The weekend is the best for relaxing activities, including binge-watching some Amazon Prime flicks. We’ve rounded up the best movies, TV shows, and documentaries that you can stream on Amazon Prime from April 19 to April 26. Virtual universes, strange comets, and killer chases will keep you chilling on the couch from today to Sunday.
The Next Three Days
John Brennan (Russell Crowe) has a life-changing incident when his wife, Lara, is accused and arrested for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. In The Next Three Days, Brennan will struggle to keep his family together despite the possibility that his wife might be behind bars for a long time.
A businessman receives the sketchiest surprise in David and Olivia? – Naked in Scotland, a comedy series with an American Pie vibe. When he embarks on a trip to rekindle a relationship, he discovers a naked woman randomly hiding in his car. The catch? He’ll have to help her out of a tricky situation.
Imagine waking up in Bioshock, Red Dead Redemption, or another deadly video game universe and not having a clue on how to leave it. AFK, a fantasy series, follows a group of young people who suddenly find themselves in an animated world, except, it might be hard to get back to reality amid creatures, enemies, and other threats.
Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen make the ultimate squad in Book Club, a comedy flick about how a steamy read inspires them to clap back at the haters and spice up their love lives.
Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) and Rihanna lead the cool cast of Guava Island, a film about a local musician who’s determined to throw the hottest music festival at a remote tropical location.
Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who deals with the grisly aftermath of ER injuries, except, his situation takes a turn for the worst when his wife and daughter are violently attacked at their home. With the assailants on the lose, Dr. Kersey suits up and prepares to seek the ultimate revenge on those who hurt his kin.
Eight friends at a dinner party start to experience the unexplainable in the sci-fi thriller Coherence: During their festivities, a comet passes close to Earth and completely shifts who (and what) they’re interacting with on the big night.
Three elite climbers attempt to take on a perilous incline in the documentary Meru. On their way to the top of Mount Meru, they’ll have to battle harsh environmental conditions, stay together, and literally go to new heights.
ASUS is certainly not new to Chrome OS-based PCs. But throughout its history with Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and other Chrome OS devices, the company has positioned them as entry level solutions. However, as Google and some of its partners are experimenting with more premium Chrome OS-powered devices, ASUS cannot stand still. To that end, the company has started to sell its Chromebook Flip C434, a premium Chrome OS 2-in-1.
In terms of construction, the Chromebook Flip C434 is built around a CNC-machined aluminum body featuring diamond-cut edges. Overall the device is fairly petite for its size; while it measures 15.7mm thick, it only weighs in at 1.45 kg. One of the key factors enabling this are the narrow 5-mm NanoEdge display bezels, which allow ASUS to fit a 14-inch Full-HD IPS touch-sensitive LCD into a very portable chassis. Meanwhile the convertible PC also incorporates the company’s 360° ErgoLift hinge, which is specifically designed for these kinds of laptops.
Unlike typical Chrome OS-based computers that use Atom-derived SoCs, the Chromebook Flip C434 runs Intel’s 8th Gen “Amber Lake-Y” Core processors with two cores and Intel’s UHD 615 graphics. While Intel’s Y-series processors offer very low power consumption, they still use Intel’s latest high-performance x86 microarchitecture with all of its advantages. The SoC is paired with 4 or 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory as well as an eMMC drive, with capacities going up to 128GB.
Connectivity-wise, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 has a rather standard set of capabilities, including 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, two USB 3.0 Type-C ports (for data, display, and charging), a microSD card slot, and an audio jack for headsets. The PC also has a backlit keyboard with a 1.4-mm travel, an HD webcam, stereo speakers, and a microphone array.
When it comes to battery life, ASUS says that the machine will work for 10 hours on a 48 Wh battery, which does not seem especially long given the fact that the PC is powered by a low-power Intel Core processor.
So far, ASUS is only selling the entry-level configuration for the Chromebook Flip C434, which is based on the Intel Core m3-8100Y SoC and paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB eMMC storage. The system costs $569.99 at Amazon. Eventually, the company will also offer more power configurations with higher performance SoCs, more memory, and greater storage capacity.
General Specifications of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 C434TA LCD Diagonal 14″ Resolution/ Color Gamut 1920×1080 | 100% sRGB CPU Options Intel Core i7-8500Y (2C/4T) Intel Core i5-8200Y (2C/4T) Intel Core m3-8100Y (2C/4T) Graphics Integrated HD Graphics 615 (24 EUs) RAM 4 or 8 GB LPDDR3-2133 (soldered) Storage eMMC 32 GB 64 GB 128 GB Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 USB 3.0 1 × Type-A 2 × Type-C Display Outputs 2 × USB-C Card Reader MicroSD card reader Webcam HD webcam Fingerprint Sensor – Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack Battery 48 Wh Dimensions Width
There’s no question whatsoever that if you’re a dog lover, the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs is the coolest toy you’ll ever come across. Plug it in and turn it on, and it’ll automatically toss any tennis ball that’s dropped in the back. It’s easy to train your dog to drop the ball in after running to fetch it, so you can keep your dog entertained without having to move a muscle. This great gadget has been sold out on Amazon for quite some time, but it’s finally back in stock (and on sale for $15 off!) so grab one while you can.
Here’s some more info from the product page:
FETCH-A-HOLICS REJOICE! Automatic tennis ball launcher lets small dogs play fetch to their hearts’ content. MINI TENNIS BALLS: Finally, a toy made for small dogs! Comes with 3 mini tennis balls (1.6-inch diameter). Use other similar sized balls too! Just try not to get them too dirty or wet – this will affect performance. Please Note: This is the small iFetch automatic ball thrower. The iFetch Too is the larger automatic ball launcher. PHYSICAL & MENTAL: Running and fetching? Perfect. Learning to initiate fetch on their own? Priceless. Owner supervision is recommended. Tennis balls that are 1.6Inches in diameter LAUNCH-O-MATIC: Adjust the launch distance to 10, 20 or 30 feet with the touch of a button. The perfect indoor or outdoor dog toy, invented for, and tested by, our resident fetcher, Prancer. CUSTOMER CARE: Created, owned, and still operated by the Hamill family in Austin, Texas. Call or email us directly with any questions or issues. We specialize in happy human and canine customers. WORRY-FREE WARRANTY: Our iFetch products are backed by a one-year warranty. Call or email us directly. We know your dog’s tail will wag. We want yours to wag too. Hidden ball storage compartment on the bottom to store balls
TGIF. While you’re planning for the weekend ahead, we’ve rounded up the top movie and TV trailers that you might have missed during the week.
The X-Men universe teased an emotional trailer for Dark Phoenix, while Orion Pictures dropped an eerie new Child’s Play trailer. Plus, HBO debuted a sneak peek of what’s to come for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2. From DC Universe’s Swamp Thing to Netflix’s post-apocalyptic series The Rain, here are the top movies and TV shows to keep on your radar.
Chuckie, the famous killer doll, is back to terrorize everyone in Child’s Play. This film, which stars Aubrey Plaza and Brian Tyree Henry, gives the creepy toy a horrifying Alexa-like upgrade. See it in theaters on June 21.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, and Marvel Entertainment teased another trailer for the upcoming superhero flick. This time, the clip showed all the important Marvel movie moments leading up to Avengers: Endgame, and how the group is going to seek the ultimate revenge against Thanos and get their friends back.
The Rain, a post-apocalyptic series about a deadly virus that spreads through rain, is coming back for a second season. Catch the second part of this sci-fi series on May 17.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones gave fans an epic Season 8 premiere, and following the big day, HBO dropped a sneak peek trailer for Episode 2 of the show’s final season. Watch it on Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
Big Little Lies
The “Monterey Five” are back for Big Little Lies: Season 2. The suspenseful series, which stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as moms who might be connected to a major crime, returns to HBO on June 9.
Jean Grey, one of X-Men’s most beloved characters, pursues her evil side in Dark Phoenix. The movie’s final trailer shows Grey, as she struggles with her own personal demons and an unstable amount of power. This film hits the big screen on June 7.
A24 explores a dangerous side of America in Skin, a movie about a man who decides to leave a white supremacist gang and change his life for the better. This gritty flick stars Jamie Bell as the leading character and will premiere in theaters on July 26.
DC Universe will release Swamp Thing, a fantasy series about a soggy superhero who’s a humanoid/plant elemental creature, on May 31. Details are “murky” on the show, however, DC Universe might give fans more hints about actors and the plot soon.
We got another durability test video from JerryRigEverything and this time the Huawei P30 Pro is the unfortunate victim. The handset went through the usual scratch, burn and bend tests and survived it all even if it got a scar or two.
The back and side panels are indeed made of glass as the scratch test confirmed but Huawei made some important structural changes to this year’s design. Last year’s P20 Pro didn’t survive the bend test while the P30 Pro handled the pressure with ease.
Perhaps the curved glass on the back and front add more stability and rigidity to the frame and doesn’t let the phone bend as easily. However, the curved glass does make the phone more prone to damage when dropped, for example.
A basket-ball sized helmet snail shell four times the average size was found at Cape Lookout National Shore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Cape Lookout National Seashore / Facebook)
It’s a sheller’s dream come true: A basketball-sized helmet shell — four times bigger than average — was found recently at a national seashore in North Carolina, according to National Park Service (NPS) officials.
The giant shell was discovered at Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
“Jackpot! A sheller’s dream find on the North Core Banks,” the park said on Facebook. “Every once in a while we are in the right place at the right time to find a treasure such as this large helmet shell.”
In response to a Facebook commenter, Cape Lookout said these types of shells are known as helmet shells, but the specific species is hard to identify and many have different common names for the same animal/shell. “It could be called a Queen, an Emperor, or a Cameo helmet shell,” the park posted.
NPS officials told the Charlotte Observer the snail may be a subspecies of the carnivorous molluscs that live near the Gulf Stream, and have shells that grow over 14 inches. However, those shells have become a rarity on Outer Banks beaches, they said.
According to B.G. Horvat of Cape Lookout, the snail had died of old age and had reached its maximum size. A recently deceased helmet snail shell would have been more of a tan color (as opposed to the gray color seen in the photos), he said.
“Storm waves do help shells move from their resting place on the ocean floor to the beach,” Horvat told the Charlotte Observer. “It takes a powerful wave to pick up a heavy shell and carry it ashore… We do seem to be getting a lot of storms.”
In January, Cape Lookout reported an abundance of shells, which was credited to a combination of factors, including weather and lower park attendance due to the federal shutdown.
ASRock has introduced a new Mini-ITX motherboard based on Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U SoCs, which is aimed at embedded applications. The IMB-1216 mainboard is designed for applications like panel PCs, point-of-sales systems, kiosks, and digital signage, but can be used for regular low-power PCs in a Mini-ITX form-factor.
The ASRock IMB-1216 motherboard falls under quite a rare product category, as it brings together a mobile SoC and a desktop form-factor. Such a combination is not completely surprising though. Requirements of modern embedded applications are quite diverse and there are devices that can take advantage of Intel’s dual-core or quad-core Whiskey Lake processors with UHD Graphics 620 and a 15 W TDP as well as flexibility/expandability that Mini-ITX can provide. The motherboard can support up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, an M.2-2280 SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA), and up to two SATA 2.5-inch storage devices. Furthermore, it carries an M.2-2230 slot for a CNVi-based 802.11 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module, and a slot for a 4G/LTE modem.
The IMB-1216 motherboard supports a full set of internal headers that one comes to expect from an embedded system, including eDP, LVDS, VGA, Serial ports, Parallel ports, GPIO, USB 2.0, and so on. It is also equipped with two GbE controllers (Intel I219LM, Realtek RTL8111G), five USB 3.0 ports (one internal), external display outputs (DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, can support up to three displays sumultaneously), two 3.5-mm audio jacks, etc.
When it comes to security and reliability, ASRock says that the motherboard has a header for a TPM module, supports a watchdog time, and can work within a temperature range between 0°C and 60°C. As for compatibility, the motherboard will be able to run various versions of Windows and Linux.
ASRock does not publish pricing of its IMB-1216 motherboard, presumably because pricing of Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U SoCs vary. Intel charges its customers from $107 to $409 per processor when it sells in quantities of 1000 units, so prices of the IMB-1216 will vary greatly depending on the processor it’s ordered with.
Brief Specifications of ASRock’s Mini-ITX Motherboard IMB-1216 CPU Intel’s 8th Gen Core (Whiskey Lake-U) SoC PCH integrated Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 Memory Two SO-DIMM slots, up to 32 GB of DDR4 StorageM.2 1 × M.2-2280 SSD with SATA or PCIe 3.0 x4 interface 2.5″ 2 × SATA HDDs or SSDs Wi-Fi 1 × M.2-2230 CNVi, or USB 2.0 Wi-Fi 802.11 + Bluetooth adapter WWAN 1 × M.2-3042 USB 2.0 slot for 4G modem/SIM Ethernet Two Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connectors (Intel I219LM, Realtek RTL8111G) Display OutputsInternal 1 × eDP 1 × LVDS 1 × VGA External 1 × DisplayPort 1.2 1 × HDMI 2.0 Total 3 display outputs can work simultaneously Audio 3.5 mm audio in and audio out (Realtek ALC886?) USB Internal 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A 3 × USB 2.0 Type-A External 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A Additional I/O 1 × TPM header 2 × COM(RS232/422/485) 4 × COM(RS-232) 1 × LPT 8×GPI, 8×GPO connector (shared with LPT) controlled
Amazon on Thursday announced that everyone with an Alexa-enabled device can now listen to music for free. The free tier is ad-supported, as Billboard’s report suggested earlier this week, but it allows anyone with an Echo to play music without paying a subscription fee (though, as you would expect, there are some restrictions).
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership or a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, you can now listen to an ad-supported selection of playlists and stations on your Alexa device. If you’re looking to start a station, you can do so based on a song, artist, era, or genre, by saying “Alexa, play the [artist/song/etc.] station.” Or you can choose one of Amazon’s many preset playlists, including Country Heat, Fuego Latino, and a ton of others.
Amazon Music doesn’t have quite the reach of Spotify or Apple Music, but it is now one of the only other major music services with an ad-supported free tier, joining the likes of Spotify. That said, the selection available in this free tier is far more limited than what you can get from Spotify (which offers its massive library free on certain devices without a subscription), but if you own an Echo and don’t pay for a Spotify subscription, you can’t listen to Spotify on the Echo anyway. But now you can listen to ad-supported playlists and stations from Amazon Music.
As Amazon (and several of its competitors) attempt to take over your home with a variety of smart devices, this free tier makes the Echo just a little bit less expendable for all of the users who aren’t currently paying for an on-demand music service. And maybe it will convince them to sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited in the future.
Hulu has a lot to offer, however, deciding what to watch on the platform isn’t always easy. If you need help choosing a flick for your next movie night, you’ve come to the right place: We’ve picked the top documentaries, TV series, and movies to stream on Hulu from April 19 to April 26. Ancient secrets, demon lords, and mega earthquakes will probably sabotage your weekend plans, because you’ll want to stream Hulu all day and night.
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
Sakamoto Takuma (also known as the Demon Lord), has an incredible amount of power. In How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, a suspenseful anime series, he’ll have to combat dangers in an otherworldly universe and avoid deadly spells.
Dr. Sandra Lee, a well-known dermatological surgeon, takes on the most challenging cases in Dr. Pimple Popper. On the documentary/reality TV series, Dr. Lee removes life-altering growths from her patients’ skin and her hard work isn’t for the faint of heart: Some of the conditions she treats are much more serious than the average blackhead or blemish.
The secrets of ancient monuments and structures across our planet come to light in the documentary series Unearthed. By decoding mysteries with a combination of CGI animation and scientific investigations, people today can try to understand the cultural, political, and social motives of past civilizations.
Moving from New York City to Nebraska can make or break a newlywed couple in Bless This Mess. When they trade the urban lifestyle they know for a “simpler life” they’ll have to combat unresponsive cows, roofs collapsing, and make friends in their new habitat.
I Am The Night, which stars Chris Pine and India Eisley, is a thrilling flick that digs deep into the strange crimes of the ’60s. When Fauna Hodel decides to investigate her lost family, she discovers that she’s somehow connected to the legendary Black Dahlia murder.
Natural disasters are devastating, as shown in The Quake, a sci-fi film that follows the deadly aftermath of an earthquake that hits Oslo, Norway. Spoiler alert: The special effects are actually terrifying to watch in this eerie flick.
A first-generation Egyptian American tries to balance his spirituality in a politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood in Ramy. While juggling tradition and new opportunities, Ramy must find peace with his environment and not be afraid to spark relationships that might help him grow.
Finding the fountain of youth could be a deadly conquest, and in Beast of the Water, an Ancient Native American fable cautions that those who disrespect the environment will learn to fear the rain. Mother Nature has no mercy in this creepy horror movie.
Apple’s iOS 13 is going to bring several overhauls over previous versions with system-wide dark mode, undo gestures and special iPad features like multiple windowed apps. Today news broke out that Apple is also working on merging its Find my iPhone and Find my Friends apps in a single one under the “Green Torch” code name.
Thanks to the new universal app framework – Marzipan the new tracking app will come in both iOS and macOS versions. Apple is also planning to add offline tracking via a “Find Network” feature handy when a lost device is not connected to either Wi-Fi or a cellular network. Another new feature will be notifications when a friend or family member arrives at or leaves a specific location.
Additionally Apple is working on a hardware tracking product, similar to an NFC tag, which you can attach on any item or device. It will be linked to your iCloud account and you’ll be notified when you wander outside the tile’s range. Alternative the tile can store specific contact, which can be read by other Apple devices. The tag’s locations will also be shareable with friends and family.
The folks over at the Square Enix Collective have partnered with Humble Bundle to offer up eight fantastic indie games for as little as $12. Jump in now, and keep yourself thoroughly captivated during spring break.
Goetia, Octahedron: Transfixed Edition, and Deadbeat Heroes will be yours to keep if you’re willing to spend just $1. Whether you’re looking for a moody vibe or some uplifting colorful adventures, these games have style to spare.
Spend at least $1 Goetia Octahedron: Transfixed Edition Deadbeat Heroes
Now, if you pay above the average price, you’ll also get three more games: The Turing Test, Forgotton Anne Collector’s Edition, and Black The Fall. Challenging puzzles, gorgeous animation, and intriguing stories abound.
Beat the average The Turing Test Forgotton Anne Black The Fall
Hit the top tier, and you’ll also unlock Steam codes for Tokyo Dark and Children of Zodiarcs. Explore a dark mystery and a tactical RPG at a fraction of the sticker price.
Spend at least $12 Tokyo Dark Children of Zodiarcs
When you buy this specific bundle, a portion of the price will go to help both GamesAid and Make-A-Wish. So while you’re playing these awesome games, you can be doing a little bit of good as well.
Sale Ends: April 30th, 2019 at 11:00AM PT
Note: Terms and conditions apply. See the Humble site for more information.
Rumors about a Moto Z4 Play have been circulating for months, but now we have a plot twist – leaked Moto Z4 promo materials describe a very similar phone with mid-range specs.
According to that leak, the phone have a Snapdragon 675 chipset, same as the Z4 Play, instead of a flagship 800-series Snapdragon like the Moto Z3. The promo materials claim the price will be half of what flagships cost, which solidifies the mid-range status of the phone.
Both models are rumored to have 48MP rear cameras, single cameras by the sound of it. The vanilla Z4 will have a 25MP selfie camera. Both rear and front cameras will switch to pixel binning in the dark to deliver 12MP and 6MP photos, respectively, with improved quality.
Moto Z4 render
Is it possible that rumors mixed up the Moto Z4 and Z4 Play? We’d say it’s likely – so far there’s only one difference. The Moto Z4 will reportedly have a larger screen than the Play – 6.4” vs. 6.22”.
That aside, similarities continue. Both screens are reported to have in-display fingerprint readers and teardrop notches. Batteries are the same too, 3,600mAh capacity and 18W TurboCharge support. The 3.5mm jack will live on for another year.
The Moto Z4 will be a 4G phone, but will support the 5G MotoMod for those who want to try out the next-generation mobile networks.
Late last year I got to go hands-on with WeedCraft Inc. It was an interesting experience for me since I’m not exactly well-versed in the world of marijuana. Despite my relative ignorance, I came away impressed by the attention to detail in the game. WeedCraft Inc. treats the subject matter seriously, which is appropriate given America’s changing perception on marijuana. I finally played the finished title and I have to say it’s just as entertaining as the build from last year.
WeedCraft Inc. sets things up by having players take on the role of a failed MBA student whose father recently died from cancer. The student and his brother sold weed to make ends meet and gave it to their father to ease his pain. Though their father passed away, the brothers continue selling marijuana, not only profit, but to benefit those who desperately need the medicine. Weedcraft Inc. becomes fairly complex as it unfolds. Having this story as an emotional anchor serves to keep players emotionally invested during all of the micromanaging to come.
After the intro, you begin to grow weed in earnest. Growing weed is a straightforward process. You start with three pots, a heating bulb, seeds, and soil. You’ll receive prompts telling you when to water and prune the plants. After doing this enough times, the plants are ready for harvesting and selling. As the game progresses, you also need to take temperature, humidity, soil type, nutrition, and lighting into account — especially when growing higher-grade strains. This entire process is actually quite… addictive and relaxing. I forgot I had to actually sell the weed because the cultivation process is so Zen-like.
Once your business grows, you can hire others to grow the weed for you. Like the plants, you’ll need to invest time into employees in order to keep them happy. Workers can grow weed, sell weed, or run a front business on your behalf. When you go national, you can send employees to other cities to sell your product. Employees come to you when they want a raise or when they’re threatened by rival weed sellers or the authorities. Raising their pay is self-explanatory, but helping them when they’re threatened or arrested is more interesting. You can either use bribes to get them out of trouble or let them take the fall. However, if they go down there’s a chance they’ll destroy your entire operation. I found it best to keep employees happy, though their constant desire for a raise can become tiresome.
In the beginning you sell weed to the locals. These mostly consists of junkies, college students, and individuals suffering from illnesses (both mental and physical). Later on when you expand, you sell your goods to politicians, police officers, and celebrities. In order to sell to these folks, you’ll have to set up in reputable buildings instead of suspicious-looking shops. These clients pay more for weed and appear to be the most lucrative, but you don’t want to only focus on
“La Llorona” or “The Weeping Woman” is a popular Mexican folk legend about the ghost of a beautiful woman who drowned her children in a fit of jealous rage against and now haunts the earth seeking disobedient living children to take their place. Obviously, she’s an innately cinematic-sounding ghoul and a sensible addition to the vaguely-defined “Conjuring Cinematic Universe” of (sort-of) interrelated supernatural spin-off features; particularly as Hollywood horror producers are ever keen to find a through-line to tap more directly into the growing Latino-American audience that represents an exceedingly large share of theatrical ticket sales for the genre according to box office data.
So while it’s not surprising that The Curse of La Llorona sucks (because, apart from the main series and the second Annabelle movieall of these Conjuring “Universe” things have sucked for the most part); it is surprising that most of the reason it sucks is because the filmmakers, by some unknown logic, have seemingly attempted to – for lack of a better word — “De-Mexicanize” the entire concept as much as possible, stripping La Llorona of all but the most incidental trappings of her specific cultural origins and actively avoiding letting Mexican or Latin-American presence color the rest of the otherwise bland and lifeless proceedings in any way until the point where they can provide an unnecessarily villainous intrusion that feels preposterously hostile in context.
Set in mid-1970s San Francisco (for no reason other than to pointlessly align things with Conjuring and Annabelle continuity) the film stars Linda Cardellini as a police widow and child services agent who removes two seemingly-abused young boys from the home of their panicked Mexican-American mom despite her protestations that the kids are actually endangered by the malevolent ghost of the title. When the boys wind up dead anyway, a chance encounter leads to Cardellini’s own young children becoming La Llorona’s next targets, frustrating their own already difficult home situation, and forcing her to seek help from the Church and ultimately and independent Mexican spiritualist who battles evil with unorthodox old-world methods.
Incidentally, Cardellini’s late cop husband was also Latino and her two children are mixed-race, and if you think the film is going to miss the obvious opportunity to explore the interesting cultural intersection of her living as a single white mother to Latino children in a mixed neighborhood being menaced by a literal specter of Old Mexico… you’d be absolutely right, actually — they don’t even touch that. It’s sitting right there, but they don’t use it. And it’s not like it’s because they’re busy using other stuff — there’s nothing going on in this movie other than marking time between “Well, they left the kids alone again, time for the ghost to jump out and scare em a little until a grownup shows up.”
Instead, I wound up wishing they had kept the involvement of the still thoroughly minor Latino supporting characters out absent; since when one of them does suddenly become semi-prominent again in Act 3 it’s
They say it takes a village to raise a child — but in a nest along the Mississippi River, three bald eagles have decided that it takes a trio to raise newly hatched downy eaglets.
Not only did all three eagles — two “dads” and a “mom” — work together to build the nest and incubate the eggs, but they are also taking turns keeping the three eaglets warm, hunting for their food, and protecting them from any potential threats.
Cooperative nesting is a very rare sight, not just in this park, but anywhere. In fact, it has only been found in about 3 percent of any avian species, and this bald eagle trio, says Ed Hahn, marketing manager at the National Eagle Center, “is the best-documented occurrence of this that we are aware of among eagles.” While bald eagle trios have been spotted before in Alaska in 1977, in Minnesota in 1983, and in California in 1992, it was unclear if all three eagles were parents or if one was just a “nest helper.” Conversely, thanks to the webcam, both Valor I and Valor II were documented mating with Starr, meaning that it is quite likely that all three are biological parents to the eaglets — though it is difficult to know that for certain.
Either way, the fact that all three adults are working together is actually quite remarkable.
“It’s extremely rare … [because] eagles are extremely territorial and will vigorously defend their nests and territories from intruders,” explains Hahn. “In recent years, there have been documented cases where aggressive eagles will attack a nesting pair, even driving off or killing the male, crushing the eggs and attempting to steal the female for a mate.”
“So for this trio of eagles to be comfortable with the arrangement is astonishing,” he continues. “We really have no explanation for why these eagles are tolerant of each other in the same nest.”
Whatever the reason, the eagles have decided that the arrangement works just fine for them — and the eaglets are benefiting because there is always plenty of food to go around. But what makes this arrangement even more interesting is that it isn’t actually the first trio that Valor I and Valor II have been apart of.
Photo Credit: Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge
In 2012, Valor I was spotted in a nest with a different female bald eagle named Hope. However, he wasn’t the best partner