Joel Osteen’s Hurricane Harvey Reaction Tops This Week’s News Roundup

Over the past week or so, the world has seen devastation in both Texas and Mumbai, bringing out the best—and, as you’ll see below, the worst—in people in response. That doesn’t mean that the internet has been entirely focused on important things, however. Social media did spend quite a bit of time rehashing The Office and appreciating the new evil Star Wars droid this last week, too. Wait. What we talking about? Oh, yeah—the highlights and lowlights of what everyone else was talking about over the past seven days. Which is to say, this.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

What Happened: Supporters of Presidents Trump and Obama got into a long spat over which White House occupant handled hurricane response more effectively. No one really won.

What Really Happened: The reality of political What-About-ism means that with President Trump facing read more

WIRED’s Top Stories in August: Hurricanes, Hyperloops, and Eclipses, Oh My!

August was full of news about hacks, leaks, and even hacks that led to leaks. But it was nature that arrested our attention and dominated the news cycle.

On August 21, a total solar eclipse cast a shadow over a large part of the US. For two and a half minutes, much of the nation turned its attention skyward to witness a cosmic marvel. Not a week later, on August 25, Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast, morphing from a category 4 hurricane to a tropical storm that lingered over Houston for days. The city is starting its recovery, rebuilding homes and systems.

WIRED reported on this and much more over the past 31 days. Below, a selection of the most-read stories on WIRED.com

How to Watch the Total Solar Eclipse Without Glasses

The best way to observe this astronomical event is to be somewhere in the path of totality that will experience total darkness in the middle of the day. If you can’t do this, you have two other options: Buy a pair of solar glasses or make a pinhole.

As for me, I will read more

‘The Inhumans’ Review: Even in IMAX, Marvel’s Universe Has Limits

For reasons that escape me and most other people, Inhumans, the latest Marvel offering, is playing in IMAX theaters this weekend. Inhumans isn’t a movie—it’ll be airing on ABC starting Sept. 29—and it doesn’t have any massive space battles that benefit from IMAX’s large format. It’s just … there, asking if you’ll kindly pay upwards of $20 to see a super-sized version of the first two episodes of a network television show.

The answer to that entreaty, for most people, is likely “nah.” Given that the cost of an IMAX ticket is a lot even when the movie is a large-format feast for the eyes like Doctor Strange, paying that kind of money to watch really big TV is ridiculous. Then again, you could say that about a lot of the Inhumans experiment.

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‘Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle’ Review: A Good Time, Despite the Rabbids

When Rabbids, the hyperactive cartoon rabbits introduced in Rayman Raving Rabbids, get excited, they shout “Bwah!” They do so repeatedly and volubly. This is a fact I didn’t know yesterday; I hope I forget it by tomorrow.

The Rabbids, which gained attention for their mascot potential and have since been spun off by their creators, Ubisoft, into a series of party games and various ancillary opportunities, are terrible. Superficially “wacky”, with the sort of attitude that would lend them well to the memes your aunt posts on Facebook, Rabbids are the Minions of the videogame world.

An example of the type of ‘tude we’re talking about: early in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, a character introducing a quest offers coins as a reward—but the Rabbids, those sassy rascals, throw the coins back at the quest giver until he offers a better reward! They are preternaturally, merchandisingly Edgy. I hate them so, so much.

Which makes what read more

Ed Skrein Leaving ‘Hellboy’ Proves How Easily Hollywood Could Stop Whitewashing

Ed Skrein is not an A-lister. He’s a good actor who showed up in Deadpool and starred in Transporter Refueled, but he’s not a certified star. But now that he’s quit the Hellboy reboot, his is a name Hollywood likely won’t forget for a while. Yesterday, in an unprecedented move, the British actor gave up the role of Major Ben Daimio, saying that he didn’t realize when he took the job that the character in the comics was of mixed Asian heritage, and that he would be stepping down “so the role can be cast appropriately.” Citing the lack of diversity in the arts, he concluded that it was important to lend his voice to inclusivity and that if his decision led to a day when minority representation was a reality, “it is worth it.”

Skrein’s statement never used the word “whitewashing,” but it’s clearly what he’s talking about. In recent years, many roles that should have gone to minority actors have been cast with read more

Bungie’s ‘Destiny’ Characters Were Born to Be Cosplayed

There are a million and one reasons cosplaying is a fine art. It requires not only time, patience, and resources, but also a very specific skill set that can include everything from expert wig selection to carpentry. The folks at videogame developer Bungie understand this struggle. That’s why they create characters for their wickedly popular Destiny series with the challenges facing cosplayers in mind.

“One of the ways we think about character creation is ‘How are we creating a character who can be cosplayed by people who love our game?'” says Luke Smith, the director of the Destiny sequel Destiny 2, which is out in open beta today.

When the team at Bungie does this, Smith says, they think about each character’s hairstyle, coloring, and clothing and how easy those elements will be for players to replicate IRL. And fans have responded. There are now Etsy shops, read more

Netflix’s 20th Anniversary Is Nice, But It Doesn’t Matter

A few years ago, one eagle-eyed YouTube user uploaded a true internet find: a 1998 DVD-Rom ad for a new service called NetFlix.com. Over a swell of stringed instruments and a parade of movie posters from Raging Bull to Twins, the new DVD rental company explained itself (“You won’t have to search for a video store that carries more than a few titles”). “Holy S**t!” wrote one commenter. “They had Netflix in ’98?!” They sure did, Shadowkey392.

In fact, today marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of the company—August 29, 1997, is when Reed Hastings, flush off the sale of his company Pure Atria (nee Pure Software), cofounded it with his colleague Marc Randolph. It wasn’t even named Netflix then—it was called Kibble.

But August 29, 1997, is quite possibly the least important date in the company’s history. As the past 20 years has read more

Nobody Wants a Jabba the Hutt Movie, Thanks Anyway

Some days, you want to see what the First Order will be driving in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Other days, you just want to know what’s going on in the galaxy far, far away—even if that means taking part in a Pokémon Go-esque AR event designed to sell toys. Luke Skywalker never had to search for new characters on his phone—although, really, that’s a lot easier than using the Force to lift an X-wing out of a swamp, so it probably balances out in the long run. Meanwhile, what else is happening in the universe of Star Wars? Glad you asked, we are.

Return of the Jedi Indeed

The Source: Anonymous sources speaking with the Hollywood Reporter

Probability of Accuracy: While unofficial until Lucasfilm says it, all signs point to this being legit.

The Real Deal: Turns out, plans are moving forward for more Star Wars Story standalone movies after all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, read more