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US election 2016: polls open as Clinton and Trump aim to make history – live

Posted in Trending Topics on 9th November 2016

US election 2016: polls open as Clinton and Trump aim to make history – live

Hillary Clinton and her family will watch tonight’s election returns at the Peninsula, a very fancy hotel in Midtown Manhattan that is a mere two-minute walk away from Trump Tower, where Donald Trump will be watching with his family.

From the Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui, who is part of Hillary Clinton’s press pool tonight:

Clinton’s motorcade departed her home in Chappaqua at 4:48 p.m. en route to New York City. Your pooler did not spot Clinton, as we were already loaded in the vans and joined the motorcade as it was rolling.

The cake is a guy.

Florida’s “bluest” county, the Democratic Party stronghold of Broward, delivered potentially good news for Hillary Clinton less than three hours before the polls closed. At 4.30pm, Brenda Snipes, the county’s supervisor of elections, reported that more than 170,000 people had already voted in person today, added to the 622,000 that had already cast ballots in early voting. It means that more than 790,000 votes are in from a total county electorate of almost 1.2 million. Or about 66% so far.

With a high turnout seen as the key to the Clinton campaign, the Democratic nominee needs to rack up the tally in heavily populated Broward and Miami-Dade counties to counter the advantage Donald Trump holds in Florida’s more rural northern counties. The turnout in Broward in 2012 was 67%.

With a clear, low-humidity day in South Florida, voters are turning out steadily, and lines are moving smoothly. However, Snipes fired two poll clerks at a site in Pompano Beach following a dispute over where people could stand. Broward sheriff’s deputies were called to the polling station but no arrests were made during an incident a spokesperson described as “minor”.

The first early exit polls are coming out and they show that most of those who have voted are not feeling overjoyed. After a presidential race characterized by surprises and uncertainty, 71% say they are feeling nervous according to a Morning Consult/POLITICO Exit Poll which was conducted October 18-November 8 among 6,782 early and Election-Day voters. Another 85% said they “just want it to be over” and 39% said they were depressed.

The fact that only 25% of those surveyed said they were feeling “happy” while 53% said they were “angry” could well affect the mood of the country long after the final results are counted.

The most accurate exit poll available to us:

Iconic suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in Rochester, New York, has become a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of voters celebrating the potential election of the nation’s first female president.

Esther Diamond does not like people who do not vote. “Voting is a privilege,” she reminds me, as we sit in her apartment in Queens, New York. “People have died for it. You ca not throw away an opportunity to be listened to.”

Diamond knows what that feels like. She was born in January 1920, months before the final state ratified the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Now, the 96-year-old, who immigrated to America from Russia as a child, is looking forward to voting for a woman herself. “I have hoped for a long time that this day would come,” she says.

Diamond is just one of many women born before the 19thAmendment profiled on the website iwaited96years.com: different women from different backgrounds sharing the same excitement about this historic moment. In a lifetime they have gone from being disenfranchised because of their sex to casting a vote for, potentially, the first female President of the United States.

There’s Eugenia Perkins, 102, in North Carolina: “It is about time there was a woman President!”

There’s Lung Hsin Wu, 98, in Oregon, by way of Beijing: “My vote means another step towards equity for women!”

And there’s Diamond, who says: “Since as long as I can remember…I do not want to be better than men. I want to be equal to them. You are a second-class citizen if you are not.”

Women’s rights have progressed a lot in Diamond’s lifetime, but there’s still a way to go. “When you hear the difference in salaries between men and woman for the same job and the men get more than you do…” she shakes her head. “Maybe Hillary can help.”

Diamond has been doing as much campaigning as she can for Clinton. When her assisted living facility had early voting a couple of weeks ago she got a placard of Hillary made up “sat 50 feet away from the voting booth” doing last minute electioneering.

Diamond thinks the final result will be close. But whether Clinton wins or not, “she’s opened the door for future women to think about running and that’s important. I am sure there will be others, maybe not in my lifetime. You just need one person to try the water. Maybe my great granddaughter will be President.”

Missing from the invite list: Tiffany Trump.

Donald Trump may not have had any celebrities appearing his behalf on Monday night – but he told a crowd of more than 10,000 that he was backed by the New England Patriots star quarterback, Tom Brady, and their head coach, Bill Belichick.

In a local interview earlier on Monday, though, Brady said he had not voted yet – “I am going to vote today or tomorrow” – and played coy on who he might vote for: “Next week I will tell you.”

Speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire, in an arena lit with laser lights and smoke machines, the Republican nominee took the stage in his penultimate event before election day to announce the support of two of the most beloved sports figures in New England.

Trump has long bragged that Brady, a two-time NFL MVP and four time Super Bowl champion, “is a great friend of mine”. Brady was suspended for four games at the start of the 2016 season for his role in the Deflategate scandal.

The Republican nominee told the cheering crowd on Monday night that Brady called him earlier in the day to say: “Donald, I support you. You are my friend and I voted for you.”

The quarterback was photographed in 2015 with a Make America Great Again hat in his locker. Brady also said in an interview in December 2015: “Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends.” However, Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, last week denied that the couple would vote for Trump in a comment on her Instagram page.

A man in the city of East Lansing, Michigan, pulled two women wearing hijabs out of line to check their IDs early this morning and attempted to prevent them from voting, officials said.

Ingham County clerk Barb Byrum confirmed the incident was reported to her office, which oversees East Lansing, at 7.53am this morning, in what she described as an act of voter intimidation.

According to the complaint received by Byrum’s office, the man pulled two women wearing hijabs out of line to check their voter registration cards.

“It appeared he was trying to direct them to another polling place, which may or may not have been justified,” the complaint from an East Lansing resident said, adding in an email to Mother Jones that the man “seemed polite and non-confrontational.”

The resident, Ron Fox, reported the incident to poll workers, and the man was soon asked to leave. Byrum told the Guardian she contacted the East Lansing clerk, who in turn contacted law enforcement.

“This was the procedure that was established a week or so ago in the event there was any event or voter intimidation or harassment,” she said.

“I have zero tolerance for the harassment or intimidation of my voters.” Byrum said she has received no additional reports of voter intimidation, as of4pm. East Lansing is located about 90 miles west of Detroit.

“It is kind of a special day,” Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said after he cast his vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

“When I am on the ballot, Jane and I usually drive around the state to kill some time and wait for the results to come in, but we have a beautiful day today. I hope we have a very large voter turnout,” Sanders said.

“I hope today we defeat Donald Trump and we defeat him badly,” Sanders continued. “I think when you have a campaign like Mr. Trump’s where the cornerstone of his campaign is based on bigotry and trying to divide us up, I think it is very bad for our country.”

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The Female Love Interest Gal Gadot Wants For Wonder Woman 2

Posted in Trending Topics on 8th November 2016

The Female Love Interest Gal Gadot Wants For Wonder Woman 2

The Wonder Woman comics recently made news when one of the writers made the unambiguous statement that the character was in fact bisexual. So could we see a female love interest fo the character on the big screen? While Gal Gadot has said there was no discussion about the character being bisexual for the first film, that does not mean it could not become a thing in the sequel. The actress who plays Wonder Woman on-screen says that if she’s going to get a same-sex love interest in a future movie, she’s got the perfect actress in mind.

I saw her the other day, Halle Berry. She’s so beautiful. Wow! She’s gorgeous! So… yeah, I could do it with her.

Last month Wonder Woman comic book writer Greg Rucka made headlines when he stated unequivocally that Diana had certainly had relationships with women in the past within the context of her living on an island inhabited only by women. While we know from comments that Gal Gadot herself has made, that we wo not see anything like that in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, Batman News recently translated the actress’ recent appearance on the Israeli show Good Night with Guy Pines. She told them that she would open to such a thing, and even name dropped somebody who could work opposite her.

Based on Gal Gadot’s facial expression when she gives the answer (since I ca not understand what she’s actually saying) the actress appears to be completely serious with her comments. She’s not simply making a comment about a beautiful actress that she had like to work with. When Gadot made her comments following the revelation that Wonder Woman was bisexual, she seemed to be very supportive and understanding of the concept as a whole. It is far too early to guess how the characters sexuality could be dealt with in future films, going forward it may not even be important enough to be part of the plot, but it would seem that if Warner Bros. wanted to go in that direction Gal Gadot is ready for it.

And there would certainly be worse choices than Halle Berry. She’s an Academy Award-winning actress with significant experience within the comic book movie genre following her role as Storm in the X-Men films. She could probably use a bit of a reboot within the DC universe in order to help people forget about her turn as Catwoman so maybe a role in a future Wonder Woman film is the way to do that.

And there would be plenty of material in which to set up the relationship. The majority of Wonder Woman will take place during the first World War, but we have also seen her fighting alongside Batman and Superman in the modern day. Who knows what sorts of people she met, and fell in love with, in between?

What do you think? Would you like to see Halle Berry and Gal Gadot together in a future Wonder Woman movie? Let us know in the comments.

Waiting for Sombra

Posted in Trending Topics on 4th November 2016

Waiting for Sombra

Overwatch fans love their lore. Blizzard has created a completely multiplayer experience yet filled it with unique and vibrant characters, giving each a unique backstory that ties them all together. It is a testament to Blizzard’s world building that fans have reacted to so strong to these characters, creating amazing fan art and fan fiction that approaches canonicity for some fans. So why are so many of their community members furious about Sombra?

Sombra is, theoretically, the second addition to Overwatch’s stable of playable characters. She comes after Ana released back in July. Many fans actually thought Ana was Sombra at first. Initially, the ardent detectives of all things Overwatch had discovered an in-game folder titled “SOMBRA [CLASIFICADO]” all the way back in the pre-beta days of the game. Attentive players will even catch Reaper saying, “Where’s Sombra when you need her”, occasionally when spawning on the Dorado map. Blizzard seemingly laid the groundwork for a cunning Sombra reveal.  Eventually, the hints at Sombra’s existence became more complex. The video that revealed Ana also revealed the seeds of an ARG, or Alternate Reality Game. Fans had to decipher a hexadecimal code, turn it into ASCII, then use a cipher to decode a cryptic message and, once again, the name “Sombra”. This was not going to be just another timed character release. This time, clever Overwatch players could get involved.

For ARG fans, this was the start of something exciting. While generally part of an existing marketing campaign, ARGs can be their own intricately designed and immensely rewarding experiences. The Battlefield developers have a long history of incorporating complicated and devious puzzles into their updates. Participants are treated to a myriad of unique challenges and to ultimately earn some narrative or in-game reward.

Unfortunately, many players of the Overwatch ARG grew increasingly upset at short puzzles that Blizzard has released, most of which lead towards some kind of countdown to the next event. At this point, most everyone expects a complete Sombra reveal at Blizzcon this weekend. For those hoping that the ARG reward would be an early look at Sombra, their effort seems futile.

Earlier this week, at the height of another puzzle and subsequent countdown, the Overwatch subreddit was alight with arguments. One post was a plea to Blizzard to never reveal a character with an ARG again. Other posts poke fun at the incessant teases, suggesting that when her ultimate reaches 100 percent, it will simply reset and start another countdown. Some have come to Blizzard’s defense, suggesting fans should never have had an expectation of being rewarded for their efforts.

In a way, they are right. When you buy Overwatch, you pay for the game and all of the characters in it. There’s no guarantee that any external content will be created, let alone that it will be good even if it does. There’s also a certain entitlement implicit in the way that some Overwatch fans have reacted to the ARG. Some participants feel as though they have been intentionally misled, lied to, or strung along—even though Blizzard has barely said anything official about the ARG, one way or the other.

Others take a more level-headed approach to Blizzard’s strategy. The folks putting in all the effort to decipher these clues know this is all a marketing strategy. The issue is not that Blizzard is misleading fans into thinking they can somehow unlock Sombra early. It is that the ARG participants are being reminded how they fit into the consumer-creator relationship.

On the other hand, I suspect the trauma felt by the Sombra ARG participants is actually grounded in an expectation of fairness. An ARG, in a way, is an agreement. Folks will put in the work to decipher clues, reveal new information, and therefore build buzz around game content. They have an expectation (I believe a reasonable one) to see this value reflected by the ARG creators. This could be in the form of new information, art, or even simple recognition.

In a perfectly executed plan, the ARG reveals information at the same pace that the creator wants that information revealed anyway. By including such long delays and countdowns between ARG segments, the illusion of earned recognition vanishes. Instead, we see how the sausage is made. That is, according to the sausage-maker’s own meticulously planned schedule.

Even so, that has not stopped Overwatch fans from latching onto what little we do know about Sombra. The community is already rife with fan art, and I suspect we will see at least one Sombra cosplay attempt at Blizzcon. Maybe, in an underappreciated form of live comedy, the Sombra cosplayer will arrive on her own time, two weeks after the doors have shut.

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Tippi Hedren claims Alfred Hitchcock sexually assaulted her

Posted in Trending Topics on 1st November 2016

Tippi Hedren claims Alfred Hitchcock sexually assaulted her

Writing in her autobiography, she claimed the director “threw himself” on top of her in the back of his limousine and tried to kiss her.

The actress described the encounter as “an awful, awful moment”.

Hedren added that she did not tell anyone because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that did not exist” in the early 1960s.

She continued: “Besides, he was Alfred Hitchcock, one of Universal’s superstars, and I was just a lucky little blonde model he had rescued from relative obscurity. Which one of us was more valuable to the studio, him or me?”

Hedren appeared in The Birds in 1963 and the following year starred in Marnie – both of which were directed by Hitchcock.

The actress, now 86, made the claims in her autobiography Tippi: A Memoir, which is published in November.

She has spoken in the past about the director’s alleged treatment of her, but has gone into more detail in the memoir.

Hedren described a later encounter in Hitchcock’s office where the director “suddenly grabbed” her and “put his hands” on her.

She wrote: “It was sexual, it was perverse, and it was ugly, and I could not have been more shocked and more repulsed.

“The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became. Then he started adding threats, as if he could do anything to me that was worse than what he was trying to do at that moment.”

After refusing his demands, Hedren said Hitchcock “looked directly into my eyes, his face red with rage, and promised, ‘I will ruin your career.'”

The actress said Hitchcock then made her life difficult, refusing to submit her work for the Oscar nominations or let her take on other acting roles while he still had her under contract.

Hedren, whose daughter Melanie Griffith is also an actress, said: “I have made it my mission ever since to see to it that while Hitchcock may have ruined my career, I never gave him the power to ruin my life.”

She went on to say that, despite his treatment of her, she felt “a wave of sadness” when he died in 1980.

“It surprised everyone that I went to Hitchcock’s funeral,” she wrote, adding: “As far as I was concerned, there was no unfinished business between us, nothing more that needed to be said.

“I had already healed and moved on by the time Hitchcock died, far past anything I had ever imagined for myself. So in the end, I was there to say, ‘Goodbye, and thank you, Hitch.'”

Canzano: Going A-Z on the win (Oregon Ducks) and loss (Oregon State Beavers)

Posted in Trending Topics on 31st October 2016

Canzano: Going A-Z on the win (Oregon Ducks) and loss (Oregon State Beavers)

Oregon beat Arizona State 54-35. And Oregon State led Washington State by three scores when you went to bed… but lost 35-31 by the time you woke up.

No better time to open a can of A-Z on them…

A) My Sunday column focuses on the only question that matters right now at the University of Oregon: Can freshman QB Justin Herbert save coach Mark Helfrich? After blowing a 31-point lead vs. TCU in the Alamo Bowl, the PAT debacle vs. Nebraska, having 70 points pinned on his team by Washington… Helfrich’s future feels in the hands of a kid who was basically a fill-in scholarship offer. If you saw this coming you do not need to dress as a witch for Halloween. You are one.

B) Communicated with Oregon State coach Gary Andersen after the loss to Washington State. He is insanely proud of the way his team is fighting… and simultaneously aware that he needs to recruit better to win games against good teams. Talent and toughness end up a sobering dichotomy. One that Andersen will have to resolve to win big games.

C) The Beavers did it with smoke and mirrors in the first half vs. Washington State. It was a McGyver-like effort. Ryan Nall had 19 carries for 131 yards and two TDs on the ground. Ultimately though, WSU lined up in the second half and said, “You ca not throw. We all know it.”

D) The Cougars were right. OSU rushed for 160 yards on 15 carries in the first half, but had only 11 rushing yards on 13 carries in the second half. The Beavers are getting better, and better, but they have a shortage of talent/speed/length.

E) Ducks quarterback coach David Yost first saw Justin Herbert in person during a trip to a Sheldon High basketball game. Remember, Oregon only offered Herbert a scholarship after four-star recruit Seth Green (now at Minnesota) decommitted. Yost said of the 6-foot-6 Herbert, “He was a tall, smooth athlete. He had that same look on his face no matter what was happening in the game. And after the game it was, ‘Yessir. No sir. Thanks for coming.'”

F) No kid. Thank YOU for coming.

G) Arizona State was missing six starters and had eight players miss practice this week due to injuries. But a win is a win is a win. It had been 337 days between Pac 12 victories for the Oregon Ducks. The O’s Andrew Greif had the game story.

H) Oregon’s opponents in the first seven weeks of the season managed two combined victories this week. Washington beat Utah. WSU beat Oregon State. UC Davis and Colorado had bye weeks. The rest of the UO opponents went a combined 0-4.

I) Beavers wide receiver Jordan Villamin caught 43 passes for 660 yards and five touchdowns last season at Oregon State. He did not catch a pass on Saturday and now has 10 catches for 90 yards in eight games this season. The disappearance of Villamin feels like a “60 Minutes” investigative report.

J) Maybe put Ryan Nall on the case. After all, he appears to be doing everything else over there.

K) While we are solving mysteries… anyone who is closely watching Ducks running back Royce Freeman (bruised sternum after being trucked vs. Washington) knows something still is not right. Freeman (17 carries for 38 yards vs. ASU) looked more comfortable than a week ago, but was still not himself. Tyson Alger of The O caught up with Freeman after the game.

L) Nothing wrong with Alger’s game. His story included this gem quote from Freeman: “I am not stressing about it or anything. As long as anybody else in the running back room is eating, I am eating.”

M) Still, Oregon is not better with a less-than Freeman. Seven of his 17 carries went for zero yards or less.

N) Washington State has a ridiculous group of receivers led by Gabe Marks (8 catches for 110 yards and two TDs). That said, I like Colorado’s group of receivers better than Washington State’s. But barely.

O) WSU coach Mike Leach blew off the sideline reporter on the way to the locker room with his team trailing 24-6 at halftime against Oregon State. That elicited scoffing and criticism at Reser Stadium, but really, what’s the value of that halftime interview anyway? It is worthless. You never learn anything. It is rarely even entertaining. It amounts to a coach who does not want to do an interview saying nothing as he fulfills a contractual obligation negotiated by a couple of attorneys when the broadcast-rights deal was cut. I had be in favor of losing that interview in exchange for a 60-second fight between the opposing mascots.

P) Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott did a worthless interview at Autzen Stadium at halftime himself. I asked him the first question: What’s up with DirecTV? His response: “No new updates. Same as last week. Yup, not for lack of effort, our team is always reaching out and trying, but nothing new to report.”

Q) Scott bolted in the third quarter for Reser Stadium, beating the Ducks game traffic. He did a similar interview in the press box at halftime there with OSU and WSU media. It is part of Scott’s regular college football tour. He hits every Pac 12 home stadium at least once during the season. This was his Oregon swing. I doubt he will be back given that Oregon and Oregon State (a combined 5-11 overall and 2-8 in Pac 12 play) wo not be bowl bound.

R) The conference’s bowl alliances (Cactus, Las Vegas, Sun, Foster Farms, Holiday, Alamo and Rose) remain a sore subject. But one I hope is solved after the Pac 12 gets the DirecTV issue fixed, and also, stops playing games that finish close to midnight.

S) USC has played in a record 33 Rose Bowls. Question: Among Pac 12 members, do you know which team comes in second? See answer below in entry “U”.

T) National recruiting expert Greg Biggins (Fox Sports) talked about the Ducks issues with recruiting (Read: negative recruiting) and the Beavers new obsession with JC talent on my radio show (12-3p on 750-AM and 102.9-FM) last week. Fascinating perspective and worth a listen of the podcast.

U) Answer: Stanford. The Cardinal have 15 Rose Bowl appearances. Washington is next with 14. Then comes UCLA (12), Cal (8), Oregon (7), Washington State (4), Oregon State (3) and ASU (2). Colorado, Utah and Arizona have never played in “The Granddaddy of Them All.”

V) The Civil War will be the biggest game of the season for both Oregon and Oregon State for the first time in a long while. Who ya got?

W) This week’s Civil War Fact: Don Essig, the legendary public-address voice of Autzen Stadium, is an Oregon State graduate. Meanwhile, Mike Parker, the long-time Beavers play-by-play broadcaster, is an Oregon graduate. I have a fun interview with Essig slated to post this week on my YouTube channel.

X) Essig will celebrate 50 years on the Ducks’ mic next month. Oregon now has celebrity guests introduce the rosters, but Essig does the rest. My favorite part of the Essig interview came when I asked him how much longer he will continue to be “The Voice of Autzen Stadium.” His answer: “When it stops being fun.”

Y) Oregon State’s game took 3 hours, 49 minutes to play. Oregon’s took 3 hours, 36 minutes. When you are kicking off at 7:45 p.m. or 8 p.m., you are hosing everyone but the television networks.

Z) Oregon travels to USC next Saturday (Kickoff: TBA shortly) and is a 14-point underdog. Oregon State goes to Stanford (12:30 p.m. kickoff) and is a 16.5-point underdog.

— @JohnCanzanoBFT

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