A star blew up, and scientists snapped a photo of the violent explosion

Mashable - 6 hours 43 min ago


Last month astronomers spotted a star that exploded in the colossal Pinwheel galaxy some 21 million light-years away — which in cosmic terms is relatively close. The outburst of a massive star collapsing on itself, called a supernova, created a brilliant point of light in the galaxy, a light that is currently still visible with a small telescope.

Now, astronomers have pointed a powerful telescope at the space blast, and you can see the sustained bright flash. The huge, over eight-meter (over 26 feet) wide Gemini North telescope, located atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea at 13,824 feet, captured this supernova event.

SEE ALSO: Huge, unusually powerful explosion in space just detected by scientists

Where is it? The supernova, dubbed "SN 2023ixf," is the radiant blueish point of light located on the far left of the image, on one of the Pinwheel galaxy's (a popular stargazing object also known as "Messier 101") spiral arms. The sun, and Earth, also inhabit a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy, though our medium-sized star is not massive enough to violently explode.

The supernova in the Pinwheel galaxy, located on the far left center in the image. Credit: International Gemini Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA // Image Processing: J. Miller (Gemini Observatory / NSF’s NOIRLab) / M. Rodriguez (Gemini Observatory / NSF’s NOIRLab) / M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab) / T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage / NSF’s NOIRLab) & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)

Spotting such a vivid supernova is somewhat rare.

"This is the closest supernova to be discovered within the last five years and the second supernova to occur in Messier 101 within the past 15 years, following a Type I supernova observed in 2011," the National Science Foundation's NOIRLab — which runs big telescopes across the U.S. and elsewhere — said in a statement.

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Beyond the dazzling supernova, this NOIRLab image shows vivid pink clumps of light. These are regions of star formation amid vast, swirling clouds of dust and gas. The giant galaxy, which is nearly twice the diameter of our galaxy, is also teeming with extremely hot, blue stars. Our Milky Way contains at least one 100 billion stars, but "M101 is estimated to contain at least one trillion stars," explains NASA.

In our galaxy, there are giant stars getting tantalizing close, or closer, to exploding. Some of the red giant stars, like Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion, will appear extremely bright in the night sky, outshining all other stars, when it eventually explodes.

Keep watching.

"We don't know where the next supernova will come from," Or Graur, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Portsmouth who researches supernovae, recently told Mashable.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Stunning Webb photo shows a truly unbelievable number of galaxies

Mashable - 7 hours 43 min ago

Pretty much everything you see in this image is a galaxy — an entire galaxy brimming with stars.

Astronomers recently trained the profoundly powerful James Webb Space Telescope at a small section of the sky, endeavoring to find some of the universe's most ancient objects. Just this single image, shown above and below, encompasses tens of thousands of galaxies.

"You're looking at 45,000+ galaxies," NASA tweeted.

SEE ALSO: Stunning Webb telescope photo shows actual bending of spacetime

In this deep cosmic view, you can see spiral galaxies, similar to our Milky Way. And the Webb telescope, which collects bounties of light and peers through thick clouds of space dust with its specialized infrared cameras, also reveals ancient galaxies that once just appeared like faint blemishes.

"You're looking at 45,000+ galaxies."

"Previously, the earliest galaxies we could see just looked like little smudges. And yet those smudges represent millions or even billions of stars at the beginning of the universe," Kevin Hainline, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, said in a NASA statement. "Now, we can see that some of them are actually extended objects with visible structure. We can see groupings of stars being born only a few hundred million years after the beginning of time."

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Before the Webb telescope, which reached its solar system outpost about 1 million miles from Earth in early 2022, scientists had only found a few dozen galaxies younger than some 650 million years old. Now, through the Webb telescope's Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey, or JADES, they've almost found a thousand.

Astronomers also peered at another population of stars born some 500 to 850 million years after the universe's Big Bang event. Those early galaxies, it turns out, were vigorous star factories.

"These early galaxies were very good at creating hot, massive stars," Ryan Endsley, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement.

How many galaxies can you count? Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Brant Robertson (UC Santa Cruz) / Ben Johnson (CfA) / Sandro Tacchella (Cambridge) / Marcia Rieke (University of Arizona) / Daniel Eisenstein (CfA) // Image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI) The Webb telescope's powerful abilities

The Webb telescope — a scientific collaboration between NASA, the ESA, and the Canadian Space Agency — is designed to peer into the deepest cosmos and reveal unprecedented insights about the early universe. But it's also peering at intriguing planets in our galaxy, and even the planets in our solar system.

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Here's how Webb is achieving unparalleled things, and likely will for decades:

  • Giant mirror: Webb's mirror, which captures light, is over 21 feet across. That's over two and a half times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope's mirror. Capturing more light allows Webb to see more distant, ancient objects. As described above, the telescope is peering at stars and galaxies that formed over 13 billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

    "We're going to see the very first stars and galaxies that ever formed," Jean Creighton, an astronomer and the director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, told Mashable in 2021.

  • Infrared view: Unlike Hubble, which largely views light that's visible to us, Webb is primarily an infrared telescope, meaning it views light in the infrared spectrum. This allows us to see far more of the universe. Infrared has longer wavelengths than visible light, so the light waves more efficiently slip through cosmic clouds; the light doesn't as often collide with and get scattered by these densely packed particles. Ultimately, Webb's infrared eyesight can penetrate places Hubble can't.

    "It lifts the veil," said Creighton.

  • Peering into distant exoplanets: The Webb telescope carries specialized equipment called spectrometers that will revolutionize our understanding of these far-off worlds. The instruments can decipher what molecules (such as water, carbon dioxide, and methane) exist in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets — be it gas giants or smaller rocky worlds. Webb will look at exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy. Who knows what we'll find.

    "We might learn things we never thought about," Mercedes López-Morales, an exoplanet researcher and astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics-Harvard & Smithsonian, told Mashable in 2021.

    Already, astronomers have successfully found intriguing chemical reactions on a planet 700 light-years away, and the observatory has started looking at one of the most anticipated places in the cosmos: the rocky, Earth-sized planets of the TRAPPIST solar system.

Categories: IT General, Technology

The curious planets scientists have ogled in 2023, so far

Mashable - 8 hours 13 min ago

Scientists have made giant leaps honing the techniques for finding worlds outside of Earth's solar system, detecting new ones on the order of hundreds every year.

The number of confirmed exoplanets — planets orbiting stars other than the sun — has risen to 5,438, with 9,600 more candidates under review. Most of these are in the Milky Way, though scientists think they discovered the first planet within another galaxy two years ago.

Statistically speaking, the growing tally only scratches the surface of planets believed to be in space. With hundreds of billions of galaxies, the universe likely teems with many trillions of stars. And if most stars have one or more planets around them, that's an unfathomable number of worlds.

What scientists are learning is that alien worlds are like snowflakes, each with their own distinct combinations of characteristics. There are water worlds, planets with multiple sunsets, volcanic worlds spewing lava, and some in unexpected shapes like a football.

With the new James Webb Space Telescope, getting to know these worlds should become profoundly easier. The premier space observatory will spend about 25 percent of its time studying exoplanets. Knowing what's in another planet's atmosphere can tell scientists a lot about a world, including whether it could be hospitable to life.

SEE ALSO: NASA's finally talking about UFOs with Americans. Here's what they said. Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) This TRAPPIST planet couldn't hack it The rocky exoplanet about 41 light-years away doesn't appear to have an atmosphere and is a toasty 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Joseph Olmsted (STScI) illustration

When astronomers conducted a Webb study of TRAPPIST-1B this year, they found its size was likely the closest thing it had in common with Earth.

The rocky exoplanet about 41 light-years away doesn't appear to have an atmosphere and is a toasty 450 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a paper published in the journal Nature. So, just the right temperature for a dystopian book-burning future, anyone?

Scientists have eagerly awaited an opportunity to study the TRAPPIST-1 solar system, a family of seven Earth-size planets orbiting a red dwarf, a tiny but violent type of star commonly found in the Milky Way. They've speculated that one or two of the TRAPPIST worlds, discovered six years ago, could be habitable.

Though TRAPPIST-1B isn't likely to support life, researchers are just getting started on their studies of this intriguing star system. They are looking forward to studying some of the other planets, particularly its neighbor TRAPPIST-1E, the fourth from the star. It is thought to be the right distance to allow liquid water to form into lakes and oceans on the planet's surface.

An Earth twin that hints at an atmosphere GJ 486b is a rocky exoplanet about 30 percent larger than Earth, orbiting a red dwarf star every 1.5 days. Credit: NASA / ESA / G. Bacon (STScI) illustration

Astronomers are taking a closer look at another rocky exoplanet, GJ 486 B, relatively close to our solar system at just 26 light-years away in the constellation Virgo. Discovered two years ago, it's about 30 percent larger than Earth, orbiting a red dwarf every 1.5 days.

Despite being so close to its host star and having a scorching temperature of about 800 degrees Fahrenheit, the planet shows signs of having water vapor — a hint that the alien world may have an atmosphere swaddling the planet. And atmospheres are critical for shielding a planet from ultraviolet solar radiation, maintaining habitable temperatures, and creating the pressure needed for liquid water.

But could it be nothing more than a mirage?

Another possible explanation for the vapor detected by Webb is that water is coming from the outer layer of the nearby star, cooler than the sun, and not from the planet at all. Scientists will need more observations to determine if the exoplanet indeed has an atmosphere and how much water is present. Without an atmosphere, life — at least the type able to flourish on Earth — wouldn't exist.

Water vapor has been discovered on gassy exoplanets before, but never for a rocky or terrestrial planet akin to Earth, Mars, Mercury, and Venus.

A shadowed lava world Astronomers have found an exoplanet that could be teeming with volcanoes. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Chris Smith (KRBwyle) illustration

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An intriguing world sits just on the cusp of the so-called Goldilocks zone, the region around a host star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of planets.

That's, in part, why scientists are interested in LP 791-18 D, a temperate world about the size of Earth orbiting a small red dwarf star 90 light years away in the southern constellation Crater.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

But if it sounds like paradise, consider that the exoplanet is packed with gushing volcanoes, with half the planet in perpetual daylight while the other half sits in constant darkness. These extreme conditions may combine to provide the necessary ingredients for the planet to have an atmosphere. Many planetary scientists believe volcanic activity is key for a life-sustaining world because the release of gasses during an eruption contributes to the atmosphere and can help a planet maintain moderate temperatures.

Astronomers want to get observation time on the Webb telescope to conduct an atmospheric study of the exoplanet. Discoveries of water and methane, for example — important ingredients for life as we know it — could be signs of potential habitability or biological activity.

A planet with terrifying sand clouds The James Webb Space Telescope is helping astronomers study an unusual planet 40 light-years from Earth. Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Joseph Olmsted (STScI) illustration

The clouds over a newly discovered world 40 light-years from Earth swirl with sizzling, gritty flecks of sand.

On VHS 1256 B, it's a perpetual, blistering sandstorm. Up in the clouds, temperatures reach a scorching 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. And when the clouds get too heavy, rainstorms likely pelt the planet with the sandy mixture, astronomers say.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Though the exoplanet's days are only two hours shorter than ours, it takes 10,000 Earth-years to make a complete trip around its two stars. A NASA Twitter account described it as "Tatooine-like," referencing Luke Skywalker's desert planet in Star Wars, which had twin sunsets. Given how far away the world is from its stars — about four times farther than Pluto is from the sun — their light wouldn't shine that bright.

Astronomers say the observations of the exoplanet thus far are thrilling because they illustrate how otherworldly clouds could be totally different from the water vapor clouds of Earth.

Categories: IT General, Technology

These $100 night vision binoculars take HD photos and videos

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

TL;DR: As of June 10, get the Mini Dual Tube Digital Night Vision Binoculars for only $99.99 — A 37% discount.

If you love exploring the outdoors, you might feel restricted when sunset falls and the darkness of night takes over. What if you could see in the dark and still enjoy your favorite sights? That's exactly what the Mini Dual Tube Digital Night Vision Binoculars are designed to do. And you also can use them to snap photos and videos. For a limited time, they’re just $99.99 (reg. $159.99).

Your new outdoor companion

Whether you like to go hunting, scouting, camping, wildlife watching, or fishing, these binoculars can improve your vision. The 10X optical magnification lens can allow you to see up to 300 meters away, and is designed to work even in total darkness with an 850nm infrared illuminator.

Choose from seven brightness levels and four visual effects (color, black and white, luminous green, or infrared) to get a better view of that mountain, bird, or flower. 

Use the binoculars for up to 10 hours with infrared off or up to 5 hours with infrared on. This should be plenty of power to use the binoculars a few times before they need a recharge. When the battery is low, power up the lithium battery with the included USB-C cable before your next adventure.

Capture moments in HD

If anything catches your eye as you explore, take an HD photo or video. The 2.4-inch HD screen and 4X digital zoom can allow you to see exactly what the binoculars are capturing. All images are stored on the included TF card with 32GB of storage. Transfer them to your other devices later and share your cool sightings online.

When you’re all done exploring, be sure to clean the binoculars and store them safely with the included cleaning cloth and pouch. Slip them right in your pocket and take them just about anywhere, since they’re only four inches long.

Up your outdoor adventures with the Mini Dual Tube Digital Night Vision Binoculars with 1080p HD Recording, now just $99.99 (reg. $159.99). No coupon is needed to grab this excellent discount.

Prices subject to change.

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Categories: IT General, Technology

Get 130 hours of Python instruction for just $19.99

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

TL;DR: As of June 10, you can get the 2023 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle for just $19.99 — that's 76% off the regular price of $84.00.

If you're learning to code for the first time, Python may be the place to start. This user-friendly coding language has a wide array of applications, and there's even a low-cost way to start learning from real experts. The 2023 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle gives you 12 courses with 130 hours of instruction. For a limited time, this bundle is $19.99 (reg. $84). 

Learn to code with Python 

Whether you're learning Python for work, for school, or for fun, this bundle is the place to get started. If you want a quick, dense crash course from professional ZENVA instructors, start with Python Foundations. This one-hour course shows you how to set up a Python project, utilize variables, manage data, and try out object-oriented programming. 

If you want a more rigorous overview, the Complete Python Course offers 34 hours of detailed Python lessons. And once you have the basics down, you can move onto more advanced Python applications. 

Interested in smart home technology or home security? This bundle includes a course that teaches you how to code a smart security camera using Raspberry Pi. If you're hyped about ChatGPT and AI, there's a course all about deep learning that could be your entrance into the field. If you have a lot of repetitive data entry tasks at work, mastering Python automation might save you time and effort down the road. 

All course materials included in this bundle are yours for life. Study at the pace that works for you while you create new projects and practice what you’ve learned. 

If you're learning Python for work, be sure to check out Python Hands-On. That offers 46 hours of lessons, along with 210 exercises, five projects, five assignments, and two exams. Once you pass, you'll even get a certificate of completion. 

Become a Python master 

Learning a coding language can be difficult, but there are plenty of resources to help you get started. 

If you want to learn to code, get the 2023 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle while it's on sale for $19.99 (reg. $84). 

Prices subject to change. 

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Categories: IT General, Technology

Get lifetime access to Microsoft Office and training courses for $60

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

TL;DR: As of June 10, get Microsoft Office Training and a lifetime license to Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for just $59.99 — You'll save 83%.

Microsoft Office has long been a staple of the professional world. While you may know the basics of each program, you might not be using them to their full potential. 

This bundle gets you a lifetime license to Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for your Windows PC and a bundle of courses to help you master skills in each app. For a limited time, you can get the bundle for just $59.99, normally $357.99.

Microsoft Office lifetime license 

Upon purchase, you receive a download link and software license key to add eight classic Microsoft apps to your PC. You’ll get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, Publisher, and Access for life with absolutely no subscription fees.

Whether you’ll be using the software package for remote work, online courses, or for personal projects, you’ll likely find tools to help you be more efficient. Discover even more ways to use each program with online courses taught by top instructors.

Training course bundle

One expert instructor is Chris Dutton, founder of Maven Analytics, who mentors over 25,000 students with his analytics and business skills.

Here’s just some of what you could learn from each course:

  • Microsoft Excel Data Analysis with PivotTables: raw data structure, table layouts, and styles to analyze, sort, and filter data.

  • Microsoft Word 365: formatting, spell checking, and customizing documents.

  • PowerPoint From Beginner to Advanced: use design tools, shortcuts, and templates to create quick, professional slideshows.

  • Outlook for Beginners: organize mail with folders and use the calendar, tasks, and notes.

  • Microsoft 365 Teams: collaborate with peers in real time, share files, and schedule meetings.

  • Microsoft OneNote: format text, apply styles, add and organize sections.

  • Microsoft Access: create tables, primary key, and data types for in-depth analysis.

  • Microsoft Publisher 365: personalize templates and insert your own info.

Take your productivity to the next level with the premium Microsoft Office Training and a lifetime license of Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for Windows, now only $59.99 (reg. $357.99).

Prices subject to change.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Nerdused LTD Microsoft Office Training and a lifetime license of Microsoft Office Professional 2021 (opens in a new tab) $59.99 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

Save 30% on a high-spec refurbished Dell desktop

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

TL;DR: As of June 10, you can get a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 5060 desktop for just $519.99 — that's 30% off the regular price of $749.97.

If you need a powerful computer, you might believe your only option is purchasing an expensive, brand-new machine. One way to save money and still get a high-spec computer? Look for a refurbished desktop.

This refurbished Dell OptiPlex 5060 Desktop is in near-mint condition and packs some impressive hardware. If you’re a design professional, student in a creative field, or just need some low-lag performance with demanding software, get this refurbished desktop while it’s on sale for 30% off. 

High-spec computer for a low price 

You may not be settling for less with this refurbished computer. There may be zero signs of wear-and-tear on this computer, and everything under the case works great. In fact, this is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbished device, so it also comes with Windows 11 Pro installed for extra security and streamlined daily computing. Plus, it has already undergone a full-system test along with Microsoft’s own robust stress testing. 

Whether you’re in a design profession or just have art projects for school, if you need quick access to large files without relying on the internet, this computer has the hardware to back you up. Save your files locally on a 500GB SSD or a 1TB secondary HDD storage. 

The dual storage also leaves plenty of room to install a variety of apps, which will be powered by the Intel Hexa-Core i5-8500 processor and 16GB DDR4 RAM. That setup can smoothly operate a range of demanding software, but the integrated Intel HD 630 GPU may still struggle with some modern games.

All you have to bring to the table is a monitor and your favorite periphery tech to get to work.

Save on a near-mint condition refurbished Dell desktop

Shopping for a brand-new computer can get expensive, but that doesn’t mean settling for a laggy old machine for a lower price.

For a limited time, get a near-mint condition Dell OptiPlex 5060 on sale for $519.99 (reg. $749). 

Prices subject to change.

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Scientists find why the 'big one' may not have shaken California...yet

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

In the middle of the driest California desert, just along the southerly State Route 86, you can find sun-bleached shells littering the ground.

They're telltale signs of a once colossal lake that has come and gone over the last thousands of years, a place called Lake Cahuilla. Today, the much smaller, and shrinking, Salton Sea takes its place. In a new geologic study, scientists have found Lake Cahuilla may have continually played a role in helping stoke major quakes along the southern portion of the infamous San Andreas Fault — which is overdue for a giant quake, a "big one" in Southern California. (Other big ones have certainly hit other parts of the fault, namely the devastating 1906 quake near San Francisco.) The mighty lake, however, hasn't filled to its max depth of over 300 feet since the early 1730s, back when George Washington was just born.

The San Andreas Fault is a fracture between two of Earth's giant slabs of rocky crust, the North American and Pacific plates. Where they meet in California, unimaginable pressure builds as they press into one another. The fault is continually stressed, accumulating some two centimeters of slip deficit annually. The southern portion of the fault historically releases this energy in powerful ruptures around every 180 years, give or take 40 years. But it hasn't budged in some 300 years.

"Eventually this will have to be released by a big earthquake," Yuri Fialko, a professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and coauthor of the research, told Mashable.

The research was recently published in the science journal Nature.

SEE ALSO: 4 things to know about California's strange earthquake drought

Without the giant lake there, putting enormous pressure on the San Andreas and contributing to a more vulnerable fault, the coming big one — a Southern California quake that could cause some 1,800 deaths, $200 billion in damage, and untold disruption — might be further delayed. But, critically, the fault might also accumulate even more pressure, resulting in a more potent temblor.

Crucially, a potential delay isn't a reason to stop preparing for a bad earthquake, emphasized John Vidale, an earthquake researcher at the University of Southern California who had no role in the research. But an even bigger, delayed quake, if that comes to pass, isn't the end of the world. It at least allows people to better prepare, ensure more resilient structures, and beyond.

"I’d guess the additional time to enjoy the calm and prepare and better anticipate what is coming is a net gain over just getting it over with sooner," Vidale told Mashable.

The San Andreas Fault separating the massive Pacific and North American plates. Credit: USGS The outline of the former Lake Cahuilla shown in dark blue. The current Salton Sea is at center (filled with light blue), and the San Andreas Fault is designated "SAF." Credit: USGS

Triggering the San Andreas Fault

The evidence for Lake Cahuilla triggering major temblors is compelling: Over the last thousand years or so, Colorado River water pouring into this low desert basin has filled the lake six times, according to geologic research. And during each fill, a significant quake occurred, the latest of which was in the 1720s.

"This was an amazing correlation that inspired the modeling part of our study," said Fialko.

Of course, a basic tenant of scientific research is that correlation does not mean causation. (See the ingenious Spurious Correlation website for a poignant detour into spurious correlations). But this correlation is strong. "It's very plausible," noted Vidale. What's more, the researchers were able to run advanced computer simulations, on a supercomputer at San Diego State University, allowing them to see how the lake triggered the earthquakes in this desert region.

A graph showing when Lake Cahuilla filled over the last thousand years. The lake levels are shown in light blue, whereas the corresponding earthquake time probabilities are shown by the dotted black lines below each lake fill episode. Credit: Hill, et al., 2023

Faults, like the San Andreas, are held together by friction and intense pressure. "Anything that will relieve that pressure will nudge it closer to failure," explained Scripps' Fialko. Two primary factors pushed the southern San Andreas to failure, the researchers concluded. Both were caused by the ancient, giant lake:

  1. Immense water pressed down on Earth's surface, just to the side of the actual fault line. This flexed the ground underneath, and ultimately acted to "unclench" the fault. Now, it could slip.

  2. Lake water percolated down into the fault zone. This water, needing somewhere to go, tried to push apart two sides of the fault. "It encouraged the triggering," Fialko said.

A total of six sizable quakes shook Southern California when the lake filled. Over the last century, the much smaller, and less heavy, Salton Sea filled the desert basin, which is largely sustained by agricultural runoff. It's now evaporating. Water scarcity has increased in the hotter, drying West, and farmers have found ways to more efficiently irrigate crops, leading to less runoff flowing into the artificial sea. In our modern world, where the Colorado River now provides water to some 40 million people, there's certainly no water to spare for a sprawling natural lake. Expansive Lake Cahuilla will not come again, at least while civilization is here.

So the question looms: Without a giant lake potentially triggering quakes, when's the big one coming?

The high water line from Lake Cahuilla preserved on a hill in the Southern California desert. Credit: USGS

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What is the earthquake risk from the San Andreas Fault?

It's clear the southern portion of the San Andreas is long overdue.

With no lake present, the "clamping pressure" on the fault increases. This should stabilize the infamous rupture, Fialko said.

But, crucially, there will still be other quakes. "It will not stop the next big earthquake from occurring," Fialko emphasized.

"Eventually there's going to be an earthquake whether the lake fills or not," added Vidale.

We just don't know when. "Earthquakes don't work like a clock," Fialko said. Eventually, maybe today, tomorrow, or in decades, the pressure building between the two plates will inevitably cause the fault to fail.

"Earthquakes don't work like a clock."

Although we now know more, and continue to learn more about the enigmatic San Andreas, the crucial takeaway remains the same: "It underscores the need for preparedness," Fialko said. "Do everything you can to stay prepared."

Importantly, there are faults all over Southern California. Faults running parallel to the San Andreas. Faults running perpendicular to it. A fault running through Hollywood. Faults right off the coast. Ultimately, depending on where the quake hits along the San Andreas, the biggest risk to you might be something else, much closer to home.

A medical building severely damaged by the Northridge quake in 1994. Credit: Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

"Here in L.A., a lot of the risk is the fault right underneath us," said Vidale. "We have a lot of risks, and many of them aren't from the San Andreas."

How to prepare? There are a number of good resources. The USGS has valuable preparation info, as does the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. In general, keep an earthquake disaster kit or storage area, have a family plan, and prepare your home for intense shaking.

The southern section of the San Andreas has been quiet. But that won't last forever.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Zero Waste Daniel is drag's sustainable fashion pioneer

Mashable - 8 hours 43 min ago

There's a bird roosting outside of designer Daniel Silverstein's white-trimmed window, peeking into the animated tableau ensconced in a bright corner art studio on the third floor of a sticker-plastered Bushwick building.

The bird, holding white fibers in its beak, moves its head beyond the glass in fidgety movements that mirror the in-out, start-stop motions of Silverstein's sewing machine. It’s hard to say what the bird is eyeing — maybe its own reflection in the pane — but it's easy to think it might be envious of the dozens of jars replete with material odds and ends lining Silverstein's west wall. One jar holds old clothing labels, another enshrines bits of plastic, several are packed with strips and scraps of fabric.

Zero Waste Daniel’s headquarters displays the byproducts of the fashion industry as art. Credit: Molly Flores

Only a few feet away from that NYC pigeon, Silverstein is building his own space, a nesting ground for his future in the tumultuous fashion industry, defined by his interests in experimental art, environmental conservation, and queer and gender-neutral aesthetics.

He's the mind behind Zero Waste Daniel, a handmade fashion brand focused on sustainability through the use of discarded scrap fabrics shed off or donated by the larger fashion industry, and his sustainable-forward work was first featured by Mashable in a 2018 mini doc, exploring the way brands like his modeled a revolutionary alternative to the fashion industry's excessive waste and consumption. At the time, Silverstein was in the middle of a storm of coverage, including features in Insider and the New York Times, highlighting his innovative "re-roll" technique, which informs the patchwork fabric style still characteristic of his brand today.

A fashion school grad, Silverstein now hopes to influence the next generation of out-of-the-box designers. Credit: Molly Flores

His priorities — like many of the rest of the world — have since shifted. Silverstein and his business partner and husband, Mario DeMarco, closed their retail storefront during the pandemic, and Silverstein reframed his social media presence from brand-building sales account back to a social networking-only hobby, at the suggestion of his therapist. He's taken the term "slow-fashion" quite literally, his handmade designs part of a personal and professional recalibration.

At the time of this interview, that involved Silverstein hand-sewing several comically-large stuffed arms, fashioned in a pastiche of red, hot pink, and mauve textiles. 

Zero Waste Daniel is a brand built on disruption. Credit: Molly Flores

"I really love what I call narrative fashion — pieces that are, as some people would say, statement pieces," Silverstein explained while attaching red fabric to a limb armature padded with 6-year-old recycled white tulle from designer Jaclyn Jordan, who used to share a coworking space with Silverstein.

The looks of "Strange Love" combine oddball aesthetics with familiar materials and motifs. Credit: Molly Flores

"A statement piece could be anything. I really love pieces that legitimately tell stories or start conversations. I have said before that I specialize in 'Best Night of Your Life' clothing. Don't you dare wear a Zero Waste Daniel outfit and expect not to get stopped on the street. I am someone who is always searching for a deeper understanding of my 'why' and I put that into my designs."

Outfitting the absurd drag of "Strange Love" Adorned in pink, "Strange Love" is Oddly's lip-synced, relatable, personal story. Credit: Sidra Greene

The femininely Frankensteined limbs are part of an at-the-time secret project with drag performer Yvie Oddly, the winner of Season 11 of international favorite RuPaul's Drag Race and an All Stars contestant on the show's best-of-the-best spin-off competition. Silverstein's custom collection, full of huge, show-stopping pieces and surrealist takes on classic bikinis and overcoats, will become the visual centerpiece of Oddly's revamped "Strange Love" tour, a one-woman show that debuts in November and will travel around the country.  

"We're telling a whole story. It's four looks that are related and come apart and touch each other. It's sort of a Russian nesting doll — reveal after reveal after reveal," Silverstein explained at an early design session in April. "She is mixing everything that is weird about her with a very relatable topic in an elevated, glamorous approach." Oddly gave a sneak peek of the wardrobe one month later, at a one-night-only performance at Rocco's Weho nightclub in Los Angeles, California. 

Credit: Sidra Greene Credit: Sidra Greene Credit: Sidra Greene Credit: Sidra Greene

"I feel like her drag persona allows me to tap into stuff that I love that other people are scared of and that other people can't handle," Silverstein said. "You want to be transported to a new place just looking at what she's showing up in. That is the sweet spot for me. I love glamour and I love classic fashion and I love all of those things, but where I'm most comfortable is taking risks. Yvie allows me to take risks and throw stuff at the wall and see what will stick."

Growing into a more tailored fit Silverstein and DeMarco have adorned their business headquarters with mementos chronicling their brand and personal partnership. Credit: Molly Flores

Like the upcycled outfits on stage and much of the designer's brand, the Silverstein-Oddly duo is a kind of mix-and-match artistic powerhouse, an experiment in the limits and potential of fashion, and, in some ways, a political activation. 

"Fashion week is a circus, and drag is fashion." - Daniel Silverstein

Silverstein is a self-professed "messy, Bushwick Queerdo," a former contestant of reality fashion design show Fashion Star and intern for big industry names like Carolina Herrera. His designs have since been worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson, Kristen Bell, and Ilana Glazer, and he's the sartorial force behind collaborations like that between actor Fran Drescher and consignment brand ThredUP. Oddly is a crowned drag legend, artist, and musician bedazzled with piercings and a scrawled "Queerdo" tattoo on her head in a personal proclamation.

Silverstein's brand identity, as well as the new partnerships and collections he's intentionally choosing, exists in direct opposition to the industry status quo.

Credit: Molly Flores

"The biggest stars in the world, all of the major celebrities and celebrity brands, people who we thought would never be on TikTok, are on TikTok pushing things. To me that almost indicates a failure. The system, the success, the money, the fame — it's never enough. You have to get on the latest platform and pander," Silverstein said. "Even though you want to participate, you have to be hyper-aware of what your definition of success is. Otherwise, you're just in the rat race."

In renegotiating what growing a brand looks like in service of sustainability, Silverstein has had to come to terms with how his work fits into new forms of online behavior and their real-world implications, and the way his oddball status in the fashion industry dovetails with his spot in the queer community. 

Silverstein's fashion story, from sustainable star to drag couturier, is still evolving. Credit: Molly Flores

"We have to keep moving, but moving doesn't necessarily mean getting bigger. Growing doesn't necessarily mean getting bigger, either," Silverstein reflected, a nod to his place in the aforementioned slow fashion shift.

"It used to be that I wanted to dress red carpet celebrities. Everyone's looking at the Met ball and everyone's looking at the Oscars," he said. "I don't even want to look there because they're just following each other's trends. They're not into sustainability, but they're recycling each other's stuff."

Oddly, meanwhile, is on her own mission to upend the pop-culture norm, planting herself firmly on the feeds of social media users in a defiant, anti-capitalist outcry against her own path to success and the well-worn, multi-million-dollar drag franchise.

As drag has gone mainstream, artists and performers reimagine the stage show and its cultural impact. Credit: Molly Flores

Together, they bold their names in their respective industries, serving up a colorfully oppositional stance to their onlookers that says fashion can still be revolutionary, for the planet, its people, and those in power who refuse to listen.

All hands on deck: A collaboration by and for chosen community Credit: Molly Flores

The main vehicle for this mission is, in the eyes of the two creatives, drag performance itself. And the soul of the movement blooms in conversations taking place in spaces like the Zero Waste Daniel studio.

"I started thinking, 'Where are the real innovators? Where are the people doing things that no one else is doing? Who's taking the risks?'" Silverstein explained. "In our current culture, drag queens are the new couture customer. They are the only people who are buying stuff. They are the only people who are wearing things that no one else is willing to wear because they don't have the courage, the vision, the imagination, or the occasion."

Silverstein felt he had to take a risk ("I'm a schemer.") So he reached out to a group of his favorite drag queens for a proposed Earth Day 2021 campaign. He'd design custom outfits, using his sustainable brand, for them to post online and drum up excitement for their favorite Earth Day causes. They all said yes.

Overnight, he became designer to other RuPaul's Drag Race icons like Shea Couleé, Jinkx Monsoon, Bob the Drag Queen, and Crystal Methyd. Couleé's gown would later be featured in Vogue. His relationship with New York City's Broadway community came in handy too, connecting him to a community of thespians like barrier-breaking actor and drag performer Peppermint

Zero Waste Daniel’s “Wall of Fame” tells a story of queer art and community. Credit: Molly Flores

"They're the only people who really understand what it means to be so far outside the norm that you either show up with gusto or you don't show up at all," Silverstein lauded. "Now, after decades, drag is having its moment on top. It is really the pinnacle of art and fashion merging. Fashion week is a circus, and drag is fashion."

SEE ALSO: Emira D'Spain's rose-colored glasses are both a fashion accessory and a way of life

At a fitting for "Strange Love," Oddly and Silverstein worked together to take the designer's bright sketches into a costumed reality fit for the nightclub, Oddly whipping out a new strap-on prop that would cheekily pop out of Silverstein's multi-limbed design at the end of the show. "All hands on deck!" Oddly animatedly voiced before disrobing for the fitting. 

Silverstein first dressed the drag star in a lace white babydoll dress and pink and red overcoat (which, he reassured the room, still needed a mammoth bow attached to the back). That was followed by an hour of careful placement for each of the previously-sewn arms, caressing each other in a jaw-dropping bikini form that literally uncovers Oddly's body for the crowd. "Calm down!" Oddly yelled playfully at a hand covering the left side of her chest.

Credit: Molly Flores Credit: Molly Flores Credit: Molly Flores Credit: Molly Flores

"The basis of where this came from, the whole conversation about all of these outfits, was wanting to do something that is very burlesque, but incorporating ideas or inspiration or fashion in a way that is not so traditionally burlesque. It's not something I have a lot of professional experience in, but it has always been a part of my drag," Oddly explained. "So when [Silverstein] came to me with the hands idea, I was like, 'That's pretty. That's sexy.' It's fun and flirty, getting to strip off all of these elements, but it's a bunch of fucking clown hands."

Observing from a yellow couch opposite the bird's nest, it's clear to see this is not the duo's first collaboration, draping and pinning in a communication seemingly based more on vibes than words, but it's the next and biggest step in Silverstein's more experimental design run that combines couture with sustainability. 

"I just feel like what's exciting about working with you is that most people want something that they've seen, that they understand, and you only want things you haven't seen," Silverstein addressed Oddly, draping hands over her nearly-naked body in front of the studio's bright window and a mirror that reads: "I'm not perfect, but I am beautiful."

If Silverstein imagines himself the Harlequin boy, his designs invite everyone to the ball. Credit: Molly Flores

"Yeah! That's kind of the point of it all," Oddly concisely replied. 

During the session, Silverstein and Oddly went back and forth with the designs, Silverstein noting the different found fabrics and textures he was using and Oddly talking about the lengths she would go to have a truly unique performance. They bonded over both having sisters: Oddly grew up in a family of five very different half-siblings, while Silverstein's Alaska-based sibling hunts caribou.

Quips about the RuPaul's Drag Race series were thrown back and forth, as well. "It's a brand and franchise that profits off a vision of the future that doesn't always benefit us," Oddly noted, never shy about voicing her criticisms.

Credit: Molly Flores

They also deftly wove together conversational threads that, in any other space, might seem jarring or out of place, but were part and parcel for two "Queerdos" in LGBTQ-dominated artistic spaces. 

"My experience in this industry feels like I have become this Harlequin boy, who has taken a piece from everyone and put myself at the party." - Daniel Silverstein

A note about Oddly purchasing property for the first time streamlined into a quick conversation about inaccessible financing for small business owners and artists. "It's so funny because everyone's so impressed with your art and then you try and buy anything and they're like, 'Oh, well, we were just kidding,'" Silverstein said.

As a recently-christened poster child for drag, Oddly is solidifying her place in the mainstream conversation. Credit: Molly Flores

He then asked Oddly's advice on finding the best tucking underwear, which led into discussion on making nonbinary models feel comfortable in the fashion world. A minute later, the casual heart-to-heart shifted to Oddly exploring ethical considerations surrounding parenthood, as a queer person facing intersectional stigma.

"There's something poetic to me about the idea of literally choosing, like 'I chose you to be my family,'" the performer mused.

Oddly had opened the fitting chat with a brief, affectionate reflection on her fanbase, which she proudly noted includes many people in the disability community who turn out to her shows in solidarity. The performer's been open about having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue condition that's led to her hypermobile stage style. "I love seeing the first three rows filled with my fellow disabled folk. I'm like, 'Yas! I'll do a backflip just for you — even though I shouldn't.'"

Oddly's drag pushes the boundaries of art and glamour, aided by Silverstein's non-opportunistic fashion. Credit: Sidra Greene

The conversation wasn't intended to be a quick summary of some of society's most pressing questions, but it certainly mimicked a bullet-point list of issues, from the complexity of taxes to the demands of the fashion industry on gender nonconforming people. Just outside the door, how-to coffee table books on sustainability (A Zero Waste Life in 30 Days and A Zero Waste Family in 30 Days, both by scientist Anita Vandyke) kept a watchful eye, reminding everyone in the room about the brand's mission — and how it all connects together. 

Daniel and the Gift of Many Colors Silverstein's risk-it-all energy shines in his work. Credit: Molly Flores

Drag performance and environmental sustainability don't seem like inherently connected issues, but they have been lumped together in conceptualizations of the so-called liberal agenda — two different forms of care and self-expression thrown into a political fun house mirror that's reflected back the beauty of finding and respecting one's place in the world, somehow marred in controversy. 

SEE ALSO: Where to find domestic travel guidance in light of safety advisories for marginalized groups

Over the last year, public drag performers have been targeted by restrictive bills banning their deeply historic form of art, as LGBTQ communities face broadly sweeping legislation across the country. Clothing and gender presentation are once again political statements, a form of unique expression that on one hand sets the wearer apart from the masses and yet connects them to an already-established community. And the fate of the world in our current climate crisis is an ever-looming, generation-defining question. 

Credit: Sidra Greene Credit: Sidra Greene

It could be said that the different social causes share at least two things in common: an innovative "finder's" mentality — which sees design creatives like Silverstein reusing fabric scraps and queer artists like Oddly seeking new ways to defy social restriction — and the driving force of human solidarity. 

"I hold all of my real body in," Oddly began during one part of the fitting, "so I can be the character for a couple hours," Silverstein finished.

Throughout the multiple atelier sessions, Silverstein had a way of returning to this notion of kaleidoscopic identity, a guidepost for both his brand and drag collaborations. At one point, Silverstein quotes something his father used to tell him: "Never say never, Fievel." Fievel, for those unaware, is the plucky mouse at the heart of 1986 family film An American Tail, who sports a notably patchwork outfit as he makes a new home in New York City. 

Silverstein's fashion story, from sustainable star to drag couturier, is still evolving. Credit: Molly Flores

At another point, he told the story of his favorite childhood book, 1973's Harlequin and the Gift of Many Colors by Remy Charlip and Burton Supree. It spins the saga of a poor boy who wants to attend the town's colorful carnival, and gets the radical idea to fashion a new suit out of found fabric he's been gifted from kind townspeople. 

"My experience in this industry feels like I have become this Harlequin boy, who has taken a piece from everyone and put myself at the party," Silverstein reflected in his studio, the bird behind him long gone. "It's kind of sweet and feels like a romanticized version of my reality, but at the same time it speaks to the idea that you don't need all the money and all the access, you just need the idea and the fortitude to get there."

If the "Strange Love" wardrobe could talk, it'd tell a myriad of tales. Credit: Molly Flores

Silverstein and Oddly, who is also a Unilever LGBTQ ambassador for 2023, have turned identity-building and social justice into a bare-it-all stage show — not the superficial "performance" of cause and care that's rampant on the social media Silverstein is slowly but surely giving up, but the good kind. The kind of visual showboating that stirs the imagination, fires up one's emotions, and questions the status quo. The kind of performance that suggests there's more than one option for being.

Through it all, Silverstein credits the course of his career, and his life, with a quote from one of his professors at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

"He said, 'There's two kinds of designers, good designers and great designers. Good designers see their work coming and going and in the pages of magazines and in store windows. Great designers change the way people dress.' I had to figure out what being a great designer meant for me," Silverstein recalled. "I knew that was my goal, but I didn't know what fashion needed. What I learned it really needed was a massive paradigm shift.

A bundle of arms wait for their big day under the spotlight, Silverstein their anatomical guide and Oddly their proud model. Credit: Molly Flores

"Rather than a new hemline or a color of the season, we need to make doing the right thing fashionable."

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Categories: IT General, Technology

This Python certification bootcamp bundle is on sale for 76% off

Mashable - 13 hours 43 min ago

TL;DR: The 2023 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle is on sale for £16.09, saving you 76% on list price.

Want to start coding but don't know what language to start with? Python could be a useful first language to have under your belt. Often recommended by programmers as a primer because of its accessibility and the many different ways you can use it, Python is also still the most popular coding language in the world. 

And if you’re looking for a way to start learning Python, then the 2022 Complete Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle could be well worth your time. This 12-course Python training bundle could help you learn Python, even if you’re starting out as a complete beginner, and it’s on sale for £16.09. 

If Python will be your first coding language, then this bundle offers two courses to get you started: Python Foundations and Intro to Coding with Python Turtle. Between these two courses, you could study two hours of material and start learning the basics of programming overall and programming with Python. Learn to write code that could manage data, execute programs, and get familiar with the absolute basics. These include writing commands for a “turtle” to follow, showing you how to structure commands for an algorithm, and more. 

Once you have the basics down (or if you already did), you could move into more advanced courses that continue to cultivate foundational concepts and habits while also showing you more advanced skills. Python Hands-On with 46 hours, 210 exercises, five projects, five assignments, and two exams is a huge course that operates almost like its own independent training marathon. Study, practice, and test your mastery in a course taught by Musa Arda. Arda is a Software Engineer with more than 14 years of experience using Python, among other programming languages and tools. 

Python could be an excellent first coding language for a new programmer, and it could be a functional addition for those with some experience. If you want to start learning to use Python, check out this Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle on sale for £16.09.

Opens in a new tab Credit: Musa Arda Python Certification Bootcamp Bundle (opens in a new tab) £16.09 at the Mashable Shop Get Deal (opens in a new tab)
Categories: IT General, Technology

How to unblock Google Bard for free

Mashable - 13 hours 48 min ago

SAVE 49%: Unblock Google Bard from anywhere in the world with ExpressVPN. A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £82.82 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This discounted plan also comes with a money-back guarantee.

Opens in a new tab Credit: ExpressVPN ExpressVPN (1-Year Subscription + 3 Months Free) (opens in a new tab) £82.82 only at ExpressVPN (money-back guarantee) Get Deal (opens in a new tab)

Google Bard is not available all over the world.

The list of supported countries and territories excludes Canada and all of the EU's 27 member states. If you're based in a country that did not make the cut, you'll need to use a VPN to connect to this popular chatbot.

How to unblock Google Bard for free

VPNs are valuable cybersecurity tools that can bypass online restrictions.

VPNs can hide your real IP address and connect you to a secure server in another location. This process tricks services like Google Bard into thinking you are connecting from a supported location, meaning you can bypasses online restrictions and secure access from anywhere in the world. This might sound complicated, but it's actually really straightforward.

Unblock Google Bard by following these simple steps:

  1. Sign up for a VPN

  2. Download the app to your device of choice (the best VPNs have apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and more)

  3. Open up the app and connect to a server in a location that supports Google Bard

  4. Use Google Bard from anywhere in the world

The best VPNs for this task are not free, but they do tend to offer money-back guarantees. By using these guarantees, you can unblock Google Bard without committing with your cash. This isn't a long-term solution, but it does give you an opportunity to temporarily unblock and use Google Bard for free.

What is the best VPN for unblocking Google Bard?

There are plenty of VPNs that can reliably bypass tough geo-restrictions and unblock services from around the world, but ExpressVPN is probably the best. Users get a whole lot of features that help with this process:

  • High-speed servers in 94 countries

  • Easy-to-use app available on all major devices including iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, and more

  • Strict no-logging policy so your data is secure at all times

  • Fast streaming speeds free from throttling

  • Up to five simultaneous connections

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £82.82 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This discounted plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a 30-day money-back guarantee. With the money-back guarantee, you can unblock Google Bard and then recover your investment at a later date. By that point, Google Bard may be available in your location anyway.

Unblock Google Bard for free with ExpressVPN.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Wordle today: Here's the answer and hints for June 10

Mashable - 16 hours 43 min ago

It's Saturday, and there's a fresh Wordle on your plate. As always, we're here with some tips and tricks to help you figure out the solution today.

If you just want to be told the answer, you can scroll to the end of this article for June 10's Wordle solution revealed. But if you'd rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

Where did Wordle come from?

Originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, Wordle rapidly spread to become an international phenomenon, with thousands of people around the globe playing every day. Alternate Wordle versions created by fans have even sprung up, including battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once

Wordle eventually became so popular that it was purchased by the New York Times, and TikTok creators even livestream themselves playing.

Not the day you're after? Here's the Wordle answer for June 9.

What's the best Wordle starting word?

The best Wordle starting word is the one that speaks to you. But if you like being strategic in your approach, we have a few ideas to help you pick a word that might help you find the solution faster. One tip is to select a word that includes at least two different vowels, plus some common consonants like S, T, R, or N.

What happened to the Wordle archive?

The entire archive of past Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy whenever they felt like it. Unfortunately, it has since been taken down, with the website's creator stating it was done at the request of the New York Times.

Is Wordle getting harder?

It might feel like Wordle is getting harder, but it actually isn't any more difficult than when it first began. You can turn on Wordle's Hard Mode if you're after more of a challenge, though.

Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?

Though usually Wordle will only accept one correct solution per day, occasionally it will rebel against the norm and deem two different answers acceptable. This is due to changes the New York Times made to Wordle after it acquired the puzzle game.

The Times has since added its own updated word list, so this should happen even less frequently than before. To avoid any confusion, it's a good idea to refresh your browser before getting stuck into a new puzzle.

Here's a subtle hint for today's Wordle answer:

One more time.

Does today's Wordle answer have a double letter?

It does!

Today's Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with...

Today's Wordle starts with the letter A.

SEE ALSO: Wordle-obsessed? These are the best word games to play IRL. What's the answer to Wordle today?

Get your last guesses in now, because it's your final chance to solve today's Wordle before we reveal the solution.

Drumroll please!

The solution to Wordle #721 is...


Don't feel discouraged if you didn't manage to guess it this time. There will be a new Wordle for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we'll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

Categories: IT General, Technology

I tried out Playboy Pleasure's male sex toy range. I had a wild ride.

Mashable - 18 hours 43 min ago

Male sex toys don’t get talked about with the same celebration with which we hear women evangelize about their vibrators. They are seen as kinky additions or stigmatized as partnered sex replacements for sad, lonely men. Even if cock rings and butt plus and masturbation sleeves aren’t necessary to achieve orgasm, sex toys for penises can be a stimulating addition to the bedroom.

In its first foray into the sex toy space, Playboy has released its Playboy Pleasure collection sold exclusively at Lovers sex toy shops and at All of the glass and silicone toys are easy to clean, and nearly all of the chargeable toys come with little Bluetooth remotes you’ll want to label so you don’t confuse them with the shutter remote that came with your pandemic ring light.

Is the bunny we all associate with gentlemanly pleasures any good at getting guys off? I masturbated a lot this month to find out.

SEE ALSO: Score big on sex toys from Satisfyer, Lelo, Womanizer, and more Cock rings

Bunny Buzzer, $68

Playboy didn’t try to reinvent the vibrating wheel with its take on the classic bullet vibe cock ring. It’s simple. It’s powerful. It works. I liked that the lone button is big and easily accessible instead of other penis rings that require my lubed-up hands to slip around multiple tiny buttons. Imagine the frustration of accidentally turning a toy off when you meant to increase the intensity. Easy way to upset a cowgirl who otherwise would stay in your lap until she goes numb.

I started a test session with the Bunny Buzzer with a lover and, after we went through the toys, she asked to go back to this one for a couple more orgasms. Missionary is okay with the Bunny Buzzer, but bodily dimensions may vary results. A different partner complained that, during missionary, the bullet just dug into her pubic bone. And the bunny ears didn’t stay put long enough to matter to either vulva. Missionary position worked best when I stayed deep inside the first friend and rotated my hips for mini-thrusts to keep the bullet on her clitoris.

SEE ALSO: How to give a handjob like a pro

Once you’re confidently hard, just let her get on top and have a day.

The Bunny Buzzer is also pleasant during solo play. Rotate the ring to position the bullet under your junk for radical rumbles to your asshole, taint, and sack. With nearly an hour of playtime per charge, it can add an extra oomph to your next edging session!

The 3 Way, $116

Credit: Playboy

This cock ring belongs in a display case in a sex museum, not in a bed. The 3 Way is trying to do far too much and look way too unique to do anything for anyone. For starters, you have to charge two separate motors with the one charging cable provided in the packaging. That’s double the charging time. The dual motors also operate independently with their own buttons on the toy and on the remote control, which I suppose is there to offer more options. I’m trying to fuck, not pick a Netflix movie. Make everything vibrate at the same intensity and call it a day!

Playboy’s creative solution to a nonexistent problem also doubles up with two rings — one for the scrotum and one for the shaft. A vibrating strip of silicone is supposed to land on my perineum, but it didn’t quite cover enough surface area down there and I frequently found myself tucking it back into place. It does vibrate my taint, but I was so distracted by everything going on (not in the good way) that it wasn’t pleasurable.

SEE ALSO: How to give a blowjob like a pro

Another vibrating silicone strip lays atop the penis to, apparently, slide inside the vagina with you. However, my very patient lover didn’t feel anything vibrate once inside her. My shaft just felt like it was a weird shape. All of this confusion and disappointment and frequent check-ins of, "Do you feel anything?" didn’t do wonders for my boner. But we persevered.

The third way you’ll be disappointed by this cock ring-slash-senior thesis art piece is the vibrating brush bristles that are supposed to stimulate her clitoris. Once we’d gotten me through two rings, turned on two vibrations, and inserted the two shafts, we had to get this brush to rest on her vulva. Even if we were both still aroused by this point, she noted that the bristles design dulled the vibrations.

Do less, Playboy. Do less.

Triple Play, $90

Playboy’s Triple Play cock ring will become a first-grab out of my toy box when I want to add some tingles to my strokes. There were some moments when I would let go of my shaft and enjoyed the 360-degree hands-free sensations. As the name suggests — clearly marketing to men through sports talk — this toy’s unconventional design creates three vibration points of contact.

Credit: Playboy

The side motors did not disappoint, vibrating my inguinal creases and the base of my penis while my balls were stimulated by a separate motor underneath my sack. The toy takes less time to charge than my iPhone and can service a 30-60-minute session — though you do need to charge two separate points for the maximum effect. Annoying, but I think it’s worth it.

Unlike the Bunny Buzzer, the Triple Play was pretty pointless for my lover during partnered sex. I enjoyed the tickling vibes, but she said she couldn’t feel it enough to make a difference.

Anal toys

Come Hither, $100

The Come Hither is a solid sex toy for prostate play beginners, as it’s not too thin to be pointless but not so thick you’ll have to ease into it (or, well, it into you). This prostate massager doesn’t just vibrate if you want, but when activated the tip mimics that 'come hither’ motion your college girlfriend kept trying to teach you. However, if this prostate massager could hear me, I’d beg for it to curl that finger just a wee bit more. Wriggling my butt around into different positions and clenching my butt cheeks at various tempos, I could relate to every woman who has frustratingly tried to moan micro-instructions to get my fingers or tongue onto just the right spot.

The remote control made cycling through vibrational patterns and intensities easy. Just as I wish it would come hither a pinch more hither, I wish this toy would vibrate just a bit stronger. I wasn’t disappointed, but I did have to clench my sphincter harder to get more out of it. (Even turned off, the smooth silicone finish feels great going in if you just want something to clench around.) Once I found the body contortion to help the artificial finger stroke my G-spot, I experienced delicious hands-free ejaculations. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and began jacking and squeezing until I claimed the prostate orgasm I’d been fighting for.

Very fairly priced for a toy that can finger you all on its own, I would keep the Come Hither if I could only keep one anal toy from the Playboy Pleasure collection.

SEE ALSO: Lube: how to level up your sex life

Pleasure 3 Ways, $74

Playboy offers their branded version of the classic three-piece butt plug set. You get a small, a medium, and a large made of borosilicate glass with the iconic bunny logo primed to peek out your butthole. There’s nothing new or innovative here — I own a set like this made out of steel with jewel bottoms in identical sizes and weights. A set like this is a great introduction to butt plug newbies with their safe-for-life flared bases.

Glass and steel are my favorites for butt stuff. I don’t have to worry about which lube I’m using with which toy. You can heat them up or cool them in the freezer (Safety note: be sure to let it melt a bit before insertion unless you want to end up on one of those embarrassing sex injury documentaries.) You don’t have to charge them, and if you’re lazy you can stick the whole set in your dishwasher.

At $74, you’re paying about 50 percent extra for the Playboy logo. Cute for a photoshoot; less cute for a tight budget. You’ll find an identical generic set for $30-50 at most retailers.

Pleasure Pleaser, $110

Every time I tried out the lazily-named Pleasure Pleaser, I would climax before I could get to know it properly. So, that’s probably a good sign. Playboy’s L-shaped prostate massager felt like just the right size for the occasional anal player. The remote control was easy to use and prevented a lot of awkward reacharounds to change vibrational patterns and intensities.

It’s fun to have a friend put things in you. At a recent sex party, a dominant woman I met incorporated the Pleasure Pleaser into our play. But when she started to ride me cowgirl or when I got on top I’d frequently have to reach behind and push the toy back in. When I orgasmed, it shot right out of me.

"It’s the nature of these types of toys," says butt expert Lyndzi Miller, co-author of The Pegging Book. "They’re known to do that." Miller says that all manufacturers (not just Playboy) could avoid this by tapering the shaft at the bottom to create a smaller ‘neck’ for the sphincter muscles to clench around. So, I would recommend sitting on this one and using your hips to grind it back and forth across your G-spot for maximum incoherent moans.

SEE ALSO: How to prepare yourself for anal sex

Plug and Play, $84

I was intimidated when I opened the Plug and Play and took in its girthy circumference. After an hour or two of edging, I felt squirmy enough to attempt Playboy’s vibrating silicone butt plug. This is not for the fella who has only stuck the infrequent finger up his own ass. The Plug and Play may be better as your second or third plug. I was able to slip it in after a couple of slow, dedicated, kind-to-myself attempts. Once in, I felt the fullness that Playboy boasts about in the toy’s description.

When my tired hole settled down around the comfortable silicone stem, I continued my stroke sesh playing with the various vibration settings using its convenient remote control. The vibes are powerful, and if you want to feel yourself really stretch, this is a great butt plug for you. It’s a bit big for me, but it’s always nice to have #goals. 

Automated stroker

Pursuit of Pleasure, $200

Credit: Playboy

People with penises enjoy stimulation in all different ways: tight, loose, wet, dry, fast, slow, long strokes or short bursts at the tip. So, take this review with a drop of lube: I hated Playboy’s stroker.

The Pursuit of Pleasure is part of the sex toy industry’s continued pursuit to sell a partnerless handjob/blowjob. And like many before them, Playboy missed the mark [for me]. You stick your dick in a masturbation sleeve inside a Fleshlight-like device with three or four beaded rings that stroke up and down at a user’s chosen speed. My chief complaint about Playboy’s stroker is the same as the others: There’s no option to make it tighter. I don’t have a needle dick (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and I don’t require a death grip to feel pleasure. But in this $200 unrecyclable contribution to landfills, I could barely feel the beads massage my penis. There’s also no option to slow down the speed. It automatically starts at fast and goes up to faster — which is great if I wanted to mimic how I jacked off in high school. The various stroke patterns were confusing and unlike any human stimulation I’d received before. The entire concept of automated strokers needs to be rethought. Without promoting a different device, I’ve only enjoyed one stroker and its entire design is different from the competition.

Many complain about the noise of these toys, and I don’t mind that I can hear the PoP at work. I don’t mind that I can barely feel the promised vibrations after waiting three hours for it to charge. I can get past the disgust of cleaning my masturbation sleeve in the midst of post-nut clarity. What I can’t excuse is paying two weeks’ worth of groceries for a handjob machine that doesn’t get the job done. I frustratingly sat at my desk inserting a boner, pulling out a wet noodle, getting myself hard again, and repeating this Sisyphean process.

SEE ALSO: The best sex toys for masturbation that anybody can enjoy

The most pleasure I got out of this toy was turning off the motors and jacking myself off manually — which somehow also managed to make noise. I eventually gave up and switched to playing with the Come Hither prostate massager. The only positive thing I can say about the PoP is that it’s wireless, which fans of the Magic Wand know is super clutch. Would be great if that clutch convenience came with competence.

Again, this is based on how my dick works. I like a little lip grip during my blowjobs. I like a variety of stroke lengths. I enjoy when things slow down with purpose. If you think this is too much to expect of a sex toy, I have a stroker in my toy box that does this. And it can sync with a partner’s app in another state. At the same price point.

Dudes, you don’t need to be ashamed of having a sex toy drawer anymore. When your partner pulls out a vibrator in bed, you can pull out something that buzzes too. Then the only fight you need to have is over who gets which charging outlet.

Categories: IT General, Technology

'Quordle' today: Here are the answers and hints for June 10

Mashable - 19 hours 24 min ago

If Quordle is a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

What is Quordle?

Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

Yes, though not diabolically so.

Where did Quordle come from?

Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30. Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

How is Quordle pronounced?

“Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

Yes and no.

Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

Is there a way to get the answer faster?

In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

Two words have twice-occurring letters. One is a double letter.

Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?


What do today’s Quordle words start with?

W, T, T, and E.

What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

Are you sure you want to know?

There’s still time to turn back.

OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

  1. WRUNG

  2. TROLL

  3. TAKER

  4. ELATE

Categories: IT General, Technology

Spotify is testing an offline mix for bad signal days

Mashable - 19 hours 30 min ago

Isn't it annoying when you need your daily dose of music, but your internet connection is patchy, or you're in mid-flight and suddenly realize you forgot to download your favorite tracks? If these complaints are familiar, we have good news for you. 

Music streaming giant Spotify is testing a new feature that music fanatics are bound to love — an offline playlist that automatically downloads your go-to songs in case of a rainy day.

In a tweet posted on Thursday, the company's CEO, Daniel Ek, revealed that the feature, "Your Offline Mix," is undergoing testing and will be rolled out once it's ready. 

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Though it's unclear when Spotify will officially launch this new feature, the screenshot suggests that it will significantly help users when "the vibe is high, but the connection is low."

Offline playback is already a popular feature, but the offline mix promises to be something special; this feature will assess which Spotify tracks we listen to the most and automatically save them on our app. The playlist will be able to store hours' worth of music, which will make traveling more enjoyable for the app's 500 million plus listeners. 

Twitter users greeted the news appreciatively. 

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

It is unclear if the feature will be available for free users, but offline listening isn't unique to Spotify. Another music streaming service, Youtube Music, has an "Official mixtape" feature that allows users to download songs.

Categories: IT General, Technology

Tokens delisted, exchange closed following SEC crypto lawsuits

Mashable - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 23:30

Just days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase for selling unregistered securities, crypto companies are already dealing with the fallout.

Binance, which was sued by the SEC on Monday, announced on Thursday evening that the crypto exchange would be "suspending" U.S. dollar deposits. U.S. dollar withdrawals will also be suspended "as early as" June 13.

Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab)

"We encourage customers to take appropriate action with their USD," Binance said in its statement. Basically, if you have U.S. dollars sitting in your Binance account, move your money elsewhere ASAP because your assets are frozen.

Binance blamed the SEC for "creating challenges for the banks" that Binance partners with, leading to these banking partners "pausing fiat withdrawal channels." While the SEC sued both Binance and Coinbase this week for selling unregistered securities, the regulatory agency also went further with Binance, alleging the crypto exchange partook in "market manipulation and fraud."

After Binance's announcement, the dominos continued to fall.

The popular stock trading app Robinhood announced on Friday that the company would be delisting all of the cryptocurrency tokens that trade on its platform that the SEC classified as unregistered securities. According to Robinhood, it will end support for the crypto tokens Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), and Solana (SOL) after June 27. 

Users can buy and sell these tokens until then, and can transfer these tokens to other crypto wallets as well. However, after that date, any account holding Cardano, Polygon, or Solana in their Robinhood account will automatically sell the tokens and be credited with the funds.

Also on Friday, the crypto exchange announced that it would be shutting down one of its services: its institutional exchange. In a statement provided to the cryptocurrency media outlet Blockworks, claimed that the decision was made due to "lack of demand due to the market landscape in the U.S."

For now, is not planning any changes to its retail exchange and will continue operating in the U.S. The company's now-shuttered institutional exchange provided services for institutional investors like pension funds, mutual funds, and university endowments – all institutions that have likely been turned off by crypto due to the rampant decline in the market over the past 12 months.

Categories: IT General, Technology

'Run the World' Season 2 is all about metamorphosis

Mashable - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 23:05

Amber Stevens West, Bresha Webb, Corbin Reid and the cast of 'Run the World' tell us all about what to expect from the new season. Run the World Season 2 premiered on Starz on May 26, 2023.

Categories: IT General, Technology

TikTok creators are calling Berberine supplements 'nature's Ozempic'

Mashable - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:14

My TikTok For You Page wants me to take a diet pill or shot soooooo bad. It is so unpleasant to see.

Just a few months ago, TikTok was flooded with videos advising users to try Ozempic or Wegovy, medications that are intended to treat diabetes but also curb hunger. Rumors swarmed that every celebrity who lost weight — like  Mindy Kahling, Kim Kardashian, and Elon Musk — lost it with the help of semaglutides. But soon, those rumors fueled a flurry of folks trying to get their hands on the weight loss drugs, leading to a reported shortage of medicine for the people who need it. Plus, there were side effects and, if insurance doesn't cover them, the drugs can be extremely pricey.

Enter Berberine.

SEE ALSO: The vast morass of DietTok

Berberine is being lauded on TikTok as a "natural" Ozempic. There are more than 64 million views on the #berberine hashtag on the platform.

One of the most-liked videos was created by someone who calls themselves a "functional and holistic nutritionist who works with supplements every damn day." She says Berberine helps "your cells sensitize to insulin" and that, since it might not be for everyone and the dosage might vary, you should work with someone like her. 

TikTokkers say it could suppress appetite, lower cholesterol, help gut health, and control blood sugar and blood pressure, but many of the posts make it sound a lot like a laxative. Take the other most-liked video under the hashtag, created by Joey Zauzig, who's not a doctor: It explains that Berberine might mess with your gut at first and then, eventually, things started to get back to normal. He said taking the supplement curbs his appetite which, he admits, might be a placebo, but he doesn't care because he "feels snatched."

Unlike Ozempic, Berberine is a pill instead of a shot and, since it's a supplement, you don't need a prescription to get it. Berberine also doesn't imitate GLP-1 like Ozempic, so it's pretty clear that "nature's Ozempic" is code for "IDK this thing helped me lose weight and Ozempic is trendy."

Since Berberine is a supplement, the FDA doesn't regulate it, making it a bit tricky to know exactly what you're putting inside your body. And there hasn't been a sufficient amount of data, oversight, or research into how the supplement works. If you decide to take any kind of pill or shot for weight loss, you need to chat with a doctor first to make sure it doesn't interact with other medicine you're already taking.

"The FDA doesn't regulate supplements like Berberine the way they do medications. The FDA can't weigh in on the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements," Dr. Céline Gounder, a CBS News contributor and editor-at-large for public health at KFF Health News, told CBS News. "People are desperate to lose weight. Understandably, they want to do so cheaply, easily, and quickly. But even Ozempic isn't a silver bullet."

TikTok, and all social media, infamously perpetuates harmful, toxic weight loss trends that can lead to disordered eating and other kinds of self harm. As with all weight loss trends on the internet, trust your gut — the one you were born with — and not the fads. 

If you're feeling suicidal or experiencing a mental health crisis, please talk to somebody. You can reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Text "START" to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET, or email If you don't like the phone, consider using the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Chat at Here is a list of international resources.

Categories: IT General, Technology

The 23 best true crime documentaries on Max

Mashable - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:47

Can't get enough of true-crime tales? With HBO Max and Discovery+ combining, Max has you covered with a wealth of documentaries that explore curious cases, horrendous homicides, outrageous criminals, and much, much more.

With so many options, how do you know which true crime doc is your next must-see? We've scoured the lot to select the 20 best true crime documentaries on Max. In the mix are grim recountings of serial killer sprees, thought-provoking investigations into polarizing charges, empathetic explorations into the lives of victims, and even some surprisingly whimsical tales of true crime. Each one offers a chance to dive into a rabbit hole of armchair psychology, amateur sleuthing, and nonfiction nightmares.

Here are the 23 most gripping true crime projects, both TV series and films, now streaming on Max.

1. The Lady and the Dale The Lady and the Dale Credit: HBO

Max has a library of sensational true crime offerings, yet this 2021 mini-series is uniquely fascinating. Directors Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker unfurl the times and trials of Elizabeth Carmichael, who was not only a nationally recognized automobile executive and infamous con artist, but also a wife, mother, and transgender trailblazer.

For decades, her story has been framed by those who despise her, resulting in a narrative rife with speculation and transphobia. In this challenging and boldly funny four-episode documentary mini-series, Carmichael's story is reclaimed by balancing the perspective of her haters with in-depth interviews with those who knew her best. With animated photography, a playful soundtrack, and a cheeky sense of adventure, The Lady and The Dale aims not only to showcase the complexity of the late Carmichael, but also to capture her spirit. All this makes for a watch that is surprising, thrilling, and unforgettable.*Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: The Lady and the Dale is streaming on Max.

2. Mommy Dead and Dearest

Documentarian and true crime heavy hitter Erin Lee Carr — whose engrossing works appear multiple times on this list — covers the bizarre murder of Dee Dee Blanchard in Mommy Dead and Dearest. The 2017 film tells the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a 19-year-old victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, who after a lifetime of abuse conspired to murder her mother in 2015.

Some viewers will recognize the case from its serialized dramatization in Hulu's The Act, but Carr's telling offers a more nuanced look at the fact pattern. It's a flummoxing conundrum of justice that sees mother and daughter trade places as victim and attacker, and raises serious questions about the criminal justice system's ability to hand down levelheaded verdicts in morally complicated cases. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Mommy Dead and Dearest is now streaming on Max.

3. Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop Best true crime documentaries on HBO Max Credit: HBO

Another project from director Erin Lee Carr, Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop follows the strange case of former NYPD officer Gilberto Valle.

In 2012, Valle was arrested for conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill, and cannibalize women after his wife discovered hundreds of internet chat messages describing the acts in his search history. The apparent fetish seemed to go beyond hypothetical imagery, when Valle began improperly accessing the National Crime Information Center database through his NYPD credentials and drawing up comprehensive abduction plans for women he actually knew.

The documentary navigates the sticky legal area deftly, posing fascinating questions about what Valle's case means for the future of crime in the digital age. — A.F.

How to watch: Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop is now streaming on Max.

4. Mind over Murder

The story of the Beatrice Six is so full of twists, turns, and uncomfortable truths that it can be difficult to know who to believe. It all began in 1985, when beloved grandmother Helen Wilson was murdered in her home. Six suspects would be collected by local police. Five would give confessions. But decades later, when DNA evidence can't prove a single one of them was in Wilson's home, the case and the community are thrown into spin.

Documentarian Nanfu Wang (One Child Nation) speaks with members of the Beatrice Six, the police force that targeted them, and the surviving family members of Helen Wilson to investigate how this case was horrendously mishandled and its impact 35 years later. Moreover, the six-part mini-series follows a local theater production that uses transcripts from every step of the case to try to make sense of this hometown horror. The result is a documentary mini-series that is rivetingly dedicated not only to the truth but also to reclaiming the humanity of all of the victims of this horrendous miscarriage of justice. —K.P.

How to watch: Mind over Murder is now streaming on Max.

SEE ALSO: 'Mind Over Murder' is the must-see true crime series 5. The Cheshire Murders Best true crime documentaries on HBO Max Credit: HBO

Directed and produced by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, The Cheshire Murders chronicles a horrific home invasion that devastated a small town in Connecticut. In the early hours of July 23, 2007, two men entered a suburban residence and began a campaign of terror against a family of four that left only father Dr. William Petit alive. It's a truly disturbing account, which includes graphic descriptions of child rape and torture.

This project is sometimes regarded as being staunchly in favor of the death penalty, featuring damning interviews with the attackers' families actually recommending the two convicted men be sentenced to death. However, it also offers a disturbing look at the alarming lack of transparency from police regarding the perpetrators' arrests and trials. — A.F.

How to watch: The Cheshire Murders is now streaming on Max.

6. There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

On July 26, 2009, Diane Schuler traveled 1.7 miles in the wrong direction on the Taconic State Parkway in upstate New York. When her minivan collided head-on with an SUV, she, her daughter, three of her nieces, and all of the passengers in the other vehicle died.

In director Liz Garbus's There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane, Schuler's family members, witnesses, and investigators attempt to make sense of the bizarre decisions Schuler made that day. Her blood alcohol content was reportedly .19% at the time of the collision, but Schuler had no history of alcoholism and had appeared sober to witnesses shortly beforehand. Garbus prioritizes deep and complex analysis over a tidy narrative in her take on the case. It's a sympathetic but truthful account that will leave you with plenty to chew over. — A.F.

How to watch: There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane is now streaming on Max.

7. Beware the Slenderman

If you’re a regular true crime fan, chances are you already know everything there is to know about the so-called "Slenderman stabbing." But uh, if you don't? Buckle way, way up.

In this haunting documentary from director Irene Taylor Brodsky, we revisit the 2014 attempted murder of 12-year-old Payton Leutner. The attack was carried out by two other 12-year-old girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, who told Wisconsin authorities they attacked their friend in an effort to impress the online character Slenderman. The film offers a chilling glimpse into the sometimes warped interactions between adolescent minds and the internet that's imperfect to say the least, but a unique watch. Some of these interviews really stick with you. — A.F.

How to watch: Beware the Slenderman is now streaming on Max.

8. The Case Against Adnan Syed The Case Against Adnan Syed Credit: Courtesy of hbo max

Directed by Academy Award nominee Amy Berg, The Case Against Adnan Syed can be understood and appreciated as a standalone project. But for most viewers, the four-part docuseries serves as a companion piece to the watershed Serial podcast, which brought the murder of Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee to international attention in 2014.

The series explores the media fervor brought on by the podcast's popularity, as well as recounts the story from investigation through the 2016 post-conviction relief hearing of Adnan Syed, the man convicted of the murder. All told, the project isn't likely to change your mind about the case, but it offers new insights and evidence worth your (and possibly the court's) attention. — A.F.

How to watch: The Case Against Adnan Syed is now streaming on Max.

9. Class Action Park Credit: HBO Max

Welcome to Action Park! This New Jersey amusement and water park, built by former Wall Street tycoon Gene Mulvihill, was home to attractions such as Cannonball Loop and the Alpine Slide. It was also severely mismanaged and the cause of many injuries and deaths. Class Action Park reveals just how insane the story behind Action Park was, from the park’s madcap rides to Mulvihill’s shady tactics for keeping his venture afloat.

Through a mixture of fun animation and interviews with comedians who attended Action Park as children, Class Action Park keeps things light and humorous. However, it still exercises proper seriousness and restraint when discussing the park’s fatalities. Overall Class Action Park is a wild documentary about a truly wild place - you’ll come for the descriptions of the insane rides and stay for the nuanced exploration of nostalgia and childhood in the 1980s.*Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Class Action Park is now streaming on Max.

SEE ALSO: The 15 best documentaries streaming on HBO Max to learn something new 10. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Efforts to put suspected serial killer Robert Durst behind bars have spanned decades. In The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki recaps the chillingly charmed life of the New York real estate heir, who in 2021 is just now standing trial for the 2000 murder of Susan Berman. Berman is one of three victims tied to Durst; he is also accused of having killed his first wife Kathleen McCormack in 1982 and his neighbor Morris Black in 2001.

Against the advice of his attorneys, Durst actively participated in the creation of the 2014 docuseries. Across six episodes, Durst sits down with Jarecki for a series of disturbing interviews, a number of which have since been treated as evidence in the continued prosecution of Durst. As far as portraits of truly terrible people go, The Jinx remains one of the most horrific. — A.F.

How to watch: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is now streaming on Max.

SEE ALSO: It's time to bring back 'Trial and Error' 11. Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn Credit: Courtesy of HBO

The murder of Yusuf Hawkins was a hate crime, no question. But in Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, director Muta'Ali entertains the other theories that were considered in the 1989 shooting death of the Black 16-year-old just enough for you to understand the power of the white narrative Hawkins' family was up against when seeking justice.

Thoughtful and well-paced, the 2020 documentary goes beyond the tragic facts of this death to steadily reveal the surrounding culture of racism in New York City during the late '80s and early '90s that made so many like it possible. It's a heartbreaking true crime entry, but a crucial one. — A.F.

How to watch: Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn is now streaming on Max.

12. Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

The 2011 death of Garrett Phillips was the first of a string of tragedies. Not only did a New York family lose their 12-year-old son in a senseless act of violence, but the subsequent investigation left a Black man suffering greatly under a legal system ravaged by racial bias.

Another true crime film from director Liz Garbus (There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane), Who Killed Garrett Phillips? relentlessly seeks justice on both fronts. Asking the right questions at just the right times, Garbus produces a compelling narrative that is at once an indictment of police failings and a rallying cry for identifying the real killer. — A.F.

How to watch: Who Killed Garrett Phillips? is now streaming on Max.

13. Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children

Director Sam Pollard tackles one of the most troubling crime trends in American history in Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children. Between 1979 and 1981, at least 30 Black children were abducted and murdered. But prosecutors' decision to assign all of those deaths to the convicted serial killer Wayne Williams disturbed many who doubted his involvement in every case.

Over five episodes, Pollard tracks the story from the beginning of the killings to the reopening of the investigation in 2019. It's a comprehensive look at the insidious racism that has plagued Atlanta policing for decades, that only grows in importance. The tragedy of these cases, however, is that the decision to prematurely close them in the '80s may mean they're unsolvable now. — A.F.

How to watch: Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children is now streaming on Max.

14. I Love You, Now Die I Love You, Now Die Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Another riveting true crime project from Erin Lee Carr, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter is a two-part look at one of the most senseless crimes of the modern age. On July 13, 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy died by suicide in a Kmart parking lot in Massachusetts. His girlfriend, 19-year-old Michelle Carter, not only knew of her boyfriend's plan to die by carbon monoxide poisoning, but also actively encouraged him to go through with it in a series of bewildering text messages that would later land her in court on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The series follows Carter's efforts to prove her innocence, posing fascinating questions about what crimes can be committed online. This one is tough viewing, both for its heart-wrenching depiction of Roy's mental health crisis and for the helplessness one feels in knowing Roy could have been saved if Carter had interceded. But if you've watched The Girl From Plainville, the docu-drama series inspired by these true crime events, then I Love You, Now Die might well be a must-see.— A.F.

How to watch: I Love You, Now Die is now streaming on Max.

15. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

Enter the absolutely unreal delusion of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. Academy Award winner Alex Gibney walks viewers through the (alleged) scam concocted by the ex-CEO, which not only garnered the support of numerous high-profile investors but even saw its entirely fake technology — a blood-testing device called "Edison" — begin a pseudo rollout in actual pharmacies.

Repurposing some incredible footage of Holmes intended for use in a Theranos advertising campaign, Gibney renders a stunning portrait of a (again, alleged) con artist. The result is a mesmerizing watch that will make you question how easy you'd be to fool when faced with one of the most notorious liars of the 21st century. — A.F.

How to watch: The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley is now streaming on Max.

16. Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall Credit: HBO Max

The story of Denmark's notorious "submarine" case is rife with sensational elements, including snuff films, a heinous murder, an eccentric entrepreneur, and his personal submarine. However, documentarian Erin Lee Carr ushers her audience past the tabloid fodder, cutting through the misogynistic headlines to rediscover Kim Wall, an intrepid reporter who lost her life while on an assignment that should have been breezy, not deadly.

This two-part limited series speaks with Wall's friends and colleagues, resurrecting her story and revealing her legacy. Meanwhile, a no-nonsense submarine expert and a conflicted biographer detail how the alibi of accused killer Peter Madsen fell apart, uncovering the horrifying depths of his ruthless ambition. More than a tale of tragedy, Undercurrent explores the humanity in journalism and the horrors of toxic masculinity. — K.P.

How to watch: Undercurrent: The Disappearance of Kim Wall is now streaming on Max.

SEE ALSO: It was tough, but we found the 20 best movies on HBO Max 17. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills Credit: HBO

This 1996 documentary from HBO was the first of many to question the verdict reached in the infamous case of Arkansas' West Memphis Three. And while there's plenty you'll want to research about the case after seeing the movie — seriously, you've got 25 years of legal developments that aren't accounted for here — it remains one of the most well-regarded perspectives on the disturbing crime available, not to mention an utterly transfixing viewing experience.

On May 5, 1993, three 8-year-old boys were found dead and mutilated in a wooded area known as Robin Hood Hills. Local teenagers Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin were soon identified as prime suspects in the crime, but their connections to the murders were flimsy. Directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost is an essential true crime watch that always strikes a nerve. — A.F.

How to watch: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills is now streaming on Max.

18. Behind Closed Doors

The double homicide of 13-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her family's servant 45-year-old Hemraj Banjade remains a world-shaking event for the people of Noida, India.

In Behind Closed Doors, documentarian P.A. Carter takes viewers into the heart of the media storm that erupted when the two were found dead in 2008. Over two parts, Carter interviews those closest to the case about everything from the small details needed to nab the killer to the broader societal issues that made this particular investigation so tumultuous. It's a particularly intriguing true crime entry, considering it allows for a broader discussion of how justice is or isn't carried out internationally in a genre typically dominated by western audiences. — A.F.

How to watch: Behind Closed Doors is now streaming on Max.

19. I'll Be Gone in the Dark Credit: HBO Max

One of the best portraits of a true crime writer to date, director Liz Garbus's I'll Be Gone in the Dark serves as both a look into the terrifying Golden State Killer (also known as the "Original Night Stalker" and "East Area Rapist") and the woman who would stop at nothing to identify him.

Michelle McNamara, who died suddenly in 2016 leaving behind a daughter and her husband Patton Oswalt, dedicated years of her life to finding the man responsible for a string of murders, rapes, and burglaries across California between 1973 and 1986, despite not knowing anyone directly impacted by his crimes. A book chronicling her work, also titled I'll Be Gone in the Dark, was released posthumously and the docuseries serves as a sort of companion piece — filled with loving remembrances and overwhelming admiration for McNamara.

As far as true crime "fans" go, McNamara was the best of us. Her unrelenting passion for justice leaps from the page and screen even now, and will serve as an inspiration always. — A.F.

How to watch: I'll Be Gone in the Dark is now streaming on Max.

20. McMillions McMillions Credit: Courtesy of HBO

For more than a decade starting in 1989, a veritable army of crooks and stooges bilked McDonald's out of $24 million worth of winnings from its annual McDonald's Monopoly sweepstakes. It was such a sprawling scheme that HBO turned it into a documentary miniseries directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte. Across six episodes, the fascinating and frequently hilarious doc introduces us to colorful characters on both sides of the law as it digs into the particulars of the criminal enterprise and how it eventually fell apart.

By the time it's all over, you'll know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the historic McDonald's Monopoly fraud case. But you'll also be left with plenty of questions about what McMillions' most memorable character, FBI Agent Doug Matthews, isn't telling us. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: McMillions is now streaming on Max.

21. Deadly Women

Deeply in guilty pleasure terrain, Deadly Women is a documentary series that covers several stories of female murderers in each episode. These vicious vignettes are tied together by themes like greed, lovers turned enemies, or moms who murder. An advantage to this format is that if you can only handle a small dose of true crime tragedy, it's easy to hit pause before the next story begins.

Moody reenactments give audiences a look at what might have happened to these victims and their killers. Along the way, experts in criminal profiling and psychology weigh in, speaking to the facts, the speculations, and the gnarly mental states that led to murder. To be frank, the whole show functions on a ghoulish misogyny that is hellbent on deeming most of its subjects as bad since birth. But beneath the condemnations of the interview subjects and the smirking delivering of the unseen narrator, you can pick out clues to systemic evils that don't make these women innocent but suggest more depth than this devotedly trash true crime show aims for. —K.P

How to watch: Deadly Women Season 1-14 are now streaming on Max.

22. Fear Thy Neighbor

If you're frustrated by a noisy or nosy neighbor, this show might be a balm...or throw you into panic. Relying on reenactments and interviews with survivors, each episode of Fear Thy Neighbor welcomes audiences into a new neighborhood, where the residents might once have been friendly but have turned into fearsome foes. Disagreements over home maintenance, gardening, and children at play escalate into heated arguments, and often gunplay and homicide.

What makes this true crime show uniquely intriguing is that each episode tries to tell both sides, without giving away how things end. So, as viewers watch survivors — and witnesses — give conflicting accounts, they are encouraged to not only figure out whose side they're on but also to look for clues to what ultimately happened, who might have walked away, and whether someone's absence on camera means they're in prison or in the grave. —K.P.

How to watch: Fear Thy Neighbor Season 1-8 are now streaming on Max.

22. See No Evil

We live in an age of surveillance. Gas stations, schools, apartment buildings, and many more locations have cameras always on the lookout. And while that's apt to make us all feel a bit paranoid about being watched, See No Evil shows an upside.

Each episode begins with a murder mystery, then traces the investigation, which — in these cases — always includes crucial evidence caught on tape. Sometimes it's the last moments of a victim walking down a dark street. Sometimes it's the flash of a speeding car at a curious hour. Sometimes it's elevator footage that reveals what horrors went on behind closed doors. If you like true crime docs that offer answers, you'll appreciate the vision of See No Evil. —K.P.

How to watch: See No Evil Seasons 1-8 are now streaming on Max.

23. Your Worst Nightmare

Who needs sleep? If you're craving true crime stories that'll keep you up at night, you can't do better than the aptly named Your Worst Nightmare. Each hour-long episode focuses on a story that is truly chilling from abductions, to murders, to situations that are literally horror movie inspirations. Told through a mix of reenactments and talking-head interviews with law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, friends and family of the victims, and even survivors, Your Worst Nightmare sets the stage for real-life horror and does not let up. This one is not for the faint of heart. —K.P.

How to watch: Your Worst Nightmare Season 1-6 are now streaming on Max.

Asterisks (*) indicate the entry description comes from a previous Mashable streaming list.

UPDATE: Jun. 9, 2023, 10:48 a.m. EDT This list has been updated to refresh links to Max and add Discovery properties.

Categories: IT General, Technology

PlayStation's Days of Play sale ends this weekend, plus more of the best gaming deals

Mashable - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 18:56

UPDATE: Jun. 9, 2023, 12:30 p.m. EDT This list has been updated with the latest and greatest gaming deals across the internet.

Featured picks: Best PlayStation deal PlayStation Plus (opens in a new tab) Save 25% on all 12-month memberships Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Best Xbox deal Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (opens in a new tab) $139.99 (save $40) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Best Nintendo Switch deal 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom' (opens in a new tab) $59.99 with code MASHZLDA (save $8) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Best PC deal Samsung 32-inch Odyssey G7 Gaming Monitor (opens in a new tab) $549.99 (save $250) Get Deal (opens in a new tab)

Gaming is a pricey hobby to keep up with. Not only are a staggering number of must-play titles released each year, but they're also expensive. (Yes, games cost $70 now.) That's why each week, we're bringing you the best gaming deals we can find, so you can stay in the know about the hottest new games without stressing over video game-induced debt. Whether you're looking to catch up on your backlog with discounted titles or are hoping to freshen up your setup with some new hardware, we've got you covered.

PlayStation deals Opens in a new tab Credit: Sony Our pick: PlayStation Plus (opens in a new tab) Save 25% on all 12-month memberships Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it

Live through June 12 at 11:59 p.m. local time, the massive annual PlayStation Days of Play sale is headlined with a rare discount on 12-month PS Plus memberships (yes, all three tiers):

  • PlayStation Plus Essential — $44.99 $59.99 (save $15)

  • PlayStation Plus Extra — $74.99 $99.99 (save $25)

  • PlayStation Plus Premium — $89.99 $119.99 (save $30)

This offer is available to new and returning subscribers, including those who are renewing an existing plan or upgrading to a higher tier.

PlayStation gamesPlayStation hardware and accessoriesXbox deals Opens in a new tab Credit: Microsoft Our pick: Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (opens in a new tab) $139.99 on Xbox Store (save $40) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it

This is near the record-low price for the Elite Series 2, the nicest controller an Xbox player can buy. It comes with interchangeable thumbsticks, a D-pad, and paddle shapes, plus extensive button remapping options, short hair trigger locks, and a premium wrap-around rubberized grip. It'll last you up to 40 hours per charge.

Xbox gamesXbox hardware and accessoriesNintendo Switch deals Opens in a new tab Credit: Nintendo 'The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom' (opens in a new tab) $59.99 at SuperShop (save $8) with code MASHZELDA Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it

Meet your leading Game of the Year contender. The record-breaking sequel to 2017's excellent Breath of the Wild takes Link above and below the expansive Kingdom of Hyrule, with four (memeable) new abilities at his disposal on his quest to find Princess Zelda.

Nintendo Switch gamesNintendo Switch hardware and accessoriesPC gaming deals Opens in a new tab Credit: Samsung Our pick: Samsung 32-inch Odyssey G7 Gaming Monitor (opens in a new tab) $549.99 on Amazon (save $250) Get Deal (opens in a new tab) Why we like it

Curved gaming displays can be literal game-changers. The arced 100R panel on this bestselling 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 QLED monitor attempts to replicate the curvature of the human eye to cut down on strain and increase immersion, which makes playing feel better. It also features a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response times, AMD FreeSync Premium support, and HDR10 compatibility.

PC gaming monitorsPC gaming headsetsPC gaming micePC gaming keyboards
Categories: IT General, Technology
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