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Dial H For Hero

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Member since: Mon Apr 20, 2020, 11:25 AM
Number of posts: 2,971

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I just booked a vacation for next year in Thailand.

Both the airfare and the tour itself are fully refundable until shortly before departing, so if travel reetrictions are still in place half a year from now I'll just delay it. Let's hope things are better by then.
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Thu Jun 25, 2020, 02:25 AM (4 replies)

Serial Random Attacker Cuffed in Hydrant Head Smash of 92-Year-Old NYC Woman: Cops


(video at link)

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an apparently random attack on a 92-year-old woman in Manhattan four days ago, authorities say.

The suspect, Rashid Brimmage of the Bronx, was charged with assault shortly after he was taken into custody Tuesday. Police believe he is the person seen on disturbing video shoving the 92-year-old woman to the ground on Third Avenue between 15th and 16th streets on Friday afternoon.

The woman hit her head on a fire hydrant as she was pushed. Jarring surveillance footage captured the attack. It shows the woman walking along the street. A man is seen approaching her from the opposite direction.

As they pass, the man calmly flicks out one arm and topples the woman, along with her shopping cart, to the pavement. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Tue Jun 16, 2020, 03:40 PM (6 replies)

'I felt violated': Police search Maryland house over BB gun in virtual class


BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) – A Baltimore County family is warning other parents after they say police were called to their house over something that happened during a virtual school lesson. The incident is raising concerns over privacy and safety in the era of online learning.

As a Navy veteran with four years of active duty, Courtney Lancaster has extensive knowledge of guns, how to use them and how to store them.

Her 11-year-old son, who owns BB guns, is a boy scout in fifth grade at Seneca Elementary School.

“He's just a very intellectual child, but he's all boy as well. He loves to be outside and play and ride his bikes and that sort of thing,” Courtney told Project Baltimore.

In his pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout, Courtney says her son has learned how to shoot a BB gun and an airsoft gun. He’s also taken three levels of archery lessons. His mother says he stores his bow and guns on this wall in his bedroom. It’s never been a problem until June 1, when police pulled up outside her house.

“I had no idea what to think. I've never been in any legal trouble whatsoever. I've never had any negative encounter with law enforcement,” said Courtney. “I had no idea. I really didn't know what to think.”

Courtney says she was home with her son who’s been doing virtual learning since schools shut down in March.

“So, I answered the door. The police officer was, he was very nice. He explained to me that he was coming to address an issue with my son's school,” Courtney told Project Baltimore. “And then explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home. And I consented to let him in. And then I, unfortunately, stood there and watched police officers enter my 11-year-old son's bedroom.”

Courtney was told someone had seen the guns in her son’s bedroom during a Google Meet class on his laptop.

“I thought, this is outrageous. This is despicable,” she said. “I had no idea what in the world could this be over? BB guns never even once entered my mind. How many 11-year-old boys have BB guns?”

According to emails Courtney later exchanged with a school administrator, a screenshot was taken during the online class. The principal of Seneca Elementary was notified. Courtney says she was told the school safety officer then called police.

“I felt violated as a parent, for my child, who's standing there with police officers in his room, just to see the fear on his face,” she said.

Courtney says the police officers were in her home for about 20 minutes and found no violations. No laws were broken and no dangers present. They left without any further action, but Courtney wasn’t done.

Since that day, she has written school administrators, the superintendent and the school board, demanding answers. She says the principal initially compared bringing a weapon to a virtual class to bringing a gun to school.

She was also told she could not see the screenshot of her son’s bedroom, because it’s not part of his student record.

“It's absolutely scary to think about,” Courtney said. “Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing your children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose?”

Project Baltimore reached out to Baltimore County Schools requesting an interview. We received this statement, “Our longstanding policy is to not debate individual circumstances through the media. There are multiple ways for families to share concerns with us. In general terms, the safety of students and staff is our chief concern, whether we are meeting in classrooms or via continuity of learning.”

Courtney says she understands the safety concerns, but no one called her first before involving police.

“There's no more trust. There have just been a series of lies and just no cooperation,” she said.

Now, she worries about the future of virtual learning without clear policies in place.

“So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn? If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It's not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he's sitting next to a butcher block,” Courtney said. “I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.”
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Sun Jun 14, 2020, 11:12 AM (20 replies)

'Gone With the Wind' Hits No. 1 on Amazon Best-Sellers Chart After HBO Max Drops Movie


“Gone With the Wind” zipped to the top of Amazon’s best-sellers sales chart for TV and movies, a day after WarnerMedia’s HBO Max pulled the movie for “racist depictions.”

Amazon bases its rankings on sales data. The site currently offers the 70th anniversary two-disc DVD edition of “Gone With the Wind” starting at $29.55, while Amazon Video offers the movie as a digital HD rental at $3.99 and for purchase at $9.99.

Meanwhile, on Apple’s iTunes movie chart for the U.S., “Gone With the Wind” on Wednesday was in the No. 5 spot (after “The Hunt,” “Birds of Prey,” “Bad Boys for Life,” and “The Invisible Man”).

Oscar-winning film “Gone With the Wind” was removed Tuesday from the HBO Max streaming service temporarily. WarnerMedia said it plans to return to the movie to the library, along with a discussion about the historical context for the 1939 movie and a “denouncement” of the movie’s racist stereotypes.

“’Gone With The Wind’ is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society,” an HBO Max spokesperson told Variety. “These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”

“Gone With the Wind” stars Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel and Olivia de Havilland. The film, adapted from the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, is described on Amazon.com’s website as “a classic epic of the American South,” set during the Civil War and the Reconstruction era.

The movie, produced by David O. Selznick, won eight competitive Oscars including best picture, best actress for Leigh, best director for Victor Fleming and best supporting actress for McDaniel, who was the first Black person to ever win an Academy Award. The American Film Institute ranks “Gone With the Wind” as the No. 4 best American movie of all time, after “Citizen Kane,” “Casablanca,” and “The Godfather.”

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Fri Jun 12, 2020, 12:32 AM (13 replies)

'Magic: The Gathering' Removes Racist Cards From The Game


Back in 1994, Magic: The Gathering printed “Invoke Prejudice,” a card that appears to depict a horde of hooded Klansmen. The card’s action, which allows a player to counter creatures of a different mana color, makes the implication even less subtle. Now, the game’s parent company, Wizards of the Coast, is removing the controversial card for good.

As global civil rights activism brings racism to the forefront, Magic: The Gathering is taking a hard look at its own history. Wizards of the Coast began by removing seven cards from play and from Gatherer, its official database.

“There's no place for racism in our game, nor anywhere else,” the company said Wednesday. “The events of the past weeks and the ongoing conversation about how we can better support people of color have caused us to examine ourselves, our actions, and our inactions.”

Wizards of the Coast began by removing “Invoke Prejudice,” “Cleanse,” “Stone-Throwing Devils,” “Pradesh Gypsies,” “Jihad,” “Imprison,” and “Crusade” from the game and from its official database of all Magic cards. But a Wednesday tweet indicates that this is just the beginning.

“We are starting a review of every card we have printed,” the official Twitter account shared. “This first pass isn't meant to be an exhaustive catalogue of every problematic card in Magic’s history, and we will continue to take actions on similar cards in the future.”

Looking at it in context, “Invoke Prejudice” probably should have been removed years ago. Ordered alphabetically and by release date, the card has been assigned the ID 1488 in Gatherer, an unfortunate coincidence which seems to refer to two numbers significant to Nazis and white supremacists. To make matters worse, the card’s artist, Harold McNeill, is known for his references to Nazi imagery.

At the same time, it’s clear that Wizards of the Coast has been making a multi-year effort to promote diverse representation. Today, Magic: The Gathering features gay, lesbian, transgender, and nonbinary characters in its official canon. Hugh McMullen, former Wizards Director of Communications, told me in 2016 that it is important to the game to offer a representation of anyone who might play it.

“Look at a typical Magic set today,” McMullen said, “There are black characters in the world inspired by Greek mythology. We spent a year on worlds inspired by Asian cultures. There are women warriors, women wizards, women sages, and women goblins. Whoever you are, you can see yourself in the game.”

Responses on Twitter indicate that fans see Wizards’ announcement as a step in the right direction, but point out a more glaring problem in Magic: a lack of diversity among the staff. The blog post hints at further progress in its closing remark: “There's much more work to be done as we continue to make our games, communities, and company more inclusive.” I’ve reached out to Wizards of the Coast to see if a spokesperson can clarify further.

Incidentally, I just checked Ebay, and the "Invoke Prejudice" card is currently selling for around $500.
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Thu Jun 11, 2020, 10:28 AM (2 replies)

Disney fans say Splash Mountain, a ride inspired by 'Song of the South,' should be re-themed


(CNN) — One of Disney's best-loved rides is based on a film widely considered the studio's most racist.

Splash Mountain, a mainstay at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, stars the animated characters from "Song of the South," the 1946 film long criticized for stereotypes of "spiritual" black men and its seemingly nostalgic view of the antebellum South.

Fans want to keep the ride. But they're asking Disney to scrap all mention of the movie.

A number of suggestions have cropped up urging Disney to retheme the popular ride. The most widely shared one proposes retooling it for "The Princess and the Frog," the first Disney film to introduce a black princess. Some of them have turned into Change.org petitions.

The petitions come at a time when companies -- and the country -- are reckoning with their own biases and, on occasion, racist histories.

The problems with 'Song of the South'

Splash Mountain stars Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, along with all the ducks & chickens & frogs who share their Southern home, and culminates in a tall drop that sends riders straight through the thorny briar. But the animated characters that appear throughout originated in the 1946 film, "Song of the South," best known for the song "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah."

The film has long been criticized for its romanticized view of the post-Civil War South. The Guardian's Scott Tobias wrote in 2019 that the "world and themes of both [the live-action portion and animated segments starring Brer Rabbit] reinforce a nostalgia for a plantation in the Reconstruction era."

Brer Rabbit's history is controversial, too.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, he was a figure in African folklore that traveled with slaves to the US. Then, in the mid-19th century, author Joel Chandler Harris took the character and popularized it in stories that adopted the dialect he picked up from slaves.

Harris' stories were narrated by an old black man named Uncle Remus, who regales the son of a plantation owner with stories about Brer Rabbit and his animal companions. Those stories formed the basis for "Song of the South."

Today, scholars and readers say Harris' stories employ unquestionably racist stereotypes.

Disney, which unearthed dozens of forgotten films to stream on Disney+, decided to keep "Song of the South" in the vault. It never got a wide at-home release in the US either because of criticisms of racism.

But Disneyland opened Splash Mountain in 1989, decades after the film debuted and was denied a video release. Uncle Remus doesn't appear anywhere in the ride, but the country animals still speak in the same dialect Harris used in his stories and Disney used in the film.

CNN reached out to Disneyland and Walt Disney World for comment and is waiting to hear back.

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Wed Jun 10, 2020, 11:26 PM (5 replies)

Looney Tunes Has Taken Elmer Fudd's Gun Away for HBO Max Revival


It’s wabbit hunting season once again, only this time, someone has come for Elmer Fudd’s gun.

In the new Looney Tunes Cartoons series (which debuted May 27 on HBO Max), the huntsman is back in action, but his signature rifle is gone. (And he often doesn’t even appear in his hunting outfit.) Instead, Fudd — as does Yosemite Sam, who used to pack a pair of pistols — sometimes swings a scythe. The switch-up is reportedly a change made in response to U.S. gun violence. Yet despite this modification, the classic Looney Tunes violence and mayhem will still be allowed

“We’re not doing guns,” executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt told the New York Times. “But we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”

The show will stay true to the spirit of the original, while reflecting modern sensibilities, the EP said. What does that mean exactly? Maaaaany sticks of dynamite, elaborate booby traps and cannons-at-close range will very much be in play, in addition to the requisite anvils, bank safes and pianos that famously fall on unsuspecting heads.

The EP also touched on another modern issue plaguing youth and society today: bullying. “We’re going through this wave of anti-bullying, ‘Everyone needs to be friends,’ ‘Everyone needs to get along.’ Looney Tunes is pretty much the antithesis of that. It’s two characters in conflict, sometimes getting pretty violent.”

An all-new series from Warner Bros. Animation, Looney Tunes Cartoons finds many of the beloved classic characters in their standard pairings in simple, gag-driven and visually vibrant stories. The new series consists of 80 11-minute episodes, each comprised of animated shorts that vary in length and include adapted storylines for today’s audience, in addition to forthcoming holiday-themed specials.
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Mon Jun 8, 2020, 12:56 PM (5 replies)

Arrest in fatal shooting of beloved retired St. Louis police captain during protests

Source: CBS News

St. Louis — A 24-year-old St. Louis man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a retired police captain who died on a night of violent protests while trying to protect his friend's pawn shop, the city's prosecutor announced Sunday.

Stephan Cannon was being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the death of David Dorn, 77, who was killed Tuesday on the sidewalk outside Lee's Pawn and Jewelry. Dorn's last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down.

Dorn's death came on a violent night in St. Louis, where four officers were shot, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned.

The unrest came as cities across the U.S. have seen protests and violence since George Floyd died May 25 after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after the handcuffed black man stopped moving and pleading for air.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/david-dorn-arrest-suspect-killing-st-louis-police-captain-protest/
Posted by Dial H For Hero | Mon Jun 8, 2020, 10:28 AM (8 replies)

Elon Musk tells SpaceX employees that its Starship rocket is the top priority now


SpaceX launched astronauts for the first time barely a week ago but CEO Elon Musk does not want the company resting on its laurels.

Instead, Musk urged SpaceX employees to accelerate progress on its next-generation Starship rocket “dramatically and immediately,” writing Saturday in a company-wide email seen by CNBC.

“Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship,” Musk wrote in the email.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Musk’s email.

His space company launched a pair of NASA astronauts on May 30, marking a historic first for SpaceX and a crucial step forward for the U.S. space program. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule carried the astronauts to orbit and on to the International Space Station. That mission is ongoing, as Musk noted, with the spacecraft set to return the astronauts to Earth in the next couple months.

The Falcon 9 rocket that launched the astronauts is the mainstay of SpaceX’s business, with 85 missions over the past decade. But Starship represents the company’s aim to make obsolete even the cost-saving advances of its Falcon 9 fleet. Its Falcon 9 rockets are partially reusable, as the company often lands the large “booster” stage of the rocket and recovers the rocket’s nosecone. But Musk’s goal is to make Starship fully reusable — envisioning a rocket that is more akin to a commercial airplane, with short turnaround times between flights.

Musk last year unveiled the Starship prototype, built of stainless steel and dwarfing the company’s existing spacecraft. SpaceX is developing Starship with the goal of launching as many as 100 people at a time on missions to the moon and Mars.

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Mon Jun 8, 2020, 10:17 AM (1 replies)

Looters who hit L.A. stores explain what they did: 'Get my portion!'


The young man flanked the shattered entry of a ransacked CVS in Santa Monica, where people had swept the shelves clean of everything from diapers to detergent. The man, who did not cover his face, admitted he was a looter. He did not apologize.

“We’ve got no other way of showing people how angry we are,” he said.

Out of the store ran another young man, this one holding a carton of eggs. He grabbed a friend and started scanning the street for targets: police cars. “We’re doing it because we can,” he said.

Over in Van Nuys, a teenage boy standing outside a ravaged Skechers store held up a backpack. That was all he took. But it was enough, he said.

“We are just trying to provide and take up the opportunity that we are getting right now. That’s all.”

Posted by Dial H For Hero | Sat Jun 6, 2020, 01:52 PM (12 replies)
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