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03 Sep 03:45

Sony Launches Xperia Z5 Family, Including The 'World's First' 4K Smartphone

Sony announced three new smartphones from the Xperia Z5 famility, the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia Z5 Premium with a 4k screen.
03 Sep 04:30

Asus ZenFone Zoom 3X Optical Zoom Smartphone, Detailed

First shown at CES, Asus has finally announced the final specifications and information about its ZenFone Zoom smartphone, which features a 3x optical zoom lens and the new Intel Atom Z3590.
01 Sep 16:17

BABYMETAL Wants To Teach METALLICA Their Dance Moves

Japanese teenage girl pop metal band BABYMETAL spoke to NME backstage at this past weekend's Reading and Leeds festivals. You can now watch the chat below. Asked which band at the event they would like to teach their dance moves and why, BABYMETAL's Moametal said: "I would like to teach METALLICA our dance moves, just because we've learned so much from them about metal." Regarding what they learned from METALLICA, BABYMETAL's Su-metal said: "First of all, we learned about metal, but also by watching METALLICA performances, we have learned how to interact with the fans. We have learned all of that from just watching METALLICA." BABYMETAL has announced its return to the U.K. next year. The group will headline London SSE Arena Wembley on April 2, 2016. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2. BABYMETAL has signed with RAL/Sony Music Entertainment for the U.S. release of the band's 2014 critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The CD features two bonus tracks and was made available digitally on May 12 and physically on June 16. "Babymetal" was released via earMUSIC in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Spain on May 29, in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark on June 1, and in Italy on June 2 The European release was made available as the standard edition as well as a deluxe edition that includes a bonus DVD compiling six music videos from BABYMETAL.
02 Sep 09:42

IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON Says Common Sexually Transmitted Virus Caused His Tongue Cancer


Interesting tidbit

IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson has revealed that HPV, the human papilloma virus, was the cause of his tongue cancer diagnosis in December 2014. During an appearance on the August 31 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", Dickinson was asked about his health, less than four months after he was given the "all-clear" by his specialists following his most recent MRI scan. "One or two things are still healing up on the inside," he explained (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "But I've had a bit of a singsong, and stuff seems to work. I mean, the larynx, all the nodes are completely unaffected by the whole thing. So all it is, really, is I'm missing a golf ball in the back of my tongue, which is the size of the lump that was there. So the golf ball has disappeared. And I don't even play golf. I haven't tried to find out where it's gone, but it's gone. And I think some of the muscles that move your pharynx and your throat around, I think they're missing it. They're, like, 'Hey, where has it gone?'" He continued: "The only strange thing is that I genuinely think it's a bit of muscle memory about moving the size and shape of your pharynx and throat, 'cause it's a bit flexible, and you use it to make vowel sounds and things like that. Well, sometimes some of the transitions from a's to r's and e's to ooh's and things like that, at certain points in the register, [your voice can be] a little bit wobbly — you suddenly start sounding a bit yodelly — and I think it's purely a question of muscle tone, and you've just gotta work it and get it back in shape. 'Cause the notes are all there. I mean, I can sing… If I do 'Trooper' and stuff like that, it's, like, 'Oh, great,' 'cause it's in a high register and it's away from that particular area of your throat. But, as I say, things are still healing up. Swelling is still going down on the inside, 'cause I had a pretty good cookery lesson with radiation there for about three weeks or a month." Dickinson, who doesn't smoke, also talked about a possible cause of his cancer. He said: "It's a virus. HPV — human papilloma virus. They all are. I'm almost willing to bet, anytime you hear about somebody who gets tonsil cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, whatever it is, if they're not heavy smokers and they're not massive, heavy drinkers, it's almost inevitably… There's a five hundred percent increase in this type of cancer in men over forty — five hundred percent increase. It's massive. It's the same virus that causes cervical cancer. The diagnosis is the same. It's the same words they use. And the issue is that in guys, typically, it only presents as a lump in the side of your neck. It's probably already beavering away inside your tongue, and you don't even know. And the secondary one that pops up is the one that's right next door — in your lymph node. And that's the one that [where you go], 'Hey, what's this lump in my neck?'" He continued: "I had two tumors — I had one golf ball-sized one in my tongue, and I had another one the size of a large strawberry or a small walnut in the lymph node in the right side of my neck, and that's the one that felt a little strange. I thought, 'Hmm, am I getting a cold? Am I getting some sort of bug, or what's going on?' But it didn't go down, and it was kind of hard; it wasn't squishy and moving around like normal soft tissue, a lymph node, does. So that was the giveaway, and typically, that is the only giveaway. 'Cause when I got diagnosed with it, I immediately went in and… You've got nothing else better to do for nine weeks or twelve weeks except Google it on the Internet, find out everything you can about it. Know your enemy, you know? And, so, looking at other guys' experiences and clinical reports, you find out that, wow, this thing is really prevalent and lots and lots of guys, they don't know a huge amount about why, about why it affects some guys and not other guys, why some guys get an HPV infection that doesn't go away, 'cause they normally just go away. But in some guys over forty, it doesn't. And everybody makes the jokes about [actor] Michael Douglas [who claimed that cunnilingus could have caused his throat cancer], 'cause he was having oral sex, and it's just, like, okay, we need to get over that one, guys, because this is kind of serious. There's hundreds of thousands of people at risk for this. And guys should know, if you get a lump here, and you're over forty, don't just assume antibiotics will get rid of it. Go and properly get it checked out. It's important." While most strains of HPV clear up on their own, the sexually transmitted virus is responsible for an array of cancers. The Huffington Post reported in 2013 that oral sex is an avenue through which a person can contract HPV and especially the strains, HPV-18 and HPV-16, the latter of which is responsible for half of oral cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute. HPV-16, HPV-18 and some less-common strains can also cause cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus and penis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV and approximately 14 million people become newly infected each year, making it the most common sexually transmitted infection in the nation. IRON MAIDEN's new album, "The Book Of Souls", will be released on September 4 through BMG in the U.S.A. (Parlophone Records in the rest of world). The band announced in May that touring plans to support the album wouldn't happen until 2016 to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment.
02 Sep 17:13



The horror

NICKELBACK frontman Chad Kroeger and pop singer Avril Lavigne have confirmed that they are separating after two years of marriage. Lavigne announced their split on Instagram Wednesday, writing: "It is with [a] heavy heart that Chad and I announce our separation today. Through not only the marriage, but the music as well, we've created many unforgettable moments. We are still, and forever will be, the best of friends, and will always care deeply for each other. To all our family, friends and fans, thank you sincerely for the support." Us Weekly and E! News both reported on alleged trouble in the marriage in September 2014, with inside sources claiming that they were "not seeing eye to eye on a lot of things" and that Kroeger had "been going around L.A. telling people that they are divorcing." Kroeger, who turned 40 last November, proposed to the 30-year-old Lavigne in August 2012 after dating for just a few months. The couple were married in July 2013 at a ceremony in the South of France. NICKELBACK's latest studio album, "No Fixed Address", was released last November. The band was recently forced to cancel all remaining dates for the 2015 "No Fixed Address" world tour due to an extended period of vocal rest ordered for Kroeger, who underwent surgery on his voice box.
02 Sep 09:07

Google follows Alphabet launch with brand spanking new logo

by Dave Neal
Google follows Alphabet launch with brand spanking new logo

All is changing at Mountain View

02 Sep 17:07

Naming Drugs Honestly In Big Pharma

by Pentadact

I’ve been playing Big Pharma, a game where you design production lines to manufacture cures to sell for maximum profit, or to genuinely help people, as your fancy may dictate. It’s excellent and I have become hopelessly addicted to it, but my favourite part is having to come up with names for the often double-edged drugs your imperfect process has produced:

Less Angina

It turns out this one doesn’t even treat angina – darkened effects are deactivated ones.

no pain no gain

Honestly A Cock Up

Fallen Over

Soon a company name presented itself:

Distressingly Honest

Take A Nap

Angina Naps

Stroke Naps

Eventually we fixed the sleepiness side effect:

No Knockout

Is Infection

Sickeningly Good

Slightly miscalculated this one:


Worry Constip

And lastly, what turned out to be the most profitable drug of the decade:


My lab was a mess.

Complicated Layout

But I was super proud of myself for figuring out a neat way to fit two Cryogenic Condensers in parallel in this small space – they take twice as long to process things, but they’re big and awkward to run dual conveyor belts around:

Parallel Cryogenic Condensers

This was the final layout of my factory. Blue is anxiety meds, brown is bronchitis, red is bipolar, green is strokes. Some of the same coloured lines are different methods of making the same drug, faster or to a better standard depending on how much floor space I had to work with.

Final Layout

The goal was to make $1,000,000, which I did pretty quick, but the ‘Master’ level goal is to make $10,000,000 before the deadline. After the ten years were up, the pink bar here shows how close I was to that:

How Close I Was To Master

God damn it.

31 Aug 19:32

Algorithm turns any picture into the work of a famous artist

by Sean Buckley
A group of German researchers have created an algorithm that basically amounts to the most amazing Instagram filter ever conceived: a convolutional neural network that can convert any photograph into a work of fine art. The process takes an hour (s...
28 Aug 09:34

IRON MAIDEN Launches 'Speed Of Light' Video Game

British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN have released an 8-bit video game based on the promotional clip for their new single, "Speed Of Light". Fans can play the role of MAIDEN's mascot Eddie in the "Speed Of Light" browser-based video game, available at the band's web site. The "Speed Of Light" video was produced and directed by Llexi Leon with animation and visual effects by The Brewery Production Company. This is the first music video for Llexi Leon, who is said to be a huge IRON MAIDEN fan. Creator of the cult comic book series Eternal Descent — an IP that digitally animated a cast list of metal and hard rock luminaries — Leon has further expanded into the video gaming industry. He chose to collaborate with The Brewery whoss previous film credits include 2010's punk-rock inspired "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" with Andy Serkis, 2012's music festival-themed "Spike Island" with Emilia Clarke, and more recently were providing VFX for the Sky Atlantic biopic on Ian Fleming. The video is a "homage" to four decades of video gaming juxta-posed alongside IRON MAIDEN's 40 years of incredible visual canon centering on their talisman Eddie as he travels through space and time to complete his Herculean task. Leon told Metal Hammer: "It seemed a perfect fit — 40 years of metal explored alongside four decades of video games. "I pitched this idea to [IRON MAIDEN manager] Rod Smallwood and the guys in the band. They loved the concept and asked if I could pull it off. I figured it was IRON MAIDEN, so I had to pull it off — and it had to be the best thing I've ever done." He continued: "The video is littered with nods to IRON MAIDEN artwork — whether it's the poses of the characters at certain key moments, or imagery woven into the background art. There's a lot to look out for in the video." Due on September 4, through BMG in the U.S.A. (Parlophone Records in the rest of world), IRON MAIDEN's new album, "The Book Of Souls", was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that singer Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from the tumor, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album's launch. ironmaidenspeedoflightvideogame_638
29 Aug 17:03

IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON On 'The Book Of Souls': 'I Really Hope That This Is Not The Last Album'

On August 26, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson flew 150 lucky fans out to Paris, France from Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom onboard a chartered Boeing 737-400 plane so they could attend a listening session for the band's new album, "The Book Of Souls", at the Guillaume Tell Studios. The aircraft was in an all-white livery with small IRON MAIDEN logos on the front of the aircraft and VVB Aviation markings to the rear. It is believed to be one of the aircraft that will operate with VVB Aviation on behalf of Air Djibouti. Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear after being diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year, told the audience at Wednesday's event (see video report below courtesy of Metal XS): "Thanks to radiation and chemicals and great doctors and support of everybody on the planet, apparently [the tumor has] disappeared. I did ask where it's gone, and the doctor looked at me and went, 'Well, the body just sort of gets rid of it,' which tends to mean they probably don't know — they don't bloody know!" Asked by a fan if "The Book Of Souls" will turn out to IRON MAIDEN's final full-length release, Dickinson responded: "I really hope that this is not the last album. I've had way too much fun making this one. I'm gonna have way too much fun and enjoy the next tour for a variety of reasons. I'm happily chatting to you and running around and leaping around or flying airplanes. And the next stop is gonna be a tour and some singing." "The Book Of Souls" will be released on September 4, 2015 through BMG in the U.S.A. (Parlophone Records in the rest of world). The band announced in May that touring plans to support the album wouldn't happen until 2016 to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment. "Whenever we do a new album, we always go out with a new stage show; that's exciting in itself," bassist Steve Harris said. "We always feel like every show is sacred these days anyway, and I suppose even more so now after the scare with what's happened with Bruce. It makes everything more important to us." He continued: "'The Book Of Souls' is a really powerful album, we're really proud of it and we can't wait to come out and play new songs on the tour. We're really looking forward to it." Video report below courtesy of Metal XS

VIDA! Cardiff >>>Paris>>>Cardiff #TheBookOfSouls #IronMaiden #BruceAir #Flight666 \m/

— Marcello (@marcelloamorim) August 28, 2015

Exciting day at Cardiff Airport for Iron Maiden fans - flown by Bruce to album launch in Paris. Flt - Maiden 666!!

— Deb Barber (@debbarber27) August 26, 2015
29 Aug 18:21

Learn How To Dance With BABYMETAL (Video)

U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine caught up with the Japanese teenage girl pop metal band BABYMETAL backstage at this weekend's Reading festival to learn their dance moves. Check out the clip below to see what happened. BABYMETAL has announced its return to the U.K. next year. The group will headline London SSE Arena Wembley on April 2, 2016. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2. BABYMETAL has signed with RAL/Sony Music Entertainment for the U.S. release of the band's 2014 critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The CD features two bonus tracks and was made available digitally on May 12 and physically on June 16. "Babymetal" was released via earMUSIC in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Spain on May 29, in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark on June 1, and in Italy on June 2 The European release was made available as the standard edition as well as a deluxe edition that includes a bonus DVD compiling six music videos from BABYMETAL.
30 Aug 22:35

DISTURBED Scores Fifth No. 1 Album In U.S. With 'Immortalized'

According to, DISTURBED has landed its fifth No. 1 album on The Billboard 200 chart with its latest studio effort, "Immortalized". The new disc opens with 98,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending August 27, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 93,000 were pure album sales. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). DISTURBED is only the third group to score five consecutive No. 1-debuting studio albums. They join METALLICA (five No. 1-debuting studio sets between 1991-2008) and DAVE MATTHEWS BAND (six; 1998-2012). "Immortalized" is DISTURBED's first studio set since 2010's "Asylum", which opened atop The Billboard 200 with 179,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. The act previously led the list with "Indestructible" (released in 2008), "Ten Thousand Fists" (2005) and "Believe" (2002). The only DISTURBED album to miss the top position was the band's debut, "The Sickness", which peaked at No. 29 in 2000. disturbedimmortalizedcover
30 Aug 22:38

Complications Cancelled by USA

by Matt Porter

Damn, this was good show. Maybe Hulu can pick it up

USA has cancelled medical drama Complications after just one season.

The news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, who reported that USA did not pick the show up for a second season due to "a strong drama pipeline that includes upcoming new series Colony and Queen of the South."

Jason O'Mara in Complications. Jason O'Mara in Complications.

Continue reading…

31 Aug 01:38

Wes Craven Dead at 76

by Chris Carle

Acclaimed horror writer-director Wes Craven has died from brain cancer, the Hollywood Reporter reports. He was 76.

Craven was internationally known for his horror films, including such classics of the genre as the 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. A Nightmare on Elm Street saw the creation of the iconic horror character Freddy Krueger, who scared and thrilled audiences in various films, TV shows and video games.

Wes Craven in 2014 on Post Mortem. Wes Craven in 2014 during a Mick Garris interview.

Continue reading…

28 Aug 11:41

Clarkson reported to be earning £10m a year for new show

by Jack Evans

File under: Latest News

Clarkson reported to be earning £10m a year for new show Jeremy Clarkson is set to receive £10million a year for a new motoring show hosted on the Amazon Prime platform. The former Top Gear presenter is due to net £800,000 per episode following his signing by Amazon. continue reading

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29 Aug 00:43

Photos of New Supergirl Prove Her Awesomeness

by Scott Collura

Have you seen the various behind-the-scenes photos of Supergirl star Melissa Benoist hanging around in her costume? There she is walking her dog, who she loves so much. And here she is talking on her iPhone, and being so great at it! Also, she eats a Super-shield cake in one shot! And the best (so far): Here she is leading a group of mini-Supergirl (Scouts) for a stroll while cradling a puppy!

In a word, she's awesome. And so are the photos. Take a look at a few of them below:

Continue reading…

29 Aug 02:44

Liz Debuts New Look In THE BLACKLIST Season 3 Trailer

by Jessenika Colon
THE BLACKLIST Season 3 is getting a makeover, or at least Elizabeth Keen is. Picking up right after the events of the season 2 finale, Liz (Megan Boone) and Red (James Spader) are on the run and on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, hence Liz’s new ‘do, which garnered an almost sensual reaction from Red, […]
29 Aug 18:00

The many (surprisingly realistic) hacks of 'Mr. Robot'

by Violet Blue
Most infosec pros agree that few Hollywood films or TV shows have gotten hacking as "right" as USA's Mr. Robot. The show's creator, Sam Esmail, told Engadget, "The hacker side of it actually was a combination of my frustration with the way hacker c...
29 Aug 03:34

Google Search starts connecting you directly to plumbers, locksmiths

by Richard Lawler

More creepiness

Amazon launched a home services directory in 41 cities a few months ago, and now Google is dipping its toe in the water. According to the Wall Street Journal, for those "in and around" San Francisco, searching for terms like lock repair or clogged...
29 Aug 14:32

Blackberry Venice live unit pictured, packs an 18MP OIS camera

It was about time the BlackBerry Venice followed the numerous leaks with a live appearance and today's the day. The Canadian company's foray into the Android realm is apparently imminent, now that a working device has shown up, in this case in the hands of the folks over at Techrum. While we already had a general idea how the smartphone would look, we're now treated to detailed (well, 0.5MP, but still) images of several key features. And what's the single most revered Blackberry feature, if not the hardware QWERTY keyboard? Only here, it's hidden behind the display and slides out of obscurity only when needed. Sure, you'll be provided an on-screen one for less intense typing. In a departure from tradition, the power button has been moved to the left side. In all fairness it would have been ridiculously out of place on the top plate of a tall, slider-type device. That spot has now been reserved for the SIM and microSD slots. Hands-on with the Blackberry Venice The headline feature may turn out to be on the back though, and that's the camera. An 18MP unit, the main shooter boasts optical image stabilization and fast focus, so we'd speculate there's some phase detection tech. The lens is also joined by a dual-LED flash. Finally, the images reveal what looks like Android Lollipop, but that's hardly any news, given that KitKat is two years old and Marshmallow hasn't been launched yet. BlackBerry Venice in the flesh Source (in Vietnamese) |...

27 Aug 14:42

SmartHalo turns any bike into a smart bike

by Justin Marden

665806b1506a83f46367741adab298ce_originalBike lovers may have something to get excited about this week, as a new product just surfaced on KickStarter that aims to make bicycles more tech-friendly. SmartHalo is a new device made for the avid bike rider, and it looks like it’s packing some great features. It’s a relatively small, circular device (the Kickstarter page claims it is about the size of a hockey puck) that attaches to the handlebars of a bike. The companion smartphone app gives users access to all kinds of features, including activity tracking, navigation, security warnings, and more. The app connects to the device via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

SmartHalo is constructed from military-grade materials, and the team behind it says that it secures to the bike with “tamper-proof screws,” meaning it won’t be easily stolen. On the top are low-energy LED lights that form a circle (there is also a single light in the center) around the edge. This makes the basis for the ring of light that gives the rider contextual directions, warnings, notifications for phone calls, and more. In addition, the device recognizes when your smartphone is out of range, and will sound an alarm if it detects excessive rattling of the bike. The SmartHalo team apparently thought of everything, including a morse code-esque tap pattern that the user can program into the device. If the alarm sounds, and the user’s smartphone is dead or out of range, they can just tap their pattern on SmartHalo to disable the alarm. Also built in is a smart night-light, which turns on automatically when the sun goes down, and turns off when the smartphone app is out of range to conserve power.

Probably one of them most interesting features is the navigation function of SmartHalo. Using the app, users can navigate to a location, and SmartHalo will provide directional lighting, including lights for turns and even u-turns. City bikers will especially enjoy this feature, since looking down at a smartphone every few seconds causes excessive distraction on busy city streets. The device is sporting a 2,000 mAh battery that can supposedly last at least three weeks on a charge, which will be a relief for bike owners who don’t want another device they have to charge every night. Of course, it has been weather-tested, since it will be kept outside most of the time.

SmartHalo has already been fully funded on KickStarter. After only three days, the project has hit over $100,000, doubling the $50,000 funding goal. The estimated delivery to backers is May 2016, which will be a long wait for some users. At the time of this article, the cheapest reward package available (that gets you a SmartHalo device) is the “$131 or more” package. Keep in mind that SmartHalo is not based in the U.S., so American backers will have to pay an extra $15 with that package, making it at least $146.

Source: SmartHalo KickStarter, Mashable 

The post SmartHalo turns any bike into a smart bike appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22 Aug 14:23

When you have eliminated the JavaScript, whatever remains must be an empty page.

25 Aug 14:34

Source Control - Revert All

Writing a revert all function for our current source control software, colleague wanted to "test" it. Reverted the source code of the revert all button...

submitted by antrirax
[link] [7 comments]
26 Aug 18:01

Tired of not having line numbers? Try this easy trick!

26 Aug 16:57

Every bug report ever...

27 Aug 18:59

Medium app update discription

27 Aug 22:07

Short list of the complete text of common Severity 1 errors sent straight to dev from level 1 ops.


sounds familiar

  • "Help! I can't log in."
  • "The system doesn't work."
  • "There is a typo on the button to post the form."
  • "Website lags for 2 seconds on refresh."
  • "Hyperlink doesn't change color when clicked on." (link was already visited and browser history was not cleared)
  • "Website doesn't work with javascript disabled."
  • "Fatal error, please see attachment for details." (no attachment)
  • "Page automatically logs me out if I leave it idle for over 2 hours."
  • "Can't remember my password."
  • "Where is the file I'm looking for?"
submitted by AlphaWhelp
[link] [17 comments]
28 Aug 11:56

HTTP Status Cats API [x-post /r/webdev]

26 Aug 17:48

Patrick Stewart On The Joy Of Being Whipped With Wet Towels

by Matthew Jacobs

The following article is provided by Rolling Stone. 

During the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart – who played the show's dramatically serious, almost Shakespearean Captain Jean-Luc Picard – said something he has always regretted. A veteran of serious theater, the actor projected a grave sobriety off-camera as well as on, so when fellow cast member Denise Crosby attempted to crack his exterior, saying, "Come on, Patrick, we've got to have fun sometimes," he blew up. "'We're not here to have fun,' that was my line," the actor says. "I yelled it. What an asshole. What a really, really pompous dick. But I've changed. I'm here to have fun more than anything else. If it ain't fun, I won't show up." He bellows with laughter.

In recent years, Stewart, 75, has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in lightheartedness. Today, he's dressed notably casually in faded jeans and a grey polo and he's prone to wild, animated turns when discussing his latest venture into fun: the madcap new Starz comedy series Blunt Talk, which premieres on August 22nd. On the show, he plays beleaguered TV news anchorman Walter Blunt, a trustworthy broadcast journalist when he's not working past his personal demons. The first episode alone finds Blunt drinking to excess, cavorting with a prostitute, snorting cocaine and allowing himself to be whipped by his manservant (played by Adrian Scarborough), who shouts, "You've been unclean, Major!" As he recounts his character's acts, he laughs boisterously at the ridiculous adventures he's had so far in making the show.

Although he's dipped a toe in comedy in the past – playing King Richard in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, appearing in Ricky Gervais' Extras, doing sketches with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – Blunt Talk has been an altogether different experience for him. "It's giddy this time," Stewart says. "I get dizzy with the thought of it, but it's giving me so much pleasure because I always wanted to do comedy." His eyes widen again at the thought of it.

You fit quite well into a comedy series.
Who knew?

What do you have in common with Walter Blunt?
My first job was on my local newspaper at 15. I left school and became a cub reporter. And all I got to do were births, deaths, and marriages for a year. And then they fired me.

20 Best TV Shows of 2015 So Far 

What TV news do you watch?
I watch a lot, cable as well as network, and BBC and iTV. There are so many options to choose from here. I've always been intrigued by the role of the anchorman. So when Jonathan [Ames, Blunt Talk's creator] first said Walter Blunt was a newsman with his own show, I was on board instantly because I just wanted to be sitting behind the desk.

How did it feel when you were finally behind the desk?
It is so unlike being an actor. I know some people say, "No, no. They're all actors. They're all bullshitting," but no actually they're not. Well, many of them are not.

25 Best Stand-Up Specials and Movies

Do you think you could hack it as a newsman?
I have no ambitions to be Jon Stewart. I wish I were, but that's never going to happen. But to have people bringing you the news that you can trust, who you believe are properly committed to an honest, open, revelatory and truthful kind of journalism is a marvelous thing. And Walter is like that. It's just that he's struggling to keep his private life in shape and he has weaknesses. But then I get media people who say, "Oh, you should be around media people more often if you think Walter has excessive weaknesses."

You were very serious early in your career. How did you loosen up? Did the Star Trek cast help you?
They did. They were solely responsible. If I'm funny in any way at all, they made me funny. "Oh, my God, if I'm going to keep up with these guys, I've got to find a way to be funny as well." And so, I did. On Star Trek, we made this pledge to one another. Each one of us would be responsible for one big belly laugh a day. So you could say that's seven to nine big laughs. That's not bad for a day of work, is it?

Did you have an interest in doing comedy growing up?
Laurence Olivier was my hero when I was younger. I remember reading an interview with Olivier, where they were talking about his impact on audiences, and he said, "Oh, yes, of course, it's wonderful to hear audiences gasp or cry out or sob. But it's not as wonderful as hearing them laugh." And I went "What?!" My hero! My tragic, dramatic actor talking about making people laugh! But of course, he is right. And then in another interview I heard him say, "The first thing I look for in any script I read is where the comedy is." It is a brilliant observation. So here I am, this great age, approaching my 55th year in this business, suddenly, the lead actor in a comedy series.

20 Best TV Spin-Offs

And you're getting whipped onscreen.

[Laughs] Yes, whipped with towels. That's actually not an unpleasant experience. He hit all the poisonous alcoholic chemicals out of my body. I've done a lot of things in this show that I've never done before.

Like what?
Daily, I would announce to the crew, because it amused all of us, "By the way, first time I've ever done this before!" I've never done a bedroom post-coital scene before. And I got to do it with Elisabeth Shue. I mean, how wonderful is that? I've never been chased by an irate husband through the canals of Venice in Los Angeles. I've never, never done a line of cocaine in my life. Adrian Scarborough and I had to have someone come on the set and show us how to do it. I won't name names.

When did you first fall in love with comedy?
My earliest heroes were Laurel and Hardy, partly because I have a family connection with Stan. We're not blood relatives, but my grandmother – who had a boarding house in Northeast of England – used to put up vaudeville artists when they came into town for the week. Stan's parents, who were both vaudeville entertainers, would always stay with my grandmother and one day they showed up with this little baby and said, "Do you think you could babysit for us at night when we're at the theater?" So Stan was held in my grandmother's arms many, many, many times, so I always felt a connection with him.

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What was it you liked about Laurel and Hardy?
They were profoundly serious about what they were doing [as characters]. Everything was serious and for a good purpose, but the world conspired to make life difficult for them. And even when they tried to be mischievous, it didn't really quite work. The line that really sticks in my is, "And our wives will be none the wiser!" [in 1933's Sons of the Desert]. Of course the wives were wiser and then they found out. So it was the intense seriousness that Stan and Ollie brought to most projects, coupled with that little twinkle that lets you know, "By the way, we think this is funny, too." It was always marvelous.

What other comedians did you like?
Danny Kaye was an early hero of mine. I liked his craziness, his fantasy world in the original Walter Mitty movies. I knew, as a child, what it was like to live in an imaginary fantasy world. God, it was better than the world I was actually in.

You have a fantasy dancing scene with a bunch of showgirls on Blunt Talk that reminded me of Danny Kaye.
Danny would have loved being in that number. He would probably have danced it better than me, but he would have loved being in that number. There were indeed days where I would almost have to pinch myself to convince myself this really was happening.

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Speaking of pinching yourself, outside of TV, you and your pal Ian McKellen are now part of Taylor Swift's "squad." So what are the fringe benefits?
We are waiting on communication from Taylor of what she exactly expects of us given that she has invited us to be part of her squad. She's gonna be in L.A. shortly, so maybe we'll find out.


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27 Aug 18:31

Civil War: Who's on Whose Side?

by Jim Vejvoda

Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner took to Twitter to reveal some concept art from Captain America: Civil War that confirms which heroes are on Cap's side and Iron Man's side.

Renner tweeted the following three pieces of artwork today (UPDATE: These apparently first popped up at

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