Magma News | Nov. 3 2020
Nov 03, 2020
04:27 PM

How to Handle Election Anxiety, According to Mental Health Experts

BY FIORELLA VALDESOLO, November 1 (Vogue )

Illustration by Ivana Cruz
Illustration by Ivana Cruz

Once upon a time when my nerves were feeling especially frayed, I’d retreat to the movie theater. What was on screen never really mattered as much as the act of sitting in a dark room in the company of strangers; it was soothing. As my stress levels have continued to spike this year, it’s a place, and a feeling, I have found myself longing for over and over again. While the pandemic has altered our collective reality in myriad ways, one of them has been the elimination of what are, for many of us, coping mechanisms in times of heightened stress: a boozy meal with friends amid the din of a busy restaurant; a crowded, heart-pumping SoulCycle class; a sweaty session in a steam room; and, yes, a solo afternoon trip to the movie theater (bliss!).

“In the absence of the things that were our normal coping mechanisms, we’ve had to come up with new ways to manage our stress,” says Brooklyn-based clinical psychologist Nanika Coor, Psy.D. “Some people have been able to do that more easily, but most are feeling really overwhelmed without their familiar strategies, and the stress that builds up from that can start getting toxic.” In the lead-up to the election, that stress has escalated dramatically. A recent poll by the American Psychological Association found that two-thirds of people report feeling an increase in stress related to the election, an uptick from the same time in 2016. And that stress is bipartisan. “The polarization that has marked the past four years pushed each ideological group to extremity, which psychologically entailed regressing into more primitive underlying assumptions,” explains clinical psychologist Orna Guralnik (also the titular therapist in Showtime’s Couples Therapy). “Our positions are now utterly mutually exclusive and there is no longer the possibility of a shared reality. It’s a state of eat or be eaten.” The erosion of our collective trust in a degree of common truth has also, adds Guralnik, furthered that divide and stoked fear, anxiety, and a sense of isolation.

That that sense of isolation during what is, at base level, an extremely fraught election is compounded since we are all, literally, more isolated than ever because of a pandemic. And social isolation is commonly and traditionally correlated with depression and anxiety. “People feel like their values are so deeply tied to whatever happens in this election so there’s a lot of catastrophic thinking happening on both sides,” says Thea Gallagher, Psy.D., the Clinic Director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at UPenn. When we feel an overwhelming sense that we are unmoored, it may be important to focus on what is, instead, within our grasp. “We can’t control the election or the pandemic, but we can control some things in our life,” Coor adds. Here, some advice from experts on how to contend with the feelings—the many, many feelings—that 2020 has surfaced.

If you’re having trouble sleeping…

There are many elements that factor into improving your sleep hygiene. Chief among them, and perhaps most relevant to our current state of sleeplessness, is separating yourself from your technology, and, more critically, from the endless news: staying informed doesn’t have to mean being constantly plugged in. Besides putting your phone to bed (far away from your own bed, it should be added) before you hit the pillow, Gallagher says you should put a timer on your daily consumption: she suggests ten minutes max. (Yup, you read that right. If you need a little longer than ten minutes to get through the top stories, then focus on limiting your news consumption to a specific short period during the day and resist the urge to constantly dip back in.) “We really have to be intentional about taking space,” says Gallagher. “It’s not ignorant or burying your head in the sand. You can stay informed and also protect your mental health.”

If you feel adrift…

According to Coor, there’s a lot to be said for prioritizing the meeting of your basic needs: healthy food, sunshine, sleep, connection, movement, and, also, boundaries. Our home and work lives have become overlapped, often uncomfortably so. “Everything flows together and there’s no space from anything, so creating those boundaries for yourself [with your partner and kids if you have them] is a self-caring thing to do,” she says. And, while it may seem counterintuitive, movement can also go far in helping us feel more grounded. To wit, this week, The Class by Taryn Toomey is offering quickie 15-minute classes focused on movement and breath through their virtual studio. On Sky Ting TV, you can stream instructor Jenn Tardif’s nervous system-calming grounding and moving meditation classes and, timed to election week, stream five days of free restorative classes.

If you’re distracted…

Lean into it. “Your anxiety is signaling that there are feelings and issues you need to attend to, so create some real space for it,” says Guralnik. Amidst the constant stream of news, the inability to focus is a common complaint, but to really understand the root of what may be causing your anxiety, you have to embrace some distraction. Guralnik suggests using an exercise like writing, drawing, meditating, or listening to music to create time to let your mind wander and check in with your feelings.

If your communications are especially tense…

Yes, connection is critical, but there’s a marked difference between doing it online versus IRL. “The mere act of being around other people is good for our well-being and we’re feeling the hit of those missed social connections when we just get them from technology,” says Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Even the absence of banal workplace banter about lunch plans or your weekend is perceptible: when there’s no casual talk, explains Gallagher, all your work interactions become transactional and, therefore, less meaningful. It can also be hard to see people as a whole when you’re not actually around many people at all. “We’re often seeing people through the lens of social media or their political views so we have these two-dimensional versions of each other,” adds Gallagher. Even though socializing poses much more of a challenge right now, prioritizing safe, distanced meet-ups with friends is vital. “The pandemic has also revealed our dependence,” says Guralnik. “Despite our ideals of individualism, it turns out we deeply depend on each other.”

If your heart or mind won’t stop racing…

“A racing heart is a sign that your sympathetic nervous system or ‘fight or flight’ response is activated,” explains Santos. “Our bodies give us one way to shut off this system and that’s through our breath.” Pausing to take some deep belly breaths, or just focusing with intention on your breath for a few moments can be an antidote—and a quick one, at that—for a racing heart or mind. “That simple act can activate our vagus nerve and help us turn on our parasympathetic nervous system, which is focused on ‘rest and digest,’” she adds.

If you can’t shake negative feelings…

The most effective way to shake off negativity, says Santos, is to redirect it by intentionally and repeatedly listing a few things you’re grateful for—and really, it can be anything; your beloved morning cup of coffee qualifies. “Even during challenging times there can still be stuff that brings us joy, and research shows that the simple act of scribbling down three to five things you’re grateful for each day significantly improves your well-being,” says Santos.

If you’re overwhelmed by the uncertainty…

“The definition of anxiety is fear of the unknown and intolerance of uncertainty,” says Gallagher. Between COVID and the election, we are living in a time of peak uncertainty. “When we don’t know, we feel out of control, which, in turn, makes us feel scared and overwhelmed.” Escaping that spin cycle is about being grounded in the present and, says Coor, leaning heavily on daily routines: “You’re always in a cat-like state of readiness when you don’t know what’s coming. So whatever you can make predictable, do it.”

If you just feel stuck…

Gallagher has been telling people to end each day with some non-judgmental observation: taking a few moments to consider what went well and what didn’t, then how to recreate more of the former and minimize the latter going forward. But if the anxiety you’re experiencing is paralyzing and you’re struggling, identify that, accept it, and seek out therapy; the virtual model has actually made it more accessible and convenient than ever. “We’re getting inundated and it’s really great,” says Coor. “Because it’s OK to not be OK. It makes sense that you’re not OK, it’s perfectly normal that you’re not OK.”

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

2020 early voting has already reached 71% of 2016's total turnout

Ursula Perano • NOV 03, 2020 (Axios)

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Monday had already reached 71% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

By the numbers: Both Hawaii (110.6%) and Texas (107.7%) have already surpassed 2016's total turnout via early voting. The latter has morphed into a key swing state that could allow Joe Biden to land a knockout blow on President Trump's re-election chances.

Other states that have already amassed a huge portion of their 2016 totals include:

Montana: 99.1%

Washington: 97.9%

New Mexico: 97.3%

Georgia: 93.9%

North Carolina: 95.4%

Tennessee: 89.6%

Nevada: 96.7%

Oregon: 95.8%

Florida: 93.7%

Arizona: 92.9%

Colorado: 88.2%

The other side: Some key battleground states are lagging behind the frontrunners. Pennsylvania, for example, has only reached 39.2% of its 2016 total turnout —but this is the first general election for which the state has implemented no-excuse absentee balloting. Historically, only about 5% of Pennsylvanians have voted by mail.

Other key battlegrounds and their current early turnout against 2016 totals:

Wisconsin: 63.4%

Iowa: 60.5%

Michigan 58.3%

Ohio: 51.8%

Worth noting: Mail-in ballots face deadlines. While some states only require that ballots be postmarked by or shortly before Election Day, others require ballots to be received by election officials on Tuesday.

Swing states Florida and Wisconsin, for example, require mail-in ballots to be received by 7 and 8 p.m., respectively, on Election Day.

But the Supreme Court recently shut down Republican attempts to trim mail-in deadlines in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Many states also can't begin counting their mail-in ballots until Election Day, which is likely to cause a backlog in results —and could shift results in Biden's favor as more get counted in the following days.

Between the lines: Experts say it is essentially impossible to read anything into 2020's unprecedented turnout at the current moment.

While high-turnout elections traditionally favor Democrats, the pandemic's effects have caused traditional models to be cast aside —making it difficult to draw any conclusions about the possible outcome of the election from these historic numbers.

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

How Facebook and Twitter plan to handle election day disinformation

Weeks of playing whack-a-mole with rumors and lies about voting have shaken trust in Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Their biggest test yet will come late on election day.

By SAM DEAN (Los Angeles Times )

Nov. 2, 2020 | 2:51 PM

A man in the Atlanta suburbs was scrolling Facebook in late October when an ad popped up claiming his polling place had changed. At first glance, the change didn't seem to align with official records.

He suspected it was a lie — potentially a voter suppression tactic. He had already voted by mail, but was on high alert for shenanigans in his hotly contested battleground district.

Further digging showed that it was a false alarm. Cobb County, Georgia, had in fact switched around a number of its polling places between the June primary election and the November general election, informing voters of the change by mail. What had seemed like fake news was actually a promoted Facebook post from the county itself, trying to get the word out.

This is the shaky ground on which the 2020 election is playing out: tech platforms that are simultaneously the central source of information for most voters and a morass of fake news, rumors, and disinformation that aim to alter the democratic process.

The major social media companies have had years to prepare for Tuesday, but in recent weeks have been scrambling to adapt their plans to the shifting terrain.

While international networks of fake accounts and coordinated disinformation campaigns plagued the 2016 campaign, recent months have seen Republican politicians and conservative media personalities spread misleading stories to undermine trust in mail-in ballots or local election processes. At the same time, social media firms face pressure from the left to more effectively police their platforms and outrage from the right over efforts to delete or slow the social spread of inaccurate information and conspiracy theories.

The Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition created in July between Stanford, the University of Washington, data analysis company Graphika and the Washington, D.C., think tank the Atlantic Council, has been cataloging each platform's policies around election misinformation since August. The coalition has already had to update its tracker six times in the two months since to reflect major changes from the tech giants.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as the highest-profile social media platforms, have been grappling with misinformation on their platforms for years, and have a number of policies in place to address issues such as direct voter suppression, incitement to violence and outright election fraud. But in the heat of this election season, every decision is subject to intense scrutiny — and last-minute policy changes and judgement calls have led to outcries from both sides of the aisle.

Twitter's decision to block users from retweeting an article about the involvement of Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, with a Ukrainian natural gas company in mid-October provoked a furor from conservative commentators. Days later, the company's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, said that the decision to block the article's URL was "wrong," and the platform rolled out universal changes to slow the spread of all stories on the service.

Facebook's decision to ban new political ads beginning a week before election day came under fire from the Biden campaign after what the company calls "technical flaws" in its software caused a number of existing ad campaigns that were supposed to continue running to be shut down in error. Biden's digital director said in a statement that a number of the campaign's ads were affected, and criticized Facebook for providing "no clarity on the widespread issues that are plaguing" their system.

Major platforms have set a number of concrete plans in place for election night itself, anticipating a situation in which one candidate declares victory prematurely.

The Election Integrity Partnership classifies this scenario as one of "delegitimization," on a spectrum with claims from non-candidates that the election is rigged, with or without specific claims or purported evidence of ballot tampering. As a whole, these can be difficult to counteract, but the major platforms have committed to either delete or tag these posts as suspect.

Facebook plans to label any posts from candidates claiming a premature victory with a notice that "counting is still in progress and no winner has been determined," and a link directing users to their Voting Information Center. There, users will see results as they come in from Reuters and the National Election Pool, a consortium including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News that conducts exit polling and tabulates votes. Once polls close on election night, the company will also put a notification at the top of all users' feeds notifying them that the vote has yet to be counted and directing them to the information center.

After the election, the platform is also banning any new political ads from running, in an attempt to reduce disinformation about the election's outcome. Posts by individuals or organizations containing lies or incitements to violence will be subject to the same moderating process as always.

Twitter says it will label or remove any similar post, making it more difficult to retweet a problematic message and reducing the likelihood that users will see it in their feeds. The company will also direct users to an election information page, which will report results from state election officials, or from "at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent election calls."

YouTube has no specific policy for this scenario, though it will direct users to Associated Press results for all election information. Videos that incite viewers to interfere with voting, or that simply spread misinformation about voting or candidates up for election, are banned under the platform's policies, and its moderation team will remove them as usual if posted. After the election, YouTube will place a notification warning that results may not be final at the top of election-related search results and below videos discussing the election, with a link to parent company Google's election page with information from AP.

Most platforms have broader election misinformation policies in place — namely Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok and Nextdoor — but they vary widely in detail and scope.

Nextdoor says it will identify and remove content that could interfere or incite interference with the election, vote counting process, or could "incite violence to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession," but fails to define its terms or mention a specific enforcement and review process.

Pinterest has some of the most comprehensive anti-misinformation policies of all, with commitments to delete almost any post that has a whiff of misinformation or election fraud. Snapchat added a clause to its preexisting community guidelines in September, expanding its rule against spreading harmful or malicious false information, "such as denying the existence of tragic events" or "unsubstantiated medical claims" to also cover "undermining the integrity of civic processes."

While viral fake news from overseas sources continues to spread across social networks in the U.S. — one town in North Macedonia continues to be the apparent source of a number of fake conservative news sites — the EIP has documented a rise in domestic fake news campaigns spread and amplified by verified right-wing media accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.

One fake story from late September, concerning mail-in ballots in Sonoma County, serves as a case study. A conservative media personality, Elijah Schaffer, tweeted a photo of ballot envelopes from the 2018 election being recycled in a Sonoma County landfill to his more than 200,000 followers with the caption "SHOCKING: 1,000+ mail-in ballots found in a dumpster in California," adding, "Big if true." This was retweeted by Donald Trump Jr. to his 5.9 million followers, and turned into an article on a conservative website that falsely stated that these were unopened 2020 ballots being discarded. That article was then quickly shared thousands of times on Facebook. Both platforms eventually deleted or slowed sharing of this false story, but similar ones have continued to proliferate.

The task of slowing the spread of lies online is made more difficult by the fact that a number of social platforms with large U.S. user bases have no election-specific policies in place. This category includes the chat services Telegram and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has put measures in place before to limit the number of people to whom a certain message can be forwarded in order to reduce the spread of misinformation

Discord, a message board and group chat app popular with video gamers, as well as Twitch, a games-focused video streaming platform, also have no election-specific policies in place. Nor does Reddit, which has relied on its hate speech policy to ban misinformation hubs such as the The_Donald message board in the past.

The Problem with Living Rooms That No One Talks About, According to Real Estate Agents

by Antonia DeBianchi Nov 2, 2020 (Apartment Therapy)

(Image Credit: Sarah Crowley)
(Image Credit: Sarah Crowley)

Where you place—or don’t place—your TV ultimately is up to you. But it might pay to be mindful of how future buyers might perceive it. Before you decide, consider the advice below from realtors.

Can TV placement make or break a sale?

Hayley Westoff, a Compass real estate agent, says if there isn’t a good TV setup, buyers will be turned off. “I have found it to be deal breakers for some buyers, especially in Chicago condos,” she says. “A lot of the time, there’s a diagonal fireplace, and that totally throws buyers off.”

Allison Chiaramonte, a Warburg Realty agent in New York doesn’t think having a TV (or not having a TV) at an open house is a huge determining factor. “It’s generally not a deal breaker,” Chiaramonte says. “Most buyers realize that a TV can be taken out and replaced with art or a mirror.”

But if it’s a more formal living room, a television shouldn’t be the focus, she says. “You have to see what you’re showing, and see what the property sort of lends itself to,” Chiaramonte says.

(Image Credit: Franke Chung)
(Image Credit: Franke Chung)

Why does TV placement matter to buyers?

According to Westoff, most buyers want to visualize themselves living inside a home—and understanding how they’d set up a TV in their living room is part of that. “Rearranging the furniture, and putting either a TV or mirror where the TV would go to really helps the buyer visualize what that setup would look like,” she says.

Especially for tricky spaces—for example, a room that’s not a perfect square or lacks wall space—buyers want you to put the work in for them and show them how it could be set up. Westhoff recommends staging a space to accomplish just that.

Should you upgrade your TV or hide it?

There’s one TV rule that always applies no matter where you might place it. Chiaramonte says you should absolutely take down a TV if it’s outdated. “If you have a really old, thick, crazy TV it definitely makes people wonder why it’s not upgraded and wonder what else in the house might not be upgraded,” she says.

If you think your TV is too much of a focal point in your living room, you can find simple ways to have it blend in. For starters, Chiaramonte says new TVs with mirror or art presets can be an effective disguise. Additionally, if your TV is mounted in a cabinet or shelf wall, you can simply close the cabinetry.

What’s the best spot to place a TV?

Ultimately, TV placement is based on personal preference. According to Chiaramonte, there’s not one ideal arrangement. “For some people that ideal place is smack in the middle of the living room and for some people, that’s absolutely not an ideal place,” she says. “It really depends on who’s buying and looking at the house.”

Even though above the fireplace is a common spot, Westhoff says buyers are starting to get concerned over how high the mantle is. “They don’t want to strain their neck looking up at a TV,” she says. “I had buyers not [buy a property] because the mantle was too high and they would have nowhere to put their TV.” Whether it’s above the fireplace or mounted on a plain wall, there’s no single answer to what the best placement is—you’ll need to decide what fulfills your space’s needs.

  • Mark Cuban: The World's First Trillionaire Is Learning This Skill and Discovering How to Use It in Now Unimaginable Ways

  • Who will it be? According to the entrepreneur and investor, a person who masters A.I.

    By Jeff Haden, November 02, 2020 (Inc. )

    Getty Images
    Getty Images

    During a recent trip, I noticed two abandoned shopping malls. At least eight abandoned grocery stores. Six abandoned hardware stores. And -- although this won't come as a surprise to those who live there -- a startling stream of abandoned street-level shops in New York City.

    While I wasn't looking, I couldn't help but notice.

    As much as we sometimes might wish otherwise, that's the nature of change. And business.

    So what does Mark Cuban feel will drive the next wave of business change?

    At CES this year, Cuban said:

    If you don't know A.I., you're the equivalent of somebody in 1999 saying, "I'm sure this Internet thing will be OK, but I don't give a shit." If you want to be relevant in business, you have to, or you will be a dinosaur very quickly.
    There's going to be A.I. haves and have nots. If you're a have not, you might as well rip out all the computers in your office and throw away your phones. That's how impactful it's going to be.

    Cuban has put his mind and money where his mouth is. He frequently recommends books about artificial intelligence--the most recent is Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World.

    And he's committed $2 million to expand his AI Bootcamps Program, an organization that teaches artificial-intelligence skills at no cost to high school students in low-income communities across the country. (Bootcamps are currently taught by A.I. and data-science experts at companies that extensively use A.I. in their business operations, like Walmart and McDonald's.)

    According to Cuban:

    If you don't know how to use it and you don't understand it and you can't at least at have a basic understanding of the different approaches and how the algorithms work, you can be blindsided in ways you couldn't even possibly imagine.

    Fortunately, developing a basic understanding of A.I. is, if not easy, at least simple. Coursera currently lists over 800 A.I.-related courses, many of them free. Google offers a free machine learning crash course; it the same course every new Google engineer takes. Udacity offers a free course for those who want to learn the basics of artificial intelligence and how it can be applied to business.

    "The world's first trillionaires," Cuban says, "are going to come from somebody who masters A.I. and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of."

    While most of us don't aspire to be trillionaires, as the business landscape continues to change, we do all hope to stay as close to the leading edge as possible.

    If it turns out that Cuban (along with Gates and Musk and Buffett) is right and AI is the new Internet, it's time for all of us to "give a [crap]" and start getting up to speed.

    Rue Aubriot, Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue Paris, Paris 1975.   © The Helmut Newton Estate / Maconochie Photography
    Rue Aubriot, Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue Paris, Paris 1975.   © The Helmut Newton Estate / Maconochie Photography

    The Definitive Helmut Newton Photobook Is Reissued—in Miniature—for His 100th Birthday


    It’s an interesting moment to rerelease SUMO (1999), the 464-page Helmut Newton monograph that weighed 35kg and came with a specially designed Philippe Starck stand. To meet the current moment, it has been redesigned: now called BABY SUMO, it’s half the size and relatively speaking, it’s reasonably priced at $1,500. (The signed first-edition of SUMO became the most expensive book of the 20th century when it sold at auction in Berlin for 620,000DM in 2000, approximately $370K today.)

    In 2020, Newton’s legacy endures, with Vogue Italia’s October issue dedicated to his artistic impact on the eve of what would have been his 100th birthday. The photographer, whose provocative work rose to prominence in the 1970s against a backdrop of the second-wave feminist movement, was one of the most impactful visual creators of his time. His images defined the way women were portrayed in fashion editorials and advertisements.

    A controversial pioneer

    The son of a Jewish button manufacturer, Newton was born in Berlin in 1920. His privileged childhood was spent being dressed by his mother in taffeta bows and swimming at the Berliner Schwimm Club. It was here that he was drawn to the way fellow swimmers’ suits “stayed wet for a long time,” something he revisited in his work, such as Daryl Hannah’s 1984 photograph where, dressed in clear Perspex stilettos and a fuchsia one-piece, she bounces a crying baby on her knee.

    Fleeing Nazi persecution in 1938, Newton travelled to Singapore and later Australia, where he met his wife and creative collaborator June Newton, who has edited the new release of SUMO. Newton set himself the goal of photographing for Vogue (his first contract was with British Vogue in 1956 and after that Australian Vogue), but it wasn’t until the mid 1960s that he began to focus seriously on fashion editorials. The 1967 image of model Willy Van Rooy is an early example of narrative storytelling within the fashion shoot. Titled “How to Make the Fur Fly,” Van Rooy hurtles towards the camera as she flees a small airplane coming from behind, a series inspired by the famous scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 film North by Northwest.

    It is his fetishistic depiction of women that has left a lasting impression. Often presenting women in varying states of undress, these images may appear at first glance simply shocking or provocative, the woman objectified. However, these photographs are more complex; they play with ideas of human desire, lust, gender and power. Images such as ‘Sie Kommen’, which appeared in 1981 Vogue Paris, where the primary intention is to present stylish clothing, subverting the function of the fashion photo. Instead, Newton’s pictures made selling sex the norm, and offered unobtainable ideas of glamour. It is this legacy that has remained, where selling a fantasy is far more potent than selling the latest dress.

    It did sell, and it was his intention to provoke. In an 1975 image titled ‘Rue Aubriot’, the model appears fully dressed, wearing an Yves Saint Laurent ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo. The Paris backdrop is Newtonian in grainy black and white, an effect the photographer described as “black light.” Playing with gender identity, in the mid-1970s women rarely wore trouser suits, the bright street lights in the image allude to what has just happened or is about to happen — it is our imagination that makes it successful. Another from this series gives further clues: the androgynous suited female is flanked by a naked woman wearing only heels and a veil. The perceived electricity between the two creates a sexual charge, erotic perhaps — it depends on who is viewing it.

    Provocative and influential

    Newton said, “I love women. There is nothing I love more.” He remarked that he wanted to present his women as strong and powerful. However, he has been called misogynistic, most memorably to his face by writer, activist and philosopher Susan Sontag. The clip from French TV features in a new documentary called Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (2020).

    Amid #MeToo, his images are more complicated to translate. Today we talk about positionality, the social and political context that creates your identity. Newton was a heterosexual cisgender white male, working during an era when it would not have been the mainstream view to acknowledge that his photography might have been symbolic of a patriarchal society. The pictures were enjoyed for their titillating fantasies, alluding to sexually charged power tussles between prey and predator, which he imagined and constructed. It is also important to recognize the autonomous eroticism of his leading female stars. Grace Jones says in the trailer for the aforementioned documentary, “He was a little bit pervert, but so am I!”

    The complicated thing about Newton’s images is that they presented women through the male gaze, yet they were created for and sold to women. Leafing through the pages of Newton’s book today prompts more questions. Do women in 2020 like to look like a Newton muse? Are these photographs still erotic in that they reflect today’s ideals of sensuality and intimacy? Being a woman isn't a monolithic experience, so we won't all agree on the answer.

    BABY SUMO by Helmut Newton (Taschen), revised and edited by June Newton, is out on October 31

    Burger King wants you to order from McDonald's

    Jack Guy, CNN Business

    12:07 PM EST November 2, 2020

    Fast food chain Burger King has taken a rather unusual step: calling on customers to order from archrival McDonald's, as well as a number of other competing restaurants.

    The company's UK arm tweeted a statement Monday asking consumers to support their local fast food outlets during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they are Burger King or not.

    "We never thought we'd be asking you to do this, but restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment," read the tweet, which names KFC, Subway and Domino's Pizza, as well as other chains.

    "So, if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway or drive thru."

    Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Greggs, Taco Bell, Papa John and Leon also get a mention, as do independent food outlets.

    "Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing," reads the message.

    The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and new restrictions set to come into force in England on Thursday are likely to make things worse, with all restaurants closed except for takeout or delivery.

    While Burger King UK is appealing to a sense of solidarity with the wider food industry, the company's North America operation has taken a more confrontational approach to promotion.

    The burger chain offered a free Whopper to customers who drive by one of the "the scariest places on earth" — five shuttered restaurants once operated by rivals McDonald's, Wendy's, Sonic or Jack in the Box.

    As part of a Halloween-themed promotion, customers within 300 feet of one of the listed abandoned locations could confirm their location on the Burger King app to receive a coupon for a free Whopper.

    Watch this flying car complete its first flight

    (Source: CNN Business )

    KleinVision's AirCar reached an altitude of 1500 feet and completed two take-offs and landings during its maiden flight in Slovakia, according to the company.

    Andy Garcia Remembers His 'Untouchables' Co-Star Sean Connery

    by Andy Garcia, as told to Tatiana Siegel | Nov 2, 2020 | 9:01 AM (The Hollywood Reporter)

    Andy Garcia recalls being inspired by Sean Connery growing up in Miami in the 1960s and later working with his boyhood hero in 'The Untouchables.' "It was destiny that I got to work with him."

    One of the main reasons I was inspired to become an actor was because of Sean Connery. Growing up in the ’60s in Miami Beach, his early work made such an impression: Dr. No and Goldfinger in the Bond series. He was the hero of our times. I was a young man, and I was really enamored with Sean. I would go to the theater and sit and watch two and three screenings in a row when one of his movies came out. I’d spend the whole day in there. Start with the matinee, come home to dinner and then take in the evening show. I didn’t know that I wanted to be an actor at the time, but I was enthralled with what I was seeing. I would say Sean along with Steve McQueen and James Coburn and Peter Sellers in the comedic world [inspired me].

    It was destiny that I got to work with him in The Untouchables. God works in mysterious ways. It was a great privilege for me. It was one of those things you think that someone will put a hand on your shoulder and say, “Wake up. It’s all been a dream.”

    We rehearsed for a week or so before we started [shooting] in Chicago. I remember during rehearsal, he was jabbing me with a clipboard that he had in his hands with the little metal part right in my ribs. And I remember knocking it out of his hand. And then he was like, “I like that. Let’s do that in the movie.” So that’s why it’s in the movie like that, because Sean was provoking me to get a reaction. Once I did, he said, “Good. I like this kid.”

    We were doing a scene where I had to go down the hallway. The camera was looking down the hallway, and he was off camera. It was me answering the phone and having a conversation with him. But he was ready to go play golf right after the scene would be over. So I went in there to answer the phone, and Brian De Palma said, “Cut.” And I walked back to where they were, and Brian said, “Andy, we didn’t see your face.” And then there was a discussion about how I’d answer the phone. I didn’t want it to look corny. And Sean looked up to me and said, “Come on, kid, it’s not Hamlet: Just answer the phone, turn around; let’s get out of here.” So. I did another take. Brian says “Cut. Andy, we only saw one eye.” And Sean, with his great sense of humor, said, “You saw two eyes. They’re just very close together.”

    His sense of humor was so quick, and you could be the butt of his humor very easily. And he would take it as well as he could give it. I would riff with him and try to hold my ground. And that was my relationship with him in the movie as well. I had to always come back with something. He wanted you to come back. He didn’t want you to lay down. I made him laugh, and he treated me very warmly. He loved kids. He loved the fact that my kids were around on the set, and he would play with them. That showed the warmth of his character.

    Sean took his work very seriously. He was a consummate actor, and he was highly prepared, so he set the bar very high. As soon as he walked into the room, he was ready, and you had to be ready around him. You had to show up ready to go. He had this masterful touch, imaginative, a sense of interpretation that he had with all of his parts going back to the early Bond.

    The last time I saw Sean was at a tribute that we did at the AFI [in 2009], and I was honored to speak about him. After the event, we went together to an afterparty and sat together. We had a cocktail or two, and it was a beautiful thing. I never saw him after that. He lived in the Bahamas. He said, “Come to Nassau. We’ll play some golf.” I thought to myself, “Yeah, I gotta go do that.” I never did. It’s a regret I have.

    Raise your glass for him. It’s never too early to toast Sean Connery.

    “Everyone Really Misses Archie”: The Royal Family Is Still Coping With Harry and Meghan's Absence

    The Windsors haven’t seen Archie since the family first decamped to Canada last fall, and it seems to be hitting his grandfather Prince Charles the hardest.

    BY ERIN VANDERHOOF, November 2 (Vanity Fair)


    It’s been a year since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their first move to North America to spend the holidays in Canada with their young son, Archie. In 2020, the couple made two trips back to the U.K. amid their royal exit, one in January and another in March. But for both of these trips, Archie stayed behind at the home the couple was renting on Vancouver Island. According to a report in the Daily Mail, it’s been nearly a year since any of the Windsors have seen Archie, and his grandfather Prince Charles is especially feeling the loss.

    “The Prince of Wales enjoyed popping into Frogmore Cottage to see his youngest grandchild and is sad that he hasn’t seen him for so long. He has missed much of his development since he is now growing up in the USA,” a friend of Charles’s told the tabloid. “Other members of the family are very sad at not seeing him. Everyone really misses Archie—they feel it’s particularly sad for the Queen and Prince Philip.”

    Despite the distance, Charles has been able to talk to Archie over video calls, and when Harry celebrated his 36th birthday in August, Archie said his nickname for Charles, “Pa.” Because of the coronavirus crisis, Charles was also unable to see Kate Middleton and Prince William’s three children for much of this year. After he was diagnosed with coronavirus in late March, he spent the rest of lockdown at Birkhall, the home in Scotland he inherited from his grandmother, while Kate, William, and their kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, sheltered in place at Anmer Hall, their home on the 

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