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Bill & Ted Face the Music is a movie for the year we lost 

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Bill & Ted Face the Music is a movie for the year we lost 

Bill & Ted Face the Music feels a bit like a prank. Franchise filmmaking is king now, and because of this, any revival feels cynical by default. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and its sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, are perhaps among the least cynical films ever made: sincere romps through time and the afterlife starring sweet morons who love rock n’ roll. They lack any sort of edge or hint of darkness (even when they go to Hell) and delight in their lack of sophistication. There’s not a lot there, but that’s what makes them charming. This makes the idea of a third film, released over 30 years after the first, feel like a stretch. Yet it might be my favorite movie released this year.

I saw Bill & Ted Face the Music at a drive-in theater. It was something my partner and I had always wanted to do (drive-ins, not Bill & Ted) but lacked the opportunity. In a pandemic, however, drive-ins are among the only safe ways to go see movies outside of your home, so we borrowed a car and drove to see the only new movie playing at the drive-in that night. Neither of us had particularly strong feelings about the film — we were more excited about the act of seeing a movie than we were the movie itself — but it felt like the right one to see on a warm summer night with the windows down and truly bad concession stand food balanced on our laps.

Bill & Ted Face the Music, like its predecessors, is a simple movie. Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter), have been told since they were teenagers that their rock band, the Wyld Stallyns, will write the song that will unite the world. However, they are now middle-aged men who somehow haven’t managed to pull it off. Because of this, the world is falling apart. Time and space are collapsing, and Kelly (Kristen Schaal), an emissary from the future, arrives to tell the Stallyns that they have until 7:17 p.m. to write the song or else everything comes to an end.

To solve the problem with minimal effort, Bill and Ted decide to try what worked in the past: using a time machine to jump to a future where they’ve already written the song, and bring it back to the present. This goes wrong, and the duo spend the rest of the film trying to smooth over increasingly dire mistakes they make in the future as they continue to neglect the present.

We never think as clearly about the present as we’d like to. I suspect that’s even more true now than it ever was. What, I wonder, will hindsight reveal about this year and how we received it? I watched Bill & Ted Face the Music in a remote New Jersey drive-in because drive-ins are among the few diversions available to me as the world falls apart. That collapse is never far from my mind, least of all during the 91-minute movie about two middle-aged men staring down the end of the world and trying to avoid doing anything about it.

Throughout Face the Music, Bill and Ted travel further and further into their future to find that they never change. Their lives just get worse, because they never stop running from their problems, from trying to cheat their way out of doing the work to fix anything. Their future selves can’t improve until Bill and Ted stop seeking them out, because then that means they’ve stopped cheating their way into the song that saves the universe, and actually started making it.

For the last year, I had been planning on getting married this month. That, like a lot of other things in 2020, is no longer happening, postponed for a year. I don’t know if that’s enough time. I doubt it’s enough time. Fretting about it, however, feels frivolous. So I don’t. Instead, I look at all of the other things there are to be angry about right now, and I feel that instead.

I don’t know where to put all the rage. I can send it to the future, which looks worse the farther into it I reach. I can send it to the past and despair over every incremental step that brought us here. Both seem like terrible decisions for the person who is living here, now.

So at the end of Bill & Ted Face the Music, I cried, because the present is the one thing I haven’t figured out yet, six months into calamity. I don’t know if the decisions I’m making today are the right ones or wrong ones, and I’m running out of fictions to spin myself to justify living and working and paying bills like the world isn’t literally on fire. I cried because the wedding we thought we’d have will probably never happen, because no one is getting the tomorrow they hoped for. And I cried because at the end of the movie everyone does stand up and face the music. Not because they’ve figured anything out, but because they love the hell out of each other. That’s all they really know how to do — be excellent to each other and play music really fucking loud. It’s just about all I know to do, too.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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The next US particle accelerator will be built on Long Island by 2031

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The next US particle accelerator will be built on Long Island by 2031

Funding for the project will primarily come from the DOE, which expects to hand over anything up to $2.6 billion, with New York State adding an additional $100 million. That will pay for a 2.4-mile long ring to be built parallel to the collider that’s already in place at Brookhaven. It’s hoped that investment will pay off if researchers can understand the nature of how gluons bind these structures together. 

Department of Energy / Brookhaven National Laboratory

For all the attention that CERN’s Large Hadron Collider gets, you may be forgiven for not knowing that Brookhaven already hosts one of its own. The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is designed to fire heavy ions at each other in the hope of causing a collision which can be studied. According to one report, the RHIC will be retired in 2025 to make way for its replacement, which is expected to begin operations around 2031.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Order Apple’s new Watch straps in the wrong size, and you’ll have to return the whole thing

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Order Apple’s new Watch straps in the wrong size, and you’ll have to return the whole thing

Last week, Apple launched the new Apple Watch Series 6 and a pair of new Watch straps to go with it: the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop. Both are made of stretchy, unbroken material without a clasp or buckle, which makes choosing the right size extremely important.

But as reported by MacRumors, it seems buyers have an extra reason to be careful: if you buy the wrong-sized band, you’ll have to return the Watch and band together to get it changed. With constrained supplies on both the new bands and the Watch Series 6 itself, that might mean a delay of weeks, even months, before your replacement arrives.

Apple customers have been complaining about this on Twitter and MacRumors’ forum. Eli Hodapp, an exec at mobile gaming subscription service GameClub, even shared an exchange he had with an Apple support employee, who agreed with Hodapp’s suggestion that the system was “kind of insane.” As the support worker said: “Yes, totally agree with you. But Apple do have a policy since it is considered a configure to order purchase.”

And as one user posted on MacRumors: “I assumed if you ordered the incorrect size, you could keep the watch and just return/exchange the band. But Apple support through chat said you have to return the watch and the band. That’s so wasteful. And frustrating. I’m selling my S4 watch and the buyer will have to keep waiting until it’s all sorted out.”

(We’ve contacted Apple to confirm the policy and will update this story if we hear back.)

The whole situation has also been made worse by the pandemic. The best way to ensure you’re getting a good fit on a watch band is, of course, to try on various sizes in person. Apple says it can also swap badly fitting bands if customers head to a store. But with so many outlets still closed because of COVID-19 and customers understandably wary about making unnecessary trips during a global pandemic, this isn’t an option for everyone.

Apple has tried to ameliorate the problem by issuing a paper fitting guide, which users can print out and place around their wrist to find their size. But a number of customers say the sizes recommended by the guide don’t always match the fit of the delivered product. The Sports Grind Entertainment’s own staff have found similar problems, with the band sizes recommended by the guide arriving slightly too loose. This isn’t just a comfort issue, either, as the Watch Series 6’s headline feature, its new blood oxygen monitor, requires a good fit to operate properly.

In other words: be careful when ordering one of the new Solo bands, and if you can (and if it’s not too dangerous), try to try one on in person. If you’ve had any problems with the size or return policies of the new bands, let us know in the comments below.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon 750 uses AI to improve chat quality

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Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 750 uses AI to improve chat quality

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 750G, a 5G-capable processor designed for mid-range smartphones rather than higher-tier devices that might use the Snapdragon 765G. The key feature is an updated 4 TOPS (trillion operations per second) AI system that can do echo cancellation and background vocal noise suppression for gaming, chat and voice assistants. Qualcomm says it can filter noise like “construction, children, or a barking dog” so that listeners only hear your voice.

The new chip offers a 20 percent CPU and 10 percent GPU boost over the Snapdragon 730G, thanks to new Adreno 619 GPU and Kryo 750 CPU. And just like the Snapdragon 765G, it supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G, along with TDD, FDD, dynamic spectrum sharing and multi-SIM support. All of that alphabet soup means the chip should work with 5G in most places around the world at speeds up to about 3.7 Gbps.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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