Category Archives: Entertainment

The First Transgender Soldier of South Korea found dead

South Korea’s first transgender soldier, who was discharged from the military for undergoing gender reassignment surgery, has been found dead at her home.

The cause of death of Byun Hee-soo, a transgender rights campaigner, is not yet known.

She launched a landmark legal challenge against the military in January last year over her dismissal.

Her petition for reinstatement was rejected in July.

South Korea remains conservative on matters of sexual identity.

The 23-year-old had been receiving counselling from a mental health centre in her home province of Gyeonggi, north of Seoul. Her counsellor became concerned after not hearing from her since 28 February and called emergency services

Ms Byun’s case triggered debate about the treatment of transgender troops and soldiers from the LGBTQ community in the country.

She previously told reporters that apart from her gender identity, she wanted to show everyone that she could also be one of the great soldiers who protect the country.

All able-bodied South Korean men are required to carry out military service for nearly two years.

In December, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea said the decision not to allow her to continue to serve in the military had no legal grounds.

South Korea is far less tolerant of the LGBTQ community than its East Asian neighbours.

Being LGBT is often seen as a disability or a mental illness, or by powerful conservative churches as a sin, and there are no anti-discrimination laws in the country.

In Ms Byun’s case, anti-LGBT campaigners had attempted to identify her online. They also held demonstrations urging the military to dismiss her after news about the case emerged and have called for further demonstrations.

What does #CancelCancelCulture actually mean?

Have you ever been “canceled?”

If not canceled, how about rejected or shunned for a particular view or belief?

People have been shunned or excluded for exhibiting misogynistic, rasist or homophobic beliefs. However, “canceling” individuals for their beliefs, regardless whether they are problematic, bleeds into a larger phenomenon known as “cancel culture.” Cancel culture is a form of withholding and withdrawing support for an individual, as well as boycotting their work in social and professional circles. This toxic phenomenon rejects the democratic ideals of free speech and discourse, creating one-sided thought and a desire to ruin the lives of those who might disagree.

The problem with cancel culture is that it silences any and all opposing ideas. This creates an echo-chamber of one-sided opinions. People who may provide a fresh argument and encourage discourse are rejected from said echo-chamber because their opinions differ from the majority. A key aspect of healthy debate is working towards researching and understanding both sides of an issue that go beyond one’s dependence on a single source of information. This challenges individuals to fully understand an issue before taking a position on it. Unfortunately, this approach is missing in cancel culture due to the lack of opposing views. Another problem with canceling people with opposing beliefs is that it silences particular ethinic, socioeconomic, racial and gendered viewpoints.

Understanding a variety of backgrounds and perspectives fosters productive discourse. The United States was founded on democratic discussion and lively debate. Conversely, proponents of cancel culture reject ideas that are different from theirs. A person has the freedom to associate or disassociate with someone because of their beliefs. Furthermore, “canceling” an individual may result in dangerous consequences. First, cancelled individuals’ reputations are often tarnished. This can be seen in the crumbling reputation of Jimmy Fallon. His reputation was tarnished after a SNL episode from 2000 resurfaced. In this episode, Fallon impersonates Chris Rock in blackface. This offense has led to trending Twitter hashtag that aim to expose Fallon as a racist.

Another consequence of cancel culture is the targeted individual’s susceptibility to threats. For example, J. K Rowling received death and rape threats after her anti-trans tweets. In these tweets, she takes a firm stance on the definition of sex and transphobically rejects other interpretations that differ from her own.

I find the actions of Fallon and Rowling to be deplorable. Nevertheless, problematic ideas should not be “canceled.” Doing so would only make people fall deeper into their own beliefs. How can individuals change their thoughts if they are not questioned about their thinking? Shunning the individual is not only unproductive in changing their troublesome views, but it allows them to continue to share opinions without considering the potential problems of their belief systems. Through open dialogue, a person can learn more about differing opinions and change their original stance.

Cancel culture does not solely affect celebrities. It harms average individuals to a greater degree. Most famous people who are “canceled” have stable sources of income. An average individual, however, can be threatened with unemployment, and the cost of protection and a way to leave the country would be more affordable for a celebrity. Additionally, a famous person has a larger following of people and even though they might be “canceled,” they may retain some support from their fanbase. On the other hand, an average person risks losing the only support they have if they voice their differing beliefs. This problem is especially present on college campuses. At Brandeis, I have seen friends “cancel” each other due to differing political affiliations or position on social issues. When friends are willing to ignore and shun one another without engaging in conversation, a clear danger emerges: debate begins to die. If people are not willing to address opposing beliefs, progress will be halted. Progress is developed through compromise and persuading an opposer to see another side of an argument. How can one’s thoughts change if they are never challenged to think differently? In truth, there is nothing productive or rehabilitative about isolating a person due to their differing views. If one is passionate about their beliefs, then it would be beneficial to have a well-informed discussion in an attempt to persuade a person to see another side of the argument. Shunning and ignoring a person who holds different beliefs is not only counterproductive, but also childish.

We must do better. Everyone deserves to express opinions without fear of retribution. It is time to cancel cancel culture because ignoring opposition will hamper progress. In early July 2020, 153 public figures, including Noam Chomsky and Nell Irvin Painter, signed a letter published in Harper’s Magazine, condemning “a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.” As a united front, famous writers, activists and academics emphasized the importance of open debate for fear of what life would be like without it: dystopian self-censorship and the slow death of discussion. Through open discussion and free exchange of ideas, we can better understand and refute problematic positions and beliefs.

New York Police Uses “DigiDog” to replace Ori “Dogs” – Raises Privacy concerns

NEW YORK — Two men were being held hostage in a Bronx apartment. They had been threatened at gunpoint, tied up and tortured for hours by two other men who pretended to be plumbers to get inside, police said.

One of the victims managed to escape and called the police, who showed up early Tuesday morning at the apartment on East 227th Street, unsure if the armed men were still inside.

The police decided it was time to deploy Digidog, a 70-pound robotic dog with a loping gait, cameras and lights affixed to its frame, and a two-way communication system that allows the officer maneuvering it remotely to see and hear what is happening.

Police said the robot can see in the dark and assess how safe it is for officers to enter an apartment or building where there may be a threat.

In the case of the Bronx home invasion, police said Digidog helped the officers determine that there was no one inside. Police said they were still searching for the two men, who stole a cellphone and $2,000 in cash and used a hot iron to burn one of the victims.

“The NYPD has been using robots since the 1970s to save lives in hostage situations & hazmat incidents,” the department said on Twitter. “This model of robot is being tested to evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our emergency service unit and bomb squad.”

But the robot has skeptics.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, described Digidog on Twitter as a “robotic surveillance ground” drone.

“Please ask yourself: When was the last time you saw next-generation, world-class technology for education, health care, housing, etc. consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?” she said on Twitter, linking to a New York Post story about Digidog.

The City Council passed the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act last June amid efforts to overhaul the police force, many of them triggered by Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

The act requires the Police Department to be more transparent about its surveillance and technology tools, including Digidog, something civil libertarians said had been lacking.

Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, said empowering a robot to do police work could have implications for bias, mobile surveillance, hacking and privacy. There is also concern that the robot could be paired with other technology and be weaponized.

“We do see a lot of police departments adopting powerful new surveillance and other technology without telling, let alone asking, the communities they serve,” he said. “So openness and transparency is key.”

The New York Police Department did not respond to requests for comment about the civil liberty concerns.

A mobile device that can gather intelligence about a volatile situation remotely has “tremendous potential” to limit injuries and fatalities, said Keith Taylor, a former SWAT team sergeant at the police department who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Indian Man killed by his own “cock” during a cockfight

A cockerel that had been fitted with a knife for an illegal cockfight has killed its owner in southern India.

The bird’s owner was impaled in the groin by the knife as the animal tried to escape. The man died on the way to hospital from a loss of blood.

Police are now searching for 15 more people involved in the event, which took place in the village of Lothunur in Telangana state earlier this week.

The animal was held at a police station before being transferred to a farm.

Police said the animal was being readied to take part in a fight when it tried to escape. Its owner attempted to catch it but was struck by the 7cm-long (three inch) knife on the bird’s leg during the struggle.

Those involved in the event face charges of manslaughter, illegal betting and hosting a cockfight, the AFP news agency reports.

Real Photo

Local police officer B Jeevan said the animal would be taken to court as evidence at a later date, according to The New Indian Express.

Cockfighting was made illegal in India in 1960 but fights are still relatively common in rural areas such as Telangana with many falling around the Hindu festival of Sankranti.

It’s not the first time an owner has been killed by their cockerel. Last year a man in Andhra Pradesh died after he was hit in the neck by a blade attached to his bird.

According to CNN, the owner was taking his animal to a cockfight when the incident occurred.

#NationalMargaritaDay – How to make a classic cocktail at home

Feb. 22 is National Margarita Day, so it’s time to grab your favorite tequila and get shaking. Whether you like them frozen or on the rocks with a salted rim, margaritas are among America’s most popular cocktails, according to Bacardi Limited’s 2021 Trends Report. Although the drink’s exact history is hard to pin down — many accounts say it dates back to the mid-1900s — it has been a popular choice throughout the United States (and around the world) for decades. A margarita is basically a vacation in a glass, so take advantage of this spirited holiday and mix up your own cocktail from home this week.

To start, you’ll need tequila, fresh limes, agave (or simple) syrup or triple sec, a shaker, a jigger, glasses, and salt if you’d like to rim your glass. There are countless margarita recipes out there, but the Cointreau Original Margarita recipe (which has been around for over 70 years) keeps things simple with a 2-1-1 ratio: two ounces blanco tequila, one ounce Cointreau, a French orange liqueur, and one ounce lime juice, all shaken together and strained over ice into a glass with a salted rim. (To rim your glass, rub a wedge of lime around the edge, then roll it in the salt.)

That said, the beauty of at-home bartending is that you can play around to make your perfect drink. Perhaps you prefer a half-ounce of triple sec and a half-ounce of agave syrup, instead of a full ounce of orange liqueur, or maybe you’d rather skip the salt. Add a splash of fruit puree or syrup for a sweeter flavor, or shake it up with fresh jalapeno slices and serve it in a glass rimmed with chili lime salt for a spicy kick. Whatever you make, you’ll want to stock up on the right ingredients — and you’ll want to make sure they’re good.

Espolon Tequila Blanco and Olmeca Altos Tequila Plata, which typically retail under $30 for a 750-milliliter bottle, are both budget-friendly options that taste delicious in a margarita (or most other tequila cocktails, for that matter).

Or, step it up a notch with a higher-end spirit: Patrón Silver Tequila, Casamigos Blanco, and Don Julio Blanco are a few popular choices that will take your National Margarita Day celebration to the next level. And if you prefer a reposado instead of a blanco tequila in your margarita, El Tesoro Reposado is a great option.

Spicy margaritas are all the rage, according to the 2021 Trends Report, and pepper-flavored or infused tequilas make it easier than ever to make one at home. Tequila brand Tanteo makes three pepper-infused tequilas, and its jalapeno iteration is its most popular — it has a great kick without overwhelming spice.

Of course, Cointreau, a classic French orange liqueur used in many cocktails, is a great accompaniment to tequila and lime in a classic margarita.

And while making a margarita is easy, opening a can is even easier. According to Bacardi Limited’s 2021 Trends Report, ready-to-drink cocktails have exploded in popularity. They’re easy to carry along to small gatherings or picnics, but they also bring that craft cocktail experience home, so you can enjoy a perfect drink whenever you want.

Cutwater has a range of canned, ready-to-drink cocktails, including the popular Cut water Tequila Margarita and the new Cutwater Mango Margarita. Two chicks, a canned cocktail brand with six flavors currently available, also offers a delightful Sparkling Citrus Margarita with a lower ABV and adorable packaging

Daft Punk ends career so Bobby Shmurda could be released #DaftPunk #Bobby

Daft Punk, one of the most influential and popular groups to emerge in the past 30 years, have announced their retirement via a video titled “Epilogue” posted Monday morning. The duo’s longtime publicist officially confirmed the split to Variety and declined to provide further details.

The eight-minute clip features the duo — Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo — who for many years have concealed their features behind a robot concept, walking around the desert, wearing in their familiar space helmets and leather jackets. After a few moments, one of the members looks at the other, removes his jacket and reveals an energy pack on the back. The other touches a button on the pack. The first member walks away quickly, and then explodes

The scene cuts to a sunrise, or possibly a sunset, as a choral version of the group’s song “Touch” plays.

The song is from the duo’s 2013 “Random Access Memories” album, which in many ways was a culmination of their career. The album, which included the global hit single “Get Lucky,” won the Grammy Award for Best Album the following year. The duo has largely kept a low profile since then, with their most prominent work being a collaboration with the Weeknd on two songs from his 2016 album “Starboy,” the title track and “I Feel It Coming.

Bangalter and de Homem-Christo met in the mid-’80s at school in Paris as teenagers and soon after began working together on music. They formed a rock band called Darlin’, inspired by the Beach Boys song of the same name, with their friend Laurent Brancowitz in 1992 and released a song on a compilation on Stereolab’s Duophonic label. The song received a negative review in the Melody Maker — which called described it as “a daft punky thrash” — and, in a move that would set the tone for the rest of their career, turned the negative review into their new band name. The two decided to focus on electronic music; Brancowitz left and ultimately formed Phoenix.The duo set the sonic tone for the new group with their first single, “The New Wave,” released in 1994. It was followed the next year by “Da Funk,” which became a European hit single and formed the template for their debut album, “Homework,” released late in 1996. The pair, along with manager Pedro Winter, set a strong self-determined course from the beginning, demanding artistic control and ownership of their masters, which they have licensed to major record labels over the years.

The album was one of the best of the wave of mid-1990s electronic dance albums and lofted the duo, who at this point were still performing without disguises, to international stardom. They toured extensively and engaged in outside and solo projects and released a series of innovative videos around “Homework.” The duo released their second album, “Discovery” in 2001, led by the single “One More Time” — the “disco-very” implicit in the title was no accident, as the album was more pop in nature than the debut and set a trend for upending expectations.

Bobby Shmurda is back in the game after released from prison #Bobby

Bobby Shmurda‘s plans following his prison release Tuesday will be low key — he’ll grub with the fam bam, spend some QT with them and hit the ground running with his music.

Bobby’s mom, Leslie Pollard, tells TMZ … once Bobby’s released from prison he’ll enjoy an intimate dinner with his family. Leslie says she’s counting down the hours until her son’s release. Bobby’s also excited, to say the least.

After dinner, we’re told Bobby — who’s been locked up since 2014 — wants to keep it chill. Nothing crazy. He wants to get back to his passion, which of course is music. Leslie tells us he’ll devote most, if not all, of his time to creating music again.

Bobby will definitely carve out some time for a very important person … his parole officer. We’re told he’ll be checking in regularly, because he has to.

As we reported … the rapper’s conditional release date was bumped up to February 23 …a full 10 months early. Not bad … considering he had some problems during his prison stint.

Bobby will be on parole until 2026.

[Full Story] Twitch Streamer gained 20k subscribers in one day #RanbooBreaksTwitch

A Twitch streamer best known for his Minecraft content broke down after getting 20,000 new subscribers in a single day.

I isn’t the biggest Twitch streamer on the platform. He currently has 1.5 million followers, which is great. But it pales in comparison to some of the biggest names out there.

However, his popularity is on the rise. It all started when since he joined Dream SMP, a private Minecraft server played by Dream Team and their friends. But that’s not the only reason. His content is so good, it’s generated some insane Twitch sub-trains.

Two months ago, he hit 7,000 subscribers in 2 hours. “I started streaming in September,” he said. “Before that, I actually just straight up had no idea what I was going to do in life in general. I had no clue. And then, I was just like, ‘hey, let me just post a TikTok and see how that does.’”

“I almost didn’t post. And I just realized now that if I didn’t, then I would still be really confused about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. But now I do know. Now I definitely do know.”

However, that was nothing compared to the whopping 20,000 he pulled in his latest stream. “That is an absolutely insane hype-train,” he said. “How many subs did we get during that? 17,000? Holy cow! Thank you guys so much. Oh my goodness.”

He repeated himself for a moment, trying to come to terms with what happened. Then, he continued: “You guys are absolutely nuts. Thank you so much. I’m posting everything that happened tonight to Twitter. 17,000 in a day!”

If that wasn’t exciting enough, the influx also helped him hit 50,000 subs in less than six months, which is insane. He stayed true to his words and posted about the insane achievement on Twitter.

“Thank you guys so so much for today,” he wrote. “We gained over 18 THOUSAND new subs, hit 50K SUBS, and created a 12k percent hype train. The support has really meant a ton to me, and I’m so so happy that you guys are willing to support me as much as you do.”

Thank you guys so so much for today, we gained over 18 THOUSAND new subs, hit 50K SUBS, and created a 12k percent hype train. The support has really meant a ton to me and I’m so so happy that you guys are willing to support me as much as you do. I don’t have enough space so THANK

#Shwetha memes havoc the Internet – Why is the girl trending?

After a girl named Shweta unwittingly shared some private conversation in front of her entire class during a Zoom call, it’s raining memes online.

What might become the next big trend on social media is hard to gauge, and more often than not it seems random names of individuals are giving birth to viral trends. Currently, it’s name of girl ‘Shweta’ that is got everyone talking online.

If 2020 immortalised Binod, Shweta is giving a stiff competition to him in 2021. From jokes to memes and spoof videos, desi internet is abuzz with her name. So much so, it trended ahead of even #IPLAuction or #PetrolPriceHike on Twitter, becoming the top trend on Indian Twitter at one point with thousands of tweets.

Why is Shweta trending?
In case you’re wondering who is Shweta or why she’s going viral, the answer to that is a a leaked Zoom call of a online class where a girl named Shweta forgot to mute her mic. While that is one gaffe all of us have committed in the course of last year, it was her private discussion with a friend that went public and got people’s attention online.

In the video going viral, the girl continues to share some private details of a boy, who had asked her to keep it a secret. Fellow students try to warn her that her mic is on, but in vain.

“Usne ye apne best friend ko bhi nahi bataya (He didn’t even say it to his best friend),” Shweta is heard saying at one point. To which, a fellow student quipped: “Ab ye 111 logo ko pata chal gaya hai (Now, 111 people have heard of it).”

[Disclaimer: Strong language, viewers discretion is advised]

Not only did the audio of the zoom call went viral across social media platforms from YouTube to Instagram, it also triggered a hilarious meme-fest online. On Twitter, desi users started to share memes to poke fun at the girl’s gaffe, adding that there is always a Shweta in every Zoom call who unwittingly give out all secrets.

From Bollywood references to using ‘Dude with the Sign’ — netizens are sharing memes to aptly describe the embarrassing situation.

Twitter Trending: Comparison on Harley Quinn and Cruella #HarleyQuinn #Cruella

The first trailer for Cruella has fans on Twitter comparing the movie’s tone and approach to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey and The Joker.

The release of the first trailer for Cruella has fans on Twitter comparing the movie’s tone and approach to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey as well as 2019’s The Joker. Starring Emma Stone, Cruella is Disney’s origin story for the iconic villain. The first trailer for the movie was released on Wednesday morning, teasing that the film reimagines the 101 Dalmations villain, pushing a much more independent anti-hero than a villain.

Cruella is helmed by Australian director Craig Gillespie, who is perhaps best known for helming I, Tonya, which saw Margot Robbie nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. But it’s for another iconic role of Robbie’s, Harley Quinn, that Cruella is getting noticed. The Cruella trailer hews very closely to the tone and approach that was taken for Birds of Prey, making the hero at the center of the story an agent of chaos who attempts to break free from the bonds she’s been placed under by society. There are also certain scenes, including a large explosion in a city center, that are similar, along with the punk rock look of Stone’s Cruella clearly taking inspiration from the likes of Harley Quinn, as well as Todd Phillips’ 2019 The Joker.

And fans on Twitter have noticed. By mid-morning Wednesday, both “Harley Quinn” and “The Joker” were trending on Twitter, along with Cruella, with fans pointing out many of the similarities. A number of the tweets have renamed Cruella “Disney’s Joker” and others saying this is Stone’s turn as Harley Quinn. Most of the tweets compare the movies favorably, though some have criticized Disney for being so derivative. You can see a selection of the top tweets below:

Fans can’t be blamed for being critical of the similarities, though in an age of franchise movies dominating popular culture, this is hardly the first time that a new movie has attempted to capitalize on the success of another in order to appeal to audiences. Whether the similarities are going to be so obvious in the final product remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that Cruella is wearing its influences on its sleeve.

Disney using The Joker and Birds of Prey as inspiration is understandable. The former particularly was a huge success, making more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and Harley Quinn remains a popular character, despite the relative box office failure of her solo film. So, aiming at that segment of the market makes sense for Cruella, especially since the assumption would have been this would be a more children-oriented movie. This way, Disney can get the family audience as well as an older audience who are attracted to the similarities to the DC movies. Whether that pays off or not remains to be seen when the film comes out in May.

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