This Week In Culture: August 1–6, 2020

August 6, 2020
Stories about real and cartoon spacecraft, two very different time-travel movies, and the trouble with TikTok all provided words to this list of vocabulary from the week's top tech, entertainment, and sports
American Pickle stars Seth Rogen as two people: Ben Greenbaum, an app designer in Brooklyn, and his distant relative Herschel Greenbaum, who was preserved for 100 years after falling into a vat of pickle brine. The fish-out-of-water time travel comedy features Rogen doing admirable work playing off of himself in both roles. Boisterous is of uncertain origin, but it likely originated in some form of British dialect, or possibly Welsh, in the 12th century.
And while Herschel possesses a boisterous personality — augmented by a thick Eastern European accent — and extreme pride in his Jewish identity, Ben is living a pretty isolated life, and while he was raised in a religious household, he has lapsed away from any meaningful personal ties to Judaism.
Salon (Aug 6, 2020)
After the Marlins and Cardinals both suffered Covid-19 outbreaks, Major League Baseball has implemented even stricter rules governing player behavior off the field during the season. Masks must be worn at all times, and players are forbidden from gathering in hotel rooms or elsewhere. Players may also not leave the hotel without permission, or speak to each other while eating. Failure to obey the rules can result in suspension from play.
The new rules also prohibit players from meeting together in hotel rooms, or gathering in public areas without approval from the team's compliance officer, according to Nightengale.
Sports Illustrated (Aug 6, 2020)
The Star Trek franchise is launching its second animated series, titled Star Trek: Lower Decks, on CBS All Access. The comedy centers on four low-ranking crew members far from the excitement on the bridge of the USS Cerritos. The show has already been renewed for a second season.
Ditto the writers who shape the main characters, four young ensigns usually assigned mundane tasks far from the prestigious bridge, in the legendary sci-fi franchise's second animated series and first comedy (streaming weekly starting Thursday).
USA Today (Aug 6, 2020)
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the two astronauts who went to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Dragon, landed safely off the coast of Florida. SpaceX is under contract with NASA to build more orbital spacecraft for similar missions and more ambitious trips in the future. Civilian onlookers in boats got dangerously close to the splashdown site, and officials said they would enforce stricter distance requirements next time.
But inside the spacecraft, Behnken and Hurley had no idea that they had been greeted by a small navy of gawkers because their windows were so charred.
Washington Post (Aug 4, 2020)
Antebellum, a time-travel thriller starring Janelle Monáe, releases next month on demand. Monáe plays a writer trapped in time, moving between the pre-Civil War past and the present day. The film was produced by the same team who made Get Out and Us. Percolare is a Latin verb meaning "to filter" or "to strain."
The trailer also scales back the horror elements that percolated in the teaser.
Rolling Stone (Aug 6, 2020)
After repeatedly asking the Trump campaign to stop playing his music at rallies and events, Neil Young has filed a lawsuit. The suit demands that the campaign cease using any and all of his music, and asks for $150,000 in damages. Plaintiff comes from the Latin planctus, meaning "lamentation;" this makes sense since the person bringing a suit has a complaint, which comes from the same root.
Young's lawsuit reads: "The Campaign does not now have, and did not at the time of the Tulsa rally, have a license or Plaintiff's permission to play the two Songs at any public political event."
Fader (Aug 4, 2020)
The 1992 film A League of Their Own, about the women's baseball league created during World War II, is being reinvented as a TV series for Amazon. The series was co-created by Abbi Jacobson and Will Graham, and features a diverse cast. No premiere date has been set yet. Reprise means "taken again" in French, so it's a lot like a director shouting "Take two!"
CBS tried unsuccessfully in 1993 with a sitcom that featured Cavanagh and Tracy Reiner, who played Betty "Spaghetti," reprising their roles.
Hollywood Reporter (Aug 6, 2020)
Nneka Ogwumike, a player for the Los Angeles Sparks, has been elected as the president of the WNBA player's union. Her sister Chiney is also a Sparks player. Nneka is a phenomenal player — she shot a staggering 74 percent during the 2016 season — and now she's trying to modernize the league's constitution and contracts with players, increasing their share of revenue and giving them better benefits.
Spots in the W.N.B.A. are limited, the competition is ruthless, and life on the road can be gruelling.
New Yorker (Aug 3, 2020)
TikTok is in trouble; with President Trump threatening to ban it unless it gets bought by a U.S. company — likely Microsoft — competing apps are taking advantage and gaining lots of users. Besides newcomers like Byte, Clash, Zynn, and Triller, Instagram and Snapchat are also introducing short video and music functionality to try to peel users away from TikTok. Siphon is Greek for "pipe" or "tube."
Now, TikTok has to contend with not only the threat of a ban, but the possibility that one or more of these apps will take its place as the home for shortform videos, potentially siphoning off its existing users in the process.
The Verge (Aug 6, 2020)
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is preparing to touch down on the asteroid Bennu. The team controlling the craft have already rehearsed two maneuvers, but this time they'll be adding a third, bringing the vehicle within 130 feet of Bennu, matching its rotation. Other operations include repositioning the sampling arm and solar panels. Because of the 16-minute lag in radio communication, the craft will execute all these tasks automatically.
This second rehearsal will be the first time the spacecraft executes the Matchpoint maneuver to then fly in tandem with Bennu's rotation.
Phys.org (Aug 6, 2020)

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