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Katy Tur, Tony Dokoupil balance basement broadcasting, being parents through pandemic



MSNBC anchor, Katy Tur, and her husband, Tony Dokoupil of “CBS This Morning” have read the phrase “challenging times” hundreds of times across their news scripts through the months of the coronavirus outbreak. As grim as the daily statistics seem to grow, the couple finds a reason to smile every morning, as Dokoupil preps for his early-morning stint as co-anchor alongside Anthony Mason and Gayle King, including a stop in the makeup chair, where his wife ensures that he is camera-ready, at least from the neck up.

The teamwork between the two is unquestionable, as Katy Tur takes her own anchor chair from the basement to pull her 2 PM ET shift for the afternoon.

Somehow, both working broadcasters manage to put two shows, from two separate networks, on-air from Monday through Friday, and as they demonstrated for their May 17 “CBS Sunday Morning” profile, they still have broad smiles. Their one-year-old son, Teddy, is partly responsible for their joyful countenance, but a partnership is central to their family and work success.

Katy Tur beams as Tony Dokopil’s subject

The entire television production empire was caught off its heels by the sweeping and necessary mandates in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Suddenly, every major network converted to broadcasting from home, as every anchor fell under the watchful critiques of the Room Rater.

Katy Tur’s broad smile could barely fit in the basement headquarters of Broadcasting Central for the couple, as she described being “so privileged” to be the subject of her husband’s “Sunday Morning” assignment.

Tur was the first to launch basement broadcasts, but the ever-alert and sprightly journalist was a pronounced presence while she was embedded with the Trump presidential campaign. Katy Tur was “the one” who called out the candidate openly and on record for seeking the Russian release of Clinton e-mails, and thus, implicit meddling.

Katy was also manhandled by security at a campaign rally, where she was verbally threatened.

In her book, “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History” the journalist chronicled her experiences, and her journalistic expertise was also recognized. Katy Tur earned the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2017.

She married Tony Dokoupil in October of the same year, and her pregnancy with Teddy was tracked by her followers from her studio news desk almost to the minute of his birth last April.

A sweetly yawning Teddy contentedly sat on his mommy’s lap as he munched on cookies from daddy during the interview. Both parents shared their different styles in preparing for the day’s news.

Master multitasking to more casual between Katy Tur and Tony Dokoupil

A touch of the luster has worn off for Katy Tur, who loved that it was “novel and cool” give Tony Dokoupil his scripts every morning, while her hair was still in curlers. Now, that allure has become “not so much” in the chief assistant’s words.

Tony marvels at how Katy can multitask (a requirement for most new moms) while stationed at her laptop in the morning.

She, in turn, is mesmerized by his gift for preparation on a story and knowing the perfect statistic or piece of data to implant. “He’s a great researcher,” praises Tur.

Clearly, Katy doesn’t take on the role of wardrobe mistress for her casually dapper husband. She points out a makeup smear on his pants and the socks with sandals infraction in footwear. “It’s business above and Birkenstocks below,” Tony Dokoupil jokes.

Katy Tur has never shied away from frank commentary, and she confessed to one guest how she felt “stuck in a hamster wheel, lost in this house.” Forced domesticity does have its blessings.

Mixed blessings and mornings for Tony Dokoupil and Katy Tur

No one can fault Tony Dokoupil on his playtime protocol or preparation for floor time with Teddy.

Based on his frequent fatherly comments, the co-anchor remains an actively involved father to his two older children as well. Dad points out that neither he nor Katy Tur would have witnessed their son’s first steps under normal conditions, and of course, those joys are irreplaceable.

Katy’s favorite time of the day is “9:00 AM in the morning,” after Tony wraps up the early shift from his padded chair and joins the family for breakfast. In more normal times, dad is out the door at 4 AM.

Tony did get accused of sleeping on the job by some “CBS This Morning” viewers and non-viewers alike some days ago when a glance of the newsman looking down was caught during an impromptu shot. When Gayle King brought the matter to attention, Dokoupil described that his dozing stance was much more “head back and drool to the side,” as he said Katy could happily verify.

Not every up-close and personal family moment is fit for morning TV Shows.

Unity and love still rule the day for these still fairly-newlyweds and seasoned news journalists, who closed the interview in a loving embrace. Nonetheless, it didn’t take any prompting to get Katy Tur or Tony Dokoupil to say that they can’t wait to “go back to the office” and start living whatever routine is possible as part of the new normal. This family can testify that together can work, and usually, it’s better.


Rick and Morty recap: In Childrick of Mort, big daddy Rick fights a god



Rick thinks of himself as a god, so this fight was really inevitable.

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

(Warning: Spoilers ahead for the May 24 episode of Rick and Morty.) The Sanchez-Smith family start off Sunday’s new Rick and Morty episode, Childrick of Mort, all together as a family, as dad Jerry drags them off on a family outing. But this ain’t the Brady Bunch’s camping episode. Jerry’s dream gets derailed when it turns out that Rick once had, uh, sexual congress with a sentient planet, and the planet now wants its alleged baby daddy to show up and represent. 

Show co-creator Dan Harmon said in a video that someone on staff just suggested the idea of Rick getting romantic with a planet and the idea took off from there. But there’s a deeper topic to the show.

“The (episode’s) theme is actually parenting,” director Kyounghee Lim said in the video. 

And so it is, at least for two of the show’s three plots. In one, Rick teams up with daughter Beth, who doesn’t want to see her dad’s supposed new children neglected the way she was. The two work together to direct the careers and futures of the race of apparent Ricks, with Beth and her dad relating in a way they seldom have in the past. There may be questions about who fathered the Rick-like creatures, but there’s no doubt that Beth is her crazy yet capable father’s daughter.

Meanwhile, Jerry’s depressed because Morty and Summer have rejected his camping plans and don’t want his (actually delicious-looking) s’mores. But when he finds himself stranded with a rejected bunch of the Rick-like kids, he discovers that some creatures will actually listen to and respect him — just not his own offspring. Like Jerry himself, this plot was the dud of the episode.

And Morty and Summer, deprived of their spring-break plans for video game binging and druggie parties, manage to find a crashed spaceship that allows them to get their fill of both those activities. Or so they think. It’s through absolutely no skill of their own that they end up saving the day when Rick is losing a fistfight with a Zeus-like god named Reggie.

It’s fun to see the whole family back in action in Childrick of Morty, though I still think The Vat of Acid episode from last week is by far the best Rick and Morty offering of season 4. Summer, Beth and Jerry are fun, but the show’s called Rick and Morty for a reason, and the two title characters don’t get to interact much this time around.

Rick and Morty fans may not want next Sunday to come too quickly. The fourth-season finale airs May 31 on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. PT. It’s titled Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri, so may the Force be with us all as we face an unknown stretch of time with no new Rick and Morty.

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Young Sherlock Holmes to star in new PS5 and Xbox Series X game



A new Sherlock Holmes game has been announced will see you play as slightly younger version of the character.

The next Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes film isn’t due until next year, but fans of the detective can now also look forward to a brand-new game.

Titled Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One, the game is being developed by Frogwares, which has been making video games based on the character since 2002, with its last one being 2016’s Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter.

This new title, which will release on both modern and next-gen systems, will star a much younger Holmes, and shows how he becomes the legendary detective we all know him as.

Details are relatively scarce, but the game’s PC listing reveals a number of key features.

The game will be set on an island in the Mediterranean rather than the usual city of London, which you can explore to uncover clues in order to solve the myriad of mysteries Holmes will no doubt be faced with.

The listing seems to suggest that there might be some elements of choice that can change the outcome of scenarios, as it reads ‘It’s up to you to decide whether uncovering the truth will do more harm than good—and how that will shape the man you’ll become.’

It also teases combat, saying that you’ll be able to use the environment itself to defeat enemies and you can ‘Spot enemy vulnerabilities with your brilliant observation skills.’

More: Gaming

Perhaps most interesting of all is the inclusion of a character named Jon. It’s explicitly stated that he’s not the John Watson usually associated with Holmes, and he’s described as Holmes’ ‘best and only friend.’

Given that he seems to suddenly disappear and reappear throughout the announcement trailer, we suspect that he might not be real at all and only exists in Holmes’ head.

Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One will launch in 2021 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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MORE: Sherlock creators insist the show isn’t coming back anytime soon – how about a reboot of Columbo instead?

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MORE: Henry Cavill joins Millie Bobby Brown for Sherlock Holmes film

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Extremely rare ‘ring of fire’ galaxy discovered in the early universe



The ring galaxy R5519 may have been created during a massive, catastrophic collision between two galaxies in the early universe.

James Josephides/Swinburne Astronomy Productions

A violent, catastrophic collision between two galaxies has given rise to an extremely rare ring galaxy, lurking some 11 billion light years from the Earth. The monstrous, donut-shaped galaxy is making stars in its huge ring at a rate 50 times faster than our home galaxy, earning it an ominous moniker Johnny and June Cash would surely dig: The cosmic “ring of fire.”

In a paper, published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Tuesday, an international team of scientists detail the ring galaxy R5519, discovered after scouring data from the Hubble Space telescope and the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii. Among almost 4,000 galaxies detected in the data sets, R5519 was one of the brightest and displayed a clear ring structure. So the team investigated further — and quickly realized they’d found something unusual. 

“It is very a curious object, one that we have never seen before,” says Tiantian Yuan, an astronomer at Swinburne University in Australia and first author on the study. “The gigantic hole in this galaxy was caused by a head-on collision with another galaxy.”  

Probing the features of R5519, Yuan and her team began picking up clues as to how it formed. They ruled out gravitational lensing or a galaxy merger for its unusual structure and nearby, they detected a companion galaxy — G5593. They suspect this cosmic neighbor is the “intruder” galaxy that may have collided with R5519 around 40 million years ago. 

The two galaxies must have smashed into each other pretty much head-on — a galactic bulls-eye — and it’s likely there was already a disk of stars present in R5519. As G5593 came swooping through the galaxy, it split the disk through the guts and a wave of stars expanded from the center, as seen in the GIF above.

“The collisional formation of ring galaxies requires a thin disk to be present in the ‘victim’ galaxy before the collision occurs,” said Kenneth Freeman, an astronomer at Australian National University and co-author on the paper, in a statement. 

If R5519 is caused by a huge collision, that would make it an extremely rare cosmic phenomena. Only one in every 1000 galaxies in the local universe are formed in such a way. Notably, the early universe was much more crowded so the belief was these kind of collisions may have been more common. Yuan suggests the data is telling a different story.

“Previously, people think we would find more of these collisional ring galaxies in the young universe, simply because there are more collisions back then,” she says. “We find that is not the case.”

There are still some “unsolved puzzles” about the ring of fire, Yuan says. “We do not know if this ring was a first ring after the collision or it was the second ring.” She’s obtained further data from W.M. Keck to resolve this issue.

Astronomers will have to gather more data to be certain the ring is caused by a collision, rather than through natural evolution. The authors of the paper write the imaging performed by NASA’s soon-to-be-launched (and recently-assembled) James Webb Space Telescope will be able to resolve any lingering questions. Yuan says she has already discovered another ring galaxy likely formed by a head-on collision — and this is a billion years older than the “ring of fire.”

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