PHILADELPHIA — Harold Carmichael was a wiry teenager hanging out at a teammate's house when he decided he wanted to play football at Southern University. Recruiters from the university had been to Carmichael's Jacksonville, Fla., high school, but his interest wasn't solidified until he found yearbooks for two historically Black colleges and universities while at teammate Blyden Geiger's house. Carmichael and Geiger looked at both yearbooks, the pictures of the campuses, the students there, the sports teams, and decided right there. Just one hang-up. Southern's recruiter showed interest in Geig...
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Herschel Walker's son gloated over his election loss and blamed Donald Trump for his doomed candidacy.
The former NFL star's son Christian Walker, who had publicly backed his campaign before turning against him, posted a series of tweets after the Georgia runoff election was called in favor of Sen. Raphael Warnock saying his father should never have entered the race, reported The Daily Beast.
“Don’t beat women, hold guns to peoples heads, fund abortions then pretend you’re pro-life, stalk cheerleaders, leave your multiple minor children alone to chase more fame, lie, lie, lie, say stupid crap, and make a fool of your family,” Walker wrote. “And then maybe you can win a senate seat.”
Multiple women, including Christian's mother, came forward during the campaign to accuse Walker of serial lying and infidelity and physical and emotional abuse, as well as secret children and abortions.
“Republicans, we say we don’t play 'identity politics' and then you ran this man mainly because he was the same skin color as his opponent with no background other than football," his son wrote. "A boring old Republican could have won."
"The Truth: Trump called my dad for months DEMANDING that he run," he added. "Everyone with a brain begged him: ‘PLEASE DON’T DO THIS. This is too dirty, you have an insane past… PLEASE DONT DO THIS.’ We got the middle finger. He ran.”
The morning after another one of Donald Trump's high-profile hand-picked candidates lost -- this time in a Georgia run-off for a U.S. Senate seat -- a former adviser to the ex-president admitted the Republican Party can't handle any more losses by following Trump's lead because they are getting "slaughtered."
Sitting in on a "CNN This Morning" panel, GOP campaign adviser David Urban also said Trump and the Republican party's aversion to mail-in voting is a primary reason "we're getting our clocks cleaned."
Speaking with hosts Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon, Urban explained, "It was the president of the United States saying don't vote by mail, you can't trust it. Now Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned in early voting, right? We are getting destroyed by mail-in and early voting."
"Listen, as you guys know, when you vote by mail you can see the votes come in, if you vote incorrectly you can cure it, you can see who didn't turn out," he elaborated. "Democrats have built an incredible machine that can do this, who's come out, didn't come out. Republicans wait until election day to vote, so the former president got that completely wrong and we need to really focus on this."
Continuing in that vein he added, "John Avlon, the hour before this said as long as trump wraps up about 35% of the party, you can't look across that board and say we did well. Trump can't wake up this morning and say I did okay -- he lost everywhere; my home state in Pennsylvania, we got drubbed. So candidates matter, and candidate quality matters."
"America sorry you're waking up to this, but Donald Trump is still the dominant force in the Republican Party, this morning, tomorrow morning, and he's most likely the nominee and stands as a fact to be the next president again," he added. "Donald Trump stands a very good chance of being president of the United States despite the Warnock loss, the senate candidates going down because they're the ride-or-die Trumpers with him until the end."
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From "Terminator" to "Titanic" to "Avatar", director James Cameron has pushed Hollywood's technical wizardry to new limits, but human emotion must always come first, he told AFP.
In an era when special effects are much more accessible to filmmakers, and studios are willing to regularly spend hundreds of millions of dollars on blockbusters, it is the artistic talent that makes the difference, Cameron said during a visit to Paris.
Whether he can still strike the balance will be tested as the world finally gets to see "Avatar: The Way of Water" next week -- a sequel to his groundbreaking extraterrestrial epic that has been 13 years in the making.
"Anybody could buy a paintbrush. Not everybody can paint a picture," the Canadian director said. "The technology doesn't create art. Artists create art -- that's important."
It was originally hoped that a first sequel would be out in 2014, but Cameron's gargantuan ambitions led to repeated delays.
He does not come across like the sort of megalomaniac director of Hollywood lore -- describing his sets as "a big hippie commune with a bunch of really great artists."
But these hippies are armed with some powerful computers.
"We had over 3,200 shots, which is a lot to maintain high quality, high quality control," Cameron said.
"We brought in machine deep learning and plugged AI into various stages of the process to assist us... not to take the place of the actors at all but actually to be more truthful to what they had done," he said.
'Connection to nature'
The challenge was managing to draw emotion out of performances that were largely shot in front of green screens, and where most of the scenery and props would only appear later in the effects booths.
"The heart, the soul, the emotion, the conflict, creativity... all that happens first, and then all the technical work begins," he said.
Cameron has always justified the vast sums he has asked of studios -- "Titanic" was both the most expensive and most profitable film of all time following its release in 1997, only to be topped by "Avatar" in 2009 -- and he feels that responsibility "every day".
"I can't be whimsical or impulsive, I have to be very focused and dedicated to creating something that's both pleasing to me artistically, and that I think will be pleasing to the public and commercial enough to make some money," he said.
"It can't be too intellectual, but I can make it satisfying to me by putting in secondary and tertiary levels of meaning that I know are there."
Clearly, much of the impulse of the Avatar series is drawing attention to humanity's impact on nature, but the sequel also focuses on Cameron's aquatic interests.
Long fascinated by the sea, from 1989's "The Abyss" to "Titanic", Cameron became a deep ocean explorer for National Geographic in the 2000s and was the first solo human to visit the deepest underwater trench, the Mariana Trough, in a purpose-built submarine.
He sees "Avatar" as "awakening that thing in all of us, that connection to nature.
"The movie asks you to feel something for nature... It's about maybe feeling a sense of outrage," Cameron said.
"These Navi characters... they don't look like us, they're blue, they've got the ears and tails. But they represent the better angels of our nature.
"Maybe for 10 minutes after the movie's over, you see the world a little differently," he added.
© 2022 AFP