How ‘Searching’ Became More Than an “Internet Movie”

It was 2016, and Aneesh Chaganty was fumbling through the most important phone call of his barely-begun career. The young filmmaker had been given 15 minutes to convince actor John Cho to star in Search, a mystery about a father trying to track down his missing teenage daughter. The characters’ ordeal—and their entire relationship—would be told via a series of screens, as its hero uses everything from Facebook to FaceTime to Reddit to solve his kid’s disappearance.

Other films have taken the same web-centered approach, like 2015’s horror hit Unfriended, but Chaganty wanted to do something different: “The Memento of screen movies,” he says. For Cho, however, the concept didn’t click. “It was the first time I’d spoken to a celebrity in my life, and I completely botched the call,” says Chaganty. “I didn’t tell him what we were trying to do something new. His hesitation was that this wouldn’t be a movie movie—that it would just be a YouTube video.”

Chaganty, [...]  read more

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Fleeing White House Lawyers Top This Week’s Internet News Roundup

It’s been a week that’s seen us inch ever closer to the collapse of NAFTA, seen the White House seemingly confused about how it collectively feels about the death of John McCain, and seen the official death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico raised by almost 3,000, even though the President still claims the official response was “fantastic”. (No wonder his disapproval rating has hit an all-new high.) But what else has been going on this week? I’m glad you asked! Let’s let the internet answer that question, shall we?

You’re Fired (483rd Twitter Edition)

What Happened: Of all the people the President of the United States has pushed out of the White House, perhaps the White House lawyer wasn’t the best choice.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports

What Really Happened: Elsewhere in the legal worries of the leader of the free world, the reportedly perfectly fine, nothing wrong whatsoever relationship between President Trump and White House lawyer Don McGahn [...]  read more

‘Disenchantment’ May Not Enchant Hardcore Fantasy Fans

Science fiction author Robert Repino had high expectations for Disenchantment, the new animated series from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. Unfortunately, he was underwhelmed by the show’s early episodes.

“I counted four episodes that ended with a very slow-moving, sloppy, contrived action scene,” Repino says in Episode 324 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

And while Futurama episodes like “The Prisoner of Benda” and “Meanwhile” demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of science fiction tropes, Disenchantment never shows much familiarity with the fantasy genre.

“It doesn’t feel like this is a show that was made by huge fantasy fans,” says Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley. “I don’t get the feeling that these are people who are intimately familiar with Robert Asprin and Craig Shaw Gardner and Terry Pratchett.”

Fantasy author Tom Gerencer agrees that Disenchantment [...]  read more

The Ecologist on a Mission to Count New York’s Whales

The first thing you notice about ecologist Arthur Kopelman is his giant white beard. The second is the gold whale charm dangling from his earlobe—a symbol of the creature that has consumed his thoughts for decades.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without it,” says Joe Carrotta, a photographer who documented Kopelman’s whale-watching cruises up and down the New York coast last summer. The boat rides allow Kopelman to collect data for the Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island—an organization he co-founded in 1996—while also educating passengers about the incredible cetaceans and pinnipeds swimming (and singing) just miles from shore.

“People are surprised to learn there are marine mammals in New York,” Kopelman says, “perhaps because it’s an area that also has some of the densest human populations in the world.”

The New York Bight—a coastal region stretching from the northern tip of Long Island to southern New Jersey—is [...]  read more

Top Stories in August: Elon Musk’s Summertime Madness

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social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/gallery/wired-top-stories-in-august-2018-elon-musk

A Madden Tournament Mass Shooting and a Riot Games Exposé Cap a Difficult Week in Video Games

It’s been a difficult week for videogames, with tragedies and major struggles dominating the news. This week at Replay, let’s take a look at what’s happening and what might happen next.

The Esports World is Reeling After a Tragedy Strikes

We start with some hard news: a mass shooting last weekend at a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. David Katz, a 24-year-old man from Baltimore, opened fire at the tournament, injuring 11 people and killing two competitors, as well as himself. Katz was also a competitor at the tournament, which occurred at the GLHF Game Bar.

It’s a terrible turn of events that has sent the esports space into a bit of a tailspin, along with games at large. Everyone from pundits to players have scrambled to evaluate gaming tournaments and events in light of the violence: what security is needed, what could have been done to stop it, what it means for future gatherings. This is the first notable mass shooting to occur at a gaming event, and for those of us in games it’s [...]  read more

Sorry, There Just Wasn’t a Lot of Fun Stuff In Games This Week

It’s been a difficult week for videogames, with tragedies and major struggles dominating the news. This week at Replay, let’s take a look at what’s happening and what might happen next.

The Esports World is Reeling After a Tragedy Strikes

We start with some hard news: a mass shooting last weekend at a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. David Katz, a 24-year-old man from Baltimore, opened fire at the tournament, injuring 11 people and killing two competitors, as well as himself. Katz was also a competitor at the tournament, which occurred at the GLHF Game Bar.

It’s a terrible turn of events that has sent the esports space into a bit of a tailspin, along with games at large. Everyone from pundits to players have scrambled to evaluate gaming tournaments and events in light of the violence: what security is needed, what could have been done to stop it, what it means for future gatherings. This is the first notable mass shooting to occur at a gaming event, and for those of us in games it’s [...]  read more

Labor Day Streaming Binge Guide: 13 Workplace Comedies to Buckle Down With This Long Weekend

There are two kinds of employees. (Three, if you count those who traffic in binary generalizations.) You’ve got those who squeeze as much life as they can out of every moment they’re not stuck in an office cubicle, and those who can’t resist checking/responding to work emails and Slacks, even when they’re on vacation. Fortunately, both can find the humor in a great workplace TV comedy—whether it’s a small-screen version of him or herself, or an uncanny doppelgänger for that boss you love to hate. With a three-day weekend ahead of you, you’re bound to spend at least part of it lying on the couch, so why not channel the spirit of the holiday by streaming one of these hilarious workplace comedies?

The Office (UK)

Before there was Dunder Mifflin, there was Wernham Hogg—the original misfit middling paper company in a stultifyingly small city. But just because you’ve seen one version of The Office [...]  read more

Is It Possible to Find Love Without Dating Apps?

Dating in 2018 can be a challenge. I’m sorry, let me rephrase: It suuuuuuuuccckkkkksssss.

Apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr, and others are the dater’s tools of choice , and yet hating them is the one thing we can all agree on these days. They’re often more hazard than help, and the forced psychoanalysis of every picture and witty answer can shake even the most durable of confidences loose. Why am I not getting more matches? Why didn’t they respond? But is it your fault, or the app’s? Is it really possible to find true love with just your thumbs? I set out on a journey to find out, and it starts with defining love itself.

The heart of the matter is the heart itself. Like any muscle, it must be worked on to grow. And love for most people seems to emulate that—a laborious growing process. A symbiotic relationship where two people don’t just grow together, but toward each other. But how do you decide on the person, the deciding [...]  read more

I’m Not Here to Make Friends: The Rise and Fall of the Supercut Video

In the summer of 2008, Rich Juzwiak was working as a culture writer for VH1’s website, a job that required him to keep up with a daunting assortment of reality-television shows. Some were well-established hits: Survivor, The Apprentice, Big Brother. Others were single-season oddities, like The White Rapper Show or Crowned. No matter what show he was watching or reading about, Juzwiak had noticed that, at some point, one of the contestants invariably made the same defiant claim.

“I’m not here to make friends.”

For months, Juzwiak pulled together as many clips as he could find featuring the phrase, a process that required searching numerous recaps, and frequenting dubious video archives. “It was not the age of streaming,” Juzwiak says. “It was the era of sketchy sites: ‘If I download this file, will it actually be the file, or am i giving myself a virus?’” Eventually, he compiled more than three minutes’ worth of examples, which he edited together and released on his personal blog in July 2008, under the title “I’m Not Here to Make Friends!”

At the time, Juzwiak’s video was one of the more ambitious—and more popular—examples of an emerging genre of web video: The supercut. It was a catch-all term for a new wave of fast-moving, detail-obsessed videos that isolated a recurring pop-culture trope. Some supercuts were specific to a movie or series, like a compilation [...]  read more