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Zelenskyy Didn’t Speak at Oscars, So Sean Penn May Publicly Destroy His Awards

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Actor Sean Penn speaks to the press after signing a humanitarian contract in Krakow, Poland, on March 23.


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Sean Penn’s two Oscar statuettes might not be long for this world. On Saturday, Penn told CNN he’d publicly destroy the Oscars he’s won if the academy didn’t ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak virtually during the event. While the Academy didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether Zelenskyy had been invited to participate, the Ukrainian president didn’t speak during Sunday’s ceremony. And Penn himself was not watching the event.

A representative for Penn said the actor was in Lviv, Ukraine on Sunday strategizing with local governance to scale up CORE’s in-country programs. CORE, or Community Organized Relief Effort, is the nonprofit group Penn co-founded in 2010.

“He did not watch the Oscars,” the representative told me in an email.

On Monday, Penn posted to Twitter and Instagram that he had a “good meeting” with Lviv Gov. Maksym Kozytskyy and encouraged interested readers to donate to CORE and follow the group’s work on its website.

It seems unlikely that the fate of Penn’s Oscars are top of his mind at the moment. And he did say he would take the action after he returned to the US, which hasn’t yet happened.

But on Saturday, he was crystal clear about the statues’ future.

When asked about the Oscars, Penn said there is “nothing greater that the Academy Awards could do” than give Zelenskyy a chance to address the ceremony’s audience. He noted that he wasn’t saying Zelenskyy had asked for the opportunity.

“If the Academy has elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children that they are trying to protect, then I think every single one of those people and every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history,” Penn said.

“And I myself, if it comes back to it, when I return, I will smelt [my Oscars] in public,” Penn said. “I pray that’s not what’s happened. … And I hope that [everyone at the Oscars] walks out if it is [true].”

Penn has won two best actor Academy Awards, one for 2003’s Mystic River and one for 2008’s Milk.

CORE’s website says, “CORE is on the ground in Poland and Romania supporting the immediate needs of people fleeing Ukraine in the wake of a massive humanitarian catastrophe.” Penn is also filming a documentary about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Penn met with Zelenskyy in February both before and during the Russian invasion and praised the Ukrainian president as “an incredibly moving human being.”

In February, Zelenskyy’s office released a statement praising Penn.

“Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today,” it said in part. “Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty.”

Before the Academy Awards aired, Amy Schumer, one of three Oscar hosts along with Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, said on Drew Barrymore’s talk show that she had pitched the Academy on a Zelenskyy appearance. “I am not afraid to go there, but it’s not me producing the Oscars,” Schumer said. 

Zelenskyy’s possible appearance was not mentioned at the ceremony, although numerous attendees did express support for Ukraine. The Ukrainian president’s non-appearance might have made bigger headlines were it not for a confrontation between actors Will Smith and Chris Rock. Smith strode on stage and slapped Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.





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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


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Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


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For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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