34 amazing first lines of famous books.

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ever wonder how to get your book reviewed?

Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

So you’ve published your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While starting your marketing campaign usually happens well More »

‘People are hungry for real bookstores’: Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are growing

At 78, the multimillion-selling author has begun a new career, opening her own bookshop and joining a business sector thats flourishing again in the US   She might be a beloved and More »

Game Of Thrones’ Final Season Won’t Air Until 2019!

You thought the dry spell between seasons six and seven was rough, Game of Thrones fans? Prepare for the longest drought yet!

On Thursday, HBO revealed the eighth and final season won’t be airing until 2019, confirming it would be moving at a glacial, George R.R. Martin pace for the remainder of production.

This news shouldn’t come as a huge shock, however, as the final season is expected to take place over eight months.

Production on the final six (likely Mountain-sized) episodes began in October and will reportedly run through August 2018 — a full YEAR after the season seven finale. Sounds like it will be well worth the wait!

Related: Game Of Thrones Season 8 Script Leaks Tease A MAJOR Death!

No specific premiere date was revealed in the premium network’s short release, which listed the writers, producers, and directors involved with the remaining episodes.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and direct the episodes. Other writers include Dave Hill and Bryan Cogman, who is also a creator one of the Thrones prequel series currently being developed at HBO.

So, what are fans of the show to do in the meantime? For starters, you now have time to read the books…

[Image via HBO.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-01-04-game-thrones-season-8-hbo-2019-release-date

Could ‘Wolverine: The Long Night’ be the start of the ‘Marvel Podcast Universe’?

Image: marvel

Wolverine has explored plenty of territory in his 43-year history at Marvel — from comics to computer games, big screen to small — but come 2018, he’ll venture into a whole new frontier: his own podcast.

Mashable can exclusively reveal that the beloved X-Men character will headline Marvel’s first-ever scripted podcast, Wolverine: The Long Night, a 10-episode serialized story that will debut exclusively on podcast network Stitcher Premium in Spring 2018 as part of a partnership between Marvel and Stitcher, before rolling out across all other podcast platforms in the fall.

“Podcasting is an incredible, intimate medium that’s perfect for telling stories, and I can’t think of a better partner with whom to push the boundaries of scripted podcasts than Marvel,” says Erik Diehn, CEO of Midroll Media, Stitcher’s parent company, in a statement. “They make every translation of their rich universe of characters into new media fresh and interesting while still retaining the feel and spirit of the original comics, and, as a Marvel fan, I’m proud that we’ve helped them do it again in podcasting. The arrival of Wolverine and his many fans to podcasts and Stitcher is truly a signal that this medium is a major part of the American media landscape.”

The Hobbit and Hannibal star Richard Armitage will lend his voice to Logan for the podcast, which writer Ben Percy says will blend the mystery aspects of true crime podcasts like Serial and S-Town with the narrative tricks of True Detective — plus a dash of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.

Richard Armitage at the premiere of  “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies”

Image: Getty Images

“If you look at the success of Serial and S-Town, it has everything to do I think with their investigative formats, the way the listeners become complicit in the narrative,” Percy tells Mashable. “They’re co-authors, they’re literary detectives, because they’re piecing together the clues alongside the reporters, and I wanted to take a similar approach to that.”

The story begins with two agents, Sally Pierce (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tad Marshall (Ato Essandoh), who arrive in the fictional town of Burns, Alaska, to investigate a series of murders. The duo team up with deputy Bobby Reid (Andrew Keenan-Bolger) to investigate their main suspect, Logan (Armitage), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

“There are all these broken pieces that are being fitted together, and a shifting set of suspects, and every episode, you learn more and at the same time, recognize that you’ve been mistaken all along. It functions like a turnstile of mysteries,” Percy hints. 

The cast also includes Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Bob Balaban (Moonrise Kingdom), Brian Stokes Mitchell and a cameo from Chris Gethard, host of the popular Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People podcast.

This iteration of Logan is purposefully seeking the isolation that Alaska provides, according to Percy: “Because he’s been mind-wiped again and again, he doesn’t know the whole terrible truth about his life. Part of the series is him recovering those memories and despite his attempts to separate himself from society, getting drawn into a situation where frontier justice is called for.”

The Long Night will also weave in heightened elements that comic book fans would expect from Marvel, in part because Alaska is such an extreme environment. 

“It’s very easy to turn up the volume on reality there. In addition to the crime investigation into the serial killer on the loose, there are also elements of the fantastic. And some of them have to do with Wolverine as his legend grows in this area, as people observe him bounding through the mists with packs of wolves; as they witness him save and end lives,” Percy previews. “I’m also drawing from the Native legends in the area and from cultish mythology. There is a compound set up outside of the town of Burns, Alaska, where the Aurora cult is located. And it’s unclear at first whether they are implicated in the murders that are occurring here and whether they might have powers, as they purport to — a connection to and a control over the fabric of light that plays over the winter skies.” 

The specific appeal of a podcast versus more visual platforms is its intimacy, notes Dan Silver, vice president, head of platforms & content for Marvel New Media: “Being in this space where we can really touch and interact with our fans in a more 24/7 basis is one of our priorities. The beauty of this medium is you can listen to it as a show when it’s first released and voraciously consume it from a habitual standpoint, or, like I do and many people do with podcasts, you can listen to it very leisurely.” 

That sense of intimacy will also give fans a new understanding of Wolverine as a character, Silver says. “What I love about him for this specific space is he’s one of our most complex characters, just in the way that he’s been depicted and evolved in many different iterations in the books. But this space allows us to explore him as a person. When you strip away the visuals of the claws and the chops and the hair and all of that stuff and you really get a chance to explore the mind and the actions through words, he’s a really interesting type of character. And I think this is a Wolverine that our fans haven’t necessarily ‘seen.’ And it’s very exciting for us to explore all the different nuances of him.”

Silver also praises the “naturalism” of the production process — which will record outdoor scenes in real locations like forests, while the cast will perform together in an “ambisonic” studio that enables them to interact and move around the space, which Silver likens to watching a play. 

“We’re attempting to provide an audio experience that feels very much like if you just turned off your television screen, but left the sound on,” he says. “It’s very dynamic, it’s very real, it’s very raw, and it’s made for what people would expect from Marvel.”

Image: marvel.com

In addition to its comics, Marvel has already achieved film and TV dominance with its sprawling Cinematic Universe, but Percy hints that Wolverine: The Long Night could be the first step towards a similarly interconnected world in this new medium.

“We have a fun opportunity here, and that’s to create our own continuity. A continuity that will grow more and more expansive as the Marvel Podcast Universe expands,” Percy teases. “There are glimmers that people will recognize, references to Weapon X and wartime Logan, Japan and past relationships that he’s had. But he himself is not able to really work through his moth-eaten memory until the conclusion of this first season.”

Not wanting to put the cart before the horse, Silver is a little more circumspect about predicting a “Marvel Podcast Universe” just yet, but admits that if The Long Night proves successful, “that would be incredibly exciting … Marvel is known as world-builders and universe-builders; that is what we do across all of our mediums. It’s hard to say, but it would be super cool.” 

The same is true of a potential second season for The Long Night or other serialized Marvel podcasts, Silver says. “Being able to reach the hardcore Marvel fan and maybe extend it into the casual fans and pull them in is exactly what we want to do… So yeah, if the audience is there and the demand is there and we feel like we can tell compelling, rich stories in this space, it would be fantastic.”

While the creative team behind Wolverine: The Long Night — director Brendan Baker, sound designer Chloe Prasinos and producers Daniel Fink of Marvel and Jenny Radelet of Stitcher — is currently working on perfecting the iconic snikt of Wolverine’s claws in podcast form, the most vital piece of the puzzle is already in place: Armitage as Logan. 

“You think about when you read the comics as a kid: what was the voice that you heard in your head? And it was a lot of fun to sit in a room and have those conversations about, ‘Is it gruff enough? Is it playful enough? Does it just sound like Hugh Jackman?'” Silver says of the casting process. “And then, all of a sudden Richard’s name came up and everybody closed their eyes and it was like that moment when you all picture everybody hearing it in their head, and you went, ‘Oh, yeah, of course. That would be amazing.’ And yeah, he is — he’s perfect.”

Percy agrees, “When I heard that Richard was a possibility for the role, I knew he was the one. He’s a perfect match for Logan and brings so much soul and savagery to the project.”

Wolverine: The Long Night will debut on Stitcher Premium in Spring 2018. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/05/wolverine-podcast-the-long-night-marvel-richard-armitage-ben-percy/

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

the prize cover

Book Summary

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit, fraud, even murder? Set in the competitive world of cutting-edge medical research, The Prize is a science thriller in which jealousy over the discovery of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leads to fraud, betrayal and violence.

Pam Weller makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a drug with the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research. Lusting relentlessly for the Nobel Prize, Prescott fears that Pam’s work will derail his ambitions. He seduces one of Pam’s research fellows and enlists her in a plot to brand Pam a fraud and steal her discovery. But when an investigation threatens to uncover their plot, Prescott kills his co-conspirator and fakes a suicide that places the blame squarely on Pam. Leading Pam into a world where nothing is real, except threats to her career, her freedom and even her life.

In a novel of intrigue and suspense, The Prize explores the human side of science and drug discovery, exposing the pressures and ambitions that can drive the betrayal of scientific ethics and lead to fraud in medical research.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2DJmePo

Kirkus Reviews

Three scientists strive to find the cure for Alzheimer’s in Cooper’s (The Cell: A Molecular Approach, 2015, etc.) scientific thriller.

Forty-seven-year-old Eric Prescott is an accomplished scientist specializing in Alzheimer’s disease research at the Institute for Advanced Neuroscience in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The novel opens with a conversation between Eric and some scientists after he accepts the Lasker Award for “seminal research in elucidating the basis of Alzheimer’s disease.” Eric’s arrogance is apparent when one of the Karolinska Institute professors on the Nobel Committee, Alfred Bergner, recommends that Prescott speak to another scientist, Pamela Weller: “Prescott was steaming. Did Bergner seriously think this woman was some kind of competition?” Pam is a faculty member in the Langmere Institute for Neurological Disease at Harvard University. When her research results in what may be the key to the cure, Holly Singer, one of her postdocs, teams up with Eric to claim the breakthrough as their own, and they take extreme measures to ensure their place in history and receive the Nobel Prize. The omniscient narration makes each major character’s intentions clear: Pam wants to make a difference, Eric wants fame, and Holly wants to establish herself as a respected voice in the scientific community. One of the highlights of this book is how comfortably Cooper manages to find a balance in presenting difficult scientific topics in an easy-to-follow narrative, as when Holly explains a cell culture: “They’re cells that were triggered to start producing Alzheimer’s plaque. You can see the plaques have formed and the cells are beginning to die.” The characters do come off as a little one-dimensional, however, and the book might have benefited from additional back story, such as how Pam became so interested in Alzheimer’s research. Nonetheless, this is an engrossing read; in one particularly suspenseful moment, a character awaits the results of putting Nembutal in another’s wine.

An intense story about ruthlessness in the scientific community.


Author Bio

Geoffrey M. Cooper is an experienced cancer researcher and scientific administrator, having held positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston University. He is the author of the cell biology text, The Cell, as well as several books on cancer. The Prize is his first novel. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Loki is pansexual and genderfluid in Marvel’s new YA novel

Marvel is launching a series of young adult novels about popular villains, beginning with Loki.

This already sounds like a smart idea because, despite their popularity, villains like Loki are rarely the protagonist of their own story. There’s also a growing audience for superhero prose fiction, as proven by the massive volume of Marvel movie fanfic (which frequently attracts more readers than the comics themselves), and the release of novels like Black Widow: Forever Red and Miles Morales: Spider-Man.

Three villain-centric books will be written by Mackenzi Lee, author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, a historical novel about a rebellious bisexual English rogue. In other words, kind of an ideal choice for Loki. Still, fans had some questions—namely, will Marvel and Disney allow Lee to write Loki as canonically queer?

Loki is often depicted as pansexual and genderfluid in the comics, but it’s a similar situation to Deadpool‘s sexuality. Many readers find the references subtle enough to ignore, and the movies avoid the topic entirely. So, how will the novel handle Loki’s sexuality and gender identity?

While it’s far too early to discuss spoilers for the actual book, that’s a pretty clear statement from the author. Loki will be pansexual and genderfluid in the novel, following the canon of Marvel Comics and the Norse myth.

The bad news is, the book isn’t out until 2019. In the meantime, you’ll have to reread Loki’s volume of Journey into Mystery and the recent Loki: Agent of Asgard series.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/loki-novel-pansexual-genderqueer-marvel/

A Police Action by AA Freda


A Police Action is a gripping coming-of-age Vietnam War-era romantic novel. It is the story of two lost and confused young adults. It is love at first sight when nineteen-year-old Samantha Powers meets James Coppi at the Country Honky Tonk in Colorado Springs. There are just two problems to a storybook ending for Samantha’s passion. She is pregnant with someone else’s child and James, a young solider, is heading for a war in Vietnam.

Will this instant attraction be enough to form a lasting bond? What will happen after James is deployed? Will he return home safely, and, if so, will it be to Samantha? Follow along as the young lovers mature through their individual hardships and those that they share.


Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

A Police Action is a reminder of what the 1960s were really like, for better or worse.

Love conquers all? A Police Action, a new romance from A. A. Freda, seems more interested in technical terms than the sweeter side of the genre. Set in the confusing years of the Vietnam War, the novel captures a distinct time, place, and attitude.

A Police Action focuses on the now-fabled era of the late 1960s. Coppi, a young recruit, falls for Sam, a woman he meets by chance on a night away from his base. From the Summer of Love to the heady, political empowerment of the time, A Police Action feels steeped in history.

A. A. Freda drew heavily from his own memories of that period as a young soldier who served in the Vietnam War. The novel’s realistic, rough dialogue sparkles and brings the characters to life quickly. Rather than pause to explain slang or military jargon, Freda jumps right in. It’s a quick immersion, but effective: within a paragraph or two, it’s easy to keep pace with the language.

The novel’s plot is fast, too, bringing characters on stage quickly and efficiently. No time is wasted introducing the hero and his love interest, but their chemistry stalls in love scenes.

Although A Police Action is billed as a romance, it’s not exactly hot and heavy. Sex, attraction, and even preliminary kissing is kept behind the scenes. Freda gives little time to “lovemaking” and focuses on character instead. Military training procedures are described with more detail than intimate love scenes, and the novel is more attentive to firearms and male bonding than romance. However, as the book presses on, the relationship between Coppi and Sam grows to become the center of the plot.

In some ways, A Police Action is a tacit reminder of a less than progressive America. The novel’s landscape encompasses free love and rock and roll, sure, but there’s also an oppressive attitude toward women and people of color. Sam, for example, decides to get an abortion, with Coppi’s help. Although Coppi doesn’t criticize her, Sam’s inner monologue hints at the repressive, antiwoman culture of the 1960s. After the procedure, Sam “has taken a shower to clean herself of the dirt, but inside the filth lingers.” Unaddressed themes of guilt and freedom pierce the novel.

Coppi and Sam circle one another for many chapters, building anticipation for their final scene. It’s a satisfying ending: extensive world-building creates a sense of relief and an appreciation for what the characters had to go through in order to finally be together.

Well written and historically accurate, A Police Action is a reminder of what the 1960s were really like, for better or worse.

Reviewed by Claire Foster
November 6, 2017


7 Everyday Heroes Who Mercilessly Trolled Racist Morons

Human society comes with a great number of diverse opinions, but there are at least some basic ideas we should all be able to agree on: Racism is bad, hate speech is unacceptable, and people who leave shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot are literally the devil. But despite these truths being self-evident, there are still plenty of trolley-abandoning racist shitheads everywhere who think they can dribble their poison without repercussions. So in the wake of a resurgence in open white supremacy, we celebrate the creative ways that people have made Nazis look like assholes right under their fascist noses.


People Are Turning Racist Demonstrations Into Anti-Hate Fundraisers

Donating to a charity can be tricky. There are so many causes that need help, and you’re never sure where your small contribution will wind up. Maybe your $50 isn’t going to save rhinos, but will ensure that the WHO offices can have a new batch of green pens. But a few geniuses have found the best way to get people excited about donating to charity: They guarantee that even the smallest contribution will royally piss off a bunch of assholes.

In 2014, a group of neo-Nazis organized their annual march through the town of Wunsiedel, Germany, because if you’re dumb enough to be a German Nazi, you’re also too dumb to know what irony means. Sick and tired of these jackbooted morons scuffing up their streets, the many non-Nazi citizens of Wunsiedel came up with an inventive counter-protest: For every meter that the rally marched, the town would donate 10 Euros ($12) to Exit Deutschland, a charity dedicated to fighting Nazi recruitment.

As a result, hundreds of Germans turned up to cheer on the Nazi march like it was a charity fun walk, even putting up stalls with free food and refreshments in order to make sure these sheep would keep marching.

They even painted markers at certain intervals in the street, thanking the Nazis and reminding them of how much money they had raised for their own opposition.

In the end, the Nazis did what they do best: stubbornly walk toward their downfall, raising nearly $12,000 for Exit while making absolute fools of themselves.

And this is far from the only time that people tired of Nazis marching through their town have come up with a similar plan. In August 2017, the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco began a GoFundMe campaign called “Adopt a Nazi,” whereby backers could donate money based on the number of people who attended the white supremacist “Freedom Rally” in the city. They wound up raising more than $134,000 for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But it doesn’t take an entire rally full of thick-necked polo-shirted bigots to make a difference — it sometimes only takes one Nazi to make the world a better place. In January, Kal Penn (of Harold And Kumar and White House fame) received a tweet from some asshole telling him to go back to his own country — where he already was. To cleanse this troll’s soul, Penn responded by setting up a fundraising page in support of Syrian refugees under his name.

In under 24 hours, Penn’s donation drive earned over $250,000 for the nonprofit International Rescue Committee.

It’s getting closer to a million dollars every day, all thanks to some cowardly troll who told a celebrated American actor and writer he didn’t belong because he didn’t have a proper-sounding American name, like Jebediah or Aloysius.

In fact, we should thank trolls everywhere for raising awareness of their existence. Nothing better reminds people that the world needs all the help it can get.


Racist Internet Groups Are Being Hijacked And Turned Into Parodies

Social media sites such as Reddit and Facebook often advertise absolute “freedom of speech” as a major selling point. The downside, unfortunately, is that well-intentioned mission statements like that are catnip for Nazis. Reddit in particular is lousy with Nazi communities — so many that the site has become home to the largest community of white supremacists on the web. And while the site has finally started cracking down on the problem, others have found a better way to stick it to unsavory subreddits: by taking them over and turning them into something nice and wholesome.

It all stems from a Reddit rule that subreddits which haven’t been moderated in 60 days are up for grabs for anyone who wants them, so a racist moderator who takes their eye off the ball for too long might find themselves replaced by someone whose mission isn’t quite so nefarious.

The trend might have begun in 2016, when rogue moderators took control of the subreddit /r/punchablefaces — ostensibly a place to post pictures of people whose faces look ripe for punching, but which ultimately became a place for users to post photos of random black people and talk about how badly they want to break their face. When the new mods took over, they established an explicitly new target for the community’s hatred: Minions.

The subreddit /r/whitepolitics, which we hoped was simply a forum where people could discuss the politics of famed grammarian E.B. White, used to be for discussing all the things white people are better at than nonwhite people, such as shuffleboard and racism. But it it was usurped in 2017, and is now dedicated to the actual color white. The forum is still about how being white is great, but the moderators announced that “racism is now banned,” so now it’s about Swiss coffee and the proper way of separating colors when doing laundry.

Other appropriated subreddits include /r/trannys, which is now about posting photos of car transmissions, and /r/faggots, which is now a community for discussions about the traditional British food item.

But the greatest acquisition of all has to be /r/stormfront. Once the Reddit home to the recently demolished white supremacist website of the same name, it’s now the newest place on Reddit for discussing the weather.

This wave of dickhead cleansing isn’t confined to Reddit, either. Over on Facebook, a guy who found himself invited to moderate a Confederate Pride page decided to pull a hilarious long con. He started out by changing the group’s banner image numerous times (the other mods couldn’t figure out who was doing it):

However, when he grew tired of that, he kicked it up a gear and changed the whole group’s name to “LGBT Southerners For Michelle Obama And Judaism.”

He then complained to the group about how people kept posting weird Southern racist shit on a page specifically created for “celebrating queer support for Michelle Obama, Judaism, and mixed-race marriages.” Normally we don’t support gaslighting, but we have a feeling that people who believe the Confederacy was a good idea enjoy being lied to about the past anyway.


A Sousaphonist Follows A KKK March While Playing Dopey Music

In 2015, a few days after a white supremacist murdered nine people in a black church in South Carolina, the Ku Klux Klan decided it was a great time to hold a rally through the center of town. Because if ISIS can celebrate every time America suffers, why shouldn’t they?

But as the sad procession of the worst white people have to offer plodded their way toward the South Carolina State House waving their Confederate flags, local resident Matt Buck decided to show up with his sousaphone and give them the theme music they deserved. Included in Buck’s playlist was an appropriately rotund rendition of Wagner’s “Ride Of The Valkyries,” as well as the tune from the Family Guy gag in which Stewie follows a fat guy around with a tuba — because let’s be honest here, statistically speaking, Buck was doing the same.

“I only wear the robes because they’re slimming.”

Buck’s stunt showed that when it comes to white supremacists, the line between threatening and hilariously pathetic is only as wide as a sousaphone riff.


A Journalist Tricks Internet Racists With A Photo Of Empty Bus Seats That Look Vaguely Like Women In Burqas

The supposed encroaching threat of a Muslim takeover of Europe is something that gets internet racists all a-quiver. The mere sight of a mosque or a burqa in a country they think their whiteness helped build is enough for them to kick up quite a storm — on social media, while they’re safe and cozy at home in their stained jim-jams.

In 2017, Norwegian journalist Johan Slattavik found the most poetic way to highlight, exploit, and, most importantly, mock the everloving shit out of this anti-Muslim hysteria. When on a bus, he noticed that if you only took a brief glance, the empty seats kind of looked like women wearing full-body veils. Deciding to see how many cherries he could get with a pull on the racist rage machine, he took a photo and posted it to a local anti-immigrant Facebook group with the caption: “What do people think about this?”

Unsurprisingly, most of the commenters proved how little scrutiny they performed before blowing their hateful lids. “You can never know who is under there,” one person commented, “Could be terrorists with weapons.” Others insisted “Get them out of our country.” Even though Slattavik knew exactly what he was doing when he posted the photo, he was still surprised by how many people fell for it. Though it could be that xenophobes also really, really hate empty bus seats. It makes about as much sense.


Trump’s “Illegal Alien” Hotline Gets Swamped By People Reporting Space Aliens

In April, the government, as part of its mission to drum up hysterical fear of immigrants, launched the “Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office” (VOICE), through which upstanding citizens can rat out their neighbors for being too brown. Never mind that immigrants don’t commit much crime — if it’s in the fascist playbook, the Trump administration is going to give it a whirl.

But as a surprise to even the government itself, VOICE was a resounding success, being flooded by messages of patriots reporting all kinds of aliens.

In a matter of days, the VOICE hotline was mobbed with callers reporting UFO abductions, Martian encounters, and even Bigfoot sightings.

Twitter, via Buzzfeed

Naturally, VOICE’s employees were not amused, their souls having withered and died as part of their on-the-job training. A spokesman even proclaimed that this “cheap publicity stunt is beyond the pale of legitimate public discourse” and called it “objectively despicable.” They then turned away from the mirror and said some things about people on Twitter being mean too.


Swedish Antifascists Sent Thousands Of Nazis Fake Tickets To A Nazi Play, Causing Chaos

Humiliating Nazis isn’t something that was invented recently. It’s as old as, well, Nazism. Back in the early ’40s, Nazis were running amok over Europe like ants at a picnic, and even though Sweden was officially “neutral,” the country was lousy with right-wing extremists who wanted to get cozy with the Third Reich.

In 1944, Swedish antifascist operatives Ewan Butler and Janet Gow learned of a play being staged in Stockholm starring renowned German actor Georg Alexander. All the Nazis in Sweden were eager to attend, but tickets were strictly limited and available only by invitation through the German consulate. Knowing how much Nazis liked their hate to be all neat and orderly, Butler and Gow saw the opportunity to sow a little chaos.

Using what limited techniques they had at their disposal in an era before Photoshop, Butler and Gow managed to counterfeit upwards of 3,000 fake tickets for the play. Referring to a mailing list of Swedish Nazis provided to them by the British Special Operations Executive, they then posted the fake tickets to 1,500 local fascists, cordially inviting them to the gala opening. They even got each Nazi two tickets, so they could bring their friends.

The results, according to Butler, were “gratifyingly chaotic.” When the play opened, the theater found itself swamped by several hundred Nazi sympathizers decked out in their best eveningwear, having already pre-gamed with their friends and carrying tickets that they would soon learn to be fake. Ushers were faced with the daunting task of breaking the news to 3,000 drunk Nazis that they’d been pranked, and it shouldn’t need to be said that Nazis don’t take bad news very well. The real invitees had to force their way past rows and rows of lesser fascists, who did not enjoy being on the short end of the ubermensch-untermensch stick. Scuffles ensued, curtain calls got delayed, and the supposedly well-oiled Nazi machine got a delightfully theatrical wrench thrown into it.

The next day, after the chaos had settled down, the German consulate was forced to eat crow and release a statement apologizing for the mix-up and admitting they’d been had. Kidding, they 100 percent blamed it on the Jews.


A T-Shirt Company Handed Out Shirts With Fascist Slogans That Turn Into Antifascist Slogans After They’re Washed

In 2011, the city of Gera, Germany hosted a music festival called “Rock For Deutschland.” It soon became clear from all the shaved heads and suspicious tattoos that the festival attendees had a much more medieval approach to rocking people. But if you think these atonal fascists got away with it, you’ve clearly already forgotten about the delightful scamps of the Exit Deutschland charity.

Before the concert got underway, Exit came up with a creative way to slip an antifascist message right into the heart of the Nazi collective. Assuming a false name, they donated hundreds of free shirts to the festival organizers, who distributed them among the concert-goers. Each shirt carried a logo with a nationalist message: “Hardcore Rebellion!” With a skull on it and everything. Nazis love skulls.

DPA, via Spiegel.de
Skulls and suspiciously large, featureless paint splatters. Nothing suspect there.

However, when these sad skinheads came home and asked their parents to do their laundry, the messages on their souvenirs changed. You see, the shirts had been printed in a kind of ink that vanished once it was washed. Underneath was quite a different message: “If a T-shirt can do it, so can you — we’ll help you break with right-wing extremism.”

DPA, via Spiegel.de
The deluxe version also had a sound box that started playing nonstop sousaphone music.

Now, you might be thinking that most of the people who attend an evening of Nazi music won’t be swayed by a simple T-shirt slogan. If dumbshits like them could be persuaded by someone asking them “Hey, have you tried not being a Nazi?” the world would be a much better place. But that wasn’t Exit Deutschland’s goal at all. Their real plan? To trick a bunch of angry racists into giving them millions in free publicity.

After the skinheads discovered they’d been pranked, every Nazi forum and collective throughout Germany began posting pissed-off messages that name-dropped Exit as the perpetrators. The story of the “Trojan T-Shirt Scam” was a hit with both prime-time news and social media. As a result, every German Nazi who actually was considering getting out of the scene suddenly knew exactly who to contact. In the aftermath, the number of people consulting Exit to get the hell out of Nazism rose by 300 percent. All because the Nazis couldn’t help doing what they do best: being angry, loud, and stupid.

S. Peter Davis is the creator of the Three Minute Philosophy YouTube series, and is the author of the book Occam’s Nightmare.

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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong’s John Dies at the End series, is available now!

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25121_7-everyday-heroes-who-mercilessly-trolled-racist-morons.html

Bill Gates’ newest mission: Curing Alzheimer’s

(CNN)It’s one of the holy grails of science: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the disease, let alone slow its progression. And billionaire Bill Gates thinks he will change that.

“I believe there is a solution,” he told me without hesitation.
“Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today,” he said, but “the long-term goal has got to be cure.”
    I had the chance to sit down with Gates recently to talk about his newest initiative. He sat in front of our cameras exclusively to tell me how he hopes to find a cure to a disease that now steals the memories and other cognitive functions of 47 million people around the world.
    For Gates, the fight is personal. He is investing $50 million of his own money into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public research partnership focused on some of the more novel ideas about what drives the brain disease, such as looking at a brain cell’s immune system. It’s the first time Gates has made a commitment to a noncommunicable disease. The work done through his foundation has focused primarily on infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and polio.
    I have interviewed Gates many times over the years, in countries around the world. He was more engaged on this topic of Alzheimer’s than I’ve ever seen before.
    Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, where a new case is diagnosed every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans live with the disease, at a cost of $259 billion a year. Without any treatment, those numbers are projected to explode to 16 million Americans with the disease, at a cost of over $1 trillion a year, by 2050.
    “The growing burden is pretty unbelievable,” the tech guru-turned-philanthropist told me. It’s something he knows personally. “Several of the men in my family have this disease. And so, you know, I’ve seen how tough it is. That’s not my sole motivation, but it certainly drew me in.”
    When he said, “I’m a huge believer in that science and innovation are going to solve most of the tough problems over time,” I could feel his optimism.
    He told me he has spent the past year investigating and talking to scientists, trying to determine how best to help move the needle toward treatment of the disease itself rather than just the symptoms.

    A disease turns 100

    It has been more than a century since the disease was identified by German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He first wrote about it in 1906, describing the case of a woman named “Auguste D.” Alzheimer called it “a peculiar disease,” marked by significant memory loss, severe paranoia and other psychological changes.
    But it wasn’t until Alzheimer performed an autopsy on her brain that the case became even more striking. He found that her brain had shrunk significantly, and there were unusual deposits in and around the nerve cells.
    It would take another 80 years for scientists to identify what those deposits were: plaques and tangles of proteins called amyloid and tau. They have become hallmarks of the disease.
    Both amyloid and tau are naturally occurring proteins that can be found in healthy brain cells. But in a brain with Alzheimer’s, something goes haywire, causing parts of amyloid proteins to clump together and block the cell’s messaging pathways. Eventually, tau proteins begin to tangle up inside the neurons.
    All of this contributes to a breakdown of the neural highway that helps our brain cells communicate. These changes in the brain can begin years before anyone starts actually exhibiting any symptoms of memory loss or personality changes.
    Until recently, it’s been a challenge to understand the disease, let alone identify who has it. The only way to definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s is still after someone has died and their brain can be examined under the microscope, looking for the telltale amyloid plaques and tau tangles.

    A new hope

    “It’s gone slower than we all would have hoped. A lot of failed drug trials,” Gates told me. And he’s right. Since 2002, there have been more than 400 Alzheimer drug trials run and yet no treatments. There are some drugs prescribed to help with cognitive symptoms such as memory loss or confusion but nothing that actually targets Alzheimer’s.
    In the past five years, advanced imaging technology has allowed us to see tau and amyloid in living people.
    Dr. James Hendrix, who heads up the Alzheimer Association’s Global Science Innovation team, believes that this development is a game-changer. “You need good tools to find the right therapeutics,” he said.
    By identifying these biomarkers earlier, Hendrix told me, scientists can work on finding ways to prevent the brain from deteriorating.
    “If we can catch the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s, then we’re treating a mostly healthy brain, and keeping it mostly healthy. … It’s very difficult to repair the damage once it’s done,” he explained.
    Dr. Rudy Tanzi agrees that imaging has been essential in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s and potential treatments. Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard, has been at the helm of Alzheimer’s research, discovering several of the genes associated with the disease.
    He points out that one of the greatest faults with some of the trials has not been in the treatment itself but in the application: too late in the disease’s progression, when symptoms are already occurring. “It’s like trying to give someone Lipitor when they have a heart attack,” he explained. “You had to do it earlier.”
    Tanzi said we need to think about Alzheimer’s like cancer or heart disease. “That’s how we’re going to beat the disease: early detection and early intervention.”

    Think different

    Most of the focus in Alzheimer’s research has been on tau and amyloid, what Gates likes to call “the mainstream.” With his donation, Gates hopes to spur research into more novel ideas about the disease, like investigating the role of the glial cells that activate the immune system of the brain or how the energy lifespan of a cell may contribute to the disease.
    “There’s a sense that this decade will be the one that we make a lot of progress,” Gates told me.
    Gates believes that it will be a combination of mainstream and out-of-the-box thinking that will lead to potential treatments in the near future.
    “Ideally, some of these mainstream drugs that report out in the next two or three years will start us down the path of reducing the problem. But I do think these newer approaches will eventually be part of that drug regimen that people take,” he said.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    Has looking into Alzheimer’s research caused Gates to worry about his own health?
    “Anything where my mind would deteriorate” is, he said, one of his greatest fears. He’s seen the hardship it has caused in his own family. “I hope I can live a long time without those limitations.”
    So Gates is now focused on prevention, by exercising and staying mentally engaged. “My job’s perfect, because I’m always trying to learn new things and meeting with people who are explaining things to me. You know, I have the most fun job in the world,” he said with a smile.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/health/bill-gates-announcement-alzheimers/index.html

    Charmer Boy Gypsy Girl by Victor Harrington

    Story Summary:

    The essence and meaning of transcendent love between two people—the kernel of human existence—is often found in the crucible of war. Such was the love between Bosko, a Serbian boy, and Admira, a Bosnian girl, who were caught in one of the most barbaric and brutal periods of the last century: the breakup of Yugoslavia.

    Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2AdQOCr

    Tulsa Book Review – 5 Stars

    I think it’s possible the most universal story is that of star-crossed lovers. Even one variation on it, Romeo and Juliet, has been retold in dozens of ways, from simple adaptations of the source to other time periods to making the story into a musical. Why, then, should we need another? Is there any point in telling the same story again and again? I would insist that there is, for the power of the stories lies not just in the plot. It lies in the backdrop, in whatever setting the author chooses to place the lovers in. In this case, the story is in Sarajevo of the 1980s and 1990s, turning Charmer Boy, Gypsy Girl into a very different form of this tale from Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story.

    Like both of those, the tale starts out with love at first sight. Bosko, a Serb, goes out with his friends to a New Year’s Eve party. There, to his surprise (though not to ours), he meets a beautiful Bosnian Muslim girl, Admira. She is as smitten by him as he is by her, and they slip off together to find a room of their own. Though the chemistry between them made my heart race, they do no more than talk. That talking feels more intimate than any physical connection might have been, and by the time they part, it isn’t a secret that they will meet again and again. When the book skips ahead months, then years, it is no surprise that they have continued to meet.

    For those who know the history of the Balkans, it is also no surprise that life in Sarajevo at the time was growing more difficult. Tensions were rising between every ethnicity, and it wasn’t long before those tensions reached a breaking point. Sarajevo is no longer a safe place for young lovers. It is no longer a safe place for anyone.

    Victor Harrington draws the reader into Bosko and Admira’s love beautifully, but I was even more amazed by how he brings us into the conflict. I knew something of what would come, having read a bit about it, but I was still blindsided by the suddenness and the violence. I was drawn into the war zone with them, and Harrington does an excellent job at portraying all the complexities of a land at war with itself. Hope and despair, love and hate, ideals and pragmatism…all tie themselves together, showing the difficulty of being human in the midst of inhumanity. I fell in love with the book, and I’m certain any other readers will, too.

    Reviewed by Jo Niederhoff

    Amy Schumer Dating Chef Chris Fischer Here Are 5 Things To Know About Her New Man!

    Here’s what we do know about Amy’s flame:

    1. Chris runs the Beetlebung Farm purchased by his grandfather in Martha’s Vineyard:

    2. He was the sous chef at Mario Batali‘s Manhattan restaurant Babbo:

    3. He’s reportedly the brother of Amy’s assistant Molly Fischer:

    @mofischhh memoriesA post shared by Chris Fischer (@beetlebungfarm) on Jul 20, 2016 at 11:14am PDT

    4. Chris’ Beetlebung Farm Cookbook won him a James Beard award in 2016:

    @__l_e__le__A post shared by Chris Fischer (@beetlebungfarm) on Jul 9, 2016 at 7:16am PDT

    5. The 37-year-old, who writes for the Vineyard Gazette, also loves to fish:

    #karstenforpresidentA post shared by Chris Fischer (@beetlebungfarm) on Apr 16, 2016 at 6:43am PDT

    What do U think of Amy’s beau??

    [Image via Instagram & Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-11-13-amy-schumer-dating-chef-chris-fischer-spotted-date-night

    Ellen Page posts disturbing account of abuse by Brett Ratner on ‘X-Men’ set


    On Friday, Ellen Page posted a devastating essay detailing the abuse and harassment she experienced working with director Brett Ratner.

    Page worked with Ratner—who has been accused of sexually harassing at least six women—on X-Men: The Last Stand, when she was just 18. Page had not yet come out as gay, and says that at a meet-and-greet before filming, Ratner told a woman standing next to Page: “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.”

    I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He “outed” me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.

    Page details other inappropriate comments by Ratner, and being scolded by producers for not wanting to wear a “Team Ratner” shirt on set: “I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed. I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.”

    “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet”…

    Posted by Ellen Page on Friday, November 10, 2017

    The actor took aim at another known predator, claiming that starring in Woody Allen’s 2012 film To Rome With Love was the “biggest regret of my career.” And she looked outside Hollywood: “These abusers make us feel powerless and overwhelmed by their empire. Let’s not forget the sitting Supreme Court justice and President of the United States. One accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, whose testimony was discredited. The other proudly describing his own pattern of assault to an entertainment reporter. How many men in the media—titans of industry—need to be exposed for us to understand the gravity of the situation and to demand the fundamental safety and respect that is our right?”

    Page is next set to star in Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s The Umbrella Academy.

    Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/ellen-page-brett-ratner-harassment/

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