Archive for February 21st, 2020

Apple gets temporary restraining order against PIO stalking Cook – Times of India

February 21st, 2020

2430 Coloradans hospitalized, 3 children killed by flu this season – KUSA

February 21st, 2020

AURORA, Colo. — The flu is now widespread, and doctors say it’s hitting children particularly hard nationwide.

This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 105 children have died from the flu across the country. That’s worse than it’s been in a decade, according to the CDC. Several of those deaths happened in Colorado.

RELATED: Two Colorado children have died from the flu this year

“I think the flu has been a particularly bad year this year,” said Dr. Chris Nyquist, medical director of infection prevention and control at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “We have many kids ending up in our intensive care units. And we are regularly seeing influenza coming through our urgent care and our emergency department.”

In Colorado, 2,430 people have been hospitalized for the flu this season, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  With several months left in this flu season, CDPHE said three Colorado kids have already died from the illness. That’s the same number of pediatric deaths as all of last flu season. 

Children don’t always show the common, feeling like you were hit by a truck, flu symptoms that adults show.

“Each person has a little bit of a different way of showing they have influenza,” Nyquist said. “We know that smaller children might have a fever and not feeding. toddlers might actually have things that make it look like a stomach virus.”

The bottom line, she said, is that it’s never too late to get vaccinated. New research from the CDC shows the flu vaccine is 55% effective in children and 45% overall. 

RELATED: In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so far

“For kids under six months of age, they’re not able to get the vaccine and so what’s really important is to vaccinate all the children, adults, grandparents around that child to protect them,” Nyquist said.

Just as important as the vaccine is washing hands, according to Nyquist. Keep yourselves and your kids clean, and avoid being around people with symptoms.

RELATED: Flu season: How to prevent it and take care of your kid

The state does not release numbers on adult flu deaths. Officials have said there have been 43 flu outbreaks in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. State health officials tell us that number is about normal.

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Coronavirus outbreak: New quarantine in Canada, as cases soar in South Korea – Global News

February 21st, 2020

Mike Armstrong reports on the more than 100 Canadians shifting from one 14-day quarantine to another, due to the novel coronavirus, after arriving in Cornwall, Ont., from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.

Plus, Dawna Friesen looks at how COVID-19 is spreading in Iran, South Korea and Italy.

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Trump Has the Absolute Worst Taste in Movies – The Daily Beast

February 21st, 2020

On Thursday evening, at one of his ego-nourishing rallies, President Donald Trump took aim at Parasite, Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean satire that made history as the first foreign film to win the Best Picture Oscar.

“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year? You see ‘em? And the winner is…a movie from South Korea. What the hell is that about?” bellowed a rather clammy Trump. “Was it good? I don’t know. I’m looking for like, let’s get Gone with the Wind. Can we get Gone with the Wind back, please? Sunset Boulevard, so many great movies.”

Let’s first address the dog-whistle inclusion of Gone with the Wind. There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that Trump, who has the attention span of a meerkat on high-grade cocaine, has sat through Victor Fleming’s four-hour-long Civil War epic. What he may be aware of, however, is how the 1939 film—winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and the highest-grossing movie ever when adjusted for inflation—is a neo-Confederate monument; one that romanticizes slavery and the antebellum South, and envisions its wealthy white protagonists as hallowed victims swallowed up by the chaos of Reconstruction. Hattie McDaniel’s Mammy, the head slave of the film’s sprawling southern plantation, comes from a long line of racist (and likely mythical) stereotypes of “mammy” house slaves (selfless, grandmotherly) dating back to Uncle Tom’s Cabin that were used by Confederate apologists to soften and even attempt to legitimize the unequivocally racist and dehumanizing institution.

McDaniel, who eventually became the first Black Oscar winner for her performance, was barred from the film’s Atlanta premiere due to segregation, and was seated not with the Gone with the Wind cast and crew but at a small table in the back of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub at the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony (producer David O. Selznick had to lobby the venue to get her in the building). Her dying wish, to be buried in Hollywood Cemetery, was also denied because of its whites-only policy.

Is this the Hollywood that Trump wants to return to?

Also…Sunset Boulevard? The film, for the record, didn’t win Best Picture, losing to All About Eve, but more than that, are we to really believe that Trump, a sexist monster who publicly mocked Kim Novak’s appearance at the 2014 Oscars, empathized with the plight of an aging silent-film actress? (Norma Desmond’s delusions of grandeur, maybe.)

There’s a long, strange history of U.S. presidents screening films in the White House. The first, regrettably, was D.W. Griffith’s racist celebration of the Ku Klux Klan, The Birth of a Nation, viewed by Woodrow Wilson in the East Room on Feb. 18, 1915. Bill Clinton’s inaugural screening was Lorenzo’s Oil, a crowdsourced pick if there ever was one. Trump’s was Finding Dory, whose message of inclusion appeared to be lost on Trump, according to the film’s star Ellen DeGeneres.

Over the past century, presidents have also been queried on their favorite films. Lyndon B. Johnson would watch a 10-minute short about himself, narrated by Gregory Peck, over and over again in the White House, while Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood actor, would suffer through his own mediocre oeuvre on his birthday each year. Gerald Ford’s favorite movie, funnily enough, was said to be Home Alone (Trump would later make a cameo in its sequel). Years ago, when a Twitter user asked Trump to name his favorite films, the then-reality-TV host cited Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Yet when it comes to Orson Welles’ magnum opus, chronicling the rise and fall of a power-hungry media tycoon, he’s made it resoundingly clear that he has no grasp on the film’s central message.

When asked for the one piece of advice he’d give Charles Foster Kane, [Trump] offered: “Get yourself a different woman.”

As part of the 2002 Oscars, famed documentarian Errol Morris was given the unenviable task of filming influential pop-culture figures discussing their favorite movies. Trump picked Citizen Kane, and, when asked for the one piece of advice he’d give Charles Foster Kane, offered: “Get yourself a different woman.”

Morris opened up to The Ringer about the surrealness of that moment. “So he starts to tell me about Charles Foster Kane, who he identifies with. And what was Charles Foster Kane’s real problem? Was his problem that he was a megalomaniac? Not so much. Was his problem that he treated people around him miserably? Nah! What was his problem? According to Donald Trump, his problem was the woman he married.”

He later added of the encounter, “It’s obvious: this person is insane.”

Though Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind are fashionable picks, Trump’s real favorite movie is rumored to be Bloodsport, the 1988 martial-arts flick starring the Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Writer Mark Singer was the first to document Trump’s fixation with Bloodsport in a 1997 profile for The New Yorker.

Whilst flying around in Trump’s tacky, gold-plated private jet, Singer recalled, “We hadn’t been airborne long when Trump decided to watch a movie. He’d brought along Michael, a recent release, but twenty minutes after popping it into the VCR he got bored and switched to an old favorite, a Jean Claude Van Damme slugfest called Bloodsport, which he pronounced ‘an incredible, fantastic movie.’”

The bankrupted real-estate mogul’s attention span was so low that, according to Singer, Trump would make his then-teenage son, Donald Trump Jr., fast-forward to all the fight scenes: “By assigning to his son the task of fast-forwarding through all the plot exposition—Trump’s goal being ‘to get this two-hour movie down to forty-five minutes’—he eliminated any lulls between the nose hammering, kidney tenderizing, and shin whacking.” (That 19-year-old Don Jr. served as Trump’s private jet remote-control servant explains so very much.)

Trump’s questionable taste in movies and culture-war carnival-barking notwithstanding, what we can be certain of is that he is truly, madly, deeply obsessed with the Academy Awards. He live-tweeted the Oscars in 2013 and 2014, would regularly call in to Fox & Friends to deliver Monday-morning recaps of the show, and has repeatedly lobbied to host the ceremony on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Vine (RIP).

Occasionally, similar to his Parasite ramblings, he’s injected a dose of xenophobia into his commentary. At the 2015 Oscars, which saw Birdman win Best Picture and Alejandro G. Inarritu (who is Mexican) take home Best Director, Trump made the following complaint: “The Oscars were a great night for Mexico & why not—they are ripping off the US more than almost any other nation.”

Four months later he’d announce his presidential run with an even more racist rant against Mexicans

It’s easy to see why Trump wouldn’t enjoy Parasite. In addition to his fondness for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, whose cult of personality is lampooned in the film, it is a class-warfare comedy about a poor, basement-dwelling family targeting—and exposing the ignorance of—those in gilded cages not unlike the one Trump’s lived in for the better part of his adult life. Plus, as the film’s distributor Neon pointed out, the film is accompanied by subtitles and Trump is said to have an aversion to reading:

Given Trump’s apparent love of movies, numerous film cameos—including a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie nod for his pouty turn in a movie about a woman sexing a ghost—and burning passion for the Oscars, an event he begged to host in the three years prior to his White House run, it seems Trump’s anger primarily stems not from the Academy’s choice of winner but his exclusion from this glamorous soiree, and the Hollywood limelight.

Errol Morris summed it up best: “There are certain people that I think suffer—I wanted to have this in some psychiatric dictionary—from ‘irony deficit disorder’: the absolute inability to see irony when it’s really stuck right in front of your face. Donald Trump suffers from irony deficit disorder.”


Protesters leave rail tracks south of Montreal – CTV News

February 21st, 2020

MONTREAL — Protesters blocking train tracks in St-Lambert, south of Montreal, Friday evening struck down their campsite and banners after several meetings with police officers and left the tracks.

“Whether or not the colonial police dismantle this blockade violently … others will grow in its place,” the protesters, who had been blocking the tracks since Wednesday, said in a brief statement to journalists at the scene before dismantling their banners and beginning to leave the area. They called for others to support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, to shut down bridges and other railways.

They walked off the site to the cheers of a nearby demonstration that had cropped up Friday evening in support of the protesters.

Earlier, police surrounded the camp, raising the spectre of police intervention to forcibly remove them from the tracks. Officers blocked access to the site, ostensibly preventing the protesters from receiving supplies like firewood and food. Small groups of police met with the protesters, trying to negotiate a peaceful end to the blockade, the officers said. Police wearing tactical gear who had earlier stood opposite the protesters left the scene.

A bailiff on Thursday night served the protesters with an injunction demanding they dismantle their barricades and leave.

Some journalists at the scene tweeted Friday afternoon that they had been moved back beyond police tape, and suspected police would intervene imminently.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that the barricades must come down, insisting that “the law must be upheld.” But Trudeau did not go as far as to instruct police to take action.

The St-Lambert blockade has snarled commuter train service to Mont-Saint-Hilaire, south of Montreal, for two straight days.  

“We are not interested in talking to the media about a possible police intervention,” one of the protesters told The Canadian Press Friday morning. “This is an insignificant detail in the fight, it interests journalists only.”

About 100 protesters initially built snowbanks on the CN track where it crosses Saint-Georges Street, near the intersection of Highways 116, 112 and 134.

Many of them have refused to identify themselves, saying “the cause goes far beyond the individuals; our identity is anecdotal, we are here to listen to the Wet’suwet’en.”

The injunction granted to CN Rail by Superior Court Justice France Dulude authorized “any police services or peace officers” to assist the company in executing the order.

The group is demonstrating in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs of northern British Columbia, who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through their territory. However, elected chiefs along the pipeline’s route support the project.

“I am a settler,” said Hannah Morrow, one of the demonstrators. “If I get arrested doing something like this, that’s nothing compared with what other Indigenous people go through in this country all the time.”


Quebec Premier Francois Legault said Friday he will leave it to police to enforce the injunction, but he hopes the blockade will be removed “rapidly.”

Legault has previously criticized Trudeau’s after he stayed mum on whether he would set a deadline for protesters to leave or be removed from the tracks.

The premier has even urged the federal government to coordinate forces in “every province at the same time.”

He noted he is already in discussions with the management team of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) on the matter.

Railway blockades across the country have caused widespread passenger and cargo train delays and cancellations. Via Rail, which relies on CN’s tracks, has cancelled most of its service nationwide, and business leaders have expressed grave concerns about the economic toll of the shutdown.

— with files from The Canadian Press.

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Why the cruise ship quarantine turned into such a disaster – Hot Air

February 21st, 2020

“Get off that ship — there are a lot better places to isolate people,” Purdue University’s Qingyan Chen, an expert on ventilation during virus outbreaks, told BuzzFeed News. “In ships, you cannot filter the air well enough to stop viruses.”

Health experts have warned about the potential for cruise ship outbreaks for years. A ship’s ventilation system, which relies on recirculated air filtered by medium-strength air filters, is an efficient way of spreading virus particles from room to room aboard a ship, said Chen. In a 2015 study, he and his colleagues looked at the spread of flu aboard cruise ships, finding that one infected person would typically lead to more than 40 cases a week later on a 2,000 passenger cruise, with transmission occurring through the ventilation system. In contrast, on land, the coronavirus seems to have a reproductive rate of two new cases per infected person, which would lead to three new cases in that time.

A 2018 CDC study of two Alaskan cruise ships that suffered flu outbreaks found that 83% of 410 passengers on the two ships were infected with some respiratory illness within the second week of the cruises, with how soon passengers boarded the ship presenting the biggest determinant of their risk.


Shocker: The Western World’s Diet Is Making Everyone Scientifically Brain-Dumber – Futurism

February 21st, 2020

A “Western diet” (or the “Western pattern diet”) is exactly what you think: Fatty, sugary, salty, and lousy with red meat and processed products — in stark contrast to diets comprised mostly of whole grains, or plants, or legumes, or natural fats.

As you also might guess, the Western diet is regularly linked to historical upticks in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and so on. But now, thanks to new research coming out of Sydney, Australia’s Macquarie University, we can finally add “making us stupider” to the mix of risks run by abiding a contemporary eating philosophy best summed up by the value system colloquially understood to be NOM NOM NOM.

The research was titled “Hippocampal-dependent appetitive control is impaired by experimental exposure to a Western-style diet” and published in the richly-titled, possibly gout-diseased Royal Society Open Science.

Per The Guardian, the scientists behind the paper pulled together about 110 healthy people, and fed half a healthy diet, and the other half the crap most of us eat every day (including fast food, and for whatever reason, Belgian waffles).

Then they gave them tests, in two parts:

1. A word memory test
2. A test asking how much they enjoyed and wanted more of the foods they were eating

You probably already know where this is going:

“The more desirable people find the palatable food when full, following the western-style diet, the more impaired they were on the test of hippocampal function,” Stevenson said. The finding suggests that disruption of the hippocampus may underpin both, he added.

In other words, the bad food made subjects want more bad food — and also dumbed them.

Again, none of this is surprising. As The Guardian also points out, obesity and diabetes have been linked to lower cognitive functions, and per NPR, we also know that healthier diets have been linked to lower instances of depression in testing groups. The irony here is that the particularly dumb and cliche adage that “you are what you eat” is becoming less folk wisdom and more smart science every day: An unhealthy — ergo, stupid — diet will, in fact, make you dumber.

The upshot here is that science has finally explained the otherwise irreducible mystery of Guy Fieri.

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Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra: How to preorder Samsung’s newest phones right now – CNET

February 21st, 2020

Cineplex to open Metro Vancouver’s first Rec Room entertainment centre this spring | Dished – Daily Hive

February 21st, 2020

Construction on Metro Vancouver’s first The Rec Room is on pace for an opening sometime this spring.

Cineplex provided Daily Hive Urbanized today with a behind-the-scenes tour of the construction progress of its new entertainment and dining hub at the new The Amazing Brentwood (TAB) shopping mall complex in Burnaby.

The 40,000-sq-ft attraction will be the company’s ninth The Rec Room location, with a capacity to hold up to 1,300 guests.

One level above, Cineplex is also opening an adults-only VIP Cinemas location with five screens. This will be the company’s first standalone VIP Cinemas location, which will open this spring as well, but at a later date after The Rec Room.

Within the separate The Rec Room space, there will be approximately 90 arcade and video game machines within the 8,400-sq-ft “The Yard” area, including classics and pop culture favourites such as Mario Kart, Pong, Space Invaders, Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead, and Marvel-themed games.

Other activities include state-of-the-art experiences like Halo and premium virtual reality. Pool and ping pong tables will be available too.

the amazing brentwood cineplex rec room

Construction progress of The Rec Room at The Amazing Brentwood as of February 21, 2020. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

the amazing brentwood cineplex rec room

Construction progress of The Rec Room at The Amazing Brentwood as of February 21, 2020. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The games run on RFID wristbands, providing improved convenience over the traditional token system. Accumulated points can be redeemed at the “Trophy Case,” where top prizes include Nintendo Switch consoles, Beats headphones, drones, and other nostalgia-inspired treats and toys.

“It’s a very social space,” said Christina Kuypers, the vice-president of operations and guest experience for Cineplex’s The Rec Room and Playdium division. “We want many different people with different interests to find an activity or game that they like. But we also know people are going to share their expertise with other guests… we see hardcore and casual gamers interacting all the time.”

Beyond the gaming, this The Rec Room has two main dining options — the casual sit-down dining restaurant called Three10, named after Canada’s three territories and 10 provinces, and The Shed for quick bites and drinks.

The restaurant’s dining area is on the edge of the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook TAB’s expansive fountain plaza below.

the amazing brentwood cineplex rec room

Construction progress of The Rec Room at The Amazing Brentwood as of February 21, 2020. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

the amazing brentwood cineplex rec room

Construction progress of The Rec Room at The Amazing Brentwood as of February 21, 2020. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

A large box-shaped bar is accessible from all of its sides, including “The Hall,” which is the live entertainment venue, featuring programming such as live music, comedy, burlesque, drag shows, and even themed nights like Latin music and K-pop.

This space also offers regular live trivia and karaoke, except that instead of singing into a machine, guests will be performing with a live band on stage.

Over 70 television screens will be scattered across the entire The Rec Room, enabling guests to follow their favourite sports events from varying entertaining and dining environments.

Additionally, there are bookable flexible event spaces for corporate functions and social parties, like birthdays and graduation.

So how exactly does The Rec Room differ from Cineplex’s other entertainment concept, Playdium?

Kuypers says the varying offering and programming mixes between both concepts are key differentiators. The Rec Room is a 50-50 split between food/beverage and amusement/entertainment, while Playdium is an 80-20 split between amusement/gaming and food/beverage.

Moreover, The Rec Room’s dining options are elevated to a mid-market level, and it offers some mature game titles that are unavailable at Playdium.

“The Rec Room and Playdium really compliment each other really well, because The Rec Room is geared more towards millennials and boomers with kids, while Playdium is geared towards teenagers first and then families,” she said.

the rec room cineplex

Example of a typical The Rec Room interior design. (Cineplex)

the rec room cineplex

Example of a typical The Rec Room interior design. (Cineplex)

For this particular location at TAB, The Rec Room provides theatregoers upstairs with an activity option before or after their movie. VIP Cinemas and The Rec Room combined are expected to be a significant foot traffic generator for the newly-built mall.

In late 2021, Cineplex will open its second The Rec Room location in the region at 855 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, within the former Empire Granville 7 theatre complex it owns. The theatre shut down in 2012, and has been vacant ever since.

The 45,000-sq-ft, multi-level location will retrofit three interconnected buildings, dating as far back as 1893, with the construction work entailing the restoration and enhancement of the heritage building facades. This Rec Room location’s live entertainment venue within the basement is far larger, spanning 11,000 sq. ft. with a capacity for up to 640 people.

“I think our Rec Room in downtown is really going to reshape Granville Street,” said Kuypers.

the rec room cineplex

Example of a typical The Rec Room interior design. (Cineplex)

Cineplex’s last full-scale entertainment attraction in the region was its Playdium location at Metropolis at Metrotown. It was open between the late 1990s and 2005, until it was replaced by Winners.

The company has plans to open a new Playdium attraction in Metro Vancouver, with the location slated to be announced shortly.

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Officials Confirm First Case Of Coronavirus In Sacramento County – CBS Sacramento

February 21st, 2020

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — Sacramento County Public Health officials have announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Sacramento County.

The confirmed case is travel-related. Officials said the individual returned from China to the United States on Feb. 2 and has since self-quarantined and taken precautionary measures upon their return home. The individual began displaying mild symptoms during the self-quarantine.

“They had no symptoms initially then developed very mild symptoms — a fever and cough,” said Sacramento County Department of Health Services Dr. Peter Beilenson.

Sacramento County Public Health said a clinical specimen was collected from the individual and sent to the CDC for testing, where the infection was confirmed. Dr. Beilenson says legally, the person in home isolation cannot leave.

“The individual will not be released from isolation until they have two consecutive negative viral tests,” he explained.

Even though health officials say the risk to the public is low, home isolation is necessary to prevent the virus from spreading.

ALSO: 2 Groups Leave California Bases After Coronavirus Quarantines End

“Currently, the individual is asymptomatic, but will remain home for mandatory isolation until cleared by Sacramento County Public Health,” the office said in a press release. “Sacramento County Public Health’s investigation determined that currently, the public’s risk of exposure is extremely low.”

The Sacramento County Public Health Department said they have coordinated a system with healthcare providers to identify potential other cases of the virus for infection control.

Officials said they want to remind residents that all confirmed cases in the US have been travel-related and that they believe the public risk is low.

“Cases in the U.S., including this first case in Sacramento County, have primarily been travel-related. The risk of COVID-19 to the U.S. public continues to be low,” Dr. Beilenson said. “Sacramento County health providers are continuing to be vigilant, monitoring for acute respiratory illness, and gathering recent travel information to detect any new COVID-19 cases.”