Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The man who was the Obama administration’s chief of removing illegal immigrants said on Wednesday that it was his boss, President Barack Obama, who had the idea of putting illegal immigrant children in the “cages” that Democrats have used as a bludgeon against President Trump.
Thomas Homan, Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement between May 2013 and January 2017, was responsible for “promoting public safety and national security by maintaining direct oversight of critical ICE programs and operations to identify, locate, arrest, detain and remove illegal aliens from the United States,” according to his LinkedIn profile. Since January 2017, he has served as Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
He stated on Wednesday, “I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” according to The Washington Examiner.
Homan, speaking at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, noted a Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?” He snapped, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”
Homan said that the Border Patrol facilities where illegal immigrants are detained “were not built to take care of children,” adding, “It’s chain link dividers that keeps children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children.”
In June 2017, as The Washington Examiner pointed out, Homan told a House Appropriations subcommittee:
It isn't the fault of law enforcement that people get separated. It's the fault of the perpetrator. If someone enters this country illegally and knows he's in the country illegally and is found to be in the country illegally and is ordered removed from the country and chooses to have a child in this country that's a U.S. citizen by virtue of birth, he put himself in that position, so ICE is not separating that family.
Unlike other agencies, we do this despite a constant deluge of biased attacks against ICE personnel by those who disagree with the laws we enforce. While I recognize that people have the right to protest laws they don't agree with I want to emphasize to the public and to the media and to this committee that ice officers don't write the laws. They enforce the laws …
We are all blessed to live in the greatest country on earth and I can't blame anybody who wants to live here… But we are also a country built on the foundation of the rule of law. Those who choose to enter this country illegally which is a crime, a federal crime, or to overstay their visa have knowingly chosen to break the law. Meanwhile, millions of people who have become permanent members of our society through our generous legal channels, they have shown their respect for the rule of law and for the American people.
One of the largest event pages on Facebook right now, is calling for hundreds of thousands of people to storm the secret military base “Area 51,” which is located in the Nevada desert.

Although the event page has only been listed for a few weeks, nearly a million people have responded to the post saying that they will be attending, while almost another half million responded that they were “interested.”

The description on the page says that the army of curiosity seekers will meet on Sept. 20 to rush the compound, and it seems that a large number of people are excited about the idea.

However, after the event picked up national media publicity, the organizer of the event got spooked and made a post saying that it was all a joke.


Photo Credit: Facebook

In his most recent post, the event host, an Australian citizen named Jackson Barnes, said “Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet. I’m not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51.”


Photo Credit: Facebook

Still, his joke may have taken on a life of its own, as it seems that there are a lot of people excited about the idea, and many of them are promising to go anyway.

It is unclear how many people are seriously planning on showing up, and how many are just trolling, but there is no doubt that guards on duty at the facility will be working overtime on September 20th.

Area 51 has been rumored to be a facility where the US government keeps alien technology, but there has been a renewed interest in the military base after the release of the recent Netflix documentary film, Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers.

AMPAS
Lady Gaga, Claire Foy and Sterling K. Brown are among the 842 people who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy announced on Monday.
The announcement came two days after the Academy’s Board of Governors spent a Saturday meeting going over the lists of prospective members drawn up by each of the Academy’s 17 branches. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which several hundred film professionals have been invited to join the Academy. This will easily push the number of active Academy members over 9,000 and the number of Oscars voters over 8,000 for next year’s Academy Awards.
As usual in recent years, the huge list of new-member invitations was heavily weighted toward women, who made up 50 percent of the invitees (up from 49 percent last year), and non-white film professionals, who made up 29 percent. The list was also heavily weighted toward international members, who have been a focus of Academy outreach for the last four years.
Other 2018 nominees and winners who have now received invitations to join the Academy include documentary director Talal Derki, songwriter Mark Ronson and animated-short Oscar winner Domee Shi (the first woman ever to direct a Pixar short).
Actors invited to join include Jamie Bell, Jennifer Ehle, Tom Holland, Barry Keoghan, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Elisabeth Moss, Archie Panjabi, Kevin Pollak, Amanda Peet, Alexander Skarsgard and two veterans, Jean-Louis Tritingnant and Claire Bloom.
Nearly all of this year’s Oscar-nominated actors had already been invited to join the Academy, but Lady Gaga had not (despite her co-writing credit on the 2015 nominated song “Til It Happens to You”). She was invited to join by both the Academy’s Actors Branch and Music Branch.
“Roma” co-star Marina de Tavira, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, received an invitation to join, but lead actress Yalitza Aparicio, who received a Best Actress nomination for her first film, did not. Other 2018 nominees and winners who were not invited included “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” and “Minding the Gap” directors RaMell Ross and Bing Liu, both of whom were nominated for their film debuts,  and “Green Book” writer-producers Brian Hayes Currie and Nick Vallelonga.
(In general, people who received Oscar nominations or won the Oscar for their first film were not invited to join, even though the nomination grants them an exemption from branch-by-branch rules that normally require multiple film credits.)
The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch invited the largest number of new members, 108, followed by the Documentary Branch with 98. The Actors Branch, which is by far the Academy’s largest, invited 56 new members, which also put it behind the Executives, Writers, Marketing and Public Relations and Visual Effects Branches in invitations.
While for years the Academy made a concerted effort to limit the number of new member invitations and keep the number of voters to no more than 6,000, all the membership limits were abandoned in the wake of the 2016 #OscarsSoWhite controversy. In the aftermath of the protests that followed two consecutive years of all-white acting nominees, the Academy vowed to double the number of female and non-white members by 2020.
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Coca-Cola is hoping a failed product from the 1980s will help it go viral in 2019.

The company is bringing back a limited number of New Coke cans in honor of the upcoming third season of "Stranger Things," in which the product is featured.

"Stranger Things" creators Ross and Matt Duffers came up with the idea to bring New Coke back as a way to promote the show, which will start streaming on Netflix (NFLX)on July 4. The third season of the show takes place during the summer of 1985 — when Coca-Cola (KO) debuted a new recipe for its iconic beverage.

So-called New Coke was a flop: Consumers reacted so poorly to the new drink that Coca-Cola pulled it from shelves after a few months. New Coke was rebranded as Coke II, and sold in some places after 1985. But this is the first time Coca-Cola is bringing back New Coke with that branding.

Bringing New Coke back is a way for Coca-Cola to "not take ourselves too seriously," Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke's sparkling business unit and senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola North America, told CNN Business. And it wasn't easy to recreate the product: Coca-Cola had to reach into its archives to get the design of right, and dig through its vault to recover the recipe.

"Maybe a while ago we wouldn't have done this," Kronauge said. "But we're changing and trying to innovate in ways that are beyond traditional new products. This is a cultural innovation." Coca-Cola recently partnered with Disney Parks & Resorts on custom designs for Coke products being sold at Disney's new "Star Wars" theme park, "Galaxy's Edge."

Customers will be able to get New Coke while supplies last starting on Thursday.

The partnership is a way for Coke to reach people in an evolving media landscape.

"Buying a 30-second ad to drop into a certain time-frame is not as valuable as it once was," Kronauge said.

"The world is changing into streaming and non-ad platforms and subscription-based platforms," she added. "So it's important for us to make sure that we are where our consumers' eyeballs and hearts and spirits are." The new promotion is designed to "break the internet" Kronauge said.

There are three ways for customers to get the retro product: As a gift when they buy limited-edition "Stranger Things" Coke and Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles online starting Thursday, through "Stranger Things" themed pop up vending machines that will be in cities this summer, or as a giveaway when they purchase a gift or ticket at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Coca-Cola has produced under 500,000 of the New Coke 12-ounce cans, and expects to run out quickly.

The company is also selling "Stranger Things" themed cans of regular Coke and Coke Zero Sugar, and is releasing a remake of a 1980s ad featuring characters from the show.

For Netflix, the partnership is a way to advertise in new channels.

"We exist on the internet, and Coke has a century of experience in building consumer products that are physical," Barry Smyth, Head of Global Partner Marketing at Netflix, told CNN Business. The streaming platform is also partnering with a number of other companies, including Lego, H&M, Schwinn and Baskin-Robbins, to promote the upcoming season.
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A lawsuit that accuses Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer of stealing the idea for the hit Netflix show is headed for a jury trial. A judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court this week denied a motion for summary judgment from the Duffer Brothers. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 6th.

Filmmaker Charlie Kessler filed the lawsuit against the Duffer brothers last April, accusing them of stealing the popular Netflix show's premise -- a secret government operation near an abandoned military base -- from his 2011 film Montauk. In the lawsuit, Kessler claims that he met the Duffler brothers at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and pitched them the idea for a Montauk-inspired sci-fi series. The Duffer brothers have denied that Kessler had any connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things.

The working title for Stranger Things was The Montauk Project, which probably won't help the Duffer brothers' case. The real-life Montauk Air Force base in Long Island, New York was the setting for various conspiracy theories in the 80s, most that involved the US military experimenting on local children. While the Duffer brothers changed the setting of Stranger Things to Hawkins, Indiana, many have noted similarities between the fictional town and conspiracy theories surrounding Montauk.

Conspiracy theories surrounding the US government conducting secret experiments are classic fodder for sci-fi, as evidenced from shows like Roswell to 1984's The Philadelphia Experiment and this year's Us. The Duffer brothers have argued that they've been interested in such conspiracies for a long time and that their idea for Stranger Things occurred prior to their meeting with Kessler. But the judge isn't convinced, writing, "there is little independent verifying evidence of the originality of their idea."

Netflix has given the Stranger Things creators their full support. "The Duffer Brothers have our full support. This case has no merit, which we look forward to being confirmed by a full hearing of the facts in court," wrote a Netflix spokesperson in an email to Engadget.
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Vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer from Cal State University, photo via KPIX 5

What would you do if you found a 50-year-old dose of LSD laying around? If you’re Eliot Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Television, you get high on acid… accidentally.

Curtis recently undertook the project of restoring a vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer. According to San Francisco KPIX 5, the instrument had been sitting in a cold, dark room at Cal State University East Bay since the 1960s, so he lugged it home and began repairing it.

After opening a red-paneled module on the synth, he noticed there was “a crust or a crystalline residue on it.” Naturally, he did what any person tasked with fixing up an old instrument would do: spray some cleaner on it, pick at the residue with his finger, and try to dislodge it by scratching it off. But 45 minutes later, he started to feel some tingling. It was the start of a nine-hour acid trip.

Three individual chemical tests identified the substance on the synth as LSD. An anonymous LSD researcher explained what happened. It turns out that when stored in a cool, dark place, LSD can remain potent for decades. On top of that, there’s written evidence from Albert Hoffman, the first person to ingest LSD, that he believed it could be ingested through the skin.

What was LSD doing on the instrument in the first place? Nobody knows, but there’s plenty of theories. Look no further than Don Buchla, the instrument’s inventor. Not only was Buchla part of the ’60s counterculture at large, but his synths ended up on an old school bus purchased by LSD advocate Ken Kesey and his followers in 1966. During Kesey’s acid tests at Winterland on Halloween, electronic sounds interrupted an interview with Kesey. Additionally, Buchla was a friend of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead’s sound engineer and an infamous manufacturer of an extremely pure strain of LSD.

Those looking for a similar experience will have to look elsewhere. Curtis finished cleaning the vintage Buchla model for good — and this time around, he made sure to wear gloves.


Sam Morrison likes to create thought-provoking art.

In high school, he made silk-screen shirts and decks of cards with secret compartments inside. But over the past several years, most of his projects were digital — that is, until he had the idea last year to make physical flip-flops out of President Donald Trump's tweets.

"Take a scroll through Donald Trump's 40,000 tweets, and you're sure to catch some contradicting opinions," Morrison told Business Insider over email. "I wanted to highlight this hypocrisy."

Morrison had a full-time job in the advertising industry at the time, but he got to work on producing his flip-flops. He sourced his own materials and printed and packaged every flip-flop by hand.

On September 5, 2017, Sam Morrison started selling his Trump-themed flip-flops through a website called PresidentFlipFlops.com.



Morrison made 1,000 pairs of flip-flops.



He sold every single pair in less than a month.



Despite his marketing budget of $0, his flip-flops went viral anyway, getting coverage from major news outlets like MSNBC, HuffPost, Fortune, and the BBC. They also made the rounds on Twitter and Reddit.



Morrison said he donated 10% of every purchase to the American Civil Liberties Union.



Morrison said that the flip-flops were a limited run because of the effort and complexities behind the production.



"The minimum order of raw materials was 1,000 pairs and took two months to ship to me," he said. "I hand-printed all 1,000 pairs with a heat press, packaged and shipped everything myself, so it was a very time-intensive project."



All told, Morrison made three flip-flop designs, based on three sets of contradictory Trump tweets.



These are the "Syria Edition" Trump flip-flops.



In 2013, Trump tweeted to urge President Barack Obama not to attack Syria. In April 2017, Trump attacked Syria.



These are the "Electoral College" flip-flops.



In November 2012, Trump tweeted that the Electoral College "is a disaster for a democracy." Almost exactly four years later, just days after winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump called the Electoral College "actually genius."



Finally, these are the "Sources" flip-flops.



In 2012, Trump tweeted that Obama's birth certificate was a fraud, based on an "extremely credible source." Four years later, Trump urged people not to believe anyone who cites unnamed sources.



Despite making only three flip-flop designs, in five sizes, with a price point of about $30, Morrison sold every single Trump flip-flop he made in less than a month. He says they are "permanently sold out."



Morrison said that people from 47 states purchased the Trump flip-flops, but that given the effort to produce and ship all the shoes while still working a full-time job, President Flip Flops was a limited run.