‘Miss Sloane’ Has One of the Worst Opening Weekends Ever

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Seventy-ninth worst opening of the past 35 years

— Brendan Kelly, press secretary for the Brady Campaign

The movie pulled in $1,167 on average at the 1,648 theaters across the country it was shown in. It made $1,922,300, meaning it was the 11th-highest grossing movie in the country. It is number 79 on Box Office Mojo’s list of Worst Opening Weekend by Per-Theater Average since 1982.

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“Gun owners always knew the movie was—pardon the pun—a dud.”

— Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundationmsloane-poster

That means Miss Sloane earned less money per theater than Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesShaun the Sheep MovieLawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, and Gigli.

“Unless Jessica Chastain ends up with a Golden Globe nomination and/or an Oscar nomination in a robustly crowded ‘Best Actress’ field, this one is finished.”

— Scott Mendelson, at Forbes

Industry observers criticized the movie’s performance on Monday. Time said the movie “fizzled in its wide expansion.” Fortune described it as struggling. The Los Angeles Times said Miss Sloane failed to meet “an already lackluster” projection of $5 million for the weekend.

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EuropaCorp expanded the terrific Jessica Chastain vehicle Miss Sloane into 1,648 theaters over the weekend, with just tragic results,” Scott Mendelson wrote at Forbes. “Unless Jessica Chastain ends up with a Golden Globe nomination and/or an Oscar nomination in a robustly crowded ‘Best Actress’ field, this one is finished.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘He Hates America’: New York Post Cover for Sept 20, 2016

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Source: Covers | New York Post


Escaped Psychiatric Patient Had Planned Bombing 

SEATTLE – Martha Bellislea reports: Detectives who investigated Anthony Garver’s escape from Western State Hospital south of Seattle also found that he had threatened to kill a federal judge and previously was caught with bomb-making materials.


Shots Fired: Man In Panda Suit Threatens to Set Off Bomb at Fox Baltimore Station

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A man who threatened to set off a bomb in the offices of Fox 45 Baltimore Thursday afternoon, forcing authorities to evacuate the building, walked outside before shots were fired by police and he fell to the ground.

“The man wore a white panda suit, a surgical mask and sunglasses. He apparently lit a car on fire in the parking lot before entering the building.”

The man’s current condition is unclear, and police did not identify him. They told Fox 45 he apparently was hit by bean bag rounds. Reporters said he held an unidentified object in his left hand.

“He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers. I told him, ‘I can’t let you in, you’re going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.’ He wouldn’t do that. Apparently he had made some threats before.”

— News Director Mike Tomko

The man wore a white panda suit, a surgical mask and sunglasses. He apparently lit a car on fire in the parking lot before entering the building.

“He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers. I told him, ‘I can’t let you in, you’re going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.’ He wouldn’t do that. Apparently he had made some threats before,” News Director Mike Tomko said…(read more)

Source: Fox News


U.S. Officials Believe ISIS Planted Bomb on Russian Plane

(CNN) Barbara Starr reports: The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai over the weekend was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane.”

But the official stressed a formal conclusion has not been reached by the U.S. intelligence community.

“There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane,” the official, who is familiar with the latest U.S. intelligence analysis of the crash, told CNN.

Other U.S. officials also told CNN that the analysis is pointing toward the cause being a bomb.

Based on the same intelligence, the U.S. belief is that ISIS or an ISIS-affiliated group is responsible for the attack, the official said….(read more)

Source: CNNPolitics.com


Anatomy of a Hoax: Reverse Engineering Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock…and Ourselves

Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation.

Without dating myself – fast forward a bunch of years, and I’m the same way. I’ve even picked up an engineering degree over the course of those years. I don’t have to only imagine how things work anymore, I have a pretty good understanding now. High resolution police photo of Ahmed's clock. Click to enlarge.

[Read the full analysis here, at artvoice.blogs]

When shopping for electronic devices, my first instinct is to see if there’s a way to build one myself (and, I frequently do!) When something of mine breaks, I don’t send it back, I take it as a personal challenge to get it working again.

If I fail, I still salvage useful parts – they might come in handy to fix something else later. This aspect of myself – being both methodical, and curious – hasn’t changed a bit over the years.

So, this story about a 14 year old boy in Texas that was arrested on suspicion of creating a bomb hoax (who, apparently just wanted to show off his latest electronics project to his teachers) that has blown up (no pun intended) all over the news and social media, caught my attention immediately.

“The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels.”

Not because of his race, or his religion, the seeming absurdity of the situation, the emotionally charged photo of a young boy in a NASA t-shirt being led off in hand cuffs, the hash tags, the presidential response… no, none of that. I’m an electronics geek. I was interested in the clock! I wanted to figure out what he had come up with.

“He again claims it was his ‘invention’ and that he ‘made’ the device…Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly.”

I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock. Now, before I go on and get accused of attacking a 14 year old kid who’s already been through enough, let me explain my purpose. I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation.

“I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation. Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts.”

Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts. So, before you scroll down and leave me angry comments, please continue to the end (or not – prove my point, and miss the point, entirely!)

For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed.

“Ahmed wasn’t accused of making a bomb – he was accused of making a look-alike, a hoax. And be honest with yourself, a big red digital display with a bunch of loose wires in a brief-case looking box is awful like a Hollywood-style representation of a bomb. Everyone jumped to play the race and religion cards and try and paint the teachers and police as idiots and bigots, but in my mind, they were probably acting responsibly and erring on the side of caution to protect the rest of their students, just in case.”

Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them. You can even simulate or lay out a board with free apps on your phone or tablet. A modern hobbyist usually wouldn’t be bothered with the outdated design techniques. There’s also silk screening on the board. An “M” logo, “C-94” (probably, a part number – C might even stand for “clock”), and what looks like an American flag. More about that in a minute. Point for
clock6now being, a hobbyist wouldn’t silk screen logos and part numbers on their home made creation. It’s pretty safe to say already we’re looking at ’70s tech, mass produced in a factory.

“Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation. It all seems really fishy to me.”

So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed’s clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756.

The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual “brains” of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don’t you think?) Oh, and about that “M” logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.

[Read the full text here, at artvoice.blogs]

For one last bit of confirmation, I located the pencil box Ahmed used for his project. During this video interview he again claims it was his “invention” and that he “made” the device – but the important thing at the moment, at 1:13, we see him showing the pencil box on his computer screen. Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] OH, GO HUG A BOMB

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‘I’m Middle Eastern, and I Thought the Bomb was Kind of Funny and Clever’: Student’s Controversial Prom Proposal Gets Him Suspended for 5 Days

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Ahmad strapped a paintball vest to his waist and filled the open pockets with red paper tubes attached to red wires, so that it looked like explosives. Then he stood up in the cafeteria…APPROVED-non-stop-panic

LA CENTER, Wash. — At a time of school shootings, violence and terrorism, it probably wasn’t the best idea for asking a girl to the prom.

“I wasn’t wearing the vest for more than, like, 20 seconds. I asked her, took a picture, took it off, and then the school got upset.”

An 18-year-old senior at La Center High School was suspended Wednesday for wrapping a fake bomb around his waist as a “funny, clever” way to ask a girl to the prom, The Columbian reported.

In ‘promposals,’ you’re supposed to go big,” he said. “It’s kind of a trending thing now, too, where everyone just asks in a really creative way.”

Instead, the student, Ibrahim Ahmad, received a five-day suspension that will keep him from going to the school’s prom Saturday night, the newspaper said.

I kno it’s A little Late, But I’m kinda…THE BOMB! Rilea, Will U Be My Date To Prom?

Ahmad strapped a paintball vest to his waist and filled the open pockets with red paper tubes attached to red wires, so that it looked like explosives.

“It was really unfair, and it kind of felt racist. If anyone else did that, I feel like no one else would have gotten in trouble for it.”

Then he stood up in the cafeteria holding a sign that read: “I kno it’s A little Late, But I’m kinda…THE BOMB! Rilea, Will U Be My Date To Prom?”

That’s when the school administration stepped in. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Boston Bombing Case: Jury Reaches Verdict in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Trial

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BOSTON — The jury has reached a verdict in the Boston Marathon bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after two days of deliberations, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

The statement, posted on Twitter by the federal prosecutor’s office, did not indicate when the jury would announce the results.

“Seventeen of the counts carry the death penalty. Fifteen of the counts contain a series of subclause questions that jurors must take up one by one and try to answer unanimously.”

Federal Judge George O’Toole met earlier with attorneys for both sides for about 30 minutes to address the questions raised by the seven-woman, five-man jury, which deliberated for more than seven hours Tuesday before ending the day without a verdict.

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“The jury’s last question sought clarification on the difference between aiding and abetting. Twenty-five of the 30 counts charge Tsarnaev with aiding and abetting, sometimes in conjunction with a broader charge.”

The charges against Tsarnaev — totaling 30 counts — fall into four main categories. Twelve pertain to two pressure-cooker bombs used at the marathon on April 15, 2013, when three people died and more than 260 were injured. Three other charges deal with conspiracy; another three cover the fatal shooting on April 18, 2013, of MIT security officer Sean Collier.

The final 12 address what happened after Collier’s murder, including a carjacking, robbery and use of improvised explosives against Watertown, Mass., police officers.

Seventeen of the counts carry the death penalty. Fifteen of the counts contain a series of subclause questions that jurors must take up one by one and try to answer unanimously.

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“Can a conspiracy pertain to a sequence of events over multiple days or a distinct event?”

If Tsarnaev is found guilty, the second phase of the trial will consider whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

O’Toole began Wednesday’s proceedings by reading the jurors’ questions, one of which had two parts, and delivering his answers.

“Can a conspiracy pertain to a sequence of events over multiple days or a distinct event?” was the first question.

“Duration is a question of fact for you to determine,” O’Toole told the jury. It could be limited to one event or apply to more than one. Tsarnaev is charged with conspiracy in three counts, all of which name four victims who were killed during the week of April 15, 2013.

Jurors also asked whether they need to consider all the subclauses in each count, or if reaching unanimity on the overall question of guilt for that count is sufficient.

O’Toole said they must consider every subclause only if they determine Tsarnaev is guilty on that charge. Read the rest of this entry »