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Oh No They Didn't! -

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  • 05/10/14--18:16: Kim's bridal shower

  • k5
    The 33-year-old reality TV star stepped out in a strapless white dress at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday, where she was attending her Paris themed bridal shower, looking every inch the modern bride.






    Rachel Roy



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    Gugu Mbatha-Raw is quite a busy woman these days—following the release of her movie Belle, the up-and-coming star has spent lots of time being interviewed at TV shows, attending premieres, and hitting up the hottest red carpet events. Despite her jam-packed schedule, she still manages to look flawless throughout the day, thanks to some quick and creative thinking by her makeup artist Nick Barose and hairstylist Ted Gibson.

    Before she attended the New York City book launch of Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes – Four Decades of Filmmaking, working a glamorous red lip, Mbatha-Raw had a busy day of press, including an appearance on BET’s 106 & Park. With little time to create an entirely new look between appearances, we wondered how she was able to take her hair and makeup from day to night in a matter of minutes. Barose and Gibson gave us an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at how everything came together!

    For her daytime appearances, Gibson (left) and Barose (right) opted to create a bold pink lip, which was complemented by loose, touchable curls. “That morning, Ted worked on Gugu’s sexy curly hair, and I balanced it out with a fuchsia stain on her lips,” says Barose, who used Armani’s Lip Maestro in 504 ($33; on the star. “I love keeping skin fresh and sheer for the daytime, but with enough coverage, so I mixed Dolce & Gabbana’s Matte Liquid Foundation ($67; with Sisely Express Flower Gel ($136; and applied it with a foundation brush to give the skin a perfect, polished look.” While the Sisley product is technically a moisturizing mask, it helped to thin out out the full-coverage foundation while imparting a dewy glow.

    With only 15 minutes to get ready for her evening event, the duo quickly went to work after Mbatha-Raw’s taping to transform her look. “Ted flat-ironed her hair, using Leonor Greyl’s Eclat Naturel Styling Cream ($46; as a heat protectant, and added a deep side part before forming a chic bun in the back,” says Barose. Gibson swept her strands into a low ponytail, wound the length around the base of the style, and once he anchored her bun with a handful of hairpins, a veil of Kerastase Lacque Couture ($35; provided long-lasting hold.

    To avoid giving her makeup a caked-on finish, Barose touched up her skin with Tatcha Blotting Papers ($12;, then misted it with water and followed with the Kiehl’s Micro Blur Skin Perfector ($35; “

    "You don’t need a lot—just a little bit here and there for a quick fix,” he says. “Apply concealer with a brush to areas that need more coverage, and set with powder.” Rather than breaking out his kit of shadows, Barose opted to use liner to define Mbatha-Raw’s eyes, and opted for a red lip as the finishing touch.

    “We had three choices of red, but settled with the Dolce & Gabbana Lipstick in Attractive Monica ($34; because it contrasted with the purple tones of her Burberry dress,” Barose tells us. “I wiped the pink stain off her lips using makeup remover wipes, added lip balm, and then applied the red color directly from the tube.” Two even coats were smoothed on, then he used a lip brush to clean up around the edges. But the glam squad treatment didn’t end there! Before the star left for the event, Barose packed a few pointed cotton swabs into her clutch in case any unexpected smudges took place, along with the Tatcha Blotting Papers, and the Chanel Les Beiges Powder in #30 ($58; to keep her complexion in check. “When you’re wearing a red lip, don’t forget to smile—it will make the look even more sensational!” Barose adds.


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    Courtney Love was not down for Russell Brand -- because he smelled weird. The wacky, outspoken rocker recently claimed on Channel 4's Alan Carr: Chatty Man that Katy Perry's ex came on to her -- but she refused because he was "too musky."

    "My favorite Russell Brand line was when we first were friends and he tried to hit on me and nothing ever happened," the 49-year-old recalled on the British talk show.

    The former Hole frontwoman continued: "He goes, 'I've had a lot of grand conversations, darling, but none of them have ever ended in an orgasm. Can we go in your room?'"

    Although crude, it wasn't the pick up line that turned Love away. "He's got some good lines," Love said, [But] I said to Russell, 'You're too musky for me, man.'"

    Kurt Cobain's widow added: "He is a little musky. We did yoga together and the musk was there.”

    According to The New York Post, Love told the crowd between songs during a performance in NYC back in September 2013 that "Katy Perry bores the [bleep] out of me."

    The rocker went on to say, "She's a nice girl, but she just really bores me."


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    THEY grew up together making the Harry Potter films but Daniel Radcliffe admits he rarely speaks to Emma Watson nowadays and prefers to meet “new people”.

    Daniel, 24, shared his formative years with Emma, also 24, who played swotty schoolmate Hermione to his boy wizard title role.

    But the two have not remained close since completing the final film in 2011.

    “I haven’t spoken to her in quite a while. I’m sure we’ll see each other at some point. We were all together for 10 years so we’re excited to meet new people now,” he tells US OK! magazine.

    Daniel also admits he doesn’t miss playing JK Rowling’s most famous creation at all.

    “I still sign Harry Potter books and still meet people who are huge fans of the books and the films. I don’t want that to drop off really,” he says.

    “But I think people are starting to see me as an actor who came out of that series rather than just Harry Potter.”

    The star, who has previously remained coy about discussing his private life, adds rather oddly that he’d never date a girl who was a Harry Potter fan.

    “That would be a horrible move. It would make me very strange. I’ve always had relationships. It’s easy to tell if someone is genuine.”

    He is linked with American actress Erin Darke, with whom he appeared in the film Kill Your Darlings in 2012.

    Daniel split from production assistant Rosie Coker – whom he met on the sixth Harry Potter movie – after a two-year relationship in October 2012.

    Presumably neither Erin nor Rosie are Harry Potter fans then!


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  • 05/10/14--19:52: ask ro 2014
  • ask ro

    She's still got it.


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    Tank's Homophobic Response Below

    therealtank - I first apologize for this image to all my fans and anybody who sees this! This man is claiming to be a minister and sends this to my DM!! This is what's wrong with the church now! Misrepresentation of God and who he really is!! This is the devil operating in our sacred place! We can't allow this ANYWHERE!! I have no problems with homosexuals BUT I do have a problem with this!! What message were you trying to send a straight man "minister"? I hope ur bishop and everybody in ur congregation become aware of your actions! If you'll send this to a celebrity God only knows what ur sending to kids and etc!! The devil is working and this is what it looks like! I won't stand by and allow it to happen! I will take this down soon BUT this serves as a warning to you perverts infiltrating our churches!! You're not welcome!! I pray that God deals with you swiftly and accordingly!! 6min


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  • 05/10/14--20:22: SNL Post: Charlize Theron
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    Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub are fighting again, and accusations on both sides are filling social media accounts.

    Radar Online reports on Wednesday that Staub has stated Manzo forged her ex-husband’s signature on an important contract with Bravo. After a long pause, the stars have returned to their feud.

    Staub set things off by responding to a Twitter follower’s claims that Manzo forged her ex-husband’s name on the RHONJ release forms, so that their daughter Lexi could appear on the show.

    “Dina wanted to be on and her husband wasn’t willing to film the show. She needed her kid on so she could look good,” Staub, 51, wrote.

    She alleged “#forgery of #legalDocument Involving parental decision #truthbetold #reasonUWereFired!” got Manzo fired.

    Manzo, who will be returning for the sixth season, fought back against Staub’s claims, writing, “Silly lies about me will not get you back on bravo Danielle! I’m a lover not a fighter.”

    “I was never asked to have my ex sign papers. I didn’t forge anything!” she continued.

    But one fan noted that RHOC star Tamra Barney Judge was barred from having her children on their show because her ex-husband Simon Barney wouldn’t sign off on the Bravo paperwork.

    Manzo claims her husband’s missing signature “was an oversight.”

    “My ex was fine [with] it,” Manzo, 42, tweeted. “Never tried to cause trouble even though he was encouraged to. Bottom line is he was fine with her shooting & knew the whole time.”

    Tamra Says Gretchen Is A Nasty Bitch!

    It's no secret that Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi are definitely not besties. But things between the two Real Housewives of Orange County ladies has gotten worse than ever, with Gretchen responding after Tamra called her a "nasty bitch."

    On May 7, Tamra posted a photo to Instagram of an interview that Gretchen gave recently with Life & Style magazine about Tamra's ongoing custody battle. In the interview, Gretchen says that Tamra "cares more about RHOC than taking care of her kids."

    Tamra responds to the interview with this caption: "This nasty bitch will do anything to stay relevant. GO AWAY! You know nothing about my life or my kids. I pray that one day you have the happiness and beautiful children I have. I pray that your children are not hurt by divorce and their names are not drug through the mud by people like you."

    Wow! Then, Gretchen took to Twitter to respond. "I've never spoke about her kids, unlike how she has spoke so much negative about Slade and his relationship with his son. I would have every right too, but I don't play dirty unlike her," Gretchen tweeted. "I never claimed anything I couldn't back up or prove."

    Yikes. And so the drama continues, even though Gretchen is no longer on the show.

    Heather and Carole want Aviva Replaced!

    Heather and Carole didn't miss Aviva at all when she didn't go with the rest of the housewives to Heather's home in the Berkshires. In fact, they wouldn't miss her at all if she was gone entirely.

    Heather and Carole expressed their agreement when a fan tweeted a photo of the opening of Tuesday night's episode, in which Aviva is missing from the group shot.

    The fan wrote that she wishes that show's intro would stay forever, clearly meaning that she wishes that Aviva would be gone from the show permanently. She directed her tweet to Heather and Carole, as well as to Kristen Taekman, all of whom have had issue with Aviva this season.

    Heather replied that they just need LuAnn brought back on as a starring housewife, rather than just her current Friend of the Housewives status.

    Carole wrote in to say she agrees and asked people to start a write-in campaign with the hashtag "#WhereisLu'sApple?" Given Carole's bad relationship with Aviva, due to Aviva's claim that Carole used a ghostwriter for both of her books early on in the season, it's likely that Carole's campaign would not just campaign for LuAnn's return but also Aviva's departure.

    Sources say that Aviva won't be seen for the next three episodes either but will appear again when the housewives return from their Montana trip.

    Andy Reveals the Housewife with the Best Booty

    Yesterday at the Pierre Hotel, where Cohen hosted the CLIO Image Awards for excellence in the fashion and beauty industries (and where his great pal Sarah Jessica Parker was given an award), I asked him to name the curviest, most athletic, and best dinner partners of all the Housewives.

    Best hair?"I think Cynthia Bailey of the Atlanta Housewives has the best hair of any Housewife. It's totally versatile. She wears it differently in every scene. It's beautiful, and she's so chic and glamorous."

    Best body?"Um, you know, weirdly, Tamra [Judge] from the Orange County Housewives. She owns a gym and really works out."

    Best dinner partner?"Heather Thompson is pretty fun. Radzi [Carole Radziwill] is always good for a laugh. NeNe is great. You know what, I would be happy next to any of them at a dinner."

    Best booty?"Lisa Vanderpump. She has a great teardrop booty."

    Finest milkshake?"Oh, my God, so many boobs. The O.C. used to win. But now, I'm going to say Atlanta."

    Most athletic?"A lot of them are. Ramona [Singer] in New York. And I see Heather Thompson at my gym all the time."

    Best dressed?"Cynthia Bailey, again. I think that Cynthia is very chic. And Carole Radziwill. In L.A., they're all very fashionable, but I would pick Yolanda [Foster]."

    sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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    NBC's Grim Reapers have spoken, and Community will not be coming back for a sixth season. (No word yet on the movie.) No sooner had the show been dropped than speculation began that someone -- Netflix? Amazon? Hulu? -- might pick it back up, with the Huffington Post's Maureen Ryan making the most solid, fact-based case. But for now, at least Dan Harmon's one-of-a-kind show is as dead as Pierce Hawthorne, with fans both mourning its loss and taking comfort in the fact that 97 episodes of a show that was lucky to get on the air in the first place is little short of a miracle.

    There's a lot of grief in TV Land right now -- the ends of "Enlisted" and "Trophy Wife" are hitting my colleagues especially hard -- but since critics have had a long time to get their "Community" obits read, they're starting to pop up, and they're fitting tributes to a show with few if any peers.

    Andy Greenwald, Grantland
    "Community" won. Eventually, even the most devoted Human Being will be able to acknowledge this. Consider: Community was a show that was practically doomed from the start. It was the cracked passion project of a deeply broken man, a malleable receptacle into which Dan Harmon was able to dump a lifetime’s worth of jokes, therapy, and pop culture damage.

    James Poniewozik, Time
    It did what more art should do, which is take massive swings and be willing to fail. It had a sense of play and excitement about the possibilities of its medium, be it in elaborate parodies or realistic heart-to-heart character studies. It cultivated a talented ensemble — for all its backstage drama, it even used Chevy Chase well.

    Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
    Community said so many things -- remarkable, since its characters were so bad at communicating with each other. In the show’s universe, the best way to connect with people was pretending: Epiphanies occurred in the land of make-believe, with the characters "playing" other characters

    More content at the source!

    five seasons zero movie

    I'll miss it a lot, I felt it was back on track... but I'll be okay with it. It's truly a blessing it lasted this long to begin with. At least it went back to Harmon before ending.

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    In the late 80s and 90s, celebrity fitness videos were like bums - everyone had one. And what perfectly sculpted and toned bums they were.

    These days, the celeb fitness video has become something of a rare beast, reserved for only the most notorious of C-listers. Here's our list of the top 10 worst...

    Kim Kardashian: Fit In Your Jeans By Friday

    With just two cheeks and a whole lot of belfies, Kim K's orb-like derriere has managed to spawn a multi-million dollar empire.

    In her 2009 fitness video, she explains the secret behind her prized asset is simply a "well-rounded" workout.

    But some serious questions remain unaddressed. Why would you buy jeans that don't fit in the first place? And what Friday are we talking about, Kim? This Friday or Friday in a year's time?

    Chuck Norris: Private Lesson

    From one male hulk to another, in 1997 martial arts legend Chuck Norris dedicated a whole VHS tape to teaching us plebs how to kick butt.

    Makes frequent and good use of slow motion (don't try this at home, kids). Does not make such good use of lighting and background (he performs all his moves in front of a cardboard cutout skyline - very low budget).

    Cher: Body Confidence

    If Cher could turn back time, would she still have made this video? Probably - if there is one thing the 67-year-old has plenty of, it is body confidence.

    The sheer number of leotards worn by Cher in this exercise video from 1992 is very impressive. Emphasis on sheer.

    Every time she lunges, you see parts of the woman's body you never even knew existed.

    LaToya Jackson: Step Up

    Where to even begin. The banana yellow G-string leotard, the teased hair, the painted on eyebrows. Of all the train-wrecks to besmirch the Jackson family, this unfortunate exercise video must rank up there.

    The worst part is LaToya's blatant lack of enthusiasm for the project.

    There is no pep in her grapevine, no fight in her fist punches. LaToya isn't even leading the aerobics class - her only job is to giggle nervously and yelp, "let's go, guys!" every few minutes.

    Mel B: Totally Fit

    With her brash sense of humour and crazy hair, Scary Spice was always considered one of the least popular members of the Spice Girls, and of all the girls, her career was slowest to take off when the band disintegrated (RIP).

    Then she had a fling with Eddie Murphy and all of a sudden she was appearing on UK Dancing With the Stars and X Factor like nobody's business.

    The product of her C-list fame is this foray into fitness from 2008, nowadays most likely to be found deep within the sales bin at The Warehouse.


    What videos do you like to work out to?

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    Fifty Shades Of Grey director Sam Taylor-Wood has added her husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson to the cast of the highly-anticipated movie adaptation of E.L. James' erotic bestseller.

    Rumours surfaced last year suggesting the Kick-Ass star was being considered for the lead role of Christian Grey, but the part initially went to Charlie Hunnam.

    When he quit the project, Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan was chosen as his replacement, but Taylor-Wood has now revealed Johnson has made it into the film.

    However, she has not elaborated on his role.

    The movie, which also stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, is due to hit theatres next year.

    The casting news comes just weeks after Taylor-Johnson told Nylon magazine he had no interest in playing Grey.

    He stated, "I think it would have been the wrong kind of hype to bring toward us (as a couple). It would have been kind of funny that this character that all these women fancy - he's one in a million - and my wife picks her husband to play the part?"

    He added, "I would love to have done something together again, but it wouldn't have been Fifty. We were both on the same page."

    The pair met on the set of 2009 movie Nowhere Boy, in which Taylor-Johnson portrayed a young John Lennon


    sex post?

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    Comic book fans used to have a saying, “In comics, no one stays dead except for Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben.” Then all 3 of those characters were revived between 2005-2006, although Ben turned out to be an alternate universe version because soap operas ain’t got nothin’ on comic books.

    So, it is with a bit of a well-earned yawn that we greet the news that Marvel is going to kill off Wolverine in a four-part mini-series rather matter-of-factly titled “Death of Wolverine,” with the first issue going on sale this September. Once upon a time, that would have seemed like genuine news instead of an obvious sales ploy. That doesn’t mean the “Death of Wolverine” won’t be awesome or is without merit (unlike most other superhero deaths, it’s not like someone can just replace the outgoing guy and become the “New Wolverine”). It just means even before the first issue goes on sale we’re already waiting to see how long they’ll be able to resist bringing him back, especially since Hugh Jackman is still around playing the character on film in Days of Future Past (due next month), X-Men: Apocalypse (due 2016), and another solo Wolverine film (due 2017). Killing Robin off in the mid-1980s or Superman in the early 90s seemed like big deals at the time. Wolverine? Just a way to crank out some new story lines for the X-Men and the many, many other Marvel titles which Wolverine has invaded over the years.

    So, let’s take a selected look at some of the most notable superhero (or superhero sidekicks) deaths in the comics to see how long this kind of thing lasts.

    1) Bucky Barnes, aka, The Winter Soldier

    Method of Death: Near the end of WWII, he failed to disarm Baron Zemo’s experimental drone plane equipped with a bomb.
    Method of Return: Back in WWII, Russian operatives recovered Bucky’s body from the wreckage, discovering the trauma had left him with amnesia as well minus one of his arms. So, the Russians gave him a new bionic arm, and reprogrammed him to become a super soldier assassin with the code name Winter Soldier, storing him in cryogenic stasis in-between missions to prolong his life. He only regained his memories during battle with Captain America in the present day.
    How Long Was He Dead?: 41 years (1964-2005)

    3) Jason Todd, aka, the second Robin

    Method of Death: The Joker beat him senseless with a crowbar, and locked him and his birth mother in a warehouse with a bomb set to go off. Fans got to call in and vote whether or not Jason Todd would survive, with 5,343 voting for death, 5,271 voting for survival. So, in the next issue Batman didn’t make it to the warehouse in time to save Todd.
    Method of Return: Superboy punched a hole in reality causing a temporal shifts which restored Todd to life, awakening from his grave and wandering into the world to ultimately become the deeply bitter anti-hero The Red Hood.
    How Long Was He Dead?: 17 years (1988-2005)

    4) Superman

    Method of Death: Doomsday beat the crap out of him. Don’t worry – they were so evenly matched their fight ended with both of them dead.
    Method of Return: In his absence, 4 different versions of Superman (one of them a cyborg, the other a deranged clone, etc.) emerged to take up the mantle, but the real Kal-El’s corpse had actually been placed in a regeneration device in the Fortress of Solitude. Two of the fake Supermen were using the body to power their bodies, but eventually Kal-El re-emerged, alive, de-powered, and now brandishing a black suit with mullet hair. The horror.
    How Long Was He Dead?: 1 year (June 1992-June 1993)

    6) Steve Rogers, aka Captain America

    Method of Death: Sharon Carter, brainwashed by the rat bastard Red Skull, shot him at point blank range outside of a federal courthouse, Larry Flynt-style. She immediately snapped out of it, and proceeded to feel awfully sorry for having just killed ex-boyfriend and all-around nice guy Captain America.
    Method of Return: The gun Carter used didn’t kill Steve Rogers, but instead caused him to phase in and out of reality. The Red Skull brings his body back into present-day reality, and briefly uses it as his own (cause he can do that because it’s a comic so, you know, shut up). Rogers soon re-takes his body, but does not immediately go back to being Captain America. In his absence, Bucky Barnes had taken over that title. So, for a while there was Bucky as Captain America, and Steve Rogers as the Director of SHIELD. Plus, there was an Avengers team consisting of Rogers, Bucky as Cap, Thor, and Iron Man. Rogers took over as Cap when Bucky appeared to perish in battle (don’t worry – he was actually totally fine).
    How Long Was He Dead?: Less than 2 years (April 2007-Aug. 2009)

    10) Spider-Man (the second time)

    Method of Death: A dying Doctor Octopus managed to swap minds with Peter Parker, meaning the real Parker died in the disease-ridden body of Otto Octavius. So, while Spider-Man didn’t technically die Peter Parker sure seemed to, using his final breath from within Octavius’ body to inspire the villain now controlling his body to be a better person, a supeior Spider-Man.
    Method of Return: Some part of Parker’s mind remained in his body, and though Octavius attempted to suppress it eventually re-took control of his body.
    How Long Was He Dead?: Less than 2 Years (Dec. 2012-April 2014)

    There are many other characters I am missing, to some degree because it kind of seems like every one on the X-Men has died and come back at some point (and every single character in Thor more or less died as part of the Ragnarok cycle before coming back and settling Asgard directly over Broxton, Oklahoma). However, these are the ones that I as a non-comic-book reader until recently remember hearing about in the media while these stories were playing out in the comics. Based upon recent history, it would seem like the absolute longest we should expect Wolverine to stay away is 2 years, possibly setting up his return to fall right before the next solo Wolverine film (assuming Days of Future Past doesn’t financially destroy the X-Men film franchise).

    the rest at the source

    Saturday night comic book post?

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  • 05/10/14--20:57: ORPHAN BLACK Ep 5 Trailer
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    It looks like Tim Witherspoon, manager of former Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland, is about to put a ring on it. Rowland and Witherspoon seem ready to say “I do” in Costa Rica this weekend, and the rest of the Destiny’s Child crew will be on hand for the ceremony.

    The Immigration Administration confirmed to the daily La Nación that Beyoncé Knowles is back in Costa Rica, along with Rowland and Michelle Williams, the third member of the multiplatinum-certified “Bootylicious“ group. The R&B trio arrived at Daniel Oduber international airport in Liberia, Guanacaste on Thursday, the newspaper reported.

    No word yet on whether Beyoncé’s husband, rap mogul Jay-Z, will attend.

    Queen Bey visited Costa Rica last time in November on vacation with Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy. The first family of hip-hop and R & B visited Arenal Volcano and the beach in Guanacaste.

    Destiny’s Child made five albums between 1998 and 2004, winning two Grammy awards for the R&B hits “Say My Name” and “Survivor.” Beyoncé, Rowland and Knowles comprised the most recognized line-up of the girl group, but the trio announced an end to Destiny’s Child in 2005 while touring for their final studio album, appropriately titled, “Destiny Fulfilled.”

    Images from the wedding haven't been released yet, just this selfie.

    source | 1& 2

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    Sometimes Stephen Hawking writes an article that both mentions Johnny Depp and strongly warns that computers are an imminent threat to humanity, and not many people really care. That is the day there is too much on the Internet. (Did the computers not want us to see it?)

    Hawking, along with MIT physics professor Max Tegmark, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, and Berkeley computer science professor Stuart Russell ran a terrifying op-ed a couple weeks ago in The Huffington Post under the staid headline "Transcending Complacency on Superintelligent Machines."It was loosely tied to the Depp sci-fi thriller Transcendence, so that’s what’s happening there. “It's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction," they write. “But this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history.”

    And then, probably because it somehow didn’t get much attention, the exact piece ran again last week in The Independent, which went a little further with the headline: "Transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence—but Are We Taking A.I. Seriously Enough?" Ah, splendid. Provocative, engaging, not sensational. But really what these preeminent scientists go on to say is not not sensational.

    "An explosive transition is possible," they continue, warning of a time when particles can be arranged in ways that perform more advanced computations than the human brain. "As Irving Good realized in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, triggering what Vernor Vinge called a 'singularity.'"

    Get out of here. I have a hundred thousand things I am concerned about at this exact moment. Do I seriously need to add to that a singularity?

    "Experts are surely doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome, right?" they go on. "Wrong. If a superior alien civilization sent us a message saying, ‘We'll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘Okay, call us when you get here–we'll leave the lights on?' Probably not. But this is more or less what is happening with A.I."

    More or less? Why would the aliens need our lights? If they told us they’re coming, they’re probably friendly, right? Right, you guys? And then the op-ed ends with a plug for the organizations that these scientists founded: “Little serious research is devoted to these issues outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future of Life Institute.”

    So is this one of those times where writers are a little sensational in order to call attention to serious issues they really think are underappreciated? Or should we really be worried right now?

    In a lecture he gave recently at Oxford, Tegmark named five "cosmocalypse scenarios" that will end humanity. But they are all 10 billion to 100 billion years from now. They are dense and theoretical; extremely difficult to conceptualize. The Big Chill involves dark energy. Death Bubbles involve space freezing and expanding outward at the speed of light, eliminating everything in its path. There's also the Big Snap, the Big Crunch, or the Big Rip.

    But Max Tegmark isn’t really worried about those scenarios. He’s not even worried about the nearer-term threats, like the concept that in about a billion years, the sun will be so hot that it will boil off the oceans. By that point we’ll have technology to prevent it, probably. In four billion years, the sun is supposed to swallow the earth. Physicists are already discussing a method to deflect asteroids from the outer solar system so that they come close to Earth and gradually tug it outward away from the sun, allowing the Earth to very slowly escape its fiery embrace.

    Tegmark is more worried about much more immediate threats, which he calls existential risks. That’s a term borrowed from physicist Nick Bostrom, director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, a research collective modeling the potential range of human expansion into the cosmos. Their consensus is that the Milky Way galaxy could be colonized in less than a million years—if our interstellar probes can self-replicate using raw materials harvested from alien planets, and we don’t kill ourselves with carbon emissions first.

    "I am finding it increasingly plausible that existential risk is the biggest moral issue in the world, even if it hasn’t gone mainstream yet," Bostrom told Ross Andersen recently in an amazing profile in Aeon. Bostrom, along with Hawking, is an advisor to the recently-established Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, and to Tegmark’s new analogous group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Future of Life Institute, which has a launch event later this month. Existential risks, as Tegmark describes them, are things that are “not just a little bit bad, like a parking ticket, but really bad. Things that could really mess up or wipe out human civilization.”

    The single existential risk that Tegmark worries about most is unfriendly artificial intelligence. That is, when computers are able to start improving themselves, there will be a rapid increase in their capacities, and then, Tegmark says, it’s very difficult to predict what will happen.

    Tegmark told Lex Berko at Motherboard earlier this year, "I would guess there’s about a 60 percent chance that I’m not going to die of old age, but from some kind of human-caused calamity. Which would suggest that I should spend a significant portion of my time actually worrying about this. We should in society, too."

    I really wanted to know what all of this means in more concrete terms, so I asked Tegmark about it myself. He was actually walking around the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson with his kids as we spoke, periodically breaking to answer their questions about the exhibits.

    "Longer term—and this might mean 10 years, it might mean 50 or 100 years, depending on who you ask—when computers can do everything we can do," Tegmark said, “after that they will probably very rapidly get vastly better than us at everything, and we’ll face this question we talked about in the Huffington Post article: whether there’s really a place for us after that, or not.” I imagined glances from nearby museum-goers.

    "This is very near-term stuff. Anyone who’s thinking about what their kids should study in high school or college should care a lot about this.”

    “The main reason people don’t act on these things is they’re not educated about them,” Tegmark continued.“I’ve never talked with anyone about these things who turned around and said, ‘I don’t care.’” He’s previously said that the biggest threat to humanity is our own stupidity.

    Tegmark told me, as he has told others on more than just this occasion, that more people know Justin Bieber than know Vasili Arkhipov—a Soviet naval officer who is credited with single-handedly preventing thermonuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That knowledge differential isn’t surprising at all. More people know Bieber than know most historic figures, including Bo Jackson. That’s especially hard to swallow after learning this week from Seth Rogen that, in fact, “Justin Bieber is a piece of shit.”

    Tegmark and his op-ed co-author Frank Wilczek, the Nobel laureate, draw examples of cold-war automated systems that assessed threats and resulted in false alarms and near misses. “In those instances some human intervened at the last moment and saved us from horrible consequences,” Wilczek told me earlier that day. “That might not happen in the future.”

    As Andersen noted in his Aeon piece, there are still enough nuclear weapons in existence to incinerate all of Earth’s dense population centers, but that wouldn't kill everyone immediately. The smoldering cities would send sun-blocking soot into the stratosphere that would trigger a crop-killing climate shift, and that’s what would kill us all. (Though, “it’s not clear that nuke-levelled cities would burn long or strong enough to lift soot that high.”)

    “We are very reckless with this planet, with civilization,” Tegmark said. “We basically play Russian roulette.” The key is to think more long term, “not just about the next election cycle or the next Justin Bieber album.” Max Tegmark also does not care for Justin Bieber.

    That’s what this is really about: More than A.I., their article was meant to have us start thinking longer term about a bigger picture. The Huffington Post op-ed was an opening salvo from The Future of Life Institute, of which all four scientists are on the advisory board. The article was born of one of the group’s early brainstorming sessions, one of its first undertakings in keeping with its mission to educate and raise awareness. The Future of Life Institute is funded by Jaan Tallinn, founding engineer of Skype and Kazaa (remember Kazaa, the MP3-“sharing” service that everyone started using after Napster?). Tallinn also helped found Cambridge's Centre for Existential Risk. The world of existential risk is a small one; many of the same names appear on the masthead of Berkeley’s Machine Intelligence Institute.

    “There are several issues that arise, ranging from climate change to artificial intelligence to biological warfare to asteroids that might collide with the earth,” Wilczek said of the group’s launch. “They are very serious risks that don’t get much attention. Something like climate change is of course a very serious problem. I think the general feeling is that already gets a lot of attention. Where we could add more value is in thinking about the potentials of artificial intelligence.”

    Tegmark saw a gap in the intellectual-cosmological institute market on the East Coast of the United States, though. “It’s valuable to have a nucleus for these people to get together,” he said. The Future of Life Institute’s upcoming launch event at MIT will be moderated by Alan Alda, who is among the star-studded, white-male [?] Scientific Advisory Board.

    The biggest barrier to their stated goal of raising awareness is defining the problem. “If we understood exactly what the potentials are, then we’d have a much better grip on how to sculpt it toward ends that we find desirable,” Wilczek said. “But I think a widely perceived issue is when intelligent entities start to take on a life of their own. They revolutionized the way we understand chess, for instance. That’s pretty harmless. But one can imagine if they revolutionized the way we think about warfare or finance, either those entities themselves or the people that control them. It could pose some disquieting perturbations on the rest of our lives.”

    Automatic trading programs have already caused tremors in financial markets.
    M.I.T. professor Erik Brynjolfsson’s book The Second Machine Age likewise makes the point eloquently that as computers get better, they will cause enormous changes in our economy. That’s in the same realm of ideas, Wilczek said, as the recent Heartbleed virus. With regard to that sort of computer security and limited access to information, he says, "That is not a solved problem. Assurances to the contrary should be taken with a big grain of salt.”

    Wilczek’s particularly concerned about a subset of artificial intelligence: drone warriors. “Not necessarily robots,” Wilczek told me, “although robot warriors could be a big issue, too. It could just be superintelligence that’s in a cloud. It doesn’t have to be embodied in the usual sense.”

    Bostrom has said it’s important not to anthropomorphize artificial intelligence. It's best to think of it as a primordial force of nature—strong and indifferent. In the case of chess, an A.I. models chess moves, predicts outcomes, and moves accordingly. If winning at chess meant destroying humanity, it might do that. Even if programmers tried to program an A.I. to be benevolent, it could destroy us inadvertently. Andersen’s example in Aeon is that an A.I. designed to try and maximize human happiness might think that flooding your bloodstream with heroin is the best way to do that.

    Experts have wide-ranging estimates as to time scales. Wilczek likens it to a storm cloud on the horizon. “It’s not clear how big the storm will be, or how long it’s going to take to get here. I don’t know. It might be 10 years before there’s a real problem. It might be 20, it might be 30. It might be five. But it’s certainly not too early to think about it, because the issues to address are only going to get more complex as the systems get more self-willed.”

    Even within A.I. research, Tegmark admits, “There is absolutely not a consensus that we should be concerned about this.” But there is a lot of concern, and sense of lack of power. Because, concretely, what can you do? “The thing we should worry about is that we’re not worried.”

    Tegmark brings it to Earth with a case-example about purchasing a stroller: If you could spend more for a good one or less for one that “sometimes collapses and crushes the baby, but nobody’s been able to prove that it is caused by any design flaw. But it’s 10 percent off! So which one are you going to buy?”

    “But now we’re not talking about the life or death of one child. We’re talking about the lives and deaths of every child, and the children of every potential future generation for billions of years.”

    But how do you put this into people’s day-to-day lives to encourage the right kind of awareness? Buying a stroller is an immediate decision, and you can tell people to buy a sturdy stroller. What are the concrete things to do or advocate for or protest in terms of existential risks?

    “Well, putting it in the day-to-day is easy. Imagine the planet 50 years from now with no people on it. I think most people wouldn’t be too psyched about that. And there’s nothing magic about the number 50. Some people think 10, some people think 200, but it’s a very concrete concern.”

    But in the end of our conversation, all of this concern took a turn. “The reason we call it The Future of Life Institute and not the Existential Risk Institute is we want to emphasize the positive,” Tegmark said, kind of strikingly at odds with most of what I’d read and heard so far.

    “There are seven billion of us on this little spinning ball in space. And we have so much opportunity," Tegmark said. "We have all the resources in this enormous cosmos. At the same time, we have the technology to wipe ourselves out.”

    Ninety-nine percent of the species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct; why should we not? Seeing the biggest picture of humanity and the planet is the heart of this. It’s not meant to be about inspiring terror or doom. Sometimes that is what it takes to draw us out of the little things, where in the day-to-day we lose sight of enormous potentials. “We humans spend 99.9999 percent of our attention on short-term things,” Tegmark said, “and a very small amount of our attention on the future.”

    The universe is most likely 13.8 billion years old. We have potentially billions more years at our disposal—even if we do get eaten by the sun in four billion years—during which life could be vast and wonderful.

    tl;dr: Scientists reference Depp's movie in argument that AI could possibly destroy humanity in the near future.


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    Arianators be on the lookout, because Ariana Grande’s “Problem” video is “coming soon.”

    The 20-year-old pop star, who got an assist on the track from Iggy Azalea, gave fans a sneak peek at the upcoming video on her Instagram, posting two sexy pictures from the set.

    Shot in what appears to be black-and-white and directed by the Young Astronauts, Ariana is seen rocking a stylish itty-bitty leather dress, white knee-high go-go boots (which she sported during her performance at the iHeartRadio Music Awards) and a high ponytail as she sings atop a vintage motorbike.

    It seems the video is keeping with the retro vibe she has been sporting of late, with another photo showing the pint-sized diva standing alongside Iggy (with only their outfits in frame) wearing a black-and-white leather crop top with matching skirt.

    Luckily for Arianators and Azaleans, Iggy took to her Instagram to show the top half of the look, with Iggy looking super glam in big, blonde 1960s mod-style hair.

    Earlier this week, we caught up with Iggy during “Live from MTV,” where she revealed that the lyric video for the single sets the tone for what’s to come in the official clip.

    “It’s in the same theme,” Iggy said. “We are not going to be killing people in a lyric video and then do bubble gum or something in the video; it’s the same realm. It’s fairly evident that the theme is kind of mod and monochromatic. Mod girl would be the theme, I would say to the whole single film.”


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    Marco Perego sounds like one lucky man.

    During an interview with SirusXM show Sway in the Morning this week, Zoe Saldana got very candid while talking about her sex life.

    While reading a fan question, the 35-year-old actress said, "Where's the craziest place you've had sex thus far?"

    "I am part of the mile high club," Saldana revealed, adding, "I'm from Queens, so whatever. There is a train from like Coney Island all the way back into the city, and it was between two train cars."

    "But I'm a lady now," she added with a laugh. "I'm a lady."

    This isn't the first time Saldana has opened up about sex. Last year, before marrying her artist hubby, the Star Trek star revealed her favorite sex position, which she called "phenomenal."

    "I have to say, for a long time I was a bit lazy so I didn't like to be on top, but I'm really digging it," Saldana said. "But I've found things that work...because I have really long legs, you just make them sit or lay on a pillow, or two pillows, that way they're like a little elevated, so I won't be so, like, doing a split because my legs are really long."


    TMI post?

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    To celebrate Mother's Day coming up this weekend, here are 39 sweet shots of music stars hanging with their mamas.

    1) Lordeand her mother Sonja Yelich attend the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

    2) Drake and his mother Sandi Graham attend the Songwriters Hall of Fame 42nd Annual Induction and Awards at The New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 16, 2011 in New York City.

    3) Katy Perryand her mother Mary Hudson attend the album release party for 'One of the Boys' at Capitol Records on June 17, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    4) Taylor Swift and her mother Andrea Finlay attend the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

    5) Ciara is joined by her mother Jackie Harris as she receives the keys to her hometown city of Riverdale, Georgia on October 19, 2006.

    6) Britney Spears and her mother Lynne Spears attend the 1999 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California.

    7) Demi Lovato and her mother Dianna Hart are seen on January 30, 2009 in New York City.

    8) Jennifer Lopez is joined by her mother Guadalupe Lopez at attend Jennifer's Surprise Birthday Party at the Edison Ballroom on July 25, 2009 in New York City.

    9) Miley Cyrus and her mother Tish Cyrus attend the 'Bangerz' Record Release Signing at Planet Hollywood Times Square on October 8, 2013 in New York City.

    10) Christina Aguilera and her mother attend Christina's Hollywood Walk Of Fame Induction Ceremony on November 15, 2010 in Hollywood, California.

    11) Selena Gomez and her mother Mandy Cornett arrive to the "Raise Hope For The Congo" event held at Janes House on June 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    12) Avril Lavigne and her mother Judith-Rosanne Loshaw attend the album release party for 'The Best Damn Thing' on April 17, 2007.

    13) Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, and their mother Jada Pinkett-Smith arrive at Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at Galen Center on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

    14) Jay Z poses with his mother Gloria Carter during an evening of "Making The Ordinary Extraordinary" hosted by The Shawn Carter Foundation at Pier 54 on September 29, 2011 in New York City.

    15) Beyoncé and Tina Knowles pose backstage at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show Press Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 31, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    16) Alicia Keys and her mother Teresa M. Augello attend the Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball Redux 2012 at The Apollo Theater on December 6, 2012 in New York City.

    17) Zendaya Coleman poses with her mother Claire Stoermer at the Q012 Performance Theater on October 17, 2013 in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

    18) Cher and her mother Georgia Holt appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 30, 2013 in New York City.


    Happy Mother's Day, ONTD! :3

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    “True Detective” is a TV series about the investigation of satanic ritual murders carried out by mysterious men. While the season ended in a rather straight-forward matter, the plethora of symbols and references peppered throughout the episodes send out profound messages about forces subtly influencing society. We’ll look at the deeper meaning of the first season of “True Detective”.

    Warning: Gigantic spoilers ahead!

    Taking place in the swampy backwoods of Louisiana, True Detective captured audiences’ attention with its interesting characters and dark atmosphere. Through its eight episodes, the series followed two detectives as they uncovered a series of ritualistic murders that were rumored to be carried out by rich and powerful men. While, week after week, fans of the show obsessed over small details in order to “crack the case”, the series ended in a rather plain matter: The murderer was a dirty, crazy, stereotypical redneck who was identified by the detectives a few episodes beforehand. There was therefore no mind-blowing plot twist (i.e. one of the detectives was behind it all) or shocking high-level conspiracy. And that left many fans somewhat disappointed.

    However, looking back at the references, the symbolism, and the enigmatic dialogue peppered throughout the episodes, one can indeed wonder why some aspects of the story (i.e. Marty Hart’s family life) were so extensively developed while they were of no relevance to the final outcome of the investigation. Was the series, through these alternative storylines, trying to communicate something that went beyond the actual investigation? Something that encompasses us all?

    Despite the straight-forward conclusion to the story, there is a deeper message communicated throughout the series: that the ritual murders were not simply the product of the mind of lone crazy redneck – they’re the result of a deep-seated mindset, a toxic environment that goes back several generations and affects all aspects of society. This concept can be summed up in one word: “psychosphere” – a word detective Rustin Cohle uses in the first episode. Through a variety of symbols and messages, True Detectives shows us how the sick obsessions of the elite ultimately seep through the everyday lives of the masses.

    Let’s first look at the premise of the story...

    Read the actual interpretation at the source - it's a bit long, but definitely worth the read.

    some of what this person writes borders on tin foil hat territory, but some of the stuff he/she picked up on is pretty interesting (like the aluminium & ash / beer cans & cigarettes analogy) and I overall agree with the gist of the interpretation. so what do you think, ONTD? is this spot on or serious reaching? personal theories? yes, I'm still going through True Detective withdrawal.


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    Could Marvel Studios' complete library be Netflix-bound? Well, that seems to be the case, according to Marvel's own Joe Quesada. Quesada implied that all of Marvel's movies and TV shows would be available to stream on Netflix in 2015 (presumably to coincide with the Daredevil series launch).

    Here's the quote from Quesada, following a plug for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: "By the way, it only gets better, because soon everyone will be able to binge-watch the Marvel Universe on Netflix in 2015." The reveal was then accompanied by an image of Marvel's The Avengers (which is already on the streaming site), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World.

    We took this announcement to mean that, yes, Marvel's entire movie and TV library will become streamable next year. We've since reached out to Marvel and Netflix for comment, but they couldn't offer any further details. As always, we'll keep you posted as more info becomes available.

    As chief creative officer, Quesada's involved in the many aspects of Marvel's multifaceted operations, from live-action TV to animation to movies to comics to video games. Quesada discussed nearly all of the above in a wide-ranging chat, including the "Daredevil" Netflix series slated to debut in 2015, the soon-to-wrap first season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the recently announced "Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes" video game scheduled for release this fall.

    Albert Ching: Joe, by the nature of your position, you've got your hands in all of the creative sides at Marvel, but is there any one thing in particular that's demanded most of your attention recently?
    Joe Quesada: I think right now the focal point for me is the upcoming Netflix stuff. That's really where a lot of my attention is being directed. It's also a hard question to answer with any degree of accuracy because I'm always being pulled in a bunch of different directions. It's always a matter of what day you're asking.
    The frustrating part of the nature of my job -- in publishing, we worked with long lead times, but we could generally talk about stuff within a three months window. With the stuff that I work on now, we work with excruciatingly long lead times that are years out. It makes it very, very difficult for me to get out there publicly and start talking about things, or even hinting about things, because they are so far out and there are so many moving pieces. So these days my stance has to be a little quieter than usual -- maybe that's why people don't quite know exactly where I am or what I'm doing, because it is all very covert. I'm like a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. unit that's out there in the wind. [Laughs] Even here at Marvel, sometimes the staffers don't know if I'm in New York or LA because I get called out last minute or I may be going out for stuff that's of a sensitive nature. While it's all amazingly exciting, for someone like me who loves to talk about all things Marvel, it's the hardest part of my job not being able to talk about all the cool stuff in the pipeline.

    With the Netflix shows, we know a little bit about it at this point -- the list of shows, that "Daredevil" is the first one going into production, and that Drew Goddard is heading that series up as showrunner. Have you been working closely with the writers on that one? What's your level of involvement with "Daredevil"?
    Quesada: I've been working very, very closely with the entire team on all levels of the show. I think everybody knows my relationship with the character of Daredevil, and how important the character is to me -- not just on an emotional front, but on a professional front. How DD brought me back here to Marvel, and how instrumental he was to even me being in this particular position I'm in today. I'm very involved with the show, as well as everything that we're doing with the Netflix shows. I'm incredibly excited, plus the dark and gritty noir world of DD and the Netflix characters, it's kind of where I live so it naturally attracts me to begin with.

    It's fair to say a lot of people weren't satisfied with the last live-action "Daredevil." How much is the goal to really get it right this time, and maybe erase some of the negative thoughts people had with the past live-action Daredevil?
    Quesada: Let me be clear, we're not going into this show with the idea of trying to erase the memory of anything that came before or really any preconceived notions whatsoever. We're going into the show trying to create something that's incredibly exciting, incredibly engaging, and will give our fans something that they love, something that's unexpected, something that's going to keep them coming back for more. That's really, ultimately, the goal of this: How do we produce a "Daredevil" TV show on Netflix, that's going to be viewed the way that people view content on Netflix, in a way that's going to be compelling, feels unique, while bringing something that is not only true to the character, but providing something unexpected as well.

    Right now Marvel has both a show on a traditional network, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and multiple Netflix series in the works. What do you see from the creative side as some of the advantages of the Netflix format, and the "everything all at once" rollout that their shows get?
    Quesada: One of the advantages is really from the planning stage -- obviously it's much easier to work with a smaller number of episodes than it is with a larger number of episodes. We can sit there and look at 13 episodes and plan it out as a very large movie. It makes seeing the bigger picture a little bit easier.
    You can't deny that there will be binge-viewing. You know that there are going to be some Marvel fans that when this show premieres, they are going to go on to Netflix, and they are going to sit there for 12 to 13-plus hours, and watch the entire thing all the way through. It's going to happen. The Netflix model offers us the advantage of being able to construct the show in a manner that is very different than a weekly network TV show. Even the way that you parse out information and reveals within the show can be different than you would on weekly TV. With weekly TV, you sit there and go, "The audience may not want to wait two or three weeks to get this particular bit of information." Whereas with Netflix, we might be able to hold onto a particular piece of information, because they may just watch it two hours later.
    It's a different kind of construction. The simplest way to put it in comic book terms is that it's the difference between writing a monthly comic series as opposed to writing a graphic novel. You can tell the same story within the same page count in both formats, but you may parse out that information or construct your story differently because of how it's going to be delivered and consumed.

    We're talking about comic book-based TV shows, which really exploded this past development cycle. There have been an unprecedented number of comic book-based shows from a variety of publishers in development -- just this past Thursday came the news that The CW picked up "The Flash" and "iZombie," and NBC picked up "Constantine." Marvel has multiple shows in the works, and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on the air -- as someone closely involved with comics and Hollywood, are you surprised at all to see this seemingly exponential increased interest from TV networks in comic-based material?
    Quesada: No, not at all. It's something that I predicted and hoped would happen a long time ago, so it doesn't surprise me at all that this is where we are today. As I said many, many years ago when I used to do these columns for you guys on Fridays, it's just a matter of the rest of the world catching up to realizing just how cool the material that's being produced in comics has been for decades now.
    And a lot of that has to do with so many amazing writers and directors who were weaned on comics, saying, "You know what? I want to work in this world. I want to produce these shows. I want to work with these characters." They know how great the material is. And guess what, they've proven to be amazingly popular, and they make money on a worldwide basis-- when they're done well, of course. So, yeah. It doesn't surprise me at all.

    Ever since 2000 and the "X-Men" movie taking off and creating a wave that we're still riding of comic book-based movies having major success, people have wondered, is there a ceiling for this? Is there a burnout point? It seems there definitely hasn't been yet. TV is a different world, though. Do you see there being as much room for comic book-based television shows to thrive as much as there has been in movies?
    Quesada: I think there's tons of room. It's all a matter of variety. By the way, you bring up the "X-Men" movie -- I would say it happened before this. I think that "Blade" was the real eye-opener for a lot of people, because "Blade" was a comic book-based movie that did incredibly well, but it was a movie that did incredibly well based on a character that wasn't all that popular or remotely iconic. What he was was a great character who was perfect for reinterpretation. I think people looked at that and said, "Wow, there is stuff to be mined here." Imagine you take a character like this, who wasn't immensely popular, but you did a little bit of a twist here and there, and it worked for the big screen. What happens when you take something that's already immensely popular and iconic?

    I just think it's a matter of approach, making sure that the material is great. Our fans view them as comic book-based movies, but I think a lot of people in the general public don't necessarily view them as, "I'm going to the next big comic book movie." They look at them as, "I'm going to the next big action-adventure summer blockbuster."
    This is something I've been hearing now for over 10-plus years. "When is the wave going to die? When are people going to say, 'I'm sick of comic book movies'?" You know what? I'm sick of people saying that. Because it's enough already. We're always looking for the other shoe to drop. Everybody who is in our industry, everybody who loves what we do, from the creative side to fandom, we've been here forever, and we keep coming back for more, as long as the books are good, as long as the stories are great, regardless of whether they are Marvel, DC, Image, Dynamite, superheroes, alternative, indie, corporate-owned, creator-owned, licensed, paper, digital -- it doesn't matter where they're coming from. People just want great stories.
    We're not the western. I don't think that's going to happen. As long as people want action-adventure blockbuster movies, comic book movies will be here. If someday, the temperament of the world changes, and people decide, "You know what? All we want are small, indie, low-budget movies," then yeah, maybe we'll have a dry period for the big-budget comic book-style movie. But it won't just be comic book movies that will be suffering, it will be everybody who does those big blockbuster kind of movies. I think the sky's really the limit for us, as long as we as a collective industry continue to produce great material.
    And let's not forget that our industry produces smaller stories, too. It's not all big muscles and giants robots and lizards. As far as I'm concerned the best creative minds on the planet are working in our industry and I keep seeing more and more brilliantly creative kids jumping on board -- and not just at Marvel -- and that bodes incredibly well for our future. So if there's a ceiling, I certainly can't see it.

    If we're talking about comic book-based TV shows, we have to talk about "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which wraps its first season next week and really was something new for Marvel in a lot of ways.
    Quesada: Yeah, and I think it was something unique for television as well -- a TV show that played within a universe that was set up in a cinematic world, and that reflected that cinematic world. In that sense, it's also a very, very unique television show, and a very unique way of constructing a television show. It's very, very special in those regards, as well and I couldn't be happier that today it was finally announced that we were renewed for a second season. Coulson lives, baby!

    As a part of that process, what was it like putting that together, and then watching this first season unfold? At least in terms of people's perceptions of it, it's been something of a roller coaster -- starting with huge ratings and a lot of excitement, then something of a backlash from a lot of critics and fans, and now it's seemed to turn around and a lot of people are saying, "I changed my mind, I like it now!"
    Quesada: That's just the essence of making anything in the entertainment business. People are going to like what you do, they're not going to like what you do -- you put out the best product you can, and hope for the best. We knew exactly where the show was going, we knew exactly where it was going to end, we knew the events of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" -- the actors didn't know, but we internally did know exactly what was going to happen, and how it was going to all be flipped on its ear. It was just a matter of getting to that point. I'm glad that people are picking up on what the big picture was and how we were setting it up from the beginning. It's going to be a fantastic season finale that's going to turn things on its ear, again.

    With what the show has been able to accomplish in its first season, is there anything you're particularly proud of?
    Quesada: I'm proud of everything about the show -- the writing staff, the cast, the crew, everything we've been able to do to integrate into the Marvel Universe. Remember, it's a very difficult assignment because the Cinematic Universe, like the comics universe, is constantly growing and changing and our show has to grow along with it and reflect those changes. But I'm also proud of how we've been able to keep the secrets, and keep everything about not just what was going to happen with "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," but the secrets of what was going to happen in "Cap: The Winter Soldier" out of the reach of prying eyes and noses. That could very easily have leaked out, and it never did. I'm very, very happy with the way that the show has turned out, the way the show is wrapping up, and more importantly what we're setting up for season two which brings us right back to an earlier point in this interview. I'm bursting inside to talk about all the cool things that are coming up, all the changes and twists and turns, but now I have to sit here for the next several months biting through my lip.

    Moving on to some other aspects of Marvel, at the "Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes" announcement last week, you described the game as another "evolutionary leap" for Marvel. From your perspective, what makes that game such a big deal for the company?
    Quesada: First of all, I think it's a great game. I really do. I think the game is so inviting to not just kids, but also to parents and adult fans. It is definitely going to be an immersive experience in which mom and dad can play with their daughter or son. It really is an all-encompassing thing. That's a big part of it.
    There's the "Toy Box" feature in which you can get really creative with the game, which I think is really a great, great function. It allows you to have an interactivity with the Marvel Universe, which is always something that's been very, very important to us, whether it's been from the early days when Stan had his letters page, and the Soapbox, where there was a lot of fan interactivity, telling us how they felt about the universe, and what they wanted to see in the universe up to today where we still have that same relationship with our fans -- this is just another extension of that. The characters of the Marvel Universe live in the real world, so any time we can get our fans to interact with them on any level, to me, is a perfect scenario. There are a lot of things about "Infinity" that are really, really attractive. It encompasses all age groups, a lot of playability in so many different ways and tons of creativity.
    And also, the actual figures themselves are so darn cool that there's a collectible aspect to them, as well. I used to be a gamer. I have to stay away from games because I need to keep my job. Yes, I have a problem, I'd rather not talk about it. So for me, I told the "Infinity" crew -- "Hey, I'm just going to buy the figures, because they're so darn cool." If you were to visit my home office, I've got tons of Hot Toys Marvel collectibles, Randy Bowen statues, stuff like that. That's my sort of comic book fetish. These toys are so cool that I'm going to be buying them just to put them on display along with the rest of my stuff. I think the "Infinity" team did a great job capturing the Marvel characters and even giving a sense of movement and attitude to the figures that makes them look like they're going to spring to life.


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