Summary of “How 2 Million People Loved MoviePass Nearly to Death”

Eight months after slashing its price and expanding membership past 2 million users, MoviePass is now at risk of going bust.
The parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., which now owns 92 percent of MoviePass, said last week that it had just $15.5 million in cash at the end of April and $27.9 million on deposit with merchant processors.
MoviePass has been burning through $21.7 million per month.
Farnsworth’s penny-stock firm, Helios & Matheson, bought 51 percent of MoviePass for $27 million and provided the financing to slash the membership price from about $35 a month to $10. It’s pure Silicon Valley logic.
Here’s how MoviePass explains its model, using cocktail-napkin math.
The challenge of using MoviePass to actually see a movie has already been a hallmark of the MoviePass experience.
The failure of MoviePass would knock out some chunk of box-office revenue-theater owners say it accounts for less than 5 percent of traffic-but the prospect of MoviePass somehow surviving could be even worse for big multiplex companies.
If MoviePass gets close to its yearend goal of 5 million members, marketing messages offered on the MoviePass app may start subtly-or not so subtly-shifting customers to the theaters and films the company prefers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The California Sunday Magazine”

On Las Vegas Boulevard, which used to be called U.S. Route 91, people are leaving bouquets of roses in plastic sleeves on the median.
Where the casinos taper off below Mandalay Bay, another memorial has sprung up around the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, with its jaunty 1950s lettering.
You can’t say the Strip is Las Vegas, but you also can’t say Las Vegas is not affected by the Strip.
At 10:17 p.m. on the night of the shooting, minutes after Paddock’s rampage ended, the social media strategist at R&R Partners, the agency that handles the messaging for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, also known by its acronym, LVCVA, alerted the account manager that there had been a “Possible incident.” Minutes later, incident confirmed, the crisis communication team was contacted.
The collection of 58 crosses remained at the Las Vegas sign until mid-November, when public works employees carefully put each cross and its accompanying tchotchkes into boxes - approximately 20,000 items total - then drove them to the museum, where they were displayed for a month before being moved into storage.
Why did the security guard Jesus Campos, who was shot by Paddock, vanish moments before a slew of media interviews and then, five days later, appear only on Ellen? Why did unsealed court documents quote an officer saying, in a search warrant request to a judge, that SWAT officers “Observed Stephen Paddock place a gun to his head and fire one round,” when the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s official story was that Paddock committed suicide before his suite was breached and was found dead on the floor? And where is Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley - why haven’t we heard from her?
The truth is, four and a half months after the shooting, Las Vegas, its residents, and the tourists who were at the concert have not returned to normalcy.
There are likely cultural and class reasons why the victims of the Las Vegas shooting did not receive as much attention, why they were not asked to appear on talk shows or speak at high-profile rallies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here are the winners of the 2018 Nebula Awards”

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is currently holding its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this weekend, and last night, the organization announced the winners of its prestigious Nebula Awards.
N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky won the award for best novel.
It’s the final installment of her Broken Earth trilogy, about a far-future Earth that experiences periodic, devastating apocalyptic events, and it’s a work that establishes Jemisin as one of fantasy’s best writers working right now.
He joins other well-known authors such as Joe Haldeman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, and others.
In his introductory remarks, he spoke about his own love of science fiction, and noted that while many creatures make tools, “Your tools are dreams, and words, and ideas, and the places you take us all are marvelous, and so necessary in today’s world to have dreamers and visionaries.”
The Nebula Awards are awarded annually by SFWA, whose members nominate their favorite works from the past year.
This year’s nominees represent a diverse body of work from 2017, and a number of the books made their way onto our best of 2017 book list last December.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Look to the Future, but Some Royals Never Change”

Mike was played by Patrick J. Adams, who greeted the announcement of Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry with a pained lament: “She said she was just going out to get some milk.”
At last, to the festivities of today, when Markle was hitched to her true love-her true true love, forever and ever-at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Helen Mack, had worked in the hospice movement for thirty years, providing care for the terminally ill; another spectator, Cavita Chapman, is not only a senior manager in the treatment of mental health-a cause to which Harry has lent outspoken support-but, as I learned, an expert on the insanely complex plot of “Suits.” Chapman was crisp in her assessment of the real-life couple, expecting great things of Meghan and the Prince-“Harry’s always been, you know, ‘Why not?'” Put together, Chapman said, “Both of them will change the world.”
As Markle walked all over him, at noon today, one wondered how recently she saw “Hamilton,” which is now playing to thunderous acclaim in London, and which portrays King George as a spoiled and petulant fop.
The Markle clan, Lord knows, has its own predicaments, and the distressing business of the bride’s father-should he, could he, walk her down the aisle?-was settled and quelled with hardly a day to spare.
In a similar vein, much praise has been directed toward Meghan Markle’s veil, which, in accordance with her wishes, was embroidered with a flower from each nation of the Commonwealth.
As Harry is reported to have said, when first making the acquaintance of Meghan Markle, “I need to up my game.”
Meghan Markle entered the chapel as a Ms. and came out as a duchess: a transmutation that Superman himself, who merely changes his underwear in a confined space, would be the first to applaud.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A dozen years after near-death, Star Trek’s future may be stronger than ever”

On May 13, 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise ended its four-season run with the controversial two-part finale, “These Are the Voyages” The finale infamously brought in cast members from The Next Generation to tell the final chapter in Enterprise’s story, and it was viewed by some as a disrespectful and ignominious end to 18 almost-unbroken years of Trek on the small screen.
With confirmed new films and seasons on the way, the future of Trek seems brighter today than perhaps at any other point in the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Even at the lows of the Enterprise end, most people assumed that Star Trek was too valuable an intellectual property to disappear forever.
Star Trek’s future faced complications that had nothing to do with scripts or a writer’s room.
As part of the separation, CBS would retain the rights to distribute existing episodic Star Trek material and develop new series, but Paramount would have the rights to past and future motion picture projects.
They amplified fan concerns that it would be years before we’d see an effort to launch a new Star Trek project.
After multiple rounds of discussions, it was announced in April 2006 that J.J. Abrams would develop the eleventh Star Trek feature film.
As far as Paramount was concerned, Abrams’ Trek would be the new Trek.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gillian Jacobs talks to Alison Brie about the highs and lows of being an actor”

JACOBS: After my freshman year, I went to Harvard, and then University of Chicago.
JACOBS: It was just like, you pay, and you can take classes there in the summer.
JACOBS: I took a Civil War history course, and a twentieth century American literature course.
Then at University of Chicago, I took a pre-Socratic Greek philosophy course, and a Southern literature course.
JACOBS: Well, when they were telling me they might kick me out, it was a distinct possibility.
JACOBS: I placed so much importance on their validation that I thought, if they kicked me out, I’m not supposed to be an actor.
JACOBS: I was just so afraid of getting kicked out that I somehow got through that year.
JACOBS: No. I’m sure they’d love me to give them money, but they’re not desperate for me to return.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Ryan Reynolds Found ‘Deadpool,’ and Also Himself”

Ryan Reynolds’s introduction to superhero movies, and our introduction to Ryan Reynolds in superhero movies, is clichéd, and obnoxious, and close to perfect.
On Friday, with the arrival of Deadpool 2, Reynolds will have played three different superheroes in six different superhero movies.
More Ryan Reynolds movies in particular? Eh, not really.
“Fact: People believe Ryan Reynolds is a movie star,” wrote Bill Simmons for Grantland in 2012, adding that Reynolds was “The most versatile half-decent actor out there, and I swear that wasn’t a backhanded compliment.” And that was before 2013’s would-be summer blockbuster R.I.P.D., a gigantic bomb that made Deadpool’s ascendence three years later even more unlikely.
Ryan Reynolds April 3, 2018 But Deadpool saved him, and that would seem to warrant a reappraisal of his earlier encounters with superhero movies.
Reynolds is also in charge of exposition, including the opening voiceover: “In the movies, Dracula wears a cape and some old English guy always manages to save the day at the last minute with crosses and holy water. But everybody knows the movies are full of shit.” But mostly surrounded by morose absurdity-Jessica Biel plays a super-badass archer with an iPod fixation-Hannibal is eventually reduced to hurling grandiose insults at Parker Posey, the only other person in this movie who seems to be enjoying herself.
Within seconds, Reynolds calls her both a “Horse-humping bitch” and a “Cock-juggling thundercunt.” This sort of ultra-crude japery is the black box it will take Hollywood 12 years to make the whole movie out of.
What we know about it already is another thing we’ve always known: Reynolds is very arguably better at promoting movies than he is in acting in them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Shared housing startups are taking off – TechCrunch”

Notice any commonalities? Yes, the startups listed are all based in either New York or the San Francisco Bay Area, two metropolises associated with scarce, pricey housing.
By the same token, today’s shared housing startups are selling another vision.
The San Francisco company also positions its model as a partial solution to housing shortages as it promotes high-density living.
Shared housing startups are generally operating in the most expensive U.S. housing markets, so it’s difficult to categorize their offerings as cheap.
Shared and temporary housing startups also purport to offer some savings through flexible-term leases, typically with minimum stays of one to three months.
Looking ahead. While it’s too soon to pick winners in the latest crop of shared and temporary housing startups, it’s not far-fetched to envision the broad market as one that could eventually attract much larger investment and valuations.
At first glance, it may seem shared housing startups are scaling up at an off time.
So even if millennials age out of shared housing, demographic forecasts indicate there will plenty of twenty-somethings to rent those partitioned-off rooms.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Democracies Can Learn From Malaysia”

What is democracy for? This might seem like an obvious question.
Disagreements over democracy’s ends are multiplying in the West, including in the oldest, most advanced democracies.
Those disagreements include the question of whether democracy is an end unto itself or a means to something greater.
In Western democracies, there’s often an unspoken assumption that democracy is supposed to produce better policy outcomes-well-paying jobs, better schools, or improved living standards, for example.
Democracy’s legitimacy is tied to, and even depends on, its performance, something that’s also referred to as “Performance legitimacy.” Our leaders also told us-as well as those living under dictatorship abroad-that democracy would make consensus, agreement, and a shared national vision more likely.
Democracy isn’t fundamentally about these things, and Western politicians have erred in insisting that it is.
Recourse is the last, and most important, refuge before a flawed democracy devolves into electoral authoritarianism.
Democracy is a long-term solution to the problem of how to manage conflict peacefully.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The enduring mythology of the whiz kid”

The parts of cities that most need innovation, and where the vast majority of the work is being done, is in the mundane.
The different city entities that might tear up the street on any given day didn’t have any way to communicate who was doing what when, so as a result, entire sections of the city could suddenly become impassable, or the same road might get torn up multiple times.
Syracuse has a small three-person innovation team, the result of a Bloomberg grant, headed up by Adria Finch, who grew up in the area and worked for Syracuse’s Business Development Council before coming to city government.
In some cases, cities need a little help looking at problems from new angles-the Syracuse team all participated in a three-day training on human-centered design where they learned how to ask the right questions, develop ideas, and get to the root of a problem-and city employees are then often able to fix the things that most need fixing.
As a first step, Lyons worked to reorganize the planning department, as that was where the city saw a lot of angst in citizens’ daily interactions.
Gainesville calls the new department the Department of Doing; it’s headed by Wendy Thomas, a lifelong city planner who had most recently worked in Bozeman, Montana.
In addition to saving the city money on gas, Thomas says the project also helped get others in the city government excited about the kinds of inspections they could do virtually.
The city is working on the app now, and is anticipating rolling it out to residents in early summer.

The orginal article.