Princess Diana’s Precious Childhood Photos Will Put a Huge Smile on Your Face

Princess Diana was born on July 1, 1961. Though she came from a family of British nobility with royal ancestry, her upbringing wasn’t exactly an easy one. Diana’s parents divorced when she was 7, and her mom left her and her three siblings with their father, who remarried without telling them. As a young girl, she lived at Park House on the royal family’s Sandringham estate, and in 1975, she became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Lord Spencer and moved the family to Althorp, the Spencer estate in Northampton, England. From there, she was shipped off to boarding schools, where she became insecure, unstable, and withdrawn.

Long before she met and married Prince Charles and became the Princess of Wales, Diana was a bright child who, despite not being that great of a student, excelled in the arts, including ballet and piano. She loved animals and owned a handful of pets, including a pony and a guinea pig. After her tragic death in August 1997, Diana was returned to the place she grew up and is now buried at the family estate in Althorp. We’ve rounded up the sweetest photos from Diana’s childhood — keep reading to see the little girl who would one day grow up to be the People’s Princess.

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‘Shot’ Trailer: Noah Wyle’s Face Is Holding Up Quite Well, Thank You

Remember ER? I loved ER. I was thirteen when it premiered, so this was basically my introduction to puberty.

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Man, that’s a good face. Dr. John Carter was my first sustained crush, and I feel like time has backed me up on this one. I mean, Noah Wyle hasn’t had George Clooney’s career, but I’m sure he’s doing well for himself. I seem to vaguely remember he’s married? Maybe has a couple of kids? But by and large is avoiding the pitfalls that fame and subsequent obscurity can bring. He’s out of the acting game, and good for him on that-

Wait, he’s in a new movie? Seriously?

Well son of a bitch. Guys, Dr. John Carter’s face has held up really well. I mean, that’s still a really good looking dude. Terrible movie, even worse trailer, but the face is still real good.

Good on you, Noah Wyle. I’m so sorry I couldn’t ever suffer through The Librarian(s).

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Olivia Munn Shoving It In Aaron Rodgers’s Face, Ric Flair In Bad Shape & Tebow Drilled

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Little League World Series softball or Yankees-Mets Subway Series? Sounds like a good day to listen to music and enjoy the fading days of summer. Or listen to birds chirp. Maybe read a book. Or talk to your neighbors over a cold ice tea. Just a perfect day to do something really innocent.

Olivia Munn just shoving it in Aaron’s face

Ric Flair in bad shape, needs your prayers

MMAer Paige VanZant does some dancing

Detroit Red Wings vs. white supremacists 

Tebow drilled with fastball to the head

This has to be the Florida Man arrest of the weekend…so much ground to cover here

Local weather: It’s going to be BLAZING HOT in Providence this week

Here’s Kait from Arizona State!

LeBron James Jr. Pass Off The Backboard Video of the Week

Burger of the Day


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

This Looks a More Like a «Thank God All This Nonsense is Over» Face Than an «I Found True Love!» Face

American Ninja Warrior on NBC at 8:00pm ET.

The Bachelorette on ABC at 8:00pm ET. Three-hour 13th season finale. You guys. Three hours. THREE HOURS. And you know that, like, two hours and forty-five minutes of that will be *footage of people talking* *cut to talking head* «So when we were standing there talking about stuff, I was thinking ‘stuff’ and it was obviously really emotional.» *cut to footage of two people looking around blankly.* I mean, damn folks, even the Game of Thrones season finale is bringing it in under 90 minutes.

Preacher on AMC at 9:00pm ET.

Will on TNT at 9:00pm ET.

Brillo Box on HBO at 10:00pm ET. Special presentation. This is a documentary about an Andy Warhol piece that looked like a Brillo pad box, which was sold at auction in 2010 for more than $ 3 million. Whoever bought it is going to be so embarrassed when they realize that Brillo pad boxes don’t cost anywhere near that much.

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Review: ‘The Dark Tower’ Hasn’t Forgotten The Face Of Its Father, But It Has Forgotten His Voice

Confession time. I’m basically the ideal audience for Nikolaj Arcel’s The Dark Tower. I’d been waiting a long time for any adaptation (or interpretation, or continuation) of Stephen King’s magnum opus to surface, and I have been holding out hope for this one since the first inspired casting announcements came out. I have all the basic knowledge in place to know why I should care about this story. I also have a high tolerance for less than stellar entertainment, as long as there is some hook (seriously, the crap I’ve sat through…), so the possibility that this particular film might not live up to expectations didn’t deter me much. Would there be fancy gunfights? Then that’s enough to put my butt in a seat.

It’s no secret that it’s been a long journey from books to screen, and its very existence may not be a case of anyone cracking the code for how to wrangle so much material into a film, so much as a general sense of «fuck it, let’s just do this thing.»

The film opening this weekend is the result of all that effort. It’s the thing that they did. And it’s fine! It’s not terrible! It’s fast and lean and doesn’t lag for a moment. Considering the source material leans heavily on pop culture pastiche and the film is basically a Stephen King pastiche, I have an urge to compare the forward momentum of the film to that of Blaine the Mono, the train that first appeared in the third Dark Tower book, The Waste Lands. No, he doesn’t make an appearance in the film (or at least not one that I noticed). But like so many parts of the books, he’s an image that sticks. He’s a train rolling toward oblivion, operating with a strange sort of logic all his own. He’s also suicidal.

I know, the image is a stretch. But the thing is, attempting to tackle this King story, out of all his many many stories, is self defeating. The fact that Arcel managed to keep this bad boy on the right track at all is impressive.

To spare you more poorly conceived comparisons, I’m going to break this review down into two parts. First, let’s pretend you have never read a Stephen King book in your life. Then, afterward, I’ll try and drag in some insights for all you readers out there. Cool?

The Dark Tower is the story of a boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who has been having some crazy-ass fucked up dreams. Dreams of a Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), and creepy people with faces that seem to slide off. Dreams of a mysterious abandoned house, and a Gunslinger (Idris Elba). Dreams of a tall Tower, and a bunch of children being strapped to a device that somehow channels their energy into a beam aimed to bring the tower down. If that happens, he sees darkness and fire. The dreams seem to coincide with mysterious earthquakes that are shaking New York City. His mother, step-father, and therapist all think that he just hasn’t gotten over the death of his father, a firefighter (probably all that darkness and fire stuff). So they agree to pack him off for a weekend to an asylum recommended by the school. Because, you know, asylums can fix people over the course of a weekend. NBD.

Too bad the people who show up to collect him have that weird face thing going on. So Jake runs away and manages to find the house from his dreams, stops the house from trying to eat him (natch), and then jumps through a portal into a barren wasteland («Mid-World) to look for the one man he’s seen stand up to the Man In Black: the Gunslinger from his dreams. A man named Roland.

If you hadn’t figured it out yet, Jake isn’t just your average boy from Brooklyn. He is A Very Special Boy. He’s probably The Specialest Boy In The World(s). He’s Harry Potter. Only instead of magic he’s got the Shine, as they say (in The Shining, for example). It’s basically telepathy, or psychic powers, or I dunno, mental woo woo shit. Those kids the Man in Black has been using to try to tear down the Tower aren’t doing the job fast enough because their shine isn’t strong enough. But Jake is the pure, uncut shit. He is just what the Man in Black needs to get the job done.

So Jake is searching for the Gunslinger, who is searching for the Man In Black (who killed Roland’s father, poor dear Dennis Haysbert), who is searching for Jake. Got it?

Jake finds his target first, and after a little light «WHO SENT YOU?!» (complete with some mild dangling off a cliff), Roland lets him tag along — because he realizes that Jake has seen the base where the Man in Black (who is named Walter, by the way) is stationed. And here we get some handy fireside exposition as Roland explains why the Tower matters in the first place. It connects all the worlds (his, Jake’s, and more), and when it takes damage it reverberates across the realities. Hence those earthquakes. Should it fall, it will unleash all the horrible bad icky demon things that are waiting just outside its beams, trying to get in. Which apparently is Walter’s evil end game. Not that Roland cares. He’s not trying to save the Tower, he just wants to kill the Man in Black.

And here is where their journey begins together, through the woods to a weird agrarian steampunk village and straight on to New York again (which is on «Keystone Earth» apparently) as they try and make their way to Walter’s base and his kiddie-powered laser.

The movie has to cover a lot of ground — introducing characters, motivations, multiple realities, and a whole world-shaking mythology. This is an entirely new fantasy journey told in 95 minutes. And to keep the steady pace, it relies heavily on expository dialogue. Like, a lot of it. But it’s mostly coming from Elba and McConaughey, who sell the shit out of it. The Gunslinger is dusty and weary, with sharp eyes and a gravelly voice. He’s a hero that has already fallen, and you can almost feel all the stories in his past just radiating off him like energy. It’s a given that Elba elevates anything he’s in, but that doesn’t mitigate the joy of seeing him take center stage in a Hollywood epic like this. He’s not just stealing a few scenes while being sidelined as an Asgardian gatekeeper or a pilot or yelling at people in giant robots. He’s working a leather duster and some fancy six-shooters like a BOSS. He’s flat-out captivating. And McConaughey has the toughest job of the lot, selling a lot of chunky verbiage while playing a gleefully malevolent wizard. Everything about him is a bit too much (oh god, the dyed black hair and exposed chest!), but he plays Walter as a breezy, unpredictable force that isn’t actually forced. He somehow makes it all look natural and fun, every time he casually tells someone to stop breathing or kill or hate (and they do it). It’s impressive, frankly, because it would be so easy to just Pacino the crap out of that role.

But it’s Jake’s movie more than it is theirs, and that’s the problem. Tom Taylor is great. And by that I mean he manages stand next to those titans on screen and not annoy you like a lot of child stars do. He is brave and scared and bewildered in turn, and I think he’s perfectly cast. It’s just that no matter how good he is, it’s Elba’s Gunslinger who feels like the gravitational center the whole story wants to revolve around. The movie comes alive when the two meet, and it isn’t until that moment that you realize just how by-the-numbers it felt until that point. And in the end, when you walk out of the theater, you’ll realize that the whole movie was an exercise in by-the-numbers storytelling — albeit one that takes a lot of detours to cram in set pieces.

(Like, did they REALLY need to go back to NYC together? Fuck no. But I’m not gonna argue with Idris as Roland as a fish out of water, scaring some nice doctors with his crazy talk and drinking Coca-Cola for the first time. It was enough fun that you almost don’t mind that it’s clearly a detour they intentionally wrote in JUST for those interactions.)

The heavy exposition and the economy of the script rely on the fact that we are all versed in fantasies and hero’s journeys at this point — but having a lot of story and making us care about that story are two different things. The cluttered simplicity doesn’t stop when Elba shows up. There’s just something so much better there to distract you.

If nothing else, there is novelty in seeing a movie attempt that amount of world-building in such a short amount of time, compared to the other bloated 2+ hour epics that are all the rage these days. Credit where it’s due, the fact that it accomplishes so much while still making sense and fitting in some surprises makes it all the more impressive — and frustrating. Just because it’s a pastiche doesn’t mean it needs to rely on the same old tired story beats to move along. King’s story was a pastiche of a lot of elements (Clint Eastwood meets The Lord of the Rings), but it used those elements in new and original ways. Perhaps that’s the thing the filmmakers could have focused on.

Ultimately, I think the movie may be more enjoyable to non-King readers, who will have an easier time taking it for what it is: a relatively competent little fantasy film, carried by a remarkable cast, that doesn’t take up a whole lot of your time. As always, it’s worth it for Idris Elba. For the more serious King fans, there are a lot of enjoyable little moments that only they will pick up on — but they may be more distracted by their own expectations based on the source material.

And that’s where I’ll leave things, as far as the movie itself is concerned. For those of you who want a few more thoughts on how it ties to the books, along with some some heavy plot spoilers regarding that ending, read on.

Still with me? Ok. First, I’m sure you’re aware that there are a lot of fun little King Easter eggs in the film (some, like the ruins of the Pennywise theme park, were pointed out in the trailers). Numbers play a big part in the books, so I was always on the lookout for those, but the one that made me smile was a «1408» sighting (which is the title of one of his short stories, about a creepy hotel room). Book fans may miss Susannah and Eddie, but I missed Oy the billy-bumbler. Or I did, until I saw a very pointed commercial playing on a TV in a hospital room featuring talking raccoons. There are plenty of those sorts of nods and nuggets sprinkled throughout the movie, things that don’t make a difference one way or the other in terms of the plot, but still let you know that someone behind the screen cared enough to include them.

If you’ve read the books, you know that they were never really about Jake at all. They were always about Roland, and that DNA was hard to shake in this reimagining. I get why they chose Jake: common wisdom asserts that we need a character whom the audience can relate to as our window into any strange new fantasy worlds. A nice kid from Brooklyn, or a weird vaguely Arthurian/Spaghetti Western knight from another reality? Safe money is always on Brooklyn. But to sell it, Jake is transformed from an important kid into that Specialest Boy In The World — which I called Harry Potter before, but you knew what I really was talking about. He’s Danny Torrance from The Shining. He’s Jack Sawyer from The Talisman. He is every gifted or important child in any Stephen King story ever. It’s a nice bit of homage in and of itself, really. It’s classic King. But those children were the stars of their own tales, and so this movie had to contort a plot that is literally about how «The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed,» into a story that is all about Jake. And to be fair, they found all the necessary elements in King’s writings, waiting to be remixed. Jake was always a bit psychic. The Breakers, those special kids being used to break the beams and tear down the Tower, are a part of the tale. But Jake’s real importance always stemmed from his ties to Roland and his contribution to their ka-tet. Roland is the one who can get to and save the Tower. He may need help along the way. He may need Jake. But the movie replaced all that with Jake being used to break the Tower, and Roland having to save him (and by extension, the Tower).

So here is the big climactic spoiler. Ready? In the end, Roland succeeds in killing Walter and rescuing Jake. Then they go back to NYC, eat a hot dog, and hop into another portal… to somewhere. The fact that Walter dies fits with the ending of The Gunslinger, the first book in the Dark Tower series, before King reissued a corrected version that makes Walter’s death more ambiguous (so that he and Marten Broadcloak could be the same character later on — the man who is also Randall Flagg). The big question I have is whether this film is a one and done thing, or if it will continue into a larger series that will tackle more of the books. If there are more movies, will we find out that Walter didn’t die of his (rather mortal) wounds? Will Marten appear, and be a separate character? The door is open to more films, because the Crimson King, who is truly the adversary in The Dark Tower books and the one orchestrating the Tower’s collapse, is mentioned in passing on graffiti in the film. It isn’t revealed that Walter is working for him, or what his role is — but the fact that his name is there could be more than just another Easter egg if they want it to be.

The issue is how to interpret the idea that the film represents the next and final cycle of Roland’s journey to the Tower. Much has been made of the fact that Roland has the Horn of Eld in his possession this time around, which he didn’t have in the books. Which makes the film a sequel, really — and goes a long way toward waving away any of the changes made between the books and film. So Roland saves Jake rather than letting him die (as he does in The Gunslinger), and Walter perhaps doesn’t have to be Marten. Who knows! It’s hard to tell, because this movie just isn’t really the tale from the books. It pulls elements and remixes them, but the further it goes off-book the harder it is to anticipate the implications.

One thing I will give the film is that, while it may not feel like the Dark Tower that I have in my mind, it does feel like a Stephen King story to an extent. Not just because of Jake’s Special Specialness, but because of the little moments. The house that tries to eat him. The creature from another dimension hiding in the woods, taking the forms of Jake’s and then Roland’s fathers. The Can-toi henchmen. The ballsy outlandishness of the entire plot, where psychics can break a tower that is the lynchpin binding whole worlds. But the Dark Tower series also had a certain amount of poetry to them, and a way of gripping your mind. I can’t keep all the plot threads straight, but there are scenes I remember from the books so vividly I could have lived them. The movie never comes close to that. It has the trappings of King, but not the spirit.

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And In “Entitled Asshole Couple Getting Slapped In The Face By Karma” News…

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The following story is delicious. Like scallop-wrapped-in-bacon delicious. LIKE RING-DINGS DELICIOUS. A Dallas couple got pissed off by a $ 125 fee that their wedding photographer charged them. Sane people would have left a less-than-perfect review somewhere to express their displeasure. We’re not dealing with sane people.

Entitled asshole couple Neely and Andrew Moldovan (even their name sounds evil) set out to systematically destroy photographer Andrea Polito’s business, as one does if you’re psycho killers qu’est-ce que c’est! And they were successful. But, as People reports, she fought back with a defamation suit. And on July 28, a Dallas judge ordered the Moldovans to cut her a check for one million dollars! That $ 125 doesn’t seem too pricey now!

It all started in January of 2015. The Moldovans reportedly wanted their wedding pics before the ETA Andrea gave them. They also balked at the $ 125 fee she charged them for the leather cover of their wedding album (it was custom made in Italy). Ultimately, Andrea said she would waive the fee. But it was too late. The Moldovans were off and running. And by “running,” I mean they ran their entitled asses to the nearest tv news station. They claimed in an interview that Andrea was holding their wedding photos hostage.

You would think a tv news appearance would satiate the Moldovans’ thirst for wedding photo vengeance. Not when the cheese has slid off your collective cracker! The evil Count and Countess (it just sounds right) Moldovan went IN on Andrea.

This ignited a social media campaign and press tour that focused on the Moldovan’s version of the story and eventually led to the demise of Polito’s company, according to the photographer.

The couple managed to rally hundreds of their followers into leaving negative reviews and comments on popular wedding photography websites and Polito’s social pages.

Neely Moldovan is one of those deplorable Goop-lite “lifestyle bloggers” who make their living being condescending to bored Caucasian women with too much time on their hands. So she had a fanbase. A fanbase that she recruited to help her and her husband’s smear campaign against Andrea. Is this the plot of American Horror Story: Cult?

Andrea’s lawyer Dave Wishnew laid it out for us to People magazine:

“It instantly burned down the reputation that Andrea built up over 12 years. She didn’t book any more weddings after that. It was done. The negative reviews destroyed her reputation, and in a business that is largely word-of-mouth, no one was referring her.”

In addition to “evil” and “crazy,” the couple also qualifies as “shady” and “without conscience.

Wishnew argued that the Moldovans’ negative social media posts about Polito’s company were more about promoting themselves than about their photographs. “They admit in their messages and the evidence in court that they wanted it to go viral, and they wanted it to ruin Andrea’s business,” he says. “The more traffic that goes to Neely’s blog, the more they can have sponsored posts, and more sponsored posts means more money.”

Andrea says she was “humiliated” and that her “life fell apart.” Eventually, she filed a defamation of character suit. It took three years, but justice won!

The Moldovans have been left raw by karma. Neely’s blog seems to have been shut down, and she’s gone private on Twitter. They released a statement to the press after hearing the verdict.

“We are stunned. We did what consumer advocates say to do: When you are wronged, you fight back. We were unhappy with a situation, so we complained like anyone would. This court decision tells consumers not to speak up for fear of fat legal bills and painful judgments. If this is the cost of standing up for what’s right, we should have given in to start with. But we hope to prevail in the end. We’d love nothing more than to put this behind us and focus on raising our five-month-old child.”

Please note the insertion of the child for the sympathy vote. Andrea, who has since rebuilt her business, put aside her glass of Krug long enough to release her own statement, to People magazine.

“I finally feel some vindication after almost three years of a legal battle brought on by a fabricated news story and a social media attack. I hope my story provides an example for businesses and consumers of how quickly a successful business and reputation can be damaged by false information and social media bullying.”

Is this how the Moldovans react to everything? When their babysitter wants to raise her rate, will they eff with her college applications? Can you imagine what happens when one of their bags is over the weight limit at the airport, and they have to pay to check it? The reaction must activate the airline’s anti-terrorist measures. They probably take hostages. Good luck to that five-month-old. *cringe*

Pic: YouTube

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Nev Schulman’s Wedding Reception Was Just as In Your Face as You’d Expect

Nev Schulman has never been one to keep things low-key, so you better believe that he went all out for his wedding weekend. The Catfish star married his longtime girlfriend, Laura Perlongo, in the Hamptons on July 22, and the nuptials were anything but traditional. After tying the knot in his father’s backyard, the couple ditched a formal wedding reception and instead had everyone change into their bathing suits for some fun in the water . . . and had fun they did. In addition to riding the waves on an inflatable swan, Nev and Laura had an intense makeout session in the sand as the water washed over them. And the best, er, worst part? It was in full view of everyone. Laura also rocked a white bikini complete with a blue garter.

The pair’s wedding isn’t the first time they’ve turned heads. Back in 2016, they made practically everyone’s jaws hit the floor when Laura showed off her baby bump on the red carpet at the MTV VMAs in a completely unzipped jacket. The couple then welcomed their first child, daughter Cleo James, that October.

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No, You’re Not Losing It: Dickon Tarly Definitely Has a New Face on Game of Thrones

When we first meet Dickon Tarly, Samwell’s pompous brother on Game of Thrones, he’s at a very awkward Tarly family dinner in season six. He openly mocks his brother about his claims of killing a White Walker and is generally a big assh*le (no wonder Sam has all those self-esteem issues). He’s played by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince actor Freddie Stroma in the episode (pictured above), who confirmed not long after it aired that he would not be returning to the series in season seven due to scheduling conflicts with his now-canceled show, Time After Time.

Although we were sad to see Stroma go, the actor was soon recast with a (very hot) replacement. Meet the new Dickon Tarly: Tom Hopper. Hopper, who’s appeared in Black Sails and Merlin, made his debut in season seven’s second episode during a tense conversation with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in King’s Landing.

We know Dickon is the favored Tarly son and heir to Horn Hill since his older brother, Sam, was asked (aka forced) to join the Night’s Watch by their father, Randyll Tarly, and is now at the Citadel training to be a Maester. We have only love for Sam, but we can’t say we’d mind seeing more of Dickon in season seven, for obvious reasons. (His face. It’s his face.)

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I Hate Stupid Euron Greyjoy and His Stupid Plot-Convenient Face on ‘Game of Thrones’

I really can’t remember the last time I hated a character this much. We’re only two episodes into Game of Thrones’ seventh season, and already Euron Greyjoy is whipping up my ire to the point of distraction. I knew this would happen. He was annoying last season, when he turned up out of nowhere in the black of night on the Iron Islands and threw his brother off a bridge. Balon was a knob, make no mistake about it, but a knob throwing another knob off a bridge does not a lesser knob make.

Before I go any further I should add that none of this (very mature, considered) rant is aimed at the man who portrays Euron. Pilou Asbæk is a damn good actor. He was great in the political TV drama Borgen, as well as in the tense thriller A Hijacking. No, this is not about Pilou. This is about Euron.

The dick.

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Euron and his super stealth flame cannon ships that appear magically—like Ramsay Bolton and his ‘twenty good men’ in the midst of a heavily fortified encampment—next to a fleet of elite ships manned by the most experienced sailors in the world, right next to the target that they are seeking.

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Euron and his, we are to assume, magical storm-bringing abilities, which allow his fleet to sneak up like so, and that are alluded to by just two things (in the TV show anyway; I am not a book reader, though I do know of some of the Euron/Victarion stuff):

1) His grand rope-bridge pronouncement of, ‘I am the storm. The first storm and the last,’ to his brother, just before he flings him onto the distant rocks below.

2) The sudden thunder and lightning that appears without warning just as his fleet ambushes Yara’s—who, presumably, sail the seas knowing that Euron is out there somewhere, driven wild by bloodlust, without any scout ships or lookouts. Well, I guess maybe Euron’s ninja ships took out the scouts under cover of magic-storm.

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Euron had the best and fastest ships of his fleet stolen by Yara and Theon. Then he built many times more that amount, using resources that we cannot possibly believe that the Iron Islands have. Others have talked about this already. I am far from the first person to point out some of the iffyness behind this hullaballoo, and at the risk of descending into a discussion of which of Scratchy’s ribs Itchy played on the xylophone, here’s Reddit user Roflcopter_Rego:

An ocean going vessel of similar scale to the ones shown would take a European shipyard of the 13th-17th century around 1 year to build. Assuming that they cut corners here and there, and giving some allowances for scale, perhaps a yard could do 2 ships a year. Let’s just double that, because why not, and call it 4 ships per year per yard. Let’s say Euron is bullshitting, and his 1000 ships is only 500 ships. Let’s also say it was a whole year, which is probably a good deal longer than when the order was actually given.

Even being as generous as we can possibly be, the Iron Islands would need to have some 120 shipyards to be able to build a fleet in that time, let alone the lack of resources. That is more shipyards than any pre-industrialised European power has ever had, even in the later Modern Era. Realistically, the Iron islands shouldn’t be able to support more than a dozen shipyards — these things are labour intensive and require specific skills, resources and infrastructure, especially before industrialisation. Just the timber required — not only what they’re made of, but the fuel required to heat and bend the planks, to transport the materials, to get the support, to replace tools, to build storage sheds…

It’s not possible. It would take a decade, at the very least.

Then the manpower — 500 ships is at least 10,000 men, but probably closer to 30,000. This would be around the size of the Lannister or Tyrell forces — the largest in Westeros — at peak size.

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Here’s the thing: I am not usually one for nitty gritty in my entertainment. I don’t need everything to be super accurate or tallied properly in a work of fiction lest it tar my enjoyment. That’s an accountant’s truth, and it’s a secondary concern when it comes to stories. They should resonate emotionally, first and foremost, and they should make sense from a dramatic perspective. The rest, the details, is good if it serves the story and the drama; if it doesn’t all exactly tally up at the same time, well, that’s easily forgivable. In other words, they might be a nice addition, but the best parts of ‘The Iliad’ are emphatically not the passages that feature the painstaking recollection of the number of black ships brought to war by each side.

All that is to say: Yes, Euron’s inexplicable ship-building, fleet-locating, sea-sneaking ways are annoying as fuck; but it’s his unearned appearance in the story at all at this crucial juncture that is what jars the most. His methods wouldn’t need to entirely make sense if he made sense. But heading into the final two seasons of the show, where the ultimate showdown between night and day is looming and in which all the players who may or may not ending up having a part to play in this apocalyptic battle are lining up to take sides—if they even believe if it is coming at all, that is—here, the sudden slotting in of an additional antagonist does not work. As TV show viewers we knew basically nothing of Euron before he appeared. And then in no time there he was: A colossal threat and major player on a board he had no business being on. He’s an artificial speed bump thrown into the path of a plot that has no room for him.

And I hate him and his stupid plot-convenient face (again, sorry, Pilou, nowt against you, mate).

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Game of Thrones has this power, more than probably any other show. It can make you hate like it’s personal.

But there is a crucial distinction to be made here.

We hated Joffrey. We hated the Red Wedding. We hated Ramsay Bolton. But the crucial thing is that that hate was earned; it arose naturally and (mostly anyway, some of Ramsay’s antics excluded) logically from the characters, their backstories and motivations, and the progression of the story. We hated those characters. The hate I have for Euron is not actually directed at him; it’s ire aimed at the writers. It’s not a cry of, ‘Argh! Joffrey, how could you?! What villainy!’ It’s a side-eye reserved for Benioff and Weiss. Stop padding. You’re taking me out of the story, I can see the gears behind the curtain turning. And no amount of pirate snarling or Queen-seducing chameleonic character behavior is gonna distract me from that.

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At least he got rid of some the Sand Snakes I guess.

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Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

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Mitch McConnell’s Repeal-Only Gambit Quickly Blows Up In His Face

After the repeal and replace bill, the AHCA, crashed and burned twice, Mitch McConnell (with the encouragement of both Trump and Pence) decided to push for a repeal-only option, an evil plan that would have taken healthcare away from 32 million people, increased premiums astronomically, and sent the insurance industry into a tailspin.

McConnell put that idea on the table last night, and within half a day, that plan was dead, too, acquiring the 3 GOP Senators needed to kill it:

Maine Senator Susan Collins is a no:

West Virginia Senator Caputo is a no:

Alaska Senator Murkowski is a no:

That’s the ballgame, even with only a 50 vote threshold (asshole):



It wouldn’t have passed in the House, anyway:

Both Dem and Republican governors quickly came out against it, too.

Trump is left with only two options: Make Obamacare work, or «let it fail,» i.e., purposely tank it and the American healthcare system, which would benefit only Democrats running for office in 2018:

Dick.

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