Webb telescope just stared into the heart of a fascinating galaxy

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 11:00:00 +0000
The radiant core of the galaxy NGC 5068 seen in the upper left.

The James Webb Space Telescope is so powerful that it can vividly see stars in a galaxy 17 million light-years away.

Astronomers pointed the most advanced space observatory ever built at the galaxy NGC 5068, peering deep into its starry core. The greater goal is to better grasp how stars, like our energy-providing sun, form and evolve in galaxies. Crucially, Webb views a type of light that's invisible to the naked eye, called infrared light. These long infrared light waves pierce through thick clouds of cosmic dust and gas, allowing us unprecedented views into galactic hearts.

"With its ability to peer through the gas and dust enshrouding newborn stars, Webb is the perfect telescope to explore the processes governing star formation," the European Space Agency, which collaborates on the telescope with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, wrote. Solar systems born enveloped in cosmic dust simply can't be seen with visible light telescopes like Hubble, the space agency said.

In the image below, Webb peered through "gargantuan clouds of dust." Here's what you're seeing:

  • The radiant white bar is the galaxy's core. Similar to the Milky Way, NGC 5068 is a barred spiral galaxy, meaning it has a long bar-shaped structure at its center, which is composed of densely-packed stars.

  • All those bright dots both in the core and populating the image are stars. Many thousands are visible. And though we can't see them, many of those stars almost certainly harbor wild, exotic planets.

  • On the right is a curving, spiral arm of the galaxy. (In our galaxy, Earth inhabits the farther-reaches of a spiral arm.)

  • The general skeletal-like structure in the galaxy is made from colossal clumps and filaments of dust, the ESA explains.

A highly-detailed view into the center the spiral galaxy NGC 5068.
A highly-detailed view into the center the spiral galaxy NGC 5068. Credit: ESA / NASA / CSA / J. Lee and the PHANGS-JWST Team

The Webb telescope's powerful abilities

The Webb telescope 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.

Want more science and tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Light Speed newsletter today.

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.

Direct Link to Article

Twitter and Reddit's high-priced APIs are bad news for the internet's future

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 10:00:00 +0000
Reddit and Twitter

There's a concerning new trend among social media platforms when it comes to APIs, and it threatens how the modern internet works for normal everyday users.

If you're not a programmer or developer, perhaps you scroll on by whenever there's an article about social media APIs. Perhaps you're not familiar with what they are. API stands for application programming interface. Basically, they allow one application to access information and communicate with another application. 

If you've ever used an unofficial, third-party client, like say Apollo for Reddit or Twitterrific for Twitter, you've used an app that could not exist without that social media platform's API. Do you use an app like Hootsuite to post your content to social platforms? That's only possible due to APIs. Are you a livestreamer using third-parties services like Streamlabs to announce new subscribers live on-screen? That works because of APIs.

However, recent moves from Twitter and Reddit to charge developers tens of thousands to millions of dollars for API access can destroy all of that.

So, why should you care about what's going on with APIs right now? Well, since the very early days of social media, many platforms provided developers with access to their APIs at no-cost. Some form of free API access has existed for as long as social media has. Friendster had it. MySpace had it. 

There has long been sort of this unwritten rule that users provide these social media platforms with data via their content and usage, platforms utilize that data to monetize, and to show that the platform didn't have ownership over such user data, third-party indie developers and startups were able to access that data freely to create cool and interesting apps to the benefit of the platforms and its users alike.

Now, obviously in the interest of fair use and good faith there were some caveats. These platforms needed to make sure bad actors weren't using APIs to spam the platform or access user data improperly. And, of course, if one of these third-party apps became successful and grew bigger than most, a fair payment was sometimes requested by the platform in order to properly serve that app with broader access while still maintaining quality of service for everyone else.

All-in-all, in an age where a few social media platforms dominate the market, the system worked fairly well. Students, self-funded programmers, indie developers alike were all able to take part in this tech ecosystem because they could all afford to build upon these already popular apps. 

But then, earlier this year, Elon Musk decided to end Twitter's free API access. It was a concerning development, but not completely out of the ordinary. Outside of social media, some online platforms do require a paid subscription for API access. Usually, these subscriptions start in the three-figure a month range, if not less. Developers were shocked, however, when Twitter finally shared Musk's payment expectations: API access would start at $42,000 per month. While attempts were made to negotiate with Twitter, the company refused to budge. Indie-made Twitter apps, many of which actually encouraged more use of the platform and helped provide a more healthy, positive experience on the site, were forced to shut down. (Months later, Twitter would roll out a $5,000 per month plan which proved to be either still too expensive for most developers or too late for those who already shut down their apps.)

Following Twitter's lead, Reddit announced it would also start charging for API access. Based on previous comments from the company, developers thought Reddit's move was just put in place to monetize uses that did not add to the Reddit experience. For example, companies training AI language models frequently use swaths of data from social media platforms. The platform and its users see no benefit in that. In turn, those companies charge its own users to access AI trained off that data. It makes sense for a platform to charge those AI companies for API access.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The creator of the popular Reddit client Apollo shared the news earlier this week that Reddit's paid API plans affect the app and would cost him $20 million per year, effectively putting Apollo out of business. This is an app that helps users access Reddit in a streamlined way, which in turn results in them using Reddit more. Killing off an app like this for potential short term monetization gains just does not make sense.

Again, APIs help developers access your data. Yet, the social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit, which already use your data to monetize via advertisers, want to now charge exorbitant fees just for access to your data.

Which platform will be next? There's relatively few major social media platforms to begin with. What happens when they all want to box you in to only use their official apps to access your own data? What happens to the tech industry when only a student developer can no longer afford to create apps and software?

If this trend continues, the internet will look like a very different place in just a few years.

Direct Link to Article

NASA's finally talking about UFOs with Americans. Here's what they said.

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 10:00:00 +0000
Citizen observing a UFO

After decades of shrugging off UFO sightings, NASA has shifted from chief debunker of extraterrestrials to taking its first steps to formally investigate these mysteries of the sky.

The U.S. space agency held a public meeting of the unidentified anomalous phenomena study team, an independent panel of 16 experts charged with addressing the many unexplained reports of glowing orbs, darting dashes and dots, and bloops that seem to transmute into more bloops. Scott Kelly, a former astronaut who spent about a year in space, is among the members.

Members of the team emphasized that they have no convincing evidence that anything weird reported from the sky is actually aliens. NASA chose to broadcast the meeting Wednesday, May 31, 2023, as a show of transparency — an effort to combat long-held beliefs that the government is hiding "the truth" about space visitors.

"Science is built on evidence. It thrives on scrutiny, it demands reproducibility, and above all, objectivity," said Dan Evans, NASA assistant deputy associate administrator for science research. "From a scientific perspective, we do not come in with an agenda. We come in needing a roadmap."

But in case you didn't have four hours to spare in the middle of a workweek for the meeting, Mashable has distilled the key takeaways.

What are UAP, and why isn't NASA calling them UFOs?

Most Americans know these strange sightings in the sky as UFOs, short for unidentified flying objects, defined as things that can't be immediately explained as a natural occurrence or an aircraft. But the study team is using a new acronym: UAP.

Members of the panel said the Pentagon likely adopted "UAP" to put distance between the topic and the stigma that comes with UFOs, often stereotyped as delusions of alien encounters. Old Hollywood ran with the idea and put flying saucers in a plethora of sci-fi films.

The acronym UAP used to stand for unidentified aerial phenomena, but the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into federal law in December, changed the A to represent "anomalous." The purpose was to also capture strange sightings on the ground and under water. But, given that the majority of UAP reported to date have been in the air, the NASA panel will focus on airspace.

Why is it hard for NASA to study UAP?

The study team members emphasized that their biggest challenge to studying UAP is the stigma. Anecdotally, some said commercial pilots are reluctant to report strange sightings to authorities: Less reporting leads to sparse data.

Moving forward with NASA's involvement has its problems, said David Spergel, an astrophysicist and chairman of the study team, describing two staunch camps: one convinced weird stuff happens in the sky that defies physics and technology all the time, and another convinced that everything is explainable and there's no value in looking into it.

"You have a community out there that says the haystack is filled with gold, and another community saying it's nuts to look in a haystack for anything interesting — there's nothing there," Spergel said after the meeting to reporters.

Continuing with the needle-in-a-haystack metaphor, Spergel said the first scientific step is to learn and characterize the properties of the haystack, something he believes is lacking when it comes to strange aerial phenomena.

"If you understand it well and how you measure it, and observe it well, you can find things," he said.

NASA headquarters
NASA faces challenges studying UAP amid UFO stigma. Credit: Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

How many UFO sightings has NASA reviewed?

More than 800 reports have been collected over 27 years, with about two to five percent truly found unidentifiable, said Sean Kirkpatrick, head of the Pentagon’s parallel All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office. The majority have turned out to be mundane objects, like balloons, drones, and weather. But this is somewhat of a trick question because it's not the NASA study team's job to investigate the reports.

Want more science and tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Light Speed newsletter today.

Many UAP cases can't be explained, the members said, not necessarily because experts are confronted with something unknown, but because the images, videos, and data are such poor quality, there isn't enough information to form conclusions. The team's purview is to make recommendations to NASA on how, with a scientific approach, it can contribute to the understanding of UAP reports in the future. This, they believe, is an important objective for determining if any UAP pose air safety risks.

"The primary objective of this incredible team of experts is not to go back and look at grainy footage of UAPs but rather to give us a roadmap to guide us for future analysis," Evans said.

NASA's work will focus on unclassified material and coordinate with the Pentagon's simultaneous investigation.

Observing an unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP
Many UAP cases can't be explained, the members said, not necessarily because experts are confronted with something unknown, but because the images, videos, and data are such poor quality, there isn't enough information to form conclusions. Credit: Department of Defense video screenshot

Why does NASA say it doesn't have good UAP data?

Cameras are often designed to take pictures in the daytime and aren't optimized for nighttime imaging. Telescopes designed to work at night can also pick up light reflections that cause optical illusions and weird artifacts.

Despite the fact that many UAP sightings were collected from military sensors, their technology doesn't match those used by scientists and national intelligence, according to members of the study team.

The panel offered these as just a few examples of how the equipment collecting the data can be difficult to analyze.

"DoD sensors have one purpose," said Kirkpatrick. "They are to identify an object that is known and put a weapon on it."

Observing UAP
This relatively recent grouping of three dots seen in the sky was reported by a pilot as a UAP. After analysis, researchers determined the objects were distant commercial planes in flight before landing. Credit: NASA / YouTube screenshot
NASA's UAP study team
The U.S. space agency held a public meeting of the unidentified anomalous phenomena study team, an independent panel of 16 experts on May 31, 2023. Credit: NASA

What will the UAP study team recommend to NASA?

A final report is expected later this summer, but members of the panel hinted at some of their ideas. First, the team has acknowledged that none of the challenges in studying UAP can be resolved in its short nine-month lifespan. The members will likely urge NASA to establish a permanent office.

"If you don't institutionalize something at NASA, the fear is that it can go away far too quickly," said Mike Gold, executive vice president at the aerospace manufacturer Redwire Space and a former NASA leader on the team.

They may also advise the development of a cell phone app that could pool data from many citizen scientists and upload them to a designated website. Phones don't just take pictures but encode environmental information, such as GPS signals, timestamps, and even some gravity measurements. With multiple phones capturing data, scientists could infer the location and velocity of objects. Combined with radar and satellite data, it could be a powerful tool.

But they are not likely to recommend a dedicated satellite for UAP surveillance. One large enough to cover the entire planet wouldn't offer high enough image resolution to be useful, Spergel said to reporters after the meeting.

Direct Link to Article

Save time creating your WordPress site with this AI content generator, now nearly half off

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:41 +0000
Laptop featuring wordplay graphic

TL;DR: As of June 3, get this AI content generator for only $99.99 — That's a 49% discount.

Whether it’s a product description, a blog post, or content for your landing page, writing takes time. When it’s just you and a minimal budget running your website, there aren’t many options other than writing everything yourself and hoping it comes out OK.

You may be able to save some time and effort by using an AI content generator you only have to pay for once. Wordplay can create long-form articles in moments based on your input, and it’s only $99.99 (reg. $199) for a lifetime subscription. 

Save time with an AI writer 

Simplify the writing process and let an AI do some of the heavy lifting. Wordplay gives you six ways to generate content. Guided mode lets you create full-length articles using a keyword and your answers to a few basic questions. You’re functionally making an outline with your responses, and the AI follows it. Title mode is a bit easier and generates an article based on just a headline and length parameters. 

Use outline mode to create an article based on an outline, and you can expand that to Bulk CSV mode by uploading a CSV file full of blog outlines. Or you can just type a topic and Wordplay will produce copy that’s 95% complete, according to the manufacturers. 

Your Wordplay subscription lets you generate 10,000 words every 30 days. You can also access Wordplay on an unlimited number of desktop and mobile devices, but this offer is only available to new users. It also comes with free updates. 

Generate 5,000+ word articles in seconds 

If you want to save time crafting content for your WordPress site, use an AI that can generate long-form content. 

For a limited time, get a lifetime subscription to Wordplay AI Content Generator on sale for $99.99 (reg. $199). 

Prices subject to change. 

Direct Link to Article

The best dating apps for recent college grads

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Match graphic

While online dating sites like and OKCupid emerged in the early 2000s and apps like Zoosk and Grindr followed, Tinder truly changed the online dating game with the introduction of the swipe in 2012. 

Recent grads have never dated in a world without dating apps, and the majority of them weren’t in the dating pool prior to the “swipe.” Now, Tinder has reached a point where 350 million swipes happen a day on the app. Swiping through profiles and meeting people through an app is completely routine among Gen Z.  

“I would say all of my single friends are at least on one of the apps,” New York-based Emma Schwartz said. She’s on Raya and Hinge but has tried Bumble and The Lox Club as well. On Raya, she says, nothing really happens beyond the mutual like, whereas she views Hinge as the app where you can connect with someone to chat, meet up with, and date. 

The dating app stigma isn’t gone, it’s different

While online dating or meeting potential partners through an app for Gen Z college graduates is not looked down upon like it has been for older generations, they’re not exempt from any shame. 

“Among people my age, the stigma is definitely gone in terms of how you meet your significant other,” Sam Sharon, a Boston University graduate said. There is a bit of a judgment, however, around what apps people use, he says. “There are some apps where people will say something like, “Really? You met on OKCupid?” (Yikes.)

Sharon and his girlfriend met five years ago on Bumble while they were still in college. They live together now and often discuss the apps with their single friends, who are primarily using Hinge and Bumble. 

Interestingly, the pair is attending a wedding of a couple who met on an app that has seemingly been deemed irrelevant or uncool as their nuptial invites trade Plenty Of Fish for the more acceptable Hinge

Hinge, on the other hand, is the favorite by a long shot. “The reason why I'm using Hinge is because I know all of my friends from home and here and people of all different backgrounds are on it,” Alsion Gmerek, an Florida State University graduate living in Atlanta, GA, said. 

Graduating (and dating) in a global pandemic

Dating has never been regarded as easy. As such, oftentimes young adults look to their peers, those a little older – yet close in age – and even to their parents for guidance and an example of how to navigate it. However, there weren't clear examples for them – or anyone else, for that matter – to look to during the period of isolation following March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the years since. Hinge even coined the term FODA, or Fear of Dating, Again, as COVID restrictions began to lift nationwide.

In February 2021, a survey of 1000 college students found that those students that were dating had an atypical dating experience in their very formative years. About a quarter of students said they dated less during the pandemic than prior, while it didn’t change for nearly 70%. Interestingly, 20% of them said they were spending more time on dating apps and an equal amount said they were doing the opposite and spending less. 

Those that were dating had to adjust to new ways of meeting new people. About one in six students tried to keep dates outdoors, while 14% had dates at their homes, and half of that kept it virtual. There was substantially less meeting new people in bars or more typical in-person ways because a lot of those activities either weren’t available or were considered unsafe. 

Obviously, this informed recent grads' dating lives post-graduation. During college, and when it wasn’t remote, there was more available community — particularly if the dating pool was primarily students’ classmates. While she blames watching too much true crime, Gmerek said, “What’s been a little intimidating about dating in the ‘real world’ is it can be a little scary meeting people from an app.” She said features that verify users’ faces are helpful, which can be found on Hinge and Bumble.

Recent college grads are trying out a lot of apps, but they’re only really enjoying a few. Subsequently, it’s also the reason other popular apps are being overlooked by new grads. For example, those that were on Raya said it was more for the validation of having their application accepted and that no one was really connecting on it. Ultimately, Hinge’s features, like its prompts, make it a favorite, despite multiple users saying those that use the voice note feature gave them the ick.

Here are the best apps for recent college grads. 

Direct Link to Article

We tried Therabody's SmartGoggles designed to improve sleep, focus, and stress

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
bulky therabody eye mask

If you’re looking to lower stress, relieve headaches, or take a mindfulness practice to the next level, you may be a good candidate for SmartGoggles by Therabody. Not to be confused with smart swim goggles that track activity in the water, this Bluetooth-enabled eye mask from the Theragun creators uses vibration, massage, and heat to lower your heart rate and promote calmness of body and mind.

Read on to learn how they work, what my experience was like, and who I think would derive the most value from a pair of SmartGoggles.

Purported benefits

Therabody makes big claims about the benefits of SmartGoggles. They supposedly reduce stress and anxiety, support restful sleep, soothe headaches, relieve eye strain, lower heart rate, increase circulation, and ease facial tension. 

But the company doesn’t reveal how those benefits are supported. I was hopeful that the “Research Studies” tab in the Explore section of the website would offer something useful, but all I found was information about a study called “How a consistent Theragun routine affects sleep and other biometrics.” In other words, not a word about SmartGoggles or those purported benefits.


You can pretty much open the box and start using SmartGoggles right away. Here’s how Therabody recommends getting started: First, remove makeup, glasses, and contact lenses, and make sure your skin is clean and dry. Then, make yourself comfortable. (I typically sprawled out on the carpeted floor of my home office.) Put the goggles on, aligning them with your temples, resting them on the bridge of your nose, and adjust the strap so it’s secure and snug. You’re ready to begin treatment!

Preset modes

To operate SmartGoggles, there are just three buttons to get familiar with. The button on the far right (when the goggles are on your head) turns the unit on and off with long presses. That button also allows you to toggle between three modes — relax, focus, and sleep — with short presses. The symbols next to the button indicate your current mode.

In relax mode (“SmartRelax” in Therabody lingo), the goggles gently massage the eye area in a vibration pattern that reflects your heart rate. In focus mode, you get a combination of the single vibration pattern and heat. And in sleep mode, a gentle massage and slow-wave vibration are supposed to lull you to sleep.

top view of smartgoggles showing power and function buttons
Controls are found on both sides of the smart mask. Credit: Becky Wade Firth / Mashable

After experimenting with all three modes, I found each one to be pleasant in a different way. There’s something about the massage-heat combo that puts me in a relaxed state, and I did feel like even 10 minutes of treatment was enough to chill me out a bit. Because I typically used the goggles before bedtime, I gravitated toward sleep mode and thought it was a nice way to wind down from a full day.

Heat and vibration

If you’d rather customize your experience than use one of the three preset modes, you can do so using the two buttons on the far left of the goggles (while on your head). Short-press the vibration button to toggle between wave, breathing, and pulse, and short-press the heat button to toggle between low, medium, and high. To stop vibration or heat, long-press the respective button.

Once the device is powered on, treatment starts immediately and lasts around 15 minutes. To ensure the goggles work as intended, during all treatments try to limit your movement, keep your eyes closed, and maintain contact between the heart rate sensor and your cheekbone.

While I most often used one of the preset modes, there were a few occasions when I just wanted heat or to isolate a vibration pattern. In times like those, it’s nice to have full control over your SmartGoggles experience.

Comfort and fit

Just hold a pair of SmartGoggles, and you can see that they’re made of comfortable, high-quality materials (protein leather fabric for the front and interior panels and cotton fabric for the strap). The part that comes into contact with your face is soft and plush, almost like a heavy-duty old-school eye mask.

side view of therabody smartgoggles
The "one-size-fits-all" design doesn't actually fit everybody. Credit: Becky Wade Firth / Mashable

The fit, however, poses a problem. SmartGoggles are marketed as “one size fits all,” but they definitely fall on the large end of the spectrum. The issue is that the front part is pretty rigid and the only way to adjust the size is by tightening or loosening the strap on the back. As a five-foot woman, I could get the goggles plenty tight, but I never was able to attain that seal I expect from a piece of eyewear. (My six-foot-tall husband had better luck.) For me, the sides felt snug, but the middle portion — basically the whole eye region — hovered a bit above my face no matter how tight I cinched the straps. Not only did that make the goggles borderline uncomfortable, it also prevented me from using them to their full potential.

In the current state, SmartGoggles do not fit every head shape and size. Hopefully, Therabody recognizes that and either designs at least one smaller version or iterates with more form-fitting materials.


In addition to the fit issue, the goggles surprised me by how loud they are — to the point that they can be a little distracting to whoever is using them as well as anyone nearby. For that reason, I stopped using them in bed for fear of keeping or waking up my husband, and instead used them when I had a few minutes to myself. I supposed I could have put a pair of noise-canceling headphones on top of them to eliminate most of the noise for me, but that still might bother my husband, and it also would add friction to the process, which is kind of antithetical to the whole purpose.

Battery life

Depending on the mode, SmartGoggles hold around 150 minutes of battery life. Given that each treatment lasts approximately 15 minutes, a fully charged battery will get you through 10 treatments. With daily use, you’ll only have to charge them every other week — which isn’t bad. You can probably get away with traveling without the charger too, unless you’re leaving for longer than a week, using them more frequently than average, or keeping them powered on during flights.


They aren’t as sleek as classic eye masks, of course, but SmartGoggles are lightweight and compact enough to still be considered travel-friendly. Each pair weighs less than one pound and folds up to a box that measures about 6.5 inches x 4 inches x 3.5 inches, a perfect fit for the soft case that’s included. The case features a handy pouch inside that you can slip the charging cable into as well. 

Companion app

As with the other Therabody devices, most of which are recovery tools like percussive massage guns and vibrating foam rollers, you can unlock more SmartGoggles features if you download the Therabody app and connect your device. TheraMind is a section of the app that offers short audio sessions meant to help you “stay focused, increase relaxation, and fall asleep.” Again: big claims, with nothing I see to back them up. 

To utilize TheraMind, you choose a session in the app (with titles ranging from Find Your Zen to Nightly Wind Down) and listen to it play from your phone while your SmartGoggles operate in a mode created specifically for that session. Reset & Recharge, for example, is 11 minutes long and combines low heat with pulse vibration. The experience is akin to listening to a Calm or Headspace session while getting a heated eye massage at the same time. It’s an interesting concept, for sure, but I personally prefer a relaxation routine that’s phone-free and low-effort. (Bringing an app into the process all but guarantees at least five minutes wasted checking in on messages, social media, and whatnot.)

Go for the Goggles?

Techies looking to level up their mindfulness or relaxation game may absolutely love SmartGoggles. But as much as I like the recovery devices by the same company, I was ultimately underwhelmed by Therabody’s high-tech take on an eye mask. They aren’t a great fit for my small head, they’re loud enough to influence when and where I use them, and their purported benefits aren’t supported by research (that I could find). To be perfectly honest, I’d rather put the $199 they cost toward a Calm or Headspace subscription or a Theragun Mini, which is therapeutic in a different way.

Direct Link to Article

Diablo 4 releases next week: How to play the game in early access

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
the player's party at camp

The highly anticipated follow-up to Diablo III is finally here — well, almost.

Diablo IV is officially releasing in a grand launch on June 5-6, 2023, but there's good news for lovers of the famous action RPG. With the new open world gameplay mechanics, you can finally see your character come to life as Sanctuary’s savior, but here's something even more exciting: The early-access version of Blizzard Entertainment’s latest offering is already up for grabs.

Here’s how you can get early access: 

Pre-order the Ultimate Edition or the Deluxe Edition of the game for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, or PC to get instant entry into early access for Diablo IV. The early access period has already started for all regions, and all the available content will be the same as the base game and other editions. 

Which edition should I get? 

At $100, the Ultimate edition is the only choice if you want early access.

Otherwise, the Standard Edition is priced at $70, and the Digital Deluxe edition is $90. The Deluxe edition comes with the Temptation Mount, the Hellborn Carapace Mount Armor, and a Battle Pass. With the Ultimate edition and its exclusive early access, you’ll get all the good stuff from Deluxe, along with a Wings of the Creator Emote.

Why should you get the Early Access version? 

Players that take advantage of Early Access will be able explore all of its content, including the full map and all of the current classes: Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer, Necromancer, and Druid. Since each of the classes makes for a unique gameplay experience, early access players are unlikely to get bored!

Direct Link to Article

Spider-Punk is the real hero of 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Spider-Punk rocks out in

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a stunning follow-up to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. What executive producers and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller created with directors Kemp Powers, Joaquim dos Santos, and Justin K. Thompson is nothing short of spectacular. 

According to Miller, the 240-plus characters in this Spider-Verse sequel were created by over 1,000 artists, some of whom had been on the project for several years. And yet, even among an enthralling swarm of Spider-Folk, there's only one character that I couldn't stop thinking about: Spider-Punk, aka Hobie Brown, who is voiced by Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya.

Yes, Spider-Man 2099, aka Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), was intense. Spider-Woman, aka Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), was heart-wrenching, and that Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) cliffhanger was mind-snapping. But something about Spider-Punk spoke to me.

A British punk political activist, artist, musician, and one-time runway model, Hobie Brown wields his guitar like Paul Simonon throws his bass. Within Miguel O'Hara's carefully built Spider-Society, Spider-Punk is an outlier, sidestepping the rules of the multiverse to do what he wants. Hobie regularly fades into the background, quietly planting the seeds of rebellion, specifically within Miles, never really showing his hand until after he's gone. Hobie's chaotic nature is a feature, not a bug, and it’s pulled directly from his comic book origins.

Of course, it's not just his explosive guitar riff entrance, anti-establishment rants, or even his nostalgic punk rock poster redesign that makes Spider-Punk stand out. His influence on Miles and the subtle trajectory of the plot because of these character details is makes Hobie Brown one of the most influential characters of Across the Spider-Verse.

Who is Spider-Punk?

In 2014, Spider-Punk was first introduced in Marvel Comics in The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 3 #10 by writer Dan Slott and artist Olivier Coipel. This was three years after Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli brought us Miles Morales in Ultimate Comics: Fallout #4. So, canonically, Spider-Punk is a newer character. However, biologically, he's older than Miles, and on Earth-138, Hobie has seen and been through much more.

According to comic book lore, Hobie was living on the streets when he was bitten by a spider exposed to radioactive waste. A self-proclaimed Spider-Man in his universe, Hobie is staunchly anti-establishment and will curse out his enemies while he beats the crap out of them with his guitar. The 2022 update of the character saw him regularly beating racists and fascists with the instrument.

At one point, Spider-Punk led a revolution against a tyrannical government led by the corrupt United States President Osborne, who ruled with a symbiote-infected Thunderbolt Army. A symbiote's weakness is sound, and Spider-Punk had that in spades. He defeated his enemies with the loudest guitar riff ever played and ended the song by smashing Osborne over the head with the guitar. While Hobie's badass origins were not in Across the Spider-Verse, his powers and attitude did make the leap to the big screen. 

Spider-Punk comes with the standard set of Spider powers, including superhuman strength, agility, speed, web shooters, wall-clinging, and a genius intellect. But Hobie is also a musician and an artist, characteristics shared by two other characters in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: drummer Gwen Stacy and graffiti artist Miles Morales, who Hobie has the most influence over. More on that in a minute. 

In the comics, Spider-Punk was a pretty big part of the Spider-Geddon storyline on which part of the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is based. However, Lord and Miller, who co-wrote the screenplay with David Callaham, leveled up Hobie Brown for the film in more ways than one.

Hobie destabilizes the Spider-Verse.

Miles and Miguel face off in "Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse."
Credit: Sony Pictures

Long before Hobie blazes onto the scene in Across the Spider-Verse, we hear about him through Gwen, who is quite taken with him. (She's even "crashed" in his dimension sometimes, leaving behind her jumper and toothbrush.) Initially, Miles is jealous, feeling a bit of competition with this mysterious Spidey stranger. But that's before Spider-Punk blasts through the walls of Alchemax in Mumbattan to help save Gwen and the team. Part Basquiat, part Bad Brains, Hobie Brown appears as a collage of animated overlapping, faded band posters, refracting moments of color only when light directly hits him. Plus, he's even cooler without his mask on, a point that Miles laments aloud. 

"Spider-Punk was a perfect counterpoint to sort of what Miguel is trying to do," Lord said in a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, "We wanted him to look like a punk zine." And it just so happens that Kaluuya was born and raised in the Camden Town section of London, one of the birthplaces of punk.

Kaluuya's voice performance as Hobie captures not only the musical Cockney slang that comics can't truly express but also the essence of the anarchist spirit of that era's punk ethos. Hobie is layered, not just in his character design but in his very nature. 

Hobie observes more than he speaks, and he's very direct when he does. For instance, Hobie is the one who holds Gwen responsible for not telling Miles about his "role in all this" at Spider Society. Hobie may be the first to declare he is not a role model. Nonetheless, he's soon showing Miles how to use his electrical powers properly. He's straightforward with Miles and challenges the young man's naïveté and need for acceptance, but he's also trying to urge Miles think for himself. By antagonizing O'Hara on his home turf, Hobie reveals a glimpse of a darker side of the head Spider-Man, which Miles gets up close and personal with in the third act. 

Hobie is precisely who and what Miles needs, exactly when Miles needs him.

Hobie Brown steps in where Uncle Aaron left off. 

Miles and Gwen look out on the city in "Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse."
Credit: Sony Pictures

Hobie fills an Uncle Aaron-shaped hole in Miles's life, metaphorically and literally. Hobie already knows about Miles's unique powers upon meeting him. Like the one Black co-worker who's been at the job long enough to quit code-switching, Hobie's the first to explain to Miles the truth about Spider Society. Hobie gives Miles enough information to make him question Spider-Man 2099's true intentions. And when O'Hara imprisons Miles for not conforming to the rules, Hobie helps Miles escape. Plus, he gives his portal watch to Gwen to provide proper backup when Miles is in need. 

Spider-Punk provides the kind of guidance only a chaotic uncle can. In Into The Spider-Verse, Miles's idolization of his uncle led him to mimic the older man's flirtation moves. In Across The Spider-Verse, he channels Hobie as he faces down Miguel. When the truth about Miles's existence is revealed, Miles mimics Hobie's (and Kaluuya's) unimpressed side-eye and announces to Miguel mid-battle, "Nah. Imma do my own thing." Which is the vibe Hobie has been projecting the entire movie. 

A deep-cut comic reference emerges between Hobie and The Prowler. 

Spider-Punk plays guitar in "Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse."
Credit: Sony Pictures

While some Spideys are taking Miles on a tour through their prison of villains who'd leapt into other universes, we find imprisoned the live-action version of Aaron Davis (Donald Glover reprising his Spider-Man Homecoming role) in his Prowler gear from Earth-199999. As Hobie walks by, he proudly announces that he was the one to put this Prowler away. (This is one of the best cameos of the movie, by the way). But there's more to this brief bit. 

Long before he was Spider-Punk, Hobart Brown's first appearance in Marvel comics was in 1969's The Amazing Spider-Man #78, where he took on the mantle of – wait for it – The Prowler. Notably, in that universe, Spider-Man convinces The Prowler to give up his life of crime. Could there be hope for live-action Uncle Aaron? Or could he at least return for Spider-Man 4?

Fight The Prowler!

Spider-Punk's appearance in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is an upgrade to his comic book counterpart. Not only does the character honor his British punk roots and his spirit of anarchy, but he also gives us a different perspective from Spider-Woman (Issa Rae), who pretty much does everything by the book — O'Hara's book, to be exact. However, by the end of the film, even her mind is changing on that matter. 

If Miguel's Spider-Man 2099 is considered Lawful Evil in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, then Spider-Punk is Chaotic Good. Hobie doesn't want anarchy for anarchy's sake. Instead, his goal is independent thought and freedom from the shackles of conformity. So, it makes sense for Spider-Punk to suit up with Gwen Stacy's new team at the film's cliffhanger climax, poised to rescue Miles. He's exactly the kind of hero this movie — and Miles — needed. 

I can't wait to see what cunning chaos Hobie Brown will bring us in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse next year.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now in theaters. 

Direct Link to Article

How to watch the new 'Euphoria'-esque series 'The Idol'

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd in still image from The Idol on Hbo
HBO's flashy new drama 'The Idol' premieres on June 4. Here are the best ways to watch:

Max (with ads) (opens in a new tab)
free with eligible AT&T accounts (save $9.99/month)
at&t logo and max logo side by side

Max (with ads) (opens in a new tab)
free with the $60/month plan (save $9.99/month)
cricket and max logo side by side

The wait is over. No, Euphoria isn't back — but a series by its creator Sam Levinson, alongside The Weeknd and Reza Fahim, seems up to the task of filling its shoes. The Idol, a long-awaited HBO Original series steeped in controversy from the get-go, premieres Sunday, June 4, and certainly has the potential to take over the internet.

The first two episodes of The Idol premiered at Cannes film festival, making it the first TV show to officially debut at the festival. Reviews are mixed, but the majority note the use of Levinson's trademark flashy cinematography that made us fall in love with Euphoria.

Want to see it for yourself? Here's what you need to know to watch The Idol on HBO.

What is The Idol on HBO about?

As Mashable contributor Lex Briscuso so eloquently put it, "The Idol is a raucous, engrossing ride on an industry nightmare train bound to careen off a cliff." Intrigued? To put it simply, it centers around pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) as she attempts a comeback after a year-long break. Her guide back to stardom? Tedros (Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye), a powerful and mysterious manager/producer/club owner.

As Briscuso noted in her review that the series tends to "pander to the sexual fantasies of men in power," but ultimately, is "a surprisingly nuanced, well-rounded, and deliciously bold take on the cost of fame and the drive for greatness."

The final trailer gives you a little more insight into the Euphoria-esque nature of the show.

Where can you watch The Idol?

The Idol premieres on both HBO and Max (formerly known as HBO Max) on June 4 at 9 p.m. ET. Interestingly, the 9 p.m. Sunday slot is known for HBO's premium content — such as Euphoria, The Last of Us, and Succession. HBO reserving the prestigious spot for The Idol proves the network has a lot of faith in the series and expects it to attract its loyal late-night audience.

If you're a premium cable subscriber with HBO access, you're set to tune in on June 4 at 9 p.m. sharp. Cord-cutters, on the other hand, will have to subscribe to Max, the network's streaming counterpart, to watch episodes as they're released. See below for the best ways to subscribe for free (or at least for a deal).

Can you watch The Idol on Max for free?

Best way to watch for free: Seven-day free trial via Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime members, it's your time to shine. Max doesn't offer a free trial of its service by signing up through Max. The only way to secure a free trial at the time of writing was via the Prime Video Max add-on. You'll get seven days for free by signing up for Max through your Prime Video account, then your card will automatically be charged $15.99 per month for ad-free Max until you cancel. If you don't mind waiting to watch The Idol, you can certainly sign up for your free trial around the time of the season finale and binge-watch all the episodes for free.

Best for existing AT&T customers: Max (with ads)

Existing AT&T customers, if you haven't checked to see if you're eligible to get Max for free, go check your account. The following wireless plans give users access to Max for free: AT&T Unlimited Elite, AT&T Unlimited PlusSM, AT&T Unlimited Plus EnhancedSM, AT&T Unlimited ChoiceSM, AT&T Unlimited Choice IISM, AT&T Unlimited Choice EnhancedSM, AT&T Unlimited &MoreSM Premium. Max is no longer offered to new customers, so if you change your plan or move your service, you'll lose your Max benefit.

Best for Cricket customers: Max (with ads)

cricket and max logo side by side
Credit: Cricket / Max

It's a bit less complicated for Cricket customers. If you're on the $60/month Cricket plan, congrats! You get Max (with ads) for free. Existing Cricket customers on a different plan can upgrade or change to the $60/month plan to get the included perk. Just choose to connect with a provider when you log in to Max, select Cricket, and enter your credentials. Then you're free to stream The Idol and all of the other HBO originals.

More Max streaming deals

Don't qualify for any of the free options above? There is still a way to save on a Max streaming subscription, but it requires some commitment. If you only want to watch The Idol (although we suggest sticking around for other hits like Barry, Succession, and Euphoria), you can also sign up for a monthly subscription and cancel once the season concludes. Technically, this won't save you any money on a subscription, but it will keep you from spending a lump sum of cash all at once.

Best for most people: Max (with ads) annual subscription

All in on Max and want to commit to a year of streaming? An annual subscription with ads will cost you $99.99 — which is 17% less than if you paid for a year in $9.99 monthly installments. A year-long commitment means you can watch The Idol as it unfolds, then check out other hit shows on Max that we highly recommend, like Barry and Succession. While the streamer promises you won't have to watch more than four minutes of ads per hour of streaming, if you have the cash and want an ad-free experience, you can save 20% by signing up for Max ad-free for $149.99/year (as opposed to $15.99/month).

Want to watch The Idol and poke around to see what Max is all about? Sign up for a basic monthly subscription for $9.99/month. Watching with ads saves you $6 per month and shouldn't interrupt your viewing experience too much. Plus, with a monthly subscription, you can cancel at any time to avoid further charges.

Direct Link to Article

The 17 best TV shows of 2023 (so far)

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Five images: a perplexed man in a green quarter-zip sweater, a smiling red-haired woman with sunglasses and a baseball cap, a concerned man holding a flashlight in a dark room, a stoic young woman in an elaborate blue gown and hat, and an older man in a white fedora.

We're only halfway through 2023, and it's already been a wild — and amazing — year for television.

During one week in May, we said goodbye to not one, not two, but four beloved — and highly awarded — TV shows: Succession, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Barry, and Ted Lasso. Elsewhere, brand-new series about everything from mushroom zombies to an elaborately faked court case captivated audiences. The sheer variety on display is proof not only of the vastness of today's television landscape, but also of the talent and creativity of writers, who are currently on strike as studios refuse to compensate them fairly.

To celebrate these writers' work, let's take a look back at the best TV shows of 2023 so far. From sci-fi nuns and struggling therapists to Regency romance, this list has something for everyone. Here, in order of release date, are the 17 best TV shows of 2023 so far.

1. Abbott Elementary, Season 2

A group of teachers sit on a school bus.
Credit: ABC

With its first season, Quinta Brunson's grade school-set sitcom earned critical praise, an adoring audience, and a slew of awards, including three Primetime Emmys. Our hopes were sky-high for Season 2, and week after week, Brunson and her incredible ensemble delivered with new misadventures full of humor and heart.

Emmy-winner Sheryl Lee Ralph reunited with her bestie on and offscreen, Lisa Ann Walter, to bring a mix of righteous side-eye and unrepentant snark as only this dynamic duo can. Fan favorite Janelle James delivered new angles to her hustling principal, including a surprisingly touching arc about Black History Month. Chris Perfetti continues to mine white privilege and overzealous allyship for sharp laughs. But the best bit of this second season may be the slow-burn romance between Janine (Brunson) and Gregory (thinking woman's sex symbol Tyler James Williams). Though guest appearances come a close second, boasting The Bear's Ayo Edebiri, Leslie Odom Jr., Taraji P. Henson, and Gritty. Yes, that Gritty.Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Abbott Elementary is now streaming on Hulu.

2. The Last of Us

Joel and Ellie from "The Last of Us" smile at each other on a dilapidated brick balcony.
Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO

With its high stakes post-apocalyptic tension and the brilliant dynamic between leads Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), The Last of Us hit the ground running when it launched earlier this year. But when the beautifully poignant third episode landed, with its contained story about two men, Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), sharing a doomed romance amid the end of the world, it was clear Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann's video game adaptation was more than just a standard zombie thriller. Over its nine-episode run, the show moved from strength to strength, mixing plenty of soul-destroying moments with scenes of levity, as well as posing some deep and difficult questions about the choice between the people we love and humanity as a whole. — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor

How to watch: The Last of Us is now streaming on Max.

3. Poker Face

A red-haired woman in sunglasses and a jean jacket.
Credit: Karolina Wojtasik / Peacock

With its tribute to 1970s classic Columbo's reverse whodunnit (aka "howcatchem") formula, Poker Face feels like the best possible combination of new and old TV. The structure may be familiar, but creator Rian Johnson and star Natasha Lyonne keep this wonderful mystery of the week show feeling fresh.

While Peter Falk's Detective Columbo is a man of the law, Lyonne's new case-cracker Charlie Cale is a scrappy outsider on the run... with a special skill. She has the uncanny ability to tell when anyone is lying, something that comes in very handy when it comes to solving the murders she keeps encountering across the U.S., whether she's at a Texas barbecue, a retirement home, or even a hilarious dinner theater performance. With each of these murders, Poker Face crafts an exceptionally satisfying puzzle box for Charlie to piece together, along with the help (or hindrance) of Poker Face's myriad guest stars. Best of all, in an age of TV trying to be "10-hour movies," Poker Face's episodic structure is refreshing beyond belief. And that's no lie. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Poker Face is now streaming on Peacock.

4. Shrinking

A young woman and an older man in a fedora sit together on a bench.
Credit: Apple TV+

Grief can be a real asshole, and no show in 2023 captured this more accurately — and hilariously — as Shrinking. Jason Segel stars as Jimmy, a widowed father/therapist who's been pretty checked out since his wife died months ago. But now, he's trying to heal, himself, his patients, and the teen daughter (Lukita Maxwell) who is officially over his mess. But progress — as any good therapist will tell you — isn't a straight path.

In the search for closure, Jimmy urges his patients to break rules, take up boxing, and push themselves out of their comfort zones — for better or for utter catastrophe. Getting his back is his grumbling mentor (Harrison Ford at his absolute best gruff-but-lovable), his very hydrated yet hyper colleague (Jessica Williams, radiant), his volatile yet vulnerable client (newcomer Luke Tennie, positively crushing it against a wall of star power), and his nosy but generous next-door neighbor (Scrubs' Christa Miller with her signature sharpness). These quirky characters collide in mental crises and merciful comfort, creating a show that has the kooky comedy echoes of Scrubs and Ted Lasso. Which makes sense, since Segel co-created this gem with Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. — K.P.

How to watch: Shrinking is now streaming on Apple TV+.

5. Freeridge

Two teen girls scream at each other across a dinner table.
Credit: Kevin Estrada

Gloria and Ines do not get along. The two sisters are on the verge of getting kicked out of school because they can't stop fist-fighting each other in the lunchroom. But when they find themselves in possession of an item that may or may not be cursed, they'll have to put aside their differences to avoid unleashing doom on their family. A spinoff of On My Block, Freeridge is a brash and fearless teen comedy from Lauren Iungerich (Awkward). The characters are loud and unapologetic, led by the fantastic Keyla Monterroso Mejia (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Abbott Elementary). If you don't like shows where the characters do a lot of bickering, then this one is not for you. — Kristina Grosspietsch, Contributing Writer

How to watch: Freeridge is now streaming on Netflix.

6. Yellowjackets, Season 2

Four distraught young women in winter clothes stand on a frozen river.
Credit: Kailey Schwerman / Showtime

The highs and lows of a high school soccer team have never been more jarring. For those unfamiliar with Yellowjackets, the show has two timelines: In 1996, the mostly teenage survivors of a plane crash struggle to stay alive in a remote wilderness; they also create a system of mystical rites along the way. And in the present-day, those who survived that nightmare — now adults — grapple with the lingering trauma, not to mention a mysterious blackmailer, night terrors, affairs, relapses, murder, and so much more.

While Season 1 of Yellowjackets was a delicious treat of mystery and horror, Season 2 amped up the show's cultish theatrics by tenfold, giving us some of the most memorable moments of the series so far and somehow leaving us with even more questions than answers. 

From marvelously unveiling the moment friends first became feasts (literally), to a card game gone feral, Season 2 of Yellowjackets was wickedly entertaining and finally gave us some of our first glimpses into the teams' descent into the occult. But it wasn't all doom and gloom! Season 2 also gifted us with Walter (Elijah Wood) and Misty (Christina Ricci), TV's best and kookiest new ship, plus an adult Lottie (Simone Kessell) who is by all means a MILF-y cult leader in her own right. Chaos, crushes, and crazed hunger — is it even a season of Yellowjackets if you didn't catch yourself stanning traumatized cannibals? — Yasmeen Hamadeh, Contributing Entertainment Writer

How to watch: Yellowjackets Season 2 is now streaming on Showtime.

7. Succession, Season 4

Kendall Roy stands at a railing overlooking the waters of New York Harbor at sunset.
Credit: Courtesy of HBO

An unmatched tragi-comic examination of the ultra-wealthy, Succession's first three seasons had already earned it a spot in the Great Television pantheon. Still, Season 4, in all its unsparing, scorched earth glory, more than sealed the deal.

How do you even begin to describe Season 4 of Succession? It decimated us with its weighty narrative risks, like an early farewell to Logan Roy (Brian Cox). It made us scream-laugh at its razor-sharp dialogue (all hail the ludicrously capacious handbag). It captivated us, week after week, with Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman's (Kieran Culkin) grief, anger, and sloppy betrayals of one another. Perfectly calibrated stakes, painful blowout arguments, and some truly WTF one-liners made sure that each episode of Succession was a capital-E Event. And as if that weren't enough, the show capped off a monumental run with a staggering, yet completely satisfying finale. Thanks for everything, Succession. It's with great sadness that I wish you one last loving "fuck off." — B.E.

How to watch: Succession is now streaming on Max.

8. Beef

A man and woman with bloodied faces stumble out of a tunnel holding each other.
Credit: Andrew Cooper/Netflix

A pair of star-crossed frenemies ground Beef's roaring plot, and what an absolute delight they are. We first meet Danny (Steven Yeun) and Amy (Ali Wong) when the duo get into a road-rage incident, which later spirals out of control into an all-encompassing feud. This then becomes a larger vessel untangling Danny and Amy's private lives while simultaneously exploring the dueling motivators of identity and purpose (it is an A24 show, after all). Beef truly shines thanks to Danny and Amy's electrifying chemistry; powerhouse performances from Yeun and Wong draw you into their world, no matter how messy it is. The show's final second is arguably one of the most rewarding finales we've seen on TV this year, and on Netflix ever. 

Although Beef was initially lauded by critics and fans alike, the show and its creators faced massive controversy when cast member David Choe's comments about sexual assault resurfaced on social media. Creator Lee Sung Jin and stars Wong and Yeun made an official announcement in response that read in part, "The story David Choe fabricated nine years ago is undeniably hurtful and extremely disturbing. We do not condone this story in any way, and we understand why this has been so upsetting and triggering." They aded that Choe "has apologized in the past" and has since "put in the work to get the mental health support he needed." However, some felt this fell short of an actual apology. — Y.H.

How to watch: Beef is now streaming on Netflix.

9. Jury Duty

A group of 13 jurors sit on chairs in the back room of a courthouse.
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Freevee

The verdict is in! Jury Duty is guilty of being one of the most unexpectedly delightful new shows of 2023. Combining realty TV and comedy in a court room, this Freevee series is uniquely hilarious, thanks to its unwitting leading man.

Created by The Office producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, Jury Duty centers on Ronald Gladden, an average Joe (Schmo) who believes he's being filmed as part of a documentary on the American jury system. Little does he know that everyone else in the court — from the judge to the lawyers and the bailiff, right down to his fellow jurors — are all actors, improvising to see how he'll react. While the premise sounds like a prank, the results are winsomely heartwarming, as Ronald strives in every circumstance to be a stand-up guy. That's the payoff, but the best hook? James Marsden plays himself as a comically arrogant, name-dropping celebrity douchebag who will defend his filmography — even Sonic The Hedgehog — until the gavel goes down. — K.P.

How to watch: Jury Duty is now streaming on Amazon Freevee.

10. Barry, Season 4

A close-up of Barry in a dark shirt looking extremely worried in a parking lot.
Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Over the course of its four-season run, Barry ditched any notions that its hitman-turned-actor protagonist was a lovable guy worthy of redemption. No, Barry (Bill Hader) is a bad person, and the show forces you to sit with that as Barry's actions — and Barry itself — get darker and darker.

Barry's tremendous final season is the culmination of the show's transformation from prestige comedy to surreal (but occasionally still quite funny) nightmare. From Barry's time in prison to Sally's (Sarah Goldberg) new acting class to Gene's (Henry Winkler) attempts to capitalize on turning Barry in, Barry Season 4 is all about quests for redemption and freedom — and how far we're willing to go to get there. Hader's horror-tinged direction guides us through each arc with an unflinching strangeness, resulting in some of Barry's wildest sequences and biggest narrative swings to date. It's all led up to a brutal series finale that — love it or hate it — reminds us of Barry's singular tone and its own quest to force us to see Barry for who he truly is. — B.E.

How to watch: Barry is now streaming on Max.

11. Mrs. Davis

A nun in a blue habit strides with purpose through a hospital.
Credit: Peacock

So very much happens in this remarkably chaotic, surprisingly tender, relentlessly original show about a nun who wants to kill an algorithm, starring Betty Gilpin (GLOW): Schrodinger's cat, enormous quantities of neon green whale sedative, a love triangle with Jesus, stage magicians, a sword the size of a pickup truck, flawed moms, an elaborate heist involving a special tool christened The Constipator, explosions, Character Actress Margo Martindale, and a liminal space that serves a divine falafel.

This is a "just trust me and go in cold" show, a "just enjoy the ride" show, a "don’t think about it too hard but it'll mostly stand up if you do" show. Now someone please give Betty Gilpin her Breaking Bad, her Barry, the prestige star vehicle she deserves. (Gilpin could do Kendall Roy, but Jeremy Strong couldn't do Sister Simone. There, I said it.)*Caitlin Welsh, Australia Editor

How to watch: Mrs. Davis is now streaming on Peacock.

12. Dead Ringers

Two identical twin women in white lab coats and red shirts look down at a baby in an incubator.
Credit: Courtesy of Prime Video

Dead Ringers may have the same name and central conceit as the 1988 David Cronenberg film, but this miniseries is no retread. For starters, creator Alice Birch (The Wonder, Conversations with Friends) genderswaps the dual roles of twin obstetricians Beverly and Elliot Mantle, with a mesmerizing Rachel Weisz taking over from the original's Jeremy Irons. This recasting is anything but cosmetic: Weisz's Mantles being women renders their work more personal and allows Dead Ringers to further explore their relationship to pregnancy in a way the original couldn't.

The Mantles share everything, from their medical practice to their lovers to their dreams of opening a birthing center and research clinic. However, their close-knit, one-of-a-kind relationship begins to fray as Beverly begins a long-term relationship of her own, and as Elliot's research begins to push past ethical boundaries. In Cronenbergian fashion, Dead Ringers is full of squeam-inducing body horror — although the show skews more towards medical gore. However, it also mines horror from the dehumanizing and racist origins of obstetrics and fertility science. Thanks to choices like these, Dead Ringers sets a new course far away from the storyline of the original, both building on it and standing apart in its own, brilliant way. — B.E.

How to watch: Dead Ringers is now streaming on Prime Video.

13. Somebody Somewhere, Season 2

A man and woman in workout clothes stand in a convenience store aisle buying cleaning products.
Credit: Sandy Morris/HBO

Joining Succession, Barry, and The Last of Us in HBO's stacked Sunday lineup this year was Somebody Somewhere, a deeply moving slice-of-life dramedy that continues to shine in its second season.

As we enter Season 2, we see Sam (Bridget Everett) settling far more comfortably into life in her hometown of Manhattan, Kansas, and her friendship with Joel (Jeff Hiller) plays a big part in that. The pair's everyday activities, from their strolls around the park to their "teeny 'tini" nights, are endless sources of naturalistic, everyday joy, and they continue to prove that Everett and Hiller have some of the best chemistry on TV. In addition to its many laughs, Somebody Somewhere also features quietly melancholy moments, rounding out the show's all-encompassing portrayal of life. It may be a quieter series than its HBO Sunday brethren, but Somebody Somewhere is equally worthy of praise, and everyone everywhere should treasure it. — B.E.

How to watch: Somebody Somewhere is now streaming on Max.

14. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

A young woman wearing a blue ballgown and a crown is embraced by a young man in a white suit.
Credit: Nick Wall / Netflix

It's been over a month since Queen Charlotte's finale, and I'm still crying. A prequel looking into a young Charlotte's (India Amarteifio) life and the early days of her marriage with King George (Corey Mylchreest), Queen Charlotte is by far Bridgerton's best love story and I can't imagine a future where it isn't. (Shonda Rhimes, I challenge you to outdo yourself.) Their relationship is one for the ages, brimming with the Bridgerton yearning and courting we all adore, and topped with a strangers-to-soulmates arc that'll tug at your heartstrings. Although Charlotte and George may be the brightest diamonds of the season, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story also shines with a whole cast of characters that are deliciously divine and in their own equally infatuating relationships — special shout-out to a young Lady Danbury (Arséma Thomas) and Brimsley (Sam Clemmett) for being the real G.O.A.T.s of the season. 

Come for the corsets, stay for the slow-burn romance, and waltz your way into Bridgerton's best ball yet. — Y.H.

How to watch: Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now streaming on Netflix.

15. The Other Two, Season 3

Three men and two women gather in the doorway of a fancy mansion; one man and one woman wear matching blue shirts.
Credit: Greg Endries/HBO Max

Already the funniest show on TV, The Other Two's third season improves on perfection. As the season starts, everyone in the Dubek family — including "the other two," Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) — has found success in the entertainment industry. But is it enough? The Other Two addresses that question with its trademark mix of sharp showbiz satire and affecting family drama, delivering a slew of instantly quotable zingers along the way.

More than that, what makes this season of The Other Two so spectacular is its willingness to push farther and farther into the absurd, bringing its insane portrayal of the entertainment industry to new heights. Where else could you find a Pleasantville parody about filming a procedural drama? Or a spy caper centered around driving an armpit across a country? Or an industry party haunted by invisible non-industry people? It would be a miracle to pull just one of these wild gags off, but The Other Two nails each one and more. Truly, it's the show that keeps on giving. — B.E.

How to watch: The Other Two is now streaming on Max.

16. Primo

A family of seven eats dinner together around a long table.
Credit: Jeff Neumann/Amazon Freevee

Primo is the kind of coming-of-age ensemble comedy that dreams are made of — and it's the best new sitcom of 2023. Created by Shea Serrano and executive-produced by Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Primo is a loosely autobiographical series based on Serrano's San Antonio upbringing. 

Standing in for Serrano is Rafa (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio), a high school junior whose five uncles and single mother Drea (Christina Vidal) are highly invested in his well-being, which leads to some hilarious mishaps. Primo deftly balances Rafa's more grounded school life and college dreams with his wild family life, which includes barbecues gone awry and the world's most competitive game night. Episode set-ups are often standard sitcom fare, but Primo is elevated by its sharp writing, hyper-specific characters, and a phenomenal ensemble that gels right off the bat. We may only be one season in, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Gonzales family already belongs in the TV family hall of fame. — B.E.

How to watch: Primo is now streaming on Amazon Freevee.

17. Platonic

A man in a green bucket hat sits in the passenger seat of a car while a woman in a white shirt drives.
Credit: Apple TV+

You know those friends who may not be a good influence but are just what you need? Platonic is about such a friendship, warts, weirdness, and all. And from a bond that supports — and sometimes suffocates — comes the one of the funniest comedy series of the year.

Neighbors stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne reunite for R-rated comedy, but in a binge-worthy mini-series format. He's a recently divorced hipster. She's a criminally bored stay-at-home mom. They used to be besties, but they drifted apart. However, as each crashes into a mid-life crises, they find comfort in wallowing in each other's messy searches for meaning. Studded with millennial angst, Platonic has a thrilling edge to its humor, but also plenty of slapstick, feel-good goofiness, and cackle-earning one-liners about everything from Angela Merkel's fashion sense to micro-brewed beers to Mel Gibson's antisemitism. When these besties get together, no one is safe. And we're lucky enough to be along for the ride. — K.P.

How to watch: Platonic is now streaming on Apple TV+.

Direct Link to Article

Save over $50 on a passive exercise machine that can help improve circulation

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
chi machine on blue background

TL;DR: As of June 3, get the Vitality Swing Chi Swing Machine for only $295.99 — that's 15% off list price.

Let's face it, we're not always in the mood to head out for a hike or a jog. But it's important to always make sure you keep your body moving, especially when you're not able to actively exercise. Fortunately, thanks to technology, there are now devices that can help you stimulate your circulation without working up a sweat.

The Vitality Swing Chi Swing Machine allows you to improve your health while relaxing, making it a great option for the injured or elderly, or those with chronic muscle and nerve pain like Fibromyalgia. This convenient exercise solution allows you to work on your health passively, and you can snag one on sale for just $295.99 (reg. $350) for a limited time. 

With the Vitality Swing you can enjoy passive exercise while sitting back and relaxing. Binge your favorite show while setting your legs up on the padded vinyl ankle cradles, then use the included remote control to adjust the speed or turn the unit on or off as needed.

It's equipped with a 40W motor that allows for powerful wave-like motions that move up your legs and spine. These motions offer a potential for a wide range of health benefits — from stimulating muscle contractions, boosting oxygen in the blood, and loosening up the spine. It also claims to help stimulate metabolism as well as the lymphatic system, helping to clean excess fluid in the body, all while you sit back and relax.

Take steps to improve your health while taking a load off with the Vitality Swing Chi Swing Machine, on sale now for $295.99 (reg. $350). 

Prices subject to change.

Direct Link to Article

Get a refurb Lenovo laptop plus Microsoft Office for $379

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Lenovo black laptop seen from above.

TL;DR: As of June 3, you can pick up a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad T480 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) and pair it with a lifetime license to Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2021 for just $378.99 (reg. $618.99). That's a savings of 38%.

If you work from home, you may have used the flexibility to work in some pretty funky places — maybe in coffee shops, your car, or on the beach. That's what makes remote work so great for a work-life balance. You just need a laptop that's equipped for all of your adventures.

This refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad has an anti-glare screen and removable battery to support you working from just about anywhere. You also get a lifetime license for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2021 with your purchase. Get this bundle for only $378.99 (reg. $618.99).

Refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 sports a 14-inch HD display for high-quality viewing with less glare. This is excellent for working by a window or outside with the sun reflecting off the screen. Work from anywhere you can get a WiFi or hotspot connection; this laptop only weighs about 3.6 pounds, so it's easy to bring along.

Stay productive with an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM that supports snappy multitasking; you'll have hard drive room to spare, thanks to 256GB of storage. Plus, you'll be able to plug and play the devices you need on the go with the array of ports this 2017 model sports, including two USB-C ports, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, and support for Thunderbolt. If you're worried about running out of battery when working away from home, this ThinkPad’s battery is removable. This allows you to swap out your low battery for a fully charged one (not included).

A lifetime of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2021

Receive your download link and software license key immediately upon purchase. Load Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, Publisher, and Access directly onto your new-to-you laptop once it arrives — and only pay once to use them for life.

These apps may require you to have a wireless connection, especially if you need to back up files to the cloud. But you could also work offline if you're just typing up a document on Word or working on a slideshow with PowerPoint.

This bundle could be the way to transform your office life to #vanlife.

Get the refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad T480 and a lifetime license for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2021 for only $378.99 (reg. $618.99).

Prices subject to change.

Direct Link to Article

Get 5 high-carbon stainless steel knives for under $100

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
set of seido knives and cutting board laying on counter

TL;DR: As of June 3, the five-piece Seido Japanese Master Chef Knife Set is on sale for just $99.99 instead of $249 — that's a savings of 59%.

Father’s Day is right around the corner, but there’s still time to get a gift that’ll make your dad feel like he’s a cut above the rest. The Seido Japanese Master Chef Knife Set contains five high-carbon stainless steel knives and a gorgeous gift box you can use for storage or to present your gift. The price on these knives has been slashed for Father’s Day, so you can get them for just $99.99 instead of $249. 

Father’s Day knives that’ll 'steel' the show 

Give your dad tools he can use every day, whether he’s carving a roast or slicing some fruit. 

This knife set has two multi-purpose knives. The eight-inch chef’s knife has the classic triangular look and can be used to chop veggies, cube tough meat, and more. The seven-inch Santoku knife works the same, but it has divots along the blade called a Granton Edge. These help keep food from sticking to your knife when you’re doing quick chopping. The five-inch Santoku knife works the same way, but it may be better suited to finer slicing.

If your dad is preparing a tough cut of meat for the grill, he can pull out the seven-inch cleaver. The broad side may also be useful for crushing cloves of garlic to save time peeling. For precision knife work, he’ll be able to use the 3.5-inch paring knife, whether he’s cutting a steak at the dinner table or removing the seeds from an apple. 

Each knife has its own cozy spot in the included gift box. Use it as a storage alternative to a knife block or as a classy way to present your gift on Father’s Day

A knife gift for Father’s Day

If your dad is never far from the kitchen, give him something that could make cooking even more fun.

During the Father’s Day Sale, get the Seido Japanese Master Chef's Knife Set and Gift Box for $99.99 (reg. $249). 

Prices subject to change.

Direct Link to Article

Get this plug-and-play 4K touchscreen monitor for under $300

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Man using a laptop with a monitor

TL;DR: As of June 3, get the Desklab Portable Touchscreen Monitor (4K) for only $289.99 (reg. $700.00) — a 58% discount.

Whether your dad's on the road or at his desk, there's work to be done. If you want to upgrade your dad's computer setup, you could get him a versatile touchscreen monitor he can use at home or on the go. The Desklab Portable Touchscreen Monitor is a light, ultra-portable monitor that can be used for simple screen mirroring or turned into a useful touchscreen gadget you can plug into a variety of devices. During the Father's Day sale, it's available for $289.99 (reg. $700). 

Save on a portable touchscreen monitor 

This plug-and-play monitor is easy to use and might help your dad work or play more comfortably at work or at home. Use the included USB-C and HDMI cables to connect to a laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet, external speakers, or even a gaming console. Whether he wants to throw a spreadsheet on another screen or watch a movie on one monitor and play games on another, your dad gets a little more control over how he uses his space. 

The Desklab doesn't have an internal battery, but all you need to do is plug in the power cable and enjoy. The monitor itself has true LED backlighting and is low flicker, low blue light, and anti-glare. Plus, the brightness, contrast, color, and volume are all fully adjustable. There are even speakers built right into the monitor, though you can use the 3.5mm port to plug in your own if you prefer. 

Just keep in mind that this monitor doesn't come with a stand or screen protector, though both can be purchased directly from the manufacturer for an extra cost. You may need to buy separate adapters for devices that cannot use a USB-C to USB-C or HDMI to mini-HDMI cables.  

Whether your dad's a techie, a multimedia whiz, or always working on a new project, a portable monitor could be an excellent Father's Day gift. 

Get the Desklab Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitor on sale for $289.99 (reg. $700). 

Prices subject to change. 

Direct Link to Article

How likely is a terrible asteroid impact in our lifetime?

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
An artist's conception of a near-Earth asteroid, or NEA.

Off the baking Interstate 40 in Arizona, the evidence is clear: From time to time, sizable asteroids do pummel Earth.

There, you'll find the 600-foot-deep "Meteor Crater," which landed 50,000 years ago. The culprit was likely some 100 to 170 feet across, creating a blast big enough to destroy Kansas City. While the space rock wasn't small, it wasn't nearly a "planet-killer" like the roughly six-mile-wide behemoth that wiped out most dinosaurs.

Though the threat of another significant collision — whether from an asteroid 200 feet or 2,000 feet across — is inevitable, scientists have optimistic news to report. A new census of many of the largest asteroids that pass through our solar system neighborhood confirmed there's no known threat of collision for the next century, and the likelihood of an impact in the next thousand years is exceedingly low — though there are around 20 huge cosmic rocks researchers will keep tabs on, because their distant future trajectories aren't yet certain.

Crucially, there's no alarm about these particular asteroids, which are a kilometer (0.6 miles) wide or even larger. But the new research underscored that a thousand years into the future some trajectories remain unsettled, and more observation is needed to completely rule out a potential impact.

"We need more information about these asteroids, although the probability [for an impact] is still very low," Oscar Fuentes-Muñoz, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder who led the new census, told Mashable.

This planetary defense research, currently posted on the research-sharing platform arxiv, will be published in The Astronomical Journal, a peer-reviewed publication.

The Meteor Crater in Arizona.
The striking Meteor Crater in Arizona. Credit: Stephan Hoerold / Getty Images

Why the threat of an asteroid collision is low

NASA and other scientists are vigilantly watching the skies for "near-Earth objects," also commonly called "near-Earth asteroids."

Astronomers have found nearly 10,000 nearby space rocks ("nearby" often means many millions of miles away) that span over 460 feet across, as of May 2023, with some 500 more such objects sleuthed from the dark skies each year. These have the potential to cause vast regional destruction, and an estimated 15,000 remain undiscovered. Fortunately, over 90 percent of the largest behemoths — over a half-mile across — have been found.

A graph showing near-Earth asteroid discoveries. Discoveries have ramped up since the early 2000s.
A graph showing near-Earth asteroid discoveries. Discoveries have ramped up since the early 2000s. Credit: NASA / Center for Near Earth Object Studies

Future impact risk remains low, however, for two reasons: The evidence we have about the frequency of asteroids that hit Earth today and in the past, along with no proof of any known looming asteroid strikes. (Asteroid-sleuthing telescopes are trained on the skies each night.)

Impressively, every single day about 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles fall through Earth's atmosphere and promptly burn up. Every year, on average, an "automobile-sized asteroid" plummets through our sky and explodes, explains NASA. Impacts by objects around 460 feet in diameter occur every 10,000 to 20,000 years, and a "dinosaur-killing" impact from a rock perhaps a half-mile across or larger happens on 100-million-year timescales.

In short, the chances of a major impact in our lifetimes is, as far as we know, extremely small, astronomers say.

This latest census looked at 851 giant asteroids whose orbits at times pass through Earth's neighborhood, and who spend a longer time near us. Though they pose no threat in the next century, the researchers endeavored to see what the asteroids might do farther out, in a thousand years, after they're affected by the gravity of other planets and scorching heat from the sun. They ran new simulations of the asteroids' orbits, and found most pose no threat. But some 20 asteroids, whose orbits around the sun aren't as certain, didn't prove as predictable. More observation is necessary.

For example, simulations of the asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1), which is two-thirds of a mile long, showed the rock passed through Earth's orbit around the sun (though not Earth) multiple times over the next thousand years. For now, 7482 (1994 PC1)'s impact risk can't be ruled out.

Want more science and tech news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's Light Speed newsletter today

How scientists find nearby asteroids

Sky surveys, as noted above, are regularly finding new asteroids. There's the NASA-funded Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) atop Maui, the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona's Santa Catalina Mountains, and the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) with telescopes around the world, among other asteroid-watching programs.

The surveys can provide crucial information about a potential strike and how it would affect Earth and its denizens. For example, would people in a certain region need to shelter indoors away from glass windows if an asteroid were expected to explode in the atmosphere? (For reference, see the Chelyabinsk meteor event.)

"You need to know what's coming, when it's coming, and how hard it's going to hit," Eric Christensen, the director of the NEO-seeking Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, told Mashable last year.

A visualization showing hundreds of near-Earth asteroids in our solar system (blue dots). Earth's orbit around the sun is also shown in blue.
A visualization showing hundreds of near-Earth asteroids in our solar system (blue dots). Earth's orbit around the sun is also shown in blue. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

What's more, giant new telescopes, like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, located over 8,700 feet up in Chile's Cerro Pachón ridge, will soon come online and take inventory of millions of solar system objects, including new rocks that at times swing near Earth.

"We're doing our due diligence to completely find them."

It's not easy to find new points of moving light in our crowded solar system. But scientists are identifying these potential threats. "We're doing our job," said Fuentes-Muñoz. "We're doing our due diligence to completely find them." 

And when we do find any that might veer toward Earth, we likely won't be helpless. The plan is to divert such an asteroid's trajectory. In an unprecedented September 2022 achievement, NASA's DART mission successfully crashed a refrigerator-sized spacecraft into the asteroid Dimorphos (which was not a threat to Earth) in an effort to prove that humanity could alter the path of an incoming space rock, should this effort become necessary.

Today, we don't have the capability to readily deploy an asteroid-deflecting endeavor. But if the relentless march of technology is any hint, we might be well-equipped to deal with an imminent asteroid threat a century or so from now, if not sooner.

"You expect we'll be a lot farther along," Fuentes-Muñoz said.

Direct Link to Article

PlayStation's gigantic Days of Play sale features deep discounts on PS Plus memberships, games, and gear

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
a collage of products on sale during playstation days of play 2023

UPDATE: Jun. 3, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This list has been updated with the latest and greatest gaming deals across the internet.

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

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 games

PlayStation hardware and accessories

Xbox deals

Why we like it

This is a 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 games

Xbox hardware and accessories

Nintendo Switch deals

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 games

Nintendo Switch hardware and accessories

PC gaming deals

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 monitors

PC gaming headsets

PC gaming mice

PC gaming keyboards

Direct Link to Article

A ton of QLED TVs are on sale this weekend — here are the best deals

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
Samsung TV in room with colorful LED lights near gaming chair

UPDATE: Jun. 3, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This story has been updated with the latest 4K and 8K TV deals. Check out our favorites below:

Upgrading to a 4K TV — even a QLED or OLED — no longer has to be an intimidating financial setback. High-quality TVs featuring punchy colors, decipherable shadows, and smooth transitions have become increasingly affordable for regular consumers, made even more budget-friendly by frequent sales from retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon. Here are our top picks.

TV deals are categorized by brand, then listed in order of size (smallest to largest) and price (lowest to highest).

Samsung TV deals

Why we love it

The big-but-not-too-big size of our favorite TV for sports is just shy of a whole $1,000 discount. Hyped as one of the brightest TVs on the market, Samsung's QN90B offers the brightness, precision, and glare control needed for crisp daytime viewing.

More Samsung TVs on sale

LG TV deals

Why we love it

QNED is a mashup of LG's NanoCell technology and quantum dots (which amp up color depth using an extra light filter of nanoparticles) and the backlighting of mini LEDs (like regular LEDs, but smaller for extra precision). This XL version of the budget-friendly 80 Series QNED stretches those bright, saturated scenes across what'll feel like the entire wall.

More LG TVs on sale

Sony TV deals

Why we love it

The 55-inch version of Sony's luxury OLED TV is somehow seeing a bigger discount than the more expensive 65-inch model. Bringing that "O" on board significantly upgrades the TV's picture quality, especially in dimly lit rooms and dark, shadowy scenes. OLED doesn't require an external backlight. Instead, they use organic light-emitting diodes. These self-lit pixels are individually controlled by the TV itself based on the content and lighting of the room, offering more precise contrast than LED or QLED.

More Sony TVs on sale

Other TV deals from TCL, Vizio, and more

Why we love it

April kicked off peak moving season. New living rooms on the smaller side can still be treated to a TV upgrade with this 38% price slash on the 50-inch version of Amazon's most affordable Fire TV. The 4-Series has reeled in almost 25,000 five-star reviews for its dependable picture quality (at this price point) and the convenience of Alexa.

More TVs from TCL, Vizio, and more on sale

Direct Link to Article

The best laptop deals for June 2023, from Apple MacBook Airs to Dell XPS PCs

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 09:00:00 +0000
a top-down view of a gold m1 macbook air from 2020

UPDATE: Jun. 3, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EDT This story has been updated with the latest and greatest laptop deals.

Featured picks

Best laptop deal under $300
HP Laptop 17z-cp200 (opens in a new tab)
$299.99 on (save $200)
the HP Laptop 17z-cp200

Best laptop deal under $600
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i (opens in a new tab)
$419.99 on (save $210)
the Lenovo Ideapad 3i

Best laptop deal under $900
Apple MacBook Air (opens in a new tab)
$799.99 on Amazon (save $199.01)
the 2020 apple macbook air

Best laptop deal under $1,200
Dell XPS 15 Laptop (opens in a new tab)
$1,149 on (save $750)
the dell xps 15 laptop

The only thing better than a great laptop is a great laptop that fits your budget. Nowadays, even cheap PCs pack the specs to help you tackle whatever's on your to-do list, whether it's work, school assignments, watching Netflix, or just endlessly browsing social media. If you're hunting for a new one but don't necessarily want to wipe your savings account in one go, we're compiling a weekly list of the best deals on laptops across major retailers right here. Read on for our top picks as of June 3 (categorized by price, then listed in alphabetical order).

Laptop deals under $300

Why we like it

Made with ocean-bound and post-consumer recycled plastics, the HP Laptop 17z-cp200 is a traditional 17-inch laptop featuring 128GB of SSD storage; most laptops in this price range come with sluggish embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) flash storage, so this is a big point in its favor. It's powered by an entry-level AMD Athlon Gold 7220U processor with a decent 8GB of RAM. We wouldn't recommend it for any sort of power user, but it's a solid pick for basic computing tasks like word processing and web browsing.

More laptop deals under $300

Laptop deals under $600

Why we like it

Rated highly by customers for its long battery life (up to 12 hours per charge), this 15-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is an ultra-portable PC from 2022 with an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a hefty 512GB of SSD storage. Best Buy had it on sale for $419.99 over Memorial Day weekend, and Lenovo itself just got around to matching that deal. Better late than never.

More laptop deals under $600

Laptop deals under $900

Why we like it

This is the 13-inch MacBook Air from 2020 with an M1 chip, a sleek fanless design, and an 18-hour battery life — you may recall it nabbing a Mashable Choice Award upon release. Its 256GB base configuration is on sale at the record-low price of $799.99 at Amazon, which is about 20% off its usual retail price of $999. You won't find a cheaper MacBook anywhere unless you go the used or refurbished route.

More laptop deals under $900

Laptop deals over $900

Why we like it

The beefy Dell XPS 15 Laptop from late 2021 is a bona fide desktop replacement with a 16:10 InfinityEdge display boasting 100% Adobe RGB color. This 512GB configuration with a 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, which normally retails for $1,899, has one of the steepest discounts available during the brand's sitewide Summer Sale Event.

More laptop deals over $900

Direct Link to Article

How to livestream the FA Cup final for free

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 07:22:26 +0000
Wembley Stadium from inside

SAVE 49%: Unblock BBC iPlayer or ITVX with ExpressVPN. A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan comes with a money-back guarantee.

The oldest national football competition in the world is reaching its conclusion this weekend, as the two sides of Manchester do battle in the FA Cup final. Millions of fans around the world will be scrambling for the best way to stream this fixture, and we're happy to help out.

If you're interested in catching all the action from the FA Cup final, we've got the information you need.

When is the FA Cup final in 2023?

This year’s FA Cup final is a derby between Manchester City and Manchester United. The rivals will come face to face at Wembley Stadium this weekend:

Manchester City vs Manchester United — 3:00 p.m. BST on June 3 (BBC/ITV)

With the Premier League season done and dusted, this is the final domestic competition fixture of the season.

Where can you watch the FA Cup final in 2023?

The game will be shown live on BBC One and ITV1, or you can livestream the fixture on BBC iPlayer and ITVX. In the U.S., ESPN+ has exclusive rights to stream the FA Cup final.

The key thing to note here is that BBC iPlayer and ITVX are completely free. The catch? You can only connect to these streaming platforms from the UK. We know this is frustrating, but there is something you can do to bypass these geo-restrictions to stream on BBC iPlayer and ITVX from anywhere in the world.

Can you livestream the FA Cup final for free?

Connecting to BBC iPlayer and ITVX to watch the FA Cup final is straightforward from the UK. Simply visit the sites and log in to watch all the action. It's really not complicated.

If you attempt to connect to these streaming services from anywhere else in the world, you'll be quickly blocked. The only way to get around these blockades is with a streaming-friendly VPN. You can use a VPN to hide your real IP address and connect to a secure server in the UK. This process is quick and easy, and tricks sites like BBC iPlayer and ITVX into thinking you are based in the UK:

  1. Sign up for a streaming-friendly service like ExpressVPN

  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 the UK

  4. Connect to BBC iPlayer or ITVX

  5. Watch the FA Cup final from anywhere in the world

The best VPNs for streaming are not free, but they do tend to offer money-back guarantees. By using these guarantees, you can watch FA Cup livestreams without fully committing with your cash.

What is the best VPN for streaming sport?

ExpressVPN is the best service for streaming the F1 due to its impressive connection speeds, powerful levels of encryption, apps for all operating systems, five multi-logins, and helpful customer support. ExpressVPN also has a robust privacy policy, so your data is always secure when unblocking streaming platforms.

ExpressVPN is not the cheapest service, but it does offer a generous money-back guarantee. By using this guarantee, you can sign up to unblock BBC iPlayer or ITVX and stream the FA Cup final, and then recover your cash after the game. This is a sneaky trick, but it works. You can recoup your investment without hassle.

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and the all-important 30-day money-back guarantee.

Watch the FA Cup final for free with ExpressVPN.

Direct Link to Article

How to livestream the F1 online for free

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 07:22:11 +0000
F1 fans

SAVE 49%: Livestream the F1 for free with ExpressVPN. A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan includes a money-back guarantee.

Can anyone stop Max Verstappen from claiming another F1 title this year? It's looking less and less likely, but there will still be plenty of teams and drivers looking to take the win this weekend in Spain.

If you're interested in following all the action from the Spanish Grand Prix, we've got the information you need.

When is the Spanish Grand Prix?

The 2023 Spanish Grand Prix takes place over 66 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 4. The full schedule can be found here:

  • Practice 1 — 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. BST on June 2

  • Practice 2 — 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. BST on June 2

  • Practice 3 — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. BST on June 3

  • Qualifying — 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. BST on June 3

  • Race — 2:00 p.m. BST on June 4

Sky Sports is broadcasting live coverage of every key event, with race highlights on Channel 4 after the race on June 4.

How to livestream the Spanish Grand Prix for free

Fortunately for dedicated fans not subscribed to Sky Sports, there is an alternative way to watch the Spanish Grand Prix.

Belgium’s RTBF and Austria’s ServusTV will show all of the 2023 F1 races free to stream. You can watch RTBF and ServusTV from anywhere in the world with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for a streaming-friendly service like ExpressVPN

  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 Belgium or Austria

  4. Connect to RTBF or ServusTV

  5. Watch the Spanish Grand Prix from anywhere in the world

The best VPNs for unblocking streaming sites are not free, but they do tend to offer pretty generous money-back guarantees. By making the most of these guarantees, you can watch F1 livestreams without fully committing with your cash. This obviously isn't a long-term solution, but it does mean you can watch individual races for free with a VPN.

What is the best VPN for streaming?

ExpressVPN remains the top choice for unblocking streaming sites, and it offers a generous money-back guarantee. That means you can livestream the F1 for free with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is the top choice for streaming the F1 due to its strong connection speeds, powerful levels of encryption, apps for all operating systems, five multi-logins, and helpful customer support. It also has a robust privacy policy, so your data is always secure when unblocking streaming sites.

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can sign up to watch the Spanish Grand Prix and then recover your investment without hassle.

Watch the Spanish Grand Prix for free with ExpressVPN.

Direct Link to Article

A lifetime subscription to Dollar Flight Club is on sale for 80% off

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 04:00:00 +0000
Mna sat in airport

TL;DR: A lifetime subscription to Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus+ is on sale for £80.51, saving you 80% on list price.

Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus+ is an easy-to-use affordable flight finder, and a lifetime subscription is only £80.51.

Flight prices may be high, but that just means you have to jump on the really good tickets when they’re available, and Dollar Flight Club (DFC) does the hard part for you. 

All you have to do to get DFC on the hunt for affordable flights is select your home airports. Dollar Flight Club will automatically start scouring the web for low-priced airfare in Business, Economy, and Premium Economy classes. When it finds something, it immediately sends it to your inbox. 

Make sure to check out discounts of up to 50% off DFC partners like Babbel, Acanela Expeditions, and Huckberry. Learn a new language, grab some rugged outdoor gear, or schedule your very own safari. 

DFC looks for domestic and international flights, but it doesn’t filter based on a specific location. If you’re holding out for a trip to Belize, check your inbox regularly. Or you can treat your subscription like a holiday lottery and wait for the ticket you just can’t refuse. Then all that’s left is to pack your bags and touch the sky. 

For a limited time, get a lifetime subscription to Dollar Flight Club Premium Plus+ for £80.51. No coupon needed for the best price online. 

Direct Link to Article

10 of the best artificial intelligence courses you can take online for free

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 03:55:00 +0000
Human hand reaching out for robot hand

TL;DR: Find a wide range of free online courses on artificial intelligence at Udemy. Learn how to create engaging content, boost your productivity, and much more with the help of AI.

It's too early to say whether or not artificial intelligence will end up totally destroying the human race, but what's clear is that it's going to be an interesting ride.

Until we reach a potential point of no return, it might make sense to learn a little something about our new AI overlord.

A wide range of online courses on artificial intelligence are available to take with Udemy. Better yet, a lot of the highest-rated courses are actually available for free. That sounds too good to be true, but it's legit.

We've lined up a selection of standout AI courses that you can take for free on Udemy, providing you with the perfect opportunity to earn passive income, boost your productivity, create stunning imagery, and so much more before things go all Skynet and humanity ceases to exist. The clock is ticking.

These are the best online artificial intelligence courses you can take for free as of June 3:

These free courses include unlimited access to all the video content, so you can enroll and start learning at your own pace. The only catch is that you miss out on things like a certificate of completion or direct messaging with the instructor, but does that really matter to you? If so, you have the option to upgrade and get your hands on that certificate for your CV.

Learn how to make the most of artificial intelligence with Udemy.

Direct Link to Article

How to watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final online for free

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 03:55:00 +0000
Remote pointing at TV

SAVE 49%: Livestream the Europa Conference League final for free with a streaming-friendly VPN. A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan includes a money-back guarantee.

It's not the Champions League final, and it's not even the next best thing. But try telling the players and fans of Fiorentina and West Ham that the UEFA Europa Conference League final doesn't matter.

You'll quickly discover that this game is seriously important. Not only does winning guarantee a spot in the group stages of next year's UEFA Europa League, but it also represents a rare chance of collecting some silverware. It matters, OK?

If you're interested in watching the UEFA Europa Conference League final from anywhere in the world, we've got all the key information you need to stream.

When is the UEFA Europa Conference League final?

Fiorentina will take on West Ham in the UEFA Europa Conference League final at Prague's Eden Arena:

Fiorentina vs West Ham — 8:00 p.m. BST on June 7

Write that down, memorise it, and clear your schedule. Both sides will fancy their chances in Prague, and we can't wait for kick-off.

Where to watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final

The UEFA Europa Conference League final between Fiorentina and West Ham is available to watch around the world thanks to UEFA's official broadcast partners:

  • Albania — DigitAlb

  • Armenia — Vivaro

  • Australia — STAN

  • Austria — ServusTV (free and recommended), ORF, Sky Austria 

  • Azerbaijan — CBC Sport

  • Belgium — Telenet, SBS VRT, RTBF (free and recommended), beTV

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina — Arena Sport

  • Brazil — SBT, ESPN, TV Cultura

  • Bulgaria — A1, bTV

  • Canada — DAZN

  • Croatia — Arena Sport

  • Cyprus — CYTA

  • Czechia — Ceska Televize, Sport1

  • Denmark — TV2

  • Estonia — Viaplay Group

  • Finland — Viaplay Group

  • France — Canal+, M6, RMC Sport

  • Georgia — Setanta, Silknet

  • Germany — RTL

  • Gibraltar — Gibtelecom

  • Greece — COSMOTE TV

  • Hungary — MTVA, RTL

  • Iceland — Viaplay, Syn

  • India — Sony

  • Israel — Charlton

  • Italy — Sky Italia, DAZN, RAI

  • Kazakhstan — QazSport, Q Sport League

  • Kosovo — Arena Sport, Artmotion

  • Latvia — Viaplay Group

  • Liechtenstein — blue+, 3+, Sky Austria, RTL Germany

  • Lithuania — Viaplay Group

  • Luxembourg — RTL

  • Malta — PBS, Melita, GO

  • Mexico — ESPN, Fox Sports Mexico

  • Moldova — Setanta, Prime, Jurnal TV

  • Montenegro — Arena Sport

  • Netherlands — Talpa, ESPN

  • North Macedonia — Arena Sport

  • Norway — Viaplay Group

  • Poland — Viaplay, TVP

  • Portugal — SIC, Sport TV

  • Republic of Ireland — Virgin Media

  • Romania — Pro TV

  • Russia — Match TV 

  • Serbia — Arena Sport

  • Slovakia — RTVS, Sport1

  • Slovenia — Arena Sport, Sportklub, Pro Plus

  • South Africa — SuperSport

  • Spain — Telefonica, Mediaset

  • Sweden — Viaplay Group

  • Switzerland — blue+, 3+

  • Turkey — TV8, EXXEN

  • Ukraine — Megogo

  • United Kingdom — BT Sport


That's a massive list of broadcasters, but a lot of those options are not free.

Fortunately, football fans can still livestream the UEFA Europa Conference League final without subscribing to a costly service. With the help of a VPN, you can easily connect to a free streaming service in another country. This process might sound complicated, but it's really not. Plus, you don't even need to pay anything if you make use of the money-back guarantees offered by the best VPNs.

How to watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final for free

The good news is that you can stream the UEFA Europa Conference League final for free with the help of a VPN, but you do need to follow a few extra steps to avoid paying anything.

Many countries are offering free streaming of the final, but you need to be connecting from those countries to watch. The only way to get around this issue is with a VPN. These cybersecurity services can hide your real IP address and connect you to a secure server in another country, meaning you can stream the final for free from anywhere in the world.

Belgium’s RTBF and Austria’s ServusTV are the best free streaming sites for the final. You can watch RTBF and ServusTV from outside Belgium and Austria with a VPN:

  1. Sign up for a streaming-friendly service like ExpressVPN

  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 Belgium or Austria

  4. Connect to RTBF or ServusTV

  5. Watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final from anywhere in the world

The best VPNs for streaming (like ExpressVPN) tend to offer pretty generous money-back guarantees. By using these guarantees, you can unblock RTBF or ServusTV without fully committing with your cash.

What is the best VPN for streaming sport?

ExpressVPN is the best service for unblocking streaming sites from around the world. Users get strong connection speeds, powerful levels of encryption, apps for all operating systems, five multi-logins, and helpful live customer support to troubleshoot any issues. ExpressVPN also has a robust privacy policy and a generous money-back guarantee.

A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £83.32 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can sign up to watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final and then recover your investment without hassle after the match.

Watch the UEFA Europa Conference League final for free with ExpressVPN.

Direct Link to Article

Wordle today: Here's the answer and hints for June 3

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 01:00:00 +0000
A close-up of a person playing Wordle on a smartphone.

It's Saturday! You made it! But can you make it through today's Wordle? As always, we're here with some tips and tricks to help you figure out the solution today and start the weekend strong.

If you just want to be told the answer, you can scroll to the end of this article for June 3'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 2.

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:

If you have children, this might be a help.

Does today's Wordle answer have a double letter?

We'll go one better. There's actually a triple letter today.

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

Today's Wordle starts with the letter N.

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 #714 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.

Direct Link to Article

'Quordle' today: Here are the answers and hints for June 3

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 23:20:29 +0000
A woman's hands holding a mobile phone playing 'Quordle'

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?

Three words have twice-occurring letters. Two of these are double letters.

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


What do today’s Quordle words start with?

B, A, R, and P.

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. BOOZE

  2. ASKEW

  3. REUSE

  4. PAYEE

Direct Link to Article

67 essential LGBTQ films to stream this Pride Month

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 22:00:00 +0000
Composite image of LGBTQ movie characters

Pride is a time in which everyone under the LGBTQ umbrella is encouraged to come out and wave their flag in spectacular parades. But for every wild night out, we might need a cozy night in, perhaps with a movie that keeps the party going?

Many a streaming service will make a rainbow show of their LGBTQ titles in June. Let us be your guide through the essentials, highlighting movies across Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Max, Kanopy, and beyond.

Whether you're in the mood for a thigh-slapping comedy, a heart-wrenching drama, a pulse-pounding romance, a mind-expanding documentary, or spine-tingling horror, we've got you covered.

Here is a sensational selection of LGBTQ movies to watch this Pride and beyond.

1. The Queen (1968)

You may have seen Paris Is Burning, but have you seen The Queen? Frank Simon's seminal 1968 documentary details the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant, a competitive drag pageant put together by trans and drag icon Flawless Sabrina. Simon's recently restored doc is so many things at once: an archival treasure of early drag performances, an intimate look at the lives of queer men and trans women offstage, and, most famously, a record of one infamous incident that would later give way to the birth of house culture and the ballroom scene: Crystal LaBeija's scorching tirade to the camera after losing to a white queen. LaBeija later went on to found the seminal House of LaBeija, which led to the very inception of ball culture we see in Paris is Burning, and has been massively influential to Black queer culture today. As an artifact of lost and, to many, largely unknown queer history, The Queen is essential Pride viewing, and honestly, essential every damn day viewing. —Oliver Whitney, Contributing Writer

How to Watch: The Queen is available to stream for free on Kanopy or for rent or purchase on Kino Now, Prime Video, and iTunes.

2. Rope (1948)

Credit: Snap/Shutterstock

Rope may be known to most as Hitchcock's experimental attempt to shoot an entire film in what appears to be a single shot, but it's also the filmmaker’s gayest. The classic psychological thriller is about a gay couple who murders a man, then throws a dinner party using the dead body's trunk as the buffet — quite literally "be gay, do crime," Hitchcock-style. Of course, this was 1948, and that queerness is all subtext, but it roars to the surface thanks to gay screenwriter Arthur Laurents's script and performances by its notably gay leads, Farley Granger who plays Phillip Morgan with an anxious flamboyance, and John Dall, whose Brandon Shaw embodies a more reserved, posh queerness. That's not even to mention the oozing eroticism of the opening scene — a closed curtain, a roaring scream, a shot of man sandwiched between two others, with a rope around his neck; oh, the abhorrent perversions two (or more) men commit behind closed doors!  —O.W.

How to Watch: Rope is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play.

3. The Living End (1992)

Craig Gilmore and Mike Dytri star in "The Living End."
Credit: Strand/Desperate/Kobal/Shutterstock

Often dubbed the gay Thelma & Louise, Gregg Araki's The Living End follows the reckless road trip of two HIV-positive, anti-establishment gay men who go on the run after killing a homophobic cop. There's Jon (Craig Gilmore), a slender, downbeat film critic who just found out his HIV status, and Luke (Mike Dytri), a hustler hunk who looks like he walked right out of Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising. The two become lovers and quickly set out on a fuck-everything crime spree across California. A fixture of New Queer Cinema that put Araki on the map, this low-budget punk queer road movie is sizzling with radical rage, and feels as fresh as ever today. —O.W.

How to Watch: The Living End is streaming on Kanopy and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

4. The Stroll (2023)

A Black woman on the streets of Manhattan on "The Stroll."
Credit: HBO Documentary Films

There's nothing more powerful and more urgently needed than trans people telling their own stories. In The Stroll, filmmaker Kristen Lovell (making her directorial debut alongside co-director Zackary Drucker) does exactly that, gathering the trans folks she worked with in Manhattan's Meatpacking District to recount the history of what was once a hub for trans sex workers from the 1970s through the early 2000s. The women and nonbinary interviewees recount not only the horrific police violence and neighborhood harassment they constantly faced, but, and perhaps most significantly, they speak to how The Stroll helped them find a resilient community that enabled them to survive. 

Through a mix of interviews, collage-style animation, and archival footage — including some possibly never-before-seen late footage of trans heroine Sylvia Rivera and an ultra-cringe clip from The RuPaul Show — Lovell and Drucker, who are both trans, achieve something beyond the reach of most cis filmmakers. In place of sorrowful trauma porn, the directing duo create a stunning ode to the power and resilience of trans sisterhood. The Stroll isn't only an essential document of trans history; it's a revitalizing reminder for trans folks that together we have the power to pave a path for a better trans future. —O.W.

How to Watch: The Stroll will premiere on Max June 21.

5. Imagine Me and You (2005)

There are two types of queers: ones who saw beloved lesbian rom-com Imagine Me and You early in their queerness and were forever changed, and ones who've never heard of the undersung British movie. If you're in the latter camp, I’m so thrilled to finally introduce you to this silly, charming romance. Rachel (Piper Perabo donning a British accent) is about to marry her best friend, Heck (Matthew Goode), but as she's walking down the aisle, her eyes catch a woman named Luce (Lena Headey), and something indescribable happens. It's love at first sight, as they say, and thus begins a sweet love story between Rachel, who's only ever dated men, and Luce, an openly gay florist in the most '00s lesbian wardrobe you've ever seen. It's delightfully cheery and has an ending that will, shockingly, leave you teary-eyed with joy. A queer rom-com classic through and through. —O.W.

How to Watch: Imagine Me and You is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, and YouTube.

6. Dressed in Blue (1983)

Watching Dressed in Blue for the first time feels like discovering a long-lost treasure, one you almost can't believe exists and which you only wish you'd seen sooner. This docudrama from Antonio Giménez-Rico mixes docu-style interviews with narrative reenactments to tell the life stories of six Spanish trans women living in post-Franco Madrid. Josette, Loren, René, Eva, Nacha, and Tamara gather in the dazzling Palacio de Cristal in Madrid to trade stories, gossip, bicker, giggle, and gossip some more as Giménez-Rico jumps in and out of scripted moments of their pasts. The unique framing gives the film something of an ethereal quality, especially paired with Teo Escamilla's dreamy cinematography that imbues each woman with a glowy, almost goddess-like quality. Depictions of trans life have long been victim to the gaze of cis creators, and though this film from a cis male director is no exception, Dressed in Blue does feel like something of an anomaly, especially for its time, by allowing these women more agency in recounting their most private memories. —O.W.

How to Watch: Dressed In Blue is streaming on The Criterion Channel, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, and YouTube.

7. Born in Flames (1983)

Honey in "Born in Flames."
Credit: First Run Features/Kobal/Shutterstock

For anyone in need of some radical-as-hell queer dystopian fiction during these increasingly dark and fascistic political times, Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames will prove to be a most satisfying balm. Set in a futuristic New York City after a socialist revolution, the film imagines America living under democratic socialism, but where the promises of that society are proving unfulfilled. Droves of women are losing their jobs, sexism and racism run rampant, and a queer Black revolutionary has just been captured and murdered by the state. This kicks off a new fiery revolt where feminist groups led by two radical radio hosts team up to take action into their own hands, from plotting direct action in underground meetings to teaching squads of women how to shoot rifles. 

This seering anti-capitalist, anti-racist, pro-feminist treatise is as relevant today as ever. Hearing one queer radio DJ shout, "We're being murdered out there in the streets. Wake up, it's time to fight!" you can’t help but feel the parallels to the current attacks on queer and trans life and bodily autonomy happening in this country today. —O.W.

How to Watch: Born in Flames is streaming on Kanopy and, and is available for rent or purchase on iTunes and Fandor.

8. Bound (1996)

Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon look nervous in "Bound."
Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock

A lesbian neo-noir directed by two trans women — there has never been a better combination of words. Bound, the debut feature from Lilly and Lana Wachowski, is a cult favorite for a reason, or maybe 10. It features Gina Gershon playing a tough-as-nails butch lesbian named Corky (just a year after Showgirls' Cristal Connors, mind you), who falls for her sultry femme fatale neighbor, Violet (Jennifer Tilly). This is no mere queer romance though, but a razor-sharp crime thriller where two ordinary women decide to rip off the mob. Violet's abusive boyfriend (a perfect Joe Pantoliano) is about to come into a load of cash, so why not steal it, frame him, and make a getaway for it? Any casual Wachowskis fan can see the sisters' stylistic fingerprints all over Bound, but it's especially a pleasure to see the ways the two spice up classic noir genre conventions with queer sex, startling violence, and a whole lot of queer badassery. —O.W.

How to Watch: Bound is streaming on Paramount+, Prime Video, MGM+, and available for rent or purchase on iTunes

9. No Ordinary Man (2020)

There are myriad ways to make a documentary about historical figures, but in No Ordinary Man, Chase Joynt and Aisling Chin-Yee take a unique and even risky creative approach that lands beautifully. To tell the story of Billy Tipton, a jazz musician whose stealth trans status was outed after his death and grossly mistreated for years in the press, No Ordinary Man looks to today's trans community to search for the lost and ignored truths of his life. Joynt and Chin-Yee invite a collection of transmasculine actors to read scenes from a narrative script about Tipton's life. This manifests into something profound, with each actor wrestling with how to portray a man who lived at a time where his transness had to remain secret, and with close to no models to shape himself after. It's a fascinating and incredibly moving creative exercise that both attempts to repair the painful history attached to Tipton's legacy, and showcases the necessity for trans performers to embody the roles of trans characters. —O.W.

How to Watch: No Ordinary Man is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy, and available for rent or purchase on Prime Video.

10. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022)

Nan Goldin in "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed."
Credit: HBO

One of the absolute best films of 2022, Laura Poitras's Oscar-nominated documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed manages to accomplish multiple things: documenting the activism of acclaimed photographer Nan Goldin in a tireless pursuit to takedown the wealthy family responsible for the opioid epidemic, commemorating the vast cultural significance of Goldin's art, and detailing the personal life of the woman behind the camera. A prominent name in the 1980s New York City art scene, Goldin, who identifies as queer, is most known for her visceral, probing photography that captured a community ignored not just by the art world but by the entire world — queer and trans folks, sex workers, and those living with and dying from HIV/AIDS. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed fuses past and present, the individual and the collective, to tell a story that's achingly human, searing with urgency and rage yet still simmering with hope. —O.W.

How to Watch: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is streaming on Max, and is available to rent or purchase on Prime Video.

11. By Hook or by Crook (2001)

A brazenly punk, DIY, queer buddy dramedy about an unlikely pair of butch trans outcasts, By Hook or by Crook is something of a miracle for existing. This ultra-indie, ultra-low budget 2001 film from Silas Howard and Harry Dodge is a rare narrative depiction of queerness and transness that refuses to label its characters in any particular way, instead allowing them to exist as their own wacky, genderqueer selves living on their terms on the fringes of society. After facing an eviction in Kansas, the suit-donning Shy (Howard) runs away to San Francisco where they meet the eccentric Valentine (Dodge), who sports a braided beard. The two become fast friends and, in an effort to eventually rob a bank, pull off a series of petty crimes to get quick cash. By Hook or by Crook is as buoyant and playful as it is earnest, telling a heartfelt story about friendship, mental illness, and living a life of crime in a world that deems queerness criminal from the jump — and all with practically no budget. —O.W.

How to Watch: By Hook or by Crook is streaming on The Criterion Channel and is available for rent on Prime Video.

12. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses is an absolute trip, and it might be one of the most enthralling pieces of filmmaking about trans femininity. This 1969 Japanese New Wave film fuses avant-garde editing with meta-documentary style filmmaking and non-linear storytelling to follow Eddie (played by androgynous cis actor Peter), a trans woman who works as a hostess as a gay bar — the lines between trans and gay identity are messy at best, given when this was made. With jarring editing, we're torn between Eddie's love triangle with the bar's owner and his other mistress, fragmented memories of a traumatic childhood incident, and meta-interviews with the other trans bar hostesses. It's all quite disturbing and disorienting, both aesthetically and thematically, and that's kinda of the point — as critic Willow Maclay has written, Matsumoto's film "mirrors the breaking down of gendered perception through the destruction of cinematic form." It's the kinda thing you just need to watch to get, and maybe more than once. —O.W.

How to Watch: Funeral Parade of Roses is streaming in Kanopy and Night Flight+.

13. God's Own Country (2017)

Sometimes gay romance dramas are tender, and sometimes they're just super hot. God's Own Country holds the honor of being both, leaving you crying one moment and indescribably turned on the next. Set on a farm in the Yorkshire countryside, Francis Lee's film traces the lonely and pained day-to-day life of Johnny (Josh O'Connor), a young gay man who buries his anger at his father with binge drinking and anonymous hookups. But when Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu) arrives for a short stint to work at the farm, something shifts, and the newcomer's presence begins to melt Johnny’s hardened aggression. A sweet gentleness blossoms, along with one of the hottest (and muddiest) sex scenes in recent memory. If sexy emotional gay farmcore was a movie, this would be it. —O.W.

How to Watch: God’s Own Country is streaming on Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

14. Shinjuku Boys (1995)

It’s the mid-'90s in Tokyo, and you walk into the New Marilyn nightclub. You're suddenly charmed by a flock of dapper studs in flashy suits with cool-as-ever haircuts. It's a paradise of transmasc cuties.

In Shinjuku Boys, a short documentary from Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, we meet three transmasculine folks who work at a nightclub that caters to doting female customers. Tatsu, Gaish, and Kazuki, who all use he/him pronouns, describe themselves as "onabe," a broad Japanese term that's been used to describe a variety of identities from trans man to butch lesbian. The doc captures a rarely seen slice of transmasc life (including some not-so-great toxic masc behavior), and offers a series of incredibly raw interviews that speak to things not often shown in film. From personal disclosures about sex and dysphoria to a T4T couple lovingly gushing over how seen they feel by one another, Shinjuku Boys is a snapshot of a unique and little-known piece of Japanese trans history. —O.W.

How to Watch: Shinjuku Boys is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.

15. Lingua Franca (2019)

In the remarkable Lingua Franca, Isabel Sandoval plays Olivia, an undocumented Filipina trans caregiver who lives under a constant wave of fear of being deported from her Brooklyn neighborhood. Sandoval, who also wrote, directed, produced, and edited the film, brings a delicate touch to a beautifully understated story that traces intimate moments in Olivia's day to day as she attempts to secure a green card. Drawing inspiration from filmmakers like Chantal Akerman, Wong Kar-wai, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sandoval’s film is a quietly gentle study of longing, tenderness, and desire. It's also one of the most beautifully photographed stories about a trans woman, and well worth a watch for any devout cinephile. —O.W.

How to Watch: Lingua Franca is streaming on Netflix.

16. Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Katharine Hepburn and Brian Aherne in "Sylvia Scarlett."
Credit: Rko/Kobal/Shutterstock

It's Katharine Hepburn in masc drag, what more could you need? How about her looking as dashing as ever in a fedora and popped collar, flirting with Cary Grant and Brian Aherne and confusing the hell out of them both? In this 1935 film that marks the first collaboration between Hollywood gay icons Hepburn, Grant, and director George Cukor, Hepburn plays Sylvia, the meek daughter of a bookkeeper who disguises herself as a boy to help her father flee gambling debts. Now going by the name Sylvester, Hepburn's character finds a swaggering confidence around other men while passing as one. Released during the start of the Hays Code, Sylvia Scarlett was a daring risk, and today remains a fascinating exploration of gender play, queer desire, and the inner empowerment one can discover in distorting gender expectations. —O.W.

How to Watch: Sylvia Scarlett is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, and VUDU.

17. Changing the Game (2021)

When Changing the Game was released in 2021, it felt like a dire time for trans athletes in America — at the time, 17 anti-LGBTQ bills had been passed. Today, of the current proposed 530 anti-trans bills, 79 have passed at the time of this writing. A large chunk of those specifically target trans kids who just want to play sports, and more than ever, Changing the Game remains a crucial film that highlights the experiences of young trans athletes. 

The doc from Michael Barnett follows Mack, a trans boy who's the Texas state wrestling champion...of girls' wrestling; Andraya, a Connecticut track star who, though able to compete on her school's girls team, is met with harassment from parents; and Sarah, an alpine skier who splits her free time between activism and a makeup vlog. While circumstances have only gotten horrifically worse for trans youth, Changing the Game is a reminder that the resilience and diehard activism of younger trans generations hasn't and won't be dying down anytime soon. —O.W.

How to Watch: Changing the Game is streaming on Hulu.

18. Desert Hearts (1985)

Andra Akers, Helen Shaver, and Patricia Charbonneau in a convertible in "Desert Hearts."
Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock

Set in 1959, Donna Deitch's indie classic Desert Hearts finds Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver), a straight-laced English professor dressed in pearls and a skirt suit, arriving in dusty Reno to file for a quick divorce. The first time she meets Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), an openly queer, free-wheeling local, Cay's riotously racing down the highway backwards, like something of a lesbian James Dean straight out of Rebel Without A Cause. It's a classic story of opposites attracting as Cay begins to pursue the hesitant and old-fashioned Vivian. Brimming with quiet passion and yearning, and lit stunningly by master cinematographer Robert Elswit, Desert Hearts is a must-watch for any lover of queer cinema.  —O.W.

How to Watch: Desert Hearts is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Max.

19. Adam (2019)

Filmmaker Rhys Ernst's directorial debut does something unexpected and controversial: It portrays an authentic transmasculine experience, but without a trans character as the lead. In Adam, Nicholas Alexander (a cis male actor) plays Adam, a cis male character who, after stumbling into New York City's queer scene, winds up pretending to be a trans guy. It sounds terrible, I know! But hear me out — Adam uses this scenario to flip expectations and, in the process, center transness while putting cis perspectives on the sidelines. Ernst (a trans man) does this through the friendship between Adam and trans man Ethan (The L Word: Gen Q's Leo Sheng). Their relationship proposes an alternative to a world where trans men grow up learning about masculinity (very often toxic) and sexuality (also often toxic) from a cis-centric perspective. Here, Adam comes of age through the wisdom of a man who has deeply investigated his relationship to conventional masculinity. Though a divisive film, Adam's worth seeing for the complex conversations it'll give way to. —O.W.

How to Watch: Adam is streaming on Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

20. Colette (2018)

Keira Knightley stars in "Colette."
Credit: Bleeker Street Media/Moviestore/Shutterstock

The only thing better than a Keira Knightley period piece? An unabashedly queer one. In Colette, Knightley portrays the titular famous French novelist best known for her 1944 work Gigi, but who for years was the ghostwriter of novels her husband took credit for. Wash Westmoreland's film isn't most interesting as a literary biopic though, but for the way it spotlights how Colette was openly and radically queer, especially for the early 20th century. Knightley's Colette has affairs with women, including a long relationship with Mathilde De Morny, a French trans man and aristocrat referred to as Max and Missy throughout history (though played here by cis actress Denise Gough). Their onstage kiss at the Moulin Rouge in 1907 famously sparked a riot. —O.W.

How to Watch: Colette is streaming on Netflix and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

21. The Aggressives (2005)

In Daniel Peddle's documentary, there's one thing that each of his five subjects has in common: They all identify as "Aggressives," or "AG." That term can mean vastly different things from one person to the next. For Octavia, they're just a person who dresses like a dude with dude ways, while to Tiffany, it means carrying a femme-aggressive attitude and acting more like a gay guy. Rjai, on the other hand, is a ballroom champ with rows of trophies for walking in both masc and butch categories. And then there's Marquise Vilson, who binds his chest and describes himself as a trans lesbian; he's gone on to become a notable trans actor. Peddle's film is a rare document of Black and brown butch, transmasc, and gender nonconforming folks in early aughts New York City that remains a beautiful showcase of the expansiveness of gender identity and expression outside the binary.  —O.W.

How to Watch: The Aggressives is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

22. Caravaggio (1986)

If you like your historical dramas ripe with unabashed queerness, look no further than the work of master British filmmaker Derek Jarman. In Caravaggio, Jarman queers the history of the Italian Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio by taking the highly homoerotic subtext of his work (along with age-old suspicions about his sexuality) and injecting it right into the text, reimagining the artist in openly gay affairs. This dazzling and layered meditation, with a mise en scène that evokes the compositions of a Caravaggio painting, finds the artist (played by Nigel Terry) engaged in romances with a street fighter (Sean Bean) and his girlfriend (Tilda Swinton). Even with no knowledge of Caravaggio or art history, Jarman's film is quite a trip, and one bubbling with queer desire. —O.W.

How to Watch: Caravaggio is streaming on The Criterion Channel, Metrograph at Home, and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Kino Now.

23. Anything's Possible (2022)

A sweet coming-of-age romantic comedy where a young trans girl gets to be charmed and loved and swept off her feet like every other woman of rom-coms' past? Yes, please! Anything's Possible is the directorial debut from Billy Porter, with a script by trans screenwriter Ximena García Lecuona. Eva Reign stars as Kelsa, a high school senior who starts crushing on Khal (Abubakr Ali). The two flirt, go on a cute first date, and romance begins to brew. But jealousy and backlash from Kelsa's friend group gets ignited, and for the first time, Kelsa's transness becomes a topic of fiery attention at her school — and in her relationship. Anything's Possible has all the charm of a teen rom-com like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, but centers the story on a trans girl without making her identity the sole focus of her character. —O.W.

How to Watch: Anything's Possible is streaming on Prime Video.

24. Disclosure (2020)

Ask anyone over 20 to name the first time they saw a trans character portrayed on screen, and it'll likely fall into one of the following categories: a villainous monster, a mocked disgrace, or a sad tragedy ending in death. Sam Feder's documentary Disclosure charts the history of transness depicted across film and TV, showing that from cinema's silent origins to the modern series of today, trans people have always been present, but largely only to be derided, misrepresented, and gawked at. With a mix of archival footage and talking head interviews with dozens of trans actors, directors, and authors, Disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a trans perspective on the painful history of representation in media. It's vital educational viewing for cis audiences. For trans folks, it provides a cathartic look back on an ugly history, but with a hopeful promise of what visibility can look like. —O.W.

How to Watch: Disclosure is streaming on Netflix.

25. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix, Joe Pantoliano, Laurence Fishburne, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-anne Moss
Credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock

What better way to celebrate Pride than by watching the most famous trans movie of all time, The Matrix? (It's canon, deal with it.) The sci-fi action epic may not be explicitly trans on the surface, but as trans critics and audiences over the years have observed, Neo's tale down the rabbit hole is littered with subtextual allusions to trans identity. There's the red/blue pill "splinter in your mind" metaphor for hormone therapy, the "waking up" and "unplugging" from the Matrix as a realization of one's gender when the egg shell cracks, the fact that Neo keeps getting deadnamed by Agent Smith, the whole essence of Trinity — you can go on and on. Read this sci-fi classic how you will, but once you start spotting all the trans symbolism, in the words of Morpheus, "There's no turning back." —O.W.

How to watch: The Matrix is streaming on Max, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

26. Before Stonewall (1984)

Filmmakers Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg did a public service in their creation of the seminal documentary Before Stonewall. An educational yet humorous work that provides essential context to the LGBTQ community's long-fought campaign for civil rights, this is a great starting place for anyone eager to better appreciate just how far acceptance has come and how far it still has to go. —Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Before Stonewall is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

27. Swan Song (2021)

Udo Kier in a disco in "Swan Song."
Credit: Chris Stephens / Magnolia Pictures

Inspired by the real-life "Liberace of Sandusky, [Ohio]," Swan Song stars heralded character actor Udo Kier as a Mr. Pat, a retired and unapologetically flamboyant hairdresser out to secure his legacy with one last hurrah of a hairdo. Striding back into his old haunts to reconcile with his past, this wickedly funny hero finds new friends, old foes, and the glory of a mint-green vintage suit. With a fine wit, bold style, and a big heart, writer/director Todd Stephens's film pays dazzling tribute to a generation of gay men who were decimated by AIDS and societal indifference. Swirling together rage and gratitude into an intoxicating cocktail, Kier gives the best performance of his long and storied career.*Kristy Puchko, Film Reporter

How to watch: Swan Song is now streaming on Hulu.

28. Moonlight (2016)

Alex R. Hibbert stands on a beach in "Moonlight."
Credit: David Bornfriend/A24/Kobal/Shutterstock

Director Barry Jenkins's Academy Award-winning Best Picture may use some of the formulaic components seen in other coming-of-age stories, but it imbues them with such immense inventiveness and originality that to compare Moonlight to anything else feels like an insult. This film has rightly been called some of the most impactful filmmaking in history, a perennial meditation on abuse, regret, pain, and acceptance. —A.F.

How to watch: Moonlight is streaming on Max and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

29. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is always best enjoyed on the stage. But when a visit to the theater isn't an option, director and star John Cameron Mitchell's screen adaptation more than does the trick. In this musical dramedy, Stephen Trask's spectacular songs once again come to life as the titular and iconic East German rock singer explores revenge, betrayal, and acceptance. —A.F.

How to watch: Hedwig and the Angry Inch is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

30-32. The Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Kiana Madeira and Olivia Scott Welch in "Fear Street: Part One: 1994"
Credit: Netflix

A stellar example of queer horror hit in three parts in 2021, when R.L. Stine's beloved YA book series inspired a slasher trilogy centered on a lesbian couple. Kiana Madeira and Olivia Scott Welch are suffering the standard torments of teendom when the local legend of a vicious witch upends their lives — and may end them! Director Leigh Janiak ushers audiences through three eras of terror, chasing her heroes through shopping malls, summer camps, and colonial forests to unearth the dark truth of Shadyside. —K.P.

How to watch: Fear Street: Part One: 1994 is streaming on Netflix.

How to watch: Fear Street: Part Two: 1978 is streaming on Netflix.

How to watch: Fear Street: Part Three: 1666 is streaming on Netflix.

33. The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Guinevere Turner and Cheryl Dunye share a laugh in "The Watermelon Woman."
Credit: Dancing Girl/Kobal/Shutterstock

Director Cheryl Dunye's cinematic debut brings utter fearlessness to righting wrongs. In this romantic comedy, Dunye plays a pseudo-autobiographical version of herself intent on giving credit to the Black actors and filmmakers that came before her but were too often left unnamed in their works. Widely regarded as the first feature-length film directed by an openly lesbian Black woman, The Watermelon Woman remains a triumph almost 30 years later. —A.F.

How to watch: The Watermelon Woman is streaming on Showtime, Paramount+, and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on iTunes.

34. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

In this charming, sexy, and silly comedy from Stephen Frears, Gordon Warnecke and Daniel Day-Lewis play childhood friends-turned-lovers struggling to make the most of their meager means. When the pair take over a laundromat together, they must face the normal pitfalls of operating a business as well as battle the political climate surrounding immigrants in '80s Great Britain. —A.F.

How to watch: My Beautiful Laundrette is streaming on Hulu, Max, and Pluto TV, and available to rent or purchase on iTunes.

35. Rift (2017)

Want something uniquely chilling? Then check out this 2017 Icelandic thriller set in a frigid and frightful landscape. Written and directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen, Rift follows a man (Björn Stefánsson) to a remote cabin, where he hopes to help his distraught ex-boyfriend (Sigurður Þór Óskarsson) and maybe find some closure over their breakup. However, their reunion is rattled by a series of strange events that suggest they aren't alone. Something is in the darkness, watching and waiting. This fantastic film lures you in with beautiful vistas and a slow-burn pace, then spirals into scares sure to linger like a cold shiver down your spine.*K.P.

How to watch: Rift is streaming on Kanopy and Shudder, and is available to rent or purchase on Prime Video.

36. Carol (2016)

Based on Patricia Highsmith's groundbreaking 1952 novel, Todd Haynes's Carol brings the lives of Carol Aird and Therese Belivet to the screen through actors Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. This masterful rendition of a Christmas-set romance will pull at your heartstrings in all of the right ways, permanently nestling into a corner of your soul. —A.F.

How to watch: Carol is streaming on Netflix and available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

37. Benedetta (2021)

Virginie Efira as a nun in "Benedetta"
Credit: IFC Films

When you hear that the director of Showgirls made a movie about lesbian nuns, you might suspect Benedetta to be outlandishly raunchy and ferociously campy, reveling in the trashy tropes. However, Paul Verhoeven brings exquisite artistry to this stranger-than-fiction tale, delivering a biopic full of outrageous moments with a sophisticated yet wicked wit. Virginie Efira stars as 17th-century Italian nun Benedetta Carlini, who rose eyebrows in her convent not only because of the miracles she seemed to perform but also because of her romance with a fellow sister (Daphne Patakia). —K.P.

How to watch: Benedetta is streaming on Hulu, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

38. Weekend (2011)

Tom Cullen and Chris New redefine the chance encounter in director Andrew Haigh's Weekend. Told over the course of a 48-hour period, this stirring, passionate romance considers the impacts strangers can have on one another — even when their time together is cut all too short. —A.F.

How to watch: Weekend is streaming on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

39. Tongues Untied (1989)

Artist Marlon Riggs's experimental film Tongues Untied addresses the onslaught of racist and homophobic prejudices Black gay men have been forced to endure and navigate for decades. Combining documentary footage with scripted personal accounts, this 55-minute film remains an impactful and relevant point of reference in intersectional LGBTQ activism. —A.F.

How to watch: Tongues Untied is streaming on Kanopy.

40. Love, Simon (2018)

Folks looking for a heartwarming, sweet, and goofy romp to accompany the perfect at-home Pride celebration can stop their search. Love, Simon, starring the always charming Nick Robinson, broke ground as the first major studio film to focus on a gay teen romance. Delightful as it is important, this movie combines the best of rom-coms and coming out stories to check every box on a movie lover's list. —A.F.

How to watch: Love, Simon is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.

41. Shiva Baby (2021)

Rachel Sennott holds a bagel in "Shiva Baby."
Credit: Utopia

Here's a nightmare scenario: You're a young, bi Jewish woman (Rachel Sennott) who just finished hooking up with one of your sex-work clients — he's rich and cute and, hey, maybe you kinda like him. You show up at the shiva your parents dragged you to, and oh fuck, Sugar Daddy walks in…with a hot wife…holding a newborn baby. And he knows your parents. Oh, and your ex-girlfriend, who's been a total flake lately, is there too. Emma Seligman's debut feature is like the Jewish comedic version of Trey Edward Schults's Krisha, only it finds the humor (and the suffocating anxiety) in the chaos. Even better, it’s only an hour and 17 minutes.* — O.W.

How to watch: Shiva Baby is streaming on Kanopy and Max, and is available to rent or buy on iTunes.

42. Happy Together (1997)

Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung ride in the back of a cab in "Happy Together."
Block 2 Pics/Kobal/Shutterstock Credit: Block 2 Pics/Kobal/Shutterstock

Directed by Wong Kar-wai, this nail-biting romantic saga depicts a tumultuous relationship on the brink of collapse. The film's leads, Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-wai, explore passion and its limitations as Happy Together provides a unique, if not jarring, glimpse into affairs of the heart. —A.F.

How to watch: Happy Together is streaming on Kanopy and Max.

43. But I'm a Cheerleader (2000)

Natasha Lyonne stars as a cheerleader forced to attend a conversion therapy camp in what may very well be the greatest lesbian fairytale of all time. Directed by Jamie Babbit, But I'm a Cheerleader was met with lukewarm reviews in 2000 but has since garnered a well-deserved cult following. Come for the promise of RuPaul trying to pretend he's straight; stay for a first kiss scene featuring Clea DuVall that will knock your pom-poms off. —A.F.

How to watch: But I'm a Cheerleader is streaming on Tubi, and Pluto TV, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

44. Wig (2019)

One of the most iconic events of New York City Pride, Wigstock has taken many forms over the years. Watch as director Chris Moukarbel follows present-day queens as they attempt to revitalize the festival made popular by legends, like Lady Bunny, in 2018. —A.F.

How to watch: Wig is available to stream on Max.

45. Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in "Velvet Goldmine"
Credit: Peter Mountain / Zenith / Killer / Kobal / Shutterstock

Another glittering gift from Todd Haynes, this '70s-set drama plays like fan fiction, penned about queer icons like David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Oscar Wilde. Jonathan Rhys Meyers stars as a glam rock star who wins the heart of a headstrong American punk (Ewan McGregor), a glitzy party girl (Toni Collette), and the devotion of a young teen coming into his own (Christian Bale). Stuffed with incredible music, scintillating spectacle, and unapologetically queer lust, Velvet Goldmine is beautiful and bold even before you realize Haynes mopped its narrative structure from Citizen Kane. —K.P.

How to watch: Velvet Goldmine is now available for rent or purchase on Prime Video.

46. Paris Is Burning (1990)

It's the film you knew had to be on this list. Director Jennie Livingston's unparalleled documentary Paris Is Burning captures the New York City drag ball culture of the late '80s with style, grace, and intelligence. It's a powerful reflection on wealth disparity, race discrimination, and stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community — a must-see if there's ever been one. —A.F.

How to watch: Paris Is Burning is now streaming on The Criterion Channel and on Max, and available for rent or purchase on iTunes.

47. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger shepherd a nuanced narrative of passion, fear, romance, and shame in director Ang Lee's tale of star-crossed lovers in rural Wyoming and Texas. A timeless reflection on what it takes to unite who you are expected to be with who you really are, Brokeback Mountain can be a little sappy — but its faultless message always lands. —A.F.

How to watch: Brokeback Mountain is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

48. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Reporter David France looks back on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this riveting, comprehensive documentary. Weaving hundreds of hours of archival footage into a cohesive narrative on the LGBTQ community's fight against biased healthcare practices, How to Survive a Plague bottles what it means to make societal change happen before it's too late. —A.F.

How to watch: How to Survive a Plague is streaming on, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

49. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel in "Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
Credit: Neon

Writer-director Céline Sciamma will blow you away with this historical French drama. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel lead as a painter and her unwilling subject whose intimate time together begins a secret romance that threatens to unravel them both. Painful and poetic, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is the under-appreciated watch you need to make time for. —A.F.

How to watch: Portrait of a Lady on Fire is streaming on Hulu, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

50. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Few things are as unspeakably fun as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, and Guy Pearce star as drag performers traveling the Australian outback in this heartfelt comedy packed with iconic one-liners and costume changes. (It should be noted that this film contains some outdated, racist portrayals of non-white characters. Many argue the film remains a historic text for the changes it brought about in mainstream acceptance of LGBTQ art.) —A.F.

How to watch: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.

51. Upstairs Inferno (2015)

Documentarian Robert L. Camina remembers the catastrophic fire that took the lives of 32 people at New Orleans gay bar UpStairs Lounge on June 24, 1973. Witnesses to the tragedy reflect on the lives lost, the expected arsonist behind the attack, and the city's lacking response to community devastation. This is a heartbreaking but essential chapter in any LGBTQ history book. —A.F.

How to watch: Upstairs Inferno is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

52. Kiki (2016)

There has never been a better time to revisit Sara Jordenö's breathtaking Kiki. Centered on the drag and ballroom scene of New York City and those communities' roles in rebuffing systemic intersectional bias, this documentary is an inspiring reminder that joy and love can bring about lasting change — but not without profound struggle. —A.F.

How to watch: Kiki is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

53. Pariah (2011)

Adepero Oduye in "Pariah"
Credit: Chicken and Egg / MBK / Northstar / Kobal / Shutterstock

Adepero Oduye devastates in this coming-of-age story. A cinematic journey that leaps from the screen straight to your soul, Pariah follows a 17-year-old Black girl as she fights to accept her lesbian identity and reconcile her sexual orientation with her family's vision of the future. —A.F.

How to watch: Pariah is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

54. Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (2019)

Queer horror is a genre full of cringeworthy moves. But fans of the much-maligned A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge came to embrace its quirky dance number and its groundbreaking scream queen, Mark Patton. Teaming with documentarians Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti, this fascinating leading man steps back into the spotlight to share his story as a closeted gay actor who survived public mockery and the AIDS crisis to find a love and community that takes pride in him. —K.P.

How to watch: Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is streaming on Shudder and AMC+, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

55. The Favourite (2018)

Only star Olivia Colman walked away with an Oscar for her work on The Favourite, but the 2018 historical black comedy more than earned its fair share of praise. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, this Best Picture nominee tells the story of two courtiers, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, vying for the favor of Queen Anne (Colman). An excellent argument against aristocracies — and owning too many rabbits — this darkly hilarious and queer romp is well worth a watch. —A.F.

How to watch: The Favourite is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.

56. We Were Here (2011)

Director David Weissman's documentary We Were Here transports viewers back to the San Francisco LGBTQ scene of the '80s and '90s as interview subjects relive their struggle to contend with the unfathomable HIV/AIDS crisis. A testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of community, this is a history lesson worth paying attention to. —A.F.

How to watch: We Were Here is streaming Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

57. Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Timothée Chalamet leads in director Luca Guadagnino's stunning coming-of-age romance. Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards, Call Me By Your Name approaches its starring couple with tenderness, understanding, and unshakable warmth. This is the perfect pick for a cozy-yet-ethereal night in. —A.F.

How to watch: Call Me By Your Name is streaming on Netflix and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

58. Tomboy (2011)

Another installment from writer-director Céline Sciamma. Tomboy paints a staggering portrait of a gender non-conforming child grappling with societal expectations in a new environment. Full of hope but grounded in its true-to-life performances, this film exists as a testament to becoming who you really are at any age. Then-10-year-old Zoé Héran positively dazzles with her lead role. —A.F.

How to watch: Tomboy is streaming on The Criterion Channel.

59. A Fantastic Woman (2017)

Daniela Vega in "A Fantastic Woman"
Credit: Sony Classics / TIFF

Winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, director Sebastián Lelio's A Fantastic Woman is a tragedy and triumph for the ages. Daniela Vega plays a woman who loses her partner unexpectedly. Amidst her grief, she must contend with her late partner's family and their transphobia. This film offers exquisite cognizance of the pain prejudice can add to existing loss. —A.F.

How to watch: A Fantastic Woman is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

60. My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix star in this 20th-century retelling of Shakespeare's Henry IV and Henry V. Director Gus Van Sant guides his leads through a tense, melancholy exploration of intimacy, power, and uncertainty that never fails to deliver poignant reflection despite its adventure-fueled storyline. Oh, and the pair's chemistry is...searing. A.F.

How to watch: My Own Private Idaho is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play.

61. The Half of It (2020)

The infamous taco sausage (center), pictured here with Ellie, Paul (Daniel Diemer), and Edwin (Collin Chou).
Credit: KC Bailey / Netflix

Since arriving on Netflix last year, The Half of It has quietly built a following of young queer people enchanted by its presentation of coming out. Starring Leah Lewis as Ellie Chu, an introverted Chinese-American high schooler, this romantic comedy is yet another retelling of the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, but with an intense honesty to its subject that makes it stand out. —A.F.

How to watch: The Half of It is streaming on Netflix.

62. A(sexual) (2011)

Director Angela Tucker's debut documentary offers a thorough, albeit imperfect, examination of what it means to be asexual in our often sex- and romance-obsessed culture. A(sexual) offers profound insight into what it means for asexual people to fight for their right to not partake in normalized relationship rituals and define their own spaces within the LGBTQ community. —A.F.

How to watch: A(sexual) is now streaming on Plex.

63. Milk (2008)

In director Gus Van Sant's astounding biopic, Sean Penn stars as activist and politician Harvey Milk. The first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, Milk progressed the rights of LGBTQ Americans by unprecedented leaps and bounds. Milk honors that legacy with its heartfelt imagining of an icon. Penn won Best Actor for his portrayal of Milk at the 81st Academy Awards. —A.F.

How to watch: Milk is streaming on Max, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

64. Tangerine (2015)

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, James Ransone, Mya Taylor in "Tangerine"
Credit: Augustas Quirk / Magnolia / Duplass Brothers Prods / Kobal / Shutterstock

Director Sean Baker's low-budget tour de force follows transgender sex worker Sin-Dee Rella (played by the effervescent Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) as she seeks to enact revenge on the man who cheated on her and the cisgender woman he cheated with. Bittersweet and hysterical, Tangerine is a one-of-a-kind viewing experience you'll cherish forever. —A.F.

How to watch: Tangerine is streaming on Max and Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

65. The Birdcage (1996)

Robin Williams and Nathan Lane relax on a beach in "The Birdcage."
Credit: Lorey Sebastian/United Artists/Kobal/Shutterstock

In the wake of an unexpected wedding, The Birdcage chronicles the chaotic blending of two very different families. Along the way, Nathan Lane dons full drag, Robin Williams dances his pleated pants off, and Gene Hackman brings remarkable depth to his straight-man role. This is the perfect pick if you want something light and fun to watch with your chosen family. —A.F.

How to watch: The Birdcage is streaming on Paramount+, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

66. Rafiki (2018)

Starring Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva as burgeoning lovers, Rafiki was banned in Kenya "due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law." As a result, of course, much of the rest of the queer world embraced it as a symbol against censorship. Director Wanuri Kahiu treats those viewers to a positively enchanting romance, one that only emphasizes the need for LGBTQ equality everywhere. —A.F.

How to watch: Rafiki is streaming on Kanopy, and is available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and iTunes.

67. Welcome to Chechnya (2020)

The third film from Academy Award-nominated documentarian David France, Welcome to Chechnya takes viewers on a guerilla-style investigation into the anti-gay purges that still plague the constituent republic of Russia. 

Not only does the explosive project detail the abhorrent policies created by Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to criminalize homosexuality, it also delves into the insidious culture the government has instilled in its citizens to encourage hate crimes. It’s a painful watch that demands attention from viewers, focusing in large part on the courageous efforts of underground networks working to help LGBTQ people escape the region.*  —A.F.

How to watch: Welcome to Chechnya is streaming on Max, or is available to purchase on iTunes

Asterisks (*) indicate the write-up comes from a previous Mashable list.

UPDATE: Jun. 1, 2023, 2:57 p.m. EDT This list has been updated with active links and additional movie recommendations.

Direct Link to Article

Right-wing Musk fans win Twitter CEO's loyalty. Staff loses.

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 21:07:07 +0000
Elon Musk

Over the past 24 hours, numerous Twitter employees, including its head of trust and safety, have resigned from the company. These resignations all came shortly after owner Elon Musk blamed his employees for bringing Twitter's own advertiser hate speech policies to bear on a prominent right-wing media company.

The chaos over at Twitter began on Thursday morning when Jeremy Boreing of The Daily Wire published a tweet thread about a potential deal with Musk's company allegedly gone awry. The Daily Wire is a conservative media outlet started by Boreing and Ben Shapiro. The company employs a number of prominent right-wing influencers and pundits, such as Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, and Matt Walsh.

According to Boreing, The Daily Wire had been in talks with Twitter to set up a paid advertiser campaign to promote a documentary by Walsh called What is a Woman?. The conservative outlet planned to air the entire film in a tweet. The film, which has been out for a year, has been criticized by gender identity and transgender health experts, as well as trans activists as being transphobic or anti-trans. 

However, as Boreing explains, after Twitter reviewed the film, the company backed out of any sort of sponsorship deal. Twitter also warned The Daily Wire that while it could still post the video on its own, the film would be flagged as "hateful conduct" under Twitter's policies. As such, under Musk's own "freedom of speech, not freedom of reach" rules, Twitter would limit the visibility of the video on its platform. 

Right-wing users, who view Musk as an ally due to his consistent sharing of far right content on Twitter, were outraged over what Boreing shared and quickly criticized Musk on the platform. Hours after the initial tweet thread from The Daily Wire, Twitter's owner responded.

Musk immediately threw his employees under the bus.

"This was a mistake by many people at Twitter," Musk tweeted.

"It is definitely allowed," Musk continued, referring to The Daily Wire's film.

Regardless of Musk's claims on Thursday, clips of the film posted by Walsh were labeled "Visibility limited: This tweet may violate Twitter's rules against Hateful Conduct." This diminished the reach these tweets could get.

Musk continued to assure his right wing user base that Twitter was working on the issue and were rolling out an update to remove the labels while still protecting advertisers who would not want their content shown on The Daily Wire's video.

The Daily Wire tweet
A "limited visibility" label obscured The Daily Wire film on the outlet's profile feed. Credit: Mashable screenshot

And then at 8pm ET on Thursday, The Daily Wire posted the full film as they originally intended, but without Twitter's sponsorship deal. And Twitter completely obscured the film with its "visibility limited" label and blocked users from retweeting or replying to the tweet.

The Daily Wire tweet
Users were blocked from retweeting The Daily Wire's tweet due to the limited visibility label. Credit: Mashable screenshot

Musk still was assuring users into the early morning hours on Friday that he was working on a fix. Musk even shared that the issue would likely help The Daily Wire receive more attention for their film, causing some to speculate that this "controversy" was manufactured.

"The Streisand Effect on this will set an all-time record!" Musk tweeted.

"The controversy will drive viewership," he said in another post.

While this was happening on the platform, X Corp., Twitter's parent company was dealing with its own issues. Shortly before The Daily Wire posted the film on Twitter, Fortune reported that Twitter deactivated the Slack messaging account for its head of trust and safety Ella Irwin. Soon, Reuters confirmed that Irwin had resigned from the company. In her role, Irwin was responsible for shaping and enforcing Twitter's rules and policies. 

Irwin wasn't the only Twitter employee to resign either. Twitter brand safety partnerships program director Maie Aiyed also announced her departure from Twitter on Thursday. By Friday, another Twitter executive, head of brand safety and ad quality A.J. Brown also decided to leave the company.

By Friday morning, the limited reach and "visibility" label on The Daily Wire's tweet were removed. To show his support for The Daily Wire, Musk shared the video himself, commenting "Every parent should watch this." 

Just before Musk's promotion of the film, The Daily Wire's tweet had around 2 million views or impressions on the tweet. The video itself had just over half as many views with 1.1 million. After Musk shared @realDailyWire's tweet, its reach was greatly boosted. 

At publishing time, the tweet containing the video has more than 50 million views. However, the video itself has roughly five times fewer with just over 10 million views. Mashable should also note that Twitter's view metric counts any play time, including autoplay, as a view, as long as two seconds of the video are played.

While right wing Twitter users and The Daily Wire are celebrating Musk's support of the film now, there are still many unanswered questions. In a Twitter Space discussion on Thursday night, Daily Wire CEO Boreing further explained details of what went on when the company was working with Twitter. Along with the news that the sponsorship "package" was worth "mid-six figures," Boreing also shared an interesting note about Musk. According to Boreing, when Twitter canceled the partnership and said it would limit visibility on the video due to the content of the film, the company told him that Musk was "in the room himself" when the decision was made.

Ever since Musk hired former NBCUniversal ad executive Linda Yaccarino as Twitter's incoming CEO, it's been clear that he's trying to once again make a play for advertisers as ad sales plummet and its subscription-based revenue models struggle. Clearly, based on Musk's own public statements, decisions were made at the company out of concern for advertisers.

However, when push came to shove, it appears Twitter's owner and CEO Musk passed the blame on to his own employees and then kowtowed to the demand of his right-wing fanbase when they complained about company decisions. 

Direct Link to Article

This week's most watched TV and movies involve dungeons, dragons, and detective work

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 20:28:23 +0000
Three images from TV and movies: A warrior, a teen on the phone, and a CIA agent holding a gun.

So, what's everyone been watching this week? Hmmmm? What exactly is trending on all your streaming services?

To get a sense of the most popular movies and TV shows people are watching at home, we check streaming aggregator Reelgood, which gathers viewer numbers from hundreds of streaming services in the U.S. and UK. Each week, it comes down to a few elements — sheer buzz, a big finale, smart marketing, star power, critical acclaim, or word-of-mouth that leads people to finally watch it out of spite.

But just because a lot of people are watching something doesn't make it...good. Here they are, the 10 most streamed TV shows and movies of the week, where to watch them, and what Mashable critics thought.


Two CIA agents stand in the woods looking at a phone in the film "FUBAR"
Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Yep, Arnold Schwarzenegger's first ever TV series is the most popular of the week, and it's full of dad jokes. The action star/former California governor leads showrunner Nick Santora's FUBAR as CIA agent Luke Brunner about to retire — until he quite literally comes face to face with a family secret that puts that whole idea on hold. The Terminator is supported by a strong cast, with Monica Barbaro as Luke's daughter Emma, Milan Carter as his colleague Barry, and Fortune Feimster and Travis Van Winkle as fellow agents Roo and Aldon. — Shannon Connellan, UK Editor

How to watch: FUBAR is now streaming on Netflix.

2. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

A group of D&D characters stand in battle formation in the film "Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"
Credit: Paramount Pictures

What do you get when an owlbear, a displacer beast, and a gelatinous cube walk into a bar? Why, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves! From directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the film earned extremely positive reviews out of its premiere at SXSW, including from Mashable's Kristy Puchko, who called it "the kind of epic fun fans have been waiting for."

The fantasy action film hinges around its core adventuring party, a miscellaneous group of D&D characters: a bard (Chris Pine), a barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez), a sorcerer (Justice Smith), a druid (Sophia Lillis), and a paladin (Regé-Jean Page).* — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter

What we thought: Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a rollicking crowdpleaser, bursting with action, comedy, and spectacle. Its filmmakers deftly balance tones and character arcs to give everyone their hero moment, yet never get bogged down by the weight of so much story, lore, and legacy. — Kristy Puchko, Film Editor

How to watch: Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is now streaming on Paramount+.

3. From

A man and a woman stand looking worried in a forest in the TV series "From"
Credit: MGM+

It's the Hotel California of towns: you can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave. From sees Lost star Harold Perrineau in the lead and scrambling to solve the mystery of a town whose residents are trapped by a forest full of nocturnal monsters. How did this town end up in this situation? And who are these new folks in town? — S.C.

How to watch: From is now streaming on MGM+.

4. Air

A man in a shirt and tie reclines in his office with his bare feet on the desk in the movie "Air."
Credit: Amazon Studios

Ben Affleck directs and stars in the story of Nike's partnership with Michael Jordan, told by everyone around the basketball legend. In Air, Matt Damon leads as Nike basketball expert Sonny Vaccaro, who needs to convince Viola Davis as Jordan's mother, and his fellow Nike hotshots Howard White (Chris Tucker), Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman), and CEO Phil Knight (Affleck), to make the deal of all deals. — S.C.

What we thought: This isn't a story about Michael Jordan, but it's missing something without him as a character. Air is Air Jordan without the Jordan.K.P.

How to watch: Air is now streaming on Prime Video.

5. Silo

A woman and man stand in a dining hall with a tablet in the TV show "Silo".
Credit: Apple TV+

Apple TV+'s big new sci-has one hell of a set-up: the last 10,000 people on Earth live in a silo that seemingly protects them from the deadly world beyond its doors. But what exactly is out there? Dune star Rebecca Ferguson leads the series as engineer Juliette, who might just find the global truth while uncovering personal murder mysteries of her own. She's supported by an immensely talented cast including Common, Rashida Jones, Avi Nash, Tim Robbins, Harriet Walters, Tanya Moodie, and more. — S.C.

How to watch: Silo is now streaming on Apple TV+.

6. Succession

A man and woman in suits face each other looking combative in the TV show "Succession"
Credit: Claudette Barius / HBO

Succession has formally fucked off. After a diabolical Season 3, the latest and final season of Jesse Armstrong's award-winning series has wrapped up, with the Roy siblings Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin) battling allies and enemies to succeed their media mogul father Logan (Brian Vox). — S.C.

What we thought: Jesse Armstrong's Emmy-winning drama takes no prisoners in its fourth and final season. It's as unsparing and sharp as its predecessors, yet somehow manages to up the show's audacity to new heights. — B.E.

How to watch: Succession is streaming now on Max.

7. Shazam! Fury of the Gods

A group of superheroes stand in the street in the film "Shazam! Fury of the Gods"
Credit: Warner Bros.

It seems like only yesterday that Billy Batson (Asher Angel) gained the power to transform into his heroic alter ego, Shazam (Zachary Levi). But now, in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Billy and his foster siblings' newfound powers are under attack by dangerous forces.

Those forces are the daughters of the Greek god Atlas, led by Hespera (Helen Mirren). She's furious that humans would claim the power of gods, and now she and her sisters Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) have arrived in our world to wreak havoc. While the daughters of Atlas pose a massive threat, the Shazamily isn't going down without a fight. They'll just have to fight Hespera and her dragon first.* — B.E.

What we thought: Although the film deviates from the franchise's roots, it's still a fun ride aimed at a younger audience. The sequel, however, lacks the ensemble charm of the original as it tries to fit a huge amount of story, characters, and monsters into its two-hour, 10-minute runtime. — Karama Horne, Mashable

How to watch: Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now streaming on Max.

8. Ted Lasso

A man with a moustache sits in a football locker room smiling on the TV show "Ted Lasso"
Credit: Apple TV+

Apple TV+'s Emmy-winning comedy Ted Lasso has wrapped up for good with the end of Season 3. All your favourite AFC Richmond players and staff return of course, including the eponymous hero Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), Isaac McAdoo (Kola Bokinni), Sam Obisanya's (Toheeb Jimoh), Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), Higgins (Jeremy Swift), Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), and Keeley (Juno Temple). — S.C.

What we thought: Just as football continues to be life, so too does Ted Lasso continue to be its charming, heartwarming (and occasionally heartbreaking) self in Season 3. — B.E.

How to watch: Ted Lasso is now streaming on Apple TV+.

9. Missing

A teen girl works on a computer holding a phone in the movie "Missing"
Credit: Sony Pictures

The sequel to 2018’s John Cho-starring Searching, Missing sees directors/writers by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson back with another deeply compelling Netflix mystery thriller, co-written by Searching scribes Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty. Euphoria and The Last of Us star Storm Reid leads as June, an 18-year-old who uses her online sleuthing skills and true crime fandom to find her mother Grace (Nia Long) and her boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung) after they go missing on holiday in Colombia. — S.C.

What we thought: Missing may drag on but its decision to speak on cultural issues, including true crime, racism, and the internet gives its twisty plot real substance. If you power through its hefty second act, there’s great reward in its finale and some fun along the way. — Yasmeen Hamadeh, Entertainment Intern

How to watch: Missing is now streaming on Netflix.

10. Jury Duty

Ronald Gladden and James Marsden in "Jury Duty."
Ronald Gladden and James Marsden in "Jury Duty." Credit: Amazon Freevee

Created by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and directed by Jake Szymanski, Jury Duty has one hell of a set-up: a staged court case starring entirely actors except for one jury member. No, they do not know it's all fake. — S.C.

What we thought: In theory, Jury Duty is my worst TV nightmare. But to my surprise, this prank show-meets-mockumentary proves a surprisingly warmhearted delight. — B.E.

How to watch: Jury Duty is now streaming on Amazon Freevee.

* Asterisks indicate the writeup is adapted from another Mashable article.

Direct Link to Article

We love these 6 fitness trackers for kids (and they will too)

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 19:31:30 +0000
Child hula hooping while wearing blue Fitbit

Kids have the kind of energy adults could only dream of having. But like for the rest of us, movement can sometimes get overlooked — especially if there's a PlayStation or iPad with Youtube within arm's reach or there's not easy access to play outdoors. You might not think that a kid needs to track that activity (or the motivation to move around at all), but in a relatively sedentary society, making movement a priority from a young age is still vital.

Fitness trackers for kids can help foster a well-balanced lifestyle and introduce responsibility through reminders. The ones designed specifically for children in mind focus on leading an active lifestyle (rather than weight loss or something) as well as forming healthy non-fitness related habits, like building a bedtime routine or being responsible for chores.

What makes a fitness tracker kid-friendly?

Fitness trackers for kids are simplified versions of those for adults in that they typically trade out advanced metrics like an ECG app for motivational games and unlockable rewards. Most young kids probably don't need a $500 watch for light health metrics when a cheaper, simpler, more durable option is more suited to keep them engaged.

Band size is tailored to little wrists, of course, and typically rock kid-friendly designs with fun colors or themes from Star Wars or Frozen.

Kids' fitness trackers are all about setting goals — fitness or otherwise. Many offer parents the opportunity to set daily reminders for their kids to do things like brushing their teeth, completing their homework, or cleaning their room. Mundane tasks are more fun when they're integrated into a model of games, tiered rewards, and maybe even a little friendly leaderboard competition among siblings. Plus, parents aren't the ones doing the nagging.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a kid these days who isn't begging for their own smartphone by the age of 10 5. A fitness tracker can be a major move in the independence department — a stepping stone on your kid's path to bigger and better tech devices (and the responsibility that comes with owning them).

Why can't kids just use an adult fitness tracker?

High schoolers are fine to graduate to a fitness tracker for adults — it's likely that they'll already have a phone at that point, anyway — but the functionality of a full-fledged smartwatch probably isn't ideal for kids. Adult fitness trackers that graze smartwatch status, like the Fitbit Sense or Garmin Venu Sq., can access payment apps or social media apps. Some parents may prefer that those not be an option at all.

Nearly every adult activity tracker on the market tracks calories burned, which is a metric that kids should absolutely not be focusing on. Ultimately, you want to make physical activity fun, hopefully fueling positive behavioral changes and building healthy habits that don't involve an obsession with weight.

The caveat here is built-in GPS. We'd be remiss not to mention the fact that most kid-specific fitness trackers (even the leaders from Fitbit and Garmin) can't be used as a standalone device to track a child's location. If the peace of mind that comes with onboard GPS is important to you, opt for a kid-friendly smartwatch with GPS (included below) or a relatively-affordable Fitbit like the Charge 5.

What's the difference between a fitness tracker and a smartwatch?

Almost all smartwatches are fitness trackers, but not all fitness trackers are smartwatches.

Fitness wearable giants like Fitbit have seemingly agreed upon a certain fitness tracker aesthetic: a narrow screen that blends seamlessly into a thin band, reminiscent of a bracelet. Most brands have also branched out into wristwatch territory with a model that rocks a more distinct face that's wider than the band itself, like an Apple Watch. Touch screens are pretty standard nowadays, but the level of interactivity depends on the graphics that can fit on the screen.

Fitness tracking devices, of course, can track daily movement and exercise and expand on that data through an app on a phone. But if the tracker doesn't have more connected onboard functionality (like apps, GPS, internet access, or texting) without the phone, it's not a smartwatch.

Does my kid need a smartphone to use a fitness tracker?

Nope! As long as an adult in the house has a smartphone for initial setup, a kid can usually take advantage of everything the tracker has to offer (stats like step tracking, setting alarms, checking off chores) right on the wrist. Most apps split the experience into a parent view and kid view to give children some control over their data. Often, activity insights (like a sleep cycle breakdown) can be expended on in the app versus the bare-bones numbers squeezed onto a small screen.

Are fitness trackers safe for kids?

The companies behind the leading kids' fitness trackers — Garmin and Fitbit — have both stated that their activity trackers put parents in control of approving any friend requests for fitness-based challenges. Parents can access these things via the corresponding app when the tracker is paired with their smartphone. The location of the wearer is also never shared.

What health metrics do kids need in a fitness tracker?

The basic functions of a fitness tracker are pretty standard across the board: step counting, active minute tracking, and distance traveled are big ones, and heart rate monitoring is becoming more common. With those solidified, there are a few other varying features to compare on your must-have list.

Battery life: Consider this one in terms of whether your kid will remember to charge a watch on a regular basis. The models suggested below are either rechargeable (requiring juice once or twice a week) or have a rechargeable battery that will need to be replaced every year.

Sleep tracking: Quality shut-eye is imperative for restoration of the body and mind, setting your kid up with physical energy for the day as well as their attention, behavior, memory, and learning skills at their best. The tracker, which would have to be worn to bed, can provide insight into how many hours of sleep (or tossing and turning) your child gets per night.

Water resistance: Regardless of the likelihood of swimming, there should still be a line of defense against everyday spills, splashes, weather events, and sweat. If your child does intend to wear their tracker in the water, however, ensure that it is actually waterproof (withstanding 50 meters underwater), not just water-resistant.

Here are our top picks for the best fitness trackers for kids in 2023:

Direct Link to Article

Frontier has a new cheap unlimited flight pass for fall and winter

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 19:22:09 +0000
Frontier Airlines plane on ground at airport

TL;DR: Following the groundbreaking success of its unlimited summer flight pass launched in Feb. 2023, Frontier Airlines has dropped a $299 fall and winter pass that covers flights between the beginning of September to the end of February. The same chaotic fine print still applies, so read our rundown below ahead of purchasing.

Expanded by popular demand, Frontier is now offering a fall and winter version of its GoWild! unlimited flight pass to pick up where the summer pass leaves off.

The official dates covered by the fall and winter pass are Sept. 2, 2023 through Feb. 29, 2024, so there is some overlap with the summer pass, which expires on Sept. 30.

Though the seasonal passes roughly cover the same block of time, the fall and winter GoWild! pass debuted for $100 cheaper — a one-time purchase of $299 plus one cent in fees for each trip versus the original $399 of the summer pass. (The cost of the summer pass has fluctuated significantly since its release in Feb. 2023, teetering between $499 and $699.)

The GoWild! pass applies to both domestic and international flights, offering a vast variety of options to satisfy your mood, so you can jump from the tropics to fall foliage to ski resorts. If Frontier served the Mario Kart locations, it’d be like going from Peach Beach to Mount Wario.

Frontier serves more than 100 airports across the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America, though the airline can't guarantee service between all of its official airport locations.

Is the Frontier GoWild! pass worth it?

There's no arguing about whether or not this is a steal. At $299, you're getting unlimited flights throughout almost half of the year for less than the average price of one domestic roundtrip flight. But for those who haven't experienced the quirks of the GoWild! pass this summer — or are unfamiliar with flying Frontier in general — let us refresh you on the fine print.

The ultra-cheap price of the unlimited ticket itself could also be accompanied by Frontier's infamous arbitrary baggage fees for carry-ons. Frontier is not the only airline that charges for carry-ons, but how much that carry-on will cost is often higher than passengers expect. This inconsistency is due to a temperamental bag price checker and moody dimension allowances for carry-ons versus personal items.

The unlimited-ness of the GoWild! pass itself also has some caveats, specifically concerning booking. While you can fly on literally any date between Sept. 2 and Feb. 29 (barring some grayed-out areas around busy times like holidays), the GoWild! pass only works if you book within a certain window. That window is 24 hours for domestic flights and 10 days for international flights. You can also only book one way at a time, so you'll likely be booking your return trip during — not before — your trip.

If you're set on feeding your wanderlust into the colder months, secure your fall and winter GoWild! pass as soon as you can. It'll likely see an eventual price hike like the summer one has.

Direct Link to Article