Tag: news

20 things to look forward to in 2020

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Welcome to the 2020! Other than being a numerically auspicious date that stands at the gateway of a fresh new decade, the year 2020 will probably be like any other year: Full of confusing and depressing events that will make you wish Earth had some sort of eject button.

1. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo

Everyone loves the Olympics! When else can you and your fellow citizens get genuinely, collectively excited about beach volleyball? The 2020 games will feature five new sports: Karate, baseball/softball, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing, as well as a mess of new events in already established categories. And in a tech-savvy, culturally rich city like Tokyo, the games are bound to be particularly festive.

2. A medley of new movies

If watching other people running around and being athletic is too taxing for you, rest assured it will be another eventful year at the box office. Do you like superhero deep cuts? Boom: “Wonder Woman 1984.” “Black Widow.” Franchises that refuse to die? Rev up for “Fast and Furious 9” and a new “Fantastic Beasts” movie. Franchises you thought weren’t franchises because it’s been so long but — surprise — now they are apparently? “Top Gun: Maverick” will look great on you. The remake train continues at full speed as well, making stops at “West Side Story” junction and “Mulan” city. Oh, and don’t forget about “Sonic the Hedgehog!” After what those graphic designers went through, it’s basically your civic duty to see it.

3. The elections

Right, so not many well-adjusted people would call elections “fun.” But this isn’t a list of fun things, it’s a list of things to look forward to. And no matter how many ulcers the 2020 Presidential race will give you, it’s still an important time in US history and it will affect us all. So, do your part by getting more political or learning about voting history or just practicing a few deep, democratic breaths in preparation for November. Other than the main event, 11 states will be holding gubernatorial elections this year, so there’s a chance the fabric of our country could change significantly in a very short period. Haha … fun!

    4. The Mars 2020 mission

    In case the year really does go to hell and you want to launch yourself into space, maybe you can hitch a ride on the new rover headed for Mars in late July or early August. The Mars 2020 rover will join the Curiosity rover on the Red Planet, which hopefully means Curiosity will have a friend to sing Happy Birthday with instead of doing it all alone. Any time scientists get to be rock stars is a time worth celebrating, and the Mars 2020 rover is fully tricked out and ready to roll. It has 23 cameras and two microphones to capture the sounds of the rover landing as well as the haunting, desolate Martian winds that follow.

    5. A newly opened Washington Monument

    Under normal circumstances, tourists can go up to the top of the 555-foot obelisk at the heart of our nation’s capital and gaze out like kings at the tidy grid of humanity below. However, for almost three years, the Washington Monument has been closed to the public while it gets a new security screening area and elevator system. It seems like a long time, but when it comes to elevators, it’s always good to err on the side of caution. Everything should be back up and running for tourists in September.

    6. TV like you’ve never seen it (or paid for it) before

    It’s truly the dawn of a new television era. Not only will 2020 see the launch of several new streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock, there will be innumerable new shows, reboots and spinoffs in which to invest your time. “Lizzie McGuire” is getting the reboot treatment on Disney+, “Riverdale” is spawning a spinoff with the CW’s “Katy Keene,” and a “Clueless” reboot is floating around the schedule (Yes, we said reboot. A TV show inspired by the movie ran for a few years in the 1990s). If you’re more dramatically inclined, Stephen King’s “The Outsiders” is sure to please on HBO, and an adaptation of the Lane Moriarty novel “Nine Perfect Strangers” is coming to Hulu. “Westworld” fans, your long wait is over: Season 3 will premiere on HBO in the spring.

    7. The opening of the Yahoo! Time capsule

    In 2006, Yahoo invited people to place digital artifacts of what life was like in a virtual time capsule. Participants uploaded tens of thousands of videos, pictures, poems, works of art and other submissions of varying value, and the final product was handed over to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, for safekeeping. The plan is to crack open the capsule (digitally, of course) on Yahoo’s 25th birthday, which is in 2020. They better open it carefully: Unsealing that thing may bring forth a whole Pandora’s box full of cat memes and cringey MySpace pics.

    8. A total eclipse

    Remember how fun the Great American Eclipse was in 2017? Well, there’s a Great South American Eclipse coming next year, and eclipse watchers are making plans to congregate in Argentina and stare up at the cosmic spectacle (while safely bespectacled, of course). The solar eclipse will shade the region in brief darkness on December 14, but there are other fun space things happening right around the same time. The Geminid meteor shower will spangle the sky the night before, and a special alignment of Jupiter and Saturn a week later will complete a rare space nerd trifecta.

    9. Historical anniversaries

    While 2020 might be a great year to make history, it’s a pretty good year to observe history, as well. There are plenty of interesting historical anniversaries to geek out to, but these are some of the biggest. Go ahead, memorize a few and make your high school history teacher proud.

    10. A bevy of new books

    Treat yourself to a Kindle shopping spree and pre-order some of 2020’s most-anticipated books. “A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is sure to be a buzzy release. It’s a prequel to the “Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins. Other new releases from well-loved authors: “Writer and Lovers” from Lily King, whose novel “Euphoria” spawned a TV adaptation, and “It’s All Not Downhill From Here” by Terry McMillan of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” fame. For all of you recovering English majors, pick up “A Long Petal of the Sea” by iconic Chilean author Isabel Allende, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

      11. A saturated soccer scene

      This is the year the fútbol cosmos finally aligns. The UEFA European Football Championship will go down all around Europe this summer, culminating in a final game at Wembley Stadium in London in July. In South America, the Copa América will take over the continent at the same time. These two major international championships don’t usually fall in the same year (though they did in 2016), but going forward, they’ll happen simultaneously every four years. So, consider 2019’s UEFA championship to be a little extra bonus.

      12. A new hope for peanut allergy sufferers

      It’s 2020, OK? It’s about time for some medical breakthroughs to help people suffering from frustrating, sometimes extremely serious conditions like peanut allergies. Every year the Cleveland Clinic counts down the most anticipated advances in medical technology for the coming year, and one of the 2020 contenders is a new immunotherapy treatment for peanut allergies that was recently given the go-ahead by the FTC. The treatment, Palforzia, won’t eliminate the allergy altogether, but it will train people’s immune systems to help avoid serious reactions to accidental exposures.

      13. An innovative year in Dubai

      If you’ve ever thought about taking a trip to Dubai, this might be your year. The glitzy Arabian city will host the 2020 World Expo for half the year. Expo 2020 is like a World’s Fair, with 192 countries showcasing the newest in art, technology, science and countless other spheres. Expo 2020 will center around a huge, specially built indoor-outdoor area between Dubai and the northern border of neighboring Abu Dhabi. Themes of the event will include happiness and environmental stability and, according to the event’s website, you can “meet Gnasher, the sharp-toothed machine of endless consumption.” (It’s a new recycling technology, not an imprisoned eldritch horror.) Sign us up!

      14. A menagerie of new music

      What will the sound of the new decade be? Well, we can start with some of the most-anticipated albums and tours coming our way in 2020. Keep your ears open for Cardi B’s “Tiger Woods,” Lana Del Ray’s “White Hot Forever,” J. Cole’s “The Fall Off,” Ozzy Osbourne’s “Ordinary Man,” The 1975’s “Notes on a Conditional Form,” plus new album releases from Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Haim, The Strokes, Pearl Jam, Justin Bieber, Drake and Lady Gaga.
      If you’re looking for your next live music thrill, Taylor Swift, Celine Dion, Kenny Chesney and Niall Horan are all hitting the road in 2020. Elton John is continuing his farewell tour through 2021, and after having to cancel 2019 tour dates due to injury, Ozzy Osbourne will return to the stage this year. Fans are holding out hope that other huge artists, like Beyoncé, AC/DC, Adele and K-pop mega groups BTS and BlackPink, will announce 2020 tours.

      15. The next generation of video game consoles (and new games to play on them)

      Video games will continue to take over the cultural mainstream, and they’ll get a huge boost when two new consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the XBox Series X, hit the market in 2020. New video game releases will accompany these next-gen consoles: Halo Infinite and Hellblade 2 for the XBox, and new Call of Duty and Final Fantasy titles for the PS5.

      16. The year of the electric truck

      The world of brawny haul-ems with whisper-quiet, earth-friendly engines is about to explode. We’ve already met the Tesla Cybertruck, and honestly, it wasn’t the gentlest introduction to the world of electric trucks. Don’t worry, the rest are a bit friendlier. Two startup companies, Lordstown Motors and Rivian, will release models this year. For those with very expensive tastes, the Hummer-like Bollinger B2 will be rolling out with a $125,000 price tag. More popular automakers are giving their trucks an electric upgrade. GM is planning an all-electric truck release, and an electric version of the Ford F-150 — the bestselling car in America — is still on the drawing board but is expected to be a 2021 release.

      17. The baseball game of your “Dreams.”

      For the record, baseball is NOT a boring sport. But it will be at its least boring on August 13th when the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox meet in the middle of a corn field in Dyersville, Iowa, to play a special “Field of Dreams”-inspired game. The field is even located near the site of the original movie set. Eight thousand lucky fans will get to experience the full rural splendor in person, but there will be all kinds of special programming and events surrounding the game for everyone else to enjoy.

        18. The rise of high-speed rail

        It is no secret that high-speed rail is the future of land travel, but the concept has been slow to catch on in the US. That may change in 2020. Several high-speed rail systems are due to break ground, and other plans could move forward in big ways. Virgin Trains USA will begin construction in late 2020 on a new $4.8 billion, 170-mile high-speed train line from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas. (Another Virgin Trains line, between Miami and West Palm Beach, is already in operation, and will expand to Orlando in a few years.) A plan for a high-speed line between Houston and Dallas is chugging along, so to speak, and construction could start as early as summer 2020.
        Back on the west coast, Microsoft is helping move along a plan for a rail between Seattle and Vancouver. The company, headquartered in Redmond, Washington, shelled out $223,000 in October 2019 to finish an exploratory study into the project by 2020.

        19. A bustling Broadway scene

        Movie remakes are so last decade. Welcome to 2020, where movies are remade as stage musicals! There are a stunning amount of stage adaptations, some or all of which may see a 2020 premiere on the Great White Way (or somewhere else a little more accessible). If you like romance, watch for takes on “13 Going on 30,” “The Bodyguard,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Some Like It Hot.” “17 Again” and “Magic Mike” and the Archie Comics franchise may get the theater treatment. Ready to get really meta? Another musical in the works is “Bombshell,” which is based on the fictional stage production at the center of the real TV show “Smash.”

        20. A new decade

        If a new year means a new beginning, then what does a decade mean? We have a whole 10 years to shape the trends, events and questionable hairstyle choices that will forever be associated with the 2020’s. We are the makers of our own destiny. Let’s get to it.
          Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the location of the Jeddah Tower, which is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

          Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/28/world/20-things-to-look-forward-to-2020-upcoming-events-releases-trnd/index.html

          Gal Gadot and Chris Pine meet again in trailer for ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

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          (CNN)She will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. That’s because she’s Wonder Woman, and now she’s finally back.

          The first look at the highly anticipated follow-up to “Wonder Woman” shows Diana Prince reuniting with her love, Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine.
          This might have come as a surprise to many as Trevor’s plane blew up in the first film, which was set during World War I, decades before.
            In the trailer, set in the 1980s, Gadot is once again at the center of the action, dodging bullets, crushing guns with her bare firsts, and, of course, saving lives.
            During San Diego Comic-Con in July 2018, Gadot said the movie wasn’t a sequel, but its “own story.”
              “Wonder Woman” is the first major superhero franchise to be led by a woman, director Patty Jenkins. The film earned more than $103 million in its North American opening last June, the biggest ever for a female director.
              The film’s release date is June 5, 2020.

              Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/08/entertainment/wonder-woman-1984-trailer-trnd/index.html

              What really ‘triggered’ Donald Trump Jr.

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              (CNN)Donald Trump Jr. has already copped to being a troll. In his new book, published Tuesday, he offers proof that he is also a huckster who goes all-in with the entertaining gobbledygook associated with the family name. Sometimes he’s a whining victim. Sometimes he’s a hero. Always he’s a chip off the old block.

                Donald Trump Jr. retweeted, then deleted, question about Kamala Harris’ ethnicity

              Not at all! In Trump Jr.’s world, “triggered” is uttered with a sneer in the direction of wimps and cowards. Surely the President’s son, who has slain an elephant while on safari, doesn’t want us to think he’s a triggered softy. What, oh what is Donald Trump Jr. trying to say?
              Normally the subtitle would provide a clue, but do we really need one? All you have to do is consult Twitter to discover that hate is Trump Jr.’s thing. Remember how a few months ago he spread the idea that Sen. Kamala Harris is not an “American Black?” (“Is this true? Wow!” he added to the retweet, before deleting it all later. Trump Jr.’s spokesperson told the New York Times that the tweet was deleted because people were “misconstruing the intent” of the tweet.)
                How about the tweet comparing immigrants to dangerous animals that belong behind walls? And if there’s such a big, scary effort to silence him — per the book title — how did he manage to get this published by a mainstream media conglomerate? The mind reels. And we haven’t even opened the book yet.
                But we do.
                In its first few chapters, readers who attempt to follow Trump Jr.’s words will find hot-button assertions — “We’ve allowed … anti-Semitism to run rampant throughout our government” — but no follow-up facts. Who are these anti-Semites? How does he know they exist throughout the government? You won’t find out here because Don Jr. isn’t trying to inform you. He’s just trying to scare you.
                Here the “angry mobs” threatening the peace are not comprised of Trump rallygoers screaming “send them back,” referring to immigrants, but of journalists reporting the news. The author declares Russia’s well-documented attack on the 2016 election “a hoax” and judges former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who proved it happened, a “feeble old fool.”
                Nevertheless, Trump Jr. seizes up Mueller’s report to brag that it offered “zero evidence” that his father, the President, obstructed justice. Let’s set aside the vast evidence of obstruction in the report (all of which President Donald Trump denies) and ask why the author would question Mueller’s mentation and then, a few pages later, cite his work as conclusive.

                  These are the topics Trump Jr. doesn’t want to discuss

                No logic could explain why Trump Jr. would depend on a fool for reassurance, but then logic isn’t the point. This is a book of fanciful notions intended to make us both pity the son of a billionaire president but also see in his tale the origin story of the superhero who will save us.
                Our pity is evoked by lines like this: “As the son of a rich guy living in 2019, I’m essentially not allowed to have an opinion anymore, let alone express that opinion in public.” I’ll give the author points for consistency in this instance. In 2014, he expressed the very same complaint, in very similar language, when I interviewed him at Trump Tower. Then, he said, “It’s very difficult to even have an opinion anymore as a privileged white guy who is second or third generation in a family company.”
                Our hope is supposed to be stirred by Trump Jr.’s biographical anecdotes, which he uses to create a mash-up identity. It must be granted, of course, that anyone born Donald Trump Jr. would live an uncommon and interesting life. The problem is that he writes about it in such an uninteresting way.
                Trump Jr. notes bizarre experiences that include tabloid sex scandals involving his parents and luxuries of the sort most people only imagine. But he wants us to know that he’s really a regular guy at heart — he likes guns! — and he wants us to bond with him over the ridiculousness of his mother’s attempt to order chardonnay at Taco Bell.

                  President Donald Trump (Jr.)?

                Trump family lore is so full of falsities, including the oft-repeated claim that the same woman who couldn’t fathom Taco Bell was an Olympic skier (she wasn’t), that the personal narrative that Trump Jr. offers cannot be considered reliable or informative. The same is true with the elementary school-level-history thrown into the mixture. Add the writer’s many attempts to breathe life into ancient culture wars about the Sixties and you get something close to a front-porch monologue issued by a slick, young plutocrat posing as a resentful old coot.
                  If you think that all of the above suggests that this bound object bearing Donald Trump Jr.’s name and likeness is hardly enlightening, you are correct. “Triggered” is not so much a book as it is a blast of marketing concepts to help true believers stay committed to the Trump cause.
                  The President may be on his way to impeachment, but his son is here to offer an alternate reality. If the book’s spot on the Amazon bestseller list is any indication, great numbers will buy what he’s selling. With Trumps that has always been the point.

                  Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/05/opinions/donald-trump-jr-new-book-dantonio/index.html

                  Ryan Reynolds Has Tastiest Response To Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Eat Me’ Taunt

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                  Things got tasty after Robert Downey Jr. told fellow Marvel star Ryan Reynolds to “eat me” ahead of their AGBO Superhero Fantasy Football Charity League clash.

                  Downey Jr. (aka Iron Man) taunted Reynolds (Deadpool) with this video on Instagram:

                  Reynolds fired back in the comments:

                  Ryan Reynolds

                  Reynolds then went further with his video, in which he did exactly what Downey Jr. had told him to do:

                  Delicious!

                  Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ryan-reynolds-robert-downey-jr-football-videos_n_5dbc0c63e4b09d8f97999fea

                  Reuters Dismisses Kirsten Dunst As ‘Spider-Man’s Girlfriend’ In Now-Deleted Tweet

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                  Actor Kirsten Dunst culminated her 30th anniversary in show business by getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday afternoon.

                  But even though Dunst has a new Showtime series, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” has been in many popular and beloved movies including “Bring It On” and “Interview with the Vampire,” and won the Cannes Film Festival’s award for best actress for her work in the 2011 film “Melancholia,” Reuters chose to focus on her role as a superhero’s significant other. 

                  The British-based news agency tweeted out a story about Dunst getting the star by ― what else? ― focusing on her connection to a man.

                  Here’s a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet:

                  The sexist tweet offended many Twitter users, especially since Dunst has had a long, successful acting career.

                  Reuters put up a new tweet on Friday that didn’t minimize Dunst’s career.

                  Despite having a star on the Walk of Fame, Dunst has said that she hasn’t received due credit for her work in the industry.

                  “I’ve never been recognized in my industry, I’ve never been nominated for anything. Maybe like, twice for a Golden Globe when I was little and one for ‘Fargo,’” she said during an interview on SiriusXM’s “In Depth with Larry Flick.”

                  “I always feel like nobody ― I don’t know, maybe they just think I’m the girl from ‘Bring It On,’” she added.

                  Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kirsten-dunst-spider-man-girlfriend-reuters_n_5d6994f9e4b0cdfe05701f87

                  St. Louis remembers its young homicide victims in a candlelight vigil

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                  St. Louis, Missouri (CNN)Rasheed Thompson rewarded his 8-year-old daughter’s good behavior by letting her to go to a Friday night high school football game in St. Louis. She was killed when shooting broke out.

                  “I don’t want this just to be washed away. I want Jurnee’s legacy to live on. Jurnee was a lover, a protector, a fighter,” Thompson told CNN in an interview.
                  Thompson and other residents gathered at a vigil Wednesday to remember the lives of the city’s young children killed in recent months. The killings have angered police, and residents, who have challenged each other to find solutions to reduce gun violence.
                    “St. Louis, we’re all traumatized by the crime and the violence that grips the St. Louis metropolitan area,” said James Clark, vice president of community outreach for Better Family Life, a community outreach organization. “We all feel the hurt and the pain every day of the week.”
                    Clark told the crowd at Herzog Elementary School, “everything that needs to be said, has already been said.”
                    “This is an hour for action,” Clark said. “This is an hour where we must put all of our petty differences aside for our future, which is our children.”
                    Not far from Clark, a young girl held a sign that said, “We Are the Future.”
                    Police and speakers urged anyone with information on the shootings to come foward. The names of the dead flashed across an electronic screen. A local lawmaker read them out loud.

                    The victims

                    The youngest victim is 2-year-old Kayden Johnson, who was killed in late April along with his 18-year-old mother, Trina’ty Riley, police said.
                    On Sunday, 15-year-old Sentonio Cox was found dead from a gunshot wound. People carried balloons at an earlier vigil as his mother tried to encourage the teenagers mourning him.
                    “I hope ya’ll hearts are mended,”Roxzyanna Edwards said, according to CNN affiliate KPLR. “And I just want ya’ll to prosper and not be another victim like everybody else.”
                    Clark said St. Louis and other urban communities face similar problems.
                    “In every urban core you have the same mentality that is on display in St Louis right now. In St Louis, we have a human capital crisis where you have men, women, boys and girls who have not been cultivated to care,” Clark told CNN. “So, violence becomes a knee-jerk reaction.”
                    He said his organization has a program that deploys outreach workers “who come from the neighborhoods who understand the culture, who understand the code” to communities.
                    “We’ve now got to empower them and give them the training necessary to go in, assess the problem and then we can build real time solutions,” Clark said.
                    Mary Norwood, whose 7-year-old grandson Xavier Usanga, was fatally shot earlier this month, offered to help other young people.
                    “Xavier is gone, and I can’t help him. But I’ll try to help anybody else who is there who wants help,” she said. “If you don’t know what to do and you have the mind that you need some kind of help, get in contact with me.”
                    Xavier was playing with his sisters in the backyard of their home on August 12 when two men shot at each other at a nearby street. The bullet went through his throat and grazed one sister on the elbow, the children’s mother Dawn Usanga told CNN affiliate KTVI.
                    An 18-year-old man was shot but survived, the station reported.
                    In an interview with CNN, Xavier’s sisters recalled how he liked Marvel superhero characters, like Venom. He like to play Uno and the online game Roblox, Trinity Usanga, 10, said.
                    “It’s been really sad,” she said. “I don’t like walking to school by myself … I would usually walk with him, and he would always make me feel safe.”
                    Trinity said she thought Xavier was alive on Wednesday, watching television upstairs.
                    Federal prosecutors said a St. Louis man facing an unrelated federal charge admitted to shooting Xavier. He was not charged in Xavier’s death, KTVI reported this month.
                    St. Louis Alderman Brandon Bosley, whose district includes Xavier’s neighborhood, said it bothered him that children are dying at young ages.
                    “We can change an entire generation of children if we put the right resources behind them,” he said.

                    An empty house

                    Thompson urged people to come forward if they have any information on his daughter’s death.
                    “When a grown person or a teenager murders your 8-year-old child and you don’t come forward, it’s heart breaking,” Thompson said.
                    He said he taught Jurnee and her sisters, ages 7 and 11, to “grab your sisters and you take cover” when they hear gunfire.
                      His house, Thompson said, just doesn’t feel the same now after Jurnee was killed.
                      “Since Jurnee been gone, the house just seems like a ghost town,” Thompson said.

                      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/29/us/st-louis-shooting-victims-children-vigil/index.html

                      Super B*tch A Superhero Reminds Queer People to Live Fearlessly

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                      Photos by Lexey Swall

                      On Dec. 29, 2018, Dremon Cooper went viral. That’s the day he introduced the world to a queer superhero heavily inspired by Catwoman: Super B*tch. The 19-year-old shared a video that day on social media in which he showcased his ability to perfectly execute acrobatics and gymnastics in hot-pink 6-inch heels. After quickly attracting the attention of the likes of Lee Daniels, Chris Brown and Snoop Dogg, Cooper is now working to prove to the world that his purpose is far greater than a 30-second comedic Instagram post. . 

                      Cooper decided to embrace a queer identity when he was about 12. Despite the unhesitating support and acceptance of his mother, Yndia Cooper, the young dancer was routinely harassed and bullied by schoolmates because he decided to live his truth.

                      My mother found out, and she accepted me, of course, because she already knew,” Cooper told HuffPost. “I started to get comfortable in my own skin. I was like, OK, why not dye my hair like I always wanted to? Why not wear crop tops? Why not talk to this boy?

                      “People, they had issues with it.”

                      Growing up in southeast Washington, D.C., was a challenge. Cooper often heard taunts of “faggot,” and he dealt with depression over the lack of acceptance within his community. Initially, when he would get harassed by students at his school, he would ignore them. But, the dancer told HuffPost, he found the strength to start defending himself.

                      “I was the type of person to make you respect me, and that’s why I got into a lot of fights,” he said. Growing up, he added, “someone always thought that they can just say what they want to me, and I would just go up to them and let them know, ‘No. You’re not going to say what you want to me.’ It was really hard.”

                      Cooper embraced his dreams of becoming a gymnast and taught himself how to execute flips and perform other acrobatics. His ability to flawlessly hit a backflip in high heels, paired with his need to fight that persistent bullying, motivated the creation of Super B*tch, an ostentatious, fearless and loud superhero.

                      “The inspiration behind the superhero was the constant bullying, the constant getting denied for being who I was,” Cooper said. “Super B*tch is a gay superhero fighting crime. Super B*tch is a powerful individual who cares for others, who likes to come to people’s rescue, who’s just fearless, sassy, fun, loving.”

                      At the end of 2019, Cooper dressed up in a metallic silver crop top, black leggings with pink stripes down the sides, a metallic fanny pack that resembles the one Disney’s Kim Possible wears, and his signature hot pink boots to send a message to a guy he was dating. In the 30-second clip, Cooper used a series of threatening flips to warn potential love interests that he would strike back if they played with his heart. The video got more than 100,000 likes and more than 700,000 views on Instagram.

                      “When I made the video, I wasn’t playing, but it was just like I was just being funny. I was really serious, as you can see in the video. You can feel it. The boy I was talking to kept playing around with me, and I just made the video. The next thing you know, it starts to go viral. I honestly think this specific video went viral because I was just being myself. The flips also, me and the pink boots. People don’t see that every day.”

                      The Instagram post has since been shared by numerous celebrities and has led to Cooper creating a video for Rihanna’s makeup line, Fenty Beauty. The entertainer also recently performed on stage with the singer Teyana Taylor, when he was able to show the world some of the voguing he learned from YouTube and from the ball culture, a safe space where members of the LGBTQ community can compete in diverse competitions, such as fiercest voguer, best runway walker and even just who has the strongest face.

                      “I vogue. I got into vogueing by just looking at YouTube. The ballroom scene is basically a place where you could just be yourself. It became a safe space for me because I could be myself there, and I could do things that I wouldn’t be able to do outside.”

                      Winning a series of awards and trophies from the ballroom scene has led to the voguer becoming a dance teacher at an LGBTQ nonprofit, Casa Ruby, an organization that provides social services for members of the LGBTQ community.

                      Although his jocular Instagram skits and masterful acrobatic moves raised Cooper’s visibility, he’s determined to become a leader for queer individuals. The social media star recently sat on a mental health panel to share some of his thoughts on how to take care of oneself mentally. According to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works to prevent deaths by suicide, LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have tried to kill themselves, compared with heterosexual youth. Understanding this, the dancer has used his videos to raise awareness about the issue.

                      When he saw a comment that said he had stopped someone from suicide, it “really touched my heart,” he said. “That was the best comment, I think.”

                      Super B*tch has shown the D.C. native that he can use his voice to have an impact and to command attention.

                      Cooper is currently in talks with Academy Award-nominated director Lee Daniels to potentially develop a project that highlights Super B*tch. However, Cooper said he might distance himself from the Super B*tch name so he can reach a younger audience. His long-term goal now is to use his talents to develop a nonprofit center for LGBTQ youth and gain influence in the community.

                      “I want it to be a big impact. I want it to for the younger ones who are just starting to get comfortable with themselves. I really feel like being a role model, they hold you up to a certain standard. You have to be on it. It’s just a lot of pressure sometimes when people look up to you, but I can handle it.”

                      Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dremon-cooper-super-bitch-queer-youth_n_5d000be7e4b0e7e7816eca84

                      The Marvel Cinematic Universe explained

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                      SPOILER ALERT! This article contains details of the plots of some Marvel films, including recent releases.

                      Image copyright Disney
                      Image caption Why so serious? Perhaps the Avengers: Endgame cast are getting theirs heads round the ins and outs of the MCU

                      Marvel sequel Avengers: Endgame hits UK cinemas on 25 April and is widely expected to be the biggest release of 2019.

                      The film will be the 22nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which began with 2008’s Iron Man.

                      If you want to watch Endgame, but feel daunted by the sheer size of the MCU, never fear!

                      Here’s everything you need to know.

                      What is the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

                      The Marvel Cinematic Universe – or MCU for short – is the shared place where all 22 films featuring the comic book characters are set.

                      Each tells its own distinct story but also connects with other films in the MCU, to tell an overarching tale. It’s a technique Marvel Comics pioneer Stan Lee also used in his comics.

                      The MCU is the most successful film franchise of all time, making more than $18.2bn (£13.7bn) to date.

                      What order should I watch the films in?

                      We suggest you watch the films in chronological order, rather than the order in which the films were released.

                      Handily, in the book Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years, Marvel released an official MCU timeline to help you do just that.

                      We’ve added the films released since that book came out and voila, here is a handy diagram to help you organise your Marvel viewing!

                      Just one geeky note on the diagram. Technically the main events of Ant-Man and the Wasp happen before Infinity War, but we suggest you watch it afterwards to fully appreciate the post-credits scenes, which takes place later.

                      Why did Marvel start with these characters?

                      In 2007, Marvel was recovering from bankruptcy and had sold off the film rights to some of the company’s most popular characters like the X-Men and Spider-Man.

                      Marvel still owned the superheroes who form the core Avengers team – Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor and Captain America – so used the early MCU films to introduce these heroes.

                      Marvel then brought these characters together for the crossover film Avengers Assemble. You can see a list of all the current members of The Avengers here.

                      The crossover was planned from the very beginning.

                      The first MCU film released, Iron Man, included a post-credits scene in which Samuel L Jackson’s super spy Nick Fury gives the first mention of the Avengers.

                      I don’t have time to watch all the films! What can I skip?

                      Image copyright Disney
                      Image caption Make like Thanos and halve the size of the MCU

                      Endgame is the finale of a series of 22 films.

                      But, don’t worry, you don’t need to watch every single one to be fully prepared.

                      Here are the 10 films you could skip and still understand the basics of Endgame.

                      • The Incredible Hulk – you’ll learn all you need to know about the key characters here in Avengers Assemble
                      • Thor – ditto
                      • Thor: The Dark World – you don’t need to see this to get the gist of Avengers: Age of Ultron
                      • Iron Man 2 – Scarlett Johansson fans may not want to skip this one, as it marks her entry into the MCU
                      • Iron Man 3 – Robert Downey Jr is always watchable, but skipping this won’t leave you confused
                      • Ant-Man – Scott Lang and his superpowers get introduced all over again in Captain America: Civil War
                      • Doctor Strange – all you really need to know is this film introduces the Time Stone.
                      • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 – there’s some nice character development here, but it won’t give you new information on the final battle
                      • Black Panther – we hesitate to suggest you skip this Oscar-winning film, as it’s one of the MCU’s best, but other than introducing Wakanda as a location, you’ll get most of the relevant information about the characters introduced here in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War
                      • Captain Marvel – again, watch this if you can but if you’re pushed for time, all you really need to know is that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) got her powers from the Space Stone (aka the Tesseract) and she’s going to be important to the final battle in Endgame. Also, the man who put together the Avengers – Nick Fury – lost his eye to an alien disguised as a cat.

                      What’s so important about Avengers: Endgame?

                      Media playback is unsupported on your device

                      Media captionWatch the Avengers: Endgame trailer

                      Marvel’s plans for its films are structured in phases, with each one ending with an Avengers crossover movie.

                      Avengers Assemble spelt the end of Phase One, and Age of Ultron brought Phase Two to a close.

                      Endgame not only ends Phase 3 but also wraps up the series of 22 films that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is now calling The Infinity Saga.

                      The new title for the first three phases of the MCU references their overarching story, which sees the gathering of the Infinity Stones (six powerful gems that grant their owner great power) and the war against the mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). You can read a complete guide to the Infinity Stones here.

                      Endgame will see the remaining Avengers try and rescue everyone, after villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) got hold of all the Infinity Stones and wiped out half of all living things with a snap of his fingers in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War.

                      You can see a complete list of everyone who died here.

                      All bets are off as to who makes it to the finish line in Endgame, as it also coincides with the end of the contracts of some of the biggest Marvel stars.

                      Image copyright Getty Images
                      Image caption Could Avengers: Endgame be the end of the road for Chris Evan’s Captain America?

                      It’s been widely reported that Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark/Iron Man) have come to the end of their contracts.

                      There’s also been speculation that their Marvel co-stars Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romonova/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk) have also reached the end of their tenure at the studio.

                      Though a solo Black Widow film is reported to be in the works, it could be a prequel, so there is no guarantee Johansson’s character survives.

                      One thing is for sure though – whatever happens, it will take time for Endgame’s story to unfold.

                      It’s the longest entry in the MCU so far, clocking in at three hours and two minutes. That’s the same length as the first instalment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey (2012).

                      What’s the future of the MCU?

                      Image copyright Disney
                      Image caption Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), probably reacting to rumours that one of the core Avengers team might not make it through Endgame alive

                      We can expect a major shake-up of the MCU, in the wake of Endgame.

                      Phase Four begins with the release of Spider-Man: Far from Home on July 5 2019.

                      According to producer Amy Pascal, the film “will start a few minutes after Avengers 4 wraps as a story”.

                      Tom Holland’s Spidey was one of many heroes wiped out in Thanos’s Snap in Infinity War, but given his starring role in this film, we can expect he’ll be alive and well before the Endgame credits roll.

                      New films involving other supposedly dead characters have also been confirmed for Phase Four.

                      Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will return for a sequel at “some point in the future”.

                      Chadwick Boseman is also likely to recover from his disintegration in time for Black Panther 2.

                      We also know a third Guardians of the Galaxy film has been confirmed, after Disney re-hired director James Gunn, but we don’t know which Guardians will return for it. At the end of Infinity War, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket and Karen Gillan’s Nebula were the only survivors from that franchise.

                      Feige has also hinted that Phase Four could include a solo sequel for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel.

                      Also in development are new films involving super-powered beings called the Eternals, and martial artist superhero Shang-Chi.

                      Which Marvel characters aren’t in the MCU?

                      Image copyright 20th Century Fox
                      Image caption Dark Phoenix, which stars Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner, is likely to be the last time the X-Men appear outside the MCU

                      You might be confused about why some Marvel characters appear in films that don’t connect to the MCU.

                      The reason for this is actually simple.

                      Long before Marvel Studios existed, Marvel Entertainment had sold the rights to some of its characters to other filmmakers.

                      Spider-Man was sold to Sony. The studio made a Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and soon afterwards rebooted the franchise less successfully with Andrew Garfield as the webslinger.

                      However, Sony and Marvel have now agreed a partnership that allows Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to appear in MCU films, while Sony retains the rights to the character.

                      Sony also owned the rights to Ghost Rider, and made two films about him starring Nicolas Cage, until the rights reverted back to Marvel in 2013.

                      Image copyright Getty Images
                      Image caption Nicolas Cage, possibly hoping some strategically placed Ghost Rider branding might inspire Marvel bosses to greenlight a new film

                      The Fantastic Four series and the X-Men were sold to 20th Century Fox, though Marvel Studios expect to regain the rights to both properties this year due to a merger between Disney and Fox. The merger means Marvel could introduce these characters into the MCU in future films.

                      Fox also made the Deadpool movies, starring Ryan Reynolds, which sit firmly outside the MCU.

                      It’s not clear what the future holds for this franchise, as the foul-mouthed, pansexual superhero is certainly not the most family friendly character.

                      However, the Deadpool films were a commercial success and star Ryan Reynolds has hinted on social media that he’d like there to be a future for the character with Disney.

                      Fox also owned the rights to Daredevil, in 2003 producing a film starring Ben Affleck, and the 2005 spin-off film Elektra, before the rights reverted back to Marvel.

                      Universal’s Hulk films and New Line Cinema’s Blade Films were also the result of deals struck before the rights to those characters reverted back to Marvel, and don’t belong within the MCU.

                      I’ve seen all the MCU films. What else can I watch?

                      Image copyright Getty Images
                      Image caption Clark Gregg looks very pleased that his character got resurrected, so he can keep cashing those Marvel cheques

                      Don’t worry. There are plenty of TV shows set in the MCU to keep you going.

                      • Agent Carter – follow the adventures of Hayley Atwell’s Agent Peggy Carter as she reprises her role from the MCU films in this series, which ran from 2015-16.
                      • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – the show that proves Avengers Assemble wasn’t the end for Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).
                      • Inhumans – this show ran on the US network ABC for one series. It centred around the Inhumans – an alien race with superpowers that gets in contact with Earth.
                      • Runaways – this show, based on the comics of the same name, is on streaming service Hulu. It follows six teenagers who discover their parents are villains.
                      • Cloak and Dagger – this series about a romance between two super-powered teenagers is on the ABC-owned Freeform network. It’s based on characters who first appeared in the Spectacular Spider-Man Comics.
                      • The Netflix Marvel TV showsMarvel’s deal with Netflix has now come to an end but you can still enjoy the edgy adventures of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and The Punisher on the streaming service. Ensemble show The Defenders is a real highlight. Though ostensibly set in the MCU, these shows have a darker tone and don’t directly connect with any of the films.

                      If you’ve now become a die-hard fan, and really want to immerse yourself in the MCU, Digital Spy has put together a complete chronological timeline of all the films and TV shows.

                      You could also watch the original Marvel movie – notorious 80s flop Howard the Duck.

                      The feathered superhero will soon be starring in one of four Marvel Television animated series for adults, so consider this essential research.

                      Disney has also announced plans for several new Marvel TV series, including one based on Thor’s adopted brother Loki, on their new streaming service, Disney+, so there’ll be plenty more Marvel content to watch in future.

                      Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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                      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-47623536

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