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Thursday, March 30, 2017

This is How Much Money Telecom Companies Paid Ohio Republicans to Sell Off Your Browser History

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 11:41 AM

Portman
  • Portman
You may have noticed this week that Congress voted to allow Internet service providers to sell of your browser history and app usage data to third parties (marketing firms, let's say) without your explicit permission. The bill, SJ Res. 34, reverses an Obama administration rule that protected the ownership of personal Internet data. If you hadn't heard, you know now and you're sure to see your random-ass conservative friend ballyhooing about "Terms of Service" on your Facebook timeline very soon.

But much like we've pointed out with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's bought-and-paid-for support of Education Secretary Betsy Devos, this telecom bill tracks neatly with massive donations made to federal politicians on behalf of companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

So we spent some time with the National Institute on Money in State Politics and determined how much money each Ohio Republican carted down to Washington and no doubt had in mind when voting to slash and burn the last vestiges of Internet privacy.

Below are campaign contributions that came from the last election cycle (2016) from telecom companies and individual employees of telecom companies. (We're referencing only Republicans here because only Republicans voted in favor of this bill.)

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman
$89,350

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (5th District, Bluffton)
$91,000

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (6th District, Salem)
$56,500

U.S. Rep. Patrick Tiberi (12th District, Worthington)
$53,250

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (16th District, Wadsworth)
$48,000

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (15th District, Lancaster)
$27,000

U.S. Rep. Steven Chabot (1st District, Cincinnati)
$25,500

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (4th District, Bucyrus)
$24,750

U.S. Rep. David Joyce (14th District, Russell Township)
$16,500

U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (2nd District, Cincinnati)
$9,400

U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (7th District, Ashland)
$8,000

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (1oth District, Dayton)
$6,000

The grand total? $455,250. For the price of a low-end home in Gates Mills, all of our Ohio representatives collectively sold off your right to keep your weird Internet history to yourself.

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Comedian Steve Byrne to Launch Three-Night Stand at Hilarities

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 11:00 AM

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Comedian Steve Byrne, the star and creator of Sullivan & Son, gets laughs by making fun of people based on the types of music they listen to; he also likes to have audience members join him on stage so he can create his own boy band.

Next month, Byrne’s new comedy special will premiere on Showtime. It features observational jokes about married life. “Eating at McDonald’s is the closest I’ll come to cheating on my wife,” he jokes. “I see those arches and think, ‘Oh shit, I want you inside of me.’”

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Here's LeBron James as a Cry Baby in a New Intel Commercial

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:49 AM

Here's a new commercial from Intel starring LeBron James.

To quote George W. Bush, "That was some weird shit."


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There Are Numbers of Reasons to See 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' at Playhouse Square

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:37 AM

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Used to be, many of us couldn’t imagine what it would be like to live on the autism spectrum, experiencing sensory overload and unable to correctly process random stimuli. Ha! That was before we were subjected to the ravings of the Trump administration. Now, we live in fear of the next new notifications on our iPhones, wondering whether the toddler-in-chief has started a war with North Korea or rudely flamed a former ally.

But I digress. In the remarkable production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by London’s National Theatre, Simon Stephens has adapted British playwright Mark Haddon’s eponymous novel into a thrilling excursion. By staging the play inside a black box equipped with dazzling lighting and visual effects, and accented by imaginative choreography and movement, the play is often surprising. Still, there are some soft spots and occasionally the show labors to maintain momentum.

The story is viewed largely through the mind of Christopher, a teenage math whiz whose brain is incapable of perceiving the emotions of others, and of expressing his own. When a neighbor’s dog is found stabbed to death by a garden pitchfork, Christopher is considered a possible suspect, so he takes it upon himself to search for the killer.

While he delves into deductive and inductive reasoning as he takes on the role of his hero Sherlock Holmes, we see how Christopher’s single father Ed and his mentor at school Siobhan react, helping him when they can to find his way through a confusing world.

The 12-person cast is frequently sitting on stage at the base of three large walls that are laid out in a grid pattern on a black background. These walls become the 13th character, as they pulse, flicker and then ultimately explode with life. As fashioned by video designer Finn Ross, scenic designer Bunny Christie and lighting designer Paule Constable, the walls give Christopher a place to inhabit that can be either disturbing or comforting, especially comforting when those spaces throb with equations and math challenges.

At one moment, a thin line of LED lights traces the outlines of houses to depict the neighborhood. And at other times, the walls erupt in showers of numbers and images that flood your cerebral cortex. This may not be how it feels to be autistic, since it is impossible to create the stupefying confusion that condition must impose, but this inventive staging certainly gives you that twinge when your senses are overwhelmed.

As Christopher dives deeper into the dog-murder mystery, he learns things that send him off on a journey where he reconnects with another member of his family and gains the strength to return home. Meanwhile, he has been preparing for a stringent math exam that will determine if he can attend a university, and he is also cataloging his murder investigation for a school assignment.

In this performance (and at many others during the run here), Christopher is played by Adam Langdon. Although he looks a good deal more physically mature than the average 15-year-old lad, Langdon brilliantly conveys the boy’s inability to process figurative language and slang, and by responding only to the literal meanings of words he becomes the object of amusement, or worse. He also can’t stand being touched by other people. This frustrates his blue-collar dad (played with rough affection by Gene Gillette), who told his son that his mother died, a fact that Christopher discovers.

The multiple difficulties Christopher has to deal with motivate his teacher Siobhan to work with Christopher, encouraging him to tell his story. As Siobhan, Maria Elena Ramirez is warm and caring, but some of her words are lost at times due to a slightly rushed delivery.

In Act Two, the sensory inputs increase as Adrian Sutton’s music and Ian Dickinson’s sound design merge with the visuals to bring the story to a conclusion. At times, the ensemble of actors carries Christopher around the stage as he is buffeted by his mental demons and swept away on cascading numerical waves.

The tension flags at times as the play progresses, and it seems there are a few too many explications of the same problems Christopher exhibits. You know, we get it. Still, the production under the astonishing direction of Marianne Elliott wonderfully evokes a boy trapped by his mind and saved by his highly-focused talent. With mathematics, Christopher works with solid, unchanging factors and, happily, there actually are answers in the back of the book. (Indeed, there is even an answer in the back of the play, as Christopher runs through a high-speed solution to a math problem posed earlier.)

Christopher’s remarkable abilities give him the strength he needs to advance, and it gives the audience a portal into a the different ways that some people grapple with reality.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Through April 9 at Playhouse Square, Connor Palace, 1615 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000.
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Country Singer-Songwriters Brandy Clark and Charlie Worsham Talk About Their Co-Headlining Tour

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 8:36 AM

Charlie Worsham - ALLISTER ANN
  • Allister Ann
  • Charlie Worsham
Country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark originally got her start performing in school musicals. She has blossomed into a superb songwriter; last year’s Big Day in a Small Town features a terrific collection of articulate songs about this American life.

Charlie Worsham, another consummate singer-songwriter, will release his new album, Beginning of Things, next month.

He's teamed up with Clark for a co-headlining tour that brings them to House of Blues at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. In separate interviews, they spoke how they developed their songwriting skills.

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PechaKucha Night Cleveland Celebrates Its 30th Fast-talking Event At Music Box

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 8:08 AM

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Taking place in dozens of cities around the world, every PechaKucha Night features 10 creative speakers using 20 slides, and each slide is limited to 20 seconds. The result is an evening of fast-paced, exciting presentations, limited to just 400 seconds.

Rather than selecting a theme for each event, organizers encourage presenters to speak about topics about which they are most passionate. Topics typically include visual art, photography, technology, architecture, food, film and furniture design.

In Cleveland, PechaKucha Night is celebrating its 30th event from 7 to 10 tonight at the Music Box Supper Club. Presentations begin at 8:20 p.m. Although the event is always free, donations are accepted. $1 from each donation goes to PKN Global to support the organization, and the rest of the proceeds help keep PKN Cleveland free.
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Flying Fig Partners with Tom's Foolery to Host Cocktail Class

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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Ryan Wilkins of the Flying Fig and Lorilei Bailey of Tom’s Foolery will lead a class tonight making cocktails with Northeast Ohio’s best locally distilled spirits.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Flying Fig.

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