The Jacks are moving toward filling their football head coaching vacancy, with plenty of interest reported in the position.The national listing officially closed on April 2 after being open for 30 days, and a search committee is currently sorting through the applicants.According to interim Athletic Director Duncan Robins, 79 candidates have applied for the job, which came open after longtime head coach Rob Smith stepped down in January.And that’s a number that has impressed the AD. …
Pune: The results to the civic polls in the Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune Municipal Corporations, which witnessed an unprecedented Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweep, also put a spotlight on a number of unusual candidates, who were different from the clichéd crorepati corporators.For 21-year-old Computer Science graduate Prachi Alhat, her win from Panel 26 (encompassing the city’s Kondhwa-Mohammadwadi area) was doubly sweet as she became the youngest candidate to win the election. She withstood the BJP’s wave by winning comfortably on a Shiv Sena ticket. The party itself barely managed to win 10 seats in the PMC.Ms. Alhat said, “My win is yet to sink in. I had planned to take up a job in the IT sector, but this win has altered my dreams. Now I’m eager to work towards the development of my ward in particular, and society in general.” Her exultant family has not stopped distributing sweets since the news came through. Ms. Alhat graduated from the city’s St. Mira’s College for Girls. A political neophyte, she was a silver lining in the Sena’s dark cloud in the PMC polls. Her family has also been in politics for a while. Her husband, Ashish Alhat, is a dedicated Sena worker.Likewise, Ashwini Landge did her party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), proud by being its only candidate to win a seat in the PMC polls.Ms. Landge, one of the few Christian candidates in the fray, won from Panel 6 (the city’s Yerwada area), thereby securing a foothold fro her party in Pune’s politics. She is well-regarded for her social work in her area, and has earned respect for her efforts to improve basic amenities like water-supply and sanitation.Inspirational winThe most inspiring story of them all is that of Rajashree Kale (32), a single mother who works as a humble peon in the city’s Abasaheb Garware College.Ms. Kale contested on a BJP ticket from Panel 7 in the city’s University-Wakdewadi area. She hails from Solapur district and is a member of the nomadic Pardhi community. She arrived in Pune in 2004, soon after her marriage, only to be abandoned by her husband following the birth of her daughters.Her job as peon with the Abasaheb Garware College has sustained her family for the last several years. The college authorities speak admiringly of her as a woman of great stoicism and courage, who displayed a keen awareness of social problems.Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s results, Ms. Kale said, “I never imagined I would contest an election. Our community is very backward. The BJP gave me an opportunity and party workers worked very hard for my victory.” Ms. Kale won .Ms. Kale’s kin say that her win has opened a new window of opportunity for their community. Rekha Shinde, Ms. Kale’s younger sister, said, “We are four sisters and a brother and she [Rajashree] was always the sharpest among us.” Police in politicsThe BJP’s Dhanraj Ghogare, a former police constable, made his political debut on Thursday with his maiden win.Mr. Ghogare was up against a stiff competition in the NCP-Congress dominated Panel 25 in the city’s Wanowrie area.He said, “While I was aware that competition was exceedingly tough, my father, who was with the State Police Reserve Force (SPRF), had forged enduring bonds with the citizens here. I, too, have continued this tradition of maintaining a personal connect.”The panel was especially noteworthy as the incumbent Mayor, the NCP’s Prashant Jagtap, contested from here and won.
Gudmunsson close to Burnley returnby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJohann Berg Gudmundsson is getting closer to making his Burnley return.Manager Sean Dyche believes that Gudmundsson should soon be available after recording from a calf problem.He suffered the injury against Wolves at the end of August and has not played since.But Dyche believes that a week of training could be enough for him to play in their next Premier League game.”It’s yes and no with Johann,” Dyche said when asked if the winger was ready to return by reporters.”Yes, physically he’s fit, but no in the sense he’s had three or four weeks with hardly any training time.”So I’ve spoken to him and assured him we believe in what he’s doing, he’s really fit and his eye is in, but he needs a good week’s training, to get back to training every day and making sure his body is right.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Photo by espn.com/goThe Giants fan, 48-year-old Alexander Poulides, insists he did not intend to throw a banana at the Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones after doing just that.Jones, who is black, did not take kindly to the act—which had strong racial tones.Poulides told the San Jose Mercury News that he grabbed a banana off a catering cart at AT&T Park and threw it toward the field in frustration near the end of the Orioles’ 10-2 victory over the struggling Giants. That says a lot about a grown man right there.The banana landed in the vicinity of Jones, who angrily tweeted about the incident following the game, criticizing people who apparently defended the incident and hinting that he may no longer participate in social media.Poulides said he had no idea of the controversy until he got home and watched the local news.“Oh, my god,” Poulides told the newspaper he thought when he watched the broadcast. “I threw a banana on my way out. . . I’m embarrassed and shocked by the outcome. In hindsight, I wish I didn’t do it and I apologize. I’m very sorry.”“It’s unfortunate that things happen like that,” Jones said ,”but it ain’t going stop me, myself and the Orioles, We have games to win. It’s mid-August. I’ve got a bigger concern in my head than someone’s ignorance or act of whatever. You know what I mean?”The Giants released a public statement earlier Monday, saying:“We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible.“We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.”Jones, who scored a home run and had four RBIs in the game, tweeted to his more than 129,000 followers: “I want to thank whatever slapd— threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jacka–.”
OSU freshman pitcher Morgan Ray (6) throws a pitch during a game against Maryland. Credit: Gabriella DiGiovanni | Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State softball team might be only one weekend into its Big Ten schedule, but the Buckeyes (18-7, 3-0) are currently sitting atop the conference after sweeping Maryland in their home debut. This first-place standing could give OSU the upper hand as it looks to continue its win streak in its three-game matchup against Wisconsin (16-12, 2-1), which is set to start Friday at 5 p.m.The Buckeyes have not faced the Badgers since the 2013 season, so the matchup will be a change of pace. Still, OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said she is aware of the momentum and energy Wisconsin will likely bring this weekend.“We will play a tough team this weekend in Wisconsin,” she said. “We know what to expect, but we still need to focus on what they are going to generate against us.”Scouting WisconsinThe Badgers are coming off a winning weekend against Michigan State, headlined by a 10-1 win in which they scored all of their runs in one inning.Schoenly mentioned Wisconsin’s heavy use of small ball, as well as wearing down pitchers by strategically putting the ball in play.“They have a very unique brand of softball,” she said. “They do a lot of base stealing, a lot of hit-and-runs, a lot of squeezes, so we have to be on our toes nonstop.” Nine Badgers on the roster bat left-handed, giving the lineup the opportunity to take advantage of bunting, slap hitting and its overall speed. For OSU’s pitching staff, this week’s practices will be dedicated to preparing to stop its opponents’ agility.“We’re going to have to take their speed away with strikeouts. We’ve got to get to work,” Schoenly said.Wisconsin sophomore Kelsey Jenkins is hitting .410, while junior Chloe Miller has racked up 32 RBIs. Last season, Jenkins started every game and led the team in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Miller added two team highs of her own in RBIs and doubles.Following in Jenkins’ footsteps is catcher Melanie Cross, who is having her own stellar freshman year. Cross was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday after batting .500 in the Badgers’ past five games, including a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance in their loss to the Spartans on Saturday.From the circle, Wisconsin falls near the middle of the Big Ten in overall ERA, but the duo of junior Kirsten Stevens and senior Taylor-Paige Stewart have combined for 117 strikeouts. Like last weekend against Maryland, the Buckeyes will face another left-hander when batting against Stevens, who was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year last season at Mercer prior to transferring. Before facing OSU on Friday, the Badgers are scheduled to go head-to-head against South Dakota on Wednesday in their home opener. This game will give Schoenly and the Buckeyes one last chance to scout the Badgers before heading to Madison, Wisconsin, to take them on for themselves.“What’s nice is that we don’t have any midweek games this week, so we can fully focus on what they’re going to do,” Schoenly said.Top of the conferenceFour Big Ten teams pulled off sweeps of their opponents last weekend, but OSU’s strong tournament showings and domination of Maryland have sent it to the top of the conference for the first time this season. Schoenly said she was impressed not only by the run her team is on but also by who stepped up against Maryland, especially the players who generated more than just singles.“We’re showing a ton of power, and I hope we can continue with a lot more of these doubles, triples and home runs,” she said.This commanding offense might be the key to staying atop the conference. The Buckeyes have finished the past two seasons in sixth place in the Big Ten, but Schoenly said she sees promise in her players to remain on top as the season progresses.“I’d rather be No. 1 than not,” she said. “We’re feeling good, and the girls have a lot of confidence, which I think breeds winning.”Up nextAfter their trip to Wisconsin, the Buckeyes are scheduled to return to Buckeye Field on April 6 for a doubleheader against Penn State in another Big Ten contest, which is set to begin at 4 p.m.
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum hailed the impact Virgil van Dijk has made in the club’s defence upon his arrival in JanuaryThe Reds signed Van Dijk for a record £75m fee for a defender in the last winter transfer window from fellow Premier League side Southampton.Since then, Van Dijk has become a crucial member of the Liverpool defence with his solid displays helping the club concede just five times in 12 Premier League matches.And Wijnaldum believes a large part of the credit should go to his fellow Dutchman.“I think Virgil has made a difference in the last line because he is a good defender, a big defender,” Wijnaldum told the club website.“He is an extra man who can defend set-pieces as well.Daniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“He is a leader in the last line who not only helps himself with his quality but also the players next to him and so he really helps the team.“But it is not only Virgil, the team helps him also – the players who play next to him or in front of him and the goalkeeper too because we all have to communicate with each other and help each other.“It is good teamwork that makes us do things so well, but of course he has made a real difference since he came.”Van Dijk has made 16 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions this season.Jurgen Klopp’s side will travel to Watford for their next Premier League match on November 24.
El Cajon Police looking for hit and run suspect KUSI Newsroom, March 14, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsEL CAJON (KUSI) – Police are continuing the search for a suspect involved in a hit and run in El Cajon Wednesday afternoon. The man drove his car into the front of the Ali Baba restaurant on Main Street around 2:30 p.m. yesterday.The suspect then backed the car out of the building and drove away before parking the car and running away.The driver of that car is described as a Hispanic man with collar length dark hair, about 5 – 8, 165 pounds, and was last seen wearing a white shirt.If you have any information, call the El Cajon Police Department. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: March 14, 2019 KUSI Newsroom
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are Wilmington Youth Soccer in-town game summaries from Saturday, May 12, 2018.Boys Grade 2 Games:Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls:The Columbus Crew would not back down from this back and forth match. The offensive pressure from Griffin Crowe, Matthew Lawler, Sanjeev Puvanendrakumar and Nathan DiSchino brought the crowd to a frenzy. A spectacular display of defensive skills was shown by Jonathan Poulose and Tristan DeHart. In addition, the midfield play of Marcus Dawson, Scott Anderson and Bijon Pourshadi kept constant pressure on the opponent’s net. The goalkeeping tandem of Christopher Cali and Brendan Cohen made timely saves, standing strong the entire match.DC United vs. New England Revolution:The air was full of excitement, as the much-anticipated match between DC United and New England Revolution commenced. Fantastic ball skills were displayed by Caden Merritt and Ryan Fitzgerald resulting in goals by Garrett Lanagan, Chase Daly, Jake Gryglik, and Connor Jamieson. The midfield and defensive play of Ryan Hudd, David Poulose, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jacob McGahey and Jacob Afthim kept DC United in excellent shape. The crowd roared to their feet when Caden Merritt, Chase Daly, Jacob Afthim and Ryan Fitzgerald made some spectacular saves.Girls Grade 2 Games:Chicago Red Stars v. Orlando Pride:Proving they were also World Cup Competitors Ava Szczesuil and Georgia Hanson scored for the Orlando Pride in this hard fought game. Anna Ward, Emily Laquidara and Jacqueline Warren added the offensive punch and Courtney Perkins, Julie McMullen and Chloe Stryhalaeck held up the defense. It was an outstanding team effort capped off with great goal keeping by birthday girl Hanna Hadzic and Georgia Hanson.Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars:Top-Notch play kept people watching this one. Excellent offensive plays by Julia Navarro, Molly Kenney and Niamh McNeil applied heavy pressure causing the NC Courage to back pedal. Defensive positioning by Olivia Long and Abigail O’Donoghue fended off any threat that came thru making it tough for the Courage. The goalkeepers also played a great game in net, keeping the game in hand. Boys Grade 1 Games:Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo:The crowd was kept on the edge of their seats this week as the Philadelphia Union, led by the offensive skills of Michael Belanger and Cameron Jones resulted in scoring opportunities by Davio Dicenso and Sean Marzani. The defense was not to be left out of this one either as Andrew Poyant kept the ball out of their zone for much of the game.Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United:The air was full of excitement, as the much-anticipated match between Chicago Fire and D.C. United commenced. Fantastic ball skill were displayed by Benjamin Card and Matthew Roque resulting in goals by Jacob Schoenholtz, Nathan Ricciarelli and Lucas Pereira. The midfield and defensive play of all players kept the Chicago Fire in excellent shape. Top-Notch play kept people watching this one.Girls Grade 1 Games:NC Courage vs. Portland Thorns:The NC Courage’s Emily Falk, Allaina Holman and Isabella DeOliveira stayed on their toes creating many scoring opportunities. The play of Olivia Howie, Alaina Roy, Olivia Smith shut down the other end of the field on defense that set the tone for this game.Columbus Crew vs. Houston Dash:Proving they were also World Cup Competitors Kaitlin Pryse, Taylor O’Connell, Emily Ruzzo and Taylor Stone scored for the Houston Dash in this hard-fought game. Grace Daley and Kiera Barry, added the offensive punch and Olivia Marasca and Bridget Bloom held up the defense. It was an outstanding team effort.Boys Kinder Games:Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union:The Philadelphia Union would not back down from this back and forth match. Goals by Charlie Kennedy (2), Rowan Norton, Brody Aprile, and Declan Riley brought the crowd to a frenzy. A spectacular display of defensive skills was shown by Mikey Doucette and Maxwell Madore. In addition, the midfield play of Connor Mangini and Andrew Power kept constant pressure on the opponent’s net. Girls Kinder Games:Orlando Pride vs. NC CourageThe crowd was kept on the edge of their seats this week as the Orlando Pride, led by the offensive skills of Alaina Wang, Kyla Pereira, Sofia Gomez and Sofia DeLucia resulted in scoring opportunities by Maeve Hennigan, Aubrey Coyne and Adalyn Maloney. The defense was not to be left out of this one either as Abigail Coyne and Olivia Downing kept the ball out of their zone for much of the game.Pre-K Girls Games:Harvard vs. NortheasternThe crowds gathered at the Shawsheen fields for this back and forth game. The Harvard led by Sophia Rocco, Quinn Moulden and Parker Pryse got the crowd jumping out of their seats. Brooke Spirito and Paityn Loughran led the scoring charge, while the great defensive effort of Olivia Contarino and Lily Falk kept the action going.Boston College vs. Boston University:The crowd was kept on the edge of their seats this week as Boston College, led by the offensive skills of Sofia Hunt, Amara Chimwanda Katie Downing and Grace Connolly resulted in scoring opportunities by McKinleigh Frizol, Lillian Bastien. The defense was not to be left out of this one either as Emily Lane, Emilia Gregorio Ariana LaRosee and Madelyn Peltz kept the ball out of their zone for much of the game.(NOTE: The above game summaries were submitted by Wilmington Youth Soccer.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email [email protected] this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Youth Soccer’s Latest In-Town Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Youth Soccer’s Latest In-Town Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Youth Soccer’s Latest In-Town Game Summaries (May 1)In “Sports”
The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises This created a massive problem for Comic-Con’s security team and fire marshals. An enormous crowd of people that should have been moving like normal was now standing completely still, and all the exits were being blocked by fans trying to get through this terrifying wall of human flesh.The photo op only lasted a few minutes before security broke it up. So even though many of us snapped a few photos, it was impossible to get the full shot of all the Leias at once. Now if you want to get photos of massive meet-ups between Marvel superheroes, Star Wars Stormtroopers and everything in between, Comic-Con makes it a rule to have these cosplayer photo ops happen outside the building. 7. A fan gets stabbed in the eyeNot everything at Comic-Con is fun. When lines grow longer and the celebrity panels are harder to gain entrance to, fans can find themselves in dangerous situations. In 2010, I spent a lot of time in Hall H, covering panels for StarWars.com and other geeky news outlets. I took quite a few breaks to leave the giant room, unlike the more hardcore fans who refused to leave their seats.Fans who decided to stay the full day inside the room found themselves in the middle of a crime scene when one fan stabbed another fan in the eye with a pen over a seat. This room seats over 6,000 people, and usually there are twice that many people waiting in line to get in. So tensions run high. The attacked man recovered, but the pen stabber was arrested for assault. In true Comic-Con fashion, the next day a few cosplayers decided to dress up as a fan stabbed in the eye. There’s no such thing as “too soon” where Comic-Con gallows humor is concerned. 8. Getting a hug from George R.R. MartinGeorge R.R. Martin gives the best hugs. Bonnie Burton/CNET Game of Thrones first aired on HBO in 2011, and author George R.R. Martin was just starting to become a household name back in 2012. I was attending a private party held by Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady at Comic-Con that year and was delighted to learn Martin would be there. I loved Martin’s books long before the TV series came out, but I was also such a diehard fan that I ended up writing a scathing letter to the editor of The New York Times when a TV critic accused Game of Thrones of having romance so women would tune in. When Martin’s publicist found out I was at the party, he came over and said Martin wanted to thank me for writing that letter — which was pretty amazing considering I didn’t have the courage to say hello on my own. Martin told me he appreciated me standing up for female fans of the show and gave me an Iron Islands copper coin featuring the image of Balon Greyjoy. I also got one heck of a hug. 9. Bringing down the house in Geek Girls panelsHere I am sitting next to geek girl goddess Adrianne Curry dressed as Leeloo from The Fifth Element on one of the many geek girl panels at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Female fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and so many other properties are constantly having to prove their geekdom. In 2012, women at Comic-Con were routinely accused of being “Fake Geek Girls” and, in response, Comic-Con featured quite a few panels focusing on female fandom to remind the guys we weren’t going anywhere. I was honored to be on a few of these panels alongside female actors, writers, directors, comic book creators and celebs. In one of my favorite memories, I sat next to America’s Next Top Model winner and avid cosplayer Adrianne Curry, who was dressed as Leeloo from the movie The Fifth Element. Curry talked at length about her love and knowledge of all things Star Wars, video games and sci-fi in general. It was refreshing to see a woman, who also happened to be a reality TV star, stand up to harassment and wave her geek pride flag for all to see. Back then, geek girls were treated like a novelty instead of the norm. So these kinds of panels were a great way to remind everyone that female fans knew their stuff. We weren’t showing off our fandom to impress the guys, we were celebrating our geeky obsessions as equals. 10. Jane Wiedlin and Milo Ventimiglia become honorary StormtroopersThis Is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia gets inducted into the 501st Legion at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET When you see celebs geek out over the same things you do, there’s a sense of solidarity that can’t be matched. At Comic-Con, it’s fun to see A-list actors freak out over the latest Star Wars Lego set, or get tongue-tied around their favorite comic book artist. Enlarge ImageGo-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin proudly holds up her 501st Legion plaque. Bonnie Burton/CNET Over the years at Comic-Con, I helped the official Star Wars Stormtrooper cosplayer group the 501st Legion with a few honorary inductions for celebrities. These are always meant to be a surprise for the celebrity nominated by the group, and can be tricky to pull off at Comic-Con.Usually, celebrities are ambushed at Comic-Con by a group of Stormtroopers who present them with a 501st Legion plaque and badge. It’s a huge honor for any Star Wars fan, and the celebrity in question is always delightfully shocked by the impromptu ceremony. In 2009, I was at Comic-Con to help present Go-Go’s band member Jane Wiedlin and This is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia with their honorary inductions into the 501st Legion. The ceremonies took place on different days during the convention but still managed to surprise Wiedlin and Ventimiglia, who were both gobsmacked.While not everyone can be honored by Stormtroopers, it’s a fun reminder that even the celebs you admire the most love geeky movies or TV shows as much as you do. Survival tips from Adam Savage, Jim Lee and more insiders Comic-Con is nearly 50: A glimpse of pop culture at its start First-time cosplay is terrifying, complicated and exhilarating Game of Thrones writers Benioff and Weiss pull out of panel Post a comment 62 Photos TV and Movies Comics Tags 3:00 Now playing: Watch this: The last time I attended one of Savage’s Comic-Con parties, it was in a packed nightclub where all his past cosplay costumes were on display. I was in a VIP area surrounded by fans and a few celebrities like director Guillermo del Toro. Savage’s parties are a good way to see your favorite geeky celebs in one place, if you can get in. Pro tip: If you really want to see celebs in party mode, hang around outside the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday nights for the Entertainment Weekly party. It’s usually the hottest ticket for celebs who want to let loose without the paparazzi harassing them. The year I attended the party, I sat at one of the outdoor fire pits next to The X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Sherlock co-creator and actor Mark Gatiss. 6. Slave Leia photoshoot brings Comic-Con to a standstillThis is only a small section of the large gathering of Slave Leia cosplayers at Comic-Con. Bonnie Burton/CNET Every year, at the Lucasfilm area on the convention floor, cosplayers will gather to take an epic group shot. Usually it’s Stormtroopers or all the Jedi Masters posing en masse for fans to snap photos. But in 2009, there seemed to be a record number of Slave Leia cosplayers. Not just women but men donning the sexy costume made famous by Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi. Almost 100 Slave Leias gathered to pose with a giant Jabba the Hutt statue proudly standing inside the Lucasfilm area. When that many Slave Leia cosplayers show up in one small area for a photo op, you can imagine how many fans refused to budge. Not only were no fans moving, more of them were rushing to the spot to see if they could get the best angle for a photo. The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguises Share your voice It’s not San Diego Comic-Con unless you’re surrounded by Star Wars cosplayers. Bonnie Burton/CNET I’ve been attending San Diego Comic-Con for over 20 years — as an author, Lucasfilm employee and hard-core comics and pop culture fan — and every year seems crazier than the last. Sadly, I’m not attending this year’s event, so I’m feeling a little nostalgic recalling some of the wackiest things that have happened to me at the convention. Ready? Here we go… 1. Stan Lee and Mark Hamill singing me Happy BirthdayStan Lee on one of the many comic book convention panels promoting his World of Heroes YouTube channel. Bonnie Burton/CNET My birthday falls in July, so I’ve often spent it at SDCC. One time, a waiter dressed like Batman brought me a birthday cake, and another time I used a lightsaber replica to hit a pinata shaped like Darth Vader on a friend’s houseboat. But one of my favorite birthday memories from Comic-Con involves Star Wars actor Mark Hamill and the late, great Marvel superhero comics creator Stan Lee.In 2012, Lee was briefly my boss when I created and hosted a web series called Geek DIY for his YouTube network World of Heroes.During our World of Heroes press tour, I was on a Comic-Con panel in one of the biggest convention rooms, Hall H, with Lee, Mark Hamill and a few others who had shows on Lee’s network. I was anxious about talking in front of a room full of comic book fans and thrilled to be breathing the same air as Lee and Hamill.As fate would have it, it was my 40th birthday that day, and when I told Lee he gave me a huge hug and urged me not to be nervous. We took the stage and sat down. Then Lee winked at me and told the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to me. Both Lee and Hamill led the audience in a very special happy birthday sing-a-long, which still can’t be beat as one of my best SDCC memories ever. 2. Meeting the real Loki by accident At Comic-Con, it’s not uncommon to see cosplayers looking like such dead ringers for Tony Stark, Wonder Woman, Shazam or Thor you do a double-take and think they’re the very characters you’ve seen on screen. In 2013, I found myself enthralled with a cosplayer dressed as Loki. Everyone was just starting to catch Avengers fever with Marvel superhero movies like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Thor: The Dark World was about to come out, and fans were buzzing with excitement at Comic-Con. I was in the secret labyrinth of hallways inside the San Diego Convention Center trying my best to get to a panel. Sometimes, if you know the right security people, they’ll let you take a shortcut through these halls, which are often used by celebrities avoiding crowded hallways full of fans jostling for autographs or coveted selfies. As I was rushing behind the stage, I almost ran right into an impressive cosplayer dressed as Loki — the Asgardian god of mischief and adopted half-brother of Thor. The cosplayer not only had the perfect Loki costume, he could have been the twin of Tom Hiddleston, who portrayed him in the movies. He even had the actor’s British accent down perfectly.I said, “Wow, your Loki cosplay is killer!”He responded, “Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say.” Then he walked off toward Hall H with a few people around him, hurrying him away. The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 After my panel, I found out Hiddleston had stormed the Hall H stage dressed like Loki as a surprise for fans. It was during Marvel’s panel to promote Thor: The Dark World.Turns out I didn’t compliment a random Loki cosplayer. I complimented Hiddleston himself! Loki probably would have found that amusing.3. Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew saying hi to my Chewbacca puppetActor Peter Mayhew poses with my Chewbacca sock puppet from my Star Wars Craft Book. Bonnie Burton When I worked at Lucasfilm as a senior editor for StarWars.com, I always felt honored when my path crossed with that of late Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew. Whenever he visited Lucasfilm headquarters or attended one of the many comic book conventions I went to, Mayhew always said hello and gave me one of his famous Wookiee hugs.When I was doing the first book signing for my Star Wars Craft Book at SDCC in 2011, I was super nervous about meeting fans as an author. Mayhew stopped by to say hello and pose for a photo holding my Chewbacca sock puppet. His visit to my signing gave me the much needed confidence boost I needed to chat with fellow fans who wanted my signature.4. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith movie title revealIn 2004, I was backstage when Lucasfilm made a big announcement — the name of its next Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith. Back then internet spoilers weren’t a thing; and social media hadn’t taken over our lives. So it was still a big deal when a movie name — especially for something as big as Star Wars — was revealed.Back in 2004, Saturdays at Comic-Con were called “Star Wars Saturdays” and everyone in Hall H expected surprises. Fans in Hall H that day were treated to video montages of behind-the-scenes moments during filming with actors Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Finally, after the last montage video, the movie’s title was revealed to the world and the crowd went wild. Over 6,000 fans screamed the name of the movie over and over. Originally published July 18, 9:09 a.m. PT. Now playing: Watch this: Comic-Con When the house lights came up, the panel’s host wore a black T-shirt with the movie’s new title in red. The second he said the limited-edition T-shirt was on sale at the Star Wars store on the show floor, people jumped from their chairs and ran for the doors to get theirs. I ended up volunteering at the store to make sure the excited mob of Star Wars fans didn’t trample anyone in the process. It was both terrifying and thrilling.5. Partying with Adam SavageIf you ever party with Adam Savage make sure you get a selfie. Bonnie Burton/CNET These days, celebrity-infested parties are common, but in the mid-2000s it was pretty rare to see TV and movie stars mingle with fans at SDCC social functions. One of my favorite parties was thrown annually by MythBusters co-host Adam Savage. I had worked with Savage when he was at ILM and I was at Lucasfilm. We became fast friends, and when he became a MythBusters megastar, he would invite his pals to his hotel room for a small, friendly gathering over the years. At these private parties, I would meet fellow geeks, but also the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Star Trek actors, beloved voice actors, prominent scientists and popular comedians. But soon his intimate gatherings started to get bigger and he couldn’t accommodate all the guests in his hotel room. He moved his party to a slightly bigger hotel room, then later to a conference room, then to a restaurant and eventually a nightclub. More Comic-Con 2019 3:00 0 DC Comics Wonder Woman Stan Lee Mark Hamill Marvel Batman Thor Captain America Doctor Who Star Trek Star Wars Iron Man The Avengers
The Israeli parliament on Monday finalised a controversial law legalising dozens of Jewish outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.The law—approved by 60 members of parliament to 52 against—was slammed by the Palestinians as a means to “legalise theft” of land.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who did not participate in the law’s final votes since he was returning from a trip to Britain, said he had “updated” the US administration so as not to surprise “our friends”.Speaking after the law was finalised, Bezalel Smotrich of the far-right Jewish Home party, who was one of the forces behind the legislation, thanked the American people for electing Donald Trump as president, “without whom the law would have probably not passed”.The new law will allow Israel to legally seize Palestinian private land on which Israelis built without knowing it was private property or because the state allowed them to do so.Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land.The Palestine Liberation Organisation said the law was a means to “legalise theft” and demonstrated “the Israeli government’s will to destroy any chances for a political solution.”A PLO statement stressed that the “Israeli settlement enterprise negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”Ahead of the vote, opposition chief and Labour leader Isaac Herzog lashed out against the “despicable law” that he said would undermine the country’s Jewish majority.“The vote tonight isn’t for or against the settlers, rather Israel’s interests,” Herzog said.The law would “annex millions of Palestinians into Israel”, he warned, and expose Israeli soldiers and politicians to lawsuits at international criminal courts.Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis of Netanyahu’s Likud party said the argument was over the right to the Land of Israel.“All of the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people,” he told Herzog, using the biblical term that included the West Bank. “This right is eternal and indisputable.”The law is seen by critics as promoting at least partial annexation of the West Bank, a key demand for parts of Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet, including Jewish Home.Human Rights Watch said the law “reflects Israel’s manifest disregard of international law” and deepens the “de facto permanent occupation” of the West Bank, warning that “the Trump administration cannot shield them from the scrutiny of the International Criminal Court”.Israeli rights group B’Tselem said the law proved Israel “has no intention of ending its control over the Palestinians or its theft of their land.”The bill could still be challenged, with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying last week: “The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent.”Last week, the few hundred residents of the Amona outpost in the West Bank were evicted after the Supreme Court ruled their homes were built on private Palestinian land.Amona demolitionsIn parliament on Monday, Shuli Mualem of Jewish Home dedicated the law to those evicted from Amona.International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.The lengthy Amona saga—including the evictions broadcast live on Israeli television—directly inspired the bill.Demolitions and removal of the buildings there began on Monday.The law applies to 53 other outposts and homes within existing settlements recognised by Israel built on Palestinian land, according to the anti-settlement organisation Peace Now.More than 3,800 homes would be “legalised”, the NGO said ahead of the vote.UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov said ahead of the Monday vote he was “concerned” by the law, which could “greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace.”Since Trump’s inauguration, Israel has announced more than 6,000 new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, seen as key parts of any future Palestinian state.For the first time last week Trump’s administration said settlement expansion “may not be helpful” for peace prospects, but also broke with previous administrations by saying settlements were not an obstacle to peace.The White House statement was interpreted as a message to Netanyahu and his government that the US administration intended to reserve its options.Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has warned the government that the law could be unconstitutional and risks exposing Israel to international prosecution for war crimes.