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The Energy and Anxiety of Oregon Football

The Oregon Duck mascot rides before the Oct. 18 Washington game.

The Energy and Anxiety of Oregon Football

The Hatfield-Dowlin Complex might be the most aggressive salute to Mom ever built.

Paid for by Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny, and named after their mothers, the University of Oregon’s 145,000-square-foot football building features rugs from Nepal, barber’s tools from Italy, a Finnish sound system, German tables, Ferrari-leathered seats and urinals from Turkey.

On the outside, the complex of offices and training facilities is sleek and black—an angular, armored Death Star. “It is kind of an ominous looking building,” offensive-line coach Steve Greatwood says.

“I guess it does send some kind of statement subliminally,” Greatwood says. “Maybe there’s an evil empire in there.” Or maybe that’s just they want us to think.

It is at once a confident and anxious time on the campus of college football’s coolest program. On Saturday night, the No. 5-ranked Ducks (7-1)—the sport’s winningest team since 2010—are home to face Stanford (5-3), which is having a down year. Stanford, however, is where Oregon’s season has gone south the past two years. The Ducks will either move one step closer to a spot in the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff, or continue vexing their surprisingly insecure fans.

John Free and his wife Karna Jo are known as the Grateful Ducks. They’re from Olympia, Wash., and have been attending games since 1967. His beard is dyed bright yellow and green. He has seen a lot of bad football, and a lot of great football. He’s philosophical. “Every team can turn around,” he says, “just like every rich man can be poor by nightfall.”

SpaceShipTwo Flew on Untested Rocket

SpaceShipTwo Flew on Untested Rocket

Dave Majumdar and Clive Irving

Richard Branson’s plane meant to carry tourists into space never tested a new engine using new fuel before it flew—and exploded—over California on Friday.

SpaceShipTwo was testing a new plastic-based rocket fuel for the first time Friday. An eyewitness told The Daily Beast that the spacecraft exploded shortly after the rocket motor was ignited. The spaceship had not flown a powered flight in about nine months because engineers were switching out its original engine that used rubber-based rocket fuel for the new engine, which used plastic-based fuel.

Scaled Composites, which built the spacecraft, had experienced some problems with the new rocket, which until Friday had only been tested on the ground. While the new motor holds much promise of greatly increased performance, there were some serious risks associated with the new rocket—as Friday’s incident proved.

With the new rocket installed, SpaceShipTwo was expected to fly more than five times higher than it had ever flown before—right to the edge of space at 62 miles above the Earth. In some ways, SpaceShipTwo, which was to reach a maximum speed of about 2,500 miles per hour during its ascent into space, was pushing the limits of its virtually untested design.

It was not the first time Virgin pushed limits to get into space. A new biography about SpaceShipTwo’s patron, Richard Branson, by investigative journalist Tom Bower makes that clear. Rocket engineers Geoff Daly and Caroline Campbell were critical of one of the components of the original rubber-based fuel: nitrous oxide. Campbell warned: “Nitrous oxide can explode on its own.” Another toxic component of the fuel was hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of rubber. Campbell said that when the engine ran there was “so much soot coming out the back, burning rubber, that it could be carcinogenic.”

In 2007, the unattached rocket engine using that fuel was being tested on the ground in the Mojave desert when it exploded and killed three of 40 engineers observing the test. Investigators found that safety regulations at the site had been violated and that the men killed had been too close to the rocket motor.

After tests this January, it was decided to the fuel powering the rocket engine should have its rubber removed. The reason was not toxicity but that the fuel did not provide consistent and stable power, and the test pilots had to shut down the engine prematurely. Before SpaceShipTwo could fly with the new fuel aboard it had to be extensively tested on the ground. As those tests were taking place, Branson told Bloomberg TV: “It took us a lot longer to build rockets that we felt completely comfortable with.”

Crowds Jeer Eric Frein, Suspect in Killing of Pennsylvania State Trooper

Crowds Jeer Eric Frein, Suspect in Killing of Pennsylvania State Trooper

MILFORD, Pa. — The crowd was waiting Friday as Eric M. Frein, the suspect accused of killing a state trooper and wounding another, was brought out the front door of the Pike County Courthouse at the center of this prim village.

Officers leading Mr. Frein stopped momentarily, allowing bystanders to get a look at the man who had been the subject of an intense manhunt since the Sept. 12 ambush outside the nearby state trooper barracks in Blooming Grove.

Many heckled and jeered as Mr. Frein was led through the crowd. “You’re not a real soldier,” one man shouted, in reference to his military role-playing. Cheers erupted as Mr. Frein was placed in the back of a police cruiser and driven away.

Inside the courthouse earlier, Mr. Frein had heard the charges, including first-degree murder and attempted murder, that he faced in the shooting that killed Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, 38, and wounded Alex T. Douglass.

The second-floor courtroom was ringed with state police and sheriff’s officers when Mr. Frein, shackled and in an orange jumpsuit, was escorted in — head down, lips pursed, his full head of hair combed back.

Mr. Frein, who had bruises on the left side of his face and a gash across his nose, appeared healthy, well fed and cleanshaven, apart from a carefully trimmed goatee. His appearance seemed to lend credibility to police theories that the self-taught survival enthusiast had been taking refuge in empty cabins and other vacant structures and living on supplies he had hidden in the woods while planning the shootings.

He answered softly, “yes” when the Magisterial District Court judge, Shannon L. Muir, asked if he understood the charges against him. His voice was a bit more forceful when asked if he understood that he could petition the court to appoint a lawyer for him if he could not afford one.

Judge Muir ordered him held without bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 12.

The seven-week, multimillion dollar manhunt for Mr. Frein ended about 6 p.m., Thursday — Mischief Night — when a tactical squad for the United States Marshals Service stumbled upon Mr. Frein at the abandoned Birchwood Pocono Airpark, about 30 miles from the barracks in Blooming Grove.

On Friday morning, Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said Mr. Frein had been surprised while walking across a weed-covered runway not far from an abandoned hangar he had apparently been using as a hide-out.

The cut on his nose and several bruises on the left side of his face, Colonel Bivens said, were “something that occurred during his flight through the woods.”

Fear Lessons in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Doctor Who

Fear Lessons in Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Doctor Who

By Travis Langley, Ph.D.

For Halloween, guest writer Dr. Janina Scarlet looks at what Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Lord of the Rings teach us about fear. What can these fantastic examples reveal about how nonfictional human beings suffer or cope with fears and anxieties?

Continuous avoidance of feared situations is not helpful for many reasons. First, if we avoid the feared situation, we do not have the opportunity to learn that we are actually capable of facing our fears. It’s kind of like wanting to win the lottery but never playing, although our chances of conquering our fears are much, much higher.

Five Facts Regarding Sleep Terrors and Nightmares

Five Facts Regarding Sleep Terrors and Nightmares

By Mark Borigini, M.D.

Disrupted sleep is the fuel that keeps the fire of chronic pain roaring. Dreams, sometimes of the frightening variety, can keep us from a sound sleep. But there are other terrors lurking in the dark of the bedroom. We are often told the unknown can cause fear; maybe a little learning about why our EEGs go bump in the night can assuage at least a little of that fear.

Inflammatory Diet Linked to Colon Cancer, Metabolic Risk

Inflammatory Diet Linked to Colon Cancer, Metabolic Risk

By Conner Middelmann-Whitney

Inflammation can fuel cancer, heart disease and a whole host of other disorders. Diet plays an important part in fueling -- or cooling -- inflammation. Scientists are developing an index that will measure the inflammatory properties of foods. Until it's ready for consumer use, just eat a Mediterranean diet: It's not just delicious, but highly anti-inflammatory!

U.K. to Repay First World War Bonds

U.K. to Repay First World War Bonds

By Jason Douglas and Ben Edwards

The U.K. Treasury plans to repay part of the debt issued to finance Britain’s role in World War I.

The Treasury said Friday that it would on Feb. 1 repay bonds worth £218 million ($348.8 million) that were issued by Winston Churchill in 1927 to refinance debts the U.K. racked up during the four-year conflict that claimed millions of lives.

During the war the U.K. government issued debt on the back of large marketing campaigns urging members of the public to make patriotic investments to fund the war effort.

A man stands on top of a battle tank in Trafalgar Square, London, in December 1917, during a rally to promote war bonds.

The bonds being redeemed, known as consols, are held by 11,200 investors and pay an annual rate of interest of 4%, the treasury said. Some 92% of holders own less than £10,000 of the bonds, suggesting the majority of investors remain individuals rather than institutions.

The bonds were also used to refinance debt stretching back as far as the South Sea Bubble financial crisis in the 18th century and debt used to fund the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars, the treasury said.

Unlike traditional bonds that have a fixed maturity date, this debt was undated, giving the government an option to leave the bonds outstanding or repay them, if for instance, it can borrow more cheaply.

“The treasury is confident that it can deliver value for money to current and future taxpayers by refinancing this borrowing now at lower rates than the 4% it is currently paying,” the treasury said in a statement.
Apple Chief’s Coming Out: ‘This Will Resonate’

Apple Chief’s Coming Out: ‘This Will Resonate’


Tim Cook said the trade-off to his own privacy was worthwhile, “if hearing that the C.E.O. of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is.”

As Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, put it, “He’s chief executive of the Fortune One. Something has consequences because of who does it, and this is Tim Cook and Apple. This will resonate powerfully.”

Trevor Burgess, the openly gay chief executive of C1 Financial in Florida, and one of the first publicly gay chief executives of a public company, said Tim Cook used “the metaphor of laying a brick on the ‘path towards justice.' ” But, “This is more like 600 million bricks,” Mr. Burgess said. “He has the most influential voice in global business.”

Given widespread rumors that he was gay, including being ranked No. 1 on Out magazine’s list of the most powerful gay people last year, the fact that Mr. Cook is gay is less surprising than his willingness to publicly acknowledge and embrace it.

He certainly made the announcement from a position of strength: Apple just completed the most successful product introductions in its history, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and reported record cash flow earlier this month. Apple’s latest fiscal year “was one for the record books,” Mr. Cook told investors. Mr. Cook has survived the intense glare of attention since succeeding Apple’s legendary founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011.

Still, Mr. Cook was plainly reluctant, and, as he put it in his essay in Bloomberg Businessweek, “I don’t seek to draw attention to myself.” But, he wrote, he came to the realization that “If hearing that the C.E.O. of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

Obama looks past terrible Tuesday

Obama looks past terrible Tuesday

Obama looks past terrible Tuesday

By Brian Hughes

Amid 2014 blues, Team Obama predicts long-term validation

Facing the prospect of an embarrassing defeat for his party in Tuesday's midterms, President Obama and his advisers are increasingly looking past looming setbacks and focusing instead on how the public will view his record after leaving office.

It's an entirely predictable aim for a second-term president with waning popularity and political leverage. Like his predecessor, George W. Bush, Obama remains insistent that his accomplishments have been overshadowed by the daily rigors of governing in a hyper-partisan environment.

As Washington remains consumed by the likely Republican takeover of the Senate, Team Obama would argue that the president's record will look far more impressive in hindsight. And they say that Obama isn't nearly as politically toxic as suggested, even as vulnerable Democrats distance themselves from the president whenever possible.

Obama's defenders point to the 2016 electoral map, which is more favorable for Democrats, as proof that the president has not endangered his party's long-term viability. They also predict Republicans will eventually embrace the core elements of Obamacare and that the president will eventually receive credit for steady improvements in the economy.

How Does Clinton Overcome Obama?

How Does Clinton Overcome Obama?

By James Oliphant

Her biggest problem won’t be age, her campaign strategy, or GOP attacks. It will be that many voters lack faith in government.

f Hillary Clinton forges ahead and runs for president, she'll be facing an electorate more disillusioned and more cynical than the one she faced before—and one perhaps less likely to respond to her message.

For that, she can thank the current president, Barack Obama. And it won't simply be because his approval rating is underwater. It's more than that. Seven years ago, both Clinton and Obama ran as curatives to the missteps of George W. Bush's administration. For Democrats, it was a singular political moment, a rare opportunity to energize the electorate and reaffirm the party's core values. And ultimately, voters favored Obama's change-agent appeal over Clinton's more establishment-driven pitch that emphasized experience and credentials.

It's fair to say that moment is long gone. And the hope that Obama could restore some order to a dysfunctional government seems to have vaporized with it, if current polls are to be believed. It may be Clinton now who has to pick up the pieces and somehow make the Democratic case for an activist, effective federal bureaucracy, an argument that has become harder to make.

Obama "has made a lot of mistakes. People thought he was an agent of change, but what he didn't have was executive experience," says Al From, the founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and a top adviser to President Bill Clinton. "Running the government is more than the politics of good intentions."

The combination of frustration over the Iraq War and the government's halting response to Hurricane Katrina helped do in Bush—and by extension, John McCain in 2008. The legacy that Obama would bequeath to Clinton is more nuanced, pockmarked by a cascade of smaller-scale institutional failures—particularly in the president's second term—all of which, added together, suggest not a shining city on a hill, but more of a rickety shack by the railroad tracks.
Republican senators warn Obama against executive action on amnesty

Republican senators warn Obama against executive action on amnesty

  - The Washington Times

Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham cite border security, terrorism concerns

Three of President Obama’s GOP partners on immigration warned him Thursday not to try to act on his own to grant legal status to illegal immigrants, saying the border is not yet secure enough from either illegal immigration or potential terrorist threats.

Sens. Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham — who all collaborated with Mr. Obama and Democrats last year to pass a broad legalization bill in the Senate — said in a letter that the president lacks the legal authority to act on his own, and that it would be a mistake anyway, because it would invite more illegal immigrants to try crossing at a time when the border isn’t ready to handle it.

The new letter challenging Mr. Obama marks a stunning turnaround for the three senators, who had battled fiercely with many in their own party to press for action on immigration.

They had previously warned that Republicans needed to take a stand on the issue or else risk losing Hispanic voters’ support, but made no mention of that in their letter, instead saying border security should be the priority.

“No action should be taken to legalize undocumented immigrants who are living and working in the United States until we have properly secured our southern border and provided for effective enforcement of immigration laws,” the senators said.

Nurse Hickox: 'Flaming' liberals love her. 'Bully' conservatives don't.

Kaci Hickox's defiant bike ride. (AP)

Kaci Hickox's defiant bike ride. (AP)

Nurse Hickox: 'Flaming' liberals love her. 'Bully' conservatives don't.

Justin Moyer

She’s a symbol. But of what?

Not since “Hawkeye” Pierce and Frank Burns jousted over “Hot Lips” Houlihan in “M*A*S*H*” have liberals and conservatives fought so heatedly over a nurse.

When Kaci Hickox, RN — fresh from fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone — spoke out against a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie was the first Republican into the breach. While refraining from attacking Hickox personally, Christie took up an unusual rallying cry for a member of the party of Reagan: the need for big government to contain a crisis.

Liberal donors prepare for disappointment

Liberal donors prepare for disappointment

U.S. currency is pictured. | Getty

Democratic operatives, worried that election night could be a major disappointment, are preparing a damage control offensive meant to convince the rich liberals who opened their wallets wide in 2014 that their money wasn’t spent in vain.

Efforts are being made to temper donors’ expectations by reminding them that oddsmakers had been predicting a Republican wave, while emphasizing the potential long-term impact of sustained big spending to promote liberal candidates and ideas.

The goal is to avoid a big money drop-off from rich Democrats who had initially been reluctant to embrace super PACs but who came off the sidelines in a substantial way for the first time in 2014. The plan is to quickly shift their focus to 2016, when Democrats face a much more hospitable Senate map and a potentially historic presidential campaign.

The influential Democracy Alliance club of wealthy liberal donors is convening a closed-door conference a week after the election called “To 2020 and Beyond: Our Progressive Vision.” Meanwhile, major donors and operatives supporting Hillary Clinton’s prospective presidential campaign are planning to urge her to announce her intentions in the coming weeks to re-energize major donors behind her candidacy or, if she passes on the race, allow them to rally behind another candidate.

“If Hilary is going to run, it would be best to do it quickly post-election,” said Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, a Democracy Alliance member who is on the national finance council of a super PAC paving the way for a Clinton run. “Any midterm election hangover … would resolve quickly.”

Military Upset with White House 'Micromanagement' of ISIS War


Military Upset with White House 'Micromanagement' of ISIS War

The Pentagon brass placed in charge of implementing Obama’s war against ISIS are getting fed up with the short leash the White House put them on.

Top military leaders in the Pentagon and in the field are growing increasingly frustrated by the tight constraints the White House has placed on the plans to fight ISIS and train a new Syrian rebel army.

As the American-led battle against ISIS stretches into its fourth month, the generals and Pentagon officials leading the air campaign and preparing to train Syrian rebels are working under strict White House orders to keep the war contained within policy limits. The National Security Council has given precise instructions on which rebels can be engaged, who can be trained, and what exactly those fighters will do when they return to Syria. Most of the rebels to be trained by the U.S. will never be sent to fight against ISIS.

Making matters worse, military officers and civilian Pentagon leaders tell The Daily Beast, is the ISIS war's decision-making process, run by National Security Advisor Susan Rice. It's been manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details. Officials talk of sudden and frequent meetings of the National Security Council and the so-called "Principals Committee" of top defense, intelligence, and foreign policy officials (an NSC and three PCs in one week this month); a barrage of questions from the NSC to the agencies that create mountains of paperwork for overworked staffers; and NSC insistence on deciding minor issues even at the operational level.

"We are getting a lot of micromanagement from the White House. Basic decisions that should take hours are taking days sometimes”

Krauthammer: Election Day looking like a referendum on competence

Election Day looking like a referendum on competence

Is this election really about nothing? Democrats might like to think so, but it’s not.

First, like all U.S. elections, it’s about the economy. The effect of the weakest recovery in two generations is reflected in President Obama’s 13-point underwater ratings for his handling of the economy.

Moreover, here is a president who proclaims the reduction of inequality to be the great cause of his administration. Yet it has radically worsened in his six years. The 1 percent are doing splendidly in the Fed-fueled stock market, even as median income has fallen.

Second is the question of competence. The list of disasters is long, highlighted by the Obamacare rollout, the Veterans Affairs scandal and the pratfalls of the once-lionized Secret Service. Beyond mere incompetence is government intrusiveness and corruption, as in the overreach of national security surveillance and IRS targeting of politically disfavored advocacy groups.

Ebola has crystallized the collapse of trust in state authorities. The overstated assurances, the ever-changing protocols, the startling contradictions — the Army quarantines soldiers returning from West Africa while the White House denounces governors who did precisely the same with returning health-care workers — have undermined government in general, this government in particular.

Obama’s clumsy attempt to restore confidence by appointing an Ebola czar has turned farcical. When the next crisis broke — a doctor home from West Africa develops Ebola after having traversed significant parts of New York City between his return and his infection — the czar essentially disappeared. Perhaps he is practicing self-quarantine.

But there’s a third factor contributing to the nation’s deepening anxiety — a sense of helplessness and confusion abroad as, in the delicate phrase of our secretary of defense, “the world is exploding all over.”

Dreamers heckle Clinton in Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Hillary Clinton was heckled repeatedly during a rally Thursday in potential 2016 rival Martin O’Malley’s home state of Maryland, when more than a dozen pro-immigrant activists staggered their protests so they lasted throughout most of her speech.

The rolling protests by members of the group United We Dream came during a rally at the University of Maryland for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. They also came nearly a week after so-called Dreamers interrupted Clinton’s speech in North Carolina, where she was campaigning for Sen. Kay Hagan; the activists reportedly said they were mishandled by officials at that rally when they were being led out.

I don't want my kid to marry a Republican

Confessions of a ‘Partyist’: Yes, I Judge Your Politics

By Jonathan Chait

How would you feel if your child married a supporter of the opposing party? I’ll admit it: I wouldn’t like it very much. Partisan affinity is not the only, or even the most important, quality in my children’s prospective future mates. I would certainly prefer a kind, well-adjusted Republican over an angry, emotionally unstable Democrat. Still, all things being equal, I'd rather not greet my child's future spouse with a copy of Bill O'Reilly's latest tucked under his or her arm. Does that make me a bigot?

Cass Sunstein and David Brooks seem to believe it does. Indeed, in keeping with our culture’s addiction to grievance, they have taken up a new term to express their disapproval of my preferences: “partyism.” This new term of art transforms the act of judging a person’s political beliefs into a kind of prejudice, and therefore to render it disreputable. “The destructive power of partyism,” laments Sunstein, “is extending well beyond politics into people's behavior in daily life.” Brooks goes even further. “To judge human beings on political labels is to deny and ignore what is most important about them,” he argues. “It is to profoundly devalue them. That is the core sin of prejudice, whether it is racism or partyism.

Brooks and Sunstein (who published his column a month ago) both cite the same two pieces of social-science research. The first is a study by Shanto Iyengar and Sean J. Westwood that found that respondents to various psychological tests display deep, implicit distrust for members of the opposing party. The second is a 2010 poll finding that 49 percent of Republicans, and 33 percent of Democrats would feel “displeased” if their child married a supporter of the opposite party, up from 5 percent and 4 percent in 1960.

Jennifer Lawrence and What It Means to Be Hollywood’s Top Female Star

Jennifer Lawrence and What It Means to Be Hollywood’s Top Female Star

By Bilge Ebiri

As we revealed on Monday, Jennifer Lawrence topped Vulture’s Most Valuable Stars List this year, and although we only started compiling these lists in 2012, the fact that a woman has topped it for the first time this year seems like cause for rejoicing. How often has an actress been perceived as the biggest star in Hollywood? Not that often. Look to a more established metric: The Quigley Publishing Co. has been publishing its Motion Picture Exhibitors’ Poll of the Top 10 Box-Office Draws since the early 1930s. Since 1967, a woman has topped it only three times — Lawrence in its most recent poll, Sandra Bullock in 2009, and Julia Roberts in 1999. That’s a lot of dudes.

Of course, once upon a time, actresses were typically bigger ticket-sellers than men: In the 1930s, Shirley Temple regularly topped the Quigley poll, while Julie Andrews and Doris Day pretty much split the 1960s between themselves. But that was a different Hollywood, one driven for decades by female moviegoers. Today’s movie industry is slowly (sloowly) starting to rediscover the power of the female viewer, and several stars still in their prime could be positioned to take advantage of it, from relative newcomers like Shailene Woodley, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, and a Star Wars–bound Lupita Nyong’o, to relative veterans like Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Zoe Saldana, and Anne Hathaway (not to mention Bullock and Lawrence themselves).

Not all of those actress will be No. 1 someday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of them made it to the top spot in the coming years. But for now, Lawrence rules the land, and she has earned it, through sheer talent and some smart choices. The film industry today is increasingly divided into two kinds of movies: blockbusters and awards bait (or, as filmmakers like to call them, “passion projects”). At the age of 24, Lawrence has mastered both. She already has three Oscar nominations and one win under her belt. She’s also the lead of one of the world’s biggest action franchises (The Hunger Games) and a major player in another (X-Men). Meanwhile, her more serious movies make money, too: Last year’s American Hustle was a huge hit, as was Silver Linings Playbook the year before it.

As an actress, Lawrence’s versatility is astounding. Remember that her first Oscar nomination came for the gritty, Ozarks-set indie drama Winter’s Bone, in which she brought to the part of a troubled rural Missouri teen a desperate, survivalist drive as well as a real sense of fear and danger. I still remember the electricity around that performance at the film’s Sundance premiere. She virtually carried the entire movie on her back; you sensed that this was not only an actress of incredible skill, but great intuition. When I interviewed Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik a few weeks ago, she recalled how Lawrence was deeply intimidated by the far more Method style of co-star John Hawkes, and that the actress chose to use that to feed her own performance. She was just 18 years old at the time of filming.

Suspected cop-killer Frein taken into custody

Undated file photo provided by the Pennsylvania State Police shows Eric Frein. (AP Photo/Pennsylvania State Police)

Suspected cop-killer Frein taken into custody

Eric Frein, the suspected cop-killer who for six weeks has been the target of a Poconos manhunt involving more than 1,000 law-enforcement officers, surrendered Thursday without incident, officials said.

Frein, accused of killing one trooper and wounding a second, was captured north of Tannersville in the Poconos region, said Edward Hanko, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia division of the FBI. He was unarmed and no shots were fired as he was taken into custody, Hanko said.

State Police spokeswoman Trooper Connie Devens confirmed that Frein was in custody, but said no further information would be released at this time.

The self-described survivalist allegedly killed State Police Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass in an ambush attack outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove on Sept. 12.

The attack set off a laborious - and expensive - search in the Pocono woods, costing several million dollars and disrupting daily routines and crippling the tourist business during the peak fall-foliage season.

Police said they found proof Frein had planned such an attack and retreat for years, adding that they found a book on sniper training in his bedroom.

Documents they filed also showed that Frein allegedly searched the Internet in 2012 and 2013 for information on police raids, cellphone tracking, and manhunt tactics.

Two weeks ago, officials said they had recovered journal pages handwritten by Frein at a campsite that they said reinforced their resolve to find him.

"I will tell you, after reading this cold-blooded and absolutely chilling account, I can only describe Eric Frein's actions as pure evil," Col. George Bivens of the state police said at the time.

The Cultural Impact of Tim Cook's Announcement

The Cultural Impact of Tim Cook's Announcement

Some gay workers still face a stigma in the workplace. Human Rights Campaign’s Jeff Krehely discusses how Tim Cook’s essay on being gay could help further civil rights.

How to Back Hillary Into a Corner

How to Back Hillary Into a Corner


A report from the secret race to answer 2016’s most pressing question.

Over the next couple of hours, Plouffe told Clinton and two of her closest advisers—longtime aide Cheryl Mills and John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and now Obama’s White House counselor—what she needed to do to avoid another surprise upset. His advice, according to two people with knowledge of the session, looked a lot like Obama’s winning strategy in 2012: First, prioritize the use of real-time analytics, integrating data into every facet of her operation in a way Clinton’s clumsy, old-school campaign had failed to do in 2008. Second, clearly define a rationale for her candidacy that goes beyond the mere facts of her celebrity and presumed electability, rooting her campaign in a larger Democratic mission of economic equality. Third, settle on one, and only one, core messaging strategy and stick with it, to avoid the tactical, news cycle-driven approach that Plouffe had exploited so skillfully against her in the 2008 primaries.

In Plouffe’s view, articulated in the intervening years, Clinton had been too defensive, too reactive, too aware of her own weaknesses, too undisciplined in 2008. His team would goad her into making mistakes, knowing that run-of-the-mill campaign attacks (like Obama’s claim she merely had “tea,” not serious conversation, with world leaders as first lady) would get under her skin and spur a self-destructive overreaction (Clinton responded to the tea quip by falsely portraying a 1990s goodwill trip to Bosnia with the comedian Sinbad as a dangerous wartime mission). She was too easily flustered.

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Apple CEO Tim Cook comes out: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

Cook acknowledged in the essay published on Thursday that while his sexual orientation has not been a secret to many people at Apple (and has long been discussed and debated by outsiders, too), he has never before spoken publicly about the issue.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” Cook wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek. “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Cook took the helm of one of the world’s most successful companies after the death of its founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011.

The scrutiny that constantly follows the company inevitably centered on Cook. In profiles, Cook never explicitly addressed his sexual orientation, despite the sea change in public attitudes across the country about the issue of gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Ted Cruz draws line from Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton

Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are pictured in this composite image. | AP Photos

Ted Cruz draws line from Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton


Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday took a thinly veiled shot at Jeb Bush, saying that Republicans will ensure a Hillary Clinton presidency if they run a more moderate candidate in 2016.

Appearing on CNBC, the Texas Republican and tea party favorite was asked about Bush and said that presidential candidates from the party’s establishment wing — like Arizona Sen. John McCain in 2008 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 — consistently fail to turn out millions of voters.

“[I]f we run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole [in 1996] or a John McCain or Mitt Romney, we will end up with the same result, which is millions of people will stay home on Election Day, which is what happened for all three of them,” the senator said. “And if we run another candidate like that, Hillary Clinton will be the next president.” Clinton, the former secretary of state, is widely considered to be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination if she chooses to run.

Why Hollywood Loves Christopher Nolan


Matthew McConaughey in director Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar.’

Why Hollywood Loves Christopher Nolan

By Ben Fritz

In an age of franchise films and hired-hand directors, few filmmakers are still treated with the deference of a Steven Spielberg or a James Cameron—except Christopher Nolan.

For a big-ticket movie, the science-fiction epic “Interstellar” is highly unusual. It cost a hefty $165 million budget to make, but is also wholly original—that is, not based on a comic book, TV show, or young-adult novel. Amid much hoopla, it opens across the country on Nov. 7, after two days of special showings in 250 theaters.

The last time a studio made a movie that cost so much and wasn’t part of a “franchise” was 2010’s “Inception.” Like “Interstellar,” it was directed by Christopher Nolan, one of the very few directors to whom Hollywood issues a virtual carte blanche—along with extreme veneration.

Mr. Nolan’s ability to combine box-office success with artistic ambition has given him an extraordinary amount of clout in the industry. Studios pay him as much as they do elite stars. Warner Bros. provides him with all the benefits of a studio deal with no strings attached. They indulge his personal passions—his love for traditional celluloid over digital technology, his fondness for IMAX big screens, his penchant for extreme secrecy. And they leave him alone, letting him go away and make his movies with little interference.

Time Is Running Out for Obama on Syria

Time Is Running Out for Obama on Syria

The idea that U.S.-backed Syrian rebels defeat ISIS and force Assad to the negotiating table has absolutely nothing to do with what’s happening on the ground.
Quarantined Nurse Takes Defiant Bike Ride

Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, were followed by a state trooper as they cycled on Thursday morning in Fort Kent, Maine.

Credit Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

Quarantined Nurse Takes Defiant Bike Ride


Kaci Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, may be heading for a legal challenge to the confinement ordered by officials in Maine.

Rupert Murdoch urges media firms to unite to fight Amazon and Netflix

Rupert Murdoch speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach.

Rupert Murdoch urges media firms to unite to fight Amazon and Netflix

Dominic Rushe in New York

“As an industry, we need a competitor - a serious competitor - to Netflix and Amazon,” Murdoch told the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California.

21st Century Fox, which he chairs, is one of the partners in Hulu, a Netflix rival to Netflix, alongside Disney and NBCUniversal. The relationship has been a fraught one. Jason Kilar, Hulu’s CEO, left abruptly last year. His new video startup, Vessel, is backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

But Murdoch said the companies were now working together. “I think we’re all on the same page,” Murdoch said.

His comments come after Time Warner announced it would launch an internet-only version of HBO, the popular cable channel that is home to Game of Thrones, Girls and True Detective. The move has shaken up the cable industry, where HBO is one of the primary drivers of new subscriptions.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Romances Hollywood


Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Romances Hollywood

By Ben Fritz

Jack Ma’s tour of Hollywood this week is taking him to studio lots and an NBA game, but he isn't just sight-seeing.

The executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., which also has film and video-on-demand businesses, is meeting with the heads of several Hollywood studios, including Sony Corp. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Comcast Corp., Universal Pictures, 21st Century Fox Inc.'s  Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom Inc., Paramount Pictures, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., according to knowledgeable people.

A spokesperson for Alibaba declined to comment.

At a meeting with Sony executives Tuesday, Ma discussed his desire to make more culturally significant films in China. He also raised the possibility of the two companies working together to co-finance upcoming releases, said a person familiar with the discussion.

Ma is expected to discuss similar topics, as well as his company’s VOD platform, with other studio executives. Alibaba’s VOD service can show movies even if they didn’t make it past China’s import quotas onto movie screens. In July, Lions Gate announced a deal to offer its movies via a new subscription streaming service on Alibaba set top boxes in China.

The Lions Gate-Alibaba venture is one of several VOD businesses in China already streaming Hollywood movies and television shows.
The Stigma of Masculinity

The Stigma of Masculinity

By Aqualus M. Gordon, Ph.D.

Many men struggle to define their masculinity and themselves as men in a culture that increasingly stigmatizes things like sexuality, aggressiveness, and competitiveness.

The Mother Jones Guide to Evil NBA Owners

NBA owners matrix

How Technology Is Killing NFL Defenses

The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger threw for 522 yards on Sunday, one of the best passing days in league history.

How Technology Is Killing NFL Defenses

Kevin Clark

What Once Was a Fair Fight Now Favors the Offense; Roethlisberger’s Big Day

Until now, the chess match before the snap had always been a fair fight. Offenses get to come out in a set formation and can make minor tweaks—a different route here, an adjusted blocking assignment there. But defenses can change their whole scheme based on what they see from the offense. They have always had the element of surprise, the ability to disguise a blitz or sneak up on an unsuspecting lineman, all at a moment’s notice, just by pointing or hollering to a teammate to make the switch.

But then technology intervened. For about the last four seasons, players have had tablets to watch film on. This year, the effects are being felt for perhaps the first time. “Things that used to be subtle, like a safety lining two yards outside of a hash mark, is now a dead giveaway,” said former NFL lineman Shaun O’Hara, now an analyst at the NFL Network.

This has created a world in which players could watch significantly more game film than they could be before. They could watch their opponents’ third-down plays at the grocery store, or, some players admit, in the bathroom. It is a world in which everyone knows everything about everyone. Players have watched game film for decades, but they never had this much information.

And that, according to Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine, favors the offense.

“We have to tell our guys, ‘Don’t be that guy, don’t be the sucker on the tape,’ ” Pettine said. “You can’t tip off anything anymore, whether that’s a stance or even the eyes. There are so many little things they can find now, and all they need to do is find one.”

As a result, coaches say, getting to the quarterback has never been harder. Offenses can adjust quickly once they identify a blitzer, leaving more guys in to block on a given play and completely stopping the opposing pass rush.

“Access to video is the best thing we have,” said New Orleans Saints offensive-line coach Bret Ingalls. “We get to say, ‘Hey, every time a guy on this team points to the guard, it means he’ll try this or that.’ ”

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