protection of his identity as a sex worker. This breach of trust leads to a truly spectacular and devastating monologue from McCormack. Credit: Hulu As such, Nancy's sexual awakening is not her only journey, as she also opens up to self-love through debates about body image and age with Leo. Nancy's lack of self-confidence and contempt for her body comes from a deep, socially ingrained, patriarchal place — one Thompson expertly peppers throughout her performance, moving toward a wonderful moment of body neutrality for the character. SEE ALSO: Emma Thompson has a powerful message about body image for young people However, Nancy is initially steadfast in her views, having quite the tendency to lean toward misogynist rhetoric blaming young women’s attire for sexual harassment and openly spewing a sort of conservative moral panic about sex work to Leo's face. She constantly asks what his family thinks about his work and how he feels about it himself, specifically whether he feels "degraded" by it. Nancy tells Leo she quite literally used to set her students' "essays on the moral issues surrounding sex work, and here I am participating in it." Without being a PowerPoint presentation advocating the full decriminalisation of sex work, the film fosters ample discussion of the profession, with Leo expertly navigating Nancy's judgmental, pre-conceived notions of the sex industry and the experiences of sex workers. Leo patiently, even playfully, deflects her barrage of insensitive questions with a wry smile, telling her, "There’s nothing crass about getting paid for your work." In these discussions, which are some of the film’s most important, Leo makes clear to Nancy, more than once, that "You haven’t bought me. You've bought my services. I set a price and you agreed. I'm not being exploited." He doesn't avoid speaking to sex worker safety, but explains how he values his work deeply as a public service that meets people’s emotional and physical needs. "Think how civilised it could be," he says. Here, Thompson allows Nancy to truly listen and address her own bias, but also realistically limits this as, later, Nancy emotionally wounds Leo in a moment of blatant disrespect for his dignity that signals an unambiguous point of no return. By foregrounding themes of desire and mutual pleasure with that of ongoing consent and acknowledgment of boundaries, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande spotlights the importance of simultaneously respecting yourself and others when it comes to sex. Under Hyde's intimate direction, Thompson and McCormack take Brand's script and work with it to create a truly nuanced and playful exploration of wants, needs, and compassion. Good luck to it. Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is now in cinemas and streaming on Hulu. View the full article
  21. You might think that the main benefit to buying headphones for your children is so that you don't have to hear what they're listening to, but there's actually a more important reason. Your child's ears are super sensitive while they're developing and it's possible to damage them by hearing sounds over 85 decibels. Adult headphones just aren't the best idea for them to use. At least not unless you can convince them to lower the volume, which is pretty unlikely. Instead, you're best off purchasing a pair of headphones designed specifically for children. They tend to fit better on little heads and all of the best headphones for kids contain a volume limiter so the sound can't get too high. Here's everything you need to know about purchasing headphones for your child. Should I get wired or wireless headphones for my kid?Some of that decision is dependent on how much money you want to spend and whether you want to worry about needing to recharge headphones on a regular basis. Many of the headphones listed here have decent battery life, but they are typically more expensive than a wired solution. However, if your child is particularly young, wired headphones can be a strangling risk, so always supervise them while they're using their headphones, especially if there are younger kiddos in the house. What's the maximum recommended noise level for children?Generally, many auditory health organizations recommend that the ideal noise level for a child is about 70 decibels, and then volumes should never exceed 85 decibels. (Anything above 85 decibels is deemed dangerous.) Most adult headphones peak at about 115 decibels, which is why it's important to use a dedicated solution for your child. The limit is a limit too, not a guide, so always aim to play music a little quieter if you can. Can a child use earphones?In-ear buds are great for adults, but they're not recommended for children. That's because developing ears are more sensitive to noise damage because their nerve fivers are still growing. Also, due to having smaller external auditory canals, the eardrum is always closer to the sound source, so you don't want that to be exacerbated by earbuds. Ears are too delicate to risk their safety. How long should my child use the headphones for?Similar to limiting screen time, it's sensible to restrict your child's use of headphones to a maximum of two hours a day. Any longer than that can damage your child's ears, even if they're using a volume limiter. View the full article
  22. We are living in a new age of widespread remote, online learning. Even before COVID-19 forced the shutdown of schools all over the world, investment in EDtech (education technology) had reached $18.66 billion in 2019 and the market of online education is projected to be $350 billion by 2025. Today, the internet is becoming a virtual classroom for a growing number of kids as parents are turning to online resources to help plan lessons and look for activities for their housebound kids. Even high schoolers are also looking for additional test prep help from home. But here’s the good news: The quality of online learning platforms has only grown to meet this demand. Some offer games that teach young children in a fun, engaging way that barely feels like school, while others offer in-depth curriculums in foreign languages for students whose parents only speak one language. That said, when you’re looking for an online learning platform for your kids, especially little kids, there are a lot of factors to consider to make sure that your child is actually learning something from it. You want them to be engaged with the material and not fight you every time they need to log on. You also don’t want to waste your money on something clunky or dangerous. What should you look for in choosing a good online learning platform? The answer, of course, depends a little on the student you’re looking for, but in general, all good online learning platforms should meet the following criteria: It should not be weighed down in ads. Free educational apps might sound good, but bear in mind that free platforms often require advertising to keep the app running — and some of that advertisement might not be kid-friendly. It is especially important to avoid ads if you’re looking for a learning platform for young children because studies of children under the ages of four or five have shown that this age group doesn’t consistently distinguish what an ad is. This greatly diminishes the educational value of the platform. Ads can also just be cumbersome, crowding the screen or slowing down how quickly the learning platform loads, making for a clunky user experience. They should be educational. This might sound obvious, but just because something is labeled as educational doesn’t mean it actually provides the best educational experience. Games should mostly — if not entirely — be focused on teaching. They should also engage kids so they're actively learning. If the platform allows the child to zone out and just “watch,” chances are they won’t remember as much. But if the platform asks them questions, has them create something, or invites them to actively use their new knowledge — much like a teacher in a classroom — chances are the child will pay more attention and recall more information. They offer something an off-screen experience can’t. With the rise of remote learning, this is often the feature that gets set aside, especially with early-learning apps that let kids put puzzles together or trace letters on the screen — two activities they can also do in real life instead of the screen. The best learning platforms are aware of the dramatic increase in children’s screen time and try to offer something pen and paper or physical games cannot. Some teach children how to code, others offer them access to experts in a foreign language that simply wouldn’t be available closer to home. And others still compete with non-educational games by making learning fun. Some of the best also spark an interest in off-screen activities. Many of the best will offer ideas for kids to continue their learning offline by grabbing a pen and paper to draw, work out a math equation, foster a love of reading books IRL, or experiment with hands-on-art projects. They should be safe. This means that they should not expose kids to strangers who could harm them. Avoid learning platforms that feature online chat rooms that a stranger could join and use to talk to your child. For young children, you’ll also want to avoid platforms that link out of the app because this can lead them to browsing unsafe or unverified sites. It is against the law, thanks to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), for websites to collect personal information from children under thirteen without parental consent. That said, make sure you choose an online platform or tool that follows the law and has the necessary privacy settings. If you’re not sure if a program is safe for use, you can always check with the Common Sense Media Privacy Program. Even for older children, learning platforms that allow you to create a username — instead of their whole name — can be a wise choice, especially if there is a public aspect to the platform (i.e. a score ranking). They should allow you or the child to track their progress. Some will do this with a parental tracker. Others will offer grades. But monitoring progress is key so that kids can see how they’re improving and know where they need to improve. This can boost their confidence and engagement too. For young children in particular, you might feel more comfortable with an app that also alerts you to their progress and lets you know of an issue or concern early on. This can help you know what you need to work with them on offline and one-on-one. For example, if you know that your child is behind on reading comprehension, you’ll know that you should make more time to work with them offline and find fun ways to read in the evening or on weekends. Be careful of educational platforms that emphasize rewards instead of actual learning. You want them to be motivated to learn the actual concept being taught, not just reach the next level. A clear sign of gamified platforms is if they rely on in-app purchases. Those platforms are steered more towards leveling up and making money than actually teaching your children. (Plus, platforms with in-app purchases can get very expensive quickly — another reason to avoid them.) They should be clear about what age they’re geared for. Nothing can hamper a kid’s self-esteem or confidence faster than material that is way too hard. Similarly, material that is too easy can bore children. To make sure that neither of these scenarios occurs, parents should know what ages the content is made for so they can help pick an age-appropriate platform. For younger children, you’ll also want to prioritize platforms that make learning fun or that offer rewards or achievements for every lesson they complete. That way they’ll feel encouraged and engaged. Do you really need it? There’s no need to increase your child’s screen time just because. There are lots of offline activities (think: crafts, books, sports, etc.) to keep a child entertained. So there’s no need to just plunk your child in front of a screen if the platform is teaching them something they can already get elsewhere. That’s why when you’re picking a platform, consider its true purpose and what it really offers your child. Is it teaching them something new or is just keeping them from being bored? Here are some of our favorite online learning platforms for kids in 2022 that meet these criteria — but keep reading to get the full list below. Best overall for early learning ABC Mouse With more than 950 lessons in math, reading, science, social studies, and art, ABC Mouse is a great overall learning platform for kids ages two to eight. Best for honing reading skills Reading Eggs Reading Eggs is a great platform that will not only teach kids to read but hone their comprehension skills too. Best for learning to code CodaKid CodaKid makes coding fun and teaches kids a range of different coding languages, not just the most popular ones. View the full article
  23. Swimming Feeling, the new album from Chicago recording engineer Seth Engel’s band Options, is out today. As heard on lead single “Toast,” the project presents an interesting blend of rock subgenres. I hear some power-pop in there, a bit of mathy emo, a smidge of fuzzed-out DIY crunch that reminds me of Ovlov and early Foo Fighters, some pensive clean-lined indie rock in the Death Cab vein, maybe even a trace of roots rock? Whatever you want to call this stuff, it’s good: full of nifty interlocking guitar riffs and winding song structures and choruses that sneak up on you. Below, you can tap into that Swimming Feeling yourself. View the full article
  24. If you know one thing about the Los Angeles rock band Fime, it’s that they used to be Jay Som’s backing band. Technically they’ve been around since 2015; Jay Som’s Melina Duterte recorded and produced their 2019 EP Sprawl. But when Jay Som’s European tour was cancelled due to COVID, they had a bunch of time on their hands. The result of all those open hours is the debut LP Sweeter Memory, which is out today, and it indicates that this crew deserves some shine of its own. View the full article
  25. Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler says her hospitalized ex Travis Barker, with whom she has two kids, is 'surrounded by loving support' and the best medical teams. View the full article
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